Not long after we returned to our little house in the hills in Provence, we found out that we were expecting our third baby. I pictured myself blogging throughout my pregnancy, but I found that two kids 3 and 5, plus being pregnant, didn’t leave me much time for writing. During my nesting stage, we really did much work to the house and I even poured some concrete when I was 7 months along for the kid’s pool. My midwife wasn’t very happy about this! But I was quite proud of my work at the time. Anyways, I will introduce you to our third little French American baby shortly. She arrived healthy and without any complications. We are so blessed and I couldn’t be more grateful to have her.
We bought our little house in the hills when I was pregnant with my second, and we were not considering having a third child at that point. Now with our third little one, we see that soon it’s going to get tight over here. We have two bedrooms upstairs (our room and our two oldest share a room), and downstairs you must cross one bedroom to get to the other bedroom. Currently, the downstairs bedrooms are a playroom and my office/laundry room. So this brings us to the ultimate decision… do we buy a house here in the Banon area or move closer to a big city?
We’ve lived in this area for the combined total of 4 years, and finally feel a part of the community. We know business owners, made friends, and began a life here. Giving this up is difficult to imagine. But the fact is, we have three kids and are 45 minutes away from the high school, hospital, and major stores. We are 25 minutes from a smaller city with some activities for the kids and stores, but we’ve found over the years we always end up going the distance. While I don’t mind driving, it takes a chunk of time out of my day to do something simple like go to the dentist or buy a new shirt. I go once a week to buy groceries in Manosque, 45 minutes away, and while I’m there, I try to run all my errands. This makes for a long day, and it’s annoying when I forget something – I have to wait an entire week to get it, or make another long journey in between.
Whenever we spend the day in a big city or go on vacation, we’re always happy to return to our small village. It’s so calm and peaceful, with breathtaking views no matter the season or time of day. We’re protected, surrounded by rolling hills and hidden away from the rest of the world. Over here, it’s like you’re living in your own little world. We have friendly neighbors, good schools, and all the basic comforts. So why move? The more kids we get, the more I’m valuing convenience. I don’t have the leisure time I had before. If I need to visit the doctor, I can’t afford for it to take 2.5 hours out of my day. Or, if my daughter has run out of tights without holes, I’d like to be able to run to the store and pick a few up. Hospital visit late at night? Yes, it’s a pain! And when the kids reach high school, it’ll be a long day for them to travel 45 minutes to and from school (school lets out much later here than in the US). Some parents here do boarding school, but I can’t imagine not seeing my kids only on weekends at such a young age.
Maybe we’re starting to get old, but we don’t have the motivation to move to a new region. We loved living in Bordeaux, but it would be too much work to take the kids over there and rent while researching the surrounding villages. So we decided to take some time to learn more about the area around Manosque. While we were visiting Pierrevert, Villeneuve, Oraison, we stumbled across an adorable house in Volx. Our plan was to research the area and move in two years. However, this house was ideal and priced much lower than the market, so we scooped it up before we lost out on the deal. I’ll tell you much more about our find later.
We not only chose Volx because it’s 5 minutes from major stores, but because this village has much to offer families. It’s an active village that invests in the community, especially it’s youth. It has 2 playground areas, tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, and what appears as a gymnasium. It also has a preschool, elementary, and middle school. High schools are only a short bus ride away. There’s also a hiking trail right up the hill, and rock climbing. It was very important to us to live near nature, as we both enjoy jogging or taking long walks with the kids. Traveling will also be easier, as we’ll be about 10 minutes from the train station, and one hour from the Marseille airport. Weekend activities? There’s a lake about 10 minutes away and the Gorges du Verdon is roughly a 30 minutes drive. There are also movie theaters, shows, and indoor and outdoor playgrounds for kids.
Our closing is in 2 months. It’ll be a bitter sweet day. We’ll be excited about this next step in our life, yet sad to leave the area where we called home for so long. We love it here, and we’ll really miss the life we’ve built here. It’s always scary moving to a new place, not knowing what to expect. We anxiously await our new home, and hope to find it as welcoming as the home we’re leaving behind.