Monday, September 30, 2019

September Craziness

As I was going through the pictures for this month's post I was surprised at how many I have taken. However, then I remembered we had five birthday parties, lots of playdates, and getting underway with school activities and overall it was a pretty busy month. [If you want to keep up with more day-to-day activities then Instagram is the best option as I've started trying to post more Stories on there.]

  1. The girls had a sweet reunion with some of their best friends for a playdate. 
  2. Loving their pho noodle soup!
  3. Ice cream with friends we hadn't seen since before summer.
  4. Followed by the trampoline park to burn off the energy. 
  5. Love this shot of Olivia!
  6. Evy helping Dad make almond butter. Yum!
  7. Cat in a small tray. So awkward.
  8. The most stressful night of September. Painting. I was very good at the wine portion.
  9. Madi's new classroom door decor. 

  1. Madi lost her second tooth!
  2. This month Jason took each girl out on a different Saturday for a Daddy-Daughter date. Here's Evy having breakfast.
  3. Madi also had breakfast with Daddy.
  4. Liv ended up going for lunch and ice cream.
  5. Each of the girls picked out something for their sisters (and me) on their date. These are the roses we got on one of them. 
  6. Madi has started doing math and statistics at school. Clearly winning the recessive gene pool over here with our ginger hair and O- blood type - ha!
  7. Fun lego glasses after a birthday party.
  8. Roasted tomatoes to start a new batch of salsa.
  9. And the salsa is ready to sell!

  1. Loved this cute drawing I saw outside Madi's classroom.
  2. Sweet friends.
  3. Playdate with neighbor and Madi.
  4. While Liv shows her new friend the wall mural.
  5. Fun playdate with these girls!
  6. Such a lovely birthday party for this sweet friend.
  7. Madi and her friend's matching face paint.
  8. Pool party!
  9. Because clearly the roof is the best place to eat your snow cone. 

  1. It was a long month. That required sustenance. 
  2. Twins trying out a yoga class.
  3. Yard work to wear them out on the weekend.
  4. Cheese curls - sooo good!
  5. This girl - she gave us quite the scare this month and we aren't sure we are out of the woods yet with her. Four times in three and a half weeks she woke up in the middle of the night throwing up. We did blood test, stool samples, and have started a food journal to try and see what's going on. So far she hasn't been sick in a couple of weeks, but we still have no clue what was causing the illness and why it was always in the middle of the night and then she'd be fine the following day. :-/
  6. Bible study started up again which I am so thankful for because I need that routine and accountability. 
  7. So awkward CeCe. Now I have to wash literally all the girls soft socks and slippers.
  8. Teaching time at home. 
  9. I came upstairs while making dinner to check on them and Madi had bathed herself and was washing her sister's hair. Granted she was using conditioner rather than shampoo, but I'm still classifying this as a total #momwin

  1. Best friends. :-)
  2. These girls had a "pretend" sleepover. {Pajamas and late night, but then going home with Mom and Dad}. They wore matching pajamas like their big sisters.
  3. We decorated cupcakes and had pancakes for dinner.
  4. The first PSL of the season. In 105 F.
  5. Part of the expat life is goodbyes and this month a sweet friend left to move back to the US.
  6. Evy the puzzle master.
  7. Madi's diverse class - love it!
  8. Her presentation on the Fourth of July for the Cultural Celebration they are doing this month.
  9. We snuck away for a date night before Life Group. 

There was a 50% discount deal to visit the Aqua Park so we decided to do that once more with friends. We love these two families dearly and are so thankful to have found them in Doha! All of our kids get along well and so do all of us as couples. Looking forward to more adventures together this year. :-)


Sunday, September 1, 2019

August Update!

We arrived back in Doha after our summer in America (Part 1 and Part 2) and celebrated our 11th anniversary. We had about a week and a half of summer left before school started and we tried to make the most of it!

Our first stop was Kidzmondo to take advantage of their buy one, get one free promotion. We visited with two other families and literally had to drag the kids away after eight hours because we were starving and the husbands were waiting for us at the restaurant. They had a blast!

