Feeling Anxious

I know I have nothing to complain about and that my worries really aren’t worries. But they are on my mind and make me anxious and rock my world a bit.

My baby is leaving for sleep away science camp in the morning. He laid out all his clothes and toiletries and personal items and walked through his checklist, checking things off as he found what he needed. I helped him to pack everything away, but mainly he did it all on his own. He’s growing up and I see it. I see him changing in front of my eyes and it makes me a little crazy. I know it’s a good thing and it’s really weird when you’re actually aware of the change happening as it’s happening. This rite of passage trip is a good thing. This rite of passage…yeah, I know, I know. Still anxious.

I know he has to go off with his classmates and sleep away from home, with “strangers.”  He doesn’t find out who his bunkmates will be until he arrives.  He’ll have to do things on his own and repack his bag and remember all of his belongings without my help.  I know he can do it. But I kinda like looking after my little bird.

My nest will feel empty with him away. I like knowing that he is safe with me and that we are here for him, if he needs us, not that he ever really does.  He’s pretty self sufficient, and tonight when he asked me to get him some water, I felt honored to help him and not irritated. He needed me.

He does need me of course, and I need him. He asked me to come snuggle on the couch tonight since it was his last night at home. He’s feeling it too. Of course, I stopped what I was doing and we snuggled and watched tv, under a cozy blanket. I am going to miss him.

At the same time as he is leaving, we are also receiving a Japanese exchange student for 12 days.  I am excited and anxious about this too. I was nesting, getting her room ready and cleaning up the house and wondering what to bring her and what to buy for her and what to cook.  I was even learning and practicing Japanese. We don’t speak any Japanese and I hope she speaks a few words of English. Otherwise, I am hoping that Google Translate will help us to understand one another.  I am excited to have a guest and to share and learn from one another, despite our language barrier and my initial anxiety.


Life is good, and sometimes a little anxious!

Full House

Tonight everyone is home again and I am happy.

I like when everyone is in my nest, safe and snug, doors locked, cozy in their beds and I can rest peacefully without worry.

Jeff was away on a business trip and Juliana was away at camp.

I have to say life was easier, slower and quieter with less laundry, demands and needs to be filled with 2 out of the 5 of us missing, but I felt incomplete.

I like my work. I like the humans I share space with and when they are gone, I really miss them. I am happy that they are back and we are complete again, all together in the same nest.

I know they will leave one day, but for now I appreciate our shared space and providing for their care and am content and thankful. Living in the moment, loving life and laughing out loud.





Oh my gosh… I had such anxiety today.  I am going on vacation tomorrow and leaving everyone behind. This created such anxiety for me and I wish it didn’t. I am so excited to go away and yet I’m scared to leave and feel guilty, which is so stupid. I don’t believe in all this fear and worry, yet it swept over my body even when I was telling it to disappear. It was just there. Hello anxiety. I don’t like you. 

So I went to yoga first thing this morning to let go of the stress and felt great the whole time, even after I left the class. I went shopping to gather all the groceries for the week, and drinks for the baseball game tomorrow, because I’m the team mom and won’t be there. And then the anxiety creeped in. I want to go but I don’t want to leave my kids and family. All of a sudden, it took over and I found myself making dinner for everyone and stuff for lunch for the rest of the week for my gluten free child, in case no one would know what to make for her. I felt like I had to provide for everyone, have all the laundry done, and the house clean and in order before I leave, heck before I even packed!!

I was definitely nesting. That’s the feeling you get before you have your first baby, where you want to have all the comforts and food ready to go.  April came to the door to visit, unexpectedly, and asked me what I was doing. I told her I was nesting as I was sweating over a hot stove, not sure why I had 5 pans going at the same time, when it was a 100 degrees outside and there was a fundraiser dinner for the school tonight too that we could have gone to instead. I never cook like that. I made hard boiled eggs, gluten free pasta, brown rice, regular pasta, pasta jambalaya and steamed artichokes. Something is really wrong with me!  At least I was aware — that’s usually half the problem, right?  I was laughing at myself.  

I had all the laundry done and folded, even the mismatched sock basket, while cooking and washing dishes and chatting with April and Val, who also showed up. I laughed that two of my friends came by to visit today, who I haven’t seen in awhile and just enjoyed their company, instead of worrying and continuing to pack. I know I was being irrational and I actually really loved having the distraction, even though I knew I was procrastinating and still had to pack. Yin and yang. Living in the moment.  That’s what it looks like.

