March madness

Where has this month gone? I know….dear readers, you’re upset with my absence. I am sure you  visited this sad, little abandoned blog faithfully, every day of the past 4 weeks (geez, has it been that long?!) and left feeling a little sadder that I haven’t kept you up to speed on our “glamorous” life abroad.

Yes, I’ve been taking a blog hiatus. Why, you ask? Well, life just got a little exciting (no, I am not pregnant; please don’t even joke about that!) and busy and there were planes to catch, plans to make, (little) people to console, cakes to bake, and all that so that the writing part got left a little behind. Life got in the way.

Anyway, good news now –  I am back! So, let’s see what all this “life” stuff was about in these past few weeks…

First off – this lady traveled (half) the world, this time arriving with all of her luggage, to come see us (and taste the yummy Viennese wines!)

Oma is here!
Oma is here!

And it’s good that she came …. so that I could leave ALL ALONE (as in – NO KIDS!) and fly across half of Europe to attend the International Conference on Urban Health. Yes, it was a dream come true – 3 precious nights alone (did I mention how relaxing it is not having to wrangle kids?) in a new city to attend a fascinating conference, present a paper (yes, I do keep my academic brain turned on every now and then), meet new people, and think about my “return to the paid workforce” (more on that another day).

Anyways, it was fantastic – a much needed break from motherhood and a wonderful step back into the working world. So, yes, essentially, I did this ….

Fish & Chips …. & a pint ALL ALONE!
Dive into Fish & Chips & a pint ALL ALONE!

… while Oma was having fun spoiling the kids with chocolate croissants!

Getting ready for Fasching at preschool
Getting ready for Fasching at preschool

Ok, fine. I might have been a little sad to miss their in-person recount of their “Faschingparty” (carnival) at preschool but then again, I was able to sit on a plane BY MYSELF without having to entertain a little kid. So, on second thought, I am very much ok with having missed that recount.

Did I mention this was a wonderful break for me? Thanks, Oma (who is now back home recovering)!

Oh and then, there was reason to bake this:

Oma's (& Opa's) Birthday cake!
Oma’s (& Opa’s) Birthday cake!

Yes, that is indeed a Brownie-Cheesecake and it’s just heavenly good. Especially with the smarties on top (European equivalent of M&M’s).

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It was a happy birthday for the grand-parents, with good presents and a night at the Viennese opera …. no one can complain about lack of festivities for sure!

And speaking of baking – this is to be filed under the “getting ready to move to Mongolia” category – I have a new goal before we move East …. learning to bake bread. We’ve always been bread eaters in our family – we just love a good sandwich, grainy rolls, and anything related to bread. In Vienna, we’ve been spoiled with the endless varieties available at the bakery, but I imagine our bread selection to be a bit more limited in Mongolia so here’s to me learning how to bake some yummy bread.

First batch – a simple “Hefebrot” (yeast bread) was a huge success – almost nothing left not even 6 hours post baking…

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And finally, it’s not a blog post unless there are embarrassing photos – so here’s how our kids roll on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

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Yup, and with that – I am back. Thanks for checking in and reading.

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