Category Archives: Blog Highlights

Who is Gretchen Wolf

I'm sure by now, you have seen that I also dabble in writing of Novellas. I have self-published three already (linked below) and am currently working on a few. Having self-published under a pseudonym, I have on occasion been asked why. Who is Gretchen Wolf? Read on to find out...

What's in a name?

So, those who know the real me, will know I am married to a German. And as such, my last name is quite German - with funny umlaut letter included. And when I completed my first Novella, Hearts in Edinburgh, I knew that I didn't want to use my real name. For one simple reason: if I picked up an English Novel written by a man or woman with a name that sounded foreign (meaning not English), I would probably put the book back down. That is just my personal opinion. Yes, I know, many best-selling foreign language books have been translated into English. For me it was as simple as the reason I gave above. And so, it took a few days of back-and-forth between me a hubby, until I finally came up with Gretchen and he added Wolf.

Clean Romance?

I have in the past marketed my books as Clean Romance. I know it isn't a thing and it probably won't catch anytime soon. However, I have seen and read books that are marketed as Romance, yet have a lot of 'bite' to it (I am using this phrase because my friend Sandy loves a good bite in her books 🙂 ) Now, while I am all for hot and heavy, I can't write those kinds of scenes, nor can I put my characters in those situations without cringing. Yes, you may call me a prude 🙂 haha.

How did it all start:

About 2 years ago, the Kindergarten Miss E was attending, was having some staffing issues. It had been a very bad winter and many of the teachers were sick. Every other day a teacher was either off sick, or simply not returning after a lengthy illness, which left the kids being moved around from one group to the other. The Principle had then asked if there were any parents willing and able to keep their children home, to lighten their load at school. Just until they could sort out their staffing issue. And so, since I was a Homemaker, I decided to keep Miss E home. And that was when I found I had a story to tell. A love story. Over one single weekend, writing through the night Friday to Saturday, my first draft of Hearts in Edinburgh was finished. I put it away for a few days, never intending on going public with my words.

Self Publishing:

It was only after speaking with hubby, and his encouragement that I decided to put my little Novella out into the world. And so, on March 13th 2018 I published my first book over on Amazon Kindle. It was the start of something very special. It opened up a brand new world of Indie Authors to me that I never really knew existed. The journey lead to two more Novellas which I also published over on Amazon. RSVP Plus One and Richard 2.0 - both very dear to my heart.

It's been two years...

The last two years have been somewhat of a whirlwind for me and even though I've been working on a few stories, my heart is not really in any of them. And I don't want to publish anything, until my heart gives full consent. We have also just passed the six month anniversary of our International Move (more here), and I find myself a little more settled in our new home. So maybe, one of these days I will pick up my laptop and start writing again.

Have you guys purchased your copy of any of my three Novellas? Hearts in Edinburgh is my favourite and I really recommend you start with that one. Summer Holidays is coming and let's be honest, not all of us are going to be traveling. RSVP Plus One can be read in one sitting. And if you do happen to have an extra minute for a coffee, grab Richard 2.0 - you won't regret it 🙂

How did I do with my self-promotion? 🙂

Take care, Lovelies,

Why we moved

When we first started telling people that we were embarking on an International Move, some asked why. It wasn't as simple as "it's a great opportunity". A lot of thought and prayers went into this decision and I am now going to tell you exactly "why we moved"...


This is 'home'

My husband and I met in Dubai. We were expats and we enjoyed the lifestyle. However, after five years, we wanted a change. It wasn't a difficult 'yes' when we were offered a move to Europe. It was a fantastic opportunity for hubby as it would really boost his career. And for me: I was going to learn a new language. When we moved to Germany, I knew it wasn't a forever deal - I did not plan to retire there. And then we had a baby. Our family was now complete. Did we really want to start over somewhere else with a child? Why not?


Miss E has always loved the ocean and being near the water. Our trips up north Germany was always a highlight for her.

Our List:

We had been living in Germany for 5 years, Miss E was 4 years old. My feet had started itching - they wanted to move. Hubby and I started thinking and talking about our options - which were quite limited. I have no higher education and hubby is in a sort of 'specialised' field. Our list of 'must-haves' was very short: warmer climate or at least four equal seasons per year; access to beach. Yep, that was about it. Both hubby and I grew up with easy access to the ocean or beach and it was one of the biggest things missing in our lives. And Miss E felt the same way.