The rest of our time before school was spent re-training the cats (who took advantage of our absence this summer) and playing with their besties. We also visited the Qatar National Library for the first time.

The last week in August the girls had their first day at International School of London (ISL). We realized this is their third school in two years and we are thankful they have been so amazing with the changes and have adjusted wonderfully. We are looking forward to this being our school for the next few years!

The girls had more playdates, I had some coffee dates, and we got to have brunch with friends, do some baking, and lots of laughter and playing. We also had breakfast for dinner. :-)

We filled the last week of August with another visit to library, a cat who wanted to be left alone, a good reminder for our family, Thursday night pizza movie night, celebrating a friend's birthday, and family card nights.

We finished out the month with a visit to the Aqua park. We took some video and pictures with the go pro so I'll update the post once we have a chance to sort those!


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Our 11th Anniversary

We arrived back in Doha after our trip to America (Part 1 and Part 2) a few days before our anniversary. We bought tickets a couple months ago to attend Blue Man Group with some friends and then headed to dinner afterwards to celebrate our anniversary.

The last time we saw Blue Man Group was in Las Vegas for Jason's 21st birthday back in 2005! We were surprised at how similar the show was after so many years and loved seeing it in Doha and introducing our girls to the experience.

We headed to a Peruvian restaurant for dinner after taking the girls home. The food was delicious and I was excited to celebrate 11 years with this guy.

Happy anniversary Jason! I love you life with you and exploring the world! Cheers to 11 years!

Here's our previous anniversary celebrations: 2018  2017  2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

America Trip Part 2

The first part of our trip to America was spent in Texas and Colorado before heading to Oklahoma for the remainder. The girls were fortunate to get to spend some time with both sets of grandparents while we were there as my Dad and Mary drove down from Illinois to see them.

The girls had lots of fun reading with Uncle Justin and Papa Jeff, visiting the zoo, having sleepovers with Grandma, playdates with friends, and spending almost everyday in the pool. I also got the amazing chance to see Hamilton with my friend Chelsea and it was amazing. If you have a chance to see it - don't hesitate. The show was superb and I am still listening to the soundtrack on repeat.

When my Dad and Mary came into town we visited the zoo again to see the second half we'd missed the first visit as well as outdoor and indoor playgrounds. We only had a couple days with them, but we made the most of it and the girls loved seeing them. 

We celebrated my Mom and Jeff's birthday while we were in town and visited the Children's Museum with a friend of mine from college and his lovely family. They girls has a spectacular time with them. I also made it to the casino {finally} a couple days before leaving and walked away ahead which is always a plus. 

There was so much delicious food while we were in America. I captured pictures of most of it during the time in Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma. In summer - green chile sauce is the best, lobster cargot is a new favorite, and all my coffee should be served with rock candy for sweetening.

We picked up an extra large rental car to haul our massive amount of stuff {only 6 suitcases, 2 boxes, 4 carry on bags, and 4 undersea bags - nothing too major 🙄). We loaded everything and made the drive to Dallas where we were flying the direct flight back to Doha.

Once again the girls were amazing travelers. They were fascinated by bugles (the best finger hats) and the water fountains (it's the little things, haha) and we lucked out on the flight being very empty and the cabin attendant insisting on moving us to another section where each girls had her own row!! This was a huge blessing as it allowed me to be able to rest for a couple hours while they slept (I usually am awake the whole time when flying solo as I can't sleep.)

Jason met us at the airport when we arrived and we anxiously got home exhausted and ready to rest. It was a wonderful summer in America and we are so thankful for everyone who hosted our family, re arranged things to visit us, and made an effort to come see us while we were in town. We have an amazing community back home and it sure was hard to say goodbye. We hope to see you all again next summer!


America Trip Part 1

We got up bright and early to head to their airport to catch our flight. We made a quick trip to the lounge for me to get a coffee and then headed to our gate. The flight to Houston is about 16 hours and the girls did brilliant again. We had a rotation of eat, play, sleep twice and they all got a couple decent naps.

