Saturday, October 30, 2010


This past week, our level one Arabic class took a quick field trip.

And by quick, I mean, we weren't told about it until two hours prior, and we only had one hour to travel to, see, and travel back.

Very annoying.

However, the location was only 10 minutes away from our school. Or, it should have been. We were told to meet up at the town fort for a cultural lecture by a guide, however, there are actually two forts in our town that are virtually right next door to each other. We went to fort #1, couldn't find our class, so we went to fort #2, where we found our class but the "tour," was already over. We had about 10 minutes to run around and explore as much as we could before we went back over to fort #1 as a class.

We really didn't get to see much, but I did scope out some great spots for doing portrait sessions. If only it would drop another 5 degrees and it will be perfect (95) weather for outdoor photography.

It was really neat to finally get to explore some of the culture here, and we are looking forward to going back and truly exploring and taking our time. They aren't really run by a parks board or anything so they don't care what you climb up and what you do. It's kind of nice.

Oh yes, and these last couple of pictures are of the governor visiting fort #1 when we were there the second time around. A friend and I had just climbed up on top of a building when he came in to do the ribbon cutting ceremony (on a 600 year old fort. I don't really understand the logic) so we had a perfect position to view the ritual. It was pretty fascinating.

The mens' white dress is the traditional garb and you can see the women in their all black abaya and shayla.
I have alot more pictures, but with all the hopping back and forth between the two forts, my pictures are hard to distinguish between the two. I remember I really liked fort #2 as there was much more to see and do and would be any child's dream playground as there was so many places to run and explore.

Ian thought it would be a perfect place for a good game of paint ball.

I believe the long dead inhabitants are rolling over in their graves.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hot Chocolate and Abiyas

We've officially been living in the Middle East for two months now.

Two months and one week, actually.

I was just too busy to take note of our Arabversary.

My bad.

As I look back over the past two months, I see how much I have changed, stretched, grown, and regressed.

I've laughed, cried, danced, holed up, made new friends, and sobbed my heart out.

It's amazing to see the ebb and flow of God's repeated lessons in my life, over issues that He knows I need to continually address.

I wonder how long He'll have to continue these "repeats," and how long it will take me to fully understand them.

My prayer is to always have a willing heart to listen to these lessons, even if I feel they are "stale."


This week was filled with several new opportunities and great experiences. Also, one or two that were not so good.

I went shopping with a local woman for my Abiya, the traditional black slip on dress that goes over your clothes. I have a wedding to go to in a couple of weeks and we spent about 2 hours in a dress shop hand picking the bodice, sleeves, cuffs, and neckline before we started deciding on the intricate embroidery to add. I got a Shayla to match, a head piece that goes by many other names, depending on the Arab country you visit. As soon as I get it back from the dress maker I'll show you pictures!

I'll only be wearing this traditional outfit for the wedding, so that I can blend in and not get so many stares.

I choose not to dress in the traditional native dress on a daily basis for many reasons. One being the fact that, Yes, I want to be conservative and respectful, but Yes, I am different from these people. I have a freedom in Christ that allows me to dress differently without bringing shame upon my family.

I know of other western women here that choose to wear a head covering or the black abiya every day, and I know the locals ask the "why?" question often. They wonder why a western Christian would dress as a Muslim. It leads to more suspicion that beneficial, I think.

What do you think?

As part of my cultural adjustment, I have seen a significant change in my desire to go out and do things in our town. For the first 6-8 weeks, I really did not have a desire to do anything. Just in the last two weeks have I seen a change in myself, tackling learning how to drive stick shift {I only had the patience for a 10 minute lesson, but I did well and didn't stall out at all!} going on visits, exploring a park, and visiting local historic sites without feeling overwhelmed.

I'm also trying to figure out what the essential care package items are. I've had some people ask for a list of needed items for Christmas packages, but I want to make sure I optimize the space. Today's assignment was to try my hand at homemade chili and homemade hot chocolate.

The verdict?

Homemade hot chocolate was SO easy- I won't be wasting package space on hot chocolate packets!

Chili? Yeah. Not so great. I will be requesting this from people. Mine tasted sweet. That's so wrong. No sir, I prefer Publix Chili!

