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.

Freitag, 30. Mai 2008

Back to the movie

Well, now that SATC is officially in theaters, I can say a word about it.
I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Go with a friend, go with three friends. Whatever you do, you MUST see the movie.
Now, I am dying to see the whole show- AGAIN, and can't wait to buy the movie!
The clothes, the shoes, the girls, NYC, Big, the closet, what more can I say? How difficult must it have been for the writers to add on to a show that ended so wonderfully? They really did an amazing job!

Mittwoch, 28. Mai 2008


No spoilers here! But...
I SAW IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My friend Mandy and I went to the 8:00 PM preview showing at the OV movie theater here- the best way to enjoy SATC, with a friend :)

Sonntag, 25. Mai 2008

Restart to life

It seems impossible to believe that I was in the States for an entire month. In the first few years of our marriage, I would often book 6 week summers at home. The booking would always happen as the result of a fight, and surprisingly, by the time summer break came, I could not get out the door fast enough. In the past few years though, I have been tapering down, and last summer, I stayed in Germany the entire time.
This trip home was difficult for many reasons, and wonderful for many reasons. The difficulties obviously lay with the situation with my mother and stepfather. Dealing with the stress of planning care and assistance for two people who do not yet see the need, and just the daily stress of going to therapy, doctors, and other health related sessions got to be quite a drag. Add to that my stepfather and his illness, which has definately had an impact on his personality, and it made for a very tough 4 weeks.
To offset the stress though, I made sure to spend plenty of time with my family. I had such a wonderful time with my dad, my aunt, and my cousins. It is so amazing to watch how relationships have changed as my cousins and myself have grown up. I really am thankful to have had the time to spend with my family.
Fast forward to Friday, when I finally landed at the Stuttgart Airport. There was nothing I wanted more than to be back with Joern. It was wonderful to be home (in Germany), but most importantly, it was wonderful to be back with my husband. I spent quite a lot of time over the past month reflecting on the changes in our marriage. I was so upset at the prospect of spending a month without Joern. I have to admit, it was tough. In those early years, I would busy myself doing anything to keep me from focusing on Joern while I was away. Now, I found myself constantly thinking of Joern, in a quite happy way. My thoughts of Joern kept him close by me despite being half a world away. Seeing what a positive turn our lives have taken really made me happy.
Since I have been back, it has been a return to our version of normal. Sleeping in on weekend mornings. Spending time with Marcel. Running to the grocery store and doing the laundry. I used to think of these everyday tasks as something akin to being in prision. Now, I realize that there is nothing that could make me happier than my little life.

Dienstag, 20. Mai 2008

My Home Sweet Home

Spent an enjoyable last Monday at home taking photos of my town. I started off in our town marina, South Benson Marina.

We have a fishing pier that follows out of the harbor into the Sound (Long Island Sound that is.)

It's been at least 3 years, if not longer, since I've last walked out onto the pier. It was a little rattling to see that there has been some major shifting of the rocks under the pier, and it does appear to be slowly slipping into the Sound. But, I figured that if it was dangerous, they would have had it blocked off. It did make me a little sad to see how such an important memory may be just that someday, a memory. Since my dad had a boat until I was about 21, a lot of my childhood memories take place on and around Long Island Sound.

I strolled back slowly, savoring the sound, the feel, the scent, and my mind flooded with sorts of wonderful memories with friends and family.
From there, I drove out to the center of our town, and walked around the old town center. Fairfield is steeped in history, having been founded in 1639, many historically important figures spent time in those places I walked along today.
Our old town hall has been standing as its current state since , after it was rebuilt following total devistation as the British set fire to the town center in 1779.

Gen. George Washington spent time in Fairfield too, in order to assess damage to the town. He rode by the old town hall, and stayed at the Sun Tavern.

Sun Tavern, George Washington stayed here in 1789.

Old Fairfield Academy, private school, opened in 1804
I walked back to Independence Hall, known as the “new Town Hall,” built in.... I also wandered over to the grounds of the Burr Homestead.

The Burr Homestead was home to the Burr family (the parents of vice-president Aaron Burr.) The grounds are quite beautiful and peaceful.

I also learned today that John Hancock married at the Burr Homestead. Duh, that would have been a perfect place to hold a wedding ceremony.
The day was really enjoyable. Of course, I didn't get to photograph all the wonderful town landmarks before it started raining. I guess that will have to wait till my next trip home :) It will give my readers something to look forward to!

