The Boarding Pass Fiasco

***Disclaimer: I have not flown since 2017 and before then had only flown as a young child/adolescent. I don’t typically fly, but rather drive or ride a train when we travel. In this case I don’t know much about the whole electronic boarding pass (or boarding passes in general other than how important they are) or how that goes.***

Whenever she had previously flown she had always been taught: “Don’t get separated from your boarding pass”, “Always have your boarding pass nearby”. It had been so ingrained in her for a few years that when it came to flying, the boarding pass was the only thing she would think about and remember. From the moment it was printed (whether at home or at the ticket desk), she would cling to her boarding pass, never letting it leave her hands, unless she absolutely had to (such as restroom or eating).

They had made it through the first flight, made it through checking in for the second flight, had a little break, and just sat down for dinner in the airport. Everything seemed to be going really easy, much easier than she had anticipated. The kids did really well during their first flight, they had played together nicely in the play area, and (shockingly) they were both eating their dinners with no problem.

“We got this” she thought, “So much easier than I thought”.

This she thought, but even the best travel days come with SOME blip in the road. It can be all sunshine and daisies.

She had managed a couple bites of her food, and a sudden thought hit her. She jumped up from the table and started frantically rooting through her bag.

“What is it”, her husband asked.

She didn’t really hear him, just continued her frantic search. She looked everywhere in her purse that she thought it could be. Opened her book, her wallet, the random papers in her handbag. Nowhere.

She could feel the panic start to rise. Her breathe started becoming shallow.

Nowhere. How could it be nowhere?! Sudden realization had dawned on her. Did she collect the boarding pass from the container that held her laptop and kindle? Was is still in the TSA bin somewhere?

“What is wrong?”, her husband asked again.

“My boarding pass is gone.”

He told her to check his bag where his and the kids boarding passes were. Not there. He suggested completely emptying her bag out just to make sure. Not there.

He told her to stay calm, this wasn’t an issue. That only increased her panicking.

This was a military organized flight- they had chartered the plane (is that the term?) to fly a whole bunch of people over to Germany. It wasn’t just a commercial flight. Would they be able to just re print a boarding pass? Did she need to go all the way back out to the ticket office? If she had to go all the way back out to the ticket counter, did her husband have to come with her (as he had to provide documentation for the original check in that she couldn’t provide).

Her husband continued to look at her and tell her that it was no big deal. This could be fixed.

She couldn’t hear that. She couldn’t sit still. She couldn’t eat. She couldn’t be calm. She needed to get this fixed and get it fixed now. She didn’t know what had to be done or how long they had to do it and with only an hour and a half before take-off she felt an even greater sense of urgency.

She took off with her bag and headed down to TSA. It had to be there, someone had to see it enfolded in the stacks of bins and turn it in. This could be a simple fix.

No such luck. The officer at the information desk for TSA told her that the gate could reprint the ticket though. She messaged down to her husband and said she was going to go to the gate and see if she could get them to re print it.

The panic was still present, but now she was doing something about. She had a first step to take.

Where they were eating dinner and where the gate was, were on opposite ends of the terminal (just about). As she walked over to the gate, she tried to calm down. She didn’t want to show up in full blown panic, but it was hard. She worried that they would have to go all the back out to the ticketing office. That no one would be at the ticketing office. That it would get closer and closer to boarding time and they would still be searching for the boarding pass. The thought of not being able to board the plane with her family had crossed her mind too many times.

She turned up at the gate they were originally given and there was no one there. She looked at the screen above the desk and there wasn’t even any information included. The panic started to rise again. All the calm that she had worked to achieve on the walk over was gone.

She started to walk back, she noticed another gate that had their flight information listed on it. Gate change, but still no attendants to talk to. She turned around and look around her. It seemed the only people that were around were passengers for various flights.

While she was looking around she happened to catch the attention of another gentleman. He passed her and something in her gut said to ask him for help.

