Sunday, October 1, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me!

We celebrated at home first, with a gooey butter cake. 
And then I was invited to join in when we went to our cousins' birthday party, too. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Little Friend in the Yard

This little visitor came to our yard the past couple of days. A green woodpecker.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Back to School!

7th grade (5e) for Benjamin, and 5th grade (CM2) for Noah. Benjamin goes to the middle school (6th-9th grades) in the larger town near us, and Noah goes to the 4th/5th grade class in our village. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Last Hurrah

For our last hurrah before we headed back to Chicago to fly back to France, Amanda, Chris, and I took the kids to the elementary school playground. My old elementary school, but not the same playground as when I was a kid. 

We're glad we took them to the playground, so they could play... with the tree.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Trip to the Beach - in St Louis

Who knew land-locked St Louis had a beach? And so close to my parents' house? We went with Amanda, Chris, and their girls to Castlewood State Park for a couple of hours. 

Benjamin took a little nap.
Noah was in his element.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


We like to visit with my 8th grade science teacher, Mrs Uccello, when we are in St Louis. She recently moved, so we went over to see her new place. We went on a tour of the residence, then on a short walk, and after a restaurant-style lunch, the boys went swimming. 

The most fun part for them was when she let them go through her rock collection and choose some to take home.

Friday, August 25, 2017


My boss decided that since I was coming to the US in the summer, we ought to take the opportunity to have a work retreat. We all work remotely, so other than my boss, I had never met any of my coworkers in person before. 

So I left the boys with my parents, aunt, and uncle, and flew up to Chicago. We did some work, some sight-seeing, and some volunteering, and one of my teammates took headshots of each of us for our website. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Saint Louis: Pottery and Eclipse

My Aunt Claire and Uncle Curtis came up to St Louis for the eclipse. Aunt Claire had found the time to fire the boys' pottery they had made at her house, so she brought it and the glazes up so they could get them ready for firing again with the glaze. We can't wait to see the finished products! 

And then we watched the eclipse from my parents' deck. It was amazing. We were in the path of the total eclipse, and got to take our glasses off to see the corona. It wasn't as dark as night, but looked like dusk, and the cicadas started chirping as though it was evening.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

St Louis Insanity - uh, City - Museum

In a burst of insanity, I agreed to take the boys to the City Museum this trip. I thought, "They're older this time." I thought, "We'll have a good adult-to-child ratio."

Don't be fooled. Despite our good adult-to-child ratio, I still got lost at one point! 

And really - how could you NOT get lost? 

But here it is - proof we survived and all made it out. And the kids had a great time.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saint Louis: The Zoo

Once we got back to St Louis, we decided to visit the zoo. Much warmer in August than in November, as it turns out. And we waited until most St Louis area schools were back in session, so no crowds. 

The St Louis zoo is a great place, and free, which makes it that much better. They have a couple of paid exhibits like the Sting Ray Cove and the Children's Zoo, but you can get into those free the first hour the zoo is open - so that is what we did. 

This one decided to have some fun and splashed as he went by.

Look out for crazy drivers!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Long Drive

After Atlanta, the boys and I drove back up to St Louis. Atlanta traffic was no fun at all, but we made it through and all the way back uneventfully. 

Paducah, Kentucky has the prettiest welcome center / rest area ever. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Atlanta, Georgia

Frédéric's vacation came to an end earlier than the boys' and mine did. We took him to Atlanta so he could fly out and get back to work, and then the boys and I stayed two nights in Atlanta, visiting my college roommate, and another friend who drove up from Florida to see us. 

We visited the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse in Lawrenceville, which houses a military museum. 

 Downtown Lawrenceville was very cute. 
When my friend had to go back to Florida, I worked for a bit while the boys played in Lego heaven at my college roommate's house! They couldn't believe their luck!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Alabama: down on the farm

We made it through the rain and arrived safely in Montgomery, Alabama, where we visited Aunt Ruth, Uncle Mark, cousins, and my grandparents.

This is one of Noah's favorite parts of the farm. Aunt Ruth lets him drive her buggy around. He was up and at 'em early every morning so he could chauffeur Uncle Mark around to do the chores on the farm.

Uncle Mark also took the boys metal detecting - right in among the cows!

My cousin Travis had some new baby pigs on the farm, so Noah drove me down to the barn to see them.

And we always enjoy getting to spend some time with my grandparents.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

America is a big country

It took us about 14 hours to get from Georgetown, Texas, to Montgomery, Alabama. And we drove across Louisiana with skies like this. And rain storms. 

We finally escaped to blue skies just into Mississippi, right after the emergency broadcasting signal came on and warned us of flash flooding in Louisiana.

Georgetown, Texas

Our next stop was Georgetown, Texas, to visit my aunt and uncle. Noah couldn't get enough of Aunt Claire's pottery shed.

Benjamin was finally persuaded to try it out, too. 

One day, Aunt Claire took us to The Thinkery, a children's science museum in Austin. Their favorite part turned out to be the arts and crafts room, where Noah made a house, and Benjamin made a tank.

Benjamin also made a stop motion video at one of the exhibits.

While we were in Georgetown, we visited Blue Hole.

Benjamin found a dry-ish spot to sit and was building a dam. 

"Dry" is not a word Noah thinks very much of. 

So Uncle Curtis knew Noah would also enjoy the small splash pad right in the center of downtown Georgetown.

Other Texas highlights:
Seeing cousins, eating Texas barbecue at Rudy's, and catching up with friends J.L. and Emily Gray in Austin. We went with them to a city-run aquatic park and then had dinner at their house. I tried to tell Benjamin that J.L. and I met at about the age he and their son Zachary are now, and he yawned and told me J.L. had already told him that. Ha.