Paris Shootings

Last night I was only a ten minute walk away from my family and yet didn’t feel safe walking home. Sirens blaring, streets deserted and news pouring in of more and more victims and shootings. I was at our student Bible study for the first time this year. Normally, Dave is the one that goes but this week we decided I’d go.

I was just gathering up my things to start walking about around 9:50 P.M. when one of my teammates got a text asking if she was ok from her dad in California. (It’s always like that- we get news of what’s going on in France from family and friends texting from the U.S. Crazy how it all works these days…). We turned on the news, I called Dave and those of us at the Bible study made a plan for what each of us would do. Some were staying the night at Beth and Haley’s (where the Bible study was), another had to start making his one hour journey home because of commitments this morning and I didn’t know what to do. My baby, only 5 months old, still nurses every three hours and it was already amazing she hadn’t woken up while I was gone. Dave and I decided to have me sit it out a bit and see if they caught the gunmen or if there were more shootings. The shootings got closer and closer to our neighborhood as the night went on, so we wanted to make sure that trend didn’t continue. The last one was a good 20 minute bike ride from our place.
There were seven women left at the Bible study- we were glued to our phones and BFMTV for updates. We prayed for those traveling home and waited for news from our family, friends and teammates. Around 1 A.M. Dave knew he had to make something happen when he rummaged through the cupboards and freezer and realized there was no formula or breastmilk for Chloe. He had the great idea to text our neighbor and see if she could come down and stay with the sleeping kids while he drove to pick me and my friend Karen up from the Bible study. It was a go.
He pulled up in front of Beth and Haley’s apartment building, we hopped in – me sitting on the floor because the carseats were taking up the seats— and we drove home. People were driving through red lights because the streets were deserted and the police had better things to do than stop us. The roads were blocked just beyond our house- much like they were in January, I imagine, during the Jewish supermarket hostage situation. We quickly parked at home and went up to our apartment. Laura, our neighbor, greeted me with tears in her eyes. She’s a mom, too.
I was never so relieved to respond to my baby’s cry last night. And never so happy to hear my two year old cry out “Mama” because he couldn’t find his blanket in the night. Paris is our home and last night our home suffered tragically. I can only imagine those who didn’t make it home last night to their kids. I don’t want to think of those who are “still waiting” for news from their loved ones. Please pray for peace for those who witnessed the crimes, for their families and for the Parisian authorities to have wisdom. Would you also pray for our family? Dave is leaving on Monday to teach at a European leaders’ event with our job. It’s only a two and a half day trip but it could seem long in this uncertain time.

A Two-Year-Old’s Perspective on the Eiffel Tower

Sunday morning walkDaylight Saving Time happened early Sunday morning. This means our kids woke up between 5 and 5:30 A.M. instead of the comfortable 6:30 A.M. we had just gotten used to. That’s early, people! You can’t exactly reason with a four-month old and tell her she shouldn’t be awake, nor is it a good idea to put her back in the bedroom she shares with her old brother and sister. Eventually, we embraced the earlier hour and made a little side trip to the Eiffel Tower while on our way to church.

I have to clarify that we go to the Eiffel Tower about twice a year (remember my previous post where I tried to convince you we don’t eat pain au chocolat every morning?). We visit it once when friends come to visit and a second time just to remind ourselves that we do live in Paris. This trip falls into the second category.

There are some fabulous parking spots across from Ecole Militaire, which is at one end of the long promenade leading up to the Tower. At 9:30 A.M. there isn’t any competition for a spot, so we pull in and before we know it our little man is excitedly pointing out the window. What was he excited about; the Eiffel Tower? No, there were two firetrucks parked on the promenade. Of course! It is Sunday morning and instead of the firemen doing their morning footing (run) in the public park, they are playing a friendly game of soccer. So in lieu of walking toward the Tower, we checked out the firetrucks. IMG_3777This is what it means to be two years old and live in Paris, right? After my husband and I took the obligatory selfie with the Eiffel Tower (and the soccer-playing firefighters) in the background we made our way to church.

Our selfieI must have still been feeling the glow of the morning’s outing because when we stopped at Mets et Caprices on the way home from church to get a tradi (traditional baguette), I bought five mini Nutella-filled beignets (doughnuts). They were delicious and I think my husband now has to stop saying, “You just can’t find a good doughnut in Paris.”

What’s it Like Raising a Family in Paris?

Living in Paris can seem so glamorous to those not living in Paris. Strolls along the Seine river, munching on pain au chocolat each morning and watching pristinely dressed children push toy boats around the pond in le Jardin de Luxembourg. This is not my daily life as a mom in Paris.

Most days my life looks more like: oatmeal for breakfast, coaching my almost four year old as she dresses herself, sorting laundry, prepping the Crockpot at night for the next day, lining “vroom vrooms” up with my son, kissing my babies cheeks that smell like… well, baby and trying to tell my husband about our day over dinner. It isn’t glamorous but it’s our life and I like it.

I guess this is why I’ve started this blog… I want to pull back the curtain a bit on the “glamour” of living in the 3rd most visited city in world. I want to share with you a bit of my “everyday” as a mama in Paris. I love a great street find, easy recipes to cook, simple fashion, amazing food, wooing people, a good deal (um, free stuff) and leaning into life with my littles and husband. So, here goes!

Leave a comment and let me know:

What are your stereotypes of what life is like in Paris?