Enroute To An International Introduction

Once upon a time, long, long ago, people could fly and travel and go all over the world and breath
 the fresh air as the pleased.

There was a new father and mother living in that kingdom and they’d planned to journey across the lands to introduce their new son to their friends and family, but the rulers of the lands had other ideas and the young families plans were postponed for many, many months…

Now things are a little different & travelling, is a lot more work.


Oh, & now we’ve got to travel with an almost one year old and all of his paraphernalia as well,  so that’s some additional effort as well 🤪😅


Packing with/and for a child was a slightly different experience. Having to keep everything off of the floor and out of reach and getting much ‘help’ when the task was Lake level 🤪


Our flight didn’t leave until 5:00 pm which was a nice change and meant we didn’t need to awaken at a stupidly early morning hour and have a good chunk of time at home to accomplish all the last minute tasks whilst also tending to Lake.

The different family members stopped in at staggering time slots, wishing us a nice trip and sending us off with their love and notes.


The check list was struck off, task by task and at 1:30, our chauffeurs arrived and everything was loaded into the truck.


I’m the type of person that gets stressed when I have too many bags 🤪


It freaks me out to think I could have so grossly overpacked, so I had to keep telling myself that it was ok, and the reason we needed both carry on’s was due to the fact that we had a suitcase within a suitcase, which took up a decent chunk of its space.

(We were returning a piece of luggage the mother-in-law had left at our house.)

The drive to the airport should have lulled Lake to sleep but instead it was one of his whiniest drives yet, causing a deep feeling of foreboding to settle upon me 🥴


Once we arrived at the airport, we went to the area that does the c-vid tests and got that over with.

It was a swab up the nose for 5 seconds per nostril. The lady was very nice and though invasive, it was merely an uncomfortable feeling and not painful in the least. We waited for those results and then went on to checking in, which took a very long time 😅

Perhaps it was in part due to new protocols and health measures, but it also seemed like it was all new staff and with so few travels, how does one become competent in one’s  job of checking travellers in I suppose?  They were all very polite and friendly though and that’s a pretty big plus and the airports renovations look nice, fresh and bright  😉

Mother was busy in doing her grandmotherly duties of trying to keep Lake occupied 🥴👍🏻  

Meanwhile, us travellers hunger was growing rather large, as we had literally nothing left at home to eat before we departed, aside from the three blueberry muffins my sister had given us the previous day 😅

So, with boarding passes finally in hand, the hugs and adieus were shared and we began our first family trip to The Netherlands.


Security took awhile due to all of the baby substances of course, but once again the staff were all very friendly and kind and Lakes food pouches of 124 ml, water bottle, thermos of warm water and half drank bottle, all made it through without incident 👌🏻

With one finally wave through the glass wall, (which I find an entire wall of windows kind of depressing… seeing your loved ones but being able to neither touch nor hear them 😒) we went to Tim Hortons 🤪

Lake used his wave to win over the cashier and she produced a free chocolate Tim bit for him.


#Parentperks… cause Lake shouldn’t eat a ‘hole’ Tim bit himself pre flight, sugar rush am I right? 😜

Kidding, he got it all.. he eats tons and we haven’t noticed sugar rushes yet and we were so hungry we didn’t leave much of our sandwiches to share 😅🙈  Mike walked with Lake to get another bagel so Lake could stretch his legs as well as have something a little more filling to eat. He won himself another tim bit 🤪

We were seated in the very first seats on the plane to Calgary, allowing us room but not allowing us to keep our bags nearby so the perk was a little deflated in that aspect.

Mike did most of the mini human wrangling, as Lake did not sleep a wink.

He did drink his bottle during take off and that alone was a shock as he’s usually much too noisy to eat his bottles in public settings. He quickly began waving to all of the stewardess’s and played peekaboo with them. Peering from around the corner to where they were seated facing him. The one stewardess had a little granddaughter with the same birthday as Lake ☺️

He did really good, though he hardly stopped moving and we landed in Calgary sans crying fit/blowout/or whatever else a baby may do to cause upset and or angst 🤪

After walking what seemed like eons through the Calgary airport, we found our area and let Lake loose from the stroller.


I really dislike the travel between gates in the Calgary airport, it being what seems like one long, endless hallway with nothing to see and feeling more like a bare mall hallway or parkade walk, rather than any sort of airport.

Lake got VERY relaxed during that walk but he didn’t succumb, so crawling around ensued.


He’s begun this thing were he tilts his head a little sideways and slightly downward while he speed crawls and it looks so dangerous 🙈 If he’d even slightly trip, it would mean a faceplant on the unforgiving tiled floors of the terminal, but there’s naught to be done about it but watch with eyes half closed until he safely reaches his destination 😂


We grabbed a meal and Starbucks, changed the small person into pjs and administered the drug combination Lake’s doctor had advised for a greater chance at in flight sleep.


