Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall Pictures

Don't you just love fall? I do! This year I was so excited for the arrival of autumn, my favorite season and here in Germany it's just as beautiful as home in NY. I couldn't let the time pass us by without getting some good family pictures, and who better to do it than my good friend Leslie! Thanks so much Leslie, I love the pictures. I hope you all enjoy them and are having fun in your own homes (whether it be carving pumpkins, making Halloween costumes or just enjoying a delicious batch of apple crisp).

PS. For some reason Blogger is giving me a hard time and won't let me download any more pictures(it keeps on giving me the "bad request" screen), so I'll keep trying and hopefully the glitch will be worked out soon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Temple Trip

After almost a year of being in Germany, this past weekend we were finally able to go to the Frankfurt temple. We were so grateful to have babysitters for Tristan (thanks so much Laura and April) so Paul and I could relax and do a long overdue session.

I would love to say Tristan behaved perfectly, but unfortunately since this was his first time away (for an extended amount of time) and with people he didn't know-he did have a little bit of a freak out.

Despite Tristans meltdown it was a beautiful day and I can't wait for the next time we can go. (Hopefully by then, Tristan will have a little more experience being babysat and won't react so badly!).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Four Happy Years

Last week Paul and I celebrated four crazy yet bliss filled years together. Everyday I'm grateful that I'm married to a man who overlooks my manic and insane moments, and helps me find the humor in life. I'm so grateful for marrying a goofball who brings happiness to the mundane times and last but not least of all-I'm so grateful for marrying a man who continues to be a wonderful and loving father.

Last week Paul surprised me by coming home for lunch, and bringing me a beautiful bouquet from my favorite local florist. Sometimes it's the simplest things that brings the biggest smiles. How nice it was to see my hubby for lunch and to have fresh flowers on the table!

For our Anniversary we took a little weekend trip to Cologne where we enjoyed a couple lazy days and beautiful weather.

Above is the view from our hotel window. We were on the eighth floor and had such a marvelous view of the whole city. What you don't see out the window(but would if you could look down) is a message written in painted white rocks, that says "Enjoy Your Stay" in both German and English)

Paul and the little guy at the historic entrance to the city.

My favorite men in front of a beautiful pair of German legs. I laugh when I look at this and think Tristan may be destined to have just such hobbit legs (after all just look at who his parents are).

As Paul and I enjoyed an evening stroll, the setting sun melted over the city and provided us with some beautiful memories.

Unlike most European cities Cologne is filled with new buildings, as it was almost completely demolished by the allied forces during WW2. Even some of the buildings that appear to be old have been rebuilt in hopes of recreating the look of old Cologne.

Paul and I stumbled across this little patisserie and were pleasantly surprised at what we found.

I was lured in by the sweet sign and a hope of french confections that put to shame almost all others.

Inside this cubby hole of a shop I found perfect creations worthy of the poshest Paris patisserie.

Paul and I indulged in the most delicious vanilla eclair, a chocolate raspberry mille foi, and a fabulous hot chocolate (with real bittersweet chocolate and steamed milk).

These sorts of breakfasts are the perfect start to perfect days. Do try to find this sweat little spot if your ever in Cologne.

This church -the largest Gothic cathedral in N. Europe was the only significant building left standing after the bombings in 1945. The allies were compassionate indeed as they spared this astounding building that took over 600 years to create.

Inside were some typical statues and icons along with some very non-traditional ones. This reclining pope struck me as one of the more odd pieces in the church.

The church was filled with beautiful stain glass windows that obviously had been cleaned and restored back to their original luster.

We climbed what seamed like thousands of steps until we finally reached the top. Once on top of the church we were rewarded with a stunning view of the city.

During all of the this Tristan was a real trooper. He took in as much as he possibly could, and then fit in a few cat naps when he couldn't.

Of course this posting wouldn't be complete without a few pictures of Tristan. I can't believe how he is quickly growing and developing. He is crawling everywhere-and all the time. He loves swimming and splashing in the bath and so I thought I'd share some of his fun filled moments with you.

PS- After taking these sweet shots I discovered something not so sweet floating in the water. You can only imagine how this photo session came to an abrupt end, as I evacuated Tristan and his toys. After disposing of the problem and sanitizing Tristan's toys, another bath was required but this time I took no pictures.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Full Time Mom

Its been a while since posting, and you might think that we were gone somewhere or something huge happened, but you'd be wrong. In between the last posting and today I have realized why being a full time mom is the hardest job in the world. Being a full time mom involves getting very little sleep-for long periods of time. It also involves getting very few breaks and dealing with monotonous daily schedules. Don't get me wrong I love being a mom and I know it's the most important thing I can do, but recently I have been so exhausted! Its been a rough week(or has it been two weeks since posting?-I've lost track of the time...). Tristan is such a beautiful, well mannered little guy, but one thing he is not is a good sleeper. This little one will get in a cycle of sleeping well (goes to bed same time everyday, in his crib without crying) and then out of the blue he will boycott sleep and act as if his crib were a pit of venomous snakes. I'm sure many of you out there have had those days where you spend chunks of your day just trying to get someone to take a nap. It's these days that I'm exhausted and just a little frustrated that I'm getting so little accomplished during the day. Maybe him not taking naps during the day wouldn't be so bad...if he were sleeping well at night, but he isn't. The little guy gets up every morning at 4:30 am and sometime earlier(this morning it was 3:30am). Sometimes I wonder how this crazy little guy is related to me-after all I love sleep! Well enough ranting (really I'm not ranting, I'm just tired).

Since last posting Tristan has gotten another tooth and we took a day trip up the Rhine to Burg Rhinefels. This castle sits on the Rhine overlooking the quaint little town of St. Goar.

Before putting any pictures of the castle in, I thought I'd put this picture in for April (she had wondered if I clean my house before taking pictures-which I don't of course). Here Tristan is making a mess of the shoe rack and you can see he's crawled out of his pants. I just can't seem to find a pair of pants that stay on him!

Paul and Tristan in front of Burg Rhinefels.

When we made the trip the fall colors were just starting to appear. It was such a beautiful fall day-just like the ones in NY!

Right across the river from Burg Rhinefels was Burg Katz.

Tristan loves flowers, but unfortunately he can't get too close without trying to eat them. In this picture I wanted Tristan to smell the roses, but he opened his mouth wide enough to devour it whole, then...(it would have been great if I got this on camera) he grabbed the rose and ripped it from the bush.

The catle had the nicest views. If you look left down the river you see another castle (I'm not sure which one),

If you looked across the river you saw beautiful vineyards,

and to the right of the castle is Burg Katz.

As we explored this castle I couldn't help but think of my brothers and how they would have loved it (I can't tell you how often we made castles and fortresses out of their waffle blocks). I also thought of our nieces and nephews and how they would have loved to explore the grounds.

Here we are at the top of the castle looking out over the river and valley below.

We had so much fun just tromping around and exploring all of the passage ways and little tunnels. It really was fun and not at all expensive (If you live over here and have kids, this would be a great day trip!)

I enjoy catching snap shots like these. It's always so nice to look down while carrying the little guy and see that he's just staring up at you, smiling. I know Paul really loves carrying him in the Bjorn and it was nice to be able to capture that.

So these last few pictures I had to put in because I really got a kick out of the bathroom. Actually Paul went in first and told me that I had to see the bathroom. If you can't see the pictures clearly, please blow them up. In this first shot, can you imagine how you flushed? And...can you see what's above the urinal?

Here's the sink,

the hand dryer (you hand to turn the wheel for hot air to come out of the pipe),

and finally the toilet flusher.