Long overdue update

It has been a hot minute since I have posted in here. I always have lots of plans for what I want to do with this blog, but with school, and part-time jobs, and life, in general, this little spot on the internet is one of the first things to get neglected (with house-cleaning taking a very close second, LOL!). Let's do a little recap of what has been going on over here in Germany over the past year or so.

September/October 2016: My Mum & Dad (and youngest sister Raelle) came for a visit. My sister decided to attend Capernwray Bible School in the south of Germany, and my parents decided it was the perfect opportunity to take a month-long European holiday to drop her off at school and visit us. We were able to take them around to some of the beautiful cities near us and show them our school as well as favourite spots in Kleve. After staying a few days with us, they started out on their road trip through Germany to get my sister to her first day of school. After touring around south Germany and Austria, my parents came back to Kleve for a day before flying to Italy for a week. They returned from Italy by flying into Amsterdam and spent a couple of days in the Netherlands. My sweet parents invited us to come stay with them in the Netherlands and tour around a bit with them. Then the four of us returned back to our home to spend a final day with us in Kleve before flying back to Calgary. It was sooooooooo nice having them here, and I was definitely sad to see them go. I am very lucky to have such beautiful people as my parents.

December 2016: Since Raelle was in Germany she came to spend Christmas with us in Kleve. After spending the past two Christmases by ourselves it was really nice to share some of our new traditions with a loved one. Unfortunately for Raelle, she ended up with a cold during her stay so we pretty much stayed close to home so she could recuperate. We did take one day to go to Amsterdam to see the Anne Frank House and explore the city a bit. To end our Amsterdam adventure, we ate dinner at a Szechuan restaurant. Paul hadn’t had Szechuan food since he left Calgary since it isn't a very common cuisine, and was very excited about it since it was one of his favourite types of food in Calgary. After a long day in very cold and windy weather, the spicy food warmed us right up. Raelle left a few days before the new year to meet up with friends and explore a bit of Europe before classes resumed in January. Paul and I had a quiet New Years with some friends - lots of yummy food and fireworks made it a great night!

February 2017: At the beginning of February, I had the opportunity to go on a school field trip to London & Bath, as well as participate in a Science Festival in Nottingham. Our days were very full, which limited the amount of touristy stuff we could do, but we did do a LOT of walking around London. I definitely want to go back with Paul and see a bit more of the sights. Bath was super cool to get to visit. Growing up with a sister who was a huge Jane Austen fan meant that I have watched all TV/movie productions of her stories, and read all her books. So, it was insanely amazing to walk down the promenade where many of the heroines walked in Austen’s stories. One of our lecturer’s wife was a historian and gave us an amazing walking tour through the city, and showed us all the places where the gentry would visit when they came to the city for the thermal baths. Nottingham was another really cool city to visit. In between our volunteering at the Festival of Science and Curiosity that was happening throughout the city, we had a day to do some sightseeing. Besides all the cool history, Nottingham is a beautiful city. Another place where I want to visit again with Paul.

April 2017: Our friends got married, and asked us to be witnesses. It was really cool to experience our first European wedding. The groom is Dutch, and the Bride - German, so the wedding blended traditions from both countries creating an absolutely beautiful day. At the end of April, Raelle headed back to Canada but stayed with us a few days before her flight. It was so nice to get to spend so much one-on-one time with her. She was only 9 when I got married and moved out, and even though we lived close by, with such a big family individual sibling time didn’t happen very often. So it was really cool to hang out with her and get to know the young adult Raelle.

May 2017: Paul started his 6-month internship in Cologne at the beginning of May. Because of the distance between Cologne and Kleve, he ended up renting a room closer to his work. While he really loves what he is doing in his internship, the long-distance part was not fun since he stayed in Cologne for the week and only was home on the weekends. It was really tough, but we survived and he only has two more weeks left before he moves back home to work on his thesis. If all goes to plan, he will be finished his degree by the end of February!

Summer 2017: This summer break has been really quiet and relaxed for me. I didn’t have any assignments or projects to work on through the break (for the first time since starting school), so Kaya and I spent quite a bit of time in Cologne visiting Paul. We explored the area around his apartment complex and found a really amazing forest walk just down the street. Kaya loved running around off-leash (there are no off-leash places in Kleve), and I enjoyed the fresh air and exercise. I also took an intensive German course that really helped to propel my language skills forward. I still have at least 2 more semesters before I need to do my internship, so I am kind of in the middle of my degree, and I am slightly jealous of Paul being finished school. However, an even bigger part of me is so happy that he will soon be working full-time. It will be nice to not be living strictly on a student budget. 😉

Now you are up to date with our life. Here are a few pics to go along with the update.

Hopefully, my next post won’t take a year… Although I am not making any promises. LOL!


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