Münster, Germany

While Liam and I were visiting the Allens in Wuppertal last month we took a day trip up to Münster for their Saturday market. Now, you guys know I love a good market so I was very keen!

As soon as Liam and Eloise woke up from their morning naps we all packed up our things and hopped in the car. Once there, we strapped our kids up – Eloise in the stroller and Liam in the Ergo – and made our way to the market.

The market itself was great! They had flowers and meats and vegetables and honies. But, what I think was really cool about this market was the massive amount of food trucks they had. I love a good food truck!

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After the market we parked ourselves at the Pinkus’ Müller for some lunch and a bit of a break. Afterwards, we slowly made our way back to the car to head back home.

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I was hoping Liam would get sleepy and fall asleep in the Ergo for his afternoon nap. Nope. This boy had too much to see. This boy loves being outside and observing everything. I was so proud of how he did. However, the real star of the day was my back. It carried that boy like a boss AND didn’t even complain afterwards! Thank you, back :)

I really enjoyed walking around Münster. It’s a really beautiful city.

Fun fact: After the war the Old Town was rebuilt exactly as it looked before the war.

Fun fact numero dos: it’s the bicycle capital of Germany.

I think both of those things heavily contribute to the attractiveness of Münster. I would definitely go back if I lived closer… and try out every single food truck!

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Our Weekend

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I look forward to celebrating it all year long!

Since it’s not recognized here in the UK we celebrate it on the Saturday. We make it a potluck meal where Will and I provide the turkey and a dessert (Will’s mom’s coconut pecan pie!) and everyone else provides the rest. I love how everyone really gets into it! We had friends this year that wanted to run a recipe by us to make sure it was a “proper” recipe! Stuff like that warms my heart – and my belly!

This year we had a “smaller” gathering – 16 people – and had it start earlier in the day than normal. It worked out better that way for Liam. Who, by the way, was an absolute gem the whole time! He’s such a little charmer!

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Photo Credit: Julian thanksgivingweekend2015-3_zpskvt0sgjw

We all ate waaaaaay too much, went around in a circle saying something we’re thankful for, ate dessert, had a little whisky tasting, and just hung out! It was such a great time; probably one of my favourite Thanksgivings.

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Of course, that night was not so great – as in Liam woke up crying at midnight and would not let me put him down. So I spent the rest of the night on the couch with Liam in my arms, sitting up and trying to rock him to sleep. I may have gotten about three hours of actual sleep that night. All three of us have been battling some sort of cold so this didn’t help. But luckily it was Sunday and we were able to abandon all responsibilities that whole day. Will did have to go lead worship in the morning service, but when he came back, with treats from the shop, we ate Thanksgiving leftovers, watched Florida State destroy Florida (as they do), got some extra baby snuggles in, Facetimed with family, and put up our Christmas tree!

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Will ended up putting up 95% of the ornaments while I was messing with the camera’s self-timer and posing for this picture – hahaha! #keepingitreal

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Oh man I love our crooked little tree!

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I’ve never been one to enjoy decorating the tree. We’d always wait until the last minute and I’d purposefully try to avoid helping my mom put it up. Now, I’m always so eager to do it. I think it’s a combination of bringing out our broken, fake tree with not enough branches that we bought our second year here in Edinburgh because we didn’t have a tree our first year; while trying to string up the too-small lights we bought with the tree in a way that make it seem more lit up, but doesn’t; and the process of going through our little box of ornaments that were either gifts from friends, tokens from our travels, pictures of memorable events, and/or handmedowns from our childhood. All of that combined makes me so keen to put up our tree and decorate it!

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It was a wonderful weekend! I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend too!

This weekend will be all about getting ready for our trip to Richmond AND celebrating Will’s birthday!!!!!

Our Christmas Holiday in Richmond

Will and I (and Liam, of course) are heading back to Richmond for Christmas next month! We’re really looking forward to our families seeing Liam, some for the first time. I can’t believe how much he’s changed in these first six months so I know our parents are going to love seeing him again being more alert and interactive!

But, in getting excited about our trip back to Richmond, I realised that I forgot to share about our trip last year (oooops).

So, last year was great. I had JUST gotten over being sick and my belly was starting to show. It worked out really well. It was our first Christmas back in four years so there were a lot of things we were looking forward to: family dinners, family decorations, family christmas traditions – pretty much all things family!
 Will and I had spent the previous three Christmases just the two of us and albeit some of my favourite holiday memories with him, it was nice to spice things up a bit with being with our families. We consider ourselves pretty lucky that both sets of parents not only live in the same city BUT they’re friends and hang out all the time!!

We arrived on the 23rd and unfortunately jet lag kicked my butt and I could barely keep my eyes open past 8pm our whole time there. But we hit the ground running and managed to have joint dinners nearly every night, catch up with most everyone we wanted to, and got to see some FSU football together – go Noles! My brother came down from New York twice to be with us and that was really special – I legitimately can’t get enough of that guy.

