Tag Archives: Personal

TBTBlog – Logan in the snow

And we’re back for Throwback Thursday Blog! This week I’m feeling excited at the prospect of some snow. We haven’t had ‘proper’ snow here in a long while, a mere dusting every now and again, but I think the last good covering that hung about for a bit was in 2013. 4 years ago. That’s a long time. Where Kiba comes from in Germany, winter always consists of snow. Plus the cold. I remember when I spent time there for my first winter, and the day time temperature never got any higher than -10C! Now that was a shock to the system, but boy oh boy did I enjoy the snow! I’ll have to find you some photos for another TBT blog, although I did just find this one of Kiba taking a photo:

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Logan did see snow before 2013. In 2011 for his first Christmas at 6 months old we spent it in Germany. My parents came out beforehand for a visit, and then flew back home for Christmas. I do believe the snow had started to fall by then. We were flying home in between Christmas and New Year for a 2nd First Christmas with my family. As we got to the airport the snow was coming down thick and fast on top of a good layer already on the ground. Our flight was delayed, and we watched nervously as the snow continued to fall. After the plane was de-iced it turns out we were the last flight out, and then the last flight in to the UK, as the snow had begun to fall here too! Ours didn’t last that long though.

Fast forward to January 2013, Logan is 1 and a half years old. Snow begins to fall, and as it starts to settle, then accumulate, I think we all steadily got more excited.  We were living at my parents at the time, and they had huge patio doors, so I taught Logan something my sister and I used to do. Taking a cushion and lying down, looking up at the snow falling. It was always so pretty, and kind of magical, looking out for the largest snowflake. By the next morning we had a good amount, and the biggest child, Kiba, got let loose to go play while we watched from the warmth of the lounge!


It didn’t take too long to convince Logan to go out and have a play, and to inspect Daddy’s snowman! So we wrapped up warm and headed out, Mum meanwhile took photos of us from the inside, although I do believe she did come out with us in the end. I am also pretty sure we took the video camera out with us, so I shall have a dig about and see if I can find the footage for you all. For now, photos shall have to suffice!


I think Logan thoroughly enjoyed the snow, although was never overly keen on how cold it was! In 2014 (I think) my parents bought Logan a lovely green sled, and since forth it hasn’t really snowed enough to ever use it! Both kids would seriously love some snow. I lot of people hate the disruption it causes, but it really is remarkable, the joy it causes, and the sheer beauty of it. I’d love some snow! If we don’t get a good dumping this winter I will admittedly be disappointed. I remember the snow days and missing school to go and play, making snow angels. I’d be sad if my children won’t get that. In any case I’d love to go over and visit Kiba’s family next Christmas, or any after, as I know we’d definitely get some snow then! (And have I told you how amazing their Christmas markets are?!)

I know a few of my family and friends answers, but, who wants some snow?! There’s a weather warning this weekend for some, and I’ve personally got my fingers crossed! I’m guessing it’s something you either love or hate, what side do you lie on?

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Keeping the tradition of St. Nikolaus

Long time no see, huh? Sorry about that, seems I had fallen off the wagon a bit. I’m hoping that I can hop back on and get right on track, but realistically that may not be fully until after Christmas, as I am sure you all know, Christmas can be a very hectic time! Actually, today’s post is Christmas related.

As most of you know, Kiba is German. Before meeting him I had never heard of St. Nikolaus Day, despite knowing of St Nicholas; his origins and becoming known as Father Christmas. If you look it up you find that over Europe there are a lot of variations of how people celebrate this one legendary man with a lot of names. Basically though, St Nikolaus or whomever you call him, comes to check on children to see if they have been good, and leaves treats if they have.

“Sankt Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. Many children put a boot called Nikolaus-Stiefel (Nikolaus boot) outside the front door on the night of 5 December. St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts and sweets overnight, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good, polite and helpful the last year. If they were not, they will have a stick (eine Rute) in their boots instead.”
– Wikipedia on Saint Nicholas Day in Northern Germany

I was introduced to this idea when I first spent time in Germany in December 2010, even though it is for children really, as I had never experienced it Kiba convinced him Mum that him and myself should get a little something. So we did. I got a cellophane bag filled with chocolate, and some money. Later when we picked up some of his siblings from Kindergarten I found out that even they celebrated, each child had a clementine. I thought this was a lovely thing to do, and knew I wanted to do it with my own children (I was pregnant with Logan at this point).

I don’t think we did it the year Logan was born, or even the year after, he’d of been too young to really understand, but after that Logan has chosen a pair of shoes or wellies to clean. He caught on quickly to chose the newest and/or cleanest pair to then pop somewhere for St. Nikolaus. We’ve never popped them outside as I’m sure with the weather here in the UK they’d of ended up soaked! Over the years he’s had a mixture of gifts, always a chocolate santa, some other chocolate like coins, and often a small present like a toy car.

