New York News

by farrah on June 27, 2018 · 1 comment

Oh man am I awful. I haven’t written anything in ages- basically flew out of the NL never to be heard from again!

Well, we’re here. We’re in a small town outside of Rochester, NY and so far very happy with things. Of course, this is June and I don’t think you can hate anywhere in June. I spend my days mostly chasing our new dog out of the mulch and keeping the peace with the boys. It’s not all very exciting. [click to continue…]

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A few months ago I privately FB messaged about 35 of my fellow mom friends. I had questions about what cars worked the best for them since I have been out of the US car market for the past several years. I knew that if anyone- my moms would know what was best these days. I will admit that I was thrilled with their responses- because they a) gave me terrific advice and b) reassured me that US moms are not all about being the envy of the neighborhood/soccer team/PTA/etc (in contrast to what some might have us believe).

I may have been living in a bubble – but I’ve had a really hard time believing that the majority of moms out there have somehow turned into the competitive, back-stabbing, materialistic and ego-centric monsters much of the media would paint for the rest of us (as seen in blogs, news blips and the perfection of IG). Sure there are anomalies amongst us- but for the most part my US mom friends (who happen to live all across the country- giving a widespread geographic demographic)  responded to my questions with thought, rationale and experience. No one made reference to being the mom that everyone envied for her sweet ride. [click to continue…]

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A Legion of Lists

by farrah on March 7, 2018 · 2 comments

As it stands we have about a month and a half left in the NL. To distract myself from my feelings on leaving Oisterwijk (quite sad as you can imagine) I am in full-blown list-making mode. We all make lists, I know this. I also know that I am not alone in cleaning out a purse and finding a hundred scraps of paper with hastily scribbled scrawls of things needed to pick up at the soonest moment (toothpaste! birthday gift for so and so! the SLE vs the SLT, coffee with Cindy) and so on.  [click to continue…]

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Moving Right Along…

by farrah on January 24, 2018 · 1 comment

We’ve made some progress in the past few weeks! Anyone who has moved knows that this can be one of the longest drawn-out processes they’ll every endure, and our situation is no different. Considering I am one of the most impatient people I know, I’m surprised I haven’t had a nervous breakdown as of yet.

To catch things up to speed, we are in the process of waiting for the house sale to close. After months (FOUR MONTHS) of stalking four different real estate websites online- I can finally delete those apps and unsubscribe from the emails. Whatever kind of weird carpal-tunnel thing I’ve caused in my right hand due to all that swiping and scrolling of houses can die. WE FOUND A HOUSE! [click to continue…]

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Looking Ahead. Again.

by farrah on December 30, 2017 · 3 comments

My favorite number has always been 17. My birthday is on the 17th and for some reason I have just always associated 17 with great things. Thus, I was filled with optimism as 2017 rang in- not quite thinking it would ring out leaving me a bit on the deflated side of things. On this eve of the big Eve, I’m sitting here thinking ‘That was it?’ and yeah, it was.

To begin with the important stuff- this is the last hurrah. We are officially leaving the NL and returning to the US this spring. I’ve mentioned that here and there- but overall not made much of a fuss because I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea of us all moving back. As a friend asked me- ‘Are you more sad for leaving or excited for moving?’ and that’s the heart of my conflict. We’re going to be moving outside of Rochester, New York- to a region we’ve never been let alone lived. A fresh start and a new location is always appealing, and so that fits our mo of SUPER EXCITING STUFF. [click to continue…]

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Five Years Is A Lot

by farrah on October 22, 2017 · 2 comments

In just a few days we will hit our five year anniversary of living in the Netherlands. It’s still difficult for us to comprehend that span of time considering it has gone so incredibly quickly! We’ve loved it- but have also known all along that we couldn’t stay here forever, something that at times I felt downright depressed about being true.

For the first couple of years I couldn’t even think about going back to the US. It was a tough conversation for my husband and I to have – one that most likely never ended well. He made the logical arguments about the boys deserving to live where they’re from, about how one day the contract WOULD run out, blah blah blah. But I lived in denial and truly resonated with the belief that what will be will be.

