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I have taken no new pictures since my peek into the mysterious world of the Narrenzunft (Narrenzunft) on Tuesday.  My world has been filled with little tasks that take ages to complete.

Most critically, our home phone doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked since the “big” upgrade on December 22.  I am most unhappy and my cable company is most unhelpful.  Today I received an email that they were “unable to reach me by phone to fix this problem”.  Um.  Really?

All three of our big boys have big going-ons in their lives right now, thank God for Skype & messenger so I can still talk to them and hold their hands and walk them through these changes.  Not that Christian will let me.  All I get is “No info” every single time I try to figure out where the Marines are sending him.  And when.  And for how long.  I even tried bribing him with boxes of German candy.  No info.  I hate deployments.

Nicholas, on the other hand, is finally making big strides to become a grown-up.  He’s a little late to blossom, but the realization has hit that he is an adult.  And it’s scary.  Luckily he’s got his brothers, his grandparents, and us to be there every step of the way.  I have fingers & toes crossed that he stays on this grown-up path (and half a Cathedral full of candles lit, it can’t hurt).

But the biggest news, my favoritest news, Soren is coming to Germany!  I get him for two whole weeks in February.  Him, and the new girlfriend Lindsay, and MY BABY SISTER!  Soren bought my beautiful baby sister a ticket to come to Germany to see me.  I’m not sure who cried more, me or Manon.  This is the best gift he could’ve given me. It’s been three years since Soren’s college graduation. Three years since I’ve seen her.  I am SO EXCITED!


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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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