Category Archives: Everyday Life

my little pumpkins

we had the opportunity to take one of our Saudi family friends to the Flowermound Pumpkin Patch last night! It was there first time, after living in America for 5 years, to go to a pumpkin patch and they LOVED it! It was so fun to see our girls run around with their girls and enjoy the pumpkins, dirt and playhouses. As we were walking around my friend leaned over and told me that she had coffee, tea and dates in the car and asked if there was a spot we could sit and drink them together. This made my heart so happy and made me miss our time in the Middle East. In Arab culture they always plan to have picnic with their community and family wherever and whenever it is possible. I love how community oriented and hospitable they are. I think that Americans can learn a thing or two from them about how we interact with community and host people.

Chloe Jane, 18 months

Chloe is our little spunky sweetheart. She melts our hearts with her smile, her hugs, her kisses, and just her general cuteness. She loves baby dolls, her big sister, oranges, reading books, playing outside, singing nursery rhymes, her pappy (pacci) wrestling with daddy, cuddling, giggling, and talking on the phone. She is saying a few words. Some of her go tos are: “bye bye”, “two”, “ball”, “tant you”, “more”, “dawn (done)”, “mommy”, “daddy”, “puppy”, “pappy (pacci)” and she loves to giber jabber. She still does not have all her teeth, but we are working hard (i.e. having a tough time) at getting them all. She is not a great eater at the moment- not sure if she is just picky or if its because of her teeth and because we have had a nasty cold that has lasted for over two weeks! Loving Chlo Bo at this age, wish I could just bottle her up and keep her my little peanut forever. She is 19.8 lbs and 3% in height and weight and 50% for her head.

Lydia May, 3 years

Lydia is becoming such a smart, fun-loving, empathetic little lady. She is at such a fun age and is just absorbing everything around her. She is such a quick learner. This girl loves to talk and hardly ever stops. She has stopped napping for about a month now and just has “quiet/alone” time in her room. This has been a hard transition for me because she comes out every 20 minutes or so to ask for help (i.e. interrupting my down time), but she hasn’t skipped a beat and doesn’t act tired what-so-ever without her nap. She is sleeping a good 12 hours a night, so this is probably why she doesn’t need her nap. She does a great job with wearing her “guck-kez” (glasses) and reminds me that she needs them in the mornings- such a blessing! We have been done with diapers even at night for about a week now and she is doing GREAT! She is so proud of herself for waking up dry and not wearing a pull up anymore… she hasn’t had any accidents yet. I am not gonna lie, I am a little shocked about this, I was prepared for lots of nights waking up to change sheets. I guess she was ready. She is 30 lbs and about 50% for height, weight and for her head.

Yarah and Weam our sweet little Arab friends.

#keepinitreal #reallife #toddlerlife

 Side Note: I am going to try something new with my blog… once we have an event or something I want to post, I am going to try and upload the pics and do a blog post right away and not feel overwhelmed with trying to play catch up. When I have some extra time I will try to slowly go backward and catch up, but if I don’t then at least I am recording the now. Wish me luck!

    Posted in Chloe, Everyday Life, Family, Holidays, Lydia | Comments Off on my little pumpkins

    a 5, 6 & 7 month Chlo Chlo

    Oh my goodness, here we are again, 3 months have passed and I haven’t posted about our sweet Chloe. I don’t want to forget all the little things she does and her sweet little personality. I have had so much fun looking back at Lydia’s blog posts and comparing the two and remembering how Liddy was at each stage that Chloe is at now.

    Sleep: Around the middle of her 5 month of life Chloe decided that sleep in the night was overrated 🙂 She started waking up anywhere from 1-4 times in the night!! This has lasted up until now (7 months), the past few nights (November) she has only been waking up once around 12;30 or 1 am and then early in the morning around 5:30 or 6 am. So, I would say we are getting there… We thought that maybe she was just hungry and needed to start eating more food. But that only seemed to help a little. We did quite a bit of traveling these months and so I think that threw her off to, with sharing a room with us and such. But, phew, it has been a tough few months… not getting a full nights sleep for 7 months get weary! And of course the nights she would maybe sleep a little better Lydia would have a bad dream or something and wake up! Chloe is still taking 2 naps a day one in the morning and then once usually with Lydia (at least 5 times a week I can get them down at the same time! woo who!) At 5 & part of 6 months she was still taking an evening nap for around 30 min to an hour. It worked out perfect because it was usually right when I needed to cook dinner 🙂 Thanks Chloe!

