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Big news for our family

In case you’ve caught word, friends, the rumors are true. In just five weeks from today, we will move our little family of five to a village in France.

It’s been a relocation we’ve considered for quite some time. Years, in fact. Long before we had children, but it wasn’t time. The arrival of our little boy Amani along with a host of other factors have tipped the scales to “need more help!”, “need more hands!”. It’s time.

The children know we’re moving across the ocean and how many planes it takes to get there. They do speak French and are also familiar with life at Mamie and Papi’s house. They have countdown calendars running and growing excitement. Excitement at the prospect of tire swings in the countryside, finally going to school, and visiting their donkey friend (if he hasn’t been made into sausage yet!?). Their world is also already unraveling a little bit. They watch strangers from Craigslist drive up and buy their toys and their furniture. Reality though, will only truly set in as we lay down suitcases in echoey bedrooms. When days pass without seeing “mailman Hank” and the little cousins. These will be some hard things about transition, but we tell ourselves it will never ever be easier than this to move our family to a new country. It’s time.

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In these final weeks, our most important task besides closing down our house, is to leave well. We fill each free moment with a meal, a goodbye. It’s exhausting and painful and profound, this act of saying goodbye. We long to experience farewells fully in order to enter into the new season of life fully. Obviously, goodbyes are a two way street and we’re trying hard to honor and respect other people’s emotions: a wide range from friends who aggressively pursue us for every last moment that can fit into our time, to those expressing betrayal and have become distant. It’s painful, but we want to sit in that uncomfortable space called “grief” and hear our friends out. Each relationship is affected by our departure, but only a few choose to send us off in blessing and with open hands: thinking not of themselves and their loss, but of us and our gain (and our loss!). I have learned a lot from that and how to send people off. Like precious gems, I’ve treasured these empowering words of life as we move to a new season. It’s our heart to somehow encourage those left behind too, whether they see themselves as such or not.

Not so surprisingly, we’re both excited and nervous about the road ahead. There are a lot of unknowns but we can’t wait to walk more in what we believe is our family’s calling. We look forward to fewer conveniences, a slower pace in our day to day lives, and even fewer choices! It’s exciting for the children to live in the same country as their maternal grandparents for the first time, and let’s be honest, for this mama to perhaps have some helping hands given all of TM’s travels. TM and I also can’t wait to watch our kids forge their own Third Culture Kid journey. I personally look forward to the prospect of using my language skills and freelancing a bit more.

Since we are leaving, I feel I can at last write where we have been living all this time. Have you noticed I was all loosey goosey about our location? Ha! Don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s those Internet creeps! Well, now I can say that we were based in the “Mile High” city of Denver, Colorado. Denver has been so good to us. We’ll miss its blue skies and phenomenal weather, its hipster feel and a vibrant foodie scene. Its active and cultured denizens, the great outdoors and the inspiring and edgy, natural birth world. Most of all, of course, we’ll miss the dear relationships we have here: family, little cousins, friends and littler friends.

Five weeks from today, we will swap the Rocky Mountains…

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for the Mont Blanc and Alps of the Haute-Savoie region of France.

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Thanks for following our ongoing adventure.

15 thoughts on “Big news for our family

  1. Ohhhhh, it pains us to enter this last stretch, to stare down a goodbye, to wonder if the cousins will still fight like siblings when they spend more time on Skype than in person. So, so many things about goodbyes are hard, the biggest the unknown and the uncertainty of it’s finality. But we know, the sweetness we’ve had the last 6 years! Of raising families together, of giving cousins friendships that we pray will last a lifetime. Can you imagine, though, if we all stayed in one place for the sake of others, not caring where adventures could take us, where the Lord was asking to follow? ! What a boring life to lead, not one we want for ourselves and definitely not one we want for our dear fam. So, we try hard to not make bucket lists because all we want are those quiet (or rather loud) get togethers where the kids profess love for each other in between swiping toys and snacks, and we try to get two compete sentences in, in a row. ?

