Their Mothers

We celebrated our friend today, who is preparing to give life to a newborn son in a few weeks. She was glowing with joy and anticipation, thinking about what to name him and getting his nursery ready for his arrival.  We were so happy to see her and to share her excitement and to shower her with gifts and love and friendship.

Although we were celebrating new life, my mind kept wandering to Paris and the shock and loss of life and terror that has risen again over night. I kept thinking of the men who chose to end their own lives by blowing themselves up and wondered about their mothers and their childhoods. Who are these children that grew up to think that death was the way of life? How did they come to choose this path? I don’t understand, from a mother’s viewpoint. I don’t understand hate.

One mother raised three suspected terrorists. Seriously? Can you imagine being a mother who raised three evil beings? How does she live with herself and what led her children to darkness? I would be horrified.  I don’t understand this will. I don’t understand this life choice. I don’t understand. And I don’t necessarily blame the mothers for their children’s behaviors, but I do wonder how she would explain having raised 3 suicidal terrorists and want to know what she thought led them in this direction.

Life is a mystery.

Wishing you peace, mamas. Love your babies well and be well.

nAMaste

11-17-15 – After I shared this curiosity and couldn’t find any story about the mothers, one showed up.  Here is a link to the heartbreaking article about how their children abandoned them to join a cult. The title is Mothers Of Isis and can be found on Huffingtonpost.com if the link doesn’t work.

Mothers of Isis

Be Not Afraid

Be not afraid.

I go before you, always.

Come follow me.

And I will give you rest.

  
Those are a few of the words from one of my favorite Christian songs that bring back so many great memories.

When the Parisians were stuck at the stadium and were attempting to exit, they began to sing the French national anthem. They sang to unify and comfort one another and to connect and to be stronger than their attackers. They did not give into fear.

There is evil surrounding us, not only in Paris, Beirut, Syria, but  around the world and it is up to us to fight and band together against evil. We are connected through our humanity and we need to practice our courage and love, every day.

One love.

One truth. 

Have courage to be loving, BeLoveRs. Stand up to hate.

Share the love. 

Liberté, égalité, fraternité .

nAMaste

Hope in Humanity

  
Source: @jean_jullien

Paris, you’ve been hurt and are in pain. Yet the love of humanity surrounds you. Your people are opening their doors to help one another. Hold on to hope. 

This is the best of our lives. We love one another and rise up together, supporting each other and our light shines in the darkness, across the world. We lift you up and are so sorry that such evil has been inflicted upon you. 

We will hold on to hope.

We will hold on to love.

We will hold on to each other.

We will fight evil and ISIS and terror every step of the way.

We will never surrender to hell and evil. 

Love wins, always, as it is the greater force.

We will love ourselves and love those who are different than us. This is how we will shape our world. We will teach our kids kindness and compassion and love.

One love.

Love you. Love me. 

Love us.

nAMaste BeLoveRs. 

  

Day 336: Paris – Day 2

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It was another gorgeous day in Paris. I just like the vibe of this city and don’t even have to really do anything but just be here, and it makes me smile.

I love the light, the sunshine, the buildings, the people, the sound of the language, the food, the shops, the architecture, the history, and the sounds of cars driving down the cobblestoned streets. I love the way Parisian women dress. I just like being here.

Today Juliana and I wandered around Montmartre again. We stopped for bread at Coquelicot for breakfast and wandered in and out of the quaint shops. Today was the first sale shopping day of the season, we learned, and the shops were quite crowded. We enjoyed the early morning browsing but hated the crowds mid afternoon.

We hung out by the Garnier Opera theater and explored the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps mega department stores. Because of the sales, we could hardly move and it was a bit overwhelming.
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The glass dome in the Galeries Lafayette.

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We managed to have a wonderful lunch on the 9th floor outdoor terrace at Printemps and enjoyed the panoramic views of the city.

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Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain so we wanted to be outside as much as possible.

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Sampling a salted caramel and rasberry macarons from Laduree.

We took the metro back to our studio to relax for a couple hours before heading back out again, even though we were tired. I’m so glad the Christine told us to try the best falafel place on the planet (outside the Middle East). We ventured around Marais and loved the Jewish side of town. The shops and streets were so cozy on Rue des Rosiers, and we arrived just in time to avoid long lines and got a table at L’as du Falafel. The falafel was so moist and the eggplant dish I ordered was delicious. Thanks, Christine!!

