FRG Fundraiser

Yesterday was  a big day!  I participated in my first big FRG event!  I spent the entire morning and half the afternoon at Dave's company selling chili, nachos, frito pies, hot dogs, and baked yummies to the soldiers there.

I luckily have been able to make friends with Chrissy, the FRG Leader, and my neighbor so I was able to jump right and in help out.  We transformed the conference room into a lunch room!

Here's Chrissy before the sale began!

We had a ton of food set up... rows of crock pots filled with hot food and a giant table full of cookies, brownies, bread, pie, cupcakes and more!  We collected donations for 2 1/2 hours and made over $650 for the FRG!  These funds will go toward the company party before the unit deploys this summer!

I had a lot of fun being around these ladies.  It was really great to chat and get to know the women in an environment that was comfortable and familiar.  I wasn't the only new wife their either, so it was great to not feel singled out as being the only new lady there.  

I'm really looking forward to making friends with more of these women and spending more time with them before and during deployment. I have a feeling they are going to be what keeps me sane during that year Dave is gone! 

Shopping in Weiden, Germany

The next closest big city from where I live in Weiden... pronounced Vie-den. It's got tall buildings, department stores, boutiques, tall buildings and parking garages.

Today, my new friend Chrissy and I went into Weiden to do some shopping.  At first, we were going to goto a store called Real which is much like a a super Wal-Mart, but then I decided I'd rather go to the downtown area where all the clothing stores are.

Chrissy and I parked in a garage right in the center of all the shopping.  From the moment went stepped into the little shopping mall... I was in heaven.  This was exactly what I had been looking for.  Stores.  More stores.  LOTS of stores! And all with so super cute clothes!!

Oh... and an H&M.  Seriously.  H&M.  I was in heaven.  Since there are no Forever 21's here.... H&M is like the next best thing.   And let me tell you... it's SO MUCH BETTER than the H&M in the states.  I must go back to this store.  I must go back to Weiden!

Oh... and let me tell you about the shoe stores.  They are everywhere.  And cheap!! I got three pairs of shoes for 55 Euros.  Wow.  Can't pay that much at home for such cutes shoes.  Here's one pair of sandals I got.

And for lunch... we stopped in this little German restaurant that Chrissy had been in before.   I ordered Chili con carne with fresh bread.  It was unlike anything I'd ever tasted before.  Big chunks of ground beef with a red sauce and corn and beans.  FULL of flavor.  It was served in this big pot, almost like that's what it was cooked in.  I barely made a dent in it... but I took the rest home for Emily. YUM!

So... all in all... it was a good day.  Weiden has a farmers market on Saturdays and now that I know where to park... I just might go back there this weekend!!  People keep telling me to goto Amberg for shopping too... Goodness, I can't wait to check it out!

All I do is Bake and Shop

Seriously, that's all I do.  Bake and Shop.  It's pathetic actually.

Dave has been gone for 8, going on 9 days now... and no, I haven't been able to talk to him.  Not even once. I haven't going this long without talking to him since the first deployment, back in 2007-2008. Even during deployment #2 in 08-09 I never went more than 3-4 days without hearing from him. It's rediculous.  The guys in his battalion were told they couldn't bring their cell phones... yet his chain of command (his bosses) are all calling their wives regularly.  My FRG point of contact called to introduce herself to me yesterday and I asked her about how often they were going to be allowed to call home and she said she'd ask her husband (Dave's platoon sergeant) about it when he called that night.  Like he calls every night.  And... my FRG leader talks to her husband regularly also.  I don't get it.  If you're in charge,  you get to bring your phone?  Seriously... it just makes me upset that they have a rule but don't enforce it with  EVERYONE.  If you're higher ranking, you don't have to follow the rules. But if you're just an E-5 and new to the unit, you're fucked.  Don't get me wrong... I understand why they did it... preparing the guys and the families for what deployment is going to be like, blah blah blah.  But seriously, I've never gone this long without talking to my husband through two deployments.  This is not reality.  It's stupidity.

Ok.  Enough of that rant.

