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.




Southern Hospitality

"Southern hospitality is a phrase used in American English to describe the stereotype of residents of the Southern United States as particularly warm, sweet, and welcoming to visitors to their homes, or to the South in general.  Food figures highly in Southern hospitality, a large component of the idea being the provision of Southern cuisine to visitors. A cake or other delicacy is often brought to the door of a new neighbor as a mechanism of introduction"(Wikipedia's definition)

My definition....Just good ole kindness shown to people no matter where they live.  The past two weeks, we have been reminded that we live in this land of Southern hospitality, which can sometimes seem fake to those that do not live in "the south".  But let me tell you there hasn't been one bit of fake in all of the goodies that have been dropped off by many of our new neighbors as they welcome us to the new hood.  I don't even think there has been one single teaspoon of splenda used....



Uncle Mike getting us set for fishing
I have always felt like a kid when we have company coming to visit.  So as soon as we were unpacked, we put the word out that we were ready for guests and a room was "booked" within a few days by my brother and his friend that would make the almost 8 hour drive down from North Carolina.  While we lived in Germany, we were lucky to have many of our family and friends visit us, but it wasn't often enough for me.

As a kid I loved going up to visit my grandparent.  As we were on the last mile of our drive to 'Ma & Pa's' house my dad would have me begin counting down as we winded around the two lane road just to add to the anticipation before our arrival.  Not only did my mouth begin to drool as I thought of all of my grandmother's home cooked favorites that would be consumed,  but I also knew that as we pulled into the gravel driveway that had a welcoming crunch under our tires, my grandfather (most times) would be sitting on one of the porches awaiting our arrival.  Their hospitality always made me feel warm and bubbly and I hope I carry on the tradition as I find myself sitting (not so patiently) on the front porch counting down the minutes until they arrive.

giving fishing lessons in the back yard


Pictures hung

Movers came and came and came.  Over a course of 2 weeks and 3 days of unloading our furniture arrived via boat, plane and many customs inspections.  And yes, much to my friends amazement all the pictures are hung and boxes are all unpacked.  Ok...so it is a little 'type A' personality.  But after living in hotels and suitcases for 6 weeks, I like to create a "home" as fast as possible no matter what country or state we are living and thankfully, I have a husband that also likes to get settled.  Well, maybe he doesn't like all of the hanging of pictures...then the un-hanging because a better spot was found.  So maybe after this whirlwind of unpacking there seems to be a lot of exhaustion and sleeping that happens.  Thank goodness we had so many great friends that helped us with hands and great delivered meals!!!
we are moving that picture again??
All done!


Golfer's dream

 I don't know Golf....but from his excitement as was showing me the pictures, I would say Jason was able to experience a golfer's dream. After meetings in Germany, He hopped over to St. Andrews and Carnoustie for some much needed r & r...which would be 'swing & miss' for me.



If only this guy's dentures could talk...he would tell you that I felt just like him after all of our travel from Germany to Alabama and then to Oregon... not to mention my little girl holding on tight to sickness the whole time we were at the grandparents.  But, unlike this talking Joe, with a little time and relaxation thanks to Grandma and Pops, I have found my skin again. 
Porter also wanted Karina to get well
Guess who is having the most fun?

not only did we make 2 trips to the doctor, but I also knew I was back in America driving the gran's big ole Ford. 
We didn't get to ride, but at least we had a afternoon laughing together and visiting all of the new fouls

checking out the Fouls at Black Butte 

Grandma is the best teacher..even when Porter is fiesty!

About Me

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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.