22 September 2009


Please continue to pray for the Sullivan family.
Sara Sullivan passed away earlier today, leaving behind her husband, F-16 pilot Brady, and 8-day-old daughter, Chloe.

I've posted a link to their blog, and I'm going to leave it up there. If you want to read an amazing testimony of Faith and Love and Hope in Christ, I recommend perusing through it. If 'religion' is not your thing, I recommend reading it as a story of a strong woman's battle with breast-cancer, a strong man and his love for his family, and the legacy of one tough little baby girl. Make sure you have a box of tissues with you when you do decide to read.

I had other things I wanted to write about tonight...but this family's story has sidelined me. And I don't even know them...they are close friends with one of my best friends.

Their family story is heartbreaking, humbling and inspiring...if only we could all live our lives in such a fashion as to touch the lives of hundreds of people...just through our own life story.

Be thankful, for you are blessed.

Quick request

I've added a photo and link to my sidebar (---->) which reads "Praying for Sara".

Long story short, Sara Sullivan is a new mom (her daughter is only a few weeks old) who has been battling cancer for the last year. This past week has found Sara suddenly in a coma with severe brain damange. The Sullivan family are dear USAF friends of the folks I was visiting in Italy last week, and we are all trying to get the word out and get folks praying.


20 September 2009

10 years later

So, I have been back from my vacation for almost a week now, and am feeling pretty much adjusted back to this time zone. Work was rough last week, but I've gotta say that...well, as little as I was looking forward to the end of vacation and getting back to the grind, it *is* said job which supports my travel bug. So...whattya gonna do?

10 years later. Returning to Paris for a good stay (~6 days) was incredible. So much of the city has changed (people wear jeans now, the Velib city bike share program, no-smoking inside restaurants), and yet...so much has not changed at all (Parisians are effortlessly put-together, the Metro smells the same, the bread...mmm).

Once again, turning to my old journal, I found a list I had composed on 12/2/1999, entitled, "Things I have learned about myself or life this semester." Looking at it, I can see in what ways I have changed, as well as what hasn't changed at all.
Here's the list - unedited as written - with my current sentiments following [in brackets].

1. I 'groan' a lot. [In reference to my propensity for non-verbal, yet out-loud, agreeing or disagreeing with people. As in: mmm-hmmm, mm, or heh. I still do it. My father does, too.]

2. I need God - He is constant [Still completely true. And I still need reminders of this sometimes.]

3. I am extremely independent [No newsflash there]

4. I love French - more than ever [Speaking French for a whole week was magical for me this vacation. I still love it and think it is a beautifully expressive language - even though my brain was fried at day's end...]

5. I can sing - but must practice [Still so true.]

6. I have an acute sense of smell [Ahhhh yes. Again, the smell of the Metro hasn't changed one bit.]

7. I take too many things in the USA for granted [I don't think I take too much here for granted anymore...I am very grateful for the blessings in my life. This was one of the lessons I took to heart 10 years ago.]

8. I want to get married eventually [Still true. Though watching Sibling plan a wedding? Elopement sounds better - but my mom would kill me hahahha].

9. I am way taller than your average European [Oh yeah.]

10. I miss my girlfriends [Had a really close-knit group of galpals in college and high school. I *still* miss them, given that most of us are now scattered across the globe. Thank goodness for Facebook! lol]

11. I really miss seeing my brother grow up [Ah...and I am immeasurably grateful for the time we spent living together here in SF. Truly special.]

12. I am very different from who I was in high school [hmm. I am different from who I was in college...but I think I'm getting closer to returning to who I was as a kid, in some ways.]

13. I don't like boring classes - I get lazy in them [Hitting the nail on the head. Still.]

14. I am turning into my parents [Scary, but yes. And hopefully more in the good ways, than in the ... not-so-good ways.]

15. I really like champagne [OH yeah!]

16. I miss smiling - a lot [Note: a female by herself navigating the streets of Paris, the metro, etc, does NOT smile at strangers. It's taken as an "invitation" to a very specific kind of ... ahem...male attention. Very unlike the streets of my college grounds of Dallas, where everyone was friendly.]

17. I am much 'better off' than a lot of my friends [I grew up in a comfortable household - my father is a physician and worked hard (still does!) for his family. This is something I have never taken for granted and any of my parents' support of me - materially speaking - and generosity in general has been both humbling and something I've tried to 'pay forward' in my own life.]

18. I am judgmental - [I have had - and probably still will have - my moments with this one. And while I have become much more open to some things in my "elder" years . . . in some ways, I have probably become more closed. I think both is a function of living in SF for 8+ years, now.]

19. I don't like couchettes (see #9) [Couchettes are the sleeping cars on overnight train-trips which feature 6 fold down bench-things for sleeping. Again, I'm taller than your average European - those benches are incredibly awkward for me.]

