in 2013

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I’m not sure what to say about 2013. So many things happened and some were bad.

But there were good things too. And I want to remember those moments, since that’s what matters, and that's what I want to remember.

 The garden, our trips to CuraƧao, having my 6th and 7th book out, finishing some things in the house that have been on my list for ages, spending time with the people most important in my life.

I guess it was a good year after all.

Christmas moments

I can’t find the words to describe the last few days.
It was just good. Very good.

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Breakfast for five

Oh my, that was some week!

On Monday and Tuesday we moved our office back home (and tried to fit everything in), on Wednesday I did the groceryshopping for the weekend (including a birthday) and some cleaning, on Thursday I cooked soups and prepared some other stuff for the big birthday, on Friday and Saturday I helped my parents move into their new apartment and on Sunday we celebrated our youngest girl’s 21st birthday.

Phew! We survived the busiest part of the month…

Last night we had all girls home. D, who has her own flat, stayed over because E, who studies in Durham, came home for the holidays.

This morning I cooked breakfast for five. And enjoyed it very much.

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This week will be busy too, but different. Mostly cleaning.
My body, since I did a lot of emotional eating and if I want to celebrate Christmas without head aches and vague sickness, I need to be more aware of what I eat from now on.
And my home, since all I did for weeks was a bit of quick cleaning to make it look good. Some deep cleaning is in order now. And I’m starting with the living room, so I can finally put the tree up after I’m done.

So, I'm off to clean now ;-)

Stunning

One of the good things of these short, short days are the stunning sunrises and sunsets we get. Love those.

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(sunrise December 5 en sunset December 8)

Hooked

Oh my, this month… So busy, so chaotic. But I’m getting there. Next week may be better.
I did start a new project. I loved the yarn the girls gave me this Sinterklaas so much that I decided to keep some for myself and make pillowcases out of them. It’s going slowly, but one row at a time, I’m adding some happy colors to my living room.

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December 5th

Sometimes it's so easy to just check off things off the big list and move on to the next thing to check off. But you’d miss all the fun that way. You have to try and really be there and if possible document and remember these moments.
So here’s another series of pictures of another Sinterklaas evening, before I move on to birthday celebrating, helping people moving and preparing for Christmas.  It was just four of us (the girl in Durham had a Sinterklaas meet with other Dutch students) but it was good.

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Wishing you all a great weekend!

Pakjesavond

:: making a mess in my kitchen

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:: but managing to clean it all up in time. Sweets were ready long before company (my parents and my sistere and her family) arrived


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:: a girl at college on the other side of the North Sea (Durham) that celebrated with us through Skype.

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:: the mess that is part of the fun

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It was a good night.

It has begun

Sinterklaas festivities are around the corner.

So I’m busy sending out a package to my girl in Durham (UK), having my parents and my sister and her family over to celebrate tomorrow, cooking peasoup, baking kruidnootjes*, packing, rhyming, cleaning the house, and oh, so many things more. I love this time of year!

*if you’d like to bake them too, my friend Elizabeth converted the recipe for them a few years ago – I’m sorry for the unavailable pictures, that’s my fault, I moved them

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Three Things on a Tuesday

I was sure I wasn’t going to make it this month. That’s why I skipped posting about it last week. So much other things to do… I even had a draft ready of a post stating that sometimes things don’t go as you plan them. But then I crossed off a few pressing things of my list-of-more-important-stuff and I did find some time and energy to tackle my Three Things.

First, the closet. Here’s what I started with at the beginning of the month.


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Doesn’t look too bad, but that’s because the rest of our cloths wasn’t even in the closet…


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Two weeks ago I did some decluttering, and stuffed some summer and too small cloths in suitcases, but this is where that ended.

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Still no room for our cloths. So I did another round.

One of the suitcases went home with one of the girls (who has her own appartment now!). Those shoes (in the red boxes) I never wear, since I’m not the type of girl that goes upstairs before leaving the house to find the right shoes. I brought them downstairs to see if that helps (or maybe I’m a just-one-pair type of girl, we’ll see). There are also some hiking shoes in that closet that we hardly ever wear, so I’ll find a place for them downstairs too (those are out of the closet, but not really stored somewhere right now).

I sorted through the christmas stuff, put the Christmas books in the bookcase, the music and movies with the other music and movies (make sense, doesn’t it?) and threw some stuff out. I went from two very big boxes to one slightly smaller box. Succes!

Now we do have room for our clothes.


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Left to right (sort of): three suitcases, containing summerclothes, too small stuff and bags, sleeping bags and boxes of old toys and my wedding dress. Hanging: his jeans and his shirts. Behind the shirts are a dress and a skirt of mine, and a leather coat that doesn’t fit, but that I want to hold on to for a little while. In the white drawer baskets: my trousers and sweaters, my t-shirts, bedlinnen and his t-shirts.

I still didn’t paint or buy fancy shelves, but it is a lot more organized.

Then it was time to tackle the cupboard that houses our photo albums and all stuff related to that.


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I took everything out and started sorting. That didn’t help much.

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But I didn’t give up, kept sorting and ended with this. One bag of trash (mostly paper – receipts and other memorabilia of our travels that on closer examination don’t really add to the memory), some things that need to be stored in our office (cd-roms with drivers and manuals) and an empty box that used to be on top of the cupboard and contained even more stuff (and patterns, that I put on my sewing table for now).

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The thing that improved the organization of this still full and cluttered cupboard the most are in the middle of the top shelve. I sorted our papers into sex of these plastic envelopes. One for each of the girls and one for me and husband together (containing reportcards, swimming diploma’s etc.), one for family things (newspaper clippings – these girls have made a few public appearances, notes they wrote, things like that) and one for cards and small things some of my (blogging) friends send me. As I said, it’s still looking cluttered, but I know where to find everything now.


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My last “thing” was to hang some curtains in the kitchen. It was a small thing to do, but I’m very pleased with how finished it looks.

Before:


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After (never mind the color difference, it was too late in the afternoon to take good pictures):


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So, I actually did finish my three things (mostly because I felt some pressure from blogging about it). Phew.

In my garden ~ surprise

I went outside to snap some pictures of dead branches and dried out flowers, but much to my surprise I found some still blooming flowers.Such a wonderful gift on a cold, dark November day.

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