We love the ocean, clearly. Even when it was a bit chilly, we would bundle ourselves up and head out for some ocean air.


It wasn't just the beach though, we craved Vitamin D

Happy Family:

There were many days I would wake up in Germany and think of beautiful sunrises and amazing sunsets. And I was always disappointed when I looked out of my kitchen window to grey skies. Miss E often talked about how she wished she didn't have to wear gloves and scarves and the thick jackets during the long winters. She has always been a very bubbly, active child, but in the summer months, she bloomed - just like here mama. But unlike her mama, she kept her bubbly personality throughout the year. I couldn't. Winters were very depressing for me. I would go days without wanting to leave the apartment. It was only because I had to take Miss E to Kindergarten and collect her, that I would force myself to soldier on.


Summers were rather short, and so on the days we did venture out when the sun shone, we still needed sweaters

Our Decision:

It wasn't very difficult to decide to accept the offer to move to the Island of New Providence. Honestly, The Bahamas was never on our list of countries to move to, but we jumped at the chance to be near the ocean and wake up to bright skies all year around.


Sun and surf

So you see, our reason for moving was quite simple: sun and surf.


Miss E has enjoyed wearing her sleeveless dresses


We have not worn jeans in months...we don't own jeans 🙂

Have you ever moved to a different country? What was your reason? Do you think it is easier moving with smaller children or teenagers?


Smiles all around

Till next time, Lovelies

Corona Bake Off – Round 2

To crepe or not to crepe! If you love Crepes and you love Cake, then you'll definitely LOVE the Crepe Cake. For Round 2 of our Corona Bake Off, the winner of Round 1 (read here for more), Sara decided we would take on the beauty that is the Crepe Cake.

What I love about this cake is that the options are endless. I mean you could literally make any flavour you want. And you could use any flavour combo, and it will probably work as well. I could NOT decide on my Crepe Cake. I wanted to keep it classy-looking, but also put in a punch of flavour.

The Chocolate & Strawberries Crepe Cake:


That Chocolate Mirror Glaze is so perfect

Sara decided on bringing together a combination that has worked for decades: Chocolate and Strawberries. She made Strawberry and Vanilla Crepes, sandwiched together with gorgeous Vanilla Mascarpone Cream. The entire cake was covered in a beautiful Chocolate Mirror Glaze. I mean, just look at this beauty! There was definitely no doubt she would win Round 2.


Nicely defined layers - well done, Sara!

And me?


I struggled with my drip on this cake and totally regretted it after the first drip - but because of the 'naked' sides, I couldn't take it off and had to just continue...

I eventually, after much deliberation (in my head), I settled on a Tiramisu Crepe Cake: Amaretto Crepes, sandwiched together with a creamy Amaretto Cream Filling. I kept mine a 'naked cake' and dusted the top cream layer with cocoa. In all honesty, I could have done better on my presentation and photography. My flavours were definitely there and those who were lucky enough to get a piece, all said they loved it. But at the end of the day, our voters are voting purely on looks, presentation and the description of the cakes.


I was happy that my layers set up well

The Winner:

In the end, the clear winner was Sara. That mirror glaze was so beautiful. My Amaretto was just not hitting the right spots with many people. And a few mentioned my presentation. Something I will definitely work on.


It was a no-brainer on this round that Sara would win.

Sara chose for Round 3 another classic: The Opera Cake. Head on over here for more...

Which one would you have chosen? Both our Socials are on lockdown, unfortunately as we make use of our personal profiles for the Challenge. But I'm curious what the readers of my blog would have voted for.

Till next Round, Lovelies.

Corona Bake Off – Round 1

Over the last few weeks, my friend Sara and I have been doing a weekly Bake-Off Challenge over on our Socials. I came up with the idea when I started feeling a bit bored in my kitchen during our lockdown and I wanted to mix up my baking a bit - and at the same time learn some new skills and hone my old ones.


I baked my Classic Carrot Cake, and used Pecans instead of Walnuts

What we decided was, we would bake on Wednesdays, upload our pictures labelled A and B on Thursdays and open voting to all our friends and followers for three days. On Saturdays at 8pm EST, we close voting and tally up the numbers. The winner is announced that night and on Sunday mornings, the winner decides what we create or bake the following week.


