Oud en Nieuw

When you look back on the past year, you rarely hear anyone say “it was a really quiet year.” 365 days is a lot of time, and it leaves available near endless opportunity for things to happen to you, and around you, or for you to effect on yourself.

Sometimes it’s difficult to sum up in words all the emotions you are feeling. Though I guess, as I’ve decided to become a writer, even if it is in just a small way via this blog, I need to be able to overcome that and find the words.

I wished at the end of last years wrap-up post “may the adventures continue”. I’m sure just to put me in my place, they have continued with startling regularity in 2013.

We have done so much, come so far, jumped some hurdles, and unfortunately, said goodbye to people too. That was hard to come to terms with for me. Possibly made more difficult because of not being able to grieve with the other mourners. But life does go on.

There has been good too (that is an understatement!). There have been amazing and life changing experiences! I am more fortunate than I would have once believed possible in that I have traveled to Prague and London this year. To have seen things I’d only ever read about. Both cities contain such rich depth of culture and history, and these trips have inspired me to delve deeper into their respective histories.

Being able to host visiting family and friends has played a big part in this year too, with people coming to stay in March, two different families in July, and a friend in December. In 2014 we have our first guests in January, with more planned for March, and then again in July.

We have spent 2013 making new friends, reconnecting with old friends, and meeting other friends in the flesh for the first time. We have also explored a little more of this beautiful country we call home, though there is still much to see. With two semesters of language course under my belt, conversations in Dutch when we travel are much easier! I have since moved on to learning word lists in order to expand my vocabulary. Though admittedly, I need to be much more diligent about this! There is a new textbook I’m interested in getting my hands on which might help.

For Christmas this year we continued some of the same traditions we began last year; there were Skype conversations with family, a leisurely breakfast of brie and bacon soufflé with a glass each of Veuve while we opened our gifts. We then settled in to watch our new DVDs and read our new books while snuggling with the boys. Our lives and hearts felt very rich indeed.

New Years promises similar soul enriching opportunities with an invitation to a friend’s house for firework watching, and I’m hoping to rug up on New Years Day and walk through Vondel Park again, like we did last year. Feeling a part of the community that surrounds us always makes me thankful for how full our life is.

It is on that note which I wish to thank you all for your participation in our lives as well. Thank you for your comments and involvement on the blog, and in our lives over the past year. I hope the new year is filled with hope, happiness, family, friends and love.

Have a happy New Year, and we’ll be back for more adventures on the other side of this arbitrary date! Get ready to turn the calendar page over! 3… 2… 1…

6 thoughts on “Oud en Nieuw

  1. What a lovely post! Happy new year to you and yours and wishing you lots of the very best (including more good times and adventures) for 2014! Xx

  2. Wow – insightful and provocative (in a very positive way) We tried on Christmas day for a Skype connection but do appreciate that it must have been a busy time with all the relatives etc., and we know we will catch up at some point. We know you were busy and it was no different at this end and given that for the first time in 10years we hosted nothing at our place on Christmas Day it was indeed a very strange day – in fact for a number of reasons some of which we are aware and some which we haven’t worked out – it was a very different and un-Christmas Season. Our love and Best Wishes as you enter 2014.

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