Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!


Since we are not dressing up for Halloween this year, I took a trip down memory lane. This was Halloween 2 years ago...oh man these pictures get me every time. Cannot stop laughing. Is he a good sport or what?!





I hope these give you as good a laugh as they give Rob and me! This year we are having a relaxing Halloween night...a little movie marathon and some candy!

 Happy Halloween!
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Popcorn Crunch


The other night we went to some friend's house for a board game night...well a Settlers game night. It is probably our favorite board game ever. Once you get the hang of it, it is so fun!
Anyways I got to bring snacks! I brought popcorn crunch...it is a recipe I got from a wonderful lady back home...Thanks Lana (& Logan)! She makes her mixture a little differently and it is much prettier:) But I used what we had at the grocery store and it sure is delicious!
Popcorn Crunch
Ingredients
Big bag of M&M's
4-5 bags of popcorn (about 18 cups)
about 1/3 bag of pretzel sticks
20 oz of white chocolate
Directions
1. Dump M&M's, cooked popcorn and pretzel sticks into a large bowl.
2. Melt white chocolate according to packet instructions. I melted mine on low heat on the stove, stirring continuously.
3. Pour white chocolate over popcorn mixture. And gently stir, coating evenly.
4. Pour mixture evenly onto wax paper and let harden. Allow around 2 hours (sometimes more depending on the chocolate) to dry.
-This recipe filled 2- gallon sized Ziploc bags-
Easy, delicious and a huge hit!
Enjoy!

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Our Story...Life Overseas

So this post has no pictures and is long so brace yourselves:)
 
I want to keep this blog "real". I want this blog to be a place for me to keep memories. Which for me pictures do a lot of talking and will help me remember. But at the same time pictures can be misleading for others who look at them. Others don't see the argument had before the picture was taken, you don't see the "I am frustrated" looks...cause in pictures you smile, of course. And it can look like everything is perfect.
 
I have always thought it would be fun to start a blog. I absolutely love looking at other blogs. There are so many (especially the ones listed under the "blogs i love" tab) that i enjoy reading daily. I am encouraged by them and their authors. Most are funny and give me a laugh. Some have such fun ideas that I want to try! And most keep it very real. They are themselves. They show the good times but also are not afraid to share struggles. I want to do that very same thing with mine. 
 
As I thought about starting this blog, I definitely struggled with do I really want to? Because sometimes blogs and facebook and instagram can make it seem like everything is perfect. Like I said, all you see is the picture and you cannot see all the emotions behind it. I worried about how to keep this blog real. Does that mean writing a post every time Rob and I get in a argument? No because that sure would be a lot of posts:) Do I write a post every time I feel sad? Every time I am angry? Frustrated? Annoyed? Because that would be keeping it real, right? But no, I knew that was not what I had to do. I came to the conclusion that I would start this blog...because I wanted to and I knew I would enjoy doing it. I hoped it would be fun for others to read. Encourage others. And I would keep it real.
 
And that is exactly what I am trying to do. So with that said, I thought I would share our story of living overseas and how we got here. Share some real life and real emotions, be real...
 
When Robert and I first met, I knew from the beginning he wanted to continue to play basketball after college and he had the hope of continuing to play overseas. When we started to get serious, I remember Rob coming back to Lubbock after visiting his parents. We had the "conversation". He said his Dad had asked if I would be willing to move across the world with Robert. So we talked about it and of course I said YES! (kinda sounds like a proposal, huh?:))
 
I had all these wonderful visions of what living "overseas" would look like.
 
So Robert went first. We got engaged in April 2012 (plan on sharing that story soon!), he graduated in May and then in early August we found out he would be leaving for Poland! Such a bittersweet moment. One I will never forget. So excited for this opportunity for him but also so sad that we would have to be apart and do the long, long distance thing for nine month. For me, that seemed like forever. 
 
During those months apart, we grew and learned more than we ever imagined. We were counting down the days until we saw each other again. I thought quite a lot about men and women in the military and how they have to leave their loved ones for much longer and on much different terms. How they are so brave. And how I had nothing to complain about. I could do this long distance thing! And we did. Of course their were lots and lots of tears (well my tears, Rob is not much of a crier:)). But God showed us why this time apart was so special for our relationship. We fell even more madly in love. You see, we were just able to talk. As all those in long distance relationships do. We could not just enjoy being with one another. We couldn't watch a movie together and snuggle. We couldn't sit at Barnes and Noble and just read together. Being together now meant...we talked. And did we ever. We grew closer not only to one another but also to God. It made us appreciate each other so much more and cherish the moments we have together.
 
