Thursday, November 10, 2011

Our 11.11.11. Weekend

It's been a long day, so for now I leave you with a summary of how our weekend will be!  Hope to share the actual pictures in the coming days in corresponding blogposts.

How are you spending your 11.11.11 weekend?

Friday, 11.11.11

Littlest's 4th birthday!
archive picture of the Littlest from 13.10.11 before one of our Autumn walks

Saturday, 12.11.11

Off to Germany for a day of thermal spa/Pick-up of my bib at the Olympic Stadium

archived picture of one of our Saturday swim in Bad Bentheim - 12.08.11

Sunday, 13.11.11

10K ~ 36th edition of Olympic Stadium Amsterdam Run (perhaps the older girls will accompany Littlest to run the 1K)
collage of my first 8K run - finish line was in the Olympic Stadium - 16.10.11

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Simplifying Yule

this image was the album cover of our online advent calendar album 2010

Tonight, I still feel a bit of pain on my left shoulder and the length of my arm caused by the strain of  pushing the Littlest in her jogger as I power walked/jogged the 10 kms distance from yesterday.  It has been a long while since she last used the jogger because she usually prefers to use her bike trainer, and I simply bring the jogger along in case she gets tired during our walks, and would like to take a short nap on our way back.

Curiously when one is exhausted, nursing a bit of pain, all the fun things you have planned and carefully thought  and laid out, no longer feel planned, carefully thought and laid out but all seems to be threatheningly looming over one.

I am trying not to feel over-whelmed from the upcoming events, appointments this month, and the thought that although on the calendar we still have enough time to prepare for the Yuletide season, there is always never enough time to prepare of this ideal picture of Yuletide we all seem to have even though we all should know better!

Each and every year, I feel that around this time, I have to revisit in my consciousness an informal pact I made with myself a decade ago, that I will not let myself be swayed by what seems to be the hectic attached to the Yuletide season but make sure that I focus on what is most important: it is a season for the family.  A time of quiet contemplation.

Simplifying Yule.  I think this year will be a good time to write a series of blogs on how I try each and every year to achieve this with the help of my family.

Are you interested to read along?  How do you prepare for the Yuletide season?  How do you simplify, and at the same time celebrate this feast?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Autumn Days & Walks (A Season of Transitions)

Another quick post for today!  It's been one of those days when I am almost tempted to skip a day. (this is backdated, since it is way past midnight and I am rushing that I can go to bed)

Littlest spent another sit-in at her new school today. Last week Tuesday (see image above), she met for the second time with her new teacher (first time was last month when we talked about the schedule of the sit-ins), and for the first time her new classmates (20+ little ones like her!). It went great!

Today went well, with a little challenge here and there which is understandable - more on this some other time, when there is more peace to write out Littlest experiences and adventures at school.

In the late afternoon, until early evening, I walked with Littlest - packed warmly in her jogger - the 10 km distance, that I would run on Sunday - again more on this, before the weekend!

Below is a collage of one of our Autumn walks in October, parts of which I walked/jogged past today.

There are several transitions the family and I are going through, and I am proud to say, that although we are stressed, we - each and everyone of us!!! - are trying are hardest to not let it affect us too long, and we either talk about how to lessen and diminish it, or we take concrete action to not let stress rule us completely.

Hope you are all taking time to make sure that you enjoy the Autumn season!  It goes by way too fast, I feel.

Monday, November 7, 2011

March Eats Mozzarella! (A Day in the Life)

It makes such a huge difference when P is at home, even when he is convalencing, and recuperating from a very exhausting work week. His presence gives off this positive source of energy I could feed on, and need to simply gain strength and better perspective, again.

from Summer 2009 - 03.07.09

from Summer 2009 - 26.06.09
Although he could have slept in this morning, he stood up with me and help prepare the girls for school by finishing the paper work for the application of days away from school, they need imperatively this month. After,the girls left, we shared a quiet breakfast together, while the littlest slept in. P took a nap on the sofa beside me, while I replied to emails, and wrote down how our week schedule will be.

Tomorrow, littlest will go again for a second Tuesday meeting to get to know her teacher and classmates before she officially starts with school on the 14th of November. The first getting to know day, a week ago, went marvelously. We were SO proud of her, and she was SO proud of herself. Since we were welcome to stay, we did, and was able to see how the day (at least half of it) went for the children. We left as they were taking their snacks, and two hours later we picked her up again.

So, when she finally woke-up this morning, and joined P and me on the couch, we enjoyed the moment with her even more knowing next week, she would no longer be there as we are used to, and that her days will also follow, albeit slowly, the school calendar.

One important email we got today, is from the doctor' clinic, telling us that the doctor's certificate, that I need to submit to qualify me for the Rome marathon will "only" cost €24,80! It is still costly but at least it is not € 60 or € 160! This was a huge relief for us.

