Tuesday, September 22, 2015


     If I was a five gallon bucket of water, every special person over here has punctured a little hole in the upper half of my bucket. The water that has spilled out of each hole will stay with each friend respectively. And now.......I am a little emptier. It feels like I need to start patching up the holes and somehow refill my bucket.

     Oh my gosh....this sounds so dramatic, but honestly, bits of my heart are staying with the extraordinary souls I was so blessed to meet.

     About 10 months ago I said goodbye to Rebecca. She was the most cosmopolitan friend I have had. Her mother is Swiss. Her Dad is Australian. Although she grew up in Australia, she went to college in the USA. Married an American. Worked for a year in the UK at an upscale bar. Celebrity upscale. And then moved to Germany. Rebecca reminded me of my sister Allison. Once we were walking to the park in my town. As Rebecca pushed the stroller with one hand, sipped coffee from the mug she held in her other hand and nursed her baby in the Ergo, she casually said, "You really need to learn how to nurse on the go!" My response, "But I am not super woman!" Only Rebecca! They PCSed to San Antonio. Our old stomping ground. Pierce still asks about Sebastian. Although they egged each other on to a reckless point of misbehavior they had so much fun together. 

Three months ago the Jones wrapped up their time here and moved to South Carolina. How I miss Laura! There was never a chance to be in a foul mood when Laura was around. Her vivaciousness  reminded me of Theresa. And I kinda think sis had a hand in our meeting!  
      About 5 months after we moved to Germany I signed Pierce up for gymnastics. I was so concerned about him behaving that I honestly didn't notice a single other mom and tot. At the end of class a Mom with beautiful long blonde hair and laughing eyes bounced up to me, "Hey....we both have boys in the class. I think maybe we should hang out. Here is my number. I mean....we should get the boys together at least. Call me!" Ha....and from that day forward Laura and I were friends. Ironically, Rob worked as a Doc in the ER when he wasn't deployed. So actually, him and Alex had already met! Rob is just as likable as Laura and one of the best matched couples I have ever met. Besides, they have 3 sons and someday maybe I will call one son-in-law!

     When I was training for my marathon I met Nick Obry. I was on mile 7 of a 10 miler.......pushing the Chariot. He came riding up behind me on his road bike and introduced himself. I thought he was a nice chap, but didn't think much more about him until my marathon. A few hours after the marathon I received a FB message from him saying congrats and that I placed in my age group. I never would have thought someone I met briefly would care to remember what day I was racing and then to look up race results none the less. That too reminded me of Theresa, being as excited for me as she would been for herself!  Anyway, after the marathon Nick and I became running buddies. Two weeks ago Amy, Nick and I ran the Worms Half Marathon. He ran the whole thing with me. At mile 10,  I wanted to chuck my shoe at him when he kept shouting, "Margaret you are third girl. Second place gets a trip to Hawaii.......c'mon Margaret, you have this. The next girl is slowing down." I never did pass that second girl, but was touched by Nick's encouragement. Well....maybe only in hindsight! At any rate I count Nick as a very dear friend and will miss our runs.

     I met Amy at the Catholic Women of the Chapel's monthly dinner. Before moving to Germany I had no girl friends to speak of. I talked to Theresa almost every day and never felt the need to have any other womanly interactions. However, once I arrived in Germany I swore to myself that it was time for anti-social me to poke out of my shell and meet some gals. The first few mom groups I attended were total flops in regards to making friends. However, I distinctly remember walking in to the CWOC dinner social. I looked around the room and thought, "Oh damn.....why am I putting myself in these awkward situations?" Then I saw a face I had seen in Mass, I promptly walked up to her and said, "Hi....I don't know anyone here but I have seen you in Mass before. My name is Margaret." After learning that I liked to run, that lady introduced me to Amy( an avid runner) once she arrived at the meeting. And Amy is a delight!
     I think she is one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, with exceptional style! AJ jibes me, "I hope you look that good when your in you mid-40s!" Its true.....Amy is gorgeous! And her heart is made of solid gold. We have ran a couple races together, sweated to P90X in her garage, and escaped on numerous girl outings. I will miss Amy!

