Mini Amsterdam – Groningen

Hi there!

Yes, I’m alive. (#momlife)… I’ve been neglecting this space and I miss it. I’ve promised myself to get on here and write at least once a month. I always have people mentioning they love that I have all of this too look back on and in the back of my head I’m sad that I haven’t got to writing much this “year” or  rather,”season” as we hockey families refer to years. I have a draft on here for London, life update, breastfeeding, the list goes on… I’m the worst!

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(PC: Carina Conrad Photography)

Andi and I (and Jerry) are so lucky to have found friends here in Bremerhaven that we consider family. Andi’s babysitter and her family have been wonderful to us all year. I just wish we would have met them sooner (last season) because they have truly been a blessing to us. Liia is Andi’s babyistter, I don’t even really like referring to her as that because she’s so much more than that!… they have the cutest little relationship.

Andi and Liia on Christmas:

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We had planned to head down to Augsburg (about 30 minutes from Munich) to watch Jerry’s team play Liia’s dad’s  (he is the assistant coach in Augsburg) team back in January. It’s not very close and would have been a lot for just a couple of days. So, we settled on going to Groningen (Netherlands). I’ve been dying to head that way so we made a girls trip out of it while the boys were out of town. Groningen is about 2 hours from here (1 hour before Amsterdam).

We stayed at the cutest little hotel right in the city (The Student Hotel). It is actually half hotel/half short-term lodging for students. SO many students in Groningen from all over the world! It was great to hear people speaking English for a change.  We didn’t need anything special as we were just spending the night. The decor throughout the entire hotel was beyond amazing! The rooms are decorated as if you are in a dorm room. A really cute dorm room! There is a restaurant downstairs that has an amazing breakfast and at night you can get drinks at the bar. At night all of the college kids were downstairs hanging out in the common areas, drinking beers & doing homework. Overall, great place! AND to my surprise… very very quiet.

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The hotel is in the perfect location so after Andi was in bed, Liia stayed with her so Anke and I could grab some drinks. There are some cute bars very close to the hotel.

De Garage – So cute! Renovated space in an old garage (hence, the name).. and throughout the week they do a “pot luck” style lunch. They were closing but the nice lady let us come in and have a beer.

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De Toeter – An amazing whiskey bar! Over 300 whiskeys to try and over 100 different beers! Definitely a spot to hit in Groningen if you are looking for a fun time.

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We had the whole next day to explore! It was still pretty cold out but we were more than happy that the SUN was shining!!!

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I was dying to check out this “kids” store that’s home base is in Groningen (A Little Lovely Company)… it is every bit of lovely! I’ve followed them on Instagram for a long time. So I was happy I finally got to check it out for myself! They have two stores in Groningen. If you have kids, the flagship store is a must stop. They have a play area for kids and a mini cafe for coffee and relaxing! I wanted to live in this store….or buy everything.

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AMAZING! Right!? Check out the link to the store I posted above. You won’t be disappointed.

Groningen is a lot like Amsterdam. If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with Amsterdam….so that is quite a compliment. Canals, coffee shops (and by coffee, I mean joints), amazing stores, great restaurants, delicious cafes, bikes & more bikes… everything good. The Dutch people do everything right! Not to mention they are all very, very nice people. I just LOVE everything about the Netherlands. I have nothing negative to say about that country. Whenever I’m in the Netherlands, I hope to never leave. I fall in love a little more each time.

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I’m so happy we did a mini trip with Liia and Anke! It made for good memories that we will never forget.

I traveled a lot before Andi came along and it was great, really great. But… there is something so so so special about doing all of this with her. One day I hope she looks back at all of these memories and it makes her smile. I hope it pushes her to travel and maybe even visit all the places she was when she was little and living in Europe. We are lucky, that’s for sure. ❤

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Until next time, Netherlands!

What Day Is It?

I truly never know what day it is. I guess we call that, #stayathomemomprobs. I woke up on Wednesday and thought it was Friday. So, that’s that. Here we are, it’s December… and we’ve done a lot since I last posted. Halloween, LONDON!!!, Thanksgiving and now it’s almost Christmas… a lot to catch up on.

One of our favorite markets,”Freimarkt” is in October in our bigger city, Bremen. It basically represents the beginning of the fall/autumn season. Very similar to our Christmas markets minus all the Christmas-y stuff. So we get to enjoy hot wine a little before the christmas markets begin!

