Where’s Holland?

I have a confession to make.

I don’t actually live in the Netherlands.  Or own any property there.  In fact, I haven’t even visited Holland.  (Yet.)

And–since people have asked–I don’t live in Holland, Michigan, either.  Although I do hear the tulip festival is lovely, I haven’t had a chance to attend.  (Yet.)

Why, then, this obsession with Holland?

Several years ago, when life wasn’t going exactly the way I’d planned it, one of my sisters read me an essay by Emily Perl Kingsley.  (Read the full essay HERE.)  Kingsley uses the analogy of an unexpected change in vacation destinations to describe how someone feels when life suddenly hands them a new itinerary.  Say, when you planned the perfect trip to Italy, but your plane lands in…Holland.

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place…It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

- Emily Perl Kingsley

I took the message of that essay to heart, and decided to start finding the lovely things about my new life in “Holland.”  So for me, Holland is a state of mind.  It’s the place I’ve decided to stay and enjoy, even if it’s not exactly the destination I’d imagined.  It’s the soil I’ve decided to let my roots sink into, so that I can bloom.

I started blogging in 2009 about my adventures in motherhood at A Trip to Holland, and I haven’t stopped.  (Feel free to visit!)  A House in Holland is my record of what I’m doing to make my home welcoming and comfortable for all who cross it’s threshold.

So, welcome!  Leave your wooden shoes at the door and come on in to see what I’m working on today.