Snow Day




This is the only phrase that can truly describe today.  We heard on the news that it was supposed to snow all week and they even called for a "Alert Orange" in terms of driving conditions.  I thought it was rather odd since there was not a single snowflake on our way to the office.

Then it happened.  When I looked out my office window at around 9 am, the snow flurries were in full effect.  It looked so beautiful.  Then noon rolled around and it was still snowing, hard.  Then it dawned on me, I have to go outside for lunch.  {FAIL}.  If only I could find a pizza delivery that could get passed security!

I braved the elements and the five minute walk in the elements to the cafeteria.  Wearing boots with heals was a definite FAIL!  Gladly I didn't slip and break my neck!

When I lived in the US, I always wondered why people would choose to live where it snowed.  I mean, why didn't everyone just want to live in the South.  No snow and relatively mild winters.  Well, look at me now.  Living in a place where it snows!  Isn't this a crazy turn of events?  This only confirms the fact that once we go back to the States there will be nowhere else for us to live than the South (be it East or West).

So this afternoon we dug out the car picked up the baby and sat in traffic while people figured out how to drive in the snow.  {Much credit to them, since I obviously don't drive}.

After a hot bath, I finally get to relax in front of the TV with a hot cup of tea (don't ask) while I watch Bridget Jones 2 (there is something about Colin Firth that I just luv), while the snow keeps falling outside.  In a moment of {ir}rational thinking, I brought my work computer home in case we can't get to work tomorrow.  Who am I kidding?

In other very exciting news, today when we dropped Nathan off at daycare he walked me over to a small table where the older kids where drinking their juices.  At first I thought it was the excitement of seeing the other kids - I couldn't believe my eyes when he just bellied up to the table (quite literally).  He just sat in his little chair and waited patiently for his juice.  

Excusez-moi?  When did my son get old enough to sit in normal (all be it tiny) chairs?  From what the ladies at the daycare tell me, he now sits at the table to eat lunch and refuses to sit in the high chair.  Just like the big kid!

My little baby is growing up!


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A perfect Saturday

Our Saturdays are typically pretty good.  It is the one day a week where we spend it 100% as a family.  It is the day where no matter what has happened during the week or what crazy things we have going on the week after, everything gets forgotten.  It is the day we wake up early, get ready and head out - rain or shine!  We always have breakfast at the same place and what started out as a tradition between Cornel and I has evolved into our little family and friends.

This Saturday, Christmas was in full effect in Clermont-Ferrand.  The tree was up at Centre Jaude (the big shopping center here), and the big tree was up in the plaza outside.  They had also set up the giant ferris wheel and the Christmas market that they have every year (Marché de Noël).  It had snowed the night before, so all of the trees where covered with snow.  It truly was starting to look like those fairy tale Christmases in the movies!

After breakfast we decided to take a walk around and enjoy some of the Christmas festivities (and of course do some shopping).  Nathan passed out about five minutes into our excursion, so we took advantage to stop and have some lunch.


Now, let me say that the best part about the Christmas market is the food!  They always have the typical Auvergnat Truffade and Aligot - which are both essentially potatoes with cheese, onions and ham (one in chunks and one is mashed) and both are {DELICIOUS}!  They are not at all diet friendly so we try to only eat these during Christmas time!  This and a little hot spiced wine (vin chaud) made the {PERFECT} lunch!


When Nathan finally woke up, we went to go see Santa who sadly was also out to lunch.  Such is life here in France.  So we decided to walk down the hill and go back towards Place Jaude.  We where on our way back to the car, when we saw the Michelin Man (Mr. Bib as I like to call him) at some sort of exhibition.  We decided it was the perfect time for Nathan to meet Mommy & Daddy's boss!

He was in awe.  All he wanted to do was touch him and he had the biggest smile on his face.  I can only imagine what he was thinking when he was looking at this giant white man in front of him.  It was hysterical.

We also took time to stop and smell the Christmas trees.  I don't know what Nathan loved about them so much, but he was loving every second of it!


Later that evening we took Nathan to Toys R' Us to use up his 30 euro gift card that we received from work.  We decided to let him out of the stroller to determine what we should buy him.  What came later was chaos.  He was running around everywhere, touching everything!  He was literally in kid heaven.  He kicked and screamed when we tried to put him back in the stroller.  What were we thinking!  We spent our 30 euros, got back in the car and headed back home.  Less than five minutes into the car ride - Nathan passed out!

It is what I call - a perfect Saturday.  I loved everything about the day!  There are so few days that from beginning to end are just perfect.  I was almost sad when it ended.
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Let it Snow

This afternoon when I walked into my office I could hardly believe what was going on outside my window...a full on snow storm.  You couldn't even see the buildings in front of me throw the blistering white flakes.  It was seriously like something out of a movie.  Snow never ceases to amaze this Arizona girl.  It was so pretty until I realized I had to go outside. Yuck!  Snow is definitely something to be enjoyed indoors.  From the comfort of your living room with a nice cup of hot spiced wine or a hot chocolate, peut-être.


