Leiden, Holland

A couple of months ago Liam and I took another mother-son trip, this time to Leiden. Will was heading over to the States for his youngest brother’s wedding, so Liam and I flew over to Holland to see our friends. We couldn’t afford for all of us to go to the US (money and jet-lag), but this way we wouldn’t be alone the whole time Will was away. I went into this trip with a lot of confidence considering how well Liam did in Wuppertal the previous month. Unfortunately, Liam didn’t realise he had set a precedent and decided to handle the trip a bit differently. And by “differently” I mean he whined and cried the whole time. Oh that boy, always spicing things up for me. Precious lamb (not).

Anyway, despite the personality change in my cute travel partner, I’m glad we got to see our friends, to befriend their beautiful baby girl, and to explore their new home city! Leiden is such a beautiful place. It is so green and peaceful. I enjoyed being able to explore it a bit. It was also nice for us to chill with our babies and let them play together, and to catch up on each others lives as new parents!

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Thank you, Trisha and Corey (and Olivia), for being such wonderful hosts and friends!

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Münster, Germany

While Liam and I were visiting the Allens in Wuppertal last month we took a day trip up to Münster for their Saturday market. Now, you guys know I love a good market so I was very keen!

As soon as Liam and Eloise woke up from their morning naps we all packed up our things and hopped in the car. Once there, we strapped our kids up – Eloise in the stroller and Liam in the Ergo – and made our way to the market.

The market itself was great! They had flowers and meats and vegetables and honies. But, what I think was really cool about this market was the massive amount of food trucks they had. I love a good food truck!

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After the market we parked ourselves at the Pinkus’ Müller for some lunch and a bit of a break. Afterwards, we slowly made our way back to the car to head back home.

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I was hoping Liam would get sleepy and fall asleep in the Ergo for his afternoon nap. Nope. This boy had too much to see. This boy loves being outside and observing everything. I was so proud of how he did. However, the real star of the day was my back. It carried that boy like a boss AND didn’t even complain afterwards! Thank you, back :)

I really enjoyed walking around Münster. It’s a really beautiful city.

Fun fact: After the war the Old Town was rebuilt exactly as it looked before the war.

Fun fact numero dos: it’s the bicycle capital of Germany.

I think both of those things heavily contribute to the attractiveness of Münster. I would definitely go back if I lived closer… and try out every single food truck!

Wuppertal, Germany

Liam and I survived our mother-son trip to Germany last month!

I was really nervous about how Liam would sleep in a new place BUT Liam was a freakin’ super star and slept like a champ! Hallelujah!! It might help that Germany is only one time zone away. Still, thank you, Liam.

So, anyway, Germany was amazing! I had been wanting to visit Andrea and Garrick since they moved out there last year. Going when I did turned out to be great timing because it was their one year anniversary for living there; so I got to babysit and let them have a night out to celebrate. I had also been itching to do some travel and explore a new place or two and dust off the cobwebs on photography skills.

Andrea and Garrick, and Eloise, were amazing. With the face-to-face chat between us two new moms, Liam having toys and a buddy to play with – even though he made her cry more times than I’d like to admit, the warmer weather, doing our nails and applying face masks, Garrick’s baseball chat, and the Allen’s amazing hospitality, it was an amazing trip!

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PC: Andrea

I had so much fun hanging out with Andrea and Garrick (and Eloise!). This was a much needed trip for me and I was so glad to have been able to get some good quality time in with my friends :) I can’t wait until next time!

 

Our Christmas Holiday in Richmond

Will and I (and Liam, of course) are heading back to Richmond for Christmas next month! We’re really looking forward to our families seeing Liam, some for the first time. I can’t believe how much he’s changed in these first six months so I know our parents are going to love seeing him again being more alert and interactive!

But, in getting excited about our trip back to Richmond, I realised that I forgot to share about our trip last year (oooops).