OH!! And I forgot!

We bought a Christmas tree!!!

We were over the border in a bigger city for my monthly check up and went into an Ace Hardware, where I spotted the 25 dollar six foot tall tree, complete with lights and red ornaments. I decided to snatch it up right then and there.

We have a very realistic looking Christmas tree in our shipping crate, but that is in storage and we won't receive that for two years. I decided this 25 dollar dear was one that I couldn't pass up!

With this being our first holiday season overseas, we have been warned by many people that it will be one of the hardest seasons in our lives. So, I may over compensate a little by setting our tree up super early (I'm thinking during our fall break, the week before Thanksgiving!) having a second Thanksgiving meal (set for the first week of December!) and going on a mini Christmas vacation to the Big City!

I know I'm going to wish I could be snuggled in front of my parents fireplace, or participating in Operation Christmas Child, or going to the traditional candlelight service, but these little things will help make it feel more like home here.

The upside? This will be our first "on our own," Christmas, meaning we can finally start implementing new family traditions!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

16th Week Update

How far along? 15 weeks and 6, by the time most of you read this I'll be at 16 weeks. Crazy. Weeks 8-13 passed SO slowly to me, but these last 3 weeks have gone by super quickly. I wonder if this is how the rest of the pregnancy will feel!!

Total weight gain: Not really sure! I was down five pounds at the last Dr appointment, 3 weeks ago, but I feel like my weight loss has definitately stopped. I'm certainly more hungry and am eating more food so we'll see! I'm guessing I gained back 2 of those pounds. Maybe?

Baby Bump? No! I'm pretty confused about this one. I look at everyone else's pictures and it seems that by 15 weeks you can at least tell by a pudge, but all I have is occasional bloat after a big meal. Boo. Actually, I'm not too rushed about "popping," because, I figure, once I pop there's no going back! haha.

Maternity clothes? Bella Band with my unbuttoned pants and one pair of maternity jeans. I love the fact that I wear loose and long shirts anyways!

Cravings: Still salty but I'm starting to at least enjoy some sweets again. Chocolate milk and oreos are some of my new favorites. The oreos don't taste quite the same here, but I (and baby, I suppose,) don't really seem to mind!

Symptoms: Still quite a bit of the round ligament pain, a few emotional breakdowns (which are rare for me nowadays,) and lovely bad skin. I can't wait for that "pregnancy glow," to kick in.

Sleep: Not bad, actually! I still take a 1-2 hour "nap" in the afternoon, which is sometimes me just laying down in bed with Gilmore Girls on my computer next to me, but sometimes I snooze. Nighttime sleep has gotten better as I am having less or no trips to the bathroom in the night and have figure out that the pillow between my knees, to help laying on the side, was actually waking me up in the middle of the night. Now, I sleep without it and am sleeping straight through the night! YAY!

Best moment this week: Feeling like the second semester "energy burst," has started to kick in. Really, I just feel like my mind is less foggy and I can finally start to concentrate on school, which is nice.

Movement: Still not yet, but there have been a couple of times when I felt something weird. Not sure what it was but it piqued my interest into what it will feel like in the coming weeks!

Gender:No CLUE! I have been really interested in looking at boy clothes/bedding/names, but not at all interested in girl things. I'm not really sure what that means, but we'll find out the first week of December! I was hoping that our 16 week ultrasound might reveal the gender, but I know that is a hit or miss time for the ultrasound (boo!)

Belly Button in or out?Still in! My innie is beloved and that is probably my least favorite soon to be symptom of pregnancy!

What I miss: Sleeping on my back!

Weekly Wisdom:Sleep when you want to and do not feel bad about it!

Milestones: Getting my energy back, feeling more clear headed, switched my toothpaste and can now practice oral hygiene without gagging, settling into the second trimester!

I should have a picture here but I'm not feeling very pretty this week. Ian tried to take my picture today because I finally got to do my hair (in this culture, my long hair has to be kept up in a ponytail/bun constantly.) After several attempts and my constant deleting of the picture and declaring it "gross," I gave up and accepted the fact that this baby isn't going to get weekly baby bump pictures.

