Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas


To all my fabulous, wonderful, blog friends...









Have a wonderful, merry, heartfelt Christmas, and a wonderful start to the New Year.

On behalf of Scott, he would like to say Thank You for all the incredible comments, prayers, and thoughts that have been sent his way. They mean a lot.

Check you next year!

~Teri

Almost forgot... wanted to send a few snowy pictures a friend of ours took while in Paris 2 weeks ago.







Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons...


This week Scott and I had to go to Orlando for two days of tests.  We thought about driving back and forth, but the first appt was at 6:45am, so instead of driving and hour and a half, my thought was "HOTEL"... so we booked a room near the medical center for two nights, and decided to turn it into a mini-vacation.

Orlando... sometimes I don't give that town any credit other than a town built around Disney.  We rarely drive past the Disney exits... we enter that magical area... and as they so cleverly designed it, we never have to leave.  The memories of my kids growing up going there year after year, many times a year (season pass) have made life all the richer.

So... now we were venturing into Orlando, the city. Our hotel, of course, was near another theme park... Sea World.  All the hotels are so themed, so we were treated to a 1950's style hotel with aquas and yellows and polka dots.  It was really cute.  Big flatscreen TV's were everywhere, with very calming videos of sea creatures swimming slowly by.  Here is the pool area... told you everything in this town is themed...

The first night, as we parked in the lot, we were treated to the Sea World nightly fireworks show just over the fence.

I did some research before we left, and did I have a surprise for Scott.  The first night we drove to Winter Park (a suburb) and went to a restaurant called The Paris Bistro on Park Avenue.... need I say more?  It was FABULOUS.  I ordered Bistro Salad and Cunard Aux Peches (although I chose the cherry sauce), and Scott ordered Onion Soup and Lapin Aux Pruneaux.  Both dishes were fantastic.  I was too embarrassed to take a picture of our food like I do in Paris, but I have to say, the meal was as good as anything we've had there.  Here are a few shots I took from outside the restaurant...


You walked along here to the restaurant entrance.





If you look closely, you can see the red velvet banquets, and the gold and red toile wall paper... tres chic!  If you are ever in Orlando... be sure to give this place a try. It is in the middle of a very upscale shopping area.

Speaking of shopping... it's not my favorite thing to do, especially malls... but the following day, it was so blasted cold (seriously...it was 25 degrees that morning) that we decided to try out Mall of Millenia after his appt that morning. 


 As far as malls go, this one is TOPS.  It's really open and airy and beautiful... pristine bathrooms and public areas, and the most whimsical Christmas decorations I've ever seen.  Scott allowed me to shop for my Christmas presents from him, so that did make it a little tolerable.  Yes, there was a Louis Vuitton store, and I swear that man would have sprung for one, but I had set a budget for Christmas, which was light years from the price of that purse, but it was absolutely gorgeous in person and so sleek to the hand!

Even though Scott would have bought it, I am the sensible one, and instead chose this little number...




 The Cuisinart Griddler. As you can see, it can be a panini press, a half grill/half griddle, or full grill/full griddle... and bonus, the heating plates go in the dishwasher!

We leisurely walked the mall, stopped for coffee and walked again.  For dinner we went to Brio Tuscan Grille... we weren't expecting much for a mall restaurant, but we were blown away by the food.  Again, a meal we will remember.  I had crab and shrimp cakes, and Scott had grilled salmon over angel hair pasta.  YUM.

So we had a wonderful few days of eating and shopping.  A time that could have been depressing and ugly, was actually a lot of fun. Hope you've enjoyed this impromptu tour of Orlando.

To coin a phrase... when Life Gives you Lemons...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oh, that Blue Box!

Hope this finds everyone having a wonderful Christmas season.... I know I am!  I felt the need this year to keep it simple, plan ahead, and get it all done early.  As of today, I am totally finished shopping, wrapping, and decorating.  I've never been this organized, and I have to say, it has really made this time of year more fun.  Almost all the gifts I bought are in a particular theme, which has made it so creative.  I have not agonized this year over the "perfect gift" but instead, bought what I liked, with the person in mind, and moved on from there.  Simple, easy, stress free.