After they left, I was out of time and it was time to go and pick up the kids and run to an orthodontist appointment. And since it was 100+ degrees outside and the ice cream shop was right next door, of course we had to stop in and enjoy the moment. There was still time to pack. At least dinner was already ready to go. 😉

I came home and finished packing – ta da!!  Just in time to finish cleaning before my parents arrived. They came to town to take my place while I’m gone. I’m so, so thankful and lucky because they are so capable and willing and loving and helpful and my kids and husband love them.  I had lists written out with all the schedules for the next few days and I shared the details with them after dinner. Man, when you see your life in writing, it’s crazy to see all the logistics.  No wonder I feel anxious.  I have to let go of my responsibilities and it feels so weird.

But I’m good now. All is well. My parents arrived and Jeff came home from work and we all shared a nice dinner together. The kids are in bed and I leave first thing in the morning. I haven’t decided if I will write over the next 4 nights, but if I have internet access, I will do my best. I haven’t taken a break since I began blogging 785+ posts ago. 

Thanks for reading and sharing and laughing and listening. I hope you have a great rest of the week and feel good!  xo


The Nest


I feel like I’ve come back to the nest.

Juliana made this origami crane diorama of my family, which I love. Made me thankful for this nest my parents created and tended for us.

My parents still live in the same house I grew up in 40+ years ago. It is comforting to come back here to the same place, in the same town, and to drive around the city to see what has changed and what has stayed the same and to see my family and friends.

Here we are driving to The Infamous Oaks Mall.

The Oaks Mall is a big deal in this small, sleepy town. I just liked wandering around with the girls and trying on clothes and grabbing some lunch together.

I love that my mom and dad are so welcoming and loving and that they like to entertain. My cousin Laurie and her family came over for dinner, and my friend Jeni and her family joined all of us too.

Even my brother was here so all my siblings were together and all the grand kids too which made me smile and laugh.


I love my crazy family and that we all took the time to be together for a few hours. We are a crazy, fun loving bunch, quirks and all, perfectly imperfect.


Life is good! Thanks for having us all for dinner tonight Mama and Pops.

What does your family do when they get together? Are you crazy, loving and silly like us too? I hope so!! 🙂

Day 197: 3 More Sleeps and Nesting

After 3 more sleeps, I’ll get to hug S & J again! I can’t believe it’s been more than 6 months since we’ve played together. Luckily they’re bringing their parents too!  I can’t believe it’s finally time for them to get here. We’ve been waiting forever!! I’m so excited that they are coming for a long visit, since it’s been waaay tooo long. The hardest part of being an expat is missing family and friends from home.

I’ve been nesting the last few days, getting the house ready and planning fun activities, and thinking about what we’ll eat!  I always get a little anxious, even though there is no reason to be – I think it’s just the excitement and anticipation that makes me nervous.  The good thing about anxiety, is that it motivates me to dust and vacuum, and hang pictures and actually put the laundry away. The house repair guy came today to hang a kitchen light and fix the patio light too. Wow, I wish company could come every month!  Who’s coming next to visit?  😉

Juliana and Charlie and I baked cookies tonight — hopefully there will still be some left and they’ll still be fresh when they arrive.  


I borrowed a booster seat from Patti Beth for J, am going to charge up the OV chip cards for each of them, and have the museum cards ready. Jeff and I collected touristy brochures for them to look at and find ideas of what they might want to see and friends have been giving me ideas of fun things for kids to experience in the city. I know for sure we’ll take a canal boat ride, see a museum or two and visit the goat farm and the cheese and clog place. Efteling is also on the list too.  What’s your favorite thing to see or do in Amsterdam?  What I’m most looking forward to is just sitting on the couch together and hanging out and listening to the kids run up and down the stairs together. And cooking with April and drinking with Steve. Really, it’s the simple things that make me happy.

I wonder what the weather will be like when they arrive. If it’s anything like this week, it’ll be sunny, rainy, gray, hailing, cold, wet, and snowy.  Watching the weather change is an event in itself. Just check out the picture collage of the trees out front of our house this week that Juliana created for me – I see Holland and America and all their beauty tied together. Namaste.