Adventures in the U.S.A.

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Catch up time! Finally back to the blog… I love to write – to reminisce, to describe, to reflect and ponder, to share opinions, but it hasn’t been happening lately. When I started this blog, I hoped to update it every few days or so. Reality check: it’s been almost six months since my last post! Between having our second baby, fulfilling my work commitments at school, doing what is absolutely necessary around the house, and having some time to spare to relax with my husband and kids, things have been busy around here. I consider myself lucky to be able to work and be with the kids, since they are able to come to work with my husband and I. Nevertheless, it isn’t a lucky situation in all aspects – it means trying to combine being full-time parents with full-time work, and everything else, including blogging and updating Facebook with new pics of our babies, has fallen through the cracks.

Now that the six-week summer program at our school has ended, and we aren’t yet caught up in the exciting frenzy of making it out the door to Lebanon for my sister-in-law’s wedding, I’m seated on my living room couch with a little time to spare. I don’t have enough time to cover everything that has happened in the last six months, so I’m going to start with our main highlight: a family trip to the U.S.A

I had to go to California for a professional development course, so we decided to make a family trip out of it. For a while it seemed like we weren’t going to get Eddy’s visa on time, but the embassy pulled through and we were able to head to the U.S. for three weeks in June. We stopped in Lebanon first to see Eddy’s family for a few days, pick up his visa (which FINALLY came through), and get Paul baptized. After the grueling difficulty of getting ourselves from Iraq to Lebanon with two babies, six suitcases, a diaper bag, 2 laptop cases, and a double stroller, my husband wondered allowed whether even a vacation in the U.S. was worth repeating the airport experience with even longer flights. A few days later, though, we were more optimistic and ready to begin the real stretch of the journey. All things considered, it went very well – with the exception of a three-hour screaming stretch, courtesy of our little Charbel, on the flight from Beirut to London.  By the time we arrived at my aunt’s house in Connecticut, after 26 hours straight of traveling, Charbel had gotten the hang of how to behave on the airplane, and did marvelously on the other domestic flights and a few weeks later, on the long haul back to Iraq. Paul was still very young – three months old – so he slept most of the time – quite conveniently, because all of our attention was needed to teach the toddler how to be a world traveler!

We had a lovely time in the U.S. I was so excited to go – it was Eddy’s first time, and I hadn’t been back in quite a while. I couldn’t wait for Eddy and the kids to meet some of my relatives and friends, and see places I’d lived in as a kid. Since the trip was a combination of business and pleasure, it was a bit of a whirlwind – we went from coast-to-coast in three weeks. We stayed a few days with my relatives in Connecticut, then visited friends in West Virginia for some days, moved on to Texas to meet up with some other people also going to the professional development course, then out to California for the course, back to Texas, then off to Iraq again, via Amman-Jordan. Next time we go, we hope to spend more time in one area, but this trip definitely gave Eddy a flavor of the whole country, and hiking all the way out to California for the workshop ended up being very worth it – the course was located in the beautiful Lake Tahoe area. While I was in sessions all day long, Eddy and the babies were enjoying beautiful nature walks around the resort. We also made it out when I was free in the evenings to hike to the Lake, and we enjoyed it so much that we agreed we have to go back one day, without business constraints, to do the area justice…

We got so many great pictures – here are some that capture great moments we had along the way:

Just starting out…

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Celebrating Paul’s Baptism!

     

Enjoying Lebanon’s beauty…

       


      

Back traveling and getting used to new cribs – at my aunt’s house…

   

Playing outside in West Virginia

     

       

Paul made friends too…

   

Exploring caverns in nearby Virginia – great for a day trip.

       

       

Traveling on…

   

Out in California: beautiful Lake Tahoe!

       

       

Well, that’s all for now – here’s to hoping I get more time to post again soon!

4 thoughts on “Adventures in the U.S.A.

    • Thanks – it was wonderful to see you all again too! I think you emailed my mom? Her computer was down for quite a while, so she didn’t see it till a day or two ago. She wants to answer, though…

  1. Hi Ellen,so good to see you are back to your blog.Great article and pictures.Very best wishes to Eddie and the children.

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