New York Part II

Sunday was a wonderful day! My cousin Elizabeth and I went to NYC for the day.
It took us quite a while to get going, thanks to my forgetfulness :) But, once we got on the train, our super day began.
Our train got in around 12:45, which gave us 2 hours before our show. So, we made our way up to 5th Ave and then headed towards Central Park. Our destination? Lunch and Tiffany.
I must admit, I was worried that lunch at Trump Tower would be extravagant.

But, it turns out that they have a great little sandwich bar, salads, and pizza on the lower level of Trump Tower. We had an enjoyable, inexpensive lunch in a beautiful setting.
After lunch, we went next door to Tiffany. Although I have been in Tiffany before, I never made it above the first level. This time though, I had a destination in mind, specifically, I was there to buy my first piece of jewelery from Tiffany & Co.

I absolutely love my new bracelet! It was a bit intimidating to shop there, but it was much better to have Elizabeth with me :)
As we made our way back down towards 42nd street, it began to rain. Ugh! Eventually, I was forced to buy a $5 umbrella, although I was fully aware of the fact that those umbrellas usually are only good for one windless rainstorm. No matter, I was desperate!
We made our way down 42nd towards Broadway. The theater was near the heart of Times Square, right across the street from Madame Toussaud's which was really cool. We were fortunate that they did not make us wait outside the theater until 10 minutes before the performance (the way we had to for Curtains.) It turns out that the Hilton Theater was beautiful on the inside. Not like the Al Hirschfeld Theater was not georgeous on the inside, but the Hilton was significantly larger. Our seats were incredible, third row from the stage, left of the aisle. Even though our seats were not center, we had an amazing view of the stage, and even could see into a corner of the orchestra pit.

The show, Young Frankenstein , was so great! I had only seen the first hour of the movie, so I had a general sense of the story, plus, Megan Mullally was going to be in it, so I figured we were in for a treat. The show was way better than I could have imagined! The lighting and special effects were amazing! One of the best parts was the dance sequence with the monster. It was much longer than the scene in the movie (okay, I saw that part too,) and was just incredible. The monster tap danced for about 5 minutes, then the dancers came on and did this huge dancing sequence. It was just wonderful.
The actor who played Frederick Frankenstein played the pharmacist from season two of Desperate Housewives (the one who killed Bree's first husband.) He was really superb. Not only was his singing wonderful, but he was able to fit the part incredibly well. Of course, we were really there to see Megan Mullally (Karen from Will and Grace). My cousin Elizabeth feels about Will and Grace the way I feel about Frasier. So, it was cool to be able to be there with her to sit three rows from Karen :) It was kind of cool, Mullally played Elizabeth, Frederick Frankenstein's flashy, bitchy fiancee. It was funny because the character was quite similar to Karen, she was even able to use the Karen voice :) But, she is such a wonderful actress, I was so impressed! Her voice was so huge, it filled the entire theater, absolutely amazing!!!! I have a new found appreciation of her, and can't wait to watch Will and Grace with new eyes!
Of course, I did go to the show with an almost criminal- Elizabeth tried to take a picture at the end of the show. They aren't kidding about not being allowed to take pictures, an usher showed up in about 3 seconds! Incredible!
I realized that I have really been missing out on a treasure, having grown up so close to New York City, and not going to see shows on Broadway. I can't to go see a show the next time I'm here!
Following the show, we spent some time in Times Square and then made our way back to Grand Central Station. All in all, it was a super great day. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to spend such an enjoyable day with such an enjoyable person :)

Samstag, 17. Mai 2008

Reflections on lunch with an old friend

Today was wonderful! The sun shined all day as I joined an old high school friend for lunch. A wonderful afternoon of catching up and sharing memories. It was extra wonderful because I was unable to make it to my 10th high school reunion this past November. Great to get some of the dirt :)

As I talked with her, I realized how lucky I am to have my life. Not only do I have Joern, who is so wonderful, but I have brilliant friends. In Germany, I have an incredible group of friends, both friends from working on the military base, and some from my new job. I also am realizing that although I may have lost touch with some old friends, it most certainly does not mean they are completely out of my life. The more old friends I meet up with, the more I realize why we were friends in the first place. The more I realize too how thankful I am to have them back in my life. True, they are scattered all over, but it is nice to see how much we've grown up, and nice to know that we will continue to follow each other as we continue to grow.

