December is chock full of anniversaries for our family. This year marked our 3rd anniversary in Germany, 4th Christmas in Germany, 7th wedding anniversary, and the one year anniversary of our last miscarriage. 2017 has been a year of struggle, growth, and recovery but 2018 looks bright.
For the longest time this year I struggled on my own with my loss. It wasn’t something I wanted to talk about and I kept it to myself. My closest friends knew what happened, but I didn’t really let them know how I was truthfully doing with it. In the last few months I have realized that talking about it helps, so I am not afraid to share my struggles with you here.
2017 started in the hospital. On January 2nd I had a D&C to finish a miscarriage after weeks of suffering. Not exactly the way we wanted to start the year off, but after a month of endless sickness we were both happy that I would be able to heal now. Physically, I healed very quickly and within days felt like myself again, emotionally would take much longer. I mourned our loss, mourned the life that wouldn’t be, tried to find acceptance with what happened and what it meant for the future of our family, but at the same time felt relief that my extreme sickness was over and excitement to parent and love Brock.
As we recovered, we also started preparing to move back to the states, a welcomed distraction. We looked over our potential list for next duty stations and talked about each one, narrowing the field to our top 3. In the final days of that conversation Fil found out he would be taking command here and that we would be extending our stay. I was excited to leave Germany and move on, but knowing how great this command would be helped me to look forward to more time over here. Around this time I sought help and through therapy and medication I have found my old self again. So when December came around and we hit the anniversary of loss, I did much better with it than I would have without the help and support I had. So thank you. Thank you to all who lent support and love. It meant so much to me.
So here we are, just a few days after Christmas, getting ready to ring in our 4th New Year in Germany, and managing well. I don’t know where we will be spending our next Christmas, but I know our little family will be just fine. Our little family isn’t growing in the way we expected but our little girl Poppy is just perfect. Just before Christmas we got our first dog, a female American Hairless Terrier (AHT) that we named Poppy… Poppy because when Brock said “puppy” it sounded like “poppy” and was too cute. She is coated, so she resembles the Rat Terrier, the breed from which the AHT came from. Her coloring is beautiful, she is spunky and loving, and has the cutest ringlet tail. We are in love.
Our little Poppy has already shown to be a great addition to our family. She cuddles and plays with all of us and is the perfect companion. When we first started talking about getting a dog the main thread was that the dog would be Brock’s best friend since he wouldn’t have siblings. Poppy is a good friend for Brock, but she is my girl. She is my little shadow and follows me everywhere. It is too cold for her outside so training is taking a bit more effort than we hoped for, but we absolutely love her.
Christmas day was absolutely perfect this year. Brock was finally excited to unwrap presents! He was so excited when he saw them all under the tree and dug right in. Brock got a lot of great gifts but he really loves his new firetrucks and especially his Audi Spyder. (See all the pictures here) Christmas day was a bit warm here so we took his new Audi outside and let him ride around the street a bit in all his glory. I would say that it’s a shame its been too wet since then to take the car back outside, but he has managed to run the battery down twice already by just going back and forth in the living room.
Later on in the day we went over to our friends house for Christmas dinner. The Mozak family are not just friends, but have become like family to us. We had a great time laughing, drinking, and playing late into the night. For dinner we had the traditional German goose with red cabbage and stuffing balls. So delicious!
In Germany, there is actually a 2nd Christmas on December 26th… our wedding anniversary. We were invited to second Christmas with our other friends, the Kessler’s and had a fantastic meal for the holiday and our anniversary. We really don’t get the opportunity to go out much, just the two of us, but really this anniversary was wonderful. We always have such a great time with Sarah & Eric.
As I know I have made it abundantly clear in the past, European Christmas markets are where it is at! This year we went to two as a family, Baumholder and Burg Lichtenberg Medieval market. Both of these were a first for us! Believe it or not after all our time here we have never made it to either of these markets and they are the most local! Both are only for one weekend and we have always had other things going on, so I was really happy that we made it to both this year, especially since this could be our last chance. Fil also went to the Luxembourg City market on a staff ride to the Luxembourg American cemetery for work and brought me back a mug. Brock and I took the train to the Sankt Wendel market like we always do, and Nancy and I took the boys to Trier for the market, burgers and shakes. I was thrilled to get 4 more mugs for my collection this year, and Brock was more than happy to tag along if it meant he got to ride the carousel or train at each market.
If I get to the store today I will buy us a Bleigiessen kit for New Years eve, but we shall see if that happens. If not, we will still have fun with fondue and then watch all our neighbors light up the night with fireworks. The Germans really go crazy for fireworks on New Years… it’s the one night of the year when they are legal and literally every German participates.
Cheers to a blessed 2018!
Oh! I almost forgot! Thank you for all of the Christmas cards. We are still getting them in the mail, as you know it takes a bit longer to reach us 🙂