With Christian home (HE IS HERE!) on leave, I want to give him the world! I had plans to fly him to England for beer in a pub, whisk him to Dublin for a Guinness Factory Tour, hit the slopes in Germany and Austria, and roadtrip it to Holland to see family and grab his favorite food: rijstevlaai (rice pudding pie).

It turns out, once he was home, that all Christian really wanted was to be home.  He wanted mom’s cooking, dad’s babbling, and even the loud, kinetic, energy of his siblings. He quickly turned our guest room (more of an apartment, though shared with Cole) into his little nest inside our home.  He wheedled his way into Dad’s man cave and carted out boxes of “toys” (all my boys, Dave included, have a serious Warhammer 40K addiction). Soon my house smelled like boy, paint, and modeling glue. Oddly enough, a favorite smell.

I played it by ear, my only goal to make him happy, to make sure he knows how much I love him. How much we all love him.  The only trip he jumped on, almost insisted on, was a quick trip up the Alps for a little skiing and snowboarding.  He has inherited my love of flying over snow.

We drove up to Füssen on Saturday morning, it’s less than 3 hours from home and a beautiful drive.  Though Christian lived here for years, before growing up and moving out, now, with new, grown-up eyes, he couldn’t get enough of the German countryside. We really are blessed with a gorgeous countryside. The snow started an hour into the drive, soon turning into big, fat, perfect snowflakes.  Chris only left the tropical heat of Japan two short weeks ago.  The snow was a wonder and a gift. He grinned ear-to-ear most of that Saturday.

We checked into a fabulous, uber-affordable, typical German mountain landhaus at the base of “our” mountain, a hop-skip and a stone’s throw from the famous Neuschwansteinn Castle.  Then we piled right back into the van to go see said famous castle.  There is nothing I love more than watching Christian laugh with joy.  When he smiles deep dimples appear in each cheek, and I just want to hug him and see if that magic baby smell is back.  It reminds me that even though he has changed, in many ways he is still the beautiful boy I remember and love so much.

We ate out that night, and Chris ogled the waitresses, who giggled and flirted with the American.  We drank amazing beer till our cheeks got red and we all got a little silly.  We played games till almost midnight, I sadly losing every round. I hate when they gang up on me! And then had a perfect, uncrowded, ski day on Sunday. I am still warm & fuzzy inside remembering our beautiful weekend away.


Dave, Tess, Cole, me, Christian & Dane


Tess, Dane, Chris & Cole




Neuschwanstein Castle


Horsies in the snow


Christian made some friends. He always does.


Hopf Am See at night