Whatever you’re waiting for, I hope it comes your way in time and makes you happy. 

Cheers to my friend in Holland who has been waiting for her daughter to be cancer free and she finally received this awesome news.

To my family and everyone else dealing with grief and waiting and wading in it, I’m hoping peace finds you.

Tonight I sat on my porch and patiently waited for my sister and niece to arrive. I have been excited all day just knowing that they were coming. I am happy they chose to come our way and are spending the weekend with us.

I remember 9-11. I choose to live in the moment and create peace, joy, love and connection everyday. Never forget.

Life is good, especially with family in it. xoxo

Being Vulnerable

“Through my research, I found that vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s the magic sauce. ” – Brene Brown

I’m vulnerable. Today and most days. Aren’t we all? Today,  I’m especially aware of my vulnerability because I am still in pain and actually needed help. I needed help with having Tiger Balm rubbed into my back, shoulder and neck muscles.  I needed help at the grocery store and got help with kid pickup and kitchen cleanup and filling the rice containers.  I don’t like to be needy. I like to be the one giving help. I was still able to do some things, but at 50% the level and speed as usual. This made me incredibly vulnerable, a bit uncomfortable and a lot thankful.

As I slowed down, my family picked up the pace. I loved that they were helping me and looking at me with love and concern in their eyes. They are not used to me like this and I’m not comfortable just sitting. I’m not dying and I’m not trying to exaggerate, I’m just dealing with and waiting for the pain to pass. It definitely has a hold on me and I am not sure how long the wait will be. I’m getting lots of kisses and hugs and offers for help and I’m just trying to breathe and be patient. Thank you family and thank you friends for your ideas and advice.

While I wait, I will be thankful that I have people that love me and take care of me too and for this vulnerability space. Maybe this is part of my togetherness vision for the year,  just in a different form than I expected.

Life is good, even with a pulled muscle.

Merry Christmas Eve!

It’s the night before Christmas and our littlest one can’t sleep. He’s excited and filled with anticipation and fear and his head just won’t rest. It’s almost midnight!

He’s been tracking Santa’s arrival on NORAD and now that he knows he is very near, he keeps coming out of his room, claiming he can’t sleep. I wonder if he can’t sleep because he’s excited, anxious, scared, hopeful? It’s probably a mix of several feelings. Do you remember these feelings too? I sure hope he practices some of the mindfulness techniques he learned in Holland and closes his eyes because this mama is worn out!

I hope your day is filled with wonder and surprise, love and peace, good food and drinks, and that you’re surrounded by family and friends.

And may your presence and positive attitude be the gift that you give to all those you meet.

Merry Christmas from my little family to yours.


Here I Am Slowing Down

It’s the craziest time of the year and instead of doing what I thought I would be doing, my plans have been scrambled.

I laid in bed with my baby girl and catered to her needs all day, administering medicine and eye drops every half hour to help her eye heal from her accident yesterday. I took her to the eye doctor and cried when I saw that she could see the eye chart letters. She will see again. I can endure and wait.

I have been sitting and waiting and praying for healing. This is what I can do. I can just be with her and wait patiently and care for her by the hour. This is in my control. Everything else is not.

Playing with her hair is what made me happy and knowing that she wanted me by her side all day, to give her sips of water, food and medicine and to be her eyes provided us both comfort as we waited with fear and anticipation.


Tomorrow we will do the same. We will sit and rest and wait for healing. We will let everything else go and catch up when we can again. This is our priority now. And the busiest time just became the slowest time. Whatever. It’ll all work out. It always does.

I wish you good health and peace and love and light. This is what the season is about anyway.


All In A Day’s Work

Today was amazing. I am celebrating my role as a stay at home mom and enjoying all of it’s “free” benefits.

I got to enjoy my girlfriends and being outside getting exercise together while we chatted and hiked through the hills.

I got to volunteer and work with strong, confident women who I love and admire, over a nice, relaxing lunch.

I got to go shopping during the day with less crowds and no kids in tow.

I got to pick up my kids after school and bring them home for snacks and down time, playing and baking.

I got to practice throwing and catching a baseball, and taught my little one how to Rollerblade after school.

I got to volunteer at my son’s elementary school and enjoyed watching the kids’ eyes light up as they learned about science and electricity.

I got to go to the post office to pick up a surprise package of goodies from my Dutch friends in Holland.

I got to have a Girls’ Night Out and enjoy dinner with my girlfriends.

