Hard work and sometimes hardly working :-)

A mom’s life is hard work most of the time. And being a mom of three is triple the workload and the joy as well. Over the last 13 years of being a mom but especially in the last 2 or 3 years I’ve learned to work hard in the crunch times and grind it out. But I’ve also learned to enjoy the precious moments when my presence is not demanded – that’s mostly in the mornings when the kids are in school. I make it a point to work out 2 or 3 times a week before I do anything else. I also make my chores more fun by incorporating some quality time with a girlfriend or my husband when he’s in town. We grab coffee at the farmers market. Our bi-weekly market around the corner from where we live is so beautiful. Mondays and especially Thursdays are great. The fresh produce and the flowers – oh those flowers – are so pretty. It’s remarkable how differently you can drink your coffee these days. One serves it from a Renault L’Estafette.  Our friend Philine.

Then there’s Loppokaffeeexpress – coffee served from a bike trailer. My recent favorite though is this little red trailer ‘Das Törtchen Mobil – which is so darned cute.

Over time the more challenging my life has become as a mom the more actively I seek moments and things that bring me joy, such as sewing or meeting up with friends – most preferably meeting up with friends & sewing together! I am grateful to my creative friends who inspire me and whom I get to inspire if only slightly. 🙂

 

 

How fun to be able to sew up some gifts. The fabric selection is the first joy, the actual sewing is the next but to be able to give these handmade one-of-a-kind pieces is the greatest joy for me. These nautical inspired pieces I made for my sister.

I sewed this strawberry skirt for my friend’s daughter Rosa. Actually, I sewed this skirt as I showed her how to make a simple skirt from less than a half yard of fabric. She in turn showed me how to edit pictures using this (new for me) app: snapseed. A win-win!

This year I felt the most needed and demanded by my children of all the years prior. Isaiah is quite settled now into life at his middle/high school. It was a rough road of not caring much about homework or studying and spending more time on his mobile device than I can appreciate …

This boy won all three possible awards with his team this season. They won their league, as well as the district championships and to top it off they because the state champions as well. Needless to say it was hard work for players and parents… Glad to have this season done with and a little breather from soccer … Congratulations and well done for the U13 boys of Holstein Kiel! Love y’all!

  

Isaiah’s off-season training:-)

For Seda it was quite an important year as well – her final year at elementary school… She has toured several school and has chosen the one that her big brother is at (thank God!) and now is finishing this year with honors. She’s also picked up her  tennis game and improved on her guitar playing as well. She finished a whole semester of enrichment classes in photography. I am really proud of her and hope that this fall she can start an even better time in her life at the big-kid school.

Seda presented her photography at the special exhibition at her soon-to-be middle and high school. It was a very special day for her for sure.

Last but not least she performed a one of the 2 narrators of a musical piece called: When the crows were black! Well done Seda! We are so proud of you.

Stella has made quite huge leaps as well. She’s finally accepted that her pre-school is a good place for her to got ‘every single day’! She made friends, her German is better now than her English (sorry Butch!)… She’s doing her second swim classes already and even started playing tennis like the big kids

All this and the usual load of paperwork that goes with all these activities and the standard housework plus my involvement in all the PTA activities at Isaiah’s school keep my plate pretty full.

So full for that matter that I actively seek time off! Time for myself. I love my running and workout schedule that I maintain despite the pains and aches and cold etc. I run first – then tackle my day. It really feels good this way. My goal is to continue this which has already become my habit. I got quite the fall ahead of me with some major activities at school so I am especially mindful of rest now and regularly until then. I have to note as well that my sister’s short, spontaneous visit from Turkey has really sparked a whole new love for her and my family in general that I had put on the back burner. I am very grateful for that.

 

My children feel like they just hit the jackpot with an aunt they didn’t even really know that they had. So cool. I love my family. I am grateful for every single one of their memories I cherish.

And now, a few more things left on my calendar before we get to dive into summer break! No plans so far other than enjoying every moment as it comes. For that I am grateful.

Happy summer everyone!

Yasemin

Work, work, work, work, work

IMG_5660

This year I got a taste of what it feels like to be a working mom. All these years of dedicating my time to being at home with the kids where the best years of my life – no question about it. It wasn’t always a walk in the park as you can imagine. I kept myself busy trying to be as curious about the kid’s environment, their social life, their preschool as well as their school lives which left very little time to myself. In the thick of it I would daydream being trapped in a room full of beautiful fabric and a well-oiled sewing machine for a day … ahhhh, the possibilities and the creative space… Little did I know that the future held a whole nother layer of business – busyness for me in store.

IMG_6953 (1)

The last two years since our move to Germany getting acquainted with our new town, the new home, the new school(s) and the new friends & neighbors took up all our time.

