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Sep 28, 2012

Friday Letters: Rants, Raves, & Plans

Dear friends in America,
Hold on to your horses, I have a small bone to pick with you. Stop posting on various social media outlets about what happens on popular TV shows right after you watch them...please, I beg of you! Better yet, stop posting WHILE you're watching! I mean, geez guys. We don't need a play by play of your emotions while the show is on. Do you think ANYONE cares that you were shocked that so-and-so died while riding a bicycle through a fire pit? REALLY? Because so was everyone else in the world, they just chose to scream at their TVs instead of posting their astonishment on Facebook. I can't even get on Facebook or Twitter anymore without you guys spoiling everything for us here who are 6+ HOURS AHEAD OF YOU! No we don't live in the future and already know what happens, contrary to popular belief. I think I can speak for all expats when I say that you are literally ruining our TV watching lives. Unabashedly taking away my one joyful piece of America I have left in this sitcom deprived country. And don't you dare tell me just to not get on FB or Twitter until I've watched it...why don't you just go ahead and slap me in the face then? That'll be faster. If you get deleted, it's nothing personal. Just shut your mouth. Shut it.

Dear Internet,
You're STILL gone. Why? WHY?!?!
*Bangs head on table...multiple times. Or eats computer. Whatever works.*

Dear USDTravel,
THANK YOU! I just bought a plane ticket home for Christmas for $600. Yep, you read that right. $600. I love you. 
Let's get married and have lots of cheap airline ticket babies.
{Fellow military families, USDTravel gives you commercial airline tickets at deeply discounted military rates. I'm talking BIG discounts. A flight home for Christmas from Frankfurt, Germany to North Carolina would normally run me anywhere from $1100 to $1600 round trip. USDTravel scored me one for half that. I just want to kiss all of their faces! And kiss Emma from It Happened On A Sunday for telling me about them!}

...And speaking of Christmas...

Dear New York City,
For the last 3 months you've taken care of my little sister as she makes big moves working and thriving in your high-paced fashion world. What an exciting life you've provided for her! And subsequently for me and my family. Because of my little sister's divine placement in the 'Big Apple' this year, we get to visit you at Christmas!!! 4 days of Christmas shopping, frozen hot chocolate eating (Serendipity, I'm coming for you!!), and galavanting around your electric city with not one, not two, but FIVE of my favorite female family members in the world! We've already conquered Germany and Italy together, why not NYC?! Only rule is, no boys allowed. To say I can't wait would be a serious understatement! NYC 'Just the Girls' Trip 2012...let's do this!

Dear Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival,
I am SO excited to come visit you tomorrow! We had such a blast exploring your rows of dazzling pumpkin sculptures last year. And the pumpkin flavored food...oh man...I'm getting hot flashes just thinking about it. I could think of no better way to ring in the fall than frolicking among pumpkins all day. Hubby, get your wallet ready. A few of these colorful bad boys are coming home with us. Just sayin'. ;)


{By the way, I am so LOVING all of your comments from yesterday's post! Thanks so much for sharing and allowing me to get to know each of you more! If you haven't already, head on over there and introduce yourself! Also, there's a pretty rad giveaway going on over at Jenna's awesome blog today. Go there and you might see a familiar face giving away a $30 Giftcard to Piperlime! WHAT THE WHAT?! :) Here's wishing you the happiest of weekends, friends!}

Sep 27, 2012

Getting to Know You

..Getting to know all about you...

If you busted out the chorus of that famous song from 'The King and I' just then, we can be best friends. Love that movie! Anywho, there have been a lot of new faces lurking around this here blog over the last month or two, and while I've gotten a slurry of sweet comments from a few, I really don't know much about many of you! Today, I want to change that!

I saw this prompt over at these two fabulous slices of blog land, T Times Three and Simply Smithwick (go visit them, they're great!) and just had to "borrow" the idea. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right folks? Right. Blogging has become such a big part of my life over the last year and continues to be such a blessing to me. I never would have imagined that this little hobby of mine would turn into me building lasting friendships with so many other bloggers around the world. Seriously, you guys are amazing! I can't get enough of making new friends (I mean, who can?), and I've got a little over 425 of you fabulous followers that I want to get to know a little better--so here's your chance! Leave me a comment answering the questions below and let's be friends!

Just pretend like we're having coffee. I swear I don't always hold my cups like that. But, go ahead, I'm listening. ;)

Who are you? Where are you from?

Do you blog, too? Leave me your link! I want to follow you!

Do you remember how you found my blog? A link-up? Another blog?

How long have you been reading?

