Tag Archives: Christmas

Blog Update – Slacker edition

I’ve been a slacker, I know.  Here’s to a renewed blog in the New Year!  Life has been wonderful these last months.  My boyfriend and I are beyond happy with each other.  We took a few trips out of town over the fall – a camping adventure and a trip to Pittsburgh to see (and for him, to meet) my best friend Jeni and husband Jason, and they all loved each other. We also went down to see his family for Thanksgiving, which was the first time I’ve met them.  We took to each other like a fish takes to water…I love them already and they seem to love me too.  His younger niece asked me if I could be her aunt – I was honored.  They remind me a lot of my own family, and they really made me feel welcome.

The day after Thanksgiving, we went to Paris, which was just wonderful!  I’ve been there a number of times, but this was his first trip there and it was great to be able to show him my Paris.  I was also confident enough in my French ability to make it through most of the trip just speaking French to the various merchants and French people and not once asking “Parlez-vous anglais?”  We also got some beautiful photos, one of which I’ve attached below.

Paris at sunset

We had a great trip back, and a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s.  The new year is upon us, and as we’ve taken stock of the last year, the many ups and downs, we are blissfully happy to start this new year.  He is turning 40 this year, and we have planned a trip down to Cancun, where much of the rest of my family we will meet up with (and he’ll finally get to meet them in person!) and have a ton of fun.  We are both looking forward to that!  We also look forward to getting healthier in the new year, learning new things and just appreciating everything we have.  I think coming back to Washington for a tour was the best move I’ve made in a long time!

 


Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  My holidays this year were some of the best in recent memory.  In Baghdad, no less!!  While I was unable to make it back to the U.S. to see family this year, I ended up having so many laughs over the past week that I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.  I am so fortunate to have such awesome people in my life.  Between game nights, dinners, karaoke, movies, and calls from my family, it was FABULOUS.

 

 

We (boyfriend and I) made sushi and egg drop soup for Christmas Eve dinner – I had brought back some cold smoked salmon with me from Greece to use in the sushi – and it was delicious!  I made my first attempt at a rainbow roll – it was so pretty I had to take a picture.

 

DSCF4019

 

 

 

We ate,  then my mom called, wondering if we had opened presents yet.  I had received one, but it didn’t end up being the one from her.  I had her on speakerphone, and so the boyfriend and mom got to say hello to each other.  We opened presents, then friends came over and we played games – and talked to my family some more while we were playing (EVERYONE got to say hello and LOVE YOU MOM) – it was a perfect night.  Christmas Day we watched one of my all time favorite non-traditional Christmas movies – The Ref.  It was his first time seeing in and he was not disappointed.  We made it out of the apartment and to the DFAC for Christmas dinner.  It was a wonderful way to spend the holidays – with the one I love.

 

 

 

 

 


Heri ya Mwaka Mpya!

Happy New Year!  I’ll be celebrating it in style over here in Baghdad.  The days leading up to the holidays were a little hard, I admit – I was getting the ‘I don’t want to be here’ blues.  Once I stopped moping and started getting back into the swing of things, my outlook improved.  My Christmas celebrating started with a holiday movie and some cocoa on December 22.  The movie was an old classic, “A Christmas in Connecticut.”  It was very funny and is destined to become one of my traditional movies to watch around the holidays.  The 23rd was more celebrating – a holiday party at the Marine residence.  I chatted with old friends and made some new ones, including a woman from Minneapolis and a man from Kenya.   (The title of this post is in Swahili – 🙂  my Kenyan friend, Alex, is teaching me a few words.)  It was a wonderful night of talking, dancing, singing and fun.

Christmas eve was another party – more dancing, more talking, more fun.  Once you meet someone, you end up seeing them again and again, and so I did with my two new friends that evening.  By Christmas day I was a little tired, but had another party to attend – for which I made some melon sorbet.  I’m getting creative with DFAC ingredients – figuring out what I can make with what I can find there, along with my limited selections at the commissary.  I talked to friends and family, and sent out some Merry Christmas texts, then curled up in bed to watch some television.  All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. 🙂  Well, besides the fact that we haven’t received any mail lately – which means Christmas will come a little late this year for us; presents are out there, we are just waiting for them!

The rest of the week looks to be busy as well – I’m bartending two nights this weekend, including New Year’s Eve!  Here’s hoping all your holidays were happy and I hope you all have a wonderful new year!!


12 Days of Christmas – The Baghdad Version

Getting into the holiday spirit – here are my 12 days of Christmas – in Baghdad:

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a friend that’s going on leave!

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Two salsa nights
and a friend that’s going on leave!

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Three massage chairs
Two salsa nights
and a friend that’s going on leave!

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Four soldiers left
Three massage chairs
Two salsa nights
and a friend that’s going on leave!

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Five Duck and Covers!
Four soldiers left
Three massage chairs
Two salsa nights
and a friend that’s going on leave!

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Six kinds of ice cream
Five Duck and Covers!
Four soldiers left
Three massage chairs
Two salsa nights
and a friend that’s going on leave!

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Seven days of working
Six kinds of ice cream
Five Duck and Covers!
Four soldiers left
Three massage chairs
Two salsa nights
and a friend that’s going on leave!

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Eight helos flying
Seven days of working
Six kinds of ice cream
Five Duck and Covers!
Four soldiers left
Three massage chairs
Two salsa nights
and a friend that’s going on leave!

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Nine holiday parties
Eight helos flying
Seven days of working
Six kinds of ice cream
Five Duck and Covers!
Four soldiers left
Three massage chairs
Two salsa nights
and a friend that’s going on leave!

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Ten landscape workers
Nine holiday parties
Eight helos flying
Seven days of working
Six kinds of ice cream
Five Duck and Covers!
Four soldiers left
Three massage chairs
Two salsa nights
and a friend that’s going on leave!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Eleven Rhinos running
Ten landscape workers
Nine holiday parties
Eight helos flying
Seven days of working
Six kinds of ice cream
Five Duck and Covers!
Four soldiers left
Three massage chairs
Two salsa nights
and a friend that’s going on leave!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Twelve DFAC dinners
Eleven Rhinos running
Ten landscape workers
Nine holiday parties
Eight helos flying
Seven days of working
Six kinds of ice cream
Five Duck and Covers!
Four soldiers left
Three massage chairs
Two salsa nights
and a friend that’s going on leave!


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I was once on an island and eight parakeets landed on me. I had positioned myself to welcome them. Hope has that effect. I want to see all of creation awaken with hope~ especially the Middle East. Anything is possible for those who believe. ☆☆☆☆ Come believe with me. ☆☆☆☆

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