Tag Archives: travel

Impressions from September & October : a personal project

Time spent with friends, travel to see family, a birthday party and halloween.. here’s a glimpse into our September and October!

[1] Friends
There is always fun to be had when these four are together. And do you see Bruno the bear nestled in next to Rebekka? He was visiting from Rebekka’s school for a few days. We had to write a report about the things he got up to during his stay with us.

We’d been for a walk on the beach to fly a kite, got our feet wet in the cold North Sea and were anticipating a delicious English roast dinner when I took this photo. These fabulous four also treated us to a wonderful singing and dancing performance on a ‘stage’ made of mattresses for our after dinner entertainment – it was thoroughly entertaining! It was a brilliant day! 

[2] A new bed for Lea
We did some furniture shuffling mid-September and Lea got a new bed! She was really excited and straight-away both girls jumped into bed to read stories together, it was really sweet. It did however, result in a few middle-of-the-night wanderings in the first few weeks (one of which caused the art materials to be locked away overnight!!), and our mornings now start a bit earlier too (i’m still getting used to that!)

[3] On the ferry to England
It had been 10 months since our last ferry crossing. And here we are again, just me and the girls. No nappies and no travel cot this time; travelling has got a whole lot easier! It was a lot of fun too with lots of entertainment on the ferry for two very excited little girls! Ok, I’ll admit, I was excited too!!!

[4] My brother and my nephew, Noah! <3
We stayed with my brother’s family which is always really lovely, especially for all the cousins. Noah is growing up so fast, I wish we could visit more often (it’s tricky planning travel around mismatching school term times!)

[5] Autumn in Worden Park, Chorley. UK
The three of them are all wearing tops with rabbits on them. I don’t think I noticed at the time! It was warm and sunny that day, perfect for our visit to the park. On our way back to the car we took a shortcut across a field and unfortunately, I discovered my trainers were not waterproof at all! My brother, Rebekka and her cousin Eva were all waiting by the car watching me as I carried Lea, delighting in anticipation of me walking though a horribly boggy stretch of grass that was utterly unavoidable. Ugh! The cold, wet, muddy water seeped through my shoes and socks – soooooo lovely! They couldn’t stop laughing. They were all wearing wellies of course!

[6] Happy Birthday, Lea!
We celebrated Lea’s 3rd birthday in October with a little party and a Hello Kitty birthday cake. The witch dresses the girls are wearing were bought in the UK for Halloween but they loved them so much they were wearing them daily!!

[7] Carving pumpkins for Halloween
We do love a bit of pumpkin carving! While stirring the discarded pumpkin seeds, Rebekka sang a Dutch song pretending the insides were really a witches’ deadly soup!

[8] Trick or Treat!
After a children’s Halloween party with friends we all went Trick or Treating around their neighbourhood. It’s not a common thing to do in The Netherlands so it was pretty special. Following on from a spooky-themed book week at school, Rebekka has been really into witches (last year she dressed as Elsa from Frozen) and Lea too. They were very excited going door-to-door and filling their baskets with treats!

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Susanne Ashby of Susanne Ashby Photography in California is sharing this month :-) I hope you enjoy our posts!

With love,
~ Natalie

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Impressions from July & August : a personal project

The six weeks of school holidays passed by so quickly! They were filled to bursting with time spent with our families in the UK, in Germany, and here at home in The Netherlands. It couldn’t have been more perfect, family was exactly what my heart needed.

Here’s a little glimpse into our July and August!

[1] Grandad came to stay!
Lea kept going closer and closer asking to be tickled, then trying to get away as fast as she could. Her anticipation of being tickled was just as much fun as her infectious giggle afterwards!

[2] Near St Martin Kirche in Morsum, Insel Sylt
The start of the school holidays took us on a roadtrip through Germany to visit family. We stayed a couple of nights in Hamburg and it was lovely watching all the cousins play together. Rebekka and her cousin Damian became good friends on this trip, so nice to see! After Hamburg, we continued on to the island of Sylt, getting caught with all the holiday traffic which meant we had to wait in a long queue for a place on the car-train to the island. It also meant there was time for currywurst und pommes so no worries! ;-)

We went on a boat trip and Heiko saw a seal – unfortunately, he was the only one to see it though! We also visited the “zoo” which is a small privately owned animal park – no exotic animals like we’re used to but the girls loved feeding the ponies (Rebekka especially!), goats, donkeys and all kinds of ducks and birds. It was lovely. We visited the church and the graves of my parents-in-law as we always do. The girls love to wander (correction: Lea loves to run!) along the small paths there, it’s such a picturesque place. 

