Green Germany

It might seem silly, but sharing with you the green side (you know–the living plant side) of Germany has been on my mind. One of the heart breaks of an international move is saying goodbye to all of your plants… because they don’t make it 6-8 weeks in a shipping container across the ocean. And carrying two toddlers, 3 suitcases and 2 backpacks for one month doesn’t leave a lot of hands left for carrying along even a little succulent.

Something I’ve noticed about Germans and plants: almost everyone has orchids displayed in their windows:

Orchids

Additionally, balconies are littered with hanging plants and planters:

Balcony

The row house next to ours is a display of beautiful gardens:

Backyard Gardens

And Germans are serious about their hedges. All of them tall, thick and effective. It’s pretty amazing.

Hedges

A popular tree that is new to me and that I’ve seen many times here is the Monkey Puzzle Tree. They are kind of charming!

Monkey Puzzle Tree

Oh, and the hydrangea game in Germany is serious. And I mean serious. They are everywhere and all of them stunning and fully blooming.

Hydrangea

I think I’ve definitely found myself a home in my love for plants. I haven’t purchased anything green for my house, yet, but I’m getting giddy at the idea of it. I’d love to get a string of beads or donkey tail succulent plant above my fridge, hanging down the side of my cabinets… Hey. I can dream, right? So, some succulents, an obligatory orchid and maybe a taller plant for a corner of our living room? Oh the possibilities!

Rose

Shrubs

Dalia

All the rain certainly pays off! 🙂

Tschüss!

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Park Heaven

Parks

Hamburg. The park place. I mean, the place for parks. Oh, it’s been lovely. You see, Germany shuts down on Sundays. Some restaurants are open… but not all of them. And excepting this past weekend when we were fighting colds, we have spent every Sunday going to church and a park. The kids love it. The parks here are just divine. They often appeal to many different ages at once, the children are always freely roaming, and there’s always water. The kids get good and dirty, and then they go home. There’s no hovering, there’s often parent engagement and climbing… and we’ve loved it.

So, here are a few photos!

Those “pegs” are almost as complicated as wall rock climbing… They are all tilted and on a steep hill–a great challenge!

Park 1

I love all of the “natural” elements in the parks, here. It’s refreshing. It’s certainly not all plastic. So awesome.

Park 4

This baby is not mine… but that little girl sat there calmly for over an hour. It occurred to me that that kind of parenting is something I can get behind. She’s in “rain pants” that are sealed with rain boots. She happily splashed around in a half inch of water and sand. It was so fun to watch.

Park 3

 

Park 5

Park 7

My children have the wonderful Germans to thank for all of these great experiences that stretch their dirt-averse, type A, OCD-inclined Mama. I promise I love them and am happy to be stretched because they are unbelievably happy when they are set free at playgrounds.

Cheer to dirt! Tschüss!

A First Look

My parents have moved a lot in their marriage and my Mama says (wisely), “It takes a full year to settle into a new home.” By this she means knowing where you like to buy everything for your home and making friends–not just the physical putting art up or unpacking boxes… Did you hear that? A year. (And she added another caveat: That’s in English. Hah!) Maybe you’ve moved before and know exactly what she’s talking about. So, our excursion to Boston? We basically never really settled in. Hah. (In all fairness, I think it took us about 6 months, but that was really thanks to joining the community of Harvard grad school. We had ready-to-go friends.) So, we’re three weeks in! And we feel pretty far from settled. BUT, we’re doing much better than that first exhausting week.

Because our kiddos started school this week, our main goal this past weekend was to have our main floor (in Germany “EG”) and bedrooms livable. No suit cases. Everything (hopefully) having a place. This goal wasn’t simple because Germans don’t do closets. We installed hanging shelves with rods in both our room and the kiddo’s room. Brian made dressers with wooden boxes and wooden frames for our clothing that needs a drawer. The kids have room darkening curtains in their room which has given us wonderful mornings where the kids woke up after 7:30… Divine.

We worked very hard to get all of our furniture and belongings whittled down to 900 sqft when we moved to Harvard for grad school… only to move into a 1600 sqft home… So, we succeeded this week in making livable spaces, but our furniture is definitely bare. But you know what? I’m ok with that. My goal is still to be simple in our home because it’s less work. And truly, the amount of toys we own can be picked up in 5 minutes. That, my friends, is the bomb.

So, without further ado, here’s a first look at some of our spaces. In short, we love our home!

Dining Room

Dining Room

Living Room

Living Room

Kitchen with a new light fixture!

Kitchen 1

Our master bedroom

Master Bedroom

Our bedroom wall closet

Closet Wall

The kids’ playroom (after cleaning)

Playroom

Our patio!

Patio

Get excited for your visit! Maybe by the time you come we’ll have a guest bedroom set up, too! 🙂

Tschüss!