{Was It Just a Dream?}

We got back from Italy on Wednesday morning… 
I am not exaggerating when I say it was one of the absolute best vacations we’ve ever taken together.
We truly felt like we escaped our everyday lives & stresses.
We got to soak up sunshine and just love on each other for six days straight.
That’s my idea of heaven.
And now we’re back…
And I’m feeling like it was all just a dream… A very, very good dream. 
I finally uploaded the 700+ photos I took and I can’t wait to share them with you.
For now… One of my favorites of the trip. Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
{Photo ©  Liz Denfeld}

{Paris: Pont des Arts}

Paris is one of the romantic cities in the world. It’s hard to explain why, really. Every city we’ve been to has been romantic and enchanting in its own way, but Paris is special. Maybe it’s the Eiffel Tower, or the French architecture, or the fact that I had always dreamed of going to Paris, strolling the cobblestone streets, stopping for cappuccinos and eating baguettes with the one I love. No matter the reason, it truly is an incredibly dreamy city. 
And it’s made all the more romantic by the Pont des Arts – the place people from all over the world go to forever lock their love to the bridge and throw away the key in the Seine River. I could’ve stayed on the bridge studying all the locks for hours. Being the hopeless romantic that I am I loved reading all the locks – intentions of love, unrequited love, and even marriage proposals! I found myself daydreaming about all the people who had been on the bridge before me – all of their stories, unique and mysterious. Who were they? Did they keep their promises?
Corey and I decided to lock our love and make a wish. We promised that we’d come back to Paris for our 25th wedding anniversary. Then we gave the key a smooch for good luck and tossed it into the Seine. As we walked away I couldn’t get the smile off my face imagining where we’d be in 23.5 years – 49 (me) & 53 (Corey) years old, still madly in love, our kids probably in college… And we’d go back to Paris to celebrate our love and reminisce on the time when we were young and carefree living in Europe, gallivanting across the continent to our heart’s content. Life will be different when we return, but it will be even more amazing than it is now. I’m sure of it.

{Photos of Corey and me by Tricia Seabold, all others ©  Liz Denfeld}

Christmas Snaps Part I: Emma’s First Christmas

Every year we spend Christmas Eve with my side of the family and Christmas Day with Corey’s side of the family, and this year was no exception. Christmas morning we woke up bright and early and headed (5 minutes) up the rode to Corey’s parent’s house. It was a very exciting Christmas because our niece Emma was in town from Chicago – and it was her first! She’s 10 months old, and as you’ll see from the photos, she really stole the show. I mean how could she not? She is beyond adorable. I would just sit and stare at her, smiling so much from every move and sound she made, my cheeks started to hurt! It was so special to be able to experience her first Christmas with her. Later that same day we went back to my Mom’s house to open our gifts to each other. Corey did really, really well (he stalked my Pinterst board like a good husband!) and got me some amazing gifts, including these gorgeous earrings, this beautiful J.Crew sequin sweater and noise-canceling headphones! It was a very merry Christmas for us! Hope it was for you as well!

{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

Heading Back to Amsterdam!

I’m heading back to Amsterdam today. I can’t even tell you how ridiculously excited I am to squeeze the huz and give Henry a big smackeroo on his smooshy lips! I missed my boys so much, I’m counting down the hours until I see them!

I’m also looking forward to getting a Christmas tree, decorating our apartment for the holidays, going to Winter Wonderland in Leidesplein, making Chrstimasy treats, ice skating (even though husband is currently refusing to do this), going to Christmas Markets and so much more!! Hope you all are having a fun and festive week!

Thoughts on Home

Being home without Corey has been interesting. Home, in general, has become an interesting concept since moving across the world. I am constantly saying things like “There’s no place like home,” which I truly believe. But more and more I am questioning what “home” even means? It’s a familiar face. Familiar places. It’s chock full of memories, down every street, every pot hole, every coffee shop and restaurant. But all these things without the one you love… They just don’t feel complete. 

