Nov 29, 2011


It's that time of year once again, when bullet-point summaries become necessities. Here's everything you might or might not want to know about the goings-on here in November:

  • They don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in The Netherlands, but don't worry, they have their own calorie-dense, racially-charged festivities going on right now, so we're good. Sinter Klaas has arrived, and if you follow the link, you'll find out why this Thanksgiving I was especially thankful for David Sedaris. But really, who isn't? 
Putting their boots in front of the radiator. Hey kids, try not to think about getting
 stuffed in a sack and taken to Spain. I'm sure you've been good this year, right?  
  • My husband has been participating in Movember, bless his mustachioed heart. Only 2 more days until we can go out with him in public again. We tolerate it because it's for a good cause. Just let me know what disease or issue needs awareness-raising by me not shaving my legs for a month, and I'll be sure to sign up. Oh right, it's called winter. 
  • I really miss eavesdropping. I did not anticipate this. What's more, it's not fair; most people here speak English, and can therefore eavesdrop on us all they like while we're in public. For example, passersby would have had the pleasure of overhearing this conversation I had with Mia while walking to the bus stop recently: "Mom, has anybody ever eaten a chicken penis?" (Short pause while I try to recall everything I've ever learned about poultry genitalia, which is exactly nothing.) "Um, I honestly have no idea, but my guess is that somewhere in the world, on some reality show, somebody has, yes." "Eeeewwww, I would rather die than eat a chicken penis!" "Well, you might want to avoid chicken McNuggets then." Eavesdropping, don't take it for granted.
  • I love the radiator/towel warmer in our bathroom. It's officially made my list of things I know I don't really actually need, but I tell myself I really actually need. 
  • On November 11th, 2011 at 11:11 AM, I was here: 

Hamburg, Germany. It was cool. 
  • I've made some friends. We greet each other with the customary 3 kisses on the cheek, and I try to act like it's totally normal. Hello! Oh, going in for a hug- wait, no, kiss on the cheek, OK- oh, once more, no two more- are we done? I think we're done now- Awkward. 
  • This was my birthday present. I've only ran into a couple of things so far. 
It's the mini-van of bikes.
  •  Do you remember my piano? Well, here's the before:

And here's the after:

The lighting doesn't make it quite as dramatic as it could be, but it is now distressed Canary Yellow. Thanks to my talented friend Andrea! (And if you are in my family, you might be shocked interested to know that it has been tuned.) 

  • Was the word mustachioed your favorite part of this post? Mine too. 

Nov 27, 2011

That Time We Went to Belgium

Waaaayyyy back in October, we managed to squeeze in a quick trip across the border to Belgium.  In 4 days, we went to Brussels, Brugges, and Ghent. It mostly involved the following:

1.  Seeing and photographing a lot of really old things.
2.  Listening to our kids complain about all the "dumb, stupid" old things. 
3.  Realizing we are truly adults because we now enjoy dumb, stupid old things.
4.  Eating Belgian Waffles, and becoming true believers. 
(Note: they're considered dessert, not a breakfast item there. But nobody said you couldn't have them for dinner.)
5.  Having my first panic attack in an elevator, making this our first vacation where most of the hysterical screaming, crying, and hyperventilating was done by me.
6.  Walking right past a Michelangelo sculpture in a cathedral and not even realizing it.
7.  Hearing Nate refuse a chocolate sample by shaking his head and saying "I only eat food." Seriously, who is this weirdo and what kind of freaks raised him?
8.  Speaking of freaks: what kind of parents see this and say, "hey kids, go stand over there so I can take a picture"?

Well, we do, of course. What else do we do? We teach our kids songs and corresponding dances meant to embarrass them while we film them. Here's our Ghent theme song:
(If you need a hint, it's the word Ghent, set to the opening guitar riffs of Eye of the Tiger.)

And here's a slide show of Ghent, set to our theme song. You'll have to sing along yourself though.

While procrastinating doing other, less interesting things (see the laundry pic below), I made this little collage of Brugges. You had no idea I could waste time so well, did you?

          Would any trip synopsis be complete without a picture
of the post-trip laundry mountain? I think not.