desktop fleurish | printemps

desktop-fleurish-printemps

April has arrived, and with it, allergies spring, or printemps in French. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than April in Paris, honestly…and I’ll be back there in two weeks, squeal! Admittedly, it also gets me excited to go shopping – and here’s a tip: the Printemps department store has the most amazing view up top! Seriously – it’s one of the best vantage points in all of Paris. The lovely desktop/phone/iPad wallpaper you see above was designed and penned by the talented Lindsey Buck of The Hive Studio. Each month we’re highlighting a French word or phrase, and printemps just felt right for April…we hope you agree! Allow me to suggest a glass of Sancerre, paired with this song, as you refresh your desktop.

simple desktop | calendar desktop

please note that these designs are for personal use only + not available for commercial usage.

centre pompidou with kids

centre-pompidou-paris

 

I just discovered it’s Museum Week, and what would you know, I had this post drafted and ready to go! After many years of visiting Paris, I finally made it to the Pompidou last spring. I was excited to experience it for the first time with my family, including my brother and his crew. A Parisian fixture since it’s opening in 1977, the Centre’s “inside out” architectural design makes it stand out in the area known as Beaubourg. The iconic vents are my favorite design element, juxtaposed with the classical facades behind them. It was a gorgeous day, as you can see with everyone lounging out front…I wouldn’t normally recommend a museum on a sunny day, but it made for incredible panoramic photos up top.

 

paris-with-kids-pompidou

 

The Pompidou is wonderful for kids of all ages, with wide open spaces both inside and out, focused exhibits, a cinema, and boutique. The first thing we did was head to the first level to check out the Galerie des Enfants. Dedicated to children, the space has ever-changing interactive exhibits for littles. Henry and Marie loved the “lift the world” exhibit, with many moving parts encouraging them to play and learn. Since they enjoyed it so much, we spent a good bit of time there, and added their names to the collection of wishes for peace and love around the world before heading to the top floor!

 

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henryandmarietags

 

Let me preface by saying that reaching the top was extra challenging for me, as I’m deathly afraid of both heights and open spaces. After ascending the glass elevator with the stroller (gulp), we made it to the (all glass, double gulp) walkway. While it’s only six floors up, the glass walls make you feel very exposed, and stimulate vertigo. I literally had a death grip on either my brother, my husband, or the stroller until we made it to the galleries. I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone with similar phobias, although the stunning views do help distract from the fear. While I may have had a minor panic attack while getting these shots, I still managed them. Facing your fears pays off, especially when in Paris!

 

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to paris and beyond

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“The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read a page.”

Saint Augustine

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I’ve been keeping a secret from you. I recently found out that the conference I was scheduled to speak at was cancelled, and suddenly my Ireland plans seemed frivolous to me. While I will always have a strong desire to explore that country and my Irish roots, it felt a bit extravagant without a business-related purpose. If I’m going to be away from my family for a significant period of time, it needs to be meaningful and productive. I reached out to my friend and (then) Ireland travel partner Kirsten Alana with a bold idea – why don’t we go to Paris instead? She responded with a swift and resounding YES, and I did a happy dance. It’s been almost exactly a year since I was last there (avec ma famille) and I’m missing it greatly. I couldn’t wait to share my news with you this week, and then…the terrorist attacks in Brussels occurred.

While I’m feeling sorrowful and anxious, I will not be changing course. In fact, I feel more inspired to travel than ever before. I feel a responsibility as a human being, as a woman, and as a mother, to demonstrate courage and perseverance in the face of fear. I believe strongly in the sentiment above, and will forever encourage my children to see the world (I’m very proud that they’re already one passport stamp in at three years of age). The places and people I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing over the years have changed how I live my life. I’m a more tolerant, cultured, enlightened person. Sure, some of those things can come with age (I’m thirty-six)…but my travels have accelerated my maturity. I refuse to allow these horrific events to derail my dreams, my beliefs, and my desire to travel. Paris, mon amour…I’ll be seeing you soon.

image courtesy of ashley ludaescher photography

living in limbo

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Living in limbo feels a bit like a carousel ride…going in circles while also navigating ups and downs. Like most people, I enjoy carousels, but let’s face it – it’s mostly about going around and round until the music stops and the lights dim. It’s been quite the ride since we chose to sell our house and set out on a new adventure. While we made the decision to forge a new path, that path has yet to present itself, and I’m growing increasingly impatient and frustrated.  It’s been a year or more now that we, as a family, have found ourselves unsure of our direction. As someone that yearns for control over much in life (as ridiculous as that can be), I’ve had the hardest time with all of it. Limbo has become a place of unfulfillment, sadness, frustration, isolation and general “meh”-ness for me. It’s been a struggle to live with this mentality – it’s not healthy. While I’m not fully sure of how to overcome this mental state, I’m determined to do so.

I know that by trying so hard to maintain “control” of our lives, we can miss out on amazing things. Just because we hope for certain things to happen, doesn’t mean they’re meant to be. I’ve been looking to my children a lot, acknowledging and appreciating all that they can teach me. They begin each day with such an innocence and excitement, not tainted by what lies behind or ahead of them, and blissfully unaware of any situation or stress. They are engaged, focused, and deliriously happy. They’re enjoying the ride, because we’re on it together–when or where it stops is irrelevant. So for now, I’m going to do my best to embrace this time in our lives. I’ve gotten off the horse and am going to try the swan seat for a while. After all, I’m sharing the ride with the people I love the most in this world, and they’re keeping me from jumping off.