Saturday, December 18, 2010

Random thoughts as 2010 winds down

This has been a crazy year. I finished my tour in Iraq, was reunited with my fiancee, married her a month later, and then we moved overseas two months after that. Somehow, we still managed to squeeze in a good bit of travel in the midst of all this craziness. Here is a snapshot of where we've (either T or B, or both) been this year (because i know you're reallllly interested):

Germany (does a brutal 9 hour layover count as a visit?)
Turks and Caicos
Nellysford (Grandpa's cabin!)
New Jersey

Next year we hope to add a few more destinations to this list ... Oman, London, Paris, Prague, Dubai, somewhere tropical for our first anniversary ... I hope I can get the time off work ....

A visit to the first world

Thera and I visited Vienna, Austria in mid-December. Even though it was a quick trip T and I were really glad that we were able to visit a good friend before he leaves Vienna this summer, and also to see the city during the Christmas season. The Christmas markets were in full swing and we hit a lot of them and had a great time despite the cold and some rain! Typical Viennese weather, apparently.
The Rathaus (City hall) Christmas Market

Amman is a good place to live with great people, plenty to see and do, and some wonderful scenery. That said, it was nice to take a quick break and experience the orderliness, the cleanliness, and the beautiful architecture and history of Vienna. Oh, and the gluwein (mulled wine) wasn't too bad either!
The Stephansdom (St Stephen Cathedral) and Christmas Tree
We love the classic Kathe Wolfhart-style Germanic handmade wooden ornaments and managed to find a few places at the markets that carried them. They were in much shorter supply than I had expected! We found several ornaments, one of the pyramid spinner things, some smokers, and a nutracker or two. These ornaments remind me of home and are what I grew up with, I am so glad T and I got to experience Austria and start our own collection!

We had some great meals, hilarious conversation, and really enjoyed ourselves with the niceties of Europe! We're back in Amman now with the Christmas season in full swing with lots of Christmas parties and even a few Santa sightings. There are more Christmas decorations out here than I would have imagine and the weather is getting cold....we even got snow here last weekend...of course we missed it because we were in Vienna...typical! Regardless, even though T and I are away from our loved ones this year and missing everyone a lot, we will still make the most of our first Christmas together!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas and HHE - wooohooo!

We were so excited to finally get our HHE (Household effects) and to decorate for Christmas! It was kind of like Christmas morning unwrapping all of our things that we haven't seen in months, and the only snafu was that Brian's rugs never made it. Hopefully they are back in the States, safe in storage.
the aftermath of unpacking 98 boxes ...

Our place really feels like home, now that we have more of our belongings and put pictures on the walls. Amazing how much that changes things!! We still have a few more things to do before it's complete though, which mostly includes changing the fluorescent light fixtures....No thanks to those ugly things!!

It was also wonderful to get my kitchen things, like my blender, mixer, more pans, etc. Many of our things were wedding gifts that we are just now using because we never unwrapped them before the wedding! Now we just have some empty wedding frames to fill! We still don't have all of our pics from our photographer...don't even get me started!

Susie is also adjusting that she has her doggie bed and toys. We are bad parents to have forgotten both her bed and toys to include in the earlier least we remembered food!

Decorating for Christmas was fun...although my little Christmas tree fit perfectly in the corner of my little condo in Alexandria, it looks a bit silly here, but we don't care! I have been collecting ornaments from all the places I've been, so those and the beautiful White House ornaments that I've also collected through the years make it beautiful and meaningful to us! And who knows if we'll have a white Christmas or not!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!!