Best Part of Your Day

What was the best part of your day? Was it small or magnificent?

We had such a busy day that required a checklist with times and tasks and people to keep track of all the back to back details.

My favorite part of the day was when I wasn’t busy. I was up early and got to drink coffee out on the patio with Jeff and read together before the mad dash.

I heard parrots flying over head and listened to the sprinklers spraying the grass, while feeling the light mist and warmth of the sunshine on my legs. I loved this unrushed space.

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Charlie’s baseball team had it’s closing ceremony and I hosted the team potluck party afterwards. My tennis team had a match afterwards and my doubles team won in two sets, and our entire team won the match.

Juliana and Christian both went to the movies with friends this afternoon, and Jeff grilled out for us for dinner.

Hope you had a relaxing and fun Saturday.

Life is good.

Sporty Family

I love that my family loves sports. I had a singles tennis match this morning and won! Winning is always fun, but I am also just as happy to be playing and improving my own game and compete against myself. The woman I was playing today was sick with a cold too, just like me, so we were both struggling but happy to be out of the house.

Charlie had a baseball game in the warm sunshine and lost by 4 points. I was able to make it to watch for a few innings with Jeff and Juliana before I had to leave for a second tennis match. We won our doubles match in a tie break and I was determined not to lose because I was tired from by previous match. Jeff and Juliana came out to watch and support me and I was thankful they were there.

I love that we all can enjoy our individual sports and enjoy watching each other play. It’s fun to be outside and supporting one another too. Christian was busy studying for finals and couldn’t join us. Maybe studying is a sport too!?!

What sports do you and your family play? Do you enjoy playing or watching or both?

Playing two tennis matches today and walking around in between was equivalent to walking 9.54 miles or 21,495 steps!!

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Life is good!!

Day 76: Living the American Dream

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Coke and Baseball and Stella & Dot arm candy – It doesn’t get much better than this!

Today was a fabulous day and it started out with a HUGE surprise for Ms. Pettee – J’s 5th grade teacher. Because of email and being able to quickly connect a great group of parents, we were able to collect $365 in one day to purchase an HP Netbook for her and give her a CASH bonus (because don’t teachers need bonuses too?) as part of Ponderosa School Teacher Appreciation Week. It was cool to be part of the process to inspire others to share and contribute and be part of the “team” gift and to feel the passion and enthusiasm that everyone had to give. Ms. Pettee was so thankful, and one of the dad’s is looking at matching the donations through his company, so Netbook might even multiply into two! Isn’t that such a cool story? I wish you could have been there to see her face. 

After that joy, I enJOYed getting a pedicure with Christine and also sending pictures to my cousin, Shellee, the Birthday Girl in San Diego, who was getting a manicure at the same time! We had fun swapping pictures from our phones, pretending we were celebrating her birthday together. Too bad we live so far away, but the pictures were fun to share. And the pedicure was oh, so relaxing and my tangerine colored toes are so Holland and the Color of the Year!! That made me smile!

After those fun events, I was off to run errands and shop for my company that is coming to see me tomorrow! My parents and my sister and my niece are all joining us for the weekend and I couldn’t be more excited.  Now the fridge is ready and stocked for the weekend. Do you think there’s a Costco like store in Holland? 

From the Costco run, I ran C to the baseball field, and then back home again to unload the groceries. It was a beautiful and warm day and didn’t even need a jacket until after 7 pm – the game went on for a long time! It was fun to sit with Rachel and Allison and the girls, chatting and watching the boys play. C did great as catcher, and hit a double and a single. He loves baseball and I love being with the other mamas watching and enjoying each others’ company.