    We have tried to let her “cry it out” a few times, but then we went to visit family and didn’t want her to wake everyone up and then she got sick… so we are hoping to get back on it once she is feeling better.

    Food: Chloe is a fast little nurser. Most of the time she nurses between 5- 10 min total! I often have wondered if she is getting enough, but she is growing, peeing, pooping and happy so I guess so! We gave her solids for the first time on October 6. We gave her oatmeal and she liked it! She has done much better with baby food than her sister did. So far we have tried: apples, pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, prunes, green beans (her least favorite- at least the kind that I have made), bananas, avocado, and squash. I gave her a little yogurt on November 17 and she wasn’t a huge fan, but I am hoping after time she will like it…. that was a staple for Lydia. Poor second kid, we have had to feed Chloe a few times around midnight because she woke up super upset and we realized that we hadn’t fed her all day! But as of late we have been on a better routine and she eats when we eat. Lydia loves to ‘help’ me feed her and Chloe just get wide eyes and giggles at her. Chloe also loves puff snacks and she has had pancakes which she loves too! 

    first bites of solid food

    she loves to eat! 

    She is still nursing every 2 to 3 hours during the day and we are trying to not nurse her in the middle of the night any more. (oh sleep training… you are not fun!)

    She had her first bottle at the beginning of October. I had some milk that was frozen and still good at my mom’s and so when we were visiting so we decided to try it out! She did so goo with it and Chase loved feeding her. We have done several since then… wish I could give her more, but in order to get a bottle I have to pump in the middle of the night, so that’s not always easy to wake up for!

    Travel: We did quite a bit of travel the past few months. September 12 we went to West Texas for Landon’s 2nd birthday and Claire’s baby shower. Love that we are close enough now to get to be part of the small stuff. September 21 we drove to Oklahoma City for a few days to visit Boompa & Grandma and some cousins. Then me and the girls headed to Albuquerque with my dad and Linda. We flew to Arizona from there for my cousins wedding. Then Aubrey and I went back to Albuquerque for a week to hang out. We were supposed to have a week with Gramzi, but she ended up being in West Texas with Brooke for my niece’s birth! November 4th we went back to West Texas to finally meet my sweet baby niece, Claire! And Gramzi came to visit us for a week after that… so fun! Phew a buys few months. Chloe does great with travel, but woke up a lot more in the night- I think its because we are in the same room as her… who knows?!


    *When you say Chloe’s name, she looks up at you and smiles really BIG. It brightens our day. Aubrey (my sister) said, she makes you feel so special when she smiles at you, but then you realize she smiles for everyone. She is one smiley girl.

    *She loves her big sister… she watches everything she does, she giggles at her, smiles at her… can’t wait to see their friendship grow.

    can’t wait to see these girls become best friends

    *She is still really chill. However, if you leave her sitting for too long now she squeaks at you really loud.

    *When she sits (she started sitting at the end of September) she looks up at you, smiles, and flaps her arms… super cute.

    *She rolls all over the place, but also still is ok with staying in one place to play (complete opposite of her sister and this age).

    *She has gotten up on her knees a few times and rocked back and forth, but don’t scoot yet, just rolling.

    *She is the BEST smuggler there ever was. She is always putting her head on our shoulders and lets you just cuddle her as long as you want.

    *She loves to be rocked to sleep and when you run your fingers through her hair.

    *She fights falling asleep and cries/gets stiff for about a min or two and then relaxes after you hold her tight and falls asleep pretty quick.

    *She makes spitting noises all the time.

    *She loves her pacci, almost as much as her sister. She will now take it in and out of her mouth and look for it on the ground, grab it and put it in her mouth herself.

    *She likes to be feed really fast.. no patience when it comes to waiting for her food.

    *She likes to be held and in the same room as us.

    *She smiles at Chase every time he walks into the room and comes home from work.

