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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Date Nights and Christmas Markets

Tiffany watched the girls for us so we could go out on a real date last night.  It's been awhile... we're pretty bad at that whole "regular date night" thing.  Part of what's so hard is being intentional about a regular babysitter... especially since I have to regularly ask my friends to watch the girls for other things.  It starts to feel like you're asking a lot, you know?  And date night gets pushed to the back burner.

Problem solved: babysitting date night swap with the Oglevee's.  Boom.  We talked it over with them and each of us will take a turn watching the three kids once a month so the other couple can go out.  They agreed that it's perfect to have the extra accountability of another couple asking "so when are you guys going out this month?".  Let the regular kid-free outings begin!

(Side note: we actually get to go on two dates this very week because Amber's watching the girls so we can attend the Squadron's holiday party without them!  We were originally going to take them because there's childcare offered at the party.  But since she offered it's way better cause they can go to sleep at the normal time and everything.  And I can enjoy the party without worrying if they're getting tired/cranky/etc.  Merry Christmas to us - YAY!)

Now on to the business of discussing the Kaiserslautern Christmas Market.  

Sorry, this post is sadly unillustrated.  It was rainy and cold and we didn't bring the Nikon.  And I forgot about the camera phone in my pocket until we were driving home.  Silly Jessica. 

But it really is nice sometimes to go camera-free.  I have a tendency to feel pressure with the camera in my hands "I have to capture this moment for the girls to treasure forever" or "I need to document this whole process for a blog post" or "Mom would love to see this event play-by-play"... so you can see why sometimes it's nice to just put my hands in my pocket and walk around downtown with my Love.

It's a strangely satisfying feeling to know that the experience of our first German Christmas Market is one that we have to remember all on our own, with no help from pictures.  And that the things we saw and the things we did are just ours to share in our memory of the night.  That we just walked around and enjoyed ourselves instead of me stopping every few feet to take a picture of something.  And instead of taking pictures of the food we just ate it.  Nice, huh?  (A quick google image search will give you the general idea, but the K-town one was much smaller and more quaint.)

We also bumped into a couple we know from the squadron, the Blacks.  They seem really cool and we've only seen them at squadron events so it was neat because (since both of us were out without kids!) we just got to grab some hot chocolate and talk to them for awhile.  I was especially excited to learn that they are extending their tour here in Germany so they'll be here the entire time we are... which means I'm totally going to snag her as a friend ;o)  It was great to get to know them better and we had a blast just laughing and swapping stories! 

It was a lovely date night.  So refreshing!

Don't worry, I'll be seeing more Christmas Markets in our years here and I will photo document for blog purposes at a later time :o)  For now let me practice using my words instead of pictures to illustrate the Christmas Market for you. 


1.  Glühwein.  (Pronounced gloo-vine)  It's a traditional holiday drink of warm, spiced red wine.  And it's gross.  There, I said it.  That is one German tradition that Jesse and I just aren't going to be able to enjoy ;o)  But we decided to keep our mugs because they have the date on them!  (You can choose to return them and get your deposit back, or you can keep them as a souvenir.)

2.  Festival food.  The Germans are great at yummy on-the-go goodness.  We ate bratwurst on delicious crunchy rolls (called brötchen) and had chocolate covered strawberries and bananas.  Oh and I had a baguette covered in warm garlic herb butter topped with big chunks of tomato and fresh mozzarella.  Yum! 

3.  Ambiance.  Twinkly lights, Christmas music (mostly popular American tunes by the way!), laughter, the smell of good food, warm fires with benches around them... all of this set up in wooden stalls underneath and around the main church in the city square... which frequently let it's bells ring while we were there.  Such a romantic, Christmas-y feeling!

4.  Lebkuchen.  German gingerbread... unfortunately another tradition that I don't think tastes that great.  I'm usually all for gingerbread but this had a weird chewy-almost-stale texture and it has an anise taste (which is great if you like licorice and terrible if you don't, like me!).  But I'm glad I bought one to try. 

5.  Goodies to buy.  Many of the stalls sell hand-crafted toys, trinkets, ornaments, and jewelry.  There were also lots of hats, scarves, mittens, blankets, etc.  We didn't really buy much besides food at this market, but we took our time admiring the fun variety of goods.  Before I leave Germany I am going to buy an amazing ornament to commemorate our time here, a German nativity set, and a star for our tree... cause our piddly little Walmart one from our first year of marriage is needing to be retired ;o) 

There's a little Christmas Market right here in Otterberg but it's only open on Saturdays... and all of our Saturdays for the month are booked except for Christmas Eve.  But it's on my "Christmas Season 2011 Bucket List" to make it over there!  For now, I'm off to get cracking on a fun but busy day of tidying up the house, baking bread for dinner at a friend's tonight, delivering cookies to neighbors, and hanging out with my loves!


  1. yoohoo for date night -
    what a great memory for you two to share.

  2. I just love how the 'German word of the day' (on your sidebar) is "schmollen" it means "to pout" - nope, I can't use it in a sentence, but I do intend to DO it since you didn't take a camera to the Christmas market! Just joking! but glad you got a night out on the town (literally) to have a good, relaxing time!

  3. Your lack of camera reminded me of this song "3x5" by John Mayer: http://youtu.be/4pDiBno4ZfQ (I hope that created the link.) "Didn't have a camera by my side this time. Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes...today I finally overcame tryin' to put the world inside a picture frame..." I know, not exactly the sentiments of a budding photographer but still, it doesn't hurt once in a while. ;) It just means you get to write 1,000 words for every picture you would have posted! Love you!! - Cassie

  4. Haha thanks Cass! But yeah, 1,000 words in place of all my pictures? That's a lot of writing!