February Break, Alps and Florida

For the February break, we opted for a divide and conquer approach. Larry needed to work for most of the week, and both Elliot and Larry wanted to learn to ski.  Merrie had no desire to try the slopes, and both she and I wanted some sun and warmth.  It had also been too long since I had seen (in person) my mom and dad. So the boys headed to the Alps and Merrie and I headed to Florida.

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Lisbon 2017

I finally managed to do something I always intended, but never quite accomplished: keep ongoing notes for posterity about a trip while it’s happening. (Let me tell you, it wreaks havoc with verb tenses.)  So below are the writings and notes, with very little edits other than back filling in the names of restaurants and locations (warning, it’s long).   Here also are a small set of pictures. The full album is on Facebook.

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These two have become thick as thieves

img_2367One of the benefits of this relocation has been how close Elliot and Meredith have become as they both have become older. They both have a nice group of friends from school, but over the past year they have become better friends with each other.

Last night, the kids continued the dinner conversation even after everyone was done eating. They kept talking while they did the dishes. They continued talking well after that, too. Their discussion was about the constitution (tho it definitely wandered in many political and ideological directions).  And while it was mostly Elliot in the role of teacher, Meredith was far from a passive learner. She was engaged. She questioned and she challenged. She brought up good points and she stopped him from verbally steamrolling her (something he’s always working to improve with everyone).

I was off doing my own thing, but occasionally I picked up snippets as I passed through. It all made me smile. But the part that sent me over the moon was when I heard the very familiar strains of School House Rock’s “Preamble” floating through the house. I was a proud mama at that moment. (and it’s still stuck in my head). When I went downstairs later in the evening to wish them goodnight, I found them on their beanbag chairs happily watching a movie together.

I know that sometimes she is just humoring him. More often than not his passions are not in her wheelhouse. I know that sometimes he is over protective, and sometimes they just drive each other crazy. But they also really look out for each other. They take care of each other. It looks like they are on a path to be really great friends with each other for the rest of their lives.  I don’t know that I could ask for more.

One year later – a post for posterity

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Looking forward to 2017

Well, as has happened in the past on our family blogs, I’ve paralyzed myself with a backlog of good intentions. I thought I would be able to go back a give a proper summary to the myriad activities and visitors we enjoyed since July.  Nope. I just can’t keep up, and it’s been keeping me from posting anything else. So I hereby declare Blog Bankruptcy (again).  Instead of beating myself up I will take this opportunity to summarize our first year in Munich.  One year ago today, we left Salem.

Continue reading One year later – a post for posterity

They lose their sh*t; I lose my mind

For the past 3-6 months, my kids are constantly misplacing or losing things. Important things. Expensive things. I’m not talking umbrellas or paperbacks (tho, those have been lost too). I’m talking keys, phones, wallets, train tickets, money, IDs, jackets, earbuds, hats, thermoses, computer chargers, razors, phone chargers. You name it, they are losing it. Like little costly breadcrumbs, trails of Underhill possessions are scattered everywhere. Berlin, Starnberg, Switzerland, on the trains, at the school. Continue reading They lose their sh*t; I lose my mind

Pretty sure I wasn’t in Kazakhstan

It was a pretty crazy, whirlwind summer — hell, it’s been a crazy seven months, but now that things are starting to settle down, I am turning my attention to processing 3+ months  of photos for the blog and albums. I took a preliminary peek at the daunting task I have ahead of me, and I was little tickled. Granted, it has been a great run so far, and the last couple months, especially, have been overflowing with all things hashtag blessed. But throughout all the fun, and travel via planes and trains and autos, and amid all the laughter, and the amazing company, I am relatively certain I was never in Kazakhstan.

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Yet.  But other than that little inexplicable blip, the locations feature on my Photos is quite accurate and it reminded me how much we’ve done since we’ve gotten here. It’s incredible and a little humbling. And the amount of photos I have to go through is overwhelming.  So please bear with me. I will be blogging again soon, I promise.  But first a little research about Kazakhstan.