I haven’t written in a really (really) long time. So long that I had to google how to get into the dashboard of the blog. And then I had to troubleshoot my very own password. And if I can be completely candid, the lack of updates isn’t because I’ve been busy. I mean, I have been busy, certainly never a dull moment, but being busy has never stopped me from blogging in the past.
I just needed a break I guess. Time to process and reflect the move on my own terms.
But well, here we are in Belgium, which is really far away from Indiana I’m realizing. And I know you’re dying to find out how the past three months have been for our family, right?
Well, they’ve been great in a “this will make us stronger, we’ll look back at this and laugh someday, mama said there’d be days like this” sort of way.
We’re together, we’re healthy (although Gage is home from school sick with a mild fever today), and we’re doing our best each and every day to create a new normal – which is finally starting to happen slowly and surely. We’re finding our way doing normal everyday stuff like dentist appointments, soccer practices, pet sitting the neighbor’s dog and spending an inordinate amount of time translating food labels from French (or Dutch, or German) to English.
I want to share a thousand beautiful moments we’ve spent here already, and maybe tell of a few hard and challenging times as well. Good thing I have a blog and know (finally, again) how to use it.
Hopefully someday soon these stories will start to trickle out onto the blog, but for now here’s a few moments from the highlight reel (also known as my Instagram feed):
1. Taking the kids downtown Brussels to see the bi-annual Flower Carpet installed in the Grand Place. It’s a beautiful sight to behold, and I’m glad we caught it in all it’s botanical glory.
2. Finally starting school, which proved to be the first step to creating a much needed routine! Piper, Nola and even Gage started school at the end of August, and it was just what we all needed after the most hectic summer of our lives. One of the main selling points of the house we found was it’s proximity to campus. We’re walkers, which makes me very happy (except when it’s raining, which happens far too much) not to have to get in the car twice a day for pick-up and drop-off.
3. Our first visitor arrives! In somewhat of an awesome whim, my youngest sister Betsy decided to visit towards the end of August. We packed in a ton of sightseeing, beer drinking and chocolate eating into her stay, including weekend trips to Amsterdam and Paris.
1. Paris, oh Paris. Michael and I both said before we even moved here that our first stop would be to show the kids Paris and of course the Eiffel Tower. Needless to say when we finally made it, Paris did not disappoint.
2. Our second visitor arrives, Nana! Over the kids fall break, Michael’s mom braved her first ever transcontinental (and alone too!) flight to spend a few weeks hanging out with us. We stayed extremely busy, with quick trips to Ghent, Bruge, Knokke (all in Belgium), Paris and Amsterdam.
3. Finding that perfect breakfast coffee shop in town. Europeans LOVE their coffee and pastries, and while Nana was here we shopped around, trying out a few cafes.
1. The Sunday morning routine. Many friends and family have asked if we’ve found a church to attend here in Brussels. The short and uncomplicated answer? Nope, not yet. So while we sort through that situation, we’re enjoying a Sunday routine that includes visiting our town’s weekly farmers market and flea market.
2. Celebrating. A hard parts of moving here is knowing not all the holidays we celebrate back in the USA are celebrated here in Europe. Thankfully, even though Halloween isn’t a Belgian holiday, our neighborhood hosted a trick-or-treat night on October 23rd, the night before fall break started.
3. Opening up our home. It’s no secret that while I’m not the best in the kitchen, I absolutely love cooking for others and having a full table of friends and family brings me great joy. Admittedly, meeting people and making friends has been very slow going (speaking for my introverted self, the kids are doing great and very social). But last week we had our first ever guests over for dinner.
Ok, so now that I’ve given a small update as to what we’ve been doing and got that awkward “oh hey I haven’t blogged in three months but made a major life change” post out of the way, I’m opening it up to you guys. Anything you’re dying to know about our life here?
Don’t make me follow this post up with an embarrassing story about me learning how to drive around here – I have too many (with varying degrees of public and private humiliation) to pick from.