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We have always carved pumpkins one night in October as a tradition. Then we bake all the pumpkin seeds and drink wine! This year we added a member (Harbor) and let her join in on our pumpkin carving.

What she really did was: eat all my fruit and watch all my cartoons.

What we told her mom she did: carved the best pumpkin ever!

No surprise that andi was happy to dig her hands into the pumpkin and pull out all the guts. The child loves being messy.

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We got to celebrate Halloween the night before we left for London! Surprisingly German peeps are really starting to get into the “American Halloween”. The stores have Halloween stuff (costumes, candy, decorations). It’s fun to see people getting into the holiday in a different country where it isn’t really celebrated. Andi was the cutest puppy dog! We had Taco Night with our Lampls and by then our babies were ready for bed and we had to finish packing anyways. I loved seeing everyone’s kids dressed up on social media, so fun!

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Our original flight to London was bright and early the following day but got cancelled in the middle of the night and got pushed back to later on. It was a bit of a bummer to the start of our trip but we made it work! I will do a completely separate post for London. I could probably do 10 posts on London but I will spare you from too much information. London needs a hockey team ASAP and to hire my husband. Because, I’m IN LOVE. Jerry is going to laugh when he reads this, because I seriously fall in love with every place we visit. But, I fall in love with them in different ways.

Anyways, London is an amazing place and I can’t wait to share what we got to see and do while we were there!

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We celebrated “Martins Tag” with Andi’s classmates and school. All of the kids make “lanterns” and we went through park singing songs to celebrate St. Martin. At the end we had tea and pretzels (naturally). It was really special to me to partake in a german tradition with Andi and her school.

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Our Miika girl turned FIVE! Can you believe it? Actually some days I feel like she’s ten and I’ve had her my whole life. So far miika has spent her birthday’s in Slovenia (2 years), Italy, and her last two birthdays have been here in Germany! Lucky dog.

I had planned for Andi to throw some confetti and get this super cute photo but … that was a fail. So here is Andi, crying at Miika’s birthday party.

Happy Birthday Miika Kuhn! 

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We had a chill Thanksgiving this year. Andi wasn’t feeling great (thank you, school) and Jerry had a game the next day. Hockey life at it’s finest y’all. My bestie, baker extraordinaire,  made us pumpkin pie and apple crisps so, we were happy. I did my annual Skype the fam at night-time. Of course they were all disappointed because Andi was sleeping already. Schedules people, schedules! Can’t believe this is my 6th holiday season away from home. Sadly, it’s starting to not really phase me anymore. It used to be much harder on me. I think the fact that we have started to create our own traditions has made it  easier for us.

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The past couple of Saturdays I’ve been taking Andi up to the rink to see Jerry after his practice. I’m glad I have been.. the first time she was freaking out about the ice (I mean it’s a little intimidating!) and she still gets a little nervous around Jerry in all of his big gear. Last weekend she was ready to full on jump on the ice! Can’t wait for Andi to get her first skates and get out there one day.

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It’s hard to believe it’s December and were just a short time from Christmas! We have our tree up but someone’s little hands keep taking all the ornaments off. I won’t mention any names. We have been enjoying our Christmas market and all the yummy gluhwein (not andi, she sticks to her water cup)! But she suckered her dad into letting her try a candy cane and now she’s addicted!

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Last weekend Andi and I went to her babysitters house to make cookies with her and her mom! It was a great time! Andi was surprisingly behaved for not being in her own house. It felt so good to walk into a nice, cozy home. For a little while I felt like I was “home”. Andy’s babysitter never really gets to see her since by the time she gets to my house on game nights Andi is tucked away in bed. So it was so cute to see them together!

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I found myself feeling a little down in the dumps, slightly depressed and having little episodes of anxiety. All things I have never really expereinced, especially feeling depressed. So, I truly didn’t know what route to take. We don’t see the sun much here, I learned that last year. So, this little fam is all fuled up on Vitamin D. It can suck the life out of you when you don’t get any sunshine! Also, I know that many changes were/are happening in my body since I stopped breastfeeding andi 2 months ago. On top of that I think life has just changed drastically since having a baby and I’m really trying to find my way right now. That can be a little overwhelming. No one ever talks about that stuff and I didn’t ever expect to have any of these feelings. I think it’s something that should be talked about because I know that it isn’t just me.

