Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Scentsy 220v Warmer Review

For those of you living in Europe, Life Lessons of a Military Wife graciously accepted to do a review of Scentsy 220v warmers. Go check it out here: Life Lessons of a Military Wife: Scentsy 220v Warmer Review And while you are there, her blog is a fabulous resource. Look around while you are there!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's Christmastime!

I have been slacking lately. It isn't that I haven't been taking photos, I just haven't done anything with those said photos. They have remained on my SD card safe in my camera. That is, until I had a moment of conviction while doing some dishes this evening. I can't let time slip by without documenting this crazy life of ours. Someday this is all my boys will have of their childhood. (Okay, so maybe they will also have the 5000 blankies I save for them along with the countless outfits I just know I will never be able to part with, ha!) DSC_0110 DSC_0127 These boys. They seriously make my heart go pitter patter. DSC_0093 DSC_0122 DSC_0107 We are having fun with traditions this year. Kaleb is old enough to really get it. We are giving him one new Christmas book to read with each day of Advent, and on about day three started asking for a book as soon as he finished eating dinner. "Read book?" So we get in our jammies, snuggle up on the couch with the Christmas tree all lit up and read the story of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus. (After which he points at Isaiah and says "baby.") DSC_0125 Little Isaiah is full of smiles, and coos and buzzes away with those sweet lips of his. This morning I had Christmas music playing in the car and I am fairly certain he was trying to sing, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas." DSC_0094 DSC_0121 It most certainly is the happ-happiest season of all! DSC_0098 DSC_0104

Monday, November 5, 2012

Scentsy- in Europe!

It is with great excitement that I am sharing my latest adventure with you. I recently started up my own business here in Germany selling Scentsy, flameless candles.

Scentsy has been in the States for a while now and just keeps gaining in popularity. I went to my first "party" several years back and was intrigued by the products. However, since we live over in Europe a majority of the year I couldn't justify buying the warmers. So, I just listened to the rave reviews from afar, wishing that I could enjoy some Scentsy in my life. Last spring though, when a friend was having a Scentsy fundraiser for a victim of the wildfires in Colorado, I purchased some warmers to help out.

And, of course, I loved them... and wished they were available in Europe. I am always dragging candles over here and with two boys we have never needed more space in our luggage than now. So, here I was with a limited candle supply this fall and thus started searching like a mad woman to make my home smell nice and cozy.

Enter SCENTSY! 220v warmers along with highly scented fragrance bars had arrived in Europe! I couldn't have been more excited. No more lugging candles over here and I can replenish my supply whenever needed. I did some searching and finally found a consultant to help. A week or so later I was sitting in Starbucks sniffing tons of scents and buying a warmer to take home.

Which brings me to selling these little beauties. There aren't many consultants in Germany yet, but I imagine it will gain in popularity here just as it did in the States. It is even harder to come by quality candles here, so really the market isn't nearly as saturated. I am looking forward to meeting new people and getting the word about Scentsy out there. It gives me something to do on the side while being a wife and mama to these two sweet boys.

Visit my site: www.euroscents.scentsy.de for product and shipping information. You will be glad you did. I am also keeping a little blog. Check out www.euroscents.wordpress.com for some fun product reviews!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Staying in the pic.

If you are a mom, and you haven't read the blog post Mom Stays in the Picture please stop what you are doing and read it now. I figured it was a must read after at least five of my friends recommended the article on facebook. Sure enough, it has convicted me. Not only to stay in the picture, but to try to take as many photos of Isaiah at this stage as I did Kaleb. It reminded me that these photos are not only for me in the years to come, but for him as well. (Okay, maybe his wife, ha!)

One of my fav instagram photos as of late:

Big bro just puked all over. Thankfully lil bro is smiling on.

(I am mrsturek on instagram if you want to follow. Above photo taken with an iPod touch. I brightened and reduced noise using the photoshop app then instagrammed.)

On a random note. Our local mall had "Mexican days" recently so Saturday morning I got out for a bit and was able to check it out. What did I find? Truffles, sushi, fresh bread, sparkling wine, olives, fancy cheese, and a few tortilla shells and salsa. Hilarious.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Four month old Isaiah.

