FS Friday// Holidays Abroad

If you told me I would spend a christmas in Paris when I was younger I would have freaked out, let alone TWO Christmas’s in Paris. I feel like last year we were just barely getting over jet lag and figuring out how to travel around the city with four cuties in toe. We had a nice relaxed Christmas with just our immediate family. We visited the champs, went ice skating and had our first weekend getaway sans kids. It was a great Christmas. This year I was thrilled that not only was my Mom coming to be with us but also my sister and her hubby. I talk often about the pros and cons of the Foreign Service and being away from family during the holidays is definitely a con (at least for me) but being able to host your family in a country like France for Christmas? Huge pro. My mom arrived a week before Christmas and I have to be honest I haven’t seen a single visitor of ours (and we have had over 70 this past year) slay jet lag like she did. You wouldn’t know she had just lost 8 hours! My little sister and her darling husband arrived on Christmas Eve and we promptly took the entire party to the Eiffel Tower.

I nearly started crying with happiness as the cuties rode the merry go round with their Aunt and Uncle as my mom and I watched. Chris whispered “should this be a new tradition?” Which really sent me over the edge. I am constantly amazed at how many times in our lives I have these “wow, I can’t believe this is actually happening” moments. I made a little video just on my phone of the merry go round and the Eiffel Tower Sparkling you can see HERE if you would like. After soaking up as much magic as we could we drove down to Place De La Concorde (where the embassy is so we know it WELL). We got some treats at the Champs Elysee Christmas fair and I took the kids down the big slide in potato sacks twice.

                                          ^^^That is my little sister Claire and her hubby Paul^^^

We even got to see Santa escorted down the Champs by 20 or so police officers on motorcycles. Sad story, everyone but Sawyer caught a glimpse of him. Sawyer wasn’t able to spot him as he zoomed past. He dissolved into quiet tears that I didn’t even notice for a few minutes and then originally mistook for him not getting the sweetie he wanted. He is the most TENDER little guy. He stayed with Chris and my mom for some consolation time while the rest of us rode the  Roue de Paris.

I was so bummed that I didn’t have my DSLR because the views were stunning!

I am not a huge fan of heights but it didn’t phase the kids at all. I am so jealous of the bravery of a child. I guess it has a lot to do with ignorance but Evie pressed her face up to the glass door like it was nothing, I meanwhile had to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth to calm myself down ha! After all that fun we headed home to read Luke 2, sing some carols and tuck the cuties in bed. I am pretty sure it was the best Christmas Eve I have ever experienced and will be VERY hard to top, but, Chris and I like a challenge ha! I couldn’t help thinking as I put the presents under the tree how different next year will be. Chris will most likely be in Afghanistan so I will be putting tucking the kids in by myself and playing the role of santa. We will be in UT not Paris which means a lot less glitz and glamour and lots more family and friends. Then my mind moved on to the Christmas’s to follow in Sydney and how the kids will get a taste of my childhood in Southern California where it is warm on Christmas and there was usually a trip to the beach involved. Many many fun Christmas adventures to come!

Christmas morning Chris and I woke up before the kids and hung out talking in the living room until four littles tip toed down the hall then huddled together.


They couldn’t see the tree or the presents from there and I LOVED being able to see all their faces when they rounded the corner. (Every night our boys get wicked bed head, I mean finger in the socket type bed head, what is UP with that?) Poor Paul and Claire were fighting the beast that is jet lag but were such good sports.


The cuties were all very happy with their “haul” this year. We have a tradition that Santa brings them one big awesome present and anything else (usually only 3-4 presents) are from Mom and Dad.


I think the hit of Christmas was the Ana costume I bought on a whim in Ireland at Tesco for like 9 euros. Evie has worn it every single day since she opened it. The fabulous hair was courtesy of my older sister Felicity (thank you!).


We had a yummy Christmas dinner and complete with Christmas Crackers and glittered wooden flatware courtesy of this tutorial.


I am so grateful to my mom and sister and brother in law or making the big trip over and sacrificing being with their other family members to make our last Christmas here so wonderful. I hope your Christmas was filled with whatever makes you happiest!



5 Responses to FS Friday// Holidays Abroad

  1. Dasha 01.10.14 at 5:20 pm #

    Aw man, family on Christmas is so important and such a blessing! I used to not care about it but then we moved far far away and I thought that I should have had appreciated family gatherings during Christmas more. I miss it. But I am happy you got to have your family (at least part) with you this Christmas! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. And as Emma would say – best Christmas ever! :)

  2. Chacha 01.10.14 at 7:46 pm #


    I have “followed”you for a few years now and ooohhed and ahhhhed over your beautiful photography but these totally natural Christmas morning shots have to be my favourite, particularly the four darlings in the hallway. Beautiful!

  3. brenda 01.11.14 at 4:40 am #

    while watching the new developments in the news re Afghanistan I have been thinking and praying for you and your family. do these sorts of developments have contingency plans for Chris ? or is it a done deal ?

    God bless you and yours.

    thank you for the Christmas celebration you all enjoyed with your family of origin.

  4. Marjory 01.14.14 at 3:21 pm #

    I love that table runner! Eeek!

  5. Laura J. 01.30.14 at 2:14 pm #

    So glad you had such an amazing time. I love that table runner (and table scape in general). Did you make it yourself? Tutorial in the works?? ;)

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