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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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

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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Recipe for fun!

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Ever wonder why kids go mad as soon as they come anywhere near sand!? Just dive in there with them and you’ll find out!
Play as if you were 5 years old. Just dive in there with them! Run, jump, dance, kick it, run it through your fingers and yo crazy until you’re totally out of breath. Then fall down laughing and feel the endorphins take over. That’s is why.

That’s exactly what we did on an evening this summer when there was a huge fire in this big waste/plastic-recycling factory in Amsterdam and we had to flee because the black toxic smoke was covering our village. We jumped in our van and just drove away from the smoke-polluted zone. We had no idea where to go so we just headed towards the Dutch coast until we landed on a beautiful dunes area where we could relax and wait until the fire was under control. And we had a blast! We ended up sleeping at my parent’s house because it took a bit longer to put out that big fire over there, but we had a wonderful weekend anyway!

When we came back home the black smoke was gone and it already had rained so that purified the air a bit. We ventilated and cleaned our house thoroughly and no harm was done to our little house and garden. But still so sad to think how much pollution went up in the air during that fire. I hope no one was harmed or breathed too much of that toxic air that weekend.

Anyway, we took a bad situation and turned it around into a beautiful sunny sand-filled day!
The conclusion of this weekend: The best recipe for fun anytime anywhere: Just add some sand!

Lees deze blog ook in het Nederlands ↠ read this blog in Dutch

Ooit afgevraagd waarom kinderen los gaan zodra ze ergens in de buurt van zand komen!? Duik er zelf in met je kinderen en dan snap je waarom! Ren, spring, dans, schop erin, laat het door je vingers glijden en ga helemaal los totdat je compleet buiten adem bent. Val dan lachend neer en voel hoe de endorfines het overnemen. Dit is waarom.

Dat is precies wat we deze zomer deden toen er een enorme brand was in een grote afval / plastic-recyclingfabriek in Amsterdam. We moesten vluchten omdat de zwarte giftige rook ons ​​dorp bedekte. We sprongen in ons busje en reden. We reden gewoon weg van de rookverontreinigde zone, geen idee waar we heen moesten maar het enige wat we wisten is, overal liever dan hier. Dus reden gewoon richting de Nederlandse kust totdat we op een prachtig duingebied landden waar we konden ontspannen en wachten tot het vuur onder controle was. En we hebben een fantastische dag gehad! We sliepen uiteidelijk bij het huis van mijn ouders omdat het wat langer duurde om dat grote vuur daar meester te krijgen. Hoe dan ook hadden toch een geweldig weekend!

Toen we thuiskwamen was de zwarte rook verdwenen en had het al geregend, zodat de lucht een beetje werd gezuiverd. We ventileerden en reinigden ons huis grondig en er was geen schade aangericht aan ons kleine huis en tuin. Toch best triest om te bedenken hoeveel gif en vervuiling de lucht in is gegaan tijdens die brand. Ik hoop dat niemand dat weekend teveel schade of teveel van die giftige lucht heeft ingeademd.

Hoe dan ook, we namen een slechte situatie en veranderden het in een prachtige zonnige dag vol zand en liefde!
De conclusie van dit weekend: Het beste recept voor plezier altijd en overal: Voeg gewoon wat zand toe!

Photography: Michiel Fook & Jolanda Marti

Climbing trees and family dynamics

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The last couple of months were hectic, getting to know Quinn. Including her in our routines, or better said… making new routines. It has completely thrown over our whole family dynamic. Everything is different. Never knew a third unexpected baby could be throwing our lives upside down this much!
Something simple like getting ourselves and three kids all washed and clothed in the car to go somewhere it turned out to be a huge challenge! Not to mention giving all three the attention they deserve and need, and at the same time not neglecting ourselves, our business, our home.
It all felt like we had too much on our plate…

But now after those first five months, the dust has settled, and we all have got used to our new lives, a new position, new roles as a big sister, a big sis of two little sisters, mother, and father of three. We are getting the hang of this new life! Looks like we are finally finding our new flow and family dynamic. And it has been so worth it! Every struggle, every crisis, every mountain we have climbed to make this transition from 4 to 5.

It is a joy to see these three wonderful brave little girls exploring this world, climbing every tree, jumping from adventure to adventure!
And we are filled with pride and love with the thought that we get to be their parents!
How we get to be so lucky!

Lees deze blog ook in het Nederlands ↠ read this blog in Dutch

De laatste paar maanden waren hectisch. Nu hebben we de kleine Quinn erbij. We leren haar langzaam beter kennen, en we hebben haar opgenomen in onze routines, of beter gezegd … we hebben totaal nieuwe routines moetten bedenken. Alles is anders. Nooit geweten dat een derde onverwachte baby ons leven zo ondersteboven zou kunnen gooien!
Zoiets simpels als onszelf en drie kinderen allemaal gewassen en gekleed in de auto zien te krijgen om ergens heen te gaan bleek een enorme uitdaging! En dan het verdelen van onze aandacht over drie meisjes. Gennoeg aandacht vinden we belangerijk dat verdienen ze, en niets minder, en tegelijkertijd proberen onszelf niet te verwaarlozen, daarnaast nog ons werk en ons huishouden.
Het voelde allemaal alsof we te veel balletjes in de lucht moesten houden…

Maar nu na die eerste vijf maanden, is het stof gezakt en zijn we allemaal gewend aan onze nieuwe levens, nieuwe positie, nieuwe rollen binnen het gezin als grote zus, een grote zus van twee kleine zussen en natuurlijk moeder en vader van drie kids. We krijgen dit nieuwe leven zo langzamerhand en beetje onder de knie! Onze nieuwe flow en gezinsdynamiek. En het is het allemaal zo dubbel en dwars waard geweest! Elke worsteling, elke crisis, elke berg die we hebben beklommen om deze overgang van 4 naar 5 te maken.

Het is een genot om deze drie fantastische dappere meisjes deze wereld te zien verkennen, elke boom beklimmen, van avontuur naar avontuur springen en met verwondering en verbeelding de wereld bekijken.
We overstromen van trots en liefde bij de gedachte dat wij hun ouders mogen zijn!
Hoe is het toch mogelijk!? Zoveel moois! Wat een geluk!

Photography: Michiel Fook & Jolanda Marti

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