Monday, May 30, 2011

Cliffs Along the Sea

I'm currently obsessed with all things Washington.
(Less than two months, less than two months!) I think this song by Bryan John Appleby is just adding to my addiction.

Cliffs Along The Sea from Christian Sorensen Hansen on Vimeo.

Happy Monday!

P.S. Yes, it's filmed in Washington!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mafi Mahram

screen shot taken from CNN website
caption: "Women outside an election center in Jeddah* on April 23 making a symbolic plea to register."

A friend sent me an interesting article a few weeks ago about the "Saudi Women Revolution". As we speak, a few daring women in the Kingdom are pushing to end chauvinistic laws--such as ending male guardianship. This male guardian, or 'mahram', is a husband, father, brother, or son. His permission is required to travel, get health care, enroll in school, apply for a job, etc., etc., etc. (!!!!!) In addition to mafi mahram, they want to reverse discrimination in voting, driving, divorce, and marriage.

I admit to being a bit skeptical that they will actually override Saudi's deep-rooted culture and staunch conservatism, however--I find it extremely encouraging to see local women making a stand. What started as a Facebook page has become a core group of women brave enough to sign their names to petitions, brave enough to show up at voting centers asking for the right to vote, and brave enough to "go to the king himself."

I respect them for the risks they're taking as they fight for the basic rights and freedoms that I so completely take for granted. I also wish them every success and heaps of perseverance. I have a feeling they'll need it as "We will never stop fighting for our rights because it's time for change. "

Exciting times!

*In just a few months, Jeddah will be home!

P.S. You can follow along by reading more from Kuwaiti journalist & blogger, Mona Kareem. I suggest starting with this post.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Thoughts

Today was a good day.

Happy thoughts have been easy to come by today and it's all because of the great people praying at home and those helping me out in Abu Dhabi. I'm really very thankful for my beautiful 'family' here. I'm not sure I ever appreciated them more.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Game Face

Today's the type of day that requires a Game Face.

Good thing I've got practice!


P.S. If you're so inclined, I'd be grateful for all of your prayers, happy thoughts, and [long-distance] hugs! xo!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Race You

Guess who just bought a plane ticket?
Guess who can hardly wait to be back home?

photo by Jill
I'm so excited I'm just about ready to fly that plane myself.

And just in case you couldn't tell that I'm eager to get away for a bit, here's a little Monday music to reiterate the point.

Race you there! See you just as soon as I can after July 19th!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Getting my Aquaventure On

Earlier today, a few friends and I went to "Aquaventure" -- the waterslide park connected to the infamous Atlantis hotel.

photo taken From the Mind of Elliot Sneen
Okay--it doesn't quite look like this!

My highlight of the park was the "Leap of Faith" of The Amazing Race 15 fame. I didn't realize it at the time, but apparently we "dropped six stories down a nearly 90° incline and through a tunnel beneath the aquarium's shark lagoon." All I know was that it was fast and that even if there were sharks, all of the water in my face guaranteed I wasn't able to see a thing.

After what happened when I mixed waterproof camera + Jumeirah Sceirah at Wild Wadi last July, I decided not to bring a camera. Thankfully one of my friends nabbed a few pictures on her way out of the park. Thanks, Hannah!

Hannah & Allen

Hang on, Mike!

Jilly & Molly
I couldn't help it! That is genuine trepidation on my face!


Monday, May 16, 2011

The Bells Are Ringing . . .

Some exciting things are happening in the wedding world out there!

Someone JUST got engaged . . .

YAY! So very happy for Kiely, my best friend from high school. (She's the cute red-head in the middle!) Congrats!! ♥

And someone else is getting married soon! (In less than 2 weeks! EEEP!)

Robin is seriously one of the coolest gals I know. I truly, deeply admire her.

Aaaannnd . . .
My grandparents are celebrating their 61st Wedding Anniversary today. Diamond Status + 1 for Grandma & Pop!

Here's the happy couple on their wedding day, May 16th, 1950. Don't they look just dashing?

Happy, happy. ♥

Please Speak Well of Me

A little music for your Monday . . .
Since this song has been on my mind all day, I thought it only fitting to share.

