Thursday, June 12, 2014

This Is For Anne

 En wie gelukkig is, zal anderen gelukkig maken.

(English translation of the Dutch quote above)

“Whoever is happy will make others happy.” 

A fragment from Anne Frank's Diary. She wrote:  
This is the photo as I would wish myself to look all the time. Then I would maybe have a chance to come to Hollywood. But presently, I look different from it most of the time. -

Anne Frank. 10. Oct. 1942 Sunday.

Today, Anne Frank would have celebrated her 85th birthday.

I am revisiting many favorite quotes from her but this time in Dutch to remind me to buy her book in Dutch version. 

When I was a little girl, I read her book in English for the first time. 

15 years after I read her book, I was finally able to fulfill my childhood wish of visiting Anne Frank House

1997/1998 (?)
This set of pics were photographed from a video of our German culinary school trip. Mijn liefste P found the tape in one of our boxes, when we moved in together. We showed it to the girls, I think 4-5 years ago.

I can't recall exactly what the name of the place we stayed as students but I remember/walked past it together with P  and the girls on the rare occasion we all visit Amsterdam.

There, and then I bought a copy of her book in German (since I was living in Germany for 4 years then, and I thought it would be a both a joy and a challenge to read it in the language I was learning to be fluent in).

10 years after I visited Amsterdam for the first time, I met Piet, and 2 years later I moved to the Netherlands. 

This image was taken on the 8th of August, 2007;
it is 10 years later since I first visited 
Anne Frank House(1997 during our (German) culinary school trip to Amsterdam), and the first time P t and I visited it together.
We were not able to go in because it was half an hour to closing time but came back 11 days later, and left a leaf on the Virtual Anne Frank Tree.

Since 2010, I have been trying to learn and improve my Dutch fluency. 

This photo was taken on the day I officially finished my first intensive Dutch course @ AMSU Summer 2010
(27th of August)
. I had to proudly "tell Anne" about it.

Looking back at all the dates, I have to think of the coincidences with the dates. How they all seem to coincide with milestones/unforgettable moments related to my running.

A year after this picture was taken I started with running.

8th of August, 2007 (first visit with P to Anne Frank House) - 8th of August, 2011 four years later, I literally took first steps in running goals. I walked 8 km (this time Littlest was in her jogger).

27th of August, 2010 (I finished my 1st Dutch intensive course) - 28th of August, 2011, I ran my first ever 5K in Amsterdam Bos. 

Just something random…I would like to later share more about @Happy Feet in the Netherlands

I think at this point, I can read Anne Frank's Diary in the language she originally wrote it. This thought brings me both bliss and wistfulness. 

30 years, many travels later, I would be able to understand the girl who brought me to Europe with her words, in her own words.

She inspired me as a child to express myself through writing. Her story brought fulfillment to many childhood dreams. 

 “All her 'would haves' are our real possibilities.

All her 'would haves' are our opportunities." 
at the launch of the Virtual Anne Frank Tree.
By leaving a leaf in the virtual Anne Frank Tree, 
you can show that the diary of Anne Frank has inspired you, too.

(Mijn liefste P and I did so on the 19th of August, 2007 :) - just checked it! )

Her courage motivates me to never give up; most of all she reminds me to live life to the fullest.

This picture was originally posted on the blog
The Happy Face at The Finish Line - Reflections & Celebrating the 101st blogpost.

I was wearing the bib of "Anne" because it was given to me by a runner friend, whose cause (MS Research) I am supporting. Like her name sake Anne Frank, my runner friend Anne  inspires me to live life to the fullest.
Please click on her name to know more about
how she is walking the marathon in support of MS (Multiple Sceloris) Research

(All images, which are not mine are from Google Images )

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How Spring Break Ended Sunday Evening...

We went to our local Chinese!

Tonight, I have to go to bed earlier. So I will let the pictures below tell the story of our celebratory dinner. :)

No pictures of how our evening came to an end because the battery of the camera went out. The recharger was at liefste P's office.

A brief summary:

At home we all together helped clear a very messy dining table (debris of a lazy Saturday evening, and lazy Sunday morning!).

I then hurriedly vacuumed (it won't be cozy otherwise believe me! It's how my crazy mind roll :D) the floor, boiled water for our goodnight tea, while middle daughter set the table, P fixed Littlest Chinese fan (yup, that's how it goes!) and oldest checked her class schedule for the next day online.

We all shared the take home dessert of baked banana, served with vanilla and chocolate ice-cream.  Drank tea, chatted (giggled because of the Littlest's antics!) and said our good nights.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What Works Wonders: Magical March!

“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tonight I electronically dug a picture of the Littlest, taken in Spring 3 years ago in Langenvelderslag (a beach in Noordwijk).

It's one of those serendipitous shot the Littlest seems to be talented in being in.

The light was good, that you could still recognize her through the silhoutte of her face, and she was earnestly playing with her stick as if submerged in casting a powerful spell only she is mighty enough to do.

Originally, I edited it as a birthday greeting to a special friend in my blogging circle.

I thought it fitting to use tonight to welcome the month of March. A month I feel will be magical. :)

For many unconnected reasons, which I won't delve in now, I felt for a while, that I've completely lost "my magic" walking uncomplete like Peter Pan without his shadow.

