Saturday, January 2, 2016

Your first Holidays- Happy 4 & 5 Months!

Happy Holidays Booger-Butt

November 2015 swiftly approached and the holidays crept up on all of us way too soon! You and I made it back from the USA (after a long and hectic traveling week) around the 5th of November, and before we could barely get back into our routine, Thanksgiving was upon us. Your dad's cousin (Taylor) and her friend came to visit us for a week during their travels across Europe, and your cousin Kristy and Great Aunt Chris also flew in a few days before Thanksgiving. It is always awesome to have family visit us while stationed here in Germany!! Some of the best moments during the Holiday Season are the German Christmas Markets! They start around mid-November and go through mid-December (or some all of the way to Christmas). They are magical :) You went to about five from November to December (Stuttgart, Esslingen, Rothenberg ob der Tauber, Heidleberg, Tubingen, and Stuttgart again). November 18 you turned 4 months old!

Tübingen Chocolate Festival w/ Casey, Brittany, Landyn & Renee

@ Esslingen Christmas & Medieval Market

Traditional Gluwhein

Stuttgart Christmas Market
For Thanksgiving, we had a few of Charlie's work-mates over who did not have family over here to celebrate with. We also, of course, had our visiting family with us too. It was my first time really doing ALL of the Thanksgiving food in my lifetime, and the first time I cooked a turkey in the oven instead of the deep fryer. Everything turned out pretty well, and you enjoyed all of the company and attention.

Nov 18
Some of the Thanksgiving crew playing ga game!

Firs time making Christmas Cookies w/Mom

Some highlights from your 4th month are that you really laughed hard for the first time! I was changing you after a bath and making funny noises with my mouth and all of the sudden you started cackling and giggling. It was great that your Great Aunt Chris, Kristy, Taylor and her friend Katie all got to witness it. Your dad missed that first one but I took a video to be able to show him! There were plenty more to come after that one that he saw though. Also, you rolled over for the first time by yourself- woohoo! That was a big moment. Although, your dad and I missed the first 4-5 times you did it, but others saw it. You liked to roll from your back-to-front for awhile, but by the time you turned 5 months old you were rolling from back-to-front and then front-to-back. I know that sounds minute, but it was huge for us and we knew it wouldn't be long until you were really moving and grooving. You also began to love facing outwards in your Ergo Carrier by the time you were 5 months old! :)  We took your Christmas photo and went and chopped down a Christmas Tree when you were about 4.5 months old, and that was also really fun!

December 18
Your first Christmas was super exciting---well at least for me and your dad! You don't remember any of it, and we knew you wouldn't, but I was just really thrilled to have Santa visit you for the first time and to watch you try to open gifts. Your Oma and Papa sent the best gift - your Jumperoo. You LOVED jumping in that thing. Your Uncle Woo and Aunt Caitlin sent you the neatest personalized book "The Girl Who Lost Her Name", your Aunt Kelsey sent an amazing canvas photo of you, and we got you some toys and clothes. There were many other gifts that I cannot remember, but you must have been a good girl in 2015 because you got many fun things! On Christmas morning we had a few friends over who did have family to celebrate with, and we had brunch. Later that evening we went to a friends house in town who had people over for Christmas dinner. You, of course, loved all of that attention too.

On New Years (our first as parents) we all went to bed pretty early :) When the Fireworks all over Stuttgart going off, your Dad and I woke up and watched from the windows. You didn't even budge in your crib. It was a low-key holiday, but one I will never forget as it was our first with you!

The best part of holidays as you grow older is the time you get to spend with family and friends, and not the gifts you give or receive. I hope this is something that you have learned already by the time you are reading this. I definitely look forward to many more holidays with you, and hope that your da and I do a good job at teaching you what the Holiday season is really about. I can't believe that is 2016 already and you are 5 months old! Soon we will be introducing foods and I bet that you will soon be scooting around. Every day is exciting with you!