Now speaking of gifts... I told you all a few posts ago, that I would share my Tiffany moment with you... so here we go...

Back in the summer, I went to the beach with a group of girls that I hang with. We all frequent the same beach, about an hour from where we all live, where a friend has a beach house she rents out.  This particular week, we all had kids and husbands in tow.  Fun, but... well... we all decided to plan a girl's weekend for the end of October... no kids, no husbands.



About two weeks before the weekend, is when we found out that Scott's cancer was back. At this point, I considered canceling, but decided just to show up if I could.  As I shared before, this was really hard news to take.  This is the time which I was Googling every minute of everyday, spending time on the phone, and in the library.  I had massive headaches everyday as well.  Scott knew this was stressing me out, but that's just life sometimes.  He insisted I go to the beach, and not Google or read anything about cancer while I was there.  I went, planning to come home after two days.  I felt bad leaving him.

Well... once I was at the beach, it was SO relaxing, and beautiful, and fun.  On the third day, I knew I should head home, but as sunset was imminent, and I was sitting in my beach chair with sand between my toes, sans headache, I called Scott from my cell, and told him I was staying until Sunday... was that okay???? "Sure" he said, but deep down, I knew he wanted me HOME.

An hour or so later, I got a text from my oldest daughter, that said, "Why is there a blue Tiffany bag hanging from the light in the breakfast room?"  

WHAT???????  I read this text to my friends, and we had no idea what to make of it.  I didn't dare mention it to Scott, because if there really was a bag there, he would kill my daughter for telling me!

I stewed about this all evening and night and into the next day.  I felt TERRIBLE that I didn't go home as planned, especially since there was obviously a gift waiting for me.

So Sunday afternoon, I walked in to a perfectly clean house, lunch ready and waiting, and a Tiffany bag hanging right over the table.  I "acted" surprised... and let me tell you, I'm a terrible actor.  

The bag was empty!!!  Well... it had a card inside with a clue to the blue box... like a scavenger hunt.  From that box, was another clue, to another blue box.  I know he really wanted to show me how much he appreciated all the support.  SO sweet!


Later, I of course had to admit that I knew about the bag.  He said, "I know... I told Meagan to text you that, just so you'd worry about it all night!"  Can you even believe that????   I knew he wanted me home :).

Inside the first box was a sterling silver band, that had I Love You printed all the way around.  The second box had the matching bracelet.  I wear them both every, single day.  Simple, elegant, perfect!

***************************************
One of my goals during this whole ordeal, has been to de-stress Scott's life as much as possible.  Last night was perfect.  He came home to cajun bean soup in the crock pot, an open bottle of red wine, (Dr. orders...did I mention Scott loves his new Dr ;), candles lit, and music playing... it was wonderful. 


Take time this season to be intentional...if you don't, the season will pass you by, and you'll wonder where the magic went.  In our family, we are all getting together on Thursday nights throughout the holidays, and having game night.  I have also planned a Christmas Tea for my daughters, granddaughter, and mom.  I am even going to decorate cookies, something I usually decide is too much trouble, and too messy.  This year, I feel free to do this, because I am not stressed. 

Now finish up your shopping, keep it simple, and enjoy... 

Teri's orders!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Best Things In Life Are Free!



Hope you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving...
Indulge me for a moment please...
just a few :)


 The newest grandchild... Luke, 5 months old, with Poppy.







Leila came over to cook with Gigi... I wonder where her apron came from????







 Concentration!










 This photo explains so much...




Oh no... like father, like daughter! 




 Cute smiles!


video
Here is most of the gang playing Bananagrams...we give Leila a few tiles, and as soon as she gets them in a perfect line...well, she wins!

Hope you had an awesome time of food and family this Thanksgiving!

~Teri

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Update



So... I'm finally ready to give you all an update on our lives.  It's so weird how life can change so quickly.  I'm breaking my 2 min. post rule... you've been warned.

I decided when I started this blog it was just to talk about Paris, and to hopefully be uplifting and inspiring in whatever way comes out.  I also decided I would stay away from the big two... R and P (religion and politics).  I promise I won't get into politics... there's enough of that on TV already... and I won't get into religion.  Religion is just a preference... as in "what religion are you?"  But what I cannot even begin to get away from is telling you how God has worked in our lives thus far... with this very unexpected turn of events.  Talk about inspiring!!!!!!

