Category Archives: Everyday Life

christmas pjs

every year for as long as I can remember my mom has gotten us girls matching pjs for Christmas and so of course this year Landon & Lydia needed matching pjs from Gramzi!

Here are a few pics from our photo shoot today…

Merry Christmas Eve from us in Albuquerque! Today and tomorrow we are celebrating our Christmas together… it is such a blessing for us all to be together in the same place at the same time!

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    July 19th…

    4 years ago we said “i do” in an Albuquerque thunderstorm! What an exciting 4 years it has been- 2 in the states living in our college town, and almost 2 overseas. The Lord has blessed us beyond measure. I am so thankful for my husband and so proud to be a McGough!

    Not sure if I have shared on here, but I got my computer stolen a few weeks ago (sad day- i know), so I don’t have all our anniversary pics on this computer (they are all on our external hard drive), so I found a few pics over the last 4 years of random events…

    July 19, 2008- Happiest day of my life!

    After the rain the clouds & sunset were gorgeous & made for some great pictures!

    Year 1: First Christmas as a McGough couple!

    Year 2: Loved living as a married couple in our college town and getting to go to Tech football games for two seasons

    Year 3: Love getting dressed up with this boy and eating yummy food. We started a favorite restaurant list over the past 4 years that we will share with you soon!

    Year 4: Babymoon in Thailand… excited to start our 4th year off together becoming parents!

    Happy Anniversary baby! Here’s to 80 more! I love you more!

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      free book

      My friend told me about a free pregnancy book on Kindle and I am so glad she did! And I wanted to share it with you. Click here to get it.

      It’s called “Christian Mama’s Guide to Having a Baby: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Your Pregnancy”. Chase downloaded it for me last night and I started it this afternoon. And I am really enjoying it so far. It is exactly the kind of book I was wanting to read- easy, lighthearted, encouraging, and about pregnancy! Remember the post about my homesickness? Well, I was pregnant then, just not telling anyone 🙂 and I think a lot the reason for my feeling dissatisfied with life here & longing for home was my hormones (and partly just how I felt and sometimes feel regardless of anything- its not easy living oceans away from everything familiar, everyone I love & who loves me, but I know its worth it). When my friend suggested I get a good book to read outside this book is what I was wanting! What a blessing that it is free & I have it now to enjoy. And even though I am in a better state-of-mind and not all emotional (well as…) and such, I still need encouragement and a good reminder of the blessing & gift that this baby is to us. That the waiting period (sometimes it feels sooo long!- 9 months!, well 5 now- crazy) is a great time to put my trust in the Lord, wait on Him, draw closer to Him, pray for my baby, prepare my heart to be still before the Lord and to be a mamma that raises her kids to love and honor the Lord- wow what a job! I know that I am incapable of this task without the Lord. He will be my strength, He will direct my path and my words, and give me wisdom when all I want to do is scream or cry or run, or all of the above. I am thankful that I am getting this friendly reminder now to use my pregnancy for the Lord and use it as a time of resting and trusting solely in Him. Only by His hand will we be holding our bundle of joy at the end of September and I want to be praising His name for it and to look back at my time pregnant as sweet time with the Lord. So here’s to a fresh start and a renewed spirit!

      All this to say, if you pregnant for the first time (not sure if second or third time mom’s would get as much out of it, it has a lot of first timer information in it… but maybe?- always good to be told to honor the Lord with all our lives) you should download this book today, not sure how long it will be free!

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        He has Risen!!

        He has Risen indeed!

        “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:14, 20

        Hope you all had (are having) a blessed Easter! This was one of my favorite days last year & this year was just a great! I feel like without all the extra “American culture” stuff flooding the stores & our minds out here it is easier (for me) to focus on the true reason for the day. Here are some of the things we did today…

        It started out at 5:45 am – thats right, am, we decided to go to the sunrise service in the desert for the second time this year and it was once again great! Scripture was read in 5 different languages- so beautiful!

        Then we went and bought flowers for our yard to plant tomorrow, took naps & prepared for a BBQ as our house with some of our close friends! It was GREAT! We had 10 adults and 6 little girls under the age of 6 over. I am so thankful we have a place that we are able to entertain and enjoy our friends and some great food!

        Happy Easter! We love & miss you all!

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          just wanted to say a quick hello and let you know we are still alive, I am still taking a picture a day for my 365 (actually 366- cuz of leap year- I need to change my title…), we are still plugging along in our Arabic studies, and we just had a wonderful visit from Chase’s parents! I think I took over 1200 pictures since the day the arrived… lots of editing & deleting to do! We did a lot of things, covered a lot of miles around the country and saw lots of new things. I look forward to slowly sharing them with you all.. once we catch up on rest! I feel like I could sleep for 2 weeks!

