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Edition 18 – “Live in the Moment…”

So this is 40!

July 31, 2020

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope that everyone is doing well and staying healthy. As you know, I absolutely love blogging, but it is always one of those activities that goes to the bottom of “my list” if I do not sit down and actually write…

I can honestly say that the last year of my 30’s was one of the best years of my life! If I had to choose a theme, it would be “live in the moment…”. Tom, The Littles, and I moved to Amsterdam with so much excitement and the urge to TRAVEL! I am far behind on my Travelogues, so there are places that I have not had a chance to write about unless you have seen pictures on Facebook or Instagram. When I think about each place that we have visited I think about the special memories we created in each of those places. I also enjoyed having family and friends visit us in Amsterdam. Traveling is about the planning (mostly done by Tom, LOL), the adventure of reaching your destination, and “being in the moment” when you are there. Seeing the sites, listening to the different langues spoken, and trying new things. We enjoyed taking day trips to many parts of The Netherlands. The beauty of living in Amsterdam is that is centrally located to many of the places that we visited for a long weekend.

Our trip to Portugal was absolutely amazing and was a celebration of our 40th birthday. I will write a Travelogue about Portugal soon…

I have also “lived in the moment…” by joining and writing for the American Women’s Club of Amsterdam. I met so many amazing women and created lifelong friendships with many of them. Also, creating friendships with Dutch locals from the gym, pet store, and local hangouts, etc. In addition, becoming an Independent Consultant for Arbonne was definitely something new for me.

I feel that I have changed so much as a person and with that being said another change will be occurring, Tom, The Littles, and I are now living in Houston. I am looking forward to seeing our family, friends, and Maverick. I am forever grateful for the experiences that I have had living in Amsterdam and traveling throughout Europe. Amsterdam will always hold a special place in my heart! This past year has been unforgettable and I look forward to what God has in store for us…

Anchored in HOPE in Amsterdam,



Edition 17 – Navigating the “New” Normal

Heart of HOPE

April 13, 2020

Dear Friends and Family,

Everyone across the world is now living in a different time. Many people are experiencing different types of emotions on a daily basis, myself included. The emotions are similar feelings associated with grief: anger, denial, acceptance, etc. Grief is a process and your emotions can change from day to day. I believe that I am now accepting of what is going on around me, which makes things easier for me to live my day to day life. I do not have control of what is going on around me, but I can try to control my emotions as best as I can.

The global pandemic that we are experiencing can also trigger emotions from our past. I know that the global pandemic has made my feelings resurface stemming from my breast cancer diagnosis. That was a major event in my life that I had no control over. All I could do was ask God, “WHY?”. I would say that that experience has made me the person that I am today. I want to help others that have been in similar situations as myself and help them to not feel so “lost”.

When I received chemotherapy, my oncologist encouraged me to stay as healthy as possible. Often times, that is easier said than done. Every action you take requires thought, strength, and being germ-free. Many people are taking the same actions today as a person that is receiving chemotherapy treatment takes, especially those with a compromised immune system.

Amsterdam Adventures: Edition 16 – Let’s DANCE

March 27, 2020

Dear Friends and Family

Let’s DANCE!

My gym is organizing International Online Happy Dance Day on Saturday, March 28th at 11:00 A.M. in Amsterdam. I am going to participate in International Online Happy Dance Day again at 11:00 A.M. CST on my FB group page. If you would like to join, please message me and I will invite you to my FB group.

“The happy feeling dance! To get and give some positive energy these days.
Please join online together with your family & friends, also when you are not a good dancer. Let’s make a happy online party
-Lena (the organizer from my gym)

Anchored in HOPE,


Amsterdam Adventures: Edition 15 – Favorite Indoor Activities

March 22, 2020

Hi Everyone! I have been adding several educational and mental health resources to my FB page. If you are not on FB or do not check it frequently, I wanted to share two of my favorite activities: exercising and coloring!

My gym, Fresh Fitness, is offering at-home workout classes! I have been very happy with the FB group and participated in some of the classes and workouts – we all exercise in the same language!

On Monday, March 23rd, they are adding a group class for children.

Please let me know if you are interested in joining and I will send you the link.

Also, I could not resist sharing this link for an Aggie Activity Book! Adults and children can participate in the activities together!

Thank you for supporting my blog! If you do not “follow” my blog, I would love for your to join!

Have a great day!

Anchored in HOPE,


(In the photo, I am hangin’ upside down at Fresh Fitness before it closed.)

Amsterdam Adventures: Edition 14 – HOPE

March 19, 2020

Dear Friends and Family,

I have been thinking of all of you and HOPE that you are staying healthy!

Personally, I do not feel this post deserves the title, Amsterdam Adventure, but I wanted to keep things consistent. In all honesty, I keep asking myself, “Is THIS really happening?”.

