Sunday, November 29, 2009

'Tis the Season (To Get Things Done!!)

Well, the Thanksgiving weekend is almost come and gone.  Luckily for us, we still have several more days of vacation, thanks to a handy little holiday you've probably never heard of called Eid Al-Adha.  (Which, by the way, thanks to Wikipedia, I can now semi-reliably inform you celebrates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Issac out of obedience to God.)  There are some perks to living in an Islamic country after all.  Hubby is off work until Wednesday, while the kids and I are off until next Sunday.

Since that ends up to be a grand total of 10 days for me, I came up with a to-do list for the time-off.  Here's a little snapshot (which means it's the things I can remember off the top of my head):

1. Landscape the front yard'ish area (I just can't call it a yard - it's a 15' x 10' plot in front of the house)
2. Finish organizing the house so I can take pictures and post them here on ye olde blog.

That's pretty much the gist of the list.  I mean, it's broken down more specifically, but those are the two main basics.  Oh, and bake Christmas cookies.  Can't forget the Christmas cookies.

So today was the landscaping day.  Hubby and I went off to the local plant market and picked up some plants that were very familiar to us, being from Miami - bougainvillea and hibiscus.  The bougainvillea we picked is beautiful!  It's shaped like a tree and has branches from differently-blooming trees grafted on to it so it's producing purple, orange and pink blooms.  I also picked up some hyacinth bulbs that are just about to bloom - can't wait for that!!  

I've been slowly but surely getting other areas taken care of.  The books that were just laid onto the bookshelf flat have now been re-homed to a different bookshelf so that it looks neater.  Christmas decorations have gone up.  The master bedroom has gotten more orderly and pleasant looking.  Artwork is finding a home on the walls.  It's all starting to really come together.  

Tomorrow I'm planning on going through the kitchen and organizing the shelves, laying down shelf liner, and cleaning the refrigerator and stove.  I just don't know if I can contain myself, I'm so excited!!!

*Ahem*

Yeah, so I have to tell you about my new love.  No, I'm not leaving Hubby.  But I have been spending more time with a new friend - the rowing machine.  Hubby and I have been heading over to the school to exercise in the mornings.  Tired of walking endlessly around the track I headed up to the gym a few days ago and decided to try the rowing machine when no one was around in case I made a fool of myself.  I loved it!!  I'm enjoying the fact that I'm getting my cardio in and also working out my arms and back muscles. And it's great for me because I have and old ankle injury that rowing doesn't aggravate.  I'm starting small and working to build up my endurance, but so far it's an exercise that I'm finding challenging and enjoyable.  Hooray!!

Well, I should be off to bed - it's almost 12:30 am and I want to get up early to hit the gym.  (Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd say!!!  Actually I just want to get there and get done before Mr. & Mrs. Fit-and-Snobby get there at 8:30 to do their 294 mile run and spot each other with free weights.  Ugh!)  I'm going to try to take pictures this week and get them up here.  Emily is having some friends over, so I'm motivated to have everything looking all beautiful all at once, LOL!!




Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Nearly Perfect Day

Today just about everything went right.

When I got in the car to drive to work, the thermometer in my car said...78 degrees!!!!  I haven't seen anything below mid-80's since March, so that was so exciting for me. Of course, it was only 7:15, but it only got up to the mid-80's.  A beautiful day!

The kids were off school, due to parent-teacher conferences being held from 8 to 12 this morning.  Shortly into my work day, I realized that the teachers would be leaving school once the conferences were over.  Trying not to get my hopes up, I started hoping that we'd get to leave early as well.  I mean, face it.  There's not much to do at a school when there are no students and no teachers.  But no one seemed to know for sure.  The office manager, who was hired just before me in the spring, didn't know what happened and the principal was down in the gym all morning for the conferences.  We were bored silly up in the office, giggling and laughing and just hanging out.  Eventually, we made our way down to the gym and asked if we'd get a half day too.  To our surprise and delight, the principal said we would.  Whoo-hoo!!

I decided to take advantage of the time off and run up to the mall to look for a pair of khakis (which she needs as part of the school's travel uniform for her trip to Amman with the Forensics team next week) and a plain black blouse and pair of pants, which she'll need for her performance piece.  We found the khakis and a blouse, but before we found the black pants, we ran into friends. Emily stayed with them at the mall and hung out while Daniel and I went off to do the grocery shopping.  By 3:00 I had gotten the groceries and (most) of her clothing needs for her trip.  I was so excited as I had planned on having to do it later and now here I was, when I had planned on still being at work, having that done already!

Ibrahim agreed to drive carpool for youth group tonight, and then he ran an errand or two, so I ended up with over 2 hours alone in the evening.  And do you know how I spent it?  I did laundry (with a dryer!).  I made a huge batch of meatballs so that I can make our favorite family recipe for spaghetti and meatballs tomorrow.  I tidied up.  And I had an amazing peace about it.  It felt so good to just be able to care for my home in peace and not be in a rush and a feeling of being overwhelmed.  

I miss just being a homemaker more than I ever thought I would.  I've been so frustrated ever since we moved because I just haven't been able to get caught up and get the house fully in order.  Today, I was reminded of how good it feels to just care for my home and family.  

One benefit of living here in an Islamic country is that you get the Muslim holidays off as well.  So the second Eid is coming up  the day after Thanksgiving.  (Please don't ask me to explain what Eid is, or why there are two of them - I honestly have no idea.)  Now generally people get off 3 days for Eid, but since I work at the school I'll have off a week for Eid, plus Thanksgiving Day.  With weekends, I'll end up with 11 days off!!!!  I can't wait to just have some time to focus on finishing up all that needs to be done here at the house.  Pictures will then be posted, I promise.

In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away and hope for more days like this one!

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