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Giving It A Second Try

Originally I wasn't going to be an Au Pair in Stuttgart, but for a family with six children just across from the border of Austria in Bavaria. The mother had contacted me around two years, along with two other families. But I immediately loved her best ... she just seemed so nice over messages, and I loved that she had more than the normal two or three kids most German families have. 

But neither of us was very organized. First, I could never come as soon as she wanted. Then it never worked out for us to Facetime. And the contract got lost in the mail. And so many other little things, that when the Stuttgart family contacted me and things actually fell into place, I decided to go with them instead.

It wasn't that I was impatient to get to Germany. I also had a cleaning business to think about. I was in the middle of hiring someone to take over all my houses while I was gone, and she was quitting all of her other work to come work for me. So dates mattered. And yes, I also had this nagging feeling that if I didn't just go now I never would go.

I'll admit, it was difficult telling the lady that I had decided to go to go with another family. But she was very understanding. Even so, I felt very guilty the last couple of months in the states, and even told some of my friends, "I'm not sure I made the right decision here."

Not that anyone is entitled to have me as their Au Pair. And I certainly hadn't agreed to be her Au Pair yet. But I still felt bad. But, slowly, I was able to forget that guilt and build up excitement for my change of plans. 

When I realized I wasn't going to be able to live up to the expectations of my last Au Pair family I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. Or how to think of myself. I definitely felt like a failure for a few hours or so ;) 

But I was also at a really good place mentally, so those few hours weren't long-lived. Mostly, I enjoyed myself while in Stuttgart and prepared for the worst-case scenario. I kept in contact with the other lady. Several of my friends told me to just give up on the idea of being an Au Pair. "You don't really love children, anyways," they reminded me. "Go work on a Wwoof farm."

I was determined to do what I came here for, though. 

And so, when my contract was terminated I came to the family I'd originally planned to go to. 
The weekend I arrived was exhausting. I felt mentally in a million places. Not only was I changing Au Pair families and trying to leave the last one on good terms and figure out how to publicly announce it to my readers, but I was also in the middle hiring on a new girl to clean and finding her more houses to clean, and dealing with lots of other personal stuff. And also, maybe it's just me, but hearing so much of a foreign language all the time, no matter how much you love it, is a bit taxing on one's concentration.

The day after I arrived was a Sunday. I went to church and loved it so much. It was my first Catholic service, and though it was in German, I understood some of it nevertheless. And the music was breathtaking. And I know many people say they don't feel comfortable worshipping God in so much finery, but I found it lovely. Yes, I still don't believe one needs all that, but really, how is it wrong to worship God by offering Him the best of the best?

After church, the family took me to see the longest castle in Europe called Burghausen Castle. I don't have any pictures of just how long it is (maybe in a future post). First, we had cake and coffee, then we walked through the castle. I was still out of it, but I really enjoyed it.

That night I walked into my room and saw this sitting on my couch (there's a piano, couch, coffee table, bookshelves with books, and wardrobe with a bunch of stuff. A big room with plenty of space for me and a bit more).

The doll startled me into laughter. I knew one of the kids had to have put it there to scare me. Who, I didn't know, as I really hadn't seen much of the kids except the three youngest who I had seen quite a lot of, and who pretty wouldn't let go of my hand since the moment I walked in.

The next day the oldest boy, thirteen, asked me if I saw the baby and if it scared me.

When I told him I that I'd laughed he was a bit disappointed ;p

My first night here I met everyone, but I was too tired to actually observe characters so much. And also, I had a hard time knowing what to do with myself ... there were a couple guys working in my room, finishing last preparations for my arrival, the kids were all over or talking non-stop to me (I was surprised that I could actually understand a lot of what the little ones said), and the mother was in the midst of dinner preparations. So I just sat in the middle of it all and watched and tried to understand and not fall asleep.
A couple days after I got here I went walking with the second oldest girl. She's so very sweet and always so helpful. And her English teacher invited me through her to come to speak at their school. Sometimes I help her with her English vocabulary, and when she heard I write stories she offered to help me write one in German.
After a week of being here, I went to the theater with the mother of the family and her two oldest children. I didn't understand everything, but I still enjoyed the film. Though I was bit shocked at the content. Later I looked up how German films are rated, and it is a bit different than the states, though not that different. I have no idea what the film was rated, though it seemed like a PG-13 film with some R-rated content.
They only had snow once since I've been here, and it was shortly after I arrived. Enough to make this wacky little snow fellow.
The scenery is still as pretty as ever for walks ;)

I should get pictures of my room, as I did that last time. But .... maybe in another post. For now, I'll share the other little things. The German number I had before belonged to the previous family, so shortly after coming here I bought a phone card and set up a new Whatsapp. I have a set of house keys and car keys (I drive here quite a bit). And my name is on the mailbox, which is a little fun ;) The first thing we did was get the contract signed and then I was taken to the registration office and changed all that over from Stuttgart. And of course, shortly after I received a bill for TV and Radio.
These kids are such goofballs. 