My little Isaiah dear just cooed himself into a happy, sleepy place. And my heart could not be more glad for those sweet sounds bubbling from his lips.

The days of having to bounce him around the house while frantically turning on the vacuum cleaner for noise seem so distant now. Smiles and laughs have replaced the inconsolable cries and screams. I knew the day would come, but I often had to remind myself that it was just a season. I would do it all over in a heartbeat, to be where we are now. Sure, we aren't sleeping through the night yet and I often find myself wanting to complain about the lack of sleep. But when I think about the progress we've made? Well, the shift of perspective makes me thankful to be where we are.

For you mamas out there that are in the same boat we were in just weeks ago. Hang in there. Your time will come. It will come before you know it, even if it does seem like light years away right now.

Four months ago today we welcomed our Isaiah into the world. As his daddy said the other morning, "You can keep your mommy up all night and one smile in the morning makes her light up like a Christmas tree." Yep, I am smitten.

I have said that I knew right away that we were "in for it." Isaiah entered the world screaming and I quickly called him my "spirited child." This boy seems to know what he wants. He is already rolling from his tummy to back, his back to tummy, is scooting a bit on his tummy, moving in circles given enough time, and is even sitting up a bit with support. He loves his big brother, tracks him around the room, laughs, smiles, and imitates our facial expressions. I am loving nearly every minute of this stage.

No more relaxing in my bouncer. Gotta lean forward so I can eat my toy. #bjornbabysitter

Were we "in for it?" Yes. In for so much joy and happiness that this little face would bring to our family.

Love pulling out kaleb's old clothes for lil bro, especially jammies. Nothing beats a sweet cuddly baby ready for bed.

Lest you think I forgot about big brother, he melts my heart too. This morning he kept coming up to give me kisses on the lips. Oh my sweet firstborn.

Snack time on the balcony, enjoying the lovely sunshine.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Isaiah: Day Eight

I love newborn photos. They capture a stage in life that is so fleeting. These images bring back a flood of memories. I can so vividly remember Isaiah's eighth day of life. He lost his umbilical cord that morning, just in time for photos that afternoon. As I got ready for photos that day, it felt good to feel a bit "normal" again. The incision from my c-section was still painful as my skirt rubbed against it, but I was still feeling much better this time around than I did after having Kaleb.

Day eight: tired, but still running on a bit of an adrenaline after bringing new life into the world. I knew the effort getting photos taken would be worth it in the end. And, it was. Totally worth every ounce of energy.

We are fortunate to have had Creative Images by Tammy take our wedding photos, Kaleb's newborn photos, and now Isaiah's newborn photos. Three months later, I finally got around to creating a video with these images, and I get all teary eyed every time I watch it. My these little ones grow fast. Part of me wants to go back and do it all over again, but the other part is thankful to be through some of the most trying of days. As life goes though, some of our most difficult of days are also the most beautiful.

Isaiah: 8 days old from Suzanne Turek on Vimeo.

(A couple of stanzas of Brahm's Lullaby were played in our hospital every time a new life entered this world. Ever since Kaleb was born I have played this version for both of my boys over and over, often before bedtime. Every time I hear it, it takes me right back to the hospital room.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pumpkins and a Palace.

I grew up in the midwest of the United States. A region where I was fortunate enough to experience four seasons each year. Sure, I got sick of the harsh winter come February. But it come Spring? It made the buds on the trees and the warmer temperatures all the sweeter.

As for fall? It is one of my favorite seasons. Apple cider candles burning, crisp leaves falling, trees changing colors. The cool mornings and warmer afternoons. Boots. Pumpkin lattes. Football. Chili. You get the idea.

I remember our first year overseas: I was missing fall scented candles like something fierce. My mom sent a care package full of yankee candles and I opened that box inhaling every scent like there was no tomorrow. (Since that year I have been sure that scented candles have always made my packing list!)

I may be able to pack candles, boots, jeans and sweaters. But one thing I can't pack? Pumpkin patches or apple orchards. With Kaleb getting older, these are traditions that I crave even more.

Enter the Ludwisburg Palace Gardens. Surely, a magical place. The pumpkin festival had me at hello. So much in fact, that I bought a year membership with only two months left of the "year." This my friends, has made up for missing the past seven years of pumpkin patches back home. Sorry Vala's, but you got nothing on this palace.

