Thursday, October 31, 2013

fifteen months

Just look at him go! Messi material, am I right?


Today you are exactly 15 months old.
And because it's also Halloween today I just couldn't resist dressing you up for the photo's.

You got this soccer outfit last year around Christmas from your aunt and uncle who live in Rotterdam (this is the Rotterdam soccer clubs jersey) and I thought it would make a perfect Halloween costume.

It isn't completely out of the blue that you're dressed up like a soccer player, 
you recently learned to play 'soccer' and you absolutely love it!
You're pretty good with the ball, actually kicking it and everything.

I think we might have the next Messi on our hands ;).


I love how much you talk and how it seems like you're learning a new word every day.
I love how social you still are and how much you love connecting with other people.
I love it when I call for you in the morning, you answer with : 'baba!' (your not very good at 'm' words yet)
I love how much you love food and enjoy sitting at the table with your papa and me.
I love it when you come to me with a book and ask me to read it to you.

Micha, I love everything about you, even when you're a handful 
(and you have been quite a handful this month). 
Your unexpected hugs and kisses make up for all of the cheekiness.

Love, Mama

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Last weekend we visited my sister and her family who live across the country.
Luckily 'across the country' only means a two and a half hour drive here in Holland. 
The drive went smoothly and Micha was such a champ, there were no meltdowns in the car, 
only chatting, snacking and napping. Good boy!

We had such a great time at my sisters house, we ate delicious food, had good conversations and even had a game night. And of course we Instagramed some cute bath pictures and some sister selfies.


On Saturday we went for a walk through their beautiful town, and while we brought along the 'good' camera we hardly made any photos. 
When I was looking through the photo's when we were back home, I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed we hadn't made more. 

It was just such a beautiful day, we visited the cutest little shops, and bought the most delicious baked goods at an artisan bakery, everything was so picture perfect, and I forgot to make the pictures! 
Blogger fail :)


I guess we were just having too much fun! There is something so say about that, right? 

I think sometimes we just have to get out from behind our camera's and phones and just enjoy the moment, without feeling the need to capture it or 'share' it. 
Sometimes 'just' the memories of good times are good enough.

Anyways, enough with the philosophizing..


It was so nice to spend time with my sister, and seeing her and her family love on Micha. 
There is just something so special about that, seeing your family love your baby.

And, Micha? He loved all the attention so much. I think he might need a sibling... haha!
(maybe in a few years buddy!)

Love, Maria

Monday, October 28, 2013

a fall hike

Last week B. had fall vacation, a whole week of spending time together as a family!
The weather was beautiful all week, and one day we decided to go for a hike in a nearby forest.


B. carried Micha in the Beco, it had been a while since Micha had been strapped in like that and at first he was not having it. 
Luckily he decided he liked being carried and we were able to enjoy a fun little family hike. 

We stopped half way on a hill overlooking a herd of sheep grazing in the valley below. 
Their shepherd ( a girl!) was sitting close by drinking tea and reading a book while her dogs tended to the sheep. Isn't that the coolest job?

We ate a picnic of sandwiches and hot chocolate and when our bellies were full we carried on with our walk.

At the end of our hike we took a family picture on the same spot we took ours last year.
One of us has changed quite a bit!

2012          /         2013

I think we might make this an annual tradition.

We love hikes in the fall!

Love, Maria

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blogiversary day 2, my first blog post

This week (today) I'm celebrating one year of blogging. 
Hip, hip, hurray!

I thought it would be fun to repost some of my favorite and some of my most popular posts I've written this year in honor of my first 'blogiversary'.

Day 2: My very first blog post, our love story and Micha's birth story


Micha and Me (and a bit about B.)

This is a blog about a baby boy named Micha (yes it's m-i-c-H-A, not m-i-c-A-H) and his momma, that would be me, Maria. (And a little about our sweet papa and husband B.)

We waited quite a while for him, but then one morning, after a happy and healthy pregnancy, Micha was born. It was the 31st of July 2012, and it will be a day I'll never forget!
The weeks after that, though, have been a blur of diapers, milk, spit up everywhere and the sweetest baby snuggles.

Now I'm ready to remember things, and that is why I want to blog.