[3] Insel Sylt, Germany
We’ve stopped by this field before on a previous visit. It’s just across from Das Dammwärterhaus holiday appartments in Morsum and has a lovely view out to the sea. Rebekka knew exactly why we were there and where to go when we parked the car and off she went! The two beautiful and friendly ponies were far away but they quickly came close when Rebekka called to them. Both girls were happily tugging up handfuls of grass to feed them and didn’t want to leave!

It was so nice to hear the girls speaking so much German! Usually, I am only hearing English and Dutch from them. Their vocabulary improved so quickly over the week or so we were away and they were both confidently chatting away to everyone. 

[4] Cuddles with Eddy
Eddy’s spending more and more time on the sofa lately. Which means he’s in easy reach of Lea, and when Lea gives hugs, she realllllly gives hugs! 

[5] An evening walk in Chorley, UK
Rebekka and I flew to the UK for the second time this Summer! We had already been for a visit in June to stay with my brother’s family and meet my gorgeous new nephew. And in August we returned! Baby’s grow so faaaaaast! So glad we went – next time Lea is coming too! This is one from an evening walk through the neighbourhood to go buy ice cream. Rebekka loves walking their dog, Buttons, so he came too!

[6] An Oak tree in memory of my Grandad, near the Middle Brook, Bolton
There’s an Oak tree close to the Middle Brook river, planted in memory of my Grandad. Once upon a time this area of land was owned by my Grandad and he bred chickens there. I wasn’t able to be there when the tree was planted and have always been curious to know where it was. My Dad used to take my brother and I for bike rides along the Middle Brook when we were younger, so I imagined a tree alongside the path. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Away from the path, the grasses and brambles were as high as our shoulders. It was completely overgrown at this time of year and just like the children’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” we had to go through it! “Swishy swashy, stumble, trip”…. We found it! It had grown tall and was thriving near the river. It was so nice to be there with Dad and remember my Grandad together.

[7] Turbary Woods Owl and Birds of Prey Sanctuary. Whitestake (Preston), England
My Dad took Rebekka, Eva (my niece) and I to see the bird show at Turbary Woods. It’s a small rescue and rehabilitation centre run by volunteers and the flying display they have is brilliant. Since it was the school holidays there were a lot of children watching and everyone got a chance to interact with the birds and have their photo taken with them. Rebekka had two different owls fly and land on her, she loved it! It was a perfect afternoon. We loved the two owls that ‘danced’ by moving their heads around in circular movements too. Rebekka and Eva kept imitating them, so funny! I wish I had made a note of the species but I forgot! Highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area, here’s their website.

[8] Lea’s been warming up for X-Factor!!
Oh gosh, Lea was singing her heart out, prancing about ‘on stage’ (aka our sofa) and even shaking her head for the top notes, the whole works. She put every ounce of energy into her performance and in stolen breaths kept saying “mama dansen, mama dansen” (she wanted me to dance!). We have an amazing video of her too which we’ve watched so many times now! So fun!

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Kim Rogers of Brink Street Photography in Denver Colorado is sharing this month :-) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here. There’s just 3 of us participating this time, I hope you enjoy all our posts!

With love,
~ Natalie

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Impressions from November & December : a personal project

We’ve had more than our fair share of winter illnesses zap our energy over the past couple of months, so I haven’t been out and about with my camera as much as I would have liked. 2017 is looking bright though and i’m so excited for all the babies – family, friends and clients! It’s going to be a special year!

Here’s a glimpse into our November and December:

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[1] My sleeping beauty

November was a really rough month for Lea. A viral chest infection caused an overreaction of her immune system which meant she was wheezing and not getting enough oxygen. A visit to our huisarts (doctor) was immediately followed by a stay at the children’s hospital where she was hooked up to oxygen and nebulised regularly. We went home a few days later when her oxygen levels where back up and had stabilised. Still not fully recovered and seemingly getting worse, we went back to the huisarts and she was then prescribed antibiotics for pneumonia :-(

On the day I took this photo, we set off for a walk along the beach and she fell asleep only minutes after we had gone outside. Unexpectedly, she slept for 3 hours in the pram while I walked, followed by another 2.5 hours when we got home. Sleep, fresh sea air, and new antibiotics seemed to be exactly what she needed and she was soon starting to feel better. So grateful!

