5 Things My Dog Has Taught Me

I am obsessed with my dog. There, I said it. If you’re a dog person, you most likely are, too. There’s something about pets that fills your heart so much. So much so, that you might cry while leaving her with a friend who will watch her while you’re on vacation. Just as an example. I don’t know anyone like this. (Sense the sarcasm?)

But this got me thinking about all the things Copley has taught me. She absolutely makes my life, and Vinn’s life, so much better. I can’t imagine life without her and got through this international move thanks to her. Here are 5 things my dog has taught me!

Stop and smell the roses. 

 

munich_park

 

On every single walk, Copley stops to sniff. There’s just so many great smells, I guess. The above picture was taken in Munich where we had a great little weekend getaway and you can clearly see that Copley is more interested in experiencing life and not taking a picture.

It is great lesson that no matter what is happening in life, you should always stop and enjoy the moment, smell the roses, as they say. This is especially important in today’s culture with social media and sharing most happy aspects of your life with everyone you know. I try to be mindful of this, especially on vacation, that life is about the little moments. Copley forces me to stop, literally, but she has definitely made the little moments of life some I’ll never forget.

 

Unconditional love. 

 

snuggles

 

Everyone says it, but I didn’t believe it until Copley came home with us. But dogs show you what it means to have unconditional love. Every day, no matter what has happened, when I get home, Copley runs to greet me. She loves to lay on my lap and drink water out of my glass and play fetch with Vinn. She is just happy to see us all the time. There is no wavering.

And I love her unconditionally, too. Just going to the gym makes me feel sad because I have to leave her. I would do anything for this puppy.

*Yes, I love Vinn unconditionally, too.

Daily exercise is so important. 

 

copley

 

Health is important to me. I love working out, going to the gym and running outside. Copley has really shown me just how important the daily part of daily exercise really is. She and I go on about two walks a day and it helps her mood as much as mine. She is much more well-behaved, relaxed and an overall good girl after she’s had at least one walk. She needs the stimulation and the endorphins, too.

The walks for me also give me time to listen to my favorite podcasts, explore a new area of town or even a new city (the one above is Vienna) and get some Vitamin D.

To speak up for what you want. 

 

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This is Copley stealing water from my glass on the way to bed one night. Please disregard my amazing loungewear and hair. But, you know what, girl goes after what she wants and apparently, she wanted a drink of water.

I’ve always been a go-getter in life and my high school friends would probably tell you I went a little extreme on the “I do what I want” front. But, I believe that your life is just that, your life. And you have to do what makes you happy.

Copley sure does. Another example. One night before bed, Copley and I were snuggling and Vinn went to turn off the light. He was playing around and turning the switch from on to off really fast. Well, Copley did not like that. At all. After the second time, she growled at him. We thought it was a fluke, but we did it again last week and this time instead of growling, she barked after the first switch from on to off. Girlfriend wanted those lights off. It’s a nice reminder that you can speak up for yourself, while still being polite. Or cute, in Copley’s case.

That laughter really is the best medicine. 

 

cute_dog

 

Copley does funny things every single day. Like above when she learned she could climb in the hampers to steal socks. See those socks right on top? Yeah, she wants those. I’ve always believed that the only way to get through rough times was to laugh about it, to make light of difficult situations. And Copley has continued that for me.

Copley is the best dog in the entire world. She is part of our family and I wouldn’t change that for the world!

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Do you have a dog? What has he/she taught you?

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Friday Favs {April 21}

 

This week was a short week thanks to Easter Monday, which is a national holiday in Germany, and it was relaxing. Nothing really happened. We are flying to the States on Tuesday for two weeks and we are really looking forward to it. I think when you are looking forward to something so much, the days leading up to it are kind of a let down. That’s kinda how this week has been, a let down. And it is for this reason:

 

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Yes, that is snow. It snowed on Wednesday. Snowed. In April. There is a German saying, “April, April, der macht was er will.” It means, “April, April, it does what it wants.” Ugh.

Does this qualify as a Friday Fav? Not really.

I wish I had more favs this week, but honestly, this week my favs are staying inside and watching Real Housewives with Copley while it snowed, mentally preparing for our trip, having a nice dinner with a girlfriend and that’s it. So, I will leave you with this cute picture of Copley and call this week over.

 

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What are your favs this week?

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Two Days in Alsace

Travel, travel, travel. That is the theme of 2017. And I love it. We are only living in Germany for a short amount of time, there’s no time to waste. It seems like most weekends are filled with some kind of event (like this weekend’s Craft Beer Festival in Stuttgart) or travel. And this past weekend, we headed to the Alsace, France region with another couple and had the best time exploring the towns, grabbing a waffle or crepe, drinking wine and reading on fountains.

We left on Good Friday around 10 AM and drove just about two hours to make it to our hotel, Hotel Arnold, in Itterswiller.

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This hotel is just magical. It is small, dog-friendly, has a spa and a restaurant and amazing views of the vineyards. Itterswiller is very small, there is only one street, so we walked around with Copley to explore.

 

alsace view

 

That yellow building on the right is our hotel. Does it get much better than that? I don’t think so. This region in France has a similar climate/layout to Napa Valley, which is why it makes for a great wine growing region. I can’t imagine what this place looks like during harvest.

We also noticed on our walk down the main street this gorgeous church with a mural dating back to the 1330’s. It is a mural of Judgement Day with Jesus welcoming people into Heaven and damning others to hell.

 

alsace_mural

 

It is small, but it is quite powerful.

After our walk, we met up with our friends and then hit the road to head to a bigger city in the Alsace region, Colmar.