The sides of this cake made by Sara looks so delicious!!! I ate nuts for hours after seeing her pictures

Our first week was so exciting. Sara won by a landslide and I totally agree with those who voted for her: her cake looked amazing! We had to bake and put our own spin on a classic: The Carrot Cake.

I used my classic recipe, one I have been baking for years. I changed one thing: I added Pecans instead of Walnuts.


As always, my carrot cake was super moist and yummy!

Of course it was difficult for our voters, because they were voting purely based on looks and presentation. Maybe one day, we can perform a proper bake-off, with an audience and judges who get to taste our bakes too. What do you say, Sara? Would you be up for it?


Look at those layers - no wonder Sara won this round

Check out Round 2 here - Sara chose a Crepe Cake

Have you guys ever watched The Great British Bake-off? What do you think of shows like these? Have you been baking interesting things during the Corona Lockdown? Tell me in the comment section below, I'd love to hear.

Till next time, Lovelies, keep baking!

Our International Move – Part 3

We have landed!!!! This post follows on from our International Move - Part 2. Now that we have landed, here's how Part 3 went...

After 30 hours, which included an overnight layover in Toronto Airport as well as Bahamas Immigration and Customs, we found ourselves walking out into 28 degrees C sunshine and blue skies. Hubby had welcomed us to the island with Mickey Mouse and a very large car for all our luggage and Miss E's carseat. As we made our way to Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, our driver took us on the scenic route and became our tour guide. We got our first glimpse of the beach and Miss E squealed in delight. We were finally in Paradise.

Goodbye Germany, now for the first leg of our journey

My dear friend, Danni was monitoring our flight and sent me this when we ha landed

"Hello Toronto, Canada"

Not that we saw much since we arrived late that evening

"We're coming, Papa!" Our second and last flight to New Providence, Bahamas

Acute Exhaustion

Three days into our stay I woke up with chills and in pain. My body was fighting something. I tried to stay optimistic that it was just adjusting to the climate, weather and maybe also jet lag? But by Day 5, both Miss and I had to urgently go to the doctor. She was diagnosed with a bad case of the flu and I was not only suffering from a cold, but also acute exhaustion - yep, that is a medical diagnoses. The medication we were prescribed would only start working in 24 hours, so we were literally out for the count. We had this beautiful resort to explore and enjoy, but we were stuck in the hotel room, cuddled together under warm blankets, both sleeping for hours at a time. At night I was shivering one minute and then a fever the next. I have never ever in my life felt like this before.

Somehow, Tinsel found his way to Nassau as well and welcomed us with snacks

She was born for this...The pure joy she exudes when she sees the beach - it overwhelms me sometimes

Thankfully our medication kicked in and we both felt well enough to go out and walk on the beach. It did us good. We also managed to go with hubby to look at a few homes - we couldn't stay in the hotel forever.

On Christmas Eve we checked out one of the Resort Restaurants and when we back to our suite, Santa had already arrived. We made it special for Miss E and she enjoyed. She was a bit sad that she would have to say yet another 'goodbye', this time to Tinsel who would head back to the North Pole for hibernation. He promised to be back.

Miss E met Santa and Mrs Claus

On Christmas Eve, she wished her friends and family a "Very Merry Christmas"

Christmas Eve Dinner

Santa made a stop in our Suite


New Year's Eve saw us eating Pizza in our suite. Hubby had to go back to work and Miss E and I went to bed. He came back at 23h45, woke us up for the New Year's fireworks. I decided to skip it as I was exhausted, but Miss E was excited. So off they went and rang in 2020 with many of the hotel guests. I slept through it all.

It was raining on New Year's Eve and Miss E was a bit sad

About an hour later, we were blessed with this beautiful rainbow...I took it as a sign that things were going to get better

New Year's Breakfast with this Munchkin

Praise!!! She is like a fish in water 🙂

On January 4th, we moved into our new home. A fully-furnished (down to the teaspoons) three bedroom home in a lovely family-friendly neighbourhood. Miss E grabbed her scooter immediately and went out onto the street. Weeks went by, where I was struggling to get any maintenance work done - no one sticks to appointments. I was not yet mobile, so couldn't go to the stores for supplies etc. I was also trying to make sure Miss E was settling in. We also wanted to get her into some sort of Kindergarten, like back home. But that is also very different here...And did I mention: we also found ourselves dealing with head lice. Yep, you read that right: head lice!!!!

Our first home-cooked meal in our new home

She is loving the her Mama, she blossoms in the sun

Our only turned 5 this year

This is why we moved here...


