South Beach Diet - Oh, well, aren't you gals the sweetest?

08-16-2008, 01:26 PM
Ruthie, thanks for the e-mail. It was so nice of you to check on me!

Hi all! I'm sorry I haven't been around much. Life has been crazy and I have been trying to get everything in order and settled and back in routine.

When Tom went to Florida, I kind of hit bottom and really struggled through those last six weeks of being apart. I felt like I was out of fuel, just exhausted from the whole last year. I really missed my guy. All of the preparations for moving seemed so big and overwhelming and I felt like I was caught in a vortex of craziness. But, we made it through and he got home safely and had a couple days to visit before we had to head off across The Pond.

Once we got to Germany, we were faced with the daunting task of finding the "perfect" house in a not so perfect time frame. We had two weeks before we had to start paying for the hotel out of pocket! That's not a lot of time to deal with a six hour time change for three young kids and drive all over tarnation househunting, especially when we had to take a drivers' test in order to legally drive! We found a terrific house we were going to buy and invested an entire month in paperwork and lawyers and real estate agents and then found out that it wasn't going to go through. We were staying with a friend, sleeping on the floor, living out of suitcases for going on five weeks, and now we had to find *another* house. Two days later, we had found three houses that would be nice. One was Tom's favorite but I didn't like the tile floors throughout or slanted ceilings in the bedrooms. One was my favorite - an old farmhouse that had so much character and charm, but had low ceilings in the basement so Tom vetoed it. I was sad. Then, the third was a compromise for both of us but neither of us disliked it so we ended up signing the rental agreement.

The next day we found out we wouldn't have been able to own a home if Tom took on a contracting job after he retired (which he's planning to do). Two weeks later we found out that Connor was accepted at the village school, which is a block away. A week after that, we found out Kadyn was accepted at the village Kindergarten, a block down the street from Connor's school. And the next week we were able to enroll the kids in the local soccer team, which practices at a gorgeous stadium just further down the street that Kadyn's school is on.

So we are currently feeling humbled by all of our grumbling and panicing that things weren't working out. Yes, God. We remember. You have a plan.

Connor started school two weeks ago and is doing very well. We started him in the German equivalent of first grade, which is his age-appropriate classroom. His teacher speaks very little English but he is getting along fine and seems to be understanding all of the work he brings home. We are so proud of him for jumping into this adventure and thriving! We are continuing to homeschool in the afternoons so Connor can stay ahead academically and not have to worry about learning concepts as he's learning the German language.

Kadyn starts school on Tuesday and is very excited! She will go for a half day - I'll drop her off after we drop off Connor and then pick her up before Connor finishes at noon. Her school is wonderful and the teachers really seem to care for the kids! The German Kindergarten runs from three to six years old and is very Montessouri-based in its approach. We've been to visit twice and she's had a great time both visits.

Avery is two now! She celebrated her second birthday here in Germany. She has mastered the two-finger declaration of her age (both German-style and American-style!) and is saying new words every day. She's really our little clown - always keeping us laughing.

Things are still coming together here. The house is *almost* unpacked - just those last couple things that never seem to have a home. We're waiting on a new living room set to be delivered so our downstairs looks a bit bare for the moment, but we were able to buy a used piano at a decent price, so that has been our new favorite thing to do after dinner!

My good news is that I've been maintaining my weight. The bad news is that I've been maintaining at the WRONG weight! I had to quit running because my lips turned blue for an hour after my first sixteen mile run and we just didn't think that was a good sign. I'm still working out - don't worry! Tom and I have embarked on an exercise program together, which is a blast. We're really having fun encouraging each other!

I will start posting more often. I have missed you all!

We have a friend coming for dinner so I'd better get a move on the menu. Talk to you all soon!


08-16-2008, 01:38 PM
Kara! :hug: How nice to hear from you! I'm glad things are finally starting to settle down for you and that you are starting to live a normal life again! We've missed you, Sweetie! :hug:

08-16-2008, 01:40 PM
KARA!!!!!!!!!!! We have missed you sooooooooooo much! Glad to hear things are working themselves out! Hope to see more of you!

08-16-2008, 01:41 PM
Kara! :hat::hug::hat: It's SO good to see you again!

Glad to hear things are coming together for you and the family.

You have been missed

08-16-2008, 01:55 PM
WE MISSED YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So glad you checked in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :hug:

08-16-2008, 02:12 PM
Yippee! I gotcha! We were getting just a tad worried although suspected things were going to be pretty hectic and chaotic for a while. So nice to hear that you, Tom and the darlings are doing well.

