Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
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Yes, I’m an American. Wow. Big Surprise.

This morning my sweet husband- having not put his contacts in- went to the bathroom-and failed to lift the lid- and peed all over the seat. I unknowingly hopped out of bed and headed straight to the toliet. Oh what I surprise I got this morning as I sat down. How lovely, Will.

Yesterday can be equivilated to a a “sitting on a toilet seat with pee everywhere” sort of day. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t overly wonderful either. If I sound overly negative, I apologize because it wasn’t terrible or anything, just different.

We all rolled to the airport around 2 yesterday afternoon and of course had to park in the long-term area since my parents would be gone all weekend. You’d think after living in the hottest place on earth, the architects would have made it a little more bearable to walk the 8 minute trek from the parking area to the airport by making some of it indoors, but they didn’t see this as a priority.

I had tried to look cute for Will (since the first time I would see him all day would be when I got into Kuwait for the night), but I was all wilted before I even got to the airport.

We got in line to check in. That was fun. For some weird reason you are not issued seats until you check in, so we had to wait for 15 minutes while they tried to find seats for us together. I think my dad told the guy about 4 times, “We don’t all have to sit together.” The guy ignored him 4 times. He told us one of us was going to have to fly stand-by because they couldn’t get us together.

“Maybe my dad wasn’t speaking English the first 4 times! We DON’T have to sit together!” (This is that I was thinking, and NEVER in a million years would have vocalized, though it might have been funny- but probably not).

So, after that shananagan we all had to get our visas stamped. I, of course, had to have the difficult one since it was expired. I was trying to hear what the Kuwaiti army guy was trying to tell me, but all I heard was my goofy sister whispering, “He is SO hot” in my ear, so I didn’t hear all the important information that I needed. All I heard was that I needed to go to imigration.

We started aimlessly wandering around and the guy was like, “No! No! Over there,” as he pointed to aimless space. Then laughter errupts from him and all his friends and the 87 other Arabs waiting in line.

“Yes. Hi. Hello. Mmhmm. It’s us. The stupid Americans living in your country, and yes, we have no idea where we are going.” So much for trying to lay low and keep a low profile.

At this point I wanted to pull a Carla Tate from The Other Sister and make a scene and yell, “Stop laughing at me!” in front of everyone, but I exercised self-control for the sake of us all. It might have been funny, but probably not. smile

So, after that we went to immigration and got everything ready to go and headed to our gate. I should probably tell you upfront now that all I did yetsrday was eat. Eat and eat- and had absolutely NOTHING (I’m not joking) of nutritonal value yesterday. After my cherry chip cake with rainbow frosting for breakfast and my sour Jujy fruits in the afternoon, I polished off a happy meal for lunch. (I don’t think it would be bugging me near as much if I would have went to the gym more this week, but I didn’t go like I should have.. that’s another post though!)

Anyway, so then since we had time on our hands guess what we did!? Ate. My sister and I got shakes from Sweeney’s. It wasn’t like we were hungry, we just did it. That part of the story gets better. After that depressing fun, we sat down and waited to get on the plane. It is a free for all here. They just come out and say, “Okay, you can get on now.”

There is no calling by row number.

Ladies first? heh. Right. you would have thought we were in the middle of the Running of the Bulls and they were headed our way or something. Everyone shot up and ran to the door and pushed and shoved. Did they not get their seat number at check in or something? smile

I think the goal of the Kuwait Airport is to make you want to get out of there as fast as possible. Between the “desert walk” to the airport and next event, they accomplished their goal easily (and then some) with Brittny.

We headed down the terminal thing and as I thought we were apporaching the plane, it only got hotter. We made a turn and were greeted with the outside. Outside? What? We have to go outside! I’m sweating like I just ran a marathon and you want me to go outside again…

We hopped on these nasty, unairconditioned busses along with a large number of others. The smell? I don’t think I need to tell you it burned our nostrils.

We got to the plane and got one. “finally, some AC,” I whispered to myself. I really thought I was really going to lose it as I got on the plane. It was so hot and stuffy. I know this Is Kuwait Air, but believe, me I’ve already had the “Kuwait experience” these 3 months, you don’t have to remind me of how miserably hot it is in your country.

