Family Time

Paige came home last Friday and we had such a great weekend, spending some much needed family time together! Paige caught up on her sleep, ate some good food, and she and I had some mom/daughter bonding over shopping (as one does💁🏻). 

Saturday evening we all had an escape from all the awful, terribleness in the news every day (or so it seems) and went the WellRed Comedy Tour, which was hilarious and just what we all needed. 

The rest of the weekend seemed to speed up and go faster and faster as the time came for Paige to have to head back to school, but was mostly spent walking on the beach, or just hanging out, talking and just catching up. It was a fantastic weekend but we’re going to miss the munchkin until we see her again over spring break!

It was nice to see a bit of Clay this weekend too – he’s usually in class, or at work or in the library. Lucky us… both kids were around this weekend! 😊

This is what I usually see of the kids…Snapchat pictures they send to me to let me know where they are…

Every day….

The past few weeks have been, well…interesting. Exhausting, actually. I’ve been taking some classes at Flagler College- a French class and a class on Putin and post communist Russia (how timely is that class, hmm?🤔) which keeps me busy. Clay has been busy with school and his girlfriend, and Paige has been working hard at school and is getting involved with a few more activities at school (more on that soon.)

Mostly though, what’s been so…exhausting…is just, everything else. Turning on the news. Or going online. Reading the New York Times or the Washington Post or Newsweek or The Atlantic or listening to NPR. My point is that anywhere you look, or listen…you cannot escape it. Everyday it’s another scandal. Everyday it’s another crisis. Another violation. (Not trying to get political here; just trying to explain how we’re feeling- alarmed, and exhausted.)

We’d love to get through just one day in peace – just one 24 hour period without a scandal or crisis – but that doesn’t appear likely. Anyway, it certainly hasn’t happened in the past 27 days. There’s not much we can do about all the crazy going on in Washington D.C. right now and that’s frustrating. So we walk. 

We’ve been doing a lot of walking. It basically has been keeping us sane. 

2017, Already

January, already. And well into it, no less. 

Once again, I’ve been remiss about blogging. 

I’d say that we’ve been busy…and I suppose we have. The kids were home for their Christmas break, and as always, it seemed to go much too fast. We tried to squeeze in all the doctor and dentist appointments we’d been putting off, along with a trip to North Carolina to visit my mom for Christmas. Which was nice and relaxing, and we did a lot of this….

Unfortunately, the time passed much too quickly and before we knew it we were saying goodbye to Paige and both kids were back in school. 

But… I’M taking some classes at Flagler this semester too! Flagler offers some “lifetime learning” classes for the community, which I’ve wanted to take in the past but never managed to sign up for in time. This time  I did, and I’m taking a French class (from a darling French lady 🇫🇷) and a very intriguing (and timely! 🤔) class on Putin and Post Communist Russia taught by an ex-CIA operative. I’m quite excited about trying something new!

A bientôt ~

Home Sweet Home

Paige is home…although her trip home wasn’t without a few hiccups along the way. The airplane had a mechanical issue in Paris and was delayed several hours. Because of the delay, she missed her connection home and had to spend the night in D. C. And didn’t get home until the next day. 


She’s happy to be home, but was sad to leave Paris. She had a fabulous month!

Besides Paige catching up on her sleep and doing a lot of laundry, we’ve had a wonderful, authentic and really, really delicious Afghani meal with my refugee family (my 3 month commitment through World Relief has ended, but we continue to keep in touch.)

Clay has been busy working (nearly every day) as a kayak and stand up paddle board tour guide. 

And I’m trying to finish readying Linda’s (Italian exchange student) room for her arrival next week, as well as ordering college textbooks, buying school supplies, and organizing everything for Paige’s move to the apartment in a few weeks.  In just a few weeks, Paige will begin her second year of college and Clay will begin his senior year. Linda arrives in just a few days. 

It’s been busy and crazy, but I’m savoring this time with my family. 

A few photos from Paige’s last few days in Paris:

And at home:


In 2 days, 9 hours, and 21 minutes Paige will be home! Not that I’m counting, or anxious to see her or anything. 

She is excited to get home, but at the same time she really does not want to leave France. She has had such a wonderful experience and met some really great friends. 

Last weekend Tim had a layover in Paris and was able to uber over to her dorm and have a quick lunch with her before her group left for Versailles. 

Other than the trip to Versailles, she’s been trying to pack as much into her final week in Paris as she can. A trip to Musée d’Orsay, another visit to La Tour Eiffel, hot chocolate at Angelina, drinks by the Seine…

I know she’s sad to leave, but she’s had a wonderful experience and learned a lot. 

