Welcome to our life!

Hi, I'm Allison! I'm a thirtysomething, freshly baked, stay-at-home mom. I'm originally from Connecticut, now living in Germany, hence the name of the blog. I live in southern Germany with my German husband and our baby boy. Life has turned out to be nothing I ever expected, and am so incredibly happy with it! We certainly do have a lot of laughs! I hope you will enjoy following our new experiences raising a little half American/ half German in a little German town.

Donnerstag, 18. Dezember 2008

Now, I'm it!!

An online board of women living abroad that I participate in has been playing blog tag - and I'm it! These are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog (check!).

3. Write six random, arbitrary things about yourself.

4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.

5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Teresa tagged me and so here are my answers:

1. I would like to own a home in Mallorca, Spain one day.

2. I am a NASCAR fan.

3. I do most of my clothes shopping on the internet. I didn't realize this was not so common until recently.

4. I don't take sugar in my coffee.

5. I have never been farther west that Ohio in the US, yet have traveled all over Europe.

6. If I could, I would travel to Tokyo and India.

I tag: Nell, Becky, Emily, Christina, and then I give up!!

Sonntag, 14. Dezember 2008

New Year's Eve Booked!

image from www.ehow.com
This year we will be in America for New Years Eve. Normally, we have so much trouble figuring out what to do at home. So, this year, since we will be traveling over New Year's, we decided to attend a party. We'll be in DC, but staying in Alexandria. So, we will be attending a James Bond theme black-tie party! I don't know if it was my first choice, but as I am outnumbered by boys this New Years, they went for Bond.
Besides the fact that the boys are super-Bond freaks, and we have a teddy bear named James Bond, I think they were attracted by the fact that the party was listed as one of the top five NYE parties in the country in Playboy. Hooray!
I'm excited for the opportunity to get all dressed up again! And I am so excited that we'll be staying in the same hotel, so no worrying about transportation and how to stay warm getting to the party! Three cheers for hotel galas!
The party features different Bond locations in different ball rooms. There is food to go with each destination theme and specialty drinks. I think this will surely be a unique way for us to ring in the New Year, and one that will stay in the memory banks for years to come!

Rothenburg Christmas Market and my ornament!

I guess I should start with my ornament first, so that it doesn't get lost in the rest of the Christmas market post. I recently took part in an international ornament exchange. Because people living all over the world took part, it was fun to imagine where your ornament would come from! I sent mine to someone living in London. Joern and I had lots of fun scouring the Stuttgart Christmas Market looking for the perfect ornament. We finally settled on a beautiful hand-painted glass cuckoo clock ornament, we agreed that it was the most typically German ornament we could find.
I received my ornament the other day. Imagine my surprise when I read the return address from Ireland! How perfectly fitting!!
Coming off of the after-ornament receiving excitement, Joern and I ventured into Bavaria to visit Joern's friend Marcus, who married on Friday. Joern suggested we leave earlier to visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which is Germany's Christmas town. It is a lovely, well-preserved medieval city. It is a bit different from Esslingen though, and is quite worth the visit. Entrance to the city center is through one of a few towers, that dot the original city wall.

The majority of the city center is car free. With good reason, the cobbled streets are extremely narrow, and especially during the holiday season, are packed with people.
Of course, the store windows were all decked out for Christmas, and a few beckoned us inside with a promise of warmth and some good Christmas gifts.
The bakeries all had displays of Snowballs, or Schneeballen. They are a common winter pastry from this area of Germany, and we do not really have them in Stuttgart. But they all looked delicious!
Once we stumbled into the Marktplatz, or market square, we were in Christmas heaven.

We went into Käthie Wohlfhart, THE difinitve Christmas store. Käthie Wohlfahrt is headquartered in Rothenburg, and they have a main store, a German Christmas Museum, and a Christkindlsmakrt (Christ Child Market) a Bavarian Christmas Market. The store is a veritable Christmas wonderland. Joern brought me once before in the summer, and I must admit, it is a bit easier to manage without the intense crowds. But when in Rome, or Rothenburg! I am pretty sure you cannot go to Rothenburg without going through Käthie Wohlfahrt. We did manage to make a few purchases too. Most of which I cannot post here, for fear of ruining someone's Christmas present :)

Once we left Käthie Wohlfahrt, we made our way to the actual Rothenburg Christmas market. It was so lovely, like most Christmas markets. Since it had been bitterly cold all day, and the sun started going down, I was on the search for a warm drink. What was so exciting to me was that they offered hot apple cider, something I have seen in no other Christmas market. It was a nice non-alcoholic alternative to the kid's punch that I now normally enjoy.