We then checked again the cost of the room in the hotel we would like to get which is 20 minutes away from the city centre of Rome. I can't share specific details here now but I'll share some other things about the hotel in another blog of this series "Baby Steps to the Road Leading to Rome", as soon as we have made a reservation to give you a picture where we will be staying.

Both of us agreed, that if the prices stay as they are, until I have submitted all the papers and have gotten a confirmation of my participation in the Rome marathon, we will reserve 5 nights in our chosen hotel. We will get to stay 3 more days after I've ran the marathon!

The girls are all excited! Specially the eldest, who has been fascinated from Italy for quiet a while now, and intend to learn Italian outside of the school curriculum. It will be a short visit for now for the family but we think enough time to give the girls lasting impressions to initially satisfy their curiosity and fascination.

While I was once again checking the current prices for airline tickets, we searched for information regarding the climate and weather around mid-March in Rome. We stumbled upon this Italian phrase,"Marzo è pazzerello" - meaning March is crazy, as the weather at this time of the year, to quote the travel guide we read: notoriously capricious.

This reminded us of the German saying, "April, April es kann machen, was es will!" (literally meaning, April can do whatever it wants; this saying explains more or less, that April in Germany/Netherlands, can have almost every kind of weather in a day from sunshine to hail!)

Well, we are not at all daunted by this! :) The family lives by the saying, there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!

When we searched how to pronounce "Marzo è pazzerello" , we had the giggles! It almost sounded like March eats mozzarella! lol

The rest of the early afternoon was spent simply repeating more Italian phrases; some words were even familiar because of our previous visits to an Italian restaurant in Hamburg, ran by an Italian family. I think it is the best way to learn a language, learn while you eat!

We all have at least 4-5 months to prepare, and perhaps we can order a simple family meal in Italian by Spring 2012. I think my family will even be happy if they can just each order one scoop of gelato by themselves! lol

Marzo sarà pazzesco! Gelato consumo pazzesco!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Jij Bent Zo

P worked from midnight, and came home at 10 am today.

It's been a hard week, but we are glad that at least we could spend Saturday evening together on the family couch. even if he has to work again late Sunday afternoon, until way past midnight.

Sometimes, you have to make the best of what you have.

While watching a Dutch TV programm: "Wetten dat ich het kann!" (I bet that I can do it!), P and I reminisced on the song, one of the very first Dutch song that he shared to me online.

Hope you like it, and may you all have a whole weekend to share with family, love ones, or simply to relax from a whole work week in peace.

Jeroen van der Boom: Jij bent zo

Zeg ik nee, zeg jij ja.
En wil ik gaan slapen,
wil jij ineens graag en oh
Zeg ik stop ga jij toch,
nog even door
En ik krijg geen gehoor.

Stroomt het bier uit de kraan,
wil jij naar huis.
Zeg ik laten we gaan,
geef jij niet thuis .
Maar het kan me niet schelen, want

Jij bent zo
Ik heb je dan nooit anders gekend, en zo
zou ik jou 't liefste houden.
Je bent zo
Met jou verveel ik me geen moment, en oh
Ook al doe je echt geen moeite
Je bent zo
Ik raak gewoon nooit aan je gewend, zo
Wil ik verder leven samen met jou

Zal ik jou ooit begrijpen
Ik zou het niet willen
Ik hou van je grillen
Jij maakt dat ik nooit een dag
niet heb geleefd
Dus verras me maar weer
Ook al doet het soms zeer

En is wit in de mode
draag jij zwart
Weet je 't zeker
dan nog volg jij je hart
Iedereen zou zich schamen, maar

Jij bent zo
Ik heb je dan nooit anders gekend, en zo
zou ik jou 't liefste houden
Je bent zo
Met jou verveel ik me geen moment, en oh
Ook al doe je echt geen moeite
Je bent zo
Ik raak gewoon nooit aan je gewend, zo
wil ik verder leven samen met jou

Ik wil je echt niet anders
Ook al wil je meer tijd voor jou alleen
Toch voel ik me met jou zo samen een
Want ik weet dat je van me houdt

Jij bent zo
Ik heb je dan nooit anders gekend, en zo
Zou ik jou t liefste houden
Je bent zo
Met jou verveel ik me geen moment, en oh
Ook al doe je echt geen moeite
Je bent zo
Ik raak gewoon nooit aan je gewend zo
Wil ik verder leven samen met jou

Jij bent zo
Met jou verveel ik me geen moment, oh
Je bent zo
Ik raak gewoon nooit aan je gewend zo
Wil ik verder leven samen

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Introducing ~ Happy Feet of a Couch Potato

first day of training

Almost three months ago (8th of August), I started an 8 week training regimen towards running an 8 km goal, which I happily completed last 16th of October at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam.  Unbelievable that it's only been 3 months since I finally started dedicating time to a childhood dream!