    *She hated her carseat a lot, but is getting a little better. We moved her from her infant carseat in the middle of September because we were borrowing it from my sister and she needed it for my niece who was born on September 28 so we got her the next one up and so I think it has taken some time to get used to.

    *She can put her pacci in by herself now… she is such a big girl!

    first Halloween 2014

    *Her favorite toys are: the baby Einstein music/radio toy, maracas from Lydia’s birthday party, the giraffe musical puzzle, the stackable music stars.

    *She got sick for the first time in November… a bad cough, runny nose and congestion We went to the doctor and she gave her a nebulizer to help with the cough. It was so sad to see her sick, but she was still a happy sweet baby girl. At this appointment she weighed 14 1/2 lbs.

    *Chloe’s nicknames: Chlo Chlo, Coco, Chloe bear, Angel baby, Chlo bow, Chloe Baloney

      Posted in Chloe, Everyday Life, mcpeanut | Comments Off on a 5, 6 & 7 month Chlo Chlo

      Life as we know it…

      I thought it was time for a life update on here…

      We have been back in America for 6 months on the 22nd- crazy to think that half a year ago our lives were SO different. We were speaking Arabic daily, walking to the beach to visit our neighbors and best friends, eating rice and chicken on almost a daily basis, and Chase was trying to figure out the ins and outs of regulations for opening up a business while sipping coffee and eating dates with Omani government officials. I miss this life and will never forget it. We are starting to get into more of a rhythm here in America, starting to feel a little more “normal” most days, but we still have days where this just doesn’t feel like home…. maybe one day it will or maybe not. One thing I know is that we weren’t made for this world, but for somewhere greater and I look forward to the day we get to go to our real home in heaven with Jesus!

      But until then we are fitting to find joy as we settle back into American life and find a new normal. Today, Chase is on his way to Denton pulling a U-haul with all our stuff that we have stored and collected over the past 4 years, while his family cleans the house for us (we are so blessed). Tomorrow me and the girls (and my mom- so thankful and blessed she could come to help!) will be joining him to move into our new home in Denton, Texas! This will become our new home, where we will start a new chapter in life and find a new place to serve and new friends to do life with. We are excited, anxious, ready, apprehensive, and joyful. It is bittersweet to leave Albuquerque, my mom, Andy, Aubrey,l Nate and friends (green chile & mountains!). We were so blessed by them these past 5 months- it was a perfect place to have a baby and start to heal/recover from the crazy year of change we had.

      Chase will also be starting a new job June 30th! He got a job with Guidestone Financial. He will be learning all about financial services while working towards getting his CFP license (certified financial planner) and will also work on getting his MBA. (which Guidestone will help pay for both! what a blessing!) His office is 45 minutes away with no traffic… which means it will be quite the commute- boo. We are going to look into him taking public transportation, which will hopefully help cut down some of the time and allow him to study and read on the commute (or rest for his second shift at home with the girls!) This new work schedule (8-5, plus commute, Monday – Friday) is going to be a big adjustment/culture shock for us…. me and the girls will be going through some growing pains in the next few weeks as we settle in without Chase and without my mom’s help, so if you think about it will you say a little prayer for us? Thanks!

      Despite all the change and newness that we are embracing, we are excited and ready for some stability, for a schedule and to find a new life rhythm. We think it will be good for us and a season of growth and greater dependance on the Lord.

      I will let you know how we are in a month after we get moved in, unpacked and start this new chapter. We thank you all for following us on this crazy journey of ours, for supporting us, loving us, praying for us, and allowing us to be real with you. We are on the uphill climb and thankful for what the Lord has brought us through. We don’t know what the future holds, but we are excited to see and to be doing it together.

      Did I mention that we are doing this move with a 20 month old and a 2 month old?!

       Did I mention that we are doing this move with a 20 month old and a 2 month old?! 

      They have been doing really great with all the change (so far), however, Liddy has been testing the waters lately and been a little more needy, winey and a tad more difficult. Think she is still getting used to not being the only one to have momma’s attention… please tell me it gets easier?! I am thankful that she keeps me on my toes and I laugh everyday because of her! She is at such a fun age despite her desire for independence!

      And then there is Chloe… she has been a dream baby so far. What a blessing for us in this season. God knew what we needed.

