01 November, 2012

New York New York

Who doesn't love New York. It's an amazing metropolis and so fun to explore! We had planned this trip for quite a while now as the main reason we went was to celebrate Andre and Sylvia's wedding. The wedding was a secret affair and Craig and I were the only one in attendance, which made everything even more exciting. We planned everything to the T, which included dinner reservations at fancy restaurants every night we were there, a bike ride in Central Park, walk the Brooklyn Bridge, visit the 911 Memorial, go to a broadway show and visit neighborhoods like Soho and the Meatpacking District and of course Time Square.

Well, everything came different because we had one little thing ahead of us that nobody anticipated...a hurricane was to hit NYC on the Monday the wedding was planned! This exciting event cut our time to do our activities in half and moved the wedding up a day due to the fact that the honeymoon cruise ship Andre and Sylvia were to step on on Monday afternoon had leave the harbor a day early.

Chaos and lots of re-organization of the wedding events resulted in a quick but amazing wedding Sunday morning in Central Park and a send off of the couple on their cruise! However, Craig and I weren't so lucky to get out and had to ride out Hurricane Sandy in the city. We made a quick decision and checked out of our hotel on Sunday night once we knew our flight was cancelled and the city was being shut down literally in every way. We were lucky that our friend Vincent was in town visiting his family and that he extended the offer to us that we could stay with him. We took a $75 cab ride to Staten Island as no other transportation was possible and stocked up on food and drinks! We camped out at his grandmas place for almost 3 days and had fun catching up with Vinny!

After all the damage that Sandy caused, the area we stayed at was not hit as hard and we considered ourselves lucky. The worst was fallen trees and no electricity. We were happy to get out on one of the first flights out of JFK airport and are happy to be back home! Nevertheless, we are excited to visit the city hopefully soon again!

Here are some pictures...not in order but you get to see that we still had fun despite the hurricane:

28 June, 2012

BIG step into the right direction...

I believe every American should watch the below video as the President points out what Obamacare, i.e. socialized healthcare really means! It is not a political move, it is a basic right that should be supported by a society that is as developed and wealthy as the USA.

I believe in socialized healthcare, mainly because I experienced it's great benefits to a society and my personal life. It is wrong to not have affordable or yet free healthcare in a country that is as rich as the USA. It is ethically incomprehensible  for me that people still go bankrupt because they are hit with a major illness and cannot afford to pay for their treatments...families are ruined and for people to not acknowldge this fact is just wrong.

The funny thing is that most opposers to socialized healthcare are either part of an elite that is very wealthy and never had to think twice about a struggle in life or has a government job, which in turn provides them with a socialized healthcare system. All federal, state, county or city jobs have a great healthcare plan that is paid for by taxpayers - and guess what - that is what socialized healthcare is!

I gladly pay more in taxes if that means that I have adequate healthcare - just like in Europe. Get rid of your pre-conceived notions that you will receive less quality healthcare or have to wait in the doctors office for hours or cannot chose what doctor you can go see. Well, I have news for you - socialized healthcare does not work like that. When I go home to Germany, I get my annual exams there because I get better care than in the USA. I get treated with very modern and cutting-edge technology, receive complete examinations (cancer screenings & blood work), free prescriptions  and can get an appointment at any time. This has always been this way and never was I told to go to a certain doctor, I can chose freely who I want to see for treatment and I get an appointment within a week. I remember going to the doctor here in the states and being taken back by the office equipment that they had - almost like they were stuck in the 1970's...and I still encounter this on occasion here.

I understand that some people follow whatever their parents teach them but really...step outside your comfort zone and really dig into this subject and research what socialized healthcare really means to you and the society you live in.

18 May, 2012

Home in Orem for Sale!

We have finally decided to put our house on the market! So exciting and bitter-sweet...
Check out this link for more details. It's a townhome (end-unit) in the Sleepy Ridge Golf Course neighborhood and has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 half bath with an amazing masterbathroom, 2 car attached garage and an upstairs laundry room. We kept the house in great shape and it is move-in ready. We love the house but because of our commute (1 hour each way), we have to sell it, sadly. 

