Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My 2014 overview

No not the FB generated one, but my choice of 12 (ok 13) key pictures

January 2014

I was home , very busy with job hunting.
This picture cracked me up then...and it still does

February 2014

In February I got a project mgt certification abroad, while being struck with flue during the examinations but I nailed it anyhow.
Right after my job hunt ended already much quicker than I had dared to hope.

March 2014
We spent a long weekend in Berlin with my parent's-in-law and discovered all the diverse aspects of this historic city as well as the beauty of Potsdam and also got to meet a blog friend for the first time in real life!

April 2014

April started with Kabouter's baptism

May 2014

Early May we flew to California and toured through 6 national parks and hang out in Las Vegas, LA and San Francisco.  Some locations brought back very precious memories from the Rotary Western Safari tour with the exchange students in '95  but I saw so many gorgeous new places as well (and I confirmed my dislike for LA!).

June 2014
We enjoyed some early summer days in the garden in the Ardennes.  Just hanging around for a weekend but such precious time.

July 2014

in July we restored the tradition of going to Center Parcs with friends, but this time was very different as it was the first time we were in the vacation park as young parents. 

August 2014

At the end of August we always have a few birthdays and an anniversary to celebrate in our families...time for a lot of hurrays.

September 2014

In September we finished my parent's new garden house, a family project where we had jointly worked on with the entire family over the summer months.  We were all very proud but also very relieved when it was finished. 

Kabouter's first birthday is worth a 2nd picture this month.

October 2014

Early October we enjoyed a weekend away in Amsterdam, where we could rediscover the city we mainly knew professionally.

November 2014

Early November we sucked in much needed sun and rest on vacation in Gran Canaria.  That was definitely a vacation worth repeating in the future!

December 2014

Last 1,5 year it seems a struggle to find time in our agenda's to enjoy sufficient time in our get-away in the Ardennes.  But we are making it up now at the end of the year in this gorgeous winter wonderland! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More sledging fun with visiting friends

Yesterday some friends came with their friends to enjoy our snow fun, now that the rest of the country is slowly turning green again....we keep up with the white powder and all nearby ski-centers are open!!

But we simply go to our favorite prairie slope nearby the Warche bridge and slide away...until one kid gets cold and cries, and then another falls and cries, and another gets tired and doesn't want to pull up the sledge anymore...  and it's time to all huddle back inside, warm-up, eat some goodies and all be merry again :)

Sledging fun

To counter my self-pity post from before  (so you aren't all worried about me for nothing)...I am truly getting better and feeling my energy return while pain is reducing.

And on Boxing Day, the Eastern half of Belgium got a nice snow dump as predicted....a white 2nd Christmas!  And in the Ardennes it's enough volume and cold enough to keep the white carpet for a while. Yeay.

So after I let Jan clear the driveway all by himself, I'm now joining more and more the fun he's having with Kabouter outside with the little cool baby sledge we bought. It's quite handy as it has a back side to it so Kabouter doesn't need to hold up his back himself  and we can strap him safely.

The concept of sledging was first tested in our garden and approved by the little one who enjoyed being towed (as long as he didn't have to stand in the snow with his heavy awkward snow boots!!! ) and later on repeated in the village roads.
Although the crossing of the neighbour's dogs was probably his highlight of the day :p

A bit ill, more ill, quite miserable

Looking back at december, I have the feeling that always either Kabouter or me were ill.  We ended November with an ill little one...a pretty bad cold that we all took partly for most of December.

In Edinburgh we all took our turn with stomach issues .

In the 3rd week of December, Kabouter got an ear infection but fortunately that didn't bother him for long. By the end of the week I had a sinus cold breaking out to the fullest.    So the #duwmee walk was done with a lot of enthusiasm but with less physical energy than normal. And the cold came back with a vengeance the next day, keeping me in bed part of the day.

I sniffed myself through my last 2 working days of the year and then woke up on the 24th with a painful ear as if a big mass was pushing inside unable to find a way out.  So just before leaving for the Christmas Eve family dinner, I managed to consult a doctor to find out that I indeed had an ear infection.  It exploded in full force after the long traffic-jammed drive to the family , so rather than joining in socially I was forced to withdraw with tears in my eyes to bed for a few hours until the pain killers did their job.

Christmas was a lot better thanx to the medication and  Boxing day started off ok..until I was cold, and more cold and started shivering  without control  while we were on our way to the Ardennes where we had planned to stay a few days in the predicted snow and rest to recover completely.   39,5C already after some paracetamol...I was only able to crawl immediately in bed.    Flu as well...really? on top of that cold & ear infection? Despite my vaccination?
By the evening I was lucid enough again to realise my breast was very painful and an alarm light in my head went off:   a breast infection...that wasn't going to go away by camping in bed with paracetamol.  So just before the big snow dump arrived, I drove to the local medicine on weekend duty who confirmed and gave me the first doses of antibiotics to cover the night and the clearing of the roads the next morning until we could reach the local pharmacy.

And so I've spent last days trying to recover a sinus cold, an ear infection and an incredibly painful breast infection.  All have improved significantly now...but are still present and not fully conquered.  Bleh. Let's hope I'm back the old me by the new Year and let's hope I can still enjoy a bit of my days off .   Right now my vacation has only been sick leave.   Thank goodness Jan has been ok and at home to take care of Kabouter.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dreaming of a white Christmas

We'll get a soft green and wet Christmas as always.   But for those of you that are dreaming of a white Christmas, I send you some of my pictures of our gorgeous snow walk 10 days ago in the Ardennes.   

Merry Christmas to you all!