Every year for my sister’s birthday, we used to go to a restaurant called Marabella’s down the shore. It was a typical family Italian restaurant, but we thought it was the coolest thing in the world, because my sister’s name is Mara. She was treated like a little princess, with her round cheeks and curly brown hair (she was always the cute one!). My grandparents always made a big deal of it, and afterwards we would come home and have cake at the house. Now, on her 21st, I am far away from ma petite sœur.

There is really no bond as strong as sisters. Sisters are best friends. They know exactly what to do to push each other’s buttons, and they know exactly what to do to cheer you up. Sisters call you no matter what. They write you letters. They never forget a skype date. They make you laugh til’ your sides split. They have spontaneous dance parties with you. They share bunkbeds, and stories, and late-night whispering.

Happy 21st birthday to my little sister. I wish I could be there with you, Marabella! Thank goodness my best friends back home took care of her in my absence. Love you girls.

ps. happy father’s day to the best dad in the world. sorry you are overshadowed by the sis.


This weekend was fun – I took a break from searching OLX classifieds for jobs back home and enjoyed the moment. It was the last weekend that all my Anglophone friends will be with me in the Meuse. We tried to make the best of it – and do all the things we’ve been wanted to do since we got here in October; boat rides along the river, sushi night, and a 16 kilometer walk through the country. We only have a week left together! I will be so incredibly sad when they leave.

In more important news, today is Grace’s birthday. She’s sweet, pretty, and 23 years old today. You can see my 21st birthday announcement to Grace here. Can you believe two years has passed? Now she is all grown up, living in DC as a nurse !

This is us in the Bahamas, on the way to sunrise yoga! We hid our morning faces with huge sunglasses. Clearly. Little did we know our instructor would be a male body-builder from Austria, and we would end up laughing 99% of the time instead of doing downward dog. I miss her. I wish I could buy her a ticket to France for her birthday! That would be a present for her and me!

It’s really hard to live so far away from my friends and family. They are all doing such amazing things – and I wish I was there in person to give them hugs.

On a positive note, how  lucky am I to have such great friends? Bon lundi!