Hello there friends!
It’s been waaaaaaay too long since we’ve chatted! I have really missed you ladies!
The Shull five took our little summer vacation for a few weeks and truly unplugged. No phones, no emails, no social media, no nothin’ that could distract us from family time. It was bliss. While I was gone, I thought about you often…for one, I read two books that you suggested to me just earlier this month (The Royal We and Me Before You) AND I starting binge watching Friday Night Lights. You ladies are brilliant. That’s all I have to say about that :).
So…before we begin the deluge of family photos (brace yourself…my feelings will not be hurt if you check out today and come back tomorrow when I show you embarrassing high school photos…yes, they’re coming…tomorrow), I need to announce my BIG $500 Visa Gift Card winner! That’s right…today is my 100th Bar Recipe (and it’s a good one!!) and the winner of my giveaway! To see my 100th bar…
…and the winner of the giveaway, click here.
Okay…vacation time.Hello vacation…er, um, I mean, bonjour vacation!
I was trying to take a picture on our way out to the airport…they were all a tad bit excited.
Our family headed out on our first vacation since becoming the Shull five. Love these people so much!
This kid is just so much fun! Sweet Ashby London goes with the flow and is the life of the party. Love her so much!
And just like that…a looooong plane ride later, we arrived in Zurich, Switzerland.
We flew from Dallas to DC and then from there to Zurich. We arrived at 8:00 AM, rented our car and drove to Bern. We stayed four nights in Bern before driving to Lausanne, Switzerland and staying another three nights.
Andrew and I went to Bern for the first time almost six years ago when I was pregnant with Smith…
…let’s note a few things here.
1. Andrew looks fourteen.
2. I am wearing braces and as you can see…my tongue thrust is in full force.
3. We have greatly improved our selfie taking abilities.
4. Bern was so fabulous that we’ve been wanting to go back ever since.
And here we are! Almost six years later with our three kiddos :). We’re all tired, dirty, still wearing our travel clothes and just trying to make it through the day and fight the jet lag until it’s bedtime. After we checked into our hotel, we spent the day enjoying Bern. First stop, their famous clock tower in the center of town. The weather was gorgeous (low 70s) and we loved our day outside.
Ahhh…here we are at a Swiss chocolate shop. We told the kiddos they could pick out a few things. I was taking this picture, enjoying the sweet moment when…Ashby peed all over the floor in the store.
There was a huge puddle.
I quickly grabbed her up and ran outside (only to get pee on my legs and shoes). I was cleaning her up outside when a few minutes later, Andrew and the big kids made the walk of shame out of the store. Andrew said he offered to clean it up but they wanted to do it. He also said after they told him how much the total was for the kids’ candy, he over paid on purpose ;).
In Ashby’s defense, we were gone for 14 days and this was her only accident. She made it a doozy though :).
All Smith has talked about since knowing he was going to Switzerland was how he wanted a real Swiss Army Knife. So, he finally got one (holding it proudly here). Smith is an old soul. He likes order, things to be really neat, he’s very thoughtful, he’s a rule follower and asks a gazillion questions. I think he’s pretty mature for his age…that being said, I consider it a win that he’s had that thing almost three weeks now and nobody’s been stabbed. #itsthelittlethings #hesstillafiveyearoldboy #watchoutsisters
Speaking of old soul Smith, he was the only child that cared that Albert Einstein used to live in Bern and that there is now a museum in his honor there. That’s Smith talking about Einstein’s apartment up above.
Bern is famous for having a bear reserve at the city’s entrance. There are actual bears that live right there in a nature preserve when you go into the city. You can look down on them from several different angles from the city bridge or wall. Wouldn’t you know it that the bears were “on holiday” for a month and so we missed them. Boo. We looked at their preserve but didn’t see any bears.
Six years later and our selfie skills are much improved. (Side note, this trip really could have used a selfie stick…darn.)
Ashby couldn’t fight the jet lag any longer :). Also, please note that old doll in the background of this picture and the one before. That was my doll when I was one year old and somehow Kensington found it at my parents’ house and decided to take it with us. My mother is the least sentimental person on the planet and the fact that this doll wasn’t trashed is a miracle…so it vacationed with us.
This candy store had a slide entrance, so of course, we had to check it out! Why walk down stairs when you can slide?!
Ashby woke up in time for the slide. #smartgirl
Oh Bern, you are so pretty.
So tired. We were all so tired. After dinner, we crashed at the hotel for the night.
The next day (August 1) was Switzerland’s National Holiday (kind of like their July 4th), so we were told that people did things with their families during the day and then celebrated as a community at night with fireworks and stuff (see, very similar). So, what do you do during the day when Switzerland is closed? Drive to Germany!
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times…my very favorite food in the entire world is German food. I love German food. I could live off of German food. I should have been born German. So, a day trip to Germany included lots of fun and lots of food too!
We enjoyed the Saturday morning market in Freiburg, Germany.
And then we stopped for wienerschnitzel. #hallelujah My kiddos are now also big fans of the ‘schnitzel. I knew I loved them :).
After lunch, we toured the Cathedral of Our Lady in the center of Freiburg. My kids were really into touring churches and cathedrals on this trip. It actually really surprised me how much they enjoyed this. Inside, we lit candles and said prayers after we toured. Both of my big kids prayed for my grandmother who lost her husband (he died 16 years ago…but they were both so sweet and solemn about it as they prayed for her). Ashby must have heard the whole “praying for Grandmother” (that’s what we call her), so she lit her candle and prayed for Lovie ;).
We soaked up more Freiburg and stopped for ice cream. This girl loves anything spicy or tart…lemon ice cream for the win!
Out of my three kids, this is the most crazy combination right here. These two are a mess! They are constantly touching each other, climbing on each other, messing with each other, hugging each other, getting each other in trouble. They are a mess. A sweet mess…but a mess nonetheless.
Freiburg has little canals that run all around it. The flowing water is coming right off of the mountains (very cold!) and kids everywhere were playing in it.
They had the best time on their little German outing!
We drove back to Bern in time to celebrate National Holiday with the locals. We ate outside at this really family friendly restaurant next to a park that overlooked the city.
Love these two.
My handsome hubby :).
I pray every day that one day, in Heaven, I’ll be united with Ashby’s birth mom. I just want to hug her and thank her for choosing life for our sweet girl. She was brave and gave birth to our girl and left her in front of a hospital so she would be found. I imagine her to be beautiful like our Ashby (and probably quite the little ham too), and I just want to hug her. Her selfless act gave us our daughter.
After dinner, we let the kids play at the park while firecrackers went off all around us.
See in fun in the background? Fun all around!
A great way to end Day 3!
To see Days 4 & 5, click here.
I’m so happy to be back friends! Tomorrow…it’s Show and Tell Tuesday and the theme is show who you were in high school. Watch out now!
Love to you all!