Day 224: Running and the Crocus Flowers

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I am so inspired by other people.

Jeff went for a four mile run today. I tried to get out of it. I cleaned instead. I’m good at cleaning and decluttering and procrastinating, yet I didn’t feel good about choosing not to go for a run with him, especially since I had the time.

I called Joseine instead. She told me about her long walk with her sister and how she wasn’t going to go walking today, but her sister talked her into it. She felt so happy afterwards and was glad she went.

Inspired? Yes.

But I found more excuses, I mean piles of laundry to wash and sort and fold, and papers to organize, and two errands to run. And felt the guilt.

At 2:20 pm, my house was really decluttered, and I finally chose to run, before picking up the kids from school. Did I tell you I like to procrastinate until the very last minute?

I just have to say, there has never been a day when I put on my running shoes and actually got out the door and regretted it. So why is it so hard to clear my head and actually get my butt moving? I don’t understand why I procrastinate so much. And I’d think I’d learn by now to just get it over with(I mean enjoy it) first thing in the morning. Isn’t it weird how you know something or how to do something, but the act of doing is much harder than the act of knowing?? Argh… One of those yin and yang things right? Tell me you do this too… Any tricks you practice?

Besides the joy of running 3+ miles, I also got to enjoy seeing these colorful and bright crocus flowers. Aren’t they just gorgeous? I’ve never noticed them before. The crocus is a light and airy flower that is bright and fun. It represents cheerfulness because of its color and texture. Just look at the lines on the petals? And these pictures are taken with my old iPhone!

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Do you feel cheerful now? I do. :-). Namaste.

Day 222: Sunshine, Coffee & Yoga

Three things made me happy right at the beginning of the day.

First thing this morning, I woke up to find the guest room filled with bright light and the sun was beginning to rise.

20130304-212050.jpg Seeing and feeling the sun shine fills me up.

The second thing that made me smile, was a morning ritual. Jeff makes me a cappuccino every morning, so while I’m waking up the kids and starting a load of laundry, I can smell the coffee from upstairs and its ready for me when I come down. I think this is one of the greatest things ever and I am always so thankful that he does this for me. It’s the little things that create huge amounts of joy for me and make me feel loved.

The third thing that started my day off positively after dropping the kids off at school, was my yoga class. I absolutely love yoga and don’t know why I don’t do it everyday. Its especially a great way to start a Monday. When I arrived, I was the only one not speaking (and understanding) Dutch and I felt a little sad to not understand what everyone was saying and sharing with one another. It was only chit chat before class started, but I so desperately wanted to be part of a conversation, yet I couldn’t share anything. I let that feeling go and just focused on relaxing and stretching before class started and had a great practice. Afterwards, during tea with the classmates, a few new friends spoke with me in English and I no longer felt alone. And as I was getting ready to leave, my teacher gave me a hug when saying goodbye, and told me she was glad I came again and that she enjoys having me in her class. She made my day too…another simple and free joy.

I hope your day was filled with peace, love and joy…sunshine, coffee and yoga!

Namaste.

Day 179: Walking on the Frozen Canal!

It’s so cold outside! I put on extra layers and dressed warmly to go play with the kids. I think I lasted only 10 minutes before seeking warmth and a hot cup of tea. It sure was exciting to walk on the canal though, as it’s something we have never done before. I heard a couple small cracking sounds that scared me a bit, but I think that’s normal. They weren’t deep cracking sounds, just light little ones, which might have been the snow pack on top of the ice, but who knows! It’s supposed to snow the next few days, so it’ll probably be much safer to walk and skate then. I’d like for us to try skating on the canal, so we will have to go buy or borrow some skates!! Maybe we’ll have another snow day tomorrow! Happy Sunday!

Here are some pictures of our newest adventure.

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Day 175: Beauty in the City and New Drivers Licenses

It was cold and sunny this morning and the lighting was beautiful. Jeff and I had an appointment with the town hall to turn in our California drivers licenses in exchange for Netherlands licenses. It felt a bit weird handing them over, but that’s what’s required. They want you to do this exchange within 6 months of living here and we’re fast approaching that milestone. How did that happen so fast?

If you’re an expat in the Netherlands, the agency that handles this process is called CBR and the forms can be found on their website: CBR.nl. Once you receive a letter from them, you can schedule an appointment with the town hall. You need to bring the CBR letter they send you with the application information, your passport, drivers license, residency card, and a copy of your 30% ruling, along with a passport photo. And don’t forget your 45€! All went smoothly.