 

 

Is this not the cutest place you’ve ever seen? Colmar is on the water and even has a section called Little Venice. We didn’t venture there because it was too cold, but I can’t wait to go back. We walked around Colmar for a decent amount of time, stopping to buy chocolates and grabbing a glass of wine.

 

colmar_church

 

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Then we visited the Beauty and the Beast fountain, which I wrote about earlier this week. I wouldn’t say this fountain was life changing, but it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

 

 

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I want to give a shout out to Vinn again and thank him for being so thoughtful and giving me this Beauty and the Beast book before we left. I love it!

 

beauty_beast

 

Here I am pointing out Chapter 3, just like Belle does in the song! “But she won’t discover that it’s him ’til chapter 3!”

After the Beauty and the Beast moment, we went back to Itterswiller and had dinner at the hotel restaurant, which was incredibly good. The best part was the chocolate mousse for dessert. I didn’t take any pictures of it because it wasn’t honestly pretty, but it was amazing!

 

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The next day, we drove to Strasbourg to spend Saturday night there before driving home for Easter. We had a great time walking around, drinking wine, eating Nutella waffles and having Italian for dinner.

 

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Hi Copley! These are our friends, Shannon and Stefan. They are a great couple and so much fun. We spent so much time laughing and on the hunt for the perfect chocolate croissant.

 

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Overall, our weekend in Alsace was wonderful. It was great to spend time with friends, to explore a new region, drink wine and eat too much chocolate. I definitely plan to go back.

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Checked Off the Bucket List

This past weekend, I checked something major off my life bucket list: I visited the Beauty and the Beast fountain!!

 

alsace_france

 

Vinn and I traveled to the Alsace region of France with friends and had the best time, a full recap is coming soon. The only thing I really wanted to do on our trip was visit the fountain that inspired the one in Beauty and the Beast.

Belle has always been my Disney princess of choice and I have imagined taking a picture at this fountain with a book in my hands for as long as I can remember. Vinn surprised me with a copy of the original Beauty and the Beast story book on our drive and it was the perfect book for the picture! A note about the book, it is nothing like the Disney story. It is actually really old from like the 1600’s, uses old English language and is quite different. It is not a love story or fairy tale. I do love the physical book, though. It has beautiful drawings and will be a cherished book of mine for all time. <<< see what I did there?

We had quite the photo shoot at this fountain. Coat on, coat off, with my phone, with my friend’s phone, with our camera, with Copley, without Copley, so you will definitely see more pictures in my recap post. The fountain was decorated for Easter and absolutely stunning. This is the Saint Leon fountain and was completed in 1834 and is the biggest in Alsace because it can hold 80,000 liters of water. The railing around it isn’t quite big enough to sit like Belle does while she’s reading, but the little houses around more than make up for it. All that was needed was for someone to pop out of a window and yell, “Bonjour!”

 

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This picture was taken with our friend’s iPhone 7 on portrait mode! That mode is incredible.

While having my mini-photo shoot, I felt a wave of gratitude come over me. I was fulfilling a life-long dream, no matter how small or silly, and when something like that happens, I feel so lucky and blessed that this is my life. We all have bucket lists, some things that are easy to accomplish and others that are pipe dreams that we hope to check off before we’re too old to do anything about it. I have been lucky enough to check many things off my bucket list in my short life, like running a marathon, going on the Sound of Music tour, visiting so many countries I’ve only dreamed of visiting and  moving abroad. I cry every time I check something off the list because I really can’t believe it’s actually happening. I realize that this is a huge life moment and want to cherish it forever. It’s like the one moment at our wedding reception where I stopped and looked around and felt so proud and humbled that all the people we loved were in one room, together, dancing, drinking, laughing and celebrating with us. That’s probably the biggest moment ever.

I can only hope that life’s adventures continue and that my bucket list grows and expands.

What’s on your bucket list?

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Friday Favs {April 14}

Happy Good Friday, everyone. Vinn has the day off today and we are heading to the Alsace, France region for two nights with another couple. We are really looking forward to a small weekend getaway. But before we hit the road, I thought I’d share my Friday Favs from this week.

Fresh flowers

 

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I just love fresh flowers. They bring so much light into the house, they smell good and make me really happy. They are one of the simple pleasures in life. And tulips are everywhere right now and I just love these.

Seeing my first Stolperstein 

 

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A Stolperstein or stumbling stone is everywhere in Germany. These are square brass stones with the names and life dates of victims of the Nazi Holocaust. This is an art project that started by a German artist in 1996 and is still ongoing. The stones are located at the last known address or work address from men, women and children who were forced from their homes and died during Adolf Hitler’s reign. Most of the stones represent the Jewish victims but also commemorate homosexuals, the mentally disabled, gypsies and others persecuted by the Nazi Party. There are over 56,000 of these in 22 countries throughout Europe. It is a nice project to remind everyone of history and to honor those who lost their lives.

The one above is in our little town and a five minute walk from our apartment. I must have walked over it a million times and never seen it. But now I notice it all the time and have found several others in and around Stuttgart. It’s kind of like, once we see one, you notice all the others. This one says, “Here lived Lydia Würth. Born 1896. First lived here in 1905. Died August 7, 1940.”

Each stone is made individually and costs about 120 Euro. Each stone must be sponsored and you can find more information on their website. This is such an incredible movement to serve as a reminder of history.

Long, French weekend

We are off to France now with some friends. It’s going to be so much fun. I’ll fill you in on Monday!

Have a wonderful Easter weekend. How are you celebrating Easter?

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