Memorial Day 2020

For Memorial Day, we went to the WWII American Military Cemetery that overlooks the D-Day beaches. We knew the grounds would likely be closed — and they were — but that’s okay, because there are lots of memorials outside the grounds, and many beautiful paths that lead down to Omaha beach.

I gave a tour of our solemn and peaceful outing in my Instagram Stories if you’d like to see what a visit there is like. (I’m told that link should work on your laptop even if you don’t have an Instagram account.)

On the drive from our house to the D-Day beaches, there are WWII cemeteries from lots of different countries, not just America. And I was thinking about how much sacrifice and effort went into attempting to defeat white supremacy, and the nazis — on both a national and global scale.

More thoughts on sacrifice and America in 2020. Keep reading.

A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? How was your week? Are things beginning to open up where you are? Or do you still have strict shelter-in-place guidelines?

We’re looking forward to working on some projects over at the Tall House this weekend. We’ve got some more demolition in the attic, and we’re trying to make some progress on cleaning a really dirty plaster wall up there. We’d love to go walking in the countryside too! The weather has been lovely.

Memorial Day is on Monday — will you get to visit any gravesites? Or do something special to mark the day? We will miss taking part in the U.S. Pampanito memorial service with Oscar’s scout troupe (though I assume it’s not happening this year).

When we lived in France before, we would go to the American Military Cemetery at the D-Day beaches. Visits to that sacred place are always worthwhile (and emotional). I don’t even know if it’s open during quarantine, but if it is, I hope we can visit this weekend.

How about you? Any plans for the “long weekend” or will it look the same as every other shelter-at-home weekend?

I’ve got some terrific links for you this week. Here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

25 links this week!

Eight Great Houses For Sale In This Part Of Normandy

I know I’ve written about buying French Real Estate before, but I’ve been getting lots of questions about it lately, and I thought it would be fun to talk about it again. Mostly, people are curious about what kind of properties are out there, and what are prices like.

I spent some time this week on three of my favorite local real estate sites (Hexagone, Orpi, and Century 21), and selected 8 properties to share with you that stood out to me for one reason or another. Some are in town and very walkable. Some are in the countryside with lots of land. Some need tons of work. Some need none at all, or very little.

Remember: If you click through and check out the listings, be sure to use your imagination, because “staging” houses isn’t really a thing here. In fact, I’ve seen houses for sale with photos of unmade beds, and dishes in the kitchen sink. The nice thing about that is no one is trying to sneak anything past you — it’s all very transparent and feels honest and real. What you see is what you get. : )

Wish you were working on a house in Normandy? Well, maybe you can. Come see.

Living With Kids: Katie Garry

Katie Garry and her family live in Glendale, Ohio in a home that will feel familiar to so many parents — charming spaces touched with kids toys and piles of laundry that never seem to end. : )

Katie is the mom of two toddlers (not quite old enough to be in school yet). So, while her quarantine experience hasn’t had the home schooling aspect that many parents are managing, she is dealing with the unique challenges of trying to keep two little ones occupied, while she and her husband try and get their work done. Welcome, Katie!


Will We Build Something Better?

Six weeks ago, when sheltering-at-home was relatively new, Sonya Renee Taylor shared this thought on Instagram, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

As restrictions start to open, what have we learned? Are we trying to get back to what we thought was “normal”? Will we take this chance to do things differently?

Some of what’s on my mind:

Lots to discuss with you. Come share your thoughts.



Design Mom is all about the intersection of design and motherhood. I'm Gabrielle Blair (some people call me Gabby), a designer and mother of six. I think you're going to love reading Design Mom.

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