Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pickpockets in Paris

i guess it was just 
a matter of time.
my wallet was stolen
right out of my bag
at the grocery store.
we know many
people  who have
had their homes
broken into..
computers stolen
wallets stolen
until it happens to you..
you just don't understand 
the feeling of being violated.

hannah and griffin and i
went to our local grocery store
and like usual..
i made a stop at the ATM
after we do our big shopping..
i stop at the produce market
the meat market
the boulangerie
and i need cash
for those shops.

while strolling up and down
the first few isles..
i knew
two women were following me.
i had a sense about them.
one kept getting very close to me.
i didn't know they were together.
a few minutes later
one of the women asked me
a question which made me 
turn my back from my cart.
i replied that i didn't understand 
her question..
and kept shopping.

after putting all my groceries 
up on the belt..
i looked in my bag..
saw my wallet missing..
and knew immediately it was them.

the rest of the day was spent
walking to the
police station..
where the rude
non-english speaking man
told me that i had to walk to 
the other police station
half way across my 
arrondissement to file
my complaint.
once i got there..
of course no one spoke
english and treated me
as if i were to blame.

after filling out paper work
receiving my temporary 
carte de sejour..
i walked back to the grocery
store where i waited for the security
guard to come talk with me.
he was yelling at me in french
and i just starting crying!
he took me into 
the security room
with the cameras 
and showed me 
the women following me
and the one woman stealing
my wallet.
what a sick feeling.

no one was hurt.
and for that i'm thankful.
i know now
to be much more 
protective of my
and to trust my instinct. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Home and Away

we've all been 
coming and going 
so much lately..
i can't keep up.
stephen flew home
late saturday night
from vienna.
he had an amazing few
days of baseball
and eating schnitzel.
paris won the silver medal!
and stephen also
"all tournament"
which was quite an honor.
what a great experience
for him..
to travel with his team to a 
different country..
stay with a host family
and play lots of baseball.
we're so proud of you buddy.

early sunday morning
steve and hannah flew 
in from boston.
she hadn't been home 
in over 3 weeks.
it's so good to have her back.
she's feeling better
and will try and return
to school tomorrow.

sunday night
we decided to go out 
to dinner as a family
as it was the first time
(and last time for a while)
that we'll all be together.
we went to the latin quarter
and had a great meal.
we walked along the seine
and saw the most beautiful
pink paris sky.
i kept saying to steve..
i wish i brought my camera!
and he said..
just enjoy the moment.
and i did.
but i still wish i had my camera.

very early monday morning
will left with his 5th grade class
for a field trip to brittany, france.
he'll be gone until friday night.
i miss him so much!
but i'm loving the experiences 
he's having and thankful
for the daily updates and pictures
from his teachers.
yesterday they were sailing
and walking along the beach
collecting crabs
and visiting a beautiful chateaux! 

looking forward to friday night
when we'll all be together again..
just for that one night..
as stephen flies to crete, greece 
saturday for a week! 

i am so thankful
for the opportunities
that my children are having!
and so thankful
that hannah is well and home.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Trying to be French

i've been thinking
that i'm just not 
a high heeled wearing
kind of girl.
oh..believe me..
it's not that i don't want to be
or haven't tried.
i just think my feet were
made for let's say...

i bought these 
lovelies from j.crew recently
during a 30% off sale.
i had them shipped to my mom
on the vineyard back home in the states..
because the shipping is like.. more than
the shoes.
when i was home in boston with hannah,
my mom brought them up to me.
i practiced walking all over my hotel room..
all over hannah's hospital room.
(i took this picture lying down
on my hotel bed..
looking lovingly up at them).

figuring i had it down..
my sister and i hit the mall
while my mom visited with hannah.
the minute i stepped outside
i thought..
i should really go back up 
and put my flats on.
but no.
i was determined.
within minutes blisters were forming.
we stopped and had lunch
and my feet regrouped.

i left my sister to the ladies room
and started walking towards 
the shops.
i had to keep stopping..
to rest my feet.
no joke.
i was pretending to be on a call
or texting.
(go ahead and laugh..
i had to sit on one of those mall benches
to stop the pain.

