I still can ‘t believe I am writing this to all of you under the beautiful sunshine in the middle of December from Florida, USA.
Mason and I have been blessed, that in his first 8 months of life, he’s gotten to travel to the States twice. Even in the midst of Co-vid times, our family is embracing all we CAN still do – and instead of living this time in FEAR, we’re being safe, responsible but also LIVING! Because Kim & Billie are ONLY EU citizens, and still have school + exams, it was only possible for Mason and mommy to make this trip.
Thank GOD for the gift of FACETIME as we get to continually share these moments with Daddy & Big Sis through the screen! We so look forward to when we ALL as a family can travel again together.
December is such a beautiful time of celebration & joy for so many – and it’s EXTRA special for The Cleyman family. On December 5, we celebrated Billie’s 12th Birthday! Say what, when did that happen? I feel she was just the 9 year old I met through FaceTime who’s Daddy was still reading her stories!
Now, she’s a strong-willed & beautiful young woman who is stretching her wings and diving into her passions of fashion, artistic makeup & making jewelry. We love getting to know her more and more as she continually gets to know herself!
On December 6, in Belgium and a lot of Europe, it is Sinter Klaas Day! He is in many ways the European origin story of our Santa Claus. On December 5th evening, we put out carrots & beer for Sinter Klaas and his HORSE! Nope, not reindeer. In the morning, the kiddos awoke to yummy chocolates and other little treat.
This was also the day that Mason & I began our beautiful, and long adventure back to the States. We left at 7:20am in Belgium, and 3 planes & 3 countries later – we arrived in Tampa, FL at 5pm local time (11pm to Mason & I’s body clocks).
Our boy did SO amazing on all the flights! He didn’t sleep much, which meant mommy had to continually be on her toes, but we got very creative with how to use my little man’s energy. We did multiple laps up and down the aisles – used the free aisles to take all the plane info pamphlets out of the pockets (over and over and over again), tickle people’s feet & heads who were trying to sleep, watching the cute movies on the little screens, using his car seat as a play seat and of coarse, playing peek-a-boo with anyone sitting behind us.
It’s not easy traveling with an 8 month old- but it was an awesome & fun experience for me as a new mom and for Mason to see so many new things and make so many new friends!
When Mason and my parents first locked eyes, there was a little confusion from Mason – like wait – I SEE my Nana and Papa…and I HEAR my Nana & Papa – but how did they get out of that little box, aka Mommy’s phone? Not to mention, we were both exhausted!
However, a few minutes after our first hugs in the airport, Mason warmed up and became a huge Nana and Papa suck! And 4 days in, that’s only growing & getting stronger!
We have a big exciting vacation planned while here – meeting old friends and family, celebrating birthdays, pool and beach days and even Mason’s first time to Disney World!
Stay tuned, we look forward to sharing with you and having y’all join on our adventures!
-Mama & Mason