Saturday, February 27, 2010


Came across some old pictures of San Fransisco I took on a trip last year. Thought I'd share =)

Thursday, February 25, 2010


We've had a few days of rain, but in between we get these beautiful days of sunshine! It's amazing how different everything here looks without a blanket of snow covering it!


Brandon and his family have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and they will always be a part of my family for as long as I live. Right now, my family needs your prayers.

Brandon had been sick on and off for a few months. He went to the emergency room and they determined that he had blood poisoning and began treating him for that. It wasn't working though, so he went back again. At this time they found something much worse.

Brandon is in heart failure. He has fluid around his heart, and only 20% of his heart is working. He is also in liver failure, his liver is enlarged. He's also fighting a seriously bad lung infection. The hospital he checked himself into wanted to transfer him down to the Bay Area (California) to see a heart specialist. I don't think this is going to happen. Brandon has far too much to fight, and the doctor's are saying there isn't much that they can do to help him.

Please pray for Brandon. Make his stay in the hospital as comfortable and as pain free as possible. Please allow his family to see him, and help them to stay strong for him. This is a very hard situation for everyone, and I'm very sad that I can't be home to be apart of this. I especially wish I could be there for Jason (Brandon's brother, and one of my very best friends).

I believe in miracles.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I did a photo shoot for my friend back home about a month before coming to Germany. I haven't had the chance to edit all the photos yet because they are on my desktop, and that won't get here until sometime in April (ugh!). Anyways, I thought I'd share a few shots with you. I so wish I was there to photograph little Skylar when he's born!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I'm in the market for a new lens for my camera but not exactly sure which one to get. I have the Canon EOS Rebel XS and the lens that came with it, EFS 18-55mm.

What do I want it for?
- Mostly landscape/distant photos. There are lots of views here in Germany and I want to capture these memories! I want a good zoom to capture things farther away.
- I also take TONS of pictures of my son! I'm a sucker for the blurred background, I think it makes for a beautiful photo. I get that sometimes with my lens I have now, but not nearly as often or as strong as I'd like it to be. (And doing it in a photo editing program takes WAY to long, and to me, doesn't look as natural.)- Close-ups! Snowflakes on a leaf, bugs, flowers... things of that nature.I know I'll probably need more than one lens for these different things, that's why I'm asking for advice. I've been looking at a couple lenses, but the reviews on them are always split right down the middle. Does anyone have the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS or the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III? Canon's Compact Micro RF 50mm f/2.5? What are the pros and cons? Do you love it, is it worth the money?

I'm no professional, completely do this out of hobby. I would prefer something simple to use, but I'm totally willing to learn something a little more complicated!

What lenses do you have? What would you recommend? I don't need anything in the super high-priced range, but I'm willing to pay for a good lens. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thank you!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

SOMETIMES I HONESTLY THINK... can't possibly get any better than this. =)


I had such a great weekend! I really wish Terry didn't have to go back to work today, but hey, it's his job! We had tons of fun, got a lot of things done on the house, and had lots of time to PLAY!We started with getting Nathyn a hair cut! He wants his hair to grow out and honestly, Terry and I would like to see what he looks like with longer hair too. But that child's hair was out of control! I asked the barber just to clean up the sides but he ended up cutting quite a bit off the top also. It's okay, at least it will all grow a little more evenly now. Here's before and after...
On Saturday we walked up to the Home Furnishings store and bought a few pieces of furniture for the house (finally!). It won't be delivered until the 4th, so I'll be sure to update then. We got Nathyn a set of bunk beds (full/twin) so we have an extra bed for visitors. We also got him a small bookshelf and a tv stand for his room. For the living room we got a 9'x15' rug and I absolutely CAN NOT wait for it to get here. We also got a desk and chair for our computer "area". And lastly, we got a TV stand for our new TV!I have a feeling Nathyn loves it... What do you think? It's a 42" JVC 1080p LCD. We got it at the PowerZone and got a pretty good deal compared to most of the prices back home in Sacramento. Terry really wanted the 50" but we decided to use the price difference to get a home theater system instead. Totally unnecessary, but totally worth it! haha

Thanks to another wife here I was introduced to Baumholder Bookoo! It's pretty much our version of craigslist here. Anyways, instead of spending WAY more than we wanted to on a set of couches, I found a really nice set on this website for a really good deal. The man selling them was even nice enough to come pick Terry up to help load them from his house and then help Terry carry them up to our apartment (don't forget, we live on the FOURTH floor!). They are SO comfortable, I love them!
**Any one notice Nathyn's face?**

Because we got the TV, we also had to get curtains. There was WAY too much light coming through our window, and actually watching the TV was almost impossible during the day time. Our options were hunter green, blue, or red. We chose the red. I would have preferred a light green color, maybe tan, but this will do.
**The chair on that side wall is where our desk will go when it gets delivered.**

We re-arranged our living room and for right now it's a little on the small time. If you look at the picture below you can see that the "dining area" is directly behind our large couch. The table that we are borrowing is a little large for our little family, so once we get a smaller table (I'm thinking a round 4-seater) then we'll be able to open the living room a bit more. Our previous layout was much more open, but that's an invitation for a race-track for a three year old, and then people think it's okay to play fetch in the house with the dog. Small and intimate works for me!
**The TV & accessories are on our loaner desk until our media shelf is delivered as well.**

Lots of family have asked for pictures of the whole house but I'm trying to get it put together little by little before I go showing it all off. But I had to share this one... I told Nathyn to go clean his room Saturday morning and was quite surprised when I walk in 10 minutes later to see this...
And then Terry started laughing and pointed out this..Oh well, at least he tried! We definitely need to perfect the whole "cleaning" thing.

