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America

We moved to Washington D.C. in August for Andrew to attend Law School and are just barely finding time to start exploring.  With school taking up all of Andrew’s waking hours, work and the gym for me, and adulting (don’t even ask how many hours we spent at the DMV in the past two months to get everything switched over….), we haven’t had a whole ton of time to explore our new home for at least the next three years (barring possible summer internships elsewhere).

We’ve been stealing moments here and there to explore our neighborhood (Glover Park), the hill, and all the beautiful places outside D.C.  One of our first Sunday’s here we took an afternoon walk to the National Cathedral – we had consistently been passing it on our way to other places and I kept on commenting on how it made me homesick for Paris to see a cathedral, and that we needed to explore!  We happened to catch the gardens in full bloom, and I’ve been aching to go back since that first trip.

Washington National Cathedral Washington National Cathedral Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedralut_562

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

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Things have been moving quickly in these parts.  I feel like ever since we’ve gotten back to the states we’ve been running non-stop.  We got back in June.  Since then we’ve been to Florida visiting family, Utah for a wedding, Illinois visiting family, then are moving into Chicago this weekend where The Husband and I are both working, and are going to California next weekend.  Between all of that visiting we found time to job hunt enough for me to currently have two jobs.  We’ve been blessed in more ways than I can count since returning to the States, but incredibly busy at the same time.

Currently we’re sleeping on an air mattress on the floor of our apartment until we get to move all our furniture that we haven’t seen in 2 years (!!!!!!) in this weekend.  We have no internet.  We have no light in our bedroom.  We have nothing to cook with.  We’re so busy that neither one of us gets home till 9 at night.  And we’re incredibly happy.  I miss Paris with all of my heart, but it was time for that chapter to end and this one to begin.  We’re just hoping this domestic chapter is a short one and that we start another international adventure again soon…  In the mean time, enjoy my sporadic blogging of pictures of Paris that make me swoon.  Once we get internet I’ll post some pictures of our new home, Chicago.

Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris

The Husband and I are slowly getting settled back in the States.  We both officially have jobs and are starting the apartment hunt today after work (I’m writing this from a desk in a high rise in a city — who would have guessed just a few weeks ago!).  Of course its my lunch break, but as I have this down time its hard to believe that just a short while ago we were living our dream in a tiny minuscule studio in Paris.  Oh Paris, la ville de mes rêves.

We knew it was going to be like this but it’s still hard.  It seems like Paris was just a dream — an extremely long dream with lots of ups and downs, but a dream none the less.  I think thats why we basically our whole last month out of doors in the city — I don’t think we’ve ever walked so much before in our lives.  I can’t say I regret it.  These are some of our most magical memories.

Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris

I’m not going to apologize for the lack in posting lately.  The Husband and I were down to the wire — our last month in Paris, and I decided that I would rather be out and about, taking photos and enjoying our last bit of time together in our favorite place on Earth.

Our favorite activity was definitely taking long walks — we would walk from our place up by Sacré Coeur to the Seine, taking in the sights, enjoying the bands that were playing, and taking in the beautiful weather.

We’re in the states now visiting family and getting ready to move on to the next big place in our lives.  While its great to be seeing family and be back in America, we sure do miss our home in Paris.

Seine Walk

Seine Walk
Seine Walk
Seine Walk
Seine Walk
Seine Walk
Seine Walk
Seine Walk

We split up our Chicago portion of the trip into two two day blocks (we bookended the trip to Florida with Chicago since it was cheaper to fly in and out of the city than Miami), so our visit felt even shorter than our time in Florida!

We jammed everything possible that we could into our four days — we started off with deep dish pizza at Lous, went to a Cubs game, spent some quality time at Costco and Target, a trip to Little Caesars, family photos, dinner with some of our closest friends from when we lived in the city, multiple doctors visits, and a visit to the Shedd Aquarium, where I volunteered with my father as a teenager.  And don’t forget getting to meet my brothers first child for the first time.

America, it was great.  Someday we’ll be back.  Until then we’ll have to make do with all the delicious foods we brought back to remind us of home!

