Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our First Castle!

As promised, here are pictures from the Farley adventure to a castle. The castle is only about 10 minutes away from base and they have lights on it in the evening and you can see it on the hill all lit up from the Autobahn we take home. I would try to take pictures of it but I know my camera would fail miserably. Anyway, this castle (or what's left of it) has been around since about the 13th century when it was commissioned by the Pope because he thought that there needed to be more reinforcements in this part of Germany. In the 16th Century it was in the hands of the Sickingen family and one of the rooms you can view is where the last person of that family to hold the castle died. They have a bust and his coat of arms in the room. I hope I have most of my history right, it's been a while since we've been there and I'm too lazy to look it up on the internet right now :-) At any rate they've been doing renovations for the last hundred years or so and are still finding rooms and compartments to this day.
This was in the courtyard outside the main entrance to the castle. It has the family coat of arms and their name on the placques in the rock.
Another view of the courtyard outside. This day we didn't actually get to go in because it cost about 2 euro per person and being silly new comers to the area we had no euro on us, and they didn't take Visa.

This is the restaurant they have set up outside the castle. Inside it kind of has the feel of a ski lodge because it's decorated in light colored wood, has a fire place and has antlers on the wall. The only thing that would be out of place at the ski lodge is the 2 replicas of a German suit of armor. My pictures of them didn't turn out quite right, which is why they aren't posted. So when we inevitably go back, even if it's just to the restaurant, I'll get better pictures. They have really good food, too. We've eaten there twice and have learned that the specials of the day seem to be better than what's a staple on the menu. But overall great food, beer and atmosphere.Like it did for most of the month of November, it was raining when we visited the castle. While it made walking around a little uncomfortable it made the colors really pop out on the pictures. My camera apparently does best when it's over cast.
This is a picture of the town of Landstuhl from the castle. This town is pretty cute and it's not that far away at all from base. It takes us less than 5 minutes to get there. We haven't done a whole lot of exploring yet in town but we did got to a Christmas market there and that was fun. They shut down the whole street for the market and there were food booths, crafts, clothes and hot wine. Very festive. I had my camera with me the day we went to the market but it was raining harder than it was at the castle (which in all reality was just a drizzle) so I didn't want to risk it getting ruined.
That's the highlights of our first castle. We hope to go on many more adventures, a little farther from home too :) The USO has some great tours and we're going to try and hit up one at the end of the month. It's to a medieval town called Bernkastel-Kues and the tour includes a traditional German meal and a tour and tasting at a local winery. The region of Germany we're in is apparently very well known for it's wine and this town has several exellent wineries around. I'm really looking forward to it because Germans make excellent sweet white wines, some of the best around.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Missing People This Christmas . . . and my biased recommendation of Skype.

So I realized that I haven't done any real personal posting for a while so I decided to do a post on some of the people that I missed over the Holiday season. And to also sing my praises about Skype and how it's kept me in touch with my family. I don't know what I'd do without it!
This is my pretty wife Beth. I don't have any pictures of my other wife on this new computer but I will get them up I promise!! (I have not forgotten about you Kristyne, all my pictures of you are just on my other computer.) Anyway, this is Beth and she is my bestest good friend and I miss her terribly. Every time I see anything to do with "Pride and Prejudice" or Food Network I think of her. She lived on base too and we used to hang out all the time and got to be really close during a long stretch when both of our husbands were working graveyard shifts and we hardly got to see them. We spent so much time together, and it happened to coincide with her actual wedding anniversary, that she said that we should just be married to each other and we have been ever since. We are coming upon our 2 year anniversary now and I couldn't have found a better friend. Our other wife Kristyne is the sweetie of the bunch. She's a little more soft spoken than either me or Beth but she is just like us in other aspects. Get us all together and within minutes our sides hurt from laughing and crying and having a great time. I miss them both so much.
This is my pretty wife and her husband Jason. I kinda miss him to because he was like a brother that would pick on me constantly. It was pretty fun.
Mark and Megan!!! Out of all our Mtn Home friends we've known them the longest. I met Mark right after Dave and I started dating. In fact, Dave asked Mark to join us for lunch and a movie one weekend (it was our 3rd date, I think) so he could get Mark's opinion on me. :) Megan was deployed at the time and I didn't meet her for a couple of months, and when I did she couldn't talk because she had laryngitis. Mark checked up on me when David was deployed (which was awesome) and the last couple of years we made a ritual of going to Utah to the haunted houses in October. It was fun to have the annual Lyon-Farley Halloween weekend, we had some great times. They are currently in England, which sucks because they were supposed to be in Germany with us. Oh well. We miss them though and plan on visiting them as soon as possible.
This is Dustin and Tara. They're proably going to kill me for posting this picture but this is the only one I could find of them on this computer. Tara looks gorgeous as always but Dustin appears to be non too impressed with whatever chocolate he is consuming. This was from our trip to New York for their wedding and we were at an amazing restaurant called Max Brenner. Chocolate galore!! When you walk in there is a vat of molten chocolate in front of you and you want to be like Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and stick your hand in. Anyway, I digress. I've known Dustin only slight less time than I've known Mark and Megan and Tara danced into our lives about a year later. We've been so lucky to have them as friends because they are amazing, fun people that make me laugh and be happy. They are in Japan right now and we miss them terribly too. Hopefully we'll all be able to get together for a reunion and just spend a week together just like the old days.
See that's the thing about being married to the military that I never realized would be so hard. You form these attachments to friends and then are thrown in different directions from each other not knowing when you'll see each other again. But the silver lining in this is that these friendships are usually for life. I can't imagine not ever talking to any of these people ever again.

