Oh, blog. You’re like a poor, neglected toy that’s been shoved into the bottom of the toy box and forgotten all about. Actually, it’s not that I haven’t wanted to write on you, it’s just that I’ve been pretty busy these last couple of months, and, well, you know. You get a little behind and the next thing you know an entire month has gone by without posting. Or even longer. Excuses, excuses, right? I was never any good at keeping a diary, either, if it’s any consolation.
Anyway, what have I been up to that’s kept me so dreadfully busy that I didn’t post? Well, mostly it was a nice, looooong visit to the US. Like, for-a-month-kind-of-long. We had originally planned to fly back to Indiana for Christmas as it had been a few years since I had been home for that holiday, but in the end, we decided it made more sense if I were to just fly back on my own in January and celebrate a “late Christmas” with my immediate family. Although I’m sad I didn’t get to see more of the extended family that I would have seen had I made it our annual Christmas Eve celebration, I’m glad I decided to wait and go from mid-January to mid-February. It brightened up an otherwise depressing time of year for me, and meant that family and friends had more time to visit and were less stressed than around the holidays.
I ended up getting to celebrate two Christmases, of sorts. The first was planned and with my parents, my brother and his family. The second was totally unexpected. I got together with my best friends from high school and even though we were celebrating one of their birthdays, they surprised me with awesome Christmas gifts. I got a lot of awesome things because I have awesome friends and they have awesome taste, but the cream of the crop? Check these puppies out:
My friend made these for me. Did you truly take in what I just wrote? She MADE them for me! We are all convinced she either uses magic or has superpowers, because otherwise workmanship of this level is inexplicable.
So apart from raking in goodies and visiting friends and family, my visit to Indiana also included a lot of television, playing Mexican train dominoes, baking, playing Scrabble, and watching movies. And while I’m sure I could have found things to write about regarding the above, I figured I had paid all that money to fly over and be with loved ones, so it made more sense to do that versus typing away on a computer.
Back in Germany, we celebrated Fasching a few weeks ago. I wore a fantastic fascinator that was handmade by my artist friend Jennifer Herrold. (If you ever need a portrait, by the way, Jennifer is your gal; she does excellent work. Click here to check out her website.)
Fasching was good fun, just as it was last year, although we made a bit of a rookie mistake. We were feeling a bit lazy so we decided to go later in the afternoon and catch the tail end of the parade rather than start on the other side of town at the beginning. Well, the downside to this strategy is that you get waaaay less goodies, as most have already been given away. We still got some stuff, but not nearly the spread from the previous year. Ah well, you live and you learn!
Oh! And I almost forgot: I passed all of German exams! I passed the one for the language school in case I’d like to continue studying with them, the culture, history and politics test for the government as well as the language test for the government. We’ll now get a little less than half of the money back from the government that we paid for the entire course. I think at some point I’ll probably want to enroll in a class again, but at the moment I’m enjoying my free time and I would want to be really prepared to dive in aggressively if I were to study again as we’d now be paying full price.
Well, I think that’s about it for now. And now that I’m back in the swing of things, I promise I won’t shove you to the bottom of the toy box again. Although I have recently discovered Pinterest, another totally addictive and somewhat pointless waste of time, and it does have a mighty, mighty strong pull….