30 January, 2012

Too Young...

We are always super excited for the winter season to start...Craig & I love snowboarding and that's why we live in the mountains, right? This season started off great with a trip to Switzerland, which Craig fell in love with and cannot wait to return to... Then we came back to UTAH and there was nothing...no snow and no snow? Crazy, huh? Mid January came and we finally had some decent storms rolling in after a month and a half of a dry spell. We all know what this means...riding the white and fluffy powdahhh is what makes our hearts beat faster. Catching first lifts at PCMR and enjoying every second of it was amazing!!! We could be ski bums for all I know and be completely happy and satisfied...the outdoors are amazing in UT and we love this kind of lifestyle. Maybe that is also part of the reason we want to move back to PC so badly, not only friends but being able to get up and be on the mountain within 10 minutes is just amazing. We rather sacrifice living in a big home in the valley and will most likely live in a small condo or apartment...just because the quality of life up there is what really matters to us! Back to where it all started...

Now to what really has been on my mind. Two amazing people have passed away this month doing what they love...skiing and snowboarding.

One is the famous 29 year old freeskiing pioneer Sarah Burke, who died  during a training session in PC's half pipe. What a loss! She was such a great person and so inspiring to so many female athletes because she pushed so hard to get females to be able to compete in her sport in events such as the X-Games. Female freeskeeing was finally accepted into the 2014 Winter Olympics and all Sarah wanted to do is compete and fulfill that dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. She died too young! My friend Kristy actually knew her very well. The day she died we went on a long run and she told me all about Sarah. Kristy worked at Quicksilver/Roxy and developed Sarah's first Ski's with Roxy for her. She said that Sarah was so accomplished yet so humble and nice, which was rare in this industry.

Watch this video below and you can see how her husband Rory just adores her because she is just such a genuinely great person inside and out.

Then there is Alecs Barton, a 24 year old kid that was about to graduate from the U of U. He was the most genuine person that you would have known. He looooooooooved the outdoors and his girlfriend! He was experienced in the backcountry and was always equipped with the gear necessary, i.e. beacon, shovel...you name it. He was  cautious and educated himself of snow and avalanche conditions before he would embark on a hike up the Wasatch Front with many of his friends. But last Saturday, he for some reason fell short of knowing that the conditions where tricky and not meant for him to go snowboarding in. He died in an avalanche...and with him gone a lot of people just lost one of their best friends ever. He was the most amazing person that lived his life to the fullest and the way he wanted it, without any regrets. He left a lot of people behind that will miss him every second of their lives. He had more amazing adventures in his short life than most people have in their full lives. My friend went with him last summer on a Canyonlands mountain bike tour...they had the most amazing time and he wished he had one more day with this awesome kid who showed everyone how to really live!

Watch this fun video of him catching some awesome days up in the Wasatch:

It makes me unbelievably sad that amazing young people like this die! Yet it also makes me take a look at my own life and lets me know that tomorrow can be my last day so I better have fun and enjoy every minute I have left without any regrets. Love Life!

21 December, 2011


This is a video of a young man auditioning for X Factor in Australia and it reminded me so much of why I absolutely hate war! I dont believe in war or anything to do with weapons of any kind because I don't believe it will resolve the issue that is mosty deeply rooted in customs and religion within a society. Growing up in Germany with generations that have gone through the second world war and seeing how it destroyed them as individuals because of the things they witnessed and had happened to themselves made me understand the concequences of war.

The video is of a young Iraqui that was born during the first Iraq war against the USA in 1990. He was born without limps because of the use of chemical weapons during this war. He is truly an inspiration but also a testament to what war does to innocent people because the real victims of war are those that really have nothing to do with the actual conflict itself. Listening to John Lennon's lyrics of the song 'Imagine' (written in 1971...the lyrics even apply today more) solidified my conviction that war as a conflict resolution is the wrong way.

