Monday, March 28, 2011

happy

I have been really happy lately. Not that I am not normally happy, but lately I have been extra happy, content. I have lots of reasons to be happy. These are just a few that come to mind...

Spring- Munich has an awful, cold, dark winter, and I am so grateful that it is over. Spring has started and the sunshine and warmer temperatures had made being outside so wonderful. We have been spending a lot more time outside and it feels good.

my hair - I just cut four inches off of my hair, and it is wonderful! I was in desperate need of a new hairstyle. I don't feel like a frumpy Frau anymore.

friends - I have made some wonderful friends here. It has been really important for me to have good friends here being so far away from family.

family - Within the next couple of months we will get to see our parents and every sibling and respective spouse, niece and nephew from both sides! Awesome, it is just awesome.


Simon - he always makes me happy, but he hasn't had to travel hardly at all this year (except for that crazy week and a half in Feb). I like having him home.

my kids -I have really good kids. Don't get me wrong, we have tantrums and bad days, but over all they are very well behaved. They are just fun and make me happy. I am grateful that I can stay home with them.

(apparently cars are more exciting than the camera)



Oh, and I have a delicious chocolate cake waiting for me, that always makes me happy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Istanbul - part II

Blue Mosque
This mosque was built finished in 1616 and is called the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles on the interior. It is a very popular with Muslim believers and with tourists.



Conley and Daddy hanging out in front of the Blue Mosque




Conley just making himself comfortable. He fell asleep several times on Auburn.

Hill family in front of Blue Mosque



inside the Blue Mosque


Topkapi Palace


Suleymaniye Mosque
inside right after the afternoon prayer

Auburn and Conley outside of the Suleymaniye mosque




One day we took a ferry to the Asian side. Someone on the boat was throwing bread at the birds and the kids loved watching it. They would fly right next to the ferry and then dive into the water for the bread.
lighthouse with the European side in the background

That my friends is baklava, lots and lots of delicious baklava.


We decided that one game on the trip was enough for the kids, so Simon headed off to the Besiktas game alone one night. It is a good thing, apparently it was freezing that night. There are three big clubs in Istanbul and Simon saw two of them in our five night stay. Apparently the game was awesome, but the Besiktas loss in the 88th minutes.


Besiktas stadium


Grand Bazaar

Thursday, March 17, 2011

crazy Istanbul story

We have a lots of crazy adventures on our trips and if I was to blog about all of them no one would read it, but here is one thing that happened on our most recent trip.

We had pretty much done everything we wanted in Istanbul and had a few hours to kill before our flight, so we decided to head to Ataturk Olympic Stadium. It was freezing outside and we also thought a nice warm bus ride wasn't a bad way to see the non-touristy side of the city. Ataturk is about 3o minutes by bus from where we were staying.

The bus literally dropped us off on the side of the highway. The people on the bus seemed upset that they were leaving us there, but we asked the driver to show us where the stadium was. You couldn't see the stadium from the road. You had to walk up a huge hill (luckily Simon was pushing the double stroller) and the stadium is kind of nestled a little valley. We had some dogs barking at us, I guess they are protecting the stadium. At first I was a little frightened, but they were just curious and accompanied us the rest of the way. It was really quite a sight, Simon, me and the kids in the stroller with wind, snow and a big old dog following us. There wasn't really anyone around except for a few security guys. This place is really in the middle of nowhere.

We couldn't get very close, because there was a powerline down, that was kind of a bummer. We did get to take a couple of pictures. We didn't spend much time because we wanted to head back and make sure we caught the bus. We were a little concerned about catching it. We saw the bus come and Simon ran after it, but they didn't see him. As he was running a group of men, who we assume to be maintance guys?, in a van asked us in very broken English where we were going. We somehow communicated and they offered us a ride to the other side of the freeway where the bus stop was. At first I was hesitant, but they were just trying to help us. They loved our kids and showed us pictures of their kids with their phones. They even waited at the stop until the bus came so that we could stay in the warm van. When the bus finally arrived they stopped it and made sure that we were on okay. The people on the bus were incredibly nice to us as well, making sure that we had seats.

It was a little bit of a crazy morning before our flight, but definatly a memorable one.


Conley hanging out with the guys in the van. He looks upset, but he just wanted me to hold him and not take a picture of him.


Ataturk Olympic Stadium


Friday, March 11, 2011

Istanbul - part I

We headed to Istanbul last week. To be honest, I was wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I really liked it. The city has so much history to it and is just a really interesting place to be. The weather was not good. It was warmer here in Munich, it was kind of a bummer. We just bundled up and faced the cold. The people were so friendly and didn't want anything in return for their kindness. We had a lovely long weekend exploring the city.These pictures are totally out of order.
Blue Mosque
(I'll put more pictures of this up in the next post)



Türk Telekom Arena
This is the brand new (3 months old) arena for the Turkish team Galatasaray. We were lucky enough to catch a game while we were in town.



The ceiling of one of the mosques that we went in.


We ate some delicious food! This is a turkish meatball in between two grill tomatoes. It was seriously delicious. I am going to see if I can replicate it.


Turkey is actually part of two continents - Europe and Asia.

A view from the Galata bridge. Galata bridge connects the European side.


Basilica Cistern
This place was awesome. It was built in the sixth century and is the biggest cistern in the city of Istanbul.





There are two columns with Medusa heads at the bottom.
One is upside down and this one is turned to the side.



Hagia Sophia
This is a really interesting place. Here is a little history lesson for you. It was built in 360 and rebuilt in 532. It was the cathedral until 1453 and then turned into a mosque until 1931. It was made into a museum in 1935. There are both Christan and Islamic influences in the building.

inside the Hagia Sophia

Hill family special



My happy little guy


It is a little blurry, but I liked the picture anyway.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

10 months old

My baby is growing up. He turned 10 months old this week and to celebrate he learned how to pull himself up to standing. He did it for the first time in Istanbul (more about that later) in his crib at the hotel. Now he gets frustrated when he can't pull himself up. These past two months he has learned to go from laying to sitting and does a mean army crawl. He can say Mama and Dad and "Ba" which we think means Auburn. He will give you five. He had his first haircut last month (okay, Simon cut a little off the sides). He has had some awful teething going on, but he still has his toothless grin. Thank heavens for Dentinox during the nights. He gets into everything. Auburn will tell me "Conley's getting into trouble". He loves his blanket, books and toys. He loves knocking over towers of blocks. He dances anytime he hears music. He will eat anything. He hate putting winter stuff on, but likes going for walks in the stroller.