Thursday, January 31, 2019

Fun-filled January

This month felt busy. The usual start-up of school and enrichment activities plus some time with friends and a mini getaway for me it was a good busy and not too overwhelming. Let's hope all months feel like this in 2019. ;-)

Those who follow me on Instagram or Facebook know that Olivia re-cut her chin (first time in February, then again in December). Well on holiday in Sri Lanka, just a couple days after she'd gotten the bandages off she cut it again. No joke. It was less-than-ideal while overseas and after running away from the hospital when they started using words like "stitches" and "plastics surgeon", we began texting a couple nurse friends and ended up re-bandaging ourselves with steri-strips (using cuticle cutters to cut them since we didn't have scissors!) and praying for the best. We took her to the hospital when we returned to Doha and are happy to report its completely healed - woohoo!

We took advantage of the time off and sales to take our girls and their friends to Build-a-Bear. They had a blast picking and making their animals and re-discovering all the clothes we already owned for them at home -ha!

We started 2019 correctly with our usual New Year's Day Meal of ham, black eyed peas, and cornbread. I'd never actually known why except that you just did growing up so here's the history for each of those dishes.

  1. New Year's Day meal!
  2. Flying kites in Al Bidda Park.
  3. Battling the post-holiday depression with waffle spread.
  4. First day back at school car ride - so excited and giggly!
  5. Love those laughter faces. :-)
  6. Bible study started back up and I brought this delish baked brie.
  7. Putting the girls to work cutting vegetables for our salads, hehe.
  8. The delicious end result.
  9. Gymnastics started back up and the twins were thrilled to be old enough to join "Madi's class"

These cats are so awkward. They were quite needy once we returned from holiday and took it upon themselves to follow up and be weird. 

When I heard there was a coffee festival closely in Katara I knew I needed that in my life. I ended up taking the girls with me after school and we all enjoyed a treat - the best hot chocolate ever for them and a super delicious rose latte for me!

  1. Delicious dumplings made by my friend Cherish when she learned I have a love/slight obsession with basically all Asian food.
  2. Camel crossing outside the souq.
  3. The girls started up swimming lessons and earned ice cream at the end of the week as a treat.
  4. The first two months of school have an International focus before they'll conclude with an International parade and potluck. For sharing day the girls brought these neat facts to share along with the map in the next picture.
  5. This framed poster is actually a workbook I was gifted with flag stickers for each country. The girls are adding the flags to the countries as they visit them so they can see how they've travelled the world. 
  6. Delicious pot roast and potatoes in the instant pot.
  7. Survived another sandstorm and loved this warning sign.
  8. We finally brought our pizza stone to Doha last September...and then promptly busted the bread machine after without getting to use it. We finally found a bread machine here and were excited to get to use the pizza stone and back to making fresh bread weekly.
  9. More ice cream fun, but with friends after a playdate!

I loved the popular first and recent Facebook picture challenge many were doing. I joined Facebook back in 2005 when it was first offered at University (and only offered to students), but my picture wasn't that old. However, I think March 2007 versus November 2018 is still pretty good.

The last and most fun (for me!) event this month was a fun evening away with some friends form church. We stayed at a hotel for a mini mom-cation and enjoyed massages, delicious food, lots of laughter and tears, and some much-needed rest and fellowship with these beautiful women. I am thankful for the church community we have found here and how supportive they are! Thank you Jason for giving me the gift of an evening out!

We've gotten a great start to 2019 and I can't believe it's already February!!


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

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