Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dubai Photos

I'm having issues uploading our photos from Dubai onto Facebook, so I thought I would post some more here. I'll have a 'real' update in the next few days, I promise!!

We found an Applebee's... it was so nice to enjoy some familiar food!! I was highly disappointed that they didn't have the Crispy Orange Chicken Bowl, though... basically my only favorite thing at Applebee's. I almost cried. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones. :]

...aaaand, Coldstone!! Deliciousness.

Dubai "night life"

The Beach

...that's all for now :]

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Life

Well, since it's been announced on Facebook, it might as well be announced here as well...  

we're having a baby! 

As you can see from the little "baby bubble" on the right side of the screen [under our photo], I'm just 7w2d along, which may seem early to be sharing the news... but to be honest, we could really use the extra prayer! In case something does happen, it would be nice to have the support, too. It's hard enough to be away from home and everything that is normal to us... it will be nice to have people praying specifically for the health and growth of our little one.

We fly home on December 9th of this year, and I'm due on January 31st, 2011. If everything goes well, I shouldn't have a problem flying home in December... other than enduring the super long flight and 24 hour layover in Amsterdam. I plan to do a lot of walking on the plane, and we're hoping to be able to pick our seats... emergency exit seats, please!! Extra leg room.

I'm feeling pretty good so far... a little queasiness here and there, but nothing like full blown nausea. I'm tired more often and quite a bit more emotional, but at least there is good reason for it! 

Since a post isn't complete without a photo... here's the proof...

Is it gross to post the photo of my "pee stick?" Oh well... I've never been really good at being 'proper...' ;] Anyways, we're both really excited... Jake is doing great at taking care of me [as always], and I know he's going to be a great daddy!

And before anyone asks... no, we're not going to find out the gender early. The "planner" in me definitely wants to know... but there are so few REAL surprises in life, and we want to wait until the baby is born to find out. I think it's exciting! :]

What we need to do now... check with our insurance [that isn't exactly insurance... kind of confusing] and see where I can deliver, since we are considered 'low income.' My hope is to find some sort of birthing center with midwives that are focused on low/no interventions. This might be a little bit of a challenge, but God knows what we need, and He will provide!

We're leaving our hotel around noon tomorrow, and then our flight to Ethiopia leaves around 5; it's a four hour flight.. We have a 3 hour layover in Ethiopia and then a 2 hour flight to Nairobi. THEN we have to find a bus to the matatu [14 passenger bus, aka a "death bus" or "coffin on wheels"] stage [station], and then we take a matatu for 3 hours to Gilgil. After that, we have to find a couple of pickypicky's [motorbikes] and have them take us home. Lots of traveling... please pray for our safety!


Laura, Jake and baby [that feels so weird... but I like it!!]

Sunday, June 13, 2010


We're a little over halfway through our stay in Dubai. We had to leave East Africa because we only allowed to stay for 6 months at a time on our visitor visas. It's only been about 5, but we decided to go early.

We're really enjoying our time here! It's so nice to have constant electricity, hot, running water, ice, air conditioning... all things none of us really "need" in life, but are nice to have.

Jake and I are enjoying our time together. We've been seeing a few small things in our marriage that we want to change, so we've been working on them. Can you believe that we've been married for 2 years and 3 1/2 months? 834 days, to be exact. 'Time flies when you're having fun!" We're still loving married life, more and more every day. It's a blessing to be married to such a wonderful guy.

It's really hot and humid outside, so we've been spending most of our time indoors or in the pool/ocean. There are a bazillion huge malls here, and we've ventured to three [the most "mall-ing" I've ever done in my entire life]... most of the stores are far out of our budget range, but we managed to find a few things that we needed that we could afford. Check out how 'ritzy' some of these places are!


["candylicious" store]

[coffee and chocolate shop]

Inside this mall is "Ski Dubai," the indoor skiing/tubing hill. It also includes a snow play area. It was interesting to see people throwing snowballs at each other. I never thought I would say this, but I kind of miss the snow! It was something we were interested in doing, but after checking out the prices, we decided against it. It sure looked like fun! We weren't able to get a great view of the ski hill from where we were, though.