So... back to the baking and shopping.  Since I have no real friends here  (other than Brittnay, but I can't count her because she's moving back home during deployment in July), I really have nothing to do.  Yes, I know what you're all going to say... I have to reach out, find things to do.... yeah yeah yeah.  But it's not like those things are happening in 10 minutes. A lot of things are down the road and yes... I plan to participate.  But for right now... there is nothing.  So... in the last week, I've baked twice.  Two dozen cupcakes and two dozen cookies.  And they're all sitting on my counter with no one to eat them.  Granted, I did give some away... but really, they're still a bunch that'll probably get tossed out.

But, I'm okay with that.  Why?  Because baking seems to be the only thing that can sufficiently make me feel like I'm back home.  Like I'm myself in this life of mine that has been completely torn apart.

Speaking of back home.  I really miss my cupcake family there.  I've been following along on Facebook and Twitter and blogs about all the amazing things that have been going on and are coming up and it really breaks my heart to know I'm missing them all. Really, I'm so sad about it.  Tears coming down my cheek right now sad.  It sucks. I wish I could have gone to the CakeSpy/Bake It In a Cake Bake Sale, I wish I could goto Cupcake Camp Seattle... I wish. I wish. I wish! I knew it'd be hard to be away from all of that... but I didn't realize until I was here how much I really enjoyed and loved that community of friends that I had built around my blog.  My little cupcake heart is literally crumbling because of how much I miss that.  Ladies back in the Pacific Northwest.... don't take for granted what you have there.  Enjoy every minute of it.  You are all special women and I miss you terribly.

I only hope to one day, have a community of bakers and cupcake lovers here in Germany and Europe that can maybe be the same kind of family I had in Seattle.  Maybe someday.

Baking and Shopping.  That's the theme here, right?  So... I've baked my heart out... but I've also shopped.  A lot.  I've bought more junk I don't need because I have nothing else to do.  I've found a bunch of local shops... seriously, they have a EURO STORE here.  You know... like a Dollar Store.  OMG.  It's amazing! Well, besides the 19% sales tax. That is not amazing.  But, whatever.  I'll pay it because I really needed that seagull and light house for my bathroom.   And I really needed another wooden spoon set.  And I really, really reallllly needed mixing bowls for baking.  

My future plans.... a lot of them revolve shopping.  I have plans to go next week to Weiden, a town about 25 mins away, that has a store like Wal-Mart and an H&M and lots of other shopping.  Big stores.  Stores that I recognize.  Stores that are like ones from back home.  Can't. Wait.  So. Excited!  

So... baking and shopping.  These next two weeks better go buy quick.  I don't know how much longer my bank account can keep up with this. haha

Our New Home

On Friday, we got the keys to our new home and moved all our of stuff from the hotel in!  The house is in a military only community about 5 minutes from post.  We're so close that Dave can ride his bike to/from work everyday, leaving the car at home for me.  So, we're surrounded by other military families and Emily has plenty of kids to play with.  There is a playground just a few houses away from our house which Emily has already spent every spare minute at!  She's made tons of new friends already! Yay!

Our neighborhood overlooks the German countryside.  I haven't taken any pictures of that yet... but I will soon!!

The house came furnished with the necessities until our household goods arrive.  Beds, dressers, table/chairs, couches, etc.  We were able to borrow from ACS (Army Community Service) pots and pans and the rest we purchased at the PX on post.

The house is SO HUGE compared to anything else I've ever lived in before as an adult.  It's three stories plus a basement... four levels of house!! Three bedrooms, 2 1/4 bath, kitchen, dining room, and the basement has a HUGE laundry room, and two other rooms (one's going to be Dave's "man cave" and the other storage.  There is a spiral staircase that connects all four levels together.

The master bedroom is on the top floor and is, unfortunately the smallest of the bedrooms.  But, being on the top floor it offers the most privacy and has it's own bathroom attached.  The closets are awesome.  Dave and I have our own separate closets which include shelving.  TONS of room for all our stuff.  It's awesome!

Emily is on the floor below us and she loves having her own bathroom.  Her room is pretty big and she'll have tons of room to play once all her toys get here.  We plan to repaint her desk and bed to match her new bedding.  She's really excited to have more of a "teenager" room than a little girl room.

