What is the holiday season without lots of parties?!?! We had quite a variety of experiences with each Christmas party.
The first Christmas party was Rackspace. The theme was Ibiza and one article of clothing had to be white. Of course, I had no clue what an Ibiza party was so google to the rescue. It's a beach party in London in December! Trying to plan what in the world are we going to wear was quite comical. I don't know if I've already mentioned but our wardrobes are small, like really small. We have clothes out for the current season and the others seasons are packed away in the attic. Our tiny, pain to get to attic. So even if I have a white article of clothing that would work, there is no way that I'm climbing into the attic to go through my summer clothes to find it! Jason is a little easier and can of course wear a white button down with his jeans. So, I check the Next clearance section on their website and find a off the shoulder white dress for 5 pounds! Yes, done. Oh wait, it is a summer dress and its December. How am I going to get to the party and home from the party (which is an hour and half away from Chiswick) without freezing?!??! I decide I can wear the dress with my skinny jeans, fringe boots, and leather jacket. I am now feeling excited about the party and have an outfit that will fit the theme, totally proud of myself. I did mention it was December which means that it is wet, cold, and we don't own a car. Walking in December, guarantees that you will suffer from several colds, sore throats, and any other virus that comes when you are wet and cold all the time. I came down with a horrible cold and laryngitis right before the party. There is no way that we are going to make it. There goes all my perfect planning and the white dress was put in the attic with all the other summer clothes.
The next Christmas get together was the moms from Sebastian's class and the other reception class at Grove Park. The idea was to get together and drink wine and hang out. The get together was at a one of the parents' house and there were about 8 moms total. A couple of dads showed up briefly. We ended up sitting around the reception room and talking. It was a tough night and I actually left crying. I started wondering if we would ever fit in here. The experiences that the moms were sharing was completely different than mine. Conversations included first concerts and movies they watched growing up and secondary school and traveling as a child. I couldn't find a way to connect with them. Sebastian has had a hard time fitting in with the boys at school too. I was hoping this gathering would help bridge some gaps but instead I feel like it has made it wider.
I didn't have much time to feel sorry for myself because we had the Year 2 (Taryn's class) Christmas party at our house. We turned our house into a Christmas Grotto. Of course it ended up the way all parties do, everyone hung out in the kitchen. It was very lighthearted and was able to meet several new moms and dads that we had seen in passing at school. The group of parents from Year 2 are very social and love to have a good time. It makes it much much easier to fit in. We had a dance party and singing in the kitchen as many bottles of Prosecco and beer were consumed.
The hardest and probably most emotional part of living in London so far from our family and friends is the ups and downs. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster and there are lots of great days but there are tough days. There are days were I wonder if I will ever feel completely comfortable here and confident in what I'm doing. I realize that no matter where we live there will be good days and bad days. I try to remember that this is an experience and you have the good and the bad.