Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Vianočné Trhy

One of the things Jas and I have been looking forward to since we've been in Bratislava is the Christmas market(s).  We've heard many good things about these festive markets here.

So when we found out it was going to be set up last weekend, we decided to hit it up!

Here's our quick recap.  First in words...
-It was quite cold (but Jas would say I am always cold)
-It was quite crowded (it was a Saturday night...and we did have the stroller...one day we'll learn!)
-We tried our first ciganska (amazing bread, grilled chicken, toppings-a popular Slovak food and delish!)
-We loved the atmosphere
-We want to go back and do some shopping at the stands when it's less crowded (well, I want to check out the stands anyway, Jas just wants more food :)
-We really enjoyed it!

And now in pictures...

Lights abounded.  Love me some Christmastime.

Cute little wooden toys for sale at one of the stands.

Really love this picture for some reason.  That's our friend, Mirka.  She and her family own one of the stands at the market.  The lights in the square were out, so on this particular night all the stands were using candles to see.  Jas just thought they were going "old school" for a back-in-the-day-with-no-lights feel...haha.

There was even an ice skating rink (a la Rockefeller Center European style)!

And we ended the night with zemiakové špiralky (potato spirals).  We shared one, but for camera-holding purposes we switched off holding duty.  It was salty and yummy.  I could go for one now, actually.  For the record, our daughter was there, she was just tucked away warmly sleeping in her stroller.

That's our trip to the trh in a nutshell.  And now that we know what awaits, we're sure to go back :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

First Thanksgiving...

Ellie spent most of her first Thanksgiving napping and drooling (I think she was drooling over all the good food :)

Here's the evidence of the cuteness...

Just one for today.  Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Let me set the scene for you:

Jas ran out to get a light bulb from the hardware store.

I was at home with Elise baking sweet potato casserole.

Jas calls and says, "get ready, you're going out...there's an 'everything is 1 euro' sale at the thrift store down here..."

Me = overly excited

He came home and watched Elise while I headed down to the local thrift store to check out the goods.

You see, I am an avid lover of all things thrifty.  Goodwill and I were best friends in America.  I love the idea of possibility.  Be it clothing (ohhh, how can I wear this?) or a long forsaken item that can be transformed...I love seeing the potential.  And I would be lying if I said I haven't missed Goodwill.

I've been to this particular thrift store here a time or two.  And, well, it's normally more expensive than I am willing to pay for secondhand things (read: 8 euros for a shirt...nahhhhh).

But yesterday was THE day.  The whole store save one rack was 1 euro...SCORE!

I took some time and looked around and came home with these three pieces, all for the grand price of 3 euros (that would be $3.99 American dollars).  THREE sweaters for almost FOUR dollars...yes please!!!

I was one happy girl :)

And apparently they do this monthly.  Cue the happy dance, I'm breaking it down over here!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tgiving and a TWO MONTH-ER!

Today is Thanksgiving!  Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I am thankful for many things today (and working on being thankful every day...)

One of those things I'm thankful for is this little two month old (I can't believe it's already been two months...seriously!?)

The specifics:
Weight:  4,880 grams (around 11 pounds)
Major Milestones:  lots of cooing, some tiny smiles, alertness, sleeping 8 hours straight (started around 7 weeks...wahoo!), growing more hair, lifting her neck, and well, being adorable!

We're thankful for this little two month old blessing.  Thankful even in the midst of the stinky diapers ;)

"Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his steadfast love endures forever!"
Psalms 106:1

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Morning Moment

I walked in our room from taking a shower the other morning and found this most precious scene...

Sometimes it's hard being a dad ;)

Melt my heart. Thankful.

Monday, November 21, 2011

International Christmas Bazaar

The three of us decided to check out Bratislava's International Christmas Bazaar the other day.

There were many different countries represented, all having small booths set up with goods and food for sale.  It was really interesting to see what each country brought, but to say it was crowded would be a complete understatement.

We could barely move through the aisles by ourselves, much less with a stroller.  So we parked the stroller and Jas and I went in shifts to check out the bazaar.

Here are the snapshots we got in between elbow shoves and stepped-on toes :)

Did you know Santa Claus was Swedish?  Yeah, we didn't either.

Some of the items for sale.

Of course there was delicious international cuisine.  We didn't have these pretzels, but we did taste some Vietnamese spring rolls made by this adorable little lady...

And while at that booth I captured this sweet scene...

We liked the concept and thought it was a neat representation of the world we live in.  But the people, oh the people. The word crowded doesn't do this bazaar justice.  However, maybe next year we'll check it out again...sans stroller :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cute Gabo

My new friend Claire came over today.  She brought along with her a cute little five month old "smile-machine," better known as her son, Gabo.  He is, in a word, adorable.  And he is seriously all smiles.

He and Elise were the models for a photo shoot.  Or rather, they cooed, cried, and wiggled while I attempted to get a good shot.

Cuties, I tell ya (and wiggle worms!)

And just a cool little note, those two above have four nationalities in their genes...German, Mexican, Slovak, and American...awesome.

Claire, thanks for the good conversation about things other than poo-filled diapers and spit-ups :)  Looking forward to more hang out time...and Gabo smiles!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

She needs to be...

