The Driver’s License

I had a good cry today. The day had finally come for me to pick up my German drivers license. We applied about three weeks ago and lucky for me, the reciprocity agreement with Texas allowed me to bypass the test which seems to be pretty hard. All I had to do was apply and then now to go pick it up, but there was one catch. In Germany (and apparently internationally) you aren’t allowed to carry more than one drivers license, so the only way I was able to take the German one home with me was if I surrendered my Texas license.

When my husband got his license in Texas they didn’t require him to surrender his German license. At this office in Germany they said that this was a mistake. Honestly I believe that Texas DMV just doesn’t care about it. The license doesn’t mean anything to them, its the record that goes along with it.

At first, in the office, I got frustrated. The German license doesn’t have address or donor information on it so I argued that this was my identification card in the State of Texas. They told me I still had a passport.

The next approach I took was to tell them they could cut the corner of it to prove that it was no longer valid, as I have seen in Texas many times. This was also not acceptable to them.

They then told me they would be sending my license back to Texas and I could pick it up there, which infuriated me. I asked them to tell me WHERE they would be sending it and no one could tell me. The even referenced my home address on the license and I just got more worked up. My husband finally said they aren’t the ones sending it. Someone from a central handling office would be sending it using the guidelines set by the State of Texas. I laughed and said “Texas doesn’t care! They will probably mail it to that address as if it was lost!”

After many different arguments, I asked my husband what he wanted me to do and he said to take the new German one and leave the Texas one. So with tears streaming down my face I told him to get it for me and walked out of the room.

A sample of How the new Führerschein looks

I couldn’t actually understand why I was so upset at the moment. I felt like a woman without a country. Yes I know that Texas isn’t a country, but in my heart it is. I felt heaving coming in my chest and just wanted to be alone when I started crying hard.

My Texas license is only valid until 2025 when I would have to renew it. The German license is good for life apparently, so it does have that going for it. There was something though, that I just couldn’t reconcile with.

I have made it clear that I was born and raised in Texas and it feels like part of who I am at my core. For some reason not having my Texas drivers license felt like a cut to the core of who I am. I have had it in my wallet since I was 16.

The Donor emblem on the front of the license

When I looked at the license though, it dawned on my that it just felt like giving up a piece of myself. My dad taught me to drive. He taught me to use my knees to steer. He made me believe in the importance of being an organ donor, so I take pride of that heart on the front of my card. My middle name, that I hated as a young girl, was the one given to me by my dad in honor of his grandmother and I am proud of it in a way I never was as a kid.

I have since calmed down, looked at the entire thing with a little distant perspective and found that it’s really the sentimental aspect that is plaguing me the most. I feel like I can’t call myself a “card carrying Native Texan” anymore, not that I really ever phrased it that way… but I will be when I return to Texas again. Until then I almost feel guilty wearing all my Texas shirts… but I can’t walk around naked and since that’s all I really own, I guess I will make it work!

Use Your Fork

It never occurred to me that at the age of 8 my daughter would be judged on her ability to use a fork and knife while eating lunch at school. When I started dating Markus was when I was slapped across the face with the fact that my southern style table manners, which I learned at Lainey’s age, were in fact, only appropriate in the South! I found a pretty good explanation of southern table manners, here.

Cutting your food with your fork or cutting food and putting your knife down to eat with the fork only is considered juvenile and inefficient. The appropriate eating position is fork in non-dominant hand and knife in the other, for the entire meal. Only cut off what you pick up with your fork for that bite, otherwise it is also wrong. I found this webpage that explains it better than I ever could. Use-a-Fork-and-Knife

It seems my naivety has caused issues for her being picked on in her new international environment. For the past few years when visiting Lainey at school for lunch in Texas it always made me laugh that they were only given plastic spoons for any and all food consumption needs, which proved to be tricky on the one occasion that I loved to eat with her, Thanksgiving turkey and dressing.

Now that not using hands and knowing how to use a knife are an everyday necessity, it’s causing me to re-evaluate the order of importance of my parenting teaching. If I am being completely honest, I have always been happy to get my kids to eat, and didn’t care if it was with their hands, feet, fork, spoon, my fork, off my plate or anything else. Teaching them to eat with a fork and knife at this point had just never even crossed my mind! So now I am off to find tools and tricks to add to my boards on Pinterest to help me tackle this new parenting requirement.


Our daughter Lainey is 8 going on 18! She’s a creative little girl with a mind all her own, and interests that make me both proud and make me shake my head. This year Lainey made her father and I both hold her down to get her flu shot but then happily and bravely got her ears pierced! The past year has been a rough one for all of us but she has taken it all in stride. Learning from home has had its struggles. A unique star as bright as Lainey needs to be social and to shine her light for all to see. Even still, we have watched her thrive independently in school while also spending four nights a week in German classes.

German Texas Girl

Thanks to her wonderful teacher Nicole through the German Institute for the Southwest, Lainey has a much stronger grasp of the German language and has enjoyed getting there! Out of all of us, Lainey is most excited about the move. I believe she still has a good memory of all the family we have in Germany and what it’s like to be there for weeks at a time. When she starts school she will need to be able to take at least 60% of her instruction in German so we have been pushing as much as you can push an 8 year old with a stubborn streak!

Snake Fun

We recently spent the day at the zoo with friends. Lainey was the oldest with the group, but that didn’t stop her from carrying around three plastic snakes everywhere she went. She even showed them the snake exhibit. We got stuffed snake animals at the gift shop and she sleeps with them at night. The one thing I have to make sure of is that I check to make sure she hasn’t “fed” them anything!

Prissy with a side of Tom-Boy

Lainey loves all things that she can build and create! We used to let her build entire worlds with Lego in the guest room. She would spend hours working on it and just disappear into her creations! Recently she started watching videos on YouTube that teach her to draw and the things she is able to make are amazing! She happily will play video games and watch YouTube and build legos but she misses to play with her princess and super hero dolls and that’s just who she is!

Big Sister

Lainey was already a big sister before the pandemic began, but she became a big sister for the second time after the beginning of the lock down. With her brother Logan, who is now 5, Lainey was closer in age and younger when he was born. She has always loved Logan and played with him. With Lukas, Lainey gets to be the older sibling who helps with him and can know what she needs to do to help us with him. She’s been amazing and she loves Lukas so much!


Lainey got a video camera for her 8th birthday and wants to start making videos about the things she does and sees. I plan to use this site to host those videos for her. It will be interesting to also hear her perspective on this international move and let her show you along the way!