Tag Archives: family

A Family Trip to Paris

Yesterday morning, while Leila sat on her blanket smiling and playing and I stuffed and folded cloth diapers we listened to the “Children’s Indie Radio” station on Pandora. As a French song wafted through our living room visions of a family trip to Paris filled my head. We sat on the lush green lawn of la tour Eiffel amidst a picnic lunch of a toasty baguette, rich cheeses and decadent wine. Leila laughing and playing and me tossing my shiny hair back in delight. Later we walk across a dusty park spotted to a small cafe. I held a future baby on the hips of my navy and white polka dot dress and gave the baby’s plump cheeks a kiss, leaving a smudge of bright red lipstick.*

Right before bed last night I shared my idea with Ben. On a family walk the day before we’d discussed finally starting a dedicated travel savings fund, and a family trip to Paris seemed like the perfect addition to our still short list of a 25th wedding anniversary celebration to Gibbs Farm.

“Doesn’t that sound nice?” I asked.

Ben paused. Then he diplomatically assured me that a trip with our child(ren) to Paris sounded great. When they could walk. And remember the trip. As for now,

“We’d spend the whole time in the hotel room trying to get them to nap.”

Then he paused again.

“It sounds like you had a nice moment with Leila.

Maybe you should keep enjoying the family trips to Paris in your head.”

Perhaps sometimes less actual travel is more fun, blurry photos and all.

*For some reason I seem to channel visions of Gwen Stefani’s ensemble from the music video for “Don’t Speak” when I picture a fashionable romp in Paris.

8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1: The Rest, Rather Belatedly

Like most things, this little countdown did not work out exactly as I had planned. Over the course of these past three weeks since my birthday I’ve thought many a time about finishing it or perhaps just abandoning it altogether. Better late than never though, right? 

8: College Summers

Yesterday afternoon, listening to my brother talk about his upcoming plan to do summer staff at Saranac Village caused me to wax nostalgic about my summer as a baker at Crooked Creek. For two months I spent the bulk of my day with the Hobart, breaking every afternoon for prayer and popsicles. Best job ever. Two years later I perfected my tan and attempted to hone my French on the beaches of Cannes. I only wish I made it a point to study abroad longer. After college I did the requisite backpack through Europe. Three weeks winding from Madrid to Barcelona through the French Rivera over to Milan and Lake Como and Venice and Florence and Rome, with a brief stopover to take a photo propping up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, enjoying the paintings and sculptures and food and wine every step along the way. Yes. I am quite grateful for those summers.

7: Amazing Women

My grandma

My mom

My sister

My aunts

Friends, past and present

The women refugees I met during my internship

Brené Brown

The Nobel Women’s Initiative 

The women refugees Ben & I taught

Midwives & Doula(s)

The work of women I admire from afar

Great authors and bloggers and people putting their stuff out there

Many, many more that are not on this list but I have yet to meet…

6: Really Good Classes

Thankfully there are too many to name. I am particularly grateful for the third grade teacher that fueled my love of writing…my junior year English class in high school and freshman English course in college…for the history course I took my final year at UT…for every single art class along the way…and for some particularly wonderful courses during graduate school.

5: Really Good Books


Hank the Cowdog

Little House on the Prairie

Anne of Green Gables

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest


Me Talk Pretty One Day

The Brothers Karamasov

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

From Beirut to Jerusalem

The Bible

And oh so many more…

4: Rwanda

Our ten months in Rwanda were nothing like I expected, and I will be forever grateful for that.

3: Leila

I already shared my gratitude for her birth and motherhood, but I am also incredibly grateful for the Leila’s unique life and personality and the ability to witness it unfold!

2: Benjamin

He is not the perfect husband or the perfect father, but he is the perfect husband for me, and the perfect father for Leila (and Wrigley and any future munchkins). As much as I say I question the existence of the romantic genre two souls fated for each other plotline, every day I spend with Ben makes me wonder if we might just fit that mold.

1: Another year

I absolutely cannot wait to see what this year will bring!

17, 16 & 15: Family, Friends & Wrigley

17: Family

On Thursday my mom, Leila, Wrigley and I took a road trip out to the farm where we met up with my dad and sister. While I took a nice long shower, my family fussed over Leila. It was wonderful. I love my family. When I moved back home after college I realized this in a way I never had before, especially since pre middle school years. I genuinely enjoyed being under the same roof. Now that Leila is here, I appreciate them on a whole new level. As much as I long to move abroad again and loathe the Houston summers, I like that we’re all in the same city and appreciate the every once and awhile we still get to stay under the same roof.

*Photo Credit: Debra Parker

16: Friends

I never cease to wonder how such an amazing group of people entered my life. There’s something special about college and that brief moment where you live with and are constantly hanging out with your friends, but I much more appreciate the emails and phone calls and dinners now.

15: Wrigley

Oh Wrigley. How could you not be grateful to have that face in your life?