A year and a day

(I started writing this earlier in the week, and things have just been too crazy to get it finished sooner!)

Our first year in the states has gone by so quickly. It honestly feels like I’ve always been here, like I never left. I’ve so completely fit into life here, it makes me wonder if the time I spent in France was even real (you know, if it weren’t for the French husband and son with two passports).
I am very much someone who lives in the present and who loves looking towards the future, so try as I might, I can’t pull up any memories from France that might make me really miss it. I mean, I miss friends and my in-laws, but it’s not like we saw them every single day, and with social media connecting everyone so effortlessly, I still know what they’re doing and can say a quick hello whenever I want. My feed hasn’t changed much in the past year, it’s still a mix of French and English (though a bit more skewed political things in English right now…).
But so much else has changed, maybe that’s why it’s hard to remember life from before the move. There’s so little that is the same, it pushes everything else out.  There’s a line I love from Peter Pan (the book, not the movie), saying that Tinkerbell is so small, she can either be entirely good or entirely bad, there’s not room for both at one time. And it feels a little like that. I’m here now, so I’m 100% here. I think enjoying my job so much really helps as well to make me feel so satisfied in my life right now.
It will be interesting to see how I feel during our vacation in France this spring. Our life there was a good one, and we really had no pressing reason to leave, other than we wanted to see what life is like here (and a suspicion that professionally we’d be better off that turned out to be true). And just because I think it’s great here doesn’t mean it wasn’t also great back in France. I just don’t have room in me to miss something while I’m busy enjoying something else.
As good as I feel, I know my husband isn’t quite where I am yet. He is enjoying his job and has said he definitely sees his life here now, but he’d rather live in New Hampshire than Massachusetts for political reasons. So I know he’s still searching for his “happy place.” As crazy as life is right now (apartment hunting in Boston isn’t quite as bad as in Paris, but you do need to hustle), I think I can say that I’ve found mine for the moment. And Monkey’s fine wherever we are, as long as there’s macaroni and cheese.

First few days in the States

After nervously watching “Snowzilla” dump three feet of snow on exactly the area we were flying to Monday, we debated switching our flight to Tuesday. I knew the flight would probably leave, but I was more worried about my family driving on snow-covered roads to come get us. We even looked at booking a hotel on this end Monday night just in case they couldn’t made it out. In the end however, the roads were (mostly) clear, the flight left and arrived on time, and the three of us, plus the cat, plus 6 big bags, 6 small bags, and a stroller made it safe and sound to my parents’ house.

The flight was fine, bébé only slept 30 minutes, but wasn’t more than his usual cranky, so I’d call that a win. The cat slept the entire time. Customs was easy peasy for my husband, though it took forever because Christine Lagarde cut in front of us with her posse. 8 years in France and the first famous French person I see is on my first day back living in the States! My general travel strategy is to take my time, let the people in a rush go first, and be prepared for a wait. So overall, it went as well as I could have hoped. There was an indoor play area at the airport, which also helped a lot!

Despite not napping on the plane, I knew bébé wouldn’t sleep longer that night, since that’s just not how babies work. As expected, he was up at 2am the first day, then had a nap from 7am-9am, a failed attempt at an afternoon nap, then slept 6pm-4am last night. He napped today from 11am to 1:30pm and went down for the night around 6:30pm, so we’re slowly approaching his usual schedule. I figure a few more days and it’ll be back to normal. Having my parents and sister here to watch bébé while we take our own naps is very helpful. I anticipated a long adjustment period for him, so there was nothing special planned these first few days besides visiting friends.

Though visiting has been a bit hampered by all the snow! Not many people are working or at school, but you can’t go anywhere. Well, in my parents’ town it’s fine, and really all the major areas are clear (Target was open and empty of people so I had lots of fun yesterday stocking up on donuts essentials). But a lot of residential areas don’t have clear roads, which makes people a little hesitant to venture out if not totally necessary. My husband reminded me we live here now so we don’t have to run around seeing everyone in the space of a week like we usually do.

