Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Things We Saw Today

Just as I was leaving the apartment with the dogs, camera and water bottle packed, my friend Tini came around the corner with her little dog Ena on a surprise visit. So we headed out into the woods together, where the sun soaked our faces and there was so much new life growing on the forest floor.

These are called Buschwindröschen in German and are one of the first flowers to open their lovely little faces in March. There are parts of the forest that are absolutely covered in these. Common english names include wood anemone, windflower, thimbleweed, and smell fox. They are such a delight, and give the appearance of a fairy wood.

This tree has a face! I don't know if someone carved it, or if it grew naturally. But it sure has a lot of character. He looks a bit stern, doesn't he?

We almost stepped on this fellow, sunning himself on the rocks. A beautiful coppery gold. It looks like a snake, but is actually a 'blind worm' or 'slow worm,' a limbless lizard. They are quite common here, and completely harmless.

We found these flowering plants growing quite profusely in one specific area of the forest, right nearby the creek. I have never seen it before and hope my friend Gerit will be able to identify it for me. (EDIT: plant has been identified as Cardamine enneaphyllos.) It amazes me how I can walk in these woods every day and still discover new plants each year.

Nature is truly so amazing and diverse.

My husband left on a business trip to Spain today and won't be back until Monday, so I'll be a work-widow for the next few days. I hope you'll keep me company!

xoxo country girl

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Perfect Morning

Tulips on the kitchen counter; creeks singing with melted snow; doggies exploring the water and the woods; wild garlic, wild flowers, and frog eggs; two happy puppies resting after an adventurous trip in the forest.

A perfect morning!

xoxo country girl

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Adventures

When the clock 'springs forward' and there is more light to the day, it just feels right to throw on sneakers and rush out into the woods where there is so much to see, hear, and smell. The dogs feel the same way. They've been so cheerful lately! They go flying down the road, stopping only to drink from puddles or sniff at something particularly interesting. And since it's gotten warmer, they head straight for the creek, whose banks are now covered with bright green sprouts of wild garlic.

The frogs have already layed their eggs in murky waters and the first bushes and trees are covered in flowers. Now the time of year has begun when we take a second walk in the early evenings, and those night strolls are spiced with the scent of rain and blossoms. So many things to be grateful for!

xoxo country girl

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kiki's First Year; Audio Book Release!

A dream came true today! The book I wrote about Kiki's adventures with nature and the four seasons has been published as an audio book! The English version, which you can find HERE, is spoken by yours truly, and includes two children's songs that I wrote, too. The e-book version, which will include the watercolor illustrations I painted, will be published in about a month.

There were long stretches when I put this project aside and was sure I would never finish it. My husband is the one who is responsible for pushing me to realize this dream and actually complete my book, and I am so, so grateful to him. Now this story which is so close to my heart can be enjoyed by many, including, someday, my own children.

xoxo country girl

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Baby, Wave Hello To My Friends!

This wonderful picture of our baby was taken a week ago. This time it was much more relaxed, and at some point it seemed to by sucking its thumb. (I am really looking forward to being able to say 'he' or 'she' once we find out the gender. By the way, anyone want to take a guess?)

I have been feeling so great this past week. My appetite is healthy, I have energy, and there is no sign of the nausea that had me green at the gills in the first trimester.

My next ultrasound is on April 20th, which seems like forever. And I think of the countless women before me to went through entire pregnancies without ever seeing their baby on an ultrasound screen, and am in awe of the faith they had that everything was alright. I talk to other women my age who are pregnant or have babies, and we all seem so frightened and worried. It makes me wonder if women were always this worried or if it's a new phenomenon.

I've finally stopped craving sweets, and now I mostly dream of burgers, fruit, and green coconut water.

Spring is truly in the air and slowly but surely spreading it's greenery over the land. I can't wait to share pictures of the wild garlic, creeks of melted snow, and doggies with you. At the moment my Photoshop isn't up and running, so you'll have to have a little bit of patience before I can get to regular posting again.

Sending joyful wishes your way, and thanking you for the sweet and loving comments you've left me,

xoxo country girl

Monday, March 14, 2011

13 Weeks!

Around the 11th week my belly began growing a hard little bump. It's expanded quite a bit over the past two weeks, along with the baby, who now measures about 3 inches long, about the size of a peach. And it already looks so complete!

13 week fetus

I have been feeling better and better. Of course there are things that come along with pregnancy that are strange and uncomfortable, but I'm just glad that I'm not feeling so sick anymore. 

The next ultrasound is on Wednesday and I'm so happy that I'll get to see my little munchkin again. Blood test results arrived today with wonderful news, everything looks perfect and the odds are definitely on our side that this baby is completely healthy. 

What a time! Spring is seeping in, the sun is shining, the dogs are ecstatic on our walks through the warm forest where the last ice blocks melt and birds sing. I'm quickly out of breath but determined to stay fit throughout this pregnancy because I plan on carrying my baby a lot, especially on the daily walks, so my hands are free and I don't have to push a stroller through autumn mud and winter snow. 

Beginning the second trimester, where the odds of having a miscarriage are strongly reduced, I feel confident and happy, and can begin to enjoy this miraculous journey. 

Thank you all so much for your well-wishes and sweet words! 

I have some wonderful recipes to share with you...coming soon.

xoxo country girl

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Most Happy News!

We're having a baby!

I am so happy to finally share this with all of you. This morning we had our 12 week scan (one of the most amazing experiences of my life to see our baby, with hands and feet and an adorable head, kicking and wiggling around), and once the ultrasound technician told us that our baby looks healthy as can be, I was ready to tell the world.

This precious baby was conceived on Christmas, and it's due date is September 18th.

We are over the moon. Especially now that we have seen it, so lively and healthy! It was so active that the technician had a hard time getting a good photo of it.

Ever since we found out on January 8th that God had blessed us with another chance, it has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Worry, joy, fear, excitement. I am glad I can finally share what I am truly going through. It's been hard to keep this big part of my life a secret up until now! How many times I have wanted to write about my morning sickness, my cravings, my hopes, my thoughts.

There is someone I want to a send a very special Thank you: Cheryl, a reader of this blog for over a year according to her heartfelt letter, sent me the most beautiful gift.

A necklace in commemoration of our first baby, Blueberry, who left us so soon. Thank you, Cheryl. Your thoughtfulness and kindness has touched my husband and I so deeply. You have given us such a precious gift. Our hearts are mingled with yours.

The sun is shining, and the birds are busy building nests. We are waiting impatiently for spring to burst forth, for warmth to ease us and green to please us. But mostly, today, we are simply grateful. To have seen our baby, to know that it is healthy, and to have been given this amazing gift of new life.

xoxo country girl


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