I ♥ Deb Talan.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Caitlin!

photos from Facebook & from Almota Roses Photography
Hard to believe that the family Honey Bunch (aka H.B.) is turning 23!
Happy birthday, sweet sister! XO!!

For your virtual birthday present I decided to buy you. . .
this summer dress

this adorable suitcase

this fun camera

and a plane ticket to this destination.

photos from here and here

I think we'd* have a pretty grand time.

Love you!

*Oh yeah--forgot to mention that I'm coming on this trip too! Just what you wanted, I know.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Part II

Mother's Day is a pretty fine time to acknowledge a few more 'moms' in my life.

I'm so grateful for the wonderful woman who raised my beautiful mother.

I'm so grateful for the wonderful woman who raised my dear father.

I'm so grateful for the wonderful woman who has become such a special part of my family.

And I'm so grateful for the wonderful woman who is like my second mom. I've always seen her as an example of optimism and courage, but in these last couple of months she's shown me just how strong her character really is. She has tremendous faith and a lot of pluck. I've never admired her more than I do now.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Sending much love everyday, but especially today.

To the moon & back,

Friday, May 6, 2011


I was feeling a little homesick the other day

. . . and then I ran across this blog.
It's a bit sleepy right now, but it made me laugh all the same.

Here are 5 more street style blogs that you might enjoy:
The Sartorialist - [usually] New York edition
The Locals - Copenhagen edition
Facehunter - [mostly] London edition
Urban Weeds - Portland edition
SFS - San Francisco edition

Aaahhhh Bellingham, I miss you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Headlines from the Camping Trip

Early this spring, a couple of friends organized a camping trip. I was more than happy to join along. And since I only made it out around the campfire and under the stars once this year, I thought I'd try to sensationalize things a bit.

Location, Location, Location!

A friend of a friend recommended trying out Dhabbiya, a place near enough to Abu Dhabi. It had 2 great features: a dried up salt flat and mangroves. Both were good for exploring.

photos by Sarah & Molly

The sunset wasn't too shabby, either.

Girls Stabs Big Toe With Stick

Yeah, within 5 minutes of getting out of the car. I'm good at stuff like that.

Champion Kite Tourney!

photos by Hannah & Sarah
I loved getting to fly the kite in such a wide open space without having to worry about power lines, cars, or if the kite was going to accidentally dive-bomb someone on the beach. It was also pretty fun teaching folks how to fly a stunt kite. There were some real naturals!!

Men Rescue Dying Turtle!!

This poor turtle was in sorry shape. It looked like he'd been trying VERY unsuccessfully (and for quite some time) to reach the water. Mike and Allen decided to give him a lift and help him on his way. When his flippers touched the sea he didn't really seem to have much energy and barely managed to swim out to deeper water. I really hope he made it. Say strong little guy!

Fire Ring Explodes on Innocent Bystanders

photo by Sarah
Remember all of those big cracks in the sand flat? Turns out that they make some mighty fine bricks when you pull them up from the ground. We thought we'd found the perfect solution to keep the wind from blowing our campfire out. Really--we just found some natural explosives. Good thing no one was hurt.

Midnight Attack: Men Push Tents Around

photo by Sarah
Okay, okay--not really--it was just Mike's dream. Although we had fun flying the kite in the afternoon, the wind grew considerably stronger that night. Sleeping (even with earplugs) was a bit of a challenge. At some point, Jill's boyfriend had a bad dream about angry men coming and harassing the tents. Easy to see why--the wind was powerful enough to basically fold our tent in half. Who knew tents could bend like that? Seriously.
Although this picture doesn't show the windstorm/sandstorm, it does show that everyone was up with the sun, ready to break down camp. If I remember correctly, the idea of going home to nap in a real bed in a quiet apartment was pretty motivating.

Not Enough Time Outdoors--A National Crisis

photo by Sarah
And a personal crisis, too. It felt so nice to be outside, to play in the water, to sit around the campfire, to watch the clouds and the moon.

Just what I needed.

P.S. You can read Sarah's posts about the weekend over here!