Sunday, December 16, 2012

Keep on smiling

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.

Noel 2
Noel 3
Noel 4
Noel 5
Noel 8
Noel 6
Noel 7
Noel 9
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.

Noel 1


  1. A beautiful post, Nicola. Heartfelt, and moving. I enjoyed looking at your beautiful, happy, rowdy bunch. Life goes on, and that is a good thing. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  2. Beautiful photos, beautiful post. I have found myself really upset by this tragedy, like you, because of the fact it could so easily have been our family. Just looking at my 6 year old and trying to imagine such a thing happening to her... doesn't make for a good nights' sleep. I agree with you - nothing else is really important, not the gifts, the cards, or the socks I still haven't posted (ahem) - just family. Those families that were affected are very much in my thoughts. x x

  3. Beautifully written and beautiful pictures of your girls. Puts the whole season into perspective... and I want to hear how you made those letters... they are gorgeous!

  4. Thanks for your wonderful, thought provoking post. It is hard to comprehend how something so terrible can happen to such a young and innocent group. As you said, my babes are getting extra hugs. Love your photos--what a fun idea and great prop. Happy holidays to all of you.

  5. I enjoyed reading your post this morning. It is an unbelievable tragedy many are facing. I too have hugged my girls extra tight these past few days. I love the photos and the words are wonderful and very true. Thanks for sharing...

  6. The girls look lovely, it was worth the time making the letters, very nice.

  7. Your girls are just adorable. Your photos reminded me so much about how much joy and anticipation the days before Christmas brought to me as a kid. I wish I experience that sort of feeling as an adult. As they say, youth is wasted on the young... Merry Christmas!

  8. so cute nicky! your girls looked beautiful last night at the concert! my guy wouldn't take his sweatshirt off..uugh. boys. :)
    merry christmas to you and your family!

  9. They are as adorable in a photo as they are in real life! You really hit a winner with the photo and captured each of their darling personalities! I can only imagine the giggles and laughter in staging the photo, and certainly Miss Florence would steal my heart with her rendition of "Call Me Maybe."

    Imagine two more girls and everyone with a camera... that was my crazy childhood of laughter and silliness.

    Big hugs to all,

  10. These are exactly the images I love to see on a card or anywhere else. When friends occasionally ask me to take photos of their children, I warn them I don't do posed shots. I would never have been able to choose just one of these for a card. I'm glad you shared them all with us.

    Yes, our hearts are still heavy here. As a former third grade teacher, It hit a little too close to home for me thinking about the horror of it all. Thank you for your kind words.

    Happy New Year to the whole clan. I hope to see you and all or some of the girls very soon!

  11. Your daughters are absolutely gorgeous! Such lovely photos of them all.

    I also felt the same way after hearing about the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Those families must be suffering so much. The whole thing is just so unbearable and unbelievable. I also hugged my kids tighter and more often after hearing about it.

    I wish you all a Happy New Year! Many warm greetings from Italy. Jillian xxx
    ps...I didn't realise you also had twins!

  12. What beautiful photos of your girls!

  13. why didn't my comment work from my iphone. aarrgghh. now on my computer

  14. I think I finally got it set up from phone. Yahoo!!

  15. Ok. Whew . Now that it works, I can start reading. Lots of catching up to do! Excited to get started.


Bienvenue chez les Berries!
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A bientôt! Nicola

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