 Elijah 2013
Chicago 2013
Chicago 2013


Chicago 2013
Chicago 2013
Chicago 2013
Cubs 2013
Katherine and Elijah 2013
Cubs 2013
Cubs 2013
Elijah 2013
Grandpa and Elijah 2013
Cubs 2013

The Husband and I officially picked up our lives and moved to France (again) on September 1st, 2012, with the plan of staying here in Paris until May 2014.  Since I was giving up my full time job (The Husband was only working part time at that point and was able to keep his job after moving thanks to a pretty awesome boss) and we were both going back to school full time, we knew that money would be tight for the next year and a half, and we were fine with that.  The only thing that made us sad was the prospect of being away from our families for a complete 18 months.  Luckily we have great resources like Skype and Facetime to help us keep in touch, but something about talking to a computer just isn’t the same as being there in person, especially when it comes to niece and nephews.

Unexpectedly, The Husband’s little sister (he has two older and one younger) decided to serve a mission for our church, meaning that she would also be moving out of the country for 18 months, but unlike us wouldn’t be able to call, text, and e-mail whenever she wanted.  Lucky for her, she’s going to Japan and is super excited, but unlucky for her, she is leaving in October, meaning that we wouldn’t have seen her in person for approximately 3 years by the time she gets back, and who knows where we’re going to be then.

Although The Husband was overjoyed for Little Sister, he got really sad for a while because of the prospect of not seeing her for so long, prompting us to call The In-Laws and bargain with them.  Hence, the surprise was born.  We offered up what money we could afford, with them paying the difference, to fly us to Chicago, where my family lives.  From there, The Parental Units flew us down to Florida, where The In-Laws, Little Sister, Old(er) Sister, and Old(est) sister (along with her husband and kiddos) live, with our trip ending back in Chicago.  All of this in 10 days.  Four flights, 30+ hours in a plane, and 10 days in America to see off Little Sister, both of our families, and meet the first grandchild on my side of the family.  While exhausting, it was totally worth it!

We didn’t really expect it to work, but planned out a surprise for everyone on The Husband’s side — the In-Laws invited all the sisters (avec famille) over for a movie and then left part way through, saying that they needed to go pick up some ice cream at their favorite speciality shop about an hour away (a surprisingly common occurrence).  The got us at the airport, we cried and hugged and were generally happy, and then we walked in to the house without saying anything and hung out in the kitchen until everyone noticed.  There were an abnormal amount of tears and squeals, lots of hugs, and even one sister stating later that she thought she had fallen and hit her head and was hallucinating us.

It was a successful trip — most of the time (only 4 short days) spent snuggling on the couch (we actually did have a pretty epic tickle fight in bed), with a short get-a-way to the beach one morning to take in Florida.  Let me tell you, after a long summer of working non-stop on my thesis, a day at the beach was exactly what I needed.

 Deerfield Beach
Andrew and Carter 2013
Andrew 2013

Carter 2013

Amanda 2013

Deerfield Beach
Carter 2013

Carter 2013

Carter 2013

Deerfield Beach
Toes on Deerfield Beach
Florida 2013

Deerfield Beach
Surprised Dodger
Angry Blanca

The dogs may have played part in the surprise as well — we came home from the store one day to see they had been outfitted with (cruelty-free) eyebrows and were surprised/angry to see us!

The Husband and I discovered something horrible while we were in England.  Taco Bell exists outside of America.  It exists, and it is magnificent.  And we may or may not have drove an hour from our hotel to get Taco Bell and stuff ourselves with American goodness.  I’m not going to lie to you, this was probably the greatest decision we made all summer — The Husband was basically crying because it tasted so much like home.

So, without further explanation, heres some photos that are in no way creative or beautiful, but definitely chronicle one of the best parts about England.  Oh yeah, and theres like three other photos in there, just for funsies!  Tune in later for LONDON!!!!

 England 2013
England 2013


England 2013


England 2013


England 2013
England 2013


England 2013


England 2013

As the sun started to set, the crowds came to the Champ de Mars en masse.  Those crowds included two of my favorite memories from the experience: a group of Americans directly in front of us, and four teenage French boys to the right of us.