                                                         Imagine - John Lennon (1971)

                                                           Imagine there's no heaven
                                                                  It's easy if you try
                                                                  No hell below us
                                                                 Above us only sky
                                                                Imagine all the people
                                                                    Living for today
                                                         Imagine there's no countries
                                                                   It isn't hard to do
                                                              Nothing to kill or die for
                                                                 And no religion too
                                                               Imagine all the people
                                                                 Living life in peace

                                                           You may say I'm a dreamer
                                                               But I'm not the only one
                                                          I hope some day you'll join us
                                                             And the world will be one

                                                               Imagine no possesions
                                                                 I wonder if you can
                                                           No need for greed or hunger
                                                               A brotherhood of man
                                                                Imagine all the people
                                                                 Sharing all the world

                                                           You may say I'm a dreamer
                                                              But I'm not the only one
                                                           I hope some day you'll join us
                                                           And the world will live as one

17 December, 2011

Graduation & Anticipation

CRAIG HAS GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE!!! I am seriously so excited and can't believe this day has finally come. I am so proud of him and I am proud of us sticking to our plan of getting him through college ASAP so we would be able to move on in so many ways. We are not tied to living in Orem, Utah anymore and we can move anywhere our hearts and dreams will take us. Our first move will most likely be back to Park City, since we both work up in this fun little ski town. We love it there but I have the feeling this may not be our last stop...I miss Europe so much so we are hoping to move back within the next few years. I would love to give birth to my children in Germany but then again we just don't know what the future holds for us yet. We will definitely make an effort to go back, in the end we will see what happens with our jobs and make a decision based on that. Craig would love to live in Germany and I think it would be such a life-changing opportunity for him. I really really hope it will work out! I miss my family and Germany so so so so much...

Here are some cute pictures from the night we celebrated Craig's completion of his last final EVER! We popped a bottle of champagne! He will not walk until the end of April because UVU does not have ceremonies for December graduates...my parents will come out for this event and I am sure his parents will be there too. It will be fun to have everybody together and celebrate his accomplishment!

On the other hand we are anticipating our trip back to Europe for New Years! I can hardly wait anymore. Today we unmounted our bindings from our snowboards so we could fit both of our boards into one bag. Craig was able to fit them perfectly and I was happy that we did not have to buy another board bag. Switzerland here we come! I love our family cabin in the Swiss Alps and have so many fun memories from spending every summer a coupe of month there when I was growing up and I learned how to Ski and Snowboard there! Craig and I will be able to spend some serious quality time together, since we are going to be by ourselves for a while before my parents join us for a few days. I am already anxiously awaiting the amazing food and will have a freshly baked chocolate hazelnut croissant every single morning. 

I am also excited to try out our new outfits. I got myself a pretty awesome Christmas present! I bought a Patagonia Shell Jacket and a Down Sweater, which were quite expensive but I love them. Since we will fly first to Orlando to spend Christmas with Craig's family there and then to Switzerland we need to pack lightly and heavy jackets are pretty much a No No considering we have to pack all of our snowboarding gear plus clothes for warm weather! Patagonia is an amazing outdoor gear brand that produces high quality light weight gear that has a lifetime warranty. My friend is a Ski-patroller and gets pro-form pricing on Patagonia. She let me take advantage of it and I got my stuff 45% off, which ended up still being pretty pricey considering I spent about $400 for only 2 items...but I know this money was well spent. Craig also got new gear as part of his graduation present. We went Black Friday shopping at Columbia and he got a complete new outfit for about the same price I had paid for only my two jackets. He also got a down sweater jacket (which I love on him...he looks so cute in it), a shell jacket and new snow-pants. We got each a few new pairs of ski socks and Craig got new base layers from REI. So we are all set for our vacation and hopefully can pack as lightly as possible for it. Here we are in our glory!

Here are some funny pics of me trying to get into the Christmas spirit with the Nutcracker...haha... and we found this old-skool wooden horse in Craig's Grandma's apartment lobby :)

Once again, we have no Christmas decoration in the house. It makes me kind of sad since our house looks not season appropriate without any Christmas-y stuff around. I almost went and bought a real Christmas Tree but Craig talked sense into me since it was not only the tree that had to be bought but everything that goes with. He would rather wait to buy nice decorations when we are actually celebrating Christmas here...and we needed to save our money for the upcoming trip. I did buy oranges and nuts...a little Christmas flavor...haha...and we have a Gingerbread candle! I also received a big package from my parents with all kinds of delicious German Christmas candy in it...I am so lucky to have the best parents that are very very thoughtful! Cuties! I talked to my mom for hours today on the phone and I miss having them close-by.

