Vive la France!

December 17, 2010

Oh my goodness. We’re really doing it. We found a house and sent off our contract and security deposit last night.

So. It’s now officially official.

WE’RE MOVING TO FRANCE!

Next up: shopping for plane tickets. We’re aiming to move on February 1st. Which is just 6 short weeks away.

I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.

I’ve been talking about the possibility of this move for months and curious readers have sent in lots of smart questions about the whole adventure. I’ll answer some below.

1) Why are you doing this?

Mostly, it’s because we can. My husband and I both work at home and the kids aren’t in high school yet. We’ve always talked about doing something like this and realized if we didn’t make it happen soon, it wouldn’t happen at all. We hope an experience like this will be very formative for our family and will help our children have more world-minded viewpoints. We are planning to go for a year, but would definitely consider extending our time there if it makes sense.

2) Do you speak French?

Un peu. I studied French in high school and for 2 semesters in college, but I can only remember a few words and phrases. I better get working!

3) Will you keep blogging while you’re there?

For sure. I’m pretty much addicted. Plus it’s my job. I’ll be reporting on all our adventures in case you’re curious to see what a year abroad for a family with young children is like.

4) How did you decide where to live?

Good question. After lots of research, we narrowed our country choice to France. I wasn’t interested in living in Paris (families of 8 don’t always make good city neighbors), but I wanted access to the city. So we looked for towns within 1 or 2 hours of Paris with a direct train. Then it came down to finding an actual house. We wanted something that would fit our large family, was furnished and was in our price range. The house we found (it’s in the countryside of the Normandy region) is amazing! I’ll tell you all about it in a separate post.

5) What about your husband’s job?

His job will remain exactly the same. He works for K12.com as the Director of Foreign Language Curriculum. K12 is based in Washington D.C., but because their offerings are online, Ben Blair can work from anywhere.

6) What are you doing for school for your kids?

K12 is an easy choice for us because of Ben Blair’s work. But we’re determined to help our kids master French as soon as possible, so we’re also looking into the local schools or hiring a tutor. I’ll keep you updated as things develop.

7) What about practical things like selling your house? Getting a car while you’re there? Renter’s insurance and health insurance? Your kids yearly doctor visits?

Some of these things are easy. For example, we rent our house here in Denver and our contract is month-to-month so we can leave at any time. Simple. Other things are more complicated. But we’re working through the challenges one by one. Whenever I have a good tip, I’ll let you know. In fact, I’m considering writing a weekly post where I can discuss some of these practical things. Is that a feature you would like?

8) Are you scared?

Terrified. I keep remembering when Ben Blair and I lived in Greece. Those first few months were so challenging! But ultimately, being there was wonderful for us as a couple and influenced our marriage and our lives in hugely positive ways. I hope (and suspect) the same will be true for our year in France.

Watercolor of Dinan, France by Wayne Roberts

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{ 249 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mom101 December 17, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Bon Chance Gabbi!

What an amazing, amazing opportunity. I know you’ll thrive wherever you are, and by March no doubt you’ll be redecorating Paris.

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2 Morgan {The818} December 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

What an amazing adventure! I can’t wait to follow along.

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3 Victoria December 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Yay how exciting. What a great start to the new year you’ll have. More frightening is that 1st Feb is just 6 weeks away !!!

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4 Lyssann December 17, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Good luck! I absolutely loved Normandy! It would be a lovely place to live.

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5 kelly g. December 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm

What a wonderful, amazing, exciting adventure you will be on. All the best to you every step of the way!

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6 Carolyn December 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm

What a great Christmas present: “Kids, we’re moving to France.” Santa sure came through this year, eh? In all seriousness, that is beyond exciting! I can’t wait to live vicariously through you!

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7 Betsy December 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm

OMG! That is super exciting and SOON! I can’t wait to live through your new adventures! Congratulations1

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8 Miss Stovetop December 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I’m sure I wrote a comment but doesn’t seem to have come on here. Hrmph.

I’m so excited for you too! Here’s to great food, better breads and awesome wine! Also, maybe one day when you’re roaming down the streets of Paris you’ll bump into David Lebovitz sharing some sample sof the stuff he makes (I did NOT make that up, he actually does that :D).