I would love to say that this is Nathan's first snow fall, but sadly it has been snowing for the most part of his short life.  So this is nothing new.  This is, however, the first time he will get to squish it in between his fingers and stomp around in it!  For that I can't wait!  We are hoping to take him up here to the mountains and let him play around in the snow.  Maybe while his daddy gets in a ski run or two.  You see, I love winter activities, but HATE having to functioning the day to day in winter.

In any case,  our Thanksgiving was low key.  No big dinner and today was a Friday like any other.  It makes me kind of sad to not have been able to celebrate with my family or friends, but Christmas vacation is only {TWO WEEKS} away!  I can't wait to spend three glorious weeks in back in the States!

But it is still two weeks away and I have to focus on the present!  This weekend we are hoping to go back to baby swimmers and head to breakfast like always.  We will take Nathan to see the big tree in Place Jaude (the city center of Clermont) and hopefully just relax for the rest of the weekend.

tree in Centre Jaude 2008

As much as I like to complain about Clermont-Ferrand, it is truly the prettiest during Christmas.  In addition to the tree they set up the big ferris wheel and have a little Christmas market.
Centre Jaude 2008

Hopefully I will get to enjoy some of the festivities before heading back home!

Did I mention it is only two weeks away?
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Thankful on Thanksgiving

Well, here I sit on Thanksgiving Thursday with no turkey, no mashed potatoes, no stuffing or rolls.  I sit here without any stomach cramps or meat sweats, but rather sitting next to my dear husband {who is working hard on his laptop} while we watch a movie on TV with a baby peacefully sleeping in his crib.

Not the ideal Thanksgiving, but it is my Thanksgiving and I'm loving every second of it!  I don't like using Thanksgiving as an excuse to give thanks because quite honestly I'm thankful every day for all of the wonderful things I have.  Like I said yesterday, I like using Thanksgiving as an excuse to eat my body weight in food.  However, since I don't have the food to compensate...lets get to all of the things I'm thankful for this week.

{1.  My wonderful husband and son!}  How could a girl get so lucky to have such great men in her life?
{2.  Nathan's daycare setting up the Christmas tree so that I don't feel guilty for not putting one up myself.}  Can I tell you how much fun Nathan has just staring at it?  Such a change from last year when he could have cared less about it.




{3.  Girly Christmas movies on DVD}.  To get me in the holiday spirit.
{4.  Wonderful family and friends}.  'nuf said.
{5.  Saturdays with the family over coffee and pastries}.  Saturdays are my favorite day just because of this.
{6.  Frosty beverages} which make relaxing after a long day of work so worthwhile!
{7.  Christmas lights and decorations} in the street which just brighten up the town.
{8.  First snowfall of the year} especially knowing that in two weeks I will be enjoying the warmer Arizona weather!
{9.  Thanksgiving}.  Even though we are not celebrating this year, I'm thankful that I get to spend these days with my family.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

McGlothin Family Nest

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Nostalgia

I have to admit that it makes me a little sad when I see that all of my friends back in the states are getting ready for Thanksgiving and here I sit on just a regular old Wednesday night knowing that I have to get up and go to work tomorrow.

Thanksgiving used to be one of my favorite holidays.  Not so much because of the giving thanks bit (shouldn't we be thankful year round?), but because it is a holiday that completely revolves around eating and shopping!  What's not to love?  As an added bonus you get two days off of work to recover from the turkey coma = perfect holiday!

Growing up my family never really celebrated Thanksgiving since Christmas was our BIG holiday.  I didn't really start celebrating until I left Arizona.  Not wanting to spend money on a plane ticket I would usually just drive down to Atlanta.  this is when I truly began to enjoy all of the great things about Thanksgiving.

{1.  Food, food, food and oh so much more food!}


We used to buy the pre-made turkey and I would go crazy making sides:  stuffing, twice baked mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, the works!



Our first Thanksgiving in Europe I couldn't find a whole turkey so I had to buy the pieces and put it all together.  It worked.  Even in my teeny tiny French kitchen!


{2.  Shopping!}


I was one of these people that LOVED Black Friday.  I don't just mean love, I mean LOVED!  I always use to set up a plan to buy everyone Christmas presents but ended up buying more things for myself than for anyone else!  Go figure.

I miss the midnight madness at the Outlets.  Only there could you see such doozies... (in the effort of full disclosure, this picture is saved on my computer as "giant green ass" - just to get you into the grinchy Christmas spirit)


It wasn't just about the shopping but about literally about the madness that ensures.  The chaos created by shopping never ceases to amaze me!  It helps when you are on a drunk on turkey and sleep deprived!
Thanksgiving 2008

{3.  Friends & Family!}

Because after-all, Thanksgiving without friends or family is just a turkey dinner!

{4.  Did I mention the food?}

Let us not forget about the 4 days of leftovers that you get to enjoy.  Cold stuffing - yum...turkey sandwiches - yum, mashed potatoes - yum!  There is no end to how much I love Thanksgiving food and leftovers!  And I haven't even talked about the desserts!  

I guess I'm just feeling nostalgic on Thanksgiving pasts.  I'm a little sad that we don't make more of an effort to celebrate Thanksgiving while here in Europe.  We celebrated in 2008 with a nice trip to Paris & Barcelona. Last year since we had Nathan it would have been nearly impossible to celebrate Thanksgiving, and this year....well this year I'm just lazy.  