Last year I grew a little more accustomed to the idea that we would go back- someday. Saying ‘someday’ to people meant by the time the boys were in high school which kind of seemed like a very abstract thought. When November rolled around and I felt shock and disgust at what had happened to our presidential leadership- I once again firmly said ‘We’re never going back.’ [click to continue…]

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Thoughts are Things (and vice versa)

by farrah on July 25, 2017 · 0 comments

As long as I can remember, the three most influential women in my life (mother, grandmother and great-grandmother) would say to me ‘Thoughts are things…remember that Farrah.” And it made absolutely no sense at all to an irrational child. The strongest memory of this phrase is from when I was pregnant with Lincoln & Chase and ‘things’ were not going so well. I was reminded (quite frequently) that ‘Thoughts were indeed things” and if I thought negatively about that pregnancy, well…

So anyhow. Fast forward almost a decade or so and everyone’s fine. That phrase has grown with me and evolved as have our lives and living situations. Today I find that living this temporary and uncertain life means that my thoughts are the strongest things of all. What I think about my kids, my husband, my village. They’re the things that make me happiest and give life the most meaning.  [click to continue…]

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If you’re coming to visit the Netherlands, there’s so much more to see than the ‘big three’ (Amsterdam, Rotterdam & Den Hague). There’s a world of distinct provinces in this country- and I guess I’ll show my bias in saying that Brabant (specifically North Brabant) is my favorite. Finally there’s a B&B right in the center- comfy enough for family and friends at Heerlyck Oisterwijk.

Grandparents & guys at the B&B.

With a location that can’t be beat, Brabant is a springboard to the north and south- as well as Europe overall with the awesome Eindhoven airport. After almost five years of living here, I can honestly say we wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the Netherlands. My husband can attest to the fact that when people ask him where we live and he says ‘Oisterwijk’- people always say ‘Ooh, mooi! Oisterwijk is known as ‘The Pearl of Brabant!”. We’ve got great shops, terraces and cafes, and the Efteling is in the town next door. [click to continue…]

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An IronMan for Father’s Day

by farrah on June 18, 2017 · 1 comment

It’s a quiet Father’s Day Sunday here. Our pops is in Luxembourg- participating in his first ever triathlon with Iron Man. He’s been training for at least the past six months, and I can only imagine how he’s feeling. We had our FaceTime message this morning and wished him well, so now all I can do is wait and constantly refresh the tracking app. I’m nervous for him I think.

It has been quite the road, this training schedule. As anyone who has trained for marathons and triathlons knows- it’s something that needs to be scheduled into an already busy life. Pencilled in to the crannies and cracks of open time or space. Sometimes that means training in the living room at 6am on the stationary bike set up. Sometimes that meant running during soccer practice- whatever the case, you do it and fit it in around life. One thing’s for sure though- I don’t think he’s ever been in such great shape. He is inspiring for the boys to see and be as well. Accompanying him on runs or rides has additionally been a moment for them to share.

Photos of his training quarter triathlon in the Netherlands earlier this spring. 

Thus I’m very proud of him and thankful that he’s now about to see the result of his hard work. Of course I know this isn’t it- not a one shot deal. He’s already signed up for his second triathlon in Croatia this fall, and I have a sneaky suspicion that there will be something on the horizon for next year when he turns 40. The boys are proud of him, as am I and we wish him well conquering this trial!

Fijne vaderdag! Looking forward to celebrating tomorrow when he comes home and a brief respite before his training resumes again very soon.

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My Corsican Obsession

by farrah on June 7, 2017 · 0 comments

Years ago I saw a travel show about Corsica. It was before I was married, but my boyfriend (now husband) indulged me in the fantasy that someday we’d go. We went to a Barnes & Noble and I bought a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide. I remember paging through it, looking a the beautiful pictures and thinking of that woman I saw in the travel show riding a horse up a rocky hill. I wanted to go there. I would go there. Not sure how or when, but it was going to happen.

Photo credit: Castellu Piattu website.

So since that was prior to our wedding in 2006, and we were engaged for two and a half years- that had to be about 2003 (at least that’s what the guide’s publishing date tells me). In the back of my mind Corsica has remained my ‘white whale‘ for over the last decade plus. When it began I was living in Michigan working in an office and going to school at night for my MA in teaching. In that office part of my duties included responsibility for shipping expat mail overseas.

Soon, I’ll be going here with my husband. While I like (love) going by myself to different places, it’s when we get to go away together that I enjoy the most. The monkey wrench though is that hardly ever happens because kids. They’ve been too little and we’ve not had relatives living nearby who could watch them- except for the once a year when my in-laws came to visit. Bless them. The in-laws I mean, of course. And this summer they’re coming and my husband finally said it’s time to go to Corsica. [click to continue…]

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