Continuing with the “month themes” I’ve shared in previous posts, we’ll call Month Three “Experiencing!” Month One was all about settling in, Month Two– making a house a home, and Month Three- Experiencing Regensburg- our new home. And down below, I share about Month Four- Settled.
There was a lot to experience with our first holiday season abroad. The biggest and most obvious thing we wanted to experience were the famous Christmas Markets.
To be honest, I had no idea Christmas Markets were a thing till we announced we were moving. Then it seemed like everyone was telling me about how beautiful the “markets” were.
I immediately hopped online to understand what these Christmas Markets were. And I was ecstatic!
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I am grateful for our little town of Regensbrug. I am literally IN.LOVE. with this town. It’s a lot like New Braunfels- small and quaint. Has that “homey” feel. But big enough to have all the essentials one needs to build a home in a new country. (And by that I mean it has an IKEA within five miles of us!)
But I actually started out our third month abroad by spending a weekend with my sister, Allison, in Prague. (I sound so cool saying that! Like…who goes to Prague for a weekend?!? I DO! And apparently Allison who lives in Texas…so I guess it’s not that cool…..)
We spent the weekend exploring Prague. I had already visited the city in October when we traveled for Cody’s work. But it was a day trip so everything was a whirlwind. This time I got to really enjoy and savor the new culture I was experiencing. I’ll save all the details for a specific post on my trip to Prague.
Cody and I also spent a day in Nuremberg. One of the perks of Cody’s new job is the amount of vacation days he is given. And the fact that he HAS to take them or will get a talking to from his boss.
So we decided to spend one of those days with a trip to Nuremberg to see their Christmas Market.
We took a train from Regensburg to Nuremberg and this excited me SO much!
In my blog post on our First Christmas Abroad I share about our day trip to Nuremberg as well as our double date night with a couple here to the Thurn and Taxis Market in Regensburg. And, of course, I write about how we celebrated Christmas here without our families.
Post Christmas Experiencing
We took about a week off from work. Cody was literally off work, like not going in, for probably ten to twelve days.
I took a solid week off. But during our break I still managed to get some serious podcast recording done for Simply Teach. Because it was Christmas break for the teachers I wanted to interview, it was the perfect time for me to be able to chat with them in the morning their time and only in the afternoon here. The time change can make setting up podcast conferences a challenge!
We spent a lot of our time finishing up putting rooms together and walking the dogs.
I also spent a lot of time planning and dreaming for the upcoming year. I use a goal setting planner called Powersheets (and I write all about it in this blog post on my teaching blog) and I absolutely LOVE it!
Being a perfectionist, over achiever, and a ‘can’t fail or it means I’m not worthy’ kind of person- this tool is really helpful. It allows me to scheme, dream, and journal about all the things I want to accomplish and then break them down into actionable steps. So I spent a fair amount of time working on those and enjoyed every minute of it!
We rang in The New Year with our friends, The Freys. Lori hosted an English Tea at their home on New Years Eve. I was skeptical of what Cody would thing about the idea of tea time. But, he loved it! He is now officially hooked on tea and he loved that it was basically three hours of continuously eating!
Although we didn’t have a “White Christmas” or even a “White New Year” we did get some snow the following week.
In fact, one day we had so much snow that it actually stuck for the night and we were able to go out Saturday morning exploring our town with all the snow.
I had fun practicing photography and Cody was a good sport. It probably helps that after wandering around the town we finally tried out the historic Sausage Kitchen- Wurstkuchl. Which is possibly the oldest restaurant in Germany, and maybe even the world!
And finally, after nine weeks of waiting- our couch finally arrived! Almost all furniture here, unless from IKEA, is custom made. Which is quite dumb to me. But that’s why our couch took incredibly long to receive.
Month Four and Beyond
I am not sure if Month Four deserves a whole blog post or even a theme. Other than settled. Now that the rush of finding our new home, establishing ourselves here in Regensburg, furnishing our home, and enjoying the holiday season, things have settled a bit.
So I guess we’ll call Month Four, Settled.
The New Year came and went. Cody returned to work. I established a routine that allows me to work each day as well as take care of our home, walk the dogs, and find rest.
Our home is *almost* completely set up. Which, when it’s done, I plan to share a video!
We’ve had another Super Snow Day that accumulated around five or six inches of snow. And it was every bit as glorious as you might be picturing it!
There was so much snow that the pond in Stadt Park (City Park) was partially frozen over!
And on the day of full on Snow Day, kids were out sledding down the hill in Stadt Park, building snowmen and igloos.
It’s so fun how the snow brings out this glorious side of people. The hustle and bustle stops. Everyone pauses to savor the moment. I think this is why I find the snow so inviting and enjoyable.
I wrapped up my first set of German Language classes and am now “A1” certified. Which means I know enough to ask for the bathroom, order a latte, and ask for a certain shoe size. I plan to enroll in more German courses in the coming months.
I am loving the language.
Loving the experience of learning.
Loving being able to communicate in a language other than my own.
In Month Four, I took a leap and got my haircut! Thanks to my friend Sara, who was first my German teacher, I was able to walk into the hair salon (with my notepad in hand) and ask for a hair appointment in German! The next day, I was even able to call and make an appointment for Cody!
I literally prayed before I left for my haircut. I told God I knew this was not a real issue. But I was nervous! Partially because of the language barrier but also because anytime you get your haircut with a new person it can be scary. Luckily, my hair stylist was so sweet and despite her speaking hardly any English. We were able to communicate through a translator, hand signs, and our limited knowledge of the other’s language.
My haircut turned out super cute and I am loving it! Plus I am loving the fact that my hair actually feels clean for the first time in three months!
I doubt whether from this point forward I will keep with monthly updates. But, now that I am almost caught up on the blog posts of our move over here, I plan to blog more about day to day stuff, trips we take, and what I am learning as we experience life in Germany.
Until next time,