The second bedroom on this floor will probably be used as the guest bedroom.  We plan to get a double or queen bed for in there so when we have guests (HINT HINT FAMILY), there will be plenty of room for them!

There are hardwood floors through out the house.  The bedrooms have carpet and the bathrooms and kitchen have linoleum.  Easy to upkeep, I hope!

The kitchen is SO HUGE in comparison to the last house we lived in.   LOTS of counter space.  I think this afternoon I'm going to buy a hand mixer so I can bake while Dave is gone training this month.  I love love love the space in the kitchen.  I can't wait to get my Kitchen Aid and really start baking again!!!

The windows in the house are pretty cool, the can either swing open like a door or crack open at the top.  On the outside of the house are roll up/down blinds that block out the sun.  Eventually, we'll get curtains for the inside for added privacy.  I heard today that there is a class at the craft shop on post that teaches you how to make the curtains that will fit the house.  I think I might look into that class.  :)

Our backyard is completely fenced, which is great.  We plan to get some patio furniture and a bbq.  Emily want's a trampoline.  We'll see about that one though.  lol We have to do all the lawn maintenance ourselves, but the Army will give us a lawn mower, rakes, etc for the duration of the deployment to keep here at our house to maintain our property.  Soon, I'll be able to plant flowers in the garden areas too, which will be nice.

We also have our own parking space as well as a detached garage with a storage shed.  Both are outside and have to walk a little ways to get to them... no biggie, unless it's raining.  lol Really, it's not too far though.  We'll probably park in the parking spot until winter then move the van into the garage.  I'm not trying to scrape ice every morning.  lol I've had to do that the last couple mornings and it sucks.  Reminds me of home. lol

So... here's a slideshow of the house.  I tried to take pics of all the different angles so you could get an idea of what we've got.  I'll take another set of pictures once all our things arrive at the end of April and we're more settled.

Emily's first day of school!

Well, I just dropped Emily off for her first day of her new school!  She is in Ms. Edwards' 5th grade class!  And... she even knew someone in the class before she started!  Yay for Emily!  It was cute, when she arrived, the class was buzzing about her being there....everyone was expecting her and was excited to see her!  The teacher had written, "Welcome, Emily" on the white board and everyone welcomed her with open arms.  She felt special and was really excited to be there! 

Here's her school's website if you're interested in reading about it! We're in walking distance from the school, so I'll probably drive her in the morning until it gets warmer, but she can walk home.  There are a couple of kids in her class that live in this neighborhood and they are going to show her the ropes on the way home today.  

Ms. Edwards seems really nice.  She's probably in her 50's with lots of experience under her belt, including a Masters in Special Education.  Which will be great in helping Emily with her math and social skills!  

I'm really excited to see what the rest of this school year will bring for Emily!  She's made lots of personal goals and promises to herself and Grandpa that she will be a success!! I know she can do it! 

A move to Grafenwöhr

Yesterday, Dave came to pick up Emily and I in the afternoon to head to post to get some things done to in-process us.  After we were done, we stopped at his work to talk to his Family Readiness Leader (the guy in charge of making sure we're all squared away) and mentioned that we didn't have a place to live after Saturday since our hotel was booked.  He got on his phone and started calling around.  Luckily, he found a hotel for us literally outside one of the main gates.   So, we hurried back to the hotel, packed up all our stuff (in record time) and moved from Pressath to Grafenwöhr.

Our new hotel is right off the main road here in Graf, next to a bakery and deli and just around the corner from several restaurants, a laundry mat, stores and shopping.   A lot more going on here than in Pressath.  Here in Graf they have military housing communities off post surrounding the base, so there are lots of English speaking people everywhere.

We are also within walking distance of one of the main gates to get on post.  Last night we walked from the PX to our hotel and it took about 45 minutes (we took the long way though).   Today, we plan to walk to the PX and hopefully it'll be a quicker walk.   I'm really actually looking forward to walking places and exploring the area.

Since we're so close now, we're going to invest in a bike for Dave to ride to work everyday.  The weather here is changing and there will be less rain and snow to deal with.  So riding a bike will work out perfectly.  Also, when our car gets here, it will free that up for me to use to get Emily to school and to do what I need to do during the day and not have to be stuck at home.