Anyways, I had only been to the gym about 3 times total since having Andi. If you remember… I worked out until I was about 37 weeks pregnant and then I couldn’t breathe easily anymore, lol. Even after that I walked 4 miles a day. I didn’t know if I was really missing the gym and thought it wasn’t really my thing anymore. I was totally wrong. I got back into the gym about a month or so ago. It took Jerry going with me on his day off for me to realize that it was what I needed back in my life again. Luckily my hubs writes me everything to do before I go. I miss my workouts with him but enjoying it as my own thing now. I’m going 3 or 4 days a week and I’m finally starting to feel a little bit better. Much different from the way I was feeling a few weeks ago.

And incase anyone needs proof: here’s me feeling better at the gym.

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We are halfway through the hockey season which is insane! Time is flying. It has been really amazing to watch all of Jerry’s hard work from this summer show in his hockey games. We are proud of him, always.

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Now it’s time to get Christmas presents wrapped and under the tree. Where does the time go?! We have our team Christmas party next week which is always a nice time for everyone and this weekend the girls on the team are doing our own little “white elephant” christmas party, wine included. Should be a great time!

I’m so glad I got on here to catch up a bit (can you believe this small post was created over three days…..lol, #momlife). I just don’t have the time like I used to but I want to make sure that I have things to look back on. I always go back in read my old posts and most of them put a smile on my face. So, it’s important that I do small posts like this (even if I’m the only one reading). Next, some London posts – so I don’t forget all the great spots we got to see!

I hope that everyone takes some time to enjoy the holiday season. I know it can get stressful and we forget to just sit back and relax. But it’s important to find the time to enjoy the “holiday cheer”.

XO

Summer To Fall

It’s been very quiet over here because we’ve been enjoying our LONG summer. To our (very big) surprise, we had two months of pure sunshine here in Bremerhaven. Everyone enjoyed it to the fullest. We were outside all afternoon soaking up every inch of sun. We knew that it wasn’t going to last forever and that rainy Bremerhaven days were just around the corner. Andi loves the sunshine and enjoyed playing outside with the kids every day.

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Flying with daddy!

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We stumbled across a farmers market here that is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, year round! It’s great for fresh flowers, fruit, eggs… meat…. or just a nice walk through to catch some fresh air with the kids.

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Since we’ve been back we’ve managed to hit up some of our favorite nearby towns, with our best friends in tow of course.

Hamburg:

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Bremen:

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Oldenburg:

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The season is in full swing, we are about 4 weeks in! The boys had a “fan” day to finish off their last weekend of preseason games. Andi was happy to go and support her daddy!

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Ellie and I got to enjoy our first game with NO babies! Thank you, babysitters! It was a crazy feeling but felt good for this mama to get out. Friday night games are way to late for baby Andi who hits the hay at 7 PM. Wine, please!

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A lot has changed at the Kuhn house since I last wrote. I have officially stopped nursing Andi, it’s been over a month now since we stopped. I’m sure my family still can’t believe it but it’s true! I woke up one morning and decided it was time. Cutting out nursing little by little wasn’t working for us. So unfortunately for Andi, it was cold turkey for her on the boob milk. I have a post saved in my drafts to talk all about this so I’ll keep this part short. It’s getting harder for me to post personal things now.  I’ve become more private, quiet and less opinionated. Part of growing up? Yes (maybe some other people should take notes?). But also something that has happened to me over the past five years of being an expat. So I keep blogs and never post them. Anyways, Andi did great and we made it!

Naturally, a few days after I cut out nursing Andi got very very very sick. So sick that we ended up at the hospital one night at 3 AM with a 104 degree fever. She was tested for everything and all they could tell us was that she had a 7-10 virus because everything came back negative. Which is great but.. we were worried about her. She had a fever for NINE days! It was awful. We enjoyed the snuggles and really enjoyed learning all the words to Peppa Pig (sarcasm). Andi got better on the 10th day and finally woke up with no fever but a heavy addiction to a pacifier. UGH!!!!!

