Thursday, June 06, 2013

One Week

We are one short week away from leaving. I am beyond overwhelmed. So I've decided, for the moment, that having a glass of wine and staring at the pile of clothes on my sofa is the best option.
I have all my things laid out neatly. And I can see they're not going to fit. 
I've realized that I own ONE pair of shorts. I'm a dress gal. I don't really ever wear shorts. But we've got two weeks of hard work ahead of us. Outdoors, hot, sweaty, dirty work. And dresses aren't going to cut it. 
So I'll add that to the ever growing list of last minute "to-do's". Along with shoes for the girls and Teal, lining up kitty-care, finding a ride to the airport, and seemingly countless other things. 
I am so, so excited to have the opportunity to take this trip. We are still fervently praying for God's provision in covering the costs. We are believing He will. 
I know that once I get on that plane, I'll feel a great sense of relief, but until then, pray for my sanity!
The girls have two days of school left. We couldn't be more proud of them. A year of excellent grades, fantastic musical performances, and both of them auditioning for, and making, advanced choirs for next year! They've worked so hard, and are ready for a break!
Until next week...Au Revoir!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

51 Days Until Aix!

51 Days until we arrive in Aix.  Needless to say, the anticipation is building here as we count down the days!  Air and train tickets have all been bought, suitcases drug in from the garage, and the packing lists have begun in earnest :)
Our poor kitty knows something is up, and I'm really hoping he doesn't get too freaked out about us being gone.  I'm making Teal install a "kitty window" in the house so Milo can get in and out, and we have numerous friends and neighbors who are coming by to take care of him. 
We'll be having a team meeting this weekend with everyone who is going to Aix with us, and I'm really excited to talk about the expectations each person has about camp and what they are hoping for from the trip.  It's going to be hard, physical work, and I hope each person gives 110% and comes away having had an amazing experience!
The next few weeks will be busy-end of the year choir performances for both girls, technique clinics for Lexi's dance team and band rehearsal for Olivia in preparation for camp. My last day of work until August will be May 31, and Teal will work right up til the day we leave.  We've been so busy that I've been forgetting to cook dinner, but I'm telling the kids we're just moving onto Europe time by eating at 8:30 :)   They've been very patient!
Au Revior!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Another Aixtrordinary Journey Begins

As I read through that last entry, my heart sighs. Even now, almost 2 years later, the emotion is still there. I still miss France every day. My heart is still there. But it is also here. It's hard to live like this, but now we know no other way. Trying to find the very best in each world. It is bittersweet. But now the sweet is stronger, and that's a very good thing. And there is good news... It looks like this summer will hold another adventure for our family. We are returning to France! Not permanently, but for a few sweet weeks this July. We'll be heading over to help with iccp's wonderful summer camp, and couldn't be more thrilled. To make things even MORE exciting, we'll be bringing 2 teams to serve with. One team comes from Baltimore-we've known the leaders for several years now, first meeting them when they served our organization in Hungary. The second team is from here in Austin. I can't even explain how amazing it will be to get to show friends and supporters where our hearts are. There are many, many details to work out, but things are moving along, and momentum is building. Part of me still can't believe this is happening, but it really is, and I am so thankful. So I thought I'd start writing a little here and there. Just thoughts about going back, being there, and returning to Austin. About how the girls feel -if they miss it as much as we think they do, or if they've moved on. I hope you'll join us on this's sure to be "aixcellent"!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

5 Days

July 14, 2011 My house is empty. The rooms echo with the sounds of laughter and crying. We have a few things sparsely sprinkled throughout, but for the most part, it is just a shell.
I'm not an overly sentimental person-I've been known to forget wedding anniversaries (my own) and birthdays, and i don't keep a lot of knick-knacky trinkets around to remind me of things. But my emotions seem to be getting the better of me right now.
One day last week, as I was cooking breakfast for a house guest, I started to weep.
I was reminded of all the people who have been through our home in the last several years-all the dinners, birthday celebrations, sleepovers, BBQ's, going away parties, etc.
And this is what started the landslide.
The things I own...I can do without.
The people...not so much.
I'm scared to move. I don't want to leave the precious friends I have made here. I don't want to start over. Again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Endings and beginnings

