Saturday, 26 December 2009

Happy Christmas from England!

This was my first year being away from home for Christmas, so things were a little different than they usually are. For one, Christopher and I both had to work on Christmas day. So, we had our big Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve. We invited some friends over and had ham, pot roast, roasted baby potatoes with Rosemary, deviled eggs, spicy garlic brocolini, Razzleberry pie, shortbread cookies, and my own take on Snickerdoodles. It was delicious! And we had a great time. I totally dont have any pictures of our friends and us hanging out that night, which sucks.

We almost had a white Christmas...this was the day before Christmas Eve.

After dinner, we went to midnight mass at the chapel on base, which was cool. The only catholic service I've ever been to was Aaron and Kellea's wedding, so it was interesting. The priest is on TDY (Temporary orders) to England and is actually staying in the hotel I'm working, so I see him in and out of the lobby on a regular basis. He's from Poland and during the caroling before the service started, he sang a stanza of "Silent Night" in Polish! It was beautiful!

My nativity, with my new Wisemen and the star I hung on Christmas Eve!

After the service, we went back home and finally managed to get to sleep about 3. Christopher had to be at work at 645 and I had to be at work at 745. Its not a good way to start your Christmas morning by a phone call waking you up at 755...ten minutes after you're supposed to be at work. My alarms hadn't gone off. So, I jump out of bed and call work, get yelled at, but manage to make it to work in less than 20 minutes! That was my Christmas Miracle! Everything was turned over and done before the girl I was relieving was supposed to leave, so no harm done.

A couple of my friends ended up coming over and hanging out with me all day, so that was awesome. I skyped with Mom a little bit when she first got up, and then with everyone while they were opening their gifts. Then I got to go home at 4 and I stuffed Christopher's stocking, hung it up, and went to wake him up (he got off at 1 and went home to get some sleep). We got up and did presents! We got to skype with everyone and see them open our presents, that was really cool.

All the Christmas cards we received!
The Christmas Tree with all the presents!
I was SPOILED rotten this year! I got TONS of stuff... clothes, an iPod touch, sweaters, hats, gloves, pajamas, unmentionables (lol), a fuzzy purple pullover, The 10 piece porcelain non-stick Rachel Ray cookware set, Christopher made me a jewelry tree, and it had on it a silver ring and sparrow earrings, and tons of stocking stuffers!!! We're hoping this is our last Christmas just the two of us, so Christopher definitely spoiled me! He got his MacBook, a freeze-dried chunk of grass from the old Yankee stadium and a display box to in, clothes, a new red columbia coat, boots, DVD's (Harry Potter 3 and 6, & Star Trek). So, he got pretty spoiled this year too!

Gus opening his presents!
I took a nap after we opened gifts and then we got up and headed back to my work. We took all our leftovers from Christmas Eve and had Christmas Dinner with Liz and her husband since Liz had to work. Our friend Jenn, whose family is still in the states right now, even came too! So, we microwaved the leftovers, Tim brought their TV tables from home, and we plopped down in the lobby and had Christmas dinner together!

Liz and I in our matching Christmas hats... I look exhausted!
Liz and Tim

I hope everyone had a Happy Christmas! We definitely had a wonderful time! I thought it would be really sad to be away from home, and it was sad at times, but I made it all through Christmas and didnt cry! And Mom didnt either, so that's good! :)

Thursday, 17 December 2009

It's Snowing!!!

They've been calling for snow for the past few days, so like a little kid on Christmas, my nose has been pressed to the window just waiting for it to happen. Finally today, I was getting ready to run to base to run some errands when I heard something on the window. I looked outside and it was hailing to beat the band! So, it hailed for a few minutes, then started pouring down snow. It snowed on and off all day but never really stuck....til tonight. Christopher got up to go to bed and said, "Baby! Come look!" It was POURING down snow! So, we went outside and snapped these...

Me and Angus!

My Car...

I skyped Mom to show her (and Amanda and Jonathan who were there visiting!)

And I dont know why, but its tradition to go outside barefoot when it snows! Jared and I have been doing it for years (yes, Mom K, I know you're

And Merry Christmas from the Koenig's!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!l

Since we were in Germany over Thanksgiving, we didn't get to partake in all the deliciousness that is Thanksgiving. So, we invited our friends Liz and Tim over and I made the whole spread on Saturday. It was delicious! It was the first time I've made a turkey (last Thanksgiving I took the easy route and used the Jennie-O Turkeys that go straight from the freezer to the oven, no work involved), so it was a bit of an undertaking, but it turned out really, really tasty! Enjoy...

Putting the yummy butter/parsley/garlic mixture under the turkey
Because its not the Holiday's without Hog Balls.

