Parenting on Sabbatical and the Power of Gummy Bears

 [Note: We’ve been home several months now, but had written a few draft blogs before we left. This is one of them.]

“Honey, let me wipe them off. They are all over your face.”

boogers back Holly

The sadness of a mountain top without your boogers.


I wipe her face.

“MOM!!!!! Put them back! I didn’t want you to take them!! PUT MY BOOGERS BACK!!”

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Reflections On Our Swiss Family Sabbatical

So, once upon a time a Colorado family took a break from their careers and moved to Switzerland for a year and hijinks ensued.  Our year in Basel ended June 18th when we flew out of Zurich back to the states, complete with 14 pieces of luggage, 2 car seats, and 54 weeks of memories.  The van we hired to shuttle us and all that gear to the airport arrived early in the morning.  As we loaded it up, neighbors came out to the street to say goodbye.  We wished we had gotten to know them better earlier on in our stay, with some relationships not fully forming until a couple months before we left.  It felt as if we were leaving too soon, that we still had unfinished business there.  But, looking back now it is clear that we had a very full year with new friendships and memories we treasure. Here are some of my (Barry’s) favorite things about our year: Continue reading

Guest Blog: H takes over for a post

IMG_4071The following was dictated to me by H, she is four years old and her attention span is four words long. She giggled constantly through the post and insisted I share it. This might be a terrible idea, but hopefully the reader might relate to trying to work on a laptop near a small, attention-seeking child who is sometimes homesick and is mostly into fart jokes. Some things stay the same no matter where we are in the world. Continue reading

Life in Basel So Far

It is hard to believe we are half way through our year-long career break / sabbatical / rat-race-escape! While most of our posts have been about places we have traveled to, we haven’t shared much about life in the town we live in – Basel. Since summer turned to fall, we have traveled less and spent more time here going to school, exploring the town and learning about its traditions. Continue reading

A Weekend in Paris (with kids)

Paris is just a three-hour train ride or a one-hour flight from Basel, yet still I could almost see us somehow not finding the time during our year-long career break to visit it.  But, with my niece and her friend spending a few weeks with us on a European vacation, we pounced on the opportunity to invite ourselves along with them to the city of lights. After all, what 22 year-old would want to visit Paris without their (cool) aunt, (f)uncle and two young cousins in tow? Continue reading

First Day of School in a New Country

I had been dreading this day for months.  Imagine your first day at a new school where you don’t know anybody and you find it hard to understand what your teachers and classmates are saying because you don’t yet speak their language.  Sounds like a bad dream, perhaps the one where you look down and realize you forgot to put on pants that morning as you walk into the classroom.  I was scared for our two girls to have to experience this as part of our family sabbatical in Switzerland.  But, amazingly, they were not as intimidated as their parents were (and H doesn’t like to wear pants, or even clothes, anyway so that part would be no big deal).

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“Who’s excited to start school in a new country?!” At least 1.5 kids are.

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