Amsterdam {Week 4}

Our 4th week in Amsterdam was by far our most intense! Ted left for a photo trip to Uganda while Ted’s mom arrived to watch the boys. I had a very long and intense week of lectures and ministry time. Holy moly! By the time the weekend came along, I felt emotionally and physically exhausted. I used to pride myself for being an adaptable person ;) but I am so not adaptable when pregnant. Not. at. all. 1375687_10151757958021989_265795777_n

This week was super intense emotionally. God did something in me and then decided to blow me away through a student here. She felt to give me these flowers. When I saw the bouquet, I couldn’t believe it. Pink Gerber daisies. They always make me think of our Eisley-girl. They were the exact flowers I was given on the day of her birth. They are so special to us. This past September on her birthday I wasn’t able to find any pink Gerber daisies. Came to Amsterdam and there they are!

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Monday mornings we have community worship (wednesdays and fridays we have worship as a class.) The past few weeks the base has been thriving with people!

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Chaseyboy (the blur behind) and Shailo have had a blast playing with new friends here!

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My shortness is magnified here ;)1391491_10151753525276989_1465824023_n

Monday – Wednesday our class watched and participated in ministry. It was SO incredible, but also exhausting. photo above: some classmates.

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Thursday and Friday we had long lecture days (12 hours each day). My newfound friend Kayla and I did the healthy thing and survived by eating sugar throughout it ;)

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How we get groceries here in Amsterdam :)

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I missed seeing Loren Cunningham when he came through YWAM Denver, but a surprise visit to Amsterdam and I got an opportunity to hear him speak. Pretty inspiring!!

I didn’t take many photos during week 4, but I hope I did well keeping ya’ll up to date!

Week 5 coming soon. (We are almost in week 6 now, what?!)

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Amsterdam {Week 2}

It’s hard to believe we have already been in the Netherlands for 2 weeks! Like I promised, here are some photos of the past week.
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Okay, first thing first… you’ve asked for a baby bump pic, here ya go! 19 weeks and counting.
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(Here I am standing next to a tiny car, such a tourist’y photo haha)

I know you’re all curious of the gender of this little one… rain or shine, we are going to do our gender reveal photoshoot by the end of this week! so stay tuned this weekend! Boy or Girl?! photo 1-6

Above: I have my classes in this beautiful, old (and cold!) room. We literally all wear jackets and coats, scarves and blankets! Haha! Last week’s topic was on Sexual Brokenness and Identity and HOLY MOLY was it heavy. I am thinking I will blog more about classes that impact me.
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We eat our lunches and dinners community style in the YWAM bases’ dining room. I’m trying to branch out of my comfort zone and connect with others more. The meals down here really do help that. Still workin’ on it though ;) My boys are actually really awesome at helping in this area. People just adore kiddos (well, most do haha)

photo 1-1Another frequently asked question is how is Chaseyboy doing now?! Well, he’s better! Many of you know he’s had a really hard time transitioning. He’s a creature of habit and a homebody, so you can imagine how hard this has been on him. It’s been breaking my momma heart, but I am so thankful to say he’s softening and beginning to welcome this new season. Thank you for your many prayers, concern and love. Means the world to us. We feel them.

I’ve tried to make the room as home-like as I can. We have a long room and a small adjoining room which we made Chase’s bedroom/playroom. I brought our curtains from home and some photos to help this transition. (Maybe I’ll do a room tour next week?!)
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Chase has made a few new buddies here, friends around his same age even. This is a huge blessing and answer to prayer. We’ve felt he’s really lacked in that over his 4 years. Ted and I already decided whatever is next for us, whatever He calls us to, a value of ours in community and we’ve got to make sure this happens longterm. For us and for our children. It’s just gotta for us!photo 1-2

Shailo also made a buddy in this sweet little man, Hezekiah! He is 6 months younger and they have a lot of fun. Ted and I are super blessed to have met a really awesome couple who have this little guy. We heard of them when we applied for this school. They too had applied and the husband was from Colorado. We actually had the opportunity to meet them before we all came over here! We all share a similar heart and passions, it’s just super amazing! And it’s even more awesome to be able to have people to relate to in this transition. The wife, Kayla, is doing the school with me and our husbands are watching our boys. How cool is that?!