Over the past seven weeks, we have experienced big adjustments.  Not only to life with a little one, but also to life with a little one in a new culture. This has resulted in both Jason and I noting particular cultural differences in the art of raising children (I do also need to note here however that I have not raised a child in America...I only know about raising a child in America from observing others).

You see, anytime we go out somewhere we are constantly being watched.  Typically, it's by the older generation.  They're quite particular about certain things. 

Here are a few of the most common comments/most recent comments we've gotten when out and about with Elise...

"She needs to be lying flat.  Sitting up like that is not good for her back." (If she's in her car seat)

"You shouldn't hold her like that.  She won't develop good neck muscles that way." 

"You know she should always have on socks, even in the house.  She could easily get sick."

"Watch out for her head.  Watch out for her head.  Watch out for her head."

Now granted, we know that these kind souls are just trying to offer advice and show concern for our little one.  We get that and appreciate the care, however, both Jason and I were wheeled around from time to time sitting up and we don't have crazy curved backs.  I'm fairly certain there were times when we went without socks in the house, and we weren't permanently damaged by it.  

And his parents might not appreciate me putting this out there, but Jason was dropped on his head when he was little.  I know, I know, it explains a lot ;)  So we'll definitely heed that last one with the head. hehe.

All this to say, we know (and are learning more and more) that each culture has its own peculiarities.  What we think is "normal" in America, would not be so "normal" here.  And vice versa.  

So, thank you, sweet elderly ladies, but we're ok with Elise not always lying flat.  And we're ok with her having her socks off every now and then.  We know we're not perfect parents, and we'll make mistakes, but it's all part of learning for us :)

Here's a little proof that she actually does lay "rovno" sometimes...

All part of being in another culture.  We're loving it...naozaj (really!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In Color

There were a few requests to post some of the previous photos of Elise's baby blues in color.

So here goes!

Oh, and if you'll take note, I haven't mastered the art of "capturing a moving baby" yet...thus the somewhat blurry photos.  I'll get it eventually, though!

(As an aside, I definitely think they appear more blue in real life...)

And for the sake of keepin' it real...

"Ok, mom, enough already!"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cheesy Chili: Our Fav!

It's getting pretty chilly here.  And chilly calls for chili (oh how I love cheesy play on words...ahhh I did it again.  Get it?  Cheesy chili...I crack myself up ;)

That's where this cheesy chili comes into play.  You see, our friend Tera, introduced us to this recipe and it's been one of our fall/winter favorites ever since.  So, Tera, THANKS!

What you'll need:
* one pound ground beef (in America, it's a pound, in Europe, I just used two small packages of ground beef.  Cook and drain.)
* one block of Velveeta cheese (in America...in Europe, you can just use several blocks of cheedar or any type of cheese you like.  Dice into blocks.)
* one can stewed tomatoes
* one can diced tomatoes
* one can tomatoes with green chiles (in America, Rotel works, in Europe, find some green chiles and chop 'em up!)
* one can whole kernel corn
* one can red kidney beans
* one package taco seasoning

What you do:
Combine everything either in a pot.  Don't drain any ingredients, except meat.  Turn your heat on medium and let it cook for a couple of hours.  Check and stir every so often.  Then, eat!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Those Baby Blues

There's a little chickadee around this house that has started to become more alert.

Every so often these days, in between naps, and dirty diapers, we'll get to see those baby blues (which I've turned black for the sake of a better photo)...

She's starting to notice those around her...so neat.

Occasionally we'll get one of these hilarious faces (foreshadowing a diaper gone bad, if ya know what I mean...)

But my all time latest favorites are these little faces where tinee tiny smiles are beginning to appear.

We call that one above the double chin grin!

I mean, really, is there much cuter than a lil baby grin?  I think not ;)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Surgery + A Book!

Little did I know when I wrote that last post that the abscess I mentioned there would lead to a full blown week in the hospital!  Yikes!  Long story short, I headed in to the hospital to have it checked on Monday of last week and lo and behold, a week later, here I am, finally home.  Man, it's been a journey.

While in the hospital they attempted several non-surgical options to try and remove the abscess (if you're not familiar with what an abscess is, read about it here) including cheese (yes, really...), topical creams, and antibiotics.  None of it worked.  So they attempted a puncture to drain it, which didn't work either.  Finally, on Friday, I underwent surgery to drain and clean out the abscess.  I now have a drain in and am hoping and praying it will mend and heal well...

I would be lying if I said I didn't have my fair share of pity parties while in the hospital. It was painful, unexpected, frustrating, and who in the world wants to have surgery in the first place?  But, God in his grace, reminded me time and again of others who are dealing with much bigger things and that I have plenty to be thankful for.  Reoccurring lesson in my life right now?  I think so.  God trying to get my attention? Why, of course, sinner right here.

I did have a lot of free time on my hands to read and study.  And one of the books I read completely got my attention.  I highly recommend it.

Great, great book.  And this chick is amazing.  Her heart for the Lord is completely contagious.  This book is a must-read.  And it's humbling.  Please get it and read it!

And if you want a little taste of the book before buying it, check out her blog here.
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