We didn't have too much time to enjoy all the sights, sounds, and scents of the Christmas market, as we had to get to Marcus' house for dinner. It was beautiful though, and I am so glad we had such an enjoyable afternoon!!

Of course, our evening was also enjoyable. We saw Marcus, one of Joern's closest friends, and meet his wife and baby-on-the way! I am really so excited for the new family, and wish Marcus and Andrea nothing but the best in their future!

Donnerstag, 11. Dezember 2008


Tonight after work, Joern and I had a hard decision to make. Should we go to our warm, cuddly home, or brave the snow that had been falling all day and go to the Esslingen Christmas Market?
Esslingen is a wonderfully charming city. It is quite historical, with settlement dating back to around 1000 B.C. The city is full of beautiful Fachwerk or half-timbered buildings, and cobble-stoned streets. It is also the site of the annual Medieval Christmas Market. It is a really unique and so much fun.
Of course, it had snowed all day today where I work. We had at least 3 inches on the ground by the end of the school day and the snow was coming down like crazy when Joern came to pick me up. Here's the beautiful winter-wonderland we drove through to get to the Christmas Market.^

Once we got to Esslingen though, we found that the altitude change also brought with it a lack of snow. It was barely snowing there and the streets were wet. But, it didn't dampen the atmosphere that is truly unique to Esslingen and their Christmas Market.
The medieval Christmas Market is so charming. It is set up to look like a market would have during the middle ages. People wear period clothing and there are all signs around that you have left the modern world. You even pay in "taler" (coins) and not Euro, although they gladly accept Euro notes :).
We immediately went to a booth selling drinks, because there is no surviving a chilly, wet Christmas Market without something warm to drink. Of course, I got a warm kid's punch and Joern had a Met, which is a warm honey wine. YUM!

Once we had warm drinks in hand, we set out to explore the market. The sales booths at the medieval market feature lots of handmade items. You can find handmade soap, pottery, carved wood utensils, candles, just to name a few.

I also can't talk about the market without mentioning the food. They have incredible, unique food there. We decided to eat dinner at the Christmas Market tonight, which turned out to be a great decision. There was such an incredible choice with lots of food that was meant to reflect the times. They had lots of corn pancakes, similar to tortillas with different meats to go inside.
We decided on a bowl of Gaisburger Marsch, a traditional Swabian soup.
It tasted so good, and it was the perfect time for another warm-up.
After our soup, we wound our way though the many vendor booths over to the main town square. I love the center of Esslingen, but find it just incredible at Christmastime. Plus, the King Arthur's Hemp booth is located there. I know, you would never expect me at the Hemp booth. But actually, they serve delicious food prepared with Hemp seed. We got a Hemp pocket, which is similar to a pita filled with chicken in a garlic sauce, topped with lots of Hemp seed. Sounds strange, I know, but it is absolutely amazing. And, one reason I go to the Esslingen Christmas Market annually.

Once our bellies were full, we wandered towards the real-life Christmas market, which is also quite nice. The border between the past and the present is market by a giant Christmas pyramid.
On the present side Christmas Market, we found a booth with some incredible Christmas gifts. I won't post pictures, as some of my readers may be the lucky recipients of these wares. Needless to say, Joern and I thought they were really cool.
We were at the Christmas Market for a little over two hours, before I lost feeling in my fingers, and knew it was time to go.
We have at least one more Christmas Market visit planned this weekend, and I know that I will be back at Stuttgart's next week. I am so enamoured with Germany this time of year, but I'm sure no one could tell!

Sonntag, 7. Dezember 2008

Our new plans and our new blog

image from: www.ptmortgage.com
The new year will hopefully bring with it a new home for us! I think my mom would be pleased that she can help us to buy a new house even though she is not physically here with us anymore.
We started looking at homes earlier this year, but it was nothing serious. Now we know that we can own a home, and we have started looking more seriously. We've begun our offensive in earnest. We're slowly gaining information on the choices we have available to us.
To honor this new adventure in our lives, I have begun a new blog. I am sure it won't be updated all that often, because we have more adventures than simply our move. But, I would really like a place to compile all our information and to document our journey.

ISS Christmas Party

Every year, our school's PTA throws a fundraiser dinner/dance. It happens right around Christmas, and everyone gets really decked out. This year's party was a bit different because it was held in the state parliament building. We're just lucky because Stuttgart is also the capital of our state, Baden-Württemberg.