Scott was diagnosed over 2 years ago with prostate cancer... did the treatment... done deal... glad that's over. 

 But here we sit, with a reoccurrence.  Hold on there missy... this is not the special club I wanted an invitation to.  I wanted to be in the "I beat cancer and never heard another peep from it again" club! But that was not to be. 

So we decided to go the second opinion route, after all, the first treatment certainly didn't cure him.  We had a long phone consultation with a new doctor Monday night, after he reviewed all of Scott's records, biopsies, tests, labs, etc.  The news was not good. In his exact words... 
"This is Scott's last ditch effort.  We need to throw everything we've got at this." 
 Oh, and how about this one, 
"I feel certain this cancer has spread in microscopic amounts."

HOW'S THAT???? What do you even do with that?  He wasn't alarming in his presentation, just honest.  Well... you can only imagine the conversation we had that night!  It was more than upsetting.  I went to bed in a fog and woke up in a fog.  I couldn't pray at all, and hadn't been able to in a couple weeks really.  There were just no words, and I felt like my Heavenly Father was a million miles away.  Feelings can be quite deceiving!  It wasn't that I thought He really abandoned me, my faith told me that would never happen, but it FELT like I couldn't communicate like I always had.  I wasn't angry or mad... just confused and sad beyond anything I had ever experienced.

For the past few weeks, I have been the absolute Google queen.  Ask me anything about P. cancer... I got my PhD by way of computer (and yes, I only stuck to reputable sites). Some people told me to stop, but for some reason, I couldn't.  I also checked out books from the library.  I was a walking talking encyclopedia of information.  I guess it was my way of coping.


This is the binder I made for all the paperwork...there's another, thicker one for bills and insurance stuff...every cancer patient needs a secretary. My children will laugh at this because I never allowed 'that word' to be said in my house... times change :)

So Tuesday was spent setting up new appointments, verifying insurance, blah, blah, blah. I was mentally exhausted. I woke up Wednesday, still in the fog, and decided to just stop all the research until we see the new Dr. in person. 
 But... there was still more to know... there was mention of a couple drugs Scott might have to go on... must Google side effects... then I'll stop.  "Something" told me to also write down any questions I might have.  If they are down on paper, I wouldn't forget them, and I can sorta quit thinking about them.  So I spent one more hour at the computer.  I wrote down all I found about the drugs and side-effects, wrote down my questions, and closed the notebook.  This would all have to wait until December.  

THEN... miracle... the phone rang.  It was the nurse practitioner at the new office... "Hi Mrs. _______ do you have any questions about anything???"  I had to LAUGH.  Little did she know!  I opened my notebook, and fired away.  By the time we were finished, I felt the weight of the world was off my shoulders.  Seriously... it was amazing.  Can't even describe the timing... how God comes through when you are at such a low point to say, 
"I'm HERE, and I HEAR you."

I called Scott, shared all the concerns we had along with answers, and of course we had to meet for lunch to celebrate.  The cancer was still there, but the road map was set.  We felt so much better.

But there's more... last night Scott went out to get the mail, and there was a package from a complete stranger (sent via a great new friend I have that is going through cancer as we speak).  It was the sweetest thing ever!!! 
 I haven't even had time to write her a note, but I wanted to share what she sent Scott and I...


I just looked up her blog... she's a blogger of course!  Please go by and visit her @

I will be sitting in bed with my Scott's iPad tonight, reading every word.

So... there's my long update.  I have a few blogposts in waiting, and will send them along once or twice a week.  I miss reading your blogs... I'm sure they are much more fun than what I've been reading.  I will get back to commenting soon!

~Teri

P.S. I did not go into specifics about what treatments Scott did or did not do.  Everyone is an individual, and unique.  I never want to influence anyone in what they, or someone they know, should or should not do.  If anyone wants to ask any specific questions, my email is always open!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Paris...Where Did You Go?


Paris seems a millions miles away.  We were just there 5 weeks ago, but it seems like it was five years ago.  I looked at a few of our videos today, and decided to share one quick one with you.  

