Thursday, 30 December 2010

two thousand ten

Since 2010 was the biggest and most eventful year of my life so far, it makes sense to look back on it thoughtfully, though I haven't done so very concretely yet. It was very, very full, as every year is, with most blessed events added in.
It began happily, already in a courtship with Joel and him being there for Christmas and New Years. We saw the midnight fireworks from a friend's rooftop, and later cooked a fancy dinner together for two well-loved visiting couples.

In March my family traveled to see dear, old friends in Lebanon.

April 19th Joel took me on the SeaWings flight and we were engaged. Oh happy day!

In the summer I went on one more layover with my dad, to Prague in the Czech Republic. We stood on Charles Bridge and a watercolor of the skyline hangs above me now.

Life began a whirlwind of wedding planning, preparation, making, organizing, deciding. I saw my dream gown unfold and we did premarital counseling with our pastor.

My family traveled to the US for August, and Joel unexpectedly was unable to travel so we were separated for 6 weeks. Lovely showers were given in Michigan and Washington, with family time, errands, and visiting.

September was far too busy and fast and simultaneously dragged on forever until the 25th. Arielle stayed for three weeks and was a joy and a help, along with Kyleigh. Family arrived and we rehearsed.

The day of our wedding, the beginning of all the rest. I couldn't say enough.

Honeymoon to (surprise!) St. Petersburg, Russia.

Hosting our first Thanksgiving in our own home :)

Joel's 22nd birthday :)

Our very first Christmas together!

We had a lovely New Year's Eve with the same couples we cooked for last January, this time in our own home and with a new addition and with one of the couples engaged. Yay! It was lovely. We experienced one of my very favorite parts about living in Dubai - standing on the beach at midnight and watching beautiful fireworks by the Burj al Arab.

God bless you, and happy January :)

much love,

Monday, 27 December 2010

These ornaments were part of an attempt to fill our tree and to have extra gifts for people. I wish I'd brought more foam balls back from the US this summer!
Joel and I had the most perfect first Christmas, and a lovely afternoon with my family and my sister's new three legged hamster.

Christmas day was also three months to the day since our wedding.
Look at my sister's blog for a peek :)


Sunday, 19 December 2010

I want to share some real little peeks into our flat soon, but these pictures were taken by my sister Kyleigh on my family's first dinner with us. I love our house so much :) we are very thankful to have such a comfortable place! (Though I was telling my friend Hannah last night, if we ever live in another apartment again I want to be as close to the ground floor as possible, even though we'd forgo the pretty city lights at night. That's a story for another day!) By the way, that beautiful crocheted afghan was a wedding gift from Kyleigh that we found when we returned from St. Petersburg. Everyone would have been amazed if she'd unveiled it at the shower, but she quietly put it on our couch. We use it every day!

Six days until Christmas, and I hope to find the last of Joel's gifts before grocery shopping today, apart from perhaps some homemade ones :) For two days this week we will stay with my siblings in my old house (it always feels strange to say 'my family's house' and not 'our house') while my mom flies with dad. I'm looking forward to the special time with my siblings, and maybe we will make ice cream (another soon-post!).

Do you have any advent traditions?


Thursday, 16 December 2010

our first thanksgiving

The Saturday after Thanksgiving Joel and I hosted our very own first Thanksgiving. I loved the busy day in the kitchen, and it didn't seem hard to get everything together. We invited some good friends from Russia with their new baby Bogdan (the star, see above ;) and new Kazakh friends. They seemed to enjoy all the dishes and had never had a thanksgiving before so if something had gone wrong, no one would have guessed! I said it before, but this really made our house feel cozy and homelike. It already was to the two of us, but that feeling simply quadrupled with a full room.

We learned about Russian New Year salad, Kazakh food and horse meat (they promised to invite us over but I might have to play sick), Grandpa Frost, and other traditions, as well as exchanging stories and reading together.
We had our Christmas tree up, and Yelena made the lights flash to entertain Bogdan.
Joel and I were so happy.


Sunday, 12 December 2010

this is my husband (I love saying that), singing me a silly song off the top of his head and being the rockstar that he is.

we can't believe Christmas is so soon! I still need some more ideas for Joel - it's hard; and he just had a birthday too!

How are you choosing, buying, making, and wrapping gifts this year?