This year both kids eagerly  cleaned some footwear and popped it out in the hallway. Once they were both fast asleep I split the chocolate coins, penguins and snowballs between them, and  both got a Lindt santa too. They were both up early and I heard many shouts of CHOCOLATE as they disappeared down the stairs with Kiba. Taya took no encouragement to dig right in, and Kiba had to confiscate her welly boot and bring them back upstairs to me! Unfortunately he left it within reach, so when I said they  could down while I got dressed (Kiba had left for work at this point) so as I came down the stairs I was greeted with a very happy toddler stuffing her face with a chocolate Santa!

When Logan was in Preschool I mentioned it to them, hoping maybe they’d look in to it and adopt the tradition themselves. They never did, but maybe I should have been more forthcoming and outright asked them? I’m too shy for that I think. However, that preschool closed, and is now run by a Montessori Preschool, which Taya will eventually go to when she turns 3. I think they’ll be quite happy to offer a clementine to each child, but we shall see. It’s actually kind of scary that that is only a year away.

I love having our St Nikolaus present as a family tradition, and it’s a perfect way to get the kids excited for Christmas, for the impending arrival of der Weihnachtsmann, Father Christmas, Santa, or whatever name you like to call him! I’m going to write another post all about some of our Christmas traditions, so look out for that, and in the mean time, tell me about the traditions you have in your family? Or between friends?

Klean Kanteens – Why I love them, and so should you!

A few years ago I can’t say I’d heard of reusable non-plastic bottles, let alone Klean Kanteen. I, like many, many others had grown up having plastic reusable bottles, and as a parent you are bombarded with loads of different options. Different styles, different volumes, different colours. You get the point. But as a parent, I realized that despite being reusable, they really didn’t have that long of a life, especially with kids. They’d break or be impossible to clean. I’d end up throwing them out and replacing them with an equally disappointing bottle. After Taya was born I discovered Babipur. You all know that of course, as I am slightly obsessive. Through them I was introduced to the world of Klean Kanteen, who make stainless steel drink bottles and food canisters. My initial reaction was how much?! and I kind of backed away from them. I was a product tester for another company at the time and got asked to try another brand of stainless steel bottles. Taya loves hers, and although initially I was impressed it did have one of two bad points. This made me wonder back to the KK’s (Klean Kanteens) and I read more and more good things about them on Babipurs facebook group ‘Babipur Hangout’. Eventually I asked for my first one for my birthday.

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I got the 12oz Wide Vacuum Insulated Cafe in Neptune Blue. I instantly fell in love. Not only is it a beautiful colour, but it is amazing! My only regret is that I didn’t get a slightly bigger size. For tea it is the right amount, but I’d never say no to more hot chocolate! Being insulated it keeps hot drinks hot for 8 hours, and cold ones for up to 24, and no, that is not exaggerating! It really does keep them that hot, that hot in fact that you’re better off making it at drinking temperature, so you don’t scald yourself! (The outside doesn’t get hot in any way, perfect to have round kids!) In the summer, My mum took the kids, my friend and I, and we went and watched the Red Arrows perform at the coast. I made myself a KK of tea at just before 9:30am. I had a few tentative sips enroute. By the time we got to the coast, parked and walked a long way back to clifftops due to awful parking (thank goodness for my Pride Connecta!), watched the Red Arrows and then by the time we got down on to the beach it was 11:35. Picked up my KK and took a swig. My Mum look absolutely horrified and said “You’re not still drinking that, it must be cold tea now!” I actually laughed. Passed over the KK asking her if she thought it was cold. She burnt herself. She was absolutely amazed at how hot it had kept it, and my friend was pretty impressed too. I know I’m a bit mean at letting my mum get burnt, sorry Mum, but a lot of people just don’t believe how effective they are!

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Technically it says you shouldn’t have milk in there, but it’s perfect for hot chocolate! One clever mama has said she’ll be filling up her kids KKs full of hot chocolate on Christmas Eve so it’ll be perfect temperature by the time they wake in the morning. Now I think this will be perfect for any parents who may need a coffee or tea fix ready for that early start. It’s kind of perfect for any parent really, being leakproof it can be chucked in your bag or under the pushchair, and is a staple on any day out over the winter for me!

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In the summer it keeps drinks cold too, so just as good for days out in the summer too. On Sports day I even put ice lollies in for Taya and her friends to have while the boys ran their races. I did have to cut them to fit, and they had started to melt, but I reckon with a slightly bigger KK and some ice they’d be perfect for taking icy treats out and about.

Lots of people use theirs to get takeaway drinks, I don’t as I can’t afford it mainly, but just think of all the cups you would be using then chucking away if not? With this, it’s just a simple clean where you take the lid apart, and then it’s ready to use again and again. All in all, if you are considering an insulated KK, don’t dither, just get one!

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Since my first KK I then wanted to get a reusable water bottle. I didn’t want to keep buying plastic bottles of water when out, so I asked for one for my birthday. I couldn’t justify an insulated one, although that would of been awesome, but I asked for the 27oz classic loop in tidal pool. It compliments my Neptune perfectly colour wise, which suits me to a tee. It has been great for days out! Kiba and I will generally share it, or use it for backup when the kids run out of their drink. With the loop cap it means that I can use a carabiner to  attach it to the pushchair when I’m using it. I’m normally quite bad at drinking enough, especially on days out, but this has helped me stay hydrated and remind the kids to also drink!

