Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Home is where the heart is...

On this windy sunny Wednesday, Dave and I officially resigned the keys to our canalside perch on the Keizersgracht. Two years of braving new things everyday, but coming home to the same angular walls each night. It was comfort in the midst of a whole bunch of unfamiliar.

I'm not quite sure how Dave and I lucked out with our new place, but then again, I've felt that about every place I've lived. Growing up on Crestline Drive with lots of trees and the pond nearby. Living with Kristen (CW) on Goodrich - being so close to Grand Avenue. Spending a week in my van when my bedroom flooded out (good times, Sara?!). Sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor of Westmount, rooming with Rebecca. A seventeenth-century fourth floor flat with a view in Amsterdam. And now a new stop on the Herengracht.

In the middle of unloading boxes and missing a few familiar comforts from our old place, I recognize that home is where the heart is. Whatever the address or square footage. And there is already much heart planted at our newest postcode. Even Rembrandt is starting to roll with the new squeaks and sounds.

With an affectionate salute to all the experiences had at K44D,

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

We got by with a little from our friends...

Sunday morning, Dave and I started the process of moving all of our boxes and stuff into the lobby of our building (an astonishing pile, really). The Man With a Van (a.k.a. Lee) showed up at 9 and started the big transfer.

Within two hours, we had moved all of the stuff from one flat to another. With the help of fabulous friends Susie and Carly, we had the kitchen entirely unpacked and organized only an hour later. A few hours after that, when Dave and I were ready to drop, Karen and her family dropped by and got us going again. Her husband John helped Dave put my desk together, Karen helped me finish up the guest room, and their son Alex kept everyone company along the way.

A big thank you to Susie, Carly, Karen, John and Alex!!! Amsterdam didn't feel like home until we made good friends like you.

We've slept here two nights now, Remmie's starting to settle down into his new space, and I'm beginning to adjust to the fact that I now need a walkie talkie to communicate with Dave when we're in different rooms of the house. Funny thing after being confined together in 65 square meters for two years.

Our dining room table was delivered yesterday and it's the first of a few beautiful pieces yet to come into our living room. The rest will be coming in the next 6-10 weeks. I can't wait for it all to get here! Like anyone with a nesting bug, I imagine how all the rooms will look a dozen times a day. Colors. Shapes. The experience of being in each room. Our guest room is already done, and I'm so happy with it. It's a real get-away suite (so much that I might have to drag Dave out of it as soon as our bedroom furniture arrives!).

Feeling lucky beyond belief to be in this beautiful and unique Dutch home. Really, you must come visit. Take a Dutch retreat. Use this house ("huis") while we have it! It's more than enough space for the three of us. :)

Signing out now. I'm going to make myself some coffee and start my day.

I think better leave crumbs behind me or I'll never find my way back!


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Meatballs, lingonberries...

...and all the laminate furniture you could ever hope for.

That's right. Dave and I have all but set up shop at the neighborhood Ikea...which is conveniently located a four-minute walk away from the Haarlem Spaarnwode train stop, which is accessible via Centraal Station, which is a mere 10 minute bike ride from our front door.

Dave has been preparing his allen wrench thumb (i.e. doing exercises, toughening up the skin) all in anticipation of the hundreds - nay, thousands - of rotations he will most likely do with those complimentary little tools.

Let the games begin! Operation Furnish the House has offically started.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Movin' right along..." Fozzy and Kermit once crooned.

And we are, indeed, moving right along.

Here are a few snapshots of our apartment, filled to the brim with boxes and bags looking for a new home...Stuff that seeks to be placed in unpurchased bookcases, drawers, and baskets.

I had always been proud of the fact that D and I are not "collectors" of stuff. We keep things pretty streamlined.

Or so I thought.

And then, I spent about 15 hours putting everything in boxes. Holy crap! It sure looks like a lot when you package it up!

Well, good, bad or otherwise, that's the update.

Love from behind a tower of packages,

p.s. - Remmie is wondering what the HECK is going on. He just roams in the small spaces between boxes sniffing and looking around.

Yes, Rem...most prized feature of the new are indeed coming with us.

And a "GOOD HEAVENS!!"...

I just listened to the TWENTY THREE messages left on my 651 number, of which I was so proud to post to you all.

Again, I'm SO SO sorry for the unreturned calls! (And Dane, your once-every-two-days quest has not gone unnoticed, my friend!)

You would think that after two years, I would have figured out how to keep up the phone calls back to the Mainland. It's tricky. As you know, given the time difference, the only time that works to call you guys is during the evening, when I'm usually being wife to my sweet husband, cook for two, dog mom to Remmie, and doer of homework for school. Maybe if I mastered biking and talking on the phone at the same time (like our Dutch compadres), that would help.

Please hang in there with me...We'll be moved next week, and I have a week off of school as well, so we can indeed catch up by phone. That, and I think now I've got it set up so I will actually HEAR a ring when you call AND I'll get the messages right away. I had it set up in a strange way before.

(Forget the Conservatory... I need to go to Internet Telephone School!!!!)

I am so very lucky to have you, friends. Thank you for braving the sometimes choppy waters of international communication.

Love always,

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Een zondag morgen in Amsterdam...

Sunday mornings are the week's haven.

There's settled sense of stillness in our neighborhood on Sunday mornings. No car noise. Hardly any bikes, except for one I saw heading over the bridge in the distance. Not even pedestrians are awake, other than a few fellow dog walkers.

