Live Love Laugh

 
My birthday is coming up and I received this birthday gift today from one of my BFFs along with a pair of silver dangling earrings and salted caramel chocolates. She knows me well and more than the material gifts, I loved the gift of time with her. She makes me smile and is a good listener and story teller and I just admire her so much.  I wish I had half her ability to remember details!! 

Thank you M for coming to spend the day with me. 

How did you live today?

Who did you love today?

When did you laugh today?

I lived it up by hiking and having friends over and playing with the kittens. I made Vietnamese Banh Mi Chicken sandwiches and spring rolls for dinner as requested by my husband and snuggled in with my family to watch the Warriors win tonight. 

  I loved my friends and my family today and I loved my mama on our phone chat this morning.

I laughed when Charlie snuck up from behind and startled me.

Today was good.  Hope you had a good day too, living it up, loving and laughing out loud!

Namaste

  

Day 322: I Declare

20130612-214456.jpgDid you know that when you leave the Netherlands that you have to go to the town hall and declare your intent to depart the country?  Luckily Jeff knew this and that our awesome Relocation Consultant knew this too.  Today we visited the Gemeente Amstelveen with our passports and filled out our Declaration of Departure Relocation Abroad Form (in case you want to know what to request when you ever have to leave your new country).

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It didn’t take long, but we both had to be present to sign our intent on the form and choose the date we plan to no longer be residents. They printed out temporary official forms and put them in a plastic sleeve for us to carry until our official departure date arrives and they can officially deregister our family. I think we get to keep our Dutch Residence Cards as souvenirs.

I declare that it feels weird to sign out – kind of like we’re getting a receipt or a diploma for our experience here. Weird.

Afterwards, we walked over to the old part of downtown and had lunch at one of the restaurants we first visited when we arrived in Amstelveen – a delicious little Korean restaurant. Jeff and I both love ethnic food and this place reminds us of a place near our home in Sunnyvale, where there is a large Korean population right down the street.  Lunch was excellent!  It’s called Damso if you want to try it for yourself.  I couldn’t find a website for them, but here’s more information:  http://www.iens.nl/restaurant/23922/amstelveen-damso

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By the way, we also had a cleaning service company come visit the house who specializes in preparing houses for new tenants so that you don’t lose any of your rental deposit. The lady who came by today was very thorough and seems like she really knows her business and the expat community. I’ll let you know what the estimate is and if we like her, if this information would be valuable to you.  I didn’t think about having to clean the drapes and to dust out the attic.  Sounds pretty thorough to me.

On a more fun note and another sign that the year is wrapping up, I met with a team today to discuss Grade 8 celebrations. I’m the parent rep for Christian’s grade and am helping with planning the details for his “graduation” ceremony. I can’t believe he starts high school in the fall. And knowing that Katie graduated from high school this year, and feeling like it was just yesterday that I watched her walk to kindergarten for the first day of school, I know these next four years are going to speed by so quickly. I want to slow time down and savor every moment.  I declare that I’m happy that we’re moving back home when we are so that Christian can start high school with his friends in our local neighborhood. This makes me content and feels right, and helps me to accept and appreciate this transition and it’s timing.  Ahhh… that feels better!  I just had to talk it out. 😉

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Natural beauty inviting us into Vondel Park

I have one last celebration to share before wrapping things up for the day. Tonight we were invited to a very special 2 year old’s birthday party in Vondel Park.  The kids and I took the bus into the city and walked to the park to meet up with Jen and Todd and friends. It was nice to be together outside and I loved watching how happy Miss J was, eating her ice cream cake, running with her friends, opening presents and flirting with the fitness group in the park.  When I asked her for a hug goodbye, she came running and gave me a big hug, saying “I love you” back to me. I am going to miss her little face and her playful personality, and her mama too!

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Congratulations on the birth of your daughter, Jen! You look so happy.

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Happy girl – a bit blurry having to crop out the leg that walked in front of this cute face!

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Miss J joining the fitness fun bootcamp in the park.

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Charlie playing in the park with his friend G.

I declare it was a good day, a fulfilling day, and I am content listening to the rain, even though it’s June 12th!

What do you declare?

Namaste.