29 June, 2012

Friday's Letters

I've decided I'm going to measure this deployment in terms of 'weeks. Looking at the number of days is just far too overwhelming and it would take forever to countdown to a month. So 'weeks' it is! And what better way to celebrate crossing off another week than by linking up with Ashley for 'Friday's Letters'.
-  -  -  -  -  - 

DEAR FRIDAY, you took a little too long to get here. Let's work on that and try & make it a little quicker next week. DEAR HUSBAND, knowing that you are in better living conditions than we expected makes me so happy, but no worries that does not mean fewer care packages! DEAR FAMILY, with all of this Skype time I think I've gotten to "see" and talk to you more than when we were in Georgia. I LOVE IT! DEAR FRIENDS, Your support and words of encouragement mean so much. I was so overwhelmed to hear from all of you and knowing we are in your hearts and minds is a blessing! RC and I are so grateful. DEAR GERMANY, invest in air conditioners. Sure 80+ degree weather is nothing after living in Charleston, SC, but not having AC is a whole 'nother story! Blah.
DEAR MOMAX, you are so similar to IKEA and only 15 minutes down the road... I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship. DEAR HUSBAND, you're cute and I miss you. That is all. :)

28 June, 2012

Deployment Diary: Week 1

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, I'm sorry. I know you've seen these all before! 
But I've decided to challenge myself to taking at least one Instagram picture a day. I think it will push me towards getting out and doing something fun everyday. Plus will be fun to look at the 200+ pictures when this deployment is all said and done. This week felt forever long, but we made it! 

Week One

// Day 1 // Said goodbye to RC.
// Day 2 // Went to a winefest with some friends.
// Day 3 // Set up the wireless internet.
// Day 4 // Enjoyed the sunshine and started a bible study.
// Day 5 // Went to the Farmer's Market in the marktplatz and then Zumba.
// Day 6 // Found a thrift store and explored with a sweet friend. Skyped with RC. Found a note on my door.
// Day 7 // Picked up Mr. Owl from the thrift store and shopped at Momax!

25 June, 2012

Personal Growth

We are facing a deployment. My husband who has become my rock in this transition has left. It's going to be hard. I can't even fathom being apart for 9+ months. It scares me to no end. I know there is a time to grieve the loss of our time together, but I also know that there is a time to take control of my emotions.
My husband is at war. He is being shot at. That is not going to change. The scary reality is no matter how much I dwell on his safety I am not in control of that. The only thing I am in control of is how I handle myself. I want to take this time to improve. I want to become the best ME I can be for ME. I also want to be the wife that RC deserves.

I'm still adjusting to this military lifestyle. It's difficult uprooting and starting over. When you sacrifice for your spouse I think an identity crisis can occur. So often who you are can be defined by what you do (your occupation), who you associate with (friends), who you are a part of (family), and what your role is (wife). So when you leave those things behind in a move you can loss grasp of who YOU are. I want to find out who I am again. 

Every second of every day I will be thinking of him though. All I want is for him to come back to me. Safely. And if any of this sounds selfish, believe me, I would rather not have to take this personal journey this way.

24 June, 2012

Well, D-Day Has Come and Gone

The week leading up to his leaving was really tough. It's hard to have such an overwhelming date come up and not constantly be aware of this is the last time we'll do this, this is the last time we'll do that. I tried to just push it all aside and just enjoy the moments with him, but it was so hard. I can't count how many times a day he makes me laugh and it would just break my heart to realize that he wouldn't around to do that anymore. I tried to be strong for him. I don't want him to worry about me, but sometimes I think I failed.

More than anything in this last couple weeks I've realized how perfect he is for me. I knew this before, but when you're put in a situation like this it sheds a new light on things.

Family members were able to wait for a couple hours in the motor pool before they left, a blessing and a curse. Nothing is worse than anticipation. It's hard to enjoy your time together when such a crappy moment is about to come up. I've been dreading this day. I wanted to see him off, but I secretly didn't want to be there stuck in a motor pool for hours dwelling on him leaving. I didn't think I could handle it. I didn't want to break down in front of a bunch of people. 

But it wasn't like that at all. He wouldn't let it be like that. It's not in his personality. He made it so much easier for me, I think, without even knowing. It wasn't filled with tears. He made me smile. He talk-sang 'Call Me Maybe'. We played Angry Birds and talked like it was any other day. I enjoyed the time with him. It was exactly what I needed.

Hugging him for the last time (for a long time) was hard. Watching him drive off on the bus was the hardest thing I think I've ever done. Everything inside of me didn't want him to go. But if it has to be this way I'm glad he's gone because the quicker he leaves the quicker he comes back.

I'm ready to countdown the days until he comes home.

Baby, you are always in my heart.

21 June, 2012

The Zugspitze in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

If you are in the military and located somewhere in Europe you have most likely heard of Edelweiss, a lodge and resort located in Garmisch-Parktenkirchen. With RC's upcoming deployment we wanted to plan a relaxing and memorable trip. So based on many recommendations we decided Garmisch-Parktenkirchen was the place. Although we weren't able to get reservations at Edelweiss (they're booked months in advance) we found a nice hotel right down the road. 

Garmisch-Parktenkirchen is a mountain resort town located in southern Germany. So southern, in fact, that part of our drive to Garmisch was through Austria. Nestled in the valleys of the Alps at every turn you have a breathtaking view. Not too from our hotel and the town of Garmisch is the Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany. So we decided to pay for our expensive (but well worth it) tickets and take the cable car up 2,962 meters above sea level. The ride up was a little nerve racking and our cable car was packed. It was hard to see anything, but once we reached the top the view was unbelievable! The border between Austria and Germany runs right over the summit so we were able to look out upon to gorgeous countries at one time. 


