Category Archives: Birthdays

René’s Birthday / Rainier’s First Haircut

We headed back to the Netherlands for René’s birthday, but not before a quick stop in Bonn for a research colloquium.

We just happened to be in Bonn at the same time as the new BUKA selection meeting, so Rainier and I recorded a little advice for the new fellows bringing kids to Germany.


Continue reading René’s Birthday / Rainier’s First Haircut

18.11.2016 – Rainier’s First Birthday

It has been my absolute pleasure to mother this boy for the past year! At a whole year old he’s walking, saying”mama” and “papa,” playing guitar and piano with papa, and dancing with mama. He loves toast, fruit, bath time, and his “Mein Erstes Buch zur Guten Nacht” book.

We had a great celebration of Rainier’s first trip around the sun with friends and cake.

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Turning 33 in Amsterdam

Our first month in Europe has been one of excitement, exhaustion, celebration, and mourning.  In the same week, both René and I bid long-distance farewells to our grandmothers. The heartbreaking, yet enlightening, truth that I can not forever share my grandparents, people who have loved me most, with my child, whom I love most, struck me like a ray of sun on a clear cold day – painfully blinding yet warm.

Without Maw Maw Marion, there would be no me, and without her death, Rainier would have no future.  I question death, and naturally, life; the made-up words in which we try to contain them, suck.  I think of Alan Watts’s description of our skin as tiny holes that connect us to the rest of the universe.

And with that feeling of connectivity,  I celebrated my 33rd birthday in Amsterdam with René and Rainier, and new friends from around the world, and Maw Maw Marion, and her grandmother too. And I smile knowing that she would not have had it any other way – with big pieces of her in a canal-filled city.

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