Friday, December 21, 2012

Germany, part one

After a really long day of travel, we arrived in Frankfurt last night. We met a super kind young man on the train who helped us not only navigate but carry our luggage. Truly, we tried to pack light this time and were quite impressed with ourselves--that is, until we arrived in Europe and realized we had about 800 times more with us than everyone else! 

Sojo's somewhat desperate wish to see snow came true last night. We watched the rain come down and then turn to snow every now and then. When it became snowy enough, we put our coats over our pajamas and ran downstairs. She was downright giddy. 

We then came back upstairs and she sat by the window, wishing that all that snow would stick and she could make a snowball this morning (note the fingers crossed--toes were also crossed). No such luck, but she's still a happy kid. 

Off to a children's museum and the Christmas markets today. But first things first, I am heading directly to the amazing farmer's market right outside the coffee shop window, complete with bread stands and cheese wagons and huge trucks of meat. Loving every second of Germany so far! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More Life in the Desert

As we are getting excited to head to Germany and Arizona tomorrow morning, I also realize that I will miss our little space here in the desert. Tonight, I walked out the front door and soaked up the goodness that is our life. Crisp air, Christmas lights in the neighbors' trees, and kids playing soccer in the street. It made me tear up, knowing that in this window of time, my life feels so incredibly content. Unexpected contentment feels even sweeter somehow.

I thought I would share a few more photos of life here. I've been wanting to get a good camel crossing sign as they are cute, and we love camels. Dale pulled over on the highway so I could get out and take a few.

As I was taking photos, I turned around and looked at the car on the side of the highway. This is on the way to the city that is about 35 minutes away, and it definitely shows how there is truly nothing around. 

Sojo got some golf clubs for Christmas, and our backyard is perfect for practicing. She'll be playing on the sand golf course soon! 

Next stop, Germany!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Glimpse Into the Mall Life

A big part of entertainment in Saudi is going to the mall. I will say we are not hurting at all for shopping here and there are tons of great stores. Finally, after nine years in Asia, I can shop in the country where I am living.

A few interesting and possibly disturbing things about the malls:

1. Each restaurant or coffee shop has a family section and a single male section--each a mirror image of the other but with a wall down the middle. The idea is that single men and women will not even see each other as single females stand in the family section. I am forever forgetting about this rule here and standing in the singles line. Usually, people are cool about it and don't make a big deal as I am wearing the abaya. Only once did a man tell me I was in the wrong line, and he politely pointed to where the women's line was.

2. Let's just say you would be very surprised at how racy the clothes are that you see in the mall. And get a load of these shoes!! Whoa! 

3. Often you see women and children's faces blurred out in ads on the sides of stores. I find it slightly creepy. 

And not found in the mall but in our neighborhood is this mama and daughter. On our way to a softball game one night wearing a favorite hat that Popo gave her last year. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

An Artist's Life

Sojo has entered a new stage of art, one where she does not simply draw picture after picture in a sketchpad but instead finds something she loves and works on it over a few days. She adds backgrounds and details and spends hours doing this. Her newest Angry Bird obsession is the Star Wars game that came out, and this picture of Yoda took a few days and a lot of love and patience. 

My heart almost burst today when she walked around with rolled up artwork tucked in the side of her backpack. She talks of being an artist when she grows up, and I am tucking away certain pieces for her to remember in the future. Another burstable moment was watching her with her good friend from class. These two are silly and goofy and gorgeous together. They think they are twins because they have the same height, the same hair color and are exactly the same color of brown. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

'Tis the Season

We are headed to Germany and Arizona for the upcoming vacation. Christmas markets in Germany on the way over and a search for snow in the Black Forest on the way back. Nestled between is some quality time in Arizona to meet baby Augie and soak up family and my other favorite desert. We'll have our own family Christmas here before we go, mostly so we don't have to use valuable luggage space with presents.  Santa has agreed to find us in Arizona. Looking forward to every single thing! 

Saturday, December 01, 2012


Sojo is many things--beautiful, wicked creative, funny, and she is definitely quirky. This is what she does every day now as we walk to school after lunch. If you can't tell what it is, she is one of those Chinese lions guarding an entrance. Only this lion has a hunk of Arabic bread in her mouth. Mostly because she nearly always has a hunk of that bread in her mouth lately.

Definitely quirky, that sweet girl.