Happy Spring! Winter is finally over! It’s still a bit chilly here in Berlin but we’ve had a few warm days. Nothing like Atlanta warm but it will do for now. This weekend I took the opportunity to plant most of my flowers as the sun was out and it was a beautiful day! What are you planting this Spring?!

Guten Tag!

What a week it has been in America! I must admit things have changed. I love America as it’s my home through the good and the bad. We moved to Germany 5.5 years ago. At first it seemed like a good idea as we planned our move with Nokia at the time. The move was the smoothest move ever when I think about it. When we arrived I was more than shocked to say the least. It wasn’t because of my lack of traveling.  I had traveled to Hawaii, the Carribeans, and within the USA but honey, Nothing could have prepared me for the Shock of it all. After the first year and surviving a winter I was DONE! I complained every single day. “Nothing was right”,I said. “In America we have this and that”,I said. The entire time my grandmother and father both told me to have “several seats” and start living in the now. Every year became just a little bit easier, a little bit. My children have lived almost half their lives in Europe and I can see how they have integrated into the German culture. I’m proud of them for just immersing themselves. They did better than their mom.  A lot of what happens in America they don’t understand because they haven’t lived it or experienced it. Every country has issues including racism and we aren’t exempt! It’s just not an everyday accurance in or lives. On the other hand I’m busy and making sure they are safe so I don’t see all the looks or stares etc. Berlin is pretty diverse and everyone looks different but ignorance is everywhere. My kids understand their mama is black and I have had experiences with racism. I will take them out at any point when they think they can be direspectful to anyone. I always remind them that we are southern and some things we just don’t do. They get it and I’m glad. My focus was blurred until the last year. I want focused on our journey for his purpose but my journey for my purpose.  I wasn’t focusing on what I have and what’s to come but on what I was missing. It occurred to me when my daughter asked me to take my phone and place it on the ground. I thought she must be on some drug I didn’t know about or she was confused about who her mama was. After I sighed, rolled my eyes, huffed and puffed, I decided to just do something she wanted me to do and the picture I captured was amazing!!! This picture below of the leaves and my family walking away from me gave me a new perspective of this life abroad we live. All 4 of them are my focus because no matter what happens in the world they are the most precious gift to me and it’s all I honestly care about. We are Happy, Healthy, and Holy(in Jesus and our Hearts). There is no place like home but for now home is where my family lives. Living wherever we are is the journey for his purpose. 

Wie Gehts Freuden,

Girls, girls, girls! My youngest is preteen and my twin daughter is teenager! There is never a quiet or dull moment in the Montgomery house.  Where did the time go? As I look at them,  I am speechless at the young ladies they are blossoming into. I don’t always recognize the changes physically or mentally in them until I’m taking pictures or listening to them talk and then I see the seeds that my husband and I have planted. My girls enjoying being around me and haven’t gone through the “embarrassed of my mother phase“.  I never went through that phase as it wasn’t an option as a kid. I didn’t like everything my parents said but I always loved my parents and wanted to be with them as much as I could, as they were my parents. I also knew where my bread and butter came from so acting a “fool” wasn’t going to work in my parents house. My parents are old school and I’m so grateful at how they showed me what was acceptable and unacceptable behavior. I’m proud to say that I am using all some of their parenting skills on my own children. I have two girls and a son and that’s a challenge at times as they are different in many ways. I have heard people tell me that different children require different rules. I disagree. God made one bible for the world and we are all different but yet he doesn’t parent us differently. My house is the same and all the same rules apply to all that take up residence at the moment. There are many homes and apartments for sale and if they can’t follow the rules…agents are waiting! I will love these two girls more than anyone on this earth and I will love them to the core and have great expectations. Girls, girls, girls, gotta love them!

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Wie Gehts Freunden,

It’s been an amazing summer! I’m so glad that I took the time to relax and didn’t do anything but spend time with my family. The kids are growing up faster than I can blink! Life is good… always a roller coaster but I can’t complain. Everyone is healthy and enjoying expat life. I still get homesick but that’s to be expected. I’ve decided to live each day for that day and not worry about “what’s next”. This is a challenge for me, but I tend to do well at challenges. For everyday in September I’m choosing to do something that I haven’t done in a while. Not look forward but only at today. I think we tend to look ahead and miss out on enjoying what God has given us today. The struggle is real ya’ll! It’s about the Journey For His Purpose.

Wie Gehts Freuden,

I’ve been listening to the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Ella Fitzgerald, as it’s one of my winter favorites. Music can change your perspective in a matter of minutes! Every night my dh walks our little puppy before he heads to bed. He had a lot of work to finish that he was working on so I decided to take Coco for a walk. I really didn’t want to take her as I don’t like cold weather one bit. I decided to be do something that wasnt a big deal but it was helpful to him. As I walked out of the building of our flat it began to snow harder.  I had no idea the snow was even more beautiful at night than it was earlier that day when I was out with the kids. As I walked down the streets of our quaint neighborhood, I noticed how quiet and peaceful it was. All I could hear were the buzzing lights on the streets that were previously heated by oil, but currently are heated by gas. I still think that’s pretty cool in 2015! In all of my 35 years of living in Atlanta I have never walked the streets at night with fresh snow on the ground and gas lights that light my path through the darkness.

