04 January 2014


hi from frantzerland.
it feels a bit like this over here

It's been a terrible year, but also an unprecedented great year.
2014, that is.
the day after Christmas, we got an email saying we had to move out of our place.
the reason? we are still unclear. we have heard from various people that our host was just disappointed in us. I am not surprised that this day has come, honestly. Our host is a single mom who is very established in doing things her way, and there's nothing wrong with that. John and I did everything we could to comply with her way. We left rooms as if we had never been there, we cooked meals for them, leaving out plates and forks waiting for her to get home on a late night, we cleaned her house when she was too tired or unable to clean it, we took her son to his soccer game, checked the mail, did the grocery shopping, we did what we were asked. But we kept doing something wrong. That something I will never know. I could easily know if I just asked, but I can't bring myself to have a conversation with her after she said negative things about us. We already see the effects. One of the boys John played soccer with was in the house today and when John said hello, he wouldn't speak to him. How do I bring myself to rationalize with her, to talk to her, to mend whatever damage has been made?
Is it necessary at this point, or is it just best to part ways as soon as possible?
People say forgive and have patience and move on. 
We are trying to do that from this bedroom in her house until we find a place. 
It's so hard to move on from in here.
When John and I aren't spending hours researching apartments and spaces, calling 50 numbers, figuring out how to get EU citizenship so we can qualify under the majority of all French landlord's insurances, we are watching movies, chipping nail polish, checking all social media, and eating baguette.

Should we stay or should we go? That is the question.

Option: Leaving
We could go back to America where we are comfortable and happy. We also have family that wouldn't kick us out no matter how many times we didn't dry the dishes immediately after washing all of them. We would, however, have to start at ground zero, look for jobs, and live with family for a while until we get on our feet. We wouldn't live out what we came here to do, we wouldn't see it through, we would have to go home early, with less money than we started and elementary French. We would abandon all the HARD, nitty gritty, grueling work we've done to get legal in France, to have France give us a chance. 

Option: Staying
We must be a little homeless for a while, living out of our car. We have to learn godly patience. We will live off milk and cereal and peanut butter shipped all the way from home. We will run between every "for rent" sign and listings board in the pouring rain and then watch every oscar-nominated movie of 2013, and get a head start on those for 2014.

We have been pondering and praying about what we should do, and although our heart strings are pulling for all things USA, we know we should stay here and stick it out. We know there is something more to do and accomplish once we get past this unfortunate hurdle. John is good about working hard and not getting stuck on the emotions that come with situations like this. I am not so good at that, but with his example and deep meditation and trying to follow the golden rule, and also asking what would Jesus do even though I don't want to turn the other cheek, I believe thinking positive thoughts, putting up safe and polite boundaries, and working as a team with my husband could be the ticket!

It's not easy, but we'll be better for it in the end.

2013, on the other hand, was amazing.
We visited 5 countries (france, switzerland, denmark, sweden, germany) in 3 months, ate and cooked delicious Swiss, Savoie food (gratin, raclette, tartiflette), made some friends, walked hundreds of miles through villages and cobble stone streets, and everything else French and Swiss.

We are hopeful for 2014. We can get through this and be the better for it.

When my friend got engaged, her boyfriend at the time asked if she was willing to work with him for the rest of her life. I've always thought that was an interesting way to propose, but now I realize he had more wisdom than I had when I was engaged. Marriage is work. A lot of filthy, hard work. But nothing is more bonding than struggling and solving together. 

+ I got a job as a live-out nanny for a dutch family in Switzerland. It was a miracle that I was even considered for the job. When I applied, there were already 200+ hits on the job. But with the encouragement of our friend, Violeta, I applied and I got it.

+ Our Christmas package from my parents came today. All the comforts of home at a time when we are filling a bit homeless. 

— Only one thing stood between us and our dream apartment, which was the fact that we weren't EU citizens. We got a lot standing up against us, but we believe in miracles and we're in the business of fishing for miracles, creating miracles, hoping for miracles.

remedies: shoulder to lean on and a bowl of cereal