***Ok, I don’t mean for this to get weird right then, but honestly I don’t remember what caused me to ask this guy for help. I don’t remember if he said something, I don’t remember if he was talking to someone else, I don’t know. In the midst of all the panic I forgot***

She somehow got the words out that she had lost her boarding pass. He was a little confused at first, as she had made it through security and was near the gate, but somehow they understood each other. At first he didn’t really know what they could do about it, whether she would have to go all the way back out to the ticket counter or if they could do it at the gate, but he was able to flag someone else down.

Together they were able to make a phone call to the ticketing office, put an order in for new boarding passes, and later on (about 15 minutes before boarding time) she was able to get a new boarding pass. Once she had the new boarding pass in hand, she was able to calm herself and start to enjoy her travel again.

**Authors Note: Alright, another installment in my utterly ridiculous short stories of my life. This one may not have been so fun and comical as my others, as this was a serious problem, but looking back on it- it was memorable. Deep down, realistically I knew that I would still be able to board. That they had me marked down on the passenger list and that all would work out, but in that very moment, in the midst of panicking you are not thinking entirely rationally. I don’t know that I really care to admit the amount of times I thought I would be left behind. Ironically enough, when I think about it I have a chuckle. Obviously it wasn’t a total catastrophe and it was fairly straightforward to get it fixed correctly.

 

Hallo from Germany!

Hallo aus Deutschland. Wie geht es dir?

If you have not been following me on Social Media (ACuppaCosy on FB & IG), then you will have missed that we made it safely and {somewhat} soundly to our new area in Germany. You’ll notice I did not say home, but rather area and that is because we are not in a home just yet. More on that in a minute…

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted, so I figured I would make this just a chatty/Round the Kettle/Life Update type of post. Where to begin, where to begin…

IMG_1947

We had a total travel time of 53 hours from the time that we took off on our first plane till the time that we checked into the hotel that will be our home for a little while. Two flights, one overnight (in a really cute hotel) and one {loooonnnnnggggg} bus ride with two active toddlers and a total of 11 baggage items. We survived it though and looking back at it, it was not that bad at all. I will do a post on some travel tips that I’ve picked up with this move in the hopes that if you are ever in this type of situation, you can take something away from ours.

Our first flight was a quick commuter flight (an hour and a half) and the boys just played with some random toys, looked out the windows and had a little snack. We had a long layover before our second flight, and after checking in for that flight we went and took a little breather in the USO. The boys got to play with some new toys, we got to put our feet up for a minute before we headed back through security and to our next flight. We did have a little blip in the road during this time (look forward to that short story coming later in the week 😉 ), but overall this was a really nice breather.

IMG_1369Second flight was an overnight flight, which I honestly think saved us. The boys slept for about 80% of the flight and we tried to sleep as best we could. Once we landed it was time to go through paperwork. They were fairly well organized where we flew in and once we were through the initial passport and customs section, we were taken to a hotel to stay the night in. This was our first night in Germany.

 

 

IMG_1641Early (ish) the next morning we were up and ready to get a bus ride to our final area. I think out of all of them, the bus ride was the hardest part of the entire journey. It wasn’t long (~5 hrs), but it felt much much longer, but we made it, checked into our hotel and just took a minute to breathe. It was such a relief to finally make it to our hotel and be able to not have to worry about being up at a certain time, what the next round of travel is, or even how we were going to manage all the suitcases.

Over the past couple weeks we’ve just been trying to settle into a routine and get the boys adjusted to being in a little apartment for the next few months… yes, you read that correctly. We are going to be in our little apartment or hotel for quite a period of time while we work through all of the housing. We are fully prepared for that and while the boys are struggling a little bit, I am sure that once we have two vehicles it won’t be too much of a problem.

We’ve been eating out quite a bit and I will say, the food here is incredible. I’m looking forward to finding more gems of food here, because they are not only fantastic with German food, but the international options are great as well. I may do a separate post on our food adventures some point soon, so stay tuned for that.

