September 28, 2015

Have Courage and Be Kind

Have you all seen the new Cinderella? I just loved it, and so did Lily. Anyway, I can't stop thinking about the line the mother says to her daughter before dying. She must always remember to "have courage and be kind". 

Last week, Cooper received a Kiwi Crate with the essentials for creating a Lemonade stand. He wanted to go out and give away lemonade last week, but we're down into crisp fall temperatures now, and Germans are not quite crazy about lemonade like Americans. So, last night, he begged for me to make cookies that he could bring to all our neighbors. His plan was to push them on a cart and go up and down the street offering them up. He settled with plates full of warm gooey cookies and ran to each house so happy. He didn't want me to come with him. He wanted to give them all by himself, and that's just what he did.

Have courage and be kind. Pass it on.

September 15, 2015

Summer Vacation - Mallorca August 2015


So, this blog has taken the backseat for me this summer you might have noticed. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the time to post in ages! Hoping to find the time again this fall. We had an awesome summer, with two trips to Mallorca, one to Garmisch, and a whole lot of swimming and climbing around home. Cooper learned to dive and front flip in the pool, and swim! It was awesome. This jump was the highlight of Cooper's trip to Mallorca. One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to GO!

July 11, 2015

Vacation Tradition - Mallorca Spain

As tradition would have it, we took our third 4th of July trip in a row to Mallorca, Spain (here are trips 1 and 2 if you are interested). And as tradition goes, we didn't plan ahead for this trip. It was super hard to decide this year between going somewhere new to climb (Magic Woods, Switzerland), or Mallorca. But Frank left it up to me to decide, and the thought of warm beaches and ocean beat out the mountains. Magic Woods, you'll have to wait.

Once again, I tried to book our agriturismo from 2013 or our awesome chalet apartment from 2014, but both were booked solid for July and August. I think I shouldn't leave such good reviews on tripadvisor and anymore! So, we were left the night before our flight to find a place. We'd had luck with Airbnb in the past, so we tried our luck again. The location of the apartment we booked was awesome, right in Mondrago National park on the southeast coast, the part we like with all the deep water soloing and awesome calas (bays) for swimming. The apartment wasn't my favorite or one I'd book again, but it was just fine and had everything we needed.

While looking back at photos from 2013 I noticed how incredibly calm the water was the whole trip. Skip forward to 2015 and we had MASSIVE waves the first two days. So massive, deep water soloing was not a possibility, but Cooper had a grand ol time jumping waves with Frank for hours. On Sunday, the wind died down and we decided to go all out and rent a boat to ourselves for the WHOLE day. Best.decision.ever.  We took that boat all over the calas and saw so much of the island coastline! We'd anchor in, swim to the beach, grab some ice cream and picnic, then head back to go repeat at another cala. And the best part is, Cooper learned to snorkel! Once he got the hang of it, he wouldn't stop and loved it. We figured out that apparently fish LOVE olives. Really, they do. We'd drop an olive in and 30 fish would attach and nibble. Lily learned that she actually does really love the ocean and pretended to dive in the water like a mermaid a hundred times saying "want to see me do it again" each and every time. Plus, she'd pour water in her bucket, add sand, and wash my feet over and over as well.

As for me? Well, I thoroughly enjoyed watching my kids happy and playing in the sun every day from dawn til dusk and lazed about on the beach and in the water catching hermit crabs, fish and sea snails. Something so calming and therapeutic about the sea. Three days was not enough. Frank and I have decided we need a good week at least next time :) So goodbye until then Mallorca. We already miss you!

May 21, 2015


A long time ago, sixteen years in fact, Frank and I went on a trip of a lifetime. We were interns in France, working on vineyards for 5 weeks, then spent another 5 weeks taking the euro rail from country to country climbing and camping along the way or staying in hostels. Boy did we have a good time. That trip gave us both the travel bug big time and made us want to live in Europe. We searched for years and finally ended up over here in Germany, just like we dreamed of all those years ago. Back then, I had just started climbing. Our first stop on our European adventure? Fontainebleau, France. The mecca of bouldering. It was better than I could ever have imagined and brought us back no less than eight times over the last sixteen years.

Last weekend was our eighth trip. While driving there, Frank and I reminisced all our visits, especially our first time way back in 1999. Then again for our honeymoon in 2004. Frank so kindly exclaimed "Cooper is closer to your age of our first visit to Font then you are now". I think I might have had a mild heart attack. Yup. 16 years ago for me, and only 13 years for Cooper to reach age 19. Not sure if I am more upset about how I can possibly be so far from 19, or how close Cooper is to being so grown up. Freak out moment.

The 30s, these child rearing days, they are so wonderful and precious, but gosh darn it, why do they go so fast! Everyone always tells me "enjoy these moments with your kids while they are little, they don't last long." I know that people. I know to live in the present and all that good stuff, but no one ever tells you really how hard that is to do, or the best way to do that. This past weekend in Font with the kids, bouldering in the woods all day outside, I really tried to live in that moment. The joy of spending full days, from morning to night with my family, worn out from fresh air, good food, and laughter.

April 21, 2015

Deer losing antlers and more randomness

Did you know that deer lose their antlers every year? I remember this fact from ninth grade biology, but what I didn't remember hearing or learning was how painful it looks. Cooper and I were so sad for the deer we saw last weekend. To be nice to you all, I left out the gory photos of blood running down their heads. Ow! And the poor boys looked like they felt scared and sad, almost like a dog wearing the cone of shame. Cooper was determined to cheer them up though and did a great job feeding them and chatting with them sweetly. I tried to research it some bit, and researchers believe the bucks build up enough endorphin to mask the pain. I'm not buying it. And I'm Dr. Doolittle and speak deer, just in case you were wondering how I became the expert.

 These days, Cooper is in the amazing imagination phase of life. We became space warriors attacking aliens that were hiding in forts while sitting in this net. We were pretty awesome at defending our spaceship I must say. Even Lily.

Yeah, he pretty much has endless energy. Still. He jumps circles around his sister all the time. Glad that soccer season has started up, and tennis in just a week. And it's finally warm enough to climb outside! Gotta love spring.