All in a days’ work.  I love to be busy, to exercise, to volunteer, and to spend quality time with my family and friends. And today I got to do it all. It doesn’t get much better than this. This is my best life right now.

I think the secret to happiness is to embrace whatever you choose to do in life and to find joy in the day to day. Things aren’t always sexy and invigorating. Sometimes this is incredibly challenging and other days it just comes easily. Sometimes we are really good at appreciating the present moment and where we are and what we’re doing, and sometimes change doesn’t come fast enough.

This leads to the other secret I learned today from two wise women. We were chatting about this and that and the topic came up that sometimes we don’t have everything all figured out and that there are dependencies outside our control, and sometimes we have to learn to have patience and just WAIT.  The answers and plans usually have a brilliant way of unfolding and presenting themselves in time, if only we can just wait. Waiting is an OK option, even in this fast paced society and community we live in and sometimes we forget that not everything has to be right now.

Waiting is powerful and we need to get better at it and accepting it. Waiting to feel better. Waiting for results. Waiting for our kids. Waiting in traffic. Waiting for our partners to come home. We wait for dinner to be ready. We wait for a dream to become a reality. We do a lot of waiting and we should probably practice being ok with waiting for whatever is to come next and be present as we patiently wait. It’s just part of the journey. Where’s the PAUSE button?

See? Don’t you feel better already. If not, just WAIT. You will.  😉


Behind the Scenes


Do you ever really think about all that happens behind the scenes? Like getting ready for Christmas? Preparing for finals or a a big presentation? Lots of work goes on to get things just right and ready.

Tonight I got to help out back stage during Juliana’s play. It was such a different perspective and I enjoyed watching the kids going on and off stage and into the green room. I liked seeing them transforming from one character to the next and I loved listening to them whisper to each other behind the scenes. This perspective helped me to appreciate how much work goes into creating a production.

Behind the scenes and waiting in the shadows.

Seeing things from behind.


Costume changes.

The End. Closed Curtain. Success!


I have three kids and a husband that works at a startup. My routine is to not really have a routine. Our traditions are to not really have traditions. And to always expect things to change. I think that’s how it is with multiple kids and a non-traditional job.

I am a stay at home mom and I spend a lot of time waiting. And because I’m waiting, I don’t always want to start something because I know I’ll be interrupted. I’m trying to be better at this, but a lot of times it frustrates me. But I always look for the good and to enjoy the chaotic moments

For example, today I volunteered at our teacher luncheon. I was helping out while I waited to pick up Juliana. I dropped her off and unloaded groceries while I waited to pick up Charlie. I walked to school to wait for Charlie to be done playing.

This is me enjoying my walking alone moment and listening to my fun Stella & Dot necklace jingle jangle, which made me smile and take a selfie!

When I came home with Charlie, I sat down and had a snack with the kids. I wasn’t quite sure what to do next, so we hung out together. When I tried to read, they tried to talk. When Charlie started his homework, the doorbell rang with friends looking to play. I told them they had to wait too until Charlie was done with his homework.

They wanted to play outside, but I was mean mommy today and wouldn’t let him go out because the air quality people said we should stay indoors because of the fires nearby and chemicals in the air. Charlie learned about fairness and different rules for different families and I got to hear about it and his protests. Lucky me. And so I sat and waited patiently some more while he practiced controlling his body.

When he resumed some level of calm I taught him about life not being fair and things don’t always go as planned and that we have to deal with the loss and make new fun plans. I mean it’s depressing to miss your scheduled winter water ballon fight at 4:30 pm and it’s really hard to understand why when it’s good outside. Just look outside. Just ask him.

He decided he wanted to play with me instead then and that we should paint. He wanted to paint lawn decorations on cardboard. And so we did. We dug around for some cardboard and he sketched his design. Then Juliana and I joined him in painting in the details. We painted while we waited to take Juliana to her appointment and waited for dad to come home, before dinner.

We filled the time and waiting was good and he taught me something too. Not everything has to go as planned and sometimes not having a plan is good too, if you can be comfortable waiting for whatever shows up. Hmm.


GGG – Day 22 – Waiting

20131123-001528.jpg“Patience, he thought. So much of this was patience – waiting, and thinking and doing things right. So much of all this, so much of all living was patience and thinking.”
― Gary Paulsen, Hatchet

Gratitude Gift Giving Day 22 – Hurry Up and Wait

The less I choose to do the more patient I become. I have more time to wait and open space to fill and I am loving this feeling.