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We kept andi home from school one extra day to make sure she was 100% – we got out and headed downtown to enjoy the sunshine and Fish & Chips with daddy! He usually has Monday’s off so we like to spend the day with him. This little chick LOVES fish. Which is.. great!

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AND THEN WE BLINKED… AND IT WAS FALL!

It’s officially fall here in Bremerhaven. Were barely hitting 60 degrees and the sun is going down so early that we can barely keep our eyes open past 5PM.

With fall weather in Germany comes… festival season! Yup, food, beers, chocolate, ferris wheels… need I say more?

The girls and I hit up our first festival this past weekend while the boys were out of town!  “Kramerfest” in Oldenburg.

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Fall weather = Fall clothes!

Seriously.. these little girls are beyond beautiful… how’d we get so lucky?!

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Today I had a meeting with one of Andi’s teachers and they say she is doing great. Her teacher said she loves to observe and watch what all the other kids are doing and then she follows. A couple of weeks ago they sent home her sippy cups because she is drinking out of a regular cup at breakfast and lunch with them. She seems to learn something new every week and always comes home doing the cutest things!

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We are missing family and friends back home but love being able to keep in touch with everyone thanks to FaceTime. Andi loves calling Oma & Opa… okay, mostly Uncle Zach (since Uncle DJ is busy finishing up his last year at college!!!). We know before we know it, it’ll be summer again.

I hope to catch up again before the next season, (blah) winter hits us. But I’m sure I will be since we are heading to …. LONDON! For our November break this year. Stay tuned! ❤

Sending love and hugs to everyone back home.

XO

Baby Andi – 9 and 10 months!

I’m going to do my best to pick up where I left off! I can’t believe we have a nearly 11 month old baby but not to rush.. we have catching up to do first!

Unfortunately Jerrys season ended a little earlier than expected. Which is never fun. Nonetheless, we are so proud of him and all of his hard work this season!

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{PC: SPFoto}

Some things we did before we left Germany!

We celebrated Jerry’s 30th Birthday with the help of my wonderful friend, Ellie. There’s actually a really funny story about Jerry’s birthday. I wish I still had photo proof. True Life, I’m that crazy hockey wife. I wanted to decorate Jerry’s stall since 30 is kind of a big deal. BUT he had a game on his birthday. I lied and said I was going to the grocery store but really went to the rink. I decorated Jerry’s stall in all this crazy 30th Birthday decorations only to.. tear it all down. I got extremely sweaty and panicked and I freaked. I got the worst feeling and my superstitions took over so, I tore it all down and pretended like it never happened. I was so worried that if they lost it would have been my fault for touching Jerry’s stall. This.. is my life in a nutshell. After a few days I finally confessed to Jerry. He laughed but then told me how happy he was that I tore it down. Happy Birthday!

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We celebrated easter with our hockey family!

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Andi enjoyed her last swim class before we return in August! In August they will be putting floaties on her arms! 12800347_10207347785630927_7961384816902192988_n

We enjoyed one more day trip to our favorite little town – Bremen. We needed one more trip to Vapiano’s with our Lampl crew. The girls enjoyed their carbs, per usual!

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We had an entire week full of warmth and sunshine before we left. It was amazing… only to return to Detroit and have cold and snow.

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Andi started crawling right before we left to come home. Of course the first real crawl happened while Jerry was gone on a road trip!

She turned 9 months a couple days before we flew home.

NINE MONTHS:

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She celebrated with one of her favorites that her dad makes, sweet potatoes and beets! We let her make a mess.

Andi and Papa were excited to use the “euro line” at customs with their cool German passports. Don’t worry, I get to go with them and skip the long US line in Germany with my cool Germans!

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I would say the flight went as good as it could. It could have been worse for sure. I don’t think it’s ever going to be as enjoyable as flying alone… ha! We just had to do a lot to keep her occupied.. and asleep. Everyone is making noise and Andi is that baby that needs her own space. So, not a lot of sleep happened but we made it!

Andi has got to “meet” a lot of people since being home. Considering she was 4 weeks when we left it’s like meeting everyone over again. We stayed at my parents like we always do until we got settled into our summer place. The time change was a little rough at first but we adjusted after 5 or so days. It went better than I expected. When we first got home it was pretty tough, Andi didn’t want to go to anyone, especially if I was anywhere in the room. She is slowly but surely getting better with other adults holding her.

