Day One Desynchronosis 


Lake awoke crying about 45 minutes after he’d went to bed, so I settled him down and he joined us for the remainder of the night.


So much for bringing his crib sheet from home so his bed felt more familiar 😜 My sleep was restless until around 2, when Lake then awoke, ate a big bottle and didn’t want to go back to sleep 🤪

Mike took him to the play room for a while and then Inge took a turn because she said she was awake anyways. Eventually he began to seem drowsy again, so they tried to lay him down, but that was a no go 😅 So we took him bed once more, where he flip flopped around, watched some Luca, crawled all over us and then finally settled enough to be slowly rocked back to sleep around 5.


We all slept in until 10:30 and could have kept sleeping, but figured if we wanted to attempt to get into the rhythm of the days ahead, we’d better not. It was just us three for  the morning, as John and Inge had left that morning to attend a weekend church camp being held nearby.

We figured we’d see how the night/morning went and go from there if we’d join them at all or not.


Mike made us coffee and sugar bread toast for brunch and by the time we ate, tided, cleaned up the room from the night before and got the diaper bag restocked etc.etc. It was time for Lake’s first nap of the day, which he took easily, in his crib.

We had to wake him up in order to go to the camp, which was around 25 minutes away.

He sat calmly and lazily in his car seat (not something he’s really done for any amount of time before🤪) for more than half of the drive, looking up at the trees through the sunroof. Here they let babies sit front facing from 9 months old, so he’s been enjoying the views I think 😉

We shall see how much he likes being faced back again, once we go home 🥴🙈

We arrived, and the meet and greet began 🤪

It was a lot of family/extended family, so it was nice to be able to see them there for a moment even,  in case we didn’t get a chance later on. 
Lake did so well with meeting everyone and being squished and squeezed and  handed around, not playing strange or getting upset at all, so that was relieving 😅 
So many remark that, ‘he is so soft?!’… I thought all babies were but it’s seeming like perhaps that isn’t actually the case? 😜

He got to meet both sets of great opa’s and oma’s and sat for a ‘four generations’ photo with his great opa Hagenouw, opa John and daddy 🙂


We went to a cabin the family was renting for the weekend and used that opportunity to change him out of his wet clothes and give him a snack. The rained on grass having been too much of a crawling temptation 🤪

The coffee table was spread with tea and coffee, cake, cookies and sweet treats. The most classic of Dutch spreads 😉


I truly still do not understand how they stay so slight of stature here 😅 Bread in the morning, the afternoon and the in-betweens, as well as some warm drinks and sweets sprinkled in and possibly some cakes/tarts depending on where you are 🤪


We visited there for a while as the rain came down outside and then Lisanne took Lake to the nearby park before the church service began. Mike wanted to stay for the songs at least but midway through, Lake had more than enough so we tried to quietly exit and head back to the house.

Lake fell asleep on my shoulder a few steps out of the church, which I don’t think has ever happened during this first year of his life 😅


He’s always been too easily distracted to relax enough to sleep out in the open, since he passed 5 months or so. 
The poor little guy was very done with the big day, but he did very well despite the lack of naps and all of the new faces 💗

He awoke at 1:30 am and played calmly for a couple of hours before I got him back to sleep for the duration…


 * I ask that you do your best to ignore any spelling mistakes, as on my iPad the set up is different and I can’t find an easy way to do a spelling / grammar check. Thank you for your understanding 🤪

People-y Paragraphs

Disclaimer: The following observations are things I noticed during my time living in Holland.
They are in no way about certain people and the opinions stated are just that, my opinion.
I don’t mean to portray anything as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ difference, simply ‘different’ then what I was used to.




As time goes by, I have shared some of the things I learnt/noticed/experienced during my time living and traveling in Europe.

This is the fourth and final post and I am sorry if I repeated some things, when moving around the different subjects.

You can read the first, second and third posts here –

‘Go Big Or Go Home’ Kitchen And Surroundings

‘Go Big Or Go Home’ Home Edition

Out And About In Holland





People-y Paragraphs 



Now, more to the people-y part of my Holland experience, where offence could probably easily be taken, but I hope it isn’t and is simply seen as the observations of a foreigner from a different culture ☺️


As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t find much in the sense of a new European wardrobe.

I am not the type of person to live in ‘put together’ looking outfits day in and day out.

If I’m at home, I live for comfort and comfort alone 😜
Jean skirt, sweater or maybe one of Mikes shirts or pj’s but NEVER a semi matching top and skirt.
Much-less a skirt made out of something other than denim and a top that looks better with a matching cardigan 😉

I WISH I had the energy and the fashion sense to put together decent looking, simple outfits to wear now and again but I guess I’m just not fashionable enough.

