Saturday, January 16, 2016

Catching Up: December

We always seem to have a lot going on, and I haven't been great about keeping the blog current.   Shawn's travel schedule has been ridiculously heavy since September, and by the time the kids are in bed and I get us sorted out for the next day,  I don't always feel like sitting down to recount it all.

At the beginning of the month, my mother in law sent me some beautiful Christmas fabric (thank you!) so I dusted off my sewing machine and made some pajamas.  This was the best picture I could get.  Finley loved his pajamas, but as for the picture, well, he wasn't feeling it.


While Shawn was in the US, I decided that we may as well carry on with the holiday season and instead of waiting on him to return to Luxembourg, the kids and I (for the first time since we've lived here) went and got a REAL, LIVE tree.  (We usually put up a fake one.)

                                 

I carried the tree from the tree lot to my car, loaded it into the car, carried it from the garage up the stairs to the living room and leveled it in the tree stand by myself.  If I'm being perfectly honest, I felt a little like Superwoman.  Hannah and I strung the lights on and both kids helped with the ornaments.


As this is our last Christmas in this house (that we love so much!) I wanted to get some pictures of how lovely it is with all the decorations.


Again this year, the American Women's Club of Luxembourg hosted its annual Christmas party and Hannah was asked to be an elf.  Unlike the 4th of July, she was quite happy to set aside her British roots and join the Americans.


Finley had a performance of his own at his creche.  I couldn't stop smiling about how sweet he is, blowing us kisses in the Santa hat that he made.  He truly brings so much happiness to our little family.


On the third Sunday of Advent, the kids sang in church. 
There's nothing sweeter than those little voices!



So.
We have an Elf on the Shelf.
Her name is Rosie.
I promised myself that I wouldn't become one of those moms who spend the entire month of December scouring Pinterest for elf ideas and posting nothing but elf photos on Facebook.  But we sure did have some fun with Rosie this year.  Here are two of the kids' favorites:



For the month of December, I sort of took over City Savvy Luxembourg's Instagram account, posting a countdown to Christmas.  The kids and I spent many afternoons and evenings walking around the city, taking photos of just how beautiful it is at Christmas.  Here are some of my favorites:


Gromperekichelcher: a Luxembourgish tradition.









The final mug in my collection of Luxembourg Christmas Market mugs.

The view from the top.





On the 20th of December, we boarded our plane and flew from Luxembourg to Paris to Detroit to Cleveland.  Everything went smoothly, and as much as I usually dread long haul flights with a toddler, we actually enjoyed our day of travel.

Seasoned travelers
When we arrived in America, Hannah and I made our way off of the plane a bit faster than Shawn and Finley, who lagged behind.

Hannah took in a big breath, puffed up her chest, smiled and looked from side to side, as if she was standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon.

"I just love the smell of America, don't you, Mom?"

Well, yes.

Perhaps if we were at the beach, with waves crashing and the salty air blowing through our hair.
Or in the Appalachians, breathing in the cool, crisp, mountain air.
Not in the international arrival terminal of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

But no matter; we were in America and I hadn't been there in an entire year.
It felt good to be home.