I want to remember the little things, his first smiles and giggles and temper tantrums.

I want to be able to look back in a few years and know what was going on in our lives right now and how our God has blessed us.

I want Micha to be able to stumble upon my blog one day and read about our first years together and know that we loved him from the start and always will!

I want to share our life as a family,
including the good, the bad and the ugly bits of life, just keepin' it real!

I want to keep my family and friends across the world updated on our lives, especially Michas.

Yep, another mommy blog, can't have enough hey?

Love, Maria


Want to read more?

Our love story:
chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3

Micha's birth story:
part 1, part 2, part 3

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

hip, hip, hurray!


This week (tomorrow) I'll be celebrating one year of blogging. 
Hip, hip, hurray!

I've enjoyed blogging so much and I can't wait to see what this coming year will bring me.
I would also like to thank each and every one of you for reading along, commenting and/or have supported and encouraged me and my little blog. 
I feel so lucky for all of the new friends I've made through blogging!

I thought it would be fun to repost some of my favorite and some of my most popular posts I've written this year in honor of my first 'blogiversary'.



originally posted on October 26, 2012

As I walked up the stairs this morning to put my baby down for his nap I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror hanging in the hallway. I had to catch my breath as I felt such amazement and gratitude washing over me.

A year ago I thought I would never be that girl in the mirror. 

A year ago I thought my baby would come a different way, born from another mother. 

A year ago we decided to give the treatments one more shot.

A year ago that girl in the mirror had no clue what was about to happen in a few short weeks.

It amazes me how much has changed in that one year, how (as cheesy as it sounds) Gods timing IS perfect, how looking back I'd never change a thing as how things went.

In the thick of it I hated the waiting and the disappointments, I thought our prayers didn't reach Gods ears. But the hardships strengthened my marriage and taught me so many lessons. Not only patience but also understanding and faith.

Is it easy to say this, now things have turned out the way they did? Would I be able to say all these things if I hadn't gotten pregnant and we were still struggling with infertility? 

I don't know, it probably is easy and I probably wouldn't be saying these things, but all I know is that God is faithful no matter what and no matter how things could have been. 

This morning I looked over at my little boy sleeping in his crib and all I could think was:  'our God is an awesome God!' 

That is one thing that hasn't changed and never will!

How great is He!

Love, Maria

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, Papa

my dad is a pastor and he married us, so special

Today is my dads birthday.

He's the most stubborn man I know, but also the wisest (shh, don't tell him). 
He's sensitive and loving, but also a man with a no-nonsense and practical attitude.
He loves my mama fiercely and, together with her, sets a great example of marriage for us.
He's adventurous and loves exploring new places,
but also loves working on projects to make his house a home.
I don't think I've ever witnessed him cleaning a toilet,
but he loves to cook and it's from him where I get my love for baking.
He's outgoing and is great at connecting with people, but also loves to lose himself in good book.
He can be horribly impatient, but he has a big heart and loves his children an grand-children more than anything. 

He is my papa and I'm so lucky to be his daughter!

Happy Birthday Papa,  I love you!

Love, Maria

Friday, October 18, 2013

song, book (show), quote, look

update: yesterdays post is featured on, click here to see it.


I'm trying out something new today, I saw it on Anna's blog and I loved the idea. 
The idea is to share a song, a book, a quote and a look - SBQL.

image sources: song, show, quote, look
As you can see I changed it a bit since I haven't read any books lately, which I find kind of depressing because I love reading and have a whole list of books I want to read, 
but I definitely have some favorite shows to share.

So my version is a bit less classy :)

song // anything by Eva Cassidy is perfect, but lately I've had this song in my head.

show // I'm so glad Downton Abbey started up again, it's the best show to watch curled up on the couch with a blanket and hot cup of tea.
quote // this photo+quote (photo by Anna) have been shared quite a bit in the blogosphere and on Pinterest, but I love it and I'm loving this October!
look // I love everything about this look I found on Pinterest, maybe because of the fact that I own very similar pieces and can recreate it easily

Have a great weekend!

Love, Maria

Thursday, October 17, 2013

baby in the corner

One night, during my pregnancy with a very active (keeping me awake with his kicking) baby, I declared to B.: 'This one is going to be a handful!' 
And I was right. 

