I descend the overgrown steps in my wellies and marvel at how sweaty I am considering the overcast day. We cross a little wooden footbridge and over the style into the farmer’s field and I watch my big boys race with their friends to the opposite side while the sheep scatter. It’s postcard perfect English countryside and I’m on another weekend walk with my friends. I’m quite sure this may be the perfect way to spend a Saturday. A walk through the countryside ending, of course, with a pint at the pub. Then we all converge on the designated house and tuck in to curry complete with too much wine, much laughter, and talking until late into the night.
I celebrated a quintessentially English 33rd birthday yesterday. Surrounded by good friends, my baby sister, and my four men.
A year ago today I was on a train through the beautiful French countryside. It was one of my favorite Caid moments. We were sitting on the train platform in Avignon, France. Some young blonde backpackers near us were speaking a language neither Scott nor I recognized. We were discussing what it might be when Caid very adamantly declared, “I know what it is! Vegetarian!” Scott and I died laughing! Several minutes later Caid asked, “What is ‘veg’?” Thinking he meant the newly learned British translation of a common word I answered, “vegetables.” “A country, called ‘Vegetable’ Mom? I don’t think so.” was his incredulous reply. We howled.
It was a wonderful birthday week. We dropped Bridger and Caid with Travis and Keri in Arles, France, and Scott and I spent several days celebrating our 11 year anniversary by ourselves in Antibes. We visited the local Farmer’s Market and swam in the salt-water pool every day. We took walks. We ate amazing meals at tiny restaurants. It was so fun. Then we reunited with the fellas and the Baars and went swimming and cliff jumping at a gorgeous river beneath a old Roman aqueduct—The Pont du Gard. We ate birthday dinner in the middle of the town square beneath twinkly lights and I even drank just a tiny bit of wine on account of my first trimester pregnancy. It was delicious. Memorable. Hilarious. Relaxing.
We returned home and thus began one of the most intense years of my life.
I thought I’d give myself the next few weeks to sort through the memories a bit. Mind if I share a few of them with you? What were you doing a year ago today?