Opetuary

A month ago we said goodbye to Tess. Our beloved Italian-born lab, 15 years of age, now rests in peace at the bottom of our garden. I like to think she’s reunited with Weaver, her foster mother and sister-in-tomfoolery.

Tessie-Belle

Tessie-Belle

Yesterday it was another beloved pet who left us – this time most unexpectedly and very suddenly. Bob (previously featured here) seemed a bit under the weather on Saturday, and yesterday went from sickly to going to gone, in just a few hours. Claire was with him the whole time. The vet came, and Henry was there for his last breaths. Julie, the young woman who rides Bob and Inco, came to give him a last hug in the evening. Poor Bob. Poor Inco.

Necking

Necking

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Majestic Bob

Thank you Tess, you were a guddog. We will miss you Bob, you left too soon. Your brother neighs for you.

Tough going

Just to let you know, this is tough. I am struggling. I’m in a new place with two little children and very little sleep, and it’s HARD. Some days I feel like I’m drowning, others that I’m wading. Sometimes I feel like I’m paddling. I never feel like I’m floating along. Sleep deprived in a country where my closest friend lives 3 hours away, a country from which all grandparents moved away within months of our arriving, I’m not lovin’ it. (Quite ironic when I think that the proximity of grandparents was the one argument that swayed me in favor of moving here). And, yes, thank God and lhamdullah we have our health and our two awesome kiddiwinkles. Very grateful for many things. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes want to rip everything to shreds and stick my head in the sand (or the oven) for the next 24 months or so… (sorry about the double negative).

So, anyway. Here are some photos of the last couple of months in which we all look very happy*. Or scary.

Going to cull a Christmas Tree.

Off to cull a Christmas Tree.

Forest babies.

Forest babies.

Rarrgghh!

Rarrgghh!

Job well done.

Job well done.

This is not just one Christmas tree, but 3 small ones, one each for the 3 houses in our Christmas story.

Petite fille sage.

Petite fille sage.

"Don't put me here!"

“Don’t put me here!”

Just chillin' on my sheep.

Just chillin’ on my sheep.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve: eat and talk, eat and talk.

Christmas morning: and the present marathon begins!

Christmas morning: and the present marathon begins!

Grand'maman ready for London

Grand’maman ready for London

Y

Pure cheese!

More cheese

More cheese

Twas Santa Ralph, came to the Chicken Coop

Twas Santa Ralph, came to the Chicken Coop

Squish-hugs

Squish-hugs

Jolie moumoute!

Jolie moumoute!

Pretty paper

Pretty paper

Ooh, tractor!

Ooh, tractor!

Me eat tractor.

Me eat tractor.

Lovey-dovey

Lovey-dovey

Lobster hands

Lobster hands

Lobster what??

Lobster what??

Lobster WHAT??

Lobster WHAT??

Boxing Day walk.

Boxing Day walk.

Forest scene

Forest scene

We three.

We three.

Popcorn entre cousins.

Popcorn entre cousins.

Sauna y'all.

Sauna y’all.

I said, SAUNA, Y'ALL!

I said, SAUNA, Y’ALL!

Snowscape 1

Snowscape 1

Snowscape 2

Snowscape 2

Snowscape 3

Snowscape 3

Sibling love.

Sibling love.

Family.

Family.

The young King & the Prince

The young King & the Prince

Back home. Daddy dressed me.

Back home. Daddy dressed me.

* Don’t worry, we ARE happy. It’s just hidden behind the bags under our eyes 😉

Manchester, England, England*

I heart visitors! We’ve just had a series of them, the last in date being Joe Gunn. You might know him; he was a finalist at the Commonwealth Games this summer. Well, he has since retired from competitive swimming and moved to London where he is living the high life. In one move he has gone from one of the ten cheapest postcodes of the UK (you know how the Brits love measuring people’s worth by their postcode), to one of the top ten expensive ones. How’s that for social ascension? He’s living with our favorite one and only Hélène and working with his mate Charlie in their company Agon Sports Management. His latest news: he’ll be in Rio next week, on business. La classe à Dallas, moi j’dis.

He’s not the only one of our Crew to cross the Atlantic Sea, as Hanoushka is already on the South American continent (if I could remember which country, I’d tell you – but baby brain has interfered)**. Mom and Calum are also outside of their country of residence as they’re in Edinburgh at the moment for Calum’s International Baccalaureate November session. Go Calum!

Dad, I presume, is happily Ralphing away (of the Lauren variety, not the vom variety) somewhere in Italy. His schedule and mine unfortunately mean we have to rely on other members of the tribe to pass on news. But, Dad, if you’re reading this, my phone is up and running again and I’d love to hear from you 😉

Life continues (more or less) smoothly and as I’ve already managed to write 260 words uninterrupted with only a zillion or so interruptions***, I’ll be thankful for that, not ask for more, and leave you with a photographic summary of the past few weeks.

Grandma on the stoop

Grandma on the stoop

Oh, hi there!

Oh, hi there!

Siblings

Siblings

Autumn

Autumn

Hanging out on the football pitch

Hanging out on the football pitch

Dans le vent avec Grand'maman

Dans le vent avec Grand’maman

Who's this dude?

Who’s this dude?

"Wanna ride?"

“Wanna ride?”

"I will give you a ride! Hop on my dragon."

“I’ll give you a ride! Hop on my dragon.”

Marloushka

Beautiful Marloushka

Friends for generations

Friends since generations

Heading home, now.

Heading home, now.

And back out again, this time with Uncle Joey.

And back out again, this time with Uncle Joey.

Dude.

Dude.

Holding his own.

Holding his own.

Yup.

Yup.

Babbling at breakfast

Babbling at breakfast

"A TANGERINE!!! WOW!!!"

“A TANGERINE? WOW!!!”

Who's the champion?

Who’s the champion of the cardboard box?

* Reference included within.
** Information retrieved: Columbia.
*** OK, it took me 5 hours total to write this. Efficiency = me, impersonated.

2 years ago…

… this was happening:

You may kiss the groom

I may kiss the groom

 

Henry,

Avec toi, tout devient possible. Tu me donnes envie de grandir, d’apprendre, de créer, d’aller au-delà du prévisible. De construire, de t’aimer, de fonder notre famille, de te soutenir, de te nourrir, de me donner corps et âme à toi. De rire avec toi, de t’encourager, de t’inspirer, d’explorer le monde et le futur avec toi.

Je te donne, avec ce mariage, ma vie, ma confiance, mon énergie, mon amour entier et complet.

Je veux partager ton nom et créer une famille avec toi : un foyer, ensemble.

Je te promets amour, fidélité, loyauté, soutien et, du mieux que je peux, ma compréhension. Je te promets d’être toujours de ton côté, d’être fière de toi, d’évoluer avec toi et de te laisser évoluer à mes côtés.

Je m’engage à protéger, nourrir, soutenir, défendre notre mariage, notre amour, notre amitié, et notre loyauté l’un envers l’autre.

Devant Dieu, nos familles et nos amis, je choisis de me marier avec toi, parce que j’ai foi en notre amour. Qu’ils soient témoins de mon engagement.

Happy

Happy

More happy

More happy