From the moment he was born with a loud cry to this very day he has been so full of energy and has such a feisty personality, and while I love him to bits, he can be quite a handful sometimes.


To be clear, I wouldn't want him to be any other way. 
I love his big emotions and his cheeky demeanor and I know he'll do well in life because he knows what he wants. 
He is so outgoing and most of the time a happy and fun little boy to have around.

But with a character like his, it also means that disciplining him starts early.
And that, my friends, is pretty hard.


He loves to test his boundaries. 
When he knows he's doing something he's not supposed to be doing, he turns to me with a big grin on his face, and while saying 'no-no', he does it anyways. Yeah. 
If I say 'no' he just laughs and continues on being a rascal. 
He can throw the best tantrums I have seen yet and doesn't want to do anything he doesn't feel like doing. 
(Uh, buddy, mama needs to change your diaper and brush your teeth once in a while. Okay?)

So lately, if he's being naughty, and doesn't respond to my warnings I put him in his high chair in the corner. Sometimes he thinks it's the most hilarious thing ever, but lately he's starting to realize that it's not so great. Corners are boring.


But that's really all I have in the disciplining department so far, eek! 
I don't like to raise my voice to him and spanking is just not my thing.

I desperately need to do some more research on how to discipline a one-year-old. 
Any experienced mama's out there who want to tell me their tips and tricks? Feel free to share!

But, oh, how I love being this little bear's mama:

Love, Maria

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Bestie!

Today my best friend turns twenty-eight.
Happy Birthday Lydia
Hope you have the best day! 
I wish I could be in Canada to celebrate with you, but this 'ode' to our friendship will have to do :)
best friends! (wow, we would be so in style nowadays, denim-on-denim, and striped pants) 

joined at the hip, even on class photo's (1993)
(I totally forgot about this but Lydia reminded me of this in her comment : 'I love how we both wanted to look short in our school photo and put our bums on the edge of the bench so our feet would dangle', haha, crazy kids we were!)
as crazy teenagers in Holland (2000?)

as newly weds in Canada (2008)
as (new, me) mama's in Holland (September 2012)

A little something about our friendship: 

Ever since we met in first grade we were joined at the hip. We both had the wildest imaginations and drove our teachers and parents crazy with all of our mischief. We were always together.

My family moved away from Canada to Holland when I was ten, but we've kept in touch ever since and have visited each other quite some times during the last eighteen years. 
We've chased after boys as teenagers, talked about husbands and having babies as newlyweds, 
and shared stories of motherhood as mothers. 

Our lives have changed so much since we were little girls, we both got married (to similar looking guys) and had babies (she has two adorable boys), but even though we don't see or speak with each other on a weekly or even monthly base, when we do it's as though nothing has changed. 
We're still so much on the same page. It's such a special friendship, and I feel so blessed!

I'm so lucky to have a friend like you Lyd, and I'm so proud of you for setting an example for me in your Spiritual life, being such a great mama to your boys and following your dreams*.

*A little shout out for her wedding flower business
If you are getting married and live in Canada (Ontario region) you should definitely check her out! 
She is crazy talented!

Love you so much, Lyd!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Chili Pockets

If you follow my Instagram feed you might know that on Saturday we had the most delicious pumpkin chili for supper. I found the recipe here.

It was the perfect meal for the dark and gloomy day we had had, ticking all the right boxes when it comes to a great chili. Spicy, but not too much, thick, flavorful, the perfect toppings of sour cream, cilantro, cheese and tortilla chips. 

It was so, so good and you can imagine how happy I was that there was some left over, a rarity in our household, since B. almost always empties the pot. I can't believe he's not obese.


There wasn't enough left over for a substantial meal, 
but when I saw this pin on Pinterest this morning an idea was born.

I dropped spoonfuls of the chili onto pastry squares, topped it with some shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream and some cilantro, made pockets and popped them in the oven for twenty minutes. 
I served them with some salsa to dip.
A delicious and easy lunch or light dinner and a great way to finish up your leftover chili.


It's so easy you really don't need a recipe, but I thought I'd share one anyway.

