Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year - Day 2: Of Epic Fails and Resolutions Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my longest post ever. Make sure you go back to part one and check out the updated photos. Please note the comment box at the bottom of the post, as well as this month's poll on the right.


One regional tradition we couldn't pass up was the Christmas Market in Stuttgart. Stuttgart's Weihnachtsmarkt is the second largest in all of Germany. We drove in to downtown and walked the market. There were hundreds of little wooden stalls decked out in lights and garland. They had decorations, crafts, candles, glassware, baskets, food, sweets, and a million other things. This market was so large it would be easy to visit every day of the week and not see everything. Ginny started to get a little fussy, so we had to turn around halfway through, but we did manage to come away with a beautiful painted glass ornament for our tree.

Another reason I wanted to visit the market was because I knew the Stuttgart Lions Club had a stall selling gl├╝hwein there. As I am a member of my home town's Butler Lions Club, I wanted to get a picture and make some international acquaintances.

It turned out the reason Ginny was getting fussy is that she was beginning the lovely process of teething. With her two year molars coming in, she ran a fever for 2 days and her sleep pattern has been completely disrupted. This is the kid who would lay down with her milk and be out for the night within minutes. Since the middle of December we have been facing the nightly battle of getting her to stay in bed... all night long. We hope this phase passes quickly.

Party Time!

The holidays always mean holiday parties, and we've been to more than our share these past few weeks. Here in Germany, everyone in the command is like family, because we're all each other has out here. One of the first things we attended was the command organized Kids Christmas Party, where Ginny was introduced to Santa for the first time this year. If you're wondering why there are no pictures, it's because she wouldn't get close enough to him to even have them in the same frame. Oh well, maybe next year!

We had a wonderful time at Sarah and Pat's house for their Christmas party, with a very entertaining poker game going into the early hours. We enjoyed Christmas dinner at Tracy and Erin's, but apparently skipped out too early and missed another round of "The Game of Things". New Years Eve had us at Tom and Renee's beautiful home for a very large game of Catch Phrase and an awesome neighborhood display of fireworks. Here in Germany, very large fireworks are very legal, and are sold in grocery stores. Enough said.

Our Christmas

I know it's going backwards, New Years to Christmas, but Christmas gets its own header.

We'll start with the tree. Way back when we were packing up our household goods, we decided to put our tree and decorations and in storage figuring we would be traveling during the holidays. Our travel plans this year got cancelled at the last minute, so we had a last minute rush to find a tree. We ended up with a 5 1/2 foot prelit tree, mostly because the Germany version of Christmas trees is all bottoms and no tops. It is very daintily decorated with the few ornaments I had collected in Poland and the market, as well as a box of silver mixed stuff from the hardware store.

On Christmas Eve, we knew Ginny would have a difficult time going down because of her new sleeping habits. We decided to wear her out by having a little dance party. I threw on some of old high school dance songs and we partied til bedtime! Usually she wakes us up in the morning by coming into our room, but she didn't even make it that far on Christmas morning. We found her on the couch digging into  every ones' stockings. The flurry that followed involved so much wrapping paper tearing that Ginny eventually wore out, and we had to open the rest of her presents for her. After a breakfast of candy, and a very wonderful brunch with muffins, fruit salad, bacon and eggs, things quieted down as we each began to fiddle with our new toys. All in all it was a very nice Christmas.

So there you are, all caught up on the monthly musings and happenings. I know it seemed a little long, but I wanted to fill you in as I would have if I had posting weekly. I will do my very best to remain dedicated to my resolution of following through, and that means I will try to post (at least) every week. Speaking of dedication, I wrote this post while sitting on an exercise ball. If you have ever sat on one of those for an extended period of time, you know the burn I'm feeling now! If you haven't, get one and sit on it while watching TV or reading a book and burn calories while doing practically nothing at all!

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