France Update

Some fun progress on our year in France. We heard back from the homeowners of a house that we are very interested in renting. I am trying hard not to get my hopes us — but the pictures are so charming that it has already captured my heart. Then, this morning the whole family arrived at the County Clerk’s office bright and early at 7:30. All six of the kids passports have officially been applied for — a major accomplishment involving mountains of paperwork and documents. Yay! I think we’ll have them in hand by Christmas.

Which reminds me, do you know anyone near Argentan in Normandy? We are looking to hire an assistant to help us get settled during our first couple of weeks in France. We need someone that’s bilingual in French and English and knows the area well. They’ll be helping us do things like arrange for a car, find a tutor and a babysitter, and give us a tour of the area. If you’re interested, or know someone that would be perfect, please send me an email: gabrielle [at] designmom [dot] com.

P.S. — Does all the talk about the Royal Wedding have you daydreaming about being a princess? Find French castles for sale here. This one has 90 bedrooms!

40 thoughts on “France Update”

  1. I met someone in Paris that might be able to help you. We’ve emailed a few times since I’ve been back. I wish I could go back. France is so wonderful…I’ll let you know.

  2. Oh my! This sounds so dreamy, I read your post and my mind immediately traveled to dreamland… One day I want to experience France for a year (sigh)… Can’t wait to read more about your plans!

  3. fun!

    sorry that passports involve a mountain of paperwork. just last year, a birth certificate, and easy form and a picture they do at CVS was all it took! so easy!

      1. I’m curious, too. I’ve always wanted to live abroad for a year. How do the kids feel about being gone from their friends and school for a year? How are you going to deal with schooling? And what about work? Can your husband work from home? Thanks for answering all my nosey questions :)

  4. I am so curious how you are handling the visa situation!? My husband and I would love to spend some time in Edinburgh, Scotland, but I thought I read somewhere that a visiting visa can only be for 6 months at the longest. Maybe it is different in France?? Also, are you and your hubby still working from home for that year? Thank you for any advice, and I love reading your blog!

  5. I totally want to understand the mission logistics & your sister’s going too? So sweet!

    Living in new places is so eye-opening & heart expanding. We lived in London for 18 months & it was such a rich experience in so many ways.

  6. So happy for your family….. I have been dreaming of doing a house swap for a month in Paris next summer……….. Your family is so inspiring…..


  7. Hi- My sister (Leslie of aroomsomewhere) and my wife both read your blog. I lived on my mission for a year in nearby Alencon and Caen. Send me a note if you need any help. There are often students from England studying in or around Caen who can help with translation. I can probably dig up contact info for some of the people I know in those cities.

    So jealous, by the way. Argentan is beautiful. Not much there except for farms and old buildings, small villages, etc. It’s perfect. Lots of good cheese too. The Normandy coast is amazing. So much history, both ancient and modern. You’re going to love it.

  8. I would love to hear about the economic logistics of all this, without prying too much. I have been dreaming of doing something similar, but just here in the U.S. But alas, can’t figure out just who will pay our mortgage in the meantime!

  9. Hi G,

    Whattt???? I think I missed the post about how this all came to be? I know you’ve posted about wanting to do this…Since and how did this become a reality? What about hubbies job?


    1. Michele, have you moved to Italy? How do visas, residency passes (?), etc. work? Are you an EU citizen? If not, how will you obtain a residency for three years?! Hope you’re still reading this blog! C. :-)

  10. France!?!? How did I miss this? I am SO excited for you! Provence stole my heart. I can’t wait to go back (hopefully this summer). I was fluent in French, but am so out of practice!

    Excited for you…

  11. hi, i’m a french reader. my english is very poor, so excuse me if i’m not easy to understand. Your blog is very nice, i like it very much :)
    when will you come in france? You’ll see, normany is so nice, but there are a lot of different landscapes in france :) good luck for this year.
    I live near Meaux, it is between Paris (i work in Paris) and Champagne, so i can’t help you for your first 2 weeks, sorry. But i wish you will find someone. :)


  12. This post is so perfect for two reasons. Number 1: I am so thrilled for you and your family! Living in France is going to be a year to remember! Number 2: This is the reassurance I needed to make a move of my own. My husband and I have been thinking seriously about moving to New York in 2011 and staying for a year. This is just the sign I needed.



  13. Reading this makes my heart hurt a little….I so want to move back to France one day. My oldest daughter was born in Paris, so it’s where I became a mother. Sigh. someday. Good luck with everything. You will love it.

  14. Hi! I did leave a message when you first posted this but it seems to have disappeared… I’ve lived in the South of France between Montpellier and Nîmes. I’ve been here for 24 years and my dad lives near Bordeaux. My sister has a country house near Saintes / Bordeaux / La Rochelle that she’s selling…
    If I can ever be of any help just send me an email!

    Deb (kickcan & conkers)

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