Tuesday, January 17, 2012

6 Months In

Today we have lived in Paris for 6 months.  I could also say, we've survived living in Paris for six months - but the truth is that it has been much easier than I had anticipated. What has made it easier is that it turns out that I love living here.

When my husband came home that night last February, a week after we had put in an offer on our first house, with an 8-week-old baby that we had no idea what to do with, and said that we might move to Paris, I thought I wouldn't be able to do it.  It would be too hard, too far, too new, too much.

And it is true that we miss our family and friends.  Really, we miss you a lot.  But leaving the life we knew in DC has allowed us to learn a lot about who we are, what we want, what's important - and that we can do anything we want.  This isn't an afternoon special - after all, on our first day, we locked our baby inside our apartment and had to get the firemen to break down the door.  I've burned pie, and cried over laundry detergent.  And cried over not understanding what people say to me. And cried over missing friends and family.  There's been crying.

But there have also been baguettes, and croissants, and macarons.  We've gone to Chantilly, Strasbourg, Colmar, Chambord, Azay-le-Rideau, Villandry, Amboise, Mont-St-Michel, Bayeux, the D-Day beaches, Honfleur, Giverny, and Lyon.  We've gone to Portugal. We went to Chicago for five days. We've been to Parc Monceau, Jardin du Luxembourg, the Tuileries, the Bois de Bologne, and Parc aux Buttes-Chaumont.  We visited the Louvre, the Musee D'Orsay, the Orangerie, the Grand Palais, and the Musee de la Vie Romantique.  The butcher knows me, and the wine store lady loves Baby Oil, greeting him by name every time we stop in.  I learned to bake croissants, to appreciate the wines of Bordeaux, and a lot of stuff about perfume that I never knew.  There have been wine fairs, good and bad. We've made friends.  We can take the bus and the metro with ease.  Baby Oil learned to crawl, to cruise on furniture, to babble, and to drink from a sippy cup. He turned one and we lived to tell the tale.

I'd like to speak and understand more French, and we look forward to having more established friendships.  But we are settling in, and I have to say, it's pretty amazing.  This city is beautiful though often gray, clean though covered with dog poop, special though frustrating.   Don't worry, family and friends, this doesn't mean we want to stay forever. But it does mean that we are happy that we made the choice to come here, and we feel incredibly fortunate that we've had so much support from all of you as we figure out this whole living-in-France-with-a-baby thing.

Six months in...going strong.  I'm sure because I have written this overwhelmingly positive and borderline cheesy post that something ridiculous will now happen. Stay tuned...c'est la vie!

Macarons, August 2011

Baby Oil discovers nectarines, July 2011

I make croissants, November 2011

Pont de Alexandre

Colmar, August 2011

9th arrondissement

Villandry, September 2011

Lyon, November 2011

Parc aux Buttes-Chaumont, September 2011

Marche aux Puces, August 2011

Honfleur, October 2011

Giverny, October 2011

Parc Monceau, July 2011

Uncle Oil's wedding, September 2011

Parc Monceau, November 2011

Praia de Marinha, Portugal, December 2011

Lisbon, Portugal, December 2011
Baby Oil's First Birthday, January 2012