Monday, July 29, 2013

Aachen, Germany

Now begins my favorite part of our trip! Don't get me wrong, the wedding was awesome, but I think we were still experiencing a little jet lag and anxiety about getting where we needed to be, so once the wedding was over, we more rested and had no strict agenda and were ready to explore. Kristi and Martin so graciously organized three days of fun in Germany, and it was so nice having someone else tell us where to go, what to do and could translate everything for us. Not to mention, I don't even know how long it's been since I've had the opportunity to spend more than a few hours with one of my favorite people. Anyway, we started our German experience in Aachen. The cathedral in the the center of town was one of our first stops. I did a horrible job photographing the cathedral and it was also under construction, so there is no great evidence of our time here. The Aachen chapel was the church of coronation for many German Kings and Queens and is the final resting place for Charlemagne.(In case you were wondering about it's significance. If you really care, you should probably google search it for more specific detailed information because I have a very pathetic memory and can't tell you much more than that.)

 I love that almost everywhere we visited in Germany included window boxes filled with lush flowers. So beautiful.

 No day on our trip would have been complete without a dessert stop at some point. In Aachen, it was ice cream. It was delicious! Again, we were blessed with fantastic weather that allowed us to thoroughly enjoy sitting outside to visit and devour our tasty treats.
 Mom and her fancy coffee drink and mini cookie.
 My strawberry yogurt concoction.

After dessert, we spent the rest of the evening at Martin's brother's house. We had dinner (yes, dessert then dinner, as it should be!) and then just relaxed for the rest of the evening. Mom and Tyler, Kristi's brother, played ping pong, we enjoyed another round of ice cream and visited until the sun went down...which happens to be really late in Germany, like 10:30pm. So, as you are sitting out or having dinner, you start wondering why you feel so tired because it is still so light out, but when you check the time and it is much later than you could ever have anticipated. It is interesting and weird, but at the same time, I kind of liked it. 
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Wedding Continued

The reception was held at Landgoed Altembrouck in Belgium. The view from every angle was incredible, and as I said the weather couldn't have been more perfect. It was very picturesque. Everyone was able to wander, visit and simply enjoy being together celebrating.The inside of the venue was equally gorgeous with a  simple, yet elegant decor with a Restoration Hardware feel. We spent the rest of the evening here enjoying appetizers, dinner, dessert and a midnight snack with flawless service from beginning to end.  We finally called it a night and stayed in beautiful room on site and enjoyed a traditional brunch the next morning. 

 Kristi did such an amazing job of talking to everyone, making everyone feel as if they were the most important guest at the wedding. She's kind of gifted like that. 

 Again, talking to guests between one of the three entrees at dinner.
 Apparently having a great time at the reception! 

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Europe Adventure-Day 2 (The Wedding )

Thankfully, we got a good night's sleep and were eager to get up and ready for the wedding day! We felt much better, and our moods improved tremendously. The wedding was nothing less than perfect. Perfect for so many reasons, but mostly that Kristi and Martin seem so happy and are so sweet together. In addition to that, everything went smoothly, the weather was amazing, the ceremony was beautiful, the reception location was stunning and the service and dinner were incredible. The Germans do things a little differently, the main difference being that in Germany it's an all day and night event. The ceremony started at 11AM, I left the reception at 2AM and it was still going strong. So it was a long day, but we thoroughly enjoyed it and were honored to be part of such a special day. 
Getting ready before the ceremony
The finishing touches
 A quick picture before the ceremony starts
Martin, Kristi and her brother Tyler
 Mom and I hanging out between the ceremony and reception.
  Daniel, the Best Man, Kristi, Martin and Me
Kristi and Martin with Martin's wonderful family. 


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Monday, July 22, 2013

Our Europe Adventure-Day 1

As I begin, I should tell you that neither my mom or I are very experienced travelers, particularly internationally.  You should also know that my mother and I are polar opposites when it comes to personality. I knew it would be interesting. But, thankfully, we survived without tears or any catastrophic occurrences. The purpose of our trip was to go to my friend Kristi's wedding, and we thought if we were spending the money to fly that far, we should make the most of it. We spent time in Germany, Belgium and France, so it was a lot of traveling, but a great experience!

