Being Loved

Being loved is the best feeling. Period. There is nothing better. Nothing.

This post is a bit personal, but aren’t most? We’re still resettling and it’s the honeymoon stage, and I’m loving all the attention being showered on my family. Thank you for all your shared calls, emails, texts and love and visits.

My parents drove up to my house to prepare for our arrival this week, as I’ve already mentioned. Seeing my kids love on them and tell them how much they’ve missed them and love them, is so nice to see and hear. The love dance is swirling through my house in little moments and details and it fills my soul. For example, I loved just watching Charlie work with my dad on fix-it projects around the house.

My friend Julie had coffee and snacks waiting for us this morning at her house. The kids played while the women chatted and sat and enjoyed her beautifully remodeled house and sunshine out on her patio. I’ve missed days like today and am so happy to be back and in her kitchen again…the best part of the home!

Tracy came by with her kids on bikes and asked if Charlie wanted to go to her house and play. Of course, he gladly went off and had a great time with his friends, riding his bike with them. Thank you, Tracy!

Julie and her kids stopped by with my favorite artichoke dip and stayed to chat for awhile before we headed to the pool.

Our swim club has a Friday night potluck BBQ that we all enjoyed with April and her family. I learned to play Bocce ball with the little ones and made some new friends while playing. Mom and dad joined us too, and it was great to sit outside and NOT have to cook or clean!!

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Marilynne stopped by and dropped off a dinner for us. She’s been making a new Japanese curry and told me about it and I had mentioned I wanted to try it sometime. There she was with a delivery on my porch! Thank you ML! You spoiled us and it was quite delicious!

And the best part of my day was when my sisters and nieces arrived from Thousand Oaks. They drove 6 hours to come and see us and met us at the swim club. We went out to the parking lot to greet them and couldn’t stop hugging! It’s been almost a year, you know! Way too long for me! I’m thankful they drove the distance to be with us.

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Reunited and it feels so good!

I am loved and I am thankful! Love y’all!

xo

Day 348: I Am Home

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It’s weird to think I woke up in my Holland house this morning, and I’ll be going to bed in my Sunnyvale home in a couple hours.

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It’s 2:30 am Holland time and just before dinner at home. I’m feeling a bit delirious, yet trying to stay awake for at least a couple more hours.

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I am happy to be home again, although I have to be honest and say I felt really confused coming back. I am feeling the transition, feeling sad as I let go of my house, community and friends in Holland and leaving Jeff behind for two more weeks. And then happy as can be, seeing my parents and April and my home and my neighbors and the neighborhood friends dropping by.

Julie came by for a cup of tea and biscuits, and the kids walked to the park and went swimming and rode bikes like we never left. They just picked up where they left off almost a year ago.

Mom made a pot of her spaghetti sauce and the whole house smelled good and welcoming.

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I cried as we were landing at SFO, afraid to land and seeing the airplane crash remains still on the runway. I felt really sad, thinking of what I am leaving behind and a bit anxious about the transition back to life as it used to be but isn’t anymore the same. I know it’ll all come together, as it always does…just breathe and relax, right? It’s all good. Life is good!!

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And I have the most amazing friends and family all around the world now. Can’t wait to catch up again! xoxo

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Day 305: A Friend From Home

There is something really awesome about having a friend from home come to town for a visit. Julie arrived this morning and is spending the night. She brought treats for the kids – bubble gum, Jolly Ranchers and Goldfish crackers, that made them so happy. I was happy to hear her laugh and to listen to her stories about her kids and work and family. There is a comfort in having this reconnection again and it makes me excited to be able to play tennis again and share our stories as we enter the next chapter of high school with our kids. Julie and I have been friends since our boys were in preschool and she was one of my role models in deciding to have a third child. I’ve always admired her and am so glad she chose to come see us as part of her work trip to London.

She endured the children’s spring fair with me at their school, and meeting some of my local friends before we headed up to Amsterdam for dinner.

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We dropped the kids off at home and took the tram into the city. The sun was shining later in the day, so it was actually nice to be walking around the canals together.

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This last picture was taken at 9pm at the Westerkerk by the Anne Frank House. So gorgeous out tonight. We enjoyed a nice, quiet Thai dinner before heading back home on the bus.

Life is good. Happy Memorial Day, Veterans!!

Day 9: Tears Sprung Today

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What a day… the chaos of the handyman putting in the new key pad lock and fixing the fence and vents, while Stacey came by to pick up her volleyball net, and Kelly came to pick up C to take him for a day out for a great day at Great America, and Julie came by for a cup of coffee and a singing re-do jam session to Adele, and the kids danced and sang and we cleaned up the house before the cleaning team arrived and I sliced by finger open while cleaning out a camping suitcase that had an unprotected razor and bled for 45 minutes, and the crying session – all of this before 11:30 am.  How was your morning?