I can't wait until we are back in the States where I will get to enjoy Thanksgiving the way it was meant to be enjoyed!  Who knows maybe this weekend I will cave and make up some Thanksgiving-y food just for the fun of it!  I will be thinking of all my amazing friends and family back in the States living it up this weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Le Gastro

This tiny little word is used as the catch-all illness whenever someone has a problem with their stomachs.  You can either have a "petite gastro" or full out "gastro".

Why am I talking about stomach viruses?  Well because over the past 48 hours this house has become overrun by the dreaded {Gastro}!

It all started on Saturday morning when Nathan woke up.  He was standing on his crib as he usually does and I noticed that he had a little bit of vomit on his shoulder and sleeve.  I put him on the changing table while Cornel inspected the crib  There were little chunks all over his crib!  He had thrown up somewhere in the middle of night and had said nothing!  The poor kid.

He was in a good mood and so we decided to give him his normal breakfast.  {PARENTING FAIL}.  He upchucked the entire thing on the kitchen floor.  He had no fever, he was in a great mood.  Cornel took the executive decision to take him to baby swimmers anyway.  We assumed it would be good for him to get out.

He {LOVED}it!  He was having a great time splashing all over the place.  Squealing and laughing.  It was truly the best day of my entire weekend.

When we got back from baby swimmers and breakfast Nathan was exhausted.  We had been giving him fluids in small quantities throughout the day and he had managed to keep it all down.  In our own stupidity we thought he would be ready for a sensible dinner.  {WRONG}!  He upchucked all over my newly clean kitchen floor!

Poor little guy.  We cancelled our dinner plans - called off the baby sitter and settled in for a night with a sick baby.

Sunday was much better.  The baby was slowly eating and kept everything down!  We got out the Christmas stockings and decorations and went a little crazy.  Nathan had a great time with his Santa house and ornaments!  It was so amazing to see him involved in things he couldn't even focus on a year ago.

Then came this morning.  Nathan woke up like a champ.  He didn't eat very much, but kept everything down - two days in a row  {SUCCESS}!  I however was less than 100%.

I caught the dreaded gastro!  I spent most of my afternoon upchucking in the office bathroom, which trust me was not pleasant at all!  I came home crawled on the couch and am now recovering slowly.

I had big plans to write a post with pictures from the weekend, but in my state, I'm just lucky to be able to write it all down.  Please forgive me, I hope to be back to my old self by tomorrow.
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Deck the Halls!

It is finally Friday and I am so looking forward to this weekend.  While most of you are getting ready for a short week next week, I'm am just finally recovering from the four day weekend we had last weekend.  There will be no Thanksgiving celebration in our household this year, which means that we will get to jump full stream ahead to Christmas!

Halls will be decked, bells will jingle and sleigh bells will ring this weekend in our household!  Get ready for a Christmas explosion!  Well, no not really.  Since we are going to spend Christmas in the States this year, there won't be a tree, but the decorations will be out in full effect.  I can't wait to put up stockings and decorate just a little to get into the spirit of things!

It's hard to really begin our family traditions since we likely will never spend a Christmas in our own home.  We will more than likely always spend Christmas traveling, so I want to start little traditions that we can do before the "big" day.  So putting up stockings and other decorations rather than the big tree seem like a good compromise.

I spent all last weekend designing our Christmas cards and I LUV them!!

I'm still undecided about the picture.  It is one of the few pictures we have of the three of us.  This was taken back in August at Nathan's baptism and it is not his best picture.  I will try to see if we can get a nicer picture to put on the card, if not this one will have to do.  I already have a couple printed out ready to mail out tomorrow (EEK!)

Sunday the decorations are coming out and hopefully I can convince Cornel to help me get the festivities going!  I'm such a sucker for this holiday!

But Christmas will not be the only activity going on this weekend.  After a long absence, we are going back to baby swimmers.  Nathan hasn't been there in MONTHS!  First with the summer break, and then due to his daycare illnesses, and then due to just sheer laziness.  While I would like to say that I'm still a little too lazy to wake up so early on a Saturday, I'm excited to see Nathan's reaction when he sees the big pool again!  Now that he's mobile it's a whole new ball game.

As for now, work is done (Thank God) and the baby is bed.  It is time to curl up with the hubby, pour myself a nice refreshing beverage and settle in for a good movie on the couch.  Any suggestions!?

Happy Weekend everyone!



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Blah

It has been one of those weeks where I'm feeling kind of blah.  Work has been blah, the weather has been blah and so I have been struggling about what to write about today.

Not that I don't have a lot to be thankful for I just don't have the motivation to write it down.  So here I sit in my PJ's with a baby that has been asleep for nearly an hour, a clean kitchen and I realize that things are not so blah.  In fact, things are pretty good this week.

And do I'm thankful for:

1.  {Having my hubby home}.  I was a single mom again this week, and it just doesn't seem to get any easier.  Even though it wasn't as long as last time, the best part about Cornel's trips is definitely the day he comes home.  This time he got home around 8:30 and for some reason Nathan managed to stay up long enough to see his daddy before going to sleep.  His face lit up as soon as he saw him walk through the door, and it just made me feel full.  There is nothing better than having these two men in my life.