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[2] A visit to England, ‘just the girls, no boys!’

This was a holiday that almost didn’t happen and it was certainly an adventure we are not going to forget!

I had originally booked our trip to coincide with hubby’s travel plans for work. Lea was only just out of hospital though so I postponed our trip by two weeks. Our new travel dates neared and Lea was still ill. We went back to the huisarts and I held out hope that she’d be fine and didn’t postpone the dates a second time. It was only on the day we were due to leave that we decided to go!

With everything packed, the car full, goodbyes said to Papa and everyone with their seatbelts on and ready to go, I went to turn the key in the ignition. Nothing. I couldn’t believe it! All psyched up to travel solo with the girls, packed and ready to drive to the overnight ferry and we weren’t going anywhere. I tried again. Still nothing.

We called ANWB (roadside assistance) to help. There wasn’t a lot of time till check-in for the ferry closed so I called ahead to give them a headsup that we had car trouble. I was so sad to think we wouldn’t make it.

Thankfully ANWB arrived pretty quickly. Our car battery was broken and wouldn’t take any charge. Luckily they had a new one and ten minutes later it was fitted and we were on our way. We made it to the ferry in time by the skin of our teeth! Yay! So happy! And the girls were SO excited!

We were quite a sight making our way from the car to our cabin. Rebekka was proudly helping with the suitcase (which was pretty big since it included the mattress for our travelcot). And I was fully laden up babywearing Lea as well as carrying the travelcot and a big bag of food and other essentials!

The girls were really excited and after bouncing off the walls in our cabin we went to find ‘our stairwell’ where we take a photo on every crossing :-)

The morning brought more excitement as the girls watched from the window while the ferry docked. We were staying with my brother’s family for the first time and couldn’t wait to get there! :-) Two and a half hours on the road and we finally arrived!

Starting with a wonderful cuppa tea and bacon butties, we packed a lot into just a couple of days: a family dinner where all the girl-cousins got to play together, the chippy tea I’d been craving for over a year (battered fish, chips and mushy peas!), visits to Grandma and Grandad’s house and a visit to see Great-Grandma too, a special visit to the church, and supermarket shopping at an Asda superstore to stock up on our favourite UK goodies. You can follow our adventures over on my Instagram account.

Leaving was hard, especially for Rebekka and Eva who play like sisters and best friends. It was a really quick visit home but it was wonderfully perfect (and completely exhausting too, but I was expecting that!) I’ve already been trying to plan in a return visit, but it’s a tough one trying to navigate Dutch and British school holidays as well as life on-call. I’m looking forward to our next travel adventure though!

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[3] Forever 40
In the end, the timing of our trip couldn’t have been more perfect. It meant that I was in the UK on what would have been my Mum’s 60th birthday. She has been gone from our lives for almost 20 years, I can barely wrap my head around that. It seems so long and so short all at the same time. Rebekka started singing Happy Birthday and I couldn’t hold back the tears, it was so special. I miss her every day and wish she were here to see her grandchildren grow up. The girls have never met their Oma and Opa too. And they have great-grandparents that we all miss as well. We try to keep their memories alive through photos and stories. 

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[4] A real tree for Christmas!
We celebrated pakjesavond a few days early because of our trip and when we got back Sinterklaas had returned to Spain, so it was time to unpack the Christmas decorations and choose our Christmas tree. We all set off to the garden centre which was crazy busy! Rebekka proudly chose our tree, saying it was ‘mooi’ (beautiful) and then Papa took it home (we can’t fit the four of us in the car with a tree as well!). Whilst the girls and I waited for him to return, we walked though the garden centre’s Christmas displays, picking out a few extra decorations. 

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[5] Christmas Eve
Friends of ours gave us a tip that Ikea was selling flat-packed gingerbread houses so guess where I bought our house? ;-) I assembled it with a little help on Christmas Eve and the girls loved decorating it. It went a bit like this: stick one sweet, eat two, stick one, eat four..! lol I think this will be a lovely Christmas tradition for us :-)

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[6] Weihnachten (Christmas Eve)
Traditionally in Germany, presents are opened on Christmas Eve so the girls got to open presents from their German relatives in the evening. They went to sleep very excited and Rebekka couldn’t wait for Father Christmas to come in the night and leave even more presents under the tree!

