These are a few of my favorite things…

So a couple of weeks ago we had an assignment to write 15 things that disappointed or wasn’t what we expected when we moved to France. So I decided for my mental health that I needed to come up with 30 positives about moving to Paris. Don’t want to dwell on the negative.

So here goes but I am not sure I will get to 30 unless I start listing my new favorite cheeses and pastries individually. But lets get going and I am going to start with the food.

  • CHEESE – I have spent 8 years living in Wisconsin so I felt I appreciated good cheese but let me tell you French cheese is amazing. My new favorite is Reblochon – soft, creamy, and so yummy.  The cheese is AMAZING even more important cost friendly! On a side note it does leave our fridge smelling like a small animal is decomposing.
  • Butter – we have amazing salted butter. Like nothing I have ever had before.
  • Bread – you don’t know good bread till you pinch the end off of a baguette freshly baked from the boulangerie.
  • Finally on my food list is the chocolate. Real French chocolate is so good. Especially my favorites Mon Cheri. They come with a little surprise when you bite into them. A small disclaimer I think Mon Cheri is actually produced in Italy (and only for adult consumption).
  • Apartment life – while not particular glamorous I do appreciate the fact that having limited space and limited stuff means limited cleaning and housework. It has been such a relief to know that the apartment can be thoroughly cleaned in an hour.
  • The speed of life in France. Life moves slower here. Things take longer, just a fact. People don’t seem to stress about the fact that usually you are the 4th or 5th person in line at the grocery store. It just is part of life you must wait. Slowing down is a good thing.
  • Walking – while the amount surprised when we got here. When the girls have school we walk 3+ miles everyday just getting them there and back.  But walking is good because you go slow enough to see the things around you. Like the little old lady that wears the bright red orange lipstick and is always out walking her two yorkies. You notice when one is missing.
  • The other part about walking that I love is all the talking the girls do when we walk. When you read parenting stuff on talking to your kids they often say that good talks happen in the car. Not the case in our family. Each kid has some kind of electronic device. Tony is listening to podcasts of Car Talk and I am passed out (because I fall asleep anytime I spend more than 15 minutes in the car). So all that to say talking never really happened in the car for us. But when you have a 10 or 15 minute walk home from school you hear a lot about what happened during the day or any other random thing that they are thinking about.
  • Diversity – coming from rural Midwest towns cultural diversity was not something we had much experience with. At our church in Paris we worship with people from all over the world.  Now, often, we are the minority.  A new thing but interesting and eye opening thing for us.
  • Fayth and Hannah– It is interesting and amazing to watch your child be placed into challenging circumstances where you can’t help them. I have watched each of the girls grow in confidence as they have tackled tough situations this past 7 months.
  • Hannah’s eyes – I am thankful we were put in a place that forced us to deal with Hannah’s issues in school and that God provided us the right people so that we are moving down a track of getting her the help she needs. On a positive Hannah read to me today and she commented that it is much easier to read. A credit to the fact that eye therapy is helping.
  • Public transportation – I must admit that most of the time I love hopping on a bus, train, tram or metro to get me where I need to go.
  • A car – I am also grateful to our teammates the Meier’s who have allowed us to use their car this year as there are moments when it is much easier to take the car.
  • Interns – we have been blessed with great interns the past few months. We enjoy having them as additions to our family. They bring with them life, excitement and hard questions.
  • The City – Paris is a beautiful city with so much history. We are so blessed to live here and experience all it has to offer.
  • Living in another country -It has made me realize how little I know about the rest of the world. My curiosity about history and culture has been heightened.  My world had been very small before and I can say I think my eyes are being opened to other things around me.
  • A house out of the city – while the city is beautiful and full of life I am thankful God knows me well enough to provide us with housing outside of the city. Our apartment now and our house next year are in quiet neighborhoods. A blessing for a small town girl like me.
  • I am thankful for the team here in Paris, The Classon’s, Bower’s, Whiteman’s, and Meier’s. Each family has welcomed us so warmly and we are blessed to be working with them.
  • Time as a family – our life here has provided us with a lot more time as a family. While all the extra time is not always easy it is a blessing that our time together is not revolving around events.
  • Time with my husband – This past 7 months I have spent most of my time with Tony. Class, walking somewhere, grocery shopping, navigating some once easy task that now takes both our brains. We spend most of our time together and you know what. I really like my husband. It’s a given that I love him but I really enjoying being his friend and his partner.
  • Lastly I am thankful that I am not the same person that I was when I arrived. I have tackled some tough things in the past 7 month and am still standing. God has been faithful in giving me what I need when I need it.

Well I don’t think I hit 30 things but it is good to take a look at what I can be thankful for. Some days I am surprised – but I really like it here.

One Reply to “These are a few of my favorite things…”

  1. Raeni, Thank you for your transparency; your perspectives are good for me and I appreciate it! May God continue to bless you, Tony, Fayth and Hannah! Lovingly, Nancy

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