This blog should never be any sort of reference for our current location. I have no intention of trying to have this blog reflect current time. Obviously I have never really achieved that here, and since I plan to do a lot LOT of catching up on the past 2 years, I don’t want that to confuse anyone. However, as far as this post is concerned, on the date of publication, we are in our new Austin location, and all the pictures are from the past month.
After our strange transition month in Stuttgart, we spent a few weeks in Utah and another week near D.C.. Fiona, Leif and I also got to stay in North Carolina for a week while Rijen and Layne drove from there to Texas. I hope to write more later about those adventures. Unfortunately, when we all got to Austin, despite Rijen’s careful planning, all of our belongings did not arrive for over a week.
We had to make do living out of suitcases like we had been doing…but it was worse because it was in our unfurnished house. We borrowed some air mattresses, bought a few towels and a set of sheets and I created this makeshift table and “chair” for Fiona, for example. It wasn’t that bad, (except for no chairs! sitting against the wall with the baby!) I just hated the fact that I feel like I lost another week in getting back to a normal life.
When our belongings came, Fiona was especially happy to have all her books back. She’s always loved her books:
In Stuttgart, it was almost like a nightly game of parent Jenga where Rijen or I would have to try and pull books out from underneath her without waking her up.
It was the first time though that she fell asleep with her book on top of her like a blanket.
Back to talking about what happened a couple weeks ago though….Leif was also happy to have some new things— and I was beside myself with joy at the new baby placing opportunities other than the front pack, holding him or lying him on the floor.
P.S. I hope my (one) German reader appreciates his onesie (Body).
I don’t have that much context for the next few pictures, just that this type of thing happens frequently throughout the day. Along with me saying, “Fiona, not so hard! Fiona, not his face please. DONT pinch him. STOP PINCHING HIM! Fiona, relax your jaw. Fiona be gentle, like Gavin taught you. FIONA that’s enough! OK, get away from him. “BUT I HAVE TO TOUCH HIM!” Yes, a sibling is a wonderful thing.
So, in my effort to be more social in this ward, I actually attended an evening Relief Society event. I’m really glad I did because through that I was able to get Fiona into a little “Joyschool” group that just happened to be starting the next week. So I know it is not REALLY Fiona’s first day of school, but with all the “Back To School” fever happening around here (we live across the street from a private school and an elementary school and there is also a middle school as big as a high school down the road) I figured I may as well take “First Day of School” Pictures.
I like this next picture for two different reasons. The first reason is that it kind of represents her getting older- standing on the threshold..leaving babyhood etc etc. The second reason is much less cerebral. A Garage! That enters into the house! This may seem really normal to any of you who have always had this, but this is the first time that I have ever had a garage that you could drive the car into and then enter the house through it. In my childhood home(s) the garage was not used for car storage normally, and in Germany we did have a garage, but there was no entrance into the complex. We still had to exit and climb 3 flights of stairs. So now, not having to climb stairs with groceries/kids etc. is really nice. Although it does feel kind of strange to hardly ever use the front door…and I kind of miss that.
When my dad was here, he came with us to Joyschool en route to the airport, so I had the camera with me. She really loves school, and one reason why I do “talk it up” to her as being school, (when it really isn’t) is because now that Rijen is in school, I know she likes being able to go to school like he does. Although I doubt his classes ever look anything like this:
By the way I am responsible for the themes “Water” and “Chores” later on in October when I host Joyschool, so if anyone has any great ideas on what to do, let me know.
This post doesn’t do Austin much justice- as far as me sharing what it is like to be living here. I blame that on the fact that it has been too hot to do a lot of activities, and those that we have done I haven’t had the camera or bothered to get it out. According to the news, Texas has had the hottest summer this year in the history of the U.S. and is experiencing an awful drought as well.
The food is the most amazing by far, especially since good Mexican food was almost impossible to come by in Europe, but we have always been too hungry and I don’t think I even ever thought to take pictures of it when we have been out to eat. I really should though, the food here is my favorite part of Austin so far.
One outing we did in the first few weeks was to find the local farmers markets. We had a good time, although I must be honest in my reporting and state that the fresh markets in Germany were much much better. Of course they have hundreds of years of practice, so I guess that is to be expected. They never had face painting though….
We are really happy here- miss Germany of course, but Austin has been as amazing as everyone said it was going to be. I would have never thought of Austin or Texas as somewhere I pictured myself living, so I feel really lucky to be able to see a different part of the country and get to know Texas. I think we will fall in love before our time is done, and it will be another case of a broken heart like the feeling I have right now about leaving Stuttgart! I do hope that in the next 9 months I’ll have time to play catch-up on this blog with all the things we did in Europe as well as sharing our experiences here in Austin.
This last picture from when my dad came to visit. More on that next time!