So instead I blame my lack of height, money and tolerance of non ultra soft clothing articles 😬

But the Dutch woman just look put together and ready to go out, all the time, anytime.
Outfit matching and probably with a simple classiness to boot.

If I had to go to out into town to get something, I would totally need a few moments to prepare myself to be even slightly ready for public viewing but not them, if they need something out they go, all ready and presentable.

I found it admirable.

And slightly sad 🙈

Do they not desire comfort?! Do they not long for the relief of changing out of confining, restricting, dress clothes?

Sunday is the only day I really put effort into my clothes and now even that too, is becoming less and less 😬

But if I do scrounge up a formal outfit, you can bet the first chance I get, I will change out of it.
I started ASKING Mike to change out of his day to day/Sunday clothes and into jeans and a t-shirt when we could get back to our house because he LOOKED like he should be uncomfortable 😆

Color wise they differ as well.

Pastels, muted tones, whites, tans, blush pinks and navy blues are the favourites.
By all, male or female, old or young.

I still feel slightly confounded when I recall a family photo that was taken at a wedding.
Because we were all together and dressed up, a picture was wanted and that was totally understandable.
What wasn’t, was that EVERYONE matched.
Without planning to!

At home, had my family all attended a wedding, there is no way in the world that our outfits would have matched and blended seamlessly, had we not pre planned and worked to make it happen.

But there, all were in light blues and blushes and it was pure luck that I hadn’t worn my bright pink top and went for my floral one instead, which still kind of worked with everyone.
(Though the black leather skirt was still a bit out there probably)

So clothing wise, I found it pretty hard to find things that were my style 😉

Hairstyles are very important to the men and not so very important to the woman 🙃

The opposite of back home.

It of course and always does, vary on the person themselves, but generally at home the men don’t care all that much about putting effort into their appearance but the woman will almost always have their hair done and styled, at least simply.

In Europe, the men (the ones I knew anyways) wouldn’t hardly THINK of leaving the house without at least running some gel through their hair, even if it was to just go do some work or play soccer but the woman would look like they’d been caught in a mini tornado before getting to work 😂

Sometimes I would wonder how the lady behind the till even got her hair that messy, as I could wake up with more calm hair then she was boasting.

They stilled dressed ultra classy, but would be out and about, letting their obviously freshly showered hair, air dry on their damp, breezy bike ride to work, resulting in a ‘whatever it is, it is’, kind of hairstyle and them being fine with that.

Not what I was used to and Mike wasn’t used to my habit of doing hair before every outing either.
Him feeling as if he was totally allowed to do his hair before we went out but sometimes getting annoyed that I would say I had to do my hair before leaving too, when to him, the half wavy half straight, down or up, home hairdo, was more than normal and even acceptable to him, for a womans hairdo.

Not bad, just so funny to me as it was so very opposite of what I was used to.

‘Dutch Honesty’.
The characteristic that most Dutch people proudly say they have.

They seem to pride themselves in saying what they think, about whatever it may be and saying they are just being Dutch in telling you.
I personally think it could be a good quality in the correct place but I found there were some, not all by any means but some, that used the undeniable Dutch heritage of ‘being honest’ to be rude or to be able to speak their opinion in a way that could possibly have been worded much nicer 😉
Dutch people themselves even told me that some took it too far and used it as an excuse to be a little rude or blunt.

Like I said, not all were that way, but some do for sure use it as a way to speak their mind about whatever they wish, however they wish to.

Mike actually said that one of the things he liked about me ( gross detail I know 😜) was that I was honest about my opinions and thoughts and he, as a Dutch person was used to and liked that.
Once I was there and experienced it, I hoped I was of the at least semi politely honest sorts 🙂

Complimenting even those they are familiar with or others, is almost something they mock as being overly enthusiastic and too ‘American or Canadian’.

They are nice and friendly of course but only after having lived there awhile, did I notice and miss the absence of kind words.

At home we aren’t what I would call overly sweet, kind or complimentary but it would probably be odder then not, to go somewhere and NOT get at least one nice thing said about your outfit, hair, jewelry or whatever it may be.

I agree there are some people you meet who every time tell you ‘that’s the cuuuutest outfit I’ve ever seen! I don’t know if you’ve ever looked better!’ etc. and that is a little tiresome too, but never having anything said, was actually a little more disappointing then I would have first thought.

