Tag Archives: love

Saturday Feature: Sara in Le Petit Village

Yes, I realize it’s not Saturday and for those of you just tuning in, I explain the delay caused by living life here. And boy did we live some life! I had 4 glorious days with my boys filled with sunshine, great food, shopping, apartment hunting and even a DATE! Can you imagine? We haven’t been on a date, alone, for almost a year. Did I mention it was wonderful?

So, here I am, back to all my lovely fellow expats and readers and for this feature, I want to share Sara with you. She was an American expat in France who is now going through the stages of becoming a repat as she adjusts to life in the states once again. This post in particular, she says goodbye to the LPV and I thought you’d all love to meet her (if you haven’t already) and see the place she used to call home.

The Last Days of the LPV

My last days in The LPV whooshed by. I was busy; suitcases needed to be packed, bits and pieces had to be sold, given away and moved out, and goodbyes needed to be said. I was sad, but after six months of preparations, ready to go.

Because my move date was closing in, and I was a spinning top barely able to catch my breath, I made a point of snapping a photo or two every time I was out and about in the village. I was too busy to truly appreciate it all at the time so it was important that I captured it to savor later. Well it’s later.

I have no idea what the story behind the unicorn that has tagged Le Petit Village is all about. I’m pretty sure our local tattoo artist painted it, but as for the significance behind it, I’ve got nothing. I dig it though and like to think a unicorn was chosen because that’s The LPV’s symbol. I honestly couldn’t think of a better one.

I’m actually going to miss walking into my yellow post office. Post offices should be painted cheery colors, it’s a bit deceptive to be sure, but cheery nonetheless. Every time I accomplished something at La Poste (which doubled as our bank), I felt like I had slayed a mythical beast. It tried to better me on more than one occasion, but I remained victorious. Suck it La Poste, I own you.

And of course I’m going to miss the creepy tree house behind my house. It became my favorite thing to show visitors… it’s a medieval building that has been eaten by a tree for heaven’s sake! How does that even happen?!

But what I’ll miss the most in The LPV, is coming home to this door with Gregory and Fifty. There’ll be other doors of course, other homes, more memories, but I doubt any will hold a handle to the quaintness of this one. It’s too darn cute.

There was one last thing that I knew I had to capture, the bells. The church bell at the top of my garden that clanged hourly, driving Fifty batty and ensuring that no one in our house ever slept past 7AM. Now I find myself straining to hear them toll. Clocks strike another hour and are met with nothing, no sound. It’s downright un-Petit Village like.

Sara I was glad to see that Gregory and Fifty made it safely. Hope you are all adjusting well and I wish you the best in your new repat adventure!

Everyone else, please go give Sara a virtual hug and thank you for being patient with me. Don’t forget, no linkup this week as I work on the exciting Tipsy Lit feature, showing off several of your favorite expats!

xx Deanna

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Saturday Feature: The Tide That Left

Ok you guys, again, I found it hard to choose this week so I ended up using the few rules of the link-up to break the ties I had among my final choices. Don’t forget that the post needs to be from the previous week and you must share via Twitter. 

Now on to the winner, Amy from The Tide That Left. I had seen here around the blogosphere for a little while, but it wasn’t until we both guest posted for Polly that I really discovered her. This story featured here is also the one (mostly) that I read on Polly’s blog and it blew me away. I love how international relationships begin, but I find inspiration in how they weather the storms of long distance, travel and sacrifice. Amy and her husband are a prime example of both sacrifice and fighting for the one you love. After you read her post, you’ll see what I mean.

Expat Life: Love Lessons Learned

I’m not a celebrator of Valentine’s Day. I’m moody and grumpy like that, but thankfully Mr Tide is moody and grumpy in the same way so we both spurn the day of love hearts and chocolates (who am I kidding? We NEVER turn down a chocolate) and all is right in our little love-nest. 
 
Last December I wrote the following as a guest post whilst the gorgeous Polly from A Girl and Her Travels married her Russky and enjoyed time with her family. I’ve given it a tweak or two, but the general essence is here in all it’s smushy glory. One obligatory Valentine’s Day blog post. 