After much research, it became very clear that we would be enrolling Miss E into an International School. That being said, our options were limited and also quite different in terms of curriculum. We decided that the British Curriculum best suited our needs and after some conversations with other parents, we knew that was the right decision. We visited the school and met a few of the teachers. The Director took us around and Miss E could even sit in on a lesson while mum and dad walked around a bit. It felt like the right fit. And Miss E started on February 3rd.

First day of school...we had not gotten her uniform as yet. She was so excited and nervous at the same time

This was an emotional day for me and her teacher was kind enough to update me throughout the day

Settling in

Settling in, finding our rhythm - it was not all a walk in the park. I had to learn to drive on the left-side of the road; find my way around shopping; get a uniform for Miss E; sort out our home; and all the while also trying to get connected with other mums. It was exhausting and there were days when I couldn't function without several cups of coffee - which is saying a lot, because I generally don't drink more than three cups per week. Miss E was also not settling in at school - which was not a surprise. For about five weeks, I would drop her off and she would cry and not want to stay without me. It was heart-wrenching, having to leave her there and walk away. Several times I would sit in my car in the parking lot of the school, crying.

She has found a new hobby with her Dad

Did I mention we got a horse 🙂

Book Week at school. I didn't have a sewing machine at the time, otherwise she would have gone as a Sneetch

Finally she is old enough to start another hobby


And then, just as both Miss E and I were finding our feet and rhythm, just when we were both setting in, the first confirmed case of Covid19 was announced on the island of New Providence. Friday the 13th March was the last day Miss E went to school - the last day I would pick her up from school, the last day she would see her teacher, whom she had come to love. It was the game-changer. We had finally started to feel like this is home. We could see ourselves settle here...and then we were told to stay home. And we did.

Shortly before the lockdown, I met a friend here for a coffee after dropping our kids off at school. We had such a wonderful time together, we ended up having lunch too

In conclusion...

Our move was not easy, no. It had ups and downs and we went sideways and under and zigzag. We got through illnesses and exhaustion and emotional distress; we climbed up high and fell down low; we hit peaks and found ourselves treading water. However, after six months here - three of those in Lockdown - we really do see our little family settling here. Of course no one knows the future, but we certainly feel like we could have a good life here. It ticks most of our boxes in terms of climate, people, access to travel. We do think of the Caribbean in terms of 'home' and we certainly feel extremely blessed to have this opportunity. Given the option, we would definitely not change anything. This is where we are and this is where we intend to remain.

Miss E is happy...even through everything we have put her through since September 2019, and with a new school and making new friends and then a Pandemic...she is blossoming so well

Have you enjoyed reading about our Big Adventure? What would you like me to write about next? Let me know down in the comments and I'll see if I can oblige.

Till next time, Dearies. Stay safe and stay awesome!

Around the World – Germany

At the time of my blog launch, this post was already a few weeks old, but I wanted to post it anyway as it still forms part of my Around the World through Food series. Enjoy!

This past weekend, we celebrated our heritage through food. I was born in South Africa and if you'd like to read about what I cooked and prepared from my birthplace, click here. Now, for those of you who do not know, my husband is German and I lived in Germany for six years. As part of our Around the World through Food series, hubby was in charge of preparing some German dishes...


This was quite funny - we hadn't actually spoken with each other about what we had planned for our respective menus, so he didn't know my South African breakfast was a sort of Crepe / Pancake. So his breakfast was a German Pfannkuchen. And it was delicious!


This was delicious!!!

On my very first visit to Germany 11 years ago, hubby took me into the 'Innenstadt" of the town where his parents live. And he bought me a Currywurst. It was so yummy. And I would request to eat it every time we visited Germany. When we moved there in 2013, I would often eat this at Kirmes (carnival) and at Christmas Markets. So I was very excited when hubby served this for lunch. The sauce he made was amazing!!!

This is how Miss E wanted hers


Now this might not be a very German Dish, but it is something that reminded hubby of his childhood. He served up a delicious Pork Fillet and Vegetable Bake (Auflauf). I love a good vegetable bake as much as the next person, but that pork fillet was soooo good - super tender and melt-in-your-mouth perfection. My tummy could not have been happier!

Pork Fillet and Veg Bake with a glass of White Wine. Perfect Combination

Did any of his choices surprise you? Were you expecting a Crispy Pork Knuckle and roasted potatoes? Or perhaps a bowl of 'Grünkohl' with meat? When you think of Germany, what food first comes to mind?