        Posted in Everyday Life, Family | 3 Comments

        38 weeks {5 days}

        We have had a crazy couple of weeks with miss Chloe Jane (yes we finally decided on a middle name!!). At our appointment last week (37 weeks) we saw a different doctor and when she was listening to her heartbeat it was lower than it should have been (112 and then went back up to 120 and 130… ) so she wanted us to go get a BPP (bio physical profile ultrasound test) just to make sure that everything was ok. During the test Chloe did great and her heart rate was back up in the 130s and 140s. Then they put me on the monitor for 30 min for an NST (non-stress test) to have a longer reading of her heart rate. During this time it looked great- she had lots of variability (Aubrey tells me this is a good thing and what they look for- when the heartbeat has accelerations), but at one point she had a slight deceleration (which could have been her sitting on the cord or something else), but turned out to be nothing to be concerned about. However, the on call doctor was relayed incorrect information about the readings and wanted us to come down to the hospital for a longer reading/testing, but luckily there was a mid-wife that came back after lunch that read the strip and heard the report and said that everything looked great and that it wasn’t necessary to go down for more testing that day (Aubs read the strip too and said the same thing- so thankful for her!). They compromised at me going in for twice weekly BPP’s and a growth scan up until she is born. It was such a long day with lots of emotions, but at the end of the day we were super thankful that everything checked out fine and has been great ever since. Even though it seemed like unnecessary worry and tests, I am glad that we got to check in on her and know for sure that she is doing good! Praise the Lord!

        On Thursday (yesterday) we had our second BPP for the week and as the ultrasound tech was looking for Chloe’s head she instead said, “Ummm, thats the baby’s bladder…” and I responded with, “What?!” because the position of her bladder was in the same spot that her head was in on Monday… she continued to move the wand up toward my ribs and said, “yup, there’s her head. This baby is breech!” I could not believe what I was hearing! I was in TOTAL shock. That little stinker had somehow turned herself around between Monday and Thursday and is now no where near the correct position for birth!! Everything else looked great though.

        So we went down to see my doctor afterward and discussed our options. We talked about doing a version to externally try to get her to flip around, going to a chiropractor or getting acupuncture. We decided that we didn’t want to force anything that could cause risk to Chloe (even if the risk is low), so we decided to go for praying (and maybe doing some fun gymnastic type moves at home) to get Chloe to flip on her own and if she doesn’t then we have a c-section scheduled for 9:30 am on Thursday, April 10th! If she happens to be head down that morning then we will induce and try to have her vaginally but if she is still breech we will get to have our sweet baby girl in our arms before lunch on Thursday!!!

        I have lots of mixed emotions about all of this. Mostly still in shock– didn’t think she could actually flip this late in the game esp when there is NO room left! Of course a c-section was not at all what I had in mind for this birth and so I am having to come to terms with it and all that it entails. It is a blessing that we are living with my mom and to have her help. I was really looking forward to laboring with my sister and getting to experience it again with Chase, but I know that it will be just as special and just as sweet when we get to hear her cry and hold her for the first time. I am thankful for a healthy baby and excited/nervous for next week! Chase keeps telling me that I love a plan and now I have one, so that’s a positive too!

        How far along? 38 weeks (5 days)

        Total weight gain: I think I am up to 25 +/- lbs now! – just can’t seem to resist having dessert every night… !

        Maternity clothes? yup, and sick of them at this point

        Stretch marks? I found a couple :/

        Sleep: been sleeping pretty good except for potty breaks

        Best moment this week: when Lydia kissed Chloe and gave her milk from her baby doll’s bottle… cannot wait to see her reaction to her baby sister! (hoping and praying she adjusts well…)

        Miss Anything? laying on my stomach and back- regular clothes

        Movement: apparently lots since she did a summersault to face the wrong way!

        Just saw this comment from last time… guess I spoke too soon!! We went to the doctor today and she is head down, back up and in perfect position for birth! Hoping she stays this way and just continues to move downward 🙂

        Food cravings: steak, yogurt with fresh fruit, popsicles

        Anything making you queasy or sick: not really

        Gender: girl!!- this has been confirmed several times in the ultrasounds

        Labor Signs: I was 1 cm and long yesterday… which now I hope I just stay the same since I can’t go into labor and have her breech anyway… still having Braxton Hicks daily thou.

