Thursday, March 27, 2014

Holidays: 2013

It feels weird blogging about Thanksgiving and Christmas when the sun is shining on me and I'm wearing flip flops - they seem like they happened forever ago! But, this is happening regardless. I am gonna lump all of our festivities into one long blogposts. So, take a deep breath and dive in! 

After got back from America it was THANKSGIVING time! I didn't have much planning time so thankfully our ward was having a potluck, we hopped in on that awesomeness and spent the afternoon there. After which, we went and saw Frozen!! (We are all pretty obsessed with that movie, along with 90% of America, right?) 

Here is our one and only Turkey Day shot! 

I was excited for Christmas because this year we really knew what to except with the Christmas Markets and they were even more magical than last year! (Think - less confusion. More - "in the know") Plus, this could quite possibly of been our last Christmas in Germany so we wanted to make sure we saw as many markets as possible! 

The first two markets we went to were: Weiden & Guteneck 
Guteneck is probably one of my favorites, only because it has a Renaissance flair to it that makes it pretty fun! 



{I am so obsessed with these highland cows...adorable!!}

Sometime in December we drove down to Munich (a couple hours away) because the wonderful 'Piano Guys' were performing!!! I have seen them a couple times before but, Brad had never seen them and it was well worth the drive. They are so much fun and we had a blast. Bizarre note: performances in Europe always start around 8:00. So stinking late. Kason was a trooper. 

That Saturday we went and got our Christmas tree! We went to the same little Christmas tree farm as last year but, this year we ventured out into the forest and cut down our own tree. 

That same day Grafenwoehr was having their Christmas market that we went to. And if I remember right, our own little town Vilseck, had theirs that night as well. 

{roasted nuts have become one of my FAVORITE snacks over here. oh my goodness, my mouth is watering. they're all delicious.}

At some point in December we also had a 'Bingo Night' at Kason's school (and he won a bingo!), he also had a kazoo concert (random, right?) and our ward Christmas party. 

We also went to the Regensburg Christmas Market which ended up being my all time favorite of the year. It has so much magic and charm! The old man weaving the baskets made me so happy, I am wishing I had bought one of his baskets but, I missed out. (That guy was actually at the Thurn and Taxis market in Regensburg, it was inside the walls of a castle!) 

Kason also had a "Poetry & Pie" day at school where his class rehearsed poems and then we got to eat pie afterwards! 

On Christmas Eve my Mom flew into Munich!! We originally booked her flight to come visit so that Kason and I wouldn't have to do Christmas solo, but then Brad came home early so, it just ended up being a normal Christmas visit. While we were there, we naturally had to hit up the Christmas market there...

{they had these AMAZING window scenes with animals that were all animated...I could have stood and watched it all day. so much fun!} 

We headed home after the Market and got things ready for Christmas. Cookies, carrots, last minute wrapping ... the norm!

{Christmas PJ Tradition}

Christmas morning we had told Kason he could get up at 7:00 and wake us up but not a minute before. Come 8:00 we still hadn't heard him get up, except to go to the bathroom but then he went right back into his room. I started to wonder if he was feeling ok - it was CHRISTMAS! Well, apparently his clock had a minor freakout in the middle of the night because when we went into to go "wake him up" his clock said it was midnight. Uh ... whoops! Sorry buddy! Props on being obedient though! The plus side is, I got to capture his morning excitement...

So, when Brad deployed, I thought it would be super awesome to make him a quilt and send it to him downrange for Christmas. Well, we all know how that plan played out! It ended up getting finished AFTER he got home and not quite as cool of a surprise but, since I had nothing else planned, we just rolled with it. It was my first quilt ever and holy cow - they're expensive and time consuming! But, so fun to see the end result! Thankfully, Brad had no clue that's what he was getting!

The rest of the day was spent playing with new toys, watching movies and getting dinner ready. That afternoon we had Brother and Sister Gordon over for dinner. They are the sweetest missionary couple ever from Utah and they feel like family! I was so grateful to have them over for dinner. I just love them!!!

{we got that tiered tower at the Munich market the day before, love it!!!} 

The food was all amazing, I still dream about it sometimes ;) 

And finally, finally, finally, a horribly lighted picture of all of us. So unflattering but, it's what we've got. 

Merry Christmas 2013! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

American Soil

So, back in September, Brad's younger sister, Erika, got diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). That started the talk of Brad coming home early from deployment so he could go stateside to see if he was a bone marrow match for Erika. By the middle of October we had a Red Cross message, releasing him from Afghanistan and giving him permission to head to America for two weeks. We also found out - he would not being going back to Afghanistan after the two weeks in America. 