20 June, 2012

That One Time My Parent's Came to Visit 'Ausfahrt'

Yup, so, I am one lucky girl! After being in Germany for only a little over a month I got to see my parents! Talk about helping with being homesick. My parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary [wahoo! how awesome is that?!] earlier this month. So they planned a two week trip of a lifetime to Europe. They stayed mostly in England and visited beautiful placed like Bath, London, and Salisbury. Once RC and I found out we were moving to Germany, my parents altered their plans a little bit and made a pit stop in Deutschland. We had two full days together and had such a good time!

Now onto the title of the post... the lengthy explanation will probably take away from the humor, BUT when you're in a foreign country and especially ones that don't speak English road signs can be a little tricky. 1. they don't look like signs in the States, and 2. the obvious one, they aren't in English. So distinguishing between directional signs (one way, exit, etc.) and city signs (Wipfeld, Niedernhausen, etc.) can be a little challenging. 

Case in point: AUSFAHRT 
Looks like it would be one of those crazy sounding German towns, right? Wrong, it means exit!

And apparently its a mistake a lot of people make. So I was blabbing to my parents about how wonderful ACS is, how helpful SNAPS was, and about another newcomers class they offered titled "Ausfahrt is Not a Town: Living and Driving in Germany". Then I noticed the silence [which is uncommon] and the blank stares. Then the hysterical laughing. Apparently my parents had been making potty jokes [I think you can see what "aus" and "fahrt" would break down to?] about this "stinky town" their entire drive down from Frankfurt. :)

Back to their visit...
The first day I just showed them around the city we are living in and then we went to the Volksfest
On the second day we went to two somewhat neighboring cities Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Wurzburg. 

Rottenburg ob der Tauber quickly became one of my favorite cities. Granted we haven't seen THAT much of Germany, but it just has the cutest feel to it. Rottenburg is a walled city that has been able to preserve much of its medieval history which makes it popular for tourists, producers of major movies like Harry Potter, and [back in the day] Nazi ideologists who revered it as a quintessential German home town. 

Fun little story about Rothenburg: (thanks Wikipedia)
During WWII the Assistant Secretary of War ordered American troops to take over the city WITHOUT artillery because he knew the historical importance of the city. [Later he was named the 'Honorable Protectorate of Rothenburg.] On the other end, the German military commander defied Hitler's orders of "fighting to the end" and relinquished the city to the Americans. Essentially saving the city from further destruction. I just found this so interesting that two sides were willing to compromise to save a historical town. Anyway.

So if you're ever in the area, and by area I mean Germany, you should definitely check out Rothenburg. It's a neat tourist town that isn't overly "touristy". I'm already planning on going back to do some Christmas shopping. They have the cutest stores that AREN'T filled with crappy tourist trinkets that are made in China.

 Also, read Rick Steves' review on Rothenburg here.  He describes it perfectly. 

I already blabbed about Wurzburg in this post if you want to read more about the city. Because we only had one day to cram in BOTH Rothenburg and Wurzburg we were only able to see the Marienburg Fortress and ran out of time to see the residence. I really enjoyed seeing the fortress for the second time because our visit was during the week. So it was much less crowded than when RC and I went. 


13 June, 2012


This past Friday the volksfest came to town. Most major towns in Germany have a certain time of the year, every year, when the volksfest comes. I didn't have a clear idea of what it was going to be like and when we first walked in I was like "oh this is just like the Coastal Carolina fair at home", kind of disappointed.  It has the typical rides like a ferris wheel, swings, and the scrambler, but then I realized that's where the similarities ended. The food, oh my goodness, THE FOOD! Although it's nice to have a deep-fried Twinkie and Oreo back home, I think I'll take a German pretzel the size of my face any day of the week! 

RC and I went the opening night and enjoyed liters of Festbier, pretzels, white chocolate covered strawberries, and gelato. Then just a few days later my parents came to town and we went again! There were so many different kinds of food that I think we could eat there again the next couple nights, and I wouldn't complain. :)

I should also note there was still a lot of traditional German flair! People wore lederhosen and dirndls. There was a huge tent with rows and rows of tables. Inside they had a German band (that played Sweet Home Alabama WHILE wearing lederhosen. Don't get me started! I'm still not used to their obsession with American music.), restaurant style food, and a pole in the middle of the tent where if you climb to the top and ring the bell you drink for free all night.

04 June, 2012

The Comforts of Home

We are finally out of the Army hotel and living in our new apartment! We live in a town not too far away from post. Close proximity was a must since 1. I'm terrified of driving in the snow and 2. I found a job! Our town is adorable (which is true for every German town around here) complete with its own bakery and butcher! After a month in a hotel I can't even begin to tell you how nice it is to be in our own place with a kitchen, lots of room, and our own washer and dryer! And as an added bonus our first shipment of goods is arriving earlier than expected- next week! I am so looking forward to having more of OUR things in our apartment. 

You know what else makes it feel more like home? Technology, mainly the internet and my new iPhone. Oh to feel connected again! Enjoy some pictures from Instagram and be sure to follow me at: emmacleigh :)

Road leading up to our apartment

View from our balcony

Our landlord's garden

Close up of a wind turbine

All images, designs, and words are intellectual property of Emma Leigh unless otherwise stated.