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8 is Great!

Sunday, May 31, 2015
Dearest Jackson Chase,

I love reliving your birth story because it was my first one! I wonder if I have it blogged here. Let me go check. I did! Here it is!

You are my sweetest boy. I am always amazed yet never surprised at how sweet and gentle your spirit is. I feel like the luckiest mom alive to have such great kids in general, but specifically a great boy!

My friend Belle said that having a boy first kind of sets the tone for the family. I think it's true. Not always, but I think for us it is. You and your sister are ying and yang. You balance each other perfectly. And then there's Nevie. :-)

This past year has been one of tremendous growth for you not only physically (this was the year of the two front teeth) but emotionally and mentally too! I looked at you the other day with pure awe because I almost didn't recognize you. I mean, I see you every day but that day I saw you as a boy and not as my baby which makes me both terrified and sad.

You're asking good questions, and searching for answers. We have some "Books of Why" around the house and I think we need more because you've read them all!

Your imagination runs wild just like your legs do. You're quite fast. My favorite thing is to watch you run back and forth from the living room to the kitchen making various noises. You've been into Power Rangers lately and I imagine you are doing something martial artsy. But you pay no attention to anyone around you when you do these things and it makes me happy.

You love deeply. You care too! Your friends just left and I watched as tears strolled down your face. At 8 years old, I think that's pretty special. You are kind to the little ones in our neighborhood too. You can play with the littles as well as the bigs and that also makes me happy.

You're still into Roblox and Minecraft, Infinity and a new game on xbox. Sadie plays happily with you on all of those games for which I am grateful.

What is hilarious to me is how much you are like me in your short patience span. You get frustrated SO easily if something goes wrong. If batteries don't work, something spills, or something doesn't go as planned you've become very apt at saying, "I'm done". Just like someone I know (me). I can only laugh because I was the exact same way as a child. Still am.

I'm feeling terrible because I didn't take many pictures today. I'm also kind of happy about that because I was too busy loving the moments to even think about it! We had a busy day full of a delicious breakfast (thanks Chelsi), presents with Dad via Skype, bowling with friends, so much outside fun with more friends, dinner (your choise of lasagna and cheesy bread), and finally some sleep. We even saw an air balloon right over our heads!





I remember this one specific moment in time right after (or before) Sadie was born. I was putting you down for a nap and I remember stroking your head and crying to you about how I was so sad that you weren't going to be my baby anymore. I was feeling a lot of guilt too because your time as an only child was short lived (17 months). And although I might feel sad about that, I'm so grateful you were already there to help me get through this crazy life we've had.

I think God blessed me with you because I needed everything you emanate: kindness, patience, purity, happiness, and pure love!  

Saying Goodbye With George Lopez

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I am really trying to pay attention to the way I feel lately. I am trying to discern between what is real and what is my depression/anxiety talking. I'm pretty sure what happened tonight was legit. And I think it's okay to feel a wee bit irrational at the moment. This post may or may not sound like something to be read at a funeral. Fair warning.

I started the day with letting my kids watch TV and that is also how it ended mostly because I, being the obvious adult here, couldn't handle what was going to happen later this night. So they watched a lot of TV, played some Xbox and maybe the computer until we got ready to go. I told them to get their pajamas on, that we would be back late. So they did. We hopped in the car and took them to get ice cream to help soften the blow of what was to come.

Up until the moment they said goodbye, they played. And laughed. And did kid things like chase each other and give piggy back rides. And then just like that they were gone.



I don't know who this is.

Nevie AND Sadie ADORE Christian
I can't do this part of the army. This is my 2nd not so fun goodbye and I am already done. Like how is that normal? Listen. I know people move, but it is different for us. We live in a foreign country away from all the people we love. So when we find these kind of friends, the ones that become family, it's hard to let go.

These are the friends that homeschool. So not only are our kids bff's, they are the friends they got to play with when they were done with school which is usually way before other kids get home because homeschooling is awesome! Their older daughter Princess Anna is our trusted babysitter and friend. Even if she can't keep her thumb out of the way of getting ruined. And they are the friends that my family spent Thanksgiving with when I had been released from the hospital that day. They even brought me a to go plate. Serious Steve and Whyvonne have become very important humans to me AND to my kids. We have spent many a time together, not always formally, usually randomly and that is the best kind in my opinion.

And then there was George Lopez. He came to Grafenwoehr to put on a show and we didn't even go! I think we are better for it because we got to meet him! He may or may not have been wasted. Lol. We were hanging in the hotel, Chris was chillin in the lobby and put in a frantic call to Yvonne to come down. Well then she hurried back up to tell us to come down because hello! On the way down, we took some awesome elevator selfies.
Should i send this to TMZ? 







Chelsi and Jerms used the luggage cart as an oversized skateboard. There's also video. 

Sadie didn't want to shake Mr. Lopez's  hand. Nevie just stood there without shoes on like a classy broad. Haha.

So that happened. Before the goodbyes of course. It was like God/The Universe was showing kindness before taking us out. Lol.