My move overseas taught me the importance of friends, a concept which I had not previously bought into. I am also learning though the true value in the friends who have known you a long time. The ones who know your history, and can help you see yourself through different eyes.

So, here's to Virginia. My fabulous Manhattanite friend who through a few hours over lunch made me appreciate all the more the wonderful people who have entered my life, and stayed despite losing touch. Thanks so much!

Mittwoch, 14. Mai 2008

Sex and the German City

image from www.imdb.com

It can be really tough living overseas sometimes. While we may be hip to all the new German songs, when it comes to all things from home, we do end up dreadfully behind.
When Joern, Marcel, and I were in the States at Christmastime, we heard the “Low, Low, Low” song a few months before it became popular in Germany.
The most frustrating can be movies. I have no idea how many movies my mom has reviewed for me, while I have to wait 3 more months to see the movie. Even worse, movies take even longer to get to the Original Version (OV) theaters.
One of the saddest events recently was that I completely missed The Other Boleyn Girl. I adored the book, and despite the poor reviews, it was still my ultimate goal to see the movie.
Imagine my surprise this morning when I found out that the “It” movie of the year is opening in Europe before opening in the States. Which movie am I talking about? Well, Sex and the City of course!!!!!!! And even better, it is premiering at the OV theater here on the 28th of this month, two days before it premieres in the US.
I already have 2 tickets reserved, and just need to find someone to go with me. I am so so so so excited!!!!!!!!!!
I promise of course not to tell a soul about the movie until after it premieres in the States – that would be wrong :)

Montag, 12. Mai 2008

Mother's Day with Mom

For the first time in 6 years, I was able to be home to celebrate Mother's Day with my mom.

Of course, I spent the morning out with my father, but also with his girlfriend, another mother to celebrate. We ate at Stockbridges, which although primarily a cheesecake business, also serves up a mean asparagus and cheddar cheese omlette.

After I got home, me, my mother and stepfather headed out to the Greenfield Hill section of my town, to visit the 73rd annual Dogwood Festival.

Dogwood trees were first planted in Fairfield in the early 1700s. The dogwood has become a symbol of my town, you cannot grow up here without celebrating the beautiful tree, and it has become something I really miss during springtime in Germany.

This year's festival featured wonderful weather, and beautiful blossoms. The fest, unlike any German fest, had very little beer and involved a lot of shopping – typically American. But, it also focused on all things typically Fairfield, the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church, the Hill itself, and the people of the town. Of course, there were beautiful craft booths set up. I particularly enjoyed the one from the lady who makes custom scrapbooks (www.enjoythejourneyscrapbooks.com) who provides beautiful fill – your-own scrapbooks. Yay! I even got part of Joern's anniverssary gift from her!

After we enjoyed looking at lovely hand-painted pottery and even more incredible original works of art, my mom and I decided to stroll around the grounds of the church, and enjoy the beautiful trees and weather.

We spent a lovely few hours rambling around the wonderful festival, and then my mom decided she wanted to take a drive to a wonderful lake here about an hour north of Fairfield. The lake, Lake Lilllinonah, is in Bridgewater, CT. We
used to drive up to the Lake about once a year when I was young, to enjoy a day in the boat on the Lake. My godfather's family had a very small piece of property in the lake (a tiny island,) that was only accessible by boat. The land was a great place for camping, and a day of relaxing and picnicking. The drive up to the lake amazed me, as I often forget that only a few miles north of Fairfield you find not the crazy hustle and bustle of the New York suburb, but you enter lovely, true New England country.

Lake Lillinonah itself was wonderful for me. My mom and I regaled stories of summers past, and let my stepfather in on a part of true Kohler family history. It brought back so many wonderful memories, some I shared, some I kept private, and was a wonderful way to help relieve some of the stress I have been dealing with over the past few weeks.

Our Mother's Day ended with a trip to the Peppermill restaurant, a family favorite. They recently had to move after the owners of the building decided to against renewing the lease on the restaurant that had occupied the same building for over 30 years in order to put up retail space. I was quite open to visiting the restaurant, run by the same people, with the same menu, in a different space. Sadly though, with the change in cleientele, most probably increased business, they were out of my two favorite meals by our 6:30 seating. This meant, having to settle for a delicious, yet strangely disappointing steak. Truly, this was a case of you can't go home again.

