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Friday, March 23, 2012

You've Come A Long Way, Babies

It is already Friday and I've not yet told you how nice our last weekend was. We had a weekend-long celebration! First that the Mister returned from California (bearing lots of goodies - mostly American candy), then over tea with girlfriends for St. Patrick's Day. And most of all, that we've lived in London for a year! Hooray, us!

So we set off to celebrate our anniversary at the pub down the street Saturday night. We continue to be delighted that our corners of London feel way more like Sesame Street than we'd ever imagined for life in a giant foreign city. Family dinners at our pub are a great example of that. We adore the pub's proprietress and are always warmly welcomed by the staff. Even (maybe especially?) when we arrive in tiaras.

Since the weekend I've been thinking so much about how far we've come. And reflecting on those early days, too. Some of those were very, very tough. There was the jet lag. The first day in the hotel when the kids were all anxious for dinner, only to fall asleep shortly before it was delivered by room service, and then awake hungry again at midnight. There was the endless cycle of setting up all the banking, virtually any means of communication, grocery delivery, school uniforms, and countless things that seem simple until you've tried to accomplish them. They're not. Those are all arduous tasks that require much chicken and egg paperwork and processes.

There were plenty of days when we broke things or cried in public or shouted at each other for getting in someone's way or crossing the street while looking the wrong way. It was hard. And we came here willingly, with great joy. Moving is so hard, even when you want to go, when the job is great, and the place exciting. If it is hard to move when everything goes your way, I often think of the challenge facing families who move when or where they don't want to go. When we were struggling to settle in, I prayed extra for those who move somewhere or sometime that makes them unhappy. How they do it is beyond me.

This wasn't our first big move, but it was our biggest to date in that it was our first abroad. At least this time wasn't as naive as when we set off for Illinois. Don't ask me what I was thinking, but then I was completely caught off guard to discover it was in no way like Christmas morning opening those boxes. Really, that's pretty much what I had in mind for what it would be like when we arrived at the new house: "This is so exciting!  What's in that box? How 'bout this one? Great!  All done!" No way. There were hundreds of boxes. Seemingly in the kitchen alone. And I felt very strongly (I was indeed pregnant and nesting) that most of the things inside those floor-to-ceiling boxes needed washed before using, wearing, displaying, or even putting outside of our new house. I had no comprehension that in our last move (when the Mister, infant Biggest Brother and I moved into a townhouse from the Junior League apartment) we had significantly fewer belongings and furniture, not to mention 2.5 fewer people, than we would we when set off for La Grange.

On this, our first anniversary of being here, we're more savvy about moving and settling in to a new home, school, and life. I see the kids, so urban in their ways (even those who long for a yard) and worldly in their thoughts. And even more, I see them in these pictures below, only 12 months ago and see how far we've come.

I am so proud of them for becoming city folk, making new friends, learning new languages and cultures, exploring the world, and most of all for enjoying the experiences with their very best buddies - each other.


So, happy, happy anniversary, Lovies! London called and we answered.

Having a great time!  Wish you were here.


  1. Congrats on one year! Your children really are beautiful :)

  2. Love for you that you have been there one year but sad that you have been away from us for one year!