Movie Night

Tonight we are all snuggled in together and watching a movie.


I love that we’re all home and just doing nothing but sitting in the same room.

It sometimes takes going away to appreciate the simplicity and comforts of home.

Life is good.

How do you like spending your vacation time?

We have another week off from school and I’m curious what we’ll do next, as we don’t have any definite plans. I think most of us are tired from being in the car all week, but who knows where our dreams will take us.

I hope you enjoy this last week of the year and I wish you enough.


GGG – Day 8 – Your Home

Our first week of gratitude is complete and we are continuing to work on different ways of feeling thankful in week 2.

“Where thou art, there is home.” – Emily Dickinson

How does your home bring you happiness? What is it that makes you like where you live?

I love our cozy home and its simplicity. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s ours and its gezellig!! That’s a Dutch word that doesn’t exist in the English language. It describes a feeling of comfort and warmth and connectedness.

I love the sound of the heater coming on and the colors painted on the walls. I love that we are close by to each other. I love that the kids like to play in the front yard with friends.

Tonight I enjoyed just being home on a Friday night, doing “nothing.” The kids are taking part in the Rainbow Loom craze and have been busy making “designer” bracelets all evening. I’m thankful that we can just relax and hang out together in our warm, cozy little house. Life is good. What do you like about where you live?


I Am Home


I Am Home.

It still hasn’t sunk in yet, but today I just got a receipt! This shirt arrived in the mail as a surprise from Marcia today. It’s proof that I really am home. I cried when I opened it and loved seeing it, thankful to be home and also feeling a bit of sadness that we don’t have our house in Holland anymore. The transition is happening and I’m in the midst of it.

I’ve been enjoying everyday, visiting with and catching up with our friends, shopping and preparing for Charlie’s birthday party next week, enjoying our beautiful weather and the beach, and waiting for Jeff to move back home.

I’ve been car shopping and having repairs scheduled for various household parts and loving on the kids and their friends. It’s nice to be back in the same time zone as my family and friends in California and to be able to pick up the phone and not think what time it is where they are before calling. I’ve been emailing my Holland friends and keeping in touch there too. Transitioning. This is what it looks like for me.

I Am Home.

Thank you, Marcia for my awesome shirt and the welcome home. xo

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


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!


Day 3: Family and Friends and Settling In


Oh my gosh, really, only 3 days and you won’t believe all that happened today!!! I still can’t believe it and it’s only the weekend.

Today I feel like we really have a home here, which is great. Dorine and Nadja arrived at 10:45 am and just left at 11:30 pm!! How lucky are we to have family to love and support us? They brought over the famous bosschee bollen from Den ‘Bosche. These are like the best chocolate covered cream puffs you’ve ever had and I guess they can only be found in their home town. Our job was to provide coffee when they arrived, so yesterday we bought a coffee pot and this morning Jeff walked to the market to buy ground coffee, Such a fair deal.

After our coffee and sweet treats, Nadja drove me and Dorine to Ikea where we bought everything we needed to run a household and boy was that work! We bought plates, glasses, cups, silverware, bowls, cooking supplies and utensils, containers and bags, towels and hangers, pots and pans, and more. We had three shopping carts full and I was so surprised when we we’re able to fit it all into Nadja’s little car!!

We unloaded the loot and then they took Jeff to the Makro for his shopping delight!! Makro is like an upscale Costco where you need a business license to shop for discounts. He bought a new tv, vacuum, toaster, trash cans, fans, telephones and more. I think he spent more than me!!

We unloaded everything again and Dorine and Nadja started loading the dishwasher and breaking down all the boxes and helped to make our home feel gezellig!! I can’t even believe it!

In the meantime, the previous renter had shown up and talked to Jeff and he showed him how to use the oven that we couldn’t figure out and how to turn on the outdoor porch light. He also showed us how to turn off the water and just basically gave us his contact information should we have any questions. At the same time, the neighbors joined us and offered us their wireless access and gave us their extra porch table and chairs. They are so helpful and friendly.

When I arrived, the kids were out playing with their new friend. They discovered a petting zoo and miniature golf course behind our house in the retirement community. There is a big open field also on the opposite side of the canal from our house where they can kick around a soccer ball. Today we let them run around a little bit more without our immediate supervision and we felt safe. I think it helped that the neighbors were encouraging about letting their 8 year old daughter run around too. It is very quiet where we live and not much traffic, which is very pleasant.

Having kids outside playing also helped us to meet more neighbors. One family just moved here from Redondo Beach two weeks ago. What a small world. So far our neighbors our mostly Jewish and a couple families are from the International School where our children will attend. I’m so glad that people speak English and are so warm and welcoming. I think I will feel at home pretty quickly!

What really made me feel at home today was having Dorine and Nadja with us all day. We ordered Thai food and had it delivered to our house. We set the table and all ate together as a family. The kids went to bed and we had coffee and stroopwaffels for dessert before they headed home. What a great day! We got more done than I ever expected.

I Am Content.
How was your day?



Day 31: Going Home

Avila Bay from HWY101N

We are on our way back home, driving up “the” 101. Home has been so many places and and I’m glad that my kids will get to experience a new home soon.

San Luis Obispo – our future home?!?

I think moving will be so good for us. It’ll help the kids to be more comfortable with change and to adapt to new environments, especially when it comes time for college. They are going to get practice making new friends, trying new foods, speaking another language, going to a new school, and establishing new routines.

My little travelers have done pretty well on all our trips for vacations and visiting family in different time zones, sleeping in strange places that I think they are becoming adaptable. I hope they are getting practice for the big move!

Sleepy Dutch Traveler

Day 35: Anxiety


OMG – the anxiety is setting in!! Thank God, for April’s chocolate cake.

Yes, April made me the best, homemade, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and had it in my fridge for my birthday when I came home yesterday. I’ve been nibbling on it all day.

And I’ve been so nervous today!! The reality that we are moving in 35 days hit me smack in the face! Jeff and I were scanning documents, making appointments to have vital records apostilled (like notarized but even higher) and sending documents to the moving company so they can help us with our importation process. The movers are coming next Friday and I’m not ready! And we are leaving again for Dani’s wedding tomorrow and I’m not ready!! How do you slow down time? You don’t! I think you just eat more cake and drink more wine, right?? But that leads to another issue!! I’m getting fat and I don’t like that!! Food is comfort – even though Weight Watchers would tell me differently! I know, I know, but food is my weakness! *big sigh*. Just keepin’ it real!

The good news is I’ll be looking for something new to do for myself when we move. Maybe I’ll become a yoga instructor or workout every day and become really buff! Got any ideas for me? I’m sure it’ll take awhile to get the family settled before I redefine my role again. I’m going to miss my Stella & Dot job and my tennis teams and hiking buddies and volunteer roles. I’ll need to find something else — I wonder what it’ll be?!?

Well, the chocolate cake sure hit the spot!! So did the lunch and dinner April brought us today. How does she do that? I’m so thankful, I can’t stand it!!

Thank you, wifey- for taking care of us without us even asking for help!! You are loved and appreciated more than you know!! xo