Hi friends, I've updated my blog and you can now find me at www.sarahkeller.com. It's the same URL, just a new and improved design via Wordpress. This Blogger-hosted site isn't going anywhere though, it will stay put right here at www.sarahmkeller.blogspot.com. Thanks for following along and be sure to visit the new site!




Lounging on the pull-out sofa, laying our wet clothes out to dry on the bed for lack of an available dryer, snacking in front of cartoons, attempting to cook at the mini-kitchen, new-shoe wearing, internet surfing, and general boredom sums up a lot of what our last month and half has been like. At least the parts of it spent in our hotel room. But we'll be outa here in just a few more days and then the next chapter of our life can officially begin!




Finn is my third child and I feel like I'm just now coming to a full depth of appreciation for what it is to have a baby. All I can say is I love, love, love this little bundle of joy. I remember being excited to see Asher and Silas grow through all of the baby stages, enjoying each one that came more than the one that had passed. But not this time...I want Finn to stay tiny forever! Does that mean he's truly the baby of the family? Maybe.

Speaking of "tiny", he's sort of already left that stage and is weighing in at about 17 and a half pounds. He's a happy, mellow little guy who loves staring at himself in the mirror, grabbing onto things {like my hair}, and hearing music. His face lights up any time I turn it on! He just started eating baby oatmeal, he's already managed to roll off the couch {whoops, guess I'm out of the running for the mother-of-the-year award}, and he's becoming increasingly aware of when he's not being held. He loves to stand up on his feet a little, be lifted up and down into the air, and get bounced around. He pretty much hated tummy time until I tried again today to find out that he can hold his head up a lot higher and longer than he could even just a few weeks ago. I think both of us were surprised to see how strong he's getting! 

He's loved his pacifier since day one, and he drinks out of a bottle fantastically! And if those things aren't enough to call him a great baby, here's the cherry on top- for the very first time in the history of nursing my boys, I didn't have to give up dairy for six months! Hallelujah for babies without sensitive tummies.

So far, Finn's spent over half of his life in transition between New York and Germany, officially calling three different places home. I'm relieved to know that this huge transition is almost over and I can't wait to get back to what we might be able to call "normal". But normal or not, I really just hope this time of our lives doesn't fly by. I think it's taken me about four and half years of motherhood to even begin to appreciate the absolute gift that these boys are, and I'm still not all the way there. Yes, there are times when they bring me to the brink of my sanity and I wonder what in the world I was thinking when I first thought motherhood sounded like a good idea. But I'm learning the best things in life are often the hardest things, and for that reason I want to be careful not to wish away their childhood.

I'll admit that- sometimes- I get tired of hearing older people tell me how these are the best years of my life and that my kids will be grown and off on their own before I know it, as if they've totally forgotten how utterly hard it is some days. But all in all, I don't think I've ever heard a parent say that their kids grew up too slow. So I want to be wise and heed the truth, that children truly are a blessing and a heritage from our good and gracious Father. That if we'll rely on the strength and the grace of God to love our children to the fullest, our days will be filled to the brim with joy.

Happy four months, Finn! Now be a good little boy and stay little forever, please.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5




I hope you guys aren't tired of seeing windows with all kinds of flowery goodness, because next to the boys they're pretty much my favorite thing to photograph these days! I'm looking forward to getting back to blogging about some good ole' home and motherhood topics soon, but until we're into a house {two more weeks!} and back to a real routine, I'm taking it easy. But rather than completely fall off the face of the blogosphere, I at least want to pop in and post some photos of our adventures in Germany! 

We've gotten out to the town of Weiden a handful of times over the last few weeks and we are having an amazing time meandering down the cobblestone roads, seeing the stunning architecture, exploring the gardens, and trying out the restaurants. I'll admit that doing it with three little boys and a massive stroller isn't very easy {we need a date night}, especially since eating out at restaurants in Germany is a long process. Not to mention that we almost always eat outdoors and there's an army of bees that like to join us and sample the boys' juice, haha. But long waits and wildlife aside, Weiden is a beautiful little city and we're so blessed to get to enjoy it! Next time I'll take my zoom lens and get some better cityscape photos. But until then, here are some of my favorite detail shots.

