Thursday, 28 November 2013

Joyeux Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving !

I know everyone and their mother are posting pictures of their food and decorations.

 I thought I'd join in the fun !  Why not, right?

[story behind the above photo : Tonio gave me the idea to use the tilt-shift effect to make it "pinteresting" - I love that my man can appreciate my love for the domestic and for pinterest.]

 Tonio's name card : "I'm thankful for..."

 Table for 6.

 Seb, you were missed.  I set a place for you just in case ;)

 My Uncle Rob and Aunt Cricri.

 My beau-père and belle-mère.

 Always proud to be by this guy's side.

 I see you through the peephole...

 ...Come on in !

 I think I'm most proud of this little decoration treasure.... HAHA !

 The Line-Up.  Bon Appétit !!!

 Happy belly.

 And the reason for being thankful... the family God has given me over here in France.

 Pies : "tarte aux pommes" by Pierre, pumpkin pie by me.

Dessert.  La fin des photos.

I've tried to write this last paragraph for about 30 minutes... type, delete, type, delete...

How does one express their thankful heart?  I almost have tears in my eyes right now.  
I'm thankful for Tonio, the man who loves me as Christ loves the church, 
the one who sacrifices so much to make me feel like a princess and to treat me as one, 
the man who expanded my world introducing me to a country and a language that I now love deeply, 
the man who will do anything to help me stay close to my family I love and miss so dearly,
the man with whom I will have so many more adventures !!! 

I love him.  And I'm thankful.

Love Linz

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


wild boars

j'ai vu 2 petits bébés samedi dernier
i saw 2 small babies last saturday
 normalement, ils ne sont pas si proche de la mer
normally, they're not this close to the sea

les petites joies quand je fais des rollers
the little joys when i roller blade

je pense qu'ils ont dit à leur maman, "salut, on va se promener... à plus tard."
i think they told their mom, "bye, we're going to go for a walk... see you later."

en ce moment j'ai des cuisses de dinde au four - on prépare pour Thanksgiving !
right now i have turkey thighs in the oven - we're getting ready for Thanksgiving !

Love Linz

Friday, 22 November 2013

not sure what to title this

Monday - Friday in photos...

 "titre de séjour" renewal (again) - we {heart} paperwork...sarcastic tone very much implied ;)*

selling stuff on France's "craig's list" - my job : clean off sticker gunk

greeeeeeeeeen smoothies : orange juice, banana, avocado, cabbage, kale... bam !

 doing my treasury duties... working the books for the church's cultural association

mug shots... haha !

*side note on paperwork : Today, Tonio and I braved, once again, France's immigration office.  My compassion for foreigners grew while squished like cattle in that waiting room for our number to be called... 2032.  I thought it would take all day.  Of course it didn't.

3 1/2 hours later, our number is called, we walk to "guichet 8" and sit down in front of the woman who has the potential to make our lives very difficult or simply accept our paperwork.  She accepts.  Now we wait for a reply in the mail.  We are thankful.  She is just hurrying to go on her lunch break.

There's a story in the Bible, in the book of Luke, that talks about a foreigner.  Ten lepers ask Jesus to heal them of leprosy.  He does.  They are stoked and go on there merry way... except one.

One returns, a foreigner

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.

He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked,
"Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?
Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?"

Then he said to him,
“Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

I'm not saying I'm this foreigner.  I'm not saying you are.  I'm just wondering if I'm patting myself on the back for "my" efforts or "my" victories.  When, in reality, I should be giving glory to the One who is worthy of ALL GLORY, PRAISE and HONOR...  Jesus not only cleansed the lepers, but he made the one who came back WELL.

I like this foreigner's heart.  I'd like to be like that thankful to God for cleansing me and making me well.  What about you?

Thanks for reading {it was a long one}
Love Linz

[passage taken from Luke 17:15-19]

Saturday, 16 November 2013

daily life kind of stuff

It's fun to share photos like the ones we took in Cinque Terre,
but it's also nice to just share some everyday ones...

I like to read Oswald Chambers' devotional along with my Bible.
He often stresses the importance of our reactions in the mundane, the ordinary, the everyday...

Voilà, four poorly lit, somewhat blurry glimpses into our reality this week:
We've had a roommate for almost 6 weeks, unplanned, longer than expected, but it was his birthday on Tuesday, and we wanted to bless him.  He's far from home, moved to France for a year to serve at Calvary Chapel Nice, and birthdays are just not as fun away from friends and family.  So, I went balloon crazy.  He thanked us.  I hope it made his day a bit better.  He moved out later in the week to another home.  We miss him, but it is nice to just be the Monsieur and Madame at home again ;)

My amazing husband is a gifted teacher.  I love listening to him teach the Bible.  We are studying the book of Mark.  Wednesday night, he took us on a "journey" following the path of Jesus.  I must say, Jesus was probably in pretty great shape for how much walking He did !

 And this was last night, watching the France vs. Ukraine World Cup qualifying match.  France lost 0-2.  Now, they have to win against the Ukraine on Tuesday night by at least 3 points... let's just say we might not see France in the World Cup in 2014.  Who knows, they could surprise us on Tuesday ! [pictured: Rodhlann, Andrew, Nathaniel, Tonio, Livia, and me below]

Maybe this quote will encourage you, as it did me:

"We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life— those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life, and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength." 
-Oswald Chambers (October 1st)

I hope you can find your stamina and strength is the One who never runs out of either !

Love Linz

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Cinque Terre

surprise !!!

my incredible husband planned a surprise trip for our 3rd anniversary
i knew we were going 'somewhere', but didn't know where

once the GPS showed a steady line along the italian coast, i knew...

Cinque Terre !!!


La Spezia

Riomaggiore (our home base, not too shabby)

view from our balcony // picture of our room

Manarola (our favorite)

rock man? // yes, i used a "vivid color" setting - bam !

Monterosso al Mare

windy? yes, it was

La randonée entre Monterosso et Vernazza

Vernazza (most well-known)


Riomaggiore (encore)

our hotel is just left of the center of the photo // driving away... arrivederci !

a much-needed get-away...
in my daydreams, i'll be here often

thankful for my husband, for our life together, 
for the opportunity to travel, for our good God who loves us,
and for a tiny break from our fairly crazy reality

Love Linz