Day 16: SUPed the Amstel and Amsterdam Canals!


I’m sitting on a kitchen bench in our living room with tired arms. The rental furniture was picked up today and our new furniture arrives tomorrow. We bought a few mattresses and blankets and sheets last week so we are able to actually sleep in beds, so that’s good! We went shopping today to buy a few more linens to cover the mattresses too. We also had fun walking around the Friday market place. On Friday’s, vendors fill the city center selling all sorts of things from cheese, to produce, to household goods, toys, linens, candy and other things. We are slowly (or quickly) getting familiar with our surroundings and making our house more homey.

As the movers were moving stuff out, the kids were exploring the canal in front of our house on our neighbor’s inflatable canoe. They had so much fun splashing around, and making new friends. One of the girls only speaks Dutch and the other little girl speaks English and Dutch. So between the three they found a way to communicate and play. It was fun watching them bond through play.

After “working” today, I got to go for a Friday evening paddle with 50 of my newest “friends!”. I found Morene on Facebook and have been following her since before we moved. She posted that she had rentals available for a Friday night paddle through Amsterdam and tonight I was able to join her. I was so excited!! It was awesome and peaceful and a workout! The weather was gorgeous and the water was warm. It was fun navigating the narrow canals and paddling with a “team” of other SUP-ers, under bridges and around boats and over wakes. Can you see my perm-a-grin???

Jeff and the kids drove me to the drop off location and then I paddled for two hours down the Amstel river and through several canals including the Herengracht. I love being on the water and seeing things from a different perspective. It was fun to watch the tourists taking our pictures and watching us as we paddled by.

I can’t wait to go again!



Day 13: Lucky 13


When I found out we were moving, I decided I was going to do everything I’ve been wanting to do before we actually left. That has been the biggest gift of all – to actually enjoy every minute of where I am right now. And I have and I AM and I still have 12 more days to soak it all in before our next adventure begins. What are you doing with your minutes?

Today was full and fun and I even got some work done! Michele and I took the kids to Sausalito to enjoy lunch on the boat, and to play with the kids on the beach. They loved finding and catching little sea creatures and moon jelly fish. Michele brought her paddle board and let me try it out. She has a Surftech board that is very stable and glides through the water. I liked trying another board and think the next board I get will be one that moves quickly through the water.



After our time on the beach, we went into town for coffee and Lappert’s ice cream. It was beautiful and sunny in Sausalito yet foggy and cold crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. I never tire of seeing the beauty of the bridge. We didn’t have a plan or schedule and the day just flowed.


Afterward, we drove back to Michele’s and she took C to a Palo Alto Play and let the kids swim after dark. I was lucky enough to drive over to Redwood City to check out the awesome new fall jewelry line from Stella & Dot. I don’t know how Blythe and team keep creating new designs that are so artistic and cool! I want them all! I loved running into friends – Vickie, Debbie and Kristen. Vickie gave me a gift, which is one of the new layering pieces just because! How lucky AM I? Thanks, Vickie!! I’m going to miss you… Debbie and Kristen too!

And to top of the minutes, Jeff was having a meeting right down the road. We were able to meet up for a quick dinner date! That never happens!! We enjoyed the break and I was able to still get back to pick up C by 8:30 pm but he was still swimming! Guess he’s enjoying every minute too. Michele and I looked over the new Stella and Dot Look Book and I just ordered my new samples! Wanna come see them? Stop by next week… They should be here by Monday!!

Life is good… Enjoy your minutes and make them count!!


Day 41: Big Kids Now

Two days into vacation, and I’m realizing we have big kids now. They are more independent and less needy which makes it easier. On the other hand, they all have big opinions and more needs that they tend to vocalize over and over again, which makes it harder.

I like to just go with the flow, especially in Hawaii; to have a general plan, but one that can change. The kids want to know what’s coming when and to have a say in the process and decision making. That’s probably ok with one kid, but when three kids are barking orders and I’m trying to please everybody, including my husband who hates the sand and being hot, it’s a bit more challenging to make everyone happy.

What I learned very quickly, is that I need to manage their expectations a little better. They just want a little bit of control over their world and knowing what we’re doing for the day helps them to feel more at ease. Duh… I’m the same way. It helps me to help them too and then we’re all happy.

So today we decided to spend the entire day on Waikiki beach without getting in the car. It was wonderful! We rented umbrellas and chairs, paddle boards, a paddle boat and a raft. We brought our lunch and a cooler with drinks and relaxed all day. It was perfect and we all had smiles on our faces!!