When we landed my sweet friend Kelly picked us up from the airport with coffee in hand when we walked out of customs. Y'all! If you are or have been an expat you know how amazing it is to have a friend who is willing to do that for you. We are so thankful for Kelly and her family loving on us with that and so much more on this trip! Her girls were amazing with mine and I loved getting to catch up with her.

The girls did pretty great with jet lag and we jumped right into visiting with friends and the girls started VBS. We made sure to visit Candytopia while we were in town because, duh. Kelly and her sweet girls joined us for that adventure.

It was so amazing to catch up with so many people while we were in town. I was definitely exhausted by the end of the week, but wouldn't change a thing because seeing everyone is a huge part of why we come back each year.

After the week up in Houston attending VBS we headed down to League City to stay with Jason's sister and her family. The cousins jumped right back into playing as though no time had passed and they got to spend the entire week together playing at the playground, putting on shows for us, swimming, and have lots of laughter and fun.

We re-created this cousin picture to see how much they've grown. It's been a fun tradition to do the last few years!

Jason wasn't planning to come to America this trip, but then a last minute work trip came up and thankfully it was the same week we were still in Texas! He was able to come stay with us part of the time. We are very thankful for this family and the chance to spend time with them and get the cousins together.

After Texas I flew the girls to Oklahoma to meet up with my mom and then continued on to Colorado to attend one of my sorority sister's wedding in Carbondale. The scenery was perfection and it was fun catching up with everyone. I also got a chance to do a little hiking outdoors, see other friends in Colorado and attend a Rockies game with my sister in law.

After the long weekend I flew back to Oklahoma where we spent the rest of our time while we were in America.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

First Half of July

The girls finished school towards the end of June and we had a couple extra weeks in Doha. The girls attended summer camp at their school and also a gymnastics camp before we headed to the US. We also did lots of playdates and activities with friends along with celebrating the twins' actual birthday.

  1. Best little helps adding the ingredients.
  2. Big sister in charge of mixing.
  3. The end result - the Magnolia chocolate bread. It was yummy!
  4. We have tolerant cats. Here is magician CeCe.
  5. Movie with their stuffed besties.
  6. Gymnastics duo.
  7. The most delicious quinoa salad that I am obsessed with and keep making for my lunches.
  8. Fun unicorn mugs they were gifted by my friend Marli.
  9. We had al lunch date with Daddy and in the mall the rose shop gave them free roses. They were thrilled!

We had some playdates at a fun play area called Curiosity (first four pictures). It's as close to a children's museum we've found in Doha with lots of fun sensory activities. The next three pictures are from Summer Entertainment City. We visited last summer when we visited Doha in July. They have all sort of small amusement park rides and play areas inside the convention center. It's massive! We spent all day here with friends and the dads joined us when they got off work. The last two pics are the girls painting some tiny unicorns we got through their Scholastic book order. They love painting!

We celebrated Independence Day with a dinner at Joe's Crab Shack with some of our closest Doha friends. It was fun to go out and celebrate with these families who have been super supportive in our move and transition to Doha. 

Tomorrow the girls and I fly out to America for a few weeks to visit friends and family in America!


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Happy 4th Birthday Evelyn and Olivia!

A very happy birthday to our sweet Evelyn! You are outgoing, cheerful, and love to be included in everything. You are very girly and love all things pink and princess, but also love cars and racing (like your Daddy!). You play amazing with both your sisters and are very affectionate towards everyone.

A very happy birthday to our sweet Olivia! You are quiet, but strong. You love deeply and help keep the peace between your sisters. You know what you want and aren't afraid to do it even if your sisters don't want to and you are the only one. You are the perfect balance to your big sisters and they love you.

You attended gymnastics camp on your birthday and loved being sung to by your friends. We headed to dinner at Cheesecake Factory at your request where you got to share a piece and being sung to again by the staff. 

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