Hallo! You know, we’ve been here for 5 months, now, and I don’t even have a guess as to how long it will take to adjust back to the American “Hello!” Hallo is the new norm, even for our children. So I say… Hallo!

Christmas Tree Farm

It took us two full weeks, but last weekend we finally made it to the big Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) in Hamburg. Right in front of the most beautiful Rathaus. It was as crowded on Sunday at lunchtime as you might expect, making our double stroller feel like a 12-passenger van trying to fit through alleyways. But, I could kiss that small carriage for having buckles and keeping our whiney wonderful child tucked nicely in. Outings are always fun, but sometimes photographs keep us from remembering the really tough and oh-so-audible moments.


I cannot stop eating the bratwurst here. There are other fun things to eat, but I’ll be honest: the extra-long German bratwurst always call my name. And you know what? I can always leave the roll that comes with it. They don’t have what we call “hotdog buns” or the even bigger ones we use for brats… It looks like a sourdough roll. But I can always leave it. This is quite un-German of me. So, we ate bratwurst, we drank hot chocolate (heiße schokolade) (ok, with peppermint liquor in it) and Brian drank the mulled wine (glühwein), which is totally different (and much improved) from any mulled wine I’ve had before. We walked away with our Hamburg Weihnachtsmarkt mugs, and our eyes full of fun trinkets, ornaments, foods, etc from the lovely trip.

And for a double win, the kids were both asleep in the car within 1.5 stoplights of our ride home. Thanks Florence for braving the fun with us! It’s a treat to enjoy the fun with friends.

We’re inching toward the finish line of our first semester, and we’ll enjoy a bit more than a full week at home for Christmas and New Year’s. With our home cozy with a tree, a beautiful kitchen for making cookies, and our newly-purchased DVD player (for all of my Christmas DVDs), I think we’re set to go. While I’m not really holding out for a white Christmas, we have enjoyed a few welcome flurries already. And yes, my heart was singing:


I have always said that a grey winter day is always improved with a freshly fallen white snow. It simply makes all things new. Oh how I love it. It makes the weather quite quiet as we prepare for Christmas morning, preparing our hearts.

So, I hope you’re also enjoying the fun, and even some quiet in front of a tree… Tschüss!