Tuesday, February 12, 2013

First birthday guests and Anderson, SC

It wasn’t all just cake and circus animals on Mikus’ first birthday, oh no. There were also horseback rides and long hikes, books read and walks taken. Mikus was blessed to have his godmother fly in for four days, his grandmother for three and uncle for two. We were lucky to make six separate trips to the airport, one all the way to Charlotte during an ice storm. (And that’s sarcasm, we were lucky to have visitors in January, that’s what!) It was an action packed week, and I can’t imagine a better first birthday for my little boy.

Uncle Andrejs arrived after a rescheduled flight, I believe it was because he wants to be as close to his wife as possible, even in delayed flights. Then it was off to Anderson, about 40 minutes southwest of Greenville. The third largest city in the Upstate, it was named after and surveyed by General Robert Anderson of the Revolutionary War. But we were not headed for the downtown area, we were headed to visit a friend in the country. We made friends with the horses and foraged for pecans, a perfect afternoon.

It’s always fun to cook with my sister, we had a delicious shrimp and scallop cream pasta that I like to make for special occasions because it requires very little effort other than shelling the shrimp but tastes like a little slice of seafood heaven. The bizet torte came out well, I’m thinking maybe I should make it more often as the leftovers guaranteed a few days of indulgent snacking. There were crêpes on Sunday morning too, we love our guests here in Greenville. Sunday was also the hike in Paris Mountain State Park, I like that we have a little bit of France right here in the Upstate, even if the area is not named after the capital but is instead a mispronunciation. Since Andrejs had an early evening flight out we decided to have an early dinner in downtown Greenville, popping into the Carolina Ale House for a quick dinner before a stroll and goodbyes. 

Our guests and Lauris with a Greenville celebrity - the wild boar?
Trading one guest for another it was off to pick up the grandmother on Monday. We celebrated the first birthday three days in a row, in true Latvian fashion! It seemed much too soon when we made the last trip to the airport. Once again, the house seems on the empty side after being filled to the bursting with laughter and love for a week.

First pony ride for my little guy
* I was interviewed for an article discussing the differences in parenting between French and American moms, and although my place in the spotlight is a mere couple of sentences I like the points Ms. Urist brings up. See for yourself on Today.com!


  1. Sounds like a delightful birthday and I love to see how you're integrating France in to your life at home (through food, bien sur) ; ) Loved the article you linked to. Lots of food for thought. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on how kids seem to rise to their parent's expectations....

    1. Hi Kim,
      Having lived in France makes all the hubbub surrounding Druckerman's second book more relevent, because I experienced and saw these different parenting methods firsthand. French parents treated their children with respect and got respect in return. A "trust your child to make the correct decision" approach. From what I saw, very strict boundaries were set in regards to issues of safety, food, behavior in public, but within those boundaries it is kind of an "anything goes."

      From what I've read on your blog, it seems that French parenting would really be at odds with the parenting culture you are presently immersed in... but I like to point out that if we could just learn and take certain aspects from all of our experiences we could formulate the perfect approach for our children!

  2. Congrats on getting interviewed! I'm really enjoying reading Druckerman's first book after having seen French children in public (but not really raising my own child in France). I'm about halfway through so I hope to have more thoughts once I finish. Then, I can start her second book!

    1. Hi Amber, would love to hear your thoughts! One of the best things about the expat community in CF was the international range of views: we shared everything from parenting tips to recipes, and the discussions concerning books like these were always lively!

    2. Yes that was something very special about expat life. I miss it sometimes! (: I will have to post about my thoughts after I finish the book...which is getting hard with a 4 month old!

  3. Ah - peldu mīļās atmiņās no Grīnviles! Skaistas fotogrāfijas - mīļi cilvēki :)

    Arī gribu apsveikt ar interviju rakstam - labi rakstīts no dažādiem perspektīviem. Woohoo!

  4. That was a very special first birthday! :)


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