        Symptoms: sore back, cramping, big belly!

        Belly Button in or out? out

        Wedding rings on or off? on

        Happy or Moody most of the time: happy and nervous about the c-section

        Looking forward to: kissing and holding Chloe on Thursday!!

          Posted in Chloe, Everyday Life, Family, mcpeanut | 3 Comments

          Lydia at 18 months…

          Its been a while since I have blogged about our sweet Liddy Bug. She has been changing so much lately – its crazy how fast time flies. I wish I could bottle her up at this stage and keep it forever. She is just

          She is full of energy, is non-stop from the moment she wakes up to when she naps to bedtime. (well except for about 10-30 minutes of snuggle time during milk and cartoons in the morning and after nap) She keeps us on our toes and makes us smile and laugh EVERYDAY- a true blessing especially in the midst of a tough transition season for our little family. She plays really well by herself as long as you are in the same area as she is. When she plays she skips from one toy or object (plastic cups and lids or spice jars in the kitchen) to the next within a matter of minutes- like I said a busy happy girl.

          She is a pretty good eater and will try most things. We could for sure increase her intake of veggies (this is a fault from her momma since I am not a huge veggie fan, esp. preggo- we are trying!) Some of her favorite foods include:

          • hummus with carrots or pita chips
          • beans of any kind
          • cheese
          • Spanish rice
          • guacamole (she doesn’t like avocado by it’s self, but add a Mexican twist and she is sold)
          • blueberries
          • plain yogurt
          • pizza
          • Clementine oranges
          • veggie soup
          • Chicken tortilla soup
          • green beans
          • gold fish
          • cinnamon raisin bread
          • Special K Vanilla Almond cereal with milk & strawberries
          • hard boiled eggs
          • Mac & Cheese
          • Fried eggs (she hasn’t been liking scrambled eggs lately- which she used to eat two at a time!)
          • Spaghetti

          She has been trying to talk more and more these days. It is so cute! I know that it won’t be too long before she is non-stop talking…. poor Chase- he will have two talkative women in his life 🙂 I just love seeing her try to listen and then think about how to say it and then actually attempt saying it- what a joy as a parent to see your kids learning! Some of the things she is saying these days are:

          • Momma
          • Daaaddy
          • Bye-byes
          • Hi
          • bubbles
          • shoooes
          • babrey (for Auntie Aubrey)
          • purple
          • blueberry (she says this so cute- not sure how to “write” it out)
          • cheese
          • No-no (she shakes her finger back and forth when she says this one)
          • tate-to (thank you)
          • yeah
          • yes
          • ease (please)
          • go
          • two
          • wow
          • ballon
          We look Lydia to Chuck E Cheese for our last “family of 3” outing! She loved the pizza and dancing with Chuck E! 
          We also taught her a few baby signs that she still uses. We have loved teaching her these and have seen a difference in her whining at the dinner table as a result. She uses the “please”, “thank you”, “all done”, “more”, “milk”, “water”, “eat”, and “bedtime” signs.

          She loves making animal noises. Our family favorite is her “meow”- she looks like a pirate/ally cat by winking her right eye as she meows (pictured below). She does monkey noises with the arm motions, says “quack quack”, “woo-woo” for a dog noise, “baaa” for sheep, and snorts for a pig.

          She love LOVES to dance! (I know, a girl after my own heart!) Anytime there is music on she is dancing- wiggling her hips, shaking her fingers back and forth, moving her shoulders up and down, kicking her legs, spinning around- just basically grooving to the beat. Lately she has even gotten better at dancing to the correct rhythm of the song. Her favorite songs to dance to are “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, the “cu-pig shuffle” from her dancing/singing Valentine pig from Nanny & Pappa, country music, JaJu’s 70’s rock music, and “Let it Go” from Frozen. Anytime she sees our computer she yells “gooooo!” and puts her arms out and says please meaning she wants to watch you tube videos of “Let it Go” and of course we give in and let her. (most of the time)

          She has started throwing little dramatic fits by throwing herself on the ground and laying there for a bit, so the past few weeks we have tried the “time out” discipline method. Chase puts her in a chair for like 10-15 seconds and tells her to stay and she actually does! Usually she is crying, but it stops whatever dramatic fit she was just throwing. And then we hug her and tell her we love her and she gives us hugs back. Who knows if she knows what is going on, but she will eventually! We also have spanked (yes I said spanked!) her hand if she is doing something we have told her not to do several times. Its a trial and error learning phase for discipline at this point (and I am guessing for all of parenthood), so we will see what works for her! Can’t believe we have to already discipline, but when you were born a sinner it makes sense! Thank goodness for God’s grace and patience with us all.

