Brown and blue

Thursday, November 21, 2013

2 month old Zach

Hard to believe it has already been 10 weeks since Zach has been born.  Time always moves so fast especially around the holidays it seems.  So here is a little update since I didn't do one for his one month.  I figure at one month all he did was sleep anyways.

At 2 months, it's not a whole lot different.  Zach still sleep a lot!  He is doing pretty well at night going from about 7:30 pm to about 3 without waking up to eat. Then he is right back to sleep until 5 to eat back to sleep again until 6 or today 7!! Want to bet I'll be up every hour tonight since I was bragging about him sleeping well??? Probably!

Zach is a snuggly little man, he loves being held right up close and tight.  He has started smiling lots and "talking" in his little coos and sometimes I swear he is saying "hi" back to me.  He has really started to be aware of his feet and loves if he is kicking something that makes noise.  He does pretty well on his tummy and will sometimes just fall asleep instead of trying to lift that heavy head!

I think the rest of us have done a pretty good job adjusting to having an new family member.  Jackson loves his brother and tries to help give him a pacifier and shush him when he cries.  He is always talking in a sweet voice to him and loves when "his eyes are open".  Jackson has also taken to "nursing" his baby and thinks he would like to nurse himself which is an interesting concept to get across that he gets to eat real food not milk from mommy.  He will be embarrassed some day :)

Until next month (well only 2 more weeks until he is 3 months old)

My Grandpa

Mother's Day 2013
Hard to believe it's almost been 6 months since we lost my grandpa.  It feels like yesterday and for some reason tonight I just can't get him off my mind.

To the man that said I sure hope I make it until September to meet our new baby boy.  Unfortunately, he didn't get to meet him here but I know he is looking down on us and our sweet baby Zachary Lyle.  Lyle named after him. 

To the man who never owned a computer and never sent an email. Instead he chose to handwrite letters to keep in touch. What a great surprise during the two years we lived in the Netherlands to find a real letter in the mailbox. 

To the man who loved to tell a story and share with you the hardships and great joys in his life by writing a column for a newspaper for nearly 20 years.  In the first article he wrote I am doing this so my great grandchildren will have something to remember me by.  I'm so thankful he did and I'm so happy we have both of the books he had published to share with our children some day. 

To the man the had the best giggle around, I can still hear it and smile.

To the man that could put down a one pound Hershey's bar like it was his job. 

To one of the sweetest men around, we sure do miss you.

Until we meet again.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Introducing Zachary Lyle Fausch

As always its been way too long since my last post but at least I can say we really have been busy!  But I'm back and happy to introduce you all to Zachary Lyle Fausch.  Zach was born on September 12, 2013 at 10:03p.m.  He was 6 lb 12 oz and 20 inches long. 

Zach was born 11 days early and I am pretty positive it is because I got the stomach flu.  It all started with Jackson getting the flu and I thought I was in the clear, it had been 7 days.  I was wrong.  It hit me really hard and I was sick for an entire day when I started having contractions.  Josh's parents took Jackson in the morning just to give me some time to rest.  Although that's hard to do when you're running to the bathroom all day long!  The contractions continued throughout the day but weren't getting stronger or closer together so we just stayed home and I tried to rest as much as I could. 

Finally around dinner time, I decided I had to get something to eat and Jackson needed to eat too.  Josh was supposed to be at a group meeting for his class.  Jackson and I head out to Panera, at this point my contractions seem to be getting stronger but are still around 10 minutes apart.  We get to Panera so I can get some chicken noodle soup to go when all of a sudden the contractions start coming every few minutes.  The girl in front of me can't decide what she wants to order and is taking FOREVER to place her order.  It's finally my turn and I tell them what I need and I'm trying not to double over or be sick in Panera! We finally get our food, the longest I've ever waited for soup I swear!  Then we make a pit stop at McDonald's so Jackson has something to eat too. 