We have a lot of little parks around our house and Andi is loving the swing and sunshine!

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We ended up taking Andi to the doctor here to get her shot record updated. The State of Michigan kept sending letters telling me to vaccinate my child, haha. She is but clearly all her shots have been done in Germany!

TEN MONTHS:

WEIGHT: 22 LBS

HEIGHT: 28 INCHES

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Since when we left for Germany baby Andi was a tad “under weight” the doctor was so happy to see that she clearly doesn’t miss a meal and is very healthy!

Things andi is doing: copying things other people do (facial expressions, “yelling”, talking), standing (going from table to couch, not standing alone), got her first two teeth FINALLY!, giggling lots, points to Miika and says “dog”… (it’s crazy cute). Puts phone up to her ear and acts like she’s talking.

Dislikes: When I leave the room (this is not cute, its awful), car rides, getting her diaper changed.

We enjoyed my first Mother’s Day! So sweet. I love being this monkeys mama.13178843_10207723328699269_504799372026338495_n

Last week we “surprised” our friends in Idaho for a visit! We packed up and headed there on short notice and I’m so glad we did. It was the perfect most refreshing trip. You all know how much I love Idaho. My love grew even more while we were there. I truly hope that we get to live there after hockey. It just feels like the perfect place to put down our roots. Jerry pretend he doesn’t love it like I do, but he does. He was even checking out houses online the night before we left! WIN! 😉

Jerry’s bestie, Harbor only had a little idea that we were coming and was waiting on her balcony when we pulled up. She was SO surprised and so excited!

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It is so crazy to see Andi and Indy growing up together. I don’t know what we’ll do when the day comes we won’t always be together (they are also in Germany with us for the hockey season). We took Andi and Indy out to a field for some pretty photos. They are totally the cutest best friends!

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Now we are just continuing to enjoy our summer and watching Andi grow. We have a lot coming up for her – baptism & first birthday party! I’m missing Europe lots and can’t wait to be back and hopefully enjoy some sunshine before Jerry’s training starts. I love being home with my family and catching up with old friends but Europe is home for us after all these years. ❤

I have my first “friend” wedding Saturday. We are looking forward to a mommy & daddy night out. Except… should be interesting for my poor mom. Andi still “doesn’t take a bottle” really. So, I’m going to owe my mom big time because I have a feeling it might me a mighty long night…

Until next time,

The Kuhns

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Fresh Start

After two hockey seasons of major ups & downs, we have finally found a happy medium.

I’m happy to say that Jerry and I are really loving Brunico.

 We are experiencing a lot of things for the first time this hockey season. Team gatherings, organization and Jerry’s experiencing a lot of different things at the rink – just to name a few things. We did experience a lot of great things in Krefeld but our time there was so short (too short)! Nonetheless, we are happy to be doing all of these things now. It’s nice to be on a team where we can all get together, families included and talk about happy things. Instead of talking about, not getting paid, the boys not having equipment and all that other stuff we dealt with for two years.

I think the best part of everything we’ve been through, is the fact that Jerry and I don’t expect much. We know we are always going to have good and bad days. Things aren’t always going to be perfect here or anywhere. For now we are going to embrace the fact that things are going well and I might run on top of a mountain and tell everyone I’m happy.

My german lessons start next month, I’m a bit nervous but excited. Also, I’ll be teaching private English lessons to a few different children! So thankful to have met someone who is helping me with finding the jobs and meeting the children. Not only is it a bit of income for me but it will also be a great experience. I’m finishing up my summer semester of classes tomorrow and start my fall classes at the end of the month. So, for all of those that wonder what I do all day? There ya go! Don’t forget walking Miika 4+ miles a day. 😉


 This past weekend was extremely nice – in general and the weather!

Saturday in downtown Brunico was the presentation of the hockey team. It was so nice to see the fans and kids gather downtown to see the guys get introduced.

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[photo credit: optic rapid]

On Sunday we had a BBQ at one of jerry’s teammates place. Guys, families, dogs, all of us! We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Meet our big Brunico hockey family:

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 Meet the babies of the family:

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Miika slept all day Monday after her fun in the sun with the kids.

Our hockey season starts this weekend! So excited. Here’s to a healthy and successful season for Jerry!

Let’s go #35!

