Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year's Eve 2018

We decided to go big for New Year's Eve and book a dinner and hotel at the Doha Marriott with some friends here in Doha. They were having an International Buffet and hotel prices were reasonable for the mini stay-cation.

The delicious food! They had each of the hotel's restaurants opened with different cuisine stations. Everything was fresh and amazing. 

Party animals were out loonnggg before midnight. Jason and I barely made it to the ball drop and then promptly took the girls (who had awoken to the noise cranky and annoyed) up to the room to go back to sleep, ha!

2018 was a year full of changes, challenges, and celebrations as we moved countries, had our 10 year anniversary, and are settling into life in Qatar. Click on the links to catch more 2018 Highlights and our Best Nine.

Let's do this 2019! Happy New Year!!


Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Highlights

As I sat down to work on this year's highlights, I noticed a blogging trend - it's quite the bell curve having more at the beginning, middle, and end. The spring and fall seem to just be recaps busy with the regular activities of school. However, it was still a busy and fun year! Here's some of the highlights of 2018:

January - 

I started the year off with a girl's road trip to Georgia, followed by some sledding and snow with our family, and Evelyn and Olivia starting preschool with Madison! We also found out this month we would be relocating to Qatar, but weren't able to announce it yet despite Jason starting the job already at the end of this month.

February - 

I carried on single parenting and starting to prepare mentally for the move. The girls were sick a lot of the month and it flew by quickly (recap here). Jason was able to come visit to renew his visa and we were all thankful!

March - 

We started the month by having our site visit to Doha and finally announcing the move. Later the girls were off school for a couple weeks and thankfully my mom came to visit us so I had some help and relief. We celebrated Novruz and spent our time relaxing and enjoying Baku.

April - 

We celebrated Easter with friends before having to say goodbye to my mom. There was more sickness this month (strep throat) and the Formula One car race that I had to take the girls to since Jason wasn't able to fly back for it. The rest of the month was spent enjoying the nice weather and having a surprise visit from Jason!

May - 

The month was filled with move prep (like making purchases of Azeri goods before our shipment was packed), a visit from my friend Emily (which allowed me to play tourist and see some new spots in Baku and revisit some favorites), and a family trip to Israel in the middle.

June - 

The month seemed to be in fast-forward as we celebrated the girl's birthday with a Moana party, had our shipment packed and moved to temporary housing, flew to Georgia for a long weekend, had family pictures taken in Old City, and then had Madi's graduation from Bumblebee and lots of goodbyes to previous friends.

July - 

On the first of the month we headed to a hot and sunny Doha with Jason and explored the indoors of the city's many malls. We spent a little over a week with him before heading to America for the rest of the summer. We were able to visit Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma this summer and loved all the time we had with friends and family.

August - 

I left the girls with my mom in Oklahoma and flew to meet Jason in South Africa to celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary. It was an amazing trip! We headed back to America to collect the girls and fly to our new home in Doha.

September - 

We got our shipment once we landed in Doha and started to get settled in our new home. The girls started at their new school and we found a church home and began different activities like swimming, Awana, gymnastics, and Bible study.

October - 

New country, new germs. A lot of the month was illness, but we had a lot of fun celebrating Halloween in our new compound, planting a garden, and surviving some massive thunderstorms and flooding multiple times.

November - 

It finally started to cool down this month enough for us to enjoy being outdoors for longer periods. We explored parks and playgrounds nearby and enjoyed the one in our compound as well. We celebrated Thanksgiving and my birthday and snuck in a much-needed date night. (See everything here.)

December - 

The first half of the month was busy with end of year Christmas programs at church, Parent's Night at school, and the end of term Family Day and Qatar National Day for the girls. Shortly after their term ended we flew to Sri Lanka to explore the country and celebrate Christmas (blog post to come later, but you can see pics on my Insta.)

Overall we had a wonderful 2018 visiting six countries, seeing family and friends in America, celebrating our anniversary, and moving to a new city. There have been challenges and changes, but the girls have handled them amazingly and we are so thankful for all that we've been blessed with this year. Goodbye 2018 - we won't forget you!

Here's previous year highlights - 2017  2016  2015  2014  2013


Best Nine 2018

I love seeing everyone's post of their Best Nine and making one for us each year. (I also love printing them on canvases so perhaps a minor addiction would be a better description - ha!)

Here's a casual and formal Best Nine of my sweet and sassy crew -

And here's a Best Nine of family pictures from all of our adventures this year!

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