          She is a pretty good sleeper, which has been such a grace to us in this stage of life. She naps (and 99% of the time goes without a fuss) anywhere from 1 1/2 – 3 hours (please keep this up when Chloe comes!) and goes to bed between 8 and 9 and sleeps till 8:30 or 9 am! At night after we say our prayers and she has 3 paccis (yes 3) in her crib with her and her blanket on we ask her: “do you know momma loves you? do you know daddy loves you? do you know that Jesus loves you and is always there for you?” and after each questions she nods her heads and looks up at us while laying down… so sweet.

          She has 12 teeth and has 4 making their way as we speak! This makes it easy for her to eat all sorts of stuff- including popcorn at her first movie, Frozen, that we took her to about a month ago. Such sweet memories.

          learning how to wash cars with dad and jaju 

          She is super flexible and a great traveler, but very particular at the same time. She has gotten to where she likes a routine (but can go with the flow when there is none) and likes to have everything in its place (not sure where she got that from?? not me! 😉 ) She has a plan and tries her best to communicate that plan to us– her new thing is to grab our hands and walk with us to wherever she wants to go and do what she wants to do. Its pretty cute.

          We can’t wait to see Lydia as a BIG sister (even though she is still our baby- I know she will seem so much bigger compared to a newborn). We know that it will come with lots of joys, tears, laughs, excitement and challenges, but we are ready for what the Lord has in store for our little family. Even though we are ready to be out of this transition phase in life, we are thankful for the quality time we have had with family and that they have gotten to share in our joy of Lydia at this stage.

          Liddy bug,

          We know that life is about to change big time for you as you transition to being a BIG sister! But we know that you will do great with whats ahead and we know that you will fall in love with your baby sister. We pray that you two will become best friends and will always be there for each other. Thank you for being such a joy and so much fun to call our daughter. We love you more than you could ever know!

          love, momma & dada

            Posted in Everyday Life, Family, Lydia, Mcnugget | 2 Comments

            Here and Now

            I thought it was time to do a little family life update on this…

            As I sit here thinking about what to write I am worn out thinking about all that has happened in the past year. I have had a hard time deciding how to put “on paper” what all has happened, explain how we are doing and share what is next. Hopefully by the end of this it will make sense and give a sufficient update for you all (sorry if it doesn’t! I’m still processing and working through things in my heard/heart).

            A year ago, we were in America visiting our friends and family and introducing Lydia to everyone for the first time. What a joyous time that was to get to spend her first Christmas with family. We were returning to Oman with an unknown future concerning where we would be living, what business the government would allow us to pursue (we had attempted two business ventures that both came to a hault due to government regulations) and what the next years of our time overseas would look like. It was a difficult season for us. However, by the spring the Lord had made it clear where we would be moving, what business we would be pursing, and even what house we would be living in! What a praise and blessing it was. By May we started renting a new home and officially moved in by June. So May was filled with chasing a newly crawling baby and boxes…

            Once we settled in, we finally felt like we were in the town we were supposed to be in, living in the neighborhood and amongst the neighbors we were supposed to be. We were loving where we were. For one of the first times I had a true peace and joy each time I stepped outside my door to visit neighbors and explore our new city. Chase and Drew were excited about their business venture (a soccer complex with a Brazilian coach starting up a soccer academy) and worked hard all summer long and through our second Ramadan (a much better one than our first) to get the necessary paper work and approvals from the government (not an easy task!)

