Our Week in France– Living my best life

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This summer has been quite the journey for me—and it’s not even finished! When we decided not to travel to the U.S. this summer, our original plan was to book a European beach vacation. Somewhere in Spain, Portugal, Italy or Greece. With the busyness of day to day life and my fear of not finding/booking the perfect family vacation, plus the idea of traveling some where super hot with a baby. I couldn’t decide what was best for us. I had set my summer vacation expectations too high. In the end we decided to stay in the Netherlands, plan a last minute trip somewhere and have some day trips around the area.

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First night at the gîte

When my in-laws found out we had no formal travel plans they invited us to France for the week. As a gift to us, they booked a gîte for the week. I was relieved that we had a summer holiday planned, but was still disappointed that we chose not to take advantage of a summer in Europe and have a beach vacation. As our trip approached, I was getting very excited, but being reasonable with my expectations of traveling with a baby and small child. 1.5 hour day trips everyday was not possible, wine tasting throughout the countryside will have to wait till next time!

When we arrived in France I thought—-we’re on summer holiday in France! How was I not more excited about this trip!!! Pinch me—I am living my best life. Exploring the Burdundy countryside, drinking French wine every night, exploring castles and abbeys, eating delicious food and French baguettes everyday, hearing French and listening to Flora trying to learn French, and spending time with our family. It truly was a fabulous week. I was so thankful to be on this trip and it made me think how fortunate I am to be living this life with my loved ones.

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Beautiful sunny day

7 months with T

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Seven months old and getting big! Look at this cuteness. I hope this love they share for each other remains forever. Flora is completely in love with her brother and Thibault is fascinated by her. She walks in and it lights up his world. These moments are precious.

 

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A lot has happened since my last post. Thibault is now 7.5 months old. He’s rolling around so much that we have to keep an eye on him. No more chilling on the bed because he must might roll off one day! Solids seem to be getting better. Here you see him enjoying some Wheetabix and kiwis.

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We have had a lot of firsts—swimming, lots of new foods, new babbling sounds, and a new clothing size! But with the good, there are always rough patches. This weekend was his first sick day, more like TWO sicks days. So, we’re basically exhausted right now.IMG_3983

Thank God Grandma is still in town! We’re starting to slow down and get ready for her departure in 10 days. I will be sad to see my Mom leave. I love having family this close. It feels like it should be this way always. But, I am extremely grateful for the all the quality time we got to spend with her this spring. It has been a wonderful visit. XOXO

A cold and frosty morning

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Eijsden Castle

We enjoyed a cold and frosty morning on the last day of 2016. It was a beautiful cold day and left everything around us covered in frost. We grabbed Flora’s bike and headed to Eijsden Castle to walk the grounds and enjoy the frosty, winter air.

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Walks with Thibault

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A few times a week, Thibault and I enjoy a long walk together. These walks have been good for my health and they are also good for Thibault. He gets some crisp, cold, fresh air, and a nice long nap, and I get some exercise, plus a little bit of nature and time to listen to a podcast in peace. It’s been a great time for me to clear my head. Sometimes I do a guided walking meditation, sometimes I just walk in silence. It’s been a peaceful and welcoming part of my day.

There is one part of the walk where we come to this small farm with horses. The view is beautiful. This particular day it was a little misty, but the sun was shining through. Add a sleeping baby to the picture—it was beautiful!

So my New Year’s resolution is to continue these walks with him and make it a part of my weekly exercise routine because it’s been good for the soul. Happy 2017!

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Merry Christmas 2016

Well, my previous post about sick days was premature. Our house experienced a relapse and we weren’t quite in the clear with all the illnesses. As soon as I wrote about us being sick and thinking we made it through the worst of it, the following day was another day where I felt like it was getting worse. Ugh. Regardless of our illnesses, I can now safely say that everyone is feeling better and conditions continue to improve! Thankfully…just in time for Christmas!

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Onze Lieve Vrouweplein lit up!

On Thursday we went into Maastricht to experience the “Winter Wonderland” on the Vrijthof. Flora got to ride the carousel (always a highlight), Rudolph’s train, and the Ferris Wheel with me. We ate olliebollen and had an early dinner at a cafe. It was wonderful. We deserved a little bit of fun after 10+ sick days. It was time to get out and experience Christmas.

This holiday season was a learning experience for me. It was time I learned to keep my “mommy” expectations real. It’s okay that I didn’t get to bake Christmas cookies with Flora, and we didn’t get to visit the Christmas market that I wanted to go to, and there was no time for me to get my Christmas manicure that I was hoping for. Life is just busy right now with a toddler and baby. These fun things and traditions will come again, when we have more time. For now, our time is spent where it matters most. Merry Christmas and cheers to a happy and healthy 2017!

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