Click here to view a short video recap of our first year!
Germany is good, but hard. I could not understand some things at first, but now I can. I made lots of new friends named Alex, Linus, Paul, and Jacob. My favorite foods are doner, falafel, and jelly donuts. It can be hard here, as I write this our house has no internet. But people are nice here. This year I hope that I’ll start school easier, and I’m looking forward to the sixth grade class trip to the mountains. I think it’ll be fun.
My first year of German school was really good and I had so much fun! I liked exploring Europe, except when I couldn’t take a brake and rest. My favorite place so far has been the castle’s because they’re so big and they look cool. I think Germany is pretty cool. Most German’s speak English. They have weird stuff here like you’re allowed to be naked when you’re in a lake. This year in Germany I want to go down a water slide and make more friends.
One year… Comics bought and libraries visited from almost every European country we have visited. We try not to eat American fast food, but it has happened, especially since we have a lack of Mexican food in Berlin. Chipotle in Paris, France and Taco Bell in Valencia, Spain, and we frequent the local Starbucks in most places. We also visit local churches and cathedrals even though we are not catholic, they are beautiful pieces of art and there is a since of calm and quiet in each one. Serenity. In our travels we try to live like locals, opting for VRBO’s and AirBnB reals instead of hotels. We visit local grocery stores and restaurants. We try the local dishes when it comes to food and drink. This means we have consumed many unusual items. The kids might turn up their noses at first, but they too have tried and liked a variety of flavors across Europe. Street food and art are my favorite thing to find.
Here in Berlin we have been blessed with a wonderful community and have made many friends and people we will miss and be sad to leave when that time comes. We have been blessed with family coming here to visit us as well. Mark Jr., my parents, my friend Sean from college, and Bekkie’s parents. We look forward to seeing Bekkie’s sister and her family in the weeks to come as well. Any of our Colorado friends coming? You’re invited! What will this year have in store? A lot! We can’t wait to visit new places and make more friends and relationships. I can’t wait to see what and where the Lord will take us in the year to come. Many of you have asked are you coming back or when are you coming back? This move to Berlin has done so much for us as a family. Filling us with experiences. We all have a new since of adventure, love of travel and learning new cultures. Whether we return — or not — we will continue this lifestyle of learning about the world and its people and how we are all one and the same. I wish everyone could experience what we have and gain a new perspective on life and how others live. Maybe experiences like this would create a world of unity and not of hate and fear, because in the end we are all people, period. Gender, colors, religion, size, shape, age: people.
I have this tendency to make myself as busy as possible (not surprising for most of you, I know). Before we moved I was working fifty plus hours a week, volunteering and trying to write as much as possible in addition to helping my boys with homework, household chores and so much more. To be honest, when I first heard about this opportunity I panicked a little. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to work in Germany I tried really hard to secure some telecommuting positions. But shortly after we moved, I learned the value of slowing down.
The first few months were an adjustment, but a good one. Trading hours of work for quality time with my family and new friends, and trading tedious tasks with travel, I learned to enjoy the here and now, to take it all in and enjoy the moments as they come. With that, I’ve been able to see so much and connect with amazing people, and to serve without worrying about time or other obligations.
In January I finally felt ready to add more to my plate, not because I wanted to be busy, but because I was so rested and full that I wanted to take on something new. I researched colleges, and two months later I began an online program through CSUGlobal to earn my Master’s in teaching and learning, two things very close to my heart. Months into it, I am loving the chance to learn without having to work full-time, and I find myself applying my new knowledge as I work with my own kids.
In short, though we were all challenged at the onset of the move, I have found that this experience has brought tremendous growth and opportunities for the entire family. I’m glad we took the leap of faith, and I’m excited to see what happens in our second year abroad.