Oh, and did I mention that Europe has the best cappuccinos? Yum!




Well it turns out that Germany is pretty amazing, but I have to admit that in the months leading up to coming here I thought it would be smooth sailing once we got through the flight. Haha, WRONG. The trip over was definitely nuts, but our first month here has been a huge up-hill climb. It seems like we're nearing the end of that climb, but in case you're never experienced a move to a foreign country, it may go a little like this;

Disclaimer: this isn't meant to be a rant, but take it as you will, hahaha.
> Find out you're being sent to Germany when you thought you were going to Georgia. What?!
> Spend several months getting passports updated, medical checks done, selling off things like cars, washers and dryers, large household items that won't work well in Europe, selling/renting your home out, finding a new home for the puppy you got right before you found out you were being sent overseas, etc.
> Spend 26 hours traveling when the long awaited "moving day" finally comes.
> Step off of a plane in a totally new place {that's still a four hour drive from your final destination} with no working phone, no local currency, no way to get around, and no guarantee that the people you interact with speak English.
> Spend three hours in the airport you landed at waiting on luggage, filling out a lost luggage report for a missing bag, finding that lost bag on another person's luggage cart, and waiting through a variety other very time consuming hassles.
> Finally get out of the airport and wait in a long line at the {very conveniently located!} hotel across the street only to {very inconveniently} be told that you're not allowed to stay at that hotel because you have too many kids.
> Load up all of your kids and bags and head outside to figure out a way to get to the "family" hotel across the base even though there are no shuttles running because of how late it is. Flag down the one random cab that drives up, accept Euros from a total stranger to pay for that cab, finally get to the right hotel, and realize that you and all three of the kids only have about six hours to try to sleep before you have to be up and ready to go again.
> Get up early the next morning, get on a van and travel to the final destination {we were SO lucky we didn't have to take the bus!}, and when finally settled in the hotel at the final destination, start attempting to put your life back together with no way to call anyone or get anywhere other than on foot.
> Wake up every morning for the first week only to realize that you missed the hotel's complimentary breakfast because you're still too jet-lagged to get up before 10am, and be extremely disappointed even though all you're missing are stale bagels and crappy cereal.
> Walk all over God's green earth trying to accomplish an extremely long laundry list of tasks, like getting a new address set up, signing up for a new plan with a cell phone service provider and having SIM cards switched out so that your phones work, opening a new bank account in order to pay for the new phone plan, studying to take a driving test in order to get a new license, buying new cars {which turns out to be extremely complicated when you have to fit three car seats into whatever you buy}, getting through the customs, registration, and inspections hurdles, getting a house {site-unseen} lined up through the zoo housing office, all the while attempting to coexist peacefully in the hotel together for weeks on end.
> After many hot, non-air conditioned hours of standing in line {thanks, Thane!} get confirmation that you do, indeed, have a house lined up! Except you can't move in for another month, and oh, by the way, your husband is going to be away on a business trip when it's time to move in, so just plan on staying a whole extra week in the hotel.
End rant discourse, hahaha.

It's been a huge challenge, but I'm so thankful to God for getting us through these tenuous few weeks! I can tell that He's been giving us the patience and contentment we've needed while working towards getting settled here, because {for once} we're doing a decent job at taking things one step at a time. But even when we're feeling fed up with things, we're doing our best to be thankful for the little blessings of each day- like working air conditioning in the hotel {which houses don't have}, some amazing new friends, and really delicious local food to enjoy.

