This is us.We spent the first year of our marriage in a 17-meter studio apartment in Nancy, France. If anything will teach you what will make & break your marriage (or even just your temper), it’s a tiny space in a place where you can’t always communicate with others. We had, in essence, a honeymoon year–isolated from friends, family, familiar foods. (Read more about that here.)

Now we’re beginning Year Three back in the States, putting our the knowledge we gained from our time in France & from our environmentally-focused news, volunteer & education habits to form a more long-term look to our marriage. It’s like starting all over, re-learning each other & our country. How do we incorporate our Francophile sides & what we learned about marriage in the first, significantly different year into our Indiana-based lives?

The main concerns are feminism, sustainable living and how our lives can contribute to these things. We love doing-it-ourselves (from fixing to cooking to traveling/transportation), so this blog is a forum for the intersection of these points–how our family life reflects & is affected by our chief concerns for the larger world.

This is the blog. It will be split into three sections…

1. Being Conscious: This spot will be dedicated to our efforts to live sustainably, eco-consciously & frugally. Believe it or not, these things do go together. They’re intrinsically connected: consuming less, buying it locally, using what you have & learning to make it last. I’ll be using this part as a sort of “practical implementation” of my graduate work, studies of environmental science & public affairs with nonprofit work as the end goal.

2. Being Married: This spot will be dedicated to Joe, the husband. We had a great first year, but it felt surreal. We have a lot to do in our return to the States–a lot of re-learning, adjusting, developing & give-and-taking. These posts will deal with our perception of marriage, how we’re making it our own & how our feminist feelings educate our relationship.

3. Being French: We left the country, but it left a big mark on us. We hope to get back, so in the mean time I’ll be comparing the two cultures & practicing my pastry skills.

This is our life.
Joe earned his MFA in creative writing & scored a position with the French government, working as a foreign language assistant in Nancy for 2010. He taught English in primary schools, tutored on the side, writing & publishing his poems, & being an all-around great husband.

In Indiana, he’s doing online tutoring, teaching college English, playing basketball & writing poems.

I earned my B.A. in PR & French. Then, Université de Nancy II was gracious enough to pay me to teach English classes. After a year of teaching, I earned my  Masters, studying sustainability at SPEA. Now, I’m beginning a PhD in Geography, looking at how people choose to use land to develop local food systems.

When I’m not in class, I’m working on baking French desserts, doing my homework, helping the Bloomington Community Orchard or gardening.


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