I know my hubby would be interested to hear your answers. So comment below.

Till next time, Miss E gets to choose our next country...

Our International Move – Part 2

Following on from Part 1 of our International Move - which you can read over here, we continue where I left off...

So hubby boarded his flight which would take him to Nassau, Bahamas via Toronto Canada. Miss E and I were now without a car - I hate driving - and made our way back to Neuss by train. When we got home, we were both emotionally drained and physically tired. I ordered some pizza for dinner and we fell asleep in each other's arms.

Knocked out...Goodbyes are so exhausting

The next day we headed to hubby's family by early morning train to spend the weekend saying our farewells. Damn that was hard! I hate goodbye's in general. But knowing that you won't be seeing someone (be it family or friend) for a very long time, ya'll know how hard that is. At the time, I wondered if it had been a good idea to book this little getaway: the FEELS we both had was draining. I was not sleeping well, Miss E was missing her dad. And it was hitting me hard that I still had a million and one things to do before boarding our flight - how was I going to manage it all!!!

Quality time with one of her cousins

One last walk with her other cousin

Distractions helped...

What helped was that we still had some things to look forward to: There were several things happening at Kindergarten that Miss E was really looking forward to; I had weekday mornings to get through more packing and selling and organising; and I had some dates set up with my girl friends for some last hooras! It was good. It was certainly a very good distraction to the chaos that was my home.

At the same time, I didn't want Miss E's routine to be completely disrupted: yes, Dad wasn't home; and there were boxes all over the house; everyday she had to say goodbye to beloved toys as I either sold them or packed them up (books and plush animals mostly). We had LOADS of Mommy-and-Me time. We made the most of our afternoons and evenings together alone. I took her to the movies to watch Frozen 2. We jumped in rain puddles, went for walks in the park after Kindergarten. And we spent many evenings eating picnic-style in the living-room (it just wasn't the same eating at the dinner table without dad).

I kept this movie date as a surprise and Miss E was super excited when she knew what was going on.

Mommy gets her first Mulled Wine of the Season...helped to lift the spirits.

"Riding" a bicycle on a carousel

Exhaustion didn't stop me

Two weeks after hubby left, I had managed to pack up the last of our things we were putting into storage. I was exhausted: I had packed, unpacked, re-packed and weighed our 6 suitcases about 6 times; Miss E didn't want to talk about moving anymore and we were both just exhausted. I decided we would just take a break. My brothers-in-law arrived to collect the last of our boxes which they would put into storage for us and yet another farewell was had. Miss E and I stood waving them off and when we returned to our very empty apartment, Miss E said "and now?" and we both burst out laughing because those two words echoed through the house.

Packed, unpacked, repacked...this was not fun

On December 1st, we had a visitor: Tinsel the Elf had arrived in style - Miss E found him lying in a 'bubble bath' in the bathroom basin. It was the best distraction I could have come up with for Miss E. And he was such a great sport with popping up in crazy places all over the house.

Tinsel arrived in style

Saying a home

Finally our last day in our apartment arrived - the only home Miss E has ever known. Oma and Opa had also made the trip down to Neuss to help us get to Frankfurt for our flight. That morning I sent Miss E with her grandparents for breakfast and I got our suitcases out to the front door to be loaded into their car. I did one last sweep through the apartment, checked behind every door, even did one last emotional video of our home. Then the lady who was moving in arrived for handing over of the keys. It was a very emotional experience. Miss E had also arrived home and we said 'goodbye' to our apartment. She too, had tears in her eyes. We were closing a chapter, and I reassured her that our next chapter would be amazing.

I shed more tears than she did on her last day of Kindergarten

These kids have been a part of our lives for over 5 years. And I don't know when I will see my Godson again 🙁

Trying to get a posed photograph of this group is hysterical. I think I took about 15 photos...

Our last farewell was to our neighbours downstairs. Miss E was exhausted by then and didn't want a long drawn-out goodbye. We headed to the city afterwards and made our way to the train station for our train to Frankfurt. Once we arrived there, she was feeling loads better and even asked if Tinsel knows that we won't be in Germany anymore and if he was going to visit her in The Bahamas. We checked in our luggage and paid for the excess, then went to our hotel where we would spend the night. Oma and Opa were booked into the hotel as well. Next morning, we enjoyed breakfast together and in a very good move, the grandparents decided it would be best to bid us farewell at the hotel, rather than at the airport.

