And the pessimists were saying 2017 would be just as wonky as 2016...
The E! star hadn't posted anything new on any of her social media accounts since Oct. 2, hours before she was robbed at gunpoint in Paris. Then over the past couple weeks she slowly and deliberately started paving the way for her return, first allowing her voice to be overheard and then showing up on her sisters' Snaps taken during a holiday party.
The reaction to those all-of-a-sudden rare glimpses of her had to have been encouraging for Kim, who in the wake of her traumatic experience was retooling her approach to public life.
"I think it's just a wake-up call to make a lot of life adjustments," Khloe Kardashian said on Ellen in October a little more than a week after the robbery. "This is a really serious matter for Kim. I think that's really personal as to when, that emotional terror, you could move on from that. I think for us it's all a wake up call for all of us, but definitely just to make sure our sister's OK."
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And it was indeed Kim who had the journey to make back from the unrecognizable place she found herself after being so open to sharing intimate details of her life with tens of millions of people every day.
Kim's staff continued to update her app, and thanks to her increasing presence on other people's social media, it seemed clear that she'd make her return in the near future, but after letting a handful of birthdays, the birth of Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna's baby girl, and Christmas go by without any new messages or pictures, it was anyone's guess whether it would be "new year, new posts" in 2017.
But in just the last few hours, it's become clear that Kim is, cautiously and conscientiously, back in action after a break that lasted exponentially longer than most of the so-called breaks taken by stars who insist they're taking breaks!
Early this morning a new video showing highlights of her family's year, featuring never-before-seen moments of Kim with husband Kanye West and their kids, North West and Saint West, was posted to her app. Then, Kim changed her profile picture on Facebook.
About an hour after that, and perhaps most momentously, Kim posted a new photo on her Instagram page. Captioned simply "family," the cozy yet artistic picture of her, Kanye, North and Saint—the foursome color-coordinated in white and black ensembles, of course—stands in stark juxtaposition to the last photos Kim posted three months ago, paparazzi shots of her out and about in Paris.
The message behind what she's put out there into the world in 2017 so far seems fairly clear: No matter what happens, it's all about family.
That's what it's always been about at the end of the day for Kim, but it's not as if the time that's passed since the robbery has been one long spa day. Kanye spent a week in the hospital being treated for exhaustion at the end of November, a jolt that postponed Kim's scheduled return to the spotlight and resulted in endless speculation about the state of their marriage.
But fast-forward a couple of weeks and twas the season for togetherness. One date night to a celebrity hot spot for dinner in early December seemed to send a pointed message: We're fine. But then Kimye continued to prove the doubters wrong, venturing out to see The Nutcracker with their kids the day before Christmas Eve and sticking by each other's side throughout the holidays.
"They are going through a lot but from what it seems like, they are doing it together and getting through it," a source told E! News last month, pointing out that a lack of public sightings of the couple meant absolutely nothing.
Kim's return to Instagram also further confirms that life has returned to normal enough for her to feel ready to pick up where she left off. Her family, too, must be happy to see her re-assuming her place at the head of the virtual table, a sign that she really has made progress in her emotional recovery from the robbery.
The "before trauma" and "after trauma" comparison will be around for awhile, and it will be interesting to see what's changed for Kim as far as her approach to sharing and her overall level of visibility goes.
But we can all agree that social media wasn't the same without her, and it's just nice to have her back.