Happy Friday, everybody! We are especially pumped for the weekend because…it’s our last one in this hotel! BAZINGA! It’s so crazy to think that by this time next week, we will be in our new house, with a kitchen, with a yard, with our own stuff…That’s right- our stuff has arrived! ALL of it! We got the call on Wednesday that both of our shipments are here and awaiting delivery! How awesome is that? We knew our smaller shipment would arrive within our first month (it landed in Stuttgart a few weeks ago, but obviously, we had nowhere for them to deliver), but the larger main one was scheduled for mid-October, so it’s been like Christmas came early since we got the good news! Ha! So our timeline for next week is: walkthrough of the property late Tuesday afternoon and key pickup, delivery of the smaller shipment and of the washer and dryer on Wednesday, then the big shipment delivered on Thursday along with Internet hook up. And yes, that means there’s going to be a major Ikea run somewhere in all that jazz ;)
It’s hard to believe we’ve already been here five weeks. I suppose that things have just stayed so crazy busy that it’s made the time fly by in so many ways. Despite being in this tiny hotel room and working out various hiccups practically every day, it’s amazing how much of a routine we’ve already established in such a short period of time- how settled we actually feel amid the chaos. I think I said it once before, but there’s a familiarity about Stuttgart for us and being here this time- knowing that it’s ‘permanent’- has changed our whole perspectives. We feel as though we’re part of the group, not just on the outside looking in- not in limbo trying to decide if we want to be part of the group. There’s a feeling of ‘we’re all in this together, we’re all going through the same things…’ and that’s nice. Even here at the Marriott, there are so many families experiencing the same challenges and changes that we are- several whom we’ve grown close to over these last few weeks and who I see us only growing our friendships over these next three years. Yeah, I have a hunch we’re going to like it here. <3
Speaking of friendships, the distance is definitely hard- for all of us. We’re all missing everyone back at home. I was just talking to my mom about this yesterday, in fact. I just can’t imagine what people must’ve gone though just ten years ago- before the age of technology and cell phones and Facetime…We are so fortunate to talk to our loved ones any time we want to and to ‘see’ their faces. That bridge helps the distance so immensely. For example, these two:
So this last week has been particularly good. Neve has really gotten into the swing of her new school. She loves her new teachers, Ms. Rachel and Ms. Erin, and to be honest, so do I. Ms. Erin is from North Carolina and has her masters degree from Chapel Hill. She’s super creative and nerdy in a perfect way, just like we like! Ms. Erin is also an American, but has grown up here as part of the military family. Both speak English and German in equally perfect portions and the kids seem to be thriving. After two weeks, Neve knows at least 10 German words and talks about her time at school constantly. Always a good sign! And she’s made several little friends who she also tells us all about, so that just warms my heart.
We’ve had our third week of ‘gymnastics’- I use quotes only because it’s more of a tumbling class with lots of mats and energy- but she’s loving it nonetheless. It’s perfect for burning off energy, learning to use her body, and meeting even more friends.
Once a month, the bases here offer a ‘Parents Night Out’ on a Friday night. They open one of the schools and parents can drop their kids there to eat dinner with their little friends (still divided into age groups, of course) and then play games, watch movies, etc. It was such a nice break for all three of us! Neve had a blast and John and I treated ourselves to a nice meal downtown where we just talked and laughed and enjoyed. Then we all got to sleep in the next morning! Win-win! They also offer one Saturday a month for ‘Parents Day Out,’ so we haven’t tried that yet (weekends are kinda our time as a trio), but it’s nice to know that it’s an option.
Two particularly awesome things have happened this week- I’ve made two new girlfriends! And the good kind that felt that ‘click’ from the get go. I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret. I know that many of you are social butterflies and you probably have no trouble meeting and making new friends, but this is an area that I’ve always found a bit tricky, believe it or not. I’m an odd bird in that I’m very comfortable in groups and I have no problem talking with strangers, being animated and loud and energetic. To a point. But I’m also very much an introvert in many ways- I often feel awkward and at a loss when it comes to making acquaintances into friends, I’m sometimes lazy when it comes to putting myself into situations to meet new friends, and then I’m not always the best at carving out the time to nurture and grow friendships…I don’t know why, but I just run out of time and life gets in the way. Oh, and I love my alone time, too! In other words, I’d much rather come home and put on my PJs rather than go to happy hour 9 times out of 10! Ha! And jokes aside, my preference has always been to have a handful of girlfriends whom I genuinely love and would do anything for and to feel that in return- rather than to be the girl with tons and tons of ‘just friends.’ (And yes, I know that some of you are blessed to have lots of girlfriends in both of these categories and just know that I think you have mad skills!)
That being said, coming here means that I’ve left behind my handful and I knew that it would take some effort once or I’d be one lonely girl! So one of my personal goals was that I would work on this area of my person because it’s something I’ve long wanted to be better at. I would make a point to put myself out there, to be a little uncomfortable if it meant that something good might come of it, to trust the process…And I’m happy to say that the Universe has brought two awesome women into my life just in the last seven days! Well, I actually ‘met’ both of them online- one through an expat page that I follow and another through a mutual friend back in Charleston (small world, right?!), so we’ve been in communication for a while, but we finally got to meet face to face this week. And both meetings went swimmingly! The best part is that they both have daughters close to Neve’s age. In fact, as I type, Neve is napping after a busy morning coffee/lunch/play date with her newest friend <3
So yeah, it’s been a good week! And to top it all off? Fall TV is back, which means that our SlingBox is filling up and we’re feeling even more like ‘normal!’ Big plans for the weekend- headed downtown for dinner tonight with our new above-mentioned friends (they’re from Summerville!) and Sunday we’re headed back to Pumpkin Fest one last time before it’s over. I hope all of you had a great week! Talk soon!