February 12, 2013

Life in Pictures: The Netherlands

The summer that I worked at a law firm, I chose one in London that was known for specializing in International Law. When I signed on, I guess I had these visions of flying off for weeks at a time to places like Brussels and Rome and Geneva. I imagined working during the week and exploring these new cities on the weekend. I pictured myself sitting in tiny cafes and meandering down lost side streets. Eating new food and falling in love with the globe one city center at a time. It seemed like the perfect world. One where this thing that you did for a living could give you a life you never dreamed of.

Of course, I wasn’t long at the law firm before I realized that the most any of us would ever see of these far off cities was the inside of a board room. We would likely fly in for a day and out the next making sure to maximize our billable hours. And Belgian, Italian or Swiss…if you’ve seen one board room, trust me you’ve seen them all.

So last week, as Justin & I held hands and meandered down lost side streets & lingered in tiny cafes, it was not lost on me that we woke up one day and are now living my dream. One where we work a lot to make a living together, but in the process of doing so….we are also building a life. Our life. One where we get to set the rules. And the success of our trip is not measured in negotiations or client billable hours, but in the moments that we’ll look back on one day when we’re 80 and say…we sure knew what it was to live.

Today it is my hope for you & for all of us that whatever dream we’re chasing….we’ll find a way to make not just a living but a LIFE doing what we love.

I think our 80 year old selves will thank us.
Go get it,

SO thankful to my beautiful friend, Anouschka Rokebrand, and her husband Ray who made this trip possible in the first place! Love you girl! xoxo

  1. Samantha

    So happy for you two! It looks amazing – so beautiful!!

  2. Sabrina

    I love everything about this post. And the photos are beautiful! I lived in Brussels for several months after college and have had the privilege to travel all over… so I get it! And I’m going to keep living so that my 80 year old self is proud :-)

  3. Tiffany

    Gah!!! Love.

  4. Emilia Jane

    So amazing!!!

  5. ashley Barnett

    Ah love these!!!!! And you look guys look oh-so-fashionable! World travel suits you both! :)

  6. Abby

    The snow images are my favorites, hands down. Mary, I love how much you love your life with Justin, and how much you really appreciate what you have.

  7. Deborah Zoe

    absolutely lovely!!

  8. anouschka

    We were thrilled and honored to have you! Can’t wait till we meet again! Love you! xoxo

  9. Laura

    Thank you for sharing your images! Lived overseas for a little, but never visited the Netherlands.

  10. Maggie Fortson

    Beautiful images pared with beautiful words.

  11. Monica Justesen Photography

    Wow, these are gorgeous! I’ve got some family in the Netherlands and have always wanted to go visit, and after seeing these photos I’m convinced now is the time!

  12. Lani

    LOVE the pictures! There’s nothing like European architecture to make a camera happy!!

  13. Jessica

    These are absolutely gorgeous! Can’t decide which is my favorite since they are all amazing. It was so nice meeting you guys in Holland! Hope to see you again soon:)

  14. Carissa

    absolutely adore this post. beautiful images. and what a beautiful life you have :) p.s. mary, totally jealous of how amazing you look in all of these!! and yes, justin looks quite handsome as well ;) xo

  15. Dallas

    I’m so truly happy to see you two living your dream!

    Also, your black and white images always melt my heart, but these ones are just… awe-inspiring. So rich and lovely and filled (I’m sure) with love and great memories.

  16. colleen

    oh….please…please….sometime…explain HOW you get amazing black-white in your images!! these are nothing short of stunning. the one with the snow and the horses almost made me cry!

  17. Meredith Perdue

    This is definitely, without a doubt, my favorite of your Life in Pictures blog posts. There are so many beautiful, inspiring shots of your travels, and so many cute ones of the two of you! It definitely brought a big smile to my face!

  18. Rachel McCloud

    Beautiful and looks like SO much fun :)

  19. Courtney Reese

    the snow pictures, be still my heart! traveling with your best friend is really the best kind of travel.

  20. Sandra Fazzino


  21. Eleonora

    I wish too have you both here in Italy too!

  22. Rici

    I love all of these images!!! So badly! Wow. You guys look amazing and I love to see how you are both crazy about beautiful moments!! My new favorite of you two together is the one in the snow!!! Is it alright for you if I print it and hang it on my wall of motivation?!?!?

    ~ Saluti.

  23. katie yuen

    love love love love! and your pink scarf? amazing!

  24. Mireille

    Some lovely images of you two wrapped up in my hometown Amsterdam! Beautiful.

  25. Tiffany Bolk

    You’ve put the travel bug in me!

  26. Elizabeth

    You two are so blessed, I know it comes with hard work and dedication. Count yourselves to be so lucky to get such adventures in life together enjoy every moment!!!

  27. Gwendolyn Tundermann

    Loving all of these photos!!

  28. Annetta

    So happy you could make to my grandparents homeland! I’m still a Dutchie at heart even though I’m a third generation Canadian.

  29. Shannon Rosan

    Cheers to a life of love, travel and good food :) These photos are amazing. The horizontal of the man riding a bike with boots and motion blur, I kinda died. Just phenomenal.

  30. Ravyn

    Love these so much … I feel like you two found ‘home’ in these photos. So many of them look like you’ve been in the place for years … So much comfort & warmth.

  31. trent

    this post makes me so so happy. it looks like y’all had a wonderful time, and I love Justin’s rolleiflex!

  32. Alicia Candelora

    That snowy picture of the horse carriages lined up is absolute perfection!

  33. Amy Clifton Keely

    Travel is such a wonderful part of life! I love everything about this post. So glad you two enjoy your time together, wherever you seem to find yourselves across the globe.

  34. Kristin

    The two of you in the snow….adorable!

  35. Christy Tyler

    These are beautiful you guys! WOW. Also – absolutely – don’t just making a living doing what you love, make a LIFE. Love it.

  36. Cindy Habel

    These pictures are simply stunning! Love, love, love xo

  37. gail

    Love Love Love Love Love Love LOVE.

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