So, that’s what we’ve been up to lately! I’ve missed writing and blogging, but I have to say that it’s been so good to have a little break while we worked through this move. Not only because we moved to a whole new country, but also because I needed to step back for a minute and just re align my goals, my plans, and my posting. Now I’m back and ready to get down to it! Posting will not change; the blog posts will continue to just be posts all across the board of lifestyle and the schedule will stay the same as well. I’m happy to be back!

What have you been up to over the past couple weeks???

A Cuppa Cosy Heads International – Heading International

Here we are. Just a matter of a day or two before we board a plane. Head out on our new adventure. Walk into the relative unknown.

I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not excited about this new adventure. I’m ready for our family to walk down the gateway and board the plane and fly away.

I’m writing this a couple days in advance as I know that the next few days are going to be full of seeing family, finalizing some last minute details, and packing. Packing all of the things, all over again.

If you had asked me when we first started this whole process how I felt, I would have said excited. There would not have been any hesitation, nothing beyond excited. As the process continued on, the excitement never faded, but new feelings started to creep in. Daunted, by what we were going into, the process itself, the move, the housing situation when we get where we are going. Sad, for leaving behind friends and family, for the bittersweet goodbyes that we’ve said over the past few months. Scared, as we are going into a new unknown, and I’ve never truly excelled at that. Stressed from time to time, for the amount that there is TO DO and the amount that there is not to do. A lot of this move has been a hurry up and wait situation, a do all the things and then just sit around.

If you ask me right this minute how I feel, I would say bittersweet. I am so beyond excited to get to go on this adventure, to explore a completely new place, a new culture and to be able to explore all across Europe is a dream of ours. But, I also know that once we get on that plane, we are not planning on coming back to America until we have finished out our time in Germany. Which means that we will see family much less, each side will come and visit on occasion, but not the same amount as we would see them in America. I know that we will not see the friends that we have made.

I know that Social Media and technology is a wonderful thing these days. We are able to keep in contact with everyone in our lives and will be able to take them along on our adventures as we travel Europe, but it isn’t the same.

So, bittersweet. I’m at the bittersweet, but still excitedstage of our move. I know the nerves will ramp up the day that we actually leave and everything kind of hits home, but at this point, most of the nerves are hiding.

I want to take a quick minute and let you know that I will not be posting for the next couple weeks. We are going to need a couple weeks to adjust to the new location, new time zone, new everything and I want to be able to get my feet under me before I start writing blog posts. I will still be active over on IG and Facebook (A Cuppa Cosy on both), so you can certainly follow our journey there. Once I feel like I’ve got my feet back under me, I’ll be chock full of blog posts for you to read!

Thank you for everything over the past bit of time, as I’ve navigated not only this personal blog, but life in general. It’s been a pleasure sharing with you, hearing your stories, talking with you, and I look forward to taking you along on this next adventure!

January Feelings – How Are You Doing?

Well January 2019 is rapidly coming to an end…let’s have a little check in shall we? How are those New Years Resolutions going for you? Have you kept them all? Broken any? Changed them completely?

January is a hard month (although some could argue that February/March can be harder). You are on a “high” of sorts for the first week or two. New Years has just happened we are full of “fresh start” this and “new beginnings” that, but then about halfway through Week 2 of January real life starts to hit. We start to struggle with the resolutions we have set, we struggle with the concept that while this is seems to be a New Year, not everything is miraculously perfect, we struggle with the bitter cold and gray that is the harsh months of winter.

Then about 3 weeks in is Blue Monday, one of the most depressing days of the year.

It’s tough, but it is something that we can work through. We can hold on to those good things, hold on to our dreams, passions, and somehow pull the strength to pull through. We can get back on track with our resolutions (if you’ve fallen off, which lets be honest, we’ve all fallen off a time or two). We can make it through.

It may seem silly, but January can be hard.

