Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Farewell Netherlands!

It seems as if, upon every move, I've written some final thoughts. Today is our last day in the Netherlands, and we are officially de registered, cars sold, and homeless. Ok, not really. We are at a Hilton, where we enjoyed a free breakfast, and Mia ate her weight in pineapple and melon.  But we are in limbo between countries. We still have our house here in the Netherlands, but of course it is all boxed up and being loaded into a big truck, for the move to Belgium. We will spend a few nights in a hotel in Belgium until our home there is set up and liveable.  We had a relaxing Christmas at home, and were even able to squeeze in a nice trip to London. 
Great great Aunt Joyce and Mallory outside of London! How cute are they?

So let me rewind a week or so, as it has been quite the whirlwind. 
Back up to the girls' last day at school.  I spent the morning in Mia's class, looking for train track Jack and with the help of the glorious imagination of Mia's preschool teacher, boarded the Polar express and searched for cheeky gingerbread kids that escaped from the oven.  Spoiler alert: we found the gingerbread kids, and ate them. 
We went from being trees in a frozen forest, to parts of the icy igloo, all so we could help train track Jack (Mia's teacher dressed in overalls with a southern accent) find the escaped gingerbread kids! Mia leaned over to me and filled me in that train track Jack, was really Her teacher, Mr. Matthew. Nothing gets past this girl!  After my imagination filled morning, I ran home to make popcorn and a fruit tray for the first grade exsnackaganza and crafty afternoon. I helped Mallory and all of her first grade friends assemble and create a large paper snowman. It was lovely being able to be in her classroom, and field questions about Mallory's move. Multiple parents asked me how I was doing, and really, I was about two seconds away from losing all of my marbles. My eyes filled with tears on multiple occasions. It was a mixture of happiness and sadness.  According to the movie "Inside out" the two go hand in hand.  I was so happy that my girls were so loved and an integral part of their class, and that they were going to be missed, but also sad, that we have to leave this loving and nurturing environment. 
I picked the girls up from school, every day that week, in hopes of seeing friends and saying goodbye, but Friday rolled around and the girls spent so much time saying goodbye to their teachers and friends in their class, that by the time we finished, everyone was gone, well into their Holiday break. And we were off onto our own little trip as well. 
Mallory looking through her goodbye book with friends on the last day of school. 

We jetted off to London, that evening. Spent Saturday in Notting Hill, decorating cookies at Biscuiteers, stumbling upon the Notting Hill Bookshop ( Where the famous movie featuring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts was filmed) strolling through Portobello Market and letting our senses be bombarded with heavenly smells of street food, sounds of street perfomers, and sights of some of the best people watching. We took the girls back to our perfectly located apartment we rented through Airbnb and let them nap, and then it was off to the Theater for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! An early Christmas  present for the girls. 
Sunday we visited Princess Diana memorial playground and then went to visit my English family in Broxbourne. What a blessing to be able to connect with them twice in one year. Considering it had been between 15 and 20 years since I saw some of them, pretty cool.  It was also nice for the girls and Josh to meet them. 
Check out these cookies!

Monday and Tuesday were filled with visits to Hyde Park's WinterWonderland, museums, and a bit of unproductive shopping for me. We had a great trip, but of course traveling with kids, it isn't all smiles and laughter. The girls were coming off a long week at school and I presume dealing with emotions they didn't know they had, so we had some serious meltdowns, and moments I'd rather not remember.  But it was definitely one of those moments where you look at your spouse and think, "what are we doing wrong?" 
We came back, had a nice Christmas, where the big hit was their dolls. They're obsessed with brushing their hair and fighting over each others outfits. We had to take down all of our Christmas decorations on Sunday, because the movers came and finished on Monday.
 I nearly couldn't keep myself composed at the song choices of the middle aged men packing my house up. The play list consisted of "let's talk about sex, baby" "push it" " girl you look good, won't you back that a$$ up" 
"girl your booty is so round, let me lick you up and down" amongst many other 90s rump shaker booty songs! But it wasn't just that the song was playing. These Dutch men were shamelessly singing every word. So glad, my kids were out of the house for this throwback in musical time! I would have been fielding lots of questions about booty, sex, and heaven knows what else! 
Santa came, and mommy and daddy, nana, pappy, Grammie charmaine, Grammie Rose and Papa!

We were blessed to catch up with a few families in the last few days, and the girls squeezed in a few play dates as well.  Thanks to Jessica and Jeni for keeping the girls and letting them squeeze in some last minute friend time and keeping them from boredom, just siting around a house full of boxes. 
After the boxes were removed! Empty :(

Tonight we are in Belgium, and on the way down I  read of two men being arrested outside of Brussels for terrorist activity. Now, don't let this be the only thing you grab onto from this post. I have no fear. Life must go on. I'm more afraid of our things not fitting into the house tomorrow! But really,  my two scents on the matter, be vigilant always, but don't let it stop life. When it's my time to go, I'll go, and I'll be ready for the good Lord to take me. So I won't live my life in fear that some cotton headed ninny muggins is out there lurking in the shadows or planning some unthinkable terror act. No, the show must go on. And it will. Load in tomorrow. 
Thanks for reading! 
Until next time,

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