2.  {All things Christmas}  I have been feeling kind of down seeing all of my friends posting things about Thanksgiving.  This used to be my one of my favorite holidays.  A holiday that revolved all around food and shopping.  A holiday that I would spend in Atlanta with Nate & Brent.  I looked forward to it all year.  The bright side about not having Thanksgiving though is that we get to jump right into Christmas!  The Christmas cards are printed and the decorations will be up by the weekend. The Christmas movies have been playing for a week now.  I can't wait to start the Christmas baking - I love CHRISTMAS!

3. {Getting told by the daycare that we are raising a great son}.  When I heard this in the morning it made my entire day!  He has such a sweet and gentle personality.  I am completely biased when it comes to my son, so I LOVE to hear it from other people.  I'm also so happy for some of the ladies that work at the daycare.  They really take great care of Nathan and you can see in his face how happy he is to go to school.  It makes my day at work so much easier to know he is well taken care of.

And of course that it is almost the weekend, but that goes without saying.

McGlothin Family Nest

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No...my baby is not French, he's just drugged

Have you ever been to a crowded restaurant in the middle of the lunch rush?  If the answer is yes, then you know how noisy it is and how you can hardly hear the person sitting in front of you without having to raise your voice.  Well, things are much different on this side of the ocean.  Here you can almost hear a pin drop during lunch time. 

I still remember one of my first weeks here in France when I had lunch with the girls.  It was a gorgeous afternoon and we were enjoying lunch outside on a terrace.  Mind you, there were cars whizzing by us (well as much whizzing as they do here in Clermont) so we were speaking rather loudly.  Imagine the shock when the lady at the next table came over and told us to "keep it down".  That was my first introduction into social behavior here.  Apparently French people use their "indoor voices" even outdoors!

This doesn't just apply to restaurant.  I used to wonder why all French children where always so calm and well behaved.  I seriously thought these women had a secret they weren't telling.  How is is that a two year old can sit still for so long??  It was mind baffling!!

Well - the secret is out! 

A couple of weeks ago, Nathan woke up on the wrong side of the crib.  He was having "one of those days".  When we went to pick him up at the crèche (daycare) the girl told us that he was being a grouch.  Which granted is very {UNUSUAL} for Nathan.  She continued to tell us that he didn't have a fever and he didn't seem sick.  OK - I don't have a medical degree but I could have told you that he was just grumpy.  This is why what came next {SHOCKED} me!

The girl continued that because he was being such a grouch they gave him a dose of doleprene.  (Doleprene is the French equivalent of tylenol : a fever and pain reducer).  Excusez-moi!?!?

You knew my baby wasn't sick but you gave him drugs anyway? 

So there you have it.  That is the secret to why French kids are so well behaved.  When they are just having an "off" day - they just get drugged.  Craziness I tell you!

It took a while for the shock to wear off and now Cornel and I can joke about it.  Every time Nathan is getting a little wound up we joke that we need to get out the doleprene. 

So next time you wonder why my kid is so well behaved, it's not because he's French, it's because he's drugged up!
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Pancakes & Potting Soil

I have been wanting to make this recipe for banana pancakes FOREVER.  Well actually, only a couple of months - but you get the idea.

Photo & Recipe Credit:  Annies Eats


The only problem - waking up early enough on a Sunday morning to justify making pancakes.  Usually we just buy 2 extra croissants/pains au chocolate on Saturday so that all we have to do on Sunday is make coffee. {Which isn't so bad either}.

This weekend I was DETERMINED!  Why you ask?  Well because I had left-over bananas from Nathan's party that were about to go bad. 

Since Nathan had gotten the OK for {almost} all foods, I really thought we could share a breakfast as a family.  I woke up early and started in on the batter.  Cornel woke up and made the coffee.

{If I ever decide to do this again, I will make the coffee first}

While I worked on making the pancakes, Cornel whipped up some  chantilly (whipped cream).  There is nothing like team work!  After a while we were ready to eat.  We propped Nathan in his highchair and ploppled a pancake down in front of him.

At first he squeezed it in his hand.  Then he threw some over the side of the chair.  Then he just began banging them with his fists!  {Nothing makes a mom feel better than being appreciated}.

I tore off a piece of his mangled pancake and tried to put it in his mouth.  He happily opened up and after a few seconds he spit it back out!  WHAT?  I tried again, this time making sure he had a piece with a banana in it.  Same thing - out came the pancake.  Granted his didn't have whipped cream on it, but it wasn't bad!  After most of the pancake ended up on the floor.  We gave up.

He ended up having cereal for breakfast with what was left of the banana garnish.  {Pancake FAIL}!  I was sure he was going to love it!

Here is the part that I don't understand.  Now that Nathan is mobile, I find him eating the most obscure things.  His favorite snack is potting soil.  I find him "playing" by our potted plant.  There are toys that magically end up near the plant and the minute he is left unsupervised he takes a big handful of dirt and puts it in his mouth.  He LOVES it!  He giggles and goes back for more!  So this kid will eat potting soil but not pancakes. 

