I have also abandoned my virtual guestbook over the last several months! Luckily, the real one is still holding its own in our entry way, so I can play catch up now! Here’s a quick round up.
Before Max was even two months old, he attended his first wedding back in Oregon. If I remember correctly, it was one of those fun adult-only weddings, but he got a special exception (probably because his Dad was in the wedding). So it was only fitting that the bride and groom visited us on their one-year anniversary trip across Europe. Skyler and Sari Ashbaugh came last September and stayed with us for several days. They are the sweetest couple and we had a wonderful time, hitting all the sights, some for the first time. We finally made it to the Heineken Brewery, where even Max got tokens for beers at the bar overlooking the city. Don’t worry, Grayson and Skyler helped him out with those!
Around Thanksgiving, one of my best friends and old college roommate visited with her husband. Jenna and James Yackish left their two little girls at home in Chicago with their grandparents and visited us for a few days. While I am sad we missed seeing the girls, it was still so great to catch up their Mom and Dad. We got another first while checking out the city – the Anne Frank House. It’s the biggest tourist attraction in Amsterdam, but I had never managed to get there. We did lots of chatting and Jenna, of course, got me to spill the (very early) beans that we had a baby on the way. We even got a babysitter one night and had a night on the town (which looks so much different than it did when we were in college!). We were sad to see them go, and Chicago will be at the top of our list of places to visit when we get back to the U.S.
“We again got a babysitter and again proved life is so much different than college years.”
And just like that, it was December! With my Mom retired and no cows at home anymore, my parents are freed up in the winter to do a little traveling. They visited us for most the month of December and hung out with Max. We checked out a Christmas market in a nearby town called Haarlem and spent lots of time walking around Amsterdam. Kara joined us over Christmas, and we all headed to southern Portugal for our first-ever sunny Christmas. Kara stuck around for New Years in Amsterdam, a big holiday here with A LOT of fireworks. It was a great end of the year for 2016.
In January, Carter McMordie visited us! He also brought along his parents, Nick and Sarah (he was only nine months after all). It was so fun meeting Carter and watching Max and Carter interact. We couldn’t understand them, but I’m sure the baby babble was about future plans at Gonzaga. Nick and Grayson lived together for a couple of years there. I also had a lot of fun getting to know Sarah better since I had only met her one other time. We again got a babysitter and again proved life is so much different than college years. Plus, Carter and his jet lag learned a lot of Dutch staying up with the sitter!
My big plan for my birthday in January was to treat myself to a chocolate croissant at the corner bakery and spend the day at home with Max. When the doorbell rang at 9:00 am, I assumed it was a package or mail. It wasn’t. It was my sister, Kara. I had absolutely no idea, although I should have since I knew she was going to Spain for work, and Grayson randomly asked if we needed to wash the guest room sheets the weekend before. I blame pregnancy hormones for clouding my intellect! She was only here for a couple of days before heading to Spain, and we had fun catching up, playing with Max and an amazing birthday dinner at de Kas.
April brought the family I miss daily from Portland, the Kanetomi’s. Maggie and I were random freshman college roommates at Gonzaga, which was the best thing the school could have done. And now, Maggie and Matt’s adorable daughter, Emiko, is only two months younger than Max. There was a lot of pressure on the two of them to become best friends, and they only had a week to do it. Max went all in and tried to give as many hugs and high-fives as possible to Emi. Emi wasn’t so sure at first, but she at least hid her disgusted face during his hugs by the end of the week. We had a fun vacation, hitting up the zoo and catching up like old times.
Grandma and Grandpa Tenney visited in May. I’m not sure what they packed for themselves because their luggage was packed with goodies for Max! They stayed with us for about five days, then rendezvoused all over Europe before staying with us for another few days on the way home. We made a couple day trips with them to Volendam and Delft, spent lots of time around the neighborhood, and went to some local favorites like the zoo and Amsterdam Bos.
Then there were 2.5 days the baby was not allowed to come! My mom arrived a couple days after the Tenney’s flew home to await the arrival. Max then came down with a bad case of the chicken pox. Just as soon as he was recovering, Holland made her grand debut. It was more of a stay-at-home kind of trip for my mom this time! Luckily Kara arrived a few days later, and made sure she and Max got some happy hours in! We also got in a picnic with my cousin Kim Gutterman as she was traveling around Europe. It was an exciting few weeks!
And that brings us to the present! We are lucky to have so many friends and family visit, and we love filling up our guestbook.