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I soon realized that I’d love the kids to have one each. Although I was a bit nervous at how rough they are with their belongings, I was getting sick and tired with how dirty Logans got, and how utterly impossible they are to clean. I haven’t made the jump with him yet, cost has prevented us so far, but my awesome friends got Taya her own for her 2nd birthday. She was gifted the Kid Kanteen 12oz Sippy, in school bus yellow, which is such a gorgeous colour. Taya is used to a 12oz bottle, so I wasn’t worried about the weight, as they are a bit heavy when full (be mindful of toes, Taya dropped her other stainless steel bottle on her toes and it hurt, a lot!) but as she was used to the straw on the other would she take the sippy spout? Nope! She downright refused it. I was slightly heartbroken to be honest. I then remembered I had a spare sports cap lid, and although it isn’t recommended for under 3’s I gave it a shot and…

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…Tada! She still prefers her other bottle, but she will use this one. And so will Logan, so I know he’d love his own. He has asked for one, and I really do want to get him one if budget allows us too. I’d probably get him a slightly bigger one as he does drink a fair amount. Being stainless steel they do not retain any smells, or flavours, which is amazing, as I am sick to death of the stink from Logans bottles. I think these would be a lot more durable too, all plus points that are pushing me towards getting him one. Plus, wouldn’t another look pretty in our collection?

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I have a couple of other Klean Kanteen items on my wishlist, particularly the stainless steel straws. Again, they’re reusable and have a silicone tip, and although they may seem expensive, by cutting out the need to use plastic straws feels like a big win in my eyes, and I am sure the planet would be thankful. Plastic one use items are making the news a lot recently as there has been a shift in way people see them, they are damaging to the environment, and now we have that chance to make a difference. I’d highly recommend in to looking in to reusable products, maybe not necessarily Klean Kanteen, but although they seem expensive, they are so, so worth it, for your benefit and the planets. Team Heberling are very much Team Klean Kanteen here, as well as Team Babipur and like to think that we try our best to do the best for our kids future.

Hope you enjoyed the blog, feel free to ask any questions, sorry if I waffled on a bit, hope I didn’t miss anything out!

Orcas: The First Encounter

I’m going to set the matter straight away before I go any further. This is NOT going to turn in to a debate of whether or not these beings should be in captivity. This is a memory, do not tarnish it. If you really feel the need to know my opinion, ask, in a nice manner, I may tell. I respect your opinion, but please do not go telling people what they should think. Research, experience, then make your own mind up. Thank you.

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This week, my cousins are sunning it up in Tenerife the lucky devils, and yesterday they went to Loro Parque, and throughout the day on my request, I was sent photos and videos of the sealions, dolphins and Orcas. I couldn’t decide whether I was loving the updates, or just plain torturing myself as I wasn’t there but so dearly wanted to. Anyway, you probably all know that I love, love, love Orcas. Always have done, and I’m sure I always will. They are my favourite ever animals, for so many reasons. If you don’t know what I am talking about then please go and google. I’ve decided for todays throwback blog I am going to tell you all about the time my heart exploded as I saw Orcas in the flesh for the first time.

It was 2005. November to be exact. The Christmas before our parents had surprised us with the trip to Florida, we had a little envelope with photos of the places we’d be visiting, and of course I’m sure I was almost crying when I held the tiny piece with Sea World on it. It seemed like a lifetime to wait until the day we flew out. I’d never been long haul before, and am a nervous flier, but knowing what was waiting for me the other end helped so much. I remember it actually took me a few days to realise I wasn’t dreaming and that it was a reality. Everything is a bit fuzzy now, I can’t even remember how many days we spent at Sea World. I’d of happily spent the whole trip there. If you’ve never been to a theme park then you won’t quite understand the atmosphere of them. I was there for the animals, I don’t like roller coasters or most rides. I was there for the orcas. Shamu. I was giddy with excitement the first day we went. I couldn’t quite believe that I’d actually be seeing one.

At Sea World, you can either see the Orcas during a show, which was The Shamu Adventure at the time, in the underwater viewing area, or by doing Dine With Shamu. Naturally we did all of them.

Walking in to the stadium, it’s sheer immense size, you’re looking down on to the pool. We chose seats close but not too close. (Mum or Dad may remember how many rows back!) It was still in the “Splash Zone” but my parents did not believe we’d get wet so far away from the water. I did try to warn them but it fell on deaf ears. Then I heard the ‘pff’ of an orca surfacing. My head whipped round, and there just in front of us was this black and white creature, so smooth looking, gliding through the water. I’m sure I cried. It was everything and more to be in their presence. I’d studied this particular group of whales, and vaguely knew how to ID them, but that pretty much went out of my head with just a few facts stuck in my mind. I also only had a disposable camera at that stage in my life, but I took some photos, not very good mind. I can only find a few of them, but will share what I took, and shall update the post if I find the lost ones.