Today is our last day in France. Bittersweet. Emotions running wild. None of us want to go, yet we are excited for this new adventure. It's been an amazing 5 years in so many ways. Au revoir, France. A Bientot, j'espere.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Grief is ugly

I looked in the mirror today, and what I saw shocked me. I almost didn't recognize myself. It's not a vanity thing. Although I've been plenty guilty of being vain. It is France, after all. It's a grief thing.
I look now like I looked the first 6 months (okay 18 months) after we moved here. Jeans, t-shirt, no make up, crappy hair. And I was out in public.
I am grieving. And I look like it.
I am sad. More than I could have EVER imagined. But I think it's okay to be sad.
Every now and then I get an anonymous commenter on here who tells me I'M GOING TO HELL because I'm sad. They say that being sad means I'm not trusting God's plan for my life. Yeah? That's crap.
So I'm going to be sad. And in the midst of that sadness I'm going to rejoice in the beauty and the amazing friendships of my life here.
And if I go to hell for that, then that's messed up.
Isn't that right, Kerri?

Monday, June 06, 2011

43 days

That's how many days we have left in France. So today, I write through the tears that fall like rain. 43 days isn't enough time. When we made the decision last summer to move back to the US, 12 months seemed like eternity. It has passed like the blink of an eye. And I am not ready. I am not ready to let go, move on, find another adventure. Whatever you want to call it, I am not ready.
Maybe I am just overwhelmed with the amount of things that must be done. I feel as if my entire life revolves around cleaning and packing and driving the children to and from school. There are so many phone calls, emails, etc. that must be taken care of. NOW.
There are the painful decisions about what to take back with us and what to leave. A 20 foot moving container is almost $10,000. So we must limit what we pack. We have no place to live in Colorado. No car. The list seems endless. But those are just things that need to be done.
What grieves me, truly, are the people we will leave. I will not be here when my sweet friend Anita has her new baby. I won't have coffee anymore with Kristen while we watch our daughters roller blade. Alexandra will miss her best friend Ashleigh more than she can say. And Olivia. Sweet, Olivia. With her darling group of girlfriends at school. Chantal, Jasmine, Ellie, Gabby, Sabrina, Vanessa. She will miss them all so very much.
So many friends. So much love.
And I am not ready to leave.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Over the past few weeks I've been thinking a lot about Europe, and our years here. This photo is our family in August 2005. Alexandra was 4 and Olivia was 7. This was our first meal in Amsterdam-our first stop on the way to the CA staff conference in the Netherlands-and the kids' first trip to Europe. It seems like forever ago. The girls look like babies to me. By the time we leave here, Lexi will have lived half her life in France. She's never been to school in English. Moving to America will be strange for her. It may seem very natural, that as Americans, we would feel at home in our own country. I think this may not be true for her, especially. While I hope she adjusts well to American culture, part of me really hopes that both girls hold on to their "Frenchness" as much as they can.

Thursday, February 03, 2011


The time for saying goodbyes has begun.
In less than 6 months we will be leaving this beautiful place we have called home for 5 years. There are many days when I will start crying for no apparent reason, but I know it because the grieving has started. I am trying so hard to be excited for moving back to my own country. Although I will not be going "home". My home is here now.
I have dear friends that I love. And I will miss them beyond words. I will miss the history and the culture of this amazing place. I will miss the food, the wine and the laid back lifestyle. I will miss the simplicity of life.
I am scared of what lies ahead, of getting back into the rush of American life. Of living in a new place, with weather that is COLD. a lot.
But I know, ultimately, it will be good. For I never would have anticipated that I would fall in love with France. But I did. And a piece of my heart will always remain here.
Just maybe, Colorado will capture my heart, as well.
But for now, I will focus on really living the rest of my time in Aix. Savoring each moment, each friendship, each beautiful day that I have left here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishing you a joyous and wonder-filled Christmas.