It was hot and smelled just as bad as the bus. I don’t know what the theme the airline was going for was. Depressing maybe? I don’t know.

All I know is that they were playing the creepiest music ever. Didn’t they do testing groups to see how people responded to certain things? Did they not test the music selection? I don’t know if the speakers were shot of if that was really how the music was supposed to sound, but it was creepy. It sounded like it came from an old 50s horror movie. A string orchestra playing all muted and strange things. My sister just sort looked at eachother and had a conversaion with our eyes. I really can’t do the music story justice, because you had to be there, but trust me, it was weird and eerie.

Well, what the lacked in ambviance they made up for in food. Go figure I would be the one to say that. Just give me chocolate and I forget about everything else.

Kudos to Kuwait Air- they serve REAL snacks on their flight and you don’t have to freakin’ pay for them like in the States. It wasn’t a snack. It was a small meal, and of course I had to try it. It was a pita, one half stuffed with feta and the other half stuffed with tuna salad. They were really good. They finished it off with a mini Bounty chocolate bar. I forgot about all the bad attributes of the flight and simply thought, “They gave us a meal for a snack. You rock.”

I’m such a sucker.

The flight was only 45 minutes, so that was good too- that way I didn’t have time to change my favorable opinion of this yucky airline.

We landed and were greeted with another bus and a person that simply said, “Welcome to Qatar, where it is hot as hell and humid as a rainforest.” (okay- so I threw in the weather analogy myself). The windows on the bus waiting for us were raining condensation. It was so humid, even worse than Kuwait has been lately. (kuwait still beats the world in miserable heat I think)

We got to the airport and I got a sinking feeling in my stomach as I saw the layout. I was positive I was going to have to go through the gate alone and without my family. Lucky for me I, the flight was leaving about 45 minutes from the time we got to Qatar, so I didn’t feel so nervous. I said my goodbyes and thought I was going to throw up all over myself because I was so nervous.

I went through and checked in and got my seat assignement with no problem. I asked for directions of where I was going next and went straight there. I gave the guy my ticket and he was like, “I’m going to keep this for now, you just sit down.” I was freaking out. I was the only one he did that to. I don’t know if he was just being a jerk and giving me a hard time because I was a Westerner and by myself, or what, but everyone else got their ticket torn and given back to them.

A small group gathered and started taling about me. This man (who worked for the airlines) came over to me and asked to see my passport. My stomach was in knots. It’s not the greatest thing to flash around an American passport. You pretty much only show it when you absolutely have to. So, I didn’t really know what to do. I wanted my stupid ticket back, so I showed it to him and in a loud voice he tells his colleagues at the front desk, “she’s American!” Great. Do you want a P.A. for that!?

About 5 minutes later I got my ticket and calmed down from the small panic attack I was suffering. Everyone pushed their way to the bus and were blasted with the sea of humidity. I was in Qatar for maybe 35 minutes. That wasn’t too bad. I did it! Wow! smile

I got on the exact same plane I had gotten off of a few minutes earlier and sat two rows back- but this time I had a window seat. About 10 minutes in they begin shoving food at me again. Do you think I took it? Do you really have to wander? This time it was two little tea sandwiches. One was cucumber and cheese and the other was bologna. I had the cucumber one and then sweetly tucked away my mini mars bar away for Will. I tried to freshen up in the plane so I would look nice for Will. What I really needed was a perfumery to douce their creations on me. I was put through a lot of interesting smells yesterday.

As we were flying into Kuwait and I could see the fire burning off the top of their oil well things (I don’t really know what they’re called, but it is a good fire) in the dark of the night I was actually happy. Okay, so we are coming here for a goal and Kuwait isn’t our home, but I was so glad to be back. I guess the main reason was because I knew Will was waiting for me.

We landed and finally didn’t have to be bused! I found the visa desk and took a number. I waited a few minutes and had the army guy get everything ready for “Brittny Spears.”

Ha Ha, so funny- just give me my flippin’ visa.

I got it with no troubles. I breathed a sigh of relief. Now was the time for a little apprehension! It was time for the “gauntlet” as it has been dubbed by many Westerners.

