Friday, December 28, 2012


I hope that everyone had a fantastic Christmas! Brent and I had a great couple of days celebrating.  The weekend before we went to Germany to experience the Christmas markets-I'll do a whole post about this trip.  It really put us in the Christmas mood and got us excited for our first Christmas just the two of us. 

We decided to make Norwegian style meatballs for our Christmas eve dinner.  This is an Anderson family tradition every year and even though we weren't home we had to keep the tradition going. 
Brent and I worked together to get the meatballs just right and used our teamwork again on the gravy-which is the trickiest part!  We did a great job and both turned out delicious 

Our meatballs and mashed potatoes 

I have been complaining  subtly hinting that I could use a pair of rain boots since we moved here.  Since we live in a country where it may rain at any point any day I consider it a necessity :)  All my talking finally worked and I got my boots for Christmas
They have already been worn multiple times!

We spent Christmas day with Brent's employee Tom's family.  It was nice to be around a family on Christmas, even if it wasn't our own.  Overall, our first married Christmas was a great one!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Catch Up!

Wow it has been awhile!  I have good reason though :)
Brent and I left for Minnesota the day before Thanksgiving.  Brent spent just under 2 weeks in MN and I spent 3 weeks.  We had a great time and spent a lot of time with our two families. 
One of the days I picked my sisters kids of from daycare early and spent the afternoon baking cookies and just having fun.
Love that smile 

So much fun with these two cuties

Peanut butter cookies covered in sprinkles 

A different afternoon I got to hang out with my brother's 3 kids and after spending some time together we HAD to get frozen yogurt :) I think I had just as many toppings as the kids!

Coco and Sammy took full advantage of Brent leaving early and snuggled in bed with me at night

She loves me, even when I put clips in her hair

We had a great trip and loved seeing our family and friends! We look forward to the next time we can see everyone

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sinterklaas is Coming to Town

On Saturday Sinterklaas,(the Dutch version of St. Nick) came to Utrecht.  The story goes he comes up on the canal from Spain accompanied by his "friends" Zwarte Piete(exact translation is Black Pete, yep real politically correct here :)).  He then docks in town and rides through the city on a white horse.

We had to do as the locals do and get pictures with Zwarte Piete, side note all of these were women with the paint on.  The bags that they are carrying are filled with Poepenoten(translation: pepper nuts), which are little biscuit like ginger cookies.  When Zwarte Piete sees children he will through the mix for the children

We had great spots along the canal for the journey up the canal

Sinterklaas is on that boat, he was on the other side of the canal and this is the best we could get

Boat full of Zwarte Piete
One of the carriages in the parade

Riding his white horse to the Dom Tower

It was definitely an experience!  It was fun to see all of the kids so excited and really got me into the Holiday spirit!!


Monday, November 12, 2012

While Brent's Away

Brent is gone this whole week traveling for work(Germany and Italy) and I have gotten asked by quite a few people what I am going to do with him gone. So here are my plans/goals for this week

- Get long runs in. My goal is to run 40 miles this week.  Typical weeks I do around 35 so hopefully the extra 5 miles will be easy :)

- Eat a TON of leftover Mexican food- Brent and I hosted a dinner last night and instead of cooking for 5 people who would be there, I cooked enough for probably 10 :)  Thankfully Mexican is my favorite and I can mix the ingredients up a little bit.

- Finish my Christmas shopping- I need to get a move on this since we will be in Minnesota in 9 days!!!

- Continue my search for a new apartment for us and a job for me- Neither of these are going very well

- Dinners with friends- I have some lunches and dinners planned with some friends here so I will enjoy the girl time!

Needless to say I am going to keep myself busy!

This past weekend Brent and I went to the St. Maarten Festival of Lights parade with friends of ours.
Anyone who had a lantern could walk in the parade and it was really cute to see some of the lanterns that the little kids had
The Parade started with a St. Maarten(he is the patron Saint of Utrecht) lantern.

Saxophone leading the band through the parade 

The parade ended in the Dom Square and they had the children's band from St. Maarten's school playing.  

It was a cute parade and most of all a fun night out with friends!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stones and Chocolate

Brent went to the U.K for work last week and this was the text I got
Stonehedge was on the side of the road while he was driving to the airport.  This girl=jealous

And of course he brought something home for me

Chocolate covered honeycomb.  It sounds strange but it was amazing!  Now if only I could convince him to bring me back some italian shoes from his trip to Italy next week :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

Brent and I will be experiencing Christmas in Holland this year.  Decor has begun to show up along the streets in preparation for Sinterklaas(similar to St. Nick) and Zwarte Piet to come at the end of the month.  With the celebration of Sinterklaas on December 5th.  We will be in Minnesota for Thanksgiving so we will miss a lot of the celebration but I look forward to all the decor being up when we get back.  Last weekend we went into Amsterdam to get a start on our Christmas shopping and we got to see the start of some of the decorations going up.
Pictures are from iphone so sorry for the quality!

