Thanksgiving In Paris

Well, my first (and hopefully only) Thanksgiving away from home was sad and a bit lonely but I realize that I have so much to be thankful for – no matter how far from home I am. So, here’s a list of things I am so incredibly thankful for right now:

1) My morning today that I spent with Emily wine tasting at the Salon du Vin wine expo here in Paris.

2) My wonderful kiddo who panicked this morning when I said, “Happy Thanksgiving! It’s a biiiiig holiday in America.” And he replied by saying, “YOU GO TO UNITED STATES!?” freaking out that I was leaving him.

3) My wonderful family who Skyped me in for dinner tonight while I sat in my apartment eating Chipotle. It ALMOST felt like I was at home.

4) The package that my parents sent me for Thanksgiving yesterday.

5) The fact that I’m living out one of my dreams right now by living in Paris.

6) Last but not least, my amazing friends I have here in Paris. When I mentioned last week that I wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving but didn’t know what I was gonna do, they all immediately volunteered to make food and join me and offered up their apartments for the occasion. They truly make me feel like I’m at home when I’m with them and I love them all more than I can express.

So, there you have it. Even though I didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving with my family this year, I still have so much in my life to be thankful for.

God is good.

Memories to last a lifetime

I feel it’s time to follow that last sappy post up. With another sappy post. But in the opposite way. So, here goes.

I’ve been in Paris for seven weeks now. And I have to say that I’ve met some absolutely wonderful, beautiful, stunning and kind people. I have to start this post off with my first two friends in Paris and talk about how super duper cool they are.

Picture me, sitting in my apartment one night when I get a text from a random number addressing me by my first name and everything, asking me to lunch. I’d been in Paris for like two weeks at this point and hadn’t really met people yet so imagine my surprise and intrigue at this text. The person(s) sending said text were Aimi and Julia. These two ladies were best friends with the previous au pair to my family and had my number from her and decided to reach out to me and welcome me into the city.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

So, I text back and tell Julia that I love bagels and she proceeds to find a DELICIOUS bagel place called, “Bagels and Brownies,” that I’m just obsessed with now. We went to lunch at the Luxembourg Garden and ate on the grass and this chick made me feel so welcome in a city I was feeling so lonely in. She and Aimi reached out to me (quite creepily in an awesome and weird way, I might add) and I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done already – listening to me complain, directing me throughout the city, calming me down during stuck-in-an-elevator-panic-attacks. They’re great. And I found out later on that before sending me that first text, they had debated it for a while and eventually decided on being creepy and not caring to send some random girl a random text out of the blue. And thank goodness that they did.

Julia and Aimi introduced me to some of the most wonderful girls I’ve met in my life. Just tonight, some of us had a dinner party at Aimi’s with home cooked food (thanks Aimi and Gemma) and homemade desserts (even homemade crusts, thanks Julia). It was soooo good and the company was terrific. These girls are teaching me so much about the world and life and for instance about the fact that I’m apparently “incredibly American.” Whatever that means.. Just kidding, I know exactly what it means. These girls are from all over – Wales, England, Ireland, New Zealand, America. Just everywhere. I’m learning so much from them and I’m so grateful for this experience.

Also I love the way they talk.

I find myself speaking with a terrible, fake British accent after being around them for extended periods of time and they just deal with it. And for that I love them.

I’ve made so many memories already after this short time and can’t wait for the numerous more with them. This experience has already been life changing and though it gets tough at times, I wouldn’t change a thing about this choice I made and the year I’m spending in Paris. After all, I’m living out a dream.

Nobody said it’d be easy.

Well. I’m finally ready to admit it (although those close to me already hear this constantly). I miss home. Like reeeally bad. I knew it’d be a struggle to move an ocean away from everyone I love but I never imagined it’d be this hard. Don’t get me wrong, I love Paris and don’t wish to change a thing – I just need to get a few things off my chest.

I think I’m going through the first wave of homesickness that I knew would come. And I’ve been going through it for quite a bit now. I constantly find myself thinking of home, questioning my reasoning for being here and missing my family.. Like A LOT.

I miss everyone so much.

