Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas Letter 2016

This time last year we were announcing our 2nd pregnancy with Brooklyn becoming a big sister in June 2016. Time sure has flown!
Even with 2 young children, we have taken advantage of living in the Netherlands and seeing as much of Europe as we can while we are here.

In January we began the 2016 New Year in Barcelona with Joe's cousin Nikki to see massive La Sagrada Familia & other famous Gaudi architecture pieces.
In March & April we took a big trip (2nd baby-moon) to Slovenia & Croatia with stops in Lake Bled, Vintgar Gorge, Rovinj, Split, Hvar, Krka National Park & the highlight Plitvice Lakes National Park. It was a wonderful nature trip as opposed to the traditional big European city trips.
In May we took 1 last road-trip away before baby #2 to Normandy, France to see some D-Day sights, the island abbey Mont St-Michel & Etretat. 
Jackie’s parents Rick & Sharon arrived from NC on June 19, 1 day before the due date! Due to Jackie’s quick labor June 20, we had a true Dutch home birth experience with our midwife! Caleb Dai Liang entered the world at 9:55am weighing 3450g (7lbs 10oz). We appreciated the 1 week of help from the kraamzorg nurse & 2 weeks with grandparents helping us adjust to being parents of 2 under the age of 2.
In July, Joe's sister, brother-in-law & their 3 kids visited for a few weeks. We joined them on German Fairy Tale Route in Hamelin, Polle Castle, Bodenwerder & Bremen. Brooklyn & Caleb enjoyed lots of cousin playtime at Scheveningen & Zeeland Aquadelta vacation park. 
In August more visitors continued, with a relaxing weekend with Wes & Lauren Moyer from Knoxville, TN on Texel Island. Jason & Jamie Morin from Seattle, WA visited us in Eindhoven. We joined the Morins in Luxembourg City with a stop in Bastogne for more WWII Battle of the Bulge remembrance.
September we took our next big trip of the year with the Potters from Raleigh, NC (& Taiwan). Matt, Sunny, Joe & Jackie took 4 kids under the age of 2 to Rothenburg, Munich, Neuschwanstein Castle and Oktoberfest! Yes we took our little ones to the biggest beer festival in the world! The Bavarian weather was crummy, but we had such a great time! We continued our road-trip further into Austria to Hallstatt, Eagles Nest & Salzburg. It was great to be in this beautiful mountainous area.
October we had a low-key 2nd birthday for Brooklyn. We flew back to North Carolina for 2 weeks to introduce fun-loving, easy-going baby Caleb to family & friends. We spent a weekend at a Blue Ridge Mountain cabin with college friends for Joe’s 35th birthday.
In November we spent a cozy weekend away in the Ardennes Mountains of Belgium. 
We began celebrating the Holiday season with Dutch Sinterklaas & a weekend at GermanChristmas Markets in Mainz, Frankfurt & Bernkastel-Kues. We are looking forward to family time at home in Eindhoven for Christmas as we recharge for the next year.

Joe’s 3 year work contract is up May 2017. We are still unsure of our future plans, but will be sure to keep everyone up to date about where our family lands next.
All Our Love,
Joe, Jackie, Brooklyn, Caleb and Chance Liang
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