Friday, July 29, 2011

11 Month Photos

Yesterday I woke up wanting to get Londyn out to take some pictures. After she was already supposed to be down for her nap I finally made up my mind and just decided to go for it. I wanted a picture to go with her 1st birthday invite and so an 11 month photography sesh seemed perfect! She was so tired and being extra needy, but I am in love with what I got! She is my whimsical little fairy princess and these pictures capture her well. I love them too because I didn't have to do any edits on them. I ended up putting an antique look on the bottom two just for fun, but the lighting, color and everything was great. These will be a special memory for us because I took them all right on our little street here in Germany. 

 Out of all the pictures I took she has her left foot up in probably half of them. Like I said, she was being needy and for the first time, she didn't like touching the ground. All of the sudden she had no desire to play with the grass or touch the dirt. She kept quietly whining so I would pick her up. Little rascal!

 You can barely see it or notice it, but her little left foot is popping up in the strangest position in this one!
I love them all, but I think this one is just so precious!

After I took her dress off, we snapped a couple more out on the balcony. (And added the necklace for fun!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

my two loves

Today we had a soldier appreciation luncheon. Some of us wives made BBQ pork, beans, potato salad, etc. and brought it all to the hangar. We loved getting to hang out with Daddy during the day and Londyn even wore her ACU outfit so she blended right in!

 I love these pictures of my two special sweethearts! 

Headbands with Real hair & Londyn's 1st Ponytail!

Londyn's first pony! 7.12.11

A couple of weeks ago I started putting headbands in Londyn's hair so she would get used to them and not pull them out every time I put one in. She did really well for 20 or 30 minutes and then she pulled it off her head... at least she thought she got it off her head. 
 Here she is. Her hair has gotten so long and it looks so cute with a headband in it now!
 I couldn't stop laughing at this little goof ball because she thought she had gotten it off her head. I took a picture from every angle. 

 She thought it was funny for a while too...
 Until she got bored... I think she was confused...
 Wondering why I was taking sooo many pictures (21 to be exact) from all sides. 

I realize this is a boring post for most (so many pictures of the same thing)... but it's for people like Londyn's grandparents... and sam, and of course me. Cause I can't get enough of these silly little pics of my princess.

The Disney Castle

This castle is the "Disney Castle" because it is used in Sleeping Beauty AND it is that beautiful little castle you see at the beginning of all the Disney movies. 

Oh and side note, a couple weeks after we visited here, Sam's unit took two helicopters up and took a picture of their helicopter with this in the background. They had an amazing photographer. I hope I get to see the pictures someday and maybe even get a few of them emailed to me. I would frame it and put it in my house!

I stole this pic off the internet so you could see how beautiful it really is. 

a pic I took from afar

7 weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, the castle he had built so he could withdraw from public life was made open to the public and is now one of the most visited palaces in Germany. It has about 1.3 million visitors each year. 

We didn't walk up to this castle but it was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II. Both castles are located in Schwangau in Southwestern Bavaria, Germany. It is very close to the Austrian border and right at the base of the Alps. I'm telling you this place was incredible. It would be a fabulous place to visit in the winter too. I am looking forward to going back since it is only a couple hours from our house. The little town was quaint and picturesque and full of restaurants and shops. 

 I was almost more excited about the lake than I was the castles.
 Therapy, right?
 We took our time checking out the lake. It was so beautiful. On a warmer day I would love to rent a boat and go out on this lake. 
Sam decided to roll Londyn into the water

 After our 1.5 mile hike up the mountain we got to check the castle out!
 We decided to make the hike even knowing the castle was closed. But the outside was enough for me!

We got a few family pics. The day was a little hazy and gray unfortunately but I think the background still looks pretty amazing. 

p.s. Something got totally messed up with the formatting on this post. I decided not to worry too much about it! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dachau Concentration Camp

On July 1st we had the opportunity to visit the Dachau Concentration camp in southern Germany, near Munich. Visiting the concentration camp really changed my perspective in a lot of ways. I was looking forward to seeing such an interesting and sad part of history, but by the end I was such a mess, I didn't want to see anymore.
 entrance gates
 roll call ground
Seeing this huge, empty ground was really eerie. The whole time we were there, it was just humbling and very sad to think about what took place on the grounds.   

 Individual jail cell
 There were quite a few individual cells. They went all the way down this hall and very far down the other direction as well.

 This dress was donated by it's owner Margita Horakova. She kept this dress all those years and donated it to the memorial in 2010. She wore this and only this dress for probably about a year straight. She had to sew her prisoner number on this dress and for that she used a thread from a blanket. The yellow strip above her number signified she was Jewish.

 Gas Chamber
You can see on the ceiling all the holes that used to have "shower heads" in them. I learned on my visit to Dachau that the shower heads never worked. They were purely a facade to get the prisoners in there to think they were able to take a shower. There were "shoots" on the outside of the building that almost looked like mailboxes. That is how they put the gas in the room. So inhumane and so tragic. 
Near the end of the usage of this specific concentration camp they ended up opening up a sector for women. When I went through the part of the museum/memorial dedicated to women in the camp, that is when I really fell apart. I read personal accounts and saw pictures of some of the women who survived through this sick and twisted time. I read the type of things they did to pregnant women and to their babies once they were born, and even what they did to these women after they had their babies. Even as I type this, I can't help but cry because after having a baby, going through labor and loving my baby as much as I do, I simply cannot imagine, fathom or believe the things these women went through. I, of course, won't mention any specifics, but maybe when we are having a bad day, or think our lives are hard we can think back to the lives they led, with no freedom and very little, if any, happiness.

Near the end of our visit I was finally able to read of the liberation of Dachau. It lifted my spirits slightly because even those few lives that were saved are absolutely priceless. I wish it could have ended sooner, but I am glad it ended. I read of 7 women with their 7 babies that survived and were liberated by U.S. soldiers. 

I have a new and even more improved gratitude for those who serve our country and for those that are brave enough to save lives and liberate those who do not experience freedom like we do. Some of the young men that went into that Nazi concentration camp were only 18 years old. Can you imagine how scary it would be as a young 18 year old to go face to face with those Nazi guards and then deal with the ruin the camp was in? Find thousands of dead bodies and thousands of people on the brink of death? I really cannot. 

Even today there are people going through similar things, and that is why our country, ever strong and brave continues to fight for the freedoms of Americans and those that don't even share our citizenship. But, we are all God's children and that is why I don't like hearing people say we should "stay out of it, if it's not our country." This world will probably continue to get worse and worse, but as long as our country has anything to do with it, I hope we continue to do as we have always done: Stand up for freedom and aid those in need. 

 Women of Dachau waving to their U.S. liberators 
Liberated men cheering to the U.S. troops