"Please, no more goodbyes, mommy" - sad to leave

But we are going to see Papa in less than 48 hours!!!

Our last night in Germany

Sometimes we just have to let it out, so that we can feel better...

En-route to the airport, there was a lot of crying on Miss E's part. And it was very difficult to console her, even with the idea of seeing her dad in 30 hours and swimming in the ocean. So I just let her cry.

This could not have been a more perfect send-off if I had planned it. Christmas "Angels" at the departure lounge at the airport

Once we were boarded and settled in our seats, I started to feel like the pressure was finally off. And that is when my body decided to relax...which allowed to for the real exhaustion to hit...check out Part 3 for the start of our new adventure.

Till next time, Dearies

Our International Move – Part 1

So, as you may have noticed, we live in The Bahamas. We recently embarked on our grand adventure and I wanted to share with you how it all went. So read on for Part 1 of Our International Move...

How it all started:

In July of 2019, my husband was given the opportunity to interview for a position in the Bahamas. We had been keen on doing an International move for a while, but our options were very limited. We also had a list of things we really wanted to have available in the next country or city (top of that list was access to a beach). Never once did Nassau, Bahamas ever come to our minds when we discussed our list. So when the opportunity presented itself, we were very excited.

At first glance, living on an island surrounded by water seemed most appealing. However, once the initial excitement wore off and more research was done (by yours truly), I started doubting whether such a move was best for our little family. There were so many things to consider: would Miss E be joining school; cost of living is very high; we would be expats.

Of course I did the only thing that one can do in such a situation - I grabbed a pen and paper and started a Pro's and Cons List. I spent three days on that list and the Pros far outweighed the Cons.

It almost didn't happen...

The Interview Process was a long one, with a few 'back-and-forths', and a period of 'no communication'. In August, we started doubting whether we were even being considered anymore - such was the silence from their end.

In September, Hubby received the good news along with the Contract. A few days later, we accepted the offer and our lives were forever changed. Lists were made; plans were put into place; the first set of important people were informed - it was the start of a thrilling rollercoaster ride.

This was on our visit to tell the family about our big plans.

Our priority was to speak to Miss E about the changes that were coming. It was important to me that she not only be included in some of the key decisions of our move, but also to keep the lines of communication open. At four and a half years old, we didn't expect pushback, but we wanted to ensure that she felt like she was included in the process and not just being told what to do and to 'deal with it'.

Then we decided to tell our families. They were happy for us, of course sad we would be leaving Germany. My family on the other hand, couldn't be too sad, because we were so far away anyway. Although now there is a 6 hour time difference, so that does make it harder to call or Skype.

When the ball got rolling, there was no stopping it

There were so many things to do that I had to start making lists. We had to give notice on our apartment; figure out the best way to sell our car; shipping our belongings; informing our Kindergarten; and all the while keeping our move off social media 🙂

Exhaustion slowly started creeping in and I was in desperate need of cuddles from Miss E

At first we wanted to ship our belongings to Nassau, but after much research and talks with a few people who already have made the move to the island, we realised that shipping would not be the best option. Not only would most of our electronics not work due to the voltage difference (it didn't make sense purchasing voltage converters), but shipping itself would be very expensive. Our only option was to store our expensive large items, sell off what we can and give away the rest. This was not going to be easy 🙂

We still did lots of fun stuff during this time of packing and planning.

In October, I had just returned from a Girls' Trip to London with my good friend, Sandy, when we got the news that my husband had to move sooner than we had initially planned. And since we had so many commitments and things to do, we couldn't leave together. our timeline got moved up by one full month, which meant we had to hustle on the packing. We rented a moving van so that we could take 80% of our belongings to a storage facility we rented for two years. Hubby drove the van up north, got everything packed into the storage container and made his way back home - all within 36 hours.

I treated Miss E to a Ceramic Painting session to distract her a bit and also to make sure we still got our time together during all the chaos happening in our home.

November 13 saw us selling our car and it was the first time since we said "yes" to this move, that it hit me that it was all real. Don't get me wrong: I knew what was happening. But with all the actual packing and telling people and getting rid of stuff, I didn't really have time for it all to set in: we were packing up our home of 6 years and leaving one continent for an island!