Below is the summary in images of how I - a certified couch potato - became a running junkie!

All the stories of the past three months, each journey of individual runs depicted in the images below, as well as future adventures in running will be told on a blog page, I created to specifically store all the images, impressions, experience of this metamorphoses.
Please, hop on over and check out : "Happy Feet of a Couch Potato"!  Learn how "Dreaming of Paris" is just as fulfilling and empowering as actually going there!

collage of  my first ever 5K run

Medal for the 6.4 km Run2Day Ladies Run in Amsterdam

Good Morning Run Amsterdam
Just after crossing the finish line!

Medal for the 8K run in Amsterdam

Halloween Run Amsterdam
Edit (20.02.12): While Happy Feet of the Couch Potato will be the home of my musings (philosopical thoughts :D) about running, and how I (TRY to!) conquer the battles of daily life, that I may be able to run well, Happy Feet in the Netherlands will document the journey, the challenges, triumph and yeah, occasionally failure of running through the Netherlands, and bringing this happy feet abroad with me to run for pleasure, recreational races, or simply discover different running trails.

UPDATE 18.06.14: I think I did not make much sense in this blog! In fairness :D I was still sorting myself out. I am still sorting myself out as I write these lines actually. hahaha But I have gained more clarity since I wrote this post.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Morning or Evening Blogger?

Image borrowed from NaBloPoMo-BlogHer

It feels good to be in real time blogging once again!  As I wrote in my previous blog, I backdated it for it to be yesterday's post although written this afternoon - mainly because my OCDiness can't handle it.

Now, it's half  past 10 PM, and I am making mental plans of  my blogging schedule for this month, either early in the mornings or before I go to bed.

In the past, I have seen that although it is nice to start in the morning, the day could sometimes bring more interesting topics.

On the other hand, the day could also become so busy that one could forget posting, and not be reminded of the deed until one is lying in bed!

I'll probably be doing a free style blogging this week while I continue to think how the schedule of the next weeks of November will be.  I've always wanted to see how it works with scheduled (drafting posts for pre-publishing) blogging, and perhaps this month will be a good way to find out if I like it or not.

I have a strong inclination to give 365 days of blogging another try in 2012.  Life in the Netherlands is settling into a beautiful, (almost!) rhythmic routine.  P (my life partner) and I could (almost!) plan ahead our travels with the family, and it's (almost!) going well with scheduling, juggling and balancing family life, work and hobbies.

Speaking of hobbies - one thing that speaks for starting the day early with blogging is,  it will be one good incentive to stand up really early and follow it up directly with a jog/or a run.

After the Summer, and before the girls went back to school, I started training for running - finally!  This is one subject that I still have to share in many blog installments.

Another subject, is the littlest starting with kindergarden or it's equivalent here in the Netherlands.  Eldest will be in her last year of school, and we are busy trying to find a new school for her (equivalent of high school). 

Writing all that does motivate me to commit to a 365 days of blogging project.  As I wrote before journaling has a way of calming me when changes seem to be moving me and the family to new, and different directions in light speed.

How about you fellow blogger, dear readers? How do you start your day? How do you make sure you live your day consciously? Do you often experience the feeling of, "where did the day(s) go"?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaBloPoMo - November

Hello, November!  Hello fellow bloggers!

Admittedly, this is a backdated post (it's actually the 2nd of November 3:39 PM as I write this and not 1st of November 3:39 PM). 

An hour ago, I was reminded by a post of a favourite blogger that NaBloPoMo for November has begun. The event basically remains the same but has moved on a different site; it is now housed at NaBloPoMo at BlogHer, and managed by Melissa Ford.

There are so many reasons, I could use to skip partcipating, but like everyone else, who has fallen in love with blogging, the theme for November: “Blog­ging for Blogging’s Sake,” was simply a melodious call to simply blog, and be part of the month-long blogging madness. 

Before I started with today's post, I read the daily writing prompt: “What is your favourite part about writing?”. I could not come up with a quick answer, and so I continued writing...

It's been my intention after the late Summer to go back to Daily Mooosing...but like everyone else, I slide back to the old habit of waiting for the "perfect moment" (when chores are all done, when I totally feel positively about myself and the world at large) to do it, instead of creating this  perfect moment in my head.

I seem to often times achieve this by writing down for example: positive thoughts I would like to affirm daily, impressions of how the day went, as simple as they might be.  But again, like everyone else, the simple seems to be not good enough to share. 

When  life starts becoming hectic though, and there seems to be no time for those simple things that give you pleasure, it is exactly the "perfect moment" to do exactly that - do the simple things, bask on the simple pleasure, and share them!

Going back on today's (or November 1st's) writing prompt: “What is your favourite part about writing?” - this is my favourite part, when I feel that I come to answers through written reflection, and the best part is when all these reflection will resonate with other readers, may it be right after I published this post or weeks, months and years later.