Day 31: Going Home

Avila Bay from HWY101N

We are on our way back home, driving up “the” 101. Home has been so many places and and I’m glad that my kids will get to experience a new home soon.

San Luis Obispo – our future home?!?

I think moving will be so good for us. It’ll help the kids to be more comfortable with change and to adapt to new environments, especially when it comes time for college. They are going to get practice making new friends, trying new foods, speaking another language, going to a new school, and establishing new routines.

My little travelers have done pretty well on all our trips for vacations and visiting family in different time zones, sleeping in strange places that I think they are becoming adaptable. I hope they are getting practice for the big move!

Sleepy Dutch Traveler

Day 34: 15 Years


These are my thoughts on marriage since today is our 15th wedding anniversary. What would you add or change?

1. Let the other person be. Don’t try to change them and don’t expect them to do exactly what you want them to do.

2. Love yourself so that you are lovable. If you’re taking care of yourself, you won’t be as needy.

3. Be flexible and trust that your partner loves you and is doing his best – just maybe differently than you.

4. Celebrate the good, the positive, the goofiness. There will be enough $hi!! just don’t stand in it and dig it up over and over again – that stinks!

5. Don’t ever embarrass each other (like writing a blog like this) or at least ask permission first, or in my case, just accept his grudging acquiescence.

6. Always listen and acknowledge your spouse, even if you don’t agree. Being heard is important. And agreeing to disagree is a viable solution on the little things.

7. Make sure to spend time with your supportive and trustworthy girlfriends. Plan time away with just the girls! It’s reinvigorating to just be yourself and gives you energy to keep on being a supportive wife and mother! And let your partner go out with his friends too. It’s good to have a break.

8. Take care of yourself and your home. It feels good not to have clutter all around. You feel good when you take a few minutes to pamper yourself – however that looks like to you. I feel good when Ive worked out and maybe have a showe and there are no dishes in the sink. To my mom, it meant putting your lipstick on. To another friend’s mom, it meant having earrings on. Just feel good about yourself and your home and your pride will shine on to others.

9. Don’t expect the other person to make you happy. Make yourself happy and find things to do that you love, whether that be a career, sport, hobby or volunteer role. Just do something and be interesting.

10. Be thankful. Thank your partner for being just that. Having an attitude of gratitude can set the tone for your day, for your family and for your life.

11. Laugh. Laugh at yourself and your mistakes and your partner’s mistakes. In 5 years, will anything that is upsetting you really matter? Try to let things go and start over again and again. Don’t hold grudges and just laugh and let go. Anger takes up more energy than happiness and laughing just feels so much better.

12. Go to bed happy. Don’t go to sleep angry. Agree to disagree and give each other a kiss, knowing that you love your partner more than anything he can do or say. Forgive. Let go. Be thankful.

13. Say you’re sorry. It’s ok to make mistakes. And apologies feel so good even though it’s hard to admit when you’ve done something wrong. And when your partner says he is sorry, say thank you and accept the apology. Let go. Move on. Peace.

14. Be responsible and do your part.

15. Say I love you every day, along with giving a kiss and a hug!


Day 35: Anxiety


OMG – the anxiety is setting in!! Thank God, for April’s chocolate cake.

Yes, April made me the best, homemade, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and had it in my fridge for my birthday when I came home yesterday. I’ve been nibbling on it all day.

And I’ve been so nervous today!! The reality that we are moving in 35 days hit me smack in the face! Jeff and I were scanning documents, making appointments to have vital records apostilled (like notarized but even higher) and sending documents to the moving company so they can help us with our importation process. The movers are coming next Friday and I’m not ready! And we are leaving again for Dani’s wedding tomorrow and I’m not ready!! How do you slow down time? You don’t! I think you just eat more cake and drink more wine, right?? But that leads to another issue!! I’m getting fat and I don’t like that!! Food is comfort – even though Weight Watchers would tell me differently! I know, I know, but food is my weakness! *big sigh*. Just keepin’ it real!

The good news is I’ll be looking for something new to do for myself when we move. Maybe I’ll become a yoga instructor or workout every day and become really buff! Got any ideas for me? I’m sure it’ll take awhile to get the family settled before I redefine my role again. I’m going to miss my Stella & Dot job and my tennis teams and hiking buddies and volunteer roles. I’ll need to find something else — I wonder what it’ll be?!?

Well, the chocolate cake sure hit the spot!! So did the lunch and dinner April brought us today. How does she do that? I’m so thankful, I can’t stand it!!