When we get home of course the soup tastes horrible and now all of a sudden the contractions are at 2 minutes apart.  I sent Josh a message to come home and Josh's mom to come and pick up Jackson. I pack up the rest of our hospital bag and about 30 minutes later we are on our way to the hospital. 

At the hospital they tell me I'm still at 2 cm, the same as my doctor appointment the day before so they are maybe going to send me home.  When she is checking she notices a lot of fluid, and asks how long that has been happening.  I tell her I have no idea, I have been so sick I can hardly control my body.  They run a test an indeed my water has broken.  They are concerned that I don't know when it first happened because they don't want the baby in there if it has been more than 24 hours.

In comes the doctor and the nurse with the Pitocin to speed up my labor.  Next comes the anesthesiologist with the epidural.  The epidural only takes on my right side so I can feel everything on the left.  Really a strange feeling!  So for the next 2 hours I'm laying on my left side trying to get the epidural to "flow" to the left.  I have to keep calling in the nurse because there is so much pressure, then I call her because I feel like I have to push. 

The next thing she tells me is the doctor is still in the operating room finishing a C-Section.  So I need to wait and not to push.  Really?!?! I have heard people say this has happened to them but seriously is that really something you should tell a person that has another person about to come out of them? I don't think so!  Fortunately it was only a few minutes and the doctor comes running in.  I push 2 times and then Zach came into this world.  3 1/2 hours after we got to the hospital.  Not too bad, though I wouldn't say that at the time!

Zach had a little problem getting enough oxygen right at first and was turning a slightly purple/blue so they took him to the nursery for some oxygen.  He was fine after about 30 minutes and we finally got to be together at about midnight. 

Funny thing the entire time I was in real labor I was not sick, but from then on I continued to be sick for 2 more days.  It was miserable but luckily I had a sweet new distraction to keep my mind off of it! 

Jackson came to meet his new brother and was so excited, he kept saying, "I hold him" so we let him hold him and he immediately said, "Jackson, no hold him!".  He is still in love with him and so sweet.  He wants to hold his hands and give him a pacifier.  He isn't really excited about holding him yet which I'm pretty happy about :) Zach sleeps a ton but is a grunter!  We moved him to his own room already because he makes so much noise while he sleeps, we're all doing really well, sleep deprived but happy! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Lake

If you asked Josh what was the thing missed most while being gone for two years (besides family) it was definitely the lake!  We have been trying to make up for it as much as possible this summer and I would say we've been doing a fairly good job!  It's such a great get away for us and a perfect place to forget about the "real" world and just enjoy some peace and quiet.  It helps because you hardly get cell phone reception there :)

We spent the week of the 4th there and really had a great time. There's no better place to be than at the lake when it's 90 degrees outside!! Josh got do some seriously overdue wakeboarding, he and Jackson fished, Josh and I each read a book (that never happens).  Josh's parents were there most of the time as well and we all relaxed and floated around and played in the water for 8 days in a row.  If you ask Jackson that was still not enough.  He cried when we left and he has been asking to go back to the lake ever since.

Here are some pictures of the lake so far this summer:

The cabin

Riding in the paddle boat with Grandma and Grandpa

Floating in the water

The boat

Playing with Grandma

Jackson loves this turtle

On the tube with Grandma and Grandpa

Love this face, going on the boat for fireworks

This is exactly how he feels about the lake :)

view from the house

checking out the water

Jackson and his cousin Charlie on the boat

Nice fish!

Josh and Jackson on the paddle boat

admiring the water

Jackson and his friend Alex fishing

We're having a...

Well it's been a while since we have found out but it has been even longer since I have last posted.  We found out about 8 weeks ago that we are having ANOTHER boy!! We are super excited and are so happy that Jackson will have a little brother so close in age!  We're busy working on names, don't ask because we wont tell ya ;)
It's a BOY!

I'm having a...
It may not look like it in the picture but, I think Jackson is getting excited to have a baby around.  He is being so sweet and wants to feel the baby kick and even gave the baby a kiss tonight.  He got to come along to the doctor and hear the heart beat, I think that was intriguing to him. 

