Tuesday, January 31, 2012

. . . let it snow!

Yesterday morning we awoke to a light dusting of snow on the ground! It was so beautiful to watch it come down lightly throughout the whole day. At 9:30 am it looked like this:

Friday, January 27, 2012

. . . our weekend in Pah-ree

One of the definite perks about living in Europe is the travel we get to do every so often. Last weekend was one such trip . . . Keith had a meeting in Surenes (pronounced like "syringe" without the /j/ sound), a suburb of Paris, on Friday, so we headed out of town on Thursday afternoon. We drove about an hour to Antwerp, Belgium and took a 2 hour bullet train to Paris. The train station in Antwerp was really beautiful -- massive and open with ornate architecture every which way you looked. If we had more time I would have loved to do some exploring and taken more pictures, but this one will have to do. We found the right platform pretty easily and got seats in the food car once boarding the train. It was perfect because there was plenty of room for us to stand and walk Liam around if needed.

Inside the train station
When we got to Paris we had to take a cab to our hotel in Surenes, and the driver dropped us off nowhere near our hotel, but assured it was right around the corner -- we were about 2 miles away in fact. So we had to get another cab to take us to our hotel, which was really frustrating. Stinkin' cabbies. Keith went into the office for a few hours while Liam and I got settled and took a nap. That night we went to dinner at a local Italian restaurant across the street, which was so delicious. I forgot to nab a picture of my beautiful salad, but rest assured it was uh-mazing.

The next day Keith had to be in the office all day, so Liam and I were on our own. Luckily there was a street market out the front door of the hotel, so I spent a couple hours wandering through all the booths of food, fabrics, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and even toiletries -- if you can sell it, there was a booth for it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

. . . Liam lately (5 months)

My sweet boy is now five months old, and everyone who said each stage is better than the last was right. He is so much more interactive and playful these days! A couple months ago he would be happy to lie on his playmat and look at the things hanging above him, but now he actually grabs and holds and touches all the toys he got for Christmas -- I love it! He likes things that light up and make noise the best (of course), and pretty much everything goes straight into his mouth at this point, but it's still so fun! 

Happy New Year!

Ok, so I know it's January 17th, but I have to share with you about our first New Year's Eve in Eindhoven. We arrived back in the Netherlands on December 30th so that we would have the weekend to recover from our trip, do laundry, unpack, etc. We got home from the airport on Friday afternoon and we immediately noticed all the fireworks going off . . . we couldn't see anything at the time, but we definitely heard nonstop booms and cracks and pops. Apparently fireworks are illegal here -- except for the 24 hours leading up to New Years. That means that people were so excited to kick off 2012 that they started WAY in advance . . . there was literally not even one minute that went by that we did not hear fireworks during the two days leading up to New Year's Eve. It made naps and night-time sleeping rather difficult for Liam those first two nights back because I am dead serious when I say there were fireworks every. single. minute. for. 48. hours.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

to make a long story short . . .

We had an awesome time in Georgia . . . four weeks flew by, and it's hard to believe we are back home. Unfortunately I think Liam never really got adjusted to the time change so we had a hard time getting him back on his schedule once we returned. At the end of the trip Liam caught a cold, which didn't help his sleeping AT ALL -- the poor thing couldn't breathe well and it was just pitiful. : (  But we're really close to being back to normal, which is a good thing for all of us.

Here are just a few more pictures from our time in Georgia . . . and what's even crazier is that we'll be back in two months for a friend's wedding! I'll have to think long and hard about whether it's worth it to attempt to change Liam's schedule for those ten days we're back . . . we'll see!

Liam's dedication . . .

A few weeks before heading to Georgia, we found out that Stonecreek, our home church in Alpharetta, was having a baby dedication service the Sunday after we arrived. It was obviously meant to be, and we signed our family up right away! After arriving on Friday and surprising family and friends, I quickly said, "Oh, and by the way, can you come to church with us on Sunday to be a part of Liam's dedication? Pretty please??"

Christmas Day traditions . . .

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Christmas (duh. who doesn't love Christmas??). And one of my favorite things about Christmas is our Christmas traditions. My family does several special things that I absolutely cherish and hold dear to my heart each year. One is the Christmas card. Every year my dad spends pain-staking days finding the perfect Christmas card to give each of us, which are promptly put on the tree the week before Christmas. It is the first thing we open on Christmas morning, and I have been collecting these special cards for years now. What's funny is that you have to be a "member" to get one -- Keith didn't even get one the year we were engaged at Christmas, but got his first Christmas card the following year when he was "official."

sweet home Alabama . . .

The week before Christmas we headed to Alabama to spend time with Keith's mom and family. It was so nice and relaxing, and I love how much going there feels like home to me. I'm one of those lucky few who has a wonderful mother-in-law who never puts any pressure on us and is just happy to see us as much as we can visit. I feel so comfortable there and loved being able to take it easy after two weeks of being crazy and on the go!

She was absolutely ENTHRALLED with Liam and couldn't get enough of him! I was so amazed at how well she did with him considering her youngest grandchild before Liam came along is now in high school! All she wanted to do was hold him and play with him and love on him all day.

going visiting . . .

. . . old stomping grounds

We really had a great time visiting with family and friends while in Georgia, and as long as four weeks sounds, it goes by really fast! I was able to get by my old work to visit teachers and students one afternoon and the kids were SO excited to see Liam. I went by all the second grade classroom so that my babies from last year could see him. He actually slept most of the visit, so he was covered up in his carseat, but I let them touch his little shoe, which just thrilled them to death. It's the little things, I guess. ; ) There were actually a few students who RAN to me the moment they laid eyes on me, and one of my precious ones even cried! It warms this teacher's heart and made me miss them oh so much. I was also able to visit with my team while they were on break and everyone got to "ooh" and "ahh" over Liam. Last time they saw me I was seven months pregnant, and then I came back with a four month old!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


{Sidenote: If you haven't heard the "supplies" joke, ask me sometime : ) }

So it is 6 am in the Netherlands, we have been home one week, and this may be my first opportunity to blog in the last month or so. It's been a crazy December, but one I won't forget for sure. I will try to capture it all, but it's going to take me several posts to get everything in! Let me start at the beginning . . .