Thursday, August 30, 2012

On Patience

"I beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Weekend Bits (Tuesday Edition)

Our weekend was jam packed with parties and fun: celebrating my darling graduate's accomplishments and saying goodbye to his classmates on Friday, eating my weight at a fabulous BBQ hosted by our dear friend Pieter's family on Saturday, and to top it all off, a surprise baby shower some friends (with Didz's help) threw for me on Sunday! Needless to say, by Monday (our Anniversary), I was pooped, so we spent the day lounging and relaxing and eating leftover treats from the baby shower, ordering take-out, reminiscing about the crazy year we just had and getting excited knowing that the adventures are just beginning for us.

Here's a glimpse:

graduates all lined up
my view during the graduation ceremony - gazing out the window was far more interesting than the speeches
bobby caught us 
chit-chat and laughter
eating, drinking and awakening our hearts
didz & sushant
catia & ariane
bobby lounging in the grass

The half-laughing, half-crying look of total surprise Didz caught on camera when I arrived to the baby shower:

didzette's new mousey friend

I hope you had a wonderful weekend, dear friends... Let's all have a relaxing week.

Monday, August 27, 2012

One year ago...

Looking back to our wedding, it's easy to overlook the details of our wedding day: getting ready with my girlfriends in our cabin at Camp Neringa, the beautiful ceremony in the woods with our incredible musician friends echoing through the trees, the smile I couldn't wipe off my face - even through the tears as I married the love of my life, then boogying the night away together as husband and wife. 

All that gets overshadowed by Irene: the (attempted) emergency evacuation Sunday morning, running through ankle deep water through pouring rain to try to get out of camp before the bridge got washed away (carrying our cat wrapped in a towel like a football)... and then, after finding out the bridge was gone, the three days of being stranded at "Camp Weddinga". Three days of mixed emotions - the initial fear, worry and concern giving way to a pretty spectacular display of camaraderie amongst the 100 guests (or hostages, as we liked to call them) who were stuck there with us. Our friends from across the US and Canada came together to share their talents during the Talent Show the first evening (we have some seriously talented friends), then created an awesome activity schedule to keep our days occupied, including bread baking, yoga, mushroom picking, massage therapy, and a solid attempt at crab-apple liquor making. From water conservation (we were a little stinky until the shower schedule was established) to food rationing (kids and pregnant ladies eat first! only one sausage each! two meals a day!) to coffee rationing, to meal prep and clean up, everyone banded together to get through it... thank goodness we were well stocked in the wine and liquor department (otherwise things could've gotten ugly). Yes, the wedding itself gets overshadowed by the hurricane, the drama, and the rescue mission. But it was our wedding, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Happy Anniversary, Didz. 
Best year of my life. 

(Wedding photos by A Love Supreme - see more here and here, chopper photo by Inga)

Friday, August 24, 2012

One last lunch

On Wednesday afternoon, Didz and I invited a handful of friends over for one last hurrah at our place. The intense heat from the weekend had broken, making it the perfect time to sit on the patio and reminisce about the whirlwind year we just had. From daylight to candlelight we sat outside, laughing, eating, drinking, and squeezing in some final memory-making before our final farewells next week.

I prepared a few different salads, a cold cucumber soup, and mini chicken tacos, while Didz made sure the drinks were flowing.

Even though we still have a few fun-filled days left as a group, saying good-bye at the end of the evening was hard. We've become so close and created such great friendships with these people - it's hard to believe we won't get to see them on a daily basis anymore, and they won't just be popping by unannounced when they're out on our street (good riddance! ;) ... And, as to be expected from a bunch of MBAs, nobody knows what their future holds or where they'll get jobs, but we're all looking forward to  future travels to visit everyone where ever they land.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Graduation to Didz! Happy Baseball Weekend to our friends in Toronto... and a very Happy Wedding to my darling friend Mollie! I love you Molls!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

School's Out

grill master Laurent - the first of many graduation parties

This week is all about celebrating. Didz gave his final presentation yesterday - which means the rest of the week is all about get-togethers, bbqs, and parties, culminating with Graduation festivities this coming weekend. He's worked so hard all year, balancing an MBA, life in a foreign country, and our first year of marriage (and then dealing with a hormonal, pregnant wife during the second half of the school year). I'm so proud of him, and so impressed with how he's handled it all. It just makes me that much more confident in our future together, knowing that we can take on the world and come out on top.

Way to go, Didz... Let's party!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


As many of you may know (or remember from this post), when I was twenty, I took off for a year-long Spanish adventure. I was living with the most wonderful woman, Nina, who took in a couple students every year. Her own children were all grown, married and out of the house, and I like to think we kept her company and brought joy to her days... though to be honest, I'm not sure how she didn't want to kill us for stumbling in at 6am after getting our fill of the Spanish nightlife. Despite what she may have thought of our late nights, she always prepared incredible meals for us. 

Towards the end of my stay with Nina, I asked her for her Tortilla Espanola recipe, which was my absolute favorite thing. She laughed a little - for her, something like Tortilla doesn't have a recipe, it's just something she can throw together with her eyes closed. But she humored me and explained how she makes it... and now, almost ten years later, I will still occasionally make it and think back to my time in Spain. It doesn't come out as pretty as hers, but the flavor is pretty close to how I remember it. 

I found this recipe, which is more or less how Nina taught me (though it doesn't mention salt/pepper, which I always add rather generously), but I'm sure there are countless variations out there. This time I taught Didz how to make it... and in a few years, I'm looking forward to teaching Didzette. 

I think she'll like it. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekend Bits: Bobby's Back!

It was a beautiful, sunny weekend here in Belgium - the kind that's perfect for dining al fresco, sipping cold beverages on patios and catching up with a good buddy. Our friend Robbie (aka Bobby) just returned from 6 weeks in India, so we spent Saturday afternoon in Brussels patio hopping and swapping stories from the past several weeks (his were obviously way more interesting than ours). 

didz & bobby
hanging around ste-catherine
sunday morning: apple cinnamon pancakes with fresh blueberry compote

This week, we're looking forward to catching up with some of our other friends who are returning from their projects in Thailand, India, Vietnam and elsewhere across the world. With Didz's graduation two weeks away, we'll also be mentally preparing ourselves for the slew of good-byes and farewells we'll be faced with shortly afterwards. It's very hard to believe the year is nearly over... and although we'll be sticking around a little bit longer (thanks to Didzette), it'll be very hard to say goodbye to all the friends we've made in Didz's class when they all take off for their next adventures. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Blueberry Crumble and some ramblings

This week has really been flying by. Between shopping for baby gear (We bought a stroller the other day! Somehow, shopping for baby stuff makes it feel so much more real.) and scheduling our days around Team Lithuania's basketball games, the week has all but disappeared. And don't even get me started on the fact that it's AUGUST already. Where does the time go? The other evening Didz and I were saying that when we were kids, summer felt like a blissful eternity - three glorious months of sunshine and summer camp and fun. Now, three months goes by in the blink of an eye... Three months from now we will have a baby living here.

I get these waves of disbelief and reality sinking in, of excitement and total fear, of feeling prepared one minute and then absolutely clueless about what is about to happen to us the next. So instead of trying to keep up with my worries, doubts and joys, I buy a bajillion blueberries and make blueberry crumble.

It helps. I promise.