Archive for May, 2011


Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Our weekend kind of got away from us, and after a day full of organizing and cleaning yesterday, and a morning full of visiting with an old friend of Dan’s and walking around downtown Vienna, we decided to be briefly adventurous and go explore somewhere neither Dan nor I had ever been:  the Prater.  The Prater is a big park in Vienna — it has a “green” section (what you’d think of as a park) and an amusement park section . . . which is almost exactly what you’d expect from an amusement park.  It’s full of everything you’d expect in an amusement park:  wild rides, water rides, games, balloons, bad-for-you food and tons of people.


In the city

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

I’ve never lived in a city before:  Tysons Corner was my closest approximation before this (not a bad approximation in terms of the number of people, but a pretty bad approximation in almost every other way).  As such, I sometimes have trouble separating the things I’m enjoying about living in Vienna from the things I’d probably enjoy living in the heart of any city.


In the right place

Friday, May 20th, 2011

I believe that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be — that fate, or God, or the universe has brought me to this place at this time because this is where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing.  These are the struggles I’m supposed to be having, and overcoming.  These are the experiences I need to have in order to grow.  There are things for me to learn and work on here that are important for me.


The tourists have arrived

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

It’s tourist season.  I think they opened the flood gates last weekend — they are suddenly everywhere, and we are months from the height of tourist season.  They speak German, French, Russian and, of course, English (and probably some others I didn’t recognize).  They arrive on buses and clog up the sidewalks in huge groups.  They get irritated when you get into their pictures of the massive churches or palaces.  (Really, how much space could I be taking up?)  They flock into the shops (all at the same time!) and wander around and irritate the employees with their refusal to speak German.  They’re in my way.  They’re like a plague.


It’s playing time

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Benjamin is quite fond of saying, when it is time to do something he’d rather not do, “It’s not bath (or dinner/nap/bed) time, it’s playing time!”  Today, I got to play with him.  Of course, I’ve played with him recently.  But, for the past 4 months or so (has it only been 4 months!) our whole lives have been preparing to move, packing to move, moving, surviving here, and then moving in.  Our play times have been short, often interrupted, and I have been guilty of nearly always allowing my thoughts to stray to my weighty “to do” list.


Same stuff, different continent

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Here I am, living in Europe.  I’ve packed up my family, my dog and everything I own and moved 1/4 of the way around the world.  I’m living in a country where I don’t speak the language.  Dan has a new job and we have a new apartment.  We are very, very far away from our families and our friends.


We live in the future

Monday, May 16th, 2011

It has not escaped our notice, being so far away from friends and family, how fortunate we are that we live in an age of email, text messages, smart phones, digital photographs and even video calls.  (Video calls!  This is “the future”!  When I was a kid, the concept of a video phone was half-joking.  And not only can we talk over the computer, but it’s FREE.)  It helps us so much to be able to communicate so quickly and easily with everyone back home and with each other.  (Being without phones for our first month here, and without internet for a week recently has increased our recognition of how wonderful these things are.)


Splashing in Puddles

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

This morning started off rainy (and cold).  While Dan & Liam napped together in the living room, Benjamin and I decided to take Bailey out for his morning walk.  I got B all suited up in his rain gear (which I haven’t been able to do for over a month) and we headed out into the rain.


Just Another Saturday

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Today was our first “normal” Saturday since we’ve been here in Vienna.  We weren’t house hunting, we didn’t have to move.  We actually spent the day, as we did back in Virginia, doing chores and getting the house in order for the week.  We went grocery shopping, did a fair bit of organizing around the house (Liam’s room and the kitchen are beginning to look a little put together . . . the rest of the house is still a disaster) the boys each took a nap and we Skyped some of our family back home.  Then, we went for a quick walk and got dinner out.

It was very much a Saturday as we would have spent it back in Virginia.  As such, we’re all really tired now — it was a busy day.  It’s comforting to be back in our routine.  It’s also odd to be in our normal routine in this place which doesn’t yet feel like home and which is part ordeal and part vacation.  This little bit of normalcy today has taken the edge off of the ordeal and helped me to look forward to getting back to my “vacation” tomorrow.  (Once our house is mostly put away, we intend to spend less of our Saturdays cleaning and more of them exploring, but getting ourselves put together has a certain urgency right now.)  I think days like this are going to go a long way towards getting us to feel like this is our home;  it will be a great moment when I don’t get my outfit for the day out of a suitcase.

In Front of the TV

Friday, May 13th, 2011

We got our internet and cable installed today, which is good on so many levels.  Now, I can actually access the internet (and write) other than through my phone and we can also watch TV all day.  There have been times in the past where I’ve been hard on myself for putting Benjamin in front of the TV for major parts of the day (I started doing it when I was pregnant with Liam and just too tired to keep up with him all day).  I’ve gotten past that:  I’ve been astounded, over the past year, by how much Benjamin has actually learned from TV (most of it is even good).  (I remember the first time Benjamin pointed out a triangle to me, and I thought, “Oh, it’s great that Dan’s been working on that with him”, and then I asked, and he hadn’t been.)  But beyond that, it’s now going to be a major tool in our introduction to German.