A pleasant couple seated behind us offered to hold something for us and we thought they said they’d hold Lake, so that’s what they got! 😂

He was very happy with them and they with he though, so it worked out well, while we got ourselves situated.


‘Luca’ and the in flight safety video distracted Lake during the remaining boarding time and then we laid him down on the seat between us with his bottle, hands at the ready to give him the paci the moment he finished and, thus, he slept 😳


For 6 of the 7.5 hours of flight!


Praising the Lord for this little but actually not so little, miracle 😅

(I’m placing the reasoning of why that happened on all who said they’d be praying for him to do well during the flight. So I’ll be reminding everyone of our departure date so they can pray as they did pre our trip 😅💗)

Mike may have slept a little more than me, but that’s not saying much as I slept for maybe an hour.

Though Lake is only a mini person, he stretched out on the extra seat/overlapped onto us a fair bit. Causing much envy as I looked at all the other folks who had rows to themselves to stretch out on 😬

The airplane snacks provided were nothing special (are they ever really?) yet I still can’t help but love the little boxes and specifically packaged items, pleasing my ‘eat a single item at a time and let nothing touch’ personality, every time 🙈

Mike was allowed to walk around with Lake once he awoke and maybe since it was a night flight they were a bit easier, but there were multiple times I left my mask down or had it below my noise and no one came to reprimand me 👍🏻

Neither of us recall ever having had a 7.5 hour flight before, so that was a pleasant change to the usual 8.5 boarding on 9.

Passport control was a pretty long and people packed process. The whole walking onto a plane with 9 rows of people and then standing in line with so many afterwords, did actually feel pretty foreign compared to what the world’s been advising… I don’t miss the barrage of odours  that come with being by so many humans 😂

Finally, the oma and opa were spotted and once bags were located, we walked out the little VIP


As we stepped out of the airport into the parking garage, a wall of humidity hit us 😅


It felt like the tropics and during the drive home the rain began.

Lake and I dozed a bit and due to traffic, something we’re again not used to,  it took little longer to get to the in-laws home.


We also paused at a snack bar so Mike could begin the trips food indulgence, almost immediately 🤪 I too partook, as I forgot that I also liked a specific snack rather a lot 😅


Nasiballen met mayo & bereklaw met pindasaus.

After settling in and letting Lake stretch his little limbs for awhile, his oma took him for his first bike ride 😉


We unpacked and put our things into drawers… not something I’d typically do, but when staying a month, it felt right 🤪 All the while being serenaded by the birds atop the nearby trees.

We settled in for the night around 8:30, uncertain as to what our night would hold…

 * 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 🤪

Thrills Of Vacation And Of Home

Tuesday Sept 19th –


The last of our items were stowed away that morning.

Few clothes may have been bought, but food and a faux sheepskin rug, somehow take up more space then one figures 💁🏻😜


Breakfast was indeed the cake sent back with me the night before, a fine thing to begin ones day of travels with 😉👌🏻

Then Michiel’s parents drove us to the airport and it was goodbye time.

We were super thankful to get to see so many of Mikes close friends and family during this trip, since hubster hasn’t been back to Holland since April.


Having a kind of ‘in-between meeting place’ was a blessing and getting to sit and catch up with them all in person and do some things together was really nice 💕

We left Phoenix around noon, flying to Minneapolis, waiting around there for four hours and eating one last meal from Chick-fil-A, before continuing on to Saskatoon 😏🍴✈️

The brother was the unlucky one to whom pick up duty fell and we got home past midnight.

The comfort of our (kind of😜) own bed beckoned strongly and the ideas of no early morning alarm being set, no hair having to be done the next day and coffee just as we like it, were thrilling thoughts  to fall asleep to.

For me anyways 😜


Mikes alarm was set and his clothes rifled out of the suitcases, for he had an interview to get to the next morning.




Wednesday Sept 20th –

Continue reading “Thrills Of Vacation And Of Home”

The Cold, The Heat, The Guilt 

Tuesday Sept 4th- 



Morning brought with it an omelette (which I flipped, in the pan, without making a mess and using just a flick of the wrist 💁🏻) post workout and then much blogging, trying to get some recipes proof read by the mother, before I leave for a couple of weeks.

(She reads everything before I post it usually. Fixing confusing things and adding comas where my brain didn’t think to so I am sorry if these posts make less sense then normal 😜)

I’d went through my assortment of clothing a few days back, trying to let go of the few things that I’ve hung on too, in hopes of them eventually working out and then never using them anyways 😏

Moms turn to do the same thing, came that morning and I was her audience/judge.

Saying yes or no…or simply making the appropriate faces to show my emotion towards certain pieces, was enough of an answer 😋

Lunch was a tasty beef barely soup, one of my favourites 😄


Though I am not looking forward to winter at all… the fall comfort foods are calling 😬😋

The sis and littles came over for a visit and while we did that, Hubster and Mom gave me a pedi 😋👌🏻

(Mom did the scrubbing/rubbing and Mike did the french tip painting 🙈)

Mom did her best to do my fingernails but with bad lighting and her wearing glasses now… her best…had seen better days 😝🤓


The packing had to begin eventually, though I did push it back until the evening.