Initially, I was upset! I felt like I was getting jipped on our deployment experience. He had only been gone for two months! I had plans! goals! dreams! And they all came to a screaming halt. Don't get me wrong, I was also excited to have him coming home and for a chance to go to America...I was just wishing for a little longer deployment is all. I still miss the deployment vibe sometimes and he's been home for almost 4 months. There's just something this crazy lady loves about them. (So many army wives would punch me in the giblet if they heard me saying that! Ok...moving on.)

Kason knew Brad was coming home but he didn't know the actual date. We had to go to Ramstein to pick him up and I told Kason we were going to pick up a friend whose car had broken down. (He's really gullible!) So, we drove 3 hours to Ramstein, ready to surprise Kason with his dad coming home and his reaction was probably the worst reaction I could imagine. What the heck!? 


I, on the other hand, was pretty excited to see my main squeeze, after a two month hiatus! 

We were only home for a couple days before we left for the States. Getting ready for our trek across the ocean!

We spent about a week in Idaho with Brad's family and the other week was spent in Utah. 

We got to see Ms Erika in the hospital. She's such a trooper and a shining example of strength and optimism during a ridiculously difficult trial. Love this lady!

And we got to me my favorite little nephew for the first time (Erika and Jordan's little boy). We snuggled Mr. Brevik as much as we could in a weeks time...

Kason got to hang out with his favorites ... Ashley & Justin. He was pretty fond of Brevik, too. I'm thinking we need to end this whole "only child" thing, soon! 

Kason hung out with Grandma Jensen while Brad & I went and did a session in the Idaho Falls Temple ... 

We spent a lot of time with family ... but, not enough. We missed them all the moment we left! 

{with Great-Grandma Shirley & Great-Grandpa George}

{with Grandma & Grandpa Jensen}

Kason & Dad hung out with cows ... shot guns, cruised in Dad's jeep & road Great-Grandpa Jensen's horses. Life's good on a farm!!

Wrestling matches were had ... 

So was delicious food ... 

{Texas Roadhouse}
{...on Veteran's Day. *applause for Texas RH*}

{Grandma Jensen's famous waffles ... Brad was on cloud 9! also - doesn't he look great with a babe in arms?}

In Idaho I also got to meet up with my good friend, April. She drove over from the Boise area to meet up for lunch and do a little shopping. I am a little peeved we walked away without a picture together!! But, I did get to see her for a little bit! We also went and visited with our good friend, Janica. I love that she lives in the same town as my in-laws so I am guaranteed to see her on occasion! We had dinner with Brad's Mom and George as well ... but, again for some reason didn't get a picture. That same night Erika got to come home from the hospital!!! {happiness!}

After a week in Idaho we headed down to Utah to see friends and family there. I cried as we pulled away. Living in another country may seem glamorous but, it's rough, folks!

In Utah we ... 

went to a BYU football game!!!! 
(this is happiness for ME!)

{brad, jeremy, taylor christensen, dad davies,
jami, kason, cousin austin, uncle alan}

Left notes for the cleaning staff at the hotel ... okay, Kason did that ...
{it says 'service please'} 

Had lunch with girlfriends ...

{sarah, jenn,
jami, kristin}

Were reminded of the amazing mountain views Utah offers ...
{i miss this view!}

Went to Temple Square with family ... 
{one of my favorite places on earth!}

{thomas & lindsey}

{dad davies, jesse, jami & jeremy}
_ _ _ _ _ 

In Utah we also: 
- happy cried in Target (guilty as charged)
- ate a LOT of yummy food
- had lunch with Dan & Arielle
- shopped ... a lot (a whole lot!)
- went on a double date with Kristin & Mitch to Red Iguana and City Creek
- had an early Thanksgiving dinner with the Davies family
- Brad ate sushi with buddies
- Brad attended a college class that his professor friend was teaching
- remembered how much we all love it there
- bawled when we had to leave (again ... guilty)

I love America. It was SO wonderful to be there for two weeks ... it wasn't long enough!!! 

On the way home we thought we were all settled and ready for the flight when Kason fell asleep. Unfortunately, he woke up about 45 minutes later and I was catching projectile vomit in my hands (just keeping it real, folks) ... he was throwing up every 30 minutes during the flight, the whole walk to the car and half of the drive home. Brad was a champ and did some laundry in the bathroom sink, while I scrubbed the floor with baby wipes. So fun.

The culprit? Food poisoning. 

That flight was definitely one for the record books ... poor kid!