Hi and welcome to my blog! My name is Rik and i am a Dutch guy, married to a Canadian beauty, living in Colorado with our 4 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat and 1 fish. This blog is about the day-to-day routine of my family and about whatever I figure relevant enough to discuss. I am a pretty outspoken guy with some strong opinions but I’ll try to incorporate humor and whit in everything I write. Central themes you may expect are: family life with a toddler, pre-teen and 2 teenage girls (all very amusing creatures), guns, Big Green Egging, wine, miniature Dachshunds, Fred the evil cat, Social Distortion, skiing, not understanding liberal views, home improvement projects, guns (yes again), trips, travel, people I encounter, and whatever else i can write more than 10 words about.. I am a dedicated family guy (who loves the show, add that to above list), madly in love with my wife and dedicated to her and my children for the full 100%. I am an engineer and as such apparently tend to over-analyze thing things which for some reason makes my wife roll her eyes at me a lot but tends to amuse her as well. For this blog expect avalanches of stories and then weeks of nothing, I don’t and won’t plan this stuff, let’s just see where this all goes and hang on for the ride!
Voor de Nederlanders: mijn excuses maar ik heb toch besloten dit allemaal in het Engels te doen. Ik verwacht dat U, als Nederlander, daar geen probleem mee zult hebben. De Nederlander in het algemeen kan trots zijn op het internationale karakter van het Neerlands Erfgoed! Maar goed, waar het op neerkomt: we spreken allemaal Engels en de Amerikanen hier spreken geen van allen Nederlands, dus zodoende.. Misschien ‘sneak’ ik er op een gegeven moment een Nederlands stuk in gewoon omdat ik dat kan! (yeah i speak, and write Dutch, I’m the real deal)
“why don’t you apply your whit and endless anecdotes and start a blog” my dear wife Laura told me on a late afternoon of a Sunday in February 2013. Over the past years I have grown to be somewhat of an active “social media dad”.. I tweet, facebook, instagram, cinegram and snapchat on a daily basis, broadcasting my opinions, views, observations and life questions to the world while sitting at stoplights, during commercials, in elevators, in the bathroom, before i go to sleep, when i wake up, while lighting the Big Green Egg, watching lame tv shows, drinking wine on the front porch, the back porch, in our living room, wandering around Walmart, and where/whenever else. The bottom line is that I have a lot to say and even though I don’t expect this blog to become a big hit, i hope that I will be able to amuse and entertain a small following for a long time!
After a great life as a student in the eastern Netherlands (i will dedicate a few stories to that era, i promise), I started working for Royal BAM and about 6 months later for Fluor Infrastructure in Zoetermeer, South Holland. Living in the beautiful city of Delft, I worked on a PPP project to design, build, and maintain an 8 billion euro high speed railway system.. I did that for about 4 1/2 years and during that time decided that this was not the life i was destined to lead. I was supposed to be in a place where i could drive a big bad 8 cylinder truck, where live revolves around family, Our Right To Carry, grilling meat, freedom and liberty for all. That, in combination with a loving family was my ideal, my idea of a comfort zone, a place to call home, to come home to… So one night while lying in bed, i decided to pursue that ideal. I got up, updated my resume, and sent it to 10 American Civil Contractors. Within a week i had two promising responses and one phone call.. The phone call came from Flatiron Construction Corp. Flatiron offered me a job in Los Angeles and one in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I decided on the latter. In the weeks after it became clear that it would be hard and lengthy to get a work visa for the United States. The immigration lawyer mentioned that it would be much easier to go to one of the projects in Canada and, long story short, three months later i landed in Vancouver BC. I was quickly deployed to a project in Calgary, AB, The North East Stoney Trail.. I was the first person on that job and frankly, i didn’t know a thing. I submerged myself in the project, studying drawings, the contract, permits, and everything else i could get my hands on. We slowly started to staff the project team and one day, looking up from my drawings, I saw the girl with the most enchanting smile i had ever seen walk into my office.. Fast forward…I married that girl in 2009 (another good blog story to come!) and loved her and the 3 kids she brought with her as a bonus from the moment we became a Family in October 2008. Laura, Hailey, Emily, Robert and I lived in a great house in Calgary and we learned to know each other, we formed ourselves into a close and loving family in record time. From the start, i was convinced that we were all meant to be together. After about 8 months of happy life in Calgary we moved to Fort McMurray (the butthole of North America, more stories to come!). We had a very happy 2 1/2 years in Fort Mac, where our newest addition to the Family, Rikkie was born….but after three arctic winters we were happy to move to Longmont, Colorado. That’s where we live now, that’s where our life is, where we are happy. Colorado is pretty much perfect, I am living the dream. I am married to the most wonderful woman, we have 4 perfect and beautiful kids.. Hailey, spitting image of her mom, 15 and already rules the world; Emily, beautiful girl, 13 with an extremely strong character; Robert, 8, our thinker, the sweetest boy in the world; and Rik, our 2 year old totally cute lovable terror, apparently a clone of his dad (uhoh).
I came to this continent in search of the perfect life and found it. Dreams come true, some 6 years after i arrived with nothing but two suitcases here i am with a happy, loving and perfect family life and not one but TWO 8 cylinder trucks! I am home.
Please feel free to come visit us and share in our happiness, the guest room is always ready!
While living in Calgary and implementing the life of pick up trucks, grilling steaks, rodeo’s and drooling over my first pair of “shit kickers” our Flatiron president of Canadian operations introduced me to a group of people by calling me “the Only Dutch Red Neck you’ll ever know”.. Ever since i have lived my life with that statement in the back of my head, because frankly he was right. I am a Dutch Red Neck and i am proud of it! I take pride in loving my big trucks, my love for country music, grilling and smoking meat, guns and cowboy boots BUT i also take pride in my Dutch Heritage and the rich history i am a direct product of. I am and will always be a proud Dutchman! A red neck Dutchman that is!
Conclusion for now
Dear reader, I am Rik and I am living the dream. I plan on sharing the stories of my life with you in this blog. In the mean time feel free to add/follow me on one or all of my social media outlets: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Cinegram..