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Angel vs Devil

16 Nov

Notre Dame Moulin Rouge

Notre Dame in Summer

3 Nov

NotreDameLoveLockNotreDame1

 

loveliness all around

23 Oct

Street5I’ve started taking new routes to work in the mornings. As I am directionally challenged, I depend on my trusty phone with its magical mapping apps to show me the quickest, if not the shortest course while taking the horrendous rush hour traffic into account. My favorite route is almost double the mileage of the shortest (but most congested) way, but its faster and a million times more beautiful. I actually have to be careful to not get distracted by the scenery and gorgeous homes. There’s this one particular “neighborhood” that I’m going to stop and take a picture of one day, once the fall leaves show up. Some might say it looks very upper class Stepford, but I say its stunning. Beautiful homes nestled in the hills; all very idyllic and picturesque.

I’d have to be blind (and not driving a car in that case), not to notice the fantastic views, but I think I’m more attuned to them after reading an article I ran across in my meditation research (another post perhaps) that suggested some ideas on how to have a more “mindful” commute. Its a quick read that has stuck with me and that I’m finding useful. Being mindful of your surroundings, focusing on breathing etc, really noticing things, and trying not to stress about when you’ll get to your destination since that is mostly out of your control. That’s the gist anyway.

Street2Speaking of beautiful things, I was reminiscing about Paris today. I miss it. I realized that I never shared any photos so I think I’ll start posting a few here and there, just to keep it interesting. I’ve included a couple of street scenes here. I love the architecture, among so many other things about that city.

As the famous person “Author Unknown” said…

Close your eyes and see the beauty.

reentry

17 Aug

walkingWe’re back from Paris and wow, what an adventure, learning experience, stress-filled, magical, amazing, and frustrating time it was. I definitely consider myself a more seasoned traveler after this trip! I’ll post more about it all later including some of my favorite photos.

My love for the city remains firmly intact and even deeper than before. As this was our second trip there, the newness was gone and it was nice to feel somewhat more connected to our surroundings, if that makes any sense. For instance, we were much more comfortable communicating with people and dealing with the language issues. The concern of getting lost was mostly non-existent; we took the metro everywhere and covered so much territory using public transportation that it made getting back into a car once we got home seem really strange. Sure, it still felt like we had a big “‘Murica” stamped on our foreheads but it was much easier to feel at ease and as if we could actually integrate and fit in with the flow of the city, given enough time.

Kiddo did great staying home with my mom but the little one missed us a ton and vice versa. She and I were attached at the hip more than usual today and you better believe that I enjoyed every cuddle. I have one more day off tomorrow, albeit a very busy one, before heading back to the day job on Tuesday.

So, sleepy time for me. Bonne nuit!

itinerary for the next week

7 Aug

Its been a long wait to return to La Ville-Lumière but it is finally here and The Accountant and I leave tomorrow evening! This trip is in celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary earlier in the summer, and is the perfect excuse to return to Paris (not that you need an excuse). We’ll leave Nashville on Friday (tomorrow) and arrive in Paris on Saturday afternoon, which will be like experiencing a bizarre time-warp. We will have some time to defeat jet lag and get settled in before joining up with a small group of fellow travelers on Sunday.

Our plans are as such…

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summer storms

23 Jul

CaptureKiddo is breathing heavy beside me, borderline snoring through the thunder and lightning. I love storms. At least those of the non-threatening, not gonna blow your house away kind. The snoring blond bundle turns six years old tomorrow. I’m not going to say the usual “I can’t believe how big she’s getting”, or “She’s growing up so fast” because while those things are true, that’s sort of a lame observation isn’t it? She’s getting a pet hamster and having a party at our house with her little munchkin friends. It will be a good birthday.

My trip to PA was awesome and amazing for the most part. Good friends are hard to find. Good friends who are married to each other that you like equally as much, even harder. I think a few days in PA is going to become an annual summer thing for me. No complaints about that. Speaking of trips, Paris is only two weeks away and I feel very unprepared for some reason. We did order euros and I’ll pick those up tomorrow. I need to be rounding up passports, our European plug power adapters, guidebooks, and random stuff like that.

The thunder has subsided and now there’s just a soft murmur of rain that’s making me drowsy. Time to join the kiddo and do that whole snoring thing.

Lodged, by Robert Frost

The rain to the wind said,
‘You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.

stress and therapists who text

17 Jul

Today was super stressful. Lots to do and my head just wasn’t in it. My brain was not working at all and I was struggling with concepts that should have been relatively simple. My boss probably thinks I’m a total doofus. Oh well. I powered through anyway and managed to get all the things done that were required. Small victories. Hopefully I didn’t screw anything up.

A therapy appointment that went over didn’t help my stress level either. It was productive as usual however. Its almost like sitting in a class about yourself. You’re the student and the therapist is the teacher…teaching you things about yourself that you may or may not know or realize. Its a bizarre thing at times. I should probably take notes.

And is it weird that my therapist texted me? I didn’t even realize she had my number and I was sitting in the waiting room and get a text from a number I didn’t recognize saying that this person was running late but would be there in five minutes. I didn’t answer and I thought there was a chance it was the doc but dismissed the thought until she comes in and says “hey did you get my text”? It just struck me as weird. Then at the end of the session she said she would text me some information on meditation resources and she did. Its like we’ve reached a whole new level in our relationship or something. Ha.

Ok, some yahoo crazy cuckoo person (me), booked a 5:45AM flight for in the morning. My reasons were noble (to maximize time with my friends) but man, getting up in four hours is gonna hurt tomorrow. I’ll manage on adrenaline alone though. I love traveling solo. Love it love it love it. I’ll be in Pittsburgh by lunchtime and all will be well.

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