So, last year was great. I had JUST gotten over being sick and my belly was starting to show. It worked out really well. It was our first Christmas back in four years so there were a lot of things we were looking forward to: family dinners, family decorations, family christmas traditions – pretty much all things family!
 Will and I had spent the previous three Christmases just the two of us and albeit some of my favourite holiday memories with him, it was nice to spice things up a bit with being with our families. We consider ourselves pretty lucky that both sets of parents not only live in the same city BUT they’re friends and hang out all the time!!

We arrived on the 23rd and unfortunately jet lag kicked my butt and I could barely keep my eyes open past 8pm our whole time there. But we hit the ground running and managed to have joint dinners nearly every night, catch up with most everyone we wanted to, and got to see some FSU football together – go Noles! My brother came down from New York twice to be with us and that was really special – I legitimately can’t get enough of that guy.

I am blessed with two moms that really know how to make my belly happy! Between my mother-in-law’s southern comfort food and my mom’s puerto rican comfort food I pretty much had to be rolled out of Richmond. On top of that, I indulged in corned beef hash and eggs nearly every morning, with the occasional morning of waffles for breakfast. It was bliss! I joked that my bigger belly at the end of the trip was not entirely baby… maybe 75% of it was baby? ;)

One of the more exciting parts of this trip was that I would be spending New Year’s Eve dancing the night away with my closest friends! With three out of four of us not living in Richmond anymore (Tennessee, Oregon, and me in Scotland) it’s unlikely for us to find ourselves in the same place. BUT, this New Year’s Eve it happened. We put on our false eyelashes, curled our hair, applied our brightest red lipstick, and danced the night away! It was bliss! I think that was my most favorite New Year’s Eve EVER!

Deep down inside Will was looking forward to dancing ;)

“I’ve never felt more attractive” – Stacey
“Wow. Our faces move like that.” – Leslie

That night was only made better by dragging Will out of bed at 8am to go to Waffle House the next morning! Will might have hated me that morning, but it was for the baby ;) And it was Waffle House!! Note: I definitely plan on introducing Liam to Waffle House on this trip!

The last time we were back in RVA we didn’t take one family picture. This time we got the talented Amy Robinson to take our pictures. Aren’t we all so beautiful?!! I really do love my family!

Photo Cred: Amy Robinson

I also got my friend, Leslie to take some bump pictures for me. Oh my cute little baby bump!

All in all it was a wonderful trip back to Richmond and a wonderful Christmas! Will and I are looking forward to going back and having Liam with us – outside of my belly this time ;)

Babymooning in Amsterdam

Will is currently headed to a conference in Sweden for the weekend (read: Liam and I will be in our pj’s binging on “Suits” all weekend. We may, or may not, leave the flat–I haven’t decided).

So, I thought I’d reminisce about our babymoon back in March.

Last Christmas Will surprised me with tickets to Amsterdam for our babymoon! He booked the flights and AirBnB room for March so it gave me plenty of time to figure out what I wanted to see and do. By the time March rolled around I was sooooooooooo ready to get my third-trimester-belly over there!

Our first morning there had a bit of a rough start. As soon as we had started walking my back was hurting. I think I lasted 10 minutes before I had to sit down somewhere. On top of that it was cold and windy and I had somehow thought that leaving Scotland, aka “the land of cold and windy”, meant I was flying to the tropics…. because that was the type of logical thinking I was having at nearly eight months of being pregnant?? So, about 12 minutes into our first day I nearly broke down that I was cold and hurting and I was ruining our holiday. BUT enter in Will, the one with a properly functioning brain, and he made it all better by finding us a cafe so we could get warm and sit and press reset. That man of mine sure does know how to be wonderful to me!

After our little reset we were able to tackle Amsterdam that weekend! We saw Anne Frank’s safe house (one of my favourite museums to this day), went to an outdoor market, ate freshly made stroopwafels, checked out more of the amazing museums, walked through the red light district, and walked hand-in-hand along the rivers! We even got to meet up with friends who had just moved from Edinburgh to the Netherlands.

