10:17 AM

“Our life is a short time in expectation, a time in which sadness and joy kiss each other at every moment. There is a quality of sadness that pervades all the moments of our lives. It seems that there is no such thing as a clear-cut pure joy, but that even in the most happy moments of our existence we sense a tinge of sadness. In every satisfaction, there is an awareness of limitations. In every success, there is the fear of jealousy. Behind every smile, there is a tear. In every embrace, there is loneliness. In every friendship, distance. And in all forms of light, there is the knowledge of surrounding darkness . . . But this intimate experience in which every bit of life is touched by a bit of death can point us beyond the limits of our existence. It can do so by making us look forward in expectation to the day when our hearts will be filled with perfect joy, a joy that no one shall take away from us.” -Henri Nouwen

bullet point highlights continued.

2:15 AM

i'll pick up where we left off.  

september 2016
baby announced
j goes to India. 
full-time instructor 
music teacher life; 517 littles (and some as tall as me) 

october 2016
baby shower numero uno 
meeting mccandman 
gbyes to besties 
ethiopia here
dates with baby-daddy 

november 2016
celebrating FOUR 
baby BOY
majnoon qahwa 

december 2016
more gbyes to besties
california christmas perfection 
bestie wedding 

and here we are, 
january 2016 
souk date
little hands loving baby j. 
and j back in India, daddy mooning ;)

the last few months have been full of
low lows;
many of our nearest and dearest have left k-town. 
transition, transition, transition
the hard parts of being far; save the dates, missed moments
and the highest of highs;
learning to love deeper and purer and fuller
the rich joy of growing our babe
and feeling his kicks and punches 
the hope of our future family of 3(+the more to come later on) 
the planning, and dreaming, and living it out together 
grace on grace on grace

&i'll leave you with a song that has been playing on repeat the last month or so. 

so put me on your wheel now & spin me around, spin me around 
place me in your flame now, until you see through me, and i'm ready to come out

one year. (bullet point edition)

6:40 AM

almost a year. oops

the year of busy.

september 2015.
back to school
intro: tutor
intro: auk adjunct
meet the *robots

october 2015.
double baby shower
plant souk
souk obsessions
-meet parissa

november 2015.
baby boy mob
three years...
auk dinner #1
sports day gold
thanksgiving dinner
friday market on repeat

december 2015.
birthday fiesta
dubai for one j
christmas eve party

january 201
new years party
plant souk on repeat

february 2016.
desert nights
parent teach conferences

national day
more kites

march 2016.
birthday bash
secret souq glory
spring break-first family visit

april 2016.
best field trip ever
pool days on repeat
hosting on repeat.

may 2016.
award ceremonies
auk job offer-finally 
hosting on repeat.

june 2016.
new home.
americaaa (for one j)
disclaimer: two weeks is just not enough.
summer job (for the other)

july 2016.
120 degree weather. on repeat.

august 2016.
new things.
LATE paycheques.  &waiting

(insert a whole lot of grace. lots of prayers. lots of dreaming. lots of hope. lots of good ol' fashion jesus.)

this last year has been incredibly BUSY.
lots of 12 hour work days.  (we payed off a lot of our debt, and yet still have a lot to go.)
lots of waiting.
lots of weekend napping.
lots of precious moments with friends.
lots of sweat.
lots of cheese.
we still love k-town.
we still have friends.
we landed the jobs we wanted for this next year.
we rented the house we wanted for the next few.
we made it.
we're making it.
we're ready for what's ahead!

12:26 PM

there is so much to share in this space. 
a new home. (our safe palace in K-town)
throwback trips (Egypt, NorthWest, Summer)
life in two places
life in K-town (-summer questions answered here)
it is my hope and plan that all of those and more are shared soon.  
but until then i leave you with part of Donald Miller's Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road...

“And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?

It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.

I want to repeat one word for you:

Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn't it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.” 

4:15 AM

I should have written months ago. about our time in Armenia. about my first birthday in Kuwait back in April. about the last real month of school in May. about our move from a tiny house to our safe palace on the beach. but here we are in June with 12 days before we fly home for a summer of reunions and inshallah rest. the lack of our presence here certainly does not reflect in the fullness of life the last few months.

in short our trip to armenia was a beautiful and cold one. in a good way it made us happy k-town is our home. that our family here is ours. we also learned that there are many different paths open to us. so so so many hungry hearts. so much darkness to shine on. so many desperately in need of love extended.

turning 27 wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. we were certain we would have at least one little one by now. school debt has gotten in the way. but we’re coming to terms with the fact that unless a miracle comes it’s a mountain we can choose to face. it’s a funny thing feeling young and old at once. when people say I’m not old I want to pinch them. i am the oldest version of myself yet… so I can be old to me. just let me be! i also think of all that has happened so quickly. i might not have babies. but i have loved and mother at least 20 little ones. i have a master’s degree and a tesol certificate and a year of teaching under my belt. i live in the ME! i have shared and am sharing life with SO MANY PEOPLE. life hasn’t always been easy or what I planned but it has certainly been made good.

my first birthday here was the richest I’ve had yet. not only because of the dear ones I was tangibly able to celebrate. but because of the love and peace and hope I felt extending from everywhere.

moving from our tiny house to our safe palace has been one of our greatest physical gifts this year. we are sharing our new home with my best here. and with our raises and stipends not paying 1 penny (or fill) more. we can walk to the sea. or to the village. it is safe. it is entirely beautiful. it is a really really good thing. Bonus? the guest bedroom. COME VISIT!

and now I’m sitting in an empty classroom. a classroom where I made memories as my first year teaching little ones. is the year already gone? so many lessons. a few tears shed. a lot of sweat. a lot of hugs. a lot of….”MS! MS!” a whole lot of “GINA!”’s buckets and hearts were filled. head aches and tummy aches and heart aches healed. life was spoken. courage poured out. kids who said they couldn’t and wouldn’t thriving. small and big leaps taken. so much reward. 19 little smiling faces with some much hope and promise.


and in 12 days we will be walking off an airplane onto the soil of my homeland. hugging and kissing too many faces to count. into a summer full of space to remember, rich with promise and hope and joy and love.

12:33 AM

to make living itself an art, that is the goal. -henry miller

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