Today I sat on the little red bench in front of my house and just enjoyed sitting there for no real reason. I had laundry to fold and I was waiting for Laurie to arrive, yet I did not want to rush. Charlie was playing with his friends down the street and I enjoyed just sitting there and anticipating when he would return and when Laurie would arrive. Soon the sun started setting and warmed my face as it shone in the area where I was sitting. It felt like a gift that I wasn’t expecting and I soaked in the last few minutes of sunshine for the day before the air began to cool and I went inside. By this time Charlie had already gone inside and wondered why I was sitting there alone.

This felt peaceful to me and made me think about the times we spend waiting and anticipating what is to come next. We spend a long time waiting for this and that and usually we don’t like to wait. But what if we could be more patient? What if we could enjoy the periods of waiting? I wondered what that would feel like and actually enjoyed the wait today. At least for a little while until I got anxious. I tend to get anxious when I’m waiting but I’d like to change that. I’d like to be ok in the periods of transition and anticipation and flow into these moments too. Hmmm… There’s a thought for the day.

How do you feel when you’re waiting? What are you waiting for?

Today I’m thankful for the periods of waiting because they bring a sense of excitement and change.

20131123-001548.jpgIt’s the 50th anniversary of JFK assassination today.

Day 197: 3 More Sleeps and Nesting

After 3 more sleeps, I’ll get to hug S & J again! I can’t believe it’s been more than 6 months since we’ve played together. Luckily they’re bringing their parents too!  I can’t believe it’s finally time for them to get here. We’ve been waiting forever!! I’m so excited that they are coming for a long visit, since it’s been waaay tooo long. The hardest part of being an expat is missing family and friends from home.

I’ve been nesting the last few days, getting the house ready and planning fun activities, and thinking about what we’ll eat!  I always get a little anxious, even though there is no reason to be – I think it’s just the excitement and anticipation that makes me nervous.  The good thing about anxiety, is that it motivates me to dust and vacuum, and hang pictures and actually put the laundry away. The house repair guy came today to hang a kitchen light and fix the patio light too. Wow, I wish company could come every month!  Who’s coming next to visit?  😉

Juliana and Charlie and I baked cookies tonight — hopefully there will still be some left and they’ll still be fresh when they arrive.  


I borrowed a booster seat from Patti Beth for J, am going to charge up the OV chip cards for each of them, and have the museum cards ready. Jeff and I collected touristy brochures for them to look at and find ideas of what they might want to see and friends have been giving me ideas of fun things for kids to experience in the city. I know for sure we’ll take a canal boat ride, see a museum or two and visit the goat farm and the cheese and clog place. Efteling is also on the list too.  What’s your favorite thing to see or do in Amsterdam?  What I’m most looking forward to is just sitting on the couch together and hanging out and listening to the kids run up and down the stairs together. And cooking with April and drinking with Steve. Really, it’s the simple things that make me happy.

I wonder what the weather will be like when they arrive. If it’s anything like this week, it’ll be sunny, rainy, gray, hailing, cold, wet, and snowy.  Watching the weather change is an event in itself. Just check out the picture collage of the trees out front of our house this week that Juliana created for me – I see Holland and America and all their beauty tied together. Namaste.


Day 48: Waiting


This picture just makes me smile.  Jeff and I were just in the World Trade Center of Amsterdam today, collecting 2 out of 5 our Residence Cards. We had to go there to physically pick them up and present our passports once again. You’d think since we all went to fill out the paperwork at the same time, that they’d all be there for pickup at the same time. We asked and they told us not to worry and they would probably be ready next week. Hmfff… ok. So off to lunch we went and enjoyed sushi together – so nice to have a date with my husband.  After lunch, he took the tram into the city in one direction, and I took the same tram in the opposite direction to run more errands. I liked seeing him from across the platform and smiling through the rain at each other. It’s not often we really get to “see” each other!  He called me, maybe 30 minutes later when he got to his office and received an email that our residence cards were ready and that we could come pick them up. Nice. But their offices are only open from 9 -12 pm, and it was 1 pm. I just have to smile and laugh, because so many things are inefficient and weird, but it’s ok. I got a date with my husband, so it made it worth it. And it looks like we’ll have to plan another one this week or next. I hope he doesn’t get sick of me!! 😉

It’s strange to think that we were in the WTC (of Amsterdam) today on September 11th. We remember. We have our stories as to where we were 11 years ago, and felt the world change. We will never forget. And we pray for the families whose lives were seriously changed that day. Namaste.