Now on to family and the wonders of Skype!
This is my mommy. I miss her alot. She hates her picture being taken, but I snuck one in while she wasn't looking :). I usually talk to her every day even though she's at work. When I was back home we would talk on the phone, usually at least twice, and text throughout the day. I was wondering how we were going to keep that up because we've become extremely close over the last few years. So, she downloaded Skype and we chat every day! It's not the same as being able to text her whenever I want but it still keeps us in contact. Since she's at work she doesn't have the video capability and she doesn't have a microphone, but that's ok, we'll sit there and chat when she's got a free minute and then we do the video thing on the weekends. Skype really is a god send for people who have family far far away.
This is my little sister and my nephew. She's got Skype too which is so awesome. When we initially got our orders I was so bummed about not being able to see Owen grow up and that he wouldn't remember who I was when I would come to visit. Again, Skype is a God send because I talk to them at least every weekend and he's getting so good at giving me high fives and he's even started blowing me kisses. ♥ The video calls really help because instead of hearing just my voice he can see me and know who I am. Annie called me on Christmas morning and I got to see him running around like a wild man for a little while. Mind you, since he's only a year and a half he has no real concept of Christmas yet so it was just his normal self. It was pretty stinking funny.
And this is my Daddy. He's not big on words but I love the fact that he makes time to call me as often as he can. Usually we only talk for 10 or 15 minutes but there are the rare occasions we find something to talk about for half an hour. It's great :) Mom says even when he doesn't get a chance to to talk to me he's always asking how I am. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Apparently he's making plans to come out and visit us at least once a year while we're stationed here, twice if he can manage. He really wants to go on a motorcycle ride over here and I think that's awesome. I want to do everything I can to help him out with that.
Another cute picture of Owen - the kid is just too damn cute for words and I miss him immensely. He's growing up so stinking fast I can't believe it. The little booger will be taller than me in no time!
There are many other people from Mtn Home that I miss like Hutch (FIESTA BOWL!!), Matt, Kati, The Roberts and most of our group from the lab. I'm sorry I didn't have pictures but I miss you all so much. And of course I miss other members of my family it just seems like there's never enough room for this stuff.
Coming Soon: The Farley's adventure to a castle.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

In Germany - New Update Finally!!

Sorry it's been so long since my last update, we had alot going on in the last few weeks. But I'll kind of give you a breakdown of everything that's gone on.