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[7] Christmas Morning
The girls slept in late and Lea had slept through the night (extremely rare!) so we had a lovely relaxed morning! As is traditional on my side of the family, we opened presents while still in our pyjamas! Rebekka sat in one spot carefully opening all her presents, meanwhile Lea was a bit of a tornado, running here and there with a present to unwrap. Taking photos of her was quite the challenge! ;-) All the joy and excitement of children at Christmas is so wonderful!!

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[8] Creative inspiration
Midway through opening her presents, Rebekka had clearly found a favourite – a small heart shaped notebook and set of coloured gel pens. The rest of the unwrapping was on hold while she drew her first picture. She’s our little artist and I love that she paused for a little creativity.

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[a bonus photo!] Reading Christmas stories
I’m rarely in photos, so i’m including this one as a bonus :) An interesting fact for you: ‘raket’ (rocket) ice lollies first made an appearance when I was pregnant with Rebekka, I craved them something crazy! Till this day, we have barely gone a moment without them in the freezer and they are big favourites with the girls. Yes, even on Christmas Day in the midst of winter! You can imagine that it didn’t take long for Lea to learn to say “ice lolly, peeease”. The cutest!

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Leslie Huckey Sarten of Leslie Meadow Photography in stunning Alsaka is sharing this month :-) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here – I hope you enjoy all our posts!

With love,
~ Natalie

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Impressions from July & August : a personal project

It’s time for another installment of Impressions! Here’s my selection and a quick recap of family life in July and August:

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[1] Exploring in Grandma & Grandad’s garden
We spent a couple of weeks in early July with my family in the UK. And it left us longing for a house with a garden, Rebekka was absolutely in her element and couldn’t wait to be outside every day! She loved exploring the garden at her Grandma and Grandma’s. – Yup, she is calling my Dad, “Grandma”, and at the top of her voice. It’s hilarious, and I think my Dad secretly loves it!

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[2] ‘Our stairwell’ on the Hull to Rotterdam Ferry
We failed miserably at trying to get our family photo on the crossing to the UK – Rebekka spotted the soft play room before we made it to ‘our stairwell’, so that’s where we spent most of our time! For our return journey, we managed to completely avoid walking past the kids area to get there. I took a few photos, most where we are all looking at our reflection in the mirror, but this is the one I love most. Rebekka’s showing me that she put a sticker on the end of her nose, so funny! This was the last crossing with just the three of us, the next time we’ll be a family of four!

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[3] Mama-Daughter lunch date at Onder de Watertoren. Meijendel Duinen, Scheveningen
Rebekka and I (and Papa too!) have become regular visitors to the cafe in the dunes – their stracciatella ice cream (and the waffle cones it’s served in) is soooooo good, we all love it! But on this visit, it was lunch time and rather amazingly, Rebekka by-passed the ice cream hut and was happy to have lunch instead! She was a big fan of the sate sauce (takes after her Papa there!!)

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[4] Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam
She’s growing! And fast! And I love that I started this series of ‘growing taller’ photos at the zoo, it’s so fun to look back on the earlier ones ;-)

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[5] Blijdorp Zoo. Rotterdam
And here she is with the hippo’s head! (By the way, how cute are her leggings?! I love them!)

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[6] First time on a bike!
She LOVED it! And she’s asked for “Rebekka’s bike” pretty much every day since! :-)

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[7] And she’s off…!
She’s happily speeding along now, and gliding – both feet in the air. She’s totally mastered it. (She also knows there’s ice cream at the end of this road, maybe that helps too! ha!) More recently, we’ve been shopping for a helmet – which she chose herself (it’s BRIGHT PINK!!) and she’s become a bit more daring with her cycling antics too. Yikes!

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[8] Clouds at sunset.
This was one of those moments where I had to be quick… in just a minute the wind had blown the clouds away and the scene was very different. I love sunny days and blue skies, but it’s the pretty clouds and rays of light filtering through that capture my attention!

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our monthly posts.

On the 8th of each every second month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Please continue through the circle and see what Vinita of Vinita Salomé Photography is sharing this month :) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here – I hope you enjoy all our posts!

Say hello in the comments below…

With love,
~ Natalie

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