Pumpkins line the walkways. Enormous creations are made of pumpkins. Pumpkin seeds are being roasted in cinnamon and sugar and are sold to those passing by. DSC_0821 Children play in the hay. DSC_0813DSC_0803 DSC_0812 DSC_0799 Parents chat over lattes and pumpkin bread. Or pumpkin strudel. Or pumpkin muffins. Or pumpkin cookies. DSC_0831 My favorite? The pumpkin soup. I can't go back for enough of it. DSC_0833 DSC_0829DSC_0828 Apparently this pumpkin festival is the largest in the world when it comes to variety. Pumpkins comes from all over the world to show themselves off. I see you guys, you little beauties you. DSC_0826

It's kind of funny how it works, right? You don't know what you are missing until you have gone without you. Sometimes that is what it takes to make you appreciate the simpler things in life. I mean in the whole scheme of things, pumpkin patches really aren't a big deal. But, when you go without something for a while it makes you stop. Breathe. Appreciate. Cherish.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Made it.

I am taking advantage of a few minutes of household quietness and a mug of hot coffee to write a quick post to let you all know that we are still alive.

(Of course, as soon as I typed that sentance my sweet toddler emerged from his new bedroom where he was playing independently.)

 We. made. it. Made it through the hardest weeks with a fussy newborn, made it through packing to move across the Atlantic with tow littles in tow. Made it through good-byes. Made it through a long day of travels. Made it into our apartment and made it (half way at least) through unpacking.

 I'd be lying if I said it has been easy breezy. There were moments I thought I might lose my sanity. Between Isaiah dear not wanting to be put down, generally dreading the trip in front of us, and being more sad than ever before to say good-bye to dear friends and loved ones, I knew that if we could just get ourselves on the airplane the excitement would come.

And, it did. Seeing the world through your toddler's eyes only brings more joy to your life. Kaleb was so incredibly excited to get on the airplane. In fact, two of the three meltdowns he had were 1. because we weren't boarding yet and 2. because we didn't have a window seat. (The third being because he hadn't slept a wink and it was 10:30 at night and really needed to fall asleep.)

 Our journey over went so much smoother than I anticipated. I was prepared for the worst. Isaiah has fussy spells where he just screams and nothing seems to help. We traveled internationally at three and a half weeks with Kaleb and he was an angel. I can remember Isaiah dear at that age and thinking, "there is no way on earth I could get on an airplane right now." God always knows, doesn't he? His timing is perfect indeed.

 Sure, he cried here and there... but for the most part he was pretty easy. That said, I am thankful that our boarding experience was not an indication of how the rest of the trip would go. Both boys were crying at once and all eyes were on us. I had to just remind myself to stay calm, and that no matter what happened we would reach our final desintation in just nine hours. (And of course, I prayed.)

 We finally landed and managed to get all 400+ pounds of luggage into two waiting cars and up three stories into our apartment and basically crash landed. The team wanted us to go register our stay with the city and go to the team office, but both boys lost it and thankfully they obliged to pushing back our appointments one day.

 We are almost at the one week mark now. The first week is always the hardest. One more week and we should be adjusted and feeling a bit more like we are at home. As for this mama? I may still be tired, but I also feel relieved and am looking forward to getting into more of a routine.

 More to follow soon! (By the way, if you want to ruin golden silence in your home, just try writing a blog post.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The birth of Isaiah John.

One month ago today, on June 12, 2012, we welcomed sweet Isaiah John Turek into this world. Born at 8:52 a.m. he weighed 8 lb. 9 oz. and measured 21 inches. After seven long weeks of waiting for John to arrive home in time for the birth, he got home with three days to spare. God is so, so gracious.

While we were hoping that baby Isaiah would come on his own, we had a c-section scheduled just in case. Although I was having contractions my body didn't show any signs of progress. Thus, we ended up heading into the hospital that Tuesday morning knowing that in a matter of hours our sweet boy would be in our arms. Although I had done it before, it still seemed just as surreal knowing that one minute my boy would be inside of me, and the next he would crying his way into this world.


