Pretty Things

What do you find pretty that puts a smile on your face?

Today someone really liked my shoes and that made me smile because I love them and I loved that they loved them too. We shared a conversation and a connection over cute, whimsical shoes.

My shoes are “vintage” Kate Spade and you can find other pretty shoes by her here: Kate Spade Shoes

I have a new handbag from the spring Stella & Dot collection that is also pretty and makes me happy. I love the vibrant colors and pattern and that people like it and ask me where I got it. It’s a great conversation piece and I like to share the story about it and talk about Stella & Dot because it’s fun and also makes me happy.

You can find it on my website if you want one too: S&D how does she do it bag

The other pretty thing that made me smile today were beautiful tulips arranged in a pretty little vase. Again, women were chatting and sharing appreciation for the pretty little things in life. These flowers reminded me of the bunches in Holland that were readily available and inexpensive in all colors. They made me think of and miss my Dutch friends!

If you want to find tulips in California, they have them now at Trader Joes.
Trader Joe’s

I like pretty things because of the stories and connections associated with them the most. What pretty things do you love?

What I Love About Being Home

I played tennis with a group of friends today in the warm sunshine. They were asking me questions about what it was like to be back and what I liked about Holland and what I miss and all that good stuff.

I noticed that I’m starting to transition to liking being back home again. This was a turning point for me.

It’s been 2 months, 1 week, and 3 days since we moved back. The kids are now settled into their new schools and routines are starting to become normal. After school activities are taking shape. Most of the boxes are unpacked. I’ve picked up my sports and making a little time for myself again. I’ve done a little volunteering and I’m feeling like this is where I belong again. My parents also left this week. I am keeping busy, but am starting to feel a bit more content.

So what do I love about being home? I’ll try and make a little list.

– Things are easier here, yet so much busier. I like the easy, not so sure yet on the busy.

– I love that the sun shines every day and I’m outside soaking it in. I’ve been riding Charlie to school in the bakfiets most days, getting lots of smiles and stares.

– People know me and I know them. I have friends all over our community and I love them. At tennis today, Nisa invited me to come to her Jazzercise class and we shared stories of when our boys were little and just started playing soccer. Those stories were from 9 years ago! We share a history.

I asked my tennis partners what they were making for dinner tonight because I didn’t know what I was serving yet and needed to stop at the store after our game. Pam told me what she was making for dinner and voila – I took her idea, stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home, and made falafel with pita, flatbread, and dips and veggies. YUM!! We all loved it and it was something I haven’t served in a long time. Thanks for the inspiration, Pam.


I got to stop in at Marilynne’s house for a half hour before picking up the kids from school, just because I can!

And as I was cleaning up dinner, Laura stopped by on her way home for a quick hug, because we haven’t seen each other in a long while. We are both busy with three kids each and planning girlfriend time, just doesn’t fit right now. Being spontaneous is so much better!

I had two conflicting appointments tonight and was able to call Reid to drop off Juliana a little early so that she could take our girls to their event. We’ve been friends since our girls were little and when we were part of Las Madres playing at the park in the sand with them. I was thankful for her help and the girls were happy too.

And Val had called me to carpool to the next event, but since I was already going to be out, I swung by to pick her up on my way and we got to share a few minutes in the car chatting and catching up too.

I got to talk to my sisters on the phone, in the same time zone, which is such a huge gift!

I need my girlfriends! I need their advice, support, ideas, help and hugs! Being back home and having all these connections fulfills me. I like our shared history. I like being outside playing tennis with them and having neighbors and friends drop by just because we can. I like carpooling and sharing rides and conversations. It makes the days sweeter. It takes a village, and I’m part of a really good one.

I was going to share other reasons why I love being home, but the girlfriends and connections and sunshine are what really make me happy right now. Of course, I miss my girlfriends in the Netherlands, but I’m sure thankful for the friends that are right here, right now, with me on this journey.

Love y’all!

What do you love about being home?

Day 84 – What will I do without Trader Joes?

I got a loaner car today because the door on my MV is still not fixed. The first place I went was Trader Joe’s to stock up on our favorite Orange Chicken!


What will we do without Trader Joes in Holland? Is there anything like it? Not only did I pick up 6 bags of the OC, but also some of our other favorites like the chocolate covered pretzels, and yummy appetizers to throw in the toaster oven like mini pizzas and savory flatbreads!

I am going to miss TJs.