I have been craving snow this year. I long from my childhood memories in huge banks of snow, snow days home from school, sleigh riding with the neighborhood kids, and Mom making hot chocolate for us when we came inside. These are such strong memories for me and I wish it was something that I could pass on to my kids. I realize it’s just not the same. We can make other memories. At least we live in Cadier en Keer where snow seems to come and last more frequently and longer. Hugs to that. Thibault was cold after 30 minutes, but Flora was our snow champ. She loved it. It was perfect timing for the book I was reading, Wintering. It’s good to know there are other people out there who like the cold!
I love seeing these ten year challenge posts all over social media. I can’t believe Jaap and I have known each other for ten years. The picture of us above was one of the first times we had the chance to sit, have a few drinks together, and chat outside of band rehearsals. A very late night at 2A in the Lower East side with our friends. I love that we have a picture from that night.
What a fun adventure the last ten years have been full of happiness, love, and many challenges. Dating in NY, moving to Maastricht, getting settle in the Netherlands, two weddings, lots of European and North American travel adventures, and of course making a happy family.
Thanks for an amazing ten years, Babe! Here’s to many more decades to come. XOXO
***This post has been sitting in my drafts for 3+ months. A happy belated birthday post to Flora.
To my dearest Flora,
Thank you for being the little human that you are. Your smile lights up a room! We loved celebrating your 5th birthday with you, complete with a Princess Jasmine cake and a sushi dinner. I can’t believe all of the new things that you have done this year. Starting school, making new friends, drawing and colouring for hours on end, exploring Italy, Ireland, and the U.S., beginning to learn how to ride a bike, dancing your heart out and performing in your very first dance show, learning your numbers and letters, learning how to play card games, and your love of face paint. My favorite part of watching you grow up is the love your share with everyone, especially how much you love your little brother. I wish I could freeze time and keep you this age for just a little longer, but as you say all the time, “I can’t Mom. I’m growing up.” Yes you are and we’re excited to see what age 5 will bring this year!
I’m not sure how I got this lucky for Autumn break, but I ended up with a lot of much needed alone and me time. Two nights away (KID FREE!) with Jaap in Den Haag and one night in Rotterdam with a good, old friend from New York. It was really the dream week.
I’m following a course for professional development at the Conservatorium in Den Haag. It’s been such an inspiring experience and I’m feeling very invigorated and challenged. Truly— a lovely experience. However, it forces me to be away from my family at least one full Saturday a month and in some cases a whole weekend. I can’t say I’m complaining though. Sitting on a train for three hours by myself with a good book is heavenly. Followed by choral singing, a Kodaly inspired music theory class, singing games, and discussions about music education. It’s simply fantastic.
We had the greatest weekend in Den Haag. I love that city. Dinner at 21:00, movies, and long interrupted conversations. I’m so grateful to have in-laws who allow us this free time, while they watch the kids.
Fast forward to the end of the week— I had another night free from the kids. This time meeting up with my friend Erika in Rotterdam for a mini-girls night away. Dim sum, non-stop talking, reminiscing about our former New York City life, colleagues, and fun times, discussing motherhood and all it’s challenges. We had such a fabulous time. Not to mention— Rotterdam is pretty cool. I must go back with the family and explore some more. And a special thanks to Jaap to had lots of extra cuddles with the kids that weekend!
As if the day couldn’t get any better, we ended the night was some INCREDIBLE music and dancing at BIRD. I have never seen a DJ this good since living in NL. The party was electric. The entire room could not stop moving. It was such an inspiration. We were completely free and it felt so good to be alive. We heard five DJs that night and I’m pretty sure the entire place would agree the female DJ was the best. And I have never in my NL life seen such a diverse group of people, white, black, brown, gay, straight— it was all there. What a celebration for us. GIRL POWER!
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!
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
Happy birthday to us! My husband and I had a 24+ hour getaway this weekend to celebrate our birthday togethers. This couldn’t have come at a better time.
I really struggled this week with the day to day life of being a mom. It was rough. It was filled with highs and lows. I love the days that we are together as a family of four. But on the days when I am alone with two kids, it can be a struggle. This week was one of those crazy weeks when the stars just did not align for me. This birthday getaway was my reset button.
I just needed to be alone with my husband and enjoy each others company and reconnect. It was exactly what we needed. So my amazing in-laws watched the kids for one night, Jaap and I escaped to this cute chateau in north Limburg, and had a fabulous time, complete with a delicious meal that I will never forget. Long conversations without interruptions, luxurious food and tasty wines, reading books on the tetras, sleeping in tip 8:45 (!!!) and spending quality time together. I feel like myself again. Amen.
If you’re in the neighbourhood, check out Aubergine. Absolutely amazing!
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.
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.
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.
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
Me and Elsa having a lunch date at Coffeelovers while Thibault cranky-pants was trying to get our attention. My little girl looks so grown up here. XOXO
Thibault, you’re 11 weeks old and incredibly cute! The big 3 month birthday is right around the corner. These last few weeks have flown by! We’re so happy to see you emerging as a smiling, happy baby. You love looking at your Muppet mobile in your box, playing on your activity mat in the morning, but most of all, you love interacting with your sister. Whenever she is around you start to smile. It melts my heart. You’re starting to talk more and more and we love hearing these new sounds. We love you!
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!
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!