I'll be totally honest - I have not been doing a good job keeping up with the blog here the last month or so. I've been forced to switch up priorities lately, so the blog has fallen by the wayside while other aspects of life have taken over. So let me give my excuses for my neglect.
After getting back from the US for my brother's graduation in June, we hit the ground running with finding a new place to live. I've mentioned a few times here that we'll have to move this summer. Our current rental agreement is coming to an end and cannot be renewed, so that matter has forced our hand on the issue. But we're looking forward to the change. We miss the urban feel of Chicago, and without a car, sometimes getting around is a pain in the neck. So, we're moving closer to Tilburg's city center and we've found a place that has a great location. I'll admit that I was pretty frustrated by our search in the beginning (before leaving for the graduation companies kept telling me they wouldn't help us because it was too early), but I feel like we've gotten really lucky. Our new place is an easy bike ride to center, there's lots of bus routes stopping close by, it's closer to work for Mark, but it's also far enough from the student housing to help keep things peaceful (particularly on weekends and at the end of the semesters).
Through this whole process we're learning on a curve - but it feels like we're navigating it pretty well. In the Netherlands, it's common for tenants to put down their own flooring and sometimes to provide their own appliances. We've already bought the floor from the previous tenant but we're looking into buying a refrigerator and an oven. Since we bought our own washing machine early on, I think we'll be okay, but it's still a bit of an adventure when you've never had to do this before in any language.
Once we found the new place, we started looking for a new school for Little Man since we'll be too far from the school he attends now. I spent several days making appointments and visiting a bunch of schools in the area, and found one that seems like it will be a lovely fit. I feel a bit bad about moving him so soon after he settled into his current school and routine, but there's really not anything that can be done about it. Luckily, he's young enough that this is all very exciting and he's happy about the idea of a new school.
And if we didn't have enough going on already, in the middle of all this we made a quick trip to Rome and got back last night. Mark had a conference, and Little Man and I tagged along since we figured it would be our only chance for a family vacation this summer.
So, to sum it up - there have been a few things happening around here - and it looks like it will be a pretty busy summer. I'll do my best to keep up with everything here. After all, it's another interesting part of the adventure.