PicsArt_10-12-10.11.44Photo: Preshow, who was watching who?

The show was amazing, personally I think it was better than ‘Believe’ which it had changed to before my next trips in ’07 and ’09. I remember there being a kayak involved, and a lot of facts and waterworks. If you don’t know, waterworks are where the trainer performs in the water with the whales, a practice that now doesn’t exist due to health and safety.

PicsArt_10-12-10.10.05Photo: I used to remember what this was called, but it’s impressive to see nonetheless.

It got to the splashing part of the show, and the big guns came out. Tilikum. I’m sure many of you know of his name, he drew a lot of media attention before his death this year. My heart still aches that I won’t ever get to see him again. He was the king. 22.5 foot long, 12,500lb in weight. He was spectacular to see perform, pure muscle. So when he came, and you were suddenly faced with his flukes (tail) about to send a ton of water towards your way, you knew you had no escape. My parents faces. The look of realization, they were about to be drenched, I was right. I’ll never forget it, it was hilarious. Sadly, as I hid my camera I didn’t get any photos of him myself that year. Following years I did, although I did a lot of filming as well, but I shall share with you another time if you’re interested.
PicsArt_10-12-10.08.16Photo: Takara, Kohana and Skyla. Takara was pregnant with who turned out to be my favourite little (not so little now!) orca ever, Trua, who happened to be born the day before or after we flew home! Typical. (I can’t remember what day we flew home) It made meeting, and interacting with him, in 2007 even more special though.
PicsArt_10-12-10.06.29Photo: Kohana on the slide out. She is one of the orcas that my cousin is seeing in Tenerife!
PicsArt_10-12-10.20.57Photo: A few more of the snaps I got while I was there. They’re very special memories to me. I just wish I could go back with my DSLR now!

We also got treated to Dine With Shamu. I shall have to go and raid my Mums computer for some photos really, as you can see the pure joy and excitement in my face. I barely took my eyes of the whales. Basically you get delicious buffet food and then the trainers perform an up close little show. This does cost extra, but it is well worth it in my eyes! Or at least it used to be, don’t count me on that for now! It was definitely a cool experience, and the food was really yummy too! Afterwards, at the end the trainers come round and you can meet them, have your photos taken and have a chat.

From the same pool that they do Dine With Shamu in is where the underwater viewing is located. I would honestly love to sit in there all day. My cousin and I actually did spend a large proportion of one of our days in there in 2007. In 2005 however we didn’t see as many of the whales in their as we liked. Obviously they have freewill and have a choice of pools to go in. We did see Tilikum and Taima though. Taima was gorgeous. She was also pregnant at the time, and didn’t want to play at the glass, but to just watch her swim, for her to be gliding past just the other side of the glass was enough. When you are that close you can really respect them, they are huge, powerful. Again, I need to raid my mums computer for photos!

PicsArt_10-12-10.03.48Photo: Taima swimming past. Another whale I can’t believe is gone. She died giving birth, and I remember just after I gave birth to Logan I was thinking (and may have asked out loud) that I hoped Taima didn’t die in the pain that I just experienced.

So there you have it. It was probably all just a babble, I just love Orcas so much, particularly the ones who I have seen with my own two eyes. You just can’t describe their presence, or their true immense size and power to someone who hasn’t seen them. They’re so, so amazing. I’d love to see them in the wild. When I went whale watching in ’06 the trips before and after us saw them, but we weren’t so lucky! Maybe one day I will. I also hope to one day get back to Orlando, or at least see some in one of the closer locations.

Becoming Wolverine 

Hey! *waves* I’m here, I’ve not gone anywhere. I apologize for not posting in a while but we’ve had to deal with some very difficult family matters that have required my mind and body to be focused on keeping my family going. It’s not been easy, but we are strong and we shall cope. Hopefully I can put my mind in to blogging again and sharing with you all. 

So remember I wanted to do a throwback Thursday blog? Well it’s Thursday! It’s been a long day with Harvest Festival this morning then parents evening and baby-sitting tonight so shall be a short one, but I hope you like it all the same.

Mr Heberling had his birthday on the 3rd, so I wanted to focus on him, which he probably won’t like, mainly as these are older photos I’m now about to share, from 2012! Mr Heberling likes to have his photo taken at times though, and often dresses up, or cosplay if you want to call it that. One time he wanted to be Wolverine. Obviously we do like Wolverine as we named our son Logan, yes, that’s why he has his name. Mr Heberling also likes to challenge himself in to making his own props/things, and on this occasion he wanted to make himself some Wolverine claws. He looked up tutorials and my Dad helped, and to be honest they came out pretty amazing! They are measured to fit his hands perfectly and to this day are kept proudly. 

Naturally we had our photoshoot, some inside and outside shots were taken, and he helped with editing them to his tastes. (Yup, our editing tastes can differ at times!) I really liked how they came out, the indoor ones particularly due to the lighting. Although one thing bugs me about them, see if you can spot it…


…Did you guess? Yes, it’s the wallpaper behind him! It was my Mums hallway, and realistically a flat backdrop would of been a lot better! Next, we headed out to the woods;

Even though it was only 5 years ago I think he looks rather young! He’d say the children have aged him, or me! I think they came out really well though, and we’ve since had a number of photoshoots including Spiderman which I’ll share with you another time. Logan also dressed up as Wolverine for a school event as well recently so I shall share a photo of him another time. For now that’s all. I hoped you enjoyed stepping back in time with me! 

