Monday, June 20, 2011

The one in which I brag about Gui

There's been a lot of commotion going on these parts lately, mostly due to the fact that my husband is seriously awesome. I don't brag about him often enough, but I know everyday how lucky I am to be stuck with someone as clever and kind as he is. When we first started out as a legally wed couple in France, he was always supportive of my learning French and seemingly endless job-search. And, he never stopped believing that I shouldn't settle for a job that I was over-qualified for simply because of the language barrier nor just for the sake of finding a job. In the end, he was right, and I know that the confidence he had in me to be successful in France at the very least motivated me to find an amazing job there.

So, when we decided to move back to Austin, I knew he might face the same type of barriers that I faced in Paris. We tried to prepare ourselves for a long-term job-search here, but as the days have been ticking by and the market seems to be drying up, all of our planning has been starting to feel extraneous. More recently though, Gui had been having much more success and over the past two weeks, he was getting calls and interviewing for jobs that were precisely what he had hoped to find in Austin. He was particularly excited about a position that involved working with lots of engineers and learning completely new technology, so he made every effort to be perfectly prepared for his interview with this company. Going through the same motions as I did back before I interviewed at my last fancy job, he sought advice from friends in the business, thought long and hard about how the American-style interview process would be, gave it his all and hoped for the best.

This week, he received a call from the company reassuring him that they wanted him on the team, and this morning, they contacted him again to officially offer him the job. What a relief! If Gui could name his dream job, it would likely be this one. He's obviously happy, but I think he's even more excited than he's leading on. I, for one, am a seriously proud wife - he was able to do in two months what took me over a year to do in France. Brilliant, smart, funny and good looking? I definitely got the better end of the deal here.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Taking time out

Guillaume and I have been non-stop job-hunting for the past month. It gets pretty feverish being cooped up all day long in front of a computer, writing cover letter after cover letter, making phone calls, emailing contacts, sending out resum├ęs, etc., etc. So, we've been trying to balance out our time with outdoor activities, visits with friends, cooking, crafting and other non computer-related events. Here's what we've been up to:

Hanging out at the library. One thing that I didn't realize I missed so much while I was living in Paris was having access to a public library. There are twenty-three(!) public library locations in Austin - the main one being less than a mile from our house. When we're feeling a little bored and want to take a respite from computers and filling out applications, we bike over to the Faulk library to resuscitate our brains. It's unbelievable how many books I want to read and check out and I'm in utter awe of how many knitting, sewing and craft books I now have at my fingertips! I do try to restrain myself from going overboard, though because the more books I check out, the more I have to trudge uphill with me on the way back home.

Cooking. It's funny how coming back here has made me realize how much I miss French food. Just the other day, I was daydreaming about foie gras and toast. We've been trying to cook when we can, although it is more difficult than we thought it would be to resist invitations to lunch and dinner at our favorite Austin eateries. But, I've been referencing my current favorite cookbook to kill some of my cravings, and I have to say, that Dorie Greenspan sure knows her French food! My soupe pistou was the perfect way to eat up bountiful summer veggies and I can't wait to whip up the orange-amande tarte that taunts me every time I open up the book.


Crafting. Well, technically, I've been crafting, not so much Gui. He mostly just goes somewhere to chill out with a few beers and friends. Some girl friends and I have started meeting each week to knit, sew, crochet and embroider over food, wine and witty banter. There's lots of oohing and awing over each others' projects, and I've already learned how to do so many new things since we started sharing ideas and starting new projects. It's been a great way to wind down and interact with some creative filles after a long day's work.

Exercising. Gui has been testing out the neighborhood gym pretty regularly now. He bikes there, meets up with a friend and spends an hour or so pumping iron (or whatever they call it these days) before riding back home in 100-degree temps and arriving at the front door drenched in sweat. I've been riding to the yoga center just a couple of blocks away, but somehow I've managed to get home in a much drier state than my counterpart. Anyway, it's been really good to get out and sweat after being holed up for hours on end. It's also been good training for the bike "race" that we've got coming up. Honestly, I couldn't be more terrified of falling on my face, both figuratively and literally during this race, but it's been a motivating factor in my willingness to get out and commute on 2 wheels when I can. And, I've thoroughly convinced myself that we've chosen the hilliest neighborhood in Austin to live in.