Thanking My Thirties: Celebrating 39

by farrah on December 17, 2014 · 6 comments

This morning I woke up 39 years old. My husband took the boys to school and got them off without me needing to help, thus I dozed until the ungodly hour of 10am! What a gift- seriously, that was a wonderful start to my day. Not only that- but also over the past week I’ve had old memories pop up- nostalgia, if you will. Things that I’ve forgotten about from my 20s and 30s- since I’m pretty much preparing to say goodbye to what has been the best decade of my life. I’m not dreading 40 (yet). I’m thanking my thirties and celebrating 39.

champagnePhoto credit: @JetSettingKids  [click to continue…]

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Like pretty much everyone else, the kids are going on holiday break next week. My husband is only off the 25th and 26th, so that will leave me to plan…something. Fortunately I have friends in the area that are also going to be sticking around, so hopefully we can work something out . I have yet to sit down and really look hard at the logistics, but so far this is what I have come up with. Here are my Christmas break ideas for kids in the Netherlands.

naturalisNaturalis Biodiversity Center last Thanksgiving [click to continue…]

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Old House Woes: It’s Chilly Up In Here

by farrah on December 10, 2014 · 3 comments

We cannot figure out how to make our thermostat work. My husband has tried to figure it out on their website, download the app, etc- but I think the only thing that’s going to help is calling someone and asking them to come out and show us how to use it or fix the thing. At least we have a handle on the Celsius scale- otherwise, I’d say were in serious trouble. Today I’m talking about the joys of living in an older home in a foreign country in winter. Also, I’m a wimp and used to ‘American comforts’ like excess heat.

temp [click to continue…]

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Time To Make The Cookies: With Kids Edition

by farrah on December 8, 2014 · 3 comments

I hope you’re not here for some kind of creative ideas or cool recipes. I have neither. I am not one of those bloggers, sadly to say. I don’t make really fancy ones and the ones I do make I usually lose motivation for creating the second I realize that I am missing one ingredient (even though there is a market about 100 steps from our house). That said, regardless- it is time. Time to make the cookies and I need to find some motivation.

christmas cookies [click to continue…]

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I don’t have the time (nor the energy) to write about what is at last the climax of the Sint season. Hence, I am eternally grateful for some lovely fellow NL bloggers who did the work for me.

acePhoto by Ace of Life In Dutch [click to continue…]

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It’s been a crazy week. We arrived home (in Oisterwijk) early afternoon last Saturday and jumped immediately into our routine. My husband had to go back to the US for work this week- so while he’s been gone I have suffered the pains of jet lagged children (and self) while we gear down from Sinterklaas and gear up for Santa. Felling scattered doesn’t even begin to describe it. Nonetheless, now that we’re home I can reflect upon what our first family trip ‘back’ was like, and give you the low down on what happens when things don’t go as planned.

bread turkeyMy sister made this! [click to continue…]

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I know that everyone has a gift guide. I debated whether or not I’d do one this year- since really, who am I to be telling people what to buy? But then… well, then I had an idea to put together a few suggestions of the ridiculous, awesome, and pretty practical. Behold: The Three Under’s Alternative Holiday Gift Guide.

holiday gift guide [click to continue…]

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We might travel a lot, but the idea of flying with the kids stresses me out like nothing else. Usually we drive or take the train.  The biggest stressor for the longest time before this trip was the idea of flying with the kids. I was afraid other people would be mean to us. I was terrified that the boys would cry, scream, or be god awful and reinforce the stereotype of flying kids from hell. What happened could not have been any farther from the reality. This post I wrote last year does not apply any longer.

flying with kids [click to continue…]

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With Thanksgiving coming up, I’ve completely got it on the brain. I started thinking back to our first ‘epic’ (ha!) voyage over Thanksgiving once we were a family of five. In November of 2011 the twins were just over a year old, and B was two. We packed up the dogs and loaded everyone into the minivan for the 12 hour drive north. I don’t remember much else about this trip- other than we survived, and I knew this experience would be one of those ‘things I’ll laugh about someday’. Clearly my ideas of ‘worst things to ever happen’ while traveling has evolved a bit considering my new perspective. But I still love this old story just the same. I didn’t edit it except to fix a typo and delete an extra word. Originally published November 2011, I don’t think anyone was reading this blog back then.

Here’s what we looked like though:

Ritter family

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Neither Here Nor There: Dutch Randoms

by farrah on November 14, 2014 · 4 comments

I was searching for something to say today. I dropped the boys off, came home and sat down only to stare at the cursor blinking at me. Waiting. I got nothing this morning. I am wiped out after a week of flying solo with the kids, strung out planning for our trip to the States, and utterly confused over the Internet’s obsession with a certain ‘celebrity’s’ shiny and somewhat creepy looking posterior. How can I compete with that?

Well, I cannot. But… what I can do is tell you about some cool stuff going on here in the NL. No, it has nothing to do with Sinterklaas and the Zwart Piet annual debate (I leave that to those braver than I) but instead has to do with the Dutch ingenuity and forward thinking when it comes to energy.

Yesterday I saw this article about the bike path that is solar-powered and design inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night. It was created by Dutch artist and designer Daan Roosegaarde. How beautiful is this?!

van-gogh-starry-night-glowing-bike-path-daan-roosengaarde-1Photo credit pending. [click to continue…]

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