Oh well. It bothers me a little bit, but what am I going to do? Maybe once a bump starts to show I'll feel more pregnant instead of just bloated and will feel better looking. Or, I'll just feel gigantic. ha!

It's so hard seeing everyone else's blog posts when they look all cute and put together, when I have to wear these baggie clothes to be "modest," for the culture, and wear my hair up in an unflattering ponytail constantly. This is just me being honest with ya'll!

This is a good time to learn how to stop comparing myself with others and focus on what I should!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Last weekend, from October 7th to the 10th we had a long weekend off from school. We took the chance to get away to Dubai for the weekend and spend the time hanging out in a super clean hotel (I LOVE hotels. They are my respite.) and eating at various American chain restaurants around the big city.

We left Thursday, right after school, and made the 2+ hour drive to the city, along a beautiful mountain road that gives you a real glimpse of the landscape.

From rocky crags to giant sand dunes, camels to goats, this road has it all! We spent Thursday at one of the malls, eating Johnny Rockets, me and a friend got a mani/pedi (where we got to watch 3 episodes of FRIENDS, amazing), and checking out the Aquarium and the super huge candy store that had Hershey's products and Jelly Belly's!

We conked out in our beautiful (and inexpensive) hotel apartment that we were sharing with friends of ours. I usually take copious amounts of pictures of hotels that I stay at, but I was just so glad to have a bathroom with a light and a "hotel," bed, that I forgot.

My bad.

Friday, we woke up leisurely, swam in the rooftop pool, sent the men out to find food (they brought back Chili's!) and got cleaned up. We headed to another mall (my favorite "shopping," mall in Dubai,) to have PF Changs with some friends of ours who were in town from Vancouver!

We loved seeing them and getting a "taste of home." Somehow, anybody from a past "home," even if it was a place where we only lived for 4 months, was so refreshing!

Thanks Tim and Joan for taking time to come see us!
Saturday was supposed to be our last day in the city, but both couples were loving being there so much that we upped our stay one more night and took off after a swim to the Mall of the Emirates. We ate at TGIFridays and overlooked the famous indoor ski slope!

We're planning on going back for another long weekend in December, and I think we'll try our hand at skiing then! There's also a super cute "lodge," with a restaurant that we'll be visiting. So cozy, you'd never know you were in the desert!

We hit up a super huge sale at Borders where tons of books were on sale for roughly 2 US dollars. I got 4 Karen Kingsbury hardback books, and 3 softcovers for less than 20 bucks. That's amazing!

We got in our cars and drove straight away to another mall, which was much calmer. When I say "mall," people, you really have to understand. American, or Western style malls, have NOTHING on these Dubai malls. They are crazy huge. Insanely fancy. With TONS to do. Movie theaters, theme parks, rides, games, indoor sky diving places, arcades that could rival probably any arcade I've ever seen, ski slopes, aquariums, indoor water parks, and children's museums. These people have the right idea: If it's too hot to be outside, find things for people to do inside!

Although, this might be equivocated to child abuse:
Yes, those are giant soccer balls on a pool of water.
And yes, there are children inside them.
And yes, a hamster must have thought up this cruel joke.
This one mall, where we ate dinner at On the Border on Saturday night, had an outdoor canal that was lit up beautifully! In a couple more months, when the temperatures dip below, you know, 100, it will be wonderful sitting out here at night!

Saturday night we stayed up late watching the (old) movie Volcano (hahahaha) and playing cards with our friends.

Sunday morning came all too soon. We got up, got ready, and packed up. But not before taking a few pictures of the skyline :

See that tall spire in the middle? That would be the tallest building in the entire world. Crazy.

The pool and exercise room.
We met up with our Vancouver friends once more for lunch, at Uno's, then tried to find a pair of lightweight khaki pants for Ian. We failed but were successful in finding a suitable pair of leather flip flops to replace his nasty pair.

Last stop? Well that was to make a grocery run and stock up on all things meat and mexican. Our bill was a little over the top, but we got enough meat to get us through almost an entire month! Plus enough enchilada and taco fixings to boot!

A great long weekend in the big city! I can't wait to go again!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Today, I played hookey from language school.