It didn't hit me yet that we were moving to another country...not until the day we sold our car 🙁

Two days later, I found myself sitting on the floor of Frankfurt International Airport holding and comforting my daughter - both of us crying. We had just said 'goodbye' to her dad who was walking toward Airport Security. We were going to be by ourselves for one full month.

"Goodbye, Papa. See you in one month."

This was just one more test of my patience, faith and resilience...To Be Continued in Part 2

Till next time,

Mein Freundeskreis

Heute möchte ich über Freundschaft und die verschiedenen Arten von Freundschaften sprechen, die man im Laufe seines Lebens schließt. Mein Freundeskreis ist unterschiedlich groß, was meine Gefühle für sie betrifft - und ich bin sicher, dass viele von Euch sich damit identifizieren können.

Ich hatte das Glück, in meinem Leben einige erstaunliche Menschen getroffen zu haben. Menschen aus allen Lebensbereichen; mit einem sehr unterschiedlichen kulturellen Hintergrund; einige, die nach kurzer Zeit kamen und gingen; viele, die meinem Leben einen Mehrwert verliehen haben; und natürlich einige, die verweilten, um ihre eigene Weisheit weiterzugeben. Für die wenigen, die ich "Freunde" nennen darf, haben einen besonderen Platz in meinem Herzen.

Es gibt jedoch eine Gruppe von Damen, denen ich an dieser Stelle wirklich danken möchte. Diese Frauen haben alle ein Herz aus Gold. Sie haben ihre Liebe und Freundlichkeit durch Worte der Hoffnung, Ermutigung und Weisheit ausgegossen.

Ich hatte keinen guten Start auf der Insel. Als ich hier ankam, hatte ich eine schwierige Umstellung: Ich war fast drei Wochen lang krank; ich hatte Schwierigkeiten, mich auf der Insel zurechtzufinden; der Umzug in unser Haus war etwas dramatisch. Und dadurch kamen mir Zweifel, ob der Umzug hierher eine gute Entscheidung war oder nicht. Ich mühte mich ab, das Gute zu finden. Meinen Kopf hoch zu halten war ein täglicher Sport, und all diese Veränderungen durchzustehen, forderte seinen Tribut von mir - emotional und mental.

Dann wachte ich eines Morgens mit einer ermutigenden Nachricht auf meinem persönlichen Instagram-Konto auf. Etwas, das mein Herz erwärmte und meine Seele tröstete. Am nächsten Tag postete ein anderer Freund etwas Ermutigendes. Und am nächsten Tag wieder ein anderer Freund. Einige Wochen lang wurde mein Posteingang jeden Tag mit Textnachrichten überschwemmt, meine sozialen Medien explodierten mit so viel Liebe und Unterstützung. Mein Herz war voll. Meine Seele war ruhig. Ich fand die Kraft, die ich brauchte, um mich wieder aufzuraffen und alles zu tun, was ich brauchte, um mich in mein neues Leben hier einzuleben. Unser neues Leben hier.

Christina, Tanja, Bettina, Denja, Anna, Miriam, Ute, Nadine, Nici - und all die Näherinnen, die ich kennen gelernt habe und die supersüß waren (falls ich Dich nicht namentlich erwähnt habe, bitte entschuldige). Sandy, Sara, Miriam K, Milissa, Farial, Daniela, Lawrien, Sabine, Sylwia:

Von ganzem Herzen: Vielen Dank! Eure Ermutigung, Unterstützung, Worte der Weisheit und Liebe haben mich kürzlich durch eine sehr schwierige Zeit gebracht. Ihr wisst es vielleicht nicht, aber Eure Anwesenheit in meinem Leben ist ein Geschenk des Himmels. Allein das Wissen, dass Ihr da draußen in der Welt sind, erinnert mich daran, dass es immer noch gute Menschen gibt. Menschen, die sich sorgen, verstehen und mitfühlen können. Ihr habt alle einen besonderen Platz in meinem Herz. Ihr habt mir alle geholfen, wieder auf die Beine zu kommen und meine Zen-Zone wieder zu finden.

Ich hoffe, euch alle eines Tages persönlich wiederzusehen. Aber im Moment sende ich euch virtuelle Umarmungen und ihr sollt wissen, dass ihr immer in meinen Gedanken und Gebeten seid.

Nie alle meine Freunde sind auf dem Bild, aber ihr seid alle in meinem Herz 🙂

Licht und Liebe,