Thank you, wifey- for taking care of us without us even asking for help!! You are loved and appreciated more than you know!! xo

Day 37: Wind and Waves

Last full day in Oahu.

Laughing at myself and the crazy wind at Pali Lookout.

I took the kids to the local diner for breakfast while Jeff did some work on his computer. You know, we have this HUGE move coming up in (gasp) 37 days and I totally get it, but of course, I always want us to all be together and get frustrated when his “girlfriend” takes precedence. I’m very idealistic, but today just followed the Aloha spirit and went with the flow…

Jeff soon joined us for breakfast and our Conversation went like this:

J: Thanks for putting up with me.
Me: You’re welcome. (pause). Thank you for putting up with me.
J: You’re welcome.

And then we both laughed. You see we are both passionate people and can be challenging and want what we want. When we were first married, we used to argue and fight to be right. I’d stand up for what I believed to be right and fought to prove myself. That didn’t work too well and usually just prolonged the conflict.

I found a visual for this that could help solve a lot of problems in relationships and it came from my favorite place, the beach.

Yesterday, I was teaching J how to catch a wave. At first, she stood up to the wave and let it hit her and knock her over. She got washed up in the white water and it wasn’t very fun. I told her she had to go out a little further, outside her comfort zone and dive under the wave and let it just flow over her. And that sometimes, if she timed it just right, she could catch the top of the wave and let it carry her for a ride. Soon she was having so much fun and didn’t want to leave. She got the hang of it and was loving it, going with the flow and just enjoying the ride.

Later in the day we just enjoyed watching the sea turtles in their element, frolicking in the water. They would pop up and down, roll around and go back out again. They were so magical – just flowin’.


And that’s what I think I need to do and try to do, some days better than others- just go with the flow. And with conflict – don’t meet it head on and get knocked over, but just avoid it or go with it and wait for the next wave. You can’t stop the waves from coming but you can choose what to do with them. Sometimes they’ll be big and sometimes they’ll be small. You can engage or just watch but you can’t control them. And they eventually end and mellow out. Until the next wave. I like that. Aloha..

Day 40: Pearl Harbor


Today was our hands on history lesson. We chose our first visit to Hawaii to stay on Oahu so we could see Pearl Harbor. We took a boat ride out to the USS Arizona Memorial where 1,177 men died and are enshrined undersea. It was powerful! This is where World War 2 began for the US.


Afterwards, we took a shuttle over to the USS Missouri and took a guided tour aboard one of the last US battleships. The Instrument of Surrender was signed on board of the USS Missouri which ended World War 2. So we saw both the beginning and the end of the war in one day. Wow.

The best part was hearing J say that she could really understand history so much better by actually experiencing a part of it and not just reading about it out of a text book. That made the trip so worth it.

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Love is all you need…

Day 50: Doctors and Dentists


Today was filled with visiting doctors to be sure we had all our vaccines up to date and to get prescriptions to take with us to Holland. Good news – they’re all healthy and don’t need any preventative care for another year. A health reminder – make sure you’re spraying your kids’ legs with sunscreen. Today was the third story I’ve heard of people dying from skin cancer from an innocent spot on their leg, that was treated and later turned to cancer. Two people have died, and one dear friend is treating her spot right now!! Summer is coming – take the 15 seconds to spray, including the legs!

The whole family went to the dentist today. No one really likes to go the dentist, but Dr. Murray is the nicest man I know. I love seeing him and hearing stories about his family and how they’re growing and studying and swimming and performing. He’s more than a dentist – he takes the time to chat, and to explain results and to connect at the human level. We leave there happy, despite Novocains, flossing, poking and cleanings!

I had a visit from a Relocation Consultant again to help me plan the international move details. This time I didn’t feel as emotional and I’m ready to get packing, just as soon as I stay home long enough to do the work! Maybe by the end of the month!! Then again…

We ended the day with a celebration – C’s baseball team was together again at Round Table Pizza – sharing a meal and beer and conversation with friends. Rachel brought her Sweet Tooth Confection Red Velvet Cupcakes for dessert. What a treat! There’s always next Monday to start a diet again, right?

I had to miss my Stella & Dot team meeting which I was looking forward to, but I couldn’t miss another event for lil’ C. I missed his game last weekend and am missing closing ceremonies this weekend, so there has to be some give and take. Ying and Yang… my best friends!

Hope you had a good day!! G’night.

Day 52: Do What You Love. Love What You Do.

