Holiday Happenings

We had a lovely holiday season this year full of events and parties, trips, big moments and time with friends and family. The end of December was extra special as we went to Zakopane, Poland (see blog here) before Christmas and to Örebro, Sweden again (see blog here) to ring in the New Year.

The weekend before Thanksgiving we went to Aviano, Italy to stock up on some American staples for the holidays. After that we came home and got to work making things festive. Decorating is always our favorite way to make it feel like Christmas. We cut down a tree in our neighbor’s backyard (with permission) for the second year in a row, and the kids put all the ornaments on the tree. We made gingerbread houses for the first time, and sweets galore to give away to friends!

Willow had a blast at her friend Maja’s 5th birthday party. They love that song “Dance Monkey” – a great way to wiggle out all that sugar!

Beau and Didi had a lovely holiday concert at the school where Didi played the glockenspiel and Beau, who’s in chorus, had 2 days of concerts to entertain us. Both kids love singing and had a great time!

All three kids had parties before winter break. Willow’s class performed some songs and shared some treats. Didi’s class had a nice brunch together and shared some of their favorite memories from the year so far and classroom customs such as the “complement circle.” Beau’s class had hot cocoa and story time, then cookie decorating, ornament exchange and a movie! Such a fun way to send everyone into holiday break!

We managed to get to the ice rink before it warmed up over winter break and they shut it down for a couple of weeks. The kids are getting more steady on their feet and it was hard to pull the girls off the ice!

The annual HAW Christmas Party had great food and good music – we ate, danced, and laughed! It was nice to be able to make it this year and get our wiggle on.

The Budapest Christmas markets were positively packed. We loved walking through, drank all the drinks and ate lots of good food – but didn’t end up buying any gifts this year. It was a beautiful day and it was shoulder to shoulder at times!

We finally were able to experience New York Café, an historic building and very popular place for brunch in Budapest. The inside was lush! And the prices matched…

We FINALLY got to see Star Wars Episode IX in 4DX (for the first time ever!) in Bratislava, and it didn’t disappoint! What a fun way to watch a movie!

The girls got their wish and both of them had their ears pierced together just before Christmas this year. They were excited to go, and I had prepared them for months. Didi was steadfast in her determination to do it in spite of her obvious nerves – but when the time came to actually pierce her ear, she was calm and didn’t even flinch! I’m afraid this may have set Willow up for unrealistic expectations about the pain, because she was mostly excited and relaxed going into it…until the actual piercing! She jumped – it REALLY hurt – and she made the cutest effort to stay brave and not cry in spite of the pain. She held it together and then ran into daddy’s arms for comfort. An ice cream cone and plenty of glances at her new glittery ears helped her feel better about the the whole thing. “I never have to do that again in my whole life!” She exclaimed on our way home. I’m so proud of them both!

Christmas day was special – opening gifts around the tree together early and then lounging the rest of the day eating, drinking, playing with new toys and watching movies. We even had an extra special visit from brand new puppies our friend Fanni got her siblings for Christmas. It was such a treat to cuddle them!

The rest of the days of school break included plenty of hot chocolate, putting together huge puzzles, Beau completing his epic “Cloud City” lego set in 2 days straight, and a nice hike up Somlo hill for the sunset. We rang in the New Year in Sweden of course, but then came back to Papa for a chill week before school started again.

2020 Is going to be a great year! There are many plans ahead, and there’s sure to be even more growth for these three little dandelions. Adventure awaits!

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