Monday, August 3, 2015

The Family That Hikes Together...

Saturday afternoon we drove less than one hour north to the Mullerthal Region, which is also known as Luxembourg's Little Switzerland.

The day was warm and the trails were just begging to be hiked.

Finley didn't last long in the backpack.  Instead, he preferred to run and climb alongside Hannah, giving his all to keep step with her.

We crawled through crevices that were barely shoulder width.

We sat on a bridge and contemplated life...

It was all we could do to keep this little guy out of the water.  Streams, sticks, rocks and dirt are his favorite.

And catching up on some things I don't want to forget:

A group of friends gathered to celebrate a 37th birthday, and I don't know what I loved more, the crafty-crafty piñata-like number 37 or the fact that I am the same age as the birthday girl.  It truly is a great age.

It could've been the Crémant, or maybe the fact that we are both smack-dab in the middle of raising toddler boys, but we found this incredibly funny, even if we were the only ones that seemed to be entertained.

Hannah finished the school year with awards and applause and we couldn't be more proud of her.  

Friends that we made while they were living in Luxembourg and have since returned to the UK came for a visit.  For an entire morning and afternoon lunch, Hannah had her dear friend all to herself.

This summer and last have been full of goodbyes.  When you're an expat, you find friends and tend to bond quickly and deeply and become like family.   You figure things out together, celebrate and commiserate with one another.  You do life together.  And then, suddenly, friends announce that they are moving - moving on to other expat assignments or returning to their home country.  And as regular and natural as the expat ebb and flow, well, it's still shocking and it stings.

As we are likely in the homestretch of our time as expats in Luxembourg, I've felt an overwhelming desire, a sense of duty, really to capture as much as I can of this place and what have become our favorite spots.

Sunday evening,  Hannah and I went to dinner, just the two of us.  We had hamburgers, fries and shared a dame blanche, an ice cream sundae.  We walked along Le Rives de Clausen, a hip and trendy section of the city.

"Hey, Mom," she asked, "Have you ever had a heart attack?"

I could barely contain my laughter for her child-like understanding of how unlikely and serious it would be for me to have had a heart attack.

"Ok, well, then can you start paying me my allowance in American money and euros?"

"Well, I guess, but what's that have to do with a heart attack?"

"Oh, it doesn't.  I just think it's a good idea for me to have some money saved up in both countries."