May 09, 2019

Up From the Ashes (Life Lately Recap)

Hi there! It's been a while, hasn't it? My absence has dragged on considerably longer than intended, to the point where I debated whether this space deserved a proper retirement or whether it ought to be resurrected.

I've chosen resurrection -- for now at least!

Where do I even begin to cover the last nine months since my last post, which was also an apologetic recap explaining the blogging silence? Blogging has evolved so much since I first began five years ago, and while this has only ever been a hobby for myself, a little shelf in the cyberworld where I display some of our traveling highlights, so to speak, I have acquired such great friends and acquaintances, fellow wanderers and observers through it that I feel compelled to explain away (once again!) my neglect of this blog and to encourage you to keep up with me/us on Instagram since that has become so much easier for me to manage.

So, let's pretend we are having coffee and cake, catching up like old college pals, shall we? I'll start with a somewhat chronological list of highlights from the past year.
  • One year ago, while Meghan Mearkle was busy marrying her Prince Charming, we were busy being hospitalized with pneumonia and discovering that our family would be expanding once again. No, it is rarely dull around here.
    Don't let the colonial bonnet fool you. This toddler is
  • A few months later, I took on a new full-time job, transitioning from an executive assistant to a Professor of Imagination Studies, Director of Manners, and Secretarial Manager of Playdates & Parties. That is to say, I stay at home with my crazy, wonderful children. It is the hardest job I've ever had -- mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically -- but in between the hard moments and breaking up toddler fight club for the umpteenth time and it's only 8am and just you wait until your father gets home, I absolutely love it. I do still work part-time from home (sometimes as much as 12-15 hours a week) and occasionally in the office, but my primary responsibility is my children. Call me blessed, because I am.
  • Last September, we spent nearly three weeks in Germany, visiting with Danny's Oma and exploring more of Bavaria. Traveling with kids is not easy, but I'm so glad we made this trip because Oma passed away on Valentine's Day. The photos take on a sweeter meaning now, knowing that she is no longer in pain but is praising her Savior face to face and laughing with the loved ones who preceded her.
  • Upon our return from Germany, I embarked on my first no-kids, no-hubby solo trip to Colorado to visit my younger sister and to see a college roommate before she moves to Australia. After I got over the tears and fears of leaving my kids (mind you, I wasn't afraid that they wouldn't be taken care of; my husband is actually the better parent), I had such a great time in the Mile High City and up in the Rockies. Colorado continues to beckon and tease my dreams. Perhaps 2020 will provide an opportunity for another visit!
  • We spent Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania Dutch (Amish) country, followed by six long weeks of sickness for which the Lysol executives ought to send us a personal thank you as it undoubtedly funded their Christmas bonuses.
    Colorado ranch life.
    (Check out @SwingArmSlinger for some great travel photos!)
  • We enjoyed a simple Christmas at home with two little girls and a partridge in a pear tree.
  • January 2019 will forever be known in our house as The Month That Would Not End. I endured four weeks of false labor in those final weeks of pregnancy. I don't recommend it.
  • But the aches and pains of January turned into joy when little Maddalen Verity was born on February 1st, stealing her daddy's birthday and all our hearts. She has the sweetest, most patient temperament; happy little smiles; and sleeps so well that the newborn phase was entirely too easy.
  • February, March, and April were spent enjoying a generous paternity leave. We took many day trips to nearby cities and throughout the region. We are so thankful for the time we've had together, establishing ourselves as a family of five with three girls three and under, and are looking forward to more extended periods of time-off throughout the year.
So... what's next for us?

We're hitting the road, Jack! Last week, I road-tripped with the baby to southwestern Virginia, through mountains and valleys to an area I'd never seen before, to celebrate as one of my dearest friends graduated from law school. More winery outings are on the agenda for this month and next, and in June we will beach it up at the rivah. The Northern Neck is one of our favorite spots on earth, and we're looking forward to downtime at Waterman's Waypoint to celebrate our nine year wedding anniversary.

Later this summer we will enjoy our longest trip abroad yet! We will spend over four weeks in Germany, starting with a few days in the Munich area to visit the Erdinger brewery. Their hefeweizen is our favorite in the world, and our Airbnb is directly across the street. From there, we will make our home base at Oma's house, paying our respects and rejoicing that it's not goodbye but see you later, and soaking up the last memories in the house before it's likely sold.

It's the end of an era. Our trips to Europe will never be the same, and international trips may be put on hold for a few years. America the Beautiful is calling us; we want to see more of her.

My gabbing has gone on long enough. Tell me about you! What does the future hold for you? Feel free to post links to your recent life-lately posts in the comment section.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

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