Yay, it’s the weekend!

I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled that it’s Friday!

Yay Tala!

Yay! Yay! Yay!

It’s been a tiring week. Marlon went on a special five-day management training course that had him out the door early and home late every day. We’ve barely seen each other and, because he’s such a hands-on dad, I’ve really felt his absence. I conserved my energy at the start of the week, but mid-week the discovery of an unexpected pocket of time led to what I can only call a complete brain malfunction: I decided to start working out again.

If you know Jillian Michaels (“America’s Toughest Trainer™”) or the concept of HIIT (high intensity interval training), then you’ll know that returning to such a demanding workout after 18 months (!) reduced me to a sorry, whimpering carcass. Not the most brilliant move when I was basically a single mom for all of Tala’s waking hours this week. I had to pick Tala up from the gastouder right after my first workout,  and while heaving my concrete limbs plus 8 kilos (17.6 pounds) of wriggling baby up the stairs, I thought I would never make it.

But I did make it up the stairs, and I made it to the weekend. Go me!

I’m looking forward to much-needed rest and family time for the next two days. I’ll be back on Monday to announce the winners of my birthday giveaway and tell you a bit about the results of the first-ever Currystrumpet reader survey. I’ll also share a creative project I’ve been working on for the past few weeks and a high school hobby that I’ve reconnected with.

For everyone back home who is weathering Super Typhoon Yolanda, you are in my thoughts. Stay safe and have a good weekend!

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Summer at last!

You might have noticed that I haven’t been posting much about day-to-day life here in Amsterdam. Well to tell you the truth, apart from the traveling, spring and summer have been less than inspiring… and the weather has been mostly to blame. Weeks upon weeks of pouring rain and heavy gray clouds made me wish I was somewhere else, and you’ve seen that here.

But this week, things have changed. Summer finally came bearing its gifts: near-cloudless blue skies, blazing sunshine, and a transformed city. Amsterdam in the sunshine is colorful, cheerful, and so very alive—and I’ve spent the last few days offline in an effort to make the most of all that.

This late summer in Amsterdam brings with it the realization of things I once took for granted: walking to the corner store in shorts and flip-flops, enjoying a bowl of cereal with cold milk for breakfast, deciding that you want ice in your drink, getting a tan, even the feeling of breaking into a light sweat without moving a single muscle. (If you only really have to get sweaty a couple of times a year, it’s not so bad.)

But it also brings with it new pleasures: playing with babies and laughing with friends in a lush green backyard, driving to a beach where you never get burned no matter how long you stay in the sun, reading a new book in a sunny public park, throwing steaks and salmon on a barbecue grill (and eating them with salad, not rice). It’s funny how barbecues have become such a huge pleasure because the weather they require is so rare. Back home, there are barbecue grills practically installed on every other street corner, and we don’t even think about it.

So, I’m going offline again to enjoy this elusive, precious summer and all the little things I may again take for granted someday. (That’s humanity for you.) But please come back on Sunday for a special brunch treat… one that’s been way overdue! And of course, there will be more Iceland adventures next week.

Happy weekend!

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