Every year we spend Christmas Eve with my side of the family and Christmas Day with Corey’s side of the family, and this year was no exception. Christmas morning we woke up bright and early and headed (5 minutes) up the rode to Corey’s parent’s house. It was a very exciting Christmas because our niece Emma was in town from Chicago – and it was her first! She’s 10 months old, and as you’ll see from the photos, she really stole the show. I mean how could she not? She is beyond adorable. I would just sit and stare at her, smiling so much from every move and sound she made, my cheeks started to hurt! It was so special to be able to experience her first Christmas with her. Later that same day we went back to my Mom’s house to open our gifts to each other. Corey did really, really well (he stalked my Pinterst board like a good husband!) and got me some amazing gifts, including these gorgeous earrings, this beautiful J.Crew sequin sweater and noise-canceling headphones! It was a very merry Christmas for us! Hope it was for you as well!
I’m heading back to Amsterdam today. I can’t even tell you how ridiculously excited I am to squeeze the huz and give Henry a big smackeroo on his smooshy lips! I missed my boys so much, I’m counting down the hours until I see them!
Being home without Corey has been interesting. Home, in general, has become an interesting concept since moving across the world. I am constantly saying things like “There’s no place like home,” which I truly believe. But more and more I am questioning what “home” even means? It’s a familiar face. Familiar places. It’s chock full of memories, down every street, every pot hole, every coffee shop and restaurant. But all these things without the one you love… They just don’t feel complete.
When I’m away from Portland I miss my mom and my sisters dearly. I miss our old neighborhoods and favorite restaurants. Sometimes I long for those familiar faces and places. But here I am in Portland missing my husband, and it’s a different kind of longing. It’s more like an ache. It actually hurts to be away from him. While this really stinks right now, in the last few days I’ve realized how thankful I am to have a love like this. That even after more than four years together I still cry when I’m away from him, my heart still hurts when we’re not together. I really hope we love each other this deeply and miss each other this much forever and ever. Because as much as it hurts to be away from him, I think it would be much more tragic if I didn’t miss him at all.
We fell in love with England. But what’s new, right? I feel like we “fall in love” with every new place we travel to. But this was a different kind of love. A familiar kind of love. Being in London felt like coming home. We ate Mexican food (yes, we ate Mexican food in London and loved every.single.second), understood what every sign said, what every menu offered. It just felt wayyy more Americanized than any other European city. Especially compared to Amsterdam. But I guess that’s sort of obvious? We decided living in London would be a breeze (my London blogger friends – please chime in here – am I delusional? Perhaps.). So maybe someday we’ll move there? Or maybe not. Either way, we so enjoyed shopping, walking around, seeing all the sights and enjoying the glorious warm weather.
On our last day in France we decided we were going to get up early and spend allll day at the beach, just laying in the sun and enjoying the view. Unfortunately, when we woke up it was raining! I was pretty bummed out, but this day actually ended up being one of the most fun. We had already walked around Nice quite a bit, so the pressure was off, we just chilled and strolled, skipped rocks on the Mediterranean, took a ridiculous amount of pictures, stopped for long lunch dates, ice cream dates, mojito dates… You get the idea 🙂 Anyhow, sometimes it’s nice when things don’t go as planned – this trip was a huge testament to that!
Antibes is a charming little city between Nice and Cannes. It’s got everything from whimsical, winding cobblestone streets and fun open-air markets to outlandish multi-million dollar yachts in it’s port. We were surprised how much we fell in love with it! We spent one morning just walking around, dreaming about what it might feel like to be able to hop on one of the giant yachts and sail to the Caribbean. We lunched outside and ended our meal with an over-the-top ice cream sundae. It was a perfect morning, indeed.