This year, most of my friends from work went as well, so it was a lot of fun. I spent most of the night hanging with my old colleagues from last year. There was great food and lots of laughs.It was also nice to be able to spend time socializing with the parents, who were not in their normal parent roles in which we see them daily. We took part in a few raffles, and actually, didn't win much. But, we did win a pretty ugly hanging candle holder from the balloon raffle. I'm not even sure if I brought it home with me :)

Hopefully, next year's will yield better prizes for Joern and myself, but otherwise, the night was purely enjoyable.

Unfortunately, right now, I am having difficulty uploading our two pictures from the evening. So until I can get them uploaded, you can see the pictures of Joern and me on my Facebook page. The fur is not mine, I borrowed it from my friend Mandy, who inherited it from her grandmother. The jewelery also belonged to Mandy!

Dienstag, 2. Dezember 2008

And one final for the day!

A very happy birthday to my Dad!!!

To the greatest dad a girl could ever have, I wish you a wonderful day and many, many more enjoyable birthdays to come!

I love you so much!!!!!!

And now on to Christmas, with a big relief!

I guess I will start with the good news! Which sorry, it requires a bit of an explanation. My teaching certification program began on the same day as my step-father's passing. I contacted the professor before leaving for the funeral, and she told me not to worry, that I only had to finish all the coursework by December 5th. I hopped on the plane with my books papers that needed to be completed, full of hope and determination. Of course, I was not prepared for those horrifically difficult two weeks of running to doctors and setting up home care for my mom. I then convinced myself that although I had fallen two weeks behind, once I returned to Germany and got life back on track, I'd complete everything. Then came the phone call from my aunt that turned my life upside-down. And, caused every thought other than for my mom to fly right out of my head. It is amazing when I think back to those days in the hospital that I was purely focused on my mother, and nothing else. Once I realized the course would be impossible to complete, we were overloaded with lawyers, banks, and clearing out the house. I was finally able to call school yesterday, and beg for mercy. The professor was kind and understanding, but said that she did not have the final decision as I had missed the withdrawl date. Fortunately, today at work was quite busy, and I had little time to obsess on my teaching program. When I got home tonight, I contacted the school. The good news? I can still withdraw, but the money I paid will be put towards the next cohort. Yes, I can start from the beginning, this time in February. That's absolutely perfect for me! I am so excited! And yet another thing to be thankful for!

Before calling the school yesterday, we went to the Stuttgart Christmas Market. We officially kicked off our Christmas Market season, which actually began last Wednesday in Stuttgart. It was so enjoyable, especially since we got there at 4, before it got busy and cold. First stop though was Starbucks.
Although Starbucks is not Christmas Market tradition, I decided it would be a close second to mulled-spiced wine, and it would be a good hand-warmer. We wandered through the rows of stalls selling everything from food and Glühwein (mulled-spiced wine,) to slippers and kitchen items.

I was actually had a mission though, I needed to find a Christmas ornament for an upcoming ornament exchange. So, we worked our way through the food stalls, and through the housewares and clothing towards the area where the Christmas ornaments are sold. Another enjoyable part of the market is to look at the roofs of each stall, as they are all uniquely decorated.

The area where I was headed lies in the Rathausplatz, or the square in front of Stuttgart City Hall. It was so neat to see that they had chosen certain windows of city hall to cover, and turned the building into a giant Advent calendar!

As we wandered through all the stalls, I really felt the Christmas magic that is truly unique to Germany.

After I found the perfect ornament, we headed back and stopped by the outdoor ice rink for a while.

It was such a fun evening! I am eagerly anticipating many more Christmas market visits before the season is over.

Our mini-Thanksgiving

Once we got back home, we spent a few days simply relaxing. I did receive a beautiful bouquet from work on Saturday. It was so reassuring to know that they were still thinking of me, and that I was not going to be fired after taking almost 5 weeks off from work.
Otherwise, on Friday and Saturday, Joern and I watched lots of DVDs and talked a lot about the past couple of weeks.
By Sunday though, we were both ready to start to get back to life. We decided that celebrating Thanksgiving would be a good idea. Instead of the major Thanksgiving/Christmas party that we've thrown for 5 years now, this Thanksgiving was simple. Just Joern and myself. We celebrated the things we were thankful for. Celebrating the holiday this way was really wonderful for the soul. Dinner included: delicious turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, and my friend Carol's corn pudding.

