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Naples round 3

November saw Chris heading back to Naples, Italy for another 2 1/2 week NATO exercise. This particular exercise ended up being a little overwhelmingly busy with some complications that arose during production so Chris didn’t get much time to hang out and take in much of Italy. He did manage an excursion to Pompeii with his co workers though as well as a stop at our favorite pizza place, Da Michele!


This is now the 3rd time Pompeii has been featured on our blog (1st time and 2nd time). Life definitely takes you down strange and wildly unexpected paths. I never would have thought I’d be able to write about it once, let alone three times and I’m humbled by the course we’re on that has led us here.
I tried to do another photo challenge for Chris for Naples, but since he had hardly any free time he wasn’t able to do much. One of the completed challenges though was a self-portrait eating gelato and I couldn’t decide which one was my favorite, so you get both! I sure love this man! He makes me smile like no other :)


Category: Adventures, NATO, Travel, Work  Tags: , ,  One Comment
Menorca Photo Challenge by Chris

In May, Chris went to Menorca, Spain for 2 1/2 weeks for a work exercise. Seriously… he gets to go to all the cool places :)

He’ll laugh at me for writing that, because in reality yes, he gets to go to some pretty awesome places, but he also works 10-12 hours a day while he’s there and often only gets to sightsee at night, if at all. Fortunately, he had a few days in Menorca where he got a chance to explore in daylight and even got to go to the beach after work once!

Before he left, I slipped a little Menorca Photo Challenge into his suitcase, just for a bit of fun :)

So here’s Spain according to Chris’ Menorca Photo Challenge:


1) Your hotel room

2) Top 3 things you ate

Yes, there are only 2. He forgot to take pictures while he was eating too many times :)

3) A church

4) A self-portrait at work

5) Clouds

6) Something touristy

7) Something you do every day

8) The beach

9) The ocean

10) A boat

11) Something very Spanish

12) A plant

13) Architecture

14) Something colorful

15) Night


Riga, Latvia

Did I mention Chris had a super busy autumn? Because he had a REALLY busy autumn.

First there was Greece, then he was home for one day and was off again to Germany. After his 3 1/2 weeks in Germany, he was home for just under a week and then was off again for another NATO gig in Riga, Latvia for 2 1/2 weeks.

At this point, I was a little tired of him being gone and my nerves were wound as tight as guitar strings from a VERY stressful month of cakes, so I decided to be ridiculous and irresponsible and bought last-minute tickets to visit him in Latvia.

I was so caught up with cake stuff that I didn’t have time to think about much besides packing and getting myself to the airport on time. I realized AS I was sitting at my gate waiting to board my plane that I didn’t know a single thing about Latvia. I didn’t know what currency they used, what language they spoke, what the culture was like, or if anyone would be able to speak to me in English once I got there. Whoops.

I gave myself a Wikipedia crash course while I still had free WiFi (the currency is the lat, they speak Latvian (duh) and most people can thankfully speak a little English), Chris gave me very specific directions on getting a cab to the hotel on my own without getting ripped off, and I got on the plane hoping for the best.

Getting to the hotel turned out to be a cinch! The man I sat next to on the plane was also part of the NATO exercise Chris was in town for and mentioned there was official NATO transport to the hotel coming to pick him up so I tagged along instead of risking a cab all by myself. Gotta love NATO perks :)

Chris was still at work when I got to the hotel, but he had left me flowers and a bag of bath stuff from Lush (aka my favorite bath store ever) since the room actually had a tub! Boy am I sure spoiled by that guy :) I ran a steaming hot bath for the first time in over 2 years and the rest is history. Despite being in a brand new country I didn’t leave the hotel for 2 days. It was just SO good to do nothing! (I think I’ve reached a new level of adulthood…)

I blame this trip for why I’m so far behind on the blog. I was supposed to use that week to do all the Greece posts, but I was so creatively drained that I couldn’t write a single word. I definitely think I needed this mental hiatus!


Eventually though, I made it out of the hotel and managed to walk around downtown.



And promptly fell in love with Latvia.


I think you can tell a lot about a place when it’s charming and gorgeous even in the throes winter when all the leaves are gone and the sky is dark and overcast.

All of the churches were made out of this old brick. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.


I really do think visiting cathedrals is one of my favorite things to do in Europe. There wasn’t quite the same reverent spirit of worship in the Riga cathedrals as there are in other cathedrals because you had to pay to get in, which naturally made them much more tourist-oriented, but they are still gorgeous none the less. A testament to the power of God in people’s lives throughout centuries :)
Yeah…definitely a little bit in love.







Category: Adventures, NATO, Travel  Tags:  One Comment
Chris Hill: The King of Awesome

We interrupt our tales of my family’s visit to Norway to bring you this important announcement:

Chris is coming home tomorrow!

He has been away in Germany for 4 loooooong weeks, beating his previous record of 21 days. I have missed him dearly and he has missed me. Not only that, but he only gets to be home for 5 days before he has to go on another work trip for 2 weeks! He loves his job, but times like this tend to wear a man down!

This particular trip has been a very long, very dull, and very lonely one. So to welcome him home in style, I’d like to brag about a few of the reasons why he has been sorely missed here at home.



  1. He remains suave and debonair while rocking manly facial hair like nobody’s business.
  2. He speaks like a gentleman with impeccably correct and proper grammar.
  3. He has finished reading 11 novels since he left home.
  4. He knows everything about computers. Go ahead. Just ask anyone we know.
  5. He looks super cool when he walks away from explosions.

I know I’m not the only one who considers Chris to be pretty much the King of Awesome, so if you have your own reasons please help give him a big WELCOME HOME and share them in the comments below!


Category: Love, NATO  Tags:  27 Comments
Chris Goes to Poland

At the beginning of summer, Chris went to Bydgoszcz, Poland (read like bydajflagkfjd. Pronounced like “bid-gosh”) for work.

“Chris, do you have anything to say about Poland?”
“Poland is…..Poland.”

And with that vivid word painting, here are some photos of a very Poland-ish Poland.