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Everything gets a little easier with time. Even being in a far away land without my big boys.  My life is slowly getting back to normal after Soren’s whirlwind visit, excepting the pile of snowboards in my living room.  We are getting back into our normal rhythm and that is a good thing.  Frequent phone calls, a little Skype, and all my happy memories help to make it easier.

I take great comfort in sifting through my hard drive full of photo’s.  I love to edit them, get them ready for photo books, and recall all the happy moments. I like to write, I love to read, and I’m working on my journaling. I have albums of photo’s from my oma, none with journaling, I don’t know who 90% of the people in the photo’s are.  It is becoming a lost generation.  I’m determined to not be a lost generation.  I hope my kids, my grandkids, my great-grandkids will have many rainy afternoons enjoying our scrapbooks & my journaling.  As many as I have enjoyed creating them.

Our long weekend to Lech Zürs, Austria, was not only stunningly beautiful, but also one of those perfect little family weekends.  We had minor squabbling, lots of laughs, tons of fun, snowball fights & made great memories. I think Soren has really missed us.  He’s long outgrown me on the slopes.  Gone are the days were he can’t keep up with me, and I wait patiently every hundred feet or so.  Now he is the one waiting for me.  I love that he waits for me, curbing his own desire to fly down the mountain at top speeds so we can do it together.  Though, let me be honest, he yelled at me more than once to: “Quit baking a cake!”

Soren was also the knight in black armor for both Dane & Tessa.  Tess, despite having boarded & skied before, started off on the wrong foot.  Probably because her mom took her up a too long lift, on a too hard slope, on a board with poorly sharpened edges.  After sliding down on her bottom half of the run, she gave up.  I can’t blame her.  Neither could Soren, he swooped her up in his arms & carried her down the mountain, riding his board.  I wish I’d had a go pro on my head to film that!
After two runs all the way down the Kriegeralpe (this is like three American-length runs in Tahoe), I was exhausted & switched to snowboots & put on my coaching hat. Tess switched to skis & joined me, Dane & Cole on the bunny run.  I spent the first hour walking Dane up the run, towing, pointing his skies down the mountain and letting go! It is terrifying to let go of your 5-year-old and watch him barrel down a mountain.  Bunny hill or not.  But he did awesome.  True, stopping = falling, but his actual skiing was awesome.  The smile on his face even awesomer.

Tess got the hang of the T-bar tow immediately, and surprisingly, Cole did as well.  Cole, the same kid who couldn’t stay up on the snowboard, could manage a tow lift without problems.  Dane, however, couldn’t do it.  His poor little body went flying every time he tried.  Luckily Soren again swooped in & saved the day.  I’m pretty sure that this wouldn’t fly in the states, but over here they’re a little bit more about personal accountability.  Soren lined up at the lift, the attendant safe & warm inside the little hut, threw Dane over his shoulder, skis & all, and grabbed the T-bar to tow them both to the top.

They spent the afternoon going up this way, then Dane skiing down, with Soren right behind him coaching him all the way.  Skiing is now Dane’s favorite thing.  Ever.


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The boy is on a plane. Already. It was a beautiful, perfect, whirlwind visit.  He has become an incredible young man.  I didn’t think it was possible to love him even more, but I do.  And I miss him with all my heart.  I hate, hate, hate this part of living in Germany.

I’m extremely grateful for the week we just had.  A week is much too short, but it is so much better than nothing.  I’m thrilled his boss gave him some time off.  We made the absolute most of our time together.  Soren has inherited my love of snowboarding, and I finally have to admit, he’s completely left me in the dust.  Three years ago we took a mother/son trip up to Lech Zürs and he ooh’d & aah’d about the stunning beauty of the Austrian Alps the whole three hour drive home.  So when he asked to go again, in his short week here, I was more than happy to grant his request.

Through we got  a fabulous 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartment at Omesberg 1. If you are ever in Lech, I highly, highly recommend them. It was reasonable, extremely friendly, clean, modern with amazing bedding. Martina, the owner, was fantabulous & let us stay extra on Sunday so we could ski all day, and come back for hot showers & clean clothes.  Her service was everything & more I could want.