 Streets in Amsterdam with holiday lights

Festive chandeliers throughout the city

Now if only they had some snow!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Monkey on Your Back

I am all recovered from my race! Although, my feet may beg to differ.  I think losing toenail officially makes you a runner right?

Anyways, last week Brent went to Germany for work.  I stayed back and made plans with some girlfriends here.  You read that right, I have friends here!  I had fun catching up with all of the girls(all of us have been gone recently so we all had trips stories to share).  Brent got home late Wednesday night and had a surprise for me

He can go to Germany any time he wants as long as he brings home fancy German chocolate for me!  Also, my new favorite thing is milk chocolate with Hazelnuts in it=Amazing!!

On Friday night some friends had us over for dinner.  We had a great time and had to acclimate ourselves to biking home in the dark and the cold.  It may not get as cold here as it does in Minnesota, but you definitely spend a lot more time outside in the cold here!

On Saturday we drove to Apeldoorn.  It is about an hour drive east of us.  We went for the last weekend that the Apenhaul (direct translation Monkey Haul)was open.  It is basically a zoo that has mostly different types of monkeys and the little monkeys are roaming around free. 

Driving into Apeldoorn was beautiful.  The road was lined with trees all on the verge of losing their pretty fall leaves.  The walk to the entrance of the park was also very pretty  I loved the reflection on the water

It was cold and I have 5 layers on, excuse the awkward pose and puffy body

His excitement for this was pretty darn cute(I don't know if he will like that I just called his behavior cute)

 Hey little buddy

This was by far our favorite thing.  The 2 baby gorillas are the right were playing with each other and it was hilarious! They kept taking things from each other and then they would wrestle.  It was like watching 2 brothers play, seriously funny!

 Reflection shot with Gorillas on the other side.  All the gorillas were separated from the public by a large body of water and a fence.  No wondering around for these guys thankfully!

Have a good Monday


Monday, October 22, 2012


Yesterday I ran the Amsterdam half marathon!! Unfortunately, so did 20,000+ other people.  It was so busy I didn't cross the start line until a half hour after the gun went off.  But let's back up to why I decided to do this.  
I have been running since college, but never long distances.  3-5 miles was always my comfort with 3 being the distance I ran the most often.  When we moved to Utrecht, I started running more and get the itch to do a race.  I wasn't sure if I would do a full or half marathon but knew that I would do one.  Then when this happened my running got set back by a good month.  Once my ankle was healed I looked at my timeline, which included a 2 week trip to MN 2 weeks before the race, and decided on the half marathon in Amsterdam. 

The day before the race we met up with our good friends Tom and Amy at the race Expo.  Tom was also running the half.  After we got our race packets we all went out for some pasta and carb loading :)
 Tom and I before the race

Inside the Olympic Stadium before the race 

Vendors outside 

In my corral waiting for the start 

It was cold!!

Walking to the start.  Brent was at the start and finish line cheering me on.  With the way the race was set up it would have been almost impossible for him to get to another spot to see me and still make it to the finish. 

Coming in for the finish inside the Olympic Stadium 

 Crossing the finish line!

Celebrating our finish with beer :)

I finished the race in 2:05.  I was hoping to do 2 hours but my start was really weak.  There were a lot of people in my corral so my first 5k(3.2 miles) was SUPER slow.  Overall I am happy with the race and I am already looking for the next one!

Have a good week!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MN Recap Part 2

One of the reasons we scheduled out trip home when we did was Brent was asked to be the best man in his good friend Andy's wedding on October 6th.  Brent and Andy have been friends since they were little boys and now own homes within 2 blocks of each other.  Needless to say, we were home less than 2 hours and we were already walking over there.  
Andy and Emily had their wedding in downtown St. Paul and although it was cold, still a beautiful day and wedding.  
At Barrio in between the ceremony and reception 

Brent and his friend Paul 

Me, Ana(Brent's friend Adam's wife) and Katie(Paul's wife) Can't wait to meet their new little one on our next trip home!

 Brent and Andy sporting their orange camo socks

 Me and the Bride

Blurry and only pic I got of the Bride and groom
Congrats Andy and Emily! We had a great time and wish you many, many years of happiness!!

The day after the wedding we had a get together with Brent's family.  It was so fun catching up with the Ladies while the men watched football.  It was a nice Sunday afternoon. I didn't manage a single picture though...Next time!

I also got to spend time an afternoon with the Kemper kids(my brother Pat and Kristin's kids) while we were home.  I can't believe how much all 3 of them have grown!
Self portrait with Keira and Quinn 

Owen, Keira and Quinn 

Keira and Quinn putting on a show with pumpkins for me :) 

 The day before I flew out Missy and I some last shopping for some things I needed before flying home.  This also meant I got to spend another day with Violet :)
 Making her smile

Such a sweet baby

We had such a great time in Minnesota! We were really busy and parts of the trip kind of feel like a blur.  We are looking forward to seeing everyone soon when we visit again for Thanksgiving! 

Happy Wednesday!