March

We spent over half of March in Dubai with my family.
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Ezra and I had a date down to the Souk. Although I’d been before, this was much more of a cultural experience than in the past, and dealing with bartering and different frameworks for shopping was NOT a relaxing date!
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But there were some photography opportunities nonetheless.
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My camera, I’m sure, screamed tourist and caused higher prices, but oh well.
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My favorite “touristy” Dubai thing – my “must-do” beyond people I love (and food!) – is desert air and stars, so we got cheese bread and headed out for a few hours.
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Speaking of people I love, we had a Pi Day Country Dancing mini-Ball with our closest friends.
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Chicken biscuit pot-pie. We also made chocolate hand-pies.

We also went up in the Dubai Frame.
15 March Eeyore Dubai Frame Eat and Drink 15
A neat experience, but not quite the view the Burj Khalifa provides.
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I am really not a dog person, but this gentle canine almost makes me one. He is so sweet with the girls.

16 March DLL 8
What’s changed in two years? The people who are there, mostly, but also more buildings, more roads, and more traffic.
I’m more aware of worldview differences after having been away for longer and seeing how worldview affects culture.

Thankful:
for all the shwarma, juice, za’atar and cheese bread,
for the desert air, the stars, the sand – all the things that are our “Dubai.” for all the safety and ease of travel
for all the kind people all along our journey
for all the loved ones who fed us, gave us their time, energy, and poured into us in this trip and many years before.
For all we know, this could be our goodbye to Dubai. As Ezra has less flexible leave in school, passports expire, our family grows, friends leave Dubai – it gets harder to go back and there is less reason to go back. This trip felt like closure in many ways. A good closure, but one with a lot of grief as well.

Grief that turns to joy when I think that although I may not see some of these people again on earth, one day we’ll be doing what we’ve only tasted before: enjoying Him whom we talk about so much face-to-face forever, together, with no goodbyes.

15 March Eeyore Dubai Frame Eat and Drink 38
Camel Milk. 🙂 E and I love it, Ezra and S not so much.

19 March 1
When we arrived back home, Spring was pretty much here. And we were thrilled to have some bulbs flower this year – last year the squirrels ate all the buds.
22 March 2
But saying “arrived back home” begs the question, Where is home?
I know many of my friends struggle to answer that question just like I do. It was odd traveling to Dubai (home) from Washington (also home, now and our USA home from Dubai), visiting my parents and sister with my husband and children. It felt so right to go there. No adjusting to people or places, just walking in and sitting down, comfortable – both in my parents’ house and with our good friends there. Even if they lived in a different house, it still felt RIGHT.
And then we trekked home, and as we turned onto the road that takes us home, and saw the bay and smelled the air, and thought about our friends from church – it also felt RIGHT, in a way that was a huge relief because of how going back to Japan after visiting Dubai two years ago was extremely difficult (for a billion reasons, for the sake of this post the main thing is that this shows how much closer our little family is now than it was then!).

The more I move and the more I travel, the more I realize
Home is not a place.
Home is my people.

23 March Jesse Tree 3Finished our Jesse Tree ornaments – full post coming later!

24 March planting 3
Planting peas. E wants to do whatever anyone else is doing.

28 March Seattle with Hannah 2
A trip into Seattle to see my friend, and then she and her husband came up for a few days – definitely a highlight of our year so far!
28 March Seattle with Hannah 4

28 March 4
S’s “mountains.”

29 March 1
Making sourdough bread has become so easy and rewarding for me – to take a starter I made myself and add only water, flour, and salt and have it turn into some of the best bread ever with minimal work is amazing.

favorite recipes// red lentil coconut curry (halve the rice!) // “tastes like pizza” (ish) breakfast veggie hash // balanced smoothie bowl // tuscan white bean and lemon soup (added some leftover chicken) // berry breakfast crisp (used arrowroot to thicken instead, added some lemon zest and lemon juice, and served with Greek yogurt) // salami and herb star bread // hot water crust (learned about this on the Great British Baking Show and wanted to try it!) // cheese and bean pie (we put this in our hot water crust) //

best of online//  This is Dubai (song by my sister’s friend about her wedding) // You Move Toward What You Focus On // counseling PPD // Christmas Shoeboxes? // Amy Carmichael’s Secret to Fighting Discouragement // Technology Overload: fighting back (Rebelution) // The Still Small Voice (Keller sermon) // The Truth I Found as a Suddenly Single Mom // purchase the “This is Dubai” song and others, and see my sister’s album artwork here // sewing hacks // The Great Vision of Christian Education // It’s hard to love my foster son // against child missionaries // Northern Flicker (we’ve been trying to identify this bird from his call for months and finally saw him enough to do so!) // the praying parent (Pray FIRST!) // WORLD recommended these two choirs and we really enjoyed good choral hymns from non-Mormon. Acclamation ChoraleOasis Chorale // Idols of a Mother’s Heart // Our Children for Our Joy // Crochet floor Poof //

When All Things are Made New: “When we deal with suffering, we tend to have our gaze completely locked on the present, but the Christian answer to suffering, while making it incumbent upon us to alleviate present suffering as much as we are able, looks beyond the present to the future.”

reading of late// Love to Eat, Hate to Eat (Fitzpatrick) // The Broken Road (Fermor) // Mom Enough (Desiring God) // The Savage My Kinsman (Elliot) // Enjoy Your Prayer Life (Reeves) // We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled (Perlman) // When Helping Hurts // If I Perish (Kim) //

thinking about// will I sacrifice // not just push aside my desires for others but change them // God is kind, my call to be kind and gentle (Ephesians 4:1, 5:2) // Ephesians 5: the best use of my time isn’t every minute micromanaged, but loving others, gently, kindly, humbly putting them before my desires, promoting unity by dying to self //

“Christ was forsaken that you might be cherished.”
“The One who knew nothing but unbroken fellowship
With Holy God
Was wholly Godforsaken
And why?
So the same could never again be said of you.”

The Munchkins// E turned 18 months and loves to copy everything we say and do. S is full of “why” questions, but is also starting to verbalize her own feelings and thoughts more and more.

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