            In the beginning of August we got a call from Chase’s family that his mom was in the ICU and sedated, we did not know her condition or what the future held. After much prayer and council we decided to hop on a plane the next day to go be near the family and help out in any way we could. Chase had a business conference  at the beginning of October already planned so we decided to just stay till then, help with family and work on business capital raising state-side. Praise the Lord, Chase’s mom is doing much much better and is on the road to full recovery! Oh and during this time we also found out (by surprise!) that we were expecting our 2nd child!

            Just a few days before we boarded the plane to head back to Oman we found out that Chase’s dad had been diagnosed with stage four NASH (a non-achoholic cirrhosis of the liver) and that the doctor had given his condition a 2-3 year life prognosis. As you can imagine this was very difficult information to take in and process just days before we were heading back over the ocean. We left knowing that we needed to return home, we just weren’t sure of when. We spent the next few weeks in Oman processing, crying, praying and seeking council about what to do. Our hearts did not want to leave and were breaking because we felt the Lord calling us back. However, we also had a peace knowing that we wanted to spend as much time with Chase’s dad as possible.

            The beginning of November we got another bad news phone call from the family saying that his dad’s condition had progressed even further than they had hoped and that there was an 85% chance that he would not make it another year… Since Christmas was just a month away we decided (after much prayer) that we should try and return before Christmas to be with him during this time. So the day after Thanksgiving we starting the packing, selling, and throwing out process. We had three weeks to pack up our lives over the past three year into 50 lbs suite cases and say good-byes. Whew- what a process that was. I didn’t think it would happen, but it did! We currently have 12 trunks waiting to be brought over the next 4 months (thank you to all those that are lugging them across the ocean for us)

            Since we have been back we spent the first weeks in Dallas, then a week in Oklahoma and again in Dallas. Now we are in Albuquerque with my family where we are settling in and going to have Chloe. We decided to stay here until the baby is born for several reasons:

            1. we have an established doctor here (and my sister is an L&D nurse at the hospital we will deliver at- major perk!)
            2. we have a free place to live with lots of room (my mom’s house)
            3. we have extra help as we transition back and prepare for baby #2
            4. we felt this was the best place for us to work through the past year and what the Lord is leading us to next.

            During this time Chase is continuing to work with Drew in Oman on capital raising and networking, along with business planning and writing. He will also be researching information about liver transplants and transplant centers for his dad as well as applying for jobs in the DFW area. He will be all over the place between here, Lubbock and Dallas meeting with people and hopefully interviewing.

            At the beginning of the summer we hope to relocate to the DFW area with a house (or apartment) and a job. We felt this was the best location for us to be in order to help serve, spend time with and care for Chase’s family during this time. We desire to continue to work with international students and help them feel at home here. We hope to stay connected to whats happening in the AP. We hope that Chase’s dad is able to receive a new liver, and finds healing. We want to enjoy being near family and friends. We hope to find healing as we mourn leaving our lives overseas. We want and hope Romans 8 is true. In fact we trust it. At least we are trying to.

            Thank you for walking this journey with us. We love and appreciate all of you.

            our last morning living on the beach

            Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We’ll keep you updated on how things go. Thanks for being on this journey with us.

            last pic in front of our home

            a fun last evening in Dubai with our besties… miss these two already 

              Posted in Everyday Life | 2 Comments

              365 fail

              So as I am sure you have gathered (those of you who still read this… sorry posts have been so sparse lately… life has been crazy, we don’t have great internet to upload pics, and when Liddy sleeps I usually don’t have the energy or will power to blog..) that I quit my 365 from this year…

              Going home to the states for two months and being in my first trimester there with a one-year old traveling around and living with people did me in. I slowly stopped taking a picture a day, let alone put them on the computer to edit and then post… Hope to start one again someday, but I have decided to give myself grace and be ok with the fact that this in not the season for it.

              Hoping to post pics from Lydia’s 4, yes 4 birthday parties she had to celebrate her first year soon- she is one loved little girl! But for now I will leave you with this pic. I took it on our drive from Dallas to west Texas… I feel like it depicts the drive really well..

