Brown and blue

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A message from Jackson

Hi Everyone!  Today is my 5 month birthday and I wanted to tell you what I am up to all day!

Most days I get to spend the day smiling and laughing at my hilarious mommy and I spend most of my time at night snuggling with my daddy!  As you can tell I love to chew on my hands and spend most of the day drooling away!

Lately, I have been getting these weird mushy things pushed at me and I just am loving to eat them up!  But I would rather feed it to myself!

I tell my mommy lots of stories and mostly she just says agooo or oooooo back at me. I have no idea what she is saying!!! So I just smiled at her.

I spend most of the day rolling back and forth from side to side and playing with my toys on my tummy :)

I also get to spend alot of time with my dog Gracie, she tries to lick me all the time and lay on my blanket!  She seems to get in trouble for that a lot!  I really like her though and I keep trying to grab onto her but she always runs away!

Next week I get to go on my second big airplane ride and see all my friends and family back home.  I am excited but I hope my mom can keep me entertained the whole way back!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Perfect Day

The sunny days in the Netherlands are few and far between, especially on the weekends it seems! But yesterday was the perfect day it was about 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky!  I caught some much needed rays in the backyard while Jackson slept and then we were off for a perfect little date night. (Jackson included)

We went to a nice little steakhouse in Grubbenvorst, we of course didn't have steak because nothing can compare to steak in Iowa. But the food was good and we got to sit out and enjoy the great night! 

Grubbenvorst also has an ice cream shop that has been voted the best in the Netherlands. So of course we had to check it out!  The place was amazing.  Some of the coolest (literally) desserts you have ever seen :)

We stuck to just a basic ice cream in a cup since we were stuffed from dinner. Josh had his usual vanilla- he says this way he can make a good comparison :) or maybe he is just not adventurous?!? My chocolate chip was great while Josh says the vanilla is better here in Asten.

Back at home we went for a nice long walk to enjoy the weather and after putting Jackson to bed had a glass of wine!  Pretty great day if I do say so!! Lets hope for more sunshine in the week to come :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spiders Much?!?

So we live in a somewhat older house that was sitting empty for a year or more so I understand moving in and there are daddy long legs all over the place.  Fine, they still creep me out when I am vaccuuming and see something go running. 

But yesterday sent me over the top.  The Mack Daddy of all spiders was in our house.  I am on the phone and Jackson has just woken up when I see this gigantic spider just hanging out on our curtains!!!!!!! I have to get off the phone, I cant even focus on our conversation!

I put Jackson down and try to find the biggest jar or something to put this guy in because there is no way I am squishing it.  Plus I had to make sure Josh saw it, he wouldn't believe me otherwise! So I climb on my chair and knock the thing into this huge vase and cover it up with a notebook. I do all this with the biggest goosebumps ever! 

I run outside and set it on our table. I am not taking a chance of it getting loose in the house again!  For the rest of the afternoon, I keep an eye on it and every time I look at it I get goosebumps.  I even get them while I am writing this!

I send Josh an email saying you better figure out a way to get rid of these spiders or else... (pretty much)  You see I dream of spiders and in my dreams they are so big they are taking over my room so this really threw me off!! Josh came home with bug spray and got rid of our furry friend.

This morning I get up and am still on edge, 2 times already I thought I saw the spider's brother but it turned out to be nothing.  Overreact?!? I think not!!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Josh had this past week off so we thought what better way to spend it than a trip to Paris! It is only a 4 hour drive from our house in the Netherlands.  So we were off and running after dropping Grace off at the pet hotel.  It's pretty amazing that you can drive through 3 countries in just a few hours.  We made it through the Netherlands, Belgium and basically to Paris without any crying :)

We must have arrived in Paris around rush hour and it really was just madness trying to find our hotel and a parking spot!!! So glad I was not driving!!! After a quick pitstop we were out and about on our first subway ride and on to the open top bus tour. 

The bus tour really was pretty amazing. We got to see the entire city in just a couple of hours.  Unfortunately, Jackson had pretty much had enough. He was super tired and not loving it!! We decided to let the others on the bus tour enjoy it and got off at the Eiffel Tour for a little break. 

Jackson had a serious blow out and was soooo tired.  Of course I forgot his pacifier so this just added to our chaos.   But hey how many people can say I had my diaper changed under the Eiffel Tower :)  we survived and had much needed room service back at our hotel!

Day 2 was much better!!! First we went to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.  Tip for visiting Paris.  Have a stroller!! Baby or no baby, you get to bypass the incredibly long lines and go right to the front :)  The museums were incredible, it is hard to believe how many people are at these places and how old these paintings are.  You could spend days there!

Then we were off to the Orsay Musuem (no pictures allowed here) but we saw paintings from Van Gogh and Monet. After lunch at a little pizzeria we were off to Notre Dame.  Jackson was a huge hit here.  People were taking his picture like crazy, you would have though he was famous.  Apparently they thought he was so cute (but hey who doesn't) still a little weird.  Who knows how many photo albums we will be in around the world!!

After a little break back at the hotel we were off to the wax museum.  We saw a few famous people we recognized like Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Marilyn Monroe, Obama... but other than that they were mostly french people. 

Our last day we got to go up in the Eiffel Tower.  We were headed home right afterwards so we had to make the scary drive that we were dreading but it was much better than our first day and we made it in one piece.  We had a nice lunch of traditional baggettes under the Eiffel Tower and then we were off to ride the elevator!  Jackson just couldn't take all the excitement of spitting up on mom's feet under the tower and seeing all the people walking around, so he just had to fall asleep right before we got on the elevator.  The view was incredible, unlike anything you will ever see.  It's hard to believe how big the city is and just how old all the buildings are!

Then we were off on our 4 hour drive home that turned into 5 1/2 with all the road construction and traffic jams. Jackson didn't cry at all which makes me a little less nervous about our 8 hour plane ride coming up! 

Paris was amazing, and overwhelming!  We had a great time but are glad to be back in peaceful "slow paced" Asten. 

Next trip: HOME SWEET HOME in 19 days!! Can't wait!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Our Top 10s

Top 10 things we miss about home:
1.  Our family and Friends
2.  English!!
3.  Our own bed
4.  Our dishwasher, washing machine, dryer.  Pretty much any appliance you can think of! Everything is slow or doesn't work that great!
5.  The sunshine... we will not complain about it not being 100 degrees but we love to see the sun and not the rain all the time!!
6.  Having 2 cars
7.  Our big comfy couch
8.  Not having to watch out for bicycles
9.  Our "big" backyard.  It's not that big, but bigger than here!
10. Airconditioning- we haven't needed it too much but there have been a few days!!

The Top 10 things we love about the Netherlands:
1.  Traveling
2.  Pannenkoken
3.  Sitting outdoors at the cafe's
4.  Coffee
5.  The once in a life time experience
6.  The challenge of learning a new everything
7.  Walking instead of driving for a change
8.  The healthier lifestyle
9.  The beautiful gardens and flowers everywhere!
10.  All the little things that have make us appreciate everything we have back home!   

Next week Paris!!!