Another Year or So

Hello, Friends! Remember Plan A? It looked like this:
Move to France for one year. February 1st 2011 to February 1st 2012.

Then, last January I announced an adjusted plan. Let’s call it Plan B:
Stay a few more months — through the end of the school year. February 1st 2011 to July 1st 2012.

And today, here’s another update, another adjustment. Plan C:
Stay another school year. Or 2 1/2 years total! February 1st 2011 to July 1st 2013.

Then we’re really, truly moving back. For reals. How do I know? The lovely family we’re renting La Cressonnière from will be moving back in.

We feel good about Plan C. In fact, we’re super excited to get another year here! It gives our kids a chance to get even more comfortable with French. And gives us more time to find our next home.

The kids are excited too! But it’s been over a year since they’ve been to America and they’re craving a visit with friends and family. So we’re planning a long trip to the U.S. this summer. We’ll be spending the month of July with the Blairs and the Stanleys in Utah and Colorado. Then we’ll come back here for another year.

Tell me: Are you surprised? Or did you suspect an extension all along? : ) Would you stay if you were us?

P.S. — The countryside is covered with yellow fields right now — I snapped the photo above yesterday evening. I was told the plant is moutarde (mustard), but not the sort of mustard we eat. It’s grown for farm animals, and because it improves the soil. So pretty!

141 thoughts on “Another Year or So”

  1. The fields are also yellow in Germany. It is rapeseed or field mustard. You know it better as canola.

  2. Surprised? No, I would have made that same choice. I am happy you guys are staying a little bit longer, because your are living out my dream, so it’s been wonderful to follow along.
    But I am excited to see what other adventures you will be embarking on next!

  3. no not surprised!! and so happy for you! our family of six will be moving to Paris this summer for 3 years..we are already trying to extend :)

    1. Hi Pamela,
      We are in the process of deciding how to do this, also with a large family (7) we are coming from Sydney , Australia to Paris or out of Paris still trying to decide. Where is your family from and how old are your kids? how are you doing the schooling? Sorry for the questions, I guess I’m trying to convince myself it will be alright a little scared about the kids and school otherwise can’t wait.

  4. Beautiful photo Gabrielle.
    I am not surprised that you are staying longer. It must be a wonderful experience. Who knows… maybe you decide to stay for good. It wouldn’t surprise me at all. :)

  5. Not surprised…if you’re like us – France is turning into a lovely place to live. Our kids are also enjoying their French friends and it amazes me everyday to watch their progress in the French language. So happy for you and your family – creates such great memories!!

  6. I’d be interested in hearing how despite your fluctuating plans you manage to avoid the feeling of being in a state of limbo. I suffer from that greatly when I know my time someplace is temporary. It makes me less apt to lay roots down (both figuratively, and literally), that sort of thing. I think that probably means I’m just not cut out of the lets-move-someplace-fun-for-a-year thing. It’s been fun following along nevertheless, living vicariously and whatnot.

  7. Good for all of you! A year just feels like a long visit. We have been expats for 16 years and lived 5, 2.5 and 7.5 years in each country. Now living in Spain and plan on staying 3 years.

  8. Our work contract was a fix one-year so we knew we had to go back to Canada this summer, but I am sure my parents would have loved us to stay longer in Italy (read: forever). I miss my home in Canada though…

  9. No, I would have been surprised if you didn’t extend. Not sure why – just knew! Maybe because you’re still having such great adventures.

  10. I most certainly knew you would extend if you could and Yes, I would most certainly stay. I can’t wait to hear Baby June’s French develop!

  11. beautiful! and congrats. my husband lived for a period of time in germany and italy and has such great memories. would love to have a similar adventure!

  12. I’m glad to hear the news — and I’m not surprised a bit. Within the past few days, with Jordan’s departure from France, I started thinking that if you were indeed moving back to the States soon, you would probably be mentioning it in your posts.

  13. Not surprised at all – just jealous! ;) Here’s to another year of fabulous European adventure for the Blair’s!

  14. Congrats to you! I have to say that I expected (hoped?) your family would extend your time in Europe. We moved to England 6 months ago from America and only planned to stay for 9 months – but recently extended for another year! Truthfully, I wish I could extend even longer but completely understand what you said about missing family and friends. Have a lovely summer ‘at home’ and congrats again on the extra time in France!

