Friday, January 3, 2014

Winter Break 2013

Oh brother. Another long post. Ya'll ready for this?

We hadn't really planned it, but last week saw us travelling towards my hometown again. For the annual Islamic convention that takes place at the end of the year.

Spontaneity doesn't come easy to a plan ahead-er type like me.

So maybe you can imagine how hard it was for me to go along with my husband's hair brained idea.

You see, we were on our way to my sister-in-law's place 3 hours away for the weekend to spend some more time with my other sister-in-law who was visiting from up north.

We Face-timed another sister-in-law {there's four total} who was already at the conference and then my husband just goes, "Let's go to the conference."

I was driving and I looked over at him and said, "Are you freaking kidding me???"

I tried to convince him to turn back around so we could pack things like jackets and sweaters and socks as it is really cold where we were headed. But he said we would just pick things up along the way because it would take us two hours to pack everything and head out again. And he was probably right.

So that's what we did. We stopped at an outlet and picked up some essentials. And maybe some non-essentials as well. I mean, come on. They had just added a Hartstrings at the outlet and they were having an amazing sale!! Who could blame me? :P

We had tried to keep our going to the convention a secret. We only told my brother Umbear and his wife and that was only out of necessity, as we needed them to book a room for us. But everyone pretty much figured it out, either through eavesdropping on other people's secret phone calls {ahem, Lil S}, or because certain bhabi's of mine can't keep a secret {LOL my brother's wife spilled the beans a couple of times and then tried to cover it up but Lil S figured it all out}. Or, in the case of my husband's family, our secret was revealed through the family hotline...cousins texting back and forth. So pretty much the only people who didn't know were his sisters and older brother.

So why were we so secretive about our trip? 1) Because I just love surprising my family and 2) Monsieur's brother and his family had made a surprise appearance at the convention and Monsieur just wanted to return the favor.

The funniest part of the whole thing was when we pulled into the hotel parking lot. Pulling around, we almost crashed head on to someone coming around the curve. Lo and behold, it was Lil S. I was so happy to see him, I rolled down the window and waved and screamed at him like a crazy person. He shouted back, "You think you are SO SHADY!" It was a pretty great moment.

Another funny part was when we surprised my sister-in-law, Lolly. We hid under the covers and when she walked in the room, we all jumped out and yelled, "Surpriiiiiiiiiiise!!" Her expression was priceless.

Monsieur went to surprise his brother, who was sleeping in his room, but his brother was too sleepy and didn't figure it out until later.

Alhumdulillah. Good times.

 Reunited with Mariam!

 Watching some cartoons.
Because that's what we drove all the way to the convention for ;)

 The beautiful hotel.
I spy three stooges.

 Some of the cousins.

What happens when you ask your brother to take a group picture.
#moreselfiesthanateenagegirl

 Rare family picture!
Photo cred: Umbear

 Me in action.
Photo cred: Umbear
Masha'Allah.
Photo cred: Momo
 After the convention ended, we spent a few days with my brothers and sister-in-law and niece.
Enjoying some coffee and the view.

 Cooking with my sister-in-law.
Mariam doing what she does best.....exploring all the kitchen cabinets.

 Zainab doing some coloring.

 Mariam!

  Monsieur and I actually got to out to dinner by ourselves.
It was amazing.
Haven't done that in YEARS. 

 I got this text during our dinner.
At first, I had no idea who it was.
Then the "tokoe bell" clued me in.
Maymunah knows how to text. Still can't believe it.
#growinguptoofast

 Oh yeah, Haadiya went with us.
It was the cutest thing watching her gobble up chips and dip.
Of course she had to do it herself and was covered in cheese dip afterwards. But she is so stinking cute, all was forgiven ;).

Haadiya and Mariam actually playing nicely.
Usually they were fighting over EVERYTHING. 
Create-your-own-pancake breakfast one morning.
Chocolate chunk, white chocolate, macadamia nuts, peanut butter chips, and even some raw cookie dough. 

I think this trip is one of the craziest things we have done. Oh, wait. We did do the whole RV thing this past summer. So maybe we are more spontaneous than I would like to admit.

How was your break? 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Family Reunion 2013

First of all, can you believe 2013 is almost over?? I swear, these years are just flying right by.

Secondly, I just wanna apologize for being so inactive on this blog.

I have no legitimate excuses to rationalize my behavior. It was laziness, pure and simple.

Anyway, this weekend was a mini-family reunion for my husband's family.

Five siblings together in one place. Lots of fun. Lots of kids, Masha'Allah. Lots of chaos. A whole lotta noise and craziness. But Alhumdulillah, I really do love when we all get together. Cousins make the best of friends and I am super grateful for my kids to experience that.

We planned on just driving to my sister-in-law's house {which is a three hour drive from us} and spend the day and then come back home at night. But we ended up spending the night and the rest of Monday with everyone.

We got out on the road around 8:30, which is a small miracle for us!
Despite all the noise and shenanigans the children do in the car, I really do love road trips with my family. 

 The girls with some of their cousins.

 Maymunah going for a ride.

 The girls had a great time playing outside with all their cousins.
Love this picture of Zainab.

 This one.
Cried all the time to be taken outside with the older kids.

Had to include this picture.
You know, in case anyone was under the false impression that she was on her best behavior.

