Thursday, February 17, 2011

On being back in the States

We have been in Texas almost two weeks. I have loved being here- enjoying the fresh air and beautiful weather and all the lovely conveniences, but Ariel and I have both been grappling with a lot of guilt and sadness about our sudden move. We both feel immense guilt leaving our housekeeper and driver behind so suddenly, and obviously Ariel feels like he left his work incomplete even though all of this has been out of his control. I also feel sad having left the schools and the girls teachers and all the people who are part of our lives back in Cairo. It's hard. I feel like I can't fully enjoy myself knowing I have so many loose ends; the apartment full of our stuff, bank and utility accounts still open, etc. etc. As for now the plan is for Ariel to work here until April, then attend a 3 week training in Malaysia, followed by his probable return to Cairo for a few months, and then most likely, his company will be transferring him back to Texas. The plans are still tentative, but that's what we are working with right now.

The girls are now in a local school and doing well. We are all still feeling reverse culture shock, which can be pretty funny. The littlest things make them happy, like H-E-B and "real" commercials. Little by little I feel like we are readjusting to life back home, but part of me is still sad about all we left behind.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


We have now been in Texas for a week. Before that we were in Turkey for 4 or 5 days. I don't even remember anymore. The past few weeks have been a blur. I have gone from feeling anxious to scared to sad to relieved to sad again during this time. I am happy to be home in Texas but I am sad for all that we have left behind. Our dear housekeeper, the girls schools, our friends, our clothes, and toys, and other personal belongings. Ariel has been assigned here until the middle of April and then will probably be returning to Cairo. Us on the otherhand, I just don't know. I am enrolling Jackie at a local school Monday, so we will most likely finish out the school year here. Then we will most likely spend the entire summer here (as we had always planned to do). I don't know if or when we will return to Cairo, It really depends on the situation and what Ariel's company wants him to do. I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under us. Never in a million years did I think something like this would happen.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


We are fine. We were evacuated from Cairo a few days ago and are now in Texas. I left Egypt with a heavy heart, unsure of what will happen next. I will update more later when I get a chance. Thank you to everyone for all the kind thoughts and prayers. It's wonderful to know we have so many family and friends who care so much for us.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our Week

The last week has been eventful to say the least. First, last Friday night poor Jackie tripped and fell on our marble floor, splitting her chin open in the process. This was followed by tears, blood, and an intense visit to the local hospital. A few days later on January 25th, protests in Cairo began, causing a wave of rumors, panic, and plans for more protests to come. So far we are safe in our "bubble", if that is a naive assesment I don't know yet. To make matter worse, my in-laws were supposed to be arriving today for two weeks but had to make an emergency landing in Ireland due to a sick passenger. They missed their connection in Frankfurt and are now set to fly in tomorrow, the day of a planned massive protest.

We had lots of sightseeing planned in the next few days but are now taking it day by day depending on the situation here in Cairo. For now, the U.S. Embassy is advising all American citizens to avoid public gatherings and mosques at least through the weekend. After that we shall see.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Wisdom of A Four Year Old

Yesterday morning Julia threw up. Her vomit consisted mostly of mucous, but she was gagging and coughing so I suggested she stay home from preschool. She reluctantly agreed but by mid morning she was totally fine and totally bored out of her mind. I put her to work doing her favorite thing- spelling worksheets. She can do those things forever. She loves to write, especially with markers, so she was content to do worksheet after worksheet all morning long.

Later, while Julia was busy with her worksheets, the meat delivery guy called to ask for directions to our building. In butchered, broken arabic I tried in vain to explain where are building was located, the color of it, the number of the building, and so on. Our conversation grew louder and more confusing and by the time we hung up we were pretty much yelling in broken english/broken arabic to one another.

When I hung up the phone, Julia rolled her eyes and said, "Mommy you REALLY need to learn arabic." She gave an exasperated sigh and added, "Especially your numbers and letters." Julia is learning arabic at school and is much more fluent in the language than I am.

Next time I think I'll have her give directions to the delivery guy, but in my defense he did show up at my door 10 minutes later.

Monday, January 17, 2011

No Wonder I'm An Underachiever...

...because I wasn't raised by a Chinese mother!

Seriously, I didn't know how to react after reading that article. Flabbergasted pretty much sums it up!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Our family is quite fond of Nutella. We only really started eating it in the past year, when we found out Jacob had a pretty bad peanut allergy. We eat a lot more of it here in Cairo than we ever did back home. I swear we go through jars and jars of the stuff.

So, in honor of our love for Nutella, I am posting this link of a recipe for some delicious Nutella chip cookies with homemade Nutella chips. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Days Like This...

All in all I had a stressful, exhausting day. We headed over to City Center to eat lunch and do some grocery shopping. After our lunch, I left Ariel with the kids at the play area so I could attempt to do all my grocery shopping quickly.

Carrefour was a freakin' madhouse. And I mean MADHOUSE. And I'm from the Valley, people, where madhouse shopping is all the rage with the gigantic amount of Winter Texans and Valley residents and wealthy Mexican nationals that live and visit there.
Anyway, today it was just ridiculous there and those stupid shopping carts they have are worthless and I could find nothing I needed because it was either out of stock or mysteriously missing from the shelves (?) and then to top it off my debit card was declined (which happens from time to time when using our credit cards overseas), I had no cash because the ATM was out of order, and my husband was in the play area at the other side of the mall. So, I had to run to the other end of the mall, get money out of a different ATM with the same stupid card (it magically worked this time) and run back to complete the transaction.

Ugh. I was in a foul mood after that. Yes, I know I will have days like this anywhere, but it seems to me like I have them a lot more here in Egypt.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Sadly, I am neither crafty nor talented in anything really. I would say I am mediocre at art, an average cook, an average baker (although I do enjoy baking), a pitiful singer, and a poor crafter. So, besides reading, I have pretty much no hobbies whatsoever. Being a SAHM to three kids here in Egypt can be pretty boring. The oldest kids are in school and soon Jacob will follow. I'd like to find a hobby, some hobby to keep me busy and mentally challenged, which brings me to my resolutions for 2011.

1. Lose 10 pounds.
2. Start running at the track at Jackie's school 3x a week.
3. Take an arabic class.
4. Find a hobby.

I turn 31 in a few months and would love to get in better shape physically. We do walk a lot here in Cairo, which has been good, and we cook more at home. I'd like the kids to eat more veggies, especially Jackie, and drink more water as opposed to juices. I also need to cut back on soda and pastas.

Here's to Twenty Eleven!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Vienna was amazing. It was cold, and I mean COLD, but we had a wonderful time. I loved breathing the fresh air, eating some pork, and riding the very efficient Underground. I hope we will go back one day soon.


2010 has been a year of many changes for us. My oldest started kindergarten, my husband got a new position, I said goodbye to my twenties(!!!), and we moved halfway across the world. It's been a year of both good and bad, and I really think I have learned many lessons in the last 12 months. One thing I have learned is that we are stronger than I could have imagined, adjusting to life in a new country, surrounded by a completely different culture than our own. We have been taken out of our comfort zone and experienced a whole new world.

We ended our year in Vienna, which was a wonderful experience for all of us. I don't know what 2011 has in store for us, but I am hoping for a year of health and happiness for us and all our family and friends.

In 2011: A trip to Disneyland in Paris, a summer at home in Texas, a trip to Vegas in June, and possibly a quick trip to Rome in the fall.