You are in one area of the airport, it is fairly quiet and not too overwhelming, but then you go through these glass doors and if you are not ready you are getting the shock of your life! (I’m glad my mom and sister came to Kuwait before we did so they could warn us when we first came!) The gauntlet is this long aisle walkway, and the sides are roped off. So, those arriving walk out of the glass doors and are met with hundreds of yelling Arabs, trying to find those who are coming in to meet them.

It is straight chaos.

They are yelling and waving hands, taking pictures of girls that come out and everything in between. It is a mess. I walked through the “gauntlet” and fought my way past the crowd in the back and called Will. He was smart, he stayed on the second level so he could have a clear view and could find me.

He came downstairs and we were out of there! We stopped by Hardees and Baskin Robbins (he hadn’t eaten and I figured we’d get some icre cream for the weekend alone).

I was hoping for a romantic evening since we were alone for the first time in ages, but I had a splitting headache (from freaking out all day) and we were both exhausted. We crashed as soon as we got home.

So, that was my day. It wasn’t too bad, and it was definitely eye-opening. I was impressed with how well I handeled the stress of doing everything alone here.

I was sad today because Will and I woke up at 11:30- so there went half our day. I don’t think we are going to do anything exciting, which is sort of disappointing. There is so much I want to see here. I really want to get better aquainted with my surroundings, but I think we agree it’s too darn not for that now. Come October or November it will be more bearable and we’ll get out and do more things. At least we will be together and have the freedom to do what we want. I can’t wait to get our own place soon! how much fun!

Thanks for sticking through this extra long edition of my crazy life’s post.

I hope you are having a great thursday.

As always, more to come… <3

the boat outing

Land Ho!

Finally, home at last. Today was the big exciting, “you’re gonna meet a lot of people” boat trip. Right. Sure. Whatever. It turned out okay.

I am convinced Kuwait is the dirtiest place on earth. Seriously. First of all because the nationals just throw their trash all over the place because the TCNs (third country nationals) will pick it up. It is really trashy in some parts.

Secondly, because of the smog, pollution and most of all dirt that sits all over the country. This month starts the dirt months- like 4 months of dirt all in the air constantly. Dirt is everywhere- even weird places. I took a bowl out of the cupboard the other day and it had a little film of dirt… It’s just a strange thing. You can’t even see a mile in front of you because the sand just sits like a dense fog. Anyway- this is what we were all covered in after today’s trip.

I had sand caked in my hair, all over my lips… it was so very glamourous.

Today’s trip was okay, but I“m not convinced it was the way I wanted to a day off with Will. It was hellishly hot, which as some of you know puts me in a foul disposition. I should have known today was going to be long when our air conditioner froze up and I got in the shower and accidentally used conditioner in my hair instead of shampoo- such beautiful and shiny hair. Gross. The story of my life. smile

Anyway, the trip to the island was almost cancelled. The water was very choppy. White caps where everywhere. The captain said we would be okay- and for that I want to grab him and shake him and make him walk the plank. If I ever have kids I will never buy them a flippin’ rocking cradle. I felt like a tall baby in the boat today. Its like each of us returned to childhood this afternoon. People were puking, mumbling things that made no sense… the rocking was out of control. As I sit here and write this I still feel like I am dipping down into the ocean. Anyway, it was a 2 hour ride. About an hour in the water started to smooth out and it was really enjoyable. We sat outside and saw the pretty water and the breeze really cut the smoldering heat. It turned out nice. The boat stopped on the island and everyone got off. P and I opted to stay in the airconditioned boat, but we got bored real quick and took the little shuttle boat to the island. It was so much fun! I wish we would have went earlier and stayed longer. It was really nice. It was nothing at all what we had envisioned. I was thinking palm trees- like a scene from the show Lost. Ha. It wasn’t too impressive but nonetheless still fun. It was just a chunk of sandy land with this huge cell phone tower right in the middle. I guess its nice to know that if you get stranded now a days, you’re just a phone call away to safety! Why don’t they tell the people on Survivor that!

We got back on the boat and that was the best part of the day. IT was so relaxing. We just sat outside, in the middle of this horrible dust and relaxed. ( I don’t think you notice how dusty it is until you realize you can’t see things half a mile away) It felt cool because of the breeze and we had the whole upstairs to ourselves. It turned out to be an okay day.