Oooh, I’m so jealous! :o But happy too! :D Yay!

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9 Joy Nudd December 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Oh what an incredible time you are going to have. Almost any big project we do as business/personal were inspired from our visit in France three years ago. Someday, we would love to live there too. We will all be thinking of you and your family.

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10 Brittany December 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm

You’ll have so much fun. I’m not sure I could commit to a full year (mostly because I don’t anticipate having a job that would allow for it), but I’ve always wanted to spend a month or two in Europe. My DD is only 8 months, so we’ll probably wait until our planned second child is about eight. The weekly post of tips would be nice.

Good luck!

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11 nicole i December 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I am so excited to hear of your adventure and a bit envious!

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12 Carla Cavellucci Landi December 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Go for it!! I moved to US after 40 (people in my country usually don’t do that, they say ‘it takes lots of courage) without regrets – it is not easy, but it doesn’t kill, just made us stronger!
Happy adventure!!! Your kids will always be grateful for this open mind way of life!!!

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13 Babs December 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Oh my gosh! I got to visit the Normandy region this fall – it is beautiful!!! I loved France! (I know I’m wearing out the exclamation point key but I am so thrilled for you!)

I am envious and excited for you. What a wonderful opportunity for your family! *squee*

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14 The Violet Hours December 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Are you the real superwoman? Do you hide your cape under your fabulous clothes? I can’t believe all that you manage to accomplish with 6 kids, a booming career, and all of the creativity that spills out of you on a constant basis. Truly, I want to be you when I grow up. All my best wishes to you!
Are you changing the name to Design Maman?
-Amanda

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15 Katie December 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I personally would love to hear all of the practical aspects of your venture to France. Warts, wonders and all.

Sounds Awesome!!! Best of Luck to you and your family.

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16 allysha December 17, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Si jalouse!!!! (so so so jealous.) France is wonderful. And SO quirky. Have you read A Year in Provence? Funny. Gosh, Gabby. I think this will be such a great experience.

Here’s a tip: There is a store in Paris (I’ll have to ask Ben for the name, we always called it the American Store, but I am sure that’s not the correct name) that sells american food like Peanut Butter, root beer etc. It’t not cheap, but it’s worth it every once in awhile when you’re feeling a wee bit home sick!

Also, there’s an english speaking ward in Versailles, FYI.

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17 celeste December 17, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Hurrah, Hurrah! I am so happy for your family! I am hoping one day we can live that dream too! I want all the deets!

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18 Ren December 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Wonderful- I lived in Switzerland for a year when I was 18- such a great experience- it is a dream of mine to move our family for a year or two before they get too old- My husband has looked at doing locum positions in various parts of the world and I am hopeful!

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19 Happenstance December 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Congratulations! I cannot wait to follow your journey! And I love that you’re doing this simply because “you can.”

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20 Bree Harris December 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm

I cannot wait to read about your French adventures! How wonderful!

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21 Heather B. December 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Do you remember that time we were sitting in your living room and you said I could visit and then Olive and Maude were all “YEAH!”? Remember that? Sooo ummmm…when can I come?

(AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!)

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22 kiera December 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm

AHHHHHHHHHH i’m so happy that we’re only blog friends (friends being very one-sided :) ) because if we were real friends I’d be mourning. Congratulations. sooo coooool!

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23 Brenna December 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm

That is so exciting! I can’t wait to hear all about it and live vicariously…

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24 Katie B. December 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Congratulations! This is great news and I’m so happy for your family. This is experience will change your lives, open the minds of your children and enrich your family for a lifetime. What a wonderful opportunity and exciting Christmas gift!

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25 Alice B. December 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm

One of my favorite people — my mentor & a former fashion editor — moved to Paris when her daughter was young, to give her the sort of formative experience you’re talking about. She meant to stay a year or two. Twenty years later, she’s still there!

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26 Tina December 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm

So cool…I am SOOO jealous! Can’t wait to hear more!
Best (and congrats!)
Tina

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27 Martini Mom December 17, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Wow! Is it wrong to be jealous? Because I am. Very, very jealous. But also very, very happy and excited for you, so I hope that evens out any bad jealousy karma. Can’t wait to live vicariously through you!

