Day 346: 2 More Sleeps

20130707-003529.jpg

I didn’t intend to post my post so quickly. We were coming home on the tram from Amsterdam and some how it posted without any content. At least I had a thought for the title for today, and now here is the rest.

After 2 more sleeps, I’ll hopefully be going home. There was an accident today on the runway at SFO and the airport is currently closed. I pray for the families who were on that plane and are suffering from the panic and injuries and tragic deaths.

Whenever something sad happens, I always feel like I shouldn’t be sharing something good…like I should be still.

I’m having my moment of silence…

We worked all morning again today and all our bags are packed. I’ve been weighing and moving stuff from bag to bag to get the proper weights down in each. We have a little hand held scale so we know our limits. The laundry machine is still whirling… Probably won’t stop until we leave! Small, little, slow thing.

Summer finally warmed up here. After working this morning, we all went for a bike ride to my favorite place.

20130707-003705.jpg

Charlie rode in the bakfiets (the way cool Dutch moms get around town!) because he was pretty tired today. We should probably try to get him to bed before midnight… Maybe next year!! We rode through Ouderkerk along the Amstel river to our favorite little restaurant on the water, Loetje. We enjoyed bitterballen and frites, with cold beers for the adults and ice cream for the boys.

20130707-003833.jpg

I love being on the water and in the sun… A perfect day!

20130707-003921.jpg

After we stopped for a snack, we rode along a bit further along the Amstel river and then cut through a farm road to get back home. I love the open spaces, winding river, and farm animals along the way.

After riding for awhile, we came home to shower before meeting up with Ton and Loes for dinner at Momo near Vondelpark. Dinner was fabulous and we enjoyed sharing dishes and sampling all sorts of beautifully and artistically displayed dishes.

Since it stays light out so late and we were enjoying our family, we walked over to De Balie for more drinks and to people watch near Leidseplein.

20130707-004012.jpg
It was a great, summer evening and we sure enjoyed our 2nd to last evening in Holland for awhile….

20130707-004052.jpg

Thanks to April and Steve for meeting with aT&T today to set up our Internet and cable for when I get back home, so I can keep on writing! And thanks to my mom and dad for driving to Sunnyvale to get our house ready and to be there to welcome us home in 2 more days. I am so lucky! Love y’all!

Day 313: It’s Sinking In…

It’s sinking in that we’re moving back, and its starting to feel real and surreal. For example, when I went to school to pick up the kids, a mother of one of Juliana’s friends stopped me to say she heard we were leaving and she was sad to see her go. She said that the end of the school year is so hard, because so many people are leaving for good. I’ve heard from my friends that its a horrible day… Tears streaming everywhere that last day. I mentioned this to Ellie, and she said, yes, it’s true, but its part of the healing process and letting go. Yikes!

And then Charlie came home with his homework packet, and inside there were four pieces of paper for each child to write goodbye letters to the four children leaving the school at the end of the year, Charlie included. He had to write one for himself, and all the letters will be compiled into a little going away book. This made me happy and sad. He took a long time thinking of what to write and how to decorate the letter.

20130603-233433.jpg

I’ve started a giveaway/sell list and a list of things to pack for the movers. I posted a few things for sale on Holland Homies and the bidding war has begun. Not really, but it does feel weird to be thinking of giving our stuff away. Just part of the process…

We booked tickets last night for one last trip to London to see Jeff’s brother and wife before we head back home.

It also hit me today, that even though I planned to pack up and leave in July, many of my friends are leaving for the summer starting this week. That really bummed me out. I called Patty to schedule one more dinner with her and her husband before they head out. It makes me sad to think I won’t see her at school every week and we won’t be meeting each other to practice Dutch, play tennis, hang out in the park, and share meals together. This is the hardest part of moving away.

I think there will be more layers each day and week until we go. It’s strange knowing that your going, but still having to wait to sort through all the details. Jeff described it like you’re waiting at the airport for your plane to take off, but you have to wait. We have about 30 more days to wait, and peel back the layers. Not an easy task. But I’m going to live up every day and have fun and play, just like I did before we moved to Holland. I’m not going to dwell on the sadness that I’m feeling, but I’m going to shine and love on my friends and family and soak them all in while I can. It’s all good…

Namaste.