my sister somehow passed me
in the mall
which turned into a big joke.
i met her at j.crew
and walked straight back to the 
shoe department.
the salesman said..
you look like you're in a bit of pain.
i took the shoes off
and bought another pair.
(not the same ones!)
but a cute pair of 
low heeled sandals..
that i love.

fast forward to a few days ago.
blisters are heeled.
i try practicing in them again.
for crying out loud..
they're not stilletos!
i spend two hours in them
on sunday..
prancing around my kitchen 
making chicken tarragon.
i'm feeling confident
i can be like these
french women!

the next day
i wear them up the street
to the food market.
literally a 5 minute walk.
i swear i was looking for a cab
to drive me back down the street.
not only did the original blister
but now i have two new ones.

i'm not giving up.
but for now..
they might make cute 

Friday, May 24, 2013

If You're Coming to France...

....learn a few french phrases.
s'il vous plait.

i was in line
at my local boulangerie
the other day..
behind two american women.
the yoga pants and sneakers
of course gave them away..
but it was their loud
very thick southern accents
that you just couldn't miss.
when it was their turn to order..
they didn't even try to speak french.
instead she basically yelled.
"what flavor macaroons
do you have??"

i haven't lived here
long enough to be 
dolling out advice
on coming to france.
i will say..
if you are planning a trip..
 learn a few basic
"parlez-vous anglais"
will go a long way.

believe me,
french is hard!
i struggle 
every single day
with it.
i try.
and pretty much
just laugh at myself 
while doing it!

i would also suggest..
losing 5 pounds before 
arriving in france.
then you can eat
and eat 
and eat
all the macaroons
you can get 
your hands on.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Candles, Perfumes, Books and More

right up the street
from my flat
is the diptyque store.
this is my latest..
my sister in law
bought it for me when she
was here visiting.
it's the perfect
hostess gift.
maybe along with 
a box of macaroons.
speaking of hostess gifts..
stephen is flying to vienna
tomorrow with his baseball
team to play against
many different countries.
he'll be gone for 3 nights.
and he needs to bring 
a gift for his host family.
i'll be visiting diptyque today.

i love perfume.
on my flight home
from boston last week
i bought the
marc jacobs
daisy perfume
at the duty free shop.
it's perfect for summer
and i just love the bottle.

when i was in boston
i had a lot of time
to read.
i finished 
the Zelda Fitzgerald story.
 i liked it..

on the plane ride to
boston i watched
what a fabulous movie
and terrific acting.
as soon as we got
to boston hannah and i 
went to barnes and noble.
i bought 
Doris Kearns Goodwins...
A Team of Rivals.
i think i'll save it for summer.

right now 
i'm reading 
the Lifeboat.
it's ok so far.
next up 
a Train in Winter..
which is supposed to be 
really good.

i also watched
Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
on the flight.
i had read the book 
this past winter..
it was such a 
lovely movie!

hannah getting ready
for her procedure.
little did we know
we wouldn't be leaving
the hospital that night
she was such a trooper.
(and my iphone camera
is blurry)

finally after fasting
for 3 days!
not the greatest 
hospital food.
all she wanted 
was bertucci's 
mac and cheese.

keeping busy
making friendship

flower delivery 
from aunt hilly!

pet therapy dog
makes the rounds.
and balloon delivery
from max and maya!

view from our hotel.
again with the 
crappy camera phone.

mothers day breakfast
at the hotel.
hannah wrote me a 
beautiful letter
and made me
a bookmark.
we had a wonderful
mothers day.

more crappy camera photos..
griff dressed like a little french boy.

steve flies to boston tomorrow
to pick up hannah.
looking forward to sunday
when we're all together again.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Change

i'm going through the change.
just throwing it out there.
i turned 45 this year.
so i guess it makes sense.

i've been experiencing
night sweats
unexplained weight gain
mood swings.