Let’s start small. And by that I literally mean “small.” Right before I boarded my flight to France, my cousin Kourtni had her first baby. A precious little girl. I’m watching her grow her first year through Facebook and social media and that crushes me. Because anyone who knows me knows that I ADORE the three babies in my life. Like I’d give my life for them I love them so much. So you can understand why it kills me to be so far away for this little one’s first year of life. Especially considering that I was sick when we visited her in the hospital and I didn’t get to hold her but once before I left. And then there are my two babies. Not literally mine, I didn’t birth them, but I’d claim them as my own. Abagail and Aliveia have been the highlights of my life since Abagail was born 6.5 years ago. I try to FaceTime them as often as possible but it’s just not the same as real cuddles and kisses. It does help though that my Momma told me Aliveia (2) has been asking about me: “Where’s Megan?” “Megan come?” “Call Megan.” So obviously they do and it makes my day to see those little faces on my iPhone screen.IMG_4910

I also miss my best friends whom I talk to (almost) daily. I miss them so dang much. I miss having someone to regularly go on El Mags dates with. I miss having someone to tell me it’s okay to eat that ten pound second round plate of HuHot that I just brought back to the table. I miss having someone to sneak into movies with. I miss margaritas every Thursday. I miss all the little things. And texting just doesn’t do all of their awesomeness justice. Even though most of them tend to blow my phone up daily – it’s just not even nearly enough. And it pains me to say this but I can feel some slipping away from me and becoming distant and that honestly breaks my heart. It’s so hard to lose a relationship when you’re so far away. It’s heartbreaking, honestly.

But most of all I miss my parents and baby brother. Man, I honestly never thought I’d miss fighting with someone so annoying so much. But I miss all the little spats with my kid bro. And I miss our frequent sibling movie dates. And I miss having someone to rescue me when I need help in the middle of the night. That kid may drive me crazy but I love him to the ends of the earth and can’t wait to punch him again. And my Daddy. Our song came on my iTunes yesterday and usually it’s too sad and deep (I know, I know) for me to listen to so I skip it so I can stay peppy and happy. IMG_4663But yesterday I listened to the whole thing and just cried. That man is my superhero and I miss him so much. He must miss me too because he FINALLY got with it and bought himself a smartphone so that he could actually communicate with me while I’m here. Now we text and Skype regularly and it still makes me chuckle to see his big smiling face excitedly say, “Hey Sweetie!” literally every time that he answers. Warms my heart. And anyone who knows me knows that my Momma and I are inseparable. Like really. She is my rock and what gets me through every tough situation. I miss her more than words can describe and what breaks my heart the most about this is that I broke her heart by leaving. I know everyone will roll their eyes and be like, “It’s just one year, chill.” But this one year of separation between my Mom and I is like an eternity to anyone else. I hate the fact that I don’t get to go on Walmart trips with her. I hate the fact that I can’t surprise her at the front door with a visit. I hate that I don’t get to interrupt her work day with a visit. Honestly it’s all of the little things.

I know my parents will be crazy upset after reading this post but I just had to  finally get it all off my chest. And now that I have, I feel loads better. And I do have to say that this experience has taught me that I can never live halfway across the world from everyone ever again. I don’t plan to live in Missouri again, but I do plan to live my life in the US.

Although I miss home tremendously, I love this dazzling life that I’m living in Paris. It’s beautiful and filled with awe and it’s truly an adventure I never thought I’d actually get to go on when I started dreaming about it in 6th grade. I’m cherishing every moment and living out a dream. I’ve made new lifelong friends, explored weird places and eaten such fattening food. OH! And drank lots of wine. It’s safe to say that I love my life. You just gotta let some things off your chest sometimes. And now that I have..IMG_4887

OH LOOK. The mom just brought me home a baguette. I’ve been hoping for one for two days this week now. And now that I finally have one, all is right with the world. And you bet your booty that I’m about to eat the entire thing. With butter. Go ahead, judge.

Missing Home

Going off of that last post, I’ve come to realize just how much I miss home. So, here’s a list of the Top Ten Things Megan Misses From America:

1) Mom, Dad, Bro, Grandparents, Babies

IMG_4760 2) REAL milk

3) Mexican food

4) My lovely besties

IMG_3963 IMG_4884 IMG_4988 IMG_4811 IMG_3820 IMG_3063 5) My car

6) Yoga pants

7) My church

8) Pancheros/HuHot

9) Being able to walk around without being harassed at every corner

10) ElliottIMG_4863

Disclaimer: These are in NO particular order except for the first bullet point.

LOVE YOU ALL.. don’t forget about me while I’m gone.

Star Wars Audition

Currently I am en route to Chicago to audition for Star Wars Episode VII. Man, I gotta say that I love this life I live. If I had one piece of advice to give to people, it would be to take advantage of every opportunity handed to you. And if there isn’t an opportunity, make your own. I promise, life is full of adventure, my life is testimony to that.

