Where's my map???

Hello my old friend, G Blogger. Guess you wondered where I've been or if I have been too sick to write after reading my last post in 2014?  Quite the opposite.  After beating cancer, I have been living my life to the fullest, raising a family, spending time with my husband/family/friends and started a non-profit business as a way to spread joy and help support others battling cancer.
Now my life has taken another turn....  As of two weeks ago, my husband, two teenage children and I are back in Stuttgart Germany living as (non-military) expats for a second time.  (In case you are wondering why the non-military part is relevant....We do not get to shop or partake on events that take place on U.S., military bases.  I support this fact since these are the families that seem to move often to defend our country...so they should get as many "American" accommodations as possible during their stay in another country.  But this blog will be about acclimating to a complete German culture for us.

Lately, I have been thinking....Wouldn't it be nice if at birth, we received a little road map to help us navigate all the twists and turns our life will take us?  But, I guess that would end up being boring kinda like a orange Hotwheels car circling around and around on its plastic track.

Without a "Kirstin's life" navigation map, I sit here looking at every other map and information brochure trying to re-familiarize myself with Stuttgart Germany.  I thought I was prepared to speak German again after attending a 40 hour  Berlitz intensive immersion  course in Washington DC...but I seemed to have forgotten the rate of speed everyone would speak once we were actually in Germany. (I'm sure it will provide for many humorous posts in the future)

For now, let me reintroduce myself:
I'm Kirstin
I"m alive and well-4 1/2 years out from Chemo and radiation.
We moved back to Stuttgart Germany 2 weeks ago after saying many sad "so longs" to our family and friends" to live as expats.
This time living in Germany, I have two teenagers rather than the young children I had that were happy just to find a fantastic German playground.  (I wish someone had given me a map for raising teenagers too)
I prefer to find the positives in life...even when it is challenging.
and lastly...I am determined to find the energy to experience all of the new adventures waiting for us here in Germany and hopefully, share some of these with you whether you will be traveling abroad or also living as an expat.
My motto-" It is easy...spread JOY"


slight detour....

I want my battle with cancer to be a "slight detour" in my life and have therefore created a seperate "blog" for this path I am walking down. 

Detour this way....



poor study habits or language barrier...

Maybe my struggles understanding the German language while we were living there weren't just due to my poor study habits.... 

Just as I thought I was settling back into the world of English, I had a man come up to me as I was sitting on the library floor gathering books for the kids and ask, "are you going to the Gap later?" 

I stared at him for about long enough to sneeze trying to rack my brain if I knew him and then responded with big wide open eyes, "excuse me?" 

He repeated, "are you going to the Gap later?"

I gazed at him about the same as I gazed at a German that was speaking too fast.  And just like my gaze didn't bother those Germans, it didn't bother this man either as he patiently said, " I was just asking, because if you need me too, I can help you get up!"  

Now, I am not really sure what baffles me more...the fact that he even thought I may not be able to get up from my perfected Indian style sit OR that I heard Gap rather then "get-up".   At least now, I am clear that language may always be a challenge for me whether it is German, English or even Alabamian...and THAT was spoken like a true writer:


Time stood still at Rosemary Beach

After 3 months of changes, unpacking and plain ole chaos, time finally stood still for me.  Well, for about 5 minutes since that seems to be my bodies limit for being still.  But sometimes, those 5 minutes can bring such clarity.

My 5 minutes consisted of the ocean, a pouring rain storm and me floating on my back with my ears under the water all alone in that big ole Gulf.  As my ears filled with salt water, clarity came that I had indeed survived all of the chaos that surrounds a move across the ocean with a 7 & 8 year old.

In addition to that 5 minutes, our days at Rosemary beach allowed our whole family to freeze time a tad as we played together with a few friends, some crabs, white sand, the Gulf and a lot of fresh ocean air.   I am (slowly) learning that it is good to let time stand still before you pick the pace back up in life...otherwise you may get side cramps and who wants those?
Beach baseball

worshiping the sun

catching up with friends
who says you have to go in when it rains?
hitting it with dad

And then there was Cooper's 8th birthday on the beach.....
Flying kites
Beach fire dinner with friends from New Orleans and Alabama


Adult Marshmellow
Roasting Marshmellow
 And then the goodbyes.......

 And the drive home.....


Red Alabama sugar

There is just NOTHIN like a home grown Sweet tasty...drip down your chin...stick to your feet when the juice spills on your hard woods...seed spitting fun Alabama watermelon. It was our Yep, 'go-to' Alabama grub before we moved to Germany and has returned to our chins once more.



About Me

My photo
Stuttgart, Germany, Germany
We are living as non-military expats for a second time in Stuttgart Germany. The first time, we moved from Alabama to Stuttgart, Germany in December 2010 for three years and now are back after six years.. This is a great adventure for our whole family that we enjoy sharing.