Then in May of 2013 Rob was back home (we did get to see each other over Christmas when I got to visit him, he was in the Czech Republic at that time)!  After many tears and stressful conversations though I might add. For a while it looked like Rob would not be back in the States until June, about a week before our wedding. Oh man was I a diva about that. I just wanted him home! I wanted to be in his arms again. Robert made it back by the end of May, just in time to see me graduate! What a glorious reunion! And then June 15, 2013 we became husband and wife!
 
During the summer (this past summer) we lived in our first apartment together in Lubbock. Enjoyed time with family and friends,  and I was able to work as a RN at Covenant Hospital over the summer. All while waiting to hear where we would be headed.
 
Then in early August we found out our new home would be here, Nuremberg, Germany! And that Rob would leave in four days. Ha! He packed fast and we enjoyed Lubbock together for a few more days.  Robert left and I stayed to finish my time at work. Then, 3 weeks later I was on my way to a new country and far away from friends and family. Another bittersweet moment.
 
I was so excited to start this adventure with my husband! But also very sad to leave loved ones. We knew this is where God wanted us and we were all in, but it sure came with many emotions. Rob obviously had experienced it. I had not. And we had never experienced it together...married. We had no idea what to expect but were giddy about this opportunity.
 
So now we have been here for about 2 months. What we have discussed and dreamed about for a long time...is here. We are living it. And it is everything we thought and nothing we thought:)
We are far away from family and friends. Which is very hard at times because we miss them. We miss family dinners, we miss spending time with close friends, we are sad we have to miss seeing my little siblings grow up, sad we can't see Pat (Rob's brother) play football, sad we cant be there for my brother's first year of college. We miss our amazing parents and dear friends. So yes we have many sad moments. BUT God has definitely blessed our time here. And given us a lot more happy moments than sad.
 
We get to spend a lot of time together. We eat three meals together a day, we go to sleep together, wake up together...we spend most of the day together. Just Robert and I. And I will say it had been wonderful and we are so grateful for this time. We know this situation is very rare, and once his career in basketball is over, all this abundant time we get to spend every day together will not be near as much. We are very aware of that and really trying to cherish this special time. Yes all this time together means annoying each other a little, arguing a little more, we become a little more "petty". Rob can you not chew so loud? Will you please not toot in bed...Bailley? hehe. So we are in the process of learning to  enjoy each others "quirks" :) This is all a learning experience. I have cried, I have yelled, I have given the silent treatment...I am learning. I am learning to be the wife God has called me to be. 
 
 I get bored, without a job. And get grumpy about that some. Sounds crazy, I know. So then realize again, this is a unique time. I need to enjoy this time. And instead of being bored be productive. Work on my relationship with God, have quiet time daily, cook meals for my husband, workout, work on being the Proverbs 31 wife...enjoy that I have time to really focus on these things. Not to complain.
 
So is living overseas everything I imagined it to be? No. Which is such a good thing. Is it fun? Absolutely! But not always easy. I am learning so much from this experience. I miss home. I miss my family, my friends. I get frustrated not being able to understand what people are saying, trying to communicate. I am tired of trying to parallel park. I worry about taking time off from my job. We miss our church home. Those silly negatives that creep into my selfish head. And then I stop and enjoy...I am growing closer to my husband. I am seeing parts of the world I have always dreamt of seeing. I am making new friends.  I am grateful for all the open arms of welcome from people here. Their generosity and kindness. I am loving seeing the seasons change here. I am enjoying and cherishing the beauty around us, of where we are at. The beauty of this time Rob and I have together. The downs are petty and silly and will seem stupid and crazy to most, but I am a very imperfect human and that is how I feel at times. Then God shows me all the good and the bads drift away. I am reminded  to be grateful and not selfish and petty. And remind myself to look at he positives in life. To use this time to enjoy, to love on Rob, to work daily to  have God in the center of our relationship, to share the light and love of Jesus with others and to enjoy each moment God blesses us with.
 
So to end this ramble:) I love living overseas with my husband, exploring and enjoying this adventure together. We are so so grateful for this opportunity and this special time in life. Yes, at times it is hard. Yes we bicker, we cry, we miss home, we frustrate one another...but we are growing! Growing closer to one another, closer to our God and we are learning to cherish life and every moment we get here on this earth, wherever that is.
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Picnic

We have been talking about going on a picnic since we got here and on Saturday we finally did! 

We want to enjoy this fall weather before winter comes! 

We found a great spot in a beautiful park.We ate, talked, relaxed and enjoyed God's beautiful creation.

 I sure do love my husband...and picnics.