The Beginnings of Team Heberling

Okay, so I was thinking of the goals I’d set myself almost a week ago (which aren’t going to plan at the moment… Oops) and was thinking of what to share for Throwback Thursday when it struck me, why don’t I share a post as well as a photo for it? I have loads of memories that I can share with you, stories behind photos etc. I hereby christen #TBTblog and hopefully you’ll get something new each week! So to start with, I think I’ll tell you all how Kiba and I met. (This is the point Mr Heberling will be raising an eyebrow and either thinking it’s all too mushy or gaaaay!)

As previously mentioned in my Hello post, Kiba isn’t actually called Kiba, that is just what we call him. His name is Maurice, and he is German. Most people ask how we got together, seeing as we are from different countries, and whereas it isn’t your conventional dating and romance story, it is ours, and I love it.

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Now, going back to my teen years. I was part of an online community which shared a love for Orcas, and we would edit footage to songs to make Videos to share on YouTube (Not always Orca footage, other animals, and films too!). It was fun, and I made many friends all over the world who liked to do the same. Sometimes I even miss video editing, and I will still often imagine how I would edit a video when I am listening to a song. (Both our individual and joint YouTube accounts still exist if you fancy checking them out, Mine and our joint one, bear in mind they’re quite old now!). Kiba also enjoyed this pastime, but I didn’t meet him directly that way. In fact he was actually dating a friend of mine from said community.

I’m not going to name her, just call her R, but she was good friends with my cousin and myself and we’d regularly chat on ICQ (German equivalent to MSN, remember the good old days?) and she soon started dating Kiba. One time they were together she said she was having some sort of argument and I’m not sure how but I ended up talking to Kiba on her account. I’m not going to lie, there was a genuine sort of spark between us. I liked talking to him. After a while (days, weeks maybe? I know it was May) I added him to my chat list. R wasn’t happy for some reason and she wanted me to try and talk with Kiba about it I think, mediate. I fell in love instead. I never meant to steal someones boyfriend, but I did. I lost a friend, and I am sorry about that, but I shall never, ever be sorry for falling in love.

So, we talked, and video chatted a lot. Kiba has always been amazing at English, lucky for me as my German was at zero at this point. He made me laugh, made me smile. I was studying for my A-Levels and he always gave me enough time and space to get on with my work, and was always supportive of making me get on. We’d talk until the early hours of the morning, I probably did get distracted from things going on around me as I spent so much time online, but he was important to me.

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In August 2009, Kiba made his first visit over to the UK to stay with us. It was quite nerve wracking waiting at the bus station for him to arrive. For all the times I’d sat and stared at his face, I had never seen him in person, but I had nothing to worry about. He was even better in the flesh, understandably he was shy, it was a big step, but I’m so glad he did. We continued chatting in to the early hours, just this time we were with each other, we could hold hands. We did take our relationship slow and steady, and he visited a few more times until I took the leap to visit him and his family in August of 2010. By this point we knew we wanted to be together forever, so it was just working out how to keep the long distance relationship going. Meeting his family was incredibly scary, but again, I had nothing to worry about. They may be a large family, a noisy family, but they are a truly lovely family.

I had planned on going to University in the September of 2010, but in reality I don’t think I was ever cut out for it. I am glad I never went in the end, as I realized that’t not what I wanted out of my life. However, at the time I decided to just defer for the year, and to go live out in Germany in the time being. That didn’t last long, as I fell pregnant in the October! I didn’t tell anyone until the December though, and ended up having my first scan on the 24th December, after plucking up the courage to tell my parents. I wanted to birth and raise our child in the UK, so Kiba agreed that’d we move back to my parents until we got our own place. We moved back permanently on the 11th Feb 2011, Logan was born June 2011, and we ended up not getting our own place until June 2013! While I was pregnant with Logan, Kiba proposed to me. We were lying in bed, and had talked about it many a times, but he looked at me, holding my hand and asked if I would marry him. No brainer really. He is my soul mate, and I love him dearly. I always will.

So, fast forward to 2017 and we are finally planning our wedding, and have two beautiful children. Did I ever think I’d fall in love online? No. Would I change anything? Heck no. Online love can happen. Long distance relationships can work. I can’t wait to finally be a Heberling.

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So much to do, so little time

I am still here! Promise. I’m slowly getting back in to the school routine, which also means getting back in to fitting play groups, cleaning, mealtimes etc around school drop offs and pick ups. Also, Taya seems to have given up her daytime nap unless we go in someone’s car, which suddenly means I have less time to myself, which, as most parents know is a valuable time to get on with jobs or hobbies. 