I’m not so sure Will had a great time, but I can totally understand why. Everyday is like a weekend for me, but weekends to Will are very precious. It is the only time he has to relax- and its probably not the most relaxing thing taking a hot and sandy boat trip with your bosses. We still had a good time together though.

Anyway, I’m am quite a mess- I have yet to take a shower. don’t worry, I’ll check the bottle this time- SHAMPOO!!

Greetings From Kuwait!

We made it! We had a CRAZY week leading up to getting here, but we made it with few problems.

Where do I start? I’ve been here 1 day and I have volumes I could write already about my new life. I have heard so much from my family before I came I felt like I had already lived there, but actually getting here and seeing everything for myself was a different experience!

Hmmm, so much to say so little time (it’s almost 1 in the morning here and being up this late isn’t going to help my jet lag)!

I’m experiencing a little bit of culture shock… Okay a LOT of culture shock. I’ve lived and visited overseas before, but no place I’ve been is like here. It’s totally different but at the same time similar to America. We got into Kuwait around 11 last night. It was so awesome to see the city at night. Everything is alive then. The Kuwaitis don’t get out much in the day because of the heat, so atlike 9:00 the city awakes and would be similar to our early evening in America. That is when people grocery shop and do their errands and stuff.

After we got our visas and had some help with our bags we went into the main airport area and it was like everyone stopped what they were doing and just started as my American family came up and hugged and greeted us. There are a lot of western employees that live here, but I still think blondes are a rarity, so it was awkward and I’ll have to get used to that (tonight we went to Applebees and this cute little girl and her brother followed us in and just looked at me and smiled and waved and then went back out. Not used to that…

We got our things last night and headed to my parent’s apartment. Guys, the driving is horrific. I’m not even joking. I thought California and Mexico was bad… this is like no other. You will be on a single lane ramp getting ready to merge onto the highway and three cars will be beside you in a SINGLE LANE merging ramp, and they cut you off and get antsy if you aren’t going fast enough and flash their lights and honk. It is very scary! I have issues driving in Oklahoma City, so driving here really terrifies me. Anyway, so that was an eye opener! My parent’s apartment is AWESOME! It has a beach view from their balcony. It is so pretty. We talked a little and found out more about what would happen in the next few days as Will gets ready to start work. Thursday and Friday is the weekend over here, so I keep thinking it’s Saturday night since my parent’s are off, but its not. Will’s first day is Saturday. I’m nervous for him, but also excited because I thinkw e will get to meet some nice people.

Today was an overwhelming day (I have a feeling I will feel like this for a while). We went down Gulf Road, which is like the “main“ and most popular strip in the city. We got to see all the beautiful houses and architecture, so that was nice. We ate breakfast at Ruby Tuesdays, which was really good. The “day Kuwait“ is much different from the “night Kuwait“ I quickly am learning from what my parents are telling me. The “caste“ system seems very prevalent here. There are divisions of people here and each get treated differently.

Kuwait Nationals: These people are rich. Really rich. A national has no reason to be poor if they are smart. They make a large monthly stipend just for being Kuwaiti. Even the kids do! My sister goes to school with kids who drive Bentley Continentals and Land Rovers like its no big deal. A lot of them don’t work because of the stipend, and if they do they own a business or work in government. You wouldn’t believe all of the Mercedes and Land Rovers and Porches I have seen on Gulf Road. They are like Neons or Cavaliers in America. smile

Western Employees (WEs): This is what my family (hopefully I will be soon too!). We are probably considered 2nd on the “food chain“ here. Most Kuwaitis are favorable towards us, especially those about 25 and older who remember the war. Some of the younger generation isn’t as friendly. There are a lot of WEs that live in Kuwait and do business like embassy stuff and military stuff. We (or at least the company my family works for) live in apartments spread throughout the entire city for free. They are already furnished which is nice too. Workers share a car with a few people they work with and don’t have to pay gas or maintenance or anything. We receive money each day on top of our wage as a living allowance, so a lot of people just try to live off of that and bank the rest. I really look forward to getting a job so we can save money. They only down part to working here is that they are 48 hour work weeks and a lot of the car pooling begins at 5 in the morning to get the long day started and to beat traffic.

