Welome to another year of living happily ever after, AKA Happy New Year! Life is always changing and is unpredictable, just like the weather and the seasons and I hope that you discover joy in every moment that comes your way this year.
I discovered joy in the snow this first week of the new year and am thankful that my son wanted to go skiing for Christmas. I don’t like to be cold and am uncomfortable in the snow. Despite these facts, I chose to go anyway and to be outside, and to even ski. Even though I resisted at first and complained a little about being cold and wet, I still found reasons to celebrate and to enjoy the moments and was filled with gratitude and joy!
Life is good and I wish you love, joy, and happiness every day. Happy New Year!
The tennis courts are frozen. Thank goodness for indoor courts. I had a great lesson today. Actually, I had three great lessons today. My tennis coach is still trying to teach me to loosen up and move forward to the ball. I keep trying to over power my swing and I lean back. But when I move forward and just let go, everything is alright. I think there’s a metaphor in there. When I thought too hard about it, I’d tighten my grip and the ball would not consistently land in the court. But when I went with the flow and loosened up a bit, my consistency was amazing. I think I can learn something from that. Now if I can only repeat what I’ve practiced and learned!! I swear this helps me to be a more patient mom, knowing how challenging it is to actually apply what you learn.
My second and third lessons came from reading passionate and authentic blogs from two women whom I regularly follow. I love these women and don’t even know them. One woman is living life in the moment, a moment that brings tremendous struggle, yet she is real and authentic and represents the meaning of love and life. She gets it and I learn so much from her. Her name is Suzanne Rico. She is from California and you you can find her blog here: Walking Papers. Today I cried while reading about her dress rehearsal for dying and only hope I have as much grace as she does when this event comes my way. She has a beautiful soul.
The other woman is Kirsty Rice from Australia. She is an expat with 4 kids living in Doha. She also has an authentic voice and shares what it is like to live abroad and to raise children away from home. I started following and learning from her before we decided to become expats and I look forward to her regular updates. You can find her here: 4 kids, 20 suitcases & a beagle Today she asked where her “lurkers” were from and reading all the comments and seeing connections was pretty cool. She has touched so many lives with her gift of writing and sharing. I like that and she inspires me.
And I’ll leave you with one last picture. This man was standing in the freezing weather waiting for a bus. There is a windmill in the distance and the typically green field is covered in snow. I took this from my warm minivan, thankful as ever that she’s with me and that we weren’t standing outside tonight.
It was cold and sunny this morning and the lighting was beautiful. Jeff and I had an appointment with the town hall to turn in our California drivers licenses in exchange for Netherlands licenses. It felt a bit weird handing them over, but that’s what’s required. They want you to do this exchange within 6 months of living here and we’re fast approaching that milestone. How did that happen so fast?
If you’re an expat in the Netherlands, the agency that handles this process is called CBR and the forms can be found on their website: CBR.nl. Once you receive a letter from them, you can schedule an appointment with the town hall. You need to bring the CBR letter they send you with the application information, your passport, drivers license, residency card, and a copy of your 30% ruling, along with a passport photo. And don’t forget your 45€! All went smoothly.
On for the good part…here are some beautiful pictures of the snowscape and sunshine today. I loved the lighting and the colorful, patchwork, scarf covered tree.
The other beautiful things I discovered today were at the Museum of Handbags and Purses in Amsterdam. A few girlfriends got together to explore the museum and to have lunch afterwards. Happy Birthday, to Carolyn!, I hope you enjoy the photos!! My favorite was the Diet Coke Purse, the lucite box bags, and the old Holland school bags(boxes) that used to serve as desks and supply boxes.
This morning the grass was crispy and a frozen layer of ice crystals has begun forming from one side of the canal. Can you see the frozen log?
This is my van tonight after sitting in the parking lot after school. It was not snowing when I went in to school, but it was definitely sticking when I left.
It definitely was cold today. Charlie was outside playing in the snow after school with his bare hands. We haven’t gotten used to wearing our mittens, scarves and hats yet! I think tomorrow that will change.
But for tonight, I’m saying goodbye with few words. The kids and I were busy cleaning up the house as Jeff is coming home tomorrow and we’re all excited. But before he comes home, we’re having a sleepover in my bed and it’s late! Time to go to sleep before midnight!! Whoohoo!
Hope you’re staying warm and healthy and don’t let the flu bug bite!