Churches Around the World: Berlinerdom (Berlin Cathedral)

Welcome to another installment of Devotional Diva’s Churches Around the World Series! Today we are finally visiting the fantastic Berlinerdom in Berlin, Germany! This is the grandest church I’ve yet to visit in Europe. We almost didn’t make the visit on our one day trip to Berlin since it was kind of jam-packed (see all about our adventures in Berlin here.)

We had already seen a small church at the Berlin Wall memorial, but my awesome husband knew I really wanted to go see the Berlinerdom (named as such for its dome shapes on top). So, he made it work for us and we were able to slip in for a little while before they closed.

Here is the link to the official website! We paid 7 euro each, so it was kind of expensive. But really worth it, I think. There’s a lot to see. It’s a really big and beautiful place.


berliner7 berliner9 berliner10 berliner11 berliner12 berliner13

Below the church is the Hohenzollern Crypt. It contains the burial monuments of european royalty.
In the crypt


View from top. One of the main draws of the great Berlinerdom is the view, but you do have to climb about one zillion stairs to get there!





Continue Reading

My Heart Was Filled Up!

I feel like I’ve left pieces of my heart in so many places. But Iowa is where I have spent the longest amount of time, it is where I grew up, and I still have so many people I love there, so it feels like my true home.

As I mentioned in my post last week, in September, we traveled back to Iowa for my best friend’s wedding (I was a bridesmaid).

Honestly, this trip back home was so much different than any other because I could really appreciate how homey it is. Especially because of the wedding, I reconnected with many more special people.

My heart was filled up with so much love and joy, and I wanted to share that with you today.

The bride and I have been best friends since 1st grade! We are family to each other, and it was so important for me to be a part of her wedding day. I cried a lot and I’m so glad I could be there.
Beautiful bride
Right before the first glance photos! We were all filled with so much excitement!
I took this photo when were all gathered together about 20 minutes before the ceremony. We could hear all the people shuffling in and we were getting so nervous, especially the bride!
This is my husband dancing with the bride — so cute.
This is my princess Brigit snuggling up to me. I cherished this moment as she is selectively snuggly and usually prefers to be alone.
This is Zero, our elderly kitty. He is doing okay. We are just grateful we could spend any time with him. He was undoubtedly happy to see us again, too.
Here is O playing with Brigit. They had so much fun playing together! I can’t wait until they are reunited. They’ll be such good buddies. I always knew they would be. It made me so happy to see the joy on his face playing with her.
My sister-in-law took this beautiful photo of me with my nephew. I love it and him.
O was so sweet with his cousin and I caught him on camera giving him kisses a couple times.




Continue Reading

My Beautiful Iowa

We are back from our trip to the states! I’m so sorry it’s taken me awhile to get back in the swing of things here on Devotional Diva. Today I wanted to share with you some pictures from our adventures in Iowa (where I am from!) There’s more to come, because it was a long trip and I have a lot to share.

O, his daddy and his first cousin! We were so blessed to meet him for the first time. Also pictured in the distance is a cat stroller containing our kitties Brigit and Zero! They LOVE walks. I will take no flack from anyone about having a cat stroller. In fact this is my second cat stroller.
The main reason we went to Iowa was so I could be a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding. Here is O arranging some of the bouquets.
So beautiful, right?
The weather was so great when we were there. We spent a lot of time at playgrounds! O was in heaven.
Iowa is really a gorgeous state. Sadly, not long after we left our area ended up terribly flooded! The wedding reception venue included.


iowa-carrot wedding
When a carrot crashes your wedding photoshoot.


Continue Reading

Italian Beach Day with My Boys

We took full advantage of my husband’s day off and went to an Italian beach! I love the beautiful Italian beaches and we had such a great day. I wanted to share some of our lovely day with you!

Italian beach umbrellas
Aren’t all the little umbrellas so cute?
O playing in the sand!
The view of my umbrella from my chair
O is not a fan of the water at first and takes a long time to acclimate himself to it!
Oh yes, nothing better than feeling the waves on your feet!
There he is starting to have fun!


b2 b4

Continue Reading

Churches Around the World: Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

Continuing my Churches Around the World Series (why not, right? I end up visiting a church everywhere I go!), today we’re taking a took at the Eglise Saint-Michel church in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

During a stroll with my husband and son, we met a kind lady from Manhattan who offered to take our family picture by this beautiful tree. She and her husband regularly vacationed in Villefranche. After chatting for a bit, she said that she wanted to stop into the church and see if there was anything new going on. She offered to show us around, although it’s a fairly small church.

Apparently there used to be a lot more woodcarvings and things to “look at,” but in recent years, those have sadly gone away. If you’d like more information about this particular church, follow this link to go to its TripAdvisor page.


