September 8, 2017

Spreekt u Engels? Our Time in the Netherlands

Miles had an internship this summer working at Europol for about seven weeks. The headquarters is in The Hague, Netherlands so he left for that late June before Finn was out of school. Once school ended the kids and I joined him for the remainder of the internship which was a little over two weeks.

We were really fortunate to link up with the spouses of some of the people Miles was working with who also had kids which made for lots of great playdates and fun outings throughout our time there. We went to Madurodam, which is sorta like an amusement park - it has to scale miniatures of Holland attractions, but it actually is a war memorial for a George Maduro who was a Dutch resistance fighter and died at Dachau Concentration Camp. His family wanted to create something in his memory to showcase the beauty of Holland that he died fighting for. They wanted it to be happy and uplifting and it really is! We made it to the beach a few times (the North Sea is cold!), to a petting zoo, parks and playgrounds, etc. Miles and I got a date night in on a restaurant tram which was really neat and we got a day trip to Amsterdam to tour the Anne Frank House (we swapped kid watching to have Amsterdam be a kid free trip which was to right call given how busy and crazy it was!). I love how pedestrian and cyclist friendly the Netherlands is - the cars are SO cautious and aware. It felt like a really safe city to run in and not speaking Dutch was NEVER an issue as everyone speaks English! Dutch does seem like a funny hybrid of German and English though so there was a lot that made sense just based off phonetics. 

If it weren't for this internship we might not have made it to the Netherlands during our time abroad, but I'm so glad that we did and got to send a good amount of time there.



























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August 17, 2017

Mary Quotes

I'm continually behind on keeping this poor blog up to date and will have lots of August travel recaps to share at the end of the month, but for now here are some cute things I've written down that Miss Mary has said recently.

We were baking cookies
Mary: "What is this?"
Me: Flour
"And what is this?"
Sugar
"Ohhh, those are my favorite things I ever wanted!"

Finn just stepped on a Lego (mwuahaha)
Me: Finn, that Lego really wrecked you.
Mary: "But it didn't wreck me or daddy!"

Mary putting in work on the potty.
Mary: "That poopy is for mommy."
Oh, you have one for daddy?
"Ok I will do one for you."
All done?
"No, still have one for Finn."
You all done now?
"I fink I still have one for. . . for Harry Potter."

Speaking of Harry Potter. After the London Marathon...
"Did you get your race medal from prince Harry Potter?"

Playing Hide and go seek
Me: where's my cute girl? Where is she hiding?
Mary: "Where's my cute mommy?"

Mary notices a baby sleeping in ergo
"Awe, look at that little baby."
Me: yes, he's sleeping, he must be tired.
"Yes, he's sleeping like when I was little and I sleeped in your backpack"

Miles is wrestling with kids before bed (per Finn's request)
Mary: "Get off of my brotherrr!!" (As she jumps on top of Miles)



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July 22, 2017

London Marathon Recap

Tomorrow marks three months since I ran the London Marathon and I'm just now getting around to writing this - yikes! 

I ran for the charity Tommy's which funds research into stillbirth as well as provides services to families who lose a baby. Originally I was on a wait list to run with them, but was so happy when a slot opened up. I felt a little guilty about soliciting for donations since I've hit up the same generous pool of family and friends a few times, but as always, the people who made donations made me so grateful and humbled and just really proud that I could do something for Cale. Because of them Tommy's received almost £2,500!

The Marathon itself was incredible. There were literally spectators and supporters lining the streets the ENTIRE route. And they were at least three deep on either side. I was able to see Miles, his mom, and Finn around the halfway point (Mary was with Grandpa and I missed them, unfortunately). I wasn't racing this marathon - it was all about the experience and I'm so glad I didn't have a time pressure because the environment was just crazy and worth soaking up and not being stressed over my pace. 

Tommy's had two cheer stations along the course which was nice - to know that you would pass by a group that would be specifically cheering for you. I had put my name on my top and was glad I did, it definitely gives you a boost when you hear someone call your name and give you some encouragement. I saw several other Tommy's runners along the course which was nice too. I didn't expect it to be as emotional at times as it was. Which, in hindsight is silly, I'm a pretty emotional runner as is and this time I was running because of Cale. I guess what surprised me was just the ache I felt - it's like while I was grateful to get to run because of him and raise some money for a good cause, I also just really missed him. I kept thinking how I wished he was with Miles and I'd get to see his little face along the way and what a nice boost that would be for me. I really just felt this overwhelming sense of how much his presence was missed.

I didn't see any royalty though later learned they were out spectating around the mile seven mark and they handed up medals - in fact Princess Kate handed out a medal to a guy I remember running next to AT THE VERY END. He went in a different line (there were several at the finish) and I had stopped to take a picture of the finish line before crossing. I missed my chance to become BFFs with Kate - damn!

Nonetheless the race was amazing. I'm so, so grateful for the chance to have experienced it.






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July 12, 2017

Roman Baths

After the Ireland and Scotland visits, we took a day trip out to Bath in Somerset, England to tour the Roman Baths and walk around the city that I'm now anxious to get back to.  It also makes me want to re-read a lot of Jane Austen novels because of her (and her novels) connection to Bath. A lot of the tours we have gone on have the audio guides and thankfully have versions for kids. Finn enjoys following along, no telling how much he's actually absorbing, but he sure plays the part well.








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July 6, 2017

Trip Recap: Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland

I still have a few more posts to do on our April travels with Miles' parents, and hope to be caught up on all blog posts my the end of this month.

After our time in Northern Ireland we took the ferry to Scotland stopping in Glasgow for just one night. I'm sure there's a lot more to the city than we saw during our brief time there, but we also felt like one night was a good enough time to spend there as it was Edinburgh we were far more enchanted with. While in Glasgow we went to the Glasgow Cathedral which was really incredible. It reminded me so much of what I picture the Cathedral in Pillars of the Earth to be like. 





We also very briefly walked around the downtown area after a nice dinner stopping in front of Glasgow City Chambers for a couple of photos.



The following day we went to a museum in Glasgow that was all things planes, trains, and automobiles. Museums in the UK are free which has been such a perk to living here! Also, random AstroTurf giant chair at entrance:


I thought we were in Edinburgh for two nights, but looking back through pictures I realized it was only one! We managed to squeeze a lot in, but also knew we'd be back the following month for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. We did another city bus tour which is a great way to see a lot in a little amount of time and take a break from all the walking. We hoped off the bus to check out the Edinburgh Castle which is the most massive and impressive castle we have been to yet. Pictures don't really do it justice because of how hard it is to capture each part of the castle, but it was really neat exploring and we easily could have spent more time there.






Castles are exhausting  


After Scotland we drove home. It's about a six hour drive so we stopped in Carlisle, England for lunch and a quick walk outside the Carlisle castle.


We had two nights back home in Oxford with a day trip to Bath (next post) before we headed in to London for the Marathon. 

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