Paris is a romantic city, and I wanted to leave our mark there during this trip, because for many reasons, I think it might be awhile before we return.  I had read there are 2 bridges that "lovers" put a lock on, as a symbol of their love, and a symbol that they will return to Paris someday.  I hid the lock in my luggage, and explained this to Scott when we got there.  He went along with it... but I could tell his heart wasn't in it... until we got to the bridge.  



I think he enjoyed doing it. You should have seen us picking out the perfect spot. As you can see, many people don't know about the locks, and they tie whatever they have on hand on the bridge. I'm not sure how long the locks stay before they are cut off, but we did it!


video


No news on Scott yet.  Waiting on more tests, and now a second opinion.  All is as it's always been... no symptoms, just an invisible enemy wreaking havoc in our lives.

I will share my thoughts and feelings with you whenever I figure out what they are :). 

Have a blessed day! 
~Teri

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Then and Now


I started this blog over a year ago, and I had no idea what it would come to mean to Scott and I over time.  He loves reading your comments as much as I do.  We feel like we have so  many new friends.  Most of you we will never meet, but no doubt you hold a special place in our hearts.

We found out yesterday, that Scott's cancer is back.  It still seems to be contained, but in light of this news, I truly feel I need to step away from blogging for a bit, not that I'm super consistent anyway.  I have no idea how long I'll take off... maybe a few weeks, maybe longer.  I guess GirlMeetsParis will just pop up one day and surprise you.  I wanted to let you know why I will be MIA, since I've shared about Scott's situation in the past.  

I'm not trying to be over-dramatic, but my creativity seems really stifled... my mind is swirling, but I am at peace. 

I want to leave a few thoughts with you before I sign off for awhile....  Paris gave Scott and I both an incredible gift of opening our minds and our world to other possibilities.  We love Paris sure, but for us it represents so much about change, and growth, and keeping marriage fun and vibrant.  

Here we are in 2006...




Here we are last month...



If your marriage is in the pits... DO SOMETHING, anything, to get it back on track.  Do not take that man for granted under any circumstances.  Remember all he's done for you over the years, remember that he picked YOU out of all the girls he knew, and while he's not perfect... 
well, neither are you :)

A friend sent me this awesome framed art she did for me a few weeks ago.  It symbolizes how I feel, and what I'm hanging on to.  It sits next to my sink.


I actually gave this verse to her years ago, as her family was going through heart issues with one of her children... they are still walking that road.  Life is rough, no doubt, but through it all...

God is in control, and He knows.

I will still be reading your blogs for sure, and will comment when I can... 
now... go give your husband a hug and tell him  how awesome he is!

~Teri


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Flea Market Lovliness


Working on a couple of projects...so we'll do "Paris in Real Time" over the next few posts.

This is the day at The Pig Fair.

We noticed this sign in a few metro stations.

As I've mentioned before, I am not a huge fan of the flea. I find them overwhelming and confusing. However, this flea market was totally manageable and easy to get around. There was no junk so to speak, and there were items in all price ranges. 


There were so many items we wanted, but we weren't prepared mentally or financially to ship stuff home. Everything we bought had to be hand carried on the plane, or put in our luggage... which I think worked in my favor and helped me edit all the things I wanted. One mental note about this market... almost no one spoke English, but that wasn't a problem. The MO (modus operandi) of the day was drawing imaginary numbers on my palm to come up with a fair price. I usually offered 25-30% less (I had read that somewhere) and they almost always agreed.

I would have taken a million pics, but I left my camera card in my iPad at the apartment from when I downloaded the night before! My camera allowed me only 5 shots on it's internal memory, and I was done... almost brought me to tears.  We took a few videos and that was it! 
 These are all very short, I promise.  

video
Getting there...

video
In awe...

video
Just for fun...

video
For Ruth at A Beautiful Life...click here if you 
would like to order a similar bottle rack :)


I've only been to a few flea markets in Paris, so I'm no expert, but if I ever go to Paris again, I would plan my trip around this event, which happens twice a year. It was that good and that fun. Scott even got into it, even though he finds haggling horribly embarrassing...he hung out outside of the stands as I made my offers. In the end he was shocked at my nerve, but excited to be saving money.