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Dear Olivia,

Before you even turned 3 months old, you and I (mommy) flew from Germany to America to introduce you to all of the family that we possibly could. I was pretty nervous doing this big trip without your Dad, but you ended up being the best flying baby ever. You barely made a peep on the first leg from Germany to Baltimore, and then you slept from Baltimore to Chicago in your carrier against my chest. Although I was exhausted by the time we arrived at Kristy & Khary's house, I was so excited and proud of you (and me)! 
On the plane to USA!

The day after we flew into the USA, you and I drove to northern Wisconsin to introduce you to your Grandma Sheila, Grandpa Chuck, Aunt Jaime, Aunt Jenny, and cousins Jalynn and Rylee...and everyone else who came to the 10th Hole that weekend! You got passed around like crazy, but you didn't care one bit. That is one thing I have always loved about you- you are so easy going and relaxed around others (well, at least so far). It was a funny 3-4 days in WI visiting family, and I was so thankful I got to see your Dad's family myself, we just wish he could've been with us too!
Hanging out with Grandpa

Smiling at Grandma- at first meet.

When we left WI, we drove a few hours south to the Twin Cities (MN) and visited one of your Dad's best friends, Eric Olson. He and his family just welcomed a baby girl (Roz) too, about 1 month after you were born, so it was great getting to introduce you two. Unfortunately that was a quick trip and the next morning we went back to Chicago to show you around my favorite city and spend time with the Gibbs Family. Kyan loved showing you music videos, Kamran thought you were so small, and Kallen laughed when he held you and then ran away when you cried. :) I got to take you to one of my favorite places in the world, Wrigley Field (GO CUBS), and you also had your first shopping experience in Target! Sometimes I wish that Germany had a Super Target :) While in Chicago, you turned 3 MONTHS OLD! Wow, time goes by way too quickly once you have a baby. 

There is more in our trip itinerary though, and we eventually drove to Charleston, IL to meet your Great Grandparents and your Great Aunts & Uncles on the "Sims" side of the family. Spending time on Great Grandma and Grandpa's "farm" was so relaxing for us after all of this traveling, and they loved holding you and rocking you, just like they did with my when I was a baby. Watching them with you will always be some of my most fondest memories of your infancy. Your Great Uncle Ken and Great Aunt Chris threw you a "Welcome Olivia" party at their house for all of the Sims-Clan to come greet you. Many people stopped by, and your cousins Jimmy & Stephanie and their kids (Matt and Elizabeth) also came into to town to hang out. We were so thankful that we got to introduce you to everyone and see everyone. You have amazing extended family members! After 4 days in Charleston, we headed south to Memphis to stay with your Uncle Drew and Aunt Caitlin. They were SO excited to meet you and I was so excited to see them! Your Oma drove up too to meet us all  (and so she could drive us back to Mobile later), and we all visited a Pumpkin Patch together, carved pumpkins (for you to sit in, haha), and hung out watching football. It was a great weekend there!

Great Grandma
Great Grandpa singing you lullabies

Pumpkin Patch 
Inside a pumpkin :)

Eventually we made it all of the way to Mobile- woohoo! We spent a week at your Oma and Papa's house and you got to meet your mom's best friends & kids finally too. Your Uncle Brian was like a kid on Christmas Morning waiting on our arrival- he could not wait to hold you and spoil you! Your Aunt Kelsey was also very excited, but she had already met you after you were born! LeLe (Lindsey) and Harper, and then Kellie & Nora Kate (3 weeks older than you), and Megan & Sawyer (10 days older than you) were soooo happy we were back in Mobile to hang out. Maybe one day we will all live near them again so you can grow up with those kids too. Your Aunt Laura and Uncle Pat came down from Georgie to meet you and we all went to Dauphin Island to put your toes in the sand for the first time- it was so fun for me! Your Aunt Laura was pregnant with Alex at the time, and it was exciting to see her with you as she prepares for her first baby! Many memories were made in Mobile. You visited Spring Hill College (and Papa's baseball field), the school Oma teaches at (Mary Vale), Spot of Tea, Dog River, Dauphin Island, and much more! You also experienced your first Halloween while in Mobile and got to celebrate your Uncle Brian's 24th birthday, yay!!!

