YQB – Quebec City to SMF to Sacramento, CA, USA

Hello! My name is Melanie. I’m a French Canadian born and raised in Quebec City, Canada. I left my hometown for Milton, Ontario in 2010 with my 4 week-old and my 4 year-old boys to follow my husband’s career. We are now living in the Sacramento area since 2012. After almost a year of maternity leave in Ontario, I started a home-based business. I was designing and selling handmade kitchen and home decor accessories. I then created a bilingual blog “Melanie a la maison” to support my online boutique. The blog now is more about the expat life and sharing what we discover with lots of photos!

The expat life is such a deep and personal experience, with its ups and downs! We have been through a lot since we started this adventure. Sometimes pretty funny, sometimes not. Here is a glimpse of a few of those “moments” –

When going through the paper work to move in the US, my husband and I couldn’t find any working visa category that would suit my professional activities. See, I was freelancing and selling online handcrafted items, two activities that we found out after talking to a couple of legal experts, don’t fit in any legal working visa in the US. That was a pretty disappointing moment for me. Even though I see all the benefits of being a stay-at-home mom, I admit I really really miss what I was doing. I’m still upset at times that in 2013 a spouse that follows her husband for professional reasons is not automatically allowed to pursue her professional endeavour (I wrote a lengthy post about this when I officially closed my shop). Sadly I’m not the only one in this position. That being said, I think I got a “not-so-bad” deal after all : NorCal in California is a fun place to be and we have a nice spacious house.

On a funnier note: when my husband got the working contract in California, we realized that we would have to be married quickly for US immigration purposes. Yes I know, in Quebec, we don’t marry a whole lot anymore. Because when you move for work everything moves pretty fast, so getting married was fast too. On a Wednesday evening while picking up after dinner, my oldest son came in the kitchen and said: “Daddy wants to know if you will marry him?” My husband couldn’t find a spot at the City Hall soon enough, but he found an officiant that would take us the next day. On Friday, the 13th. Yep Friday the 13th. So on Thursday night, I was texting a friend:
Hey, can you be free tomorrow around lunch time and drive to Hamilton?
Hum, I can maybe move things around
I know it’s short notice but I would appreciate
Yeah, ok. What for?
I need a witness, getting married tomorrow
I think that was the most burlesque text messaging I had in a long time =)



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