 The ladybug with too many spots...as Rob called it. Pretty neat, right??
 Quick dessert- leftover tortillas from fajita night...spread with nutella, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, a little powder sugar and voila!
 If you can't tell... I am a  little obsessed with trees. Especially these colors?? AND they meet in the middle!
Perfection, I am sure of it.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Stuffed Peppers


Stuffed Bell Peppers....wasn't sure what I would think.
BUT I was very impressed, these were so good! And easy!
Based off this recipe here. Here is the recipe for two...

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:
3 green bell peppers, cut tops off and remove seeds 
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef (you could probably make 4-5 peppers with this amount, so save the extra for tomorrow's meal!)
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped peppers (I used the excess from the tops of the peppers)
1 clove minced garlic
Parsley to taste
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 cups of cooked rice (I used white rice)
8 oz of tomato sauce
Shredded Cheese
  
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut tops of peppers off and remove all the insides. In a large pot of boiling water, boil peppers for 2-3 min, lay on paper towels to dry.
3. In large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and chopped peppers, cook until soft.
4. Add beef, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook until meat is browned.
5. Add cooked rice and tomato sauce, mix well.
6. Pour just enough water in a baking dish to cover the bottom.
7. Stuff peppers with mixture and cook until tender and heated through, about 25-30 min.
8. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Enjoy!
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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Life Lately

It has been a good week here in Nuremberg!

A week just full of life. It is starting to feel like home here, more and more every day.
 
+Rob has been practicing like crazy...game tomorrow night!
+I started volunteering at a day care/ pre-school here this week and it has been great! I've missed hanging out with littles!
+Tried out a few new recipes this week...will post soon!
+Took some beautiful walks
+Had our first movie theater experience here. Saw The Butler and ate some good popcorn, no liquid butter here (crazy I tell ya)!
+Ate at our first German Restaurant...soo good! And a creperie! Come visit us and we will take you!!
+Planning fun things and adventures for when friends come visit us in December! Wahoo! So excited.
+Lastly, Robert and I are doing a 90 day overview of the bible and it has been really great. We are learning so much. Lots of the stories we have heard ever since we were little, we are reading and understanding much, much more. We serve a great God, a faithful God. One who loves us with a love that is beyond understanding. One who wants the best for us even when we do not understand and I am so grateful. I will find the link and post it asap.

We babysat some precious little girls this week and they had so much fun with Rob. Doesn't he look cute?! :) A donut hole type thing, but so different than back home. Fluffy, fried, coated in lots of sugar...delicious. The sandwich is called a doner, very popular here. They shave meat off this thing (I describe it so well, I know). I wasn't a huge fan, rob loved it though.
Happy Saturday!

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Banana Bread

We are home relaxing after a fun day downtown and I thought I would share this delicious recipe real quick! Perfect for a Sunday night dessert AND Monday morning breakfast:)

 I am a huge fan of banana bread...and cinnamon! So I spruced the normal banana bread up with a little kick and it was great! Next time I'll probably even add a little more cinnamon to the mix! I adapted this recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny. A great blog...I  have made a couple recipes from there now! Very yummy. Not as healthy as that recipe but I tried!

Cinnamon Sugar Banana Bread

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) light butter
 1 cup of sugar 
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. low fat milk
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 bananas)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
Topping:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix together softened butter and sugar (if you have a mixer use it, I do not have one here in Germany and mixing by hand worked fine).
3. Now add in eggs and mix well.
4. Next mix in vanilla, milk and bananas.
5. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a seperate bowl.
6. Add flour mixture, a little bit at a time, to batter. Mix slowly and until completley combined.
7. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray (or rub with butter) and then flour the pan lightly.
8. Bake about 45 min-1 hour. Until inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf.
9. Let bread sit for a couple of minutes, then spread top with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. As much as your heart desires!



Slice yourself and your patiently awaiting taste testers each a piece (or two). Spread with butter, sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar and serve with a nice glass of cold milk!

Enjoy!
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall Favorites

 
Hello Weekend!

On our agenda this weekend...
+basketball game!
+grocery shopping
+sleeping in
+wine and pizza date night
+watching some modern family 
+reading Harry Potter (I was the one who never thought I would like the series, now I love it...just started the seventh book!)
+a little baking

So not only are we glad it is the weekend over here but we are also very excited for Fall!

I think every season is my favorite and right now I am so glad it is fall, so much fun in a season. Here are some of my Fall Favorites that I have to share!
 
 
 
 
 
:1: Doesn't this blanket look so comfy?! A blanket is essential for me whenever I am relaxing around the house (even in the summer) and now with the cooler weather, it is perfect and cozy! I have a very similar one to this that a friend gave me and it is fabulous...big and soft!
 
:2: Chai tea. I do not like coffee (crazy I know, I know) so this is the perfect warm drink for me. Delicious and not to mention smells heavenly. I really enjoyed Starbucks chai on all our wifi trips. I also want to try making some of my own...maybe this recipe??
 