We're keeping the nursery the same, since it wasn't even used for Jackson and Jackson has graduated to a big boy bed, which he loves by the way!  We have it decked out in Iowa State stuff and he just loves his new bed and snuggling before bed.  Such a sweet boy!!

With only 11 weeks left, we are getting super excited to meet this little one!  Everything has been going really well, if it's possible this baby feels more active than Jackson was, I have been feeling great and getting good reports at the doctor!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What have we been up to?

At first when moving back I thought it might be a little boring. No more weekend trips to a new country, most of our friends work and we weren't used to even having a kid in America.  Well let me tell you it has been anything but boring. 

We have easily found friends that stay home which keep us busy most days of the week!  It has been great and makes my heart hurt a little less because Jackson now has great friends back here in the states not just in the Netherlands. 

All that worry about not traveling was for nothing let me tell you!! While it isn't traveling to new countries we have been in 3 different states in the last 2 1/2 months while we have been home and have traveled nearly 2,500 miles.  I'm ready for NO MORE travel for a little while. 

It has been so great catching up with friends at weddings in Missouri, meeting our new niece in northern Iowa and meeting our new nephew in Minnesota and celebrating his baptism.  We have seriously been living life in the fast lane!

Jackson and his cousin Ryah
Baby Wyatt's baptism
Josh has started up his classes for his MBA again, he only has 3 left.  So that keeps him incredibly busy and we're trying to stay out of his hair while he has class and homework to get done!! Jackson and I have been loving the weather and have been outside every day (until the snow today in May :( )

I'm just a little over 19 weeks along now and can feel this little baby kicking all the time!  It is such a great feeling!  In just two weeks we will find out if we're having a boy or a girl.  I can't wait for that!!  Then we can take on the next project of moving rooms or decorating a new nursery if it's a girl!! We will be sure to keep you all updated!!

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jackson turns 2

It's so unbelievable to me that Jackson is already two years old.  It just feels like yesterday he was born and we were figuring out how we were going to pack up and move to the Netherlands. Now that 22 month journey is over were back to Jackson's first home!

Jackson is in love with his house and can't get enough of all of his Nana's and Papa's.  He loves having his neighbor friends over, it's been so nice to have them straight across the street, we don't have to even get in the car!! So most of our days are filled with play dates and it's been great to catch back up with our friends!

Jackson is still talking up a storm and will pretty much say any word you ask him to.  So fair warning if you're around us, watch what you say :) We haven't learned the hard way yet!  One funny thing he says when he sees a person in a store, he repeats pointing and saying, guy, guy, guy doing over and over!  It's pretty embarrassing sometimes but he is just so curious!!

Jackson still loves tractors, probably more than ever!  He loves chasing Grace around and playing outside.  Now that it is getting warm out we have been outside as much as possible, riding in his wagon, walking with his balance bike, riding his new hot wheels trike.

Jackson is still growing like a weed, we had his 2 year check up and he is 35.5 inches tall!  He is over half as tall as me!  Crazy!! He weighed 26.4 lbs which is the 12th percentile so we're moving up from the 5th, so I'm trying not to worry too much if he doesn't eat perfectly every day!

We had a big party to make up for being away from everyone for his first birthday and I think Jackson had the best day!  He was so happy the entire day. He loved everything from to the balloons to the cake, of course the presents and having all his favorite people in one place at one time.

Almost our entire family was able to make it and a lot of our friends too!  There were a lot of people and I thought it would be overwhelming for him, but he was super happy with everything. He just got a little tired of opening his presents, he wanted to PLAY with all those toys he was getting! A big thanks to everyone that helped us celebrate our little mans big day!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ik Ben Zwanger!! Don't understand?!?! See translation below!

Josh and I are super excited to tell everyone that we're are expecting another baby this September!   My due date is September 23 which means I will be 14 weeks on Monday.