While “here” is currently my parents’ town, that may change very quickly as the job situation evolves. With a few promising first round interviews via internet and phone, I’m being optimistic and don’t want to unpack all the suitcases quite yet!

It’s a little too early to have any real culture shock, but once the snow melts and we get out and about a bit more, I’m sure I’ll have lots to say on our adaptation to life here. For now, we’re just enjoying a nice snowy vacation at my parents’ house.

New look for the blog

I changed the theme of the blog, and will be tinkering with it a bit over the next few months. Though seriously, who looks at the actual blog and doesn’t use a reader? But, just in case you do read directly on the blog, it’s probably on your cell phone, and the new theme is supposed to be good for mobile screens.

I thought it was time for a change because a big change is coming! (No, there’s not a second bébé on the way, much to the chagrin of the grandparents.)

We are moving to the states! So the blog will go from accounts of my normal life in France to tales of readjusting to life in the states. I’ll be sure to do a few posts on the whole administrative side of the move, as well as a few about all the feels I’m having/will have about the move.

In order to prepare this big move, I’ll be cutting down my work hours in October. So my no spend September is a way to test the waters and see if I can spend much less, since I’ll be bringing in much less. Though since part of moving will involve selling almost all of our belongings, I might end up brining in just as much, if not more.

But I want what I do bring in to fund the move, since for the moment, we don’t have jobs lined up. It’s still a little too soon to send out tons of resumes, so it’s hard to know what kind of response we’ll get. I tend to be optimistic, and hope that at the very least, we’ll have a few interviews lined up once we arrive. We’ll be staying with my parents at first, and my optimism tells me it’ll only be for a few weeks.

For the moment, everything is still in the planning stage, so I might not post a lot about it yet, since nothing is really happening. In about another month or so, things will start to really get going.

I hope you all like the new theme, both visually and content-wise!

Weekly American TV nights

While I have all sorts of amour for my cher husband, sometimes I don’t really mind when he works late. It depends on his schedule for the week, but usually he has two days when he can go in later (and sleep later!), then he stays until everything is finished. As silly as it may sound, I look forward to these evenings because it means I can watch whatever I want on TV.

We pay 5€ extra per month to get a few English language channels like E!, Style, and the Travel Channel. There used to be ESPN (my husband is really into American football) but not anymore, so these channels are all “mine” now. But I feel bad watching my celebrity news and trashy reality shows when he’s home and we could be watching something we both enjoy or doing any number of productive things like play with our cat.

He does have a surprising fondness for “How do I look?” on Style, which I take full advantage of whenever it’s on. The wedding shows however, he’s not so into. He likes to ask me why I need to watch them, since we’re already married. But it doesn’t stop being fun and pretty and fascinating just because you’re not planning your own! A football game only has one possible outcome: one team wins, the other loses. With wedding shows, who knows how it could end! The matron-of-honor could give birth at the ceremony! The dress could get lost or ripped or stained! The flowers could show up dead! The anticipation! The stress! The emotions! Way better than professional sports, right?

The Travel Channel shows “House Hunters International” which I consider research for our future, because who knows where we could end up living one day. 10 years ago I never thought I’d be living in France, and his job could, in theory, send us somewhere else. Also, it’s kind of hilarious that every single American on the show will say, at least five times, “this is much smaller than I’m used to” and “oh, that’s kind of strange.” So while part of my love for my TV nights is to feel a connection to American culture, I do like to be reminded that I have all these life experiences that make tiny bathrooms and rentals that come without stoves not seem so weird.

I have no such “logic” for my love of Tia and Tamara. Well, I have a sister who is close so people used to think we were twins. But mostly, I just kind of wish I could hang out with them and live in LA/Napa Valley.

Of course, all the American TV in the world can’t replace my cher husband. Once or twice a week is fine, but more than that, like when the rest of the week is unplanned lateness, I get grumpy and sad. We usually make up for it with a super introverted weekend where we just hang out in the apartment and read and watch movies and don’t see anyone else for two days straight.

And watch as much “How do I look?” and he can stand.