On top of everyday household jobs and playing I’m slowly trying to catch up on editing and sharing photos. It is a very long and slow job. A large majority of my “spare time” is used to edit photos. It feels like I’m slowly starting to make a little progress, but I’ll be very happy once I’m finally all caught up. 

I’m going to set myself a couple of goals, and hopefully they’ll help me to get back on track, feel free to nudge me if you feel I’m failing, sometimes I need a bit of a kick up the backside. So here goes: 

  1. Get back to doing daily German lessons. Before Germany I did a good few months of daily lessons, but once we were back I fell off the wagon. I admit to not doing one since despite adding it to my mental to do list. 
  2. More regular blog posts. I’d like to do a minimum of a post a week, but preferably at least twice. If you’ve got any ideas, suggest away, I’ll make a list of ideas so I can just choose one and hopefully never have that “what should I write?” moment.
  3. Take part in #Throwbackthursday. I did for a while, then once again failed to continue. I’m already taking part in Babipurs weekly Instagram Challenges so this is just another way of being more present on social media. 

I don’t want to set too many goals for now, as I think I’m more likely to fail if I do! So for now these will do. I think it’s enough and hopefully you shall see a lot more from me! 😁

On the subject of time, take a look at my photo clock! I got it for Christmas and only just sorted the photos out. Watch this space for it to finally get on a wall! 😜

A New Chapter (Poem)

The house is so much quieter
there’s a small person missing here
The toddlers searching round and round
hoping her brother will reappear.

The time has gone so very fast,
was it really 6 weeks break?
Their childhood is flying past,
so quick, it makes my heart ache.

He’s starting on another adventure,
he’ll learn so much and grow,
but that little hand this morning,
it squeezed tight, not wanting to let go.

I put a smile upon my face,
squeeze back, and give him a hug,
“you’ll be fine” I say,
while the words give my heartstrings a good tug.

He’ll be fine, I’ll be fine,
it just all takes time to adjust,
Every parent and child must take the leap
in the teachers hands we entrust.

These children of ours, our womb fruit,
who we’ve raised all these years.
They now have another guiding hand,
and the thought may bring on some tears

but remember, never forget,
that although time may fly,
they’ll be our babies forever,
sit back, take it all in, have a cry

make memories when you can,
snuggle up, play games, make art,
even if you do nothing special,
they’ll know you love them with all your heart.

To drive or not to drive?

NOTE: The featured image of the speedometer was taken while we were in Germany on the autobahn where, if you don’t know, they have no speed limit. It is honestly kind of terrifying, and Kiba wanted to briefly see how fast he could go, this speed was not maintained. At one point we were cruising along at 90 odd and suddenly a police car came shooting past, with a (presumably) civilian car keeping up with them, and they were gone within moments! Germans love their speed! Kiba loves driving, and has had many cars in his driving history, his latest is this beauty:

PicsArt_09-05-04.21.18

I don’t drive. I can’t drive. I have reached the age of 25 without stepping behind the wheel of a car once. Growing up I never daydreamed about owning my own car, never really imagined myself driving. As a teenager when everyone around me started to learn and ultimately pass their tests the urge to do the same never occurred. It wasn’t until after Logan was born and Kiba learnt to drive that I ever really started to consider it. But I was terrified of the idea. I still am pretty scared. I just can’t imagine myself in control of a large metal box on wheels. Up until recently the idea of it made me feel physically nauseous. I can now imagine it, but still don’t think I am anywhere near ready to ever attempt it. Yet there seems to be a lot of pressure out there to drive. I’m regularly asked if I am going to, if I’ve considered taking the leap as it would enrich my own and my kids lives. Of course I have considered it. I’m a worrier, I worry about it a lot. (Just ask Kiba)

I’ve come to realize that a lot of people seem to think you should drive if you’ve got kids, yet I know a lot of people who don’t. I have even seen people claim that you can’t be a ‘good’ parent as you can’t take them places etc. This is utter nonsense. Yes, I may not be able to get the kids places myself, but I have some darn good friends and family who help me out as much as they can. They say it takes a village to raise a child and in my case my ‘village’ sure does help a lot. Which is particularly good as I do live in a small rural village, where the bus routes aren’t the best, but I can honestly say I’ve never taken the bus here, or even a taxi. I could, and I probably should at times, but my anxiety has often got the better of me. So should I learn to drive? It’s something I have thought about a lot. Kiba and I have had many conversations about it. I asked in the Babipur Hangout a facebook group filled with lots of friendly parents who love Babipur on their opinions and who could drive. Of the 103 people who replied, 63 could drive, 40 could not. There were some interesting comments and I was quite surprised at the number of families were both parents were non-drivers. Some of the comments cemented my fear of the kids missing out, and that they might begrudge that in future, but ultimately it gave me some reassurance on my decision so far of not driving.  I think it comes down to being a very personal choice, but I’ve decided to write some Pros/Cons for each situation in case anyone was in the same conundrum as I am. I’ll be adding some side notes of my own though.

To be able to drive;

PROS;
– To be able to do what you want, when you want. Not having to rely on others.
– Emergency situations. Self explanatory.
– Reliability. Unlike buses/trains etc that may get cancelled or delayed.
– Better job opportunities.

