Celebrating my old man

I like to tease Gregory in these three weeks between our birthdays that he's an old man. :)  He is 34 now, and I'm still a young 33.  I guess the advantage of marrying younger is that I still have energy to celebrate him well.  Or at least, I like to think that.

My handsome husband helped some friends and colleagues move on his birthday, so we did some of the celebrating the day before.  We had a meeting all Friday morning which required us to have a babysitter, a prime opportunity to extend her services an extra couple hours and fit in a birthday date.  I somehow forgot to take a picture, but we went to one of our favorite places for lunch - Cafe Central.  The food is amazing there; we are never disappointed.  The only disappointment was that we had to begin the meal by taking our cold meds.  Yep, we're both fighting nasty colds.

We had birthday cake - or rather pie - Friday afternoon as a family.  Gregory's traditional blueberry cheesecake.  It was delicious.
On Saturday, while Gregory was assisting with the move, the kids had fun creating cards for their beloved daddy.
After his return, we had his favorite birthday meal - roasted leg of lamb.
And we concluded the evening with cards and gifts.
We love celebrating Gregory!

Sickness and Snow

Yesterday was Gregory's birthday.  I will post about that sometime this week.  Other than my being really sick and the rest of the family not feeling so great either, it was fun.  But for now, because I'm sick, I'm sharing my favorite "sick day" activity for the kids.
It's amazing how long these two can be entertained by a couple containers of beans, some toy kitchen items, and some cars.  Scoop, dump, shovel, etc...  And I just get to sit with my box of tissues.  (Okay, of course, as soon as I took that picture, they began fighting over a trailer. *sigh*)

Nathanael is not so happy that I can't take him out this morning.  This is where he sat for a while this morning as soon as he saw the beautiful, fresh snow.
Eva's response when she looked outside: "Wow.  Wow.  Wow."  Snow really is magical.


Visit photos, part 3

For my final of three random posts of pictures from my family's visit over Christmas, I am focusing on the kids.  It's so much fun to see what pictures people capture of these two when they visit.  I treasure them!
Her first ponytail! 
 Christmas morning excitement:  Look at all those gifts!
Eva doesn't even care.
It seemed her favorite gift was a stocking stuffer:  Pez!  Candy wrapper and all!
 I love these two sweethearts!
Goofing off for the cameras
 She loves to sit on things.
What a sweet photo of these two! They are both smitten!
First chocolate cookie!
 Loving playing with Opa and Oma's gift!
Riding the bus with family
At our church's Christmas Eve service
Being silly together at a restaurant

Visit photos, part 2

Here we go with post number two of three, photos from my family's visit over Christmas.  This one is dedicated to getting out-and-about, excluding what I've already posted already in the past month.

We had snow at the end of the visit!  This is our "home park," the view from our living room.
More home park photos...
Nathanael was teaching Auntie Carrie how to climb and navigate the pikes.
On the tram
Waiting for a tram
Out for brunch.  I love my sister!
One of our favorite parks - Kurpark Oberlaa.
Carrie was having some fun!
I joined in. :)
Eva just wanted to stay warm.
 Nathanael collected sticks.  (What's new.)
What an absolutely amazing visit!

Visit photos, part 1


I've been delaying this string of posts for a few days because I have no idea how I will choose a handful of pictures to share online and enter into the blog book for the kids.  Visiting family or being visited by family when living in the States was special.  But there is something extra special about the sacrifice that has to be made to visit across the world -- change of time, cost of travel, physical wear of international travel and cultural confusion, and of course the increase in vulnerability to new and strange illnesses.  But never-the-less, we consistently have our family making those sacrifices and visiting us.  This Christmas was no exception.  My parents, sister, and brother-in-law enjoyed a second Christmas in Vienna, and it was such a huge encouragement to us.  I tried to fill the week with special outings and activities, and the kids did the rest to keep us all entertained.  With six smartphone cameras and three hand-held cameras, we have a ton of pictures.  Here goes my attempt to capture a tidbit of our time together.  (Prior posts have already addressed a few themes during their visit.)

First, here are some of my favorite photos from just hanging out together at home.  There are a lot...

Puzzles and cuddles with Grandma
Joining in on the fun with puzzles
 I'm pretty sure this was the first morning after they arrived; Nathanael could hardly wait to play with Legos with Grandpa.  (Notice the coffee cup in Grandpa's hand and the hard-hat, of course.)
 This little girl loved being with her Grandpa!
The kids loved sitting with Grandpa and watching video clips on his phone. 
And they were often seen either standing at the door to Grandpa and Grandma's room, asking to come in and play, or sprawled out on their bed playing.
It was no surprise that these two were often together.
(Isn't his "smile" pitifully adorable?!)
But these two often stole the show! 

 We were sooo excited to have Uncle Drew and Auntie Carrie join us!
And they quickly joined in on the fun and silliness!
Anytime Eva saw Drew's water bottle around, she would pick it up and proudly take it to him.  It was adorable.  I think this picture was after one of those instances.
 Nathanael received two great Lego sets for Christmas from both sets of Grandparents, and these three spent hours entertaining themselves with them!