We said a group prayer and hugged and quickly started shedding tears because the bus was pretty much already starting to leave. Like it was in gear and ready to go. Good job Jerms. We picked up the remnants of the Mannings (a random Ikea container, a notebook, some gum and some rackets that use birdies that we don't have. lol) Jackson cried. Sadie did too although she was very quiet about it. I only heard her soft sniffles. And that right there is why I have been dreading this day. I am an adult and can handle this, although that may be a lie. But my kids? Bleh.

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This was written 4 days ago and the wound is still fresh. I drove by their house yesterday and only cried a little. It's because the cleaning people were there. It was as if they don't even care about me! lol. I need to grieve. And that's the other thing I'm tired of people saying to me. "You'll get over it" and "You'll move on" and "Other stupid things". All of these people are clearly veterans of The Army Move and know it's true. But I'm not. And I believe having good friends move away is a form of loss just like any other kind. So I think I'm in all stages. I'm in the angry, in denial and depression ones. Don't bug me! 

 At least I have a lot of pictures like this to keep me company. :-)


New Stories

Monday, May 11, 2015

There are a hundred things scrolling through my head like a Facebook page, except it's all my life and all of the things my self-help seminar would say didn't "happen to me", they're just events. I don't need to assign meaning to them.

But I do. Because when life is like it is, it is hard not to. My Headbook Page is cruel.

Look! There's the time you didn't get invited to the birthday party...

...or the trip to Belize (not really Belize but I don't want to point fingers).

Remember you have an event coming up! Your kids bff's are moving tomorrow! Have fun dealing with that!

Your friend Barb was tagged in 6 photos with all your other friends. But you weren't there.

Hey, did you know you have 11 memories from today with your friend David but did you know he isn't around right now so viewing these pictures will just make you sad?

Your sister and moms birthdays are this month but you live a gazillion miles away. Be sure to send them a generic message!

Do you hate me yet? I don't love myself when I am in this state. The good news is, when I am, at least you get a front row ticket! I really am having a hard time. And I really do find it therapeutic to write it down. I have also said before and still believe that I want to remember these days. These days when life isn't all flowers and bubbles and unicorns. There's plenty of that on the webs. In fact, I have a post coming up centered squarely on flowers and unicorns. Well flowers that are shaped like birds. Does that count? Really, yesterday I wrote about how good my husband is even when he isn't in my vicinity and how lucky I am to have the support group I do. I just need to finish it.

So for now, my page isn't full of a ton of positivity but the good news is when I wake up there will always be New Stories to look forward to and new ones for me to create.

Blue Night in Nuremburg

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Is Blue Night in Nuremburg worth it? Yes. Yes it is.

From the Tourismus Nurnberg website:
Since 2000, the Blue Night takes place every spring in the Old Town of Nuremberg. For this event, the historical Old Town is bathed in a sea of light, tones and dance. Houses, squares and courtyards are decorated with projected art. An exciting mix of modern art, impressive light installations, innovative performances and music in an historical atmosphere await visitors who love art and culture.  
Since 2007, event organizers have sought out local artists, especially for the projection on the Imperial Castle. To celebrate the 350th birthday of the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, students from the Academy were invited to submit their ideas for a projection in an art contest. A jury, consisting of representatives from museums and cultural institutions in Nuremberg, judges the projects submitted and decides who can participate in the Blaue Nacht and present their ideas to a larger public. Visitors also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite artist for the audience prize. 
In the years to come, the Blue Night will continue to offer a first-class program of art, culture and music. It will be exciting to see what the organizers of the Blaue Nacht in Nuremberg come up with next.
Imperial Castle Projection
"To travel a thousand miles is better than reading 1000 books".



We went last year  and once it was over, I Googled the date for this year and have been looking forward to it for 12 months only this time, I brought more friends!


Mariah and I were talking about how last year after it was over, I sent her pictures of it and she remembers where she was and how she turned to Ian and said, "wouldn't it be cool if we could go to this next year?" And guess what? They did! It was so fun!

The theme for this year was Freedom.

Chelsi, Alyssa, Mariah and I drove downtown and met Ian there. They had wine and beer and I had... nothing and was super thirsty. Don't worry, I ate a pretzel.

We met the coolest people. I texted David later that night and told him how much I miss meeting/talking to people. The first person we met was TK from Ghana. TK spoke French, English, Arabic and Spanish I think and was in Germany to learn the language and also teach Arabic. He is the one that told me the quote about 1000 miles. He said it a little differently but I translated it to make more sense. lol.

Then, we were at the ATM getting money and Chelsi my amazing sister heard English and immediately started talking to these people. Only they weren't American. They were totally British. Honestly, it was pretty much like being in heaven. Do you know how much I love that accent? Chelsi and I talk in it probably daily. They laughed at us and thought it sounded a little more Australian than English. Regardless, they were still nice! And Ian, being the genius he is, guessed where they were from in England. It's this weird talent he has.

Our friend Dan said that from America he wants Cherry Pepsi, Hershey's Kisses and Wiz Khalifa. We laughed so hard about that.

They ended up being really helpful in showing us around to a couple local spots. Unfortunately, we had to leave quicker than I wanted to because well, real life. And an hour drive.

We may or may not have lost Alyssa. Which makes me feel bad. But thankfully she had some good company. :)

Don't worry, Blue Night in Nuremburg will happen again for the 17th time, this time on May 7th of 2016. Put it in your calendar friends! Cause we are all going!