Dec 30, 2013

Christmas Day Rewind


I'm sure everyone can agree, Christmas went by far too quickly this year. I don't know about you guys, but between my parents visiting the beginning of December and having a jam packed party-filled 6 days leading up to Christmas, I feel like D and I need a vacation after our holiday. Restful and relaxing it was not...memory filled, though? To the brim! This was our very last Christmas abroad in Germany...sad but true. While we're so looking forward to getting back to celebrating holidays with our close family and friends, we're both really going to miss these quiet Christmas mornings, just the two of us opening gifts and being silly. Being away from family and all the Christmas traditions we hold dear has been hard these last few years, but D and I have also learned to adapt and create fun traditions for our 'someday family' to share. Now, I'm not saying ditch your grandma and hole up alone for Christmas, but if you've never experienced a Christmas just you and your spouse, maybe give it a go one year? It's amazing how not alone you can feel on Christmas when you spend it with your best friend and partner in crime! This Christmas was no exception.

On Christmas Day, D and I slept in, pilfered through the stockings (and winter beers) Santa so thoughtfully left under our tree, made our favorite Christmas Day monkey bread and sausage breakfast (with a side of yummy peppermint mochas), opened gifts from Santa and each other (yes, Santa still visits our house!) with Christmas Vacation blaring in the background, cooked my famous mac & cheese and carried holiday treat bags over to a friends house for a Christmas Day Pajama Party, and we spent the evening playing White Elephant gift exchange, Christmas carol Win, Lose, or Draw, and sharing stories of Christmases past with our adoptive family here in Germany. D even scored a brand spanking new laptop he had NO CLUE Santa was getting him. The joy on his face was worth every hassle of Christmas. Even though it's mostly a blur, our last Christmas abroad was a pretty special one. Tell me, how was your Christmas?




Dec 24, 2013

We Wish You A Merry Christmas...

The Team Coté Christmas Card 2013 c/o Minted

Merry Christmas Eve, friends!! I'm signing off for the rest of the week to enjoy this joyous time of year with those I hold dear. While you're out sharing meals with friends, opening presents, and sipping hot cocoa in front of blazing fireplaces, please keep in mind the reason for this beautiful season...the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, from whom all our many blessing flow! I do hope each and every one of you have a very Merry Christmas filled with love, laughter, and many, many blessings! Meet you back here next week for some New Years fun? :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS from Germany!