:3: I am a big fan of riding boots. I wear them every most days during the fall/winter. They keep my feet warm and add style to tons of outfits! These above are super cute, I have some similar and find this brand hold up much better than the cheaper brands I have bought before! This pair looks great as well.
 
:4: Taco Soup! One of my favorite fall recipes. This recipe from the picture above is from a blog full of wonderful recipes and this one looks delicious. My mom also makes an AMAZING taco soup. I will post that recipe soon!
 
:5: Scarves are a huge hit for most during the fall. They add flare to any outfit! I have a leopard scarf that I got back in Lubbock at Hodgepodge and just love it! The one pictured is very similar!
 
:6: So I am ghostly pale. That summer glow is for sure gone. But this bronzer is great and helps add a little color! Not the wow your face is a different color than your neck color but a radiant, just enough glow for fall color.
 
:7: I am a big fan of red nail polish. And now that there is warmer weather I wanted to find a darker red and this OPI one looks perfect!
 
:8: What is the ideal dessert for fall? Pumpkin! My personal favorite is Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, this recipe looks amazing. Sadly I have not found pumpkin to bake with here so for now I will have to stare at the picture and let my mouth water.
 
:9: Lastly, a favorite of mine as long as I can remember...Pillsbury Halloween Cookies! You can find these babies at your local grocery store, I promise they will not disappoint.
 
 
Other favorites? The crisp, cool air, pumpkin carving, leaves changing...so much fun! What are some of your fall favorites?

Enjoy your weekend!!


 
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Monday, October 7, 2013

Our Weekend

Our weekend was wonderful.

The best part about it? It was full of relaxation!


Check out this babe! I have not even talked about the reason why we are in Germany yet...basketball!
 
Our Saturday night consisted of some hard fought basketball. Rob's team is Rent4Office Nurnberg. They are off to a great start... 2 wins and 1 loss. Rob is playing very well, I could not be more proud of him. He is such a hard worker, gives this job all he has and is very dedicated. Not to mention he loves his job, which of course is a blessing.  The other players, player's wives/ girlfriends, coaches and ladies/men in the office have all been so wonderful to both of us. They have all made us feel so welcome and are so kind and helpful. We are so grateful and thank God every day. The team  had a game Saturday night at home and will be on the road this Saturday, October 12th.
 
If you would like to keep track of Rob and the team here are a few links!
 
The team website is http://www.n-bc.de/. It is German but google translate works great! For the direct link to their schedule...click here.
 
You can also follow the team on facebook, they are great at giving updates! Follow Nurnberger Basketball Club here.
 
Lastly you can follow this link for updates and news on the whole league!
 
 





Date night...we take turns planning and this week was my turn! We ate sushi at Sushi Glas,  a place Robert has really been wanting to try and it was delicious!! Ate gelato..Apple, lemon and strawberry...yum! Then came home to watch Lord of the Rings, one of Rob's favorites and one I have been promising to watch:)


Facetiming with this girl (little sister) is always so fun!


Love the little things.


Our comfortable spot for most of the weekend...couch, big blankets and modern family!

We also listened to a wonderful podcast by Hillside Church. You can easily download their app on your phone, if interested! We started a series they have, titled "Happily Ever After". We listened to the first one "Her View of to Have and Hold". We would both highly recommend this sermon. We found it very enlightening, biblical and inspiring. It looks like the whole series will be great to really dig into marriage and the way God intends it to be. Which is always great to be reminded of and hear more of!

This weekend was so nice just to relax, take long naps and enjoy downtime together.

Hope your Monday is off to great start!
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Friday, October 4, 2013

Oktoberfest



Last week we hopped on a train and headed to Munich to see what this Oktoberfest is all about.
 
The word that describes it best...interesting.
 
Don't get me wrong it was fun! But a once in a lifetime thing for sure.
 


 
It was "decorated" like crazy! Many buildings, stands and tents were done with this much detail. Very Impressive.



There were lots of companies riding around the fest with barrels of beer and of course gigantic horses leading the way.


My handsome husband inside one of the tents!




Crowds like this everywhere. Over six million people come to Oktoberfest in Munich each year. It was very neat to see!


Now let's talk about these "tents". There were multiple tent for different companies all over the festival and they were all packed. I mean couldn't find an open seat, hard to walk around packed. They were decorated, bands were playing music and people were dancing and singing along. It was fun, crazy and very entertaining to watch when we finally found a seat in a tent!


Delicious.



Lebkuchen. These cute hearts are at every fest you go to...German gingerbread!




 
All in all, a fun day!
 
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