February 2, 2016
New York in the snow is a juxtaposition of forces. The big snow storm that recently took hold of this town cast a 24-hour spell: the most dynamic, noisy, chaotic, versicolor town was suddenly choked in white stillness. It was therapeutic to go out onto the bare, carless streets and lie in the middle, dead center. To walk out the front door and listen - to strain a bit to hear anything except the soft snow fall. To watch the layers of New York muck sheathed by a huge blanket of pure white. Really something else. I think a snow storm like that - 3 feet of snow - isn't more impressive anywhere else.
Colette and Romy had been dreaming of snow and we promised when they woke up the next morning there would be a world of snow waiting for them. They had all sorts of ideas about it - Romy was obsessed with consuming it, "I eat snow" over and over again. Colette wanted to spend all her time "luge-ing" (French for sledding, but with an English twist). She also informed us that in order to build an igloo, all we would need would be eggs and glue (pronounced by her: egg-glue) and then we could live in the snow like polar bears.
At night after we put the girls to bed, Xavier and I snuck out to go sledding down the hill at Hamilton's House, stand in the middle of the street and have a snow fight.
January 24, 2016
Colette | Lacanau | July 2015
Our latest project in the house is gilding the walls leading up the staircase with pictures. First, Xavier actually used the rolls of wall paper he brought back from France in 2011. Those rolls of paper are covering the walls in various places all over the house. Up the whole staircase - and it looks beautiful. He has also accumulated a medley of frames over the past few years, so the final bit is choosing the photographs. I got this honor.
Romy | Baugé | July 2015
Marguerite + Xavier | New York City | January 2012
Colette | l'Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque | July 2013
Colette | Provincetown | July 2014
Colette + Marguerite | Harlem | July 2014
Marie + Xavier | Central Park | September 2010
Colette | Jamaica | June 2012
Jules + Marguerite | L'île de Noirmoutier | August 2011
Marguerite | Provincetown | July 2014
Xavier + Romy | New York City | January 2014
Emilie + Romy + Colette | New York City | September 2015
Marguerite + Colette | St. Aygulf | July 2014
Rosie + Colette | Harlem | March 2012
Colette + Marguerite | Baugé | July 2012
Romy + Emilie | Speculator | October 2015
Romy + Emilie | New York City | January 2014
Romy | Provincetown | August 2015
Emilie + Stephen | Provincetown | August 2012
Marguerite + Xavier | Les Landes | July 2012
Xavier + Emilie | Dublin | March 2009
January 11, 2016
Short days, lanky evenings. Lots of time in our house – savoring little girls. Chain of command shifts – Colette isn’t top dog when Marguerite is around. She even takes direction.
Marguerite leads the singing – Une Souris Verte (you should hear Colette’s rendition), the 12 Days of Christmas, Romy’s Baby Beluga. Sisters gazing up with admiration at her trilling – Marguerite towering above (she is a head taller than anyone her age, attenuated physique just like Xavier’s at the same age).
She acts as chief delegate. Comforting Colette, an anguished look rumpling the skin of her face, Colette proclaimed, “I don’t want to die - I really don’t want to die.” “You have many years to live, Colette! Like 80!”
Marguerite also coached Colette to simply do it when, during a major tantrum, Colette was sprawled on the floor, wailing and screaming, “I just want to be happy! I just want to be happy!”
As a city-child, Romy still can’t get used to the idea of car travel/car seats. We put her in one and it is like a crate. She takes hold of the restraint straps and tries to writhe her way out, “I wann to gell out, now!” (Romy pronunciation). Marguerite is the only who manages to sit next to her and distract her – singing little ditties, playing with her toes.
Outside of a moving vehicle, Romy is honey. Little grin teasing. Easy air.
They are sweet all together – a troupe of tootsies. Shadow puppets, 4 in a bed, the stuff of winter.
December 29, 2015
Christmas in NYC was tropical enough for dancing in the backyard - even if a bit drizzly. We were all dancing because we had some of our favorite family from France in NYC for the holiday - Xavier's sister, Marie, and her family from Paris. "Jules! Louise! Fabien! Marie!", Colette and Romy cantillating up and down the stairs rejoicing. A week of reuniting.
Christmas Eve was too intense for little Colette. After a small fit, some good pouting and a retreat, we found her on the couch, curled up and sound asleep before the festivities even began (not her style). Romy Danda Day, on the other hand, made a stink about the mention of sleep - too thrilled about the lights and celebration.
Along with Julia and Marc as additional special guests, we had Torma (christened so by Colette) - as the newest member of the family presiding over dinner.
Xavier led the table in a hearty chorus of We Wish You a Merry Christmas (with thick French accent by some).
There is a special French tradition where a candle is lit on each person's pile of presents and Tino Rossi's Petit Papa Noël plays as the children sneak into the room. Recaptures Christmas for Xavier.
Queen Colette completely astonished by her gown. Finally - the appropriate accoutrement for such an empress.
And Romy lady - content to simulate firing nerf guns at Jules and her papa. Not very concerned about which ones were 'hers.'