5.12.12

Mom in Belgium!

My wonderful Mom standing outside of our home in Roeselare, Belgium. 
While the expat life is most often exciting and full of adventure, there are a few difficult days that somehow find their way into the mix. The most difficult part for me has been the realization that this is no longer a vacation . . . this is our "life", and now I have to figure out what part I will play in this new chapter. 

After three months in our new home, the initial "newness" has sort of worn off. Of course, there is still so much to explore and learn (like the language), but I've figured out how to "survive" in Roeselare, Belgium. I ride my bike to the grocery store and often over-fill my basket for a shaky ride home, I've learned to carry an umbrella everywhere regardless of the fact that the sun is out when I leave home, I found a second-hand store and a place the sells furniture paint, Chris and I have started to fill our empty apartment and turn it into a home, after quite an ordeal, we found a doctor, and we're almost at the end of a very tedious visa process. Most importantly in this transition period, we have made friends. The weekends that we stay in Belgium are full of dinner parties, parades, Christmas markets, Tupperware parties and get-togethers at our favorite local bar, The Mustache Cafe. 


The weekends are awesome, but the week days are sometimes the hard days. One can only clean a two-bedroom apartment so many times! Chris hasn't been wearing slacks and button down shirts for work, so there goes my ironing job! I even have a clothes dryer here, so laundry doesn't seem as tedious a task as when we were in Serbia. There is a lot that I can do here, but I have to have my visa before I can start anything, and that visa is the tricky part. I've been in this constant season of waiting; waiting for my visa so that I can start my job, waiting for that darn visa so we can start language lessons, waiting for the visa before I can start integration courses, waiting to hear about local volunteer opportunities. . . waiting, waiting, waiting.  

But there is a silver-lining to this waiting season I am in. . . 

The best part of having loads of time on my hands is that I can properly host friends and family when they visit Belgium! It was such a blessing to have my Mom here for a week. I totally forgot that I was waiting for anything, and I just enjoyed being with her. While she was here, we spent an afternoon at IKEA picking out a few final items for the apartment, and then scouted out the second hand store and came home with all sorts of treasures. We probably made my neighbors crazy by spray painting those treasures in our enclosed garage, but no one said a word! My spray reclaimed items completely filled our home with new life! Mom and I spent some time exploring restaurants and finding the best waffle in Roeselare, we enjoyed a quiet afternoon in Bruges, and then took a million pictures of  Rumbeke Castle (Remember Chris took me here for a birthday picnic?). 

A little piece of home always does the heart good. Mom did more than bring a little life to our Belgian apartment, she reminded me that this adventure is everything I have always wanted. She encouraged me to create more and be peaceful while in this waiting season. Moms are awesome. 

I know that very soon, I won't be waiting, but  instead I will be DOING. Soon I will reread this post and desperately miss this quiet season. 

Enjoy some pictures of my wonderful week with Mom in Belgium. 
Rumbeke Castle in the Fall. 
Mom exploring Rumbeke Castle. 
Can't leave Belgium without trying a waffle . . . or two! 
She was lucky to have awesome Fall weather! In Bruges, Belgium.  
My favorite spot in Bruges, Belgium.