And it’s time to come home. 

Mise à jour de Paris

Paige’s group had walking tours of Le Marais on Monday and then had falafels for dinner. On Wednesday they walked around Montmartre and had a cheesy, yummy, fondue dinner (where, apparently, they drank wine out of baby bottles. I don’t understand it either…I guess you “had to be there!”)

Other than exploring the city, she’s been learning French and sweltering in the heat. Her dorm doesn’t have air conditioning. 

*do you see those cute little iron balconies? Almost every building you see in Paris has them. They’re quite lovely. I call them smoker’s windows….because I think it’s a  law in Paris that you must smoke. 💁🏻 

Vive la France! Vive la République! 🇫🇷

Clay turned 22 Monday. (22!!!😱) He had the day off and we hung out at the beach…

While we were enjoying the sun and surf, Paige was touring the Opera Garnier and hearing stories about the phantom of the opera, whilst being assured by the tour guide that the stories weren’t true. 

She spent the rest of the week doubling down in her French classes so that they could have Bastille Day off. Her group had a picnic in the park, as they have been trying to avoid large crowds. 

I’m almost finished moving everything and organizing the bedroom and bath for Linda. 


Finally, a few more photos Paige sent me from the past couple of weeks…

* I am horrified and saddened by the awful events that took place in Nice this Bastille Day. Many people sent me messages asking if Paige was okay. She is. She is in Paris, and she is fine. My love and prayers go out to those in Nice and to everyone in France. Vive la France! Vive la République!🇫🇷

Semaine Chargée 

This past week has flown by. Paige and I have been trying to make sure she has everything she’ll need for her month in Paris (adapters? Check. A travel towel? Check. Deodorant? Check.) and trying to figure out how to fit everything in two carry on bags. I’ve been emailing back and forth with former French exchange students and making plans to see them and emailing our future Italian exchange student who will be arriving in August and getting to know her a bit. 

I worked on a couple of painting projects. I’m not sure why…because my timing was atrocious. It’s been terribly hot and humid – not ideal conditions for sitting on our porch painting. Still, I’m happy with how everything turned out. 

This is the “before” picture of an old desk I bought at an auction years ago. I painted it in Annie Sloan “old white” chalk paint and I love how it turned out!

While Paige and I were gathering clothes together for Paris, we realized she needed a couple of things…so we had a shopping day. 

And we both had a hair day…

And then I realized that I needed gifts for our French friends…so we headed to St. George Street one afternoon. 

Some of our favorite people stopped off for a quick visit on their way to Orlando and we had so much fun visiting with them!

And Clay has been busy too. He’s been hanging out with a new…friend, and did some water sampling the other day for International Ocean Sampling Day. He was even In the paper!

In a couple of days, Paige and I will be heading out on our way to the City of Light. 

A bientôt!


It’s been rather quiet around here since we got back from our (second) trip to NYC. We’ve been trying to entice Clay to get over to the house more so we can have a bit more family time. We’ve taken lots of walks on the beach. 

We’ve been trying to get all the doctor and dentist visits taken care of while Paige is home for the summer…

Clay has been doing a bit of fishing and even took Paige along one day…but apparently, she is a jinx because they didn’t catch a thing. 

We’ve been trying to get everything together (making sure we’ve got converters, etc) for our trip to Paris later this month – I’m flying over with Paige so we can have a few days to museum hop and shop before she begins her Intensive French program in July. 

We had my sweet refugee family over for a lovely dinner, with lots of laughter and interesting conversation. I’m so happy to know this wonderful family and to be able to call them my friends! Paige had a little admirer…and taught her how to do a forward roll. AND how to use snapchat filters. I’m sure her parents will be eternally grateful. 

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

The week in photos, because a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Paige worked out at TPC (The Player’s Championship) selling concessions last week. She left the house by 6:45 most mornings and didn’t get home until after 8 pm. She worked hard! If anyone local needs help with pet sitting, babysitting, any odd jobs…ANYTHING…Paige is desperately seeking employment. She is here until the end of June…

Last weekend we celebrated my great-aunt’s 92nd birthday. It was so great to get to spend time with all our beautiful cousins and get to know the newest generation of cousins. 

Clay has been busy with classes, but took some time the other day to go exploring GTMNERR. He had a ball, tramping around in the mud and finding bobcat prints, and lots of wildlife. He sent me these pictures. 

Which, okay, yes…very cool. 

But as a mom, my reaction was more like, ” WHAT THE #%&€  ??!!!”

But then I remembered…

I guess I have to blame myself for letting him watch The Crocodile Hunter  so much as a kid.