Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Highlights

It's fun to look back at the year and pick one or two highlights from each month. Overall we had a great year with some new adventures, some changes, and lots of fun memories!


We welcomed the year with a fun staycation in Doha. The girls visited build-a-bear, started gymnastics (Evelyn and Olivia), and I got to sneak away for an overnight with friends from church the remainder of the month.


Along with celebrating Valentine's Day, I canned and sold my salsa for the first time! The girls celebrated International Day at their school with amazing songs and a parade. We also had some tough times as pneumonia put Evelyn in the hospital for a couple days.


We were able to get outside the city for the first time and visit the beach and the singing sand dunes. We celebrated Jason's birthday, Mother's Luncheon at the girls' school, and then headed off to Jordan for our first trip of the year!


My mom surprised the girls by waiting in the Doha airport when we arrived back from Jordan! We showed her some of our favorite spots around the city and celebrated Easter with her. Then I snuck away to the Seychelles for a much-needed girls trip!


We traveled back to America this month to celebrate my Dad being ordained a permanent deacon in the Catholic church and attend my sister-in-laws Baylor University graduation. The rest of the month was spent adjusting to the heat and customs of Ramadan, attending Madi's graduation, and preparing for the girls' birthday party the next month.


The challenge of summer birthdays is finding a date before everyone leaves and so we started the month with our Superhero-themed party! We had a couple day staycation with an amazing family, welcomed our first (non-family) visitor, and celebrated Madison's 6th birthday.


After school ended we found indoor activities to keep us busy before we headed to America for a few weeks. We celebrated Fourth of July with friends and went out to dinner for Evelyn and Olivia's 4th birthday.


The first couple weeks of the month were spent in America visiting with family before heading back to Doha. Jason and I celebrated our 11th anniversary with Blue Man Group and then dinner out. We also started preparing the girls for their start at a new school and the twins being in separate classes.


This month literally flew by with so many birthday parties, play dates, and kid activities! It was pretty exhausting, haha. Jason took each girl out for a Daddy-Daughter date which they adored. We also snuck in one final trip to the water park with two of our favorite families.


We traveled again as a family this month during the girls's school break. We met up with family friends of Jason's in Crete and enjoyed some time in Athens afterwards. We celebrated Halloween with compound trick or treating, enjoyed starting a weekly date night and couples Bible study, and a Hamilton-themed overnight with friends.


Madison and I went on a surprise trip to Baku, Jason took the girls camping with some other Dads, and us Moms went to Tbilisi for a weekend trip. We hosted Thanksgiving with friends and embraced the {slightly} cooler weather with lots of outdoor activities and fun like having a water balloon fight, scootering along a new boardwalk, and seeing Hillsong perform live.


It was definitely an eventful December! Just before the girls finished school Evelyn injured her finger requiring surgery and stitched. Thankfully she recovered amazingly and we are grateful for good medical care! We enjoyed celebrating Qatar National Day with different activities and explored more outside Doha by visiting Eye Rock and family camping in Zekreet. We had a quiet and family-focused Christmas Day which we all loved and appreciated.

We are thankful the girls are all healthy and doing well despite some of the minor health concerns we've faced in 2019. We are also glad that in late May we got clarity from Jason's work about our contract in Doha. We will be here for another 2-3 years and it's amazing to not be in limbo anymore and feel more settled. Looking back at the highlights for the year and seeing our Best Nine 2019 was a great reminder what the year held for our family.

We hope that everyone had a wonderful 2019 and wish you all the best for 2020! 

Happy New Year!!

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