P.S. I too studied French in high school and two semesters in college. When a good friend went off to Paris to visit an old friend of his, I sent him off with these two very useful phrases: “Oui, mais je n’aime pas les bateaux.” and “Mon dieu! Un oeuf!” Hysterically, he actually had reason to use the egg one!

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28 sarah December 17, 2010 at 12:54 pm

what a wonderful inspiration!
i love it!
thank you for doing this and posting and i can’t wait to hear all about it!

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29 Rendy Lemke December 17, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I’m so excited for you, and it makes me even more excited for us move to a different country. It will be fun to read about your adventures. We are having to wait 17 months, because my oldest is a junior in high school, so we feel the need to wait until he graduates, because he truly believes leaving his school and friends and football team would “totally” ruin his life (chuckle). But, our other two boys are in 1st and 2nd grade, and they are counting down the months with us. My husband and I also work from home, so where ever there is reliable internet connection, we can live!

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30 stephanie December 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Bon Voyage!

(ps. we’re a K12 family and LOVE it– their curriculum is fabulous)

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31 Jules December 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Congratulations! So excited for you! We’ve just finished our fourth month here in Switzerland as expats from Canada, and I know you’ll love every minute! And it does fly by! All the best on this wonderful adventure!

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32 Aliesha December 17, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Wow! What an adventure for your family!! Best of luck to you all!!!!

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33 Alicia W. December 17, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Congrats! How exciting! Like so many others, I look forward to hearing about your adventures. I have some cousins who lived all over the world growing up, and I think they are some of the most confident and well-rounded people I know.

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34 katy December 17, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Congratulations! I am terribly excited for you. It will be a grand adventure. We have been living in Europe (Luxembourg to be exact. Right in between France, Germany and Belgium) for over 2 years. We came with my husband’s job at Amazon.com. My girls are 6 and 4 now. We have less than a year left. We are willing time to slow down so we can enjoy each and every last day we have here. I absolutely love (and can relate to) your optimism about learning the culture, the language and opening young minds. :) It’s the dream isn’t it?!? I’m curious to see how that all plays out for you and your family. We’ve found ourselves more fluent in British culture and language than in Luxembourgish. Its all about who you make friends with . . . or who your kids do.

A friend, who was an expat in S. Italy, told me she would never go abroad again (it was her 3rd expat experience) if it wasn’t for at least 3 years. I balked at this, thinking 1 year is it for me. Now, 2 years later I see that she is completely correct. Year 1 is a steep learning curve. Year 2 is better and “living” begins. Year 3 is GREAT! I think the 3 year rule applies when there is a foreign language involved. I’m curious to see if you end up feeling the same.

We put our girls in an international school. While it is true they are not learning Luxembourgish and German, they really and truly are learning about differences in people and cultures in the world. There are students in their classes from Iceland, Italy, S. Africa, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, England, Poland, Romania, India, China. . . their is 1 other American in my oldest’s class and my youngest is the only one in her class. For me, I get the pleasure of meeting all these wonderful parents and learning bits and pieces about their cultures. I guess my point is don’t automatically rule out an international school.

I’ve taken too much space already. Sorry about that. I could talk all day about this. My blog has followed our experiences, our trips, and day to day life. It is not as romantic as everyone thinks it is (sometimes it is, though). You still have to clean the toilet and do the laundry. Living is living no matter where you are. I’ve also documented many of the differences between life in Seattle and life in Luxembourg. You will find many of the differences in France too.

I’m terribly excited for you. It will be absolutely wonderful (it will be other things too . . .) I can’t wait to follow your experience!!

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35 FROM THE RIGHT BANK December 17, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I lived in Paris for 4 years and loved every minute of it. I’m sure you will too. Don’t be scared – it’s going to be nothing but fantastic. Best of luck!!!

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36 steph t. December 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

wow! i’m so thrilled for you… and secretly jealous. i wish my husband’s work was flexible like that to offer us some time abroad. i’m sure you will have a wonderful time. your kids will make amazing memories and you’ll be teaching them SO much!!! do you plan to travel around europe? i can’t wait to live vicariously through you as you enter this exciting journey! God bless you guys oodles and oodles!! :) xo

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37 Melia S December 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Congratulations to you and your family! What an adventure. I can hardly wait to tag along in blog posts.

