Life Lately

I’m at the point with the blog that I have so many things to write about that I’m nearly paralyzed. So in an effort to just write something to get myself going, I thought I just post a catch-all post about life lately.

Paris, obviously!

We ended our summer with an incredible month away in France. This was a dream come true. It had been nearly nine years since I had been back home and Brian had yet to see the home, city, and country where I grew up. It is such a part of me, that it has always felt like a big hole that he had never been. We’re so grateful that being a little closer now that we are in Scotland made this trip possible.

One of the many cathedrals in Bordeaux.

We spent four delightful weeks in France. Mostly we were with my parents in Bordeaux, but we also got in a quick visit to my brother’s home in Paris, and then all of us (being my parents, brother and his family, and my sister) had a wonderful vacation week in the beautiful Dordogne region.

Just thirty minutes from my parents and you find yourself in the midst of beautiful vineyards, a quaint French town, and of course old ruins.

There were so many things that we didn’t do, but instead of feeling bad about those, we came away so happy with our visit, and also hoping that we can do it again soon. We are still talking about it and each of us has our favorite parts. These are memories that we will treasure for a lifetime and we are so grateful for the opportunity.

This may not interest any other tourist in France, but this is the home I grew up in and where my parents still are. So good to go back.

On a personal note, I was just so happy to take my family to my own home. My kids have a close relationship with my parents, but it has always been them visiting us because obviously the logistics and cost of two people traveling is much easier than six people traveling. But to be able to take my kids to their grandparents was a gift and we don’t take it lightly. This might be something that only people who have lived expat lives truly understand. Not everyone gets to go “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house…”

Montesquieu’s birthplace and home. Interesting to tour the inside and see all his personal belongings. (Descendants of Montesquieu still lived here  until just a few years ago.) The grounds are gorgeous. Note the filled moat. Usually you see empty moats so this is extra beautiful and it’s a mere fifteen minutes from my parents.

I fell in love all over again with the incredible beauty France has to offer. It is such a beautiful place and whether you are looking at centuries old chateaus or the beautiful countryside your eye is just constantly flooded with beauty. And the food. That’s not a bad deal either!

There really is so much more I could write about our month, and hopefully someday I will, but rather than let perfect be the enemy of good enough, I am just going to get something out here so you know where I have been. Pictures will probably be showing up in various posts over the next several weeks, but I’ll make sure to label so you know if you are seeing Scotland pictures or France pictures!

The Dordogne region of France. Beautiful, beautiful area. More pictures to come!

We came home at the beginning of the month and things have kicked into full gear very quickly. We started off with almost immediate guests from the US (Brian’s grandmother and cousin), and then the day after they left we welcomed our friend Julie who will be here for three months specifically to help me with  the children. More on that later, but suffice it to say that she is a huge blessing.

The kids with their cousins. You know, just climbing on a trebuchet. This whole castle experience remains one of Stefan’s very favorite things of the trip and I’ll be sharing more of it later.

Brian has an incredibly full semester. In addition to teaching his six online classes, he is teaching two tutorial classes for the University. Of course, he is also hoping to make a lot of progress on his thesis as well (dissertation for the US crowd).

Homeschooling is kicking off to a good start. We are easing into our routine as there has been a lot going on. Everyone seems very happy to be back in a routine however, and while there is much tweaking to be done, we’re off to a good start. I’m sure I’ll write more about that part eventually.

Is there more I could say? Well, yes. But for now, at least this is something.




  1. So glad you got to spend a month with your parents! Looking forward to hearing more about your life lately. :)

  2. Your holiday looks amazing and the children will remember it always. Looking forward to reading all that is keeping you “full” :)

  3. Love the idea of not letting “perfection be the enemy of good enough”! Love that you wrote all this! And love the pictures! AND love your sweet family

  4. So thrilled to read all of this and let the memories come flooding back!! I am always thinking of the things I wish we had done, but those can keep for the next time and I will just think on all the wonderful times we did have. Love you lots.

    • Dad says,
      I haven’t stopped remembering -on purpose. It was wonderful.
      Comment on Montesquieu’s chateau – most Americans are probably unaware that our 3 branch judcial system (executive, legislative, judicial) in America largely due to Montesquieu’s famous work “Spirit of the Law.”

  5. So many memories for us, as well! Your parents’ house, the Dordogne, Paris (where we crashed the car going to meet you), and just France. LOVE France and love your family. It’s so good that Brian could go with you, and more and more, your kids will count France as part of their lives. So cool! Thanks for sharing!

  6. What a wonderful trip!!! I spent three years living in France and loved it. I would love to take my family there, some day!

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