A Few Things

July 14, 2013

French Grandmother

By Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends. I’m typing this on Sunday evening. I intended to publish it on Friday as usual, but the week slipped by so fast! I’m not even sure what to say today. I feel like my mind is in a sort of suspended animation, because I’m not quite ready to process what this move means. What our time in France has been. What our time in Oakland will become. So I’m just concentrating on things like luggage weight restrictions and last loads of laundry instead. Have you ever been in that kind of head space?

While I practice my best mental avoidance techniques, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

Ramadan - When and What to Eat.

Wheatgrass ice cubes for blemishes.

How to Learn to Dance in a Year. So cool!

Turn a summer day into a celebration with homemade popsicles.

Human-powered helicopter.

Three year old photographer. For reals.

bedroom for an 8-year-old with modern touches of yellow.

The perils of giving kids IQ tests.

Readers sent in footage of the quietest spots in NYC.

Great ideas for a camping themed party!

I hope you’ve been having a wonderful weekend. I’ll meet you back here tomorrow (that’s Monday). I miss you already.


P.S. — As soon as I hit publish, we’re off to say goodbye to The Cottage and to take some photos — I still haven’t shared a proper tour yet. So many goodbyes! School friends, favorite views, the treehouse, neighbors, familiar drives, ancient architecture, the cows in field next door… The photo at top pictures Marie. She has been the French language and culture tutor for our kids, and she had us over for cake and a proper goodbye. So sweet I can hardly stand it.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily July 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

What a bittersweet time for your family! I’m moving next week as well (but only 5 hours north) I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to say goodbye to all the things you’ve come to love in France! Best wishes traveling next week, prayers headed your way for a peaceful and easy transition!


2 Aleena July 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Great feature about Ramadan! Love it!


3 angie July 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm

lovely links! can’t wait to check them out!!


4 Angela DeMuro July 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Dearest Gabrielle,
Have the safest of travels this week back to the States.
I am in awe of how you manage to post, pack, mother and move all at the same time.
No apologies needed ever for a late blog post:)

Much hugs and love to all,


5 RuthWW July 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Welcome to Northern California! Wish I could trade places with you and take your place in France!


6 Deborah July 14, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Safe travels! I will miss your posts about france. (Looking forward to the ones on your new cottage!) Take a deep breath and let it out.


7 annie July 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm

I love that photo of Marie and the kids from instagram. To me it blends the beautiful of the past and future all together in one.


8 Gayle Markow July 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Dear Gabrielle,

I love this blog so much and all the links you so generously offer. I am fascinated by France (have been there 3 times, but not for the last 12 years), and have so much loved your photos and descriptions of your family’s life there. I am sad that you are leaving as you have offered such a rich portal through which to see and understand French life a little more. That said, I will be very interested and curious to see how you experience and describe life in the Bay Area. Having lived in San Francisco myself for the last 45 years, it’s kind of “old hat” and second nature to me. I’m looking forward to seeing things through fresh eyes. Your genius of living fully and well, and describing bits of that life here is such a gift to everyone. I’m anticipating the Bay Area version of that gift. (and of course will still look forward to the “Cottage” stories). In the meantime, wishing you a happy satisfying last week in France and safe and easeful travels. Best, Gayle


9 April O. July 15, 2013 at 12:06 am

My husband is a helicopter pilot and that video of the human powered helicopter made me so emotional. :) What a triumph!


10 Maike July 15, 2013 at 1:38 am

I know this head space! When things are too exciting to actually stay in reality and you switch to a form of autopilot.
I remember before my last big move to the city of my dreams I went to a yoga session and the meditation at the end was like torture. My mind was racing and I didn’t even bother to close my eyes. I just hoped it would pass qickly so I could rush home and keep packing and planing. So not the point of yoga. :-)

I am sad that you leave Europe – I liked your outlook on european culture, but hey: you go to north California. That for me is maybe what France is to you. It’s gonna be great. And you have a house in France. Perfect Life.


11 Fashion Mom July 15, 2013 at 7:21 am

After we spent a year in Italy in the apartment I grew up in, I was feeling exactly the same as you — having to say goodbye to my family, my childhood friends, everything that holds memories for me. Hang in there.


12 Patkas July 15, 2013 at 8:26 am

You were my inspiration for moving abroad with whole family. We have 3 girls and we just moved 2 months ago from Poland to Berlin . And i have to say ,its so great for all of us. Thank You:)


13 Dianne July 15, 2013 at 10:47 am

I can’t believe how sad ‘I’ am that you’re leaving France!


14 Tricia Whitworth July 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Growing up, my family and I lived in Germany, Italy, Massachusetts, Iran and then finally back to Illinois (from whence we originally came). I remember so vividly being excited about each new move but then feeling desperately sad and weird and terrified about leaving each place. Because even though we returned to some of those places (especially Germany over and over, the last time for me in 2010), it’s not the same moment in time. It will never be the very same. You can only return to what was in memory and photos.

Well done, Gabrielle! You lived in a different country with six children, navigating the strange and different. My mom had only two and it was a wild ride at times as my dad traveled alot. Thank you for sharing this wonderful time of your lives with all of us. :)


15 Christy@SweetandSavoring July 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I’ve been wondering how hectic the last couple of days must have been for you and your family- hoping the transition is as smooth as possible. Like several other readers, I’m eagerly awaiting seeing the Bay Area through your eyes, as well as updates on your French cottage.
So exciting!


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