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38 courtney December 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Congratulations!! That is so, so exciting! I lived in London for a year when I was 13-14, and it was one of the most positively-influential experiences of my childhood. You are doing such a great thing for your kids! I hope their adjustment (and yours!) goes well. I did have a hard time at first, but when my family returned to the states (to denver, actually) I looked back and absolutely loved our time in england.
Also, a weekly post discussing those practical things would be awesome! I hope to live abroad with my family one day (maybe 10 years from now– my one and only child is only 2 right now), but I am obsessed with the idea. I want to know more about how you make it work!

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39 Kate December 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Amazing! I am so happy for you. Melissa Summers once wrote this great post about how sometimes when you want something you have to WORK HARD to get it. This reminds me of that–so many people might say you are lucky for getting to live in France. But isn’t it mostly that you decided to make it happen and then made it happen? And even though they don’t believe it, those people who say you’re just lucky could do the same thing!

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40 J December 17, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Served a mission in the south of France (it was then the Marseille mission)…always wanted to return as a non-missionary. I will live vicariously through you, okay!!

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41 Kate December 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm

how exciting!!! i am thrilled for you…and a bit jealous I must say! best of luck with the move!

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42 Sarah December 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm

So.very.jealous… But so happy for you, too!!!

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43 amy December 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm

good luck, it sounds amazing!
can’t wait to read about your adventures

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44 Melissa December 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm

How exciting! I can’t wait to read along with your adventure!

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45 Jenny December 17, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I’m so excited for you and your family (and a little jealous). It’s fun to hear about your plans and dream. Thanks for sharing!

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46 Jessica December 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Wow!!! Makes we want to pack up the kids and go somewhere new and exciting!

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47 LJ December 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm

WOW! I can’t wait to read all about it, what a dream!

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48 Maggie December 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I love that you’re doing this! Good for you! There is a great website called http://www.wandermom.com. That family is taking a year-long world trip. A different situation, but she’s written some posts about finding health insurance, etc. and you might find it informative for your adventure. Good luck! This will be a wonderful experience.

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49 Adrianna December 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I’ve been waiting to hear that all this was actually happening! How cool! I can’t wait to read about your adventures.. and yes, please post about the practical things you have had to do to prepare for the move. My husband and I are contemplating a year abroad in Korea, and I’d love to know about the experience of making the transition. Best of luck in the next 6 weeks!!

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50 Heidi December 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Wow, this is all quite amazing. I think it’s fantastic that you are able to move to France because your jobs are ‘portable.’ (haha!) I can’t wait to hear about all of your experiences!

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51 Emme December 17, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Ah, I love this idea. What a wonderful idea. My friends family lived in Paris for awhile and I really think it does help shape your world view.

We lived in Israel (just for the summer) and exploring a finding our way around is one of my fondest memories.

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52 HollowSquirrel December 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm

You’re one of those “bloom where you’re planted” kind of people — this will be amazing! I’m so excited for you all! What an adventure!

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53 andrea jay December 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Congratulations on making a dream come true! I would love a weekly update on how to manage life as an ex-pat of sorts. We are thinking of moving our big and young family to Singapore for a few years.

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54 communikate December 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Hooray Hooray!! So will you be living near Jordan?

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55 Anne H. December 17, 2010 at 1:28 pm

What a great adventure!

We’re headed overseas too (to West Africa) for my husbands job and there’s a lot of planning involved, it’s so exhausting! Best of luck to you. Oh, and when you’re considering international insurance, you should check out Clements. Especially for property insurance. While we haven’t had to utilize them yet, we will, and I’ve heard nothing but good things.

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56 Ayme December 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm

COOL! I definitely want to hear more, especially about how your kids psychologically deal with it (what do you do when they’re overwhelmed or feeling culture shock or severe homesickness) and all that. I’d really like to do this as well, it will be helpful to see how you handle it all. Vive la France! :)

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57 Emily C. December 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Very excited for you (and a little bit jealous). I’d love to read about most any part of your adventure. Congrats!

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58 Renata December 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Magnifique! Bonne chance, Gabrielle!
I’d love to read about the practical stuff if you choose to write about it.