(Pumpkin) Chili Pockets (makes 4)

(I didn't measure out any ingredients so this is a wild guess as to how much you need)

4 small puff pastry sheets
leftover chili (pumpkin, or any other thick chili)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cheese
some fresh cilantro
1 egg beaten

Salsa to dip

1. Heat oven to 200 c / 400 F and grease a baking sheet.

2. Thaw puff pastry for about ten minutes.

3. Drop a spoonful of chili on each square (on one side so you can easily fold the square in half diagonally) , top the chili with some cheese, the sour cream and a few leaves of cilantro.

4. Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg and fold the square diagonally to make a little triangular pocket. Seal the pocket by pressing the edges with a fork.

5. Brush the top of the pockets with the remaining eggwash.

6. Pop in the oven and bake for 15 -20 minutes (until the pockets are nicely puffed up and golden brown)

7. Serve with salsa to dip.


Love, Maria

Friday, October 11, 2013

five happy things on Friday



For B's birthday last weekend I made salted caramel brownies, and they were unbelievably delicious. Luckily for me there were some leftover and I've been having one each day this week as my 'morning nap snack'. 
So bad, yet so good!
I didn't even think of making a photo they were so good, so you'll have to do with a photo of a similar recipe on Pinterest (note: I do not use brownie mix, it's all from scratch baby!) 
The caramel I made was my best batch yet, just on the right side of burnt. Yum.



This video clip is so adorable. My mama heart just couldn't take the sweetness and some tearing up happened.
B. needs to do this with Micha for my next birthday or else... (just kidding, sort of)



Fall is definitely here in Holland this week and I don't mean the beautiful sunny, crunchy red leaf kind of fall. 
I mean the Pinterest unworthy fall, the raining all-the-live-long day kind of fall. 
Micha and I were getting a bit restless today, there's just so much hanging around at home and reading books we can take, so I decided to go out for lunch. 
We biked through the rain with our poncho's on and had the most fun little lunch date. 
Micha was flirting with all the ladies and chatting everyone up. 
He's going to be such a heart breaker when he grows up, I know it!



These booties. Need I say more?



Tomorrow morning I'm going to work my butt off at a boot camp class. 
I've been participating for a few weeks now, and it's so much fun and a great work out!
The classes are outside no matter what the weather is and it's actually pretty fun to get all muddy and gross while working out. It kind of reminds me of playing outside when I was little.
Boot Camp yeah!


Have a great weekend!

(and for my Canadian friends, a happy thanksgiving weekend to you!)

Love, Maria

Thursday, October 10, 2013

the thing about social media

I was Skyping with my sister the other day and we were talking about social media and how looks can be so deceiving.

She told me how a friend refuses to go on Facebook because it only contributes to her feeling depressed, and I understand that. 
I remember when we were longing for a baby every pregnancy announcement or complaint about how hard pregnancy was, was to much for me to handle and I 'unfriended' quite a lot of  'friends' during that time.
It might not have been the nicest thing to do, but all those updates made me feel so inadequate and depressed. 
Social media can be tricky like that.


It is so easy to compare with someone else's seemingly perfect life and feel like my life is lacking. 
It's so easy to let negativity and jealousy rule my life.

But one thing I seem to forget all too often is that I'm comparing my life, my real life, 
with someones filtered life. 
The things most people share on social media are usually the highlights and the happy moments, 
don't forget that! 
No one wants to air their dirty laundry in public. And I think that's pretty normal. 


But for me, it is something to keep in mind. 
Not only when seeing others lives through social media, but also when sharing my own life. 
I want to be aware of how I come across and why I share certain things and keep other things to myself. 
I want to question my intention for posting certain things: 'Is it to make others jealous or am I honestly sharing my happiness/real life/the beauty around me?'


My life is far from perfect, 
I'm just another mama and wife trying to be the person God intended me to be,
sometimes it's a great life and sometimes life is hard.

But it's the life that I have received and I feel so blessed.

And I absolutely believe that social media can bring so much positivity, 
we just need to be more intentional and real about it, don't you think?

Love, Maria

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

so fashion forward...