Besides our wonderful dinner, we also followed another Roesner family tradition. We lit the first candle of our advent wreath. Growing up, I remember my aunt always had a beautiful advent wreath, but it was never something at my house. When I moved to Germany, which is Christmas country, immediately noticed advent wreaths everywhere! I finally got Joern to break-down and buy a wreath last year. I see this will now be a lasting tradition in our home no matter where we live.

Of course, don't ask me why the candle is so askew. I fixed it after the picture.

All things considered, our day on Sunday was a perfect way to re-enter our real lives to get us through till Christmas. Of course, I am hoping that next Thanksgiving marks a return to our gigantic holiday get-together, with all the hoopla involved. But for this year, simplicity has become key.

Samstag, 29. November 2008

Thankful for all the wonderful things in my life

We're finally back in Germany! And I am hopefully back to slightly more consistent blogging.
I wish I could say that the past few weeks were enjoyable, and I wish I had been anywhere but home, but I can't. Things were crazy at home. My biggest regret, thinking that if we didn't have to spend every second with our eye on mom that we would have time. We even planned to go on a date because, well, we deserve it. Turns out that things were so busy at home, we had to put "us" time on hold yet again.
The wake and funeral were as nice as one can be. I was amazed how many people came out to say "goodbye" to my mom. Lots of her old colleagues from work, and lots of family members I have not seen in at least 8 years. It was incredible. I have contacts now for two of my cousins who I have not spoken with in years. There is something so uplifting to know that people who I thought were completely out of my life are now back in it. I was also touched by all the wonderful things people had to say about my mom. It was all true, my mom could be the most upbeat, positive, and kind person.
After the funeral, we got to work straight away at the house. The house became our pet project that required us working all day from Thursday to the following Tuesday. There was so much work. But, we went through a lot, and found a lot. I found some amazing photographs of my grandmother's wedding, pictures I had never before seen. Actually, there was a treasure-trove of photographs. Besides photos, we plowed through tons of my moms clothes, many of which were never worn (another of my mom's characteristics.) I also found some old jewelery, including my grandmother's engagement ring (that I had never seen,) and a few old pieces of jewelery from my great-grandmother. Going through the house, and rescuing things from the upcoming Estate sale, was difficult but also therapeutic.
Besides the house, were trips to the lawyer and the bank. Lots of phone calls and lots more to make on Monday. I never realized how much work was involved in the resolution of an estate, in this case, two estates.
Despite the sadness, I was flabbergasted by the outpouring of kindness. I am forever grateful to my friends and family. It is truly in the times you are the most down when you truly learn who you can count on. The people at work have shown nothing but kindness, and today, I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a card from work. So many people have said kind things about my mom, and showed support. I feel I became much closer to some of my relatives, particularly my cousin Katie and my cousin Terry, and my aunt. Even people who I have spent little time with have written with nothing but kindness and concern. And of course, Joern was absolutely my rock throughout these past few months. Without him I cannot even imagine how much more difficult this ordeal would have been.
So while I feel right now shrouded in sadness, I also feel strangely uplifted by support and friendship.
Thank you everyone, even those who are not reading this, I cannot even begin to show my gratitude towards you all.

Samstag, 15. November 2008

An update

Just to let all of you know, my mom passed away last night. She was surrounded by those closest to her, and she was quite peaceful. We had her kept on comfort care since she entered the hospital.
The amazing thing about it all, her passing was exactly three weeks and one hour after my step-father's. She simply could not live without my step-father.
We will probably be back in Germany on the 27th of November, and I expect to be back to work on December 1st. This has been quite a painful year for our family in so many ways. I hope that my mom and Jerry have found peace in being reunited.

