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!