What keeps you coming back to my blog?

Anything you'd like to see me blog about more?

What are some things we have in common?

Tell me a fun fact about yourself!

And because I just had to add a random question of my own...
Tell me about the best vacation of your life and why it was so wonderful.

Gosh guys, this is going to be fun. And don't feel like you have to stick to these questions, tell me anything! I'm allll ears! Shoot, maybe I'll make this a monthly thing? With different questions each time? Hmm...we'll see. 
Can't wait to read your responses!
Happy Thursday, friends!

Sep 25, 2012

Rhine Falls, Switzerland

Back in July, D whisked me away for a little Bavarian getaway to celebrate 5 wonderful years of wedded bliss together. It had been a long time since we'd taken this much time off (5 days to be exact) to celebrate our anniversary...seeing as the Air Force has kept us away from one another for 3 out of the 5 anniversaries we've had thus far. So, we packed our bags, loaded up the car, and made our way down to Southern Germany for some rest and relaxation time together. On our way to our final destination at Lake Constance, we decided to make a detour into Switzerland (funny how detours in the states end up with you at a dirty truck stop asking for directions, while here you just end up in yet another amazing country!) to see the famous Rhine Falls! The Rhine Falls are just 30 minutes inside the boarder in Schaffhausen, Switzerland and is one of Europe's largest waterfalls. The falls were formed in the last ice age, approximately 15,000 years ago, but pale in size to Niagara Falls in America and the Victoria Falls in Africa having a drop height of only 23m (Niagara's Horseshoe Falls has a dropping height of 53m and Victoria Falls with a whopping 108m). Nevertheless, Rhine Falls packs a punch and holds the attention of thousands of tourists each year. Oh, and did I mention it has a castle? Wouldn't be Europe if it didn't have a castle, now would it? 

We spent the afternoon climbing the falls, having lunch on the castle terrace, and taking a boat ride right into the falls mist...an experience I'll never forget! Now, time for photos. You knew they were coming. ;)

{Oh and FYI, we are STILL internet-less at casa de Coté. It's really becoming a problem, too. The last technician came by yesterday and gave us some ominous news...our cable line is fried. So, they can either do one of two things--fix the cable at the box outside on the street (pending that the line can be fixed prior to entering the ground) OR they must dig up our entire sidewalk and replace the cable. INSANITY, right? We have no idea how long a project of that magnitude might take, so we're trying to find out how we can break our 2-year contract with T-mobil and move providers (to a provider that doesn't use a fiber cable).  It's all been a big s@#! storm, so we're not expecting them to let us break our contract if they can eventually fix it. Thankfully we have found ourselves an internet stick that we can use and pay a few euros daily for internet on one computer in our house, but we still have no home phone or TV (since the internet runs both of those items as well). So, no phone calls home to our families or friends and no means of entertainment on those lazy days and nights at home. Kind of miserable being cut off from the states in almost every conceivable way. Even though I had myself a major ugly cry session last night, I know things could be worse. Way worse. We're hanging on to every shred of positivity we can find...and making sure we keep busy and out of the house as much as possible. So friends, send out some prayers and good vibes that this internet blackout gets remedied sooner rather than later. As trivial as loosing internet is, it's made life so much harder these last 2 weeks. And it's turned me into an ornery mess of a girl. Seriously, universe, I just wanna call my mommy!}

Sep 21, 2012

Friday Letters

Dear Internet,
I miss you. You up and decided to leave our house last Friday and won't be back until next Tuesday...maybe. Why did you leave? You know how much I need you. Right now I'm using you from the army community bowling alley, amongst snotty nosed kids and the smell of bowling shoe cleaner. Less than ideal blogging conditions, to say the least. Not to mention, since you left, we have no home phone and no TV. Yep. Virtually cut off from the world. No phone calls to my mom, no catching up on our shows that have been on summer hiatus, and no entertaining the blog world with my wittiness and gobs of travel photos (Sorry for the radio silence, folks! I know you guys miss me...you don't have to say it. ;)) Needless to say, I feel lost. And annoyed. VERY annoyed. Come back soon, old friend. I beg of you!

Dear God,
I'm well aware of what's going on here. What You're doing with this little internet blackout we just happen to be having. You're teaching us a lesson. A lesson about our obsession and reliance on technology. Well, really my obsession and reliance on technology. Being "unplugged" at home for the last week has proved to be inconvenient and at times stressful, but it has also reminded me that I have a loving husband who needs my attention more than Facebook or the J.Crew website. It's obvious reconnecting our marriage instead of our internet was in Your plan for us this week. Although I am bent out of shape and resisting, Your message has been heard loud and clear, Lord. You never cease to amaze me with how You reveal Your truth. Lessons wrapped up neatly, masked in everyday life. Placed right in front of me so I can't miss them. These messages, while hard to hear, always remind me of Your provision in my life. Though I may go astray, You faithfully save me from myself and my worldly obsessions. I'm hanging on to that bit of positivity this week.

