Friday, June 14, 2024

School Photos 2024

 


The boys just got back from school and we got proofs of the school pictures. It made me smile to see they took a sibling pic! We have one more month of school before summer starts here and we are excited to have a break from school. Clay has had a great start to school, he has been going for a couple months now and already picking up a lot of dutch and singing songs in dutch around the house. I look forward to the day when the boys will converse in dutch together. We have had a pretty positive dutch school experience and think we have some bright boys ;)


Clay looking so scared but so handsome. 

Sunday, June 2, 2024

9 years, 9 lives - anniversary


On May 23rd we celebrated 9 years of mawwage! Woah! It has just been one big adventure these years. We celebrated our anniversary with a sushi date and a walk through Amsterdam. . . and some other stuff not mentionable here ;)   Riley wrote me the sweetest letter that he read to me overlooking the canals and I just want to remember it,  so saving it here on the blog to cherish and read again when he is on my last nerve. 

Dear Alyssa, 
9 years of being married together. Wow. Pretty cool when you think about it. So many memories and time and places we’ve been together. Never would have thought if you asked the sun-kissed Hawaii version of me if in 9 years we’d be in Amsterdam with 3 kids after having done 5 years in Tokyo. What a ride. 

As I sit and write this on our 9 year anniversary, the thought about cats having 9 lives keeps coming to mind. Now, stay with me, I don’t like cats too much, but I think there’s something there. They say cats have 9 lives. That’s pretty cool. Cats are resilient and keep coming back. And for us, for me, as I reflect on our 9 years, I’d like to think that they’ve gotten a bit more resilient our selves. That we’ve used some of our lives and have bounced back and will keep on bouncing back. We’ve had our share of tough moments in our marriage these past couple years but I believe it’s been for the better and we’re on a stronger upward trajectory, constantly trying get better even if sometimes it feels like two steps forward, one step back. 

So going into year 9 of marriage, maybe we should be more like cats. Resilient, giving each other another life when we need it. I want a resilient marriage. One that bounces back. One that is committed to unconditional love. I think that’s the path we’re on. 

I’m committed to being more vulnerable and transparent. Letting you in, to the deepest and darkest places because that’s what love. The desire to go into the dark together and have the resiliency to come back up to the light. It’s not always pretty and can be scary but it’s deep and it’s real. And that’s what I think we can be. Willing to go into the dark together with no judgement or shame, knowing the the darker it gets the lighter of light we can experience together. 

I can easily say I love you more today than I did 9 years ago. I feel like our friendship is stronger and more authentic. I trust you, I value your input and opinion and think I’m a much better person because of you. 
So, happy 9 years to my life partner, my travel buddy, my confidant, my friend, my lover, my Alyssa. 

Love, 
Riley



Monday, May 20, 2024

Cornwall- Mevagissey

May 4th- May 5th 2024: Our first stay in Cornwall was a charming little harbour town, Mevagissey. We stayed here for two nights and was our home base for exploring. We loved the vibes with the cute shops lining the streets, the old homes overlooking the water and the boats coming in and out. It felt like the perfect size of small enough to be nice and walkable but big enough that we were glad we had early morning strolls to ourselves. There is just something about a harbor that makes my heart so happy.










A hidden gem of Mevagissey was this secluded beach that was just a 10 minute from town. It was cool to see how the landscape changed from a port-town to a rugged, beautiful green coastline. If we had more time in Mevagissey we both thought it was the perfect spot to spend hours drawing and reading on the beach. 




Couple goals: these two were the only ones on the beach early in the morning. Hard to tell from the picture, but they're probably in their 80's, the guy has a cane even more making it even impressive he was able to make it down the steep steps.  It was pretty cool to see them together walking the beach, stopping and collecting shells and just spending time together out in nature. 













We made it to church! Pretty cool being the areas that Grandpa was in as a missionary. We had a great time at the Redruth ward. Felt like testimony meeting in an old folks home. The average age there was probably 75, it was so neat hearing about the life experiences of the members there. 


Sunday, May 12, 2024

Cotswolds: May 3 & 4 2024

On May 3rd, we woke up in the Cotswolds!  We stayed at this cute little airbnb (pictured below) in Stow on the Wold. We took a short evening flight from Amsterdam and drove 2 hours and arrived at bedtime. The kids had fallen asleep on the drive so we tucked them in and went to bed soon after. It was fun waking up to a whole new place to explore. Stow on the Wold was the perfect spot, it felt really central to the things we wanted to visit in the Cotswolds. We spent the next two days exploring these cute fairytale towns: Bourton-on-the-Water, Broadway, Snowshill, Castle Combe, and Bibury.




10th Century Inn dating back to 947 AD, England’s oldest Inn.

The wisteria flowers were in bloom and are on of my favorites, future house goals. I loved seeing them in so many beautiful houses. 




St. Edward's church was just a five minute walk away from our airbnb. The local legend says J.R.R. Tolkien visited this church and the entrance inspired his Door of Durin in the Lord of the Rings. 






Big fans of the this bakery (and of English breakfast/bakery goods in general). All the boys loved the pasties, sausages and learned what a breakfast bab was. 















One of the highlights with the kids was playing on the playground Snowshill. It was one of our favorite towns and the swingset was too close to these bushes so when I pushed them high enough they touched the top and they loved that and we got a lot of good laughs here. 




Future home goals.



















Clay was scared of the furniture shadows the second night, and we showed him everything was safe and then later that evening I went to check on the boys, and found them like this both asleep. Luke keeping Clay safe, about melted my heart. 



always trying to get off the beaten path lol