The International Leg Tour

Just a few days after Urs’s visit in April, the Anastasia family, friends of ours from our old neighborhood arrived for a quick 36 hour visit.  They were in London for a family trip and the vacation was unexpectedly extended so they made a quick decision to come to the Netherlands for a visit.  We didn’t tell the kids…

We didn’t tell them because their girls are two of Aidan and Liam’s closest friends from home.  Especially for Aidan.  Aidan and Lindsey have always stayed in touch and even when they’ve gone through the “I’m too shy to actually have a conversation with you until the moment I have to get on a plane despite the fact that we text and email regularly” phase for a few years, they’ve always stayed close.

We had a baseball game that day (surprise!) and Josh and I arranged to get a rental car so that I could head into Amsterdam to pick up our friends.  We showed up at our house and had the girls ring the bell.  Josh had the boys answer the door and the looks on their faces were priceless.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t fast enough with the camera to actually capture that reaction.  Like with any visit with this group of friends, we all picked right back up where we left off and it was nice to see Aidan and Lindsey have finally made it past their shy phase.

It’s amazing the stuff you can cover in just 36 hours.  We spent a few hours walking around Naarden, took some time wandering around Amsterdam and still had time to go to Keukenhof to see the tulips.

But like our visit with Urs, the best part was getting to have some quality time with our friends and bonus, for the kids to also have time with friends from home (I’m pretty sure this is only the second time kids from home have been to visit).  Thanks for visiting Anastasias!!!

Oh and in case you were wondering why it’s called the International Leg Tour – it is all about Rich wearing shorts no matter the time of year.  And during their trip, there are several shots of him posing similar to he and Josh above with the “leg” on display!

Knuffels en kussen,

Julie

Ursula Comes to Visit

As I mentioned before, I’m just a teeny bit behind in my blogging so I’m going to utilize the NaNoWriMo month to try to do some catching up.  Sometimes having a time crunch can be super motivating, especially for me.  Now that I’ve started back, I just can’t stop!! Of course, now the challenge is remembering back to what happened in the last 5+ months.  Thankfully I had at least started a few entries and/or threw up some titles into drafts as a reminder of what to write.  I probably will miss something along the way, but nothing I can do about that now. Continue reading

It’s Been a While

It’s been 5 months since my last post.  In 8 years of blogging, I’ve never gone more than a few weeks, so 5 months feels like a lifetime.  I’ve been wanting to write and yet, I haven’t. I’ve hit a phase here where now that we’ve bought a house here in the Netherlands, I’m feeling rather content.  My blogging was a way to deal with frustrations, celebrate victories and more than anything, to have a record of this adventure for the kids when they got older.  But things change and so have I. Continue reading

Relaxing Days at Home

While we’ve been back in the Netherlands for almost a week, I never got around to finishing up my posts about our trip back home this summer.  Probably because I was so busy relaxing 😉  Normally “relaxing days” and “home” would be a total oxymoron in my book.  Never have my trips home been relaxing.  Never.  They are filled with activities morning, noon and night.  EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  Not this year.  As I mentioned in my last post, I did my best to be more spontaneous, but not only that, I’m trying my best to not over do things this year. And for once, I’m successful. Continue reading

Spontaneous

Spontaneous is not usually a word that describes me.  I’m a planner.  But year after year of exhausting trips back to the US has taught me that planning out every moment of a trip is not always a good thing.  And oddly enough, most of the trips we take as a family have very little planning beyond travel arrangements so why I have always felt the need to schedule every moment of every day when we are home is beyond me.   Continue reading

Christmas 2015

While we are now days past Christmas, I can’t not write about it.  What was supposed to be a mellow week before Christmas with no sports, activities, etc, was anything but that.  But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a great time this past week – we were just busier than planned. Maybe that’s our defense mechanism keeping us from being sad that we are away from home for yet another holiday season.  Or maybe we are just too damn busy lately! Continue reading

What a Difference a Year Makes – Thanksgiving 2015

Last year we celebrated Thanksgiving just the 4 of us.  Josh was still recovering from his knee surgery and we really didn’t have any friends.  It was the first time we’d ever celebrated “alone”.  And it sucked.  I hated it. We were alone in yet another country.  The anger took over me for a long time – especially over the holiday season.   Continue reading

A Quick Escape “Home” to Barcelona

We’ve been missing Barcelona.  The sun, the sand… and of course, our friends. With one of Aidan’s best friend’s here in the Netherlands having moved to Qatar in September, I figured it was the perfect time to make a quick escape back “home” and remind the kids that it’s ok when we move or friends move – the distance is irrelevant.  Not to mention a healthy dose of sunshine is always welcome!! Continue reading

Kicking and Screaming

This is the last entry for my trip home – I promise.  But it’s an important one because it covers all the emotions from being home for 6 weeks.  Usually by week 3, I’m so exhausted that I can’t wait to get home. But not this year. Yes, I was exhausted. Hell, I passed that point 3 weeks into the trip. But I will sleep when I’m dead. And yet I wasn’t ready to come back home to the Netherlands. Continue reading