Friday, January 13, 2012

Lovin' it

This semester has been good to me so far

Also, you should read the latest MWP interview - she's amazing: this woman was in her last year at the Princeton Theological Seminary, studying to become a protestant minister when she converted to the Church. What an act of faith to leave behind not only your religion but also your entire career!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


This Christmas was really wonderful. My entire family hasn't been together in one place since the Christmas after I left for BYU, so as you can imagine it was pretty special. My mom and sisters got in a day before my dad, and through an (un)fortunate set of circumstances we ended up with a rental van with enough seating for the whole clan, so we all drove up to pick him up at the airport on Christmas Eve.

He was our best Christmas present :) But that doesn't mean we weren't concerned when his suitcase full of my aunts' gifts didn't show up at first...

No worries though, it had arrived on an earlier flight and was waiting for us safe and sound. We packed into the van and headed to Temple Square. It was beautiful, and very cold. Probably the coldest day of the whole visit actually - it's crazy how warm it was!

Everybody loved it, my dad especially. Although I think he was mostly just thrilled to have his whole family together again.

These Las Vegasites/Bordeauxans aren't used to the cold...

Marina got tired/cold feet or something so Andrew became a horse and carried her around.

Once we were thoroughly chilled we piled back in and drove home, munching on Christmas-colored pistachios (those silly Americans...). So at this point you're probably thinking "wait a second... don't you guys live in a one-bedroom apartment?" How perspicacious. We are lucky enough to have some awesome neighbors that left for the break and agreed to let us use their apartment as base #2. They live just below us so we had everybody in the same building. It made coordination quite nice, although getting that many girls out the door quickly is always difficult no matter what...  anyway. We listened to a Christmas story and then Andrew got so tired he had to be carried into bed. How many Defranchi girls does it take to drag a full-grown man a few feet? 


Then we woke up the next morning to a delicious (if I do say so myself) Christmas morning breakfast. Gourmet hot chocolates made with syrups and whipped cream served in personalized cups (I was most excited about that part to be honest) with warm croissants, french bread, Nutella, jam, cheeses and more. Hey, we know how to do breakfast in France!

Then off to church. The meeting lasted a little long for my taste, but hey when you have presents waiting under the tree anything is too long! Although I did appreciate the meeting. We had a stake sacrament meeting and the Stake President asked the wives of high council members to speak - without their husbands gasp! It was a really neat idea. 

I even snapped a stealthy shot. He he. Sylvia can sniff out a camera from a hundred miles, so of course she managed to pose.

And back home for the opening of the presents! With stockings made by yours truly...

You know you've made a good choice when you hear squeals of joy... Success!

My dad labeled his gifts with picture puzzles... this one spells out Lydia ("lead" + "dix" (ten) + A)

After that, we did all kinds of fun stuff. Good food and lots of cooking...

I tried my hand at my first Pulla and I think it came out pretty beautifully!

Andrew built a fort for the girls

And we took plenty of family photos. I got individual shots with each of the girls and of course we did group photos too. That's where a tripod comes in handy.

Webcam sessions with the rest of the family back home...

More cooking:

We're French, it's what we do. We also played outside, hiked the Y, saw bridal veil falls...

Of course, Andrew brought his pellet gun and hid in the bushes/rocks to get at us...

And finally it was time to take everyone back to the airport :(

We came back to our suddenly-empty apartment and felt kind of... lonely. But the semester started up so fast after that we didn't have time to be lonely for too long. We're so glad to have had such a wonderful family vacation though. What a perfect Christmas!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Day of Fake School

Well yeah: no classes, no homework. Just a sweet internship, anchoring, and a job I love!

Probably the only perk of getting up this early: watching the sun rise. Or sleeping on the bus. Or both.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ringing in the New Year

Well here it is, 2012, a whole new year. It's going to be an exciting year, full of all sorts of adventures and not very defined quite yet. After April, our schedule is wide open... and we don't really know where we'll be. At the same time though, it's very invigorating. This year is not the same-old kind of year. It's a year where we will be deciding who we want to be, what our family will look like, we'll be starting "real life" and making all sorts of difficult decisions. I can't wait. And to start the year properly, I actually have made a few goals this year.

I want to write in my journal regularly, weekly being a ballpark goal. I need to keep better records and while this blog has helped to a degree, I want to record all of my impressions, not just the ones suitable for a public.

I also have a secret goal I can't tell you about, but it's a good one. I'll let you know when it's accomplished though.

I want to develop more charity. That means striving to become more Christlike, of course, but the way I hope to accomplish that in a very specific way is that I need to be kinder and more open to people; I need to relearn to make friends, to be more open to situations outside of my life bubble. This will definitely be the challenge of April and beyond, when we leave BYU.

I want to get into better shape. The tangible goal is to get to the gym at least three times a week and run my first 5k this year. (hey, you have to start somewhere. That would be a big deal for me) Oh, and have really awesomely toned arms. That would be nice.

And I want to develop my talents and continue to grow professionally. I'll be interning, working a new job and venturing into all sorts of professional endeavors for the next four months, but after that my goal is to keep those pencils sharp and find ways to stay active in my field.

There it is. In order to get it all off to a good start, here are a few useful tools for each of those goals:

How to pick a mentor - Solid professional advice

List of races in Utah - Anybody want to join me?

Journal writing prompts - These will be really useful for writing more meaningful journal entries, not just "today I ate candy and had a bad hair day." Also, the prompts and tips from the MWP Salon will be great resources.

Looking for a new year's gift to yourself? How about some beautiful writing on Mormon womanhood by Segullah.

And I'll be blogging all about our amazing Christmas break very soon, of course :)