We finally took the picture for our Christmas Card this afternoon. Almost certainly too late to get them printed up and sent out in time for Christmas and only possible after much bribery, arguments about wardrobe choices and general moaning and groaning from everyone present.
Despite the fact that I spent the best part of a day crafting the much more complicated than I anticipated prop for the photo (a story for another day) and a Christmas Card list of almost 100 expectant friends and family, if I'm honest at first, my heart wasn't really in today's photo session, heavy as it is with grief for all those families affected by the Sandy Hook shootings. Does any of this self-imposed Holiday stress really matter when there are families who will never celebrate with their children again? This incident feels so close to home. A shooting in a nice neighbourhood, at a good school. One of the children killed was British, just like my children. Another was a twin whose sister has survived. Our twins have always been in different classes, we would have been facing that heartbreaking scenario too.
But, we're not. We spent the weekend exactly as we would have. Studying for tests, arguing about homework, laughing as we watched Florence dance to Call Me Maybe. Whilst this tragedy affects us deeply and our sympathy for the families is indescribable, mercifully our life goes on. The girls are still hoping that Santa finds them in France and our families and friends want to see the infamous Christmas Card from the Berries, however late it may arrive.
I had all sorts of frivolous Christmassy posts mentally written which after Friday's news suddenly seem so irrelevant, but we have to carry on. It is with gratitude that I post these pictures of my smiling, silly, annoying, argumentative children. You can be sure that they have all had extra tight hugs this weekend.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Well hello again! Where did November go? It's been a busy month with not much time for writing or photographing and certainly no time for editing. A month when I forgot I had photos like this on my camera card. I thought you'd like to see it along with a few more snapshots from a November that's been and gone.
This is what I was doing on November 1st! More on that to follow, I promise, along with lots more about our trip to the lovely Luberon.
We stayed here.
Visited old towns and castles every day.
My niece came to visit with my sister and beau frère. Florence was just as enthralled by 'baby' as the last time they met and was thrilled to be the big girl for the weekend.
I visited the Army Museum and Napoleon's tomb in Les Invalides with my tour group. So much more interesting than I would ever have thought. I would definitely recommend it and don't miss the Musée des Plans-Reliefs in the attic. One of Paris' hidden treasures.
Our family of British Passport holders hosted Thanksgiving dinner for two American expat families spending their first Thanksgiving abroad.
Thanks to Picard frozen pumpkin and my favourite recipe the Pumpkin Pie was a success...
and perfectly decorated by Savannah.
Florence was in charge of table decorations. She was absorbed in this activity to wash the oak leaves I had picked up on the street for ages.
They looked just right on the table with the chestnuts from the trees in our own garden.
We set our table for fourteen for the first time ever...
and put hardly a dent in the 10kg turkey!
We are so thankful to have been able to share this Holiday with new friends who already feel like old friends.
When I wasn't busy with all that I was sewing, sewing, sewing in preparation for my first ever craft fair on December 1st. I am pleased to report that it was a fantastic experience which I will tell you all about soon.