I loved the way the bathroom smelled like my mama's soap. And that every morning I entered the kitchen to find Dad's signature coffee spoon resting on a quarter-folded paper towel.

The family came to town. It was epic.

The pace was perfect. We had some fun daytrips, but for the most part we let ourselves just "be." I got to take Mom to my favorite second-hand shops here in Huy and everyday for lunch we bought fresh stuff for big baguette sandwiches. We lounged around inside while it poured outside, and we played rounds and rounds of Ticket To Ride.

I'll let Mom's blog speak for all of our adventures, but I will say that it was wonderful.

So, the sheets are clean and back in the closet. That coffee spoon was washed long ago. And the bathroom smells less like Mama's soap and more like the french fry grease wafting up from our neighbor's kitchen.

But I am still happy remembering my family's sweet visit. It lightened my heart.

My favorite memories:


The day came.

I am laughing as I type this. Summer 2010 will forever be known as the Summer of Hellos. All of these visitors have been a blast, and my how quickly time flies when loved ones are coming in and out of your home. What a wonderful summer.

Yesterday we caught a lunch with the Daileys' travel group as they were passing through Brussels for a few days. They didn't know the Jacksons would be with us so we had a fun surprise Austin Ridge reunion. So fun. Thanks for spending the afternoon with us guys!

We then did the ritual Mannekin Pis visit and waffle sharing with John and Lezlie. They have now officially lived Brussels.

Clay and I stayed over in Brussels last night so we could meet my family at the airport today. We had some time to kill before catching the train and nothing calms my anxiety like a good junk shop to dig around in. Sigh. Brussels has become quite the treasure trove.

Even Clay found something to interest him. An old camera the size of our apartment. We are thankful we are able to travel a bit more compactly for our video trips.

This banner always makes me laugh. Finally, an exposition for that person who thinks he knows everything. Quite specific don't you think?

Ah, and finally. They made it. The plane was delayed and I thought I would jump out of my skin watching those sliding doors exiting baggage claim. Airports are so emotional anyways with all the crying and hugging going on around you that I thought I might explode before my family arrived. They walked out when I least expected. I heard Clay say "There they are!" and I kind of turned into a blubbering limp noodle. I didn't jump up and down. I didn't wave. Is it strange to say I just watched them? Seeing those 3 Pasches made my heart dance and I wasn't going to rush that moment for a second. My 8 ft tall baby brother almost walked right past me which made me laugh. Then Daddy hugged me so tight I couldn't breathe and kissed my cheek. And then my sweet little Mama with her bright blue eyes all teary. I don't get these moments often. GOODNESS I love hellos.

They really dug into their cheese snack on the train. I know what my people like :)

Oh, and Belgium? Do prepare yourself for my mother's neon shoes. She's a retired PE coach with a sprained ankle, and she doesn't want any of your lip, ├ža va? :)

I'm going to sleep now. With Mama, Dad, and Q under my roof.

I am very happy.


Time with the Thorntons flew by!

We dominated the maze... Actually we just tried to steer clear of all the live actors that were running around inside of it. Creepy.

We had a little BBQ on "the grassy space" up in Old Huy.

I got stung by a bee. Awesome.

We shared some bread and cheese with some new friends that were passing through from Ireland and the UK. They were kind enough to let Sheryl try their tin flute. She was a real trooper :)

The carnival's in town!

And our friends were off! Thanks for coming to see us!

And a big welcome to the Jacksons on the same day! You can see them really tiny on top of the fort. John was able to pick up our wireless from the top and give us a call :)

Off to Brussels today to meet up with some folks that are passing through from Austin and then tomorrow....

Hooray!! Mom, Dad, and Quinn!!

For those interested, Mom is continuing her tradition of a travel blog. I am sure it will be quite entertaining :)


I just washed a bunch of sheets and towels- getting ready for Mom, Dad, and Quinn!!


I hope there aren't any clowns.

More visitors! Josh and Sheryl are here from Austin. No pictures but lots of good times spent with friends. Yesterday we had lunch at Ali and Nada's, which we are now all referring to as the "American Restaurant" since so many of our friends and family have enjoyed a meal there. Today we are striking out to find a cornfield labyrinth that is somewhere nearby. Not quite sure what to expect.

According to the website, this is what we have to look forward to:

After harvesting the previous Labyrinth, a new maze is planted. Its design is entirely modified. It leaves the place to new heroes, the time of a summer, within de green dead ends to surprise once again the visitors come to play at loosing themselves. For this great hide and seek game, the 14th edition of the labyrinth draws balloons to give life to Yakari, the little Indian of DERIB and JOB and its friends.

I can't wait :)


Those crazy American neighbors.

I heard a cat meowing while I was cleaning the bathroom this afternoon. It went on for a few seconds so I quickly threw open the window, already envisioning my new cat that I was about to rescue. I scanned the rooftops behind our apartment and saw nothing. Thinking maybe the cat needed a little encouragement, I meowed a little myself thinking I could call it to me.

I don't have a new pet. What I do have is a creeped out neighbor who I made eye contact with while I was meowing. He must have heard the cat and opened his window to check things out too. All he found was a crazy cat lady meowing from her window.


And now, one of my babies from home because I am sore I did not get to rescue a kitty to be my new pet today.