After the game, we were home together, doing homework, cleaning up the house and getting the kids ready for bed.  There’s always work to do before company arrives and my office piles and laundry piles were HUGE!!  That’s why this post is so late tonight. BUT – the killer part of my mess, was my Wife texted me to see if there was anything she could do to help me get ready for tomorrow (which is booked solid even before the relatives arrives). I of course, said No, that I should have everything done by midnight, and that she should finish baking for the teachers tomorrow. And off I went to kiss the kids and tuck them in for the night, when my phone kept buzzing with texts. I finally went to check who was trying to reach me, and it was her. She was at my door, and knocking softly, but I didn’t hear her knocks, only the dings from my texts that read “Knock. Knock.” She came to fold my laundry with me. OMG – is that the best or what? We had so much fun catching up and sharing stories – we hardly have time to chat this week at all for various reasons. But boy did we laugh and have fun! Who knew laundry could be fun? I wouldn’t even believe you if you said it, but I lived it. I’m still smiling…Life is good and I’m glad I’m living it!

Oh, and P.S. – the other good news is we heard back from one of the two International Schools today and we have a spot! Thank goodness I won’t have to be home schooling the kids, because I’m way too busy “relaxing.”

Day 100

Day 100 – Today was a busy day. This is an image of my desk which captures a little bit of my messy little world. It has my new Dutch book, dreaming of my first trip to Hawaii, a few Dropjes, my paper organizer that I still love, my Stella & Dot clutch/purse that carries my wallet and essentials and can be easily transferred from tennis bag, to car, to school, etc., fun sunglasses, and lots of papers! But back to my busy day…

This morning I had my first dutch lesson with Ilse. Finding Ilse was such a cool story. I was playing tennis with a friend and I mentioned we were moving to Holland. She asked if I knew Ilse and that she taught Dutch. I told her I had met Ilse at our church and had seen her at school, and riding her bike all over town, but I didn’t know she spoke Dutch and hadn’t really talked with her much. But the next day I saw Ilse at the Kindergarten playground and reintroduced myself, explaining my story and now the rest is history. She agreed to tutor me and today was my first lesson. She came to my house for an hour+ and we chatted in Dutch while drinking tea and coffee. I learned the alphabet and dipthongs, and practiced asking questions and used lots of repetition. My brain really had to think and I loved learning something new, even though it was challenging. The other cool thing about Ilse, is that she introduced me to another woman who is also moving to Amsterdam with her husband and 4 kids. I love how our little world is so connected. My new friend and I met a couple weeks ago and introduced our kids and will hopefully be neighbors in Amstelveen soon. I love my friends and how we’re all connected.

While Ilse was hear tutoring me, the gardner came to remove our favorite tree that has been infested with a nasty bug called thrips. This made me really sad because I loved this tree. Is it weird to love a tree? But really – it had character and was architecturally beautiful with great “bones” and has been with us for 11 years. But the tree had been dying for the last several years. I have great memories of C climbing to the top and J finding a middle branch to sit in and read a book. It used to provide a great shade canopy over our patio for our many BBQs and potluck dinners, but recently it just provided shadows. With the tree gone, our patio is very bright and the yard looks so much bigger. I guess that’s a good thing.

J was home from school today with a fever and double ear infection. I’m thankful that I was easily able to bring her to the doctor and get antibiotics for her within a few hours. This is one worry I have moving to Holland – will we be able to have as good and quick health care there and will I be able to communicate with the health care professionals? I guess I better keep practicing my Dutch.

And the sun was shining brightly today, so little C was able to go out to baseball practice this evening. I’m hyper aware of the sun shining and that my son gets to play baseball and that he probably won’t get to play in Holland. I’m aware of the changes that are coming and I feel a bit melancholy, even though I want the changes that are to come, I don’t want them to get here too fast. In a way, it makes me enjoy what is even more. I like that.

At the dinner table tonight, we talked about our 100 days left in the states and what we want to do before we leave. We came up with 3 more plans: 1) Big C decided that he wants to have his birthday party be a movie and sleepover party. 2) Little C came up with a guest list for his Laser Quest party and 3) We decided and booked tickets to Colorado to see Jeff’s grandparents and family before we move. It was a lively discussion and felt good. But now I’m exhausted. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get to play tennis and “relax” a bit!!

Good night. Sweet dreams. Tot ziens! – A.