Day 330: Last Day of School


Today was the last day of school for my kids in Holland. It’s significant to me for several reasons. It is a milestone that we’ve reached as a family and I’m hyper aware of the end of our journey in the Netherlands.

We had several goodbye celebrations to mark the end and transition and to maximize our time with friends.

The hardest part is letting go and hearing Charlie cry from the pain of realizing he won’t see his friends again for a very long time. He made some really great friends here and trying to help him accept and process the loss of such strong connections is difficult, especially when I feel the same way.

Goodbye to all my Holland friends until we meet again. Goodbye to all my expat soul mates who understand this journey and can relate because you’ve been there with me and get it!

And as Jen said to me this morning as the day started, don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened. Great advice that carried me through the day, despite the heavy sadness.

Safe travels my friends until we meet again.

Full house
Best friends

Day 329: Goodbyes Suck


Letting go… namaste

I had the best day again today.

Yet I am fully aware of the change that is looming.

As I live in the moment and enjoy these last 3 weeks in Europe and the last few days of school, I am feeling the heaviness of what’s to come.

I feel extreme joy in the celebration of life with good friends, fully aware of the loss I’m going to feel when we say goodbye for the summer… for the school year… for the end of this journey.

Today I went paddling for 1 1/2 hours with Barbara and enjoyed being on the water. Afterwards, we swung from a rope swing over and into the water and swam to the dock, just like kids.  Can you see the smile that was on my face? I did yoga on the board before coming in and the picture above is me relaxing and letting go. What a perfect way to spend the morning.  Thank you, my friend!

Jen invited me to join her for a sushi lunch. I learned from her that sometimes it takes awhile for friendships to bloom and a year just isn’t long enough!  But once you establish roots, I think you can go anywhere and pick up where you left off, right Jen? I’m going to believe that! And if Lucy can Facetime with you from Russia, surely I can figure out how to keep in touch from America.

Finally, we had a swim party for the kids to celebrate with their friends and mine. What kids don’t like swimming? They were all so happy and the parents enjoyed chatting and relaxing too while the kids played. I received a wonderful, personalized, handmade pottery gift from Bob that really meant a lot to me. He’s been taking a pottery class and took the time to create something special for our family.  I’d share it, but it has an inscription with our address, that I’ll save to share after we move. Thank you, Bob!  What a cool and unique gift!! I love it.  As we left the pool, two friends came home with us for a pizza dinner and a sleepover. I’ve got to make sure they are living it up too and bending all the rules. Change is good!

I know change is coming and I’m ok with that, but it doesn’t change how I feel about it. It sucks to have to say goodbye, yet I know we have to and I know we can keep in touch and possibly see our friends again, but our day to day lives together are about to change. And that makes me sad, even though I know what waits for us back home is good.

It’s that yin and yang thing again… the constant in life. The constant balancing and rebalancing and adapting. I think I’m getting the hang of it, and know how to do it, but I’m feeling it. Can you feel it? Do you know what I’m talking about? It’s probably no different for the mama’s sending their babies off to college this year… it’s the right thing to do, change is happening, growth is occurring and new stages are developing, but not without a sense of loss and letting go.

So today I wish us all the peace to let go, and to know how and when, and to breathe, and to feel it and to smile and to move on with grace. The way we are supposed to, even when it’s hard and it sucks and it’s ok.


Day 317: Closing Chapters

One great thing about having company come over is getting your house decluttered and cleaned. I love that feeling. It’s kind of like cleaning before the house cleaner comes over, you know what I mean? (But I’m the declutterer and the cleaner. ) My house look(ed) nice for a few hours at least, and I enjoyed that feeling.

After the house was clean, I rode my bike to the Friday market to pick up fresh bread and appetizers and vegetables. It’s finally become natural to hop on my bike to go to the store, and fill my saddle bags and basket instead of my trunk. I rode to the mall, did my shopping, and rode back in 30 minutes. Along the way I saw my little goose family. The babies are getting so big!

Did you notice the heron in the background? I am going to miss this natural beauty right out my front door when we move.

Dorine and Nadja came over tonight for a final goodbye. It’s strange that we haven’t seen them in 6 months. I think it’s because they live an hour away and are as busy traveling and entertaining as we are. I like that they live life to the fullest and was thankful that they took the time to come over for happy hour and dinner.


The weather was great again and we had dinner outside on the patio. We used the table raclette, grilling meats and veggies, melting cheeses and enjoying the wine they brought back from their trip to Italy. Juliana made April’s rum cake for dessert and we all enjoyed her baking skills.

We were able to give them a few things that we won’t be able to take back with us, like alcohol and our raclette and immersion blender. I share this because its another layer of letting go.
We are thankful for our family in Holland and will hopefully see them again in California when they come to visit us.

Have a great weekend!

Day 316: Purchased Tickets and More Goodbyes

Today I bought tickets for the kids and I to move back home next month. It is really happening and I have mixed feelings about it. I guess this is part of the repatriation process and today was another step closer to my comfy bed back home! I purchased the tickets and then posted the announcement on Facebook. I then privately messaged my closest friends and family back home, sharing with them our good news. And then I went through another anxiety loop and felt sad, and private messaged my closest friends here in Amsterdam. I am going to miss them so much and don’t look forward to the hard goodbyes. I guess the good thing is that people care about me and I care about them, and its normal and natural to feel saddened when you won’t be with each other as often as usual. It’s all good, like I always say… I am lucky.

In the spirit of living it up every day, we celebrated with Patty and Brian one last time before they leave for the summer on Saturday. We met at the Conservatorium for dinner in the Brasserie. I really liked the ambiance, high vaulted glass ceiling, great food, excellent service and wonderful company. We had an enjoyable evening together and I’m not going to even think about missing them. We’ll just see each other again soon in California or Las Vegas, Amsterdam or Minneapolis.








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.


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…


Day 311: Goodbye Party

It’s official… we are moving and tonight it felt real. Patty and Bob planned a goodbye party for us and several of our friends were there. We went on a canal boat cruise through Amsterdam and then to a restaurant for tapas and drinks and dancing. I had so much fun celebrating with everyone and was thankful that everyone came out and enjoyed being together. The hardest part of moving is having to say goodbye to our friends, the best part of Holland. I love you all and am so thankful you are part of my life, forever.




“(We) are now part of an international community of soul mates, who share the common, universal experiences of surviving – and thriving – in an overseas home.” – Robin Pascoe

I will miss you all so much and hope you all come to California to see me again. You’ll always have a place to stay. And I hope to see you again wherever you may go. Thank you for sharing this magical journey with me.
You are loved.