It might be the first time ever.

My memory escapes me, but I think that I haven't ever skipped before without having an actual malady.

In high school, I was deathly afraid of getting in trouble, so that would never happen.

In college, with the exception of my Sophmore Biology class (where, after appearing for the first lecture, I promptly labeled everyone in the room an "idiot," never came to a lecture again, and showed up only for the tests. I got an A. And I stink at science, so that should really tell you something,) I LOVED my education classes and didn't ever miss. Plus, most of my classes were smallish and took attendance. There was usually a one absence a semester rule, and knowing my penchant for illness, family deaths, and car accidents, I kept the absences reserved for those "special," occassions.

THEN in all of our training to come out to the field, I did AWESOME, with not missing class. Occasionally, while in Virginia, I would get ansy and would leave the lecture hall for an hour or two, but would usually pace around in the lobby and listen to the lecture over the speaker. And I didn't miss one class in Vancouver. I'm still not sure how that happened.

Needless to say, I skipped today. I guess, technically, I had a reason, this pregnancy and all. I've just been flat out exhausted all week. I've had a pretty persistent headache all week as well, and when I went to bed last night, I told Ian that if I woke up feeling as crummy, I would be staying home.

And so I did.

I slept until almost 10 and woke up after a very odd dream. I'm known for my odd dreams, and though this did not take the cake, it was, indeed, odd. My entire extended family was on a sailboat traveling the world, with my great Aunt at the wheel. While in dock somewhere, my mom kept telling me it was time to get my marriage annulled (we have to get our marriage attested (certified by our county, state, and federal government,) to get residency here, so I think that is why my dream got a little twisted,) and that we'd have to sail to Egypt to get it annulled. It was very intense. It involved our sailboat turning completely upside down on a wave and Ian and I hanging on for dear life onto a pole and catching babies and puppies before they fell into the deep ocean.

Strange indeed.

Spent most of my day napping or working on a paper that is due for a seminary class on Friday. Made an awesome dinner of chicken and baked potatoes (topped with that contraband: bacon bits!) and settled back in to work on the paper for another couple of hours.

Ian and I started a new goal, of making sure the dishes are all done before we go to bed. That was how I was raised, but Ian's family all dumped their dishes in the sink and left them until someone got around to it. Now, well into our second year of marriage, only the past 2 months has had us leaving dishes out overnight.

And I think it's gross.

So, I asked Ian if we could make it a goal to get them all washed and to clean the counters before we go to bed and he agreed. Hurray for team work!

Oh yes, also: I'm in the 2nd trimester! Yay!!!

That's all I've got. I think I'll carry around a notepad in case "pregnancy brain," gets any worse.

Monday, October 11, 2010


What can I say?

My dad is a FedEx man.

I've been born and raised around the excitement of a package.

I thrive on packages.

Not just at Christmas, but at any unexpected time through the year when the doorbell rings and a package is awaiting you.

Even if I ordered something and I totally knew it would be coming, my heart begins to race with excitement.

What can I say? It must be an illness.

Not to mention that packages, in essence, put food on my table and a roof over my head for my childhood and well into my young adulthood. Plus, they paid for my wedding. And my car.

Do you see why my love for packages are deep rooted and never changing? Yes? Well let me continue then.

Today, I was sitting in class, minding my own business, going about my day.

Scratch that. I was trying to figure out how to say "I hate Arabic," in Arabic. Alas, I was not successful and therefore kept my mouth shut.

But, the point is, I was still sitting there quietly.

When in walked some friends. They had just made a run to our school's PO Box to pick up all of the student mail and packages.

{As in most undeveloped countries, we don't have an actual address at our house. We describe it by landmarks and neighbors. The locals know who we are anyway. Taxi drivers and the (non effective) police would need those landmarks to find us.

Sadly, the US Postal Service doesn't accept "flat by the large supermarket, halfway between the big mosque and the little car dealership," as an actual physical address. Drat.

So, our school pays for a PO Box and we all get to use it. yay.}

And wouldn't you know it? They had a package for us! I was expecting a package from Ian's parents for his birthday, so I wasn't all that surprised.