Third Country Nationals (TCNs): This group breaks my heart. I have heard story after story from my parents about this group and I have teared up a few times for these people. There are several “sub-levels“ of this group, but I won’t get into all that. These people are mostly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh., and a few more places I can’t remember. They literally work as indentured servants. They work the “working class“ type jobs that Kuwaitis won’t work themselves. So, almost everywhere you do, it is not the nationals who help you, but the TCNs. A lot of these people have degrees but can’t get a good job in their own country so they will work here at McDonalds or some other restaurant and send money home to their families. One guy that works for my mom has a masters degree in computer science and is living this poor lifestyle just to have a job. They are bused in each morning and work 6 days a week. They get paid daily and in exchange for their wages they have to give the companies their passports and will get it back in the morning- so as you can see it’s like an indentured servant kind of system. They have little to eat and are housed in tiny apartments they share with lots of people.  They are really treated bad by a lot of people. My mom made brownies for her TCNs and they were so grateful. I am really going to strive to show them Jesus when I start working.

Kuwait is strange. I think they need a city planner. Its a pretty dirty country. The Kuwaitis throw large sums of trash everywhere because they know that eventually a TCN will pick it up. There are houses that take your breath away, and others you wince at.

Also, everything is under construction here, but you don’t know if it really is or not because they will start a project and just stop in the middle of it with a lot more to go and it will just sit there forever. There are still messes from the Gulf War. Crazy huh?!

So as for my first impression, it is very mixed. Theres some bad, but theres also some good. I guess that is everywhere you move. It is really strange being the minority here. You get a lot of strange looks, so that isn’t the greatest, but I am just going to have to learn to live with it.

Will and I got to see our aparment today. The outside of the building is really pretty and the foyer was really pretty too. Our place is REALLY small, but cute. We have all tile floors that get dirty again 5 seconds after you clean them. Our kitchen is really small. I MAYBE have 5 cabinets. And lucky me, I’M the dishwasher! smile A lot of WEs hire maids because they are really really cheap, but I don’t know what Will thinks about that. I guess we’ll see how busy we are when we are both working. Also, there are no outlets in our bathrooms! How strange. Who wants to have all of their appliances strung out all over their bedroom!? On the other hand, our decorations are pretty and I really like our drapes and living room set. smile

Did I tell you the “best part?“ Our apt. is right across the street from a mosque so every morning around 3:30 their prayer call begins for the day and they do it over a loud speaker so everyone can hear it. It is really loud and kind of scary sounding. It will take me time to get use to that, talk about a wake up call! smile We are staying with my parents until Saturday because we have no groceries or car or any concept of where we are going. I sure am ready to know my way around! smile

So many more things I want to tell you all but it is almost 2 here andI need to get on some sort of schedule for the 4:00 mornings when Will starts work. By the way, I took a shower last night and the water was turned to cold and it was still hot! That is the kind of weather I’m living in- not so great for staying dry. smile

I guess I need to get off for now. Will and I don’t have a computer yet, but hopefully I will be able to use my parents a couple times a week to share my culture shocking experiences with you!

Thanks for listening, have a nice evening

This May Take Awhile

This weekend left Will looking at each other and simply saying, “Wow, this was a great weekend.” There was nothing overly enexpected or exciting about our trip, but it was just a great weekend.

It started out special. After class I met will for a quick bite at Wendy’s. He told me he bought something for me and wanted me to hear it after lunch. So, we went out to his car and he told me he bought this cd because it had this song on it that reminded him of us. It was Keith Urban’s “Making Memories of Us.” I listened to it and started crying. It was so sweet that he surprised me with that. What a way to start a great weekend. After that I had to rush off because I had a hair appointment. My hair lady is so great. She was so excited about will and I’s adventure. Her parents are missionaires in Africa, so she was really glad for us and the opportunity to get out of Oklahoma for a while and travel and just do this awesome thing together.

After my hair appointment I went by my mom’s office to order the dress I had wanted from Ann Taylor. Yay! Then I cam home, will and I packed and we were off.

Our first stop was Quail Springs mall. I had a gift certificate from my favorite store, the Limited, to use before we move, so that was a blast! I got 2 cute pairs of capris, 3 cute little shell tops in different colors, another shirt and some earrings. IT was fun, and by then my gift card was blown. Anyway, so then we went to our hotel.

