Autumn Sentiments


Me too, Anne-girl. Me too…

Autumn is my favorite season. Well, that’s what I say during this time of year. But when April rolls around I’m all like, “Springtime is my favorite time!” But the beauties of autumn last longer than the springtime ones, and I would rather wear comfy sweaters, boots, and scarves than shorts and flowery prints.

This is the second autumn I will be spending in France, and I have definitely been feeling homesick for all of my favorite American traditions that I will be missing again this year. While I know that French people love to have get-togethers and dinner parties, Americans love to celebrate everything. We revel in holidays and seasonal goodies, especially during this time of year, when we spend a lot of time with family and close friends.

So what am I missing the most from my homeland right now?

Seeing my favorite colors everywhere: Bring on the neutrals! I love the reds, oranges, yellows, browns, golds, and blacks combined that really make me feel like autumn has arrived. I’m sure in the States right now you can see those colors everywhere you go (and you Americans may already be getting tired of them); not so much here. But, fortunately, the trees are finally changing colors and that is just as beautiful.


Yeah, we like to stick to character…

Halloween (and candy): France doesn’t celebrate Halloween, and when they do they only focus on the evil and scary side. What I love most about Halloween is costume parties, especially themed ones. And my favorite costumes have been Robin Hood and Thing 2, nothing scary or demented…Also: day-after-Halloween candy sales!

Autumn-scented candles: Ahh. Nothing like those $5 Walmart fall candles to make your home smell amazing. My favorites of course are the pumpkin pie and vanilla scented ones.

e736dfad0696f08c62b39b9963f456f8Autumn-themed movies on TV: My favorite would be the ABC Family Harry Potter marathons, although they do those practically every holiday weekend, and that’s why I adore this tumblr conversation. So hilarious and so true. I also love watching 90s chick flicks and Nicholas Sparks movies during this time of year, my current favorite is Safe Haven, which is also my favorite Sparks novel. Here’s a cool list of some other great films to watch during Autumn.


My trying to get a picture with my brother on Thanksgiving a few years back…he hates pictures.

Thanksgiving: This is my favorite holiday, and not because of the food, although I love Thanksgiving Day meals. No, my favorite part is just spending time with loved ones–watching the parade, helping each other out in the kitchen, playing games and football, going to the movies after eating entirely too much pie, going on Black Friday scavenger hunts around town together…I love it all, and that’s why it’s so hard for me to be away from family for Thanksgiving. But this year my husband and I are celebrating an authentic American Thanksgiving with our French family!

Starbucks: Yes, they have Starbucks in France, but the closest one is over an hour away in Lyon. We will probably be stopping there on our way to the airport in December!! Since the weather has gotten cooler I’ve been craving Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Apple Chai Infusions (my fav…it’s like apple cider but better).


My roommates and I at HHN in 2010.

Halloween Horror Nights: This is a tradition I used to do most years when I lived in Florida, but my favorite years were probably the last two times I went, in 2010 and 2011. Theme parks with friends are a blast, but theme parks in the dark with haunted houses are even better! So many fun memories from Universal’s HHN…I would love to be going there again this year!

Bonfires and hayrides: Here’s something that’s very American–sitting in a wagon full of itchy, scratchy hay while you ride around in the dark with friends…bundling up in warm clothes, looking at stars, telling spooky stories before heading back to the bonfire to make s’mores (another very American thing). Mmm, sounds like fun to me!


A 2009 FSU night game…I miss these days!

Football season: Saved this one for last because this year my desire to watch football in the States is even greater than it usually is, since my Alma Mater Florida State University is having an amazing season and I have to either miss the games or stay up all night watching them, which is what I did last Saturday for that phenomenal Clemson game. Going to bed at 6:30am never felt so worth it! Fortunately I have found several people over here who enjoy American football and who understand my crazy desires to pull football viewing all-nighters :)

What are some of your favorite fall activities?

Hillsong Concert in Lyon

On Saturday night we went to Lyon to see Hillsong Paris in concert. It was an incredible experience and a much-needed worship night. We had originally planned on going to the city in the early afternoon since I have never visited Lyon before, but for various reasons we didn’t get there until about an hour and a half before the concert started. But we did visit La Part-Dieu, one of the biggest malls in France (and it was pretty big even by American standards). Lyon is the second biggest city in France, and on a rainy Saturday night EVERYONE was in that mall. We had just enough time to grab some “early” dinner (6pm is early here) and check out a few stores like the Apple and Disney stores.

The concert was in a smallish building but the Hillsong Lyon/Paris crew/members/team were all so welcoming! They had greeters at the entry and they offered free water, coffee, and tea.

Everyone entering into the worship area.

The church that was hosting the concert underestimated the amount of people who would come (by over 150!), so it was pretty crowded in the room, but I should say refreshingly crowded. I haven’t been to a concert in nearly two years, and it was an incredible experience to worship with a bunch of strangers all packed together in one room.

“Welcome home” We were RIGHT at the front!

During the concert they had the lyrics on screens (like they do at nearly every Worship concert), but they had the lyrics in both French and English and also had a translator there for when a couple of different pastors came up to speak (which was nice).


Pastor Brandon White (he from Australia or New Zealand…couldn’t figure out which).

But the BEST part of the night was probably the last three songs where I just let it all go. Everyone in the room was all sweaty–because you know…no AC in France–but we didn’t care! We were all jumping and I know I stepped on the toes of the person behind me at least 10 times because I have no balance. I kept thinking about the last SALT conference I went to (SALT is an annual conference for college students organized by Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship) when Kurt Harlow encouraged us to let it all go while we were worshiping. I don’t remember the exact words he said, but he told us you know when you’re really worshiping when you don’t care how bad you sound; that was definitely me Saturday night.

But in all sincerity, it was a very moving experience. This year has been a hard one for me, especially with worship because most of the time it’s in French, and even if I understand what is being sung, it doesn’t have the same meaning to me because it’s not in my native language. The Hillsong concert was in French, but I knew most of the songs and felt free to worship in English without disturbing others.

Overall I was very blessed to be able to go to the concert. They said they would most likely be back sometime in the beginning of next year and I really hope so! And next time I go to Lyon I will most definitely be stopping by the Starbucks!

“Be Blessed!”