I just remembered (yes, I had forgotten) that I had this blog. What was almost a habit to constantly update the blog in Europe has become a lost thing. Forgotten. Unloved. Unnecessary. Whatever is the right word.
When I remembered I had this blog, it was because I am cleaning out some boxes and came across a gift a dear friend in Amsterdam gave me. Arjan took the time to create a small journal filled with entries I had made while I lived in Europe. A beautiful book and a beautiful gesture. It is difficult to properly describe how much I (and also "we" for the family) miss our lives overseas. The cleaner air, the safer streets, the more moderate attitudes as it relates to religion and politics, the gentler spirits, the more delicious and healthier food, the better schools, the better weather, and the list goes on and on and on.
The kids miss their friends and their activities in London. Caden remembers some of Amsterdam, but Keali has very little memories of it. Of course we miss our friends from Amsterdam tremendously. If requested to list my top 10 things of Amsterdam, it would be difficult to narrow down. In no particular order: bikes, friends, Krua Thai, Leidseplein, trams, the Paradiso, Vondelpark, weather, the canals and architecture, the Dutch people as a whole, Schipol, the vicinity to get to other extremely cool places. That's more than 10, and it doesn't stop there. It has been now almost 3 years since we left Amsterdam for London, and I would go back in a heartbeat.
It's been just slightly more than a year since we left London. What we would do to have those schools back! The pub on every corner was a big hit too, as was the amazing food to be found no matter which way you turned. The Brits still have a pretty bad rap for having bad food, but London was more amazing than not and we fed ourselves silly there. The tube and the weather were great, and so was being able to read our mail (a giant change from Amsterdam). We had such fun friends in London, and I will always have fond memories of the last Thanksgiving we had there where we had friends from about 10 different countries. A true melting pot.
It has been almost a year since I updated this blog. Since we have returned from Europe, I have retired. Scott has had incredible success at his job. The kids have maintained their incredible health and happiness. Caden is still our spirited, naughty, wildly smart kid, while Keali is a graceful, kind, loving, intelligent little girl. We have put a pool in our backyard to make the heat more bearable, and we have gone on several family adventures in the States. (Blog fail for not recounting them on here.)
It will be slightly more than a year before we get back to see our friends in Europe. I cannot, absolutely CANNOT, wait to get back over. We are already dreaming of the places we will go and who we will hopefully be able to see. In the mean time, I will do a better job of documenting the kids' activities for their review later. At least I updated before the 1 year deadline... Go, me.