CONS;
– Expense. Cars or any other vehicle are expensive. The lessons and test to drive for starters. Then the actual vehicles, the insurance, the fuel and then the upkeep. It all adds up and can be quite costly.
– Parking. It can be a nightmare. Personally we can’t even park outside our house, it’s a short walk up the road, which is fine in the summer, but in Winter or if it’s peeing with rain, or if you’ve got lots to carry it is a bit of a nightmare.
– It’s a big responsibility. Cars are huge, potentially dangerous metal boxes, and when they mix with people in an accident the cars get the lighter deal. I’d be terrified of an accident, which would then mean I’m more of a danger as I am a nervous driver.
– Congestion. There are a lot of cars out there these days, which leads me to the next point
– Environmental Impact. We all know about this.

Not being able to drive:

PROS;
– It’s eco friendly. You’re not adding your own CO2 in to the atmosphere.
– Saving money by not having the cost of a car
– Less stressful. This is a personal one.

CONS;
– Having to rely on others for lifts for everything that can’t be reached by public transport.
– Moving car seats between cars, although if you only have one and go in others cars anyway you’d still probably be moving it about at some point.
– Public transport can be expensive
– Emergency situations (although if it truly is an emergency I would call 999, and any other I have a fabulous network who’d help me out)

All in all, I think that if I were to learn to drive I’d have to be so, so much more confident. Kiba has told me that I am not to learn until I have gotten over the fear of it, as a nervous driver can be a dangerous driver. I also think that if I do one day want to become a Doula then I am going to have to drive, as who would want to hire a doula that can’t get to you quickly? It’s a bit of an awkward situation though, to drive I need money, but to earn money I ultimately would need to drive. I shall have to cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now as a family we really can’t afford lessons and then a second car. I think for now I need to focus on my wedding (324 days from today!) as that in itself is a pricey and slightly stressful thing to think about. Afterwards I shall reassess our situation and how I feel and go from there. I know not being able to drive does not make me a bad parent. I know my kids have just as good as a life as kids with a mum who does drive. No one should feel forced in their decision, or guilty of their choice. I shall strive to be the best person I can, no matter what my circumstances.

I just want to take a quick moment to thank those, and they’ll know who they are, that have helped the kids and I get about the past few years. I really, really appreciate you guys. Thank you.

PS. I just found this photo, the closest to driving I have been, unless Mario Kart counts!

PicsArt_09-05-04.23.10

Aren’t holidays supposed to be relaxing?

I don’t think we really did any relaxing, in our sleep perhaps, but most of the our holiday was packed with family visits and trips. We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to do really, and next time we know for definite that we will do 2 weeks rather than just the 1. It flew past so quick, and after not seeing most of Kiba’s family for 3 whole years, 1 week really didn’t seem enough time. Despite all the visits I suppose you could say we did have some downtime, mainly while we were waiting for certain things, like people, transport for others etc. but compared to the complete full on craziness that is visiting family/kids/pets I don’t think it counts as relaxing. Even at the outdoor pool I don’t think I truly relaxed, who does with small kids and water?! However, despite all this I can definitively say that you do not need to relax to have a good time*. So, I’m going to give you all an overview of what we did in our week away, to give you a bit of perspective of our holiday and why we never got to relax, and how I managed to take 2,214 photos.

Day 1, travel day, 282 photos. Drive, ferry, drive. Read this post if you’d like more detail.

Day 2, 78 photos. The kids needed time to settle in to their new environment, so we took it pretty easy in the morning. We spent time with Kibas Dad and half sister. We met all their animals, dogs, cats, ponies, goats, geese, chickens and rabbits. Obviously Taya thought they were the best thing ever. In the early afternoon we went and said Hello to Kibas Mum, (and her husband, 3 of Kibas sister, 1 of his brother, and 1 of his nieces!) where I didn’t take any photos as it was all very over-whelming. I spent a majority of the time asking the kids to put a crying Taya down as she did not want to be picked up by people she didn’t particularly know. Again we met their animals, a large number of dogs, cats (including 13 tiny kittens!) and rabbits. Again, Taya thought this was the best thing ever. Logan not so much, he isn’t the biggest fan of dogs, but he surprised me by how he jumped right into playing with the kids. The language barrier really didn’t bother him. He did later tell me that he enjoyed himself as they treated him like a King, he didn’t even have to take his own shoes off! We then headed off back to Kibas Dads for a BBQ, and a short stroll up the road.

Day 3, 317 photos. We had a late morning after spending some time with Kibas Dad, but then headed off to Kibas brothers. From his we walked the 20-30 minutes in to the city. We had a good look around, and got some postcards, and then ice creams, as it was a lovely hot day! We then walked back to near his brothers to grab a kebab and play in one of the local parks. I’m surprised but Logan walked the whole entire time, he did moan, but he still had loads of energy left. Early afternoon we headed off to Kibas Aunts, to see her, his uncle and his two cousins. Taya was again ecstatic that they had kittens (She is a breeder!) and we had cake in the garden. We then walked to the local school to use their play area, football and basketball facilities. Logan definitely got rid of all remaining energy there! He was pretty exhausted that night understandably.