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 “There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy”

– Amanda

The Ljubljana Zoo

 Miika and I joined a few of the kids, from the center we volunteer at, on a field trip to the Zoo yesterday!

I can’t believe I never made it there last season – the zoo is fairly big and nestled perfectly in the woods so you get a good hike in if you tour the entire thing. It’s pretty cheap to get inside, [click here for info on the zoo]. The weather was great, and it wasn’t too busy. Overall, awesome afternoon!

I came home wanting to buy a zoo, don’t think Miika or Jerry are on board.

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We happened to be walking by the elephant when it was time for her feeding. Everyone knows elephants are my FAVORITE! I was in awe and was so happy we got to see her in action. My dream job is to be that elephants best friend – she sure is beautiful.

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My second favorite, the sea lion.

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The zebra & giraffes.

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We took a break from seeing the animals and let the kids play. There is actually a lot to do in there for children besides seeing the animals. Trampolines, a few playgrounds, and a spot to eat. You can actually camp inside the zoo if you want too. I don’t know how I feel about that….

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[ their having fun, I promise! ]

In part of the zoo there is a small petting farm of baby pigs, goats, etc. Super cute but super smelly! I’m not much for farm animals but the kids loved it!

It was fun to see Miikas reaction to all the animals and have her tag along with me (got to love that about Europe)! The only thing she wasn’t a fan of, the ostriches and the roosters. She wanted to swim with the sea lion, and play with the meerkats.

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I had another wonderful day with the kids and created another lovely memory that I will always cherish.

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Until new time, Adijo – Ciao!

The Kuhns

Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s day to all you love birds out there!

Like I’ve said, Jerry and I don’t buy each other gifts or celebrate the holiday but that doesn’t mean we didn’t wake up and say, “Happy Valentine’s Day”, or “I love you”. We did! I hope everyone that does celebrate is enjoying their day full of love.

Jerry’s out of town anyways today. Pretty sure he was on the road last season too. So, I spent the afternoon at the kids center celebrating Valentine’s and one of the girls (Samiras) Birthday. The kids made muffins, we did crafts, we played games, did homework and sang Samira Happy Birthday… in English! 😉

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I’m going to make myself a nice dinner, my favorite, chicken-pesto pasta! I always make it when Jerry is out of town because he’s not really a fan of it. I’ll probably have a glass of wine too 😉

Burnt Cookies and Shootouts

Yesterday Jerry and I had such a busy day, It’s crazy how fast the day goes by when you are gone doing things ALL day long. I dropped Jerry off at practice, Miika at CityDog and I headed to the gym. After practice Jerry and I headed to lunch and then to the kids center for a couple hours. We have a big “fashion show” coming up next week! The kids are all doing different things, some of the girls are modeling, singing, and choreographing dances. The boys are DJ’ing, doing photography and speeches. Yesterday we were trying to “make outfits” out of random fabric that we found, this is what JeaLena came up with:

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Isn’t she so cute? She’s going to be a heartbreaker in a couple years…look out Slovenia! Jerry and I are truly having a great time with the kids. There’s something special about little kids being so happy to see you after school.

After finishing my whole plate of calamari at dinner last night we came home and “relaxed”. Jerry played video games and I cleaned the apartment top to bottom (wine in hand). I wanted to get things done last night, so I could do absolutely nothing while Jerry was gone today….. which I accomplished.

It rained all day long but I put on my Hunters and took Miika for a couple walks anyways. Then we snuggled in bed, watched Hotel Transylvania and napped a little bit. I attempted to bake cookies….. big fail. I didn’t get that gene like my mama, too bad for Jerry! But seriously, I blame the oven, it burns EVERYTHING. I don’t even enjoy baking, I think it’s because I’m SO OCD and baking is SO messy. Anyways, I did another batch and some of the cookies were salvageable. I know Jerry will devour them with a big glass of milk when he gets home late tonight. Hey, at least I tried. Hopefully Jerry doesn’t fire me…..

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Jerry’s game went to a shoot out tonight and they ended up winning, 4-3! Big win for them since they beat the 1st place team in the league, Vienna and it’s their first shootout win ALL season! Go Jerry Go!  Image

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 Looking forward to waffles in the morning with Jerry at our new favorite breakfast spot, maybe I’ll even wake up to snow? Maybe? Maybe?