I Am Home

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I Am Home.

It still hasn’t sunk in yet, but today I just got a receipt! This shirt arrived in the mail as a surprise from Marcia today. It’s proof that I really am home. I cried when I opened it and loved seeing it, thankful to be home and also feeling a bit of sadness that we don’t have our house in Holland anymore. The transition is happening and I’m in the midst of it.

I’ve been enjoying everyday, visiting with and catching up with our friends, shopping and preparing for Charlie’s birthday party next week, enjoying our beautiful weather and the beach, and waiting for Jeff to move back home.

I’ve been car shopping and having repairs scheduled for various household parts and loving on the kids and their friends. It’s nice to be back in the same time zone as my family and friends in California and to be able to pick up the phone and not think what time it is where they are before calling. I’ve been emailing my Holland friends and keeping in touch there too. Transitioning. This is what it looks like for me.

I Am Home.

Thank you, Marcia for my awesome shirt and the welcome home. xo

Best Part of Being an Expat

Some people have asked me what the best part of living overseas was. There are several experiences we enjoyed. We traveled to new and exotic places. We learned a new language. We immersed ourselves in Dutch culture. We made wonderful new friends and embraced daily life together.

I think that was the best part for me… just sharing time together as a family. We have always been quite involved in each others’ lives. But being in a new country had us depending on one another more than usual. Everything was new and we were sharing these new experiences together.

I have to say the best part of living in the Netherlands was the quality family time we had. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but it was different than the family time we shared at home. There were less distractions. We did a lot as a family unit, and most nights we shared a prayer, conversation and a family dinner. This was priceless to me and something that was more difficult to share back in the States with longer commute times, more hectic sports schedules, harder homework, and more volunteer commitments. Seeing my kids together now back home, I can feel and see the bond between them that we created overseas. I hope it lasts!

Can’t wait for Jeff to get home and join us. The movers came last week and the house cleaner is finishing up tomorrow. A few more steps before he journeys back to us and life can resume as “normal”, whatever that may be as a family.

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Saying goodbye to the Aunties and cousins, Hartley style!

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Playing in the pool together, not wanting to go home… I love it!!

Life is good! Live it up.