Paris, je t’aime


An Exposition on Why How Much I Love Paris.

I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but I do know that for as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with French culture. I loved the sounds of the language, the look of the pictures of food I saw in the copy of “Culinaria: European Specialties” my parents gifted me for my 10th birthday (it has survived the decades and a multi-state move to now sit on my bookshelf – I still pull it out and pour over it!), and the allure of the art, history, and culture. I can’t say what it is about France, and Paris in particular, that captures the hearts and minds of so many.

As I grew older, my passion only grew. In my high school, where many spoke Spanish, I insisted on taking French all 4 years. It was never a question of ‘if,’ just of when I would ever get to visit Paris for myself and after adding French as a minor to my undergraduate business degree, I got to study abroad in 2009 and finally get to experience the country I’d loved from afar for myself. It was magical (you can travel back in time to college Em’s adventures here).

I’ve been back to France a few times and continue to love it (and would move there in a heartbeat if I could!). I incorporate as much of it into my life as I can – from decor, to books (currently: this and that), to my cooking (coq au vin mmmmm), to my music, to the blogs I read, to the memberships I have, and the restaurants I frequent.

To this day I can’t tell you why I have this passion except to say that it must be something God has placed on my heart. Can I hear an ‘Amen’?!

30 Before 30


A List of ‘To-Do-Before-Turning-30’ Items.

  1. Read the Bible cover-to-cover
  2. Eat at Alinea / visit Chicago
  3. Roll out new blog and do minimum 1 post per month
  4. Become conversationally fluent in French again
  5. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
  6. Become an expert on the Belle Epoque (all the great artists, musicians, and thinkers of the day)
  7. Try a speed-dating session for fun
  8. Do 10 body weight pull-ups
  9. Go to Pentatonix Concert
  10. Take a cooking class – knife skills
  11. Go do paintball!
  12. Go to Central or South America (pick country later)
  13. Do a color run
  14. Mission trip to Haiti
  15. Try eating bugs
  16. Read 1 book per month
  17. Revamp my wardrobe – BE AN ADULT
  18. Become an amateur cheese connoisseur
  19. Meet with one professional / social networking person per month
  20. Have a professional portrait session (Abigail)
  21. Learn to drive stick shift
  22. Have one real spa experience (mud path, hot stone massage, etc.)
  23. Visit gun range (maybe get gun permit)
  24. Find a way to creatively display my postcards and mementos from trips
  25. Pay off student loans
  26. Go to Colorado to visit Sheila and San Franciso to visit Chessa
  27. Get TSA Pre√ – no more lines for me!!
  28. No soda for a year
  29. Watch one classic movie per month: Casablanca, The Sandlot, National Lampoon, Some Like It Hot, The Big Lebowski, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Graduate, Clockwork Orange, Fiddler on the Roof, The Breakfast Club, The Goonies, Stand By Me
  30. Throw an epic 30th birthday party