Friday, July 29, 2016

adventures in brussels

Brussels. The city of  waffles and chocolate, statues of little kids peeing, and leftover world fair exhibits. Home of lopsided city halls, european politics, and the very best belgian beers. Our adventure for a weekend.

Until the next adventure. Peace out, cub scouts. 

- A. Rae

Friday, July 22, 2016

you are the best thing

I met my soul mate the month before I turned twenty. Forty-seven short months later, I married him. And now, we're here. Five years later.

In those five years, there've been big things: our honeymoon cruise, our first roadtrip together, our first apartment(!), five job changes, our second apartment, moving to Germany (twice), our european adventures (oktoberfest!), and our mediterranean cruise.

And there've been small things: new hobbies (brewing!), our first (and second) 5k, and our first (two) triathlons.

Even before that hot day in July, you were my best friend. And now, five years later, I'm still right where I belong. Next to my best friend. My husband.

You listen to my dreams for the future, saying they're yours too. And you keep me grounded, showing me how to enjoy the present.

You always, always know how to make me smile. In the best times and even in my worst times, you make me infinitely happy.

You encourage me to try new food (and even some again and again) to open my world to new flavors and fantastic dishes.

Your jokes and one liners always make me laugh. And your laugh, your infectious laugh, is my favorite.

You are the kindest person, putting up with my shit and calling me on it when it's too much.

You are my champion in health and fitness, constantly reminding me how great I'm doing, even when I complain.

You are still the only hand I want to hold on our walks, no matter the weather.

And even though you are the smelliest farter I have ever met, that somehow makes me happy.

Because I love everything you are. Each and every piece of you. You are the half that makes me whole. The half that makes me better.

Your quiet strength and support let me be just me.

Don't ever forget Ryan, you are the best thing, that's ever happened to me.

I love you, cutie.

- Me

Friday, July 15, 2016

it's the freakin' weekend

Happy Friday! Anyone else ready for the weekend? *two hands up*

We'll start it off with a little sharing. Since sharing is caring.

1. I am extremely nosy. People watching and peeking in open windows are some of my favorite past times. It's not like I even care what I see, I just like to observe. You know? Most times, I see normal things. Other times, I see my neighbor sunbathing nude. 

2. This week was amerikanische woche (ameri-can-ease-ish voe-ka) at Aldi. Bascally, they have all things "Amercian." Things like non-frozen pancakes, bagels, burger patties, hot dogs, marshmallows, and mini apple pies were all stacked neatly side by side. Our culture, in a nutshell - as told by Germans. Ryan and I couldn't resist buying the apple pies. He wasn't a fan of them so I selflessly ate his share. 

3. I just learned that barbecue is actually spelled with a C and not a Q. Not sure how I've gone my entire adult life not knowing that. Although, it might be worth noting that barbeque is a north american variant that's also acceptable.

4. I love getting lost in books. The easiest ones to get lost in for me? Romance. Every day, all day. I even read them back in high school. Lately, I've tried expanding my repertoire and trying new genres. I enjoyed reading the biography about Maude, which killed me at the end. And just last week, I finished Working Stiff, which was so well written. What types of books do you read? Have you read any good ones lately?

5. And finally, I envy people who don't need a lot of sleep. I wish I could run on five or six hours. I'd have so much more time! I would be so much more productive! Er, I'd have so much more time! Seven hours is the least I need to be a tolerable human being. Eight is ideal and nine is just glorious. With nine hours of sleep, I'm the happiest person ever. But that typically only happens on the weekends. And only sometimes. Most days I get between six and seven and it's a struggle. All. Day. Long. There should be a 3pm nap time - just for 30 minutes. It'd be perfect.

One of the major things I love about Ryan is that he makes me smile and laugh, constantly. I always joke that he's the newer, improved version of his father, who comes out with some serious gems. Ryan's got plenty of his own. 

Since we both have activity trackers on our watches, Ryan and I make it a point to hit our daily step goal. As we were walking to the store the other night, we had this conversation...

A: "Did you get your step goal yet?"
R: "No, not yet."
A: "How many steps do you need?"
R: "Two thousand. How many do you need?"
A: "Ugh, four."
He's quiet for a few steps and then, 
R: "DONE!"
A: "Four thousand...."

I wouldn't trade him for the world.

This weekend there's a big fireworks show along the Rhine and while typically we'd be traveling this weekend I wanted to make sure we got a little firework action in! I will be indulging in a drink, holding hands with Ryan, and pretending it's the fourth. Happy belated birthday, America!

To top it off we're continuing our search for the best burger in town. Our current number one snuck into the top spot last week. My "Don Vito" and Ryan's "ODB" at Beef Brothers were so delicious. The owner calling our order number in english rather than german - because we're THAT obvious - made for a great memory too.

"Number one hundred eighty-eight?"

Friday, July 8, 2016

Adventures in Hamburg

Hamburg. The city settled in a marsh, built on wooden beams, and survivor of countless fires.  Home of millionaires and billionaires, over-budget music halls, and pirate folklore. Our adventure for a weekend.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Germany: Take Two

Sometimes I wonder if I'm genuinely good or truly terrible at my job. Although, companies don't go out of their way to spend more money on you than they have to, right? And since they've now sent me to Germany a second time, to help out the team here, I'm going to go with the first.

More than five days notice would've been nice, though.

I like my job. As an operations financial analyst, my job is cool. I work with the teams who make stuff and help them understand their numbers. Expense and volume-wise. I collaborate with other teams to put together snippets that explain the variations from our plan and then report those out to senior level management.

I suppose cool is a relative word here. Again, I like my job and I like the people I work with. The undeniably cool part is seeing the stuff we make and knowing they go into things we use everyday.

But my job doesn't fulfill me and that's okay.

It's hard to be passionate about finance or accounting. It's kind of dull. So I use the time I'm not at work to do fulfilling things. I bake, I do crafts, I muddle in this and that. I run and cycle and travel to new places.

Those things fulfill me and my job let's me do that.

I think that a lot of people get caught up in the idea that if you "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." And I can definitely understand trying to manage life expectations when we're inundated with people encouraging us to follow our dreams. Believe me, I've been there.

But I'm left wanting and it's a terrible feeling.

So yeah, I may "work" all day. But then I get to spend my free time doing things I really love. So please excuse me while I go explore Hamburg - our second mini-vacay in less than a month. It's shaping up to be pretty awesome.