On one of the days when we were brave enough to venture outside, we took a little boat across the Dubai creek in search of the "souks," some fun shops. We never really did find where they were, and we were both miserable from walking around in the 95 degree/90ish% humidity weather, so we took the boat back and went to the mall instead. We got a few neat photos, though!


We went to the beach on this same day [I think we were crazy to be outside so much]; just to check it out and see if it was a nice place to swim. My photographer's heart was broken when I saw signs posted everywhere stating that photography was banned. I was so bummed! We walked around a little bit, and then headed back to our hotel.

Yesterday, we went to a different beach. Jake asked the hotel receptionist, "Where do we go if we want to go to a beach with waves?" The other beach had a rock barrier around it, prohibiting waves from entering the swimming area. We were directed to a beach where "we would have fun," and off we went. I left the camera at home, lest I have any temptation to break the rules... and there were no postings there, banning photography. Of course, when I DIDN'T bring my camera. It was beautiful; the sand was as white as snow, and the water was a beautiful turquoise-crystal clear. We were in the water for close to three hours... and now we have the tans to prove it. We're definitely going back before we leave here, and this time, I'm bringing the camera!!

Our plans for the rest of our stay here? 

Going to the beach again.

Enjoying the conveniences we don't normally have [A/C, refrigeration, running water, electricity].

Going on a "dhow" cruise [an old boat on the Dubai creek with food and entertainment].

Finding an Applebee's restauraunt and eating dinner there.

We leave on Wednesday. We would really appreciate your prayers as we fly back into Kenya; on our way out, we had a few problems leaving because we didn't have a certain 'alien resident' card. We were told that these cards never really show up and not to worry about it. Well, when we were going through customs, they wanted these cards that we didn't have! They eventually let us leave. I'm not going to lie and say I'm not concerned about getting back in... I am, a little, but I really shouldn't worry because our God is such a big God and He knows what we need far more than we know. Please join us in prayer! Thank you :]

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Welcome Arielle Joy!

Exciting news: Eric and Juli welcomed Arielle Joy into their little family on May 21st. After a complicated labor, Juli had to have an emergency c-section... and after some time in the hospital, they were able to come home. Arielle is beautiful! They all seem to be doing well, as well as you can be with a brand new baby. Down the road, I'll hopefully post some photos... Juli said she would let me practice my 'skillz' on Arielle. Yay!

This post will probably be mostly photos; I wanted to show you how much work has been accomplished on the cow barn! It looks GREAT! The guys have all been doing a wonderful job working on it. I think Jake has been having a good time teaching the guys how to use the tools properly and build the barn.

Tomorrow is our last day of Swahili class. I can't believe it is actually almost over. I remember when it first started and I thought to myself, "Seriously... 8 weeks of this?!" 5 [sometimes 6!] days a week, 4-5 hours a day, 8 weeks... it's been a long road, and a difficult one at times... but I'm so glad we had the opportunity. I don't feel insanely confident, but I know that it will come as I speak it more. It's nice to be in a place where it can be used! 

Next Monday we are leaving for Dubai! We have to leave for visa reasons... we're only allowed to stay up to 6 months at a time. Dubai was the cheapest place we could find a flight to. We will be gone until the 16th. I'm not sure if we'll have internet access while we are there, so this may be the last blog update for a while [although I've been kind of slacking lately anyways, so it's nothing new]. We're definitely looking forward to having some time to ourselves, eating familiar foods [they have Applebees and Coldstone! Hooray!] The week we come back, Juli's parents are coming to visit for two weeks... exciting! It will be fun to see some people from home. 

We're pretty much on the up-swing from being sick; I still have a nasty cough, but Jake is doing a lot better. It's nice to feel human again!!

I think that's all for now... thanks for your prayers!!