Mittwoch, 12. November 2008

Waiting Part II

Here I am at the airport again. I feel so bad that I didn't post for the entire time I was home, and have now realized that during this time, many people turned here for information.
Here is is.
I left my mother this past Friday with a home health assistant. Although she was highly against it, she finally agreed to stick with it for two weeks. I arrived in Germany safely on Saturday morning. My mom called me throughout the weekend to let me know that she was fine and did not need the assistant. On Sunday, she told me that I needed to call and cancel the assistant for Monday. She told me her sugars were running fine, and that she had taken her medicine. She called me on Monday to tell me that she had in fact cancelled the assistant herself, and that she was feeling great, excited to move to Germany, and was keeping herself busy. On Tuesday afternoon, I tried to call a few times, and could not get ahold of her. Around 4:00 US time, my aunt's mother called me to tell me that people had been trying to get ahold of my mom for some time, and could not get through.
My aunt went to my mom's house with me on the phone. She found my mom on the floor, unconcious. My aunt called 911 and went to the hospital with my mom. My aunt and cousin Elizabeth stayed with my mom at the hospital while they performed various tests.
The tests confirmed that my mom had a massive stroke, most probably on Monday night. There is extensive brain damage, and there was extensive swelling. Her breathing is labored, due to the heart problems, and by the time she reached the hospital, her toes were already turning blue. She is not expected to pull through this. Especially because she has an advance directive, no resuscitation and no intubation. Without these things my mother's heart will not make it, and anyway, there is left side paralysis and my mom is in a coma.
I knew she was sick but never expected to be coming back so soon. My mom seemed to be doing well, we had good news at the eye doctor's last week. Plus, we decided that she would indeed move to Germany. She was excited to receive the pictures of one of the houses she was looking at.
Now, Joern are sitting at another airport, 2 1/2 weeks after the last time we were sitting at the airport waiting to go home for a most difficult reason.
I will truly miss my mom, and wish her peace and comfort. I know she will be happy to be reunited with my step-father so quickly.

Sonntag, 26. Oktober 2008


We're at the Frankfurt airport right now, for the second day in a row. We left home yesterday at 8 am to make it to the airport to rush home (Fairfield home.) My stepfather passed away on Friday. I hope that he has found peace and comfort, because things were getting quite difficult for him this past week. My mom is upset, as anyone can imagine. We are going home for the week to help set my mom back up. I hope it works.
We got to the airport to find that they were taking voluntary bumps. We said that although it would be nice, we really needed to get home. Long story short, voluntary changed to mandatory, and we were bumped. It figures that we have never been offered a voluntary bump from a flight. Why yesterday? Lufthansa took good care of us. We stayed in a lovely hotel, had a wonderful dinner and breakfast all from Lufthansa. We also had a choice of a flight voucher or a cash incentive. Either choice would have been a good deal.
So, here we are. Joern has met a very nice retired teacher. I love him, he can become friends with everyone quickly. It is so cute.
I'm not exactly excited for this trip home this time, I know this will be a difficult week. But hopefully, it will help allievate so much of the stress that has been building up from all the unknowns. We'll see :)

Freitag, 24. Oktober 2008

An emotional first day of school

Well, it is really no big surprise to anyone that I have been entirely too emotional these past few weeks. Today, the first day of my teaching program, was also the last day of school before our fall break. The end of the day was so incredibly emotional, it was heart- breaking.
One of the students in our class is moving back to Japan. Today was her last day. I guess I should explain that this little one is a true keeper. She is kind, hard working, and generally a happy, lovely pesonality. We have been talking about her leaving for weeks, but it was so sad to say "goodbye" today. I have said goodbye to lots of students. On base, kids moved frequently. I'm sure there were some difficult times, and my eyes would often tear-up saying "goodbye," but I was able to get a handle on my emotions.
I think though that first grade is a tough age for goodbyes. It was sad to see our little leaving one go from smiles at the beginning of the day, to being cuddled on a pillow by the end of the day. She said her stomach was bothering her, but she just seemed so sad, it was effecting her physically. What was particularly hard was when we tried to get the class together for a final class picture. Another girl in our class, the best friend of leaving little one, burst out in tears. Uncontrollable, large, devistating tears. Little leaving one started crying too. We know the emotions wrapped up in moving, and having a friend move, but it is so painful to watch little ones go through it.
When I got home, I logged on to my new school, to find that my first course is up online. I haven't been involved in formal education in 7 years. Yikes! I do hope that I will do okay. The class is classroom management, and I have begun the first lesson, which defines classroom management. It turns out that there is quite a bit of material to cover for each lesson, and lessons are completed on a weekly basis. I also got an email about a five week math-test prep class offered. The math test is part of the general knowledge test that the state of Florida requires of teaching students. Math is definately not my strong point, so it looks like I'm going to enroll in a mini-class.
I am glad that I have a week off now to process everything!