    1. “Can you imagine, though, if we all stayed in one place for the sake of others, not caring where adventures could take us, where the Lord was asking to follow?” Actually, I can. And we’ve considered it long and hard. Thanks for being so selfless in letting us take the terrifying, exhilarating big leap. Remember that R. Lyons quote?

      “Who will catch us when we fall? We don’t have an answer, so we stay far from the ledge. Far from the possibility of failure or pain. Because falling without a safety net terrifies us. Never mind that we are equipped with wings on our backs, rusty from disuse. Wings we’ve had since childhood that have been clamped down so long they aren’t sure how to spring forth anymore. We fear they aren’t strong enough to carry us now, so we peek over the ledge at the lush growth and waterfall below, but we wouldn’t dare jump. Instead, we toil responsibly at the life we’ve created. Far from the ledge.“

      Love you and miss you already.

      1. Awe this is so sweet you two! With a cousin far away and play mainly via Skype for my boy and his cousin I can assure you their love for each other is blossoming despite the distance.

  2. Well, you know I couldn”t be happier knowing you are coming here. Now it’s time for Sandra and I to meet your lovely children, speak french/english and share a glass of french wine, right? 😉 I can feel excitement here too! ps. I LOVE your drawing. Are you selling it too?

    1. Yes, it’s gonna be nice to have some more casual interactions with you and S. Tu nous dis quand vous êtes en vacances et on s’arrange pour venir vous chercher et vous acceuillir!
      You’re too much. I need to improve my proportions of South America and the details of the Middle East first! Don’t look too closely! I’ve never drawn a world map before, have you? It’s harder than you think. And rookies like me think they can get by without a grid! 🙂
      PS: The wine can be from anywhere, the time together is far more important! I’ll be completely honest: we haven’t lacked French wine as we always bring about 15 bottles back after each trip. 🙂

      1. Ok! Good point about the wine. So how about some vegan treats? I’ve a sweet tooth and maybe so have you! I’ve never drawn a world map before… I closely looked at the way you drew Australia (bah oui, quel autre pays?!) and I think Tasmania looks different on your version. Let’s say it’s because of global warming, right? 😉

  3. not a bad swap at all….even though I am a bit bummed that I did not make it out to see you all while we are at least still on the same continent….,-) aber, jetzt seid ihr wieder näher an Gupf dran! Wenn eure kleinen so weit sind, hat Mama bestimmt nichts dagegen, ihnen auf Avalon reiten beizubringen! Gottes Segen für den grossen Sprung!

    1. Na Lisa! Wir müssen dann einfach schauen, dass du dich bei uns meldest wenn du wieder im Ländle bist! Es kann sogar sein, dass wir uns noch öfter sehen, weil wir eben näher an Gupf-City wohnen werden. The kids would LOVE to ride on Avalon. You might want to be there for that though, as they might giggle the whole way! HA!

  4. I am so excited for you!!! What a wonderful adventure. And what wonderful gifts to give your kids… that land, their grandparents, a mom who feels supported and less isolated, an opportunity to experience another culture. I look forward to following along via the blog. Best wishes for a safe passaged.

    1. Thank you, thank you, Pam! It took some courage but now it feels like a very unique time to make the leap for our family. Yesterday, we bumped into this French father with three kids who ended up bemoaning the fact that he never took his kids over when they were little. He lost courage to keep up the second language too, so the kids can’t communicate with their grandparents.. Of course, it is never too late, but with each year that goes by, I think there is a greater cost to pay. You know that I’ll be following Whatevs too. You are truly such a talented writer and I can’t wait to see where you go!

  5. As you know we will miss you and the littles dearly. However, we are also so very happy for you! As you know this European mommy in Colorado is hoping to someday make that same journey for the sake of the richer cultural experiences for the munchkins. Just hope we make the move before we feel like the French guy you met ?

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