The countdown is on...7 more days and we are off on our 2 week vacation!!! I am so excited...can you tell? Merry Christmas!

09 December, 2011


OK. I am obviously slacking again on this blogging thing?!? Must love blogging...Must love blogging!!!

Life has been busy lately and the last 2 months have just been a little rough, to say the least.

Craig Perry, my co-worker that I blogged in September about, has lost his battle with cancer. I love his family and feel for them so much. I have never experienced so much grief and anxiety before (I never had anyone close to me die) and I have to say I am not good with it, at all! In fact, I am still struggling with Craig's death and it has really been impacting me. I am trying to get out of negative thinking patterns but I do catch myself going back and losing myself in worse-case scenarios. It's hard to lose someone close to you and I realized that I am not as strong as I thought I was. I am slowly trying to regain my confidence and live for a fun-filled future...I am getting there...I am almost back to normal with only the occasional set-back. I never thought that I would reach a state of numbness and feeling of stand still that would hinder me to do anything. I did, and I now realize that being healthy is the most important aspect of anyone's life, if you are not healthy (mentally & physically), you are not able to live a full life. I finally realized that real struggles ( I never have had a real struggle before) in life are not easy to deal with and that only if you have a strong support system you can overcome those. I luckily do, I love Craig so much and he has been there for me all along. He tries to understand me and picks me up when I struggle. I love him and he loves me and we have become really close these past months.

Well, so much for my current state of mind, let's move onto more fun things. Craig will graduate with his BS in Communications/Journalism from UVU next week. I am proud of him and so excited we can move on with our lives now that he has reached this big milestone. He has also found a job with Hyatt Hotels in Park City. He is really excited and I am happy to finally have a second full-time employee contributing to our family's finances! With Craig also working in Park City, we will most likely move back to PC within this year, if we can sell our house! We will see...I hope it all works out and we can be back at our old stomping ground with friends that are dear to us. I will have my running buddies, we can join a night-life (non-existent in Utah County) again, go snowboarding anytime and most importantly will have a short commute to work, ohhh and save a bunch of money on gas!

Talking about work, my job has been very stressful lately and probably did not contribute to help me overcome my struggles. Now that I have a lot of responsibility and passed the one year mark in my new role, the pressure is on. Between juggling my countless and demanding accounts around the world, I have been working on developing a consumer website for the Japanese market and running a subsidiary in Japan. I have had quite the learning curve over the past year and as much as I stress over it, I love it. I mean I worked all along towards being in a position like this, with lots of responsibility where I can utilize my acquired business school skills...but I never thought it would kick my butt this much! I am currently working on a big business analysis for the Japan operation that I am running and I am having to present it to our CEO...I am seriously stressing because I am finding all of these unfavorable things with this business that lead me to the conclusion to close it down...yet then again it is a huge opportunity to shine and turn the business around! What to do? I need to develop the business...can I? Only time will tell! I am growing in my new role but I also need to be patient because I am not perfect and will not be a superstar that has genius ideas on how to grow a business within a year...I would love to be a superstar but I am not! Another realization over the past two months!

In 2 weeks we will go on a 2 week vacation. I really need this one, can you tell! We will celebrate Christmas in Orlando, Florida with Craig's side of the family. Everyone gets to pick a day to plan an activity and Craig & I will definitely do a beach day, possibly St. Petersburg. On the 28th, Craig & I will fly from Orlando to Geneva, Switzerland to stay for a week at my family's cabin. I am so so so happy we are taking this trip! Craig and I will be by ourselves for the first 3 days and for New Year's Eve and I can't wait to spend quality time in this amazing place with my hubby. I think we deserve it and this is my graduation present to Craig. My parents will join us the day after New Years for 5 days and we will hopefully have amazing snow to play in. I am already picturing us eating amazing food, snowboarding all day and then go to these hot-tub thermal places nestled in the Alps. It makes me happy!  I can't wait...I love that place so much and I hope I will be able to take my kids there one day.

