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I just realized that I have been living in Germany for one full year. Hooray! We have lived in Southwest Germany for three months, spent six months in Berlin, and we’ve been here in quiet Ewersbach for three months. (However, we took trips to the U.S. between moves so it wasn’t a year straight.)

I never, ever imagined that I would one day live in Europe. I also never imagined that I’d live in Japan for almost four years either. It’s funny where God takes you! He’s literally taken me all over the world. Here is a small photo collection of my personal highlights of life in Germany.

My in-laws (at a Christmas market) – We always thank God for their sacrificial love, endless kindness, and support of our desire to go to Japan.

Everyone in the photo looks calm and reflective…except me. I don’t know why I am making a dorky face, but I think I wasn’t ready for the photo.

My grandparents (and aunt Petra) – it’s really lovely to have such genki (in good shape) grandparents. Three out of my four grandparents passed away many years ago and my grandmother has severe dementia and can barely speak.

It’s very sweet when she laughs like this. She is quite an amazing cook! Seriously, she could open her own restaurant.

Opa Walter – He always helps me to learn German and explains things for me when I don’t understand. He is very dear to me.

We attended M’s brother Timon’s wedding last summer. I must say, German weddings are so different from American weddings. First of all, they are far less extravagant and simple, and I’ve been told they often go on ’til 4 or 5am. There was also a talent-show style of reception that was very interesting and charming.

International friends – During our year in Germany, we’ve made friends from all over the world including the U.S., Taiwan, Japan, France, Colombia, Iran, and Peru (and German friends, of course).

Brandenburg Gate

Mauer Park in springtime

Ampelmensch

Berlin – we were so blessed to live there for half a year. We really enjoyed our time there and would love to live there again if we have the opportunity. I can’t recommend Berlin enough!

Christmas in Germany – It is magical, truly beautiful. I love the beautiful, tasteful decorations which are less tacky than some American decorations, in my opinion.

Heidelberg – This city was just incredible. It was the most beautiful city in Germany that I have seen thus far. Glorious!

My mother-in-law’s incredible homemade cheesecake! Not many things make my husband happier than eating her cake.

Brot – There is nothing like glorious, hearty German bread.

Schokolade – I honestly did not have much of a sweet tooth before I came to Germany (you can ask my Matthias or my mother). The quality of German (and Swiss) chocolate amazes me. It’s hard to pass by an entire aisle of chocolate without wanting to buy something.

Cooking German food for my husband! This is Matthias’ favorite meal – creamed spinach, yummy German potatoes, and scrambled eggs. My mother-in-law taught me how to cook many of her best recipes which was a great help to me.

Another yummy meal with white asparagus.

Last but not least…

This was the best hot chocolate I have ever had in my life. I hope there will be hot chocolate in heaven.

Enjoy the holidays! メリークリスマス!(Merry Christmas in Japanese)

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