Thursday, January 13, 2022

Chronicles of Clay- almost 2!

I pulled out my camera for the first time this year and snapped some picture of Clay. The sun was out of hiding and shinning through my bedroom, which also happens to be Clay's bedroom these days (his choice, not ours). I feel like my quality time with Clay has increased with Luke being at school these days. He probably took Luke going to school the very hardest and still is a puddle whenever he leaves the house but quickly changes his tune when he realizes he has access and free range to all the toys.

Clay has a bit of a speech development problem and pronounces majority of his C/K like Ts. So his name is "Tay" lately, and everyone has adjusted and also call him Tay! We love our Tay and think he is very toot=cute. He has yet to get a haircut and his curly natural mullet is making its way down his back. He laughs and loves all the potty humor and has become quite fond of cars like his brother and loves balls, even enjoys watching games with Dad.

I have been calling Clay my little "hype man" lately because he always responds with an enthusiastic "YAH!!" for everything we do, like its the best thing ever:
Let's go upstairs. YAH!!
Let's start the laundry. YAH!!
Should we pick up Luke? YAH!
Should he make dinner? YAH!!

Clay and Luke are very opposites in personalities in many ways, but are the best buddies. Clay is very stubborn and set with his ways and particularities.He is slow to backdown or give in and fast to say no or disobey. Clay is very dramatic when things don't go his way, falling face forward to the ground and completely loosing it. He still doesn't sleep though the night well and loves to make sure we are close and water is available all hours. 

Clay loves his pockets, and our pockets, always filling them with toy cars and small objects he finds. He loves his pocket filled with Cheerios or crackers always there are prepared with a snack. When I went out of town last month he went to a friend's house while Riley worked and Clay insisted on having his heavy coat on and would not take off his jacket the entire time there because he wanted his Cheerios pocket close. 

Tay is obsessed with belly's and loves when a little skin is exposed and tickling everyone's tummies calling them "sweet belly." He has mastered "tacking" and can take down Luke and loves to wrestle and run laps with Luke racing the hallways together (sorry neighbors). He runs away at the sound of 'scripture study and prayer', and can't get him to be reverent to save our lives.  We love Tay and all the spice he brings into our home and can't believe he turns TWO in a couple weeks. So grateful Riley has worked from home his ENTIRE LIFE and secretly all hope that never changes. 


Sunday, January 2, 2022



THIS PAST YEAR! WOW! It's been one for the books. I get overwhelmed posting about it because so much has happened and so many great little adventures and blessings this year. 

We started out January 2021 with Riley thick in the job hunt, interviewing and applying and getting rejected and trying to find something new. We very much had grown out of our one bedroom apartment in Tokyo and we were ready to move on. In March, he got offered a job in Amsterdam and we took it. Not his dream job, but our dream place. We've been wanting to go to move to the Nike Europe Headquarters.
We enjoyed our last season of Cherry Blossoms. I'll miss Japan's favorite sport: flower viewing. 

In April we went to Ishigaki, Okinawa and had the best time! The next few months we spent our time loving up Japan and getting as much ramen and sushi in belly as possible. Just really trying to maximize our months as we wait for visas and move. 

In the middle of June we moved to Amsterdam! We lived the next three months in a museum, sorta. 

In July we went to Belgium and Austria. 

In August we went to France, Italy, and Switzerland hiking near Mt. Blac. 

In September, my parents came to Amsterdam and we took a road-trip across Germany and moved into our new home.

In October, we were sick a bunch, but managed to homemake cars for Halloween Party and furnished home. 

In November, Luke started Dutch Primary School full-time, Riley started tennis lessons, and we found out I was pregnant.

In December, we did some more France and Switzerland and Alyssa took a solo trip to US.
Avery and Meg came and we went back to Belgium and loved our few days with them. 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Whitney + Ephraim Weddding

On December 18, 2021 my baby sister got hitched! They got married in the Boise, Temple in the same sealing room I got married in! It was such a special sealing and really great to be there again and meet Ephraim! One of the huge disadvantages to living abroad is the couple days before was the first time I got to meet the guy. He is great and seems perfect for Whitney. We love the fact he is from Alaska and Riley loves that he is a baller. They both are the same level in school and both recently got accepted to the Nursing Program and doing that together. They are so cute and fun loving. This trip to Boise was a solo trip and spent almost an entire week in Boise without kids! It was great. The highlights of week (besides the wedding) was just the quality time and chats with my Nana and sharing a bed with Whitney every-night before and chatting for hours. A funny story my first or second night I guess i KISSED Whitney in my sleep!!! I guess I kissed her on the head and cheek  maybe thinking it was my kid or Riley, she thought I was prepping her for sharing a bed with Ephraim haha (but I had no idea I even did it)!

So, flying without kids was REALLY great! On the way there my travel day was 26 hours door to door! SO LONG. We had a medical emergency aboard and made an emergency landing in iceland for a few hours and then layovers due to weather in Seattle so made for a long day. Also in Seattle during security my name for flagged for a fugitive and they took me in for questioning (asking if I was male or black before...).  Very grateful I didn't have the kids with me that day especially. But I missed them and Riley was such an Allstar with them all week and was a great reunion to be back just a couple days before Christmas!  

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Bike ride to Muiderslot


12/11/2021- There's some random Saturday activities that end up massively exceeding expectations and biking out to Muiderslot castle was definitely one of them. Riley had seen it on a map for a while but we had not gone out to it until this day. The bike was just about an hour and turned out to be such a fun ride. We were very lucky had a really nice sunny day which made the ride even better. The first part was through the city and then through Flevopark until the last half was on a bike path through the country and herds of sheep. The castle sat in a really pretty, quaint little town which made it even more magical. Luke was excited there was ice skating and Clay was happy there was hot chocolate. We then walked around in the castle which was really cool and interesting to see and not very crowded. We all had a great time except for when Luke saw the taxidermy bear rug on the floor and was horrified that they caught the bear and 'smushed' it. He luckily calmed down after a while and finished off the great outing with some pizza at out favorite 'Cafe Milo'. 

I spy us on bakfiets 

this picture really doesn't do it justice. The sky and water just merged together all in one and was so surreal.