Visiting “Home” – Part 1

This year we got to travel home direct.  It was downright luxurious.  If there must be a positive to living in the Netherlands, I’m going with that.  Not having to change flights or wait around for our connection was amazing.  Wham! Bam! And we were there.  Ok, it wasn’t quite that fast as it was still almost 7 hours, but 7 is way better than 11.

Ready to head

Ready to head “home” (with Starbucks in hand)!

However, the downside to that was that we arrived by noon on our first day instead of the evening.  We went out to lunch (Legals – yum!!!!) and made it back to my parents, all before 3.  By 6:45PM we were dragging.  Big time.  In fact, we found Liam face down on the floor passed out cold by then.  I guess the benefit of the connection is forcing us to stay up longer and beat the jetlag.

Lunch with Nana and Papa at Legals - delish!!!

Lunch with Nana and Papa at Legals – delish!!!

IMG_4749

Out like a light on the living room floor!

Out like a light on the living room floor!

Regardless, we hit the ground running.  My goal in our first few days was to clear out the rest of our house before our closing during Josh’s visit.  I knew I wouldn’t enjoy myself much unless I got that taken care of as early as possible.  It was a bit more work than I anticipated and I need to thank my parents profusely for all their help in getting things done, especially my dad.  And Kyle and Tracie – thank you for all your help too – it meant so much to have the help and company while going thru all of the memories of our house.

A whole lot of crap with a few hidden treasures to find....

A whole lot of crap with a few hidden treasures to find….

My old roller skating competition costume - from when I was 9!!!!

My old roller skating competition costume – from when I was 9!!!!

Kyle and my dad helping me to take down my fence (part of our sale agreement).

Kyle and my dad helping me to take down my fence (part of our sale agreement).

During the time I was cleaning out the house, the kids were spending time with their friends.  Aidan had been initially apprehensive about seeing his friends.  I think as time goes on and he doesn’t stay in touch much during the year, he fears that he will no longer have things in common with them.  As a result, he was a bit defiant about going back.  In the end, all was good in the world and he and his friends found their usual, natural groove as though he never left… within seconds of arriving.

The crew

The crew

That night Lindsey was sending Aidan texts about a girl that likes him... and so it begins ;)

That night Lindsey was sending Aidan texts about a girl that likes him… and so it begins 😉

We went to Water Wizz with our friends AND our family which was a blast.  Aidan loves it there, especially since parts of the movie Grown Ups was filmed there.

New family and old friends - together at Water Wizz!

New family and old friends – together at Water Wizz!

We spent a lot of time with our family, including our extended family.  I love that when we come home, my family has a bbq and everyone gets together.  Our family has had it’s issues over the years, but the last few have been amazing with them and I’m thankful to have them all in our lives.

We ate a LOT of ice cream while we were home!

We ate a LOT of ice cream while we were home!

We visited with some old BFIS friends in Connecticut and then from there headed out to Western Mass to visit with Caryn and Urs and their families for a day.  It was near impossible to get the Western MA crowd to do a good picture and I know Caryn is very particular (totally understandable) about her kids’ web presence, so just know that we had a super fabulous day visiting with them!

Visiting with old BFIS friends who met up with us in CT.

Visiting with old BFIS friends who met up with us in CT.

We had a great time visiting with everyone!!  Best of all, I loved that we made sure to prioritize this year and spend more time with our family.  That doesn’t mean that our friends don’t mean the world to us, just that generally, our family ends up getting the shaft.  And this year we made sure that didn’t happen.  So while there aren’t many pictures, we were really happy to get to spend a lot of time with Nana and Papa during those 2 weeks as well.

The kids enjoyed every minute of our first two weeks.  We were incredibly busy but I saw huge smiles on their faces – this was big given the fact that they were ambivalent about going home this year.  So I was especially pleased to see how much fun they were having and it just kept getting better!!

Knuffels en kussen,

Julie

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