We arrived on schedule in Germany on the 27th and got thru customs just fine. Our sponsor met us and took us to get checked into our room, take us by the commissary to get some food and then to drop by the lab so David could meet some people, namely the Chief. After all that was done we finally got to back to our room and try not to fall asleep. David for some reason fell asleep on the plane ride over so was a little more energetic than me and decided to walk around base. I was not having any of it so I watched TV and tried not to fall asleep. I've never experienced anything like the jet lag I had. I felt drugged and completely out of it. Finally when he got back I told him I had to go lay down. I told him to wake me up in an hour and a half or else I wasn't going to get to sleep that night and get on a proper schedule. After some sleep and a hot shower I felt somewhat human and we walked down to the commissary to grab some stuff for dinner. The rest of the following weeks included looking for houses and preparing to take our driver's test to get our licenses to drive. David had 30 days off to house hunt but we ended up finding one about two weeks in.

When we got the house I finally was able to tell my friend Beth to send the cats over to us!! Yay! She and Krsityne were so great . . . they got all their paperwork done and got up at 4 am to take their furry butts to the shipping facility. I love those girls! ♥ So I got to the place where I think I'm supposed to be picking up the cats and find I have no clue where I'm supposed to be. I go into 2 different offices before I find the one where I'm supposed to be at to pick up the cat's documents (vet paperwork and what not). Then I go upstairs to pay for said paper work and they only take cash - big surprise I have no euro on me. So I have to go find an ATM. I get that accomplished and then head back to pay for the paperwork and - I assume - pick up the cats. Nein!! I have to go to a different location and go to the veterinarian so they can do an exam of my kids. That cost me about $160 bucks. Then I have to go thru customs (which is in another damn building!!) and get the furballs cleared thru them. Ok fine. Then I have to go back to the Animal Lounge, show them my paper work and then pay another $90 for boarding them . . . for 3 hours. Holy Mother of Pearl if I had known it was going to take me 4 hours and cost me over $300 I would have taken some downers to help make the trip easier. But the end result was worth it, I got my cats and they've adapted quite well and are not having any lingering issues from their trip.

We got into the house and got all of our household goods and furniture so we're starting to slowly unpack. Germans (and Europeans in general) do not believe in closets and we haven't gotten the temp ones from base yet so I have really no place to put our stuff, so the unpacking is going really slow. Other than that things are going pretty well. David is on swings so I'm at the house all by myself most of the night. It doesn't bother me too bad, but I'm certainly glad I have the cats to keep me company. ☻

Well in a nutshell that's all that's happened since we landed in Deutschland. I can't believe we've already been here over a month. Only 35 more months left!! Sheesh. Now all we're waiting on is David to get his passport so we can start our traveling and then there will be so much more to write!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Our Final Farewell

Yesterday was our last big get together with family. My mom threw us a huge party at her house and the entire family was invited and most of them showed up. We made 4 huge pans of lasagna on Saturday to feed the thundering herd. Anyone who has cooked for a Mtn Home PMEL gathering can attest that it might barely feed everyone. Somehow we ended up with more than 2 full pans left over. Sheesh. But it was fantastic to see everyone and it made me cry when they all left.

My cousin Tootie took a ton of pictures at the party. We got both sides of our family in pictures and got some really great shots of everyone (Thanks again Tootie!!! I love you!)Since my computer is halfway to Germany by now the pictures I keep trying to upload don't work right so once I get them on my computer I will post them as soon as I can.
We leave on Thursday morning to drive to Seattle and I'm looking forward to it but not at the same time. I hate the thought of saying goodbye to my family but I'm still really excited to see Germany and start this great experience. Sometimes it makes me feel guilty but I know I really have no reason to. But enough moaning and groaning for now. I will post again as soon as I can.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Our Flight Schedule

In case anyone is interested, here is our itinerary for the next few weeks as well as our flight schedule.

Oct 9 - Dave's final out, we leave Mtn. Home. Staying the night with my family.
Oct 10 - Going to my sister Tina's house in Idaho Falls for a party and awesome Mexican food. When that's over, we drive down to Utah to spend time with Dave's family.
Oct 11-16 - Down in Utah with my in-laws.
Oct 16-21 - In Wendell with my family.
Oct 22 - Driving to Seattle so we can drop off my car at the shipping facility.
Oct 23-24 - In Seattle just chilling for a few days.
Oct 25- We fly out of Seattle at the ungodly hour of 6:10 am and fly to Baltimore. We spend the evening in Baltimore . . . hopefully finding time to go to Charm City Cakes and take a picture outside Duff's bakery! :)
Oct 26- We are scheduled to fly out of Baltimore on a military flight at approximately 8:20 pm est.
Oct 27 - Touchdown at Ramstein AB at approximately 9:00 am German time.
So that's how the next few weeks should shake out. Not looking forward to all the travel time but it will be worth it. I'm actually very excited to spend a few days in Seattle before we leave. Dave and I had a great time while we were there a few years ago. We're actually hoping to get stationed at McChord AFB which is in Tacoma when we come back. But that's a few years down the road so we'll just have to wait on that one.

