Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy New Baby, and Happy Valentine's Day to all our Friends and Family!
|Our new family of FOUR!|
|Finally back in DC - September 2017|
If you received last year's card in January or even February, you can thank Tinyprints for that post-holiday cheer as we were so proud to have ordered them to be received in time for Christmas! This year, I thought I would take things into my own hands which means I can't place the blame on anyone else...except maybe Baby Sicily, but one look in those eyes, and I could never blame her for anything...at least not until she is crawling.
|Pretty Baby Sicily|
At the beginning of the year, we thought this year's update would be a letter talking about adjusting back into the swing of post-expat life in America, but life is always full of surprises! Here goes the rundown of our boomerang year!
|December 2016 - one last family photoshoot|
In January, we made the big move! (well, sort of). We said our tearful goodbyes to Paris with a last smooch by the Eiffel Tower on our 4th wedding anniversary before heading to Arizona for the holidays.
|Our last night in Paris - Dec. 20, 2015. We took one last carrousel ride and stroll to the Eiffel Tower. It was also our four year anniversary!|
|One Last Parisian Kiss - It felt like that Happily-Ever-After moment in our story|
|Boxed in Paris|
|Our shipping container that will cross the ocean.|
|Un-boxed in DC!|
After the new year, we traveled to our new home in frigid DC with a few suitcases. Luckily, our crate of boxes from France arrived just before the Snowzilla struck DC!
|Playing at the park in Snowzilla 2016|
In February and March, we barely unpacked a few boxes before turning right back around to spend Valentine's day back in Paris, the city of love, light, and wintry drizzle.
|The Creekpaums are back!|
|The Jardin D'acclimation|
|"Poke, poke" Zella says|
|Happy Valentine's Day 2016|
|Not quite the same as Snowzilla, but snow in Paris is always beautiful!|
|Goodbye to Paris again!|
We hurried back again to DC just in time to watch the cherry blossoms and our little Zella bloom in their own beautiful ways.
|Hello DC spring!|
|Zella was thrilled to get back to DC for spring.|
|Our little cherry blossom|
|Our First Easter Eggs|
|Taking the Easter bunny with her to hunt eggs (he was happy to oblige).|
|Luckily a random passerby offered to snap our picture on Sunday morning.|
April's showers lasted just long enough to create beautiful rainbows on our vacation to Hawaii with Grandma and Grandpa Creekpaum in honor of their 70th and 80th birthdays.
|Sun and fun with Grandpa|
|Drying off with Grandma|
|Learning the tricks to building a sand castle|
|Dancing in our shadows|
|First Kite Success!|
|Picnic by the sea!|
|Back to DC for a few days!|
In May, we found ourselves back in Paris and avoiding unpasterized cheeses!
|LaShawn and Zella were traveling "light"|
|Tea and cakes at Carette|
|Watermelon picnic on our balcony|
|Trocadero with Mary Poppins|
|Waiting for her birthday flowers|
|Summer birthdays are the best!|
We even squeezed in a hot summer trip to Austria and Germany with Mimi.
|Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna|
|"Hey Zella, can you look at me for a picture?"|
|She found the only hole in the statue!|
|Munich Rathaus-Glockenspiel with Mimi|
|Running through Salzburg|
|Back to Paris!|
We headed south in July to Carcassone then way way West back to DC just in time for a steamy August end to summer.
|"I'm going on town on these!" said Zella about her first plate of profiteroles!|
|Back to DC!|
|Our favorite art studio|
Slow summer days quickly slipped into September as Zella skipped into her first day of school (a playgroup preschool run by parents). We hopped over to Kansas City for some family fun and a barbecue rib or two (or ten). We also found out we were having a girl!
|Chocolate treats on the Plaza|
|City of fountains!|
|Wedding fun with Mimi and Cousin Clara|
|No place like the midwest|
|Snider Family photo|
|Creekpaum Family photo|
October sent Zella and LaShawn pumpkin hunting in Arizona, while Kyden traveled to Paris and the Middle East. Kyden was sure to make a quick stop in DC just in time for Halloween to take his little blue fish swimming door to door.
|Zella and cousin Clara wearing their new Austrian dresses to the pumpkin patch.|
|She fit the part perfectly!|
|Great-Grandma "Gigi" and her great grand girls!|
|Back in DC at the historic Frager's Hardware store. "I want this one, and this one, and this one, and..."|
|Homemade blue fish!|
Thankfully, November brought Kyden home just in time for us to take one last airplane ride as a family of three to celebrare Thanksgiving in Oklahoma, but not before Grandpa Snider snuck in a trip to spoil his girls while Kyden was away.
|The newly renovated gleaming white dome unveiled!|
|Investigating at the park|
|First day of fall weather!|
|Off to Oklahoma! After accruing hundred of hours of flight time and her own frequent flyer points, this girl finally got her first set of wings!|
|Watching the Christmas lighting at Utica Square in Tulsa with her true love (and mine!)|
We kept ourselves busy in December as we waited for a new family member to make her arrival. Zella went to her first ballet and did not make a peep through the entire Nutcracker.
|Off to her first Nutcracker ballet!|
|She had been prepped since September that we must be quiet.|
|NOT ONE PEEP|
|AFTER the Nutcracker!|
Daddy also took Zella for her first twirl on the ice, and Grandma and Granpa Creekpaum camped out for Christmas.
|So excited to see Santa!|
|(She wanted him to read Petit Ours Brun in French...We talked her into having him sign her copy of Twas the Night Before Christmas. She did ask if he spoke French, and he thankfully responded "oui"!)|
|But even more excited to see her beloved Elmo!!!|
|Waiting for the Sesame Street Live show to start.|
|The only ice or snow in DC this year was manmade!|
|Making Finnish gingerbread cookies!|
Santa brought Kyden and Zella a pair of kittens. (I got Kyden a pair of fish for our first anniversary. Since our 5th anniversary popped up on December 20th, I surprised him with two snowy white kittens named Cluny and Iena - the metro stops that we lived at in Paris when we first met. I wonder what animals I will give hime at 10 years...)
And on the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a baby named Sicily! Born on January 6th (Epiphany) at 4:44 am,less than two hours after my water broke, and only 15 minutes after arriving in triage, Sicily easily burrowed herself deep into our hearts with her sweet snuggles, deep soul-seeing eyes, and angelic ways. She fits into our family perfectly. We entered 2016 as a family of three and are beginning 2017 as a family of four with two cats. We hope 2017 will be as wonderful to you all as it already has been to us. We are blessed.
|Just after birth and still in Triage!|
|First look, forever sisters.|