Friday, June 21, 2013


"Khalas"...aka enough or finished (in arabic)! One last snap with the Emir before heading to the airport very early on April 19th.
 Last view of the corniche on our way.
Nick and our sweet company drivers. They have served us many times to and from the airport and of course on other occasions.  Nick loves these guys and again it was so hard to say goodbye to people you will likely never see again. 
 And the pups...we met them at the airport thanks to our pet shipper service.
 Kenneled up and ready to ride for 17 hours plus before and after waiting times.  Lots of praying for these puppies!
I don't take this treat for granted.  We aren't usual B-class customers so we enjoyed our special seats home thanks to Nick's company.  Not sure I'll have the luxury ever again...we soaked it up and so did the kids.  Definitely helped to distract us from worrying about our doggies below.

No fear....we made it just fine and so did the pups.  Arrival...To be continued.

Last Supper!

Our last supper was spent with some of precious friends.  Both will join us and move to Houston this summer!! So the goodbye wasn't nearly as hard. Still a very special night to hang out one last time in the desert and celebrate little sister's birthday!

Our favorite Indian restaurant and a little game of telephone to keep things spicy! Highly recommend it for a good laugh and to pass the time with crazy kids!
Mrs. Lindsay and Mrs. Amanda planned a special surprise birthday party for Georgia since it was her birthday eve!
Special Magnolia Bakery Birthday cupcakes!!! 
Minnie's biggest fan! 
 Doha cousins!
 Thank you Harris and Austin families!  We thank the Lord for you and the sunshine you brought to our life and last few years in the sand pit.  We've shared so many precious, funny, unforgettable memories!  Love you and can't wait to see you on the other side!!  woot woot!

Pack it up, ship it out!!

Packing up the villa and saying goodbye to our Al Fardan 2 compound and friends!!
Brooks and 2 of his compound running buddies.
Our sweet gardener!  Took such good care of us and always so sweet.  Anyone willing to take care of my plants is sweet but he was such kind man.  He kissed my tummy when I told him we were moving.
Rex, one of the sweet guys that works in our compound to constantly serve us at the pool, parties or delivery.  
Last night in the villa, mattresses on the floor!
Finding ways to entertain ourselves.
Loading the containers for sea! 
Ran into 2 of the 4 Feghali girls on our way out. As well as the compound stray dawg ;)

So long AF2!  What a great place full of fun memories and a life style that can never be replaced.  Compound living was like college living as adults with families.
Blurry view of Doha's memorable aspire and villagio.  
Livin it up for the last few sleeps!
  Spent our last Doha day playing together at the Ritz pool. 

Ode to ASD!

Obviously I just stopped blogging for a while and as I cruise through these pictures of our last few days, I now know its because I didn't want to come face to face with the finality that our Doha life and especially our ASD life is now behind us.  We had our last day at that incredible school and I do me WE! I was heartbroken to let go.  I started my school journey as a mamma there and now I've got to let it go.  Nothing will compare and nothing can replace our experience with that combination of teachers and students.  

Brooks' 1st grade teacher Mrs. Beck was incredible. All year long she worked to develop his strengths and direct his weaknesses so profoundly.  She pointed out positive characteristics in Brooks that only parents know.  She tapped into leadership skills I didn't know he had and was determined to see him finish well.  Academically, she pushed his reading/writing and gave him great opportunity to further develop his love for math.  
I don't know what other schools do when students leave but they made us feel like we would be forever missed.  Brooks was given the most thoughtful card and notes.  The parents of the class gave me a Target gift card to enjoy as soon as I hit US soil just for being a homeroom mom.  Mrs. Beck offered to make the snack of his choice (popcorn) for us to enjoy for a little in-class going away party. 
 Love her!
I was overwhelmed with emotion letting go of Barrett's teacher and sweet class.  Ms. Yamazaki dedicated about a hour in class to officially send Barrett off.  She made a slide show from the entire year, totally dedicated to pictures of Barrett as a kindergartener.  She outdid herself, as usual!!! 
 Me and my hormones cried the entire time!
 Each student gave Barrett and I separate gifts and little individual notes saying goodbye and thanking me for helping as homeroom mom.  I am not the ideal homeroom mom and struggled much of the year. There were no words...I was just so humbled. 
 Ms. Yamazaki!! Sweetheart!!
 And when the last bell rang we grabbed one last hug and love from our beloved Mrs. Chaplin who poured everything into both boys for their PreK years.  Such a talented and gifted teacher with the most generous heart for other people.
 And of course Mrs. Heney who was Brooks' kindergarten teacher.  She was incredibly patient with this growing, pushing the boundaries little man! She loved him all the way through KG! 
 Dusty on the outside but a pearl on the inside!! Love you and forever will miss you ASD!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Closing out...

Oh goodness our last few days in Doha were filled with chaos, joy, tears, heartache and a huge over whelming feeling of undeserved blessings!  There aren't words or pictures to accurately describe how we felt and in many ways I think that's what keeps our experience so sacred and special.  I was just a basket full of hormones and emotions which wasn't my favorite.  We took every opportunity we could to grab one last hug, visit, experience with all that we were leaving behind and of course there wasn't enough enough time. 
TCBY with our sweet friends Ava and Audrey
Georgia's last day at Apple Tree
Georgie with her Arab Barbie from Aunt Sherry! Doha treasure for sure!
My last ladies Bible Study at Grace Fellowship..forever remembered and treasured group.
This is one of my most treasured departing gifts.  My dear friend Beth made this precious quilt for Townley.  What an amazing labor of love and its absolutely adorable! 
A few nights before leaving Doha we spent some special time with friends who have blessed us and especially our children and home. Gwen has been apart of our family for all 5 years. She served our us so well and sacrificially.  Its so hard for us and Americans to understand how house help, nannies, live-in maids, drivers, etc. play such a big role in eastern cultures.  I was so quick to judge the extra help people hired as expats when I first arrived.  Of course there is unfair treatment in certain situations and always a tendency to get lazy with the luxury of such a unique blessing.  But for the most part we all help each other benefit.  We were immensely blessed for Gwen to be in our house so often. We were humbled to provide her a job to support her family in the Phillipines but she will never know how her life, her spirit, her family and sacrifice influenced me forever. God used her and saying goodbye was one of the hardest of all. Letting go and not knowing if we'll ever hug again on this side of heaven was horrible feeling.
Gwen and Georgia
Mrs. Raquel also was one of our favorites!  She lived with our dear friends the Patrizi's and gave a lot of sweet love to our doggies and kiddos.  She'll always have a special place in our hearts. 
Last night with some of our Doha fam.  Aunt Sherry and Noodle Head!
Last hugs with Gwen!
After we packed our house we spent our last few nights at a hotel.  One of my newest and dearest Doha friends Clarissa stopped by to say goodbye.  We shared Doha pregnancies together which makes for fast friends! We met in India about a year ago and I have been so blessed and spiritually challenged since that time!