I have a bucket list of things I want to do before we move. One of them was to see my friend Megan again. I was trying to figure out logistics to fly to see her and her family in Michigan, when she figured out a way to come see me instead. I'm so thankful!!

April and I planned a weekend in Capitola – one of my favorite hang out spots. We had a great time going out to eat, shopping, hanging out on the beach, paddle boarding, walking along the Cliffs and just relaxing and chatting until late at night with no real schedule. Debbie shared her condo with us, which was so much nicer and more relaxing than staying in a hotel. Thanks, Deb and Gary!!

3 things I learned this weekend:

1. Take time for yourself. Make yourself a priority and don't feel guilty when you do.

2. Don't think that you're too busy or that your family can't survive without you. They will be fine even if they eat fast food while you're gone and play video games all day. Dads can do hair and makeup for dance recitals – just ask Joe! And kids get time alone with their dads and get to bond over squirt guns and miniature golf – just ask Steve and Jeff. Everyone needs a break in routine, especially moms. We need a change of scenery without anyone needing their meat cut up, or a shoe tied, or another question answered or a decision made for someone else besides ourselves. We need to be able to sleep in and do whatever we want without worrying about taking care of the needs of others. Ahhhh…..

3. Girlfriends need the advice and wisdom shared by their girlfriends. Women are gatherers and we process and solve problems by talking and sharing and listening and learning and supporting one another, without judgment.

Life is good.

What's on your bucket list? Are you making a list and checking things off?


Day 59: Wishing Flowers and Alpacas?


We’re in Colorado this weekend and our only plan was to spend time with Jeff’s grandparents and his Aunt Debbie and Ken. It’s kind of nice to not have any expectations except to be with family. Seriously. So simple and easy and we are thankful they want to spend time with us.

We had breakfast at the hotel and then went over to the Air Force Academy to see the visitors center and chapel again. I love the open space surrounded by the mountains. It brought back memories of Nate’s graduation 14 years ago! The chapel was stunning.


After the AF visit, we had lunch at Freddy’s Custard and Steakburgers. That place was so delicious. Custard is like a creamier and richer ice cream with a yogurt like texture. Yum!

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We met up with our Sunnyvale friends – the Myles family, who moved to the Springs a few years ago. The boys had fun hanging out and swimming together.

We had a great dinner together and talked about the infamous haunted house next door. Oooohhh… We got out the ghost radar app and tried to see how close the ghosts were! WTH?? Should make for great bed time stories tonight.

Are you wondering about this face? Ken has two alpacas on his property and I tried to feed and pet one. I was fascinated by them even being there on the property. J and I had fun picking flowers and wishing on the wishing flowers. I wonder what she wished for?

Day 87 – School Applications


I’ve just spent the last three hours finishing up the second part of the application process to get our kids into a school in Holland. I feel like I’m getting practice for when the time comes to apply for colleges. This is seriously a difficult and challenging task. There isn’t a checklist and there are lots of separate pieces and parts to aggregate. And you need help from the outside, such as teachers and registrars and medical personnel. I’m thankful for everyone’s cooperation. Everything takes time and there are delays in the process. I’m just hoping I have everything they need and that we can decide this week. We kinda have to pick the school before we pick our house. Otherwise I might be home schooling them and that might be more than I bargained for in this adventure!

I admire all the moms, especially Marcia and Marcia and Lenka and Kerry, who have diligently helped their kids through this process and have helped their kids navigate to their university of choice. It must feel like a huge accomplishment. And thanks for the advice to help me just think about what will be in front of my eyes before I even blink!

Day 88 – Queen’s Day Celebration in San Francisco

A busy day today, fitting in as many things as possible! We started the day at 6 am, getting ready and helping out at the PEO fundraiser garage sale. It was great to clean out our closets and donate items to fund scholarships for women. I loved being with my sisters, working together and laughing at all the crazy bargain shoppers.


After the garage sale, we picked up J’s friend and headed up to San Francisco to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. Next year we’ll be celebrating in Holland dressed in orange. The coolest connection that happened today was meeting a family from Utrecht with two kids who are 8 and 11. They were expats here for the past two years and are heading home on the same day and flight as we will probably be on to begin our journey. Weird coincidence! Ellis was so sweet to me and gave me her contact info in case I need anything once I arrive. I am so lucky. I hope to see her again. We also saw Pauline at the festival, selling her leather Dutch bags! Small world.

We got back in time to see Char’s baseball game and help out in the snack shack.

And now it’s time to relax with friends, have a drink and BBQ.

Life is Good.