My family is my engine. I am motivated by being the mom to my three children and wife to the one and only man – ButchMo. They are what gets me out of bed in the morning – no matter how early! They are the reason why I buy the organic food and prepare three meals a day – every – single – day!! My family is the reason I skip watching TV and instead lace up my running shoes to clock in 10,000 plus steps day by day. They are very demanding. They ask a lot of me. They are high maintenance and seem ungrateful at times but they are my greatest investment and purest joy and like I said – my engine! They keep me going past my bedtime. I stay up to prepare the next day, the next trip, the next sports tournament, the next school assignment, the next play date … I love serving them. I admit. I do. It’s hard work. It’s a lot of sweat and sometimes even tears but no matter how great my part of the job is the sacrifice my husband makes every day to allow me to serve this family in the most dedicated way possible is greater than any sacrifice I have known or I could make. He travels back and forth from the US at least six times a year, enduring long stretches of time living out of a suitcase, trading home-cooked meals for take-out and fast food, spending more time at airports then the average flight attendant. Giving up this healthy life style for a sedentary office chair all so that we can live where we love to live: here in Kiel, Germany. Here in Kiel where the air is crisp – even in summer believe it or not. In Kiel where the woods are next to the fjord, next to the board walk, next to the shopping street, along the parks. Where it is easy to get around by foot, on bikes, a scooter or by public transportation. Where you can reach the world by cruise ship, train, by taking a plane out of Hamburg. It’s all here minus the pollution and the crowds and the huge rents that similar family-friendly places in the world would cost. It’s a gift to have the kids pre-, elementary and high schools are all in walking distance. Gives them so much independence and a car-free life style. Even our university is a hop from where we live. I know that this lifestyle is a gift. We chose this life. But it comes at a really high price tag for Butch – especially for him. He makes a disproportionately high amount of sacrifice for us. For that sacrifice and for your unconditional love for me and the kids I am immeasurably grateful to you.

Love you,


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