Let the Processing Begin!!!

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Great news today!!!  We can finally start processing our family visa!  I'm so stoked.  I have to get a whole medical workup done...(god help me...I hate needles!!!).  The blessing is that the girls don't, whew!!
So, I get a bunch of paperwork complied, send it over to the Parson's rep and she sends out for the visa.  The visa takes about a week.  If all goes well, I hope to be in Saudi by the end of October!!!

Now...if you'll all just say a little prayer that all my medical stuff goes through with flying colors.... once that's done, well, I'll be much more relaxed!  ;)  

Livin' with Gma

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I stayed at my grandma's for almost two weeks.  It was rocky at first...girls had trouble settling in (naps/bedtimes)...I was overtired and grumpy myself.  But, with the help and love of family, we got it all squared away.
My grandma (a young 87) is old school and therefore has no computer.  Thank god for my iPad, but the iPad doesn't let me update my blog! So,  I'm now here in Texas using my family's computer!  whoo hoo back to blogging!

Being with my grandmother was a special treat.  The girls got to spend some serious quality time with their great-grandma...something very few children get to do.  She's so easy going and they were able to build forts out of her couch cushions, redecorate her laundry room, and just have good 'ol kid fun.  She got a kick outta watching them spend 45 minutes sweeping her porch.  (the squirrels made a mess!)
I got to cook for her almost every night...so I was in my own little version of heaven.  She complained (in her own way) about ALL the ingredients I would use.  LOL...but, she sure did like the recipes!

We also spent some great quality time with my aunt and uncle and cousins and extended family.  It was so wonderful to spend so much time with family that I'm maybe lucky to see once a year.  The weather was great...lots of rain.  (grandma found it funny I was loving the rain so much...well, I did grow up in Vegas!  hello!)  :)  And I got to travel to THE Ohio State University where my cousin went to school.  That was a great day! 

It was a wonderful trip.  The last night was the hardest.  I'm going to be gone for nearly two years..if not more, and well...she's old.  I can't deny that fact...and in the back of my mind, I knew I may not get to see her again.  I may never get to hang out in her home again...(which my grandfather built and has been her home for 56 years.)  I know it sounds morbid, but it's also true.  We sat on the couch that last night, holding hands and drinking wine.  The next morning was a blur of packing and getting the kids ready.  My uncle came to pick us up and take us to the airport.
Leaving her standing in her driveway had to be one of hardest moments...it was just gut wrenching watching her cry.  I didn't want her to be so very sad.  Having a house full for two weeks and then going back to being all alone...well, I don't even want to imagine.  I'm going to miss being with her...and I'm so thankful that she took us into her home.  She's an incredible woman and I love her so much.      


We're movin' now!

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Let the games begin!  The movers are here as we speak, my house is total chaos.  My dear friend came this morning and whisked away my girls...they were headed to the zoo and then over to her house for the afternoon.  God bless her.  
I spent the first hour with one of the guys carefully weighing each box that is getting shipped to Saudi.  (remember, we only get 400lbs!)  Once that was done, I'm just kind of walking around clueless.  I parked myself at my desk to start filling out the daunting (and aggravating) inventory list.
And so, my part of the adventure finally begins.  We'll stay tonight with some friends...then head to Vegas in the morning.  (after a short stop at the beach...of course)  Thursday I have to get to Carmax and sell the Caddy.  Then Friday, me and the girls take off to Ohio!  
I'm so looking forward to doing NOTHING this coming weekend.  

I don't think they have enough pods...seriously.  :/


Bad News...Good News

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Bad news first...yesterday I had to put down my dog of 12 years.  I got Hagen when he was just 3 months old.  He was sort of an anti-dog...never played fetch, didn't like to chew bones.  Just a happy puppy.  He was so easy to train and in his later years, I never worried about him running off or jumping up on people.  His favorite thing to do these last few months was to lay out on the driveway and watch the world go by.  Oh, sure, he had his quirks...he sure didn't like kids..even my own.  No one but me was allowed to touch anywhere near his rear end and he loved to shred toilet paper.  :)  
He was with me through so many moments...we moved to and from Texas, in and out of my mom's house, in and out of three other homes, I got married, had kids...he was always there, always by my side.  He listened when I cried about crappy moments in my life, he laid in bed with me at night, and he loved going for rides in the car.  
He was mine, and I loved him so much.
As the move to Saudi drew closer, I knew I had to find another home for him.  I really didn't want him to go to a family I didn't know, and then lose all contact with him.  I posted on Facebook begging people to help me find him a home to live out the rest of his days.  I sent emails to all my family and my husband's family.  No luck.  I was getting panicked.  What was I going to do??
Then, one sleepless night, I understood there was only one option.  See, Hagen was blind.  Sure, he got along well in our home because he'd been familiar with it for the past 2 years.  But, there were times he would trip and fall over things on the floor, or walk into walls or doors.  A couple of times he fell down the stairs.  And I started thinking...what is he going to do in a totally unfamiliar home with totally unfamiliar people??  Hagen already had a habit of not eating when I would leave or go out of town.  What would happen when I left and never came back.  He would feel abandoned and probably die of a broken heart.
And so, I knew that it would be pure torture to do that to my dog...just because I wanted to selfishly keep him around.  I had always wanted to be there with him in the end...
This was the hardest decision I have ever had to make...I cried the whole day...wracking, gut wrenching, sick to your stomach.  
It happened so fast...one minute he was breathing, then next I was holding his body in my arms.  I stayed awhile.  Petting him, talking to him, kissing his nose...but I knew his spirit had left.  I knew my dog was now free...he could see again, his teeth no longer pained him, he had a ton of energy.  Not that any of this made me feel any better...my heart still aches.  I look for him around the house...listening for his collar to jingle...now, I'll just have to focus on the memories...they were really good ones.
I'm going to miss my buddy. 

Okay, so now, as I dry my eyes once more...I'd like to share GOOD news!  :)  Matt called today to say that he got his iqama!!!  That means that our family visa paperwork has been filed!  We're hoping it will be only about 6 more weeks till we can be together again.  So, I'm focusing on that now.  Trying to finish packing the house up and well, just moving on.  Everything happens for a reason, I truly believe that...and I feel in my heart (down to my soul) that everything that has happened so far...is good. 

Me and my buddy.  forever in my heart.


Red Sea Dive (#1)

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Matt recently went diving in the Red Sea.  He said it was just amazing.  The water temp was a glorious 85 degrees and crystal clear.  These are some photos his dive partner took.  He may be able to talk me into going after all...maybe.  ;)

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