When I’m away from Portland I miss my mom and my sisters dearly. I miss our old neighborhoods and favorite restaurants. Sometimes I long for those familiar faces and places. But here I am in Portland missing my husband, and it’s a different kind of longing. It’s more like an ache. It actually hurts to be away from him. While this really stinks right now, in the last few days I’ve realized how thankful I am to have a love like this. That even after more than four years together I still cry when I’m away from him, my heart still hurts when we’re not together. I really hope we love each other this deeply and miss each other this much forever and ever. Because as much as it hurts to be away from him, I think it would be much more tragic if I didn’t miss him at all. 

A Ride Through Vondel Park

We’ve had quite a stroke of luck with a few weekends in a row of dry weather here in Amsterdam. We know it won’t last, so last Sunday, despite wanting to stay in and be lazy, we motivated ourselves to take advantage of the weather and go for a bike ride through Vondel Park instead. The park was buzzing with people even though it was freezing out. Beggers can’t be choosers and I think we were all just happy it wasn’t raining! To warm up a bit we stopped for fresh mint tea in the park and watched the sun set. I wouldn’t mind ending every weekend this way.
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Dublin, Ireland} Part II

Happy Tuesday, Everyone! I am so tired this evening (remember it’s already nighttime here! 10PM!) I almost didn’t write this post. But then I felt compelled to show you the rest of our Dublin pictures. So here you have them! 

One reason Dublin felt extra fun was because we had some celebrating to do. I know my Mom will read this and laugh because she thinks I’m ridiculous with all my “celebrations”, but that’s just me! Well, while in Dublin, Corey and I celebrated our four year dating anniversary! Four years before, Corey had taken me on our first date. Clearly it was a good one considering he’s now my husband! Anyhow, I’m a huge hopeless romantic and I’ll take any chance to reminisce, which we did 🙂 We’ll definitely never forget our anniversary walking the streets of Dublin, throwing back a couple pints and watching a beautiful sunset from the top of the Guinness Storehouse.

1-3. Christ Church
4. Alleyway behind the Guinness Storehouse
5. View from lunch at the Guinness Storehouse
6. Enjoyed a half-pint at lunch!
7-8. Guinness Taste Experience (just another excuse to drink more beer…)
9-10. Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse
11. Sunset from Gravity Bar
12. We took a horse drawn carriage back into town. Corey, being the gentleman that he is, wanted to do something sweet for me on our anniversary. Is he a keeper or what?!
13. River View
14. Entrance to St. Stephen’s Green
15-17. St. Stephen’s Green (such a charming city park!)
18-20. Phoenix Park (the largest city park in Europe!)
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{London, England} Part I

We fell in love with England. But what’s new, right? I feel like we “fall in love” with every new place we travel to. But this was a different kind of love. A familiar kind of love. Being in London felt like coming home. We ate Mexican food (yes, we ate Mexican food in London and loved every.single.second), understood what every sign said, what every menu offered. It just felt wayyy more Americanized than any other European city. Especially compared to Amsterdam. But I guess that’s sort of obvious? We decided living in London would be a breeze (my London blogger friends – please chime in here – am I delusional? Perhaps.). So maybe someday we’ll move there? Or maybe not. Either way, we so enjoyed shopping, walking around, seeing all the sights and enjoying the glorious warm weather. 

{Photos © Liz Denfeld}

{Nice, France} Part II

On our last day in France we decided we were going to get up early and spend allll day at the beach, just laying in the sun and enjoying the view. Unfortunately, when we woke up it was raining! I was pretty bummed out, but this day actually ended up being one of the most fun. We had already walked around Nice quite a bit, so the pressure was off, we just chilled and strolled, skipped rocks on the Mediterranean, took a ridiculous amount of pictures, stopped for long lunch dates, ice cream dates, mojito dates… You get the idea 🙂 Anyhow, sometimes it’s nice when things don’t go as planned – this trip was a huge testament to that!

{Photos © Liz Denfeld}

Dress: Laundry by Shelli Segal, Sandals and Hat: Urban Outfitters

{Antibes, France}

Antibes is a charming little city between Nice and Cannes. It’s got everything from whimsical, winding cobblestone streets and fun open-air markets to outlandish multi-million dollar yachts in it’s port. We were surprised how much we fell in love with it! We spent one morning just walking around, dreaming about what it might feel like to be able to hop on one of the giant yachts and sail to the Caribbean. We lunched outside and ended our meal with an over-the-top ice cream sundae. It was a perfect morning, indeed.

{Photos © Liz Denfeld}