It’s not that they aren’t kind or don’t think well of others, it’s simply not really something they would consider going up and saying 🤔

They are very active folks, riding their bikes and walking many places if possible and though we are told bread is bad for us our whole life, that is a large bit of their diet and it does not obviously affect their figures 😜

Food laws are pretty strict on what dyes and ingredients are used and groceries are generally bought fresh and go stale faster than at home, due to less preservatives in them.
So the eating habits are healthier in that sense and as I maybe mentioned before, fast food restaurants are few and far between, though fried fries and snacks are still a big part of the youths meals 😉

It isn’t noticed until we would hit an airport and be in the midst of an abundance of people, from an abundance of places, that we would notice the general size went from small/average, to medium/large and beyond.

They are truly a healthy lifestyle type of people.

Mike and I never adhered to that part of the Dutch lifestyle unfortunately 😝

And so ends the observations and things I noticed and learnt from my year and a half in Holland, after moving there from Saskatchewan.

I truly did not mean to offend anyone, nor is one aspect pointed to anyone in particular.

When I moved there, I thought there would be a few, large differences but it didn’t take long to see that it was actually a multitude of little things that differed from what I had grown up with and for interests sake I wanted to share some of those things.

I hope it was an interesting read and helps explain a little of what a person goes through when moving to a place with a different culture and puts in perspective, that what is normal for us, isn’t normal for everyone 😏



Feel free to leave a comment if you’ve experienced something similar, have a different opinion or have any further questions! 😄


Out And About In Holland

Disclaimer: The following observations are things I noticed during my time living in Holland.
They are in no way about certain people and the opinions stated are just that, my opinion.
I don’t mean to portray anything as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ difference, simply ‘different’ then what I was used to.



As time goes by, I have shared some of the things I learnt/noticed/experienced during my time living and traveling in Europe.

This is the third such post and I apologize for how long it has taken me to get it up and I am sorry if I repeat some things, when moving around the different subjects.

You can read the first and second posts here –

‘Go Big Or Go Home’ Kitchen And Surroundings

‘Go Big Or Go Home’ Home Edition




Out And About In Holland



Generally trucks are not a thing owned by many in Holland, understandably so, once you’ve made you’re way through the streets, rows of houses, shops and parking spaces.

So smaller vehicles, bikes and public transport systems are the maneuvering method for most.

Bikes are everywhere.
They have multi level bike lots, bike lanes, bike only streets and roughly there are three times as many bikes in Holland as there are people they say.

Partially because students will have a few bikes and keep them parked and locked in different areas and stations so they don’t have to carry them with on the trains.




The trains… the system I would have hated having to use every day if that had been necessary.
Firstly, as a foreigner and tourist like person, I never found the terminals very easy to get around in and then after boarding your train you have to hope and or wait, for an empty seat until you reach your destination or where you have to get off and switch trains depending on their routes.


They are extremely useful, handy and available everywhere, simply not my prime choice of transportation, being surrounded with that many people and what not… but hey anything is better than walking and Mike obviously knew the routes, do’s and dont’s and almost anything new scares me, so maybe read all this with a big grain of salt if you haven’t been already 😉

As they drive around in the car, there will be streets that didn’t even look like the size of a sidewalk to me, but the Dutch would drive down them, watching their mirrors carefully, until popping back out onto a tad larger stretch of street.

It’s crazy 😬😳

Continue reading “Out And About In Holland”

Out And About: A Smorgasbord Of Things

Disclaimer: The following observations are things I noticed during my time living in Holland.
They are in no way about certain people and the opinions stated are just that, my opinion.
I don’t mean to portray anything as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ difference, simply ‘different’ then what I was used to.

As time goes by, I plan on sharing some of the things I learnt/noticed/experienced during my time living and traveling in Europe.

This is the fourth such post and I apologize in advance if I repeat some things, when moving around the different subjects.

Out and About: A Smorgasbord Of Things

After we leave the **cozy** Dutch home, we exit onto a small car port, generally occupied by… a small car 😉

(It became an exciting thing when we would spot an actual, real, big, truck on the roads😋)

Whether you walk or take the car (or you’re Dutch and take the bike), a grocery store is usually no further away then 5 minutes and the journey will be taken mostly on a cobblestone street.