          I also wanted to update about my homesickness… I am feeling a bit better- it was a huge help to have Glenda & Cecil here- a bit of home- to get to be in “big cities” with lots of yummy choices for food and to have a short break from school. I of course still miss home, family & friends  and look forward to our next visit home, but I am seeing things more positively here and look forward to getting back into a routine of studying, visiting and life here.

          Hope to have many updates for you soon!

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            pushing through


            Lately, I am not gonna lie, I have had a bit of a rough time living out here. I am sure it is for several reasons- one we have been living here for a little over a year now- so I may be having some culture strain that happens over time, I miss my family, no matter if I love everything about living here there is still always something missing- my family… We are in 3rd semester Arabic study, which one would think it would all “be clicking” by now, some days yes, but other days, not so much.. I still feel like a 3 year old child trying to communicate much of the time… the slow & steady win the race right? There could be several other reasons as well, but all this to say, it has been a tough few weeks…. I have just mainly wanted to lay on the couch and watch TV & not be around people- which for me is totally out of character!

            Today I had tea with a sweet friend who has lived cross-culturally for much of her life, she was a breath of fresh air. She told me that it is totally normal to feel this way- that I need to just find some things for a little while that help me sustain life out here (since we don’t have plans to return to the states until Christmas… gosh that seems so far away!). She suggested I do things that make me feel like an American- go to the “bigger” cities and sit at a coffee shop without a long sleeve jacket on, walk around the mall, eat baskin robins, go swimming… plan “small trips” each weekend to get out of our small village like town to spread my wings, plan mid- week adventures to the desert or wadis, sit outside and read with my favorite cold drink & get vitamin D in my system, plant some flowers… gosh these things sounded like music to my ears! I think it is just what I need for a little bit to get my spirits back up. I know that I also need to be pressing into the Lord & looking to Him for strength & guidance in this time as well. And I want to do this. But so much of me just wants to be “American” for a bit! I am so glad to have heard this from my friend- that it is o.k. and normal! I will let you know how this season (hoping short) goes…

            On a positive note…

            Chase’s mom & dad are coming to visit us for a few weeks on Friday!! I am super excited to see them & show them where we live & I think seeing them will help me “feel more like home” as well. And we received such a fun package from my mom today! It had all sorts of things that I love in it- including green chile sauce & new delicious hot tea to drink! It came at perfect timing. Next week we have a few days off from school which will allow us to do some traveling around the country with Chase’s parents! I am excited for that.

              Posted in Everyday Life | 3 Comments

              Christmas in the desert….

              better late than never right?! Geezz can’t believe it has taken me till February 4 to post pictures from Christmas! I wanted to still do it so we have the memory for later and to share with those of you who still care to see pictures from our Christmas & New Years 🙂

              We had a wonderful Christmas considering it was our first on this side of the world. We were able to spend Christmas Eve with new friends that we have made over here for a party, Christmas caroling and “white elephant” gift exchange. Christmas eve night the Remkes and their 3 girls spent the night so we could do stockings and breakfast at our house in the morning! We had quite the breakfast feast and were blessed with lots of gifts to open. It was a blessing to get to spend Christmas with our friends who feel like family since it was the first time for either of us to be away from family. (which we missed dearly of course) We enjoyed roast, potatoes, and homemade rolls for dinner at the Remke’s house Christmas night & had another sleep over at their house and then I had a local family over for tea & Christmas sweets on Monday which included showing them parts of Christmas Joy!… I love when the celebrations continue for several days!

              Christmas Eve party with sweet freinds

              Christmas Morning… we had crapes (drew & jord’s Christmas breakfast tradition), coffee cake (my family’s tradition), and Orange Julius (chase & I’s tradition) for breakfast, opened stockings & gifts with the A/C on to make it feel cold! It was a great morning!

              Other Christmas/New Year’s activities: Pecan Pie for dessert on Christmas, my dear local friends enjoying learning about Christmas for the first time! (hope to be able to explain it better in Arabic next year!), dinner with Chase to celebrate the new year, 3rd annual Christmas craft party with Jord & other ladies out here, & New Year’s spent drinking tea and watching the water/firework show in Dubai on TV- it was quite the show- they were trying to out do Time’s Square!

              again sorry for the delay in posting these! Hope you enjoy! Thankful that the Lord sent Jesus to be our King and that He was born, lived a perfect life, died and rose again so that we can rejoice and have life in Him!

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                It’s hard to believe that we arrived on this side of the world over a year ago (January 19, 2011 to be exact!) What a year it has been- we have seen, tasted, smelled, met, learned and experienced so many new things. We have had some of the best times in our marriage and some of the hardest times. We have met many great new people and said goodbye (or wait good-later) to so many people we love both here & in the states. We have moved twice. We have been humbled and made to feel like toddlers again (and continue to be) as we are learning Arabic, experiencing new cultures, making friends with locals, purchasing things at the store, and much more.

                We are thankful for our first year out here. We are thankful for the people we have met, for the community we have had, for the language school we are attending, for the help we have had getting settled in, for the locals we have met, for the places we have been and for the things we have seen. The Lord has been faithful and has provided for us and  has shown us His grace and mercy in so many situations.