But, my nonplussed attitude turned to pure glee when I saw the return address.... My friend Courtney!!!!

I had one hour to lunch break and I had to wait quietly and not open it until after class. I may have leaned over nonchalantly several time to try and slice the tape with a pair of safety scissors. I was unsuccessful.

Lunch came and I tore into that package! Oh my. Pure bliss.

First, let me tell you that I have a running list of things that are hard to find here in the Middle East. When people ask to send a package, and what we need, I pull off several items from that list, so I had a slight idea of what it could contain.

{Also, on a side note, if you know anyone overseas serving (maybe your church has a list of people?,) I can't express to you how special, uplifting, and encouraging it would be for them to receive a package! The shipping will probably be the most expensive part, but you will totally be blessed for thinking of them when they are so far away!}

Yes, so, the goodies. First, I found the card that said it wasn't only from Courtney, but two of my other best friends, Jessica, and Katie. Wow, that totally made my day to see their handwritten note. I felt like I could hear their voices and that I was right there with them!

{the box}

{The innards}

{Three cute fabric pumpkins! I needed some fall decorations!}

{The Candy- Ian's fav's Blow Pops and Cinnamon Gum; Mike N Ike's and Candy Corn!}

{Some Food Odds and Ends- Crystal Light, Fajita Seasonings, and Key Lime Tea!}

{ The Blind Side on DVD, a wicker pumpkin, my cute card, and some Gator colored pacifiers for baby!}

{Not pictured: BACON BITS! Wahoo! When I opened the package, I had to quickly slip those little morsels of heaven out of the box, and into my purse, in case a Muslim teacher asked to see what I received. I don't want to offend! Anyways, I forgot about them when I took the pictures, but you can bet those little guys will be making their appearances in eggs, on baked potatoes, and in pasta dishes! YUM!}

Thanks friends so much for the thought, time, and money you put into this wonderful package! It totally made my day, week, and month!!

**I've gotten several requests from people on the blog on how to send us packages. Several people mentioned having their small group do it as a service project as the Holiday season approaches, which is an awesome idea! If you'd like to send us a package, email me at and I will give you shipping instructions and some ideas! Thanks so much everyone for caring!**

Friday, October 8, 2010


Rachel over at Rachel and John tagged me in this fun questionnaire, and, since I am off enjoying myself in a certain "Paris of the Middle East," for the weekend, I thought this might be a good time to finally respond!

1) What is your favorite part of your day?

In the evening, when I know all of my responsibilities are done, and I finally get to relax and do as I please, that is my favorite time! I can do house chores at my leisure, read, watch tv, or be on the internet without feeling rushed or under a time table. Then, eventually, I settle into bed to do my quiet time and read before feeling drowsy enough to sleep.

2) What is your favorite meal?

Good question. I love me some Breakfast for Dinner and especially miss my dad's pancakes and bacon (the real kind, not that turkey bacon junk.) And Sonny's Pulled Pork Barbecue is a little taste of heaven. Probably any pork product, ha! They say absence makes the heart grow fonder....

(and, in this case, makes your heart grow healthier!)

3) What is your morning routine?

I almost always get up before Ian does. I think that's because we go to class together and I just take longer to get ready, ha! The alarm goes off, and I kind of spring out of bed. Right away. I'm weird like that. Despite the bed springing, I groggily stumble into the bathroom where I turn on the water and stand stock still, without actually getting into the shower for 1o minutes. 10 wasted minutes. Then I shower for about 20 minutes, come out and sit in front of my computer for 10-20 minutes, trying to cool off and let my hair air dry for a little before getting dressed, putting my hair up in a bun for school, and figuring out what sounds appealing for breakfast.

4) If you could go anywhere on a vacation, where would you go?

Oooh So exciting. I would go to Hawk's Cay Resort in the Florida Keys. It's my little piece of paradise. We honeymooned there and I envision taking family vacations there as our family grows and when we are back stateside every couple of years. The resort is glamorous but family friendly, the food is great, the pools are beautiful, and you can do just about any water activity you can think of! We didn't even explore alot of the resort, but I know they have tons of other things to do there!

5) If you could do any home improvement to your house without money being a problem, what would you do?

