About a “Mostly Together” Mom


Hello, bonjour! Je m’appelle Crystal.

I’m getting pretty used to saying that now. “Bonjour.” Seems like it was a lifetime ago when we decided to uproot our Canadian family and move to Paris! What a week that was… Monday: find out I’m unexpectedly (though not unwelcomingly) pregnant with our third (and last! haha…) child, Tuesday: turn 30 years old, and Wednesday: find out that James’s company is shutting the doors on it’s Edmonton engineering office and that they were offering him a transfer to Clamart. “Where’s that?!” I asked, praying it wasn’t in some God-forsaken frozen wasteland that’s worse than an Alberta winter. Or equally as unappealing to me, a sub-saharan or equatorial humid, sweat-inducing locale. “Paris” was his reply. Done. Fast forward about 9 months (and many heartbreaking conversations with family and friends… “Hey, guess what! We’re pregnant!” “YAY!!!!” “Oh, yeah, and we’re moving to France….”) and here we are!

I’m currently a stay at home mom to my 3 awesome kids, Hunter (6), Taigen (4) and Bennett (almost 2 months), and to my fur-baby Coda. Before moving to Paris and doing the stay at home mom thing, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Bachelor of Education degree in Secondary Education, which allowed me to teach junior and senior high school science and math, and…..preschool/pre-kindergarten for a year.

When given the opportunity to move to Europe, with the exception of being so far away from the family that we are so close with, the decision wasn’t all that difficult. We thought how amazing it would be to be able to travel more easily, experience another culture, and to  give our children experiences that very few other people get to have. Our kids are young and would adapt readily, so it was more of a “why not?” than a “why.” So now we are here, and we are going through the same learning curve that all ex-pats must have to. Ordering food in a foreign language at a restaurant, making doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, filling prescriptions, using public transportation, and adjusting to new laws and customs, all while attempting to maintain some semblance of normalcy for my family are some of the things that I like to write about. My kids are intelligent and hilarious, and provide me with hours of amusement and will likely be the stars of many of my posts. And while I am usually quite organized,  quite level headed, and quite pulled together, like every Mom  (and especially, I assume, an ex-pat mom in a strange country), there are instances where I go off the deep end. Luckily, I can usually see the humour and silver lining in any situation, and therefore I’ve decided that I’m a  “Mostly Together” Mom.

Really, when it comes down to it, we are just a very normal family from small-town Alberta (that’s in Canada. No, it’s not close to Toronto. Yes, closer to Vancouver, but not “close” to Vancouver. No, we don’t speak French already….other side of Canada) that is just trying to survive and thrive in a foreign city that is halfway around the world from our families. Happy reading, I hope that you enjoy following my family and I on this adventure!



My little man, Bennett, at 6 weeks old


Mommy and Bennett, during one sleepless night


Taigen and Hunter, ready for their first day of International School!


My late-night drinking buddy, Bennett. Benny-boo. Benny Rabbit


Family selfie, taken by “he with the long arms.” If it was up to me to take it, there would only be 2 people in it.


My sweet girl, Taigen (4 years old)


My loves


Hunterpotamus Rex


My good dog Coda. Seriously, the best dog ever.


First of many family picnics by the Eiffel Tower


Notre Dame. Taigen posing, as usual


12 thoughts on “About a “Mostly Together” Mom

  1. Most enjoyable reading, dear FN (definitely my Favorite European Niece)! Thank you for sharing your adventures and your amazing photos. Bonsoir!


  2. Hi Crystal! I was contacted today by another blogger, she told me about a TrailingSpouseStory Blog Crawl they’re doing. Every month a ‘TrailingSpouse’ blogger can participate by writing a post on a given subject. They’d like to include any TrailingSpouse willing to join. Would you be interested? I can email you the details if you want.


  3. You must be the bravest mommy I know. Although I may fantasize of such an amazing adventure, I just don’t know. I have traveled to Paris with my husband before we had children and I loved it!! You are my hero for being so courageous!! I look forward to you blog and reading of your adventure. It sounds like you have the right attitude. Your family is beautiful!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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