Christmas in France

I know this post is a little overdue, but Matt finally started his new job so I have actually been a bit busy getting back into the routine of things and recovering from all the traveling we did last month. But here is how our Christmas went!

Literally 2 days (more like 36 hours) after getting home from our trip to Disney, we were off to spend a week in St. Sorlin with Matt’s family and with our sister-in-law’s family. Depending on how you celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas in the States, Christmas in France is pretty different. Normally, Matt’s family opens their presents on the 24th (my family does it late Christmas morning), but because some of us didn’t arrive until almost 9pm that night, we waited until the 25th. Instead we ate lots of French finger foods (veggies and small pieces of toast with olives, charcuterie, salmon, and foie gras…not my favorite things) and then played a gag gift exchange game that is sort of like Telephone, but you alternate between writing a sentence and drawing a picture to pass on. It was a lot of fun and since there were 11 of us playing, things were pretty crazy. We voted at the end for “best” gag gift, and the one Matt and I picked out won! It was hideous. The two gifts we got placed second, and we kept them because I love them!

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Christmas Eve treats

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Christmas ice cream logs

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Ok, the top is a deer head magnet, and we hung the ugly ornament around the deer’s antlers. It is currently, and proudly, hanging on our fridge!

We didn’t get to bed until around 1am and then–thanks to our 1-year-old niece–we were up before 6:30…yay! By 8am everyone was up and ready to start opening presents, which took up half of the tiny cabin space. My family, since there are only 5 of us, each take turns opening a present so that everyone can see. I prefer that way, or else I miss out on people’s gifts and reactions and it feels like half the fun is gone! But since there were so many of us, we only went one time around opening one present each and then it was noise and paper everywhere. Matt says that’s how they usually do things, but we take at least 45 minutes to open everything.

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Christmas with 12 people = tons of presents!

Some of our gifts: Matt finally got his 3DS that he’d been wanting all year and I got a Monet puzzle with a roll-up matt, a gift card for new clothes (which I desperately need!), some movies, and a snowglobe/music box that Matt bought be from Disney. It plays “I See the Light” from Tangled, which was the song Matt and I danced to at our wedding.

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And he forgot about his other presents after he opened this one…

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Our niece pushing around the Tigger toy we got her in her brand new stroller! So cute.

It snowed in St. Sorlin, but not nearly as much as in Bourg d’Oisans a month ago, and it was pretty warm so it started turning into slush…but Solo still had a lot of fun! We went sleigh riding, which Solo does not like. Something about us speeding away from him gets him all worked up! We also went skiing a little, and I picked it back up more than I thought I would.

After our week at St. Sorlin we went to visit Matt’s uncle’s family in Gap, where we also went skiing and I had a blast! We went up to where there weren’t many people and where the snow was great and it was the best time I have had while skiing so far. The first couple of times were no fun, but this time was great.

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Gorgeous! (Photo credit goes to Matt)

It was hard being away from my family for Christmas, that was the most difficult thing for me, especially since I haven’t seen them since May. But next year we are already planning on being in the States for Christmas! Hope you all had a wonderful time with your families, celebrating your own traditions and having fun spending time with loved ones!

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Our 2nd Christmas together!

Retreat Weekend in Bourg d’Oisans!!

Matt and I are blessed to be apart of a student ministry here in Grenoble called Remix. It’s similar to Chi Alpha (the student group we were apart of in the U.S.), but quite different at the same time because it’s in France. This past weekend we went on a leadership retreat about an hour away in Bourg d’Oisans where we began planning and discussing upcoming events. The most significant thing for me, however, was the time we took at the end of the retreat to encourage and pray for each other. It was moving and interesting because not everyone knows one another very well, but that didn’t keep us from lifting each other up.

During one of the women’s retreats I went to while I was in Chi Alpha we had a night of encouragement too, but there were around 25 of us total, so you can imagine the tear-fest we had!

While we were in Bourg d’Oisans we also got to PLAY IN THE SNOW! And there was tons of it. I’ve been skiing before but I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much snow in my life. We’ve been so excited for Solo to be able to play in the snow, because we were absolutely certain that he would love it. And we were right! He played for hours and hours outside by himself, and the best part was that since he couldn’t dig or play in the bushes, he didn’t get dirty. The snow would stick to him in little balls, though, but he would lick them off of himself!

I was all excited about taking pictures but after the first 60 or so I realized that I had somehow set my picture size to SMALL. Like 640×360 pixels small. I was really upset because I had taken some nice photos, but I took a lot more later to make up for it :)

Here are some of the best pictures from this weekend, both small and large (I only took pictures outside):

This is what it looked like before we played in the snow.

This is what it looked like before we played in the snow.

His bright blue eyes make this picture perfect!

His bright blue eyes make this picture perfect!

Solo leading, like always. He actually wasn't too fond of people riding the sled. When Matt and I went together he ran behind us and barked the whole way.

Solo leading, like always. He actually wasn’t too fond of people riding the sled. When Matt and I went together he ran behind us and barked the whole way.

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Me!

Matt after he made a bunch of snow fall of a tree--onto himself ;)

Matt after he made a bunch of snow fall off a tree–onto himself ;)

Herbal Essences Commercial?

Herbal Essences Commercial?

Snow puppy!

Snow puppy!

This was Solo's stash of firewood...

This was Solo’s stash of firewood…

I love that you can see the curves of the mountains so perfectly!

I love that you can see the curves of the mountains so perfectly!

Beautiful drive home :)

Beautiful drive home :)