Category Archives: Amsterdam

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

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.

IMG_9323 Continue reading Turning 33 in Amsterdam