First, the Americans.  We heard them speaking English as they came to sit down, and I was insanely excited about it.  I LOVE FINDING AMERICANS IN PARIS!  I make a point to always introduce myself on the metro and ask for someones story if I hear them speaking English.  Anyways, this group of about 15 sat down and started pulling out the ultimate American feast.  Ribs, chicken wings, bratwurst, potato salad, macaroni salad, cheesecake, oreos, and lays with dip!  Now, if you’ve ever spent any time in France, you’ll know that none of these except for oreos are exactly easy to find.  To be honest, we were probably creeping them out with how hard core we were drooling over their food.  Oh well, I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been away from your homeland for a year…  Fast forward a few hours (which we spent speculating where exactly they had gotten all this American goodness from, since it was clearly in grocery store packaging) and the group started cracking jokes about flight attendants and pilots.  Cue us noticing that they were all sitting on Delta blankets.  The light bulb turned on.  They were pilots and flight attendants who had set up their day off so they could spend it in France for the 14th under the Eiffel Tower!  Not only were they that cool, but they had gone to Publix grocery store before leaving the states, bought all their picnic food, stuffed it in the fridge on the plane, and then made it through customs!  How brilliant is that?  I now aspire to be these people.  I also tried to convince The Husband to take a photo with a publix chicken wing in front of the Eiffel Tower (a. I’m sure the group would have let him borrow one for a photo. b. his family loves chicken wings.  Possibly more than they love him….).  He didn’t go for it…

The French teens were another story…  They showed up, lay down, and immediately began doing suspicious rolling in their backpacks…  Then pulled out (seriously) the biggest joint ever and started smoking it like it was no biggie.  This continued for the whole 9 hours of them sitting next to us.  Needless to say, we were all exceptionally hungry by the end of the night from the large amounts of second hand smoke we had consumed (they were definitely not the only ones taking advantage of the night so to speak…).  The funniest part, though, is that they kept on asking the Americans in front of us if they could try their food, and the Americans kept on sharing!  Psh, if we had gotten food all the way from the states there’s no way we would have shared with a group of stoned teens!

Now imagine both these stories set to the backdrop of a classical music concert and there you have our evening.  Fun, huh?

 
14 juillet 2013
14 juillet 2013
14 juillet 2013


14 juillet 2013

Lets talk about why my life has been so great lately.

1. Sunday morning, I got all sexified for church. Seriously, red lipstick, Audrey Hepburn hair, lbd, the whole nine yards. Then, I got on the metro and found out that {seriously} every.other.person was going to run a marathon. Imagine a metro in Paris full of men and women in running clothes (including a lot of extremely short, extremely tight shorts on older men….) and then me, rocking the red lipstick amongst them. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing like a crazy person.

2. In continuation of above story, now picture in your head the man who got on the metro at the Tuileries stop. (For those of you who don’t know, it’s fashion week here right now– yay!) Tall, skinny, asian, wearing a skinned Bigfoot on his back. I kid you not, this man was wearing a mid-calf black hair coat (not to be confused with fur) that looked like bigfoot. Cue more laughter. I would have creeped a picture if only he wasn’t sitting right next to me and watching my every move…

3. We got back from church on Sunday only to find our power out. Holy cold, Batman. We frantically had to call our landlord, then call our electricity providers, and wait for an electrician to come replace our breaker box that was broken. Good thing we had two computers and an ipad to run the batteries down on while we snuggled in bed….

4. Speaking of electricians, one of the hazards of having your breaker box in the closet is that every time one of them comes, they sort through your clothes while doing there work. I have now had my bras and underwear pawed through twice in the past two weeks by two different electricians. Good thing they’re all relatively sexy so they don’t think I’m an old maid or anything….

5. The Husband and I lived off a diet of popcorn, baguette, and Bonne Maman this past weekend. My three favorite foods, all together in my belly? Just call me the happiest person ever.

And now you know. Here’s an photo circa 2009 to make you all feel like you got something worthwhile out of this post.

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The End.