Chapter 32. A Year in Review

Wow, I still can’t believe 2017 is over- it’s been an absolutely crazy year, full of some major life changes for our little family. I’ve compiled a little summary with a few photos and links to some of my previous blog posts… which ended up being a really interesting exercise for me; it’s amazing how many things I had forgotten about! It’s a great incentive to keep blogging through the New Year.


The year started off at home in Switzerland….we had our first big snowfall on the fourth, and I still remember how excited I was! At this point Marc and I knew for sure that we would be moving, but we still had no idea how soon it would be happening. I think we found out mid-January that Marc would be starting at the beginning of March….CRAZY!


I didn’t end up spending much of January in Switzerland- Marc and I were in Paris for a few days, and then I spent a very chilly (but completely wonderful) week in Canada with my family. I was determined to enjoy the snow as much as possible, as I knew I wouldn’t be seeing much of it for the next couple of years in Paris.


This month was just total chaos…I turned 29, we did a ton of snowshoeing, and I started selling all of our extra stuff before the move. Things became real very quickly, as this was Marc’s last month in Switzerland. Moving within Europe is relatively straightforward, but there are still a million little things to do that you never really think of before.


Oh, and we had a very large friend come and stay…


This was one of the most difficult months of the year. Marc had to start work in Paris, but we didn’t yet have a place to live, so Murphy and I stayed in Switzerland and sold off the remainder of our stuff while Marc moved into a temporary apartment in the city.

I had the opportunity to visit Marc for a long weekend and we used the time to apartment shop- we didn’t find much that we liked until we walked into a bright apartment in Neuilly-sur-Seine, and we fell in LOVE. It’s crazy to look back at the photos and see our first glimpse at the place that is now our home- the room where I’m typing this now, and the pond where I walk Murphy every day. It was all so new and unknown back then! Happily I’m just as in love with it now as I was on that day.

The rest of the month was spent saying goodbye– to the mountains, to my friends, Marc’s family, and my students. It was heartbreaking but at the same time I was so excited to move and be with Marc again, and start this grand adventure together in Paris. I moved on the 31st of March and had a TERRIBLE day- you can read all about it here. We were both VERY happy to put March in the rear-view mirror and move on into April.


The beginning of the month was spent trying to get our bearings. We had to figure out where to shop, where to go to the gym, how to set up a bank account (impossible) and how to get internet into our flat (also impossible). We ate at a lot of amazing places and had a great time getting to know the city.

The weather was STUNNING and we had such a great time wandering around. I wrote a few blogs that month: one about my love/hate relationship with the city, one about Easter weekend, and one about keeping healthy here.


May was a fantastic month. We started off in Switzerland visiting family and handing over our old apartment. Then Murphy celebrated his fifth birthday (all grown up!!).


A little later in the month my mom and little brother came to visit; they were doing a tour all over Europe and it was SO nice to have them here for a few days. We did a ton of ‘touristing’ with them and it was a blast!


It was the first Sunday in June when we wandered into the Église Protestante Évangélique des Ternes, thinking we would be joining the local protestant church for a service. Instead, it happened to be the one weekend a month that Emmanuel International Church was having a service there, so we were introduced to an amazing, vibrant, English-speakng Christian community, completely by surprise- what a blessing that day was!!

June was also when summer hit us hard, it got soooo incredibly hot in the city, it was almost unbearable! We did a lot more exploring of the city and enjoyed a lot of picnics and time in the Bois.


More family time! My brother James and his wife Chloe came to visit us from Australia, and we had a great time introducing them to Paris and all its sights/sounds/tastes.


After they left, it was time to set off on our big French road trip- we visited Bordeaux, Andorra, Marseille, and Beaune- it was so cool to see what a huge and diverse country France is; each of these destinations was incredibly unique. Our trip began near the end of July and continued through the beginning of August.


After coming home from our big road trip, we were happy to spend the rest of August relaxing and exploring Paris. The city is incredibly quiet during the summer months (all the locals are down south on the beach), so it was a good time to wander around. We saw a ton of amazing sights and ate (and drank!) very, very well.


Our time in Paris involved more exploring in September- we visited the spectacular Marché des Puces and soaked in some culture at the Musée des Arts et Métiers. We also rented a car and headed back to Switzerland for a long weekend- we wanted to watch the Swiss Alpine Battle, which is a CrossFit competition organized by friends of ours and one that we’ve helped out at for the past couple of years. We also were excited to spend time with Marc’s family and enjoy the mountains.


October was a really special month. We had Marc’s younger brother Jeremy visit us for a weekend and the three of us caught a train to Amsterdam (well, technically we missed our first train….) and met up with my parents there. We had a great time wandering around Amsterdam, it was the first time I’ve been and I enjoyed it so much! My parents then came back to Paris with us, and we had tons of adventures: we ran the 20km de Paris, we had friends from church over for a traditional Canadian thanksgiving, we discovered food festivals in Montmartre and we wandered all over the city.


Paris exploded into fall colours in November, and it was incredibly beautiful! The weather was pretty mild and sunny overall, so we did a lot of adventuring and exploring- both in Neuilly and Paris. Marc spent a couple weeks away in India, but I managed to keep pretty busy by starting a French class and by spending a lot of time with friends. Since the days were getting short and dark, we spent a lot more time cozying up inside with Murphy, which was really nice. Adventures are all well and good, but chill time is also very important!

Oh, and Marc and I ran a ridiculously cold and muddy 10K near the end of the month- it was all on trails and it poured rain the whole time. It was miserable but strangely fun!


The month of Christmas!! I got very excited about Christmas this year, as I knew we would be spending it here in Paris and I wanted to soak in the whole European Christmas experience. We took a train to Strasbourg early in the month and got to enjoy the Marché de Noël….what an experience that was! A week or so later we had friends from church over for a big Christmas party, after which it was time for the church party (amazing!), and then before we knew it….it was actually Christmas day. Marc’s mom joined us for Christmas weekend, and we had a wonderful, relaxing, quiet time all together. Murphy was especially happy- lots of yummy food and he loved all his gifts!

Then it was fondue & puzzles for New Year’s Eve (we are so old!) and on New Year’s Day we had an epic brunch with a few of our friends.

It’s really been a crazy year, full of new things….a new home, a new country, a new church and new friends. We have certainly faced our share of challenges, but overall we feel so blessed with how this year has gone. Praise be to God for his goodness!

Here’s to 2018- I hope it’ll be a good one.

Love to you all, thanks for reading this massive post!

Until next time,


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