Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolutions are for WINNERS! (Free Planning Worksheets!)

Does anyone else out there want to make 2014 their year? I mean, like really make 2014 your year? I have been planning for the last couple of months and there way too many things I would like to accomplish in 2014. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Old Town Salzburg, Austria

If you have never been to Salzburg, go if you ever have the opportunity. If not, don't sweat it! (Not that you were.) This will be my longest post to date. More pictures than any other post. I just can't help it. We love this place and we are so grateful we were able to go back for the 2nd time in October with my parents. We only spent one day and night here. If you read about some of the other fall adventures we had when my parents came, then you know they only came for ONE week. Not enough time. So the week was packed with crazy fun.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmases Past and 2013 Christmas Wishes

Christmas always brings a spirit of giving and a reminder of blessings. I love contemplating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the music, the decorations, the twinkling lights, the food and most importantly being surrounded by those I love.

I have been reminiscing about Christmases past. I do every year. I have been missing my family, Sam's family and special friends. I think about Sam last year alone in Afghanistan on Christmas. I think of my little brother serving a mission in Florida, away from family. I think of how lucky I have been to have been surrounded by family every single Christmas of my life. I have so many priceless memories. Below are some pictures of Christmases past and our 2013 Christmas card. 

We wish you a happy time filled with family, friends, warmth and the true Spirit of Christmas. Make the last few days of 2013 count! :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hitler's Eagle's Nest, Obersalzburg, Germany

And yes, another Bavarian adventure that MUST be shared. We visited Hitler's Eagle's nest. And it was so incredible to see! Sam and I had been talking about checking this place out since we moved here 2 1/2 years ago. I didn't know what to expect. One morning in mid-october we checked out of Edelweiss in Garmisch, Germany and headed to Obersalzburg to finally see this place. We drove up and up into the mountains and reached a point where we couldn't drive any longer. There we parked the car and bought tickets to get on a bus. We waited for a few minutes and then took the world's sketchiest ride up and up some more. At some points it literally felt like our huge tour bus was just going to tip right off the cliff.

This Eagle's Nest known as Kehlsteinhaus in German was a 50th birthday present for Adolf Hitler. It took 13 months to build. From what I have heard he didn't use it for that long.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

I find it hard to believe, still, that my life includes so much excitement! I mean, I never, ever would have imagined I would be living in Germany. I never would have even thought about it or quite frankly, wanted it! But, such is life… filled with many things you don't expect. And now that I have the opportunity to live in a foreign country, I am so grateful for it.

So, this is another post about one of the adventures we had while my parents were here. This particular day included a trip to the infamous "Disney Castle." No, it isn't actually "disney anything." But, it is the castle that Disney patterned their "Sleeping Beauty Castle" after. We visited in mid-october and it was about the perfect time with the fall colors and crisp weather. It was incredibly beautiful! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dachau Concentration Camp, near Munich, Germany

Visiting a concentration camp is never fun. It is sad, disturbing and heart breaking. However, I am still glad I have been able to visit one. This was our second time visiting Dachau. It is near Munich and it is about 2 hours from our house. The last time we were able to visit was before Trip was born. On July 1, 2011 we visited with Sam's dad and brothers. Click here for some different photos and the post on our first experience at Dachau.

The first time I visited, I left in tears. This time I ended up outside with our children most of the time. (Their running around, laughing and screaming didn't quite fit in with the atmosphere.) This visit was a bit easier, emotionally for me (since my focus was on the kids), But still hard.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Alps, Garmisch, Germany

The 2nd night my parents were here (when they came in mid October) we were already out traveling. We had made it down to Garmisch, Germany. It is a lovely ski/outdoor adventure town that has a fun vibe. We stayed at Edelweiss which is a resort on a military property. But, the property is insane, amazing. It is literally at the base of the Alps. It is a short walk to the trams and lifts that take you right up into the Alps. When driving in we were oohing and awing at the clear, pristine day. We have made this same trip many times and we had rarely seen it as clear and as beautiful as it was for two nights we stayed there.

A Bavarian Adventure- Rothenburg, Colmberg and Lichtenau

In mid October we had two very special, very wanted visitors! My parents came to town. It was a tease because they only spent one week with us. We really had to make every second count. And boy we did just that. We traveled and soaked in every minute we had together. It was one of the best weeks. EVER.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Trip Samuel Turns Two!

Our precious boy turned two a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to have a party for him and make it really special. Last year his birthday fell right on Thanksgiving day. I got him a couple of presents. Sam was deployed. I didn't EVEN make him a cake. He "blew out" a candle that was stuck into a piece of pumpkin pie. That is not a tradition I wanted to keep. I really want him to feel special and like his birthday is his day to feel special and be well taken care of!