Pool weather

Thursday, June 27, 2013

It has been so bleedin' hot in Austin lately. I don't know if I'm becoming a heat-wimp or if it's truly getting hotter and hotter here, but carrying around a 20-pound weight all day means that I'm sweating before I leave my driveway. Obviously, the only way to be outside and not die of overheating is to spend some quality time by the pool. 

 In Austin, there are pools all over the place, but Deep Eddy is one of our favorites - especially now that we have Avienne.  Its icy-cold, natural waters and kiddie pool area make it the perfect place to keep cool with a little one in tow.  My favorite thing about the pool is that it's surrounded by grassy hills full of trees perfect for laying underneath while drying off in-between swims.  We really enjoyed our time there this past weekend and plan to be back for every weekend this summer if we can!  

What are y'all doing this summer to keep cool?

You are one.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My little lovebug,

Today, you turn one year old.  It's not your first birthday because your first birthday was one year ago.  And what a first birthday you had!  I remember just about every second of that amazing day when we were finally introduced to your sweet, sweet face.  You were so tiny - much smaller than we had expected you'd be, and so much lovelier than I ever dreamed you could be.  I'm sad to say I barely remember what your cry sounded like back in those early days because, my darling girl, you hardly complained. To this day you surprise us with your unwavering exuberance and endless smiles.

It has been incredible watching you day after day become the perfect little one-year-old you are today. You're such a little explorer who loves discovering new places and people.  I don't know if I've ever come across a friendlier baby - there's a smile on your face every time we meet someone new, and excited screams when you see someone you know.  Whether you're bouncing up and down to a good song, pretending to be on a phonecall with your hand, or lifting up my shirt to blow raspberries on my belly, you bring unending joy to my world.

My love for you grows deeper and wider with each passing second.  Your papa and I pinch ourselves every day that we get to spend our lives with you and call you our daugther.  We could not be prouder.

We love you, Avienne!  Happy birthday, my love!  You are a treasure.

This girl.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

She is such a morning person.  I love this girl of mine.


Monday, June 24, 2013

"A portrait of Avienne once a week, every week, in 2013."

Vignt-cinq :: Happily playing with everything except a kid-friendly toy.

One of Avienne's favorite little corners of our house is right here, where she can easily pull open every drawer full of things she's not supposed to be playing with. This area is always a mess of tossed paperwork, camera parts, CDs and whatever else we've managed to cram into those rolling cabinets. No matter how often she goes through these drawers, though, she always finds something new that she can treasure for the day and carry along with her to the next room. She really keeps us on our toes, but I sure do love her enthusiasm for exploring everything big and small around her. 

Linking up with Jodi's 52 Project.

A new decade

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June is a pretty hectic month for this mama. I have two new and very important days to celebrate from now on this month - Avienne's birthday and Father's Day. It works out pretty nicely for Gui, since he gets an extra day of spoilage now that he's a papa (to be fair, I get one, too, since my birthday falls in the same month as Mother's Day).  This year, though, Gui turned 30.  It's pretty crazy to think that he's been in his twenties for all seven years that I've known him. I feel like my twenties were such a long time ago, even though they were just two years ago. But, my life has really changed in those two little years!  

We were hoping to be in France for Gui's birthday this year, but it just wasn't in the cards for us.  So, sadly, Gui spent his birthday at work. But, he came home to an award-winning birthday cupcake and singing candle and a few little gifts. Then, we spent the evening dining at our favorite restaurant (we are so creatures of habit in this household, if you haven't noticed by now) while Avienne stayed home with her Grammy and Popo. On Friday evening, I organized a small surprise apéro at our place, complete with champagne, chocolate truffle cake, and a healthy dose of good friends.  

Happiest of birthdays, again, sweet husband!  Thirty looks good on you! 

Tour de France : Part 3 (Last one!)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Is it too late to post about our last few days in Paris that took place more than a month ago?  It isn't?  Good, then.  So, we took one last little sidetrip to visit Gui's grandparents in the south of France while we were in the same country as them for once.  They're quite the world travelers and still manage to travel to places like Mongolia and China, so we were so happy to catch them at home.  

Like in most families, there are so many memories associated with food in theirs, so before we made it over to see them, Gui sent Mamie a list of meals and treats he most missed from his childhood summers spent at her house.  She, of course, made it her highest priority to feed Gui his favorites and keep us all full and happy. Gui's sister was able to come along with us, and I enjoyed hearing so many stories from their summer vacations spent there. Avienne was, of course, the center of all our entertainment for those few days, and every time she ate a spoonful of Mamie's cooking, she was given a round of applause from everyone.  It was such a fun visit.

The day before we had to leave France, we celebrated my 32nd birthday. We shopped on the famous de Rue Passy and stumbled upon an amazing little Italian restaurant where we were greeted affectionately and fed generously. Finding a good restaurant that will accomodate a small baby is such a challenge in Paris. So, after a couple of unpleasant encounters, we were happily surprised and relieved by the friendly smiles we received when we walked into this place. We will definitely be back.

Later in the evening, we left Avienne asleep with her Nana and met some friends out for a little birthday dinner at our favorite address in Paris. It's amazing what seeing good, old friends can do for the heart. I felt so full and happy by the end of the night that I was really regretting the flight we had to take out of Paris less than 24 hours later. No matter how many times we do it, leaving friends, family and everything else we love in France never gets any easier. I wish we could split our time evenly between the US and France, but we haven't quite figured out how to do that, yet. For now, I'm happy to have tons of photos, sweet memories and future trips to keep me from pining too hard for la vie francçaise. 

► This apple tart was ready and waiting for us when we arrived chez Mamie.

► As usual, we played outside and toured Mamie's massive vegetable garden. Our little outdoorsy girl loved it there.

► We took a few walks around their home, which is out in the countryside, and gathered some flowers to bring back for Mamie. Apparently, this is something Gui and his sister used to do when they were younger. I love that they're passing the tradition down to Avienne.

► We laughed a lot and ate like kings (homemade waffles with sugar, homemade jam and toast, strong coffee, and only Mamie's finest homemade purées for Avienne).

► We celebrated Gui and Avienne's birthdays early with a family tradition : gateau aux ananas (pineapple upside down cake).

► We took a long walk on our last day in town and said goodbye to Mamie and Raymond for now.

► Gui's mom treated us to a wonderful dinner at one of our favorite bistros to say farewell and celebrate my birthday a day early.  It was a really sweet evening out.  

► A final celebration with friends. I couldn't have asked for a better send-off after a really love-filled vacation. In the end, I was a bit sad we couldn't do more, but I felt a real sense of accomplishment having seen so many people and traveled to so many places with our little girl. We are so lucky to have the opportunity and good reason to travel back and forth to France so often, and it can't be said enough that we're truly blessed with the best friends and family, both here and there.

First Father's Day

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day totally snuck up on me this year!  For some reason, I thought it was much later in the month, and only realized mid-week that I would only have two days to prepare something for Gui's first Father's Day.  Total wife fail!

Somehow, though, we managed to have a really wonderful and totally unplanned day yesterday.  We enjoyed pasteries and coffee en terrasse in the morning, walked around downtown before grabbing some fancy barbecue, spent the afternoon with my Dad, brother and nephew, and ended our night eating tacos and watching the Spurs win Game 4 with my mom and step-dad.  It was a pretty perfect day.

Gui is an incredible papa who both Avienne and I adore more than we could ever communicate through a greeting card or gift wrap.  We are two really lucky girls to call him ours.

TEXAS SARAH. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.