the weight gain
thing has baffled me 
for months.
we moved to paris
almost a year ago
and since then i've gained
ten pounds.
i attributed it to 
the baguettes
and the cheese
and the nightly two glasses
of  delicious french wine.
so in january i started
dieting and exercising daily.
nothing happened.
i didn't lose one pound.
i went off carbs and sweets.
i've always been thin.
and this was ticking me off.

so when i started waking
up in the middle of the night
i started to do some research.

i'll see my doctor next
month when we go home
but i'm pretty sure this is it.

i will also say..
that i'm good in the no more
baby department.
i never thought i'd say that.
i look at babies now and think..
i'm ok with never having 
any more babies.

that's gotta be a symptom of 
pre-menopause right?
steve and i took the boys
to a playground yesterday
and i was looking at all the pregnant
moms and little babies...
i'm good.

i'm actually kind of 
ready for this next phase of my life.
believe me,
being a mom is still
my job and my love
but i'm starting to realize
that soon...
i'll have a whole lotta time
on my hands.
and i'm kind of excited about 
thinking about what i want
to do with that time.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


i flew home
to paris
alone tuesday night.
hannah is resting and 
recovering on the vineyard
with my mom.
i took this picture from 
the little plane i flew on
from the vineyard to boston.
you can see the three bridges
connecting cape cod
to the mainland.
i don't love flying...
but i loved flying over 
the vineyard and the cape.

what a long 11 days
it has been.
we sure weren't expecting
to be there that long.
i tried to balance
the many lows we experienced
with some highs.
and mani/pedi's with good friends.

our first day in boston
was a gorgeous day.
hannah and i walked
from our hotel
through boston common.

i love boston.
paris is where we live..
but boston is our home.

make way for ducklings
were all decked out 
for cinco de mayo.

from the common
we walked down boylston street.
this is the street that 
just over a month ago
boston was changed forever.

it was so emotional to be there.
i still can not believe that 
it happened.

monday we fasted 
and prepped for her 
procedure on tuesday.
tuesday we headed 
to children's hospital.
following her procedure
the doctor admitted her.
her crohn's was in need
of some stronger meds
and her pancreatic levels
were sky high.

we spent four long days
at children's.
lots of blood work
ultra sounds
during those four days
i thought about how blessed we are.
blessed that we are able
to hop a flight last minute
to the states and be seen
at one of the best children's hospital
in the world.
blessed that hannah
is getting healthy.
blessed that she has 
a loving grandmother
to watch over her
for a bit.

i kept thinking of 
the little girl..
staying at that very hospital
who not only lost her brother
but lost her leg
in that horrific attack.

we are blessed.

Friday, May 3, 2013

To Boston

hannah and i are flying to boston.
her crohn's disease is 
flaring up and i'd
prefer her to be in boston
for the procedure she needs.
it's a comfort thing for 
both of us..
to be home
and at the hospital
we know and love.

so..although our holiday
plans are put on hold..
i am glad that this 
is all happening over 
a school vacation.
steve will stay back with the
and hannah and i will 
try and make the most
out of our time in 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Fete du Muguet

i had big plans today.
steve has been in the states
since sunday..
the kids are on holiday..
stephen is studying for AP finals..
i thought i'd take the younger kids
to Musee Rodin.
so we walked 
and walked 
down to 
under the eiffel tower
all along the champ de mars
past l'cole militaire
and along les invalides...
all along it's raining 
harder and harder.
and do you THINK
that since i've lived in paris
i'd never leave home with out
an umbrella?
do you KNOW how many
umbrellas i own now
because every time i leave the
house i buy one?
and then i say to hannah..
after seeing a MILLION people
out and about today...
stores closed
cafe's closed..
i say..
wouldn't it be just great
if the museum was closed?

it was closed.
we hopped the metro 
and now after
putting on dry clothes..
we're headed to 
cafe victor hugo
for some french onion soup.

i learn something new 
every day here in france.
walking up my street
on our way to the closed 
Musee Rodin..
we find people
selling little bunches
of lily of the valley.

every corner i took..
there was another stand 
selling them!

today is a french holiday.
what a beautiful day 
for a holiday.
happy may day!
i love france.