Zwanger... Pregnant
I have been feeling great! Only 2 days of feeling a little sick. As long as I don't wait too long to eat I am just fine!  Of course a little sleepy, I have been taking a nap every day when Jackson does.

Jackson sort of understands there is a baby in mommy's tummy and he was able to go to our first ultrasound with us. He got really quiet when we heard the heart beat and was trying to figure out what was going on.  We think Jackson will be really excited to be a big brother. He loves all things baby and I’m sure he will be very “helpful” when that time comes! 

Can you dig it? I'm going to be a big Brother!
9 week ultrasound
Yes, we knew we were expecting before we left the Netherlands but it was just too soon to tell everyone.  We would have loved to everyone in person but it just wasn't the right time for us. 
I think with Jackson we had our big ultrasound early, but they told us at our appointment this week it won't be until we hit 20 weeks. :( I'm sure you all know how patient I am!
It seems that everyone was on to us and was expecting us to announce we were pregnant right away when we got home. So sorry if we "fibbed" to you and told you no!  We just wanted to make sure it was all ok before we told!  The second time around I am showing alot earlier so there really isn't an easy way to hide it any more! 

12 weeks

There seems there is a baby boom wherever we are :) we know so many people in the Netherlands that are expecting, I'm the 4th in our neighborhood, my brother just had a baby on March 21, and Josh's brother and wife are expecting in April.  Our family is growing and we're so excited!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Things I didn't realized I missed about home

1. Free water at restaurants that keeps on coming if you run out!
2. Waiters checking on you at your table without having to flag them down.
3.  Being able to see the stop light when you stop the designated line.
4.  Having the option to shop or do anything I want on Sundays. Not that I'm doing anything.
5. Calling up a neighbor when you're out of something while you're making dinner for the night.
6. Our big comfy couch
7.  All the options for EVERYTHING at the grocery store. This is both good and bad
8. Being able to read what it is I'm buying
9. My GIANT refrigerator
10. How fast and big the washer and dryer are.

Not everything is better in the U.S. though:
1. The bread
2.  Being able to understand everyone and their annoying conversations that they should have in private, not on the phones in airports.
3. The fruit in the winter time

I'm sure the list will continue to grow but these are just a few funny things I have noticed this week alone!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Our trip home

Our trip home started out a little shaky but only got better as the 13 plus hours went on.  We had rented a van to carry our 4 suitcases 3 carry ons, 1 dog cage, the stroller, the car seat and the 3 of us. We wouldn't have fit in anything else.  What the rental company gave us was what they call a "bus" in the Netherlands. It was great we fit no problem. We could've had at least 5 other people in there with us!  What wasn't so great was no one told us it wouldn't fit in the parking ramp at the airport!

Lucky for me, Josh dropped Jackson and I off at the departures gate with 2 suitcases and the stroller. This alone was a ridiculous feat. I was pushing those silly aiport carts ( you know the ones you have to hold down the bar in order for it to go) and the stroller.  I'm sure you can see it now, the stroller went one way and the cart went the other!! I had to run Jackson across the road, leave the luggage and then run back to it.  Some nice lady helped me get into the airport from there.  Thank goodness!!!

Josh had it WAY worse!! He was returning the rental van or bus I should say and got to the parking ramp and it was too tall to go in. Josh parked on the road and had to run in and find someone to help him.  Of course they had no idea what to do, they NEVER get this type of car here.  Why would the rental company give it to us to return at the airport we will never know! It only gets worse, after arguing discussing with them about what to do with it Josh finally left it with them.  Now he has to get another cart to put the remaining suitcases, carry ons, and the poor dog Grace!  Let's just say it was a horrible mile long walk into the airport. After about an hour he shows up and I just gasp.  He looks so worked up his face is almost purple!  Poor guy!!