Day 276: Two Lives

20130428-003329.jpg

20130428-003418.jpg

Everyone assumes I’m excited to move back home and I am. But I’m also nervous and have anxiety over it. I want to move back and I want to live here a bit longer. And I get to do both, but I have stress about moving and leaving my home here. My life is good here in Holland. And my life was good in California. It’s that yin and yang thing that is constant. And I’ll flow with whatever comes my way, but it does cause stress and I just wanted to mention that as I feel it and move through it.

I have great friends, who I enjoy every single day here. And I have great friends with shared history back home who are waiting for us and want us back (thank goodness) who we want to see and hug and hang out with again too.

But today I hung out with my friends here – I picked up Charlie from Joseine’s house and shared a cup of coffee with her, while the kids played outside and ran around together and talked us into another sleepover. How could I say no? We walked over to see her new home being built and she shared with me the details that she’s been planning for a year and a half, if not longer. She is passionate and I loved hearing and seeing her vision, and that she was sharing it with me. She is quietly proud and chose to let m be a part of her journey and dream, which I think is really cool. It made me not want to move just yet, because I won’t be here when it’s completed and I want to see it and be a part of her joy. I know I can come back someday, but I want to be here for the housewarming when it’s all done. You get it, right?

At the same time as I was enjoying my friends here, Jeff is back in California and enjoying our friends there. He went to Jessie’s soccer game and saw her score a goal.

20130428-003656.jpg
He went to Costco and bought ribs to grill/smoke on the Traeger with Steve and is enjoying his last day there before heading back to us in Holland, probably drinking a tasty margarita in a green glass from Megan, with salt!! He went to deliver gifts to Becca from Juliana and helped to keep us connected with our loved ones back home. I love that he is there enjoying the yin and I’m here enjoying the yang. 😉

As he was getting ready to grill, we were just leaving a BBQ with Patti Beth & Amy & Mindy and their families. The weather was sunny and cool, and the kids – both young and old, played together, laughing and chasing and enjoying one another. The parents all brought food and wine to share and we had a potluck – just like we do in California.

It’s weird, in a good way.

Knowing that we’re leaving makes me savor the moment more than ever. I’m hyper aware that there won’t be many more and so I want to be 100% present and I am, and it’s weird to feel that. It’s kinda like a gift to really enjoy and appreciate your friends. I know, I’m sappy. It’s just who I am. I’ve always been like this and will probably drive my kids nuts. Hopefully I’ll know when to be quiet. 😉 I’m sure they’ll let me know.

During the car ride to J’s house, the sun was shining, flowers were blooming everywhere and Jack Johnson sang to me:

“And there will always be stop and go and fast and slow
Action, reaction, sticks and stones and broken bones
Those for peace and those for war
And god bless these ones, not those ones
But these ones made times like these
And times like those
What will be will be
And so it goes
And it always goes on and on…
On and on it goes

But somehow I know it won’t be the same
Somehow I know it will never be the same.”

And so it goes…

Namaste, friends. Thanks for reading and sharing this crazy journey. xo

20130428-004414.jpg

Day 274: Homeward Bound

20130425-171336.jpg
It’s bound to happen some day. Our some day just happens to be coming very soon.

94 days to be almost exact.

20130425-171701.jpg

When we set out to move abroad, we agreed to one year away with the possibility of three. We were always fine with one year, until we started talking with friends and other expats, who kept telling us one year wasn’t long enough. We doubted ourselves momentarily, but soon realized what is best for our family is different than what is best for other families. There are several excellent reasons why we are choosing to move back to our home town after our one year is up in July. The number one reason is that it is best for Jeff’s career. Secondly, Christian is starting high school and we are happy for him to start back with his peer group at the beginning of his freshman year. And the younger children still prefer California over Holland, so they are thrilled.

Even though we’ve made this family decision, it still is challenging to accept the change and prepare for the transition because our life is also good here in Holland. I’m happy to move back home, but I also like our home here too. It’s what I like to call a high class problem, in that we are so blessed to have two homes now with friends and family we love in both places. Saying goodbye is never easy.

The movers came today to do an inventory and give us a quote to move our belongings back to where they belong. This made things feel real, and gave me a little anxiety.

I believe in living in the moment and living it up, so I’m not going to give much time to feeling sad or confused, because that will be living it down. I’m going to keep enjoying my friends and doing the work to prepare us for the big move home. I’m going to play and have fun and continue to make travel plans to see as much of the world as we can before we leave this continent, not that we can’t travel back here once we are back in America, its just easier from here.

Today I Am happy and sad and ok…and almost ready to start packing things up.

Namaste.

20130425-174149.jpg Ouderkerk