Next time I will be sure to add a small handful of the potting soil to the mix to entice him to eat breakfast!  This might be a breakthrough in baby nutrition.  At least it's organic!
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Back to Reality

Monday after a four day weekend is hard especially when it's cold and rainy!  Thanks to Veteran's Day (L'armistice here in France) we were able to enjoy four glorious days as a family, and the sun even came out on Saturday to really make the day worthwhile.

What a great weekend!  It was filled with family breakfasts downtown including croissants and pain au chocolates!  This smile charmed the pants off the owner who would come by and pinch his cheeks every time she walked by.  {Who doesn't want to pinch them?}

It was filled with coffee time with friends, where Nathan got to get reacquainted with an old friend!  These two caused a ruckus together.  They were getting into everything and anything and loving every minute of it!  I love to watch Nathan play with other kids especially now that he can interact with his cute little personality.




It was also filled with Christmas music and Christmas movies (The Grinch might have been played once or twice this weekend)!

{Don't hate - we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here so we have to jump right into Christmas!}

I also may have finished designing and printing our Christmas cards!  {Is it too soon to mail?  Hmm??}

It was filled with lots of cleaning and taking down of birthday decorations {boo}!

And most of my time was spent in the kitchen cooking!  And not just any cooking, but cooking for fun!  No stress.  No deadlines.  Just sheer joy!  I made some doozies this weekend:  Boeuf Bourguignon, Chicken Provencale, Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna with homemade Marinara, Banana Pancakes on Sunday morning, Chocolate Almond Banana Bread {I had bananas that were about to go bad}.

Ugh, I gained five pounds just typing it all out!  Heaven.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed cooking for fun.  If only I had the time to doit more often.  There were so many projects that I wanted to get done around the house, but I passed.  There was nothing better than spending time playing and enjoying my family.  I'll get to the projects when I get to them.

And now the weekend is over and it is back to work and reality.  Tomorrow I go back for another round of single mommyhood!  Hopefully for the last time this year!
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Tag...you're It!

When I first started writing this blog over two years ago (how has it been this long) it was only as a way to keep my family updated as we began an adventure overseas.  Then after Nathan was born, I started using it as an outlet for my joys and frustrations.  One of the best things that I have come to love about blogging is all of the great people I have "met" who all share similar experiences.  It is so refreshing sometimes to know that you are not alone - not only in the mommy moments but just in this crazy journey we all call life.

One of the blog I have started following is Jamie over at Walking in High Cotton and she has graciously tagged me in a "get to know you" kind of game in this blogging world.

So now, onto the challenge....

{1.  What is your favorite thing about your house?}
I love my open kitchen!  I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I am so glad that I never have to be separated from my family as they play or spend time in the family room.  I love that it is the room where we share our meals and a room where I can easily entertain.  The entire reason for us buying our house was this kitchen and it has yet to disappoint.

{2.  If you could change anything about your life right now what would it be?}
I would love to be closer to home.  I wish that Nathan could grow up closer to his grandparents and that we could have a bigger support system. 

{3.  Where would your dream vacation be?}
I'm still holding out hope that we'll get to go to Greece.  It has always been a dream of mine to see and tour Greece.  I'm hoping we can make a trip before making the big move back to the States.

{4.  What is one thing you have done that you sooo wish you could take back?}
Nothing.  I have made ALOT of mistakes, and have done some pretty dumb things (who hasn't).  All of these things have made me the person I am today so I wouldn't take any of them back.  Well, maybe I wouldn't get that perm back in 6th grade.  It took years for my hair to recover!!

{5.  What is your favorite thing about blogging?}
I love expressing myself through writing.  I've always enjoyed writing, but lets face it - it doesn't pay the bills so I had to chose a more dependable profession.  I also love that I get to connect with so many other people.

{6.  What is one thing that can turn your bad day into a good day?}

This smile can make me forget the worse day!

And now on to the fun part here are the bloggers that I'm "tagging" for the next round of questions!  Stop by and visit them if you have time, they are all a great read.

Natalie over @ {The Good Life}

Their questions should they choose to participate are the following:

1.  What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?
2.  Where would your dream vacation be?
3.  What did you want to be when you grow up?
4.  What is something you would happily do again?
5.  Why did you start blogging?
6.  What can turn your bad day, into a good day?


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The Party

Nathan's birthday party was amazing!  Our house was filled with so many friends both old and new.  Sometimes living so far away from family is always hard and I didn't want Nathan to suffer because of our decisions.  I was afraid that celebrating his first birthday overseas would be hard, harder for me obviously, but hard.  I have to say that I have never been happier to be wrong!

Like I said before, I worked my tail off for the party.  I wanted to have the {Mod Monkey} theme, but couldn't find anything like it here in France.  My only option was to try and make things myself.  And so, about a week before the party my home became overrun with blue and yellow circles.  I made both a "Happy Birthday" banner and a little sign for his highchair.  I also made all of his cupcake picks which had a variety of different sayings.  The house was decorated in all things monkey (and a couple of jungle animals)!