Next blog... Food at the Fair... hope you'll check back.

~Teri

Monday, October 11, 2010

An Outfit a Day

Okay ladies... I have TEN minutes to do this post and I'm out the door.  I find it so difficult to reenter my life after being in Paris.  Still adjusting, but wanted to do a quick post.


For some reason... I decided this year to have Scott take a picture of my outfit for each day.  I was thinking that if someone hasn't been to Paris, and they are planning a trip, I wanted them to know they don't have to invest a lot of money in new clothes... unless of course, they want to... in that case... go for it!


I almost always dress in solid, dark colors or white.  Not sure why.  I like to fade into the background.  I always felt appropriate everywhere we went, but then again, we don't hang out in the fancy places :)


So... I feel a little silly now, but without time to plan a lovely post, this will have to do.  I'm already down to 7 minutes!


I knew this wasn't the most flattering, but I love this vest and it was warm!




Scarf... 5€ on the corner.

I swear this was crisp and ironed at the beginning of the day.
This was flea market day.

If you click on the pic you can see these cute flats I bought. 
Everyone wears flats in Paris!

And here we have... drum roll... the Leopard coat!

So... as you can see... only on the LAST day did I take a risk.  I guess Fashion Week and the shop windows got to me.

Will blog again soon.
Teri

P.S.  I'm not MaiTai that's for sure! Her way of dressing is my dream!







Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday In Paris

   
                                   

Au revoir Paris. You never cease to amaze, surprise, and delight me.
Until we meet again...
XXOO


P.S. Got in last night.  Daughter had a blast at homecoming, and she sent pictures to me while we waited for our connection in Chicago.  My parents went so far above and beyond the call taking care of her.  They might sleep for a week now.  My daughter can be quite high maintenance... in a good way! :)


As I walked through the Tampa airport last night, one thought overwhelmed me... 
"Everything is so clean, shiny, spacious, and NEW looking." 


Dog and home are fine.  I have to say... as much as I love Paris...
There's no place like home!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Friday in Paris

                                    

A hodgepodge of a day...can't get into it in detail...yet!

How about... time on our favorite bridge, Pont Alexander...
Dior Fashion Show...
 a scam almost run on me, until Scott said, "No way!" then an hour later, same scam by a different woman...
the Louvre...
George V...
 a late dinner in Montmartre where we laughed until we cried... for NO reason!

I'll explain later...Bon nuit for now...taxi coming early.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thursday in Paris

                                     

Thursday was a long day of wandering...all over St. Germain des Pres. We started at Place Vendome, where Fashion Week was in full swing. We ate a fabulous lunch of steak and pomme frites, and took off walking. We ended up making a purchase...Scott was determined I get a new purse, but instead we found a coat. I've always heard you should use leopard as an accessory. Well, even petite me decided to use it as the whole outfit. Pics to follow. I guess the shop windows got to me. 

We were also walking along and found, quite unexpectedly, some perfume a certain blog friend asked me to pick up for her... we were so surprised, and so excited.  I had written down the perfume in detail, and the shop owner explined it all to us... why we couldn`t find it at Sephora anymore, etc...she was awesome, even with the language barrier!

We walked along the river, looking for the French version of Harry Potter that we saw before, and couldn't find again...sorry Meagan, thought you might like that.  Walked on and on to get my mom something I decided we had to get...then ended up at the Marias along tiny, crooked streets...so French.

One more day...so sad...but I do miss my kids and grandkids a bit! My youngest has Homecoming, which I am missing for the second year in a row, even though we planned our trip around the date. How were we supposed to know she would get invited to Homecoming at a different High School???
 MOM...take pictures please!

We ended the evening near the apt...doing something I said I would do for years...see top photo.

Teri

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photo to go with Paris in Wed. Post

                                                    


Flea Market photo to go with previous blogpost. Here are 3 of my finds. I am so excited. I am NOT a flea market type of gal (yes, I can hear the gasps across America) and this may sound shallow, but as we walked in, I prayed, "Lord, please give me an eye today." I could not be happier!

Have I told you lately how much I love France?
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