Dear Husband,

You're back! And have been for almost a week now. THANK THE LORD, too! I don't know what it was about that week, but I missed you more than usual...especially for a short TDY. The quietness was deafening, and you know I hate the quiet. So sorry you had to come home to an internet-less house and a crazy hunt for English speaking T-mobil workers last Saturday. That wasn't in the plan. But we plan and God laughs, right? The important thing is you got home safe and sound and I'm no longer missing a limb (that limb being you, of course). Never leave me again, capiche? 

Dear Fall,
{Hubs brought home these bad boys and a crap-ton of Chick-Fil-A sauce from his TDY. Reason 1,593 why I love that man!} 

You've officially made your appearance here in Germany these last few days. Can I get an AMEN!? Care packages from America keep rolling in the pumpkin flavored gloriousness of your time of year. Those Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Via's are almost like having the real thing. Almost. {Germany, get on board with the PSL, please! You have pumpkin flavored pasta, beer, and champagne...why the coffee torture?!} My kitchen is rich with the smells of apple cinnamon and maple--and it'll stay that way till February if I have anything to say about it. The weather has been nothing short of perfect, too! Sweaters, boots, and scarves are finally out and sundresses have been retired. That puts a big smile on my face. I love wearing layers. Now I don't have hide that friggin' pooch I've been sucking in since May 1st. You ladies know what I'm talking about. Ahhh, sweet fall. You're nothing short of amazing. Won't you stay all year?

{A few people wanted the recipe for this Caramel Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread I posted on Instagram last week. Well, this recipe is where I got the idea...but once I tweak my recipe, I'll post it!}

Dear Weekend,
You are a sight for sore eyes. This week's been a tough one, but now comes the fun! We've got a 25 bottle wine tasting tonight (oh yes!!), an adventure exploring Cochem with friends tomorrow, and a Sunday evening of football watching, fantasy league teammate bashing (my fantasy team is kind of awesome, let's keep it up boys!), and greasy food eating planned for you, dear weekend. Please don't disappoint. We NEED you, weekend. Let's do this!

{Go link up your letters with Adventures of Newlyweds!}

Sep 13, 2012

Coburg, Germany

It's Thursday, guys...which means just a few more days left in this lonely week until the hubs returns to my lovin' arms! Can I get a WHOO HOO?! It's seriously been the-longest-week-ever. Apparently I didn't have as much planned as I originally thought and have ended up doing a whole lot of random, mind-numbing things. Things that include packing and organizing Christmas gifts to ship home (I realize it's only September, but I'm good like that), cleaning out the fridge (not by eating it all, but with a sponge, just so we're clear), and purging my wardrobe (obviously to make room for fall duds...and to have a shop my closet sale...eeek!! Be watching out for that!). While productive, it's still kept the house quiet and the wheels in my noggin' a-turnin'. I hate being alone with my thoughts, but we'll save that for another post. For now, I want to continue along with recapping all of our summer trips. I'm way behind, people. So, without further adieu, let's take a trip to Coburg, Germany, shall we?

Coburg is this little picturesque town in the outskirts of Northern Bavaria where my cousin, Ashley (who you've seen countless times winking in my family vacation recaps), spent 4 months studying abroad with Hochschule Coburg (Coburg's University of Applied Sciences, she studies Interior Architecture...another reason why I love her!). After coming to visit us in Wiesbaden in April, it was only fair to return the favor and visit her in Coburg. Plus, who wouldn't want the chance to spend time with a family member AND see another cool German town? A win/win for sure. Ashley was an excellent tour guide showing us her dorm and campus, Coburg's Marktplatz (town square), and the commanding Veste Coburg, the towns famous castle on a hill. We also stuffed ourselves with silly with one of the best street vender Bratwursts and Döner Kebaps I've ever tasted. I love it when the most unsuspecting places have outta this world cuisine. Needless to say, Coburg is lovely. Another one of those hidden gem towns Germany keeps unearthing for us. Gosh, I love this country.

By the way, thanks a million to those of you who commented on this post, emailed, and checked-up on me this week! I was really feeling the love, y'all. Yet another reason the blog world rocks my socks! FYI, you're all going to the top of my Christmas card list. For reals.
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