After dinner we wandered up Rue du Temple and then up Rue de Rivoli toward the Hotel De Ville. I’m amazed by how old and huge the buildings are. From there, we had to see the water and walked along the Seine and across Pont Neuf to see and touch the locks of love. We both love that place. The sky was gorgeous and people watching was entertaining. We would have liked to stay out later to watch the sunset and to see the buildings all lit up, but it really doesn’t get dark until after 10 pm. And our feet were tired… So we took the metro back and are enjoying our quiet time together. I’m so thankful to have such a kind and loving daughter. She’s at such a great age and I already treasure our time together. Thanks for coming on this journey with me, baby girl.

Je t’aime Juliana. xoxo

Day 335: Bon Jour from Paris!

I love this living in the moment idea.

I love having a dream and then seeing it come true.

I love this life, right now.

I love that I’m in Paris with my daughter, just the two of us on a dream vacation for a couple days. I can’t stop smiling. Thank you Jeff for letting us sneak away and for taking care of the other two, and the house and work and letting possible new tenants come take a peek at our place. You are amazing!

I love that when we decided to become expats that I learned to really dream and learned to make the time for fun, despite the chaos and to do lists. This is one of the biggest gifts I was given…to be fully alive and to not make excuses and to do it now. Whatever IT may be, and IT is always changing. I hope you do the same…it’s never too late to dream a new dream.

This IT was coming back to Paris with Juliana to just wander the streets and to do and see and eat whatever and wherever we felt like doing, eating, or going, without having to worry about anyone else. We are having so much fun! Below are some pictures from our first evening in Paris.

Life is good.

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At the Starbucks upstairs at the Amsterdam train station…a little secret gem of a location. Such a cool building you should check out if you’re ever there.

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On the train…ready to go to Paris.

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Love the cloudscape…makes me think of my mama who loves this.

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Bread and meringues from Coquelicot Patisserie and Boulangerie. Yum!

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Famous bar from the movie Amelie. Juliana and I sat at the bar to enjoy a moment.

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The most delicious French onion soup.

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Sacre Coeur at sunset, around 9:30 pm. We walked up the steps to burn off some of our good eats.

Bonne Nuit from Paris, with love.

Day 210: Home Again

Traveling is fun and exhausting. We had a great last day exploring the top of the Eiffel Tower and being amazed by the metro system. We all enjoyed one last crepe before leaving Paris, and enjoyed the 3+ hour train ride back to Amsterdam.

When I asked everyone what they loved about the trip, we all had similar things to share. We enjoyed the food, the light, the sun, the houseboat, the monuments, just being together, the shopping, and the transportation system. We loved going up the Eiffel Tower this morning before we had to leave, and all the amazing views. What a cool experience for all of us! We’re already dreading April and Steve leaving us in a couple days! It’s so nice to have friends visiting for awhile.

Going up the Eiffel Tower

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Our house boat is the one the furthest from the bridge, away from the Eiffel Tower and closest to the shore😁😣. We were so close to everything and the location was perfect for the 9 of us.

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One last crepe!

Running for the train, for the fun of it. We weren’t late!

20130220-223108.jpgMy bottle of wine for the train ride home! So appropriate.

Life is good!

Day 209: 3 Days in Paris

Today was our third day in Paris. There is so much to see and do, but traveling in a herd of 9 slows you down a bit. We still managed to cover a ton of ground and saw so many sites, cute stores, and sampled delicious food.

The fun started this morning on the metro, listening to musicians entertain us and strolling for tips before the next stops.

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We were headed to the Sacre Couer, high up on a hill in the Montmartre section of Paris.

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The kids enjoyed riding the funicular to the top. The lighting today was amazing again.

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No pictures were allowed inside the cathedral, and a few who took the risk were yelled at and made to destroy their images before leaving the building. Yikes!
Juliana and I got a half hour to go shopping alone in the Montmartre area. We loved it and want to come back, just the two of us to wander and shop without any time limits.

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We trammed over to the Latin Quarters part of town and discovered the Universities and the Pantheon. We also found a great place for dinner, which included cheese and mushroom fondue. Mmm!!!

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For dessert, we promised the kids sweet crepes and found a cute street shop with a friendly guy selling and serving.

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We packed so much into one day, and the kids were great sports! I think if you’re traveling with kids, breaking up the day into smaller chunks and stopping for a drink or a snack helps to reenergize them and everyone else for that matter!

Hope you enjoyed our little view into Paris!
xo. Adriana