Dec 23, 2013

Coffee Talk v.3


  • I've cried twice this weekend at the thought of possibly never attending a Christmas market in Germany ever again. This time of year here is so magical...so heartwarming...I hope we can find ways to make our own magic stateside next year. Or have the funds to someday come back for market season.
  • I'm terrified to open my inbox in the morning. Not because of blog emails, but because of the dozens of store coupons, sale reminders, and shop advertisements I receive. Consumerism is running rampant this year and I'm overwhelmed! The new word of my holiday season: UNSUBSCRIBE.
  • Is it just me or is Facebook turning into one giant annoying place where people incessantly post weird cat pictures, memes, and dozens of political articles no one cares about? I'm almost ashamed to say it, but I miss the days of reading about what you ate for breakfast and how many poops Johnny made this morning. I need original content, Facebook friends. Poops and all.
  • I LOVE this Christmas digital short. It's so stupid...but I've got to watch it every year. Jimmy Fallon plays a mean keyboard. 
  • Everyone loves Oprah, but honestly, I can't stand the woman. She comes on TV and my eyes involuntarily start to roll into the back of my head. Can't stop them. I won't delve into all the reasons why I don't care for her, but the gist is, I think she's self-righteous, not self-less like she hopes the world sees her as. Ellen Degeneres? Now, that's my girl!
  • For the longest time, I used to call Star Trek "Star Track." Glad I got that all figured out. #embarrassing
  • I think some moms out there are super duper creative with this Elf on the Shelf thing...but I'm totally not participating when D and I have kids. A good ole' fashioned spank on the bum worked nicely for my parents. And heck, the Elf on the Shelf looks like a pansy compared to Krampus, the German Christmas demon. Maybe we'll go that route. Remind me I said this when the time comes, kay?
  • I currently own 54 different scarves. D has put a 'scarf ban' on me as of late. He doesn't know that's what I asked my Mom to get me for Christmas.
  • I had a dream this week that my DSLR camera was sitting in a puddle of water. Every time I went to move it out of the puddle, another puddle of water would form underneath it. This kept happening until the puddles turned into waves. I woke up covered in sweat and totally panicked. I think I'm subconsciously afraid I'm going to drown my camera. Or I'm subconsciously aware that I'm drowning in a sea of unedited, un-blogged travel photos. Sorry to inform you, brian, I'm consciously aware of that too. So behind.
  • Confession: I'm secretly excited to move back to the states so we can start saving more money for something other than traveling.
  • I'm absolutely idiotic about optimizing blog SEO and keywords and all that other technical blog mumbo jumbo. I like watching my pageviews increase as much as the next gal, but geezaloo...this should be fun! Spreadsheets and editorial calendars ain't my thang. Kudos to those bloggers who get all that, but for those of us simpletons who don't (and don't care to learn), blog growing can be done without it. Promise.
  • I sleep on the right side of the bed. For some unexplainable reason, I don't sleep well (or at all) on the left side. Thankfully, D's a left side sleeper. We were obviously meant for each other.
  • Holiday foods that I hate: eggnog, fruitcake, candy canes, gumdrops, Christmas pudding, peanut brittle, those tri-flavored popcorn tins, persimmon pudding, Panettone, those butter cookies in the blue tin, chocolate oranges, hot buttered rum, and oh did I mention eggnog? Blech.
  • Speaking of eggnog, every year D tries to get me to try it again (like somehow I'll magically start liking it?). He hides it under the guise of milk, but I'm no dummy. Okayyyy, so I only fell for it once. He still tries the trick every year.
  • I ugly cried reading this. And watching this & this. And then reading this. I know, stop it.
  • I've secretly always wanted to take a calligraphy course. Hoping to check that off my bucket list upon returning back to the states.
  • Speaking of the states, D turns in his duty station "dream sheet" the end of this month. We also just got the list of possible locations we could move...and it's a short one. Fingers crossed the Air Force gods are kind and send us to one of the locations we're hoping for! FYI, all the bases we want are on the East coast. We need want to be closer to home this next assignment. re: babies :)
  • I've been reading the book The Circle Maker. It's about conditioning ourselves to pray boldly...by praying circles around our families, our goals & dreams, our problems, and God's faithful promises. I'm only halfway through it and it's already been a total eye opener. It's taken the way I pray and approach my walk with God to a whole new level. Worth a read, indeed. (Thanks, mom!!)
  • I'm feeling the burn of the blog reading Christmas fizzle. You know, that phenomenon where blog reading seems to come to a halt around major holidays? Pageviews are down, comments are down...less work for me, but I'm already missing the blogging camaraderie. So, if you're one of the 12 people reading this...Hi! I miss you! And thanks. :)
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Dec 22, 2013

Rothenburg Christmas Market: Day to Night


Ohhhh Rothenburg ob der Tauber...how you fill me with joy every time I visit your walled city! Ladies & gents, I present you Rothenburg, Germany at Christmastime. As if this place could get any more adorable, seeing it at Christmas just about did me in. Every inch of this quaint Bavarian town was covered in evergreen and twinkle lights...sending vibes of holiday cheer radiating through its colorful cobblestoned streets. It's kitschy enough to make you think Christmas was born here. Heck, maybe it was? Either way, Rothenburg still reigns supreme as one of my most favorite towns in all of Germany.