Thank you for introducing me to yet another wonderful artist. The painting you chose for this post is so lovely!

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59 Molly December 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm

We went to Paris in October and I think about it every. single. day. Here’s to you and your family’s wonderful leap of faith! Good for you.

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60 amyks December 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

So jealous, I would love to take my kids and moved to Italy for a year, but my husband owns several restaurants here in Massachusetts and he is a “hands on” kind of guy, so he has to be able to go into each one on a regular basis. Also my eldest daughter has bilateral Cochlear Implants that require medical attention frequently, so I would be worried about the level of care she could receive abroad. I guess I will just have to live vicariously through your posts. Bon Voyage!

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61 Bethany December 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Yes, please do write about the practicalities! (Finding doctors, health insurance, etc) My husband and I are moving with our daughter (who will then be 18 mos) to Germany next year – not the same as France, but still Western Europe – and any tips will be much appreciated!

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62 mattie jean December 17, 2010 at 1:55 pm

i’m so jealous. my husband and i have talked about doing this when our kids are a little older since his job is pretty flexible as well. i would love tips on the practical stuff. good luck with everything and i’m sure it will be amazing!

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63 Kim December 17, 2010 at 1:55 pm

If you haven’t already, find the Travels With Clara blog. The month of November has posts about Normandy and Paris, etc. Lots of fun stuff!

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64 Tanya December 17, 2010 at 1:57 pm

YAY! This is so amazing!!!! Feb? Ahhhhh!

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65 Sarah December 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I’m so excited for you! I’ll be living vicariously through your family the entire time your there!

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66 Meagan December 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Congratulations! We’re a French-Canadian family who fell in love with France when my husband and I visited last summer. You are living our dream. Can’t wait to hear all about your French adventures!

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67 Alicia December 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I am so jealous! What an incredible experience you will have. More posts are always welcome! :)

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68 Erin December 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Congratulations! What an amazing opportunity for you and your family! My husband and I often dream about doing the same thing (although in England); however, our work situation is not so flexible. So excited to live vicariously through you on this adventure!

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69 Eva December 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Congratulations on the big move! Yes, I would love to hear a weekly roundup of moving abroad logistics. I have a feeling this trip is going to make your blog even more coveted by all. I’m looking forward to living vicariously through you, and hearing about the ups and downs of family life abroad.
*Eva

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70 annie December 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm

please write about the whole process! i want to know everything. i want to do this so badly, and if i have enough knowledge (that’s where you come in) maybe i can convince the husband that it’s not a terrible idea…

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71 Monica December 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Oh yes, please on a weekly feature about practical issues of moving overseas! (I’m assuming the work visa isn’t an issue since you both have location-independent jobs but I also assume a regular tourist visa doesn’t quite cut it either.) I lived in several foreign countries growing up due to my dad’s job and it really does change your world view. I would love to do something like this with my family so we need to work on getting a job we can do from anywhere or getting a job that will move us or save up enough to take a year off for travel, I’m not picky. :) I’m so excited for you and your family!

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72 mandi@herbanhomestead December 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm

This is fantastic! We have been discussing a move to Mexico. We don’t really have jobs that allow for that, so it would be a bit tricky, but so worth it! Wait- what am I saying? I guess I can be a mom ANYWHERE!!! But the hubs, that’s a different story!

I love that you guys are doing this! What fun!

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73 Robyn December 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm

My heart is in France. I am trying to figure out how my family can get that gig to go over there for a year or so. I love it there so much. I would love to hear all the logistics of how you are making it work for your family of 7 especially since our family is the same size. Have fun. You will love it. And as amazing as Paris is, I think living a bit away from it will be so lovely for you and your family. Really nothing is too far away by train. You can visit so many places! How exciting!

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74 Randi December 17, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Oh, I’m so jealous! My husband and I had hoped that he’d be transferred to either France or Singapore, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I’d love to be able to pick up and move abroad but because of my husband’s job we’re tied down for at least a few more years. It’s going to be such an amazing opportunity for your kids. Bonne chance!

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75 Brittany @ The Aubergine Notebook December 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm

how very exciting!! i can’t wait to hear about all your adventures!