Speaking of home... we are on a housing waiting list for a house on post.  It should be 2-3 weeks at the most before we're able to get in.  The community we are wanting are 2-story duplex style houses with yards and a garage.  They are only about 3 years old too... which is awesome!  Our furniture won't get here until late April, so we'll have to borrow furniture from the Army.  I really can't wait to get into housing... the hotel isn't bad, but I'll be happy to have a larger space to really get settled into!

The landscape here is a lot like Washington.  Lots of green trees!  There are a lot more rolling hills and a lot of open space, unlike home.  I'll bring the camera with me today and take pictures of things here in Graf and the military post.  :)

I've got really bad jet lag, but it's getting a little better everyday.  Last night I got to sleep about 2am and woke up at 730 for breakfast.  It's almost 10am and am tired, but will try and stay awake all day to help get my body back on track.  It'll be nice when I can fall asleep at 11pm instead of 2am.  

Emily is doing ok.  She has her moments when she melts down and wants to come home, but that's usually when she's super tired or hungry.  I got her a new little stuffed animal at the PX yesterday which really has seemed to make her happy.  She's been holding on to it and playing with it nonstop since she got it.  She misses the comforts of home, but is holding in there.  Just like the rest of us.

I think that's all for now.  As more things happen or change, I'll write again!

I love you and miss you all.  Lots!! xoxoxo


We made it!

Well, we made it! We are here in Germany!  Today is our first full day in this beautiful country and I can definitely say it's been an experience getting here!

Our journey started Tuesday, March 8 at 8:45am when the shuttle picked up my husband, daughter and I.  We said our tearful final goodbyes to my Dad, brother and sister and were off to the airport.

Ironically, I had asked the shuttle to come an hour earlier than originally scheduled because my husband feared we wouldn't have enough time to get thru security.  By 9:45am, we were at our gate.  Better early than late, I suppose.

Our flights were long, but good.  The first to Washington DC was about 4 1/2 hours and the second flight to Frankfurt was just over 7 hours.  During the flight to Frankfurt, we had Economy Plus seating which gave us more leg room and seat room.  I'd definitely recommend this to anyone on a long flight.  So worth the extra money.

When we arrived in Frankfurt we were immediately greeted by an Army liaison who helped us gather our luggage and take us to the holding area at the Sheraton hotel at the airport.  Luckily, I had made friends through JavaCupcake before coming to Germany and he was able to meet up with us briefly at the airport.  Steffan and his daughter brought us beer and champagne! What a welcome!

At the Sheraton we had a little big of time before we were loaded onto a bus for the 4 hour drive to the base we will be living so we took naps and had a bite to eat then it was off to Graffenwoehr!

Here's Emily on the bus... TIRED! (silly picture wouldn't turn straight!)

Traffic in Germany looks just about the same as the traffic in Seattle.  Grid locked!

The bus ride was about 4 1/2 hours with a short stop at a McDonald's on the way.  Two things about this McDonald's.... CUPCAKES and the McDrive.  Seriously, they have cupcakes at this McDonalds, I got SO EXCITED! haha  No, I didn't get one.  I should have though.

And... their drive thru is called the McDrive.  Cutest thing ever.

Finally we arrive to the military base where Dave's new Platoon Sgt meets us and takes us to our hotel, but not before a quick stop at the Commissary to get snacks for the next day.

Our hotel is pretty nice.  We are on the third floor, no elevator.  Emily gets her own room and is super happy about that!  Seriously, I'm pretty happy about that too.  She can't stand my snoring and I can't stand her wiggling!

We have an amazing view from our hotel room of this little town we are in, Pressath.

This morning, Dave left really early for his first day at work.  Lot's of in-processing for him to do for the next two weeks.

Emily and I slept in.  It felt so good to sleep.  Naps this afternoon are definitely on the agenda too!  After a hot shower, we went downstairs to find breakfast.  The hotel was supposed to offer it, but we couldn't seem to find where it was... so we went next door to the bakery for a danish.

Oh heavens.  I could eat at this bakery every morning.  Heaven.

After breakfast, we went for a walk around town.  Found a park, a cemetery, lots of shops and restaurants.  We'll do some more exploring tomorrow, I think.

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