Halloween firsts

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, Gui and Avienne had their first experience at a pumpkin patch.  We, of course, wanted to get the perfect obligatory baby-with-giant-pumpkin picture for Halloween, but as our baby is still an extra-large bobblehead of sorts, it wasn't easy.  Luckily, our little outdoorsy gal was happy to oblige us with all our annoying demands, and we managed to get a few good shots in.  

Before we left, we picked out a few pumpkins, one out of which Gui carved his first jack o' lantern.  I love that there are old-to-me events and traditions that are still so new to Gui - it makes the holidays that much more exciting.  And although this year, Avienne has no clue what's going on, I'm looking forward to next year, when she'll be big enough to participate in some of my favorite holiday traditions.  For now, she'll just have to sit back and be the center of every photo op.

Happy Halloween, everyone!


It's fall, y'all

Sunday, October 28, 2012

We spent today browsing around antique shops, eating ice cream and pie and enjoying a beautiful fall day in Wimberley, Texas.  It's nice to be able to daytrip outside of the city limits and take in the slower-pace of small-town life - even if it is for only a few hours.  I can't remember the last time I visited Wimberley, and I'm not even sure that I ever have, so it was pretty exciting to discover this little gem of a Texas town.  We had fun exploring the shops around the town square and chatting with the locals about their upcoming Halloween festival (they're expected to run out of candy by 6 pm!).  And I, of course, couldn't pass up some good deals on delicious vintage finds that seemed to be at every turn.  

It's too bad that we were so excited about getting to our destination this morning that we left the real camera at home.  Luckily, though, I was able to snap a few photos from my iPhone before my battery died.  

Have a great week, and stay safe for those of you in Sandy's path!

Happy heart

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This past weekend, we hosted our first fête chez nous in the form of a baby shower for our dear friends who are expecting their first baby (a girl!) in December.  I haven't thrown a baby shower since my sister was pregnant with my first nephew more than 9 years ago - back when there was no Pinterest around to get ideas from and I barely knew a thing about babies, let alone pregnant women.  But, this time around plans had been in the works for weeks before the party, and two other friends and I had been meeting often to make sure the show went off without a hitch.  

In the end, everyone else pitched in so much that I hardly felt like I had done anything except provide the space for the party.  Which is probably why everything ran so smoothly and looked so lovely.  I went to bed that night with a full and happy heart. There's something to be said about spending time catching up with friends (especially ones with new babies in tow), indulging on delicious food and fancy drink, swapping stories and advice and celebrating a new little life that will soon be welcomed into this sweet world.  Vivement December!


A little ACL

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Last weekend was the ACL Festival down at Zilker Park.  Back in my third trimester, Gui and I bought tickets for Friday's show thinking that we'd find a babysitter to leave a 3 1/2 -month-old Avienne with so we could enjoy an entire day of the music festival sans baby.  But, as the date approached, we started realizing that leaving her for an entire day was just not going to happen.  I've been a bit lazy on the whole bottle-training thing and since she was 5 days old and could start nursing again, excepting a few futile tries with the bottle, she hasn't been fed any other way.  She's also regressed into newborn sleeping habits over the past couple weeks and wakes up ever 2-3 hours to nurse at night.  Suffice it to say that I can't wait for her to find that 6-8 hours sleeping groove again so we can have a little downtime at night and be comfortable leaving for a few hours while she stays home with Grammy and Popo.

So, that said, for the ACL Fest, we decided to take her with us during the day and just leave when it became too much for her.  We got there early and were able to enjoy a couple of shows from a distance (Avienne had earmuffs on and we stayed far from the stage).  We've discovered that she really enjoys being outdoors, so she was a pretty smiley baby for most of the day.  Unfortunately, though, the cooler weather from the weekend before didn't continue, so we were left hanging out in pretty warm temps after noon rolled around.  We spent about four hours at the park before we decided to call it a day for Avienne and get back to our climatized lifestyle.  I sent Gui back to the park with our friend Carolina so the tickets weren't wasted and they could enjoy some of the "big-kid" performances.  It didn't really work out the way we'd planned before she was born (does it ever?), but in the end, I'm so glad she was able to come out with us to enjoy a bit of what brought us back to this fun city in the first place.

Reflections on a forgotten memory

Friday, October 12, 2012

I was feeling nostalgic and reading back through some of my archives on this blog when I came to the month of January 2009 and almost didn't recognize the voice behind the words.  It's so strange to look back and find a memory that's been tucked away for so long that you no longer recognize it as your own.  How different my life was nearly four years ago; how gloomy and curious, cold and gray!  It's this particular post that made me stop and conciously recall the feelings I had the moment I was typing it out.  I can barely imagine now what it feels like to feel so far away from home, so uncertain and sad.  

The thing is that since then, I've come to realize and accept that I really just feel at home whenever I'm near Gui and Avienne.  Truly.  It sounds so cliché, but as a family that will always be straddled between two far-away cities, it's the sincere truth.  And, yet, as at home as I feel in my little family of three, I still feel a slight longing, a small nostalgic pang for that other little place that eventually stole my heart.  For Paris.  It took me a while to warm up to her, but oh, how I miss that city's dreary days of winter, rainy days of spring and fall and even the smelly days of summer (albeit a little bit less than those former seasons)!  

I'm sure my January 2009 self would never believe that in 2012, I'd be happy as a clam, living in Austin with a three month old daughter, counting down the days until I'd be back in Paris again.  But, I am and I'm OK with where I am for the moment.  Gui and I have been talking about when we'll move back to Paris, or even if we'll move someplace else - another city in the States or some other part of France.  But, wherever and whenever we decide to make a move (don't worry, Mom, it's not going to be that soon), what I learned from my homesick self of 2009 is to cherish and really live for today's moments before they become forgotten memories.  

Some pictures from 2009



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Avienne has recently discovered her feet and toes and grabs for them almost without realizing herself what she's doing.  I, of course, think it's the cutest thing ever, but I know it's only time before she's sticking those same sweaty feet into her drooly little mouth (which kind of makes me cringe just a little).


Monday, October 8, 2012

Lately, we've been...  
spending our last days with grandmère before she returned home; dining with good friends on a beautiful evening; celebrating Oktoberfest in Austin; hanging out.

Hope y'all have a good week!
TEXAS SARAH. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.