...a blog for the friends and family of dan, jen, worthy, william, calvin & christian

Friday, January 21, 2011

Our Talented Teammate

Our teammate Stacey is SO talented at taking pictures. Isn't that a useful talent?! We're SO grateful for her art - how she always captures moments on her camera and that we sometimes are even her subjects :). Just wanted to share a recent post she did with some awesome pics of William.

Thanks Stacey!!!

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Last Sunday was BEAUTIFUL! It was amazing weather. For one day, it felt like Spring had arrived. Don't get me wrong - we don't mind the winter or the cold (too much). But that one day of reprieve was delightful. We walked to a park in our neighborhood and took full advantage of the gorgeous weather.

We call this the Bed Swing.

The seat on this slide was slick and William kept slipping off. I, happily, helped him.

And you see that... No hats:)

Home Sweet (Unsettled) Home

Ah - we're home. Very unsettled, but it feel like home. It's a disaster zone here, but our disaster zone. Toys are all over the place, but they're our toys that we're stepping on. There is something so comforting about the familiar. For the last two months, we've been living in the unfamiliar. Not being able to understand signs, cooking instructions, Worthy's school work, riding trams (instead of driving), listening to voicemail messages in Deutsch, washing our clothes with instructions I don't understand, adapting to different customs of not wearing shoes inside, having a phobia of floors, and being "corrected" (in German) by not-so-well meaning old ladies on what to do with children.
In the midst of this transition, being home seems familiar and normal (notice the Hot Wheels cars in the corner...)

Some of the reasons we're SO thankful for our new apartment:
  • The windows - we get tons of sunlight (when there is sunlight to be gotten...)
  • Our first floor neighbor is a grocery store! Yes, we live above a grocery store! This is a HUGE deal because we generally go to the store every other day. Last night, fifteen minutes before dinner, I realized I had forgotten to get salad. I was able to quickly zip down and pick up some lettuce.
  • Quiet (kind of). Our apartment building use to be an old factory building before they converted it into apartments. We have these super high ceilings and really think walls and floors. So we don't hear our neighbors - above, below or beside us. We can't hear the cars or sirens. The only thing we hear (when everyone is sleeping) is peace & quiet. It feels very un-city like. It's very much an oasis.
  • Location, location, location! We're just around the corner from our teammates. We're most grateful for this. Our lives have been interwoven with theirs and I can't imagine being any further away than we are now. We're also very close to our church too!
  • The elevator - it's large enough to get our stroller onto and the boys are always eager to "Press K" (Keller - our exit floor... cellar in English).
  • Easy Access - We live just around the corner from our S-bahn (Tram) stop. This gives us quick access to anywhere in the city and equally makes our home easily accessible for others to visit.
We're so grateful & thankful to be home.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our Apartment Update

Within a couple days of arriving here we found a wonderful apartment. It was not one we had planned on looking at. Initially, we thought that we would need to have a terrace or balcony to smooth the transition to City Life living. Upon looking at some apartments with Said Balcony/Terrace, we quickly realized that our wish turned into more of a nightmare. We were both filled with anxiety over the safety of the kids - and Dan and I (generally) aren't big worriers. Our friend, Brad, had set up an appointment for us to look at another apartment that (honestly) I wasn't too wild about before this Balcony Realization because it was missing Said Feature. Needless to say, we instantly fell in love. First off, it's just around the corner from our friends and teammates and just a couple tram stops away from our church. We're also thrilled to be living above Hofer (the European Aldi).
It's on the ground floor and we're a couple stories up on the second floor. We also love the ceilings. It's an old factory building, so it has these wonderfully tall ceilings.
And we're SO grateful for the space! The living room & dining room areas are larger than we expected to find and we're excited about that. We've already found that we have people over often - which makes us all the more pleased that we'll be able to continue hosting friends.

When we left the US, we shipped some of our stuff over here. It was originally suppose to arrive on December 24th.
As of today, we still haven't received it. We've been given a tentative date of arrival as Tuesday, January 11th. Either way, we'll be out of the our friend's apartment on Friday, January 15th, because they'll be returning from Florida!

We're thrilled with the new place and look forward to making it home.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Woots of 2010

This list may expand if we think of things forgotten, but if they're forgotten maybe they shouldn't make the list in the first place...

Favorite Books:
To Change the World by James Davison Hunter
This is Dan's favorite non-fiction book of the decade... seriously.
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
...with reservations, but the epic-ness of it pushed it over
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
In the middle of now, but really interesting. Not your Elizabeth Taylor version.

Favorite Podcasts:
In our Time with Melvyn Bragg
BBC History Magazine

Favorite Movies (DVD):
28 Days Later

Both of these are Sci-Fi and both star Cillian Murphy.

Favorite Movie (Theater):
Inception - Dan
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Eins - Jen
I don't think we got to see a movie together in the theater this past year...

Dan's Favorite Shows (Live):
English Premier League Soccer

Favorite Show (DVD):
Mad Men
The Choir

Favorite Restaurants:
Rudy's (Vienna)
Schnitzel perfection and a block away from our apartment. If you visit, this is where we'll take you.
Crave (Akron)
Our anniversary dinner place. A real treat.
Ms. Julie's Kitchen (Vegan, Akron)
A block from my parents house. I like meat and didn't miss it at all.
Jalapenos (Annapolis)
We went here for a date night when we were recently in Annapolis. It was a first time visit for us and a bit daring. We have MANY favorite restaurants in Annapolis, so trying out a new place instead of a relying on a known entity was a bit risky. We're SO glad we took the risk. It was amazing and made me (finally) a fan of creme brulee.