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Weekends are our chance to explore the city and (for me) to get a chance to get out with my family! Ted is able to during the week which is nice. photo 2-3

Saturday we ate a simple, cheap lunch over looking a canal and watching tourist boats pass by. photo 3-2

I had to snap a few photos of the “vehicles” mommas here drive! I’m SO impressed with the moms here. I even saw a woman with 4 kiddos in one of these!

photo 4-2Above is another cool one. See the seat on the back for a kiddo as well as the bucket for kids up front?! Sheesh!photo 5-2

Shailo and Ted photographing ;)photo 1-3

We found a park nearby one evening. It was actually quite amazing because earlier in the day Chase had said maybe we’d find a park with a trampoline and I said, probably not. And then we did!! So awesome :) He was super thrilled photo 5-3

Because Amsterdam is rainy most of the year, the city actually offers a variety of things for families (kiddos) to do throughout the year. One of them is called Tun Fun which is an old subway station transformed into a mind blowing kid zone. I actually felt pretty overwhelmed when we first walked in, haha!
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The boys had the BEST time!

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We do a lot of walking and because this city is overrun with bicyclists, they have quite a few cool ways of getting around. Chase and Ted enjoyed this bike/stroller walkway.

I’ll take a minute to share a few prayer requests before I leave:

– So… still sleepy in class. Prego that I am :)

– Chaseyboy and his sensitive spirit. I feel like God gave me a glimpse into what’s going on inside of his heart/head. I’m thankful for a bit of revelation and now I feel like I know how to pray for him better.

-I’ve been struggling with keeping in contact with loved ones back home and being the people pleaser I am, it has really been difficult for me to not feel guilty. I am so busy with school that when I get a moment to spend with my family I tend to just hangout with them. Or visit others in the community. Or travel out to grab milk for the boys. Or do a work duty, or to speak with so and so about whatever questions I still have. It’s just a lot. And in some ways I feel like I’m drowning. My mom is so wise and said something quite powerful that resonated with me in this season. She said, “You are such a giver.  You have been in a season of having to choose who to give to.”  It’s difficult because – as that annoying people pleaser I am, I feel like I’m failing many people. Please know that even if I haven’t written or not much, it isn’t personal! I am just in a season of needing to invest in myself and my family. I still love love love deeply and dearly.

-Ted – he leaves for Uganda next Monday for one week!!! Pray for safety in travels and quite adapting for his body. He will be photographing for a ministry there. My awesome MIL is going to be arriving here in Amsterdam on Sunday and we are SO excited! She is amazing. She will be watching the boys. Please pray for her body to adjust well to the time change (10 hour difference for her).

Thank you!

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Well, good night, friends! Or should I say good morning or afternoon? ;)

Amsterdam {Week 1}

Well, we did it! We crammed our things into 5 suitcases, 2 carry ons, 1 camera bag and 1 guitar case and made it to Amsterdam! It’s hard to believe tomorrow it’s been one week since we arrived! Here are some photos from the week and our trip thus far.

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We arrived at the Denver International Airport a few hours early to give ourselves plenty of time. I was feeling a little worried as this (above photo) was the beginning of our trip; the boys zonkin’ right when we arrived.
photo 3-3When Ted and I would share with others about our trip, some would ask if we were at all worried about anything. Our biggest worry was Shailo on 10.5 hours of flying. Before we left we asked our church and others to be praying for a peaceful trip with them ;)
photo 1-4The first flight, which was our longest, went fairly well considering 7.5 hours is the longest the boys have ever flown. The boys traded off and on sleeping. I felt a little restless, being pregnant and not able to sleep (I have the hardest time sleeping on flights.)photo 5