I Am Homeless!!

So yesterday was our final housing inspection for our house on base. They say that it's not supposed to be a white glove inspection but they kind of lie. We've been stressed out for a week, ever since the movers left, to get the house ready for the inspection. Because I hate moving and the thought of it sometimes made me physically ill I decided to make this move easier on myself and hire someone to clean the house for me. I know, I know. . . Dave gave me this big argument when I first mentioned it months ago how it was a stupid expenditure and we could be using money for other things on the move. Yeah, last week he was all but saying it was his idea because it was saving us alot of the stress and hassle to make sure we passed. My co-worker from the credit union does this on the side with one of her friends and they gave me a pretty great rate and did a fantastic job!!! (Thanks Mindi and Margie!!!) Anybody in the military who lives in base housing and is moving overseas I would highly recommend getting someone off the housing list to clean your house for you . . . totally worth it!! Anyway, the inside went fine. Dave spent all weekend working on the outside of the house to make sure it passed as well. Turns out since it had been raining for the past 2 days, and was raining during our inspection, that all the inspector did was open the back door to look at the lawn and we passed! I felt kind of bad for how much work he put in with our friends Matt and Jason and that's all their was to it, but if it hadn't looked as good as it did, I'm sure there would have been more to the inspection than there was.

But now all that means is that we're officially homeless for the next month or so. We're currently living in the temporary lodging on base until Friday when we leave to go home and make our rounds with the family. That part I'm really not looking forward to. Especially saying goodbye to my nephew, that's going to suck ass but that's another post.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Movings Sucks . . . Invent Teleportation Already, Dammit!

So today was moving day. The movers were supposed to pack everything in one day and failed miserably. For any of you following that are not military, when you move overseas they have a company come to your home and pack up everything you are taking. You don't have to do any pre-packing or anything, they do it all for you. Which I absolutely love!! I hate packing and it just seems like the older and more married I get the more stuff we have. Dave has almost every game console made within the last 15 years and games to accompany most of them. We are both huge bibliophiles and movie buffs so you can imagine the combined collection of books and movies. It's ridiculous, really. We are in talks to try and consolidate/organize our movie collection so if anyone has any suggestions they would be welcome. As far as the books go we'll probably never give them away. . . I can't do that to my babies :)

All in all everything went smoothly as can be, I guess. They'll be back tomorrow to finish the job and then get everything ready to send over to us. Oh and here's the fun part . . . they don't have to deliver it until December 7th!! They showed us the moving order and it says required delivery date is December 7th. They'll take it down to where it's supposed to get on the boat, but if the boat isn't full it doesn't ship out until it is. So our stuff could be waiting in limbo for weeks if not a months. Fan-freaking-tastic. Hopefully that will not be the case and we will have our own nice furniture in time for Thanksgiving. In the meantime we'll be finishing up cleaning and repair projects and working on making sure the house will pass our final inspection. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Two Hour Lunches Rock!!!!

I got a two, count them 2, hour lunch today. Why? Because I'm awesome. No, not really but it's fun to think so :) It was really because we had an early morning meeting yesterday and I need to not go into OT. So I drove home (back to base), went shopping at the commissary for dinner, started a pot roast for dinner, had lunch, checked my email and started laundry. Whew! And then I get to back to work for an hour and a half :( I'm so totally crashing early tonight.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Getting closer to October and I don't like it.