For me, this January has been an interesting one. I’ve definitely struggled a little bit, which was not something I was entirely expecting. We’ve spent the bulk of January on vacation visiting family. We dealt with a heartbreaking loss followed by two weeks of very little sunshine and now bitterly cold temperatures (as well as dealing with a vicious cold virus running around everyone in the house-including all the kids). We’ve been pretty much housebound for most of the time we’ve been here between the weather, temps, and sickness.

It’s been a unique kind of tough.

I know I shouldn’t be complaining about all of this. We are very blessed to be able to have this time to relax, be with family, and have a bit of a break. I have thoroughly enjoyed every bit of time that I’ve gotten to see extended family (even with the extenuating circumstances), and enjoyed watching our boys play with all of their cousins. It’s been a fun time, but I’ve also missed the chances to get outside, feel the sun beat through the windows all day long (even though it would get really hot), and be able to run outside whenever we wanted to.

This is a very common theme throughout this month and from what I am seeing, with the winter kicking it into high gear across the globe, seems to be harder than previous winters.

So what can we do to combat these feelings?

I always start with some sort of physical movement. There are plenty of indoor physical activities that you can do, whether it be yoga, a quick light cardio, weights, or just getting up and walking around the house. Some sort of physical activity will do a wonder of good for your body and your mind.

The next thing that I like to focus on even more intently is what we are putting into our bodies. It is so easy to feed your emotions, to grab the quick snack, the unhealthy option, but so often that will make the problems worse. I always find my mind clearer and my mood brighter when I reach for some fruit instead of a candy bar. Hell, even choosing popcorn over chips might make a difference.

And finally, make sure that you are taking time to do one thing you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be long, doesn’t have to be something productive, but just one thing that you enjoy. Take 15 minutes everyday just for whatever that is. For me, it is writing. I find myself feeling better if I just take a chance to sit down and write everything out. I also really enjoy reading (although this is a given) and I make sure that I spend a decent amount of time every evening getting some reading done.

Do you have any tips for dealing with these feelings? Leave them below!

React vs Respond

I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past few years is how to respond rather than react. I think this is something that comes not only with maturity, but with taking a step back from everything and reflecting on yourself as a person.

We all struggle when someone says something about us: negative or positive. When someone attacks who we are, what we do, how we live, how we communicate, a lot of times our first reaction is to fight back (or in some cases run away). This is an instinct that is so ingrained in our society, the whole idea of fight or flight. That you have to stand up for who you are, that YOU HAVE TO say something.

But do you? Do you really?

The thing is, we DON’T HAVE TO REACT. We don’t have to feed into whatever the other person is trying to do. Note in the above paragraph I said that “our first REACTION”, but what if we take a moment. When someone attacks something that we’ve said or done, instead of that instant reaction, we take a moment.

Take a moment to breathe. Take a moment to figure out what that person has even said. Take a moment to listen to what we said, and then what they said. Then we RESPOND. We respond with insight, with calm clarity. Or, we don’t respond. We walk away. We say that’s not what we are interested in.

Easier said that done, right? I get it. It is DIFFICULT. It is so hard to break out of what is so ingrained into who we are and to break that initial instinct. BUT, if we break out of that path, what can happen? We can have a conversation (or we cannot), but there isn’t a further escalation. Things aren’t said out of anger. Things aren’t misconstrued. There is a constructive time for both sides to say what they need to and then move forward.

So many times I see a fight (or am, unfortunately in one) that could easily have been prevented if either side had RESPONDED with thought and insight, rather than REACTING out of anger and frustration. I’ve been in this very situation and I’ve said things that I have not meant, out of a reacting place. Out of a space of anger, where all I want to do is just lash out ( I mean we all have these moments).

You know what I’ve learned over the past few years of going down this path? Life is so much easier. When someone is saying something about me, it bounces off. If I need to respond to it, I think about who the person is that is saying this to me. Do I really need to respond? How is whatever they are saying affecting them or myself? Is this something that I want to open up to?