Our expat relationship started as a long distance relationship in 2009 when I met Mr Tide just days before he moved to Libya for work. We fell in love via the medium of Skype, helped along by his visits home to England every couple of months. The thing about LDRs is that they need an end in sight in order to work, and so, a year after we met, I moved to Benghazi, Libya, to be with him. It was a big leap for both of us, but one well worth taking. And I guess that’s lesson one we learned about expat love - you need to be brave. You might take plenty of leaps throughout your time as expats, but if you can hold hands while you do it, you’ll both land firmly.Libya was incredibly hard for me, much harder than it was for Mr Tide. Our little love nest in Benghazi was a safe haven, but beyond that I was miserable. Mr Tide realised this, and so we decided to say goodbye to Libya and hello to Russia. In December 2010 we moved to Moscow, which is evidence of lesson number two - sometimes you have to give a little (or a lot) to make sure that you’re both happy. It can be tough to make those decisions when they involve the career of a loved one, but if you’ve chosen to be in this together, then you both need to be on board. In my experience, there will always be a way for you to both get what you need/want, if you’re willing to compromise.

Moscow was quite an adventure, and our longest stint together. We got engaged in Moscow and it will forever be a special place for both of us. One day in mid 2012, Mr Tide received one of those phone calls. His old boss had a job opportunity in Qatar we couldn’t say no to. The only problem was that they needed him to start right away and the decision needed to be made within 24 hours. We stayed up nearly all night talking through the options, discussing how we felt, challenging the circumstances to see if they could/would/should work differently. We learned, perhaps not for the first time, that communication is key. We were determined to come to a decision together on this, so we didn’t stop talking until we’d got to that point. June 2012 saw us getting married (we had to fast track our wedding plans) and moving to Qatar. We had three weeks to rearrange our wedding, and then we flew to Doha together the day after we said ‘I do’.

Since then we’ve lived in Angola and South Africa, as well as a short stint in the UK to sort out visa issues. We ended 2013 by moving to Tanzania. It was the year of learning to be flexible; most importantly to be flexible with each other. I used to be the kind of girl who needed her life mapped out, but since we started our expat life together we’ve both had to find a way to go with the flow. We’ve chosen a lifestyle that throws up the unexpected, and we wouldn’t be able to cope if we didn’t roll with the changes. That’s not to say it’s plain-sailing, but of we keep flexibility at the heart of our discussion we can usually find a way through.At the beginning of 2014, as we settle into life in Dar es Salaam, we’re aware that life is bound to throw up some challenges, but I’m sure if we remember all the lessons we’ve learned over the years we’ll be just fine. Better than fine!

What lessons has life taught you about love? 

After all that moving AND a long-distance relationship, you can see why I thought this was a special post. I hope you all are enjoying this as much as I am and that you keep linking up. I look forward to reading them every week! Hope you all have a great weekend!

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A Boy Mom’s Guide To Survival

“Boys are easier”, they said.

“Boys are so fun”, they said.

Yes, they are fun, but easier? Maybe in an alternate universe where there they are not constantly a danger to themselves. From one mom on the verge of having a heart attack to another, here are some tips for survival safety:

  1.  If he can stand on it or sit on it, he will jump off of it. (anything, usually the couch)

     

  2. If he can stand on it or sit on it, he will try to skateboard with it. (think laundry basket lid, cushions)
  3. If he can stand on it or sit on it, he will try to surf on it. (think gliding ottoman)
  4. If he can sit on it, he will try to ride it. (his toy wheel-barrow – he turns it over and makes it into a car)
  5. If he can’t reach it, he will find a way. (see next)
  6. If it’s at all climbable, he will climb it. (chairs, tables, tv stands, toys, beds, nightstands…you get the idea.)
  7. If the ottoman and the living room table are close to each other, he will do his best planking move. (don’t bother moving them, see next)

  8. If they aren’t close to each other, he will move them. (can you cement furniture to the floor?)
  9. Anything in his hand is a potential weapon, to you or himself.
  10. The more dangerous something is, the more he likes it.

So what if all your preparations fail? What next??

Make sure you are well-versed in head injuries, concussions and broken bones. Keep ice packs readily available as well as coffee for your sleepless nights.