I can't stop noticing all the fun, colored tights I keep seeing all over Instagram(here) and on blogs (here), 
and I absolutely love this trend. 
It's such a fun way to brighten any outfit. And perfect for Fall.


Although I'll never claim to be fashion forward or super stylish I actually jumped on the colored tights bandwagon at least two years ago. I'm so trendy, haha!
I had bought a cute black dress for Christmas and searched everywhere for a pair of ochre yellow tights. They had to be ochre yellow. But, of course, I couldn't find the right color anywhere. 
Finally, a few days before Christmas I found them. 
They were the only ones left, the sales person told me that they stopped selling the color because no one was buying them, and even though they were a bit over budget I knew they needed to come home with me. 
Ironically, a few months later the color was everywhere. 
I forgot about the tights after wearing them to the Christmas party and rediscovered them just a few days ago. It was day of great joy.


I decided to pair them with this sweater dress I've had for years(and also haven't worn for at least two years), and what do you know: they're a match made in heaven! 
And my new favorite scarf matches perfectly. 
(the scarf is the nicest one I've ever had and it matches with almost everything)

Oh, the mirror is so gross, sorry! Micha loves giving himself kisses...

scarf: H&M // dress: H&M (old) // tights: some Italian brand? // boots: thrift // cropped jacket: H&M (old)

I love finding 'new' on trend outfits in my closet!

What are your thoughts on the colored tights trend?

Love, Maria

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

our weekend // B.'s birthday

on B.'s birthday last year, I totally forgot to make photo's this year, oops...

On Sunday it was B's birthday, twenty-eight years old. 
(Yes, I'm six months older than my husband, what a cougar huh? )

He doesn't shop much for clothes and he desperately needed some new shoes, 
so on Saturday I took him out shopping for some new duds, as a birthday present. 
(a mans birthday dream I tell ya, ha!).

As a real Dutchie he hates paying full price for anything, and is always looking for a discount. 
Of course all the sales had just ended and we couldn't find anything in his unrealistic price range. 
I kept saying that it was his present and he didn't have to pay attention to prices, 
but the man is hard headed. 
On top of that we had Micha along who had decided to sleep in that morning (yay) but as a result hadn't had his morning nap (not so yay), and he was getting tired and grumpy and already had eaten both of his little boxes of raisins.
We finally headed home with a sweater, two white t-shirts and three bad moods.
It was a fun afternoon. (no, no it was not.)

^ ^ ^ ^

But after a nap(Micha), a successful shopping trip (B.) and baking birthday cakes (me) all of the bad moods had turned to good ones and that evening we had a blast having friends over for B.'s birthday. 
For the first time since pregnancy and baby I had more than two glasses of wine and went to bed at 2 a.m., you bet that I felt that the next morning. 
But being B.'s birthday and all I let him sleep in while I cleaned up the mess from the night before, 
wrapped presents, set the table for a special birthday breakfast, 
and tried to keep Micha quiet and entertained.

After breakfast we enjoyed a lovely, peaceful Sunday, with a beautiful church service, 
a long nap (all three of us) and a bike ride in the warm October sun. 

At the end of the day, while watching Breaking Bad (we're almost done!!!)
B. told me how lucky and spoiled and loved he felt. 

B., Happy Birthday my love! 
You are the very best husband and papa we could ever wish for. 
You are a handsome man, you are a good man, and above all you are a man of God.
I love you for ever and ever!

Love, Maria

Thursday, October 3, 2013

#tbt (that means: throw back thursday, mom)

Somebody did a whole lot of growing up since last October.

Micha exactly a year ago:

I can only imagine how big he'll look next year!

Love, Maria

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

eating all the samples

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is going to farmers markets or food fairs. 
Luckily they happen pretty often in my city. Last weekend we visited a food fair where local artisans and farmers showcased there products and produce. 
The best thing: free samples! Yum!
We met up with my friends husband and their son who were alone for the day, and while the men pushed the strollers and talked about man stuff I was able to take photos and taste all the samples.
My favorite sample was a sheep's milk cheese ripened in grape must, B. loved his artisan beer sample and Micha happily munched away at a cinnamon raisin bagel.
I say: why don't we do this every weekend people?

Love, Maria