So here we are, over a year into our Netherlands adventure and 2 months from our Belgian adventure.
I am usually so wrapped up in the differences in culture and language that I can't help but write about it and inform ALL my readers, but it just hasn't happened. I've been terribly incredibly busy and just now, yes literally just now having some time to myself and I'm bored. Yes, I should be doing laundry or picking up the breakfast dishes, but I'm not. I've been going nonstop since June with traveling, and company and now, both kids are in school and here I sit ready to blab about my most fascinating life.
Recap of the Netherlands.
This is so that I can look back and remember what it was like to live here.
We live in a town called Wassenaar, which is situated between Amsterdam and The Hague. It is a quaint town with most everything you could need. A butcher, a baker, a fish guy, flower guys on every corner, my guilty pleasure store, HEMA, where I just like to see what new costume jewelry they have or look at their cheap, but nicely displayed makeup, and where I've bought brand new tights for Mia that she refuses to wear. We live a stones throw from the school, but my girls take the bus and thank goodness, because I'd be showing up at school in my polar bear fleece pajama pants and think nothing of it as I dropped the girls off at school. Bikes are everywhere. Bike paths are immaculate and well marked and have their own stop lights! You have to watch out for steaming piles on the bike paths though. Horses are often found on the bike paths. Accompanied by riders of course, or just being led. The trees have this whimsical look to them, something I can't capture without an appropriate camera lens, and on a foggy morning, it seems you've walked into the enchanted forest of Narnia. The animals are happy and quiet, aside from the black crows outside my window clucking a chatter of nonsense in the morning. Dogs are oddly all well behaved. Walking without leashes, sniffing, but not barking at each other. They are welcomed in almost ALL restaurants despite their smell or their size. One time I literally thought a large bear cub was at the next table, because the huge brown Tibetan mastiff was literally the size of a human.
The beach is a bike ride away, one I have traveled many times. A beautiful wide beach that fills to max on a sunny and warm day, a combination that rarely happens at the same time. The water is frigid, to my American bones, but children and the Dutch don't seem to mind it. I prefer my ocean water to be clear and slightly refreshing. I'm a bit spoiled. I did live in Sicily, after all. On a nice evening the beach restaurants are crowded for sunset watching, and with good company and a beverage of choice, it really doesn't get much better than that.
I realized it has been an entire year since I last blogged. Woops. But looking back at my Intention blog and getting some great feedback, I was reminded I should continue to write, so I pulled up this draft to continue. We are now 12 days away from the movers coming for their first round of packing. CRAP. 12 days. Even though I've done quite a bit of weeding and sorting to move into a slightly smaller home, it still feels like I haven't made any headway.
We did find a house in Belgium! Hooray! After looking at 17 homes, we picked the house that was closest to school. I think it will suit us just fine. The girls are excited, because it comes with a swing set and a yard. Not a huge yard, but one bigger than we have now, where they can actually run full speed.
The whole house hunting process was exhausting. After awhile the houses all look the same, and you really start to nit pick. There were deal breakers in some houses, like no tub, or only a combo microwave/oven. I'm claiming ignorance. I don't know much about them, but with the amount of cooking and baking I do, forget about it. I do have a laundry room, which is exciting, and a large kitchen, and an induction cooktop. This prompted us to buy new pots and pans after nearly 10 years with our current set. Even Josh had been talking about getting new ones, so you know it was really time. Mia will move into a big girl bed, out of the toddler bed, and she gets a whole new comforter set to mark the occasion. How is it my kids are in big girl beds? I know what you're thinking! Time for Libby to have another baby! Let's just put the brakes on that for now shall we?
Despite the excitement I feel in setting up a new home, (I'm nearly a pro) it is very much overshadowed by the fact that I actually have to leave the Netherlands. Not that Belgium is bad or I don't want to go to Belgium, I just really don't want to go anywhere. We have had such an easy transition here. The school is amazing, my friends and the girls friends are top notch, and life is good. It is hard to leave all that for the unknown of what is to come. But as with every move, I trust that God has it all under control, preparing some pretty cool people to be my new friends, and preparing a perfect place for the girls in their new school. Realizing Mia will be in her 3rd school in a year and a half time span, kind of makes my mouth drop and my heart hurt. But it will make her more adaptable, right? I'm praying so. Praying hard for this move from top to bottom. I'm putting on a brave face, when deep down inside, I'm dying to stay. I really am lucky to say that I've left pieces of my heart in so many wonderful places.
I've neglected to send out a Christmas card for the past two years I believe, and one year opted for an Easter card instead. But, by golly, I got it done this year! Finished it last night, updated everyone's address, because it had been so long. We rarely get Christmas cards in the mail anymore, and I don't blame people, our address changes so often, it is hard to keep up. But we do appreciate the birthday cards, and every other piece of mail, because we know it takes a bit of extra effort to get them to us.
I hope to write another blog this month...lots to write about, my upcoming show, Goodbyes, Trip to London, and Christmas.
Until next time,
Ps. Feel free to share this post or any previous posts. That would be neat.