How a rock, cut a certain way and laid in the ground can add so much charm? I don’t know, but it does😁

(Someday in the far future, Michiel and I plan on incorporating some cobblestone into our landscape so there’s a hint of Holland for him, in that very eye pleasing way 😉)

To the grocery store.
Those weren’t as hard to adjust to as you’d think.
From woman, that was usually the question I’d get, ‘Oh is it very hard to find groceries there?😬’.
The answer? Nope, for the most part it was pretty easy to find the things I usually looked for, once I figured out what was what, due to different packaging and looking for things much larger than they have available 🙈

Sour cream came in little, almost half cup sized containers and salted butter isn’t a very popular thing, so Mike had to look for it with me. Sour dill pickles were never found, after about three jars and some other failed attempts at locating any, I gave up.

The jar that had stated ‘extra sour’ was full of bologna (not literally) and they were still a ‘sweet’ pickle.

‘Paprika’ is probably the most popular chip flavour (it’s a flavouring found on many other things as well) as the other options are generally plain or cheese… I still don’t understand how Holland doesn’t have ‘Old Dutch’ potato chips, what could be technically more wrong? 😜

I did search long and hard for plain puffed wheat cereal (never found it) and corn syrup was no where to be seen and its substitutes weren’t as thick and also on the healthy side, so super expensive 🙈

Holland has one thing we never found anywhere else though… cold, carbonated , Lipton Iced Tea… HOW I MISS YOU 💔

Baking powder and vanilla come in small, paper packages of a couple of tablespoons worth and it took a special request to the vegetable man to get a spaghetti squash 😉

Leaving the store you’ll pass by the flowers but unlike here in Sask. where you avert your eyes and say, ‘No, I just bought $89 of groceries and a Starbucks to get me through it, I don’t need a $45 bouquet  flowers’, you’d probably say something more like, ‘Hmm, three bunches (normal to large sized) for €10?  ($15) Why not?!’.

(Though rarely would you catch me saying either of those sentences because I’m not a big flower person 😂🙈 This bouquet Mom and I made there one spring is the exception though 💕)

Going out of the store, possibly with flowers and groceries in hand, there is a good chance you’ll smell someone smoking, as it’s allowed to do everywhere there.

In Sask. smoking in public places/near entries etc. is not allowed and hasn’t been for quite a few years, so going from that, to a place where it’s quite popular, you do notice it a fair bit.

More so in Amsterdam then the smaller towns and villages.

But back to town/food stuff and less about the air pollution 😏

Certain days mean certain food trucks are around, depending where you are.
Our favourites were the loompia truck, fried spring roll like things which sound super delicious at this moment😬
The kibbling, which was fried fish with a special tartar like sauce and of course, the occasional cheese truck 😉👌🏻

And though it’s cold out and what I’d consider unpleasant to sit out in, many a restaurant/cafe has outdoor seating with some blankets (or not even) and people will be sitting outside, coats and scarfs on, being *cozy, sipping their warm drinks.

I never did that and I hope I never have to… they also have seats inside, for a reason 😜

They do have many restaurants there, though eating out isn’t nearly as popular as it is in Canada or the USA.

The variety in Europe beats both though, in the sense that you can easily find a Greek or Italian restaurant, owned and run by a true, Greek or Italian and the taste proves as much.

The Chinese restaurants proved to be a great disappointment to me though, having variety of dishes but all generally the same flavour, which wasn’t much flavour at all 🙈

The amazing Greek restaurants made up for that though 😉👌🏻

A Dutch’ snack bar’ is somewhere the younger crowd could be found grabbing a quick bite to eat.

Where fried foods and ice creams are made fast and cheap and it is something they grow up with and love.

My first few trips to a snack bar were a little sketchy and hunger inducing until I adjusted to the usually, slightly run down, cold atmosphere and found ‘snacks’ I liked, opposed to Mikes choices 😏

( They also have these scary looking, self-serve counters😜)

There are fewer, large chains and Starbucks are found few and far between.

If you’re going somewhere early in the morning and want to grab breakfast and a coffee to go… it ain’t happening.

That isn’t a thing that is done and it was a little hard for me to get used to, since I don’t like morning tasks and would usually opt for coffee on the road before thinking to wake up earlier to enjoy my cup of coffee at my house.

While I lived there, ONE drive through coffee place opened.


If you are tempted to go into a ‘coffee shop’ to warm up and you’re in Amsterdam, proceed with caution 😏

A ‘coffee shop’ is a place to go smoke/buy drugs and or space cake and ‘plants’.
If you’re looking for the liquid, caffeinated, brown kind of coffee, you’ll need to find a cafe with a name, not a ‘coffee shop’ 😋

One of THE most used words of a Dutch person😏
Actually they say ‘Gezellig’ and when translated the closest word is cozy.
Everything, is cozy.
Oh your house has a fireplace? How cozy! (that example I do understand).
Oh your house is small? So cozy!
It’s 4 in the evening so let’s turn off the lights, light candles and make it cozy.
It’s cold out so let’s drink coffee and be cozy.
You joining us would be cozy.