At SHC Baseball Field/ Intramural Game
Lele & Harper, Megan & Sawyer, Me & You, Kellie & Nora Kate

Happy Uncle B with his Livvy

Happy 1st Halloween, Kitty Kat!

Sadly though, a week flew by and we had to get back onto a plane to Germany- which turned into a 3 day adventure! Once we flew from Pensacola to Baltimore, there were not seats on a plane back to Germany for 3 days. So we booked hotels, slept in airports, and eventually rented a car with some other military mom and children and drove to McGuire AFB in NJ. There, we all got onto a C-17 cargo military plane and flew back to Germany :) It was such a wild but fun adventure! Once again, you did great on the flight(s). We were SO happy to be home with Daddy though. 

On our way back to Germany!
On the C-17 

If it isn't clear yet, you are loved by so many people. We can't wait to go back to the USA to see more friends and family eventually too. Thanks for being such a chill baby :) You make life easy and fun!

Lots of love from me to you,


Thursday, September 17, 2015

You Are My Sunshine

Dear Olivia,

The Many Faces of Olivia- age 1 month!
We all survived Month 1 as a new baby and new parents! Woohoo. Your personality is really starting to shine through and watching so many new firsts is so fun as a mom. Not too long after you turned 1 month, I caught your first smile on camera. THAT was an exciting moment. "You are my sunshine" comes to mind in moments like this! Actually, you are making all sorts of faces these days and definitely learning to interact with me and your dad. You are really responding to Daddy's nickname of "Booger Butt". We think the "B" sound is really fun to hear for your little ears. I hope that nickname sticks for a long time-  it is way too funny. Dad and I also attempted to do our own "newborn" photoshoot of you. I would say they turned out pretty good for our first time. :) Of course you were a pretty easy and beautiful model to work with!

You really love your bath time, staring outdoors at the sky, taking little day trips to places like the Katzenbacher Biergarten with mommy and her friends or to the golf course with daddy! In this second month of life you have been to the Stuttgart Wine Festival, Boblingen Food Truck Festival, the golf course, Cologne Germany (for Dad's birthday), Dusseldorf Germany, and the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival. Wow, more traveling and you aren't even 2 months old yet!

Warming up with Dad
Stuttgart Wine Festival
Top of the Cathedral in Cologne

Cathedral in Cologne
Dusseldorf view from TV Tower

You and I also pulled off a surprise birthday party for your dad's 35th birthday- it was a hit! Although, I will admit, I think you were the star of the party! We also submitted your paperwork to become a US Citizen and to get your passport so that we can travel even more (especially back the USA). We hope that comes in soon so I can take you to meet the rest of your family in the States! Your Grandma Sheila and Grandpa Chuck, and your Great-Grandparents, cannot wait to meet you little girl.

Dad's surprise party!~!

You are really starting to hold your head up by yourself very well. It won't be long before you are holding your upper body up during tummy time and rolling around. We have found one thing that you HATE so far though- a bottle!! You want nothing to do with drinking from a bottle, and you let us know that every time we try.

Told you....
Heading to the Pumpkin Festival

Couldn't stay awake for all of the excitement at the festival!

You'll never know, dear, how much I love you...

<3 Mommy <3

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

...and Life as a Mom Begins

Dear Olivia,

I am not going to lie, as this post will be more about me than anything. Adjusting to parent-hood is something that is hard to prepare for, but you adapt and overcome as necessary. Lucky for your Dad and I, you loved to be swaddled tightly which helped you sleep almost through the night from Day 1. This gave us much needed rest as new parents, and helped you grow as well. You slept next to our bed in a bassinet for the first two months, while the dogs always kept a watchful eye on you from either our bed or on the floor nearby. Sandy and Jinx love you. 