Up until now I've had the comfort of knowing that our move was 6 months away . . . 5 months away . . . 4 months away . . . . All of a sudden I realized now we have less than 3 months left and shit is going to start happening fast. David is already scheduling appointments to meet with the movers (which I find ironic because I don't know when we're actually moving yet) and getting information on his out processing schedule from Mountain Home. There is so much stuff I still want to do before I leave and not nearly enough time or money. I'm very excited at the prospect of moving and of being able to see all the completely awesome stuff I'm going to see, but I'm going to have a very hard time adjusting to being without family. I'll adjust and I'll be fine but it's going to be very very rough and I'm not looking forward to dealing with it all. Especially over the holidays. This is going to be Owen's first Christmas walking around and being more interative than just a lump on the floor pulling paper and I am so heart broken I'm going to miss it. And I'm terrified that he won't remember me at all when I come home. I know Annie is going to show him pictures and I'm going to get to talk to him, hopefully over the web cam, but things like that are so abstract to little kids it's going to be hard to process. I've enjoyed watching him grow up so much over the last year I can't imagine what the difference will be like the first time I see him after being gone for so long. I definitely plan on coming home at least once every year (hopefully more if I can swing it) so it probably won't be as bad as I imagine it will be.

I'll keep everyone posted as much as I can when things actually start to move in the next month or two. We should be getting our finalized dates for travel soon (I hope fingers crossed) and then I'll know when and where we're flying and make arrangements to see people.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Our trip to see the Santillans

A week ago we got home from a pretty spectacular vacation. We went to New York to go to the wedding of Dustin and Tara. Ever since I read The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy when I was in high school I wanted to be in New York. I don't know why, but there was something about the book that made me want to be a part of the city and it's seedy underlife. This was further enhanced by a little show called Friends having the cute apartment above the cute coffee shop. I wanted that. So I about peed myself at the prospect of going to New York to see Dustin and Tara and to get to sight see some of these really spectacular places. We really only got 3 full days there but it was well worth it. We stayed in Queens because that's where the wedding was but we went into Manhattan pretty much every day we were there. I knew going in that there was going to be a ton of stuff that we were going to miss and I thought I was going to be ok with that; it turned out I was wrong. We never made it to Central Park, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, the Village or any other really cool places. However, we did spend quite a bit of time in Times Square and got to go to a Broadway play of Mary Poppins. All in all it really was a fantastic trip. I loved seeing the Santillans and it was great to hang out with them on Saturday night (you guys rule!! Thanks for making Dave go see Mary Poppins). To be able to see some of the stuff that we got to see, experience the subways and buses (good and bad) and finally be able say "I've been there and done that" is just amazing to me. I'm very fortunate to have the bestest kinds of friends and have an awesome trip to a marvelous city.

The above pictures are some of the highlights of the trip. The top one is a view of St. Patrick's Cathedral. I wanted to get more exterior shots but half of it was covered by scaffolding undergoing maintenance or something. The one with Dave is the one I've titled "Fun on a bus." Megan is the one giving him the rabbit ears :) The bottom one is from the M&M store in Times Square . . . absolutely love this place. I could go there every day and be happy.
Oh, New York: I'll be back. Oh yes, I'll be back and I'll get in the Cash Cab this time dammit!!! You always go for the video bonus, ALWAYS!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Owen's 1st Birthday

So this is the most awesome-est Spiderman cake I have ever seen. And the best part is my wonderful little sister decorated it all by herself for her son's first birthday!!! It was way too cute and Owen had a blast with it. Some day I hope to be as talented with this kind of crap as she is.
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just Getting Started

Ok y'all. Welcome to my blog. I plan on using this for venting and keeping everyone in touch prior to and after our big move to Germany. I'll be relaying my thoughts, fears, major stressors and general freakouts along the way. I'm mostly doing this to copy my good friend Tara and use it as a great way to keep my family and friends updated as to what's going on in my life.
Currently, the thing that's been freaking me out the most is how we're going to move our cats from Idaho to Germany. We have a few options, some way more expensive than others. I've looked into an all inclusive service that will ship both cats door-to-door for a mere $4,500 or I can kennel them for about $13 a night per cat. I've been talking to other military wives I work with and they've mentioned foster families for pets. You can send your fuzzy buddies to foster families at your new base to take care of them until you arrive. I'm going to have David email his sponser at Ramstein to see if he can look into it for us. I even briefly thought about giving them up for adoption and not taking them with us, but how could you leave faces like this behind?