P1040708P1040899

Now, two years into living here we have a child in Middle School, one in Elementary and now the baby in preschool … On top of that I took on a job! A real paying job at a real workplace, with real colleagues, coffee machines and cooler talks … My life is a whole nother kind of busy right now.

IMG_7070

My days now have 25 hours, sleep is a sweet memory and the phone doesn’t have an off-button…

If I ever felt the need to thank my mom it is this moment that puts it all into perspective for me … her sacrifice, her dedication and her very alert mind. No wonder she never had a hobby when we were growing up. How could she? She raised four of us mostly by herself – always rushing from work to the market then home to drop of the goods and back out to some school related appointment. Thanks MOM! Really, I mean it. Thanks for putting yourself second.

P1040645

Now, a couple of months into this new reality I am still trying to make it all fit into 24 hours and at the same time take a moment to appreciate it all as well. I love that I was giving the opportunity to live to see my kids prosper. Isaiah is incredibly responsible and helpful with his youngest sister and is becoming a young adult right in front of our eyes…

IMG_5902 P1040838

and Seda is a social butterfly with no time to complain.

IMG_7087

IMG_7207

IMG_5901

IMG_5769 (1)

P1040682

Stella has made the biggest leap this spring. She actually goes to preschool now and loves it! That might not sound like a big deal to you but when we gave preschool a try last fall after her third birthday I was convinced that this kid had to be home schooled – which is not possible in Germany, by the way. I was certain that she would NEVER be able to separate from me. Then we took a break, then I did more research and more inquiring with other moms and then we waited. Waited for the time to be just right. Now, at a different preschool, within a week this little 3.5-year-old has been on three field trips including one with a ferry and have grown to LOVE preschool and all her new friends ages 2.5 thru 5.

IMG_6879IMG_6418 (1)IMG_7298

stellaRocks

stellaTeaTime

What a difference a few months make – for ALL of us. But to see it through a preschooler’s eyes really makes it precious and joyful. Everything is so temporary. Everything is so fragile. What a gift it is to wake up every day to see one’s children grow.

IMG_6954

IMG_5771

On our two-year-anniversary I can only take this moment to thank the universe for this growth – for this life!

P1040911

Love,

Yasemin

Christmas in Germany

image

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! AND this time we are in Germany!! I feel extra fortunate. Aaaand… Daddy has been home since Thanksgiving!

image

Oh, how I love this time of year. All of the anticipation, the preparation, the holiday shopping, the get-togethers make me feel like a kid. Talking about:kids, they especially enjoy counting down to Dec 25 with the help of their advent calendars. This year both big kids got creative and helped make 24 little fabric bags.

imageimageimageimage

First they drew holiday inspired motives onto fabric, then they cut them out and sewed them together into cute little pouches which I filled with 24 little surprises. Every year I try not to go overboard with candy. This year I DID opt for candy in half of the bags though simply because it’s our first holiday in Germany and so much of the candy here reminds me of my own childhood… 🙂 I couldn’t help myself. But the other half of the bags had toys in them. I have to say the kids enjoyed each little surprise. A few mornings they fought over who gets to open the bag… Overall though a big success.

IMG_8456

The wait until Santa’s arrival seemed especially short this year with all the hoopla around town, around school etc. the Weihnachtsmarkt that started right after Thanksgiving, the skating ring that opens downtown at the same time, the events at school, Seda’s dance recital, the advent teas, and of course the gift shopping all made December busy, enjoyable, but really short:

imageimage

image The kid’s LOVED their gifts from Santa. They have been practicing and performing! My husband is a very good teacher in all things sports and music. That freed up some time for me to do my own creative juices and sew, craft, glue, read… 🙂 Couldn’t have asked for a better gift.

image

image

image

I am eternally grateful how 2014 ended up for us. Started out in a small town in Texas and now we are here!! So so grateful. So so blessed.

May 2015 be filled with joy, love and good health for you and yours!

image

Love,

Yasemin

 

Back to school and a very special visit

imageimage

The last couple of months have flown by. We enjoyed every little sunray we could get and have spent more time out than in… No time to sit and reflect on all that was going on. After all, moving into our new home and settling in right before the two big kids had to go back to school. With only six weeks of summer break in Germany there is no day wasted!!! In a blink of an eye it was seaside to school bench! Isaiah started fourth grade this year! His last year in Elementary School! Wow! Where did time go?

image

Seda got to enjoy two more days at home as first grade means the first day of school for all six-year olds in Germany. Germany doesn’t have a Kindergarten year which makes first grade a big deal. Einschulung, as the first day of first grade is called is celebrated with a service at a near to school church and a little program at the school’s gym in the morning. Kids get these huge cones – called Schultuete – filled with candy, toys, art & craft supplies and whatever else parents decide to put in. There she is my big school kid (in her Anna Maria Horner paper fan dress) proudly holding her Schultuete!

image

By the way, school days are really short here in Germany. First graders are at school from 7:45 am – 11:25 am. There is after-school care however for those with working parents. Since class starts rather early in the morning the kids eat breakfast in their classroom together after the first period. Afterwards there is recess after each additional period! That’s lots of outdoor time every single day!