I had never stayed at the Waterford, so it was so fun. It was really pretty. We checked in and then went downstairs to Bellinis. We were starved! We are used to eating around 5:30 and by then it was well after 7, so we were so hungry we didn’t even really enjoy the atmosphere. We were concentrated on our food. smile It was really good, I will miss that place when we go- even though I’ve only been twice. smile

The next day was great. We went downstairs for breakfast- which was really yummy. After that, we checked out and headed to Norman. On the way, Will was listening to the radio and heard that the 3 living OU Heisman trophy winners from OU were signing autographs at Coach’s restaurant… so of course we had to go!

Will was like a little kid- it was adorable. He was all smiles. his dimples were in rare form. smile There was this limited edition lithograph picture thing that you could get signed, and of course it was the most expensive. Will really wanted it, so we decided to get it. I mean, he is going to be away from OU football for a while, how could I say no? We went it and got it autographed. Will shook Jason White’s hand and was like, “I really have enjoyed watching you play.” After we got done, he was so cute. He was like, “I shook Jason White’s hand!” HE got a little star struck to say the least. I was really happy for him, because it was a big thing for him to give up OU for a while. (I know to most that sounds silly, but when you live in Oklahoma… that is what you do). So anyway, we went to the game and met up with one of Will’s friends from high school that had drove down from Kansas. IT was good to see him and his wife. It was just good catching up on everything. His wife started selling Mary Kay too, so we had a lot to talk about… she is doing really well. I on the other hand, am not at the moment! smile Too much going on. The game was fun. There is just something being in that stadium and watching those guys play that gets you fired up. Like I said, OU is like our NFL team. It was great. I will really miss going ot all the games. I know Will will too. We had a lot of fun on those days!

After the game, we had to make a stop at Ted’s. I mean afterall, we won’t be able to go there for a while so we have to eat there every chance we can get! smile To say the least, I blew my diet as you can tell! smile

After that we headed home and stopped my will’s parent’s to show off his new treasure. They were impressed, but Will’s brother wasn’t (he is a vet student at OSU… talk about bedlam). smile

Sunday was pretty normal, except now our news is out in the open. IT was a mixed response… I won’t go into detail- it would take forever. I got a lot of questions about going over there with my blonde hair. They asked me if I was going to color it… I’m thinking no.

Anyway, there is so much more I want to write about all of that and the rest of the weekend, but I better move on and get started on what I really need to be doing on the computer.

I’m sitting in my parent’s house for probably the last time. Boy is that strange! I went to the cabinent to get something out, and then I realized that nothing would be there. There has always been a mirror in the hallway that I would glance at each time I walked by, but it’s gone. IT’s just such a different feeling. You don’t realize how big a house is until everything is out of it. I am excited about thie new huge change, but I am a “golden retreiver.” I am just kind of loyal to what I am used to and don’t do major change all that well. That is not bad, it just makes me different from some- like Will who will be sad but is ready to leave.

I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to those who have posted encouraging feedback the past few days. So many people where I am from just don’t get why we are doing this, so it has been nice to hear from people outside of my everyday life who can see things from another perspective. Talk about refreshing!

I want to leave you with just a last thought about my house. It is bittersweet. It is a speech I gave my 2nd year of college. I was going to doctor it up a bit because I think I’m a better writer now than I was back then, but I decided to leave it. As you will find out, the ending today is different then the ending when I wrote it- a little sader today! smile But nonetheless, it says kind of what I’m feeling now! I hope you all enjoy!

Thanks for listening! Have a great afternoon.

I’ve moved around a lot in my life. A whole lot I should say. My dad was in the military for 20 years, so my entire life that was the only lifestyle I knew. In fact, I just thought everyone moved as much as my family did. I didn’t know any different. To stay stationary didn’t seem normal. Now, when I say I moved around a lot as a kid I wasn’t lying. By the time I reached the 5th grade I had been in 9 different schools. That almost averages out at 2 a year. Moving was a normal thing, so each school change eventually became more of a minor transition to adjust to rather than the “end all be all” of my career as an elementary schooler. I had come to understand that the friends I made at school would only be temporary playmates, and that pen pals didn’t last forever. By then I had learned the basics, so adjusting to a new school had become a routine of simple rules to remember. I knew to never sit by the kid who ate paste, being picked as the helper for the week gave you instant popularity, and I learned that having the brand new box of 64 crayons with the sharpener on the back was the only box to have.

