We are Americans living in Maastricht, Netherlands. Back home in the US, October is one of my favorite months. Not only because it is my birthday month, but also because the weather starts cooling down a little, and we get a promise of a few colder weeks ahead after a super long hot summer. Near the end of the month, my boys and I usually gather at my brother’s house with pumpkins to carve; we’ve been doing it since before the boys were born. We show up with a pumpkin per person, some wine, and Chris always has a pot of butternut squash soup on the stove. If we’re being honest here, I come more for the soup than the pumpkin carving (my artistic skills are slim). We typically spend Halloween together as well, letting our collective four boys run amuck, begging friendly neighbors for candy and trying to eat it all when our backs are turned. Often the neighbors on my street also host a pre-trick or treat party on the street with Halloween snacks, drinks, and treats. To me, all of this is the prologue to the holiday season ahead and I truly look forward to it every year.
We have just passed the two month mark here in Maastricht. What have we been up to? We’ve done a good bit of travel as well as a lot of hanging out together in our home here over the last two months. We’ve also started trying to integrate ourselves a bit better into the community. We want to know more people- families at the school as well as Dutch families who are living here. Here’s some of the things we’re doing to put ourselves out there. I should say, it isn’t always easy. It feels a bit vulnerable even. But, I feel like it will matter in the long run when we look back on this experience.