We gave away monkey masks to the kids and the goodie bags were filled with homemade sugar cookies (circles with blue frosting of course).  Above the food buffet table I put up a picture banner on green satin ribbon.  I put up all the pictures of Nathan from 1 - 11 months!  I think it was a nice detail and I think people really enjoyed looking at it. 


And speaking of the buffet, I had all of the food lined up on the bar of our open kitchen (or American Kitchen as they call it hear).  I made literally a {TON} of food, but sadly in all the commotion I forgot to take a picture of it all!  Go figure.  I only have the aftermath of the buffet.  I also had put framed pictures of Cornel and I on our first birthday's on the buffet table.

The appetizers included pigs in a blanket, a baked brie, different kinds of raw ham, and vegetable crudites.  For lunch I made ham and cheese sliders with a béchamel sauce on homemade sesame buns, a green salad and a Romanian potato salad.  The deserts included homemade birthday cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream {no cake mixes for this girl}  on a silver cupcake tower, and Paula Deen's banana pudding (can I just tell you this recipe is DELICIOUS - not healthy but DELICIOUS)!  The drink table was also filled with various wines, sodas and a couple of frosty beverages!  Here is a close-up of the cupcakes...


What is a birthday party without presents?  Nathan had a great time opening the presents and he got some great loot!  I am so blessed to have such great friends, they really went above and beyond with the presents!

After presents of course it was time for {CAKE}!  Nathan got his very own smash cake.  At first he was a little hesitant and wasn't quite sure what to do with it.  The first thing he did was go for the lit candle.  After I blew out the candle for him I left him alone to destroy the cake.  

He didn't want to touch it.  I was shocked since he usually has no problem with anything that is put in front of him. After a while, and after a few rounds of "Happy Birthday" he started going to town!  He was loving it by the end.  He even tried to feed his daddy a few pieces! 


After a quick bath it was back to the fun, and back to playing with all of his new toys!


Needless to say that I was exhausted after the party.  Nathan didn't want to nap with all of the excitement and he finally ended up passing out at around 6:30 and didn't wake up until 7 the next morning!  

Now that it is Thursday things are finally starting to get back to normal.  All of the wrapping paper has been thrown out and there are only a few boxes that still need to go.  The picture banner is still up and I'm sure I'll get around to taking it down by the end of the week.

And because it is Thursday I'm so thankful for such a great day and such a happy and healthy baby!  I'm also thankful for all of the amazing people who came to celebrate with us, it made it so much more special!!
McGlothin Family Nest

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12 months




Today we took Nathan to his 12 month check-up.  How time has changed in just a year.  He was so much more than the little blob he was when we took him to his first month check up!


It started out with a bang.  As soon as he saw the doctor he began screaming at the top of his lungs!  Obviously three weeks is not enough to forget.  To forget all those painful appointments of poking and ear prodding.  Nathan's first instinct was to grab his little ears and scream his head of as we tried to take off his clothes.

He was so nervous as the doctor placed him on the scale.  Luckily the fit subsided by the time it came time for his shots.  In fact he cried harder when they took of the lidocaine patch than he did when they gave him his shots!  He was such a trooper!  By the end of the appointment he was laughing, so I guess he can forgive but not necessarily forget!

Age - 12 months 3 days today

Height - 74 cm or 29 inches.  It's official, he is now officially 1/2 my height!  

Weight - 9.65 kg or 21.25 pounds

Sleeping Habits - Sleeping through the night.  We had a bit of a rough patch with Daylight Savings Time.  What on earth where people thinking?  He was waking up at 5 and going to bed by six!  It was a rough week.  Thank God we are back to a normal schedule.

Eating Habits -  He loves to fee himself lately and loves to feed anyone around him.  We started with the pastas and with more finger food.  He HATES spinach so my boy will never be a popeye!  He also tried couscous for the first time and even asked for more.  Now that he is one we can start the magical world of all things forbidden!  I can't wait to see him try all the new foods he hasn't had a chance to try. 

Teeth -   We're up to seven teeth, four on top and three on the bottom.  He loves to show them off.  He has the cutest smile that could melt any icy heart!  Gorgeous!  It doesn't seem that there are any coming anytime soon.  Hopefully my son will get a small break before more come in.

Milestones - So many milestones this month.  He loves to clap when he does something new.  He is so proud of himself everytime he does something that he applauds at himself.  Obviously he has no problem with self esteem!  He is also starting to learn the difference between right and wrong, but doesn't really abide by any rules.  He waves his little finger and says "no, no, no".  

Even though he can't speak, he smacks his lips when he is hungry.  Even when he is not, he smacks his little lips whenever he sees mommy and daddy eating anything that might be interesting to him.

It is amazing to see this tiny little person.  He has his own personality and he is becoming more independent.  It is so much fun to finally interact with him.  He is so alert and aware of his surroundings. I feel like I am finally starting to get into the routine of being a family and it is amazing.  


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A magical year - the movie

A year ago today I was in the hospital still adjusting to the word "mother".  I was ecstatic and terrified all at the same time.