20. I am tolerant [Funny, after writing #18 up there. Again, yes, I am both tolerant and judgmental, depending on the subject, I guess. Aren't we all?]

21. I do get homesick a little [This is probably more true NOW than it was 10 years ago.]

22. I like the fact that I am keeping a journal [I like the fact that I am keeping a blog.]

23. I like tomatoes and mushrooms - but not headcheese [Before I lived in France, I hated BOTH tomatoes and mushrooms. I like them now. Headcheese is still disgusting.]

24. I need lots of sleep [I still do. And I still probably don't get enough.]

25. I hate commuting [ditto]

26. I am on display 24/7 [Interesting comment. I don't remember why I wrote that, but I guess something about how I present myself to the outside world. I don't really feel this way currently.]

27. I don't *have* to be addicted to email [Amen to that! Even though I am totally reliant upon email these days.]

28. It's not that gross to go for a week without shaving my legs [hahahahah. That is hilarious. I *had* been living in very hot, very fixy Dallas, so moving to cold Paris where showers where small and shaving difficult...this really was a revelation for me. I mean...if you're wearing long pants in the winter, and you don't have a boyfriend...anything goes! lol]

29. I enjoy having older (adult) friends [I have been this way since I was a kiddo]

30. I can read people well [I try to use my power for good.]

31. I need to learn more about politics and current events [I have become much better at this, these days.]

07 September 2009

Macarons, eclairs, et gougeres, oh my!

I learned how to make macarons today. And eclairs. And gougeres (savory little puff things). It was a very fun morning!! We were a small class of four students - all women, go figure - at Les Promenades Gourmandes, run by a lovely woman called Paule Caillat. However, as she is not a pasty chef, the patisserie course this morning was led by the wonderful Joel .... (can't remember his last name right now, will edit later!) It was great fun and I have the recipes for all of this stuff now . . . not sure if any would come out as good as it does here, but I'm all for giving it the college try.

I have another course there on Wednesday - this one a three-course meal, not pastry. Another girl from this morning's class (who has come to Paris to celebrate turning 30 and revisit some of her college days here - will be there, too.) So, that's fun!

Not to worry - I'm not at all spending my life writing at a computer whilst en France. I just got home and had a "jambon, crudite et fromage" sandwich...so delicious. And I have to take a 30 minute nap before I crash face first into this computer. I managed to stay awake until 9:30pm last night (after arriving yesterday morning), but have since been wide awake since 3:00 am.

Later this afternoon: Carrousel du Louvre for a little shopping followed by a tour of the Centre Pompidou. Or perhaps vice versa - I haven't decided just yet :)
Tomorrow is lunch with a college friend who now lives here...ah...the blessings of reconnecting with people through Facebook. Even if we haven't really talked for 10 years, we picked up on the phone right where we left off...gotta love that.

BON. Happy Labor Day, all! And it's nap time . . .

05 September 2009

curiouser and curiouser

....women wearing stilletto heels at the airport. The kind with lots
of straps and buckles, even. There is a time and place for sexy
shoes...walking through airports does *not* strike me as one of those
In other news, was all packed up by 9pm last night-a new record for me
(usually I am up until at least midnight before a trip). However, I
could hardly sleep last night, I was so excited! Whooo! Bring on the
first leg, sfo to detroit! Then detroit to cdg!

04 September 2009

You just can't make this up

It's been 10 years since I was a student in paris (during my junior year of college). I came across my old journal that I kept during that time, and boyyyy.... It is filled with some gems (mixed in with what now seems to be an obsession with writing about every single meal time!). So here, dear readers, are some of the best (thus far in my rereadings):
9/7/99: "Finally at 12- we decided to go home so we wouldn't miss the metro. Put on my 'metro face' and made it back by 12:30. Saw a hooker."
10/3/99: "We had a clear, cold day and it was beautiful! There were still lots of flowers- can't even describe them! Came back and went for aperitifs at the neighbors' new place. The crazy grandma told us how she suckled 2 kittens with her own milk! Ack."
10/9/99: "... We had champagne which was fab and foie gras--not so fab."
10/17/99: "Leave for thoronet abbey and see real live monks!!"
10/18/99: "... go back to Nice for dinner. See a hooker - ack!"
10/21/99: "Class etc ... Find out dad could've been shot by mental patient and my keys were sent home from north Carolina!"
10/30/99: "Up at 7:14. Talked to mom and dad before leaving."
11/27/99: "I accidentally dropped my discman and now it doesn't work!! And I bought earphones for it TODAY at fnac-ACK-I can't believe it."

ahhhh.....so funny to relive some of old memories. And realize that I ate a ton of Chinese food whilst in Paris. I guess it was cheap! Hahaha!

02 September 2009

Final countdown

I started thinking through my packing tonight, and hope to do the actual packing tomorrow. This saves me from staying up too late friday before my flight on saturday morning. Whohoo!

I'll be gone for 10 days to France and italy, and I am so looking forward to some r&r!!