Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Dutch Version of "Santa Claus"

A friend from church was talking to us this morning about Holland's Christmas festivities. They have a "Sinterklaas" parade apparently, and instead of trying to explain it to us, our friend sent us to this link to hear David Sedaris explain it.

I don't know what we found funnier, the Dutch Santa story or Sedaris explaining Michigan's strange hunting laws. You have to listen!

Fall Bucket List

The days are getting rapidly shorter, and I can feel us barreling towards another long winter. (Summer was too, too short.) As much as I miss summer, I do love this time of year. This fall I want to:

*Visit Art Prize (I need to get a move on this as it will be over soon!)

*Find a pick-your-own-pumpkin farm (hopefully with a hayride for the kids!)

*Take the kids to Nelis' before it closes in a few weeks.

*Pick out (or make) costumes for the kids to take them trick-or-treating for the first time. (Olive has already informed that she wants to be Cinderella.)

*Have (or attend) a bonfire.

*Make home made caramel corn.

*Find someplace that will make a soy pumpkin latte besides Starbucks (because I really hate that Starbucks uses the sweet vanilla soymilk instead of the plain kind.) 

*Go coat/boots shopping for the children.

*Start a knitting project.

*Plan a fun Thanksgiving, which might be challenging since we'll be roughing it alone this year.

*Watch all the new Foyle's War episodes on PBS' website.

*Start Christmas shopping/card writing/etc.

*Get a family picture taken for Christmas cards.

*Make this apple crisp over and over and over again (so good.)

*Volunteer with the nursery at church / get more involved with church.

*Finish reading Jennifer Worth's "Midwife" books (I'm already halfway through book 2 of 3.)

*Explore a new (to us) place.

*Visit some dear friends in Indianapolis.

*Visit the beach before it gets too cold.

I'll check back in here periodically to scratch off the things we actually (hopefully?) accomplish. :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Welcoming Fall at the Farmer's Market

We're home from our went-too-fast trip back east to visit family and friends. Michigan welcomed us back with chilly weather and colorful trees. It's good to be back.

We had read that the Farmer's Market had apple and pear ciders out, so we parked downtown and walked to the bustling, always busy market to find some.

(Poor Olive popped her dog balloon before we even got back to the van. So it goes.) :(

We found our pear cider (which tastes just like apple cider, hmph,) and also picked up apples, watermelon and flowers. The kids had their eyes on the pumpkins, but we're making them wait until we hopefully find a pick-your-own farm nearby.

I was hoping to feel refreshed and re-energized after our trip, but came home feeling just the opposite. It didn't help that Matt worked into the night every day last week and the kids were in post-vacation-grumpy mode. I think it's going to take us a few more days to get caught up on rest and get back into an efficient schedule.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hello September

I've been quiet here because we have been busy with company and recovering from the holiday weekend. We had the best Labor Day, with some of our most favorite people. Lovely weather, lots of walks and some very late nights playing games into the wee hours of morning (Ticket to Ride and Dominion are new favorites.)

It really feels like fall now up here, and I'm starting to let go of of my tight grip on summer and welcome the new season with a little more grace. What feels the most different in Holland is the sudden disappearance of tourists. Things just got a lot more quiet and it's so nice.

We are counting down the days till our trip back to WV next week. I'm so so excited to see family, friends and old familiar haunts.

To be totally honest, I've re-written this post at least 3 times because each time I realized I was complainig too much about how miserable I've been feeling, physically and emotionally. I feel I've morphed into this extra large, awkward, achey monster who finds herself laughing or crying uncontrollably at really embarrassing, awkward times. As good as it feels to vent and as real as the feelings may be in their time, I don't want complaining to be a focus of this space, or my life. So no one should be surprised if I post sporadically from here on out.

17 weeks and counting. :)