Summer Sweetness

One year ago today we got on an airplane and moved back to California from Amsterdam. It was bittersweet. I cried before the plane landed, not quite ready to give up our expat life and the day to day living and sharing with our new friends and family.

One year already? How did that go by so quickly? I had so many things I was going to do this year but haven’t. It went by so fast.

I still miss my friends and our jetset schedule, but I’m happy to be home in our little house where the sun shines every day.

Kristin walked by our house this week as I was coming home and had a huge bag of plums to share. Her kids are house sitting for another neighbor and their prolific plum tree produced probably 20 pounds of plums. She offered me a fair share and today I made my first gluten free plum cobbler for dessert tonight from the bounty.

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This just made me happy to be home. I am thankful for my neighbors and friends. I am thankful for our beautiful weather. I am happy to be a stay at home mom who has time to be with my kids and cook random desserts and that I have time to think and shop and prepare family dinners.

Today I got to play tennis outdoors and ride the bakfiets to pick up Charlie at a friend’s house, besides the 101 other tasks.

Even though I miss Holland and Barbara and Joseine and my family and everyone else, I am really happy to be living in California again.

Life is good. I am happy.

Namaste.

Day 1: Farewell

I am… Loved
I am… Tired
I am…Content
I am… Sad
I am…Happy
I am… Anxious
I am… Excited
I am… Scared
I am…Curious
I am…Thankful
I am…Done

We are (almost all) packed and ready to go in the morning. I am so thankful for all my friend’s who stopped by and shared well wishes and hugs this week. I am thankful for my family who has helped us pack and clean and feed and spoil us. Come visit us in Holland and keep in touch!! xo

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Best Friends

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 35: Anxiety

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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

Day 65: Planning

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Jeff came home safely from Amsterdam and was able to stay awake until 7 pm. I made a pot of yellow Thai curry and we all enjoyed a family dinner together. The kids were very hyper today and overly excited I think, driving me a bit crazy!!

Jeff was showing them pictures of the new house. They began arguing over who would get each room and we all seemed to have different opinions. I began to make a list of things we might want to bring with us to the new house, hoping to leave as much behind as possible. I thought CJ would want to bring all his Legos, but instead he surprised me saying he didn’t really play with them anymore. When did that change and how did I miss it? I think the PS3 and Minecraft have replaced his Legos.

J said she’d bring the flag pendant from her room and maybe some art supplies, along with my old Miss America Barbie and the Dutch doll that sits on her shelf.

C will want to bring his cars and stuffed animals and all his sports gear, I’m sure.

And for me, I want to bring my Stella & Dot collection, my paddle board and my tennis racket, my Kindle and iPhone and Mac, along with my measuring cups and spoons and a few photo albums. I guess that tells you what I love.

Tomorrow I plan to confirm the taco truck guy for our going away party, and book Laser Quest for C’s birthday party. It’s all coming together, slowly but surely. So much to still do in 65 days and I want to do it all!