Playing a game, and trying to keep the baby from eating it 

Driving girls to kindergarten (baby is hiding in his car seat)

Walking again. I did a lot of that when I first came here
This picture says a lot. 
It is proof of my greatest disappointment while being here. My two favorite hair sticks, broken.
It also shows how I've been turning a lot of things I'd rather not be into works of art. Or trying. 

I think he was scared, to be honest. But scared in the way that he was also like, "Wow, I'm up so high and I'm not falling!"
To make him laugh and smile is the easiest thing in the world. And he does it all day. Most of my mornings are spent taking care of him while his parents work (occasionally I drive girls to kindergarten, too).  And then in my afternoons I do things with the kids or family or write, or dance, or walk, or bake, or something. I like to do a lot of cleaning in the mornings, too, with the baby. That way he doesn't eat it all ;p
When he's tired he either needs to go for a stroller ride ... or he'll fall asleep in my arms as we listen to music and dance.
The cat and baby fighting for space on my lap. 
In some ways, life is a lot slower here than in Stuttgart. But I totally don't mind that. I love being in the country, and with so many kids and all the noise and activity. And my evenings are now freer so I'm able to do a lot more social stuff. Or just sleep, if I prefer. 

I have German classes twice a week, and then after those I go straight to Wing Chun lessons! It's always been a dream to learn Wing Chun and I was so happy to find a place only ten minutes away by car. It's exhausting to learn, so to build up strength I do dance workouts for about an hour or more every day. The dancing is exhausting in itself ;D 

I've really been enjoying getting to know everyone. Though every one of the kids definitely has their own life and interests, so they don't require much attention and often they just play (or fight) quietly next to my room as I write or work or dance. 

A fun last-minute outfit I threw together ... I bought the purse right before I left Stuttgart, but it's made from goat leather from Austria. 
I've been here for over a month. In some ways, I do more here than at the other place ... I do a lot more cleaning, and even spend more time with kids and leave the house way less often. But at the same time, I feel like I do less mentally. Like there's no stressing (not to say there isn't stress. Life is never perfect. But we all roll together just fine).

I've done some cooking here, and people definitely think it's weird sometimes, but we all laugh. And I've been enjoying trying lots of new German Bavarian words and foods. The German dialect is different here, but I'm still able to make do with my German. Or I should say, my German is still improving.

So, yes. 

I came to Germany saying, "I need to travel and get it out of my blood."

A little over a month ago I announced, "It's out of my blood."

And here I am loving the country again. Though America is still home ;) 


  1. It looks as if this second chance/try came out great. You look like your're enjoying yourself and having fun in Germany, learning Wang Chun which I had never heard of before but sounds like fun.

    Loren |

    1. You've never heard of Wing Chun!? Then I recommend you watch my most favorite movies ever, Ip Man. And, yes, I've done quite well enjoying my time in Germany.

  2. I'm so glad that everything worked out for you, Keturah! It looks like you are able to enjoy it again!

    Oh, and I love that you were able to go to a Catholic mass! I liked reading your thoughts on it. I love the music, too, it's one of the few places that I'll sing in. <3

    1. Tbh I enjoyed my time in Stuttgart too even though all didn't go as I hoped. So I'd just say in continuing to enjoy Germany ;)

      Are you Catholic? I don't think I knew that. Or maybe I did 😂 but yes the music is amazing and I attend the church every week with my Au Pair family.

  3. You seem to be enjoying yourself! I'm glad it everything seems to be working out. And that cake looks delicious. *heart eyes* And that last outfit is super cute!

    1. Enjoying myself is easy when I fill myself with things I love (I don't mean chocolate). And then surroundings don't matter so much ;) Thanks! Fun to eat and to wear;)

  4. What a unique experience!! I'm so glad it ended up working out and that you're enjoying your current job! The baby is adorable. :)

    Hanne ||

    1. Yeah it's so much fun!!! Thanks! He's such a fun little doll

  5. That sounds fantastic and like a really amazing trip. The kids are so cute! Especially the littlest one! <3 And it's so cool you got to see a castle! :)

    1. It's been an amazing trip. And yes they are so cute ;)

  6. Sounds great! Super interesting to hear all about your adventures!

    1. Glad you find it interesting... sure is interesting to live ;)

  7. Awwww, those kids are so cute!!! I'm glad you seem to mesh better with this family, and that there's less stress for you here. :)

    And Wing Chun?! I had to look that up, but learning a martial art sounds so cool! Will you post videos or blog posts about it? I'd be interested to see that!


    1. Aren't they though? Life always has stress, but now it has nothing to do with this family. It's been a lovely stay.

      I suppose I'll post something about it as it's a huge part of my weeks right now. Videos, probably not. I don't know how I'd get them, much less want to post them, haha. But I will do a post ;D

  8. So glad it all worked out! Those kids are adorable!

    1. Yes, it's great to have a experience that everyone seems to be enjoying and benefiting from. And aren't they!? 💚


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