And on, and on 😉

You could say I really, don’t much like the word cozy anymore after having almost everything turned cozy for over a year 😉
If that’s their thing, great… but it’s just not something this Canadian could adjust to 😋

The Secret Project

The secret project.

So by now, a whoooole lot of you know exactly what this ‘secret project’ is.

Turns out, we suck at secrets 😜

Anyways… *drumroll please maestro* …
We are on our way to being first time house owners!

I didn’t want to say anything earlier, just because the whole process wasn’t super finalized and there were still some questions and formalities but now we’ve talked with the seller, looked into papers and are working on getting it signed over to us and since most of you know anyways, I figured I might as well start typing ‘the house’ rather than ‘the secret project’ 😏

The opportunity to buy this house came up last year but since we weren’t sure of our plans and how long we’d be in Europe, it didn’t happen for us and we knew it wasn’t the Lords will just then.

I know I’m closer to my parents now then I ever was way over in Holland, but I still wanted to be in the same area as them to a point and the house is a five-minute drive away and the seller was now ready to sell, so… it looks like we’ve found our starter home 😉

It needs ‘love’, as a cousin so wisely phrased it😉😋

It’s a fixer upper for sure but since we know the seller to a point, they gave us permission to begin construction, or more like, DE-construction, before we’d officially transferred all the needed papers and since Mike has no patience, he took them up on the offer 😏

So we have been tearing out, ripping up, figuring what needs changing and what to buy first, for the past couple of weeks and it’s going decently well… but you know those home reno shows you see with a happy couple in full agreement, always?

Ya, those are fake 😜

It will be getting an almost complete renovation and ideas are flying and yes it will be lots of work and stress and decisions but it is exciting to be able to make it our own and we’re just thankful a house in our price range and the area we were interested in, came up and we have the summer to work on it and a place to stay while we do so 😉

So, that’s ‘the secret project’… our first house

‘Weather’ Tis Rain Or Shine… Congratulations!

Disclaimer: The following observations are things I noticed during my time living in Holland.
They are in no way about certain people and the opinions stated are just that, my opinion.
I don’t mean to portray anything as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ difference, simply ‘different’ then what I was used to.

As time goes by, I plan on sharing some of the things I learnt/noticed/experienced during my time living and traveling in Europe.

This is the third such post and I apologize in advance if I repeat some things, when moving around the different subjects.

‘Weather’ Tis Rain Or Shine… Congratulations!

Rain or shine… but mostly rain, or not even rain but not a whole lot of shining either 😋

I’ve been in Holland during the winter months most of all so I’ll begin there.

The first few months really messed with my noggin (I know, it doesn’t take much 🙄😏) in the fact that though it was mid winter, the grass was a constant lush green and the shrubs had full out leaves.
Which to me, would normally mean it was pretty warm out, but not so.

Since at home, during the winter there is no green. Trees are bare, fields brown if the snow isn’t covering them, bushes are see through like stick clusters and flowers? Hah!

I’d find myself assuming the day’s temperatures couldn’t be too bad, after looking outside and seeing green and then I’d dress how I thought I should, head out and be struck by the bone chilling dampness of December and wishing for more layers.

I figured it out pretty quickly though and adjusted accordingly.
In other words, check you phone for the temperature while you lay in bed and then you don’t even have to bother looking outside if you don’t feel like it 😜

The winter there doesn’t hold much snow but there is, on average, a couple of days here or there where some of the wet, white fluff, falls down and stays a day or two.

The coldest it may hit, mid winter is somewhere around – 8 but trust me, it feels colder.

This coming from a Canadian who has felt -50, even if only for a few, ice cream headache like moments at a time 😉

The damp, wet weather makes for a different cold then the dry cold I was used to.

The damp getting into your bones and making a -2 day, (something we’d be wearing a light long sleeve shirt in back in Canada) a day that you still need your winter coat and leggings.

*Bear in mind, I’m not the best to tell about weather, as I’m generally on the colder side of the scale and may judge things with that in mind, but even my parents who came out one spring, said it was one of the coldest springs they felt and agreed that the wet added an extra chill factor. Continue reading “‘Weather’ Tis Rain Or Shine… Congratulations!”

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