Bus out of Hybernation

Yes! The sun was shining, the temperatures where soft and there she was again after a decade of 3 months. Our radiant tined slice of happiness on wheels. Before taking her out Michiel gave her a bit of TLC. He changed the spark-plugs and refreshed the oil.

And we were so ecstatic to have her out of the garage again we took her for a spin and followed the sun!
We started the van and as it began to move forward baby Quinn started screaming and laughing. This was the first time she was aware of being in our van, and she absolutely LOVED it! We were totally surprised by her reaction. What is it about this van that makes it so special that even a baby of 10 months can feel the difference!?
Haley (our 3-year-old) kept telling us in complete disbelief “Momy LOOK we are driving in the VAN! Mommy look SUNSHINE!”
And Miley was just totally into her drawing… she loves to draw in the van. Even when it’s just parked in the driveway she spends hours in there drawing and coloring and playing with her dolls in her little bubble. This van is like one of her best friends! And when it came out of the garage she just went into defoult mode like the bus never left our driveway.

We drove through the beautiful Dutch landscape and took some pictures to celebrate the first trip with our lovely van in 2018
Finally, it was just the 5  of us in a bus again. How is it possible that those 3 months of winter feel like forever.
But with all that ice and salt on the road, it really is best to keep her safe and sound inside our garage.

Michiel was focusing on the sound of the engine and felt a bit worried about the sound it was making… it sounded perfectly fine to me. But he was not so sure. So we made it a small tour around the region. Tomorrow he will be adjusting the valves of the engine after a tip from Marco so hopefully, that’s the thing what’s off about the sound.

Driving an old VW van is not just all about having fun… it’s more like 60% having fun 20% maintenance 20% figuring out what the f*uck is wrong with it now. You HAVE to LOVE to solve the riddle in the most unexpected moment, stranded in the most unexpected places. But see, that’s the charm, that’s how stories are made, how people are met, the unexpected… that’s where the adventure begins.
Therefore, it’s more something of a lifestyle than “just a car” she is part of our family, my first car, and we have been living this #vanlife for the last 13 years! And we’re LOVING it!

Loving at this moment:

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Where the WILD things are…

This girl is turning 3 years old, and I think since day one she always felt like she owed the place. And with “the place” I mean literally every place she sets foot. Walking around with a straight back, a confident tread and determent brave look in her eyes. She is boss! She owns it. Fearless. She will do whatever she sets her mind to. Absolutely no one will be able to stop her. You may think you can, but you won’t. She has lots and lots of important things to do, and she’s making them up as she’s going. Because that’s her style, and that’s working just fine for her.

Life is just one big Adventure… and there must be nothing more wonderful than being a Haley of 3 years old, right here right now.
SO Happy birthday our little Wild Haley. May you always feel as confident and fearless as you are now! You are amazing!

Watch here the Birthday photo we made for her this year “WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE” inspired.
And the rest of the photo’s we took that day.

Photography: Michiel Fook

Roadtrip Amsterdam to Barcelona Video

There was a time we went on an adventure. All four of us in a bus. We had a wonderful journey, met amazing people, and saw beautiful new places. This is what #vanlife is all about! To us, it’s a bonding experience and making memories to last a lifetime!

We started this trip with the four of us, but after we came home we discovered that we were no longer four! A little-fived person had announced her arrival to us. And thinking back… she was already with us half our trip! So we came home a Family of five. 7 months after we arrived home in May 2017 our little baby girl Quinn was born! Making the road trip we had an extra special memory to us!

Re-live our roadtrip from Amsterdam to Barcelona with us…

Videography: Michiel Fook

Watching them grow up… and I wonder…

Here a video about how I’m watching my kids grow up, and wonder… what will this life have in store for you? Worries, hopes, dreams, happiness. All I know is, I will be there and love them forever! It amazes me how valuable you become as a parent! Everything that happens to your kid happens to you! All the good and the bad. Loving your kid more than your own life! That is the most powerful love and connection there is.

What do you see when you look at your kids play? Do you ever wonder how they will become as adults?
No matter what, they will always be my baby’s! Take a look this new video and feel free to leave a message!

Videography: Jolanda Marti

Mindful parenting

Mindful parenting
How to be in the moment as a parent when your mind still is racing, thinking about everything that has been keeping you busy. Being a Mindful parent isn’t easy! So Learn from your kids! They are experts in experiencing and enjoying the present… They know best! Stop overthinking everything and start living in the “NOW”

Last September we went on an unexpected adventure somewhere in the dunes near Zandvoort in Holland. The kids were laughing and running and playing from the moment we stepped out of the van… But for me, it really took me a while to let go of my constant train of thought, let go of my worries, plans, and huge todo list. Until I realized what I was doing to myself and them. I wasn’t really there with them. I was missing out on all the fun while I was too buzzy being an adult!

So in that moment, I thought:  That’s it! I’m done adulting!
And guess what!? I had the best day ever!

Having trouble living in the moment as a parent!? Jump in there with your kids and just allow yourself to fully embrace the fun!
Wo’s with me!?

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MOMyself

It feels like there was the “me” before I had kids and the “me” after. Not only that but after each and every birth of one of my baby girls I totally felt had to find myself all over again.

Having a baby, giving life to a beautiful tiny helpless human and bringing it into this world, and then caring for it 24/7 giving it everything you’ve got is so intense. What that does to your body, you’re mind, to your whole being. It’s all most indescribable. It puts everything upside down and inside out. For a while there the “me” became a “we”. The sense of “self” was scrambled. And all doh after giving birth I turned in to a “me” again… but it doesn’t feel like that at all. That connection to my baby is still there and feels as strong as ever, especially the first 6 months. I am the MOM to someone very special now! And being a mommy is making it impossible for me to remember who I ever was before this little being of mine sprung into life inside my belly. Which by the way, obviously must have rewired this brain of mine in some way. I don’t recognize myself anymore.

And then slowly but surely the dust settles after 7 months or so and I’m starting to get to know myself again. Finally, I can see the new shape of “Myself” again through the new all costuming role of MOM.

And I’m still there! It’s still ME! With the same passions, likes and dislikes, fears, talents, hopes and dreams and everything! But just with a few little extras.

Extra love, extra cuddles, extra responsibility, extra milk, extra patience, priorities and a whole new set of extra hopes and dreams. You’re a MOM but still your Self! And right now I feel like MOMyself!

Recognizing who I am aside from the mom role gives me the strength and clarity to see past the things I want as a mom and gives me the space to feel like an individual And decide what I want to do besides being a mother. Because being a MOM doesn’t mean I can’t have a successful business, be independent, have hobbies, be creative, travel, do sports, feel sexy, powerful, smart, feel like I can do anything I want. Setting an example for my girls! Because I CAN do all that and still be there for my babies almost full time… Even on a working day (3 to 4 days a week) I am with them 18 hours a day! The power of co-sleeping, having a family business, mom/dad equally shared tasks, and working from the home! I want to have it all!

Yes, I am proud to be a mother of 3!
But I am much more than that.

Here is a photo series I did with photographer Wouter Keuris.
So happy I did this shoot with him! We talked a lot about Photography, the wedding-buzz and we had a great time during the shoot! It made me feel like an autonomous person without a baby or kid attached to me for a few hours. I felt like a whole person again, empowered! Not the same as before… but that’s ok. I’ve grown, I’ve learned, I’m getting to know my new MOMyself for the third time. I’m embracing the new me! Never felt so at peace with myself.

Are you a mom? How did you experience that?  Did having of having baby’s changed you in some way?

Photography: Wouter Keuris
Retouche: Jolanda Marti

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