On April 1st, I will run a half marathon in my hometown Berlin with my friend Alison, my dad and my high-school friend Melanie. So excited for this little adventure. I have been running on my lunch breaks with Alison and hope that training in the mountains will help me with improving on my time. I have not done serious long runs because I don't want to start training too early. I have been doing 4 milers and I am starting to feel good, so time to start dong 5-6 milers. I am now working on my base and I will start training when I come back from Switzerland in January. I told my dad to bring his running clothes to the cabin. This way we can run in the mornings down into town to get fresh chocolate croissants for breakfast...I am thinking great idea...maybe we find the motivation to also run back up instead of taking the convenient bus?

Soooo...I will still have to do my 2011 Recap. I will seriously have to stop procrastinating if I want to finally start journalling our life!

17 October, 2011

Christmas 2010 & New Years in Germany!

2010 was the year Craig got to experience Christmas for the first time in a different culture. Craig got to spend Christmas with my family in Germany. Craig was super excited and so was I, since I hadn't been home for Christmas since 2004. We flew into Frankfurt/Mainz, where my parents work and spent some time there before heading to my grandparents and then finally to our house in Berlin.

While in Mainz, my mom took both Craig and I shopping for our Christmas gifts. My parents asked us what we wanted for Christmas and we both said that we needed clothes...Craig needed regular clothes and I needed work/professional clothes. My mom went all out and took us both separately shopping! Yayyy! I always love to go shopping in Europe because we have a different style that is a bit more preppy! Craig got a few pairs of jeans, a variety of slim-cut button-ups, nice sweaters, a slim-cut suit (which he has yet to wear), a corduroy jacket, new shoes. I love when he dresses up a little nicer as it makes him look so much cuter I think. Thanks Mom and Dad for Craig's Make-Over haha and my cute work clothes! After spending a couple of days with my parents, my mom flew to Berlin to be at our house with my grandparents (her parents) and we both drove with my dad to my other grandparents (my dad's parents) to spend Christmas Eve there.

Ohhh...I forgot to mention that Germany had been dumped on with snow and that it never stopped snowing while we were there. This is very untypical for Germany, we do get snow in the winter but it never really sticks for very long unless you are in the mountains. Craig had to shovel snow with my dad the entire time we were in Germany...not fun...but I think he made quite the impression on my family with being so helpful :)

My grandparents (Omi and Opi) were so happy to see us and we were happy to spent Christmas with them. My dad took us to the Erfurt Christmas Market. In Germany, you will find Christmas Markets in every city during the month of December. They remind me of my childhood so much. They are seriously the BEST! These markets have all kinds of holiday foods and drinks and handmade crafty things and ferris wheels and all the other things that make you feel like it's Christmas time! We probably sampled every food that was there and ate roasted almonds and drank hot spiced red wine (Gluehwein)...mmmmh seriously so delicious. I was so happy to be at the Christmas Market with my Daddio and Craig and I enjoyed every moment of it. We then checked out the city and took Craig sight-seeing. My dad went to boarding school in that city and it was also the home to Martin Luther, you know the guy that translated the bible. The city offered lots of history and I think Craig loved walking around on old cobble stone roads and seeing the city covered in snow and decorated with christmas lights. It was just what I wanted Craig to see and experience since this is how I grew up spending Christmas in Germany. It was amazing!

Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) Erfurt

On Christmas Eve, my grandparents prepared our traditional Christmas meal, which is really two meals! We have duck with potatoe dumplings, brown gravy and red cabbage and the second meal is oven baked fish with potatoes and horseradish sauce...mmmmhhhh...I missed it so much and I felt very satisfied and food coma-like once I completed both dishes!!! On Christmas Eve, we went to church (Craig said he was ever in such an old church before...it was a 1000 years old Lutheran church), walked home in the snow...very romantic, had an amazing Christmas dinner, and then we opened gifts! Yes, in Germany we open our gifts on Christmas Eve! We got my grandparents the game "Dominos". We brought it from the US so we can teach them how to play Mexican Train. They loved it! We had so much fun just relaxing, hanging out with my cute Omi and Opi and being at my Dad's hometown for Christmas. Love, Love, Love!