Bump and blarf buddies!! (Blarf = blanket scarf).

The artist at work.

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I don't have the words to express how lucky I am to call this man my partner and best friend. I am too blessed.

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Gorgeous last day in Amsterdam!!

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It was such a great trip for both of us. My belly didn’t get too much in the way of seeing the city. As long I was fed and had ample opportunities to sit and rest I was willing and able to walk all day. And truthfully, Amsterdam is a very walk-able city and easy to get around.  We’d love to go back someday… maybe in the spring/summertime? ;)

A Belfast Market And The Dark Hedges

Back in February Will and I went with some friends to Northern Ireland for a wedding. One of the days we spent in Belfast walking around and checking out an indoor market. We had been to Belfast before so it was nice to see something different. And you know me, I love a good market!

Spending the day in Belfast with these pals!

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Of course we couldn’t NOT check out a bookstore ;)

The day of the wedding was when we went to the Dark Hedges. It was on the way and when better to take a picture in the middle of the road then when you’re in fancy dress?!

Missed waking up to these beautiful faces this morning. #weddingfair #northernireland

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Those two women were so cute walking down the hedges: just gabbing away with their arms linked!

Paris On Film

I miss Paris. The food. The markets. The old shutters and wrought iron balconies. The SUN. The HEAT! Oh man I miss it all!

We were hoping to go this summer but are unable to for obvious reasons – good reasons (cough Liam cough cough) but still. So, to tide me over, here are the film pictures I took last summer.

Maybe next summer?!

Scotland Bucket List

Glencoe

I’m just NOW getting over my mild version of the flu. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. But Will and I are survivors so we persevered. We also may have self-medicated with fish ‘n chips three nights in a row and then had burgers with friends. Our bodies kinda love/hate us right now.

So, in the spirit of being sick and lazy I’d thought I make a Scotland bucket list. We have a few goodbyes to say in the coming months so we’ve been talking about Scotland bucket lists. Of course, Will and I have more than a few months left here, but I thought it would be a good idea to get started on it now so we’re not scrambling to fit it all in later. Though, I’m sure that in those last few weeks we’ll still be scrambling and trying to fit in as much of this wonderful place as possible!

So, here’s our Scotland bucket list. We’ll probably add to it as we think of more things.

  • Ride the Jacobite Train
  • Hike Binnean Niem Beann
  • Go on a whiskey tour (this one’s more for Will)
  • Road trip around Scotland
  • See more of the highlands
  • Go to the Orkneys
  • See Hadrian’s Wall
  • See more of the west coast

It doesn’t seem like much but it’s not that big of a country but a couple of these items are things I want to do again (highlands, Glencoe, and the west coast). We’ve been lucky enough to have done a lot already:

Our Last Day In Paris

I know this is a backwards way of doing it but since I started with the morning of our last day I thought I’d share with you the rest of the day too. I had told you about our morning in Montmartre and how much I loved it but I also loved the rest of that day. We walked all over the place: the Marais, Île Saint-Louis, the Seine, and La Plage. It was some of our favorite places in Paris in one day!

A highlight of the day was that I finally got to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe! The views were beautiful! I can’t fully explain it but I absolutely love the Arc. It’s stunning and one of my favorite monuments in the world.

 

After the Arc we decided it was time for some lunch… and what better place for lunch than some falafel in the Marais?

We ate our lunch in a small park nearby and then strolled over to Île Saint-Louise to get gelato and eat it while walking along the Seine! Doesn’t that sound absolutely wonderful? It should, because it was!

 

Because our day started so early, we felt like we had all the time in the world to get to places. We leisurely strolled all throughout the city of Paris. That evening we decided that since we watched the sunrise we should end the day with the sunset and one last sparkly Eiffel Tower.

One last sparkle!

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