Before I ever got to Missouri, my car broke down, and I had to go back to Tulsa and have Kevin take me half way to meet my parents. That resulted in us getting to bed sometime between 2:30AM and 3:00AM the night before we would be leaving for this little Europe expedition. Needless to say, we were both exhausted before we even got started. We figured that would be ok since we would be flying for so long maybe our exhaustion would make it easier to sleep on the plane. Well, that didn't exactly work out as planned. I'm quite certain that neither of us slept more than an hour or two on our way across the ocean which left us quite jet lagged. However, the flight went smoothly and we landed in Paris on time at 9:30AM. Being time conscience and overly paranoid about missing the train we would be taking, the train ticket I purchased for the next leg of our trip didn't leave until 6:25PM. When I purchased the ticket a while back, it sounded like a good idea and that would allow us to explore Paris a little near the station, and give us some flexibility if our plane was late or we couldn't find the train station. Well, that plan backfired. We took a cab to the train station, and had about 8 hours to kill. I assumed the train station would have shopping or something, but it didn't. We attempted exploring a little, but we were toting all our luggage so it was a little debilitating. Also, once we ventured out, we realized the area surrounding the Gare de Nord train station seemed a little shady. So, we just hung out doing pretty much nothing for about 8 hours. I think at this point, we were both questioning our decision to come on the trip.

 We tried out some French pastries.

 Took turns napping in the station. (This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip because it so perfectly depicts how tired we were. I love how she is holding on to her purse.)
We did stop at a cafe and have lunch. It was at this point that I realized my diet coke habit was going to get extremely expensive over the next 9 days. It was 4,20 euros, there weren't free refills and it was served in a little juice sized cup. They did, however, add a lemon and a piece of ice or two:) 

After a long wait, it was nearing time for our train to arrive when we heard an announcement most of which I couldn't understand, but I did hear the time and destination city, so I tried to figure out what was going on. After asking around a bit, it said that our train would be cancelled. A bit of panic set in because if we didn't make this train, we weren't sure we'd make it to the wedding, not to mention we were so ready to get out of the train station.  However, it all seemed to work itself out, and they told us to get on the next train. It ended up only being about a 30 minute delay. So after a VERY long day of traveling, we reached our destination, my friend, Kristi, picked us up at the train station, and we stopped by the church for a bit to see the musicians rehearsing, followed by a bite to eat and headed to the hotel in hopes of resting enough to not look like zombies as the wedding the next day!
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Happy January-July!

So, blogging obviously hasn't made it on the priority list for a while. Not sure if it's because I haven't had time, or I was boring myself with the same posts year after year, but either way, it's been very neglected and  I miss it. I love looking back and seeing what we had going on several years ago, and as I've said multiple times it is the only form of documentation for my children I've done. There's no way I can catch up, so I'll start where we are. A lot of life changes are going on in the Lawrence house right now. Kevin left his job at EY for a position at Bancfirst. I quit a job that I loved at TPS since his job requires a move, so I guess that means I'll be attempting to be a housewife again. I failed miserably in my previous attempts:) It's a great opportunity, and makes a lot of sense for our family, but it was no easy decision. We love where we are.  We love our home, neighborhood, church, friends, schools and it's all our kids know. But, that's life I guess. It has meant a less than pleasant summer of having a house on the market and spending time traveling back and forth for Kevin's job. It's been a roller coaster, but I know things will settle soon and we will be in a routine that I so desperately crave. I missed spending the fourth with extended family and friends, but we enjoyed a relaxing day together as a family which we hadn't been all together for a while, so it was nice to just hang out and enjoy the city. 
 I can't believe how grown up the girls are getting!

 We started the day off with Dunkin' Donuts and an Independence day parade. Then, we headed to Pops for lunch. The kids and I had been there about a year and a half ago, and they have been wanting to show Kevin ever since. We finally made it back, and lucky for us, we beat the crowd and didn't even have to wait to be seated.
 Photo credit to Lincoln...he now thinks he should get to take pics as well. He just has a little trouble getting everyone in the photo. We try to maneuver so there are faces in the pictures.
After a three hour family nap, we headed downtown to Pinkitzel for a cupcake break. We walked around town for a while, and then the kids just wanted to go back to the hotel and swim, so we enjoyed the rest of the night at the hotel pool. Thankfully, we pretty much had it to ourselves, so it was a super relaxing day. 
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

I Have A Blog???

So, I noticed I last posted at Halloween! Wow! I guess I've given up...I missed all the kids birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Disney, New Year's, and haven't taken a single picture this spring break. I'm really slacking. Then, I go back and reread posts, and it makes me think I need to get with it. I miss writing, and it is the only form of documentation of my children's lives I have. Also, when I read the blog, I am reminded of how blessed I am, and all the things I enjoy about my life because sometimes I need to be reminded. I occasionally get into a funk and forget how much I really love my life and family. So, maybe, just maybe, I'll find time soon to start up again. I thought about trying to catch up, but that's just not likely....