Day 160: Chapter 2013: Page 1 of 365

I read a couple blog and Facebook posts today that made me think of the new year in a new way. Ann wrote about picking one word to describe your year and Christine wrote about making a to do list versus a list of resolutions. And the title of today’s blog post was a caption from a Facebook image. All of these ideas help us to frame our thinking in a positive way and to be mindful of our gift of time. The Dutch have a saying that basically says in the concert of life, there is no program. We have to write our script every day.

My word for the year is Flow. I don’t think we have control over our life and that we have to choose to flow with whatever comes our way. I am thankful for all that is good in my life and I know how blessed I am. And of course there are challenges – but I choose to continue to accept what is, and to be happy and flow like a river over any rocks (obstacles) that present themselves. I choose to write about the good things, but believe me – my life isn’t perfect. I like to see it as perfectly imperfect. Just the way I like it.

And as for my To Do list, here are a few things I’m thinking about this year:

Paddling across the canals of Amsterdam on my new SUP board.

Learning Dutch with Jeff by taking a class together.

Running every other day and lifting kettle bells again.

Improving my tennis game.

Volunteering at the kids’ school.

Planning some more trips for our family.

Entertaining at least once a month, trying new meals without a BBQ!

Organizing my photos – this is on my list every year!

Sending hand written birthday cards to
loved ones.

Planning a trip back to California.

Finding a yoga class close to home.

Baking with Juliana.

Staying connected with friends and family.

Writing about Here I Am daily.

I think that’s a good start. What is on your Program? Do you have a Word that guides you? I asked my family their words and here was what they shared: Fun, Love, Patience, and Determination. I’m excited for 2013 and am curious what changes it will bring. Aren’t you?

And before I say good night, I just want to wish Juliana a very, happy birthday. We had fun celebrating her today in Portugal, even though the stores were closed. We missed baking cakes with April and Stacey, and are very excited to bake April’s chocolate cake that she sent J when we get back home!

The best part of the day was taking a ferry ride across the water to a little town called Cacihais. It felt like and looked like we were in San Francisco near the Golden Gate Bridge. I felt at home!!





Day 158: Here We Are in Portugal


One of the perks of living in the Netherlands is exploring new countries, like we would visit another State in the USA. And since we don’t know how long we will have this opportunity, we try to make the most of every moment we have. It sounds cliche, but in a sense we’re enjoying the gift of time, and living it up like we might not have another chance to do what we’re doing if we don’t do it right now. Know what I mean?? I think everyone should live like this, meaning not doing the same things as me, but doing whatever you’re capable and able to do and experience right now in your part of the world. Maybe you’ve been wanting to visit a friend who lives 2 hours away but you think you’re too busy. You should schedule it right now! You’ll be so happy you did.

We are in Portugal for a couple of days. We wanted to go someplace warmer than Holland and not a 11 hour flight away. We picked Portugal, someplace we would never have thought of visiting had we not lived in Europe and heard so many good things about it.

We arrived late this afternoon and immediately went exploring as soon as we checked into our hotel. We actually took a bus from the airport to our hotel, based on the recommendation of the tourist office. A bus ticket costs 3.50 euros for adults and 2€ for kids. It was also a nice way to see a bit of the city. We then bought Metro cards and rode the subway to catch Tram 28, an old fashioned electric tram car, that felt like we were riding a cable car in San Francisco.


It goes up and down several hills in Lisbon, along narrow streets and through popular neighborhoods. This was a great way to get acquainted with the city with just a half day to spend this evening.

We used TripAdvisor’s Cityguide App to help us find a highly rated, local restaurant nearby where we got off the tram. We were so lucky to have chosen Alpendre, in the Alfama neighborhood. We met Victor who became our friend and who helped us to pick some great entrees. We had shrimp with garlic, grilled assorted whole fish with boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli, steak kebabs, and seafood rice, with fresh bread and butter and cheese.

He brought us ice cold Portuguese beer in freezer chilled metal mugs that made them taste so delicious. Our dinner was filling and the ambiance and service was warm and homey. The kids asked if we could go back again tomorrow. I’d say that’s a good sign.

We enjoyed our late afternoon and evening in Lisbon and are looking forward to more adventures tomorrow.

How are you spending your last day of 2012? Hopefully living it up, your style!