I wasn't nearly as nervous with this birth and was able to relax and enjoy the experience even more. I was so fortunate in that a friend who is a nurse and was there for Kaleb's birth was also there for Isaiah's birth. Of course, a little bit of humor helped the situation.


So ready to meet our little guy! Those final minutes just seem to drag on forever.


But then I heard those cries... Isaiah John announcing his arrival. Oh, what a sweet sound.



DSC_0084 - Version 2

If those final minutes before his arrival seemed to drag on... the minutes I had to wait to hold Isaiah seemed to last forever.


Finally in my arms.



I made it through post-op quickly while the nurses finished up with Isaiah and I was able to actually hold him, do skin to skin, and nurse him for the first time. Such sweet, tender moments that I will always cherish. I love that photos capture each moment.





Big brother Kaleb was out in the visitor's area with grandma and grandpa waiting to meet his baby brother.


After this precious photo he decided enough was enough and tried pushing Isaiah off his lap. Oh the thought process of a toddler!


Thankfully baby brother gave his big brother some puzzles to work on to keep him busy in the hospital room.


Isaiah's first bath was done later in the day which was nice because I was more with it at that point and able to take it all in bedside.


Clean, sleepy boy and happy mama.


And finally, our failed attempt at a first family photo. :)


Monday, April 16, 2012

Reflections at the end of yet another season.

The regular season has officially come and gone with play-offs just around the corner. Kaleb and I leave for the States this week. And with that... I am pretty much an emotional wreck.

A dear friend of ours watched Kaleb for us last night so John and I could go on a date. The first in months and probably the last in months too. The anticipation of this past weekend kept my thoughts of heading home at bay for a bit. But when we got home after a special evening together, everything hit all at once and I couldn't fight back the tears. I cried again tonight as I put Kaleb to bed. I have tears as I write this.

I remember one of John's teammates telling me our first year out that he just didn't get close to anyone because it made the good-byes easier. I thought, "what a sad way to live." And so, every year I put my heart out there, knowing that my time with the people I meet over here will be short but sweet. It isn't easy, saying so many "see you laters." In fact, it hurts. But I wouldn't trade the friendships I have made over the years for anything. I often wonder if people truly know just how much they mean to us. If they will ever know just how much we appreciate their support being so far away from family and friends back at home. If they know how much I would love to build an idyllic little city and make them all my neighbors.

So, dear friends around the world that may be reading this... thank you. Thank you for being part of our lives, for loving us and accepting us. Thank you for welcoming us into your homes, for supporting us in hard times and celebrating with us in the good times. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for laughing with us. Thank you for each and every memory that was made because of you. We treasure you more than words will ever be able to express.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A near perfect morning.

If there was actually such a thing as a "perfect" morning, we had one the other day. The sun was shining and so we headed down to the beach to just "be." No agenda, just stale bread to feed the birds, mommy (plus itty bitty baby), daddy, and son.

Kaleb loved feeding the "birdies." He chased them around, giggling and doing this funny little solider kick with his right leg. I was just waiting for one of them to relieve themselves on our heads... thankfully, they were kind to us.

Get those birds, buddy.

We walked along and collected shells to take home as a little souvenir to put in Kaleb's room. Every time I look at them, I will remember this morning outing as a family, full of smiles and giggles.

Collecting shells.

Lots of little ones to choose from.

We were there early enough to watch the fishing boats come back to land with their morning catches. They literally pull the boat onto shore and then take the fish up to a little strip of shops where they sell fresh fish from the sea.

Watching the fishermen come back from sea with their morning catch.

We then found a little cafe with seating outside by the beach where we ordered some fresh squeezed orange juice, tea, and a polish version of cheesecake. Kaleb was loving life playing on the pony merry-go-round, and almost threw a fit upon leaving until we found a motorcycle to distract him with. Upon returning to our apartment my heart was so full of joy and happiness.

The next morning we woke up and I found myself even more thankful that we had taken advantage of the sun as we sat indoors watching a springlike version of a blizzard whirl around in the courtyard outside.

Lovely spring weather.

Was my first instinct to complain? Absolutely. And then I decided I had two options: complain or embrace. So, Kaleb and I lit candles, made coffee, snuggled up and spent an extra long amount of time in a warm bath. It kind of felt like Christmas.... in April.