Monschau, Germany

We'd been told this city was a cool place to visit. Quaint, quiet, and cute!! So...we made it a day trip! We took the scenic route (not necessarily on purpose) and ended up going through the "Eifel's," a National Forest in Belgium. We didn't even know it existed, but will definitely have to go back. There were trails, open ranges, hiking spots, biking trails...and an awesome view while the leaves are changing. Once we got to Monschau, we decided to find a place to eat lunch. I had no idea it would be as cold as it was, and the city is in a deep valley, so it was FREEZING!! We

stopped into a few little shops on the way to the main markt, kind of like you do in NY when it's freezing...just stop into a tourist shop every so often--they are sooo warm :) We found a cute little restaurant overlooking the river. It was very good, and they had heaters (very good for me, since Stephen wanted to be on the porch to enjoy the river). After lunch, we decided to hike up this hill/mountain/cliff thing to see the castle. We were sort of disappointed at the size/shape of the was more or less ruins. But we were able to see a panoramic view of the city, and it was gorgeous! In the main markt, they were already setting up for some of the Christmas markets, so we (I) looked at some of the Christmas decorations, Santa Clause center-pieces, and angels. I'm really getting excited for the Season--the markets are going to be soo cool! It was a great weekend trip, and a very cool city!

Can I be the "COOL" Aunt?

Little Princess Peanut has been named Mackenzie Nicole Kampen, born at 11:36am Oct. 14th. She weighed 7lbs. 6.5oz. and was 19.5" long! She's so cute, with a full head of hair. If you would like to see more pictures, please go to and type in her first and last name. The password is Kampen. So cute...what an awesome experience!

I'm an AUNT!!!

I got the call from Jeremy...he's a DAD!! I'm going to let them tell everyone first...then I'll let you in on the name and stats! I'm so excited ....

Sing a song about the HEARTLAND...

The only place we feel at home!!! So, my brother and sister-in-law bought us these cute glasses from TEXAS...and we were unpacking some of our boxes from the crate and happened upon them! Wow...such excitement! Stephen had a busy work week, I was finally we thought--what the heck! Let's have a Texas night! The irony, as you can see in the pictures, is

that the only beer we could find to make the night Texan was Corona...but everyone knows Mexico is part of the state :) We had a great time...I made guacamole, and we enjoyed Texas country with our pilsners! Good times...almost like home!

We are HUGE dorks...but you LOVE us!!

Do you want a riding lawnmower?

Apparantly these are the questions I ask while sleeping, doing my best to adjust to my new hours. What? Anyway, I'm back, safely and soundly. I had an amazing trip, and like most trips, I wish it had been a little bit longer...although it's very nice to be back with Stephen. We had so much fun

while in Dallas/Austin. Just look at our impromptu shoe shopping...Dad looks hot in Chucks :) And I was able to watch some great Karaoke (in English) with Kelly, play darts with Becca, Stef, Kat and D, eat Mexican food with the family, and even introduce Gracie and Bella to Frankie's. Our Little Peanut is still very cozy in her temporary home, but I was encouraged to know that she's not even coming this week...they've set a date to induce on Tuesday, Oct. 16th. So...I would have missed it either way! I'm telling you...she's cozy! In other news, I did try your

recommendations at the fair, as you can see in the pics. The main pic is of the fried cookie dough, which was our groups' favorite, i.e. Mom, Hayley, Marc and Brian. I have to say though, the fried queso was a close second, and we didn't even know it existed. Yummy...yet I still feel bloated! Very worth it though! I also found out that I don't have to live in Belgium to get Belgian waffles, or rediculous outfits and hairstyles!

So, the new task is re-adjusting to life in Liege. I think the first two days, emotionally, were the worst of it. We're great, the weather (cross your fingers) isn't TERRIBLY cold yet, and Stephen got me tickets to see The Police!!! Poor Sting had to postpone last night because of his voice (?) but I'll definitely post pics when we get to the show! Hope everyone is doing well...come VISIT!!!

Lorie Lyon...has a ring to it, doesn't it?

Last night was Lorie and Jesse's big day! It went beautifully, and the bride was gorgeous! Austin weather, or Texas rather, is never predictable...but we lucked out! It was so pretty! The wedding brought in a lot of people I hadn't seen in a long time, some I hadn't even seen since High School. It was so nice to catch up, and dance our rear-ends off! I'm not sure why I always take the dancing to extremes...but we worked it! The rest of the time I'm in the states I will be in it was nice to end the Austin leg of my journey with a bang! Next up is the State Fair of Texas, and their selection of fried foods are interesting this year. As your tour guide, I would love to provide you all with a play-by-play of the delicacies...just vote on the side which ones you think I should try :)

Have a great week!!