I originally planned on flying to Texas on March 31st for my 6th month check-up appointments at MD Anderson. When Tom and I heard of what was going on, with the corona virus (cv), we quickly changed my flight to leave on March 3rd. I also updated my paperwork to have Macy fly with me. Tom decided not to change his flight and was going to stick with the original plan and fly with Moxie later this month. My flight was cancelled. Tom and I are going to regroup and decide what we are going to do in a few weeks, we should be able to fly into Dallas. When we arrive in Texas, we will have to self-quarantine for 14 days. We are basically self-quarantined now, except for a quick trip to the grocery store or when we walk the dogs. The Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, stated that all of the restaurants, schools, cafes, coffee shops, and sex shops were to close on March 15th at 6:00 P.M. The last time a Dutch prime minister directly addressed the Netherlands on television was in the 1970s during the oil crisis.

Amsterdam has so much more to offer than the coffee shops and sex shops. I know that before I moved here, I thought that was really all that there was in Amsterdam, which is a shame because Amsterdam is a very unique city.

Amsterdam Adventures: Edition 13 – Christmas in Amsterdam by Guest Blogger, Marsha Wilson

My husband Tim and I started planning a trip to Amsterdam as soon as our son Tom told us he had been asked to relocate there for his job. We have traveled to Europe several times, but we had never been to Amsterdam. We visited Tom, his wife Jen and their two little dogs Macy and Moxie, for almost 2 weeks over Christmas 2019. 

Continue reading “Amsterdam Adventures: Edition 13 – Christmas in Amsterdam by Guest Blogger, Marsha Wilson”

American Women’s Club of Amsterdam (AWCA): My Published Article in the Spring Edition of FAWCO Inspiring Women’s Magazine

As a member of  the American Women’s Club of Amsterdam (AWCA), I am also a member of the Federation of American’s Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO).  FAWCO was founded in 1931, and is an international network of independent volunteer clubs and associations comprising 62 member clubs in 31 countries worldwide, with a total membership of around 10,000.  Continue reading “American Women’s Club of Amsterdam (AWCA): My Published Article in the Spring Edition of FAWCO Inspiring Women’s Magazine”

Amsterdam Adventures – Edition 12: The Month of LOVE

February 14, 2020

Dear Friends and Family, 

It feels like it has been forever since I have sat down to write…  January was a long month, I had the flu and was sick for about two weeks with a continuous cough.  Being sick interfered with my workout routine which interfered with my mood.  The weather was very gloomy and dreary.  I did not realize how much I missed the sun when I had not seen it in days.  I talked to other people that I know and they felt “blah” also.  Maybe it was Seasonal Affective Disorder, either way, I knew that I had to make some changes…  I bought myself a light lamp as a substitute for sunshine and continued taking Vitamin D.  I try to sit in front of the light lamp once a day for about 30 minutes while I am on my laptop.  

Continue reading “Amsterdam Adventures – Edition 12: The Month of LOVE”

American Women’s Club of Amsterdam (AWCA): Excursion to Royal FloraHolland

October 2018

One of the things that I absolutely love about AWCA are the planned excursions.  Excursions are held very often and as a member, all you need to do is sign up to join in on the fun.    

Another new member, Caroline, and I met up with the other AWCA members at Royal FloraHolland.  Royal FloraHolland is the largest international trading platform for plants and flowers. The total area of Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer is the size of 242 football fields!  As you walk through the distribution center, you smell beautiful fresh flowers and feel a chill from the cold storage. 

AWCA-FD center Caroline and me

The distribution center is run like a fine oiled machine and the equipment drivers follow a methodical pattern.  Please click on the link below to see exactly what I am talking about.


Bidding and preparing the flowers for auction starts at 6:00 A.M.  There are more than 120,000 transactions per day consisting of 5,550 suppliers, 2,465 customers, and 2,636 employees.  35 auction clocks are set up in the room where bidding occurs.  The picture below was taken much later in the morning when the majority of bidding had already occurred.  

AWCA-FD center

Also, there are 40,000 different varieties of flowers and plants.  33 million flowers and plants are sold per day.  3.2 billion roses are sold per year, which is the highest selling flower.   

AWCA-FD center-flowers

I had a great time at Royal FloraHolland with the AWCA members!

Amsterdam Adventures – Edition 11: Winter Fun!

December 18, 2019

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope that you all are doing well and that the holiday season is not causing too much stress!

Tom and I enjoyed eating a traditional Thanksgiving meal together, although we did miss seeing our families and I missed eating Tom’s friend turkey.  The food was delicious at  Seasons and the chef offered gluten free options.

Continue reading “Amsterdam Adventures – Edition 11: Winter Fun!”