I ask myself these questions ALL THE TIME. When I am reading news articles, in conversations with friends/family, scrolling through social media. If any of the answers are no, then I just walk away. I DON’T SAY ANYTHING. I don’t engage in any way. It’s not worth the time, the effort, the emotional/mental output to even begin to engage in something that really isn’t important.

Ultimately, the two things I want to impress on you with this blog post are these:

 

  • WE DON’T HAVE TO ENGAGE EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE WORLD. If it isn’t productive, positive, important, then it doesn’t need a response. If the answer to any of the above questions is no, then you don’t need to engage. And when I say don’t need to engage, I mean in any way. You don’t need to say that you aren’t going to respond, you don’t need to say a goodbye, you don’t need to say anything. You just move on past.
  • WHEN WE DO WANT TO ENGAGE, WE CAN DO IT FROM A PLACE OF RESPONSE RATHER THAN REACT. If you want to have a conversation, then you need to be calm and collected. We need to come from a place where we can be open to listening to someone else, taking their ideas in and then volleying back with our own. If it goes to a place where you or the other person doesn’t want to be, then disengage.

 

It’s beyond just being kind to others. It’s a matter of taking the reaction bit out completely. If you feel attacked, step away, take a moment and then come back in. There is nothing wrong with saying “You know what, I am not interested at this time. I think that this is not the space for me to be in right now” and then walking away. That is mountains better than getting into a place of react, react, react.

A Cuppa Cosy Heads International – Vacation Time

Good morning! I figured I would give you a chatty little update on how our move is going (the real how our move is going, not a fluffy sugar coated answer). I know that I have been getting a lot of advice and I want to share what I’ve found to be helpful in the hopes that it may help someone else.

First off, I want to clarify some things.

 

  1. We are moving due to my husbands job. My tidbits go between specifics relating to that and general information that is good to know.
  2. Currently in our move process we are on vacation at our In Laws. We planned about a 3-4 week vacation in between the move to see our family before heading out of the country.

Our timeline has been about a span of 8 months (ish) from the earliest time we got an inkling that we could be moving overseas until now. It started with a phone call and an email. My recommendation to anyone out there who is potentially moving out of the country is to bank on enough time. Sure, you can move at the drop of the hat and make it work, but having a good amount of time on our side has been a big help.

We started with medical. Getting checked out by doctors, verifying if we needed any shots or tests done that are specific to where we are going (there weren’t) and getting any prescriptions updated. This is always the best place to start because if there is anything that you do end up needing to do, you have plenty of time to do it.

Once our medical stuff was done and we were cleared to go (meaning we got approval through his work to move, and got their paperwork), came the process of setting up our actual work. This is the bulk of the move process and it means A LOT. There is so much to sort through, to figure out, to plan for.

I made immediate use of Social Media. Getting into contact with folks that we knew who had lived overseas, joining Facebook groups for the area we are heading, talking to people who had just recently made this type of move. In some ways it became overwhelming (as there is just so much information from so many different sources), but it was a big help. In fact, because of Social Media we know exactly what we are going into in terms of housing.

I highly recommend that you do the same when you are moving somewhere you are unfamiliar with. Social media can be very effective when you are trying to figure out what exactly you are moving to. With that being said, also be aware that what you are finding (or being told) may not apply to your specific situation. Also, people will bring their own bias into what they are saying. Just keep an open mind while you are taking advantage of this.

Among all of the things that we needed to account for, the actual moving and shipping of our house hold goods, car, and personal belongings has been the easiest part of our move (ironically enough).

**At this point I’ll further clarify that my husband is in the military and most of the shipping, plane travel, and such has been organized by them. We handle the actual company and day hours, but they do more of that portion of it. If you would like to me to do a post specifically dedicated to that and organizing all of that, please let me know. **

We slowly (over a period of 3 months or so) worked through our home; getting rid of/selling what we didn’t want or couldn’t take, determining what would stay behind in storage, what would actually go with us. In a way it is hard to do this as we don’t know what our space will look like in our new home, but we’ve just decided to take 90% of our belongings with us.

