If you visit my parent’s house during the summer, please expect a tour of my father’s garden. Mostly likely after the meal, but certainly before dessert. It is a beautiful little journey, full of colorful, lively flowers and a variety of delicious vegetables.
Over Father’s Day weekend, Jordan and I spent time capturing my dad’s handiwork.
I was lucky to grow up eating vegetables and fruit grown in my own backyard. Cucumbers, lettuce, onions, beets, green beans, radishes, so many herbs, apple and pear trees and the list continues. Between my mother growing up on a dairy farm and my father’s love of gardening, an appreciation was cultivated in my brothers and I for where our food is grown. Hopefully one day, their green thumbs will rub off on me and I won’t kill my house plants anymore!
Jordan and I celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary during our stay in Paris. The original idea was to visit The Louvre, but unfortunately they were experiencing an employee strike. With no real plan for April 12, we continued to wonder that enchanting city. First stop was to visit the English-speaking bookstore, Shakespeare and Company. Pictures aren’t allowed to be taken inside, but if you want a peak, the bookstore has been featured in a few movies, including the Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris. Our lack of extra luggage space was the only thing stopping Jordan from buying the whole store!
Continuing on from the bookstore, we walked right into the Luxembourg Gardens (I had forgotten it was so close!). Spring literally sprang for us on that day; the gardens looked so lush. We bought baguette sandwiches and McDonald’s Cokes (because sometimes you need something familiar) and enjoyed lunch on the lawn with the locals.
Many of the large parks in Paris have these green lawn chairs sprawled about to use for picnics. I love the idea! The Parisians seem to take full advantage of any public outdoor space. This is the Tuileries Garden, located outside of the Louvre Museum. Even though we weren’t able to go inside of the Louvre we were able to see many statues, including a few Rodin, that were sprinkled around the garden.
After lunch, Jordan wanted to walk to see the location of the Bastille prison. The only remains left are surrounded by a park but this is the beautiful July Monument, marking the event that pushed forth The French Revolution.
Maybe you can see the huge storm that was brewing in these clouds because right after visiting this monument the rain fell hard and we were drenched! In fact, the rain fell so hard part of the roof in a local grocery store (we took refuge for a few minutes) starting caving in! An employee and I had an interesting interaction where because I greeted her with a simple bonsoir, she continued laughing and joking about the rain in French. I enjoyed being considered a local for a few minutes!
Those two days in Paris, where Jordan and I were able to wonder leisurely, were some of the best days.
The need to slow down has hit me recently. My soul is craving quiet moments, despite the warm weather beckoning me to be active. Jordan spent the week working on a fun new project and so we decided to recharge on Saturday. The weather was perfect. We spent the day walking and shopping. Purchasing necessities (groceries at Whole Foods – my first nectarines of the year!) and a few special treats.
My perfume collection was consisting of empty bottles, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to repeat or select a new scent. SeeBy Chloe is a fragrance I had tested during our time in Europe. I enjoyed it but wasn’t ready to commit at the moment. After testing it again last week, I didn’t need any more convincing. It’ll be the perfect smell for this new summer.
At work the next day, I passed my jacket a few times, I could faintly detect my new perfume. Instantly, I was reminded of my recharge day. This perfume will remind me to slow down and enjoy the present moments.
My family moved from Ohio to Illinois when I was seven and it was very difficult on me.
In Ohio I was a social butterfly. Most of my days were spent at various friend’s houses playing until the sun went down. Our neighborhood was overrun with kids. The first street we moved to in Illinois lacked children my age and so I spent more time on my own. Often, while learning to play by myself, I would spend time in the basement with a particular dresser. This dresser had also been my changing table, but my mom repurposed it to hold pictures. The pictures were of friends and family that I missed and also of earlier times before I was even alive. These weren’t fancy photos, they were often out of focus or had people with their eyes closed, but they were mine.
Fast forward 18 years… Jordan and I discovered my parents old Canon AE-1 (35 mm SLR) camera and surprisingly it still worked. In the 90s my parents switched to a simple and lesser quality point and shoot, which is hard to believe considering the camera they already owned. The camera hadn’t been used in years and so they gave it to us. I’m excited to continue experimenting with film; perusing the unpredictability of the developed rolls just as I did as a little girl.
I had many obsessions growing up. If I saw a new movie or tv show I would research it to death until I knew the origin and every actors home town. The internet felt very new and unused. Often the research would lead me to the original source material, a book or older film. When I was about 15 the Tudors and Henry VIII 6 wives were the most intriguing. I used them as the topic of many school papers/presentations. Earlier this month Jordan and I visited the Tower of London where Anne Boleyn was beheaded! My 15 year old self was very excited.
The summer before my freshman year of high school I saw preview for a new TV show that I was certain my mom wouldn’t want me to watch. I would record the show on VHS and watch them in secret. That is until my mother walked in during an early episode and surprisingly loved it! Starting then I would watch each episode with my parents. As I graduated high school and left for college my parents turned into roommates and even my husband. Gilmore Girls ran for 7 seasons and a lot happened in that time frame. Watching the show now is such a joy because it reminds me of a wonderful simple time in my life.
Spring may finally be present in Chicago. The sun is shining and the air is crisp with anticipation. Anticipation of warmer days. In a handful of days Jordan and I will board a plane to enjoy a much needed vacation. We will also celebrate five years as husband and wife during those two weeks.
How is that even possible?! Life moves quickly and I’m so blessed to share my life with Jordan.