Land of the Free...I'm Home.

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I apologize to those of you who may have thought I fell off the face of the Earth....but so much has happened in the last few months...
To begin:
It wasn't supposed to happen this way...but in my heart I truly believe everything happens for a reason...so, here I am, back in the States...home.  Well...sort of...
I guess the trigger was pulled when my mom's visa to Saudi didn't come through as planned...I knew better than to get my hopes up...but well, that's sort of a pitfall of mine.  We had everything booked...flights, trips, planned events..it was going to be wonderful.  But, there she sat...bags packed and no where to go.  Yeah, well....enough right??
So, after talks with the hubby and thinking about family and all the other many things going on we decided...its time to go home, for good.  My darling husband would stay and finish out his work in Saudi, but the girls and I would head for the land of the free.  It was quick...and I didn't get time to say goodbye to most of my friends in Saudi...for which I'm sorry, but well, things just happen a certain way sometimes and you just have to go with the flow. 
With a happy heart, I called my grandmother (a still young 89 yr old) and told her the good news...if she'd have us, the girls and I would love to stay with her for awhile.  I always regretted how short our time was together the last time I was there, so this time I wanted to stick around awhile.  The girls were so excited to see their GG (great-grandma).  Took us three planes to make it back to the States plus 5 suitcases, two car seats, three humans and three carry-ons.  That was fun.  Not. 
But we made it and spent 6 wonderful weeks in Ohio. 
the girls and their GG
 My mom came to visit there instead (no visa required) for four weeks and four generations had an absolute blast together.  Spring was in full bloom and I realized I'd never lived anywhere that had a spring like this...the colors were just incredible!  We got to spend time with family, attended my cousins graduation from Ohio State University where the President of the USA gave the commencement speech, and the girls even got to go to gymnastics twice a week!  (which the loved so much!)  We were all together for Mother's Day as well...which was a first in a very long time.  So, yep...I was totally stoked to be back in the States...
Ohio State U graduation
mother's day...3 generations...love
Now, I sit here in Texas.  I'm staying with my in-laws for a total of 5 weeks.  For the first two...we were blessed that Daddy was able to come and visit.  The girls were missing him so much.  So we had the whole family together for two weeks...and just this past Thursday he headed back.  Countdown begins with 56 days left till we are whole again.  So far, we've had a great time here in Texas...the girls got to hang out with their cousins and visit the American Girl Doll store (where Sara stated to her aunt "this is the best day ever!!")  we've visited friends, took the girls to a wild animal park where a zebra attempted to take the bag of food from my baby's lap!  Girls are signed up for gymnastics again here, and they are swimming almost everyday in Opa and Oma's pool.  (hubby's parents)  It's really nice to have family to spend time with.  :)


cousins and dolls

Since I'm an early planner, I had already booked part of my summer trips back in December.  Therefore, in three weeks, the girls and I will be heading for Italy.  It will be a great month long trip followed by meeting up with Daddy in Prague. 
It's been such a whirlwind...
Would I change anything?  No, I'd do it all over again...I would just try to be better prepared for the ups and downs of living in a place like Saudi.  I made some amazing friends, the girls had wonderful experiences, and we got to partake in many fantastic trips.  I must say, coming back to the States was almost culture shock in reverse.  I started jogging a bit in Ohio and I would just smile and think of how wonderful it was to be outside, without the abaya..doing what I want.  And then getting to drive!!!  And coming and going as I pleased!  Not to forget just how awesome it was to go shopping at Target!!  lol  I had to hold myself back at the grocery store and not buy every single thing I saw.  I reminded myself that the items would be there the next day...and the day after.  After not setting foot in the states for over 9 months, it was pretty surreal.  Now I'm getting back into the groove of things, but I still find myself in awe of the wonderfulness of living in a place with such freedom.  If nothing else, Saudi has taught me to really appreciate what you have in life and have a little more patience with the people and things around you... 
But!!  This isn't the end...we still have many more trips planned and other events...I plan to continue to help those thinking of making the move to Saudi in any way I can.  And I'm going to keep blogging about our life and travels...so one day, I can publish it all into a book for my daughters to keep forever. 
I'm still behind on travel posts and the hubby promised me some more posts about Saudi that we didn't get around to publishing yet. 
I'm so thankful and blessed for this life...much more to come...  :)


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