Dienstag, 21. Oktober 2008


image from http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Inner-Diva-Posters_i408825_.htm
The life of an expat is really unique. Working on a military base, I often commented on how amazing the kids were. Military kids move every three years, sometimes more often, and are really amazing at fitting in to new schools and environments. Then, I would comment on how I felt bad for the small group of kids of contractors, the kids who stayed for many years. I would note that it must be tougher for them in a way, because their friends were always coming and going, but for them, life remained the same, and they were the ones who had to be most flexible.
Seven years later, and I have now realized that I am in the same boat as the second group of kids I mentioned. Expat communities ebb and flow. Some of the friends I have made here have connections to the military, and fall into the first group of kids, they move about every three years. Most of my friends though fall into another group, they may be here for a year, they may be here for 10 years, but a lot simply don't know how long they will be here.
Our plan, on the other hand, is pretty constant. Of course, I know long-term plans can change. But, for right now, we are here for the long-run. I am happy here and am pleased with the thought of raising kids here. One thing that I find difficult though is the friend situation.
I have met some of the most incredible people here, and I am so happy to call these people my friends. I feel like the friends I have made here are stronger friendships than many of those I made at home, it seems that we are on a similar wavelength, and I feel like I can really be myself with my "here" friends. The only problem is that many of them have moved, will move, or may move. I won't.
Sadly, I have lost contact with many of them who have moved. Email is great, Facebook is great, but sometimes, even these methods can't support a friendship.
One of my friends moved back to Arizona almost two years ago. Although Ashley and I would say "hi" to each other every now and then, we didn't really communicate since she left. She was a good friend of mine, and I have felt her absence for the 2 years since she left.
Spurred by new phone service we have, with unlimited U.S. minutes, I decided to give Ashley a call today. It was wonderful talking to an old friend. Given all that is going on right now, it felt so good to hear about someone else's happiness. It gave me hope that things can and will change, and all that Joern and I are going through now will not last. It was also wonderful to hear her thoughts and ideas, both of which I always appreciated from Ashley. She was always someone I could rely on to listen when I needed to vent, and offered advice only when I asked for it. And knowing that she is still there is really something that has done my heart good.
I am really thankful to Joern for getting this new phone service. Somehow, knowing that we have all these minutes we are paying for has really given me a greater drive to call home. Given how these expat friends of mine come and go, it is nice to know I can hold on to some of these friends long after they have moved far away.

Sonntag, 19. Oktober 2008

Saturday with Abbey

I got my first dog when I was 5. Sadly, our first family attempt at dog owning met a tragic end. But, when I was 11, I got Chloe. When I was 13, my dad got Sox. Sox and Chloe saw me go proms, met my boyfriends,watched me go off to college, saw me get married, and they were both glad to welcome me on multiple visits home from Germany. Chloe and Sox were really important in my life, and for me, having a dog became a way of life.
Since I've moved to Germany, we've been unable to have a dog of our own. First, Jörn had a cat, Paul, and Jörn's parents were certain that a dog could not live in the house with Paul. Once we moved into our own apartment, we found that we are not allowed to have dogs living in our building.
Yes, I had a wonderful little bunny, but have always pined for a dog. There is something about the companionship of a dog that cannot be equaled. True, dog is man's best friend, but a woman's too.
Since my friend Mandy's fiancé is away, she is a surrogate dog-mom to Abigail, a wonderful black lab. We benefit from this relationship because when Mandy goes away, we are on the doggy-sitter list. Because Mandy was away for an extremely long day yesterday, we got to spend the day with Abbey.
I adore Abbey. She is wonderfully trained, and has an incredible personality. Abbey is a quiet type, who loves long walks out on the fields and cuddling on the couch.
We picked Abbey up relatively early, around 10, and drove home with her. She is going through a confusing time right now, as she just moved in with Mandy last week. I felt so bad that she was even more confused when we came into her new "house" and picked her up and put her in our car. If she knew what kidnapping meant, Abbey definately would have thought she was being kidnapped. Once we got home, we for a little walk around our town.

Abbey looking out over the Neckar River
After we returned from our walk, she seemed to have adjusted to the day, and jumped up on our couch and fell asleep.

After she woke up, she and I cuddled for a while and watched a movie. It was so nice just having her around. She really added life to the apartment. She even welcomed Joern when he came home.

This really reminded me of one of my favorite things about having a dog, the "welcome home, I missed you more than anything in the world," welcome. We then took Abbey for a longer walk. We walked up the Jusi, which was an active volcano millions of years ago. It is part of the Swabian Alb, the low-mountain range that stretches from the Black Forest to the Alps. The views from the top were breathtaking.

Abbey and I enjoyed the views too.

After we went back down the mountain, we visited with some sheep that were near the parking lot.

We returned Abbey to Mandy's at 7:30 pm, and cooked up some dinner. I hope it was nice for Mandy to return home after a long day of high school football to her dog, her friends, and a good dinner.