                Five of my favorite things about living out here after a year:

                • the ability to buy inexpensive produce on the side of the road in wheelbarrows (cilantro, mint, lettuce…)
                • the hospitality of the people and neighbors
                • cheap gas & that they pump it for you
                • living an hour from the beach
                • learning Arabic- the hardest, but most rewarding thing about being out here right now

                Five of my least favorite things:

                • living across the ocean from my family and friends
                • no dryer or dishwasher (I know I am spoiled…)
                • that it is not normal for woman to walk around or go anywhere by themselves in our town
                • the heat (in the summer anyway- right now the weather is gorgeous- so thankful)
                • the roundabouts and impatient drivers

                We are thankful for all of you who have followed us and kept up with us since before we even moved out here. We look forward to starting our 3rd semester of Arabic and entering into our second year overseas with lots of exciting adventures ahead!

                our first day in the desert in 2011

                Muscat January 2012

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                  “min zah-mahn!”

                  meaning…. “long time”!

                  So sorry it has been a while since I have updated our blog. We had a wonderful Christmas, great new year, guests from the states for two weeks, made two Dubai trips, one Muscat trip, and two Sohar trips in the last month… its been a little busy to say the least.

                  I hope to give this blog a “face lift” during our semester break- which starts in 4 days!! We have one day of class left, 2 exam days, and a party then we are done with our second semester of Arabic- so hard to believe! We are also coming up on our one-year anniversary out here. Look forward to pics from Christmas, our visit with our friends, a local wedding and a recap from our first year here!

                  Also, something to look forward to… I stated a 365 photo project (which means you take a picture a day for 365 days- one year) to help improve my photography skills, give you a taste of our everyday life, and work toward maybe getting a more professional camera (Jord is letting me borrow her old one now). I started it on Jan. 1st, so I have already taken 15 photos that I have yet to share with you. I plan on added a page to this blog and updated the pics weekly. Again, this won’t happen till our break, but get excited! I know I am. Also, Chase has really wanted to make it a goal to post on here more often- so hopefully in 2012 you will get to hear from someone other than me!

                  Happy New Year! Hope it has been great so far!

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                    desert days

                    Whew! It has been quite the month for us… Here is an update on what’s been going on:

                    1. We decorated for Christmas while drinking chai tea and watching Christmas Joy– a must during Christmas time for me (it is a a dance show I was in for 10 years telling the true meaning of CHRISTmas through dance). Since there is no snow outside, no Christmas music playing in every store, or lights adoring the neighbors homes, I am thankful that I could decorate inside & we that have two trees this year! (they were both left in our house)

                    2. A few days after I returned home from the states Chase and I were sleeping and Chase woke up to the sound of water rushing, he turned over and asked if I had left the shower on! I said of course not! So next thing he did was stand up to go check on the problem when he stepped down water splashed him in the face! Which meant we had a bigger problem than we thought. We quickly realized that our water heater pipe in our bathroom busted and had been shooting out water for over an hour! So all this to say our entire house (except our kitchen & two quests rooms) were under water (about 1-2 in deep!) OMgoodness it was a mess… we stayed up for 3 hours sweeping the water, ringing out clothes, hanging up rugs to dry all while trying to laugh instead of cry! Everything is fine now, we got the pipe fixed, rugs are dry, house is smelling normal again…

                    3. Our car has had lots of “issues” as of late (well actually ever since it broke down on the side of the road for me- I promise I didn’t do anything to it!- ha) so we have been juggling sharing a car with the Remkes, catching rides to school and such… resting in the fact that one day “all things will be made new!”

                    4. We took a trip down to the capital city with the Remke family! Because of the issue above we drove together in one car as one big happy family! We had a great trip exploring, dreaming about living there together (possibly in the same house!) one day, brainstormed about our business, drank coffee, went to the beach, shopped for Christmas, ate great food, and visited with great friends. Look forward to many more trips like this.

                    Best Startbucks on earth (or at least that I know of right now…)

                    I know we are living a rough life out here so close to the gorgeous beach! Come visit us- you are always welcome!

                    5. This past weekend we (Jord and I) threw a baby shower for my dear friend Katie who is having another boy in March. We had a great time planning, crafting, baking and preparing for this shower. We even stayed up till 4 am working on stuff for it! (crazy, I know… but it turned out great esp. for living in a place without Hobby Lobby) The theme was a “Persian Cafe” with a French inspired menu….

                    *pictures & collage of shower done by the wonderful photographer, Jord*

                    6. We have one week of class and then we are off for a week to celebrate Christmas! Looking forward for some time to rest & I hope to meet my new neighbors. I have been a terrible neighbor since we moved into our new house! I will let you know if it happens.

                    Hope you all have a great week before Christmas! Can’t believe it is only ONE week away! Better start baking & wrapping gifts!

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