20 November 2011


Everyone makes choices that are right for them. No one can tell you what is right for you. What course of action you chose today may not be the best tomorrow. What the hell am I talking about? 9 years ago I chose to drop out of college (in my senior year) to follow my husband half way around the world and to have my little family whole again. It really was the right choice at the time. With the war, being a new mom and just itching to find out about life away from home it was time for a break. I just never anticipated it being this long. I was going back about 5 years ago. Then, you guessed it, baby 2 (afectionately know around here as meatball) was on the way. And a huge mortgage. And not enough money to go around to mom. Yikes.

But still, it was the right choice at the time. Now though those choices just aren't 'okay' with me anymore. Let the stoning from the 'SuperMoms' being. I tried my hardest. I really did. I cooked (quite well I've heard), baked, sewed, quilted, gardened, had lots 'o kids at my house for playdates, done the morning neighborhood walking then the ladies who lunch, and been very involved in the FRG and the spouses clubs (I'm almost embarrassed to admit that one)*. Not to mention the soccer practices and being an amazing popcorn selling machine ($2k) for Cub Scouts. I had a good time. Really, I did. Where is me in all that? It was all for someone else. Either a child, or two or three, or a hubster, a friend, a group or just to keep up appearances. I miss the life that I thought I would have, that I still want.

I went to school to be a mechanical engineer. I'll admit it, I'm a math geek! :) Sometimes I will go online and find some calculus problems to work, or physics. When I first arrived back in Mannheim I was so excited. I brought the 'little' guy to a babysitter and walked to the local high school to volunteer to be a math tutor. Once upon a time I was far enough along in my degree to have more than a minor. Surely enough that would be enough to whip some algebra, right? Nope. They only wanted me if I had my degree. Sorry, no dice.

Then I learned that I couldn't even volunteer to be a kids cooking instructor. Even if no actual cooking took place. What a shot to the ego. I'm not even qualified to volunteer my services? How am I ever going to find that 'perfect' job? I did find a job. Not fulfilling at all. I do pride myself in doing a fabulous job. (I'm pretty sure they're missing me about now :) ) BTW, this year I had a very, very difficult pregnancy and learned that one of my boys has a vision loss. Scarry. I did all that alone too. Big 'ol fist bump to Uncle Sam on that one.

Let's check the scoreboard. No career. No almost acceptable volunteer position. Unfulfilling job. Ugh! So, here I sit flailing in the wind. Directionless. Where do I go from here? I can try to get certified to teach English as a second language. Be a financial manager. I really want to be at DCSENG. How am I supposed to get there? I will, eventually. I would really like to get a German job. It's not looking too healthy. No degree and I'm an Auslander.  A foreigner. Sigh.

Is it okay to be going through a mid-life crisis a little early? I think this all started this last summer when my doctor so nicely pointed out that I had recently had a birthday and then politely pointed out my age. Seriously, Dr Lauk, how is it okay to do this to a depressed pregnant woman??? It's no wonder I lost 35 pounds while I was preggo.  I hope that you all aren't too dragged down by now. Here is some sweetness in simplicity. Bye!

* Notice that laundry is not on that list? Lol. There is a funny story on why the hubster does that. Sometimes. 

15 November 2011


Geez! It sure is cold these days! I'm not sure that Louisiana people are made for the snow. I like to visit the cold then go home. I was telling a lady that I'm not too excited to be driving in the hilly Heidelberg area. She laughed out loud when I told her where I was from. She is from New Hamshire. A total pro at the snow.

It is currently 34F or 1C. Yikes. No wonder I was freezing waiting on my guy at the bus stop. The nice German lady always tells me it's to cold not to have on a jacket. Although, today she was talking to me about the dog and I just couldn't understand what she was saying. Maybe because My brain was still napping. Its kinda nice to be on extended leave from work.  :)

So, today we are headed off to Luisenpark for a couple hours. I really should have bought the year pass for 2011. Hopefully we will have some visitors, like usual.

I'll be thinking about the spring!

13 November 2011

Adventure Sunday

Good morning everyone! Or what ever time of day it is for you. The baby is sleeping and I have some time to do something other than nurse :) I was only 20 when I came to live in Germany. Before then I was just a person who thought little of the rest of the world. I had plans to move to the big city...Houston, TX, to work at NASA. Moving to Europe opened my eyes in many ways. I like the idea of raising my kids as citizens of the world. They have been exposed to so many cultures and places I didn't even know existed when I was a child. So, I want this page to bring a little piece of the rest of the world to those who have not had the pleasure to experience it. I'm going to post something new each week. I'd love to hear about where you live too!

This weekend was, to me, our last chance to enjoy the outside without freezing! It is still a little warm, strangely enough. So, we went up to Koenigstuhl (I can't figure out how to get the numeric keypad for an umlaut!). There is the Märchenparadies. This translates to 'Fairytale Paradise'. It is on top of the mountain and is a little playgroup/miniature theme park. In our house it is affectionately know as 'the playground on the mountain.'

What is special about this place is that it has little animatronics that tell the fairy tales. There is Rumplestiltskin, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and lots of others. These stories are scattered about the park with little rides and play areas. My boys loved the rides beause they could do them on their own without help from mom. I liked that too! It really is a small place so the rides are operated by token and you push a plunger to make them go. My 4 year old thought he was so grown.

In addition to the dozen or so rides there are a couple of play areas. One has a typical playground, a merry-go-round, a huge bouncy thing, automated swings and lots of benches for moms and dads to enjoy the view. The other play area is one of those climb around ball pits with different levels and air powered foam ball guns. That sounds way worse than it is!

If you're in the area here are the details:

Heidelberger Märchenparadies GmbH & Co. KG

Königstuhl 5a
69117 Heidelberg

Monday - Saturday
Adults 2 EU, kids 2-12, 3EU 

Sundays, Holidays & I think school out days for BW
Adults 3 EU, kids 2-12, 4EU

All rides take tokens that cost 50 cents each. I bought 30, and it was plenty. Both my kids rode everything multiple times and mom may have too :)

Below are pics that I yanked off their website. No, I still don't have a camera. On the mountain is a few other things that are worth checking out: Tinnunculus - a hawk show, an observatory, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, 2 nature trails designed for families, and a funicular railway. Dont forget to click on the Union Jack for the English version. Bye!

04 November 2011

Shhh....I have a Secret

Shhh....I have a secret. I did it again on Tuesday. And yesterday. I pretended like I didn't understand when a German person was speaking to me. Yikes!! Does this make me a horrible person? Possibly. to understand why you need to know what's going on in my life. I recently had a baby.  (That deserves a whole other post.) You know it goes; everyone that you encounter thinks they know how to be a better parent than you so they want to give you advise. Generally, in English, I smile and say something like 'I'll keep that in mind'. But, in German I just don't want to. I think it is because I am very unimpressed with German children's behavior. I have not had the greatest experiences with local kids at the bigger playgrounds. To be fair, I'm sure not all German kids act poorly. It can just be so frustrating. Wouldn't it be great when someone tries to give you unsolicited advise you could just pretend like you don't unerstand them?

I want you to check out something interesting that I found. It's a webcam on the Neckar river.

http://www.edingen-neckarhausen.de/webcam/ Its interesting to people watch.

Map of Edigen-Neckarhausen This is a link to a googlemap so you can see where Edingen-Neckarhausen is located.

Edingen-Neckarhausen is right around the corner from Heidelberg. I've been to a bike store there, John's Radhaus, of course I couldn't afford a bike there, but I like to window shop. He is an American that has been living here for like 20 years.


PS - Sorry if there are spelling errors. My spell check is in German and I am not smart enough to get it back to English.
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