The tree I mentioned!

france-altar france-pews france-statuefrance church


Continue Reading

German & French Food Highlights

As I was going through all of my photos from my trips to France and Germany, I noticed I took a lot of photos of what I ate. Like, way too many too include them in the original Devotional Diva posts that I did about the trips. So, I decided to save them and do a post to include my favorite food photos! Hopefully this is at least interesting for all of the foodie Divas.

My first experience of real French crepes!
French wine to go along with the crepes — This was a pretty dry Rose. It was good, and I felt very fancy.
French Carbonara!
In Berlin, we hit up Burger Dealer, home to the best burgers in Berlin!
At the Kieler Woche festival in Kiel, Germany, I stopped for a quick Doppelwaffel and soon got powdered sugar all over myself.
We stayed at an Air BnB in Germany, and our hosts cooked us this awesome meal our first night. It was so delicious!!
True German schnitzel with a beer sauce!
In the foreground of this picture, you can see my husband’s huge steak, baked potato and garlic bread. My plate is in the background, but I got a different steak that was not near as big! Also, Germans are very generous with their sour cream.



Continue Reading

Berlin, Germany #DivaTravel

I’m back with more German adventures! Today I’m sharing our day trip to Berlin. We spent a lot of time walking along a path learning about the Berlin wall and seeing where it was, until we ended up at the memorial and the Chapel of Reconciliation. It was a cool experience. We also stopped at a large grassy area with lots of grafiti where Oliver ran around and played. He loved it! We also walked around Museum Island later in the day!

berlin path

The metal poles are where the wall was

berlin wall berlin-grafiti 20160621_133520984_iOS

The Chapel of Reconciliation


My favorite statue at museum island


Continue Reading

The Stages of Post-Vacation Grief


The Stages of Post-Vacation Grief

I was inspired to write this silly little thing after returning home from my vacation to Germany. This seems to be what I go through during Post-Vacation Grief (totally a real thing) and I thought it would be fun to share since I’ve been traveling so much. Without further ado, my stages of Post-Vacation Grief…

Excitement: As I’m in the car headed home, the baby is totally passed out. I’m really tired but really excited to get back to my life. Ah yay, my own home! I have so many ideas for Devotional Diva! I have so many ideas for the house! I’ll reorganize my closet. Work on my craft room. Things will be great.

Disappointment: I get home and my house is a little messier than I thought I left it due to being followed around by a one-year-old while packing! Oh well. The baby tears it up even more when we get home. At least he has so many toys here to occupy himself with. I get some water (because my fridge is basically devoid of anything else) and sit down on my own couch for a little while.

Anxiety: I stare at my suitcase just sitting in the hallway, taunting me. There’s important stuff in there! Man, I really don’t want to unpack that monstrosity. It doesn’t have to be totally unpacked tonight, but…it will have to be at some point. Should I just do it now? Ugh.

Clean all the things: I unpack everything, make lists of how to get my house more organized, tidy up the house, give the baby a bath and put the baby to bed.

Exhaustion: I try to relax, but I’m too beat. I go to bed soon after.

Woe-is-me: The next morning, I don’t even want to do anything on my list of goals! No! I am too tired! I have all this laundry to catch up on. When I was on vacation I didn’t even have to worry about any laundry and now there is just piles! Why did I even make these lists? I’ll be lucky to even get this laundry done.

Resentment: I hate laundry and I just want my German food back.

Acceptance: After all of my laundry is done, I am glad that I now have so many options to dress my kid up in! I’m comfortable. My son is settling back into his routine and he’s happy to be reunited with his toys. We go to the grocery store, and we have everything we need. I’ve got my lists of projects and I’ll get them done… eventually!


Continue Reading

Kiel, Germany: Kieler Woche! #DivaTravel

As I promised on Instagram (not following the Devotional Diva Instagram? Follow this link or search @devotional_diva), I’m sharing photos from trip to Germany! This is going to have to be broken down in to more than one part. Too many pictures! Here, I’m just talking about our time spent in Kiel for Kieler Woche (Kiel Week!) It’s a huge sailing festival and it was a ton of fun. Here’s a glimpse at our adventure.

Food festival!
The aquarium!
A cool kids park
Another view of the kids park
The mall — Zero store is an homage to my cat!

kieler woche 20160618_185608653_iOS 20160619_112431128_iOS 20160619_184026238_iOS



Continue Reading

The French Riviera #divatravel

Today I’m sharing some photos from our trip to the French Riviera, specifically Villefranche-Sur-Mer! Oh, it was so beautiful. I loved it. What an easy-going vibe. I definitely hope to return someday!

If you didn’t know, we are military family currently blessed to be living in Italy. We are exploring Europe and I’m taking lots of pictures along the way to share on Devotional Diva!

ville1 ville2


ville6 villefranche




Continue Reading