On for the good part…here are some beautiful pictures of the snowscape and sunshine today. I loved the lighting and the colorful, patchwork, scarf covered tree.

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The other beautiful things I discovered today were at the Museum of Handbags and Purses in Amsterdam. A few girlfriends got together to explore the museum and to have lunch afterwards. Happy Birthday, to Carolyn!, I hope you enjoy the photos!! My favorite was the Diet Coke Purse, the lucite box bags, and the old Holland school bags(boxes) that used to serve as desks and supply boxes.

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Day 170: Friday Market Success and Homemade Sushi

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Found a good deal on fabric for our California Surfing Photo Op at the Friday Market in Amstelveen! Very happy.

Facebook’s Update Status Bar now asks:

“How are you feeling, Adriana?”

Is that like, “Hi, how are you? I’m fine. How are you?”  How are you supposed to answer that?  Maybe they should ask “What are you doing, Adriana?”  or “What do you feel like sharing with the world today? Is it something about your kids, your food, your mood, or some place you’ve been lately? Maybe you have a nice quote to share or a political opinion to spread, although I never share those!!  Facebook is sort of like Reality TV – we can get a glimpse of typically the positive side of our friends’ and family’s life story. I still find the news entertaining and enjoy reading the highlights, so thanks for sharing how you’re feeling. You inspire me and I feel happy for you.

Today I was feeling content. I had nothing I had to do and it’s Friday, so that feels good. I had 3 hours free after running errands without a schedule and I loved it.  Of course I had things to do, but nothing that was urgent. I started with a cup of coffee to warm up from the chill outside. I had to scrape the ice off the windows this morning before taking the kids to school.  I then sat down and began reading Facebook updates and email, and then working on the photo booth project and making lunch. I had bought an avocado and a cucumber, as well as other healthy veggies and decided to make a delicious lunch, homemade vegetarian sushi rolls. I wish someone was here to share them with me, but I hadn’t planned on making lunch – it just appeared after seeing someone share a similar recipe on their Facebook page.

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Preparing to make sushi rolls – cucumber, avodado, carrots, cilantro, sushi rice, wasabi, toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, salt.

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Sushi roll all wrapped up and snug in the bamboo mat.

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The final art piece – isn’t it pretty? It was delicious and easy too!

Hope you have a good weekend!  – Adriana

Day 161: Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig!

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It’s nice to be “home” again. I’m still wrapping my head around where home is. But today, home is in Amstelveen with my wee family. The kids were excited to receive free olliebollen at Schipol airport when we arrived tonight from these beautiful Dutch ladies.

It’s nice to have a place to come to with your own stuff, that’s familiar. But my home is also with my friends in Sunnyvale and with my family in Thousand Oaks, and really with my friends and family all around the world. I think home is where you feel loved and safe and cozy. It’s a sense of place and belonging. And it feels ok to be home in Amstelveen today.

We had a great, quick trip to Lisbon. The highlight for the kids was an indoor roller coaster at the Columbo shopping center today. Even though we’re interested in rushing around seeing the sites, trying new restaurants, and absorbing European culture and history, the kids were most interested in room service, the hotel pool and a cheesy roller coaster. Go figure. I was the same way though. My highlights as a kid included swimming and being in or near water wherever I could and hanging out with my cousins and friends and family. Not much has changed for me, I guess. Those are still my favorite ways to spend time. Along with exploring the Pride land!

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Day 157: Family Bike Ride and Goat Farm

We were all busy cleaning up around our house today, catching up with laundry and decluttering. Isn’t that what you do on a weekend? But then the sun was shining in and we had to stop cleaning and go outside for a bike ride. Just like that.
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We live by the Amsterdamsebos, which is an awesome man made forest with lakes and rowing ponds and pathways and fields and trees of course, along with other surprises. My favorite part is riding along this rowing pond or body of water – I don’t know what you call it. But there are always people out running, and riding, and rowing and fishing, and strolling. There are protected paths that make it safe to take your family out for a bike ride, like we did today. Jeff and I also run through this forest every other day when we can get out for a run, as it is so conveniently close.

While we were riding today, we took the kids to a goat farm we had heard about and ran by earlier in the week. We parked our bikes and took a break to check out the farm. Here are some of the animals we saw.

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20121229-230630.jpg This trio was funny – the cow was snuggled up to the pig and the goat kept standing on the pig. The pig would grunt and eventually the cow nudged the goat off his back.

P.S. Being with the goats made me miss you Michele, and our trip to the Harley Goat Farm and your pygmies!!