Although normally I love the week between Christmas and New Year's the most--this Christmas season the build-up to this week, with the days ticking away to the big day has been wonderful. I am really happy that we chose to wait until just over a week ago to really decorate. Everything is still fresh and ready---although I went a bit overboard on the live 'mini-evergreens' and I am schlepping them upstairs to the bathtub every few days for a nice damp 'shower'....I have so many that just using the kitchen sink is not an option.
We had a family dinner on Sunday to invite 'Belle Niece' and her handsome (I can say that because he is like my nephew--right?) 'mari'....who we will miss seeing at Christmas because we are l-e-a-v-i-n-g town! Yes! We are getting out of Dodge (or Basse Normandie!) for Christmas and going down to French Guy's sisters house (actually it is a CASTLE....I kid you not!) to spend time with them and we are taking my 'cher-in-laws' too! A big family road trip and I couldn't be more excited. They live between Dijon and Lyon--just to give you a reference point and I am thrilled to be going to their home again! Last time we visited I was not yet an 'immigrant'--we were on vacation and Oldest Garcon (aka 'the teen') was only 9 months old---so yes, that long ago! It should be really fun and amazing! I can't wait! (Did I say that already?!) We have to take a van because it is our family (us and the 'trois enfants' and French Guy's parents and then..... in a crazy moment of insanity we decided we will also take the three doggies... (easier than boarding or getting a sitter) so it should be well an 'interesting' 7 hour drive.....you will want to stay tuned!
On Friday-- we heard the news from thousands of miles away of the unspeakable tragedy in CT. News does take time to get over to us in France normally--but 'thanks' in part to things like Facebook--it sometimes travels very fast and it was within 30 minutes of the breaking news that I was aware of the story. There are no words. Coming from a girl that is never at a loss for words normally...
Our weekend, I am sure like most of you, passed with heavy hearts. Saturday morning I woke up and looked at my three children in awe and amazement of how incredibly blessed I am. A simple moment, the three of them in our 'veranda' sitting eating breakfast in their PJ's.... content and safe. I could have stood and starred at them for the rest of the day ..... weekend.
After this weekend we are feeling the joy and of Christmas slowly seeping back to us and our hearts over-flow with gratitude while we hug more often, love harder and pray for those whose arms are emptier with hopes that we can go on to make a difference, make decisions and efforts with renewed intent and wisdom and prevent this from ever happening again---anywhere.
French Guy and I are having a Christmas shopping date on Wednesday-- going to wrap up the gift buying for the kids (yes even the one the remains on the naughty-list as mentioned previously--although I am tempted to stop by 'Coals-R-Us' for that one!) I know this week is going to fly by like Dasher and Dancer! I am taking a break from the shop and won't be shipping until after the 28th of December. A sincere 'Merci' for a wonderful season--for your on-going support and kindness!
Trying to do one more post before the weekend---then I am outta here!
Until then---Have a great week mes amis!