Most importantly, be friends with your family doctor. Have ALL of the numbers to reach said doctor at any time day or night on speed dial. Keep them hanging on the refrigerator, in your cell phone, at the school, with friends, frankly, anyone your son is with.

When all else fails and hopefully the boy is safe and sound (which only happens when he sleeps), have your alcohol of choice on hand.

Pour, drink and repeat.

Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor….

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Oh 2013, You Hurt So Good

Every New Year’s Eve, I find myself thinking, wow, I can’t believe another year has come and gone. I used to believe in New Year’s Resolutions when I was a kid, but as I got older, I felt they were too predictable and only set you up for failure with unrealistic expectations.

Although it’s the end of 2013, I have been reflecting not just about this past year, but about the past couple of years. Every one has brought huge life changes. Take a little look for yourself….

2011

My love finally has his visa and comes "home" to the US. We are finally together after a year apart.

My love finally has his visa and comes “home” to the US. We are finally together after a year apart.

We get married that next week and spend a couple of nights in this isolated, romantic cabin.

We get married that next week and spend a couple of nights in this isolated, romantic cabin.

Several weeks later, we found out what happens when you spend a couple of nights alone in an isolated, romantic cabin.

Several weeks later, we found out what happens when you spend a couple of nights alone in an isolated, romantic cabin.

2012

9 months later, I had one more handsome boy in my home to love.

9 months later, I had one more handsome boy in my home to love.

2013

One year later, that handsome boy turned 1.

One year later, that handsome boy turned 1.

For almost the whole month of May, we were in Las Vegas where we said goodbye to family, friends and the US.

For almost the whole month of May, we were in Las Vegas where we said goodbye to family, friends and the US.

On May 22, 2013, we made this our new home, here in Germany.

On May 22, 2013, we made this our new home, here in Germany.

In case you forgot what we did to get here, you can read about our huge leap of faith here.

2013 has been full of huge ups, huge downs and everything in between. We started our life completely over, from scratch. We had almost nothing when we got here except for one another and M’s family. Starting your life over requires a lot of work and sacrifice. We both know it will be worth it in the end and I couldn’t have done it without my amazing husband.

These past years have given us so much. We have received amazing blessings with almost mind-blowing life changes. For 2014, I am even more hopeful. I am optimistic of what this next year has in store for this little family of mine. But….if I could ask for one thing, one wish it would be this….calm.

Dear 2014, please bring this family the sense of calm and peace that goes hand in hand with growth and stability. We are ready to be settled. We are hopeful to continue simply moving forward. 

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Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Frohes neues Jahr!
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I’ve Never Liked Roller Coasters

I didn’t know it would happen, but moving to Germany the first time back in 2008 changed me. It changed me in a way I suppose I can never get back. I’m not sure I want to, but I know this new person has always felt a constant longing ever since. There is always a piece of my heart missing and I suppose there always will be.

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I moved back to the states in 2010. When M joined me in 2011, I truly thought we would be there for several years. However, we hated it which was completely unexpected. Sure, we moved to the Midwest, which looking back I know was a mistake. I’m a West Coast girl and I longed for that kind of lifestyle. We did our best to make it work, but as you know the pieces of the puzzle just never fit.

We moved back to Germany.

And now, I still long for the West Coast. I miss my friends. I miss my family. We both love Las Vegas and we have the kind of friendships there that sometimes feels like only come around once in a lifetime.

But, I love Germany and the type of life my family and I can have here. There is so much security to be offered in a socialized government system. Life is more simple. Life is less stressful. Traditions are honored and maintained, such as Christmas. To experience Christmas here is like walking through a magic wonderland!

the-roller-coaster-largeAnd so, the roller coaster of life goes on. You expect ups and downs in life. That’s the nature of the beast. But for those of us who have two homes in two separate countries, our hearts are always divided. If we chose to live in Las Vegas, we would miss the best parts of Germany. By choosing to live here, we miss the best parts of Las Vegas. It feels like a no-win situation.

But in the end, you make a choice; the choice that you think is the best for your future and your family. It’s not necessarily the one that’s best for your heart.

For all of our family and friends back home, we chose this, but know it wasn’t easy. We miss you being a part of our lives. We think of you always. We love you all .

homeagain
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