Sunday, October 16, 2016

Out into the Desert

Sojo often tries to drive Dale crazy by talking about how she much prefers the "brown, brown desert of Saudi" to the glorious forests of the PNW. And drive him crazy she does. Whether it's because she has spent most of her memory years here in Saudi or she's just cheeky, the desert does it for her.

As the weather is starting to cool off a bit, we headed out for our first camping night. I love how in Saudi, anything under 95 is considered cooling off, but the nights are downright glorious right now. I wasn't really prepared for the chilly night and didn't bring enough clothes for Sojo or me.

Since our camping trip was also our staff social, there were a gaggle of kids up and down the dune for hours. Even the next morning, I awoke to giggles and voices in the dunes, and, when I came out of the tent, I saw a bunch of them running at the top of the dune having a blast.

Sojo loves to dune jump (and also loves to forget to change her clothes when she gets home so all that sand generally goes right into her bedroom and bed), and I took a bunch of series shots to get the full picture of jumping.

Whilst I love dune jumping as well, I love coffee even more. My luxury coffeemaker makes every grownup happy on the camping trip. Propane-powered goodness right there.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


This fabulous girl is turning ten today. Her idea for a birthday party this year was to have three girlfriends over for a sleepover--three crazy friends, as she put it. On the menu was roast beef, make-your-own-pizza and roasted broccoli. We dragged mattresses downstairs and made a huge sleeping area, which was adorable to see them all chatting into the night on their beds.

Cake-wise, she cracked me up. I thought maybe I'd branch out a bit and make some sort of creative cake like a Minecraft or Terraria one, but when I asked her, she replied (with a deadpan face, I might add), "Um...mama, you've never been a fancy mama before. Why start now? Just make a cake." Well, all right then, definitely makes my life easier.

That is one of my many favorite things about this girl--she is so darn easy to please. She needs very little and definitely isn't looking for a Pinterest mama. Thank goodness.

Ten. Wow.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Discovering a New Part of Bahrain

Whenever we need a weekend away, we tend to head to Bahrain, but we are so routine that we normally stay at the hotel attached to the mall. It's easy: there are movies, shopping, and great wine at the hotel lounge. This time, however, we branched out and headed all the way to the tip of Bahrain to a new hotel for us, the Art Rotana. And it was gorgeous! A huge fountain that did a musical display much like that of Dubai, four pools, the beautiful Gulf right there, and a lot of kid waterpark fun.

Here's the swanky marina right next door and a part of the heart pool. Those yachts are just parked there. Also, way in the back of the photo are the "new" islands they are making. This is fascinating to see machines take sand from the bottom of the ocean and create new islands from them. Much of Bahrain is made like this.

The best part of the weekend, other than Sojo going with friends this time and having a blast running around, was that we rented a jet ski for the first time ever. We've always wanted to do this, but it's never come to fruition until this weekend. The water was amazing blue, and we got there early before all the crazy drivers came out to play on the jet skis. Sojo was kind enough to share some of her time with me so I could also get my first ride.

The weekend felt like a real getaway, and we can't wait to go back. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


A few summers ago, we decided to take advantage of our beautiful forested areas nearby and do some summer hiking.

When my brother and his wife came to visit, we wound up driving over 2.5 hours to get to a national park, and, although it was beautiful, it's kinda far to go. At least we had good company.

Little did we know that a gorgeous hike around a lake was just ten minutes away from us. That Anderson Lake was our last hike of the summer, and it was a beauty.

We love our town so, so much. Glad that one day on the beach, we found this log that shows someone else feels the same way.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fourth Grade

After what seemed like a pretty long summer vacation, we are back to school. Sojo started fourth grade yesterday, and the shift in maturity and the growth spurt in the last few months have definitely indicated that she is an upper elementary girl. Her new teacher is quite the techie, so she is excited about that connection.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Port Townsend is a peninsula, so there are lots of different beaches to choose from and all are close in proximity. I adore that there are so many: there's the sea glass beach with great tidepooling, the beach by the ice cream shop where Sojo and her cousin made their own parkour course this summer, the best driftwood beach by the marina and the skipping rocks beach by the coffee shop. We make it to the beach just about everyday in the summer, and that is downright dreamy to me. Sojo is often crazy enough to even get in the very frigid water for a bit.

Feeling homesick for beaches now. Our two lives are so vastly different. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Pits

This summer, the cousins and Sojo took full advantage of our local skate park and improved their BMX skills. On top of that, they wanted to go in "the pits," which are the advanced skating areas. This was freaky to me but very cool to them. Their goal was to get out of the pits in an American Ninja Warrior , warped wall sort of way. It was definitely a good exercise in persistence, as well as good exercise in general. Sojo woke up the next morning with sore arm muscles, which seems like a perfect thing in the summer.