We have been in Saudi for three weeks now. It seems like we just got here. We are still completely out of place/no routines/not settled and are just trying to make it day by day. Someday this will feel like home but we are not there yet.
We have had a busy couple of days since our last post on Tuesday which have helped a bunch! On Wednesday we went in the morning with our friends to have coffee at the little cafe here called the Carlton Lounge (my new favorite place) on the beach and we met up with another mom and her friend. We had so much fun and I loved hanging out with them. We all clicked really well and the conversation just flowed and I am really excited to hang out with them more this summer especially since they are both not going home (one of them is pregnant and due in September with her second). Then that afternoon I had a welcome tea at the Women's Group and was able to join the Women's Group and meet a couple of ladies who have been here for awhile and get some encouragement that it does get better! One of the ladies has been here for 31 years! Then that night after dinner we went as a family to the beach and walked around and picked up sea shells and then went and had some coffee and dessert back at the Carlton Lounge (I told you it was my new favorite place). They have amazing cakes, great coffee drinks (I had a frozen mocha), yummy lemonades and just a nice place to go and relax. They have other food such as sandwiches, huge breakfast croissants, pizzas and burgers so we will be there often. I am already thinking about making it a Wednesday night tradition. It was such a nice way to kick off the weekend with some relaxing family time on the beach and then dessert. I love the beach and it is such a nice way to unwind after a long week. I have always felt close to God when I am outdoors and enjoying nature especially the ocean. It reminds me how big and awesome our Creator is. I am thinking I will have to go down there often for some solitude and reflection.
Thursday was a good day but a long and pretty stressful at times. We took the shoppers bus into Khobar for the first time and it left at 8 AM and came home at 3 PM which is a LONG day for an adult let alone a toddler. We wanted to go to the mall originally but one of our biggest "wish we didn't ship that" items is a stroller that allows us to snap Graham's car seat into it. I brought the double Baby Jogger City Mini stroller which we love and use daily especially around camp but when we go on the bus, I insist on putting Graham in his car seat and that means you have to haul around a heavy baby in a heavy car seat while you shop which is impossible if I am by myself because I have a toddler as well that wants to be carried etc. So, instead of the mall we went to the Ikea/Toys R Us shopping area to look for a stroller. We found a Chicco Trevi which is great! It is a lightweight umbrella like stroller but is still compatible with our Chicco car seat. They only had the floor model left in stock but we took it. We then looked around and found a garden store and found some large flower pots that we will be going back for and then we looked around at some more stores, went to Ikea, had lunch at Ikea during prayer time, shopped and then realized we still had 2.5 hours until the bus came! And it was after prayer so many stores were closed. No fun! We somehow entertained ourselves and made it on the bus and back home but it was a long day.
I will be honest though I was pretty miserable and made sure John knew about it. I didn't handle the heat, difficulty of two kids and the frustration of the situation well. I reacted with anger, frustration and blamed everyone. I let my emotions get the best of me, I was not showing any good fruit. It was ugly. I was depending on myself, my control, my planning etc to get us through the day and well that wasn't working. I was not depending on anyone, not seeking help from anyone. I failed. It was a ugly lesson in my need to stop, pray, recite scripture, seek Him.... depend on God instead of my own abilities because I am failing! I never realized until now how much I relied on friends, shopping breaks, my family as sources of encouragement and assistance. Things got frustrating or challenging I would call my close friends, go to see my mom, or go shopping or get a Starbucks. Here...I don't have those outlets to retreat to....I have to be dependent on my Savior first and as hard as it is to not have family/friends/freedom to shop/Starbucks on each corner.....it is a good thing to learn how to rely on Him first. Hard lesson right now but a good one.
When we got home, Peyton had a long nap and woke up way too late so we went swimming to try and tire her out so she would sleep. She had a blast with John and did really well.
Today we were all exhausted. I was in a little bit of pain from carrying Peyton around a bunch yesterday so we rested and caught up on laundry and we had a Skype date with my Dad! So much fun! We Skyped with my sister Ashley earlier in the week and I love it. This coming week we will be starting swimming lessons for Peyton on Sundays and Tuesdays and I am going to join the photography group and attend their monthly meeting. I am also hoping to get the paint for Peyton's room and start on that.
Peyton is really missing my parents and keeps asking to go see G and Papa. She told me today that she was sad. I asked her why and she said, "G and Papa not at new house, I want to go to old house and see G and Papa, please mommy." It broke my heart. She doesn't understand and just wants to have her family near here. All I could say to her was that I wish we could see them too.
So another week down....another week of hard lessons, a week of new experiences....a week closer to when we get to go home and see family.....off to start another week in the Magic Kingdom!