Where to begin, where to begin.  The past few weeks have been a complete roller coaster of frustration, lack of surety and doubt.  I guess those feelings are bound to happen eventually, but it has definitely been a tough few weeks.  Although things with volley haven’t been going how I like, it’s times like these that force me to turn inward and examine myself, and it’s fighting through things like this that make me a tougher, stronger person in the end.

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In other news.  We had two matches this week and pulled out wins in both.  I was very, very glad to get out of Istres for a little while.  We flew to Vannes on Tuesday for a French Cup match.  The cup is played during the week unlike other league matches and it is single elimination so once you lose you’re out.  We played a second league team and won in four so we continue on to the next stage.  Vannes was super fun for me because we got to eat the yummiest food!

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(This is a salted caramel sauce native to the Bretagne area of France, served over plain white yogurt – they call it fromage blanc )

We had crepes at this perfect cafe in the harbor the day after out match before we left for our flight home to Marseille.

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(This was the signature crepe at the cafe.  I forget the exact name, but it’s scallops that are native to the area, and they were cooked PERFECTLY, oh my gosh. So good.)

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(An apple tartin crepe with the same local salted caramel sauce, to die for)

On the way back from Vannes, a killer sunset landing:

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(I spy the moon!)

We beat Terville in 3 on Saturday and came back just in time Sunday for a “salon-gastronomique” food festival in the hall where we play and we got to taste some local foods and I even got a few little gifties to bring home!  I wish these macaroons would keep long enough to bring home for Christmas, they were gluten free and everything! Amazing!

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Today, I’ve been catching up on shows with friends from home, and listening to Joni Mitchell all night, kind of reflecting on all of the thoughts that have passed through my head the past few weeks.  It’s amazing how therapeutic music can be.  And one thing that I have managed to get away from is gratitude.  Despite all of the external circumstances and things that may or may not be happening in my life, I have to remember to be grateful.  And I am.  Grateful for this experience, grateful for the teammates I have grown closer to and been able to share things with in the past weeks, grateful for my family, who I have been spending more time talking to and who provide me with un-ending love and support, and grateful to all of my friends who support me day in and day out despite the craziness of their lives.  And I am especially grateful to be healthy.  The aches and pains of daily training, are a reminder that my body is fully functional and I am still able to play a sport I love and allows me to travel, and for that I am truly grateful.

I am going to make an effort to be more grateful and speak gratitude daily into the universe.

Love you all. Starting to countdown the days til Christmas break!