Christmas Eve with Omi & Opi

3 Generations

On Christmas morning, we started our journey to Berlin. It is my other grandpa's birthday on Christmas Day and we were excited to see him and my other grandma. The drive was going to be 4 hours and we had to leave early to make it in time for the Birthday dinner. Because it had snowed so hard on Christmas Eve, we were not able to leave early due to the road conditions. We ended up taking almost 6 hours for a 4 hour drive. When we finally arrived, we had a delicious birthday dinner and then my dad read funny old medieval quotes from Martin Luther's little handbook, which he had bought at the Christmas Market in Erfurt. My dad is seriously so cute...the entire family was laughing and had an amazing time just having dinner for 3 hours straight and listening to my dad's stories!  I love family time and I was so happy to be back home in Berlin. The celebration was not over yet. The following day, we celebrated my g-pa's 93rd birthday in style again. He took the entire family to a fun lunch at a typical old-school German restaurant. My uncle, aunt and cousin were there too and we loved just having the entire family together. Just as a side note, during Craig's first visit to Germany, he had a hard time adjusting the food. He now fully embraces it and started to really like it, mainly due to the fact that there was a lot of meat involved and that he has become accustom to eating lots of bread and cheese. I love it! 

 Berlin Christmas Tree
 Birthday Lunch for Grandpa!

 Craig after shoveling the walkway in front of the house!

Dad barely able to drive down our road...never had that much snow in our neighborhood before!

 Craig loving life and dinner!

 Walking Berlin

 Berlin Dome

While in Berlin, we met up with some of my friends from high school. We had brunch together Downtown and it was so fun to see  all of them again and to introduce Craig. None of them have changed and it was great to hear what they have been up to and what kind of career they are working towards. We also hung out quite a bit with Melanie and Daniel, who live just right around the corner from my parent's house. Melanie and I also went to High School together and her and Daniel came to visit us here in Utah last summer. Craig loves hanging out with them and it's fun to have another couple close by. They just became parents to beautiful little Ella and I can't wait to meet her! They both introduced us to the game Carcasonne and we had to buy it as soon as we came back. This game has become an addiction and I can only recommend it to couples.

We celebrated New Year's with Melanie & Daniel and their friends in Downtown Berlin. It was awesome because Craig never experienced New Year's in Berlin and on top of that he got to do it among a fun group of natives that lived in one of those typical old-school flats in downtown Berlin...Craig absolutely loved it. We took the subway to downtown and Craig got to experience a whole new Berlin that day. Berlin is after London and Paris, the biggest city in Europe and it puts on a big party for New Years. We didn't end up going to the Brandenburg Gate, where the touristy New Years party takes place but instead we celebrated in a fun area that is close to a bridge from where you can shoot your own fireworks and can see all the other fireworks and the skyline of the city very well. It was so much fun! There were so many people on this bridge that the crowd started to shake the bridge...scary but true and fun!!! Fireworks just went off left and right for a couple of hours and I was happy to be finally back in my hometown to celebrate into the New Year...just like old times! I am in love with Berlin! Best kept secret in Europe and well worth a visit. Berlin is now being compared to the European New York, because of it's diversity and it's young artsy culture.

From Berlin, we both flew back to Frankfurt as our plane was leaving from there. We had one more night with my parents, which we took as opportunity to eat at this little hole in the wall Italian restaurant. My parents eat there a lot and it is the best Sicilian/Italian food ever. Lovely!

The next day was January 4th, our wedding day, and the day to return to the States. We received the best wedding gift ever! Our flight to New York was overbook, so Craig and I got to sit in 1st Class! What an amazing ending to an amazing trip! Thanks Mom and Dad for flying us out and having us for the Holidays! We love you so much!!! Can't wait for our next trip to Europe!!!