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And I wasn’t ready to be sad just quite yet, but when I held K who is only 2 and I thought about not seeing her for a year and how much babies change in a year, the tears came as she kissed my face and then threw her head back and came up again to smother me with little kisses. And the tears kept coming… sad to miss out on seeing her every couple of months and wondering how her voice and hair and body and personality will change in such a short bit.  I was only joking when I said I’ll see you again when you’re 13!! We’ll be back WAY before then!!

And then it was time to laugh and hug my sisters and dog pile on the bed for a group hug with my nieces and kids. And we didn’t want to say goodbye, and we just hung out in the boys room for like forever just sitting and looking at each other and laughing and wiping tears while C asked us why we had to move? Trying to comfort the little ones and knowing it’s ok to move but still feeling it was a bit challenging.  We finally moved to the front yard and said our goodbyes and took pictures and hugged and kissed and cried. I’m going to miss them so much – we’re so used to seeing each other every other month or two — a year is a pretty long time to be away in family terms… I hope they come visit us in Amstelveen.

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After they left, I didn’t have much time to be sad, because Julie was still here and I sliced my finger open while trying to get one more chore done!! I thought I was going to have to go to the ER, but I don’t have time for that. Luckily, the stupid finger stopped bleeding and I just had to give up a shower and going out to the Habit for lunch with Julie and our kids. She ended up going to pick up food for us and brought it back here and we sat out back to eat, while we waited for the housecleaners to show up. Their car broke down earlier and they wanted to reschedule… but after decluttering and cleaning for the cleaning people, I didn’t want to redo all that work again another day. All worked out well and the clutter and chaos are gone.

The good thing that came from being patient, is that Julie ended up taking C with her boys to a fun drop in day camp and J and I were able to get in some girl time shopping together – just the two of us, which I had promised to do this weekend. We had so much fun just being together and picking out some new clothes for her and a suitcase for me.

The day turned out well and I’m so emotionally tired and exhausted, that I’m writing my blog early tonight in hopes of getting to bed early before the news comes on!   Good night, friends.  I  miss you Kimmy and Trish and kiddos and hope you had a good drive home. xoxoxoxo

Day 49 – Beach Day

Oh my goodness, I don’t know how so many things are able to get done in one day, but I’m not complaining!!  

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This Chihualy Glass exhibit was donated to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. It is so beautiful and we were lucky enough to see one of his shows in San Francisco. The kids were amazed, as were we! He is amazing. 

1) J had an MRI this morning at 8 am for her broken arm that’s not healing right. Hopefully it’s nothing and just needs some physical therapy – that’s what I’m hoping. We’ll find out more tomorrow. Just glad we have great doctors and facilities to care for her. She had to sit in the MRI tube for 30 minutes without moving. I got to stand and watch her. But I couldn’t stand still – so I did Yoga for her entertainment, until she started laughing. That wouldn’t be good if she moved her arm!!

2) After the doctor’s visit, we headed over to Safeway to shop for lunch and dinner at the beach! Safeway had all these nice, prepackaged salads that were just right for today. And having chips and chocolate chip cookies, are good ol’ fashioned beach food, right? The more snacks, the better?

3) We packed up the van, fed April’s cat, loaded my SUP board, got gas and we on the road to the beach for the entire day.

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Beautiful and windy day at Manresa State Beach.

4) After a bit of a mixup, we met up with several friends at Manresa State Beach. Any day at the beach is a good day for me. Unfortunately, it was too windy and choppy and cold for me to bring out my paddle board. The kids didn’t seem to mind though. They had fun boogy boarding and digging deep holes and kicking a soccer ball around. I loved catching up with the Callaways and Hasletons and friends. The Callaways moved back to Utah last year, and they were back in California for a visit. It was nice to hear their perspective on moving and keeping your friends and making new ones.

5) After the visit at Manresa, we drove up Highway 1 to Costanoa to meet up with April and Julie and their families, who are camping there. Just driving up HWY 1 is a gift – we saw kite surfers and beautiful fields and ocean views. We shared a potluck dinner, the kids played wiffel ball baseball, and we made s’mores and ate more than we should. But, boy was it fun! I love camping and sitting by the campfire and just being togetgher, but just couldn’t get it all together to stay overnight. We stayed until 9 pm and then drove back over the hill to Sunnyvale. Some things, just have to give… bummer!

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Roasting s’mores by the campfire! Mmm… my favorite!!

Phew!  I sure enjoyed my day “off!”  The kids were super happy and I loved hanging out with them and friends.

Oh, and Jeff ordered our tickets today to Holland – we’re still on track for leaving in 49 days, oh my!!  It’ll all get done…and I still plan to pack in as much fun as possible!