My sister-in-law's amazing turkey dinner. 
My husband made me snap this picture. Even though I was too embarrassed to in front of everyone. Husbands of bloggers. They just know, even if we are too embarrassed to do it, inside, we are dying to take that picture. ;) 

So, now that I'm blogging again, does that mean regular updates??? Still wouldn't count on it! :P

Thanks to family and friends for subtly and not-so-subtly reminding me to update.

You'll forgive me though, right? Cuz you love me? :D

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend in Pictures

Just popping in for a super quick weekend update!

Napping baby

On Saturday night, we met our friends at Chuck E. Cheese

Showing off their tickets

3 little munchkins 

Haadiya loved riding this horse

Sunday's soccer game

<3 

Before the game started, the girls had fun riding their scooters.

It was a beautiful day, with lots of sunshine and cooling breezes. 

How was your weekend?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Photo-A-Day Challenge Part 1

Back in October, I participated in a photo-a-day challenge hosted by Fat Mum Slim.

I've been wanting to learn how to take better, more creative pictures and thought this might be a good way to learn and grow.

I totally cheated on the whole concept, though, by printing off the calendar and making notes besides the daily prompts about what might be some good ideas to take pictures of. You know me, I like to plan, plan, and plan some more. And make lists. Not too great about "thinking on my feet", I'm more of a "thinking ahead" kind of girl.

Oh, and I also cheated by using pictures I had taken prior to this challenge {just a couple!}. Don't tell on me, OK?

And then, at the end of the challenge, I fell off the wagon because we all got sick and I just kinda lost my momentum. But I continued on after a few days and did eventually finish the challenge. Yaay! I'm just happy I didn't quit halfway.

Wanna see my pictures?

The prompts

 Day 1: Something colorful
Cheater, cheater...

 Day 2: Light

 Day 3: You today
This is me pretty much everyday in the pick up line at school. Same abaya. Same scarf. Same screaming banshee baby in the backseat. No shame.

 Day 4: In motion

 Day 5: Afternoon
Napping with the baby

 Day 6: 8 o'clock
Every night around 7, I mutter to myself, "Almost bedtime, almost bedtime." to keep myself from losing my mind, if I haven't lost it already ;)

 Day 7: What you saw today
A beautiful sunset

 Day 8: Corner

 Day 9: Pink
All girls means all pink everything.
Good thing I like pink. Right, Haj??

 Day 10: Hands
Now where have I seen this before? :p

 Day 11: M is for-

 Day 12: Below
For one solid second, they all stopped what they were doing to stand around me so that I could snap this photo. Then they all ran their separate ways. I consider myself extremely lucky that Haadiya even bothered to stand with us at all.
And then I filtered the heck out of this photo...

 Day 13: Watching
Watching these girls grow up so fast. Too fast.

 Day 14: Favorite space
Laying in bed for a minute or two, just me by myself.
Doesn't happen much. So when it does, this moment is extra sweet.

Day 15: Secret
I was able to hide these chocolate covered peanuts. For like 2 minutes before the others found and destroyed devoured them all. 

Inshaa' Allah, I will be back later with the rest. But first, I have to find the rest of the pictures on my phone, praying that some baby hasn't deleted them. {She has. I just know.} And transfer them one by one by emailing them to myself. And then downloading them to my computer. I'm very old school like that.

And seeing how it took me about one and a half months to complete the one month project and then another week or so before I uploaded all the pictures....I wouldn't hold my breath. :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Family Pictures

A couple of weekends ago, I got the urge to take some pictures of the family. I picked out outfits for the girls and Monsieur picked out his shirt to match. I decided to go with white because we all had something white hanging in our closets.

The kids looked so cute in their white dresses. Their attitudes, however, weren't all that cute.

Haadiya was in a terrible mood. {Foolish old me thought I could get cute and smiley pictures with a weaning baby? Um....No.}

The kids had their hearts set on the park with the merry-go-round so off we went.

It was Sunday. The weather was nice. It had cooled off a bit, so that meant every single family with small children was at the park. And that meant every single swing at the park was occupied. My kids loooooove the swings so that totally set them off. We finally got them into some swings and they were happy as clams. Except for when it was time to leave.

Foolish old me thought I could get some cute and smiley pictures on our way OUT of the park. Um...Big. Fat. No.

Haadiya was screaming "Shwing!"

And Maymunah and Zainab were upset because they didn't want to leave just yet.

We placated them with lunch from their favorite restaurant. Taco Bell. They have extremely fancy taste, our girls. ;)

We found a quiet, isolated place to eat our lunch. And I tried taking more pictures. I say "tried" because the kids were too fast for me and Haadiya was still so moody.

I didn't get too many good pictures of all them together that day.

But I did get plenty of funny ones of my crabby bunch that make me laugh so I have to share them. And keep a record of them to embarrass the kids when they are older.

I left Haadiya's mouth uncovered so you can see just how full of joy she was that day.
Basically, that's how she acted the entire day weekend week.

 On the merry-go-round. 

 Each girl....

 ...so different than the other. <3 

 On our way out of the park.

 Haadiya was crying, Maymunah was biting a nail, and Zainab was watching a car pass by.

 I could just gobble her up. Cranky mood and all.

 Sweet little Zainab. 

They fight and call each other names but when they play like this together, it makes me so happy.

Alhumdulillah for these moments with my family. Even when nobody wants to smile and pose for Mommy.