We followed our Day in Den Bosch with a Day with Jeannette! Jeannette my right hand woman, my manusje-van-alles (ie, she can do it all), my rock. I love Jeannette. There are many great + amazing things in my life since becoming the owner of The Studio, Jeannette is at the very top of that list.

After years of working together, Skyping, struggling through the good & the bad, we finally met in person last year when Jeannette, René & Rick came to the Schwarzwald just for us! We had a fabulous weekend together and found that not only do we click better in person, our families click too. We promised we’d do it again. Soon.

Exactly a year to the day later, we managed it again. This time we met them up in Holland, at their little vacation oasis in a Centre Parc bungalow. Peaceful, green, beautiful. I never wanted to leave. We pulled up chairs, had delicious hot coffee put in our hands, and started chatting away…. well, we did. The kids sat quietly and answered politely when spoken to.

Except Dane, not that he wasn’t polite, but he’s young, a boy, and he’d been in the car an entire hour! Soon he was feeding logs (yes, literally logs) to Joep The Dog. Dane & Joep were both very happy. Then Dane found an acorn. Acorns are amazing. Years ago I taught the kids to whistle with acorns. Dane whistled, loudly on his acorn. This was less than polite.

Surprisingly, Dave had never learned to whistle with an acorn. Dane quickly taught him, and together they moved down the road to practice in earnest, and spare our ears. 15 minutes later, Dave & Dane came back. Not whistling their acorns anymore, they couldn’t. Dave had his hands full of… tickets?

We were in a bungalow. In the woods. I’d seen no skee ball, and it looked like skee ball tickets, and he had a million. It had only been 15 minutes. My curiosity was piqued. Jeannette’s curiosity was piqued. Everyone’s curiosity was piqued! Turns out there was an arcade just around the corner. Dave had a euro. He put it in some game, and won the jackpot with the one euro!

Great excitement overcame our little oasis. The kids all jumped up, helped roll the tickets, because unlike the tickets at Fest, where you turn them in to be weighed for prizes, these tickets had to be fed into a machine to get prizes. This is easier with neatly rolled up tickets. Once all million tickets were rolled, the entire group skipped off to claim prizes. Both dads, all the kids, leaving me & Jeannette happily sitting together. Alone.

I needed my alone time with Jeannette. I needed to make 100% sure she was okay. I needed her to know exactly how much I love her. A couple of months ago, just before my own kidney stone, Jeannette had her own health scare. A lump in her breast. A scare that turned out to be real. Jeannette was diagnosed with breast cancer.

It was unbelievable. Unreal. How could it be? But it was true. It was hard for Jeannette. It was hard for her family. I felt so helpless and far away. We emailed. We Skyped. We cried. Jeannette was amazing. Such strength. So resilient. Still, I needed to see her. To hug her. To love her. And I did exactly that. Hugged and loved and then, we just chatted, laughed and had a wonderful afternoon.

We talked about the kids, and school, and colleges, and why-won’t-they-do-the-dishes. Mom stuff. Friend stuff. In that gorgeous, peaceful green oasis. I could have talked for days but the husbands came back, with loud happy kids. Martine and Lisanne (Jeannette’s daughters) had won a jackpot too. Euros go a long way in a Centre Parc arcade! All the kids had a prize and big smiles were on every face.

Sadly it was soon, too soon, time for us to go. Jeannette & Co walked us out to our car, albeit not without detour. On the way out there was a petting zoo, a mini barn filled with rabbits, guinea pigs, pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys and turkeys! Turkeys are scary. I had to get close, to take a picture, and that turkey looked me in the eye and I trembled a little with fear. But I did it! I faced the turkey and got a photo.

It took a bit of doing to get the kids out of the barn, especially Tess, and we walked the last bit to the car. Hugs, promises of “see you soon” and our wonderful day was over. I can’t wait to see Jeannette again. I’m counting the minutes.


Now this? This is fun!

Somebody is a daddy’s girl… not mentioning names or anything.

I was a little nervous being this close to a scary turkey. But he was so pretty!

Baby wanted food… sat in the “bowl” and meh-eh-eh-eh’d


Some people, again not mentioning names, are not as excited about farm animals

Two very happy families ❤