Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stuffed with Stockings & Blessings

My sister wrote a great little post about Christmas at my parents' house and I love that she included a collage of photos to showcase all 17 stockings.  Thanks, Molly, for showing me the Christmas atmosphere I know and love.  I miss it every year.  Ok, enough feeling sorry for myself.

Now, let's take a look at the two new family members that have raised our stocking count from 15 to 17 this year.

Baby girl Quinn:

and baby boy Evan:

I can't wait to hold these love muffins!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pre-Christmas Fun

For us, the most social & gathering part of Christmas is over.  We had our fun all throughout the month with parties, gatherings, decor, markets, etc.  Now, most all of our friends are headed back to their own home country and we stay here and enjoy a quiet, mellow Christmas Eve and day.

I'm ok with it because I know there are countless American family Christmases ahead and this is our last Austrian Christmas.  While quiet and not billowing with family folk and noise, they are nice in their own right.  Also, I am skyped into my family's gift opening bonanza on Christmas morn..and well, that's just like being there, right?  (Molly, move the computer 3 inches to the left so I can see what Mom got!)

We haven't had a tree the past two years and I remedied that this year with a tree as early as mid-November.  We kept it under wraps as Austrians don't generally put their trees up 'til Christmas Eve.  We did not want to be evicted due to American eagerness and having decor up before the stores!

I had to put a little touch of Steiermark/Austria on my wrapping efforts.

Earlier this month, I turned 32 and my friends threw me the nicest surprise birthday brunch!

We had a baking exchange with the ladies with a fab selection of calories.

We received this hilarious and most-appropriate ornament from a thoughtful friend.  She's wearing a necklace, bow and tutu.

Graz is decked in the usual

And we have had lots of eating, drinking and being merry.

Still, it would be nice to be with these folks as well:
(Art's parents)

and this crew:

(my fam all smiles at Thanksgiving...they are surely hiding the pain of our absence)

Merry Christmas to all wherever you may be celebrating! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Sad Christmas Poem

Oh, honey, are you waitin' on Santa?  He doesn't come 'round here.

That stuffed animal carcass is gonna have to last you another year.

Bringing 'em Home

After Salzburg, we brought Sarah and Roger back with us to Graz to show them our little city.

And there was some photo takin', natürlich.

Everyone loves the Schloss cave.

First stop that night was the Christmas markets so they could meet our Graz friends.

Elsie must snuggle with every visitor.  If you close your door, she waits outside it puffing her nose under the crack so you don't forget she's there.

A day after they left and I walked by this spot and it was weird to think that Sarah was there with me just a day before walking around. I love having friends from home here with me in this 'other life'.  It's a huge treat and we're blessed and thankful that people travel all this way just for a little Spaß and schnitzel with us. :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Salzburg at Christmas Time

Salzburg is such a pretty, quaint town (could do without the Mozart madness) and they definitely do it up right for Christmas.  It was Sarah's favorite city...not hard to see why.  We Christmas marketed, took a trip up to the fortress, wandered around the beautiful cathedral and ate, drank and window shopped, of course.

(The only thing that could have made it better was some snowfall.  This is the driest winter this area of Europe has had in 140 that somewhere.)