     Last Sunday we had dinner at Gunther and Karen's house. Frankly, I could go on and on and on and on about Gunther's kindness to Alex, the kids and me. But it's pointless. I can't do it justice and it just makes me tear up. Gunther stopped by an average of 10 times a weeks. Often once in the afternoon to talk to me and in the evening to talk to Alex. He let himself around back through the gate and then, "Rap rap rap!" on the glass door. Sometimes I thought, "Lord...not Gunther again." But he wormed his way deep in to my heart and Alex's. It was the hardest goodbye. Feeling AJ's emotion made it even harder. Gunther meant the world to Alex, but Alex also meant the world to Gunther.

     Today Gerda invited us over for coffee, cake and farewell. Pius opened the door and as we walked in we heard Gunther's deep voice, "Gretel....mein schatz!" We thought it was just going to be Gerda and Pius, but she had invited Karen and Gunther down as well. When we left AJ's exact words were, "When I heard Gunther's voice my heart swelled." Oh...if that doesn't wet my eyes!
     Anyway......we had a lovely afternoon eating Gerda's delicious cake and visiting. And it was best to see Gunther again. But typing this right now....I can still hardly believe that today was it. Oh balderdash....it really makes me sad. Left and right people have extended themselves to us. Although I feel blessed, it is hard to walk away from that. I hope someday I can give of myself as generously!

     But on a brighter note. As soon as we pulled into TLF and got out of the car, we saw a full rainbow stretched across the sky. And I heard in my heart, "Margaret, remember my covenant to Noah? It's bigger than never sending a flood again. It is a promise that I am here, with you in all places and all people no matter where you go, no matter where you live. I am everywhere, in everything and everyone."

Friday, August 28, 2015

Army Life

The Military. I watch my friends weather through husbands gone on deployments, change of orders, TDYs, living far from family, uprooting every few years in order to sink down roots elsewhere.........long enough to establish friends, school and a home just before the next move. Now, as I prep for the move Stateside, I am feeling it! Military life is not for the faint of heart!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Mixed Emotions

     Our three year stay in Germany is winding down quick. I have watched most of my friends already leave and next it's us. I can't describe the mixed emotions running through my veins right now. Laura, (my German bestie) said when they left, "It almost feels like I should be mourning." And thats about accurate!
     We have enjoyed 3 years of new places, new food, new people, new EVERYTHING. Not only experienced it, but became accustomed to it.......and even started liking it! I am having a really hard time letting go......letting go of our everyday life over here and all the traveling. Living over here almost seemed like perpetual vacation. Regardless of that fact, I still desperately wanted to take a grand finale trip but its just not happening. The one weekend it would work I fly back for Kat's wedding. Worst of all I feel like two people: a spoiled brat, who is be moaning the fact that we couldn't fit in a few more trips and like the rich guy in the gospel that won't give up everything to follow Christ. 
     Dear Lord, thank you for our special time in Europe. It has been better than I could have imagined by 100 times. Thank you for healing my heart after Theresa's death. It took awhile but moving over here was just what I needed! Moreover, what WE needed. Thank you for Alex and I growing closer to you and adding a new life to our family! Thank you for the beautiful home we lucked out in finding, for Gerda, the Gisla's, Amy, Nick, the Jones's and especially for Gunther. Everywhere we have gone our paths crossed with such extraordinary people. Thank you for Pierce and Gretel and Scarlett. What exceptional kids you have blessed us with! Most of all thank you for loving us. "Behold the one beholding you, smiling." (Tattoos on the Heart). Jesus we love you!
     And now for a small favor, give me the grace of detachment! Jesus I trust you! 

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Christmas Eve/Day flew by. What fun we had with the kids! Gretel said it perfectly at night prayers, "Thank you God for Jesus being born!"

Ready for Christmas Eve Mass

 Pierce kept creeping down the stairs and peaking around the corner at the tree, "Has St. Nick came yet?" No kid....now go to bed so he can come!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

I love Christmas! The music, the lights, the cookies, the eggnog, the smell of pine, but mostly the waiting during Advent.....preparing our hearts for the arrival of Baby Jesus. Each year it gets better and better with the kids. They really 'get' it this year. At prayers it warms my heart to hear their little voices, "Come Baby Jesus, hurry and come!" I am particularly proud of Pierce. He somehow adopted the habit of biting his nails. At the beginning of Advent I told him that in order for St. Nicholas to bring the forest fire Dusty movie he had to stop biting his nails. He quit cold turkey!!! I thought that was pretty impressive self control for a little guy. So....Jana....thank you for playing St. Nick!

I was hell bent to re-create some florentines we had in Chamonix. While making the candied orange peel for them I got a little side tracked. Yep....these little morsels are a delicacy! 

Breakfast with the Grizzlies.