Sunday, June 01, 2008

This is BIG.

First of all, I just wanted to say that thankfully Glade was MUCH better on the flight home than the flight to. If he hadn't played peek-a-boo through the plane seats I don't think the people behind us would have even known we had a baby with us. He did however poop through both outfits I had packed for the trip home and thus sported a blanket the remainder of the flight.

He really was a joy to have on this trip.

Most of you know we went to the Netherlands recently. Most of you don't know that my husband was offered a job there and they want us to move August 15th. The contract is for a minimum of two years. We have to let them know our decision TOMORROW. Yikes!

Here are a few things I loved about Holland:

1. Practically everyone has at least one bike and uses it very frequently. They still have cars but most of them use their bikes when they can. They strap their tiny little babies on and I saw people carrying as many as three kids on just one bike. Oh and you know 5:00 traffic jams? Well they have them with their cars and their bikes!
(this bike has 3 wheels, 3 seats & 2 handle bars...interesting!)

2. I really love all the very old buildings. They have so much character. Their homes have a lot of character as well and are so small and cosy. A small home = less to clean, that's gotta be a plus! Their yards (they call them gardens) are very small if they have one at all. I don't know if that's something I love but I know Jarom would rejoice in not having to mow the lawn and maybe I could handle a garden that's only the size of my current kitchen table.

3. The people there were so helpful and friendly. Jarom claims that people in the US are as well but we just don't notice it as much because we aren't walking around looking lost! Still, they were very nice people.

4. The LDS church there is much smaller although not too small. The ward we went to had 100 members and about 80 were there the day we went. Church was in Dutch but since most of the people speak English, it wasn't difficult to find someone to translate for us. During Sacrament meeting we wore these cool headsets (and yes, I did feel so cool) and an intrepreter sat in the back speaking in English into a microphone for us to hear. The neat thing was I could wander the halls with my wiggly baby and still hear the talks. I often find myself singing the first Dutch song I remember singing, "Kom tot Zion, Kom tot Zion." Those were the only 3 words I could pronounce in the whole song and I'm sure I butchered those a little too.

5. Jarom would have 26 paid vacation days a year (plus regular holidays). They also pay you an extra month's salary so you can have money to go on vacation (or holiday as they call it). There are so many neat places close to Holland that we could literally take a weekend and visit Paris! Also not too far is Germany, France, England, etc. What an opportunity!

6. It's very beautiful...gorgeous trees, water, etc.

On the flip side of things I cannot imagine being that far away from the family I love for at least 2 years. It's sad for me to think that my boys wouldn't be able to see their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins frequently. If we're lucky we would see some of the family maybe once or twice the whole time we're there. Plane tickets are just so expensive. I don't think a day goes by that Jimmy doesn't ask for "Gamma", "Gampa", "Naenae", "Lala" or "Baenyn." It breaks my heart to think that we would have to make do for conversations on Skype rather than personal visits, hugs and kisses. I seriously can't think about it or I cry. The decision isn't completely set in stone until Jarom signs the contract. Tomorrow is a very big day.


Emma said...

WOW! What a decision. I hope you find some guidance in the answer to that one. But it sure would be amazing to say you have lived in the netherlands. Let me know what you decide. We would have to squeeze in 2 years of visiting teaching and play dates into a short time, but we can do it.

Megan said...

HOW FUN!!! I'm dying to know what you decided!!!!

Karlene said...

What an opportunity! I know you'd miss your family. We missed McKenna terribly when she went to Taiwan for a month. But what an experience. I say, go for it. Think of it as a mission. :)

Fowler family said...

Oh Erika, this is the chance of a lifetime! I am so excited for you guys.

Glade pooping through 2 outfits made me laugh. My babies have always had poop explosions on planes too. I have thrown away a handful of outfits in airport bathrooms because of this. Wonder what it is about travel that makes a baby have explosive poops?

Congrats on your new little nephew!