I found out about this audition a couple days ago and immediately cleared my schedule to get to it. Shout out to my coworkers for making this possible for me by covering my shifts. Side note: I work with the most amazing people. I love each and every one of them and it’s true what they say about Olive Garden, “When you’re here, you’re family.” I love those guys so stinkin’ much. Anyway.. Back on topic..

This audition. I know that there is literally no chance I’ll be cast, seeing as how they’re casting for one role and I’m sure 87 gajillion people are going to audition. But! I also know that it’s the experience and adventure that really matter. It’s the ability and courage to take advantage of what’s placed in front of you. And it’s the amazing friends who are just as crazy as you, who will drop anything and everything for you to road trip six hours in the middle of the week last minute to be there and hold your hand while you conquer the world. That’s who Caitie is to me. As she sits next to me right now singing at the top of her lungs, I’m not sure if she’ll ever know how grateful and blessed I am to have her in my life. She’s been there for all the best memories I’ve made in college. If I hadn’t met this girl, I wouldn’t have some of the best memories I’ve made in my life.

There’s a crazy world out there just waiting to be explored. So go out there and do it.

Leaving Home Behind

IMG_1502Well, this is it. It’s my last night in this wonderful country that I’ve come to love with all of my heart. Tomorrow morning I’ll be leaving my home behind and a piece of my heart. This has been the most wonderful summer of my life and I hate to see it come to an end but all good things must come to an end. So, as I sit here with tears in my eyes, I recall all the amazing memories that I’ve made throughout this time.IMG_1494

This city has become my home and even though I know I’ll return one day soon, I hate to say goodbye. Everywhere I look, memories surround me. Starting with this wonderful family that took me in as their own for the summer, I can’t say how grateful I am to them. I look at the girls as my own sisters now and know that we’ll always be family. I love this house and how beautiful it is when I look outside. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to spend this time and don’t want to think about leaving it.

The relationships that I’ve established here are for a lifetime. I’ve found some of my best friends in the entire world and now that I have them, I can’t imagine life without them. God truly blessed this trip for me and I am so thankful to Him.IMG_1426

Austin, Austin, Austin. Austin is such an amazing guy and I love how close we became. We fought and bickered constantly but the kid is great for dealing with 19 females for the entirety of the summer without another male to help soothe the pain. You have to give him props. That’s pretty spectacular. He didn’t even kill any of us, which is a plus. Seriously though, my summer wouldn’t have been the same without him here to spend time with and eat lunch with and have hold my things for me while I was shopping and listen to me ramble about Johnny Depp and take care of me when I was down. I love that kid and know that he’ll go incredibly far in life. He’s going to be the world’s most renowned anesthesiologist, I know it.1010055_10152045606817564_101705474_n

And now for mon petit oiseau. Man, oh man, do I love my little Aubs. She is one of my favorite people in the entire world. Who knows what would have happened to me if she hadn’t been on this trip to keep me calm when I needed to vent or to take care of me. Literally. I can recall a night when I wouldn’t have lived through it if she hadn’t been there to get me through it. Honestly, I’m being for real people. I already miss our movie nights with horrible wifi that stopped us from always completely watching a movie and our dinner nights where I would cook for her and our multiple conversations about beautiful Frenchmen. Well.. MY conversations about beautiful Frenchmen and her listening of the conversation. I really like Frenchmen…But anyway…Auburn is my soul mate. We’re exactly alike. So much so that it’s scary. So, she’s my soul mate. End of story.

I’ve made a lifetime full of memories this summer and can’t wait to come back one day. I met some friends whom I don’t want to leave behind. Tasted food that will forever haunt me. Tasted food that will I forever crave. Explored ancient ruins. Experienced the best nightlife ever. Became addicted to macaroons. Became addicted to quiche. Became addicted to wine. Became addicted to hamburgers and rice. Became addicted to basically everything here. Tried everything new. Came to know and love a world outside of my own.IMG_1520

I found myself. I fell in love with a part of the world that I never thought I’d see. And I had the absolute best summer of my life.

To all of you back home, I’ll see you soon. To all of you on your way home already, I’ll see you later. To France, I love you and I’ll return one day soon.

Bastille Day

Yesterday I was able to celebrate Bastille Day here in Lyon with some amazing friends.

I spent the evening in town watching fireworks explode over an ancient basilica and it was breathtaking.IMG_1491

My time here in Lyon is coming to a close and I can’t believe it…but I’ll save that for another time.