⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

March 31, 2015

Hello to the sky.



Original composition. Budding tenor.

March 30, 2015

March 26, 2015

La Française

Four months later…after my initial interview with the citizenship officer (and months of gathering the right documents + my lovely French examination) and a few hiccups in between, Xavier and I visited the French Consulate this past week and sat down with Madame le Consul herself. I am pleased to say that my citizenship dossier has officially been submitted, accepted and sent on to a (singular, very singular) judge in Nantes, France. Apparently, he is the king of these dossiers and will sit on mine for 9 months to a year before I receive a congratulatory note, which will manifest my Frenchness. It feels like a relief – if only because I will never have to make another request for a certified copy of my birth certificate (or Xavier’s, his parents’, my parents’, or our children’s) again.

There was an unfortunate moment a couple of months ago when we were due to have this interview and the citizenship officer had gone missing (an extended holiday in France or some other engagement keeping him away from his desk on Fifth Avenue) for 6 weeks. He missed our appointment and therefore rendered many of the documents I had summoned and carefully combined void. They have a 3-month window of validity. The orchestration of amassing the right things in this cranny of time is a true feat. I am convinced it is a deliberate bureaucratic hurdle to hinder the number of successful applicants. One needs true staying power to get through it.

When I finally did nail down this Monsieur, I almost cried on the phone when he declared I would have to secure a fresh FBI Background Check and new versions of various certified documents (along with their translations). I almost dumped the entire folder in the recycle/shredder bin in the copy room at work. I didn’t though. And so, Xavier and I sat down at the Consulate, hand in hand, across from these lovely French officers and answered questions about my Mormon family and my admiration of the French and how we were going to instill Frenchness in our girls (an uphill battle in another country, said Madame le Consul – right she is). It is over though, just a waiting game now.


Voilà: my French citizenship dossier (each dividing page a separate notarized document with translation) on the desk of le Consul in New York

March 25, 2015

Sweet duo.





And such a sweet Romy - prancing. Feeling so independent these days.

March 23, 2015

Colette | 3 years old.



Colette turned 3 this weekend. For her, the anticipation of a birthday was overpowering. Over the past 6 months she was in tears and protest several times when it turned out to be someone else’s birthday and hers seemed too remote to be real. It was a long countdown - the week before it came, she would wake up every morning and ask, “Is it my birthday today?” And then it came. “Happy birthday to me. It is not your birthday. It is my birthday,” she trilled in her deep voice all morning.

I asked Colette what kind of party she would like to have. She thought about it and said, “A hide and seek party.” So that is what we did. We had some of her favorite grown people, her imaginary friends Bindia and Jammin and just a few real children over on Saturday afternoon.

Everyone hid. Everyone – except Colette, who counted faithfully on the couch. “Ready or not, here I come!” And then she hunted up and down the stairs and in all the rooms, shrieking with delight whenever she spotted another friend, behind a chair, in the bathtub, among the stuffed animals, under the covers, in a closet.

And then it was opening presents – such heart in these gifts. From beautiful dresses and trinkets, to dolls/stuffed delights, to games and treats, to a homemade puppet and an age-old wheelbarrow. Colette was an inspired 3-year old. She was on best behavior (!) – smiling and saying, “thank you so much” as she opened each gift – a hug for everyone at the end of the tradition.



























March 14, 2015

Isla Holbox II















Isla Holbox I



At least 3 modes of transportation - that is what I've come up with as a formula for getting to really good spots. This time it was a flight to Cancun, a 2-hour drive northwest and a 30-minute ferry ride to an island called Holbox. All of that for a 5-day trip alone. Xavier is an exceptional partner because he proposed the idea of my going away alone. He actually sees it as a really nice opportunity to spend special time with the girls. I will take it! Traveling alone is funny, because all along the way people ask you with a perplexed expression, "Are you alone - or is your husband waiting for you?" Seems silly. Traveling alone is really a pleasure. Especially when you haven't really been alone for 3 years. Babies are really intense - the best kind of intense, but one thing they do is require presence. And when you're away, running between things to get back to them. So this is the first chunk of time I am spending alone not running back anywhere. The island is really beautiful and wild. It isn't quite like the Caribbean, the sea is different. The sun is the same though. It is a hard enough place to get to that it has remained wild and whole sections of the island are totally remote. I went on a two-hour walk last night past any of the hotels and didn't see another person the whole time.


The ferry


Lovely room at CasaSandra hotel on the island













March 8, 2015

Jack Frost go away.


The world was sunny and melting today, giving us high hopes for the next thing: consistent 40 degree weather, which will feel oh-so-balmy after this winter. We ventured to the park, but realized we were a week premature...still entombed in snow and we were companionless. Spring is going to feel astonishing.



We do have Xavier, who provides regular entertainment, despite the season or weather. Here he is shining on skates...I couldn't join him this year because of my knee, but watching the drama on the sidelines was nearly as good.

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