We had almost-ideal spring skiing conditions.  In the mornings there was heavy fog, and you’d think that would be a terrible thing, but once we rode the lift to the top of the mountain, above the fog, it was a breathtaking view.  A sea of white clouds, alps barely breaking through, under a heavenly blue sky and a warm, spring sun.  I could’ve spent my mini-vacation sitting in the snow just feasting my eyes.  Even Soren was impressed and happily posed for pictures (trust me, this is a big win for me!).


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I have to brag a minute, sometimes moms just can’t resist.  Besides, the other part of the story makes no sense without the brag tossed in.  That’s my story & I’m sticking to it.

Soren, our oldest, graduated college in May.  After 5 long, disheartening, months, he started a new job in November.  Two months & four days later, he got his first promotion!  Guess who burst with pride?  Me!!!

He’s been trying to buy a house ever since.  It’s not easy to buy a house these days, especially with zero credit history (no bad, but no good either).  The financial counselor recommended building some credit.  I could see Soren’s eyes light up over the phone.  This was his opportunity to buy his dream car, a Subaru wrx sti. I can say wrx sti in my sleep.  It’s been his dream car since he was 15.

After a week of searching, he found the almost-perfect one.  It’s blue, just not pearl blue, his favorite blue.  It was a small enough fault for him to forgive.  He negotiated with the sales people to get the loan he wanted, the interest rate he wanted, the trade-in value he wanted.  Everything.  He called me every step of the way.  I’m not sure why he’s still asking for permission, it is his money.  He’s earned it.  But I’m ecstatic to be a part of his life, if only by phone.  Finally Thursday night he drove it off the lot.  I asked if it was worth the wait.

“Mom.  It was more than worth the wait.  It is everything I’ve ever dreamed of.” I could hear the happiness shining in his voice, in his eyes. I wish I was there to be the first to ride in his very own car.

Yesterday Dave took the kids out for me.  I have some big projects at work & I really needed time & quiet. It involved math & spreadsheets.  Lots of math & spreadsheets. I was so thankful he took them and I immediately, completely, absorbed myself in the wonderful world of excel.  Four hours later I raised my head, looked around, blinked at the dark & the quiet and wondered where my family had gone.  I called Dave.

“I’m on my way home.” Dave said over the roar of a racecar.  A racecar?!?!  Our remaining car is a beat-up old vw vento.  We do not have a racecar.

“I couldn’t take Soren getting a wrx sti.  So I bought one too.” My husband informed me over the roar of his wrx sti.  I’ll leave the argument out of my story telling here.  My husband is nothing if not competitive.  Especially with his sons.  I pulled on my ski jacket & snowboats (over my angry bird pj pants) and went to meet him & his new car outside with my camera.  At the very least I wanted to post our wrx sti on Sorens wall and get his goat.

I stood in the snow & cold for only a minute before I heard the roar of a racecar pull into town.  Not into our street, but into town.  I started wondering.  As the roar grew closer, and headlights inched around the corner, and the neighbors curtains once again nudged to the side, I put my camera down.  There would be no getting Sorens goat.  Dave hadn’t bought a wrx sti.  Our little beat-up old vw vento was dying too.  With a roar, but dying.  All I could do was laugh and then run in and call Soren. To my husbands credit, detriment? Soren, too, briefly believed Dave had bought a matching wrx sti.

So I have no picture to go with this story, we have no wrx sti, and instead I’m sharing a happy moment from our week.  Maybe not happy, but bittersweet.  Crystal & Brian are on a plane stateside as I type.  Another family finished with their service in Germany and going back to a new duty station on American soil.  I hate this part of military life.  I will never get used to goodbye’s.  I do, however, love our tradition of a big, HUGE, goodbye beer.  This will never get old.

It takes all of us (5 families, 5 couples) to finish these beers.  Though I think Karen could easily drink one alone.


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