Self-Care Weekend

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A simple writing on the wall became an anthem for an incredible weekend full of self-care. I’m full of gratitude for two nights (child-free) with my friends in the Belgian Ardennes. As much as I love my two little humans, I also LOVE being without them sometimes.

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This is our 2nd annual Mama-Girls-Weekend-Getaway in the Ardennes and I’m considering this an official tradition. It was a weekend full of late dinners, lazy mornings, uninterrupted conversations, long walks in the woods, snow (!), relaxing in the sauna, and best of all—- not having to take care of others. How refreshing! We probably consumed too much alcohol, but again—nobody to take care of! These lazy mornings were the best. Just being able to lie in bed and not have to get up to take care of anybody. I had time to read, watch Netflix, and meditate.

And sometimes there were these moments of silence. Nobody felt the need to chat or share something. Just sit there in silence. The whole weekend was just pure joy from start to finish.

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I feel so grateful that Jaap is willing, able, and completely confident in taking care of the kids while I’m away. But mostly, I’m grateful for the friendships I have with these women. God only knows what my mental state would be without their support. Amen for good friends.

Visiting Friends

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After Christmas, we traveled to Emmeloord to visit an old friend of mine. We stayed in a cute little house in Woudsend (Friesland) and spent a rainy day indoors at this huge Orchid nursery complete with playgrounds, theater shows, and animals. What a bizarre little place. The kids loved exploring this huge playground complete with sand and water play.

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It was great seeing my friend Erika again. A true friendship can last decades and long distances. I still can’t believe we both married Dutch men and live here now. Too bad we live on opposite sides of the country! If only I could see her more regularly.

I’m surrounded by transient internationals and expats here and it’s always hard when a friend leaves. It’s happened a few times now and I’ve accepted that this is just the way it is. Luckily, I have a strong group of Mama friends here that are (for the most part) here indefinitely. But, it really helps me value my other friendships. With my friends that I only see once or twice a year, or maybe every couple of years. I’m thankful for this.

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