Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Big Day

Coming September 1st I know I'll be in major stress mode. You see, although legally hitched, J and I will be getting married at the American Church in Paris surrounded by our family and friends. Although I'm no longer pratiquante, I was raised in the Catholic church and have always dreamed of being married in a white dress, being walked down the aisle by my father, and saying my vows to the one I love before God. I feel like our September 20th ceremony will finally make the marriage official and I am so excited that my friends and family will be able to share in this special occasion. Our 10 minute cérémonie at the Mairie just didn't do it for me!

So with the big day looming ahead, I have a lot of final planning left. Hmm.....there's the meeting with the florist to pick out the flowers for the bouquets and boutonnieres, the finalization of the menu and flower arrangements at our amazing reception site, a meeting with the DJ so we can share our mixed French/American music selection, and the meeting with our French and American officiants so we can finalize the ceremony program. I've also got to pick up our wedding favors, go to my final dress fitting, pay the deposit on the apartment I've rented for my girlfriends, finish my DIY guestbook, and decide on our final headcount so that I can make table numbers and escort cards! Ugh! I never realized a wedding could be so much work! I guess that's why so many people hire wedding planners.

Lucky for me, I get to relax a little before turning into a panicky bridezilla. J and I will be spending the next 7 days in Djerba, Tunisia, with the beaux-parents so excuse-moi if you don't hear from me until September!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A nice change

Today we found out some great news...the offer we made on an apartment was accepted!! It's in the 9ème arrondisement about 3 minutes from Printemps and Les Galleries Lafayette (which might not be the best idea for this shopping addict). However, the quartier is very lively and will be a nice change from the quiet 16ème where we have resided the past 14 months. There is a lot of work to be done in the place but as it was well under our original budget we'll have the funds to renovate the kitchen and the bathroom. My favorite part of the apartment is the séjour: it's shaped like a triangle, allowing lots of light from 7 large windows and a view of the beautiful Église de la Trinité, a church built in the late 17th century as "part of the beautification and reorganization of Paris under Baron Haussman."

If all goes well we should be able to negotiate when we can start les travaux, and hopefully we'll able to move in by December. I can't wait to start fresh and really set up house! Now if I could only find a job.....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Une Journée Chargée

Today was extremely productive.  I got my butt to the gym, checked out several apartments, and tested out a restaurant where we might have our wedding rehearsal dinner.  I never thought being unemployed could be a blessing but on days like this I feel lucky to have so much free time.
Speaking of apartment hunting, I don't know how many shitty apartments you're obligated to look at until you find "the one," but I think I could possibly win a contest.  Today, J and I looked at not one, not two, but SEVEN apartments! The first three were awful, the 4th à réfléchir, and numbers 5-7, definite yeses.  After looking for 2 months I finally feel somewhat hopeful.  I've already accepted the fact that the perfect apartment in Paris (or anywhere for that matter) doesn't exist, that I'll always find at least one défaut.  J and I are very fortunate in the fact that we will be purchasing an apartment and if there are things we don't particularly like we can always do des travaux.  Tomorrow we will be returning to the 9ème arrondisement to revisit and get an opinion from our parents, and hopefully afterwards we'll make a decision and thus an offer.  I don't want to get my hopes up but I'm already imagining the housewarming party we could have!  After more than a year of sharing 30m2 with my significant other, I'm ready for a change.  I think Nala,our cat, is feeling my pain!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

About the Blog

So after several years of stalking other people's blogs I've finally decided to write my own.  When I came home from studying abroad in France in 2005, I couldn't get the country out of my head.  I read French books, watched French movies, and found a way to experience the French "life" while still residing in the reading ex-pat blogs.  Seeing France through the eyes of others gave me an even stronger desire to come back and like many Francophiles, I decided to return to France to work as an English language assistant.  In 2006 I moved to Paris to teach English in two French primary schools and it wasn't long after that I met my (now) French husband.  So here I am, still living in Paris and (still) an ex-pat blog addict.  Only this time I read because I can relate to the challenges of living in a foreign country: getting my Carte de Séjour, the infamous topless medical visit, attempting to find a job that doesn't involve teaching English, trying to find a Paris apartment, etc.  I find comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one, that there are others in similar situations, that we can rant together!  Voilà.