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 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!

Mrs. Lee to be – Wedding Shower

Some of our dearest friends are getting married this summer!! I was so touched and moved to tears when my sweet friend Chey asked me to be her Matron of Honor (which we both agree sounds too matronly so we’re sticking with Maid of Honor ;)) What an exciting time! I loooove deciding themes and planning parties and deciding on a colour scheme, decor and food, etc and last weekend we had Chey’s first shower! I thought I’d share the fun details of the party – just for fun, maybe to help spark some ideas for you …and again, to kinda get my name out there if anyone locally would like to hire me for a party or for wedding decor, etc. (Wink – but seriously…)

The invites were pretty simple as I knew there would be a lot going out. I painted the A and C stamps with a cream paint and used washi tape for a simple touch on the front. I also used the washi tape as simple decor on recycled glass jars – which you’ll see later.

I chose a few fun fonts and created the invite in Photoshop and then printed them onto a textured teal paper. The theme of the shower was Mrs. Lee to be with travel and vintage touches strung throughout my house.


A few fun touches greeted the guests as they walked up.


I wanted to do some sort of guestbook of encouragement. I first thought letters from her friends but the day before the party I spotted this canvas bag at Hobby Lobby and thought we could have a similar feel on a canvas bag that she could use the weekend or perhaps on her honeymoon! I put a purple fabric marker beside the bag and friends wrote encouraging words to her. I will also use it at her Lingerie Shower for guests who were unable to attend the Wedding Shower.


(Above left: the only photo I got that show the awesome trunks! Right: the final decor)

Chey and Anthony are having a travel themed ceremony and she gave me free reign in helping her decorate for her wedding which is a dream! I spotted these amazing old trunks (with old school maps on them!) at a thrift store. A perk: only $25 for both!


Beverage station. Simply washi tape on a recycled jar – to holding straws I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $5 (for 144! A great deal, way better than 25 at Hobby Lobby for $4!) I also made chalkboard wine bottles – which Chey requested as decor for her ceremony! It’s super fun that many of the pieces we’re creating will work at her showers as well as her big day! The frame I already had (I had painted blue for our bed room). It has a small wire I attached to the back and mini clothes pins to hold the photo of the lovely couple!


Above: my favourite pinterest inspired piece EVER.

20130525-070000.jpgAn embroidery hoop photo chandelier where I displayed photos from their engagement shoot.


The gift area.




Lots of yummy treats (um, and a lifesaver –  personally, I have found baking on the day of a party is NOT good for my nerves, so I opted out with pastries from a Sprouts Grocery! It was such a sigh of relief – even if a little more costly!)20130525-065918.jpg


I asked Chey and Anthony a list of the same questions and then wrote down one of their answers with a game of He Said, She Said -with props my mom and I made! Guests held up their guesses and Chey held up lips or a mustache to show who said it! Super fun.


The funniest game by far was having her guests “help” write her vows – mad lib style! The room broke in to many teams of 2 and worked together (without reading the entire letter) and then they shared the vows at the end. Chey chose which was her favourite. This game had everyone laughing!20130525-065833.jpg

The winners received a chocolate bar of their choice. I chose this particular brand because it looks like a letter which was a fun addition to the theme.


I didn’t get a very good photo of the whole group, but here is one of everyone writing their mad lib vows.


The beautiful Mrs. Lee to be and Chaseyboy (who popped in at the tail end of the party.) Chey came dressed adorably and very bride-to-be like. She even unintentionally matched the decor! :)

What a fun time celebrating my dear, sweet friend Chey! She has been there through so much in my family’s life and is always there to help us in any way she can!  It was truly an JOY to finally do something special for her and throw a party celebrating them!


I know Chey would say that her favourite gift of the weekend was having her momma fly in for her Wedding Shower (shown above)!

Speaking of moms… I couldn’t have thrown this party without the help of my WONDERFUL Madre!! She helped me so much with the cleaning and food prep! Such a blessing.

Thanks for popping by. Can’t wait to share more of my beautiful friend’s big day!!


And then my sister’s wedding in August!!