Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Beginnings

I've been inspired to start my blog...again. We recently celebrated our 6 month anniversary in France (while we were in London) and life is starting to settle down a bit. Well, "settle" is a relative term when you have kids and live in a different county from where you grew up. I've reached the point I can go to the grocery store without 2 days of mental preparations, I can communicate when I've received a wrong item (sort of), and -- the best part -- I have friends to call.

I get a lot of questions about what it's like to live here. Instead of a long diatribe on the similarities or differences between the two countries, I suppose you'll just learn as I learn. I'm not going to bash France or bash the U.S. Honestly, this move has given me perspective that I see positives and negatives to both countries ways to do things. Basically, I don't think the extreme of anything is beneficial.

Overall, this has been a great adventure to date. Sure, it's been punctuated with really discouraging events but isn't most of life? Wait, that sounds really negative. I just mean every ones life -- no matter where you live -- has good moments as well as low points. Guess the key is balance...as with most things.

I'm getting way too philosophical.

So, to kick of this re-launch (boy, does that term take me back to my office work days) I'll mention a few things that strike me most...

...morning D.Js are just as annoying here, even when you can't understand what they are saying.

...technology is just freakin' amazing. Thanks to Skype, I can still shop with my sister(s). The only real difference is that we're looking at web sites together instead of dragging kids through the store. It's actually easier in some ways. Because really, it's not like we ever had time to leisurely wander around the mall....well, unless we were hiding from our husbands.

...we have it good in the U.S. I can't get over how expensive so many things are here. I am still finding new stores to get things at reasonable prices, but so many kids and home items ('cause that what I tend to need more than things for myself) seem to be so much more expensive. But, I guess that's balanced by things that are less money here...like the wine.

...driving is way overrated. It's so nice to be able to walk to town to buy a fresh baguette for dinner or get the train to go into the city.

...I really do miss mindless entertainment news. I was never one to follow Hollywood exploits but I do sort of miss seeing the Oscar fashions. Does that make me shallow?

...no TV commercials are a good thing. We don't watch much TV because we don't have enough French language skills. Since my kids didn't know the "latest and greatest" they didn't have much to ask for at Christmas. Aaahhhh....

...travel planning takes an unbelievable amount of time, especially when you're traveling with a large family. We don't fit into one hotel room so we can't "wing it" in a new city. Time schedules & locations need to be decided before we go somewhere but balanced with not over scheduling so I spend all my time saying "come on, come on, we're late." I'm still trying to figure out the balance.

...I really can't cook.

I received some advice to keep my blog posts short. I see that strategy as working for me. A large part of the reason I've taken so long to post is because I felt like I had to write long essay with lots of details. By the time I wrap up my evening with kids & cleaning up, the last thing I want to do is write. I want to veg in front of the computer surfing the 'net and enjoying the quiet.

Keep checking back and hold me accountable for updating you.

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