Fourth graders stay at school an hour longer. I like having the kids home for lunch every day. With only 15 minutes of daily homework the kids get lots of time to play outside and do sports in the afternoon, too. Or like in our case wave good bye to the Color Line cruise ship at two pm! 🙂

imageimage

Being able to spend time by the sea every day is one of the many improvements to our life quality since moving here… We have been very fortunate with the weather this summer too! With only a short dip in temps in August, the mild, long summer days have spoiled us with ample sunshine And clean fresh air. It served as the perfect setting to welcome a very special visitor at the end of August! ButchMo! Finally after a very very long time of separation our family was complete again!

image

Welcome daddy! Kiel showed off her most beautiful side :

image

We had a month to enjoy as many of our favorite places and take as many pictures as possible. Selfie here and here…

imageimage

And even an opportunity for an annual family portrait in the studio here:

image

The above shot is sure to get a very special place on one our new bare walls. The Mosbys 2014, in Kiel. A new chapter! Grateful for this special moment in our lives.

More studio shots:

image

And super adorable individual shots of this big girl:

image

Grateful we are also to be able to celebrate not one, not two, but three birthdays this month. Starting off the birthday month: Happy 7th birthday Seda!

imageimageimageimage 

She got a weekend with a huge party and all our family members present! Something we’ve never had before! And how about that gorgeous little sewing machine she got from her god mother? Perfect for my little crafty lady!

A week later it was Stella’s turn! Happy second birthday baby Stella!

image

We decided to hop on the train and spend the day on the other coast in Sylt! It was the first time for the kids and Butch in the North Sea.  More family pics at the beach.

imageimage

What a beautiful sunny day at probably the best beach in Germany!

imageimage

image

Last but not least it was our first born’s turn to be spoiled on his double-digit birthday!

 image

 Happy 10th birthday Isaiah the playa! We ditched the train for his special day and got in the car to fulfill one of his birthday wishes: driving on the Autobahn! (He is such a boy!) Our ride took us from beach, this time in beautiful places like Kalifornia and Brasil! Just a short car ride from Kiel! Who says you have to get on the plane to get some vacation feeling!

imageimage

image

Isaiah also wanted to visit this place by the North-Ostsee Kanal. One of the world’s busiest water ways where ships are announced via loud speaker and greeted with their national anthem. What a beautiful welcome. And again all boy standing by the shore expecting every little detail of this process. This was indeed a special treat for all of us.

image

Hopefully you didn’t get sea sick from this water logged post about cruise ships, container ships, canals and seas… 🙂 I sure appreciate you stopping by and hope to share more of my sewing in between school, birthdays and travel.

Happy fall friends!

image

Love,

Yasemin

We LOVE to travel, summer 2014

imageAt the Brandenburger Tor with family. Summer 2014

We got to live our dream of travelling this summer. In the short six weeks of summer break here in Germany we explored near and far. We travelled an hour south to Hamburg:

imageimage

imageimage

After some sight seeing in the heart of the city we spend the afternoon at a playground  in front of the Queen Mary 2. A cup of strong Assam tea at Mesmer Tea house rounded out our day trip to gorgeous Hamburg.

imageimage

Above: My girls in YaseminTea skirt & dress en route to the big City.

imageimage

In between our busy travels some home decorating was in place too. As decorators measured and installed curtain hardware my sweet Hala and I sewed away covering the bare windows of our living room.

imageimage

Love the warmth that fabric brings into a room.

imageimage

Warm it was a few days in mid August too when the best place in town was the Seebar where we cought craps, rented paddle boards and people watched while enjoying our ice cream.

imageimage

Below: on a much cooler end of August day we had friends visiting from out of town.

imageimage

And last but not least we squeezed in a final little day trip to a town just 30 short minutes by train: Eckernfoerde! We even got to play on the beach, did some shopping and enjoyed this quaint nautical town just north of us.

image image image image image image

image image

I know this summer was one we will remember for many years to come. It was the start to our new life in Germany. We really made the most of it. We got to explore our neighborhood, we rested, we explored, we shopped and made our apartment feel like home. It’s so easy to love this place. It’s easy with all the lakes, canals and the seas surrounding us. I for one know for sure: #ilovethesea!

Thank you Kiel for such a sweet & warm welcome! I think we are going to stay awhile. 🙂

Love,

Yasemin