April - June: my year in Review

I'm continuing my countdown of 2012 with a small recap of April - June.

In case you missed it, on Monday I did my recap of January - March - although I'm still very much in denial about it being nearly 2013.  I'm also in complete denial that Noah's first birthday is coming up next week, wasn't he just born?


April was actually a rough month for me.  After having stayed home for 16 weeks - my maternity leave was over and I had to go back to work.   To make the transition a little easier for me, Nathan decided this was the month he would officially potty train.  That was a great moment!

We also celebrated Easter, but because I was working I didn't have time to blog about it.


This month was busy around here!  Noah took his very first plane ride!

We started out taking a trip to Romania to visit my husband's family.  It was going well until my wedding ring fell down the sink.  Thank goodness for hotel maintenance.  

We also took some trips to the South of France, taking in the sights of Marseille and Sete!


June is always a great month!  It is anniversary month!  Cornel and I celebrated four years of marriage!

This month Nathan went on a business trip with his daddy!  It was the first time that he left somewhere without me, it was all bittersweet!

How was your year?

Linking up for the year in Review....

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...because teachers make a difference

Ever year around this time I always try to do something nice for the women at the daycare.

I usually make some sort of baked good for them to have during their coffee breaks.  Teacher gifts aren't common here, at least I don't think they are.  Maybe it's because there isn't a Starbucks around here, so the gift card trend hasn't taken off.

The truth is that no amount of baked goods can even begin to thank these women for the amazing job that they do.

I still remember the first day that we took Nathan to daycare.  How they took him in and cuddled him so that I would know he was being cared for.
Nathan's first day of daycare in 2010
I remember the first day I dropped him off and he ran with arms wide open into their arms - without even looking back at me.

I remember the first time he came home asking when he could go back to see them.  Naming them all by name.

For the past three years these women have not only taken care of my son, they have cared for my son.

They have taught him so much - perfect french, letters, numbers, colors, songs and poetry.  But they have also taught him kindness, manners and generosity.

These women have become so much more than just his teachers, in his eyes they are family.

He has so much love for them, and I see the love that they have for him.

This last week of daycare, they have told me how much they will miss him.  There have been lots of extra cuddles and it seems as if Nathan knows that the end is near.

We took presents to the daycare on Monday.  Actual presents, not baked goods - with thank you cards for his teachers.  Nathan was so excited to walk in with gifts and hand them to his teachers.

The truth is, that there is no gift that could possibly show them how grateful I am for them.  How much I appreciate the work that they do.  How much I admire them, and how much they have touched my family's hearts.

Today I am grateful.  Grateful for amazing teachers like Sylvie, Chantal, Muriel and Amandine.  Grateful for all the people who chose to make teaching their career.  You have no idea how much you touch people's lives!

Have you ever had a teacher who has made a difference in your/your child's life?
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Dear Nathan...

Dear Nathan,

This month has been so much fun with you.  The Christmas magic is alive and you are taking it all in.  You are in awe of the lights and the tree and everything else that comes with season.  You love to sing Christmas carols and completely surprised me when you started singing them in French.  You still aren't sure how you feel about Santa, but you do know that you want him to bring you a red present.  I'm pretty sure he will oblige.

You went up to the mountains with your daddy this month to take in all of the snow.  You loved going down the mountain, although your favorite part was turning the snow yellow.  It's all about the little things, right?

This week you started your last week ever at daycare.  In January you will officially start school.  This makes me sadder than I can even express.  I still remember the day we dropped you off for the very first time.  You were only a few months old and I didn't know how I would be able to handle being away from you.  Now here we are, nearly three years later and we are turning the page for new adventures.  It's a little bittersweet for me to see you growing up so fast.

We love you so much and can't wait to see what the future holds for you!
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Say it ain't so 2012

Am I the only one in denial that 2012 is almost over?  I mean seriously, didn't it just start?

I am looking forward to 2013, but I will be so sad to see 2012 go.  We made some great memories this year.


In January we were still adjusting to being a family of four - with Noah turning one month old.

And even though I was still on maternity leave, I decided that going back to work was the best choice for my family.


By far one of my favorite months.  It always starts off with a bang in France, with a holiday that revolves completely around crepes!

It is then followed by one of my favorite events ... Vinidome!  The amazing wine festival that only happens once a year!  This year we even brought Noah along for the fun!

I also shared my recipe for a delicious cake that goes very well with a sweet dessert wine... a French Lemon Cake!


By the time March rolled around, we had finally gotten into the groove of having two kids. So much so, that we even dared to take our first vacation as a family.

We headed off to Paris to apply for Noah's birth certificate and passport and took advantage to head off to Disneyland Paris.  We ended up having an amazing time.

I'll be reviewing April - June on Friday, so please come back

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What a week....

I've had so much to say this week and no time to do it in.

Whenever I don't have the time to write, I feel off, I'm hoping I can get back on track.

L to R: Christmas at the daycare, Princess Diana Memorial in Paris, Mr. GQ going incognito, Ferris wheel and christmas tree in downtown Clermont, Paris = love, more Christmas in Clermont

To say that this week has been rough would be an understatement. There is an epidemic of bronchial viruses and several kids at the daycare have been hospitalized.  Noah got sick and has been diagnosed with asthma.  We are now knee deep in inhalers and nebulizers.  Le sigh.

Yesterday was St. Nicolas Day.  Here in France good ol' Saint Nick brings you presents.  St. Nick brought me a new dishwasher and two madrilenes.  St. Nick really outdid himself this year!  I'm liking the double celebration of St. Nicolas and Christmas.

How was your week?

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Your typical weekend...in Paris

It's no surprise that I love this time of year.  Even when the weather is cold and miserable, there is something about the smell of Christmas trees and twinkly lights that just makes me feel all warm and cozy on the inside.

Having been in France for the past four Christmases (or is it five, I lost count) the holiday season is always hit or miss for us.  We usually do so much traveling during this time of year that we make little to no effort to get anything done around the house.  I mean, why would you put up a tree you're only going to see for a week?

Since having the boys, however, I've tried to make more of an effort to inspire that "Christmas magic".  I want them to have the same cozy feeling when they think of this time of year.

Even though we don't put up a tree every year, and we spend more time on planes than at home - certain traditions stay true.  I always put up some twinkly lights and the stockings are always hung up. Nathan gets so excited every night when he sees everything and all he can say is "look Chrismtas".

That is why I wanted to do something "extra-special" for him.  He is finally at that age where he not only "gets" Christmas, but he is so absorbed by the simplicity of it all.  After all, his only wish from Santa is a red present.

One of the things that I've always wanted to do while in France has been seeing the tree and decorations at the "Grands Magasins" in Paris.  I've been to Paris many times during the holiday season, but for some reason have never made the time to actually go and take in this very Parisian tradition.

When I told my husband how sad I was that I might never get a chance to see this, he said, "why don't you just take Nathan up for the weekend?"

And that my friends is the long drawn out story of how we ended up in Paris for the weekend to take in the Christmas magic.

We saw the amazing tree at Galaries Lafayette.

Got to meet up with Santa {or Pere Noel as he prefers to be called here} who spoke just the perfect combination of "franglish".

We had a lunch date at Angelina's.

A stroll down the Champs Elysee....

before taking in some other touristic attractions.

A magical weekend spent alone with my three year old. 
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