Well, our apartment is rented, but I guess I will count this as our "house." I'd probably put in central AC. It would free up the wall space each window/wall unit takes in each room and would make things look so much more uniform. Not to mention the fact that the house would be more evenly cooled.

6) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I have no clue. I've learned a few hard lessons in the last couple of years, and most of them revolve around my desire to plan out my life. We could still be overseas doing what we are doing, or we could be back stateside doing something else. I won't pretend to know what God has in store for us, but I rest in His peace that His plans are better than my own.

And I'm still holding out hope that His plan includes several more children for us!

7) Do you have a hobby?

Oh yes. I'm a woman of various interests. I read (duh.) Blog (double duh.) Crochet, am into photography, would love to write children's books, and love all things pertaining to education. Oh yes, and that crazy little thing called travel.

8) Why did you start blogging?

I was about 2 weeks away from getting married and moving out of my hometown and my parents house for the first time in my life. I knew that I wanted to stay in contact with people and figured my momma would enjoy reading some of my adventures. That's really it! Blogging has become this beautifully awesome thing that has taken on a life of its own!

I'm supposed to tag other people, but let's face it. I've got a rooftop pool and a Johnny Rocket's calling my name. That, paired with the fact that I can wear my hair down and wear short sleeves for the first time in almost two months means that I am not going to take that much time to find all of you dear blogging buddies that haven't been tagged yet and tag you.

That being said, I love Rachel's questions and would LOVE to read your answers! So, *Tag!* You're it!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

13th Week Update

How far along? 13 weeks and 4 days! I think we're actually 13 weeks and 5 days because I noticed that at the last appointment the Dr had slightly adjusted the estimated due date from April 10th/11th, to April 9th/10th. I'm not really sure why they give me 2 days, but whatever!

Total weight gain:I was down five pounds at last weeks appointment. As in, I had lost 5 pounds. And though I wouldn't recommend weight loss during pregnancy to anyone, I'm pretty proud of myself for not letting myself fall into the trap of the early pregnancy cravings that some give into, saying that "I'm pregnant so I can eat as much as I want!" The truth is, your body doesn't really need that many more calories a day in the first 10-12 weeks, so my Dr and nurses were not at all concerned at the weight loss.

Also, as an aside, I had been working at losing 15 pounds before we found out we were pregnant so, with that five, I am down to 3 pounds left. Not that I'm trying to lose weight now, but for post baby weight loss, I am only 3 pounds away from what my ideal weight would be. If any of that would make sense to others.

Total inches gained:Uh, I'm not sure!

Maternity clothes?Just a Bella Band with unbuttoned pants, ha! Thankfully, living in a conservative Muslim village my clothing of choice is loose and long already, leaving plenty of room for bump growth!

Cravings: Salty foods! Like, I actually ate chips (I hate chips!) and baked potatoes are my carbohydrate rich friends. And, according to the wives tales here, that means we are having a boy. Who knows. So weird, considering I am the biggest chocoholic you've ever met! Though I won't snub my nose at a plateful of homemade chocolate chip cookies!

Symptoms: I have to be careful when standing up, laughing, or sneezing because of the Round Ligament Pain which is quite sharp and takes my breath away! Still haven't gotten my hunger back from this first trimester, but I am praising God that I did not have one ounce of morning sickness! Incredible!

Sleep:Oi. Not so great, but it's alright. I was taking a 2-3 hour afternoon nap every day, but I think when I hit 12 weeks my body started needing less rest, so my naps in the afternoon were affecting my night time sleep.

Best moment this week: Feeling like my belly looks less "bloated," and more "baby!"

Movement: No, not yet! I am guessing another 3-4 weeks until I can feel anything. We did, however, get to watch an awesome ultrasound for upwards of 30 minutes because our radiologist was chatty with Ian. Something about american colleges. I could care less as long as I got to watch baby move around!

Gender:No CLUE! Despite my pronoun mishap on my last blog, I really don't know what the baby is! We won't for 7-8 more weeks. Hold your horses folks!

Belly Button in or out? In. Probably the pregnancy symptom I am least looking forward to. I love my innie.

What I miss: Being able to brush my teeth without gagging!

