Many expats from the US living around the globe are mortified at the new leadership of our home country. I am one of those people who is beyond words over the new person in the White House. Let me be straight- I don’t have a strong political identity. When election time rolled around I wasn’t crazy about any of them- but I was more fearful of one. The one that won. If you disagree with me already- I’ll advise you to click away now and let that be that.

What I want people to understand- is that we, as American expats living in your country, do not share the ideology of the new President. We do not believe it is only ‘America First’. We know from experience that there is a world out there filled with billions of people and places and life is about more than ourselves. We care about our environment and are humbled at the welcoming nature of those that have taken us in, become our friends, and shared our lives.

We do not echo the words of the inauguration speech from Friday.

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2016 Travels In Review: A Very Good Year

by farrah on January 7, 2017 · 0 comments

Ok, so I’m about a week late on this one, but better late than never. I’ve thought so many times how much I’ll regret neglecting this blog come years from now. I’m already at the point where I read old posts and laugh my head off thinking ‘oh my god I forgot about that..’ so I can only imagine what it will be like once I’m getting my hair colored ala Anne Bancroft sterling gray on the reg.

Who cares about the view when there’s gelato?

A photo posted by Farrah Ritter (@momofthreeunder) on

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It’s Time Again… To Plan 2017 Travels

by farrah on January 3, 2017 · 4 comments

January is where it’s at for travel planning. My husband and I try to lock down our ‘big’ holiday in the summer- since bookings are fast and fierce when it comes to availability. Europeans don’t fool around- most of the time it seems friends of ours have their trip booked 6-12 months in advance, and with good reason! A safe bet is a safe bet for them- whereas we love a safe bet (knowing it’s a great place) but also trying to cram it all in before our time is up.

Dear Santa…Please bring us travel. [click to continue…]


On Almost Being Ready To Go- Expat Experience

by farrah on December 30, 2016 · 8 comments

In a couple of days I will be able to say ‘we leave next year’ when someone asks us how long we have left in Oisterwijk. For the longest time I’ve lived with that as an abstract idea- not really something in the foreseeable future- and definitely something that I was dreading. If I didn’t think about it, talk about it or face it— it wasn’t really real. It wasn’t really going to happen.

Look how tiny they were! Us after arriving in 2012. [click to continue…]


What We’re Left With

by farrah on November 8, 2016 · 2 comments

A funny thing happened to me when I was pregnant with my first child- as I suspect it’s pretty common for ‘funny things’ to happen to pregnant women: I couldn’t watch my favorite TV show anymore. More accurately, I couldn’t stomach Dexter, the good-guy serial killer story that my husband and I had been watching for the previous few seasons. Something feels familiar here…..

tweetSpeaks volumes that no matter who you support you can relate. 

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The (Dying) Art of Christmas Cards

by farrah on November 2, 2016 · 0 comments

People that have known me for years and years know that I have had a somewhat crazed obsession with Christmas cards. I can remember the first ones I sent out in probably Christmas 2001. This was life pre-Facebook of course, so getting a card with a quick update in the mail from me was probably something unexpected. I didn’t go on and on or anything- I probably just signed my name and mailed it off. But that started a tradition that I’ve been doing ever since.

cards1The first years… [click to continue…]


A (Very) Happy Expat 4 Years To Us!

by farrah on October 30, 2016 · 2 comments

Yesterday I was talking to someone and she asked how long we have been in Europe. I always remember the exact date we arrived because it is the day before Halloween. ‘Oh!’ I exclaimed in surprise… ‘that’s tomorrow!‘.

holland-1Pic from 4 years ago before we left the US in Disney World. [click to continue…]


The Face of Want

by farrah on August 29, 2016 · 0 comments

I woke up this morning and scrolled through my FB feed while still in bed. I like to do this- firstly, it’s the slow start that I need for the act of waking up. Second, I like knowing as soon as I wake if all is well in the world (most days this is the case). Third, waking up to friends sharing happy pictures and funny quips isn’t a bad start to the day. So this morning as I scrolled I saw this photo and it has been on my mind all morning: (cropped from the original)

emilyImagine my surprise seeing my grumpy face in the background! [click to continue…]


The Thing About Work

by farrah on August 12, 2016 · 6 comments

I grew up in a household where you worked. You had a job- most often one that you didn’t really like. My father- like so many others of his generation growing up in the Detroit area, went to Ford after his time in the service. For as long as I can remember he worked hard in a dirty, hot, physically intense factory pouring steel. He worked all hour shifts which rotated from days, afternoons and midnights. The phone often rang in the middle of the night or early morning hours and my father always went in. Holidays were a crapshoot- I remember one Christmas we got up at 2am to open presents so he could see us do so before he went to work.

sunrise [click to continue…]


We’ve been back on NL ground for about 24 hours. In that time, you can imagine how we’re feeling- overwhelmed, tired, and bursting with what went on in the past week or so. I promised the boys that I would write it all down not skipping a detail for posterity.

IMG_9495What it’s all about

Many of the details are probably very similar to someone going to visit relatives and friends on a vacation. But- there’s a difference when you’re coming all the way back from overseas after a couple of years’ worth of absence (such as expat life). Fortunately nothing bad happened to us (unlike our attempt back in 2014 when we all were flu ridden) but Murphy’s Law and all that. [click to continue…]