Day 4, 263 photos. It was a bit more of a dreary morning, but we decided to head up to Burg Plesse, or Plesse Castle, as despite always looking at it as we drove past, we’d never visited. Taya quite rightly kept calling it ‘Tangled’ as it has one tall tower, and is pretty impressive as well as being pretty old,  and the views were absolutely stunning! I wish we’d have visited it sooner, and we’ll definitely go again. There is a restaurant inside now, so you can only really explore the outside, but that was cool enough on it’s own. It soon started raining and we left to go back to Kibas mums for the afternoon, with lots of playing outside with the kids and dogs.

Day 5, 381 photos. In the morning we had a bit of a wait for Kibas Dads transport to arrive, but then we moved our cases to his Mums house for the remainder of the stay. After a quick play outside we decided to go to one of the many outdoor pools in the area. We took one of Kibas sisters with us and had a great time. I honestly have no idea why I have never been to one before, and can only hope that we can go back soon! Kiba and his sister loved jumping off the diving boards so I got some photos of them, albeit from a good distance away. Mr Skinny Logan was having a blast (although I forgot his goggles, bad Mummy) but he got cold very, very quickly. He needs some fat on him bless him! May invest in a wetsuit/drysuit to help him enjoy water play longer, as he loves it! So I ended up on the blanket on the hill, feeding Taya who soon fell asleep, with a wrapped up cold Logan next to me, watching the rain clouds roll in. Later we headed back to our new “home” for more outside play, where all 3 of Logan & Tayas cousins joined us, along with Kibas Sister and BIL, it got very noisy then, but was also a lot of fun.

Day 6, 325 photos. In the morning we let Taya have a play in the kitten room. I never said no to this, they were so, so cute! Later on we went in search of another castle, the castle ruins at Hardenberg. It was pretty impressive from the road, and it did take us a while to find out where to park, we ended up asking for directions. Obviously this wasn’t the most visited castle ever as the path around it was a bit difficult to navigate and was up on a cliff! I was very glad that Taya stayed in her Connecta! After a walk round, looking at the ruins and watching the lizards running we soon concluded that you couldn’t actually get in to the castle, unless on a tour, or for the registry office. Which was a shame, but we had a good wander nonetheless. Afterwards we went and picked up Kibas brother and headed off to his sisters (the one with the kids cousins, am I confusing you yet with siblings?!) for a BBQ. The kids had the most fantastic time playing with each other, they have a huge garden, where Taya fell in love with the trampoline (but only when she was the sole occupier!) and the food was delicious, with yummy ice cream afterwards! It was a thoroughly lovely evening, and probably the most relaxed I ever got.

Day 7, 97 photos. We visited Kibas Dad in the morning for a bit. I think we may have then been to ToyRUs possibly, I am not sure, I haven’t got the best memory and am admittedly using the photos to work out what we did when! We went back to base for a bit, before heading off to Kibas Aunts for a big family get together & meal. A very yummy meal at that. We also met Kibas grandfather, his Opa, who I have to say is a bit of a character! He’s one of these very typical older generation, with a bit of craziness mixed in, and the ever intense being that I feel I’m particularly sensitive too due to anxiety. Plus you know, the language barrier and the fact that Kiba used every opportunity to not spend with him, even if it left me with him! However, he did give us some money. We also headed back to the local school for more football, before finding a new play area which was lovely, and Taya had a good old swing while the big kids played basketball.

Day 8, 310 photos. Mainly a day of goodbyes and mixed emotions. Firstly was Kibas Dad. I think this was the toughest one, with him being terminally ill it was never going to be easy. Then it was back to his Mums for more playing in the garden, and the final sister had turned up too. We took a trip to their local playing field for football with Kibas siblings, Logan took an impressive tumble on the way and ended up with a mighty cut to the knee, which did bleed a lot. If you’ve seen us in person since we’ve been home I’m sure you know all about this. He’s worn shorts to show it off and is often accompanied with some oohs and aahs. It didn’t stop him joining in with the football though! After a good runaround we headed back, where the cousins and co turned up for a play and then their Goodbyes. I made a faux pas by spoiling a surprise, Kiba told me they’d be hopefully visiting us at Christmas. What he didn’t say was that it was a surprise. So I mentioned it to the eldest child. Oops. I feel terrible that I ruined her surprise, but I was genuinely excited too! (It was so Kibas fault!) Despite the people living in the house saying they’d be getting up in the morning with us to say goodbye there was still a lot of pre-bedtime tears too, and last minute gift giving.

Day 9, 161 photos. Drive, ferry, drive. Again, if you want to read about it in more detail then read this post.

So, a grand total of 2,214 photos later, and 9 days, we are home, and I think just about recovered from our adventures. I can’t wait for our next grand adventure as a family!

* I should really point out that growing up, we have never been a sit by the pool kind of family. We go somewhere new to explore and visit places. So maybe I don’t know what it’s like to truly relax?