Jul 24, 2011

Family of 5 Moves to Amsterdam (With Only Minor Emotional Scarring)


Between flights:




We made it.

No one died. (!)

When my kids look back on our first week in Amsterdam, they will probably remember it as the week that their mom cried a lot, and that time they went to Ikea and thought it was better than Disneyland. (Literally, because when we went to Disneyland last year we were all miserably ill and thought it was the worst place on earth.) When I look back, I'll remember the particularly evil combination of jet lag, stomach flu, and culture shock, and that it's even worse than having rotovirus at Disneyland. Oh, and also that I cried a lot. I'm sure our downstairs neighbor will often laugh at the stupid Americans who moved in above him and locked themselves out of their apartment within a week and had to climb up his balcony to get in through an unlocked window. And I bet the nice lady who helped us set up a bank account will always remember the adorable 3 year old who walked into her office and dropped the F-bomb, thinking he was speaking dutch.

And just think, this is only the beginning!

(Someday I might get around to writing about our move in more detail, but since that's pretty unlikely, I need to thank a few people:
My dear friends in Seattle, without whom we would never have gotten out of our house.
My mom, and 2 sisters, who gave up most of the month of June to take care of our kids, and were still on speaking terms with us by July.
Tina Fey. When I wasn't crying this week, I was laughing at her book. My recommendation: unless you are a miserable person who hates laughter, you should go read her book. Right now!)


Courtney @ Ordinary Happily Ever After said...

Oh my goodness! You are so brave!

If you are still there in 8 or so years we might get stationed in Germany... in which case you will have some visitors for sure!

Lindsay said...

You are a brave woman. I can't wait to hear (aka read) about all of your adventures.

That luggage must have cost a fortune to take. I can only afford one bag per trip these days. :)

Carrie said...

Donna - I know how you feel. Culture shock is definitely real. If you ever need to talk, I'm a good listener. Just remember that you will one day look back on this experience and feel so grateful. Trust me - it gets easier! Wish we could have met up with you guys before we left. I'll keep a close watch on your blog. I'm excited to read more about your adventures!

Aimee said...

Love the update. I have been thinking about you guys like crazy. I can't even imagine the task you just accomplished. We must video chat soon so we can see that you are really there and that you haven't just moved to Renton and are pretending to be abroad.

I loved the Tina Fey book. I was disturbed by the cover so I had to take that off eventually but the book was amazing and I loved her take on motherhood. Refreshing!

Mary said...

I am glad you all made it safely!! I can't wait to see more pictures and hear all about the many adventures you will have. Love you all

Gabriela Hull said...

I'm glad you made it!! I look forward to reading more about your fun adventures.

Kaymie said...

SO good to hear from you.

I have been thinking so much about you and your family. I hope you find some time to write more about your adventures. Just the picture at the airport with all that luggage is an amazing feat in itself.

I miss you. Not like I lived remotely close to you before, but now you just seem so far away.

Write again soon. By the way, thanks for the book recommendation. I need some laughter, esp if you are going to stop writing on your blog...

Angela said...

Glad to see that you made it safely. I can't even imagine how you did it all!

You are definitely missed here. Joshua is constantly asking to play with Nate. He still thinks that if we just go to your house, Nate will be there. And when we tell him that you moved far away, he assures me that you could get in a car and come camping with us.

Good luck with getting settled in!

Shelly said...

So glad you made it! And so jealous I am here in po-dunk SPANISH FORK! Write lots of posts and take photos so I can live through you. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Glad you guys made it safely! Change is hard. I am excited for you!

Brooke Lowry said...

Very funny to read your experiences. Mike and I locked ourselves out of our apartment in Oslo in the first weeks as well. Ikea is a must (and prounce it EKaya, not Ikea, or no one will know what you're talking about).
Bank accounts are always a pain to set up but you'll love the European way, no more checks, way out-dated Americans! :)
Love to you on these adventures! Looking forward to reading. Just be glad you have an apartment set up BEFORE you arrived! Love to you!

Nancy Michels said...

Wow! What exciting news. Hope you will love it in Europe as much as we do. I remember the first month or so is a new adventure every day, but it will be great! Come visit us in Zurich anytime!

Neva said...

You better join Facebook now. Amber and I have been spreading vicious rumors about you on there (they involve Rush Limbaugh) so you better get on there and clear your name.