But I got it back! Sewn back by the nurturing love of my family.

Time spent with them, without distractions always centers me.

In this month's blog for the What Work Wonders series, I am sharing A (spontaneous!) List of 14*, "What Makes the World Magical" for me (random order):

  1. Love
  2. Children
  3. Friendship
  4. Art (in all it's form)
  5. Historical Architecture
  6. Books
  7. Gardens
  8. Animals
  9. Music
  10. Astronomy (yes, I am aware it is contradictory since it is  natural science)
  11. Ideas
  12. Languages
  13.  History
  14. People
Perhaps my list does not make sense to anyone but it makes sense to me. :)

What makes the world magical for you?

Previous post in this series:
What Works Wonders: Farewel Fears, Farewell February!
What Works Wonders: Wake UP January!

A (spontaneous!) List of 14* - I'll explain in my next blog why I highlighted this, and why I am using it as a tag/label for this year .*

Friday, February 21, 2014

What Works Wonders: Farewell Fears, Farewell February!

image originally shared @ Happy Feet in the Netherlands
in the blog

This is both a follow-up blog, and a blog to record the beginnings of what will be an upcoming blogging project @ My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands, which will start in March.

If you have missed it, here is the first entry to the What Works Wonders blog series:

What Works Wonders: Wake UP January!

After you've read the previous blog, you will have a clearer idea what this series is about. :)

In brief, it is about how I keep a positive attitude in spite of challenging and difficutl circumstances.

I'm taking a week off from the internet, and before I do, I wanted to leave you a new installment to this series.

For February, my top 5 quotes, which represent  how I conquer different kinds of fear:

  1. A quote, which starts & structure each of my day courageously:

    “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
    Eleanor Roosevelt
  2.  A quote, which empowers me to say, share, and  write about how I think and feel about different things in life.

    “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” ― Virginia Woolf
  3. A quote, which reminds me of the power behind a smile.

    “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
    Thích Nhất Hạnh
  4. A quote, which strengthens my sense of individuality.

    “I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”
    Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
  5. A quote, which always shakes me out of complacency.

    If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.”
    Frank Zappa

image originally intended for the blog:
Thoughts of Travel - posted 23rd of April, 2011

When I come back online in March, I will be attempting another shot at the 365 blogging project before I take a year off the internet. I've been blogging since 2006, and so far, I've only successfully done a 365 project once.

More details about this adventure, when I come back in March!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What Works Wonders: Wake UP January!

image courtesy of an artist & blogger I admire
Geninne's Art
her FB Page
her Twitter feed
This post is inspired by my 8 months of  Happy Rambling@ Happy Rambles (a private online gratefulness journal) .

A short background story about my happyrambles:
I read about Happy Rambles,  mentioned in the old blogsite of
Laughter & Lime blogger
and fellow Amsterdam Running Junkie

From May - August, I attempted to log daily missing a day in the week or a week in the month etc.
It was not until September - December 2013,
that I successfully logged in daily for 4 consecutive months!
Great feeling. :)

Inspiration came as well from many years of reading self-help books, self-improvement blogs, and the results of what I've learned through the years in my own pursuit of acquiring a lighter being: leading a simpler but mindful life.

image courtesy of

I thought it fitting  that this post will be the first post for the new year. A post about what makes me happy, and what makes life lighter and brighter for me.

My guiding words for the first quarter of the new year are 3Ms: mornings (are new beginnings!), mindfulness (creates happiness!), motivate (empowering others, empowers self!).

inspired by the morning & sunrise themed blogposts & pictures
archived here at My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands
and my own desire to start each day positive & strong in 2014
I created the Morning Milers Challenge Event on
Happy Feet in the Netherlands FB page
The pursuit of a life lived with mindfulness is the heart of why I created
My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands
which in turn gave me the courage to finally begin running, and document the adventures
@ Happy Feet in the Netherlands blog
Motivating others, just as I received motivation is something I've always dream and aspired.
Why only dream when you can make it happen?!
So, Running4Badges Challenge Event was born last year, end of November.
Words means a lot to me. I love reading the words of others (letters, messages, books, blogs etc), as much as I love writing words of my own for others.   They give me, courage, hope, joy, strength, and many more magical things in life.

When I write words, I would like others to feel all these magic that life offers all of us.

What I will be sharing is not new, and many others, who is in the same path in life have written about it, and  will be writing perhaps exactly the same.

image courtesy of
Google Images

My intention is to be one of those silent  but strong voices who contributes to adding a quiet brightness in the lives of others in a very simple way: by sharing my own serenity.

I believe, the more people with like minds, share the word of positivity, the more it will spread and grow in all of us.

What Works Wonders will be lists of how I am able to see positivity every day, no matter what the circumstances are! For January, in keeping up with the theme "Wake UP!" and following my guiding words, here is my top 5 list of how I "Wake Up  the Soul!" and keep life positively moving:

  1. Be grateful when you go to sleep.
  2. Be grateful when you wake up.
  3. Do at least 10 minutes exercise/OR any physical activity everyday (which ALWAYS leads to more in the end).
  4. Do 3 things you've been procrastinating first thing in the morning. OR at least before noon.
  5. Celebrate & share the lightness of your being - no reservations!