Once your Oma, Papa, and Aunt Kelsey left Germany (and your Daddy returned to work), you and I began to settle into life at home during the day- just the two of us. We napped together, cried together, smiled together, and played together. You were (and still are) my little buddy. Your first month of life was filled with firsts. You are still a skinny-little thing, but healthy as can be and likely to take after your Oma and Grandma Sheila who are both petite ladies!

I am not going to lie, I struggled with this new identity of being a "stay-at-home" mom, as I have always worked and been very busy. You, as a newborn, slept a lot and ate a lot, so there was not much activity and we were inside quite often (except when we took the dogs for walks). We tried to get out and drive or visit your dad at work sometimes, but usually we spend the better part of the day hanging out at home. 

On your 1 month birthday it was also your Papa's birthday! He should always be able to remember that date :) By now you have become much more alert, you keep your eyes open longer, and you are starting to notice things around you. You immediately know when Daddy is home as you can hear his deep voice which was even comforting to you when you were in the womb. 

I am an exhausted mom, but I wouldn't change this gig for the world. You are so fun to watch grow and develop each day. Your first month FLEW by, but I think your dad and I are finally starting to get the hang of things. 

Oh, your friend Paisley was born a little early too- she came on August 6 and her parents are so excited to begin parenthood too!

Oma giving you a bath, with a watchful Sandy!
You were so tiny, hehe!!
Meeting your friend, Paisley, for the first time at the hospital!

Happy 1 Month
You are loved beyond measure,


Monday, August 10, 2015

Traveling Olivia

Guten Tag!

With your Oma, Papa, and Aunt Kelsey in town we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to travel around Southern Germany. You were such a great road-tripper and within your first few weeks of life we visited Tubingen, Triberg, Heidelberg, Garmisch, and the Neuschwanstein Castle.

Tubginen Germany is one of your Dad's and my favorite cities close by our home (we had been before you were born). It has beautifully colored buildings, a very old church, and river you can float down on a paddle boat or canoe, and delicious foods! It was really hot that day we visited that town, so you and I stayed in the shade a lot and I enjoyed some Gelato and a Radler.

Triberg is known for it's famous Waterfall in Germany and Cuckoo Clocks. You, Oma, Papa, Aunt Kelsey, and I visited Triberg on another very hot day and visited the waterfall and some shops around town. We saw the largest Cuckoo Clock ever, and Oma and Aunt Kelsey purchased their own authentic "Black Forest" clocks too. Your Dad and I visited Triberg when we first moved to Germany (Spring 2015)  and you were in my belly. But at that time there was still ice and snow on the ground!


Heidelberg was another lovely day-trip, just about 1.5 hours north of where we lived in Vaihingen. It is known for it's very old Castle (Schloss Heidelberg) and a walking bridge over the river. It was beautiful. We saw the world's largest Wine Barrel, had delicious food, and toured the castle and grounds. The history in this city is awe-inspiring. This was my first trip to this city.


Garmisch- now that place is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!! Tucked into the Bavarian Alps, it is a nice little ski resort-area in the winter and a hiking and exploring area in the summer. I think your Oma stated it perfectly that "we could stay here for weeks". During this 2-day trip we explored the Partnatch Gorge, visited the 1936 Winter Olympic Long-Jump arena, walked around downtown Garmisch, and drove to the Neuschwanstein Castle (aka "Cinderella's Castle). This was your first official "over-night" trip somewhere, and you did marvelous! This was all of our first time going to Garmisch!

Arriving in the Bavarian Alps region
After hiking through the Partnatch Gorge
The Partnach Gorge

Castle from the Bridge Lookout

The Family at the door step of the Castle!

You are already a well-traveled baby, and we have so many more trips with you planned during our years here in Europe, and even once we are back in the United States permanently. We hope you love to explore just like we do, and that you take every opportunity you have to get out and travel! I would say your first 3 weeks of life were pretty eventful... you are one lucky baby!

Love you to the moon and back,