  15. We´ve been to Normandie a couple of weeks ago, close to Saint Saens, it was so beautiful, and we were wondering what the yellow fields were. Thanks for clearing that up.
    Since you don´t get such a chance again, I am glad that you extended your stay! Actually I was hoping for it, since I am a German living in Amsterdam, always curious about your trips around Europe. I am a mother of 4 and admire your lifestyle! Keep on going.

  16. i’m not surprised that you’re staying a while longer at all!
    isn’t that rapeseed? (colza in french.) it is in fact in the mustard (and cabbage) family and is grown for the production of animal feed, canola oil, and biodiesel. for me those yellow fields were always a sign that spring was turning into summer.

  17. I am not surprised. A year just flies so fast, that you just have to stay a bit longer. I would be SOOO appreciative of a blog post that would describe a wonderful 1-2 week France vacay. Or even one that would describe what you would do and see and experience and eat and try and learn in Europe within a two week period. Yes, I am asking for you to play travel director;)

  18. I LOVE the fact that your family is getting to spend more time in France. I really enjoy the amazing places that your family gets to enjoy (so jealous-hee hee) I truley believe every person should have the oppertunity to live abroad and to extend it for a few years-why not? I look forward to more of the Blair adventures and hopefully soon will be making my dream come true of visiting France, Italy and Germany next year!

  19. I am not surprised, and I would absolutely stay if I was you! It’s the chance of a lifetime! Congrats to all of you, such a cool, fun family! Thanks for taking all of us along on your adventures!

  20. Andrea Freeman

    do you have any idea what you are doing for your children? what an amazing experience you are providing for them and you & Ben get to enjoy it too. the french, the countryside, the traveling. it would be fantastic if all parents could do what you are doing. bravo! enjoy another great year – i can’t wait to read all about it! thank you!

  21. Ha! This is excellent! Roll on another year of DesignMom posts on Euro time! I thought we’d moved to Dublin for 1 year, and nearly 4 years later I’m not sure I’ll ever make it back full time. Looking forward to more great stories from France!

  22. It seems like things are going great – why not stay? What an amazing and wonderful opportunity for all of you!

  23. Not surprised! I feel that you really enjoy your time there and staying longer just allows you to really immerse yourself. One year is never enough – by the time you get your head around where to buy milk and cheese and how to open a bank account it seems like you have to leave again. Fantastic! Looking forward to seeing more Blair adventures!

  24. NOT surprised! So happy all of your loyal readers get to spend more time in France with you! O, joy! :)

  25. Woo Hoo!! I suspected all along that you’d stay a bit longer. I’m happy I get to live vicariously through your experiences another year!!

  26. So happy that you are staying…it gives me another year to vicariously live through your adventure in France. Enjoy every single second!

  27. How great! I am envious. But maybe we”ll have a chance to get over and visit you after all! :) And really, this is absolutely wonderful for you.

  28. I was thinking you would all stay longer, how fantastic! I would love to know what is involved in extending your stay. Do you have to fill out forms and such? Apply for some sort of visa? Obviously I know nothing about these sorts of things, so I’d love to learn!

  29. I knew it all along! Love plan C! What great news to hear, yesterday was sort of a bummer. I was following along as the Ferney’s left Paris and my heart ached for them. Plan C is the new plan A, everyone should always have a plan C! I love it! Also, yes we would DEFINITELY STAY if we were you! Bureaucratically ( I looked that one up!), I’d love to know how you managed to stay, how/who decides how long? I always thought the government only allows one year at a time? Lastly – does La Cressonniere need a house sitter for July?!!!!!!!

  30. I’m so excited that I get to read about your adventures for another year! I look forward to it every morning, along with my toast and coffee. :)

  31. i so admire the boldness of this decision and the fit of life abroad you are giving your children. i can only pray that someday i’ll have the diligence/opportunity/supportive partner to do the same. i’ve always dreamt of raising my first child (at least) abroad.

  32. Not one bit surprised :) It suits you. It your kids seemed unhappy or unadjusted then it would surprise me, but that is not the case. What a special stage of life!

  33. Good for you! And your kids must be loving it as well. I’m glad you get to come back to the US for an extended visit.

  34. I am so happy for you, you are doing the right thing. Our move to Austria was not good at all so we had to pack our stuff earlier than we thought but still happy we tried to live in Europe. Enjoy every single day, it makes of great memories!

  35. That is so incredibly exciting!!!! If I had the option to stay in Japan longer when I lived there I certainly would have! I can’t wait to move to Europe in a couple years! Either Portugal or France!

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