I am blessed with two moms that really know how to make my belly happy! Between my mother-in-law’s southern comfort food and my mom’s puerto rican comfort food I pretty much had to be rolled out of Richmond. On top of that, I indulged in corned beef hash and eggs nearly every morning, with the occasional morning of waffles for breakfast. It was bliss! I joked that my bigger belly at the end of the trip was not entirely baby… maybe 75% of it was baby? ;)

One of the more exciting parts of this trip was that I would be spending New Year’s Eve dancing the night away with my closest friends! With three out of four of us not living in Richmond anymore (Tennessee, Oregon, and me in Scotland) it’s unlikely for us to find ourselves in the same place. BUT, this New Year’s Eve it happened. We put on our false eyelashes, curled our hair, applied our brightest red lipstick, and danced the night away! It was bliss! I think that was my most favorite New Year’s Eve EVER!

Deep down inside Will was looking forward to dancing ;)

“I’ve never felt more attractive” – Stacey
“Wow. Our faces move like that.” – Leslie

That night was only made better by dragging Will out of bed at 8am to go to Waffle House the next morning! Will might have hated me that morning, but it was for the baby ;) And it was Waffle House!! Note: I definitely plan on introducing Liam to Waffle House on this trip!

The last time we were back in RVA we didn’t take one family picture. This time we got the talented Amy Robinson to take our pictures. Aren’t we all so beautiful?!! I really do love my family!

Photo Cred: Amy Robinson

I also got my friend, Leslie to take some bump pictures for me. Oh my cute little baby bump!

All in all it was a wonderful trip back to Richmond and a wonderful Christmas! Will and I are looking forward to going back and having Liam with us – outside of my belly this time ;)

Scotland Bucket List

Glencoe

I’m just NOW getting over my mild version of the flu. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. But Will and I are survivors so we persevered. We also may have self-medicated with fish ‘n chips three nights in a row and then had burgers with friends. Our bodies kinda love/hate us right now.

So, in the spirit of being sick and lazy I’d thought I make a Scotland bucket list. We have a few goodbyes to say in the coming months so we’ve been talking about Scotland bucket lists. Of course, Will and I have more than a few months left here, but I thought it would be a good idea to get started on it now so we’re not scrambling to fit it all in later. Though, I’m sure that in those last few weeks we’ll still be scrambling and trying to fit in as much of this wonderful place as possible!

So, here’s our Scotland bucket list. We’ll probably add to it as we think of more things.

  • Ride the Jacobite Train
  • Hike Binnean Niem Beann
  • Go on a whiskey tour (this one’s more for Will)
  • Road trip around Scotland
  • See more of the highlands
  • Go to the Orkneys
  • See Hadrian’s Wall
  • See more of the west coast

It doesn’t seem like much but it’s not that big of a country but a couple of these items are things I want to do again (highlands, Glencoe, and the west coast). We’ve been lucky enough to have done a lot already:

Café Love: Artisan Roast

I did it! I finally took some pictures of the best place in Edinburgh to get a cup of coffee (says the girl who doesn’t drink coffee).

So I’m no expert, but Will’s favorite coffee in Edinburgh is Artisan Roast. Hands down. It’s the highlight of his week when he buys his beans. They’ve had a bit of a reputation for being a serious place for coffee—maybe too serious… But they’ve been re-vamping their style. Before it was a bit too hipster, if you know what I mean. Like, there were burlap sacks decorating the walls—which you can still see in their back room—but it’s toned it down some. It’s much more welcoming to us normal folk. ;) There’s a location in Broughton, but usually we go to Bruntsfield. For us it has a neighborhood feel and is a great place to meet up with a friend over a really good cup of coffee.

Both shops are pretty cozy, but they have an open-plan vibe for more space, and you can watch the baristas at work. And if you’re lucky, or if Cambell’s working, you can get a lesson on how they brew your coffee just right.

Another cool thing about Artisan Roast is that they care about sustainability and creating long-term relationships with farmers. Their beans are fair-trade, organic, and/or part of the Rainorest Alliance certification scheme. Everything’s appropriate for the season and fresh throughout the year. Or that’s at least what Will tells me. ;)

138 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH10 4ER

57 Broughton St, Edinburgh EH1 3RJ

Our Last Day In Paris

I know this is a backwards way of doing it but since I started with the morning of our last day I thought I’d share with you the rest of the day too. I had told you about our morning in Montmartre and how much I loved it but I also loved the rest of that day. We walked all over the place: the Marais, Île Saint-Louis, the Seine, and La Plage. It was some of our favorite places in Paris in one day!

A highlight of the day was that I finally got to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe! The views were beautiful! I can’t fully explain it but I absolutely love the Arc. It’s stunning and one of my favorite monuments in the world.

 

After the Arc we decided it was time for some lunch… and what better place for lunch than some falafel in the Marais?

We ate our lunch in a small park nearby and then strolled over to Île Saint-Louise to get gelato and eat it while walking along the Seine! Doesn’t that sound absolutely wonderful? It should, because it was!

 

Because our day started so early, we felt like we had all the time in the world to get to places. We leisurely strolled all throughout the city of Paris. That evening we decided that since we watched the sunrise we should end the day with the sunset and one last sparkly Eiffel Tower.

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One last sparkle!

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