My delicious turkey up close
I made a cranberry maple glaze for the turkey that was divine

My incredible Pecan Pie!
The table all set (and the silver that we used is my Christmas gift from my awesome Grandparents, Mymom and Grampy! When I was home over the summer, Mymom and I spent like 2 hours on the computer looking at antique silverware because I really wanted some and they searched different antique stores and found the perfect set for me.. ornate and beautiful! I opened it the night before and had to use it for our late Thanksgiving meal!)
All the food (and Tim in the
Before Liz and Tim got there, Christopher took some pictures of Angus and me under the Tree! Look at all our presents!!!

And we have Mistletoe growing in our front yard, so I picked a bunch, wrapped a ribbon around it and its hanging on our front door... but we had to be all cutesy with it

Sunday, 6 December 2009

2 Posts one day!

Today is a day we weren't sure if we were going to make it to or not. It was tough going there for a while... there's been a lot of blood (on my part), sweat, and tears. Today is Angus' first birthday! A year ago today his mama gave birth to hands down the biggest handful of a dog I have ever met (Mom, Bonnie has nothing on this dog and you know I think psycho dog is finally calming down and has warmed his way into our hearts... of course, it helps that he no longer hates me. Seriously, this damn dog hated me there for a while. He walked past me one day and snarled his lip up at me and walked off. Now he loves his mama and I love him and we're all happy as pigs in...well, you know. Although I could do with less kicking when he sleeps with us at night.... but alas, you cant have everything.

So, in tribute to us all making it to this fateful day...

Happy Birthday Angus....

The dog who's gone from the pup who melted my heart the minute the breeder put him in my lap...

the puppy who instantly loved Christopher and tolerated me...

to the crazy puppy we almost mailed home...

the puppy who learned to climb stairs so he could get into even more stuff...

to the dog who loves walks and loves the river

to the One year old Terror that is Angus!

****Also, because I'm incredibly nosey, I want to know who's reading this.... I know sometimes you cant post comments because blogger acts up, so email me:

Lincoln Christmas Market!

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Liz and I decided we wanted to do something together with our husbands. We started looking around for Christmas markets that were close by and her husband, Tim, mentioned something about a place called Lincoln. We looked it up at work one day and decided to head to Lincoln for the grand opening of their market on 3 December. It was only about an hour or so away, so we headed there after Liz finished up with work.

We were blown away! Lincoln is one of THE prettiest English towns we've been to yet! It is absolutely stunning! The market started at the gates of the Lincoln Cathedral and went through the town and into the gates of a Castle and into the Castle's courtyard area. It was HUGE! It was also freezing cold that night, so the hat and glove section of the market made a killing! Also, the hot chocolate guys drew in quite a crowd as well, although, it helped that they were adding Baileys to their Hot, we stayed relatively warm. :)

There are always carousels at the markets...this one was especially gorgeous!

Christopher in the hat he just had to have...and Tim laughing at him!

We walked through the Cathedral first and it was breathtaking. It was massive and ornate and beautiful. The main altar and the choir stalls were INCREDIBLE! It was probably one of the prettiest altars I've seen yet!

They had a Services chapel which was really neat, it was a chapel split into three sections; Airman, Seaman, and Soldiers. Each service had their own little section within the chapel, so we of course went in and took pictures of the Seaman part. And we learned that St. Andrew is the patron saint of Seaman, which is cool.

I also lit another candle for Marnie and I got to put her name on their prayer list, so that little girl's got prayers coming her way from all over the world!

After we walked around the cathedral, we hit the market stalls; buying hats and gloves first. We had dinner, I had a turkey, dressing, and cranberry relish sandwich (which was good, but nothing like my mama's or Mymom's turkey and dressing) and Liz, Tim, and Christopher had Lincolnshire Sausages in Lincolnshire, which was kind of neat.

We spent a few hours just wandering around looking at all the neat things and spending way too much money, but we had a blast. We will definitely be going back to Lincoln just to visit the town, it is well worth the trip.

There's a new folder added to our Mobile Me Gallery, so to see more pictures, go check it out! And as always, no stealing our stuff (Christopher is paranoid that someone is going to steal our fabulous photography and make millions from it I guess. Whatever. Enjoy!)

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Guten Tag!

Well, we are back from Germany and we had a BLAST!!! It was INCREDIBLE! I apologize to all our friends and family, but it is very possible that Germany might be our next duty station! It was that awesome!

We covered A LOT of ground in three short days, so I'll break it down by day...

26 November--Day 1
On Thanksgiving Day we got up at four am and headed down to London-Standstead Airport and headed off to Germany. I had gotten maybe an hour and a half of sleep that night. I was scheduled to work until Midnight, but one of my coworkers, Jane, was awesome enough to come in at 10:00 and let me leave early to get some sleep. By the time I got into bed, I was too excited to sleep, so I slept the entire hour long plane ride.

We landed in Frankfurt-Hahn, picked up our rental car and headed to Heidelberg. We actually were driving on the right side of the So that was pretty interesting.

