Thursday, December 24, 2009

christmas is upon us...

Life really does seem to fly by with a toddler in the house...phew...Christmas is already here. Hard to believe!

The little ones are tucked in bed as I write this, hardly able to contain their excitement about what awaits them in the morning. I have a load more baking to do tomorrow (family gifts are all baked ones). I feel extremely grateful, happier than ever, if not a little worn out. Did I mention I have a toddler in the house? :-)

And Grandma, Grandpa and Sandy and Mom...if you read this...I'm woefully behind on mailing out letters/cards and photos...please be patient with me, and know that you're really and truly in my heart and mind...and it is absolutely my new year's resolution to be more on top of my written correspondence! Er, did I mention that I have an energetic toddler in the house? hehe

Grandma, I made your chocolate ripple cookies today, as I do every year for Christmas. They transport me right back to my childhood every time and I'm so happy to share them with others every year.

Wishing you all a very merry christmas, with lots of love and good memories. We're thinking of all of you...especially because we're so far away!

Monday, November 23, 2009

outside with little bro

A birthday

Dear sweet big brother,

Seven years ago you opened your eyes to the world, and I became a mother. Have I ever properly thanked you for choosing me? :-) We so wanted your 7th birthday to be special. We wanted you to have a perfect day, surrounded by friends and fun.

So we set your presents out on the table next to your birthday ring so they'd be right there to greet you in the morning...

We invited your best buddies...7 kids in all if you count your baby brother (which you did, sweet)

I baked you a "gnome mountain cake" per your request. I modeled the gnomes out of marzipan and found little mushroom candles to match. This cake was a huge hit and so many of you had seconds that there were no leftovers!

You got so many nice presents. Like the one you're wearing! It was made with love by a friend and since it was the very first thing you opened, you decided to put it on right away.

And here I am with your little brother. The only photo of me from your birthday party...looking tired and satisfied. So glad you had a wonderful day, so proud to be your mama, and so in awe that we've been around the sun 7 times together already!

It's been a joy. Happy Birthday, Alex.


Sunday, November 01, 2009


Our little garden gnome.

Fall is both my favorite and also our busiest time of year. So many family birthdays, holidays, events, etc...weekend after weekend full with no sign of letting up until after Christmas. It's all so wonderful and so FAST. Slow down, Fall, so I can enjoy you a bit more!

We had a Halloween party! Can you spot my little Robin Hood?

Ahhhh, now this might just be one of the best things about this time of year for big brother.

More than usual farm visits for us right now, too. For pumpkins, apples, pears, Süssmost, etc...

What? Aren't farmhouses decorated with onion garlands everywhere in the world?

All is well in our cozy little part of the Alpine world. Busy and wonderful. Now that the Halloween party is behind us we have to concentrate on big brother's birthday party next weekend! Two weeks after that we're off to Vienna again, this time for 10 days. A good place to kick of the Advent festivities for sure.

Hope you're all well! We're thinking of you as the air gets colder and the beautiful colored leaves start to be blown away by gusty winds...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

my hearts

Little brother walks around pushing this wagon *constantly* right now. A few weeks ago he started standing up without holding anything, and about a week ago he started taking a few steps! He always beams with pride when he does it and we're all clapping and getting excited along with him. It's the cutest phase ever!

Big brother recently had his last day of tennis for the season (that's him on the left). He thinks he'd like to try it again in the Spring when it starts back up again. We're trying out a few different ideas for a winter activity. He's looking into Turnen (which is like tumbling/gymnastics), yoga, and tap dancing (Steptanz). :-) haha


Crawling through the tunnel...again and happy.

Besides little brother learning to walk (!) we're just gearing up for Fall. We've potted our fall plants, said goodbye to most of our veggie garden, started up with the whirlwind of home/unschooling activities. I love this time of year. I'll try to remember to take lots of pictures!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No. 7 The four seasons (Swiss Top Ten)





I will finish this Swiss Top Ten series if it's the last thing I do!! hehe

In short, I have come to love the four seasons as experienced here. It is absolutely amazing to see things transform before your eyes, to feel and smell it in the air. Oh, and to experience it with small children!!! The first snow! The first purple crocuses popping up in the garden. The endless piles of leaves.

I know we had seasons in California, too...but believe me when I say it was nothing at all like this. I remain a true blue sunshine girl at heart, but I need my four seasons now!! If only all that winter magic didn't last *quite* as long. hmmm.

(All the photos above are of our garden as seen out of our living room window.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009


What can I even say? This sweet little boy came into our lives a year ago...bringing so much love and light and happiness with him, it's almost impossible to put into words.

Happy Birthday, little brother. We're soooooooooo glad you're here. :-)

Just don't grow up too fast, OK?


Friday, July 03, 2009

our garden

Big brother's garden patch as of yesterday.

space to play!

watering it is his favorite part by far!

our terrace pots



the day's small harvest.

we could do so much more, but we're taking it easy this year since we have a babe in arms. I feel so lucky to have our very own beautiful outside space, which isn't something very many have in this crowded, mountainous land.

I'd like to see yours, too!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


We live here.

Can you believe that?

This photo is taken near the cafe at one of our favorite city parks, where we've been spending quite a bit of time these days. I mean, just look at this place.

And you? What's the view of your town?

Big brother had a marvelous time at a dear friend's birthday party. Here he is swinging at the pink octopus pinata.

Little brother is changing every single day it seems. Right now he very much loves to rock in his little snail. :-)

Have I ever posted a photo of our home from the front/street? Here it is. June has been met with lots of home repairs. Oy. Old houses!

The boys play so well together despite their age gap. They especially love to play under the beautiful playstands....when they're not outside in the garden that is!

Lots going on here and nothing at the same time, ya know? Big brother has a nice little garden plot going, I'll take photos and tell you about that soon. We also got our official permission to homeschool! Which luckily lasts for 2 years so we won't have to go through the process again before we leave the country. Only 2 more weeks of Kindergarten before summer holidays. I have mixed feelings. His German is now quite good and we seem to really be at a big turning point with it. We could use a couple more months! We'll just have to hope that between play dates and tennis and singing (Kinderchor) he will be using it enough to keep it up. Trying to stay optimistic!

That's it for now. Hope you are all well! Thinking of you....