Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Two Years

Two years ago last week, we came to Paris for our 'look see'. To look for a house to rent and to see what the school we had chosen and the new life we had committed to from the other side of the world would be like. We ended up choosing the very first house we were shown, although not before viewing quite a few more in ever decreasing states of repair! I wish I could say that I remember this rhododendron bush from that first visit. It must have been in full bloom, but I do know that we would have passed it as soon as we walked through the gates to explore this house's amazing garden.

This year it was at its most spectacular as we hosted a farewell party for three of the closest friends we have made in the past two years. The high price we pay for this expat life that we are so fortunate to live is the sad goodbyes we have to say every year as families are relocated somewhere else in the world.

I have found it much harder to deal with the farewells this year, partly I think, because after two years we have got to know the people who are leaving so much better and also because as each of the friends we are close to moves onto different and far flung parts of the world, I am realizing that it could be a very long time before we are able to see them all again in person. I am learning from experience, that it is even hard to keep in contact through emails and phone calls with all the friends we have around the world, so that is why I am so happy that two years ago I also started this blog. It is a way for me to remember the wonderful experiences we have had as well as sharing bits of our lives with everyone we know. Together with Instagram (you can follow me @growingberries) and Facebook there is a chance I will be able to keep all these wonderful people in my life.

We were originally moved to France for just two years, but I am pleased to say that we are now staying on for another year. We're not ready to go. We still haven't hung all our pictures, some of our belongings haven't made it out of the moving boxes and there is still so much to see and do in Paris. Not to mention Keith's work which of course is what really keeps us here, not luck or my desire to stay put. I've decided to start taking more photographs of this house I love so that when we finally do have to leave I will have created a portrait of it. So, from now on, every week or so I will share a little detail. Remind me if I forget!


  1. Wow, 2 years have come and gone. I love reading about your adventures and watching the girls grow up, especially Florence (when you left California she was barely 1). So happy your able to continue your adventures and I have the pleasure of reading and seeing them through your beautiful photographs. Happy Summer, look forward to the next adventure!
    Kristie Soll

  2. Oh yes, so true about the expat life...I think it is one of the things that no one ever warns you about ahead of time. It is an exciting and adventurous life and it is wonderful having friends all over the globe but so many goodbyes and always someone to miss. Le sigh...still, I think I wouldn't trade it! :)

  3. I think you could stay fifty years and there would be more to do in Paris

  4. hello nicky!
    i was nominated for a liebster award ???? and now i'm passing one on to you :) that's if you feel like playing along.
    i don't normally do these kinds of things but veronique of french girl in seattle nominated me and i love her :)
    if you feel like passing yours along just follow what i did on my blog.
    love your blog! xo

  5. Thanks for the sweet thoughts. I'm staying up all night to soak in as much life here as I can in my final hours (ok, so a bit dramatic, I know). I know we'll be back to visit, but like we've said; visiting in France and living in France are two different things. Thank you for being such a special part of our life here.

  6. Such a poignant post. We will miss you and your lovely family so much, but I look forward to meeting up again somewhere. The barbecue at your house was such a special way to wind down and enjoy friends after saying goodbye to the moving van. Many thanks!

  7. Beautiful post!! I totally resonate with you - We will hit our 2 year - exploration time in August...but it was this time of year exactly 2 years ago that we knew we were moving here. Wow, time certainly flies. We too, are saying goodbye to friends this summer who are moving back to the States - it is difficult - I think expats bond in a different way - a much deeper, closeness as we all share the ups, downs and everything in between of adjusting to a new culture. I agree, blogging, facebook and instagram keeps us connected - making the world feel like a slightly smaller place! I love your blog and I look forward to staying connected!


Bienvenue chez les Berries!
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A bientôt! Nicola

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