Tag Archives: bunny

Happy Easter, Y’all!

20 Apr

OK, a few days after the fact, but I hope all of you had a lovely Easter! We sure did! For starters, my mom was in town- she surprised me a few weeks ago with a last minute decision to come for a quick visit that just so happened to include my birthday and Easter. Both weekends were terrific. For Easter, we finally made it Burg Eltz, John’s bucket list castle that Rick Steves had named as ‘Best in the World’ (we attempted to see it last fall, but it ended up closing for the season the week before our trip :/). It was well worth the wait and has most definitely become one of our favorites, too! Birthday Weekend was terrific, too- the first night we celebrated with a Grown-Ups-Only night out with our tribe (woohoo for 2 babysitters + 5 littles!), then spent Sunday doing what we love the most- cooking, baking, and just being together. Meant so much getting to share it with Mom.

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We made pizzas from scratch- the crust, the sauce, the toppings…DELISH!

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This is my absolute FAVORITE cake on the planet and I get it once a year, when my sweet husband- and now sweet daughter- make it for me on my birthday. It’s a take on the classic Tres Leches, but with fresh homemade whipped cream and Oreos. HOLY COW.

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Birthday Flowers (with a Boston Terrier photo bomb!)

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Driving to Burg Eltz

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Burg Eltz

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Driving to Burg Eltz

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Waterfront in Koblenz, Germany, where we stayed to visit Burg Eltz…

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Deutsches Ecke- the merging of the Mosel and Rhein Rivers in Koblenz, Germany…

Mom and I also did a little daytrip over to Burg Lichtenstein, which is another of our favorites. It’s small and quaint, yet so charming and regal the way it’s built right on top of a giant rock overlooking the foothills all around. How is it possible that this is Mom’s first castle?!

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Other than that, we’ve just been doing a whole bunch of normal. And it’s been awesome. It’s crazy how much of a boost the regular, day to day stuff gets just from having your mom around. We dyed Easter eggs, we met up with friends at the biergarten when the weather was pretty, we celebrated the Easter Bunny’s delivery (via a clever scavenger hunt set up while we were gone to Burg Eltz!)…Oh, and BIG NEWS! Neve learned to ride her bike all by herself, no training wheels! BURSTING. That’s the only way I can describe the love and the pride her Daddy and I- and Goddess, and Poppy from afar!- felt. ❤

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Stuttgart Postcard Heart on a random fence…

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Trying to get a picture and I keep saying, ‘Turn around, no the other way, no the other way…’

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The beautiful face of a big girl bike rider!!

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When you take your American- little-bit-European- new bike riding girl for ‘whatever she wants’ and she chooses strawberry ice cream and an espresso with extra milk ❤

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When you get to be there to open the care package you sent before you knew you were coming! Ha!

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Do you ever stand at your grill flipping burgers and get the feeling you’re being watched?

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Taped to the door when we got home from the castle on Easter Sunday…

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We really did have the loveliest of times with Goddess here visiting and saying goodbye to her earlier this week was difficult all around. But at least our hearts are full and our souls are happy. ❤ Funny thing is that Mother Nature must’ve known we were prepared for a crummy few days because she brought back the snow! In April! This is the third time it’s snowed on the day Mom is leaving. Maybe it’s a sign…Ha! As pretty as it was and as unexpected, I’m pleased to report that it seems to have passed again and the forecast is showing slow improvement throughout the weekend. This Southern family is ready for WARM!!!

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And that’s it for now! Lots of fun over these last couple weeks and even more to come as John’s brother, sister-in-law, niece and sister arrive on Wednesday for their annual visit- and this time, we’re headed to Greece! A first for all of us!

But in the meantime, remember that big news I teased you with a couple weeks ago? Well, the time has arrived to share it- finally! Stop back by tomorrow for the big reveal 🙂

Gettin’ Down on the Farm

3 Apr

One of the many things we love about living here in Germany is the unfamiliarity. I know, I know, I was just talking last week about missing the comforts of home- and yes, there are definitely those moments peppered in each and every week- but one of the things we’d truly looked forward to was the unknown. The newness. The feeling our way in the dark. What I mean is that, in Charleston, it’s rare to find ‘new’ things. We know the best restaurants, we know where to go if we want to see flowers, we know the good beaches, the best day trips, and where to get an oil change. We know where to go when we’re sick and where to buy party supplies and the perfect rainy day spots. Here, we’re figuring all of that out and even though it’s frustrating at times, it’s exhilarating and it gives this neat sense of pride when it actually works out.

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Where am I going with all this? Well, spring (finally) arrived here at the end of last week. (Not sure if it’s here to stay quite yet, but it doesn’t matter- this weekend had a beautiful forecast and that’s all we cared about!) We were determined to get outside and explore, but we didn’t want to go far. Back at home, we would’ve known our options- downtown to Waterfront Park, out to one of the beaches (probably Folly, though, because it’s the best, duh), over to one of the Gardens on Hwy 61…But here, what did that even look like?? Luckily, I remembered my hair stylist telling me about a farm she’d heard about just 30 miles outside of the city- she’d heard it had animals and stuff for kids and lots of nature. SOLD! Sonnenhof, here we come!

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I know, right?! Look at this place! The most beautiful countryside with the greenest grass and the prettiest flowers. You could literally feel the Earth waking up from its long winter slumber. Blooms and buds and vibrancy and LIFE.

So Sonnenhof is a private farm that opens its door- er, gates- to the public so city folks- like us- can experience nature and beauty and simplicity when they need to. Their slogan is, ‘Here, nature still feels real.’ And that’s so true. The best part is that it’s hidden and secluded. Tourists haven’t found it and articles haven’t been written about it. They don’t advertise. So you really feel like you’ve found such a gem.

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You’re free to roam about the property however you’d like. I don’t know how many acres it is, but it’s plenty. Definitely more than 100. Nestled in the rolling pastures are fields of farm animals, buildings with a cafe and a market, barns, gardens and meandering pathways.

One of Neve’s favorite parts was snuggling with the bunnies and the chicks. She got to learn about how they interact, how they build their beds (we watched a rabbit for nearly 20 minutes ferrying hay into her box and gently mash it down into the perfect half bowl for her body), how they ‘sun’ themselves under the heat lamps…

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Out in the pastures, we visited with sheep, goats, horses and cows. Neve was in love with one friendly sheep’s wild hair, so we used it as an opportunity to talk about the wool can be shaved off and made into the clothes that we wear. (By sheer coincidence, we passed a window display on our way to dinner last night that had cotton stalks, so we got to continue the conversation with another example!)

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On the opposite side of the farm were adventure courses with zip lines (two for kids, two for adults), a ropes, trampolines with trapezes and playgrounds…There’s truly something for everyone!

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As you can probably see, the sun was hit or miss while we were on the farm and the temperatures didn’t reach their highs until almost dinner time, but it didn’t matter. Sonnehof ended up being everything we wanted it to be and more. The folks there are so generous to open their space to strangers- and I say generous because so much of it is free! No admission fee at all. Good people right there. So yeah, it was everything we NEEDED it to be. Mostly, it was just happy 🙂

Be sure to stop back by tomorrow for the rest of our outdoor Spring-welcoming weekend!

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