08-16-2008, 02:27 PM
Hi Kara! I'm glad to hear that you are starting to feel settled and "normal." That was a lot to deal with, I'm sure! You have been missed around here, be sure and stop in when you can, now that things are settling down.

08-16-2008, 03:33 PM
It's so good to hear from you, Kara! I am greatful things are working out for you.

08-16-2008, 04:53 PM
((((((((KARA!))))))))) AND HI TOM! I'm SSSOOOO glad you came to say hi to us!@!!!!!!!!!! Keep us posted ok/? WE, I Miss ya!


08-16-2008, 06:54 PM
So glad you're back on the boards....we were all getting very concerned. Glad to hear things are finally coming along so well!

08-16-2008, 09:41 PM
yea, Kara!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You were VERY missed!!!
So happy things are now sailing smoothly for your precious family.

08-17-2008, 03:49 AM
Thanks for all the kind words! Good to "see" you all again!


08-17-2008, 08:35 AM
hi kara,

welcome to germany! how cool to be in the same time zone. i think it's awesome that you've enrolled your darlings in german school...being bilingual is a real asset! glad to hear you're all settling in :)

08-17-2008, 10:33 AM
HI Kara nice to see you.

can i ask why you can't own a home if DH is a contractor?

08-17-2008, 11:26 AM
Hi Kara, you were definitely missed here, so glad to hear that things have finally settled down for you, I can total relate as I have been there done that. Glad that you to hear that you will have some to time to post

08-17-2008, 04:08 PM
I have no clue, Nessa. Might be a rule the banks have? Might be a rule the contracting companies have because they don't want to deal with people having troubles selling their homes when they have to move? Our next door neighbor on one side is a contractor for the U.S. government and that's what he told us.

Our neighbor on the *other* side, though, is this sweet, old German lady! She is just so nice. She's 89 years old, lives by herself, was widowed forty years ago, walks around town every day... We love her. She bought Connor a box of chocolates for his first day of school! And she gave us a whole bucket of apples from her tree. She is a little angel.


08-17-2008, 04:10 PM
i'd check with others about this owning a home thing... find out who makes those rules and why... but that's just me I question everything.

i have two friends living in germany now. both military you make the third.

08-17-2008, 09:17 PM
Hi Kara and welcome back! It is good to hear from you again. We missed you here. Glad to hear that you and Tom and kiddos are getting settled. I think it is very exciting that the kids get to have the experience of German schools, living in other countries and learning other languages.
Why did your lips turn blue from running?
DH says there were concerns about contractors owning homes and not paying US taxes and not paying German taxes...sort of double dipping, but he doesn't know if it is still the case. He lived in Germany for 8 years, but all active duty.
Good to see you here again.

08-17-2008, 10:54 PM
Hi Kara!!!!! :hug: The boards are not the same without you. I'm so glad things are getting balanced out. . .you guys are jumping right into german life! I'm guessing you'll have a christmas tree this year. . .but you're still going to have to decorate an appliance!!
Don't hesitate if you need some shoulders to lean on Chaos is tuff!

08-18-2008, 09:50 AM
Kara so so so glad you checked in I have been wondering about you guys. Take care and we will be here waiting .

little chick
08-18-2008, 09:55 AM
Hi Kara, glad that things are settling down for you and your family. Hope you can post more often. The blue lip thing doesn't sound good after a run. Take care.

08-18-2008, 10:15 AM
Karla, I have no clue what happened. It was just enough for me to stop!

Kierie, you made me laugh out loud! Maybe we *should* make it a tradition to decorate a household appliance!!!


08-18-2008, 10:49 AM
Kara, I'm so glad to "see" you! :hug: :hug: :hug: I'm so sorry you had such a traumatic couple of months, but SUPER proud of you for maintaining through that! I beat myself up for maintaining at the "wrong" weight for a year and a half, but now that I've gained some, I WISH I could be back there! So be proud of yourself and just move forward as you are doing. :D

I definitely would check with a doctor about your lips and the running. That's not normal and might be a sign of something that would be a problem even if you aren't running. Sounds like you're not getting enough oxygen. Please check it out, hon. :( I'm worried for you, especially since you were a regular runner back here in the States. :hug:

Hope the kids love school and all continues to go very, very well. So, will you stay in Germany after Tom "retires?" Will that be for a long time? You know we miss you! ;)