Family Day Trip to the Eifel

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Yesterday was the perfect winter day. We traveled to the Eifel National Park for a day trip in nature. It was picturesque. Walking in the woods, snow covered trail, building tiny snowmen, throwing snowballs, and breathing in the fresh winter air. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Thibault and Flora loved walking around in the snow. Little T is such an active little boy. I’m sure he wishes he could run and jump around all day, but it’s still so little and he can barely move in all of his snow gear! But, he still got to walk a decent portion of the trail.

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It’s strange that we have lived near Maastricht for seven years and this was our first time exploring nature in the Eifel. It’s so close. In just a little over an hour, we were in a totally different landscape. Snow was an added bonus. We didn’t expect that when we left our home, so that was a nice surprise.

This family day trip was much needed following another Carnival season. Carnival is very hard for me with two small children. I used to love Carnival in Maastricht, but things change drastically when you add a child or two to the mix. Getting out of the daily routine was a refreshing break this week.

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Our trip ended with some coffee and cake in Monschau. One of the cutest German town’s I’ve ever been to. What a fab day!

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Weekend Fun: Family walks & Babychinos

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Our weekend was off to a good start! Flora and I enjoyed some coffee and a babychino at Confetti in Maastricht, while Thibault played in the “speelhoek.” We ended with a quick stroll around the Friday market and our morning was complete. Flora was impressed by the market. “Wow. This place is pretty cool. Look at all the different things here!.” It made me realize I should take the kids there more often. There are a lot of cool things to see at the Friday market. She’s also at the stage where she talks loudly about something she sees even if it is about another person. She saw a man at the market and practically shouted, “He’s not wearing a coat! And he’s smoking!” Luckily the guy didn’t even notice and I had a little laugh. So–this is something that we are working on.

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The sun was shining on Saturday and we took advantage of the day. Some outdoor play in the backyard and a nice stroll near Valkenburg. Thibault had some fun at the playground thanks to his new outdoor winter pants! He’s growing up so fast.

Weekend fun: Eijsden castle

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We headed out for a quick walk around Eijsden castle last weekend. Flora loves castles and we had a chatty stroll round the grounds while Jaap tried to give Thibault a nap. I only wish the walk around the castle was a little bit longer. It’s such a beautiful little place. It’s still January and I’m already thinking about spring!

Girls Weekend

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Not a bad view!

I have fallen off the blog bandwagon again. My intentions to consistently blog throughout the holidays did not happen. Life was too much fun, busy, sick, and exhausted to blog! I want to upload a “snapshots” post soon, just so I have the photo memories of our Christmas season somewhere. We had such a great holiday season complete with the cookie baking days, Christmas and NYE with friends, Christmas with the Jansens, a day trip to the Spoorweg Museum in Utrecht with friends, and the flu! Overall, a fantastic holiday! Flora has fallen in love with Christmas and there’s just not much more you can ask for.

Back to normal life and I was lucky that my friends and I had something fun to look forward after the back to work/end of Christmas slump. The Mamas had a weekend getaway planned! We planned a “spa” weekend in the Ardennes (Malmedy) at a house in the countryside complete with a relaxing sauna. 48 hours, no children, no mess to clean up, nobody to take care of in the middle of the night, late dinners, lots of coffee and wine, and hours of girl chat! Not to mention a couple of hours drinking beer in the sauna, hopping in and out of the cold in our towels and reheating again in the sauna. Thank you to my Swedish friends who taught us how to properly “sauna”. I am converted and a big fan now!

It was a fantastic weekend and I have nobody but my amazing husband to thank. Thank you for letting me recharge, regroup, and mostly RELAX! After 48 hours I actually missed my family. That’s a good sign! And I feel grateful for this life. Cheers to friends and family  in 2018!

Tis the season to be tired…

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The holiday season is here and our house is full of love and exhaustion. My kids are kicking my ass. Between waking up multiple times a night, waking up at 5:00 a.m., ear infections, teething, and the need for being held constantly— we are struggling!

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Despite these hard times we are being festive and continue to enjoy being home for the holidays. Yet again we weren’t able to make it to the Cologne Christmas market and not even Aachen with the kids this year, but there is still a lot of joy!

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Sinterklaas & Pakjesavond!

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Making winter villages with Flora

Thibault’s 1st Birthday!

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It’s taken me a month to write this post. How awful! My little man Thibault turned 1 last month! I cannot believe he is already a year old (and now almost 13 months). I’m not sure how it’s possible for something to seem like the longest year of your life and at the same time the shortest. Either way—my little man is growing up!

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Celebrations at the creche

To Mr. T, if you read this when you are older—life with you is always an adventure! You’re curious, active, and completely in love with your sister. You love to make music, play with anything but your toys, and you rarely sit still. You have a curious spirit and I have a feeling that when you grow up, you will try anything! You’re happy, loud, and outgoing. We love you to pieces and are so blessed to have you. XOXO

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Famliy Trip: Lecce, Italy

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This photo pretty much sums up our last day in Italy. Taking advantage of the good life and delicious Italian food. We drove to Lecce for the day—famous for it’s (Lecce baroque) architecture. We had a great day strolling the city’s centre and enjoying the cuisine!

Flora and Jaap always make a donation to churches we visit and light the candles. A little tradition that Oma and Opa have taught her. 🙂

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Some of our best eats of the trip were at casual eateries. We ate lunch outside this Italian deli-like place and had a delicious meal. Good pizza and delicious orecchiette with this amazing burrata cheese. It was fantastic! Flora was eating a ham and cheese sandwich (!!??) and all were merry. After a stroll through a local park and a short nap for Thibault, we treated ourselves to the last (and best!) gelato of the trip. This shop is to die for. If you’re ever in Lecce, stop at Natale! This place is heavenly and has so many delicious treats! Thibault approved. Our first family trip to Italy ended on a high note! Grazie, Salento!

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