Monday, September 29, 2008


Apparently, the cows graze high up in the Alps in the summer, then they are brought down to lower pastures in the fall. We heard about this from a couple that we met at a party. It sounded fun, so we gave it a try. It was great! We drove down to Bavaria Friday night. Our plan was to drive about an hour and 45 minutes into Austria. We were about an hour into the ride when we rounded a corner and started up a mountain, only to hear some clanging and traffic. (Mind you, we are on a 2 lane, fairly narrow road, right on the side of the mountain with only a barrier between us and down below.) So, we round this bend, and holy cow (literally!!), we see them coming down the mountain! I had to quickly do a 11 point turn and we raced down the mountain to the nearest village, found a parking spot and parked ourselves on the side of the street. There they came...the cows...down the mountain, dressed in their finery! They had what looked like Christmas garland and flowers on their head and cowbells bigger than Henry's head, around their necks! Then we walked into town center to find a fest. Lederhosen and dirndls galore! There was dancing and food and beer. The staples of any good German fest.

The next day, we headed to the Garmisch stadium, where the 1934 Olympics were held. Despite the numerous times we have been to this area, this was the first time we saw the stadium. We even managed to see a few skiers training on the jump. Pretty cool. Here the guys and I are posing as skiers. Well, H is a snowboarder, he says.

It was a great trip, except for Owen getting sick. He was a little under the weather (I'll save you the gory details) in the morning, but turned into a wildman by mid afternoon. It was a gloriously warm, sunny weekend, and we had a wonderful time. Nothing like a vacation to soothe the soul!

Enjoy the pictures.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Puffy Eyes and Disappointment

How much tears can one person shed? Yesterday Mark found out he did not get the job in NY. There weren't even any interviews. This is a crying shame, since Mark has diversified so much in the past 10 years in preparation for this job. The person we are guessing that got this job would not have even qualified for it, had it not been for Rumsfeld's big grand renovation! It would have been wonderful to be so close to family and friends again. I tell myself and hear from others, it means there is something better. How? Where? When? I can't imagine anything more perfect. So, I cried like no tomorrow yesterday. And a bit today. By tomorrow maybe all the tears will be gone. Maybe. Mark is handling this so much better than I and it's his job! I prayed long and hard for the hiring official to see the good in Mark in so many ways. To see his knowledge and ability, his dedication and personality. So, we are now going to truly enjoy our time here. We have already bounced around vacation ideas. We think we have a plan of where we will go next. I said to Mark on the way home from dinner that I am at peace with that plan. Remember I was waiting for that lightening bolt to hit me a couple of months ago? Maybe this is it. To jump start me into really enjoying life...not waiting for the next place or step. To live for the moment. I know God has a grand plan for us. We'll be ok. Just a few more tears and maybe it will be ok. Maybe.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No Longer Our Baby

I must admit, I cried like no tomorrow the night before Henry's first day of Kindergarten. I cried for so many reasons. I thought I got it all out before that Tuesday. That morning, I put on my super waterproof mascara and took our guy to school with me. He was so ready. I learned this summer that I can not home school (many of you know my thoughts on that subject) or be a Reading Recovery teacher. We tried as we could to learn to read, but I guess my job is to have fun with my boys. He couldn't take me seriously, I guess. And you know what....I am so happy for that! They want to just have fun with me! Now if only I can be as fun as Dad. I have some work to do. Anyway....
So I have the waterproof mascara on, Dad meets us at school, and we send him in. He is in such wonderful hands. I knew he was; we requested this particular teacher. But, I still cried. Henry, he was a champ and marched right in and had a great day. He has had a few bumps in the road, but I am amazed at what he is learning. Out of no where he sometimes sings the school song or picks up a book to tell us the parts. His favorite part of the day, playing on the playground.

20 Years Young

Or at least as old as we act!

It's been a whirlwind summer. I will start with my 20 year reunion. The best part was spending time with the Tarts and laughing like no tomorrow. No matter how much time goes by, or how far away we are, some things never change. I grew up with all of the girls in the photos. Some from as far back as elementary school. I love these girls like sisters and I am thankful to have had a wonderful week catching up with them. These pictures were at Kris's gorgeous home during our happy hour.


A few weekends ago we headed to the Black Forest of Germany. It was such a gorgeous trip. The weather was sunny and warm and it was such a relaxing and easy getaway. Here are some pictures of Mark and H captaining our rented boat on Lake Titisee (yes, the real name), O showing off his newest vocabulary word (cuckoo clock), and the type of houses and restaurants we saw in the area.

July with Slider and Barb

I would show the fantastic pictures of our version of the Griswold vacation, but our computer crashed and they were on it. Fortunately, Mark backed them up. I have to dig them out and show you the gorgeous place Mark found (out my parents window was a huge field of sunflowers!).

We went to Lake Como (we didn't see George Clooney though!), Pisa, Florence and CinqueTerre among other hot spots. The weather was perfect and the boys did really super on the long drive. It was such a scenic trip through Switzerland to get there. We ate wonderful food day after day and night after night. And lots of gelato. Mark and I just love Italy. It was great to get back into the groove and speak Italian. We had a great time and so glad we could share it with my folks.