Continue reading “The Cold, The Heat, The Guilt “

Transplanting Our Plants… And Our Lives

Friday April 7th –

(Sorry for the long post, trying to play catch up on all the days missed 😬)

Mike had to go into town right away to pick up our shipment of crates and the gate (brought all the way from Malta).
He had to leave for that by 9:30 am and I planned to go with him if I was awake but if not he’d just let me sleep.

I slept 😋

Waking up, I cautiously reached for my phone to check the time and while reaching looked to see if Mike was still sleeping.
He was gone 😜

I hadn’t heard him leave, at all 😬

I made it upstairs and a cup of coffee was soon placed in my hands by Mom, who explained Mike had left not long before.

We sipped our coffee and chatted, having more brain power available than the night before 😉

Mom suggested a walk pretty quickly and I shouldn’t have been surprised 😏
It was +20 out though, so I was happy to accompany her and we went for a 5 km speed walk to the mail, having Mike pick us up on his way back from town.

The crates and gate had made it in one piece and everything seemed to be in good shape so we were happy for that and after unloading them in the garage, I decided to sit outside and enjoy the sun/maybe nap.

Not long into the sit, my cat Rolo joined me, soaking up any attention I was willing to give her, as I soaked up the sun.
Mom decided to join us and after too long in the uncomfortable lawn chairs she suggested we try laying on the trampoline.
A blanket was fetched and we laid out in the wonderfully hot weather for some of the afternoon.

Mike had found the cactuses and they were a tad disheveled looking so he took the time to take them outside, clean them off and replant them.

Telling me they all went in one pot because they were friends now and they told him they wanted to be together 😋💕 Continue reading “Transplanting Our Plants… And Our Lives”

Lifting The Foggy Curtains From My Brain

Wednesday April 5th –

The start, of the last bit of packing.

I woke with a pounding head and so did Mike.

I don’t know if our heads were anticipating the task ahead or what… but the coffee Inge bought specially for us, helped immensely, if only momentarily 😉👌🏻

And so began the clothes folding and sorting, bag emptying and repacking, item organising and piling everything into stacks according to estimated values, depending when we’d be needing them.

Cactus plants were on the ‘needed’ list so they were carefully transferred into a plastic container, some wrapping paper placed gently around to add support 😋🌵💕

Around noon we went over to Oma and Opa’s with Inge, partly so Mike could help move something and also so we could say goodbye.
For lunch, Inge had made and brought over a broccoli tart, especially for me and I enjoyed it greatly 😉👌🏻

Our goodbyes to the grandparents were said and after a quick stop in Doesburg to buy some last items to take with us, it was back to the house to finish packing.

We were nearly done by suppertime.
I having sorted and Mike having maneuvered it all to fit.
Planning for the next day’s travel, writing down roughly what we were still leaving behind for visits/pick up later on and finally, calling it quits for the night… leaving a small spot in the suitcase free for the little bit that would need packing come morning.

Tomato soup and bread was waiting for us to eat for supper and after enjoying that we relocated to the couch for one last evening.

Thursday April 6th –

Unable to sleep due to thinking of what was or wasn’t packed, trying to know if anything was missed or forgotten and knowing the hours of travel that awaited, I was up by 5:00 am and we planned to leave by 7:00. Continue reading “Lifting The Foggy Curtains From My Brain”

Our Last Hurrah, The End Of An Era, Our Grand Finalé…

Saturday April 1st –

Hi ho, hi ho, off to market we go 😁

We meandered around the Red Barn Market for a while that morning.
Taking in the generous assortment of items available.
Of course the juice place caught my eye.

Resulting in my great enjoyment of an apple, pineapple and minty juice 🍹

Spring rolls were tried and found very acceptable and I really wish there would have been a chance to just chill at one of the food markets we’d went to.
Just eating and waiting to be hungry again on repeat for a few hours 😋

So, not sure if I mentioned this already or not… but I’m totally into olives now 😏😋
My Dad likes olives and I’d tried them the odd time… never hating them but never embracing them either.
Unaware if I could like them or not, Craig and Jolien convinced me to try one again when we’d eaten out with them at it had been tasty and it began the era of a whole new Jess 😜
From that meal on I became braver and braver about trying them, liking them a little more almost every time, but that mornings market was the tipping point.
I tested some sun-dried tomato red olives and some herb and garlic green ones and there was no question of them being good or bad… they were delicious 😂
I bought and assortment crossing my fingers (or holding my thumbs as the saying goes in South Africa I learnt 😉) that they’d last until we made it to Canada so I could share my newfound enjoyment with father 😋

Once we were done at the market, we had a much bigger, grander task ahead.
Heading to The Farm Inn to hold a baby leopard. Continue reading “Our Last Hurrah, The End Of An Era, Our Grand Finalé…”

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