013: So Long, Season One . . . and a Surprise Announcement!

Episode Summary

In today’s episode, I do a little review of where I am with the Parenting Abroad podcast and my plans moving forward.  Listen to the end for my exciting personal news — and no, I am not pregnant.

A Thousand Thank You’s Are Not Enough

I decided it is time for a bit of a review of how things have been going with the show and with the other pieces that I am building for Parenting Abroad.   I have had a great time with the podcast launch. I had a chance to get to know some amazing individuals — expat parents who are also bloggers and podcasters, authors, entrepreneurs and diplomats . . . folks who are doing some incredible things.  I have learned so much, and I hope that you have too.

The show has had an unbelievable reception.  Your support has made all the difference.  The kind words people have left in the reviews are so motivating.  Within 2 weeks after the launch, the podcast rose to the number one iTunes New and Noteworthy for all three of my chosen categories: Kids and Family, Education and Society and Culture.  Parenting Abroad continues to bounce around in the top ten for all of these categories — I just looked again — Still there!  I could not have done this without your continued support — a thousand thank you’s are not enough to express my gratitude.

Another amazing thing that I did not anticipate was how many people contacted me either to connect me to potential future guests, or to invite me to come onto their own podcasts as their guest!  That was fun!

I really stepped out of my comfort zone with this podcast launch.  I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist which leads to the eventual, paralysis by analysis.  I decided to take the leap and let the chips fall where they may!  While there have been so many surprising and successful outcomes, there have also been a lot of challenges.

A Very Steep Learning Curve

My biggest hurdle has been with editing the audio files.  I am getting better at it but the learning curve is pretty steep.  You may have noticed some gaps in the releases, but now I have a plan for keeping things more consistent — I’ll get to that in a minute.

The other struggle I have had is finding time to communicate with you outside of the podcast itself.  I started off pretty strong with sharing the episodes, but that fizzled out as the time needed for other things increased-  It is quite the juggling act, but I am getting some systems and processes in place to keep a better handle on all the pieces.  This will also free up some time for building out the website tools and resources to provide support related to the themes in the episodes.

A Change in Format

So now for my plan — The biggest change that I am going to make is that I will move to a season format. So rather than publishing new episodes twice a week for all eternity— I will publish for 6 weeks or so and then take a break to prepare for the next season.

I also feel like my first episodes were a bit all over the place, and while I got to touch on a lot of interesting topics, I am going to try to have my future seasons focused on a more cohesive theme.  If I have something interesting to share, I may pop an episode in between the seasons, but for the most part, you can expect a break while I prepare everything for the next season’s release.

This will also give me time to work on my communication and to share the incredible interviews that are already published.  I am trying out different communication channels:  Facebook, where I tend to live, Twitter, which I am trying really hard to appreciate, and Pinterest, which is an endless time-suck but so much fun!  I also have an e-mail newsletter always just one revision away from ready.  If you have signed up for it, and heard nothing but crickets chirping — I promise to end that now.

I really appreciate your patience while I continue to learn and get a schedule going that I can maintain over time.  Having a this all firmed up is even more important because of the excitement my family has going on this Fall.  So here is the big announcement I mentioned.

We Are Doing a Semester Abroad!

I am taking the kids for a semester abroad and when I say abroad, I mean home in Houston.  I know it sounds a bit crazy, but the universe seemed to be screaming at me to do this.  It was just about time for my for my regularly scheduled temper tantrum about when we are moving back to the states.  (I have them about every 3 years).  We are planning a big renovation of our 1980s house which will make living in it virtually impossible.  and then the clincher. — My cousins, Don and Ilene and their 3 daughters are moving to Paris for the school year.  Their beautiful Houston home was going to stand empty so I asked if we might fill it!  They graciously agreed.  The stars were aligned so I decided to go for it!

The kids and I are so excited, and Thomas is very supportive.  He will stay here in Switzerland and visit a few times.  I went to Houston in May, and got the kids all registered for school and the wifi code for the house.  Emma and Jacob are attending a public Middle School which also happens to have an IB Middle Years program in place.  They are in for are in for a real culture shock!  The school is 10 times the size of any school they have ever gone to.  They will have lunch at school, and ride the bus.  They even have to wear uniforms.  (That may be my favorite part.)

I am not going to lie — I am also pretty nervous.  I have not lived in the U.S. for 13 years.  Emma was 18 months old when we moved and Jacob wasn’t even born!  There is no plan for us to move back permanently, and I just really wanted my kids to have a chance to experience real life in America — they only know it as the place where you are on vacation being spoiled rotten by your grandparents.   I really wanted to try being a mom in America too.  When we decided to have kids, I had a whole picture of the way things would be, and none of that came to pass.  I guess this is just a chance to walk a little on the road not taken.

You can be sure Season 2 of the podcast will give you a peek into what is going on with us. I am playing around with Facebook live videos to so you can catch us there if Emma will let me post things about her.

Tell Me More About YOUR Family

I have one parting request before I sign off — Take a minute to drop by the website and let me know a little about you and your family.  Where are you located, how did you get there and what is your biggest challenge when it comes to parenting abroad?  You can leave a voice message or send an e-mail by visiting www.parentingabroad.com/contact.

So that’s about it for me and for Season 1 of the Parenting Abroad podcast.  Thanks again for spending this time with me and with the generous people who have shared their experience on the show.  Talk to you soon!