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76 kelly December 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Hooray! So happy it’s official and you’re going to have the adventure of a lifetime. I love that you can Ben create your dreams. Thanks for inspiring us all to do the same. ;) xo!

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77 Bridget December 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Are you kidding me? this is AWESOME. And yes. YES. YES. Weekly column about your prep (or more often!). For sure!! We want to do this one day as well- so I’m VERY curious!

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78 Chelsea December 17, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Living in France was one of the best times of my life. I know you will have an amazing experience! Bonne chance et felicitations!

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79 kelly December 17, 2010 at 2:21 pm

oops! that was supposed to be ‘you and Ben’ darn typos!

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80 Lindsey Johnson December 17, 2010 at 2:22 pm

You forgot that you need to take a cook and chauffeur along with you. Fred and I graciously offer to be those two things for you. What do you say? :)

I am incredibly jealous and think it’s going to be marvelous for your family. Hooray!!!!

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81 jenna December 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm

so exciting! isn’t your sister moving too? I read her blog…will you guys be close to one another?

what a wonderful adventure!

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82 Erin December 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Yay! How awesome! I cannot wait to hear about DesignMom happening en france. Bon Chance!

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83 Keia December 17, 2010 at 2:31 pm

My first thought via twitter:
Is she serious…probably, but I really need to know
My thought when I laid my eyes on this post: OMG
My thought as I leave this comment: sniff, sniff…wishing you guys the best. Even though you’re in Co, I always feel like your in NY. When your year is up come to the DMV (D.C, Maryland, /Virginia) area.

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84 Tina Z December 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm

I can’t wait to follow! I have been contemplating doing something similar during the summer (I’m an academic with a work-from-home husband) but haven’t gotten the chance yet, hopefully next year. Looking forward to hearing practical tips, even if they’re offered on a small scale. And enjoy the food. I always think of food when I think of France. Good luck!

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85 Gretchen Schroeder December 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Wow! So exciting, I am looking forward to your posts on this adventure!

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86 nikki December 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Wonderful news! So happy for you and your family and so looking forward to reading all about your experiences there. Happy packing! :)

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87 Kristen December 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Hooray! So happy that it’s all working out for you, your family and your sister’s family. I think you’ll have a blast and can’t wait to read weekly updates.

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88 Barbara December 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Incredible! What an amazing experience for you all. Can’t wait to hear all about it!

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89 Denise Laborde December 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Oh Gabrielle! I am so happy and excited for your family!
I think it is a wonderful gift you and Ben Blair offer to your family.

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90 Leslie December 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm

How lovely! Will you be living close to Jordan?

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91 Sarah H December 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Your sister is going too, right? Even better!

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92 Maelis December 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I grew up in Normandie! Caen to be specific and it’s an absolutely beautiful region. If you need any tips or help with anything let me know!

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93 deborah@applesinwonderland December 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm

what a gift….time together living in a new way:) please keep us filled in….i will be living vicariously through you:)

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94 Tammy December 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I’m so excited to follow your blog on your adventure!! I had no idea you rented your house in Denver, that gives the rest of us renters hope in decor for rentals. :)

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95 Rebecca December 17, 2010 at 2:55 pm

OM. Can you stuff my family in your suitcases and take us with you? Fabulous!

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96 Natalie December 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm

This is so AWESOME! Can we come visit you :) I would say just kidding, but since I’m totally serious… I won’t!

Congratulations! I’m so excited for you and your family!

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97 Jen E @ mommablogsalot December 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Congratulations! I am very excited and looking forward to reading all about your time in France!

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98 Allison December 17, 2010 at 3:08 pm

What an amazing opportunity! We lived in Paris for 2 years with our kids and would have stayed longer if we could have! It was a once in a lifetime experience. I’m so looking forward to hearing about your adventure even though I am a little jealous.

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99 Nicole December 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm

This is so exciting! I can’t wait to read everything about this! How you did it, what it was like, surviving language immersion… Maybe it will inspire/educate my family on how to do the same thing! LOVE IT.

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100 Lucie B. December 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I am so super excited for you! I cannot wait to hear absolutely everything about this new adventure. Can I come along? Can I bring my hubby and my son and my dog? Pretty please??? Sending you the very best wishes!!

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