We checked the guidelines for our packed and carry on luggage and found out the standard answer- each person can have two checked baggage (more is extra cost) as well as the standard one carry on and a personal bag. For our family, we were allotted 8 bags total (plus any carry ons).

I think the hardest point of the move was the Holiday’s. We were in kind of a holding cycle where it was too far out to pack anything, but we had finished what we needed to do prior to movers coming. It was one of those times where you feel like you need to be doing something, you want to be doing something, you are ready for the move, BUT there isn’t anything you can do. This was a period of a few weeks and honestly was probably the worst few weeks of the move itself (as of now, I can’t tell you what the next few months will be like). I got really short tempered during this time and was just ready for everything to start happening. It felt like we were just waiting and waiting.

I don’t know if these types of updates really help, or provide any insight in any way, but I want to have them for my own reflection and memories. I’ll do a couple more updates as we go along as well.

The Joy of Being In The Kitchen

IMG_8867.jpgOne of the things that I do everyday that brings me such a large amount of joy is working in our kitchen. There is something to be said for doing a light bit of work, with my hands and food, and turn it into a wonderful meal for my family. To create something tangible and provide it for my family (whether the kids actually eat it is another story…)

I’ve always loved to bake and our kitchen and pantry has reflected that over the years, but in the past couple years I have really developed a deep love for cooking full meals. When we started cutting out all the processed junk, the boxed meals, and went for healthier options that may have required more work I really truly fell in love with cooking and being in the kitchen.

IMG_8912.jpg
I love when I have a little helper on hand too!

I find cooking to be such a comforting activity. If I am having a rough day or feeling particularly stressed, I can step into the kitchen set to work on our dinner and feel my world shift right back up. I’m not sure if it’s the process of creating the meal, or working with my hands, or the fact that part of my brain can shut off while I am cooking. No matter what it is, there is nothing better for me to do than make a full meal. I also just really love being IN a kitchen. The hub bub of activity, the warmth of the oven and cooktop going, the warmth of the people cooking around you, the love that you feel when someone is taking the time to prepare something for you, it’s just wonderful. There is a reason why a lot of people think the kitchen is the heart of the home (although honestly my heart also lies in a library, let’s be honest).

I’m not going to stand here and say that I am even remotely good at cooking or that I always make the healthiest meals, nothing could be farther from the truth. And I think that that is part of the beauty of cooking. The willingness to step into a room with an open mind and come out with a new (potentially bad) dish to try or even just a spin on an old classic.

IMG_8883.jpgI try to cook as much as I can from scratch either following a recipe that I’ve found online or that I’ve learned from parents/friends. I prefer to create a meal from the “ground up” and build upon elements in each dish. I will try and offer a main protein dish, a veggie, and some sort of carb with each dinner that I provide. I will try to switch up what meats we use throughout the week as well just to add some variety. Often times I go for Italian dishes as we love those dishes as a family and they are easy to “whip up”.

Whenever I feel like we are in a “rut” I’ll grab my phone (for Pinterest of MyRecipe) or my cookbook. I got this great 1950’s era cookbook that covers anything you’d ever dream of cooking from baking a loaf of bread to burgers to appetizers. It’s one of the favorite things I’ve ever been gifted and something I reach for quite frequently. I also enjoy a couple other cookbooks that we have and look forward to continuing to collect more as the years go on.

Honestly, I encourage everyone to at least spend a little time in the kitchen. I don’t know if I really was able to capture in words the way I feel in a kitchen, preparing our meals, but it is not only a good feeling, but a sense of accomplishment at the end.

Are you a kitchen/food preparer/cook/baker person? Do you understand that feeling?