Terry and I closed the weekend with an awesome session of cuddle time after Nathyn went to bed (without fuss thanks to his new fishy night-light) while watching Paranormal Activity.. My opinion? Scariest stuff I've ever seen.. which makes it AWESOME!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Yay! Nathyn got to play with someone yesterday! One of Terry's buddies asked if I would keep an eye on his daughter for a little bit while he finished up at work. Of course I said yes, I've been having baby withdrawls! He picked Nathyn and I up at the PowerZone (store that sells electronics, toys, pet supplies and sporting goods) and then dropped up all off at our apartment. Anastasia warmed right up and was such a blast!Nathyn was very excited to have someone over and immediately started asking about a million questions. Where's the baby gonna sleep, Mom? And Does the baby need to take a bath? She's not exactly a baby, she just turned two, but she's younger than Nathyn, therefore, she's a baby.Nathyn had just gotten this cool new toy at the PowerZone and after 5 solid minutes of "MINE!" and "NO, IT'S MINE!" they had an excellent time playing together. Her little shrieks of delight and hysterical laughs were wonderful! She was a pleasure to have!Come back soon, Anastasia!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Haha.. Can you say "bed head"?


Then I highly suggest you get one of these bad boys! I picked on up at the PX after sweeping our entire house and almost breaking my back (OUCH!). It was only $20, and I was definitely skeptical because it looks and feels super generic. But I LOVE IT! My lab sheds like crazy, my son rips paper up into tiny shreds, and my husband tracks in dirt and grime when he gets home. This thing is amazing! GET ONE!

Anyways, today is house cleaning day. Getting down to the nitty gritty. We're on day 2 of sunshine and I couldn't be happier! I was almost beginning to think the sun didn't shine here! Terry and I finally got our taxes back so I'm hoping he gets home at a reasonable time this evening so that we can check out the Thrift Shop here on base for furniture. We wanted to buy brand new, but we've decided it smarter to save money where ever we can, and hopefully put away for a rainy day.

I called and enrolled in WIC yesterday and have my appointment on the 26th. I had given up on WIC after Nathyn got off formula because we didn't really need it. Now Nathyn is strictly on soy/lactose free milk and that stuff gets seriously expensive so any help in the milk department is greatly appreciated!

Nathyn asks me every day if it's time for him to go to school yet. He said he needs to go to learn how to talk like the taxi guys (speak German) so he can have friends in Germany. I thought it was super cute. He already says thank you & goodbye, and sometimes you're welcome. I was against learning German before I got here, but I'm starting to think it may not be a bad idea. We shall see. I'm gonna head to the education center sometime this week to see what my options are for school as well. I want to utilize my time wisely and perhaps get a degree while I'm here, unemployed. So hopefully they have a program that interests me.

And I'm off to finish the never-ending chore of housecleaning. The sink is actually full of dishes, a first since I've been here. I'm thinking I'm coming down with a cold or something... I'll go ahead and blame that! ;)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Woke up this morning with an super cute note from my husband that he left before leaving for work. Normally I wake up with him in the mornings and make breakfast, but for some reason I didn't wake up until he was kissing me goodbye. The note was a nice little surprise when I woke up later in the morning.
Ok moving on. I already showed you the cool windows & the German potatoes. Since then I've been compiling some pictures of other things that are "different" from back home to share with you (whomever you may be...)! Since I showed you food before, I'll start with the food now.

I know there's nothing spectacular about Hellman's mayonnaise considering they sell it on the East Coast in the states, but it's different from California so I'm sharing it. And Edy's ice cream... I'd never even heard of it. Obviously it's Breyer's, I just thought it was odd.
We can not buy a gallon of milk in the commissary on base. Only these half gallons. U.S. Forces Europe milk. Yes, it kinda makes me feel special. No, it does not taste different. My favorite question about the milk came from Nathyn, "Mom, is it birdie's milk and not cow's milk?" Gotta love the kid.
Just in case I burn the whole building down while cooking on our [stupid] electric range (I am NOT fond of electric ranges) we have a sprinkler system. Hooray for safety!
These knobs on the wall are to turn off the main water line. Kinda odd that they're just hanging out on the wall in the kitchen though. There's a set in the laundry room as well as in the bathroom, too.
This is our heater. There's one in the living room, Nathyn's room & in mine and Terry's room. They are stuck to the wall under the windows and the temperature is controlled by turning the knob through numbers 1-5.
On either side of the bed in our room we have this assortment of plugs and a light switch. There are 2 110 outlets and 2 220 outlets. I can't even explain how awesome it is to be able to turn the light on and off from laying in bed though! Ultra convenient!
These are our schnifty light switches! Push on, push off. And when it gets dark the little center light turns orange. Night light! Now if only I could get Nathyn to quit turning the lights on and off every day!
Front door. The knob below the handle is the lock. Turn it to lock it. It's weird. And when you unlock it from the outside, you literally have to turn your key in a complete circle about 4-5 times. Totally inconvenient with a handful of anything.
And that is all for now. I'm going to go back to enjoying this beautifully sunny day in Germany. It's the first day that the sun has made an appearance that lasted longer than 30 seconds and I'm loving it. The view out of my windows is much different in the sunshine!