My 2017 Highlights

2017 has been one of my best years… I would love to share with you my top 10 personal moments; what contributed to making this year one of my best years ever!

  1. Getting married!
    Yeeey! This was the spotlight! For those who didn’t know, I kissed the singles club goodbye in May and there’s been no looking back. It’s my biggest highlight of 2017 I must admit.IMG_20170902_192644_397
  2. Learning a new language
    I learned German… how interesting! “Sehr interessant” I would say. Well, I’m still in the process of learning and it’s not a walk in the park. Mark Twain said, “A gifted person ought to learn English (baring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days and German in thirty years”… How motivating. hahaha
  3. Getting my blog up and running
    This was a very skeptical move for me as I’d created this blog in 2015, wrote two posts which are still saved as drafts to date. I’m grateful to my inner voice and my family for encouraging me to share my thoughts with the world. Looking back, I wish I had this confidence two years ago but everything happens for a reason and I’m glad this is happening now.
  4. Moving to Europe
    This was a bold move for me this year. In mid-July, I packed my bags, sold my car and moved to Germany to join my husband. We were both so happy when my visa was finally approved. This came after a failed attempt the previous year (2016) when we were still engaged. Anyway, here we are today living together; sometimes we both can’t believe it’s really happening.
  5. Experiencing Fall and Winter
    This was just mind-blowing. Wow! Growing up in Kenya, I always wanted to see snow  and I finally got the chance to see it fall from the sky and even touch it. Such a beautiful experience. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take any pictures of myself playing with snow and I’m yet to build snow-man. 😉
  6. Meeting my German family
    I was really nervous before the first big meeting. We had Skype calls and texted on Whatsapp but it’s really different when you get to meet people in person. I guess it’s just human to be anxious. Well, it turned out great. I mean who wouldn’t love having me as an in-law? (Pun intended). Hahaha
  7. Christmas in my new home
    Every bit of Christmas here, known as Weihnachten was astonishing and I’m looking forward to many more.  I also tasted different typical German dishes during the Christmas period and gave out gifts!IMG-20171204-WA0002
  8. Making new friends
    I currently have close friends from Greece (Eleni) and Ireland (David) … how awesome! The icing on the cake is the fact that I interact with people from over ten different countries on a daily basis. So I’m still in the process of learning more about my colleagues and their cultures and I’m loving every minute of it as they are all amazing and my neighbor is so sweet too.

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    Eleni and I
  9. Getting my rent deposit back
    If you live in Kenya you know how it’s close to impossible to get your deposit back when you move out. Guess what? I got my deposit back in March (Not the whole amount of course). It made it to this list! haha
  10. Driving on the right
    This is still very strange to me as we drive on the left back in Kenya. But I’m proud of myself for trying. I’ve only done it a few times and I was so freaked out because it just doesn’t feel right. hahaha
    Well, they say practice makes perfect, that got me looking forward to being the pro driver I’ve always been, in this coming year. 2018 goals!

To all my readers;
∼Thank you for taking your time to read my posts. I look at my stats everyday and I’m awed. You give me the motivation to write more and more and reading all your comments warms my heart.
∼I wish you all a happy new year filled with peace, love and all your hearts desires.
∼Above all remember to begin each day with a grateful heart.

I love you all ♥♥♥

Christmas in Germany

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My in-laws backyard

Christmas comes once a year! It’s the period when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. People travel from all walks of life to be with their loved ones, the streets and houses get decorated with Christmas trees and beautiful lights and everything looks radiant. This season comes with lots of food and drinks; I know a couple of people who put on weight during this season.  ha ha ha

I’ve never been a huge Christmas enthusiast… not in my adult life at least.  Well, this year I got to celebrate Christmas with my husband and his side of the family and it was beautiful but very different. First off, it’s my first winter so you can imagine how amazing and annoying it gets. It’s amazing seeing snow falling from the sky but the cold…oh boy!

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Schloss Bückeberg

Well… It’s been an incredible experience. Every December, there’s the Christmas market known as Weinhachtsmarkt; It’s a tradition. Oh my… It’s mind-blowing. It’s by far one of my best experiences in Germany. The Christmas market is so beautiful with many stands selling all kinds of stuff. The most crowded are the food and Glühwein stands.Glühwein is a beverage usually made with red wine along with various mulling spices e.g cinnamon and sometimes raisins. It’s served hot or warm and is alcoholic, although there are non-alcoholic versions. It’s a tradition during winter especially around Christmas.

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Enjoying some Glühwein

 

The 24th is very important here I learned. It’s basically like the 25th back in Kenya.  On this day gifts are exchanged, families share a three-course meal. The food was amazing (my mother-in-law Conny is such an incredible cook). with some help from Stefan (my father-in-law) and Lino (my brother-in-law). So my husband and I just availed ourselves to eat. haha, how helpful!

