I really debated about posting this here, but I truly believe in the power of prayer and I know this is one of the best ways to get as many people praying as possible.
Yesterday our family received news that no one ever wants to hear. Our sweet 14 month old nephew, Matthew, has been diagnosed with leukemia. We don’t know what type yet or what the treatment course will be, but he is in the hospital going through a battery of tests. If you pray, please, please pray for Matthew and his parents.
The dinner was held in a special Ramadan tent, though you would never know it was a tent when you walked in. It was incredible!
The food was a mixture of traditional Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Indian foods-it was delicious!
After dinner, we decided to take a little tour of the place and, of course, snap some pictures.
This ATM dispensed gold bars instead of cash. Crazy, huh?
Our little princess didn’t get to enjoy the yummy food but she still had a fun time dressing up and hanging out with Mommy, Daddy, and the Marines. She fit right in!
It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience that we won’t soon forget!
This Week’s Loss/Gain: 0 lbs.
Total Weight Lost: 33
So today, Emerson received her very first email. It was short and simple but I know we will love looking back on it someday and hopefully my sweet girl will know just how much she is loved.
I don’t know if I can really categorize either of these things as culture shock because we were fully of aware of them before we arrived, BUT…they are both definitely things that take some getting used to so I guess it counts.
In the States, everyone looks forward to Friday. It signifies so many things: the weekend, freedom, relaxation. Well guess what? Instead of TGIF we say TGIT. Why? Because Friday is our Saturday and Sunday is our Monday. But really Friday is our Sunday because that’s when church is. Are you confused yet? Let me break it down Barney style. The work week starts on Sunday and runs through Thursday and our weekends are on Friday and Saturday. This really doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to me because I stay home with E but it’s been an adjustment for Jesse to get up on Sunday mornings and go to work. It’s also pretty funny to see signs on businesses that say “Open Fridays.” I’ve heard that it becomes second nature after a while but until then I’m sure Jesse and I will continue to get our days confused.
The other thing that has been really tough to get used to is that we can’t eat or drink in public during the day because it’s Ramadan. During Ramadan, people of the Muslim faith fast every day from sunrise until sunset. Because of this, it is actually illegal to be seen eating or drinking in public during the day. All of the restaurants are closed until Iftar (the breaking of the fast)- even coffee shops and the food court in the mall. Most businesses also close around 3:00 and don’t open again until 8:00 pm- then they stay open until 1:00 am. We haven’t really had a chance to eat out at all because it’s tough getting out that late. Emerson and I have been to the mall a few times and I swear I’ve never been so hungry or thirsty when shopping. I guess it’s just because I knew I couldn’t have anything. Obviously it’s not nearly as hard for me as the people who have to fast because I can eat or drink when I get home, but it has been an adjustment when we are out and about. The good news is that there is only one week left of Ramadan and then everything will go back to normal. I can’t wait to go to the mall and have some Starbucks. It will also be nice to know that we can shop at normal hours and not worry about things closing.
Like I said before, we knew coming in that there would be minor adjustments, and there have been. But overall, I’m pretty sure we’re going to love this place. I mean seriously, how could we not? There are grocery stores, traffic laws, and malls- what’s not to love?
Okay- I have to admit it. I am fully, and irreversibly, addicted to Pinterest. There are just so many amazing ideas, recipes, crafts, etc. that I could literally spend all day browsing.
Here are a few things I’m loving this week:
Yummy Recipes: (Not so good for weight loss, but oh so delicious!)
And Things That Make You Go Hmmm….
Now I just have to decide which project and which recipe to try first. The possibilities are endless- during naptime, of course.
Head over to The Vintage Apple to see what everyone else is finding Pinteresting today.
The book I ordered for Emerson’s 3 month birthday come in yesterday. This morning, I decided I would read it to her. I made it about halfway through the book before the knot formed in my throat and the tears sprang up in my eyes. It took me a minute before I could continue reading and even then it was hard for me to get the words out. I’ve noticed this happening every time I’m trying to read her one of her monthly books. Each one is about the amazing blessing of having a child and they all make me cry because they remind me of just how very lucky I am to be Emerson’s mommy.
Every time I look at her I think back to that very first ultrasound we had at 5 weeks. I had been spotting quite a bit so the nurse thought it would be best if I went and had an ultrasound. We could see the gestational sac and the fetal pole, but no heartbeat was visible yet. The doctor told me not to worry- that it was just too early- but I was secretly scared out of my mind. Now that I was pregnant there was nothing I wanted more than this baby. At that time, I also had my HCG levels tested. After the ultrasound we got the results back and learned that my HCG levels were very low for that point in the pregnancy. Even though I was “barely” pregnant I already felt so attached to this little life growing inside me. I was advised to wait a week and come back for a follow up ultrasound.
Needless to say, that was the longest week of my life. The spotting continued and I constantly feared the worse. I will never forget when we went back for that follow-up ultrasound. I was so nervous that I was literally shaking when I laid down on the table. However, all of my fears disappeared when I saw the flicker of the tiniest little heartbeat on the screen. It was from that moment on that this little miracle had my whole heart.
Fast forward to 9 weeks. Everything was going smoothly and I decided it was time to go public with my awesome news. I posted on the blog and on Facebook and was so excited to be celebrating our anniversary and my pregnancy. Unfortunately, I started spotting again that very same day and the fear set back in. I called the doctor and asked to be seen for an ultrasound immediately. They couldn’t get me in until the next day. I remember just crying and praying that God would take care of our sweet baby. The next day we went in to make sure our little munchkin was still growing. The minute the doctor put the wand on my belly we heard the whooshing of that strong little heart and we saw the tiniest little limbs moving around. I don’t think I have ever been so relieved in my whole life. Even though I didn’t know this baby yet, I truly loved it with all my heart and soul. And now- now that I do know her- I CAN’T imagine my life without her.
So- I guess it’s okay that I get emotional when I read books about the miracle of having a baby because Emerson (as are all babies) is a miracle-MY miracle- and I’m blessed beyond words. I love looking back at the ultrasound pictures and knowing that this beautiful, sweet baby girl started off as a tiny speck on the ultrasound screen.
“For you are fearfully and wonderfully made….” (Psalms 139)
This Week’s Loss/Gain: –2 lbs.
Total Weight Lost: 33
Weight to Go- 3 lbs
-Complete Week 2 and Week 3 of 100 Pushups Program- FAIL