Next it's time to check in.  We're the people in the aiport you feel sorry for so a woman with KLM helps us to the front of the line to get us checked in.  The story doesn't get better here. We're traveling with Delta but it's operated by KLM out of Amsterdam. I'm not sure if this was the problem or what. They look at Grace's pet passport and say, I'm sorry but the U.S. will not accept your dog because she hasn't had her rabbies vaccination within 30 days. WHAT??? Wrong!  I have done hours of research on this and she had it completely backwards. The U.S. requires the vaccination be done longer than 30 days before travel so it has time to take effect. Finally, Josh just says you're taking the dog.  She said ok, but it's your liability then. It turns out we were correct and had no problems get Grace through customs.

Now it's on to security for us. In Amsterdam it is a little different. They have security at each gate.  We get through just in time to board the plane. Where a lady kindly tells us they will not allow us to take out car seat on to the plane. It is against Delta's policy. WRONG again!! We know for sure you can take carseats on the plane. We made her call some one else and they let us on with the carseat. Just one thought came to both of our minds. "Typical Dutch!"  That sounds terrible but Dutch people love to argue with you and think they're always right.  Not so true!!

From then on it was smooth sailing for us!  We made it to Minneapolis with no problems. Jackson slept 3 1/2 hours on the flight and was happy the rest of the time. We even saw Paul Rhoads in the airport. (ISU's football coach, for those of you who don't know). The short flight back to Des Moines wasn't so great but it was only 45 minutes so we survived.

It never felt so good to be home and we saw our family waiting for us at the airport, although we were already sweaty and arms trembling from carrying Jackson, the car seat and all 3 carry ons. Over all a really great trip home and Iowa has welcomed us with freezing cold temperatures and about 6 inches of snow today. 

I'm not sure we will be setting foot on an airplane anytime soon although Mexico is sounding pretty great right now!

Friday, February 8, 2013

One week to go!

With one week left to go I find myself remembering how I felt when I found out we would be leaving home for 2 years, after just finding out we were having a baby. I put on my big girl pants, said I was ok leaving our families, friends, free babysitters, support system, and off we went!  What was I thinking, haha!! I'm sure that's what our parents were thinking!

Moving to the Netherlands was both one of the most amazing things I have ever done and at the very same time one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I was always pretty much a home body and never really planned to move out of Iowa.  I'm glad we felt like this was something we could not turn down and we took ourselves out of our comfort zone.

I was hard at first but we soon fell into routine and it became our new normal.  I am little overwhelmed to think about places, like Wal Mart, Costco, fast food everywhere and an entire aisle of cereal to choose from.  America never sleeps and the Dutch sleep A LOT!  It will be a big adjustment coming home!

I have always loved to travel but hadn't really had much chance to get to Europe, other than a short highschool trip to Spain. So we have really taken advantage of being here and I sometimes joke we have now been to more countries than states.  I'm not exactly sure on the tally but it is probably pretty close.  We were lucky enough to go to France, Spain, Germany, England, Italy, Belgium, a tiny bit of Austria, and of course all over in the Netherlands.  That in itself was a perfect reason to come live here for a short while!

We have also met some of the nicest people while living here. Pretty much everyone is in the exact same situation, so they understand the difficulties of living abroad. Things like no shopping on Sundays, no easy mac or cheerios or any easy kid food, crazy drivers, crazy rainy weather, no sun, stubborn Dutch personalities, I'm sure my list could go on and on. It has been so great to get to know so many people from all over the world. It has opened my eyes to so many new things and I'm so greatful for that! 

I never thought I would be sad to leave, but I am a little bit.  This has been the best time for us to spend just with Jackson. He met his first best friend here, took his first steps here, said his first words here and so many other firsts. We may have had some rough patches here, but mostly we will have nothing but fond memories to think back on.

Thank you to everyone that has helped us out while we have been away, helped us learn our way around a new country, come to visit us, had play dates with us, and been great friends to us here!  We will miss you all and can't wait until we will meet again! 


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sorry, I can't keep my mouth shut any more!