A year ago today I was still supposed to be pregnant.  I remember thinking that my body had failed me somehow.  I remember looking at my little guy and wondering how in the world I was ever going to be a good "mother".  Sometimes it feels like it was so long ago and other times it feels like it was just yesterday.

What an amazing year it has been.  Overnight my life changed.  We went from being a couple to being a family.  I love my boys.  I couldn't imagine my life being any other way.  It makes me tear up just to think about how many amazing things and opportunities I have been blessed with.

This past year we have gone from cuddling a five pound newborn to seeing a little man "talk" and crawl all over the house.  My neat house became over run by toys.  I can hardly remember what it was like before.

A year ago I became a new person.  I became a mother.  I went from being completely selfish to being a responsible adult.

I stare at my son's eyes and his smiling face and sometimes I am overwhelmed with emotion.

We have had one amazing year.  We have traveled through Europe.  We have experienced so many new things.  And best of all we've done it all as a family! I am looking forward to what the future has in store.

Here is a short movie I put together on Nathan's first year.  I hope you enjoy it.  Let me know what you think.


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Happy Birthday Nathan

Yesterday my son turned one year old!  Unbelievable how much time flies!  We had his party and it was a complete succes.  Although by the end of it I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  I was so exhausted and every.single.part of my body hurt!

I was so stressed leading up to the event!  I didn't think I would get it all done on time.  I need to become better at planning things!  I tried to get it all done on Saturday and I was up until past 1 am!  What was I thinking?  It doesn't help that things that would typically make my life easier (such as ready to go cake mix and frosting) is not so readily available here and so I had to make it all from SCRATCH!

{Move over Martha Stewart!}

Menu
Appetizers:  Baked Brie (I mean come on I live in cheeseland)
Mushroom Crostini
Pigs 'n a Blanket
Veggie Platter

Main Dish:  Ham & Cheese sliders with homemade rolls
(Even though I live in a country bombarded by bread I couldn't find rolls, and so my only option was making them by hand!)
Potato Salad

Dessert:  Cupcakes (with homemade butter cream)
& Paula Deen's Banana Puddin' (I LOVE this banana pudding, heart attack and all).

I definitely went overboard on the food - and definitely made too much food.  In retrospect, I shouldn't have tried to make it all from scratch.  That or I should have at least started earlier in the week. 

There were lots of presents!  Lots of great friends and even though it was a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon, I hope everyone enjoyed themselves.  Nathan refused to nap during/after the event!  I think he was way too excited with all the people and all of the gifts!  Oh the gifts!  He got lots of cars, lots of books and lots of clothes!  I'm exhausted just thinking of the mess sitting in my living room at this very moment!

I have lots of pictures that I need to post.  I also have Nathan's one year video that I need to post and of course his 12 month update.  So many things to do and yet I have no energy to do them.  So today, I leave you with this....the video of Nathan and his smash cake.  It took him a while, but he was loving everysecond by the end!




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3 days

I'm starting to get really emotional and sappy about the big event coming up in three days.  I can't believe that soon I will be able to start measuring Nathan's age in years and not months.  This is so much harder for me as a realization that time with him is going by way to quickly!

Maybe I'm just delusion due to lack of sleep.  Although, we made some HUGE progress last night.  Nathan still managed to wake up at 5 but played "quietly" in his crib until I was ready to wake up at 6!  Little moments of heaven.

I was also able to get some baking started for the big day on Sunday.  Since the little guy went down at 7, this left me nothing but time to get things done!  Hopefully this will mean that I will be less stressed throughout the weekend, but highly doubt it.

And it's finally Thursday!  The day I thought would never come!!  I am so thankful for this Thursday because today is the day that Cornel gets home! 

{FINALLY}

After what seemed like an enternity (it was actually only 9 days), no more single mommyhood after tonight.  Well at least for a couple of weeks anyway!  I am going to be so thankful not to be on baby duty for a while.  Don't get me wrong, I adore my son, but I definitely need a break to take a nap!

And since it is Thursday, afterall, I need to give thanks for all of the great and amazing things in my life!

So this week....I'm thankful for:

1.  My hubby coming home

2.  Not having to take the bus or the tram tomorrow

3.  For God giving me the strength to keep it together this long alone

4.  My wonderful son who has made this entire year so amazing

McGlothin Family Nest

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Counting down to the big day

We had another bad night due to Daylight Savings Time when Nathan decided to grace me with his bright chipper face at 4 AM.  So now with four days left until his birthday we are regressing to his newborn schedule.

My son has been sleeping through the night for the past 8 months and I have become extremely spoiled.  My body does not seem to function with less than 7 hours of sleep.  Even when Nathan was a newborn, I think I handled it better because I was anticipating not sleeping, but this - well this is just simply unacceptable!

Especially since now, I have to drag my tired behind to work and try and focus.  How I wish I could drop Nathan off at daycare and then come home and take a nap.  What a wonderful system that would be!  The good news is that my dear husband comes home tomorrow night, so I just need to hold off until then.  That's only one more sleepless night (seeing as it is now 7 PM and my son is sleeping peacefully in his crib).

I am in for a rude awakening when we make the trip back to the states.  Hopefully, I'll have the help of his loving grandparents!