However, by 4th grade I began to realize that “normal” people’s families did not move around all the time. In fact- all of the friends I had come to know had lived in the same place all of their lives. It was then I realized that maybe moving so much was not normal. In the middle of my 4th grade year I got the news that I had come accustomed to hearing every couple of years or so- we were moving. However, this time the news hurt. I was tired of getting dragged around to new towns and schools. I wanted to stay in one place like everyone else. I was tired of getting comfortable only to leave what began to become familiar.

We were moving to Oklahoma this time. It had seemed as if the joke I had always heard about this town had come true- it’s a black hole and no matter how many times you leave- you always come back. I had been there 3 times before, but this time we would be staying for 3 years. We moved in the middle of summer, which gave us time to move in and get ready for the school year. Now, because my family moved around so much we always lived in the military post’s temporary houses. However, for some reason, this time my parents decided to go house hunting. I was very unfamiliar with this house-hunting concept. We arrived in town and began looking at houses. We had been looking for 10 days in the middle of the sweltering Oklahoma summer. That year records had been broken for high temperatures. Getting in and out of the car and into the hellish heat became tedious. The 10th day, my mom had had it. We came to a house that had just been built. We toured it and liked it. I will never forget what my mom said to my dad after looking at the house driving to our hotel. She said, “It’s a nice house in a nice neighborhood. It’s too hot and I’m tired of looking. Besides, we’ll only be here 3 years. Let’s get it.” So we did. The next day we went to the realtor and bought the house. Our first house as a family- finally no temporary army house. We actually had a house. Now, you may be thinking, “It’s just a house- why in the world did you get so excited?” To me, buying that house meant that things wouldn’t be so temporary. We would actually be here for a while. My family had never gotten too comfortable in one place, and now, it seemed as if we had. We actually had our own place. A place where there were no rules- we could paint the walls if we wanted to, and we could park our cars anyway we chose to. We had finally settled in to a place that I knew I would want to get used to.

That fall I started my 5th grade year at one of the local elementary schools. I met wonderful friends that were not so temporary and made good memories. I finished up my grade school days at there and prepared to get ready for junior high. Now, it had been planned that after my 7th grade year we would probably move. I blocked it from my mind. I did not want to leave the life I had begun to build. My 7th grade year came and went without mention of moving. Each time my father had the opportunity to pick the top three places he would want to get transferred to, this town would be at the top of the list. We became active members of our church and made several close friends through the activities there. My little sister finished her first year at the same elementary school I had as I finished my first year of junior high. A lot of transitions began occurring in my life. I had a close circle of friends, I became a teenager, and I got heavily involved in school activities.

The years came and went. Many changes occurred in those years- some good and some bad. However there was a constant that remained- through everything, life still went on, and it went on in our house- here in my little town. At that point I had grown to be a junior in high school. Our family joke had become the fact that we somehow remained here after all of these years. We should have moved 2 years earlier, yet we remained. It’s almost as if my mom’s statement of only staying temporarily became an ironic falsity. By this time we came to love this place, the place we previously deemed the black hole. Moving was no longer a fear of mine. I knew for as long as I lived in here that red brick house on the west side of town would be mine. However, that year a turning point occurred in my family. My dad had reached his 20 years in the military. He was faced with a choice. He was up for promotion. If he took it we would have to move to Kansas for 6 months. After those 6 months there would be a few more moves over a short time span. His other option would be to retire and look for a new job. After many conversations, and after much prayer, my father retired from the military the summer after my junior year and began a job hunt. My dad didn’t find much here, but an opportunity came for him to get a job in Dallas. Regardless of where my dad got a job, we all agreed the rest of the family would remain here so that I could finish my last year of high school here. After all, I had finally remained in a school system for over 6 years, and had friends I had known since grade school. I had found my niche and wasn’t about to leave it behind my last year. I wanted to walk across the stage with the people I had literally grown up with.

My dad began his job in Dallas, working there all week and returing home on the weekends. My family decided that after I graduated they would move to Dallas. My senior year my parents spent a lot of weekends house hunting for the right place. This made me somewhat sad. I knew I’d be in college, so where my parents lived shouldn’t really matter, but for some reason it did. This town was an anchor point for me. If