So I don't generally write on this blog to share my beliefs about anything but I am really upset.
This is something that is really close to my heart not because we personally have been affected by childhood cancer, (and I pray we never are) but because I have a child. I can imagine it would hit pretty close to every parent's heart. 

Right now there is a petition to the president to turn the white house gold for the month of September. This is to raise awareness about childhood cancer. You have to have 25,000 signatures in one month in order for the white house to even look at the petition. It seems like a lot of signatures, but I just read that all petitions going forward will have to have 100,000 signatures to be viewed. Right now they are at just under 14,000 signatures. There are still so many more to go before February 6.

Do you want to know the part that really makes me mad? A star wars petition raised enough signatures to make it to the white house, but this petition is having a hard time getting enough signatures. I signed this petition and it took less than 5 minutes. 

Maya Thompson is the creator of this petition and I have been following her blog for a while about a sweet boy who lost his life to cancer just before his 4th birthday.Here's his story.   His mother promised him she would make a difference in the world of cancer. She is doing amazing things to raise money to fund a neuroblastoma center. She has been on the Katie Couric show, Taylor Swift co-wrote a song about her and her son, Ronan, and she is doing everything in her power to make a change in the cancer world for children.  Here is their website:

Maya's son, Ronan

Here are some pretty crazy facts that made me want to sign immediately:

Childhood Cancer Facts
  • There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
  • The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.
  • The American Cancer spends less than 70 cents of each 100 dollars raised on childhood cancer.
  • Cancer kills more children than any other disease, more than Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Pediatric AIDS combined.
  • Sadly, over 2,300 children with cancer die each year.
  • Every school day 46 children are diagnosed.
  • 1 in 330 children will have the disease by age 20.
  • Cancers in very young children are highly aggressive and behave unlike malignant diseases at other times in life.
  • 80% of children have metastasized cancer at the time of their diagnosis. At diagnosis, only 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that the disease has spread or metastasized.
  • Detecting childhood cancers at an early stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, is extremely difficult.
  • Cancer symptoms in children – fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and infection – are often suspected to be, and at the early stages are treated as, other childhood illnesses.
  • Even with insurance coverage, a family will have out-of pocket expenses of about $40,000 per year, not including travel.
  • Treatment can continue for several years, depending on the type of cancer and the type of therapy given.
Recently I saw an article on the Today show website, they were saying deaths from cancer are going down!! What great news, men are dying less from cancer, women are dying less from cancer, but you know the one group that went up, children. How sad!!!

If each of us signed and passed the word on to only a few people we could make all the difference in the world. In case you want to sign here is the link:

On a lighter note, only 25 more days until we move back to the good ole' U.S.A! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great new year and you're all sticking to your resolutions. I never got around to making any, but I suppose it isn't too late!!

This year we stayed in the Netherlands for New Years, we had been told by many people it is so amazing and you will love it!  Well they were right!  I loved it!!  There is only one time of year where it is legal to shoot off fireworks here and that is for New Years eve.  People get so excited there are bottle rockets going off every night leading up to the new year. 

We went over to our friends Jessica and Keith's house for the night.  We had a little dinner and then took the boys outside to see some fireworks.  Because of course it was so early they were few and far between but they boys loved searching for them, and as soon as they would see one they would ask for "more, more!" 

We put the boys to bed and played some games on the Ipad, (who knew you don't even need board games any more :) ) The closer it got to midnight the louder and louder it got around town.  You could just feel the excitement of everyone ready to celebrate and start a new year! 

There was no ball to watch drop on the TV but a fun celebration in Amsterdam was there instead with singing and dancing!  And when the new year rang in, the fireworks went nuts! We all headed outside with our champagne and watched (in the rain) as they lit up the sky!  Every where you looked, it felt like the finale of the 4th of July fireworks.  It was really unbelievable!

They continued on for another couple of hours but we didn't mind, they boys were sleeping peacefully through the loud booms and shaking house and we were just enjoying the company!! It was a new years I won't forget and to top it off the boys slept in super late the next morning :)

Happy New Years Everyone!