Overall, it was a beautiful day. It was nice to spend the day with my mom, along with my stepfather, it took a lot of pressure off the difficulties of communicating solely with my mom. And, it made me more aware of some of the pleasantries of life in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Sonntag, 11. Mai 2008

Lessons learned at the Met (and other stories from Manhattan)

On Saturday, I spent a day in New York City. It was a wonderful day, all by myself. Although I am not one for adoring travel alone, sometimes it is perfect, because you get to do just what you want on your own schedule. Furthermore, after the past couple of weeks, I really needed a day when I did not really have to talk with or listen to anyone.

I got into Grand Central Station at 10:12. Manhattan on a weekend morning is a beautiful place. The city is calm, relatively few cars drive up and down the streets. It is like a different world. It was fortunate that I was there so early, and the city was so calm, because for the first time in my life, I used a city bus. I drove the poor bus driver insane as I did not know how to put the Metro Card in properly, nor did I know that you have to push open the bus doors when you leave. Lesson #1- the doors to exit a NYC bus do not open automatically.I got off the bus at 75th and Madison, a little too early for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but since it was such a lovely morning, I decided the walk would have been wonderful. As I wandered along Central Park, I figured why not? Since the Met lies along the park, it made my already pleasant walk even more pleasant. I strolled through the park, and got to see lots of runners and moms with kids. Central Park is georgous!

I finally wound my way back to the front of the Met, and made my way inside. Unfortunately, I did not have tons of time, and if you don't have months to devote, it is difficult to see much. So, instead, I chose to wander through a few sections, to orient myself and to better understand where to return on the next visit.
Lesson #2 - must devote tons of time to enjoying the Met

Of course, getting my bearings was not simple, and through this process, I lost even more time. I did make through some of the Greek and Egyptian art. The hall of Greek sculpture was particularly interesting. I then wandered into the Asian Art section. One of the amazing places was the Astor Courtyard, which was an interior courtyard set up exactly as a Chinese garden. It was so beautiful and peaceful, I could have stayed there forever.
I then wandered into the European painting and sculpture wing. The paintings were incredible, and would have enjoyed spending lots more time really enjoying them. I did really enjoy seeing some of the Van Gough paintings, and of course, loved the opportunity to be so close to some incredible Rodin sculptures.
What really got me thinking though, was my realization in the European paintings section. As I enjoyed many wonderful, incredible paintings of destinations, such as Venice, London, Paris, Istanbul, I started mentally checking off all the places I have visited. I soon realized that I have been to quite a few places that some people only visit through art and books. It made me reflect on how amazingly lucky I am. Sure, sometimes there is some stress in my life. But, I am married to an incredible man, who has helped me to provide me with this life that is something out of a dream. Then, I laughed at the girl I was 10 years ago, who would never have believed what the future held for me.
Lesson #3- (the important one) I should not only focus on the tough things in my life, because the good absolutely outweighs the bad!

Following the Met, I hopped back on the bus and took it down 5th to Times Square. Sure, I could have gotten off closer to the theater, but I really like Times Square, and wanted to enjoy it. I love the bustle, and sights to see. Sure, it is totally overstimulating, but for a few minutes, it is quite a marvelous experience!

On to the show, Curtains. I have known for over a year that going to see Curtains was my dream. Why? Because David Hyde Pierce, aka. Niles Crane from Frasier, is the lead in the show. He is one of my hands down favorite actors. It was the Al Hirschfeld Theater, which was beautiful and amazing. My seat was center Orchestra, 6 rows from the stage. Imagine my surprise when I found out that besides Niles :), Edward Hibbert, who played Gil Chesterton on Frasier, was also in the show! The show itself was wonderful. It was funny and quite entertaining. But, I must say, to be 6 rows from Niles and Gil Chesterton was way too much for me. I had a smile plastered on my face the entire show, my cheeks were sore in the way they did at my wedding from smiling so much!
I am still in shock!

Donnerstag, 8. Mai 2008


So, I think that I have successfully broken yet another camera card. I love my camera, it is wonderful, and PINK!!
But, I keep breaking the cards. I don't know how, but I seem to be pretty specialized at screwing up those cards. Sooooo frustrating!
Here's what you would have seen if I hadn't made the mistake...
1. My new, really cool, secret from Joern haircut.
2. The most delicious cheesecake I had tonight from Stockbridge's in Shelton.