And I have to brag on Thane. He totally rocks it when it comes to being proactive and getting things taken care of as quickly as possible. It's been almost two whole months since we moved out of our house in New York, but getting settled again is at least in sight! Until then, I'm just praying that we weather the next two or three weeks graciously. It's been hard. But despite life feeling like a scattered mess of puzzle pieces, we know that the Lord holds all of the details in the palm of His hand and is putting our life back together exactly as He sees fit.




Alright, well, I realized that if I waited to get caught up on all the weeks I've missed between when we first moved from New York to now, this photo project just wasn't going to get back up and running at all. So, I still want to try to get caught up once I have a real computer again {this laptop I'm working on is SO slow and hard to use, not to mention it doesn't have Photoshop}. But until then we're just going to pick up at week 30 and plug along.

SILAS / 2 yrs / Making silly faces and sporting his new railroad striped overalls. By the way, he's saying lots of new words and little phrases these days! Even an occasional "please", which is always nice to hear. Also, in case you missed it, I just posted more details about him here.

PHINEHAS / 3.5 mo. / I just have to mention that Finn started giggling on his three month birthday a couple of weeks back. I love it when the little ones first start to laugh!

ASHER / 4 yrs / He got his first real hair cut this week! Real meaning not-buzzed-by-mom, haha. He looks like such a grown up little boy.




Silas! Where do I start? First of all, I've been wanting to sit down and write about this little boy for longer than I care to admit. So- finally- here goes.

Silas turned two in June, and- how do I put this lightly?- he's a bit of an intrigue. A mix of extremes. Sometimes he is the sweetest, most endearing cuddle bug who wants nothing more than to curl up on our laps and stay there for as long as we'll let him. Other times he's known by a variety of behavior-inspired nicknames including Despot, Megalomaniac, and Silor, hahaha.

Here's a list of some of his most notable traits to date;

SWEET  Oh my goodness. When Silas wants to be sweet, he is the sweetest. He's grown up a little since Finn was born and isn't quite as cuddly as he used to be, but he has the most endearing little puppy-dog face and the softest brown eyes and there are moments when I could just eat him up!

CAUTIOUS  He takes his time when it comes to doing new things. He made sure he was good and ready before he started rolling over and crawling and walking. I always expected him to take cues from his big brother and want to get moving as soon as physically possible, but nope! Just the opposite. And that's not all he took his time warming up to, swimming pools and elevators gave him much reason for concern until just recently when Finn was born and he sort of graduated to the big-boy club with Daddy and Asher.

OBSERVANT  He knows how to do things like find his coat and shoes and sit down to get them all on {and has for a long time} without asking him to. If I start talking about going outside or doing some other task that requires getting ready, he knows exactly what needs to be done! And he loves looking at books and pointing out lots of little detailed things and hearing what they're called. He most definitely wants to keep up with Asher, so he pretty much watches him like a hawk as well.

CRAZY  He doesn't always know what he wants, or how he wants what he wants to be handed to him, or whether being given what he asks for is reason for celebration or exasperated screaming. Meal times with him is like having a front seat row at the theater of the absurd. But he's learning how to talk a little better these days so things are getting better.

TEMPERAMENTAL  Silas does a lot of things that leave me scratching my head. Like calling for me to come get him out of his crib when he wakes up and then refusing to let me pick him up when I get into his room. His whole face lights up when he realizes he's about to get a cheese-stick, but if I don't pull the wrapper down to a specific spot {or if I try to take it off completely} his little world comes crashing down.

QUIRKY  He loves all kinds of little, unexpected things, like wearing hats! He's constantly finding winter hats, toy hats, etc, and putting them on. It's the cutest. He also likes to pinch skin or anything malleable for some unknown reason. He never used a pacifier, but as long as he can pinch something when he starts to get sleepy, he's pretty relaxed. Other times, he gets these little bursts of energy and has to reach out and squeeze something {usually one of us} as hard as he can with both hands, hahaha. Oh Silas.

By the way, his beloved high-tops have just about seen their last days. They've had a good run, though!

Photos taken July 4th, 2015.

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