My Photography

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


A couple days before Christmas a group of us drove for an hour through winding little country roads to end up here: 

After our go-karting adventure in Marrakech last October, racecar-driver-at-heart-Othman has been dying to do it again. Surprisingly enough, I was quite excited too! I did much better in Marrakech than I had expected, and also had much more fun than I thought I would. I wanted to see how my skills matched up to family members, instead of the almost-pros that we raced against in October. We suited up and put away our things. (Seeing the "lockers" pictured on the right below I was happy I hadn't brought my nice camera and only could take phone pictures.)

We headed out to the track, which was bigger, and got into the karts, which were more powerful...

And off we went! I ended up spinning out and landing in gravel while trying to lap Othman's little brother on my second to last lap, so I missed out on my last two laps. However, I was very pleased with my end score!!

The winner is determined by their fastest lap, and everyone had no doubt that Othman would win. I thought my brothers were car fanatics growing up, but they're small fry in comparison to my husbandit seems like all his comments while in France or the US are about cars! He has spent countless hours on racing games and knows exactly how to take turns, and is all about technique. I'm quite the opposite, and yet came in second against mostly a bunch of boys! How did I do it? If you look closely at the timesheet below, by far my fastest laps were the second and third (the first was a warm-up)because that was before Othman lost me, and my times were so good because I just did everything he did! 

I was really annoyed with that spin out though, because had I been able to continue I would have gone for 9 laps too. But it was late in the afternoon and quite cold, so even though the boys all went for a second race, I stayed with O's parents and watched, hot tea in hand. Othman improved his score by almost 3 seconds and left a happy man.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Une ballade dans l'après-midi

On Christmas afternoon we all left the house to take a nice long walk. 

The path we followed went around a golf course and had some nice views of castles...

and some lovely scenery full of French flavor.

We even saw some cows who looked at the camera to say cheese!

We had with us a cute little girl who was very active and chatty but took a few moments to pose for me too.

Here are our lovely hosts and guides!

And us too.

It was a wonderful way to end the day!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Le matin de Noël en France

This is our second Christmas in France and it's proving just as lovely as the first. We're staying with Othman's cousin Jessika and her family. Her two daughters are now 7 and almost 5 and we've had so much fun with them this past week! Here's a report of our Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve saw this tray laid out for Santa... a croissant, chocolate milk, a bag of candy and carrots for the reindeer!

The next morning:

A first peek...

Maman had to work on Christmas morning so Santa left a note, thanking the girls for the snacks and telling them to be patient. (The cord blocking off the present area as seen above helped!) He also left out two well-chosen gifts to occupy their time.

But first, breakfast!

So, as a fire roared in the hearth...

we played with stickerbooks!

And very patiently tried to be patient!

And took silly photos with Papa and Othman.

Finally, mom arrived! So we showed her the gifts...

And then attacked the rest!

Clockwise: a Moroccan rug for the fam, dolls from the US, a GoPro in kid version, lots and lots of Frozen merchandise, and homemade pasta necklaces for mom!

Bonus: O's new toy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A party in France

We're in France! Othman and I spent a few days in Toulouse and drove up to his mom's native village St. Céré on Saturday afternoon after picking his family up from the airport. 

On Sunday there was a big family reunion/birthday party for Othman's grandpa who turned 90! 

The party included lots of good food of course, as well as adorable kids...

lots of singing...

three of four daughters and most of the grandkids and great grandkids...

little presents for all of the young kids...

and a nice present for the grandparents presented by Othman's sister Sarah and cousin Jessika (whose house we stay at when here).

I'm on Othman's computer stuggling with his Azerty keyboard and regretting the lack of photo editing software, so forgive the photo quality!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas makes its appearance

As we'll be going to France for the holidays, I decided to decorate a little early this year, to be able to be reminded of the Christmas season a little longer chez nous. Living in a Muslim country means holiday decorations are generally limited to the malls and some big department stores we rarely go to. In some ways this is more pleasant than the overwhelming inundation of all things holiday in the States, but it does feel pretty sparse. So we make our own holiday cheer!

I believe we'll to have to graduate to a bigger tree next year, with all the ornaments we have (these aren't all!) but I don't mind overloading this little one. Its branches are sparse and bare and rather sad otherwise.

Decorating the tree this morning gave me time to consider each ornament. They come from friends and Christmas markets...

garage sales and thrift stores... 

(I got this one especially for O. the car enthusiast this summer.)

"normal" stores...

and family!

They hail from the States, Morocco, and France, and each brings joy, comfort and warmth. 

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful holiday season!