Fausch Family Christmas Staycation

Josh is lucky enough to always have a the week between Christmas and New Years off and this year it worked out he had 11 days off in a row.  I'm not sure the last time that has ever happened! We really traveled a lot this year (not complaining at all) so we decided we would stay home and do some fun things that are close to us. We only have a short time left here, meaning 38 days as of today(not that I'm counting), and we wanted to take advantage of all the fun kid things there are to do.

We went to the Spoorwegmuseum, for those of you who don't speak dutch, that is the train museum.  It was really great.  Tons of trains for Jackson to climb up on, and the museum was really open and of course kid friendly.  Jackson doesn't actually know who Thomas the Train is yet, but he still loves him.  I'm not sure what 2-3 year old boy doesn't!  So he rode on a little Thomas, we rode the carousel (a couple of times), we watched the people skating on the indoor skating rink, listened to Christmas carollers and we had a tasty little lunch with a fried apple with vanilla sauce for a snack!  Jackson really had a blast there and we felt right at home having Christmas music playing around us the whole time.  We really recommend it for all our Dutch friends :)

A couple of the days we went to indoor playgrounds, these are necessary unique to the Netherlands but we really don't have many around where we live.  Maybe Chuck E Cheese but I don't know if people even go there anymore... We have been to the indoor playgrounds before and Jackson always has a blast!  He gets to be the crazy man he is without me always running after him saying careful, don't jump on that etc, etc.

Jackson and I had already been to the indoor water park here in Eindhoven but he loves it so much we thought we should go with Josh too!  My boys both have a love for water!  Jackson kept wanting to go deeper and deeper!  I tell you, he has no fear!  We played in the wave pool, he went down some slides, jumped off the edges and played for hours in the kiddie pool.  What a way to wear him out :)

The rest of the days we spent at home having some quality family time.  It was so great to be able to spend these days together.  It is not often when you don't have somewhere to be or errands to run.  We really enjoyed our time together! 

We'll be home for Christmas.... Next Year!

Josh and I were really nervous and sad to be away from our families for Christmas.  It was the first (and hopefully last) time in either of our lives that we have not been able to be home.  Every day leading up to Christmas we were both feeling sorry for ourselves.  We kept saying, "well we could just fly home, but do we really want to do that? We'll be home just 6 weeks later!" A lot of our friends here were going back to the States which didn't make it any easier.  If ever there is a time to feel homesick, it is around the holidays!

When Christmas finally rolled around we ended up having such a great day.  We got to Skype with almost every single person in our family which was so nice.  We got to see everyone without ever leaving our family room.  I have always said when I had kids I want them to spend their Christmas morning at home!  Well I got my wish :)

We really had a great day, we opened 1 present each on Christmas Eve, pajamas for everyone, and then spent a majority of the day opening gifts on Christmas day.  We took our time and enjoyed ourselves, for once not having to worry about rushing of to the next thing.  We had a great time and Jackson was so excited for each of his gifts. 

Not many of us celebrate Boxing Day, most of us have seen it on our calendar, but never even know what it is.  Well it is the day after Christmas and long story short, back in the day it was a time for the servants of the wealthy people to celebrate Christmas because of course they were needed to help serve the wealthy families during the actual holiday.  They were generally sent home with a "Box" of goodies, or leftovers to take to their families. Many countries celebrate it and have an additional day off of work to be home with their families. So this year we got to celebrate boxing day with some friends this year which was great!  To the families we were with it is tradition to have your leftovers on boxing day.  Doesn't sound so great? It was!  It was quite the little feast we had!  Ham, and turkey and sausages, potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts, and the list goes on and on finally to end with Christmas Fruit cake.  Not the discusting US fruit cake but home made english fruit cake and home made ice cream!  mmmm!  Yum it was like the Thanksgiving we didn't get to have this year!

So all in all, it turned out to be not so bad, however I'm so happy we will be home for the Holidays next year!