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October 2006
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December 2006

November 2006

Everyday life: Dates, work and the baby's kicking my bladder

I'm preparing lessons for my students tomorrow. I haven't seen them in a month not sure if they will be excited to see me or not.  I have goodies from the US, that will make them excited to see me, right? My husband called me and asked me on a date to the neighborhood Champion. A sort of super sized market that's the size of a small Target (not super) and not as cool.  We go on dates to the grocery store. And I love it.  Hubby is back to work and that means busy as a bee but it's good to be back in the swing of things again.  We've started our talks about the baby's room and what work is needed in our room.  Must buy wallpaper. Must put wallpaper up. I've never done that before... can't be that hard, right? Next big thing is to buy an armoire for our baby's room. I'm thinking big. Mirrors. Taking up an entire wall. This is for the entire family now.  Our family which comprised of two and now is three.  Boggles my mind when I think about it... We got a letter from our housing board turning down our request to do some work in our apt. So, we'll be washing the baby in the kitchen sink for a while.  Our 2 meter squared bathroom will just have to stay put. We're going to look into buying now. And finally the baby is kicking my bladder as I write this and I have to go to the bathroom yet again.

I'm off to meet the husband and buy groceries. Tandoori chicken is on the menu tonight, I have my new rockin' spices from Pensey Spices in Madison, Wisconsin to try out.  Thanks for that, Ronica and Jeff!

Long trip home...

We're packed. I can't believe it.  After several hours and four sets of hands packing and crunching things away. We did it.  New travel must: vaccum sealed bags!! So, we'll be leaving for the airport in a couple hours. I'm taking a few minutes to sit down now to collect my thoughts and to prepare myself to say goodbye to my dad and sisters.

For the past few years every trip home for me has meant something different. Laying mom to rest, celebrating new relationships, making new holiday traditions, learning about a new city, seeing old friends, learning to communicate again and re-living the ties that makes family so strong.  I'm sad to leave but at the same time excited to go home. To get back to my Paris apartment, get settled in and prepare for the arrival of our baby boy.  I still don't know what the future holds? I'm not going to wait to find out.  We have a nursery to build, job interviews to attend, French family waiting for us...

Look out, France... we're coming back!

Photos of our advenutres are soon to come....

Looking back, looking forward

Today, I visited Omma's grave for the first time in a year.  I know that this is only where her body lies and that her soul is everywhere now.  And yet after a year, I still can't believe she's gone.  The stunning, searing pain I felt in my heart a year ago returned for the first time in months and as I gasped for air and reached for Julien's arm, I broke down. Then suddenly something happened, I felt the baby shift and give me a little tap.  I reached down to my stomach and touched my side and felt yet again a tap right where my hand was.   A sign of  consolation? I believe it was.  The pain in my heart was  suddenly lifted. I knew Omma was smiling down on us.  As hard as it is to look back on the last year, this little life I have growing inside of me has given me the hope and strength I've needed to keep looking forward.  As one life ends, a new one begins.   It will be hard doing this mom thing without my own mom there to help me but I am realizing for the first time that all the answers I had been looking for from my mother have always been there with me. They are in the memories I hold of her. They are in the stories I will tell my son of his halamoni in heaven.  I was surprised with the calmness I felt leaving the graveyard.  I left with a feeling of assurance that everything would be just fine.  Omma, I feel you.  And the baby does, too.

I miss you, Ma...


Midwest living

We're in Madison, Wisconsin right now. Snow on the ground. A lovely sun filled sky is awaiting us as we pack up to drive to Kansas City to see my sister and brother. Our hosts, Jeff and Ronica, showed us how wonderful Midwest living really could be.  Thanks for sharing with us State Street, Noodle and Co's Crack n' Cheese, Jack's Shoes, Whole Foods, Raspberry Tart, 3W wings, your warm living room, making us laugh, Harold and Kumar and leaving us with memories that will last a lifetime.  And I must say a special thanks to Ronica for sharing her LYS with me, I nearly cried when I saw all the yarn goodness and absolutely had to bring some of it home with me...

Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb  Cascade 220 Wool Bam Boo

We're leaving in a couple hours to head to Kansas City. 8 heures de route pour nous... ah, that's traveling in the US for you. :)

More vacation photos can be viewed here.

Home sweet home?

We're in St. Louis!    My dad and Julien are still sleeping. I'm sipping what the French would call jus de chaussette  and have been up knitting since before 6am this morning.   My internal clock was saying get up it's afternoon.  Jet lag has always been something I could never beat. It's nice to be back but strange at the same time. People are louder and taller. Everything is just so huge here.   I can't believe how surprised I am every time I come back.   United lost one of our bags but delivered it to the house at 2am this morning. I doubt that would ever happen in France. *grin*   It's good to see my Ah-ppa and just to be close to him. I can't wait to see my siblings in a couple weeks. They are flying in from all over the US to see us, we're so lucky.

So, St Louis is my "home" away from home.  I live in Paris now and finally feel like I want to call it home. We're having a baby and starting our family. I think I'm figuring out this growing up and starting your own life thing.  With all that's happened to me in the the past year, I've really learned to take advantage of what I have right here, right now.  Before I felt like I was always waiting for something to come along, that feeling of uncertainty always left me with a feeling of wanting and incompletion.  With a our baby boy coming early next year and seeing how my relationship with Julien has evolved, I feel confident that I can do this grown up thing I was always so scared of.  I feel Omma sending me messages and I see and hear them loud and clear.  I know understand that my life in Paris right now is where I'm supposed to be.