Berlin has opened my eyes to so many things, people, and experiences I could have never dreamt of. I am beyond thankful to my husband for bringing us to Berlin and exposing us to a whole new way of life. Something as simple as snow on a cold winters night can open your eyes to an entirely different world and at the same time show you a different perspective. What would have been a night I would have never experienced turned out to be a night where I thanked God for allowing us to be in a place on this very night so that I could say ” I remember One Cold Berlin Night…”

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Wie Gehts Freuden,

I had to take a much-needed break from blogging because life was becoming hectic and I refuse to operate my life in chaos. I thrive on order and organization but with family that’s not always how life flows.  Things are back to normal (for us)and I am back to blogging again. Sometimes life just becomes overwhelming, especially with 3 kids, a husband, and a puppy all while living life abroad. We did a huge amount of traveling last year, so much so that I have pictures that I don’t even recall posing for…lol. The Montgomery’s have a lot of decisions to make, big birthdays, career changes, and new destinations to conquer. We can do it together as a family that prays, together stays together. For now, the coffee is delicious but it’s time to write about life!

coffee break

 

fall blog 3Wie Gehts Freuden,
Isn’t fall one of the most beautiful seasons of the year? As we say in the south..it’s fall y’all! Last year in Germany I must have either been in a fog or it simply wasn’t this beautiful outside. It has already been an amazing fall and I have gotten out everyday! One of my goals while living in Europe was to take as many pictures as I could. I absolutely love photography and I have been looking for an English-speaking photography class. I haven’t had much luck but I am teaching myself with an online course. I have made it a goal to venture out everyday that it’s not raining and explore something new and interesting.

Its been unusually warm and sunny in Berlin. A few times last week it was 70 degrees on the same days as it was in Atlanta! I love fall for so many reasons one of which being it leads up to the holidays! We decided to go for afternoon walks on the weekend as a family and just walk to different neighborhoods. We have discovered so many gardens, flats, and some very unique cars on our afternoon strolls. We laugh, we are loud, but we enjoy our family time. It’s interesting that when people see us they smile and say “Hallo”. Normally Germans tend to not greet you unless they know you. I am enjoying the smiles and contagious laughter that we are spreading.

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We kicked off our summer with my youngest daughters birthday party. After moving to Europe, I noticed that birthday parties were not at all like back home in the ATL. We tend to go all out for our kids birthdays. My kids have been invited to some pretty extravagant parties that most adults can’t even begin to imagine. The most memorable one was when my oldest daughter was invited to a birthday party and the guest of honor was an Atlanta Braves Baseball player, followed by a limousine as the transportation. I personally think it’s more fun to create themes, mix great music, eat great food, enjoy fantastic friends, and have the most memorable birthday ever. My family always says to me that I make them feel like the day belonged to them on their birthdays. Nothing brings me greater joy!
One of the hardest things about living in Berlin is that they lack party stores. In America we have Hallmark, Party City, Oriental Trading Company, Wally World and of course Target. The few stores that are in Berlin are tiny. The supplies are somewhat limiting if you have a particular theme that consist of Disney Characters or the cast of any popular Nickelodeon TV show for example. It was difficult but we pulled it off! We had a Pink Princess Pop-Star Party! It was Pinkaliciously divine for a girl who was turning 9! This was the first party where I let her decide who “she” wanted at her party. This was hard for me because I don’t tolerate bad kids in my home. Southern girls will “catch a case” if little mouths get outta hand. It was a great mix of kids that came. Some kids were younger and some older. When I saw her guest, list it really showed me who she has become as she’s gotten older. She’s like her mom in many ways. She does not invite based upon race, age, or whose friends with whom. It’s her party you can come if you want too! I was equally impressed at her menu which consisted of French Fries, chicken nuggets, a fruit tray, and homemade strawberry lemonade! She knows how to have a great party! We had plenty of great friends, music, food, games, and the best guitar cake ever! It was another memorable birthday with a beautiful princess who is aging to perfection! My favorite thing that I look forward to for her birthday is her outfit choice. She rocks it every year! Happy Birthday Princess!

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We did it in Berlin!! It was our first race together running for breast cancer! The Avon race was fantastic! a beautiful day filled with sun, pink, and women who have been affected in some way by breast cancer. I was inspired by a dear friend from back home to run for this cause! It was truly an inspiration. Before the race, I talked to my Chipettes about why we are running a breast cancer race in particular. They were sad but understood that they are running because other women that have been affected by this disease can’t. We also met a few women who beat breast cancer and are running for their friends! My girls looked around and noticed everyone had on pink. On this day the color pink was not only a girlie color but a color that united women and girls from all over the world. My girls ran with pride and joy in their hearts. It wasn’t about winning it was about finishing! As a mom, all I could do as I watched them run was say, “Thank you God for me being able to share this experience with my girls”. There is no greater joy than shaping your daughters into giving, selfless, individuals who show compassion to others.

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Road trip to Braunschweig! Braunschweig is about 2 hours from Berlin and 30 minutes from Wolfsburg. We were invited by some wonderful friends of ours who happen to be Berliners to Karneval! Karneval celebrations come from different beliefs. For Catholics, it provided a festive season of food and fun before the Lenten fasting period would begin. We had never been to Karneval but we decided we would go although we only found out about it two days before the big parade! I didn’t have enough time to go and look for costumes so my kids decided to be creative and use clothing and accessories that we already had. We ended up with two rappers (twins) and a Princess(shocker!). We met up with our friends as they left a day before we did as they were visiting a friend who lives on the street where the parade would be. That was awesome because as we watched it on TV, we could hear the parade getting closer so knew when to rush downstairs. It was a blast! Candy was thrown from every float that passed. We have candy times 4 as I collected my own candy too! This was the best impromptu road trip so far to a new town with some great friends. We walked away feeling blessed. We went with some really good friends, met some new friends, ate great food, and had the best car conversations! It’s all about our journey for his purpose!

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