During 'My Big Fat European Family Vacation' in the spring of 2012, D and I shared this fun town with my entire family. When I mentioned to my parents that Rothenburg also had a Christmas market, my mom practically begged us to see it. D and I had never visited at Christmas, so it was a no brainer! We arrived in Rothenburg around lunch time. The town was bustling, but not as much as many of the other Christmas markets we visted that week. After grabbing a quick Swabian lunch, we weaved our way in and out of Rothenburg's decorated marktplatz and shopped 'till we dropped in Germany's largest Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas store. While Rothenburg's Christmas Market (dubbed "Reiterlesmarkt" after an old Teutonic legend) isn't the biggest we've visited, it is one of the cutest (in my opinion, at least). The main bunch of Christmas market stalls can be found in the Marktplatz just below Rothenburg's Rathaus (Town Hall). Another section of the market is hiding within the courtyard of the town hall and just outside of St. Jacob's Church. If you're looking for a traditional Rothenburg treat to try, Schneeballen can be found in almost every bakery around town. They're basically balls of sweet dough covered in various flavored chocolates and toppings. Nothing fancy, but seeing as they were invented here, they're worth a taste! Of course, as with visiting any Christmas market in Germany, don't forget to grab a mug of glühwein and keep the mug as a souvenir of your visit! All the cool kids are doing it. :)


Dec 20, 2013

FRESH FACE FRIDAY [& Blog Hop!]: Meet Kaity & Chantal

What the fudge, December? Where did you go and why didn't you tell me you were going to blow past me this year. I mean, really. It's December 20th already! Why do all the good months fly by so quickly?! I hope you've all got your trees trimmed, presents wrapped, and cookies baked because December ain't waiting on nobody this year! Sorry for just using the word ain't. That silly Southern girl likes to make her way out of me sometimes. Anywho, this weekend D and I are heading up to the Netherlands to check out yet another Christmas market. Are you surprised?!? Doubtful. We were supposed to visit the Valkenburg Cave Markets while my parents were in town, but after driving all over Germany for 7 straight days, we opted to stay a little closer to home. I have to say, even after all the Christmas market hopping we did with my family, I'm still not sick of Christmas markets yet. Call me crazy, but this is our last Christmas here in Germany...I don't care how frozen my feet get, how many glühwein mugs I collect, or how far I've got to travel...I'm going to soak up every last second of this magical time of year while I still can! I know come January, when the glow of the market lights have faded, I'll be glad I did.

With that, I'll go ahead and let you get on with your weekend plans. I hope you have some fun ones filled with family, friends, and Christmas cheer! But before you go...please take some time today and visit these two fab bloggers below and link your own creative space up to the Fresh Face Friday Blog Hop! Santa's watching you!! ;) Until next week, friends!


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I've been reading Brownie Diaries, a blog written by the lovely, Kaity, for some time now. I absolutely love how she's not afraid to speak her mind, share her heart, and show off some pretty friggin' cute outfits! Over on her blog you'll find insightful musings about blog world, thoughts on life in Alabama (recent college graduate, congrats, girl!!), and those really awesome outfit posts I mentioned before. I adore her 30x30 & Frocktober challenges!! If you've never met Kaity and browsed her fun blog, head on over and catch up! I know she'd love to have you!

Kaity's Favorite Posts:
I Love a Good Cold Front
Blogging Clichés
On Hunger Games and My Love For Peeta Mellark

My Favorite Posts:
Today I Am a Year Older
A Walk in the Woods
On Balance


Chantal is no stranger to Fresh Face Friday, so I hope many of you recognize her and say, "Hey! I love that girl!" But, if you live under a rock, allow me to introduce my friend Chantal. She and her fab military family have just made the move abroad to exciting South Korea! Over on her blog, Scattered Seashells, you'll find lots of fun posts on navigating a big move to Asia, peeks inside her life as a loving wife and mother, and tons of witty stories about motherhood. She's also currently hosting the "What Do You Do?" link-up! I hope each of you will take some time to get to know sweet Chantal today!

Chantal's Favorite Posts:
The Photo That Reminded Me
Why I Watermark My Photos (and How You Can Too!)
Thoughts on My Cesarean

My Favorite Posts:
Walking Around Itaewon
How We Survived Our Trip To Korea
Penny's (Almost) Birthday


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Welcome to the
FRESH FACE FRIDAY BLOG HOP!
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