Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Start of our Holidays in Germany

It was about a year ago to this date that Brad got the email that said he had an interview with Saudi Aramco and it was then that our minds starting to wonder, plan, and anticipate the future and what our Christmas of 2013 would look like.  For the past 5 years we had wanted to start a Christmas rotation where we spent one year in Arkansas (did that more than once), a year in Canada (we did that in 2010), and a year abroad (we had yet to be able to do that)..... so now as we start this journey to German it is hard to believe that we are living both of our dreams at the same time..... living abroad and spending Christmas abroad!!! 
 Our blessings are overflowing and we are enjoying this ride!
Our journey for ride started at midnight on the 23rd.... we woke the kids up, put them in the car, and headed to the airport in Saudi for our 2am flight!  We had a 3 hour flight to Turkey, a 2 hour layover, and a 2.5 hour flight to Frankfurt, Germany!  We arrived in Germany at 10am and our day was just starting.  We were excited to be surrounded by Christmas decoration (even in the train station)...
good pork sausage....
... and cold German beer! : )  We joked that this is one of the only places where beer is cheaper than water... so we drank up! : )
I ended up reading our train ticket wrong so we missed our train and got to Osterode, Germany where my host family lives about 3 hours later and it was dark.... and we were EXHAUSTED.... SUCH a bummer!  At times I am too confident that I know what I'm doing when I travel and make silly mistakes that remind me to always double check.... despite the fact that I'm a traveling "pro"... I'm also human! : )  We called it an early night so we could get some rest... and we ALL slept great... and were in awe as we woke up to the beauty that surrounded us!
It was now Christmas Eve and we jumped right in to the market fun that Germany provides!  After breakfast we headed to the market to walk around.....
and to listen to my host parents play Christmas music with their band!  It reminded me of the time I went to the downtown area in Hannover with my two host sisters and we played Christmas music on our instruments to make a little Christmas money!!!  Ahhhh, the memories are overflowing and I'm in heaven!!!!
I am so thankful to be here with my German family.  A "family" that I'm SO thankful is just like blood to me even though I was just a stranger to them 18 years ago when they picked out from a list of students to come live with them for a year as an exchange student....
And despite years and miles.... we come together like nothing has changed..... except the addition of 3 adorable kids.....
and my wonderful husband!!!  I loved walking through the market and sharing a glass of Gluhwine with him....
.... getting the kids chocolate Santas on a stick.....
and hot coco to warm them up!!!!
This is NOTHING like what Christmas would have been like if we would have stayed in Saudi.... I was really worried about spending our first Christmas away from family alone in Saudi.... so I took us on this wild ride.....
and we are all indulging (Addyson went shopping for sliced meat.... a favorite of hers!!) and enjoying every minute of it.... cold and all!!!! :)
Life couldn't be much sweeter than this!!! : )

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