Weekly Wisdom: Figure out the foods that DO interest you, and stick with them!

Milestones: Getting to see baby Galloway on the ultrasound. I asked the tech for a picture, because I had been too shy to ask for one last time, and she went into the computer and printed up our 8 week one and the current 12 week! Look at the amazing difference 4 weeks make!

(see, alien like blob)

(real baby with the patented Galloway forehead and my little nose!)

I thought I would show you what I meant about my clothes ALL acting as maternity clothes right now. This is a normal outfit, except I would be wearing a long sleeve, high neck shirt under the dress:
And this is me without the dress, and my pants are still buttoned!

And this is Ian, because I think it will be fun to document him during this pregnancy as well! Hopefully he doesn't get a "baby bump!"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Today was a good day.

A really good day.

Full and busy. Long and social. Going from almost 9 am to 10 pm with a 1 hour nap in the middle has left me feeling tired, but oh-so-satisfied.

Since the last time I wrote, I:

Went over the border again. Which really was a blessing, since our border situation has tightened just in the last past week. They increased the visa cost from nothing to almost 45 US dollars. Crazy. And there is an almost one hour waiting period at the border.

I had Chili's again. Praise the Lord! My appetite was hankering for some chicken strips and honey mustard sauce. I meant to get a side of black beans and rice to go, but I forgot. I was so satisfied.

I got to see Baby on the ultrasound screen for almost a full 30 minutes! Baby stretched (uncontrolled movements, mind you, but still incredibly cute,) and waved his arms above his head. *Sigh* It was amazing.

We got back through the border without having to stamp out and back in, which was a true miracle. We are praising the Lord for this blessing, which, if we can help it, will help us in another 3 weeks for our next Dr appointment!

We celebrated my sweet husband's 24th birthday. It was quiet and unassuming, but just what he wanted! A dinner of enchiladas, re-fried beans, and homemade salsa, with a dessert of dark chocolate cake and frosting. We snuggled into bed to watch a movie on iTunes, but then it freaked both of us out and was a bit too dark and ominous for a birthday movie date (The Road, which I heard the book is amazing, but cannibalism, on a birthday? no thank you.) So, we watched Frequency and were happy. We love us some drama and suspense movies.

We got to grill out with some class mates of ours. Had "white," barbecue sauce for the first time in my life and was quite pleased. I also loved seeing our Korean classmates be introduced to sweet tea and barbecue for the first time!

*Whew* So much has happened. I really shouldn't put off these posts!

We also finished our first text book in Arabic class. I officially can read all of the letters. Not very well, or very quickly, but the fact is, I can! We had our final exam for the book today, which I did fine on. As an educator, I was not very pleased with the content of the exams, as it was not on things we had actually been taught (well, some of it, I mean,) which is just setting your students up for failure. So on the parts that we hadn't really been taught, I didn't do too well, but I am fine with that because I know it wasn't my fault!

And although I originally started this post 10 days ago, it somehow was abandoned and forgotten about.

I've been dealing with some "blogging stress," lately. I'm not really sure if I can explain it. I am super sensitive, and when I read other people's blogs about how they are feeling about things I become over aware about hurting their feelings and not wanting to make anyone feel bad. I try to avoid topics that could upset anyone and then I feel bad that I am not blogging about my life. So, my solution is to not blog. But clearly that isn't a good choice.

I've also been severely disappointed in how some of the blogging community has reacted to a certain famous blogger lately. It just breaks my heart that people have so much hate and bitterness in them.

I guess all of that has turned me off of blogs for the past couple of weeks.

All of that to say, I'm still struggling with it, but I know how uplifting and encouraging this community can be, so I'm looking forward to embracing and finding those posts that make me grow and learn, instead of doubt and feel insecure.

Oh yes, and Bazilla means Pea in Arabic.

It's my favorite word so far.

Second runner up is FlayFla, the word for bell pepper :)

I hope this finds everyone well and enjoying the beginning of their fall! Our temperatures are set to finally dip below 100 within the next month (yay!) and Ian and I are taking our FIRST EVER VACATION (well, it's only 2 nights, but that's longer than we've ever had before,) to Dubai this weekend. Yay!