Our Life: Unedited. Unscripted. God It's Funny.

As I sit here eating takeout mashed potatoes while watching Mall Cop on Day 10 of our foreign exchange student's visit I cannot help but feel a mix of exhilaration and failure. It's been a long day; we spent it in San Francisco watching the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates. There is nothing like sitting behind home plate in the sun with a beer and a cool breeze watching the tips of sailboats float by as Buster Posey shimmies up to the plate. I was transported, but I digress. We did this for Noelie. 

Every day with Noelie has been a new adventure, but every day has also ended with the same old stuff that defines our family.  We may take her to Auberge du Soleil for lunch or to a Broadway production, Shakespeare on the Lake, or the Crocker art Museum, but at the end of the day.. we end up eating pizza outside drinking wine or watching Blades of Glory with takeout Thai. I wish I had the energy to throw together a beautiful meal every night, but during the busy summer this family is lucky to get fed at all. 

To her credit, Noelie is from France. A town names Reze near Nantes.. near the Loire Valley. She does not speak the language of Talledaga Nights and she certainly doesn't eat take out pizza or Thai food most nights. She is very smart, quiet and appreciative. She loves puzzles, going to open houses, and has fallen hard for our big soft labradoodle, Boomer. 

Having an exchange student means exposing yourself 24 hours a day. It means more than a reality show because there is no editing or going back. We are so imperfect it's hysterical almost, but she has made me realize I would not have it any other way. I have learned that I love our life.  We have no excuses to our madness, and there is certainly no method. What Noelie has brought us is one big ass mirror. I see myself clearly. I love my family, I love my friends. They show up. We show up. It's a little bit like my favorite movie,  Groundhog Day. As Noelie would say with her wry smile, "You always say everything is your favorite." And I do.