Since I have no energy to write a blog post today or at least a coherent one, I'm going to share with you Nathan's photobook.  Not just any photobook but his

{ONE YEAR PHOTO BOOK}


*GASP*  Where did the time go.  I have been working on this book for what seems like months although I guess in reality it has only been a couple of weekends here and there.  It is amazing to see how much he has changed.

I also love that his birthday is so close to Christmas so that I can give these away as presents!

{Sorry to ruin the surprise grandmas and aunts but you had to have known, right?}









It is still not completely done, since I want to add pictures in his 12 month onsie and hopefully a few shots of his birthday on Sunday.  What doe you think?


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Randomness

I never realized before how many random things happen to me throughout the course of one day.  Maybe I have become so accustomed to the randomness that it has become normal, or mabye it is just that I am oblivous to the outside world.

Whatever the case - now that Cornel is gone I am starting to realize the bizzare things that happen to me on a daily basis.

Take last week for instance.  As I was walking home (from the bus no less) pushing my soon-to-be toddler in his stroller I get approached by some random guy asking me if I'm Italian?  See random.  I politely tell him no - smile - and continue pushing towards home.  He then continues to invite me for a cup of coffee because as he tells me, I'm just beautiful. 

First off - every girl likes to be told she is beautiful, even if it is by creepy random men on the street.  Especially after having had a baby.  But really?  I'm pushing a stroller and my wedding ring is obviously showing - why would I go with a creepy stranger?  This is what happens to me for taking the bus!  As for the creepy stranger - I quickly ditched him and took the long way home in case he decided to follow us home!

And because this post is nothing if not random then let me just tell you that daylight savings time is kicking our behinds!  Growing up in Arizona, I never ever had to change the clocks.  You always knew what time it was, because it was always the SAME!  When I moved to South Carolina I had to experience Daylight Savings Time for the first time.  It was a disaster.  I never knew whether I gained an hour - lost an hour...etc.  The whole "fall back"/"spring forward" thing makes no sense to me.  After 25 years of never having to deal with it, it is to be expected I suppose.

But back to the story, I had NO idea that the clocks were changing on Saturday night.  So imagine my surprise when I walk Nathan into the playroom after breakfast on Sunday and notice that the cable box said 5:30 am.  Still a little groggy and without my morning coffee, I walk back into the bedroom and check the clock - 6:30 AM.  It took a while to dawn on me ... 


{Crap!  Daylight Savings Time}


Well, let me just tell you, that Daylight is kicking our asses!  Nathan is still waking up at 5:30 and going to bed around 6:30 PM.  I have tried to keep him up, but it doesn't work.  Mommy is exhausted and baby is exhausted!  At least I'm making it to work on time!  I can't wait for Spring when I get to sleep in the extra hour.  Or better yet, I can't wait for Cornel to get back so he can be on morning baby duty!


Halloween is over and I'm still feeling like a zombie!
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Maybe Next Year

I was so excited for Nathan's first Halloween.  My mom sent me the perfect costume - Mickey Mouse!  Since he has his very own stuffed Mickey that he loves and adores it was the perfect choice.  I had it all planned out in my head - until I realized that I live in France and there is no such thing as a Halloween celebration.  Bummer.

Then I found out that there was a small celebration in a small suburb outside Clermont.  Perfect!  Perfect that is until Cornel told me had to go out of town.  I couldn't believe he was going to miss Nathan's first Halloween.  Determined to go out and make holiday memories at any cost, I decided that Nathan and I would go solo.  I mean - this would have been a momentous event, right?

Well, the little guy ended up getting a stomach virus earlier in the week and it lasted through until Saturday.  Not to mention that the day woke up raining.  Ugh.  This Halloween was not meant to be.  The sun ended coming back up in the afternoon and I'm sure that I could have made it to the celebration, but by that point I was exhausted!

I am so not cut out (or at least I don't have the practice) to be a single mom.  Even a trip to the grocery store wore us out.  I just didn't have the energy to put the baby in a costume, plus put on his coat and then strap him into the stroller for a half an hour bus ride to attend this little festival.  In retrospect, since he was feeling better I'm sure I should have at least tried - but I didn't.  

I should have at least put on his little costume and let him parade around the living room.  How cute would he have looked crawling all around, Mickey ears and all?  But I didn't.  

So now I get to look at all of the cute Halloween pictures that my friends took.  Pictures of their kids dressed up in school.  Pictures of the little babies trick or treating, or just pictures of the cute kids all dressed up.  As for me, I have nothing.  No pictures to show.  No cute stories to tell.

Well, at least no costume pictures.  Check out this smile I got this weekend...


It makes me a little sad.  I'm not sure what was worse.  The fact that Cornel wasn't here to celebrate with us, since I'm sure we could have made it to the festival.  Or the fact that we live in a place that doesn't do small little traditions like Halloween, where instead of taking Nathan 30 minutes away, we could have gone up and down our neighborhood.

I suppose there is always next year.  Hopefully it will be a year where Nathan will get to experience pumpkin patches, and candy overloads.  Where he will get to have the experiences that other kids have.  That or his mother will just have to realize that being an American in France just makes our family different.

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