We drove through Idar Oberstein on the way there, but I was feeling like crap from not sleeping and from the ridiculously curvy roads, so I slept while Christopher drove us to the Heidelberg army base, where we were staying. We checked in, put our stuff down in our room and drove to downtown Heidelberg. We headed to the Castle first. Its built into the mountain and is HUGE. We walked all along the grounds and into where they kept the booze... there were some of THE biggest kegs I've ever seen in there!

After the castle, we drove to the downtown area and set out in search of the Market. Pretty much every town in Germany has a Christmas Market every year. They have all kinds of different things at the market, and TONS of food. We had Gluhvein, which is mulled wine, and bratwurts for dinner that night. I'm not a huge meat eater, but the brats were really good. Christopher LOVED them.
We got back to the hotel pretty early and were asleep before 9, absolutely exhausted.

27 November--Day 2
We woke up really early on Friday and headed to Rothenberg.

Rothenberg City is set behind castle walls. And it is like something out of a Charles Dickens story... it is unbelievably GORGEOUS. The streets are steep and cobblestone, the buildings have the steep rooftops and are just... pretty. Seriously. If you think about the quintessential european village, Rothenberg just fits that picture. Its amazing. We spent most of the day there shopping and eating yummy German fare. We sat down and had lunch in a restaurant instead of eating from the market vendors and had a GREAT lunch. Christopher had bratwurst, sauerkraut and beer and I had pork and mushrooms in gravy and spaetzle... DELICIOUS!!!

After Rothenberg, we drove to Mannheim. We got there after dark (of course, in Europe and during the winter, after dark is like 4pm), so everything was all lit up and gorgeous! The market was only okay. It was CROWDED as all get out, so we fought the crowd, grabbed some dinner and headed back to the hotel and started wrapping presents.

28 November--Day 3
We woke up late on Saturday morning, got ready, packed everything up and headed to the larger part of the base to go to the post office. First of all, I'd like to block out the morning of Day 3... finding the base was a nightmare. We were staying at an annex of the base, so getting to the main Heidelberg base was ridiculous. We spent over and hour, yes over an hour, at the Post Office on base packing up boxes and mailing them home.

After the base nightmare, we headed to Trier. We got there much later than we had originally planned, so we only spent a couple of hours there. We walked around the HUGE market first. In the Center of the Market was the biggest Pyramid ever! If you know me well, you know that National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is my favorite Christmas movie ever and that my grandpa and I watch it EVERY Christmas and we know all the words. Well, a couple of years ago, Mymom (not my mom, my and Grampy bought me a wooden Pyramid (the whirly gig thing that Randy Quaid touches and all the little pieces come off in the movie). So, those whirly gig things are called Pyramids and they're made in Germany, so we saw them all weekend.

We finished our shopping and headed into Trier Cathedral, which was right in the heart of the downtown area. It was vast and amazing... and quiet. Which is rare, normally when you go in and visit places like that, with all the people, its very rarely quiet. But Trier Cathedral was reverent and awe inspiring. I lit a candle for Marnie (a five year old girl who has Cancer. Her grandma goes to my home church and has asked for prayers for her), and for "Egg's" parents (my egg recipients). Then we walked up some stairs and stood in front of this A M A Z I N G altar. Behind the gates of this altar was what they think is the seamless robe of Jesus! That was incredible. You cant actually see the robe, its not like they can put fabric that's over two thousand years old on display, but you can see the container its preserved in and its just amazing. So, if that is in fact the robe of Jesus, I got to light a candle for Marnie and Egg's Parents at the foot of the robe of Jesus, which is very... cool... well, cool doesn't even cover it, but what word really does?
The altar where the robe is in...
A roman building in Trier
After Trier we headed to Frankfurt City. It was about two hours away, and was incredible. The GPS, though it got us around no problem every where else, had some issues in the heart of the city with all the tall buildings, so we got a little lost and lost some time in there, so it ended up that we only had about twenty five minutes at the market there. Which is sooo sad, because Frankfurt is INCREDIBLE. We will definitely be going back. It was a HUGE market, with anything you can imagine.

We got to the airport and realized how nice it is to have a plane that leaves at 1130 at night. We blew through security and then got to the passport checks. Yeah, apparently the guy at the airport when we landed in Germany didn't stamp my passport. So, that was fun. I had a mini freak out that they were going to keep me in Germany, but they didn't, the guy just didn't give me an outgoing stamp since I had no incoming one. Which sucks, because now I don't have any German stamps in my passport. Its okay, I made it through and we made it into England no problem. We got home, called our parents to let them know we made it there and back safely and then passed out.

We had a great time and really loved Germany! It was on our list of places to visit, but honestly, it wasn't very high on the list, so it more than exceeded our expectations. The people were amazing and ridiculously nice, the food was great, the sights and sounds, everything was incredible!

To see more pictures, go and visit our new MobileMe gallery! I just set it up and will add pictures to it regularly, so you can subscribe to it too!