Since I cannot supply those pictures, I will instead talk about a few other things.
I have two really cool things to look forward to...
I am going to see two Broadway shows in the next 8 days! I just booked my ticket for Curtains, with David Hyde Pierce (Niles from Frasier.) I have read great reviews of the show, and well, I am going to be in the same room as Niles. It is simply too much for me! image from www.curtainsthemusical.com
And next Sunday, I will be headed back into the city with my cousin Elizabeth to see Young Frankenstein with Megan Mullally (Karen from Will and Grace!) Again, I am dying of excitement!
image from www.youngfrankensteinthemusical.com
Another cool event happened tonight at CVS. For those readers who may not know, CVS is a huge drugstore chain here in the US. So, I was in line waiting to buy all my exciting inexpensive wrapping paper to bring back to Germany. A girl was in line behind me with two adorable little kids. I could hear that she had an accent, and while I was trying to place it, she started telling the little boys that in Germany, people say "Huba Buba" to Hubba Bubba gum. Of course, I so had to turn around and start talking to her. Turns out, she is from north of Frankfurt, and is an au pair here in Fairfield for the next year. She is really enjoying her time here, but says German food is better. How funny, maybe she can title her blog, "The Adventures of a German girl in Fairfield!"
I am having the most amazing time on this trip finding people with German ties, reminding me that my home is never far away.

Dienstag, 6. Mai 2008

Things from home

Well, I enjoyed the weekend, spending lots of time catching up with people, and re-familiarizing myself with sweet home Fairfield.
Friday night was "Daddy - Daughter Night" We went to a new favorite for dinner, "Five Guys Burgers and Fries," or more lovingly refered to by Joern as "Five Fingers without a Hand." (Go think about that one.)
We love the burger restaurant, you just can't beat it for fresh homemade french fries and juicy, huge burgers. That's why I chose the small cheeseburger. DELICIOUS!
After dinner, we went to Stockbridge's, a cheesecake restaurant. Sadly, we weren't hungry, but we got to meet a teenager working there who is from Bulgaria. She was so cute and had lots to tell us about her home country.
Saturday was busy with a trip to Target for my major coffee maker purchase. (It is amazing that neither of my coffee drinking parents own coffee makers!) Then, I spent the rest of the evening with my dad.

On Sunday, my stepbrother came over, with his wife and their son, Colin. I absolutely cannot believe how grown-up and adorable Colin has become! The last time I saw Colin, he was about 4 months old, and now, he is 3 1/2. Wow! It was nice to visit with them, especially our delicious lunch at the Bear and Grill Restaurant.
After the long visit, I made my way up I-95 to visit my aunt and cousins in Milford. It was so nice to visit with my wonderful family. I love visiting with my aunt and hearing all sorts of stories from her mom (both of whom are the reason I am now married to the most wonderful man in the entire world.) And, I adore my cousins Katie and Elizabeth, and am constantly in awe of what wonderful women they have become. The visit with them was wonderful, and recharged my soul after a very stressful week.
Monday was another wonderful, relaxing day. After a leisurely morning at home, I met my friend Aarti for a girl's afternoon of shopping. It was a fitting day for two friends who met while working over 10 years ago at the Gap. We went to downtown Westport, CT, lunched on some fab Japanese food, and then enjoyed a lovely stroll up Main Street, with some stops at important shops.
Today was back to the weekly routine. So, no more relaxation! A speech evaluation provided the main excitement. The good news? My mom did pretty darn well on the evaluation! Yay Mom!!!

Donnerstag, 1. Mai 2008

It's May Day!

If I were in Germany right now, Joern and I would be enjoying the day off together. We would have slept late, had a great breakfast, played a round of Mario Kart, and then maybe go out for coffee or a walk.

But, I'm in Fairfield. And I miss Joern a lot. Last night, I bought a bunch of "I miss you," cards, and will start sending them to him. It can be so sad to be separated for such a long time.

I went to CVS last night (the drugstore,) and expected to find tons of incredible things there. Turns out, I was pretty disappointed. I wanted my brands of stuff, which slowly but surely, are becoming German and not American brands. I was equally unimpressed at the grocery store two days ago. Sure, I was excited to have my bagels, but where was my white asparagus? If someone had told me 5 years ago, that one day, my life would be firmly planted in Germany, I would have laughed. I would have explained that although Germany is ok, there is no place like home. After 6 years there though, it is turning out that Germany is home. Of course, I love to drive through my old town, which is so rich with memories. And of course, I do enjoy being with my family. But as far as daily living goes, I really enjoy our little home in little Neckartailfingen.

I guess it amazing how time can change you.