              “Surely goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23:6

                Posted in 365, Everyday Life | 1 Comment

                lots of firsts

                this is a post that I have been wanting to write since Lydia’s first bath! Better late than never right? And now I have lots more “firsts” to share! So crazy/fun to see how tiny she was and how new everything was… and continues to be as we encounter all her firsts!

                first manicure… looking forward to the days of doing nails with my baby girl

                we were so nervous to cute those teeny tiny nails- thanks Gramzi for the help!

                first bath on October 6th

                Gramzi teaching me how to do it while daddy video taped… super hard when they are so tiny & slippery

                excited first time parents! (looking lovely at 3 days postpartum…)

                oh so sweet, cuddly, clean, and smelling good!

                first time in bouncy chair- not interested in her toys yet…

                first walk and ride in the stroller

                loved getting out and enjoying the weather as it was starting to cool off especially with my momma

                first playdate with her buddy kg

                first halloween- she was the life of the party!

                first thanksgiving

                first plane ride… and best of all it was to America to go home and meet our all her loved ones for the first time

                1 Samuel 1:27-28  I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the LORD.  For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.   

                  Posted in Everyday Life, Family, Mcnugget | 1 Comment

                  back again

                  Well, we made it back to the desert…. about 3 weeks ago, however, we have had some visitors the past two weeks. My little sister, Aubrey and her husband, Nate came to see us… to see where we live, to see a little bit of our everyday life, to see the beautiful country we live in and a bonus they brought us a whole trunk full of more of the spoils Liddy received while we were home! It was a busy, blessing of a trip. I am so glad that they got to come out and get a glimpse into our lives out here. It is so hard to understand until you actually get to come here and taste it for yourself. They were so helpful with Lydia as we are slowly transitioning back into life with out constant help (it has been such a blessing to be with family 24/7- I joke that I don’t know how to take care of her by myself!), they were an encouragement to us and were such fun/easy guests- literally everything we showed them they got excited about and loved experiencing all of it. I will share pictures and stories from their trip once I get the pics loaded on to my computer…

                  but until then for the next two days we have decided to have a little “stay-cation” and just be home as a family of 3- we are going to keep our phones in the bedroom & stay off the computers and hit “reset”. We have not slowed down since Lydia was born and haven’t been just the 3 of us since we before America- so it is much needed. We hope to set some goals, plan out the semester, make a schedule for ourselves, unpack, reflect on the past two years, relax and just be. I am really looking forward to it and hope that it is a time of refreshment for our souls.

                  I will be returning to the blog world soonish…

                  (i have great 4 month pics of Liddy that I can’t wait to share! even though she will be 5 months next week– eeekk time needs to slow down!)

                    Posted in Everyday Life | 1 Comment


                    Tomorrow we will be getting back on a loooong plane ride to head back to the desert…!

                    It is bittersweet because I am going to miss our family & friends here in America. So much it hurts sometimes, especially now that we have Lydia. I will miss certain things in America like Sonic and Target and other conveniences like central A/C and dishwashers. But after two months of being “homeless,” living in suitcases, having to pack and repack every time I turn around, not having a “routine” and time with just our little family of 3 I am ready to head back over, unpack our bags and learn what it means to be a parent and a family of 3. If you asked me 3 weeks ago I would have said I was not ready at all to return, in fact dreading it, but I thank the Lord for His grace in meeting me where I am at and preparing my heart to return. There are a lot of unknowns as we return, sometimes so many its overwhelming, but I am thankful that there are a lot of knowns as well. Two years ago we boarded a plane to a whole world of “unknowns”- we didn’t know the town we were going to live in (well much of it anyway), the place we were going to live, the people we would be doing life with, the language we would be learning or if we would be able to learn it, the food we would be eating, the locals we would become friends with… but today as we get ready to board a plane again, all of those things are known and in fact missed. Two years ago I never thought that would be possible, but by God’s mercy and grace I know it to be true!

                    So here’s to another chapter in our adventure with more stories, laughter, tears, joy and pain, but in a place that we call home (for now) and that feels familiar, a place we can unpack our bags and live and try to trust the Lord with each day we live. Oh and we get to return with an precious 4 month old who we could not love more!! Man, we have been blessed by her.

                    Family, friends, America… we will miss you and you will always be in our hearts. Thank you for a great two months and for sharing the joy of our Liddy Bug with us. Thank you for places to sleep, food to eat, cars to drive, shoulders to cry on and memories that will last forever.

                    We love you.

                      Posted in Everyday Life, Travel | 4 Comments