On the actual Christmas day we had an amazing family lunch with my husbands entire family in a very fancy and beautiful restaurant. Three-course meal again… Everyday should be Christmas (well, at least if they promise to serve some Ugali and Nyama choma).
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This was a beautiful and intimate Christmas. Love was key. Giving and receiving gifts was an amazing experience. Seeing how a simple act of giving brought so much happiness. I definitely want to have many more Christmas celebrations with my German family and I hope to show them how we do it in Kenya in the coming years.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year! Lot’s of warm hugs and love from me to you. 🙂

Zitat: I think as you grow older your Christmas list gets shorter, because the things you want can’t be bought.

 

What Mama Taught Me.

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photo: Megapixl

I’ve been Missing in action for a couple of days… One of those weeks you know. Anyway I’m back, more energized than ever!

My identity rests solely and firmly on this; I am my mother’s daughter. I dedicate this post to my loving mama… Rose Akeyo Odhiambo. I love you with all my heart.

These are the lessons mama taught me:

  1. Religion. My mama taught me how to pray. She always prayed in good and bad times and she said God always listens to prayers. She still calls and reminds me to pray and she prays for her family. Going to church every Sunday was never debatable in her house.
  2. Generosity. Mama said, “share it with your friend when you get back to the city”. She never had it all but she didn’t hesitate to share the little she had. One time my mama fed a homeless man who had soiled his pants. He was passing by the roadside and it was scorching hot. He looked hungry and weak and mama called him and offered him a seat, food plus water… such a golden heart my mama has! Imagine our shock when we saw what she was doing. when we asked her why she did it, her response was so calm… “Do good and good will come to you”
  3. Foresight. Mama said… “Always carry ten shillings in case you step on someones tomatoes in the market and wear clean panties in case you fall down!
  4. Love. If anything, I want to love like my mama. Her love for her children, her mother and her husband is just out of this world. Everyday she reminds us that family is family and you do anything for family.
  5. Honesty. Be true to yourself… That’s the only way you can be true to others. She taught me that the truth will always set me free and she reminded us to always do everything with honest intentions if we expected the same from others. “Own up and bear responsibility for your actions,” she always said.
  6. Unleash your Talents. She never made it past high school but she did a lot to survive. From being a tailor to running a hotel and other small businesses. She has always been a great cook and has used this talent to start yet a new business in the catering industry. Thanks to my mama, I’m striving daily to Unleash my talents.
  7. Speak up. The one person who can read you like a book is your mother. Mine realized I kept so much to myself and she taught me that it was okay to speak up. She helped me find my voice and she still urges me never to stop speaking up and standing up for myself.
  8. Make new friends. New friends mean new connections and experiences… This I learnt from my mama. She made it clear that it was totally okay to make new friends as this way we got to learn new things and experience new cultures. She was always very interested in hearing all about our friends whenever we visited her.
  9. Everyday is a brand new day, just be happy. I’ve never seen my mama sad. Deep in thought, yes but not sad. No matter how bad the nights were sometimes, she always woke up singing and all brand new like everything was just perfect!
  10. Be very brave no matter your size. Probably the best lesson I learnt from her. She always reminds me that I am a fireball and I stand out in the crowd because I exude an aura of invincibility.

  11. Learn new tricks no matter your age. Age is just a number and with it comes new experiences for instance career development, marriage etc. Mama said you had to learn to cope and survive in any kind of environment and all it took was learning new tricks for coping mechanisms.
  12. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. This is one lesson I practiced daily with so much excitement. I was the popular kid who ran into her fathers arms daily when he got back from work. Believe me, it strengthened the bond between me and my dad and it made both of us very happy. He would pick me up from the ground and embrace me and I lived for those moments.
  13. Make your own fun. Dancing and music have always been my favorites and my mama taught me that it was okay to dance alone if no one wanted to join me… and I did it so well the rest ended up joining. haha
  14. Never stop trying… Never quit. She could have quit so much but she chose to hold on and hold tight. Even when one business failed, she never stopped trying and everyday I’m trying my best to be just like her.
  15. Forgiveness. She said it was okay to hurt and to cry but after all the hurt, it’s better to forgive. She practiced what she preached. She’s forgiven relatives who mistreated her just because they could and I respect her very much for that.
  16. Gratitude. Always be grateful because a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles… This, my mama taught me.

  17. How to cook. Yes… I learnt from the best! that’s why I’m such an awesome cook. Tried and tested!
  18. Grooming. “Keep your heels, head and standards high.”- Coco Chanel. I’m sure my mama said something similar. haha
  19. How to budget. She taught me to accept that I can’t have every material thing I desire no matter how much I adore it or love it because it’s very important to save for that rainy day.
  20. Trust is earned. Everyone has to earn my trust in one way or the other and the same applies to me. She said both trust and respect are earned and not given. She also stated that easy things rarely last.
  21. A lady should always have her own money. “Nyako ber gi pesane.” Meaning a lady should always have her own income…no matter how little… at least you shall have earned it and it will earn you respect wherever you go.

My mama believes in the saying; Educate a Girl, Educate a Nation. She never got to complete her education and for that reason she ensured we all did. Though I might sway away from these lessons, I always try as humanly possible to live by them in my day to day life.
Above all, I hope to be half the woman my mama is.