2021 was yet again a tough year for us. Full of challenges, sad but also happy moments. It started again with another lockdown. But we did have a lot of snow in Germany which we really enjoyed. So we tried to make the best out of this situation by going sledding with the kids and our church friends as many times as we could. We were also able to rent a whole ice rink just for us so we took this opportunity to teach the kids some ice skating. It was good to have a little bit of a distraction. It made the time a little more bearable.
As it started to get warmer we also started hiking again and we tried to visit as many waterfalls as possible. Our outdoor activities helped us to take our minds of the daily challenges in a global pandemic.
In April we unfortunately had to say goodbye to my dad, who lost his battle with cancer. As sad as this was, we are glad that after 5 years he doesn’t have to suffer anymore.
Originally we had planned to visit our extended family in London in May, but Corona made that (yet again) impossible. So we changed our plans and visited Mike’s brother Joe and his wife Michelle in Switzerland. We had a great time there (the kids too) with such liberties such as indoor dining and open swimming pools – things we couldn’t do in Germany at this time thanks to the lockdown.
Right before the school summer holidays we went to Cantabria, Spain for 3 weeks – taking advantage of the fact that for one last time we could take our vacation when we wanted to. Our goal was to continue what we had started the year before and improve our surfing. It was a really great time and also the kids did a good job with this very challenging sport. It helped a lot that both of them are really good swimmers by now.
Right after our vacation I started my new job as a swim teacher in Maichingen. I give private swim lessons to kids 4 years and older every Monday and Wednesday afternoon. During this time Michael is watching the kids. We’re glad that he has the opportunity to work from home otherwise that wouldn’t be possible. Swimming and being in the water has been my passion for years, so I enjoy being able to work in a field that I like and that has an impact in those kids lives. Another thing that I did during my summer break was get my International Lifesaving Certificate from the DLRG. I hope I will never have to use it though.
In September, Nate started school. We can’t believe how time flies. It feels like just yesterday he entered kindergarten. So far he’s enjoying school and is doing a good job doing his homework and learning new things.
During the fall break we decided to go on another journey, this time to Prague. We wouldn’t have thought that we would like it that much. It really is an amazing city with lots of things to see. And also exciting enough for the kids. If you haven’t been there you should pay this place a visit.
Beginning of December, thanks to grandma and grandpa, Michael and I had a very special getaway: We went to Colmar for the weekend and visited the Christmas Markets in Colmar, Kaysersberg and Ribeauvillé. The one in Ribeauvillé was easily our favorite, because it is a Medieval Christmas Market. Even nicer than the one in Esslingen. Since all the Christmas in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria got shut down, we were more than happy to go there and visit them. Especially I absolutely love Christmas Markets and it felt way too long since we had a chance to visit one.
Unfortunately because of Corona we weren’t able to see our extended family in London for the last 2 years. The kids and us missed their auntie and uncle a lot. So it was a big surprise that auntie Katie was able to visit us here in Stuttgart for the weekend. We all had such a great time with her and also visiting the Christmas Market in Strasbourg again. We decided to do everything in our power to go visit them in London as soon as possible. But if there’s one thing we’ve seen also this past year is that God’s timing is always perfect and that we can trust in him. He’s never early, never late.
We spent the last days of 2021 far away from cold, rainy Germany in warm Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. In winter Fuerteventura is the prime destination for all ocean and wave-junkies like us. We continued on our surf learning journey (a very slow and sometimes frustrating one) and enjoyed the sunshine. We still have a couple of days left here so we’ll try and make the most of them before we have to go back.