A year ago today we moved up from the area of Brighton to Bath in Somerset, England. Two days before Christmas and we were already to start celebrating the holidays properly. It had been a long end of the year as our family had been separated by distance of continents and seas since July.
My husband and I had been job searching for months. In the beginning of December 2012 my husband with his new masters degree got job offers in London and Bath. A two day trip to Bath and my husband knew London had been pushed out of the equation. He had fallen in love with the beautiful historic city with is close proximity to picturesque countrysides and storybook canals. We could now finally live in a much bigger place (a two story with stairs!) than the normal tiny UK flats. We basically had two weeks between the acceptance of the job to find a place to live, get moved out of our current location, and organize my family in the US to get their plane tickets.
On the 22nd of December my mum flew with my sons to London, who had been staying with family stateside since July. Although we were schedule to move out that day, we ran into a snag with our less than organized moving company. With plans to now move out the next day we camped out in our boxed up flat in Brighton while my husband (already in Bath, having signed the new lease) camped out in our new place with out us and our stuff.
On the 23rd of December we finally managed to get moved out of our flat. Long story short not all of our belongings made it due to the worst moving company experience I have had in my 30 years of life that includes not living in one place for longer than three years at a time. While some of it was able to be acquired day later with an additional car trip, we had to part with many belongings and furniture that just did not make the cut (RIP my beloved US sewing machine). That evening after traveling by train and taxi my mum, sons, and I arrived at our new place in Batheaston just as the last of our stuff was being uploaded by the moving company. While we had unopened boxes in just about every room, we searched for the ones I had labeled with christmas trees. These contained all our holiday decorations and gifts needed for Christmas. These were the first boxes we opened in our new place as we were excited to celebrate Christmas together.
The next day on the 24th of December my sister arrived from D.C. just in time for Christmas Eve. My dad, up in heaven, was with us in spirit. It was time to officially start our family Chrismukkah! We celebrated our reunion with our kids, my husband’s new job, and our new place with a Christmas ‘at home’ with our visiting family. Our first Christmas in Brighton had been very special with our sons as it was our first English Christmas together. This year in 2012 it was a holiday filled with thankfulness and blessings for all we had in our lives, including the people we cherished most.
My favourite memories from last year were with my entire family playing bananagrams in the dining room, eating my family’s traditional christmas cookie ‘carmelitas’ that my mum had made, drinking wine my sister (a level II sommelier) had chosen, and with the view from our window of Solsbury Hill (in reference to the Peter Gabriel song) with the many white sheep that dotted the green quilt work fields around us. This was pure bliss.
I am so thankful for the past year and for spending a full year with my family all together these last 356 days. After being a military family, I am thankful for this amazing lifestyle of being able to be constantly around each other through out the months of the year. It has been a really wonderful first year in Bath, England. With Christmas just two days away it is hard to think of anything I could want from Father Christmas. Aside from more time with my father or having my sister and mum here of course. Life is about family for me and so from my family to yours, have a happy Holidays!
*photography to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved