A place for family and friends to keep up with the Carlson's!

The Carlson Family

The Carlson Family

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Well it was our first Thanksgiving after returning back to the U.S. and our first Thanksgiving living in Cincinnati. My mom and dad came down for the 4 days to spend Thanksgiving with us. We also have been fortunate to have met a family here in Cincinnati that is on a 3 year assignment in the U.S. from the Netherlands. We invited them for their first "American" thanksgiving as well. So we definately had good company and good food.
While my parents were here the girls made christmas cookies with them, we took them to the tree lighting in downtown Cincinnati and of course we had to take them to Graeters ice cream- a Cincinnati original that has the BEST ice cream!! We had lots of fun, but of course the time went by too fast. Special times with so much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Halloween 2009!

It was definately fun to be back in the U.S. for Halloween this year. We actually got the girls their Halloween costumes back in May when we went to Disneyland Paris. Our girls don't know how lucky they are!

Fall Fun!

We had a beautiful fall in Cincinnati and were able to get out and enjoy some fun activities in the area with our neighbors.

Outdoor Baseball!

In October we were given Mark's company season tickets to a Cincinnati Red's game. For those of you not familiar with professional sports- that's their baseball team. We had great seats and it was fun to be outside and watch the game with beautiful weather. Minnesota is gonna love it next year!!!!!

Ericka's First Day of Schoo!

Ericka's first day of school was another big change for her, but she handled like a champ. She attends Pattison Elementary and is very lucky to have a wonderful teacher. She's made lots of new friends and seems to be adjusting well. On the way to her first day of school she asked me "Do they speak English here?". Rather funny, but also sad as Ericka was so lucky to attend an international school last year in Luxembourg and have friends who didn't speak English.


What do the girls love best about our new house (besides for their pink bedrooms)? These pictures will tell you. We have so many deer in our neighborhood and see them in our yard almost everyday. The girls love having breakfast at the table every morning and just watch them laying in the yard or walking through.We are definately not living in the city anymore!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Welcome home to Cincinnati!

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything on the blog. Moving in to a new house and learning a new city has pretty much taken up most of my time. But on August 28th 2009 we became the owners of this beautiful home about 15 miles east of downtown Cincinnati. Many of you have been bothering me for weeks to put up some pictures of our house so here you go. My favorite part of the new house is my BIG kitchen!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back to the U.S.

On August 10, 2009, we left Europe to return to the U.S. Here are pictures from the airport in Paris and on the flight back to the U.S. What an amazing journey it has been for all of us!!!!!
So now the question is should I continue on with the blog? What do you think? If you think I should, do I start a new blog or just change the name of this one? I've opened up the comment section again so you can let me know what you think!


Mark insisted that since we were so close (only 2 hours away) that we needed to go visit Gibraltar. Mark does a lot of work with Gibraltar for U.S. companies and he wanted to go see it. Gibraltar is actually a british colony and is known as "the rock". This tiny country was very important for England to maintain control of due to it's large sea port access.

We did some shopping while were here, and of course we had to take a cable car ride to the the top of the rock and see the monkeys. The monkeys are roaming around everywhere at the top and will take your belongings if they think it may contain food. So you are strictly warned to not carry plastic bags or food around. The girls loved seeing the monkeys so close, and Lauren still keeps asking us if we can go back to Gibraltar!
Before we left Gibraltar we headed to the beacon of Europe- the southern most point of Europe. Africa is only 15 miles away from here and the last picture is taken from this point. That is Africa in the background. If we would've had more time we could've taken a ferry ride across to Tangier and spent the day in Africa!


During our time in Spain we did go to the caves of Nerja. The caves were undiscovered until 1959 when a group of boys discovered them by chance. Scientists believe that these caves were inhabitated between 25,000 to 2000 B.C. and they are still researching them today.

We also drove about 2 hours to Granada and explored the Alhambra- which is one of Europe's greatest tourist attractions. The Alhambra is one of the most remarkable fortresses built in Europe. It is because there are so many tourists here everyday, the government limits how many people can actually tour the inside of the many palaces in the Alhambra. Unfortunately, we didn't arrive early enough to do this, however we did get inside the fortress walls to walk around the beautiful gardens and see the different palaces from the outside.

Our last trip- Spain!

Before heading back to the U.S. we took one final vacation to southern Spain for a week. It was exactly what we all needed for a little relaxation. We stayed about 45 mn outside of Malaga near the town of Nerja. We had sunny weather everyday and the temperature was between 85-90 degrees. We couldn't have asked for better weather! We went to the beach everyday and the girls absolutely loved it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A farewell gift from Luxembourg!

My final gift from Luxembourg- a PARKING TICKET 2 days before we left!! Luxembourg is known for issuing parking tickets- the joke is that is how the country makes all of it's money because everyone gets parking tickets all the time. Why? Well that's because the rules are different depending on where you are, and this can even change from block to block. Anyway it's amazing that neither Mark nor I received a single parking ticket during our entire 2 years here- something to be proud of actually! Well I guess we can't take that honor home with us. I'm just convinced it was my final farewell present from Luxembourg. Do you think I paid the ticket?

Final Days in Luxembourg

After all of our stuff was packed up and sent off, we stayed 4 nights in a hotel in Luxembourg. During this time we had time to relax and just enjoy our final days in Luxembourg. We were so fortunate to have come to this tiny, but very beautiful country. While there were struggles along the way, the lessons we learned and the friendships we made will last a lifetime. It's too hard to put in to words how much our time here has changed all of us. Luxembourg will always be a special place to us! We have been so fortunate. Here are just some random pictures taken during our last days here. Au revoir Luxembourg!