When we arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland things took a turn for the worse for us all. The boys were confused, we thought Ted’s wallet was missing so he had to make a trip back on the airplane, Shailo was hanging out in one of Iceland Airport’s cool buggies (pictured above) when he decided to stand and wiped out backwards in it – hurt his belly and chest enough to make him cry for the entire hour we waited… By the time we boarded the airplane, I was weak and wiped out. Ted was exahausted. Chase was becoming really mouthy and Shailo was bawling. I just sat in my seat holding Shai and crying silently myself haha, MAJOR breakdown. The 3 hour flight felt longer than the first 7.5 hours (okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration)

photo 3When we arrived in Amsterdam, we had to wake our sleeping boys which immediately started the drama :) We didn’t think our strollers would actually end up in Amsterdam because after we boarded our first flight, we realized we didn’t put ANY tags on our strollers whatsoever and had an entirely separate flight to capture in Iceland. We were sure they were lost. When we arrived at the baggage area I was so worried about how we were going to get our boys to WALK while Ted and I pushed our luggage out! To our surprise, our strollers DID arrive! Immediate relief for everyone. ;) photo 2-4

We arrived to YWAM Amsterdam’s base De Poort around 3:30 their time, exhausted and with two sleeping little ones. The staff took us to our room and then brought us their own food to eat! So sweet. We ate a little bit and then let the boys crash for a few hours before dinner time.
photo 4-2The first few nights we AWFUL. Our boys’ jet lag was exhausting for us all! They would go to sleep early and then wake around 11/midnight and stay awake til about 4am. We managed and now they are doing pretty good, they stay up late and sleep from around 11/midnight – 8/9am! So I can’t really complain :)photo 3-1The view around us!
photo-1Our home for the next 3 months. We have pretty small living quarters but that was expected. We also share a kitchen (just for breakfast, because every other meal is provided!) and showers. The boys aren’t crazy about showers (especially Chase) but it’s just for a season. An “adventure” right? photo 5-1photo 2-1Where we eat our breakfasts and meals on weekends.
photo 1-2We live on the “2nd floor” which is actually the 3rd floor and is way more stairs than I’m used to. I am hoping that the walking will help me not gain weight with all of the European chocolate I’ve already consumed! ;)photo 2-3The YWAM Amsterdam base has a really large and fun play room for the kiddos which is amazing. While I’m in class, Ted can take the boys here any time. It’s just in the basement of the place we’re living.
photo 1-3They also have a courtyard in the middle of the base which is also incredible for the boys!photo 4-1We’ve already traveled around the city quite a bit this weekend. It was a lot of fun and we kind of overdid it, so much to see! Amsterdam is beautiful. Unlike any place I’ve ever been.photo 2-2photo 5-2Today we walked to a park nearby and the boys had fun watching boats pass by on the canal.
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Our first week in Amsterdam has been a good one. We are excited to be here and honestly, just so blown away that we ARE here. I spent the week in class with introduction to our class this quarter and also a lot of getting to know the other 18 students here. There are 19 students total and 8 staff representing 15 countries and only 3 of us are from America. So it’s super diverse. I already know I am going to love this season. I feel like we are meant to be here. God knew, He made a way and here we are! Next week begins our first week of teaching. I’m anxious to jump in.

A few prayer requests:

– I fall asleep easily, I’ve found. Not sure if it’s the combination of jet lag and being pregnant or if this is a glimpse into what I’m like in school pregnant haha. Please pray that I can focus and be awake and alert. I truly want to get everything I can out of this season!

-Our sweet Chaseyboy has REALLY been struggling. This transition – all of it – with the garage sales and selling things of his and ours, packing, going to grandparent’s the last week so Ted and I could get our place cleaned out, moving overseas, a new “home” that he doesn’t like (our room I mean)… he is just SUPER struggling. He is so defiant, angry, mouthy, even physical with us. Please pray for peace and calm in him. He is so sweet and this is breaking our hearts.

-For Ted and this transition from working full time and going to school to being basically a “stay at home” daddy. He’s amazing, but I know it will be a struggle too.

Well, that’s it for now. My goal is to write a blog each Sunday (I hope!) So see you next week!