A scooter passes by and it's the only human-made sound I've heard in ten minutes, save my own footsteps and the soft clicking of Remmie's on the cobblestone.

Houseboats bob like toys in a bathtub. The canals are completely still. And the birds chirp and caw a soundtrack that blankets the Keizersgracht, our home address for only three more days.

I took these photos last Sunday. Remmie and I had a nice slow quiet walk that morning. I think even he loves the peace of Sunday mornings.

To Sunday mornings...

Sunday, February 18, 2007


I heard from a few of you lately that you've tried to reach me on my 651 number (as posted a few weeks ago) and haven't been able to get through.

Lo and behold, my account was set up so that I wouldn't receive messages left.

Eash. So sorry about that, folks. And here you were probably thinking I was call-back-challenged. Although that may be the case to some extent, in this instance, it's a technicality.

So, to those of you who contributed to the twenty three messages I didn't know about until ten minutes ago, my apologies. And on top of that, this week is crazy busy, what with packing and furnishing our new place. I'll start coming back to the world after the 26th of this month.

Thanks for checking in. Thanks for the calls. And sorry for any frustration!

Love to you all,

Thursday, February 15, 2007

To those in LA...

Ironically, I just found out that John Torres, Shane Mills and Jason Joseph will ALL be after the Ghengis Cohen (740 N. Fairfax) on March 22nd, starting at 8 pm. Cover is $8.

Go check it out!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Where to find them...

As promised, here are the links to some of the players from our wedding. Check them out!

John Torres, singer/songwriter (LA): click here
Jason Joseph, singer/songwriter (LA): click here
Nick Amoroso, drummer (LA): click here
Marcus Gerakos: click here
Brian Song (bass), Nick and I played with Shane Mills, another LA-based singer/songwriter. Here's Shane's info: click here
Marcus Ashley, long-time friend, musician and actor: click here
Annie Little, Marcus's girlfriend, musician and actor: click here
Jeff Bauer, pianist/composer (LA): click here

Other key players that night:
Arthur Schwartz, pianist during cocktail hour
Kerri Fabyanske, violinist
Logan Fabyanske, saxophone
Jenn Alexander, lead vocalist

(Hey guys...if you have new websites or MySpace info, please send it to me so I can post!)

Again, lots of love and gratitude to all...


Musicians, part deux...

And hats off to the players...

All right...a public rave about all the players at our wedding is long overdue.

For those of you who couldn't be with us that day, all of the live music (with the exception of the accordion / violin duo at dinner) was played or sung by friends of mine. Everything was perfect. From "I Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" sung by John with violin by Kerri during the ceremony, to Jason singing "With a Little Help From my Friends," to Jenn singing "Rainbow Connection," guest vocals by Marcus, Sara, Sue, and Zanny, Gerakos surprising me with "Edelweiss" (so glad you finally learned that one, Marcus!), the Matrimonial Singers, "Closer to Fine," "Hava Nagila," Arthur setting the mood during the cocktail hour, hearing Logan on the sax again, and the rhythm section of the band just generally being super sweet, I can't thank all my musical friends enough for sharing their immense talents with us!

I have been abundantly blessed by the musicians I have known and played with in my lifetime. In addition to sharing music, we have shared laughs, tears, and great conversations over the years. I am honored to call you all friends.

Those of you who live near any of these players...go support these artists! Buy albums, go to shows, keep an eye on them. I'll post their links or MySpace information in a future blog so you can see where they're playing and what they're up to.

I am in awe of all of you, friends! Thank you for lending heart, soul, fingers, and vocal chords to our big event. I miss playing with you and can't wait till we can do it again.

If only we could've kept playing that night...blasted sound ordinances!


p.s. - YYZ rocked. All the way to Chinatown.

Bachelorette party...

Okay gang...for those of you regulars who are just about ready to see the end of this wedding photo trend, you're going to have to hang on. I'm on a roll.

Here are a few from the bachelorette party a few days before the wedding. It was a wild night. Lots of cupcake decorating, dressing people up in toilet paper wedding dresses (hats off to you, Al!), and singing.

Yep. The Carmel police had to come and break it up.

And to Janae and Jenny - Thank you again for such a wonderful night. So many wonderful women in one place, having a blast. You gave us all such great memories. Love you guys!

Had enough yet?...

And yet more...

Monday, February 12, 2007


...Remmie is MUCH better today. Thank goodness! He's running and eating and being his regular old self again.

Turns out our indigestion wishes were more than caviar dreams.

Thanks for all the well-wishes and love,

Sunday, February 11, 2007

More pictures of our little Love Machine...

I don't remember where the first picture was taken, but the second was on a day trip that Rem I and took to Brugges, Belgium. The third picture is from a lazy day at Westerpark, a big park near our house. The next picture is from Halloween...Remmie dressed up as a congressman. Dave took the last picture of the two of us at our favorite canalside cafe on the Leliegracht.

Yes, we're a little crazy for Rembrandt.

Good days and bad...

Rem had kind of a rough day today. First time he's had trouble keeping food down in months.

I promised myself to make each day the best yet, so instead of dwelling on whatever fear or sadness is lurking, here are some more great Remmie shots. Going to the park, taking trips together, and lots and lots of naps.

Cross your fingers he's just got a bout of indigestion today...