Getting Ready For Christmas #iPPP

by farrah on December 12, 2012 · 25 comments


This past week was spent with some coughing, phlegm and holiday decorations. We scrapped our plans last weekend to travel and see some of the famous Christmas markets- as well as Amsterdam dressed up in its finery. Good thing there’s still time- they go on throughout the month of December and are something I really want to see. The weekend wasn’t a total loss though- since we dressed up the house a little for the holiday and got totally dumped on with snow.

All in all it was a good week and now that the boys are better I am hoping for a really fun couple of weeks ahead. Without further ado- here’s my week in camera pictures:

Last week I had to travel to Eindhoven to pick up our residence cards. Of course I had to go IN PERSON and it was also on the first day of serious snow. This is a shot of the many bikes parked outside of the train station. I am still in awe as to how intense the biking lifestyle is here- there seem to be as many bikes as people!

Next up we found this absolutely magical Christmas nursery. It’s right on the outskirts of Oisterwijk and reminded me of a really nice Frank’s (if you can remember what that store was) and has the most beautiful decorations. While perusing their many fantastic aisles- we stumbled upon this back room which was an entire train set. All of the pieces are numbered so that you can buy the corresponding item- and we bought the windmill and the pub. Pretty sure that’s appropriate. My three train obsessed boys are infatuated with this display and ask to go and see it every day. I think we took B two or three times that weekend.

We also ended up purchasing our tree at this store. It is my first time ever with an artificial tree- and I’m missing many things about a real one. My husband convinced me though that we will take this back to the US with us and always have it as our ‘Netherlands tree’. This says to me that he thinks we will have a house big enough for two trees. Time will tell. I really am impressed with how realistic this tree appears to be- but oh I miss that smell. Hey- I got out of dealing with lights Β this year, so on that hand I’m calling it a win.

Lastly, I hung our stockings by the chimney with care- and felt it appropriate to place our ‘HOME’ sign in the middle. Home is where you make it. We might be a few thousand miles from where we’re from- but ‘Home’ is a state of mind and my children make me feel like I am home no matter where we are.


Thank you again to the lovely duo of Greta & Julie for hosting this delightful i phone photo phun linkup each and every week!



{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristen December 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

I had to call Chris over to show him all of those bikes! That is amazing! I wish we could be more like that in the US. Chris goes off for a ride and I go into panic mode. Car drivers are not so friendly when it comes to sharing the road.
That train display looks amazing! How nice that it’s close enough that you can make it a field trip so often.
And yes, I remember Frank’s. I loved Frank’s nursery & crafts!


2 farrah December 12, 2012 at 11:44 am

That’s actually nothing compared to the thousands (and I do mean thousands) in a jumble at the Tilburg station. I have to get a photo of it- it’s unreal. My husband and I have seriously wondered how on earth anyone can even find their bike in the heap- it’s amazing. Truly. I really miss Franks. It was my first arts store that I used to go to with my mom.


3 Jen December 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm

When you finally make it to Amsterdam there’s a bike parking lot outside the train station that will blow your mind!


4 farrah December 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm

We went there in June on our recon trip- I was so overwhelmed by the architecture when we got out of the train station that I don’t even remember seeing bikes- but I know that is not possibly true!


5 Kathleen December 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Love these pics so much! Super excited you are settling in and enjoying your new home.

P.S. The Netherlands tree is beautiful. I loved A’s idea. Good thinking!


6 farrah December 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Thanks- we’re getting there! Enjoying most everything but the weather. I know I’m a Michigan girl at heart but Brr. The south sure spoiled me rotten!


7 jamie@southmainmuse December 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I love the pictures. That one of the bicycles is amazing. Who knows — you might one day treasure that you can pull out that tree and have it remind you of your Christmases over there.


8 farrah December 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

That’s our hope. Or at least have that one as ‘the boys’ tree and they’re responsible for it πŸ™‚


9 Kerstin December 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Love your pictures!
That tree really does not look bad at all. We have a fake tree this year as well and I actually love it.
I love seeing your pictures, it reminds me of home – just with more bicycles – and I keep smiling because I’ve been *there*.
I don’t miss it though, I’m 100% Canadian now and never want to leave, but what a great experience for you!


10 farrah December 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Thank you! It must be funny to see these and know it’s all completely foreign to me. I am digging the tree. It is growing on me (no pun intended) more and more each day.


11 Julie December 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I love that there are so many bikes. I bet it smells better there than it does around here in smog city. πŸ™‚


12 farrah December 12, 2012 at 10:07 pm

It does- but Oisterwijk is also surrounded by farms.. so when the breeze is just right….. πŸ™‚


13 Robbie December 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Looks like it will be a lovely Christmas! I’m not sure if our stockings made it here πŸ™


14 farrah December 12, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Oh no!!! What happened to them??!!


15 Danielle December 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Your home already looks beautiful. You seem to have adjusted so quickly. Have a wonderful Christmas!


16 farrah December 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Thank you! I’m trying. In all honesty the biggest challenge has been the weather- no kidding. Of all things, the cold is what I’m having the hardest time with . I am from Michigan originally! I need to suck it up.


17 Greta @gfunkified December 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Christmas looks magical there! I love your stockings, and the tree really is pretty.


18 farrah December 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Thank you! Christmas has that way of dressing up everything.


19 nerdmommathfun December 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm

That train yard looks so amazing – I’D wanna go there 2 or 3 times in a weekend! And I have to reluctantly agree with ya’ on the tree – I miss our real tree, but being able to pop the tree together and have lights already going is a WIN. Looking forward to all your holiday pics through the month!!


20 farrah December 13, 2012 at 7:21 am

Yeah- basically unpacking it and putting it together and boom! Lights and all. It was pretty magical πŸ™‚


21 Elaine A. December 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Wow, the snow on all those bikes! Never see anything like that here, that’s for sure! Love your tree and your precious stockings. Merry Christmas! πŸ˜€


22 farrah December 13, 2012 at 7:22 am

Thank you! I have never seen anything like it either- it even dwarfs the bike racks outside of a dorm from college. It’s incredible and people ride them all year long. Merry Christmas to you as well!


23 Kerrianne December 13, 2012 at 4:08 am

Farrah, you could always get those pine scented ornaments to make it feel more realistic! Fascinated by the photos :0)


24 farrah December 13, 2012 at 7:22 am

I need to look for some of those!!!


25 KerryB December 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

those pictures are soooooooooooooo cozy!!!!!!!!


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