Friday, May 6, 2011

A Year in Review

It's hard to believe that an entire year has gone by since our last posting on the blog. It is not that we have forgotten. In fact, we have started numerous posts over the last year. But, time and energy and life got in the way, I guess.

But, with Baby Boy Raymond #2 expected to make his arrival into this world in a few weeks (American due date 6/21, French due date 6/28), I think it's time to return to the world of blogging to record for him, as we did for Owen, our family's adventures during their early lives.

Here is a quick run-down of the past year. There are some specific topics, many related to the cultural differences we have encountered during our experience with trying to conceive and pregnancy that deserve more attention and I will update these in greater detail later. But for starters:

May 2010 saw Sean's frisbee team win Division 3 of the French National League. Owen and I also took a trip to Paris to meet our good friends Astrid and Lena for a mommy & me adventure. Soon after, Bordeaux was bathed in sun and our house was filled with visitors. The Raymonds, the Wests, the NY Uncles and the Zahlers, all came to enjoy the vistas, food, and wine of Bordeaux. There are too many fabulous photos to post here so I will be posting them to Picasa and I'll update this page with the link. Unfortunately, we have had a computer failure in the interim so I have to retrieve the photos from the external hard drive before I can upload them.

Summer was also an opportunity to make new friends and enjoy the excitement of the Tour de France which passed thru Bordeaux in late July. We also did our own fair share of travelling, enjoying the benefits of the French labor laws (and 6 weeks of vacation a year!). We spent a week camping in the Pays Basque. We also spent a month in the US on our own tour visiting family and friends.

Fall of 2010 brought more visitors, namely, the Krasnoos (Sean's high school friend and his bride) and the Matts (graduate school friends who recently moved near Paris). We also travelled a bunch in the fall: a relaxing trip to Anglet, near Biarritz. Well, relaxing for me and Owen who got to spend the days hanging out on the beach of a beautiful resort while Sean was at a conference. Then a true family vacation to Milan for a long weekend. Fall also brought the exciting news of my pregnancy almost six months to the day after my loss.

Sadly, October 2010 also brought with it some sadness. My uncle Max passed away after a 2 year battle with cancer. I flew to Florida to be with my family for the funeral. Max was an amazing person and a true renaissance man. He is greatly missed.

NYC 1979

my Bat Mitzvah 1989

NYC 2008

Antwerp 2010

As the weather turned colder, we continued to adjust to life in France with our Raymond Halloween and Raymond Thanksgiving events. These are sure to become annual events as we had so much fun sharing these traditions with our French and ex-pat friends alike. And, of course, cold weather also means utter holiday and birthday chaos in the Raymond household. This year we had Hanukah, Escalade, Christmas, Owen's birthday, and my birthday all within 5 weeks. Our house was filled with chocolate, cake, and wrapping paper! And, for the week between Christmas and New Years, Nan and Pip came to visit again.

As the snow started to fall (yes, we may be in Southern France but we do get snow), we decided to take Owen to the mountains to try skiing. He loved it and was a true natural. Next year he'll be old enough and fluent enough to go to ski school so I'm sure we'll be making loads more trips to the mountains! We also celebrated my birthday by going to Portugal to meet Grandpa and Vovo. Owen is still talking about the zoo in Lisbon and the aquarium in Porto. :)

And, of course, now we are well into Spring and still trying to learn to take our life on the ex-pat planet day by day. We have registered Owen to start French school in the fall, are preparing for the new arrival, are continuing to meet lots of friends, and generally trying to laugh about the WTF (Welcome To France) moments instead of letting them spoil our mood.

We lost another wonderful member of the family a few weeks ago. Sean's grandmother, Mim, passed away at age 90. She was a kind and loving person and is also greatly missed.

Maine 2008

Maine 2009

Upstate NY 2010

Well, this post is long, my brain is tired, and Owen's nap will be over soon. As I said, we will try to be more diligent about keeping the blog updated, especially as Elmo Panda Bear Balthazar Raymond (as Owen would like to call his little brother) makes his appearance.

A bientôt!


  1. You looked a lot like Owen as a baby. I did a double take because I thought that first picture was him.

  2. It's nice to have you back in blogland, Marisa! Hope you are doing well, and can't wait to hear about all your adventures when the newest Raymond arrives :-) Hugs to you, Sean and Owen from us!

  3. Aw I'm so glad you're blogging again... I love this family chronology!

  4. Marisa -

    I've just discovered your blog! I've been looking for someone who lives in Bordeaux (as I will be there next year) to include in a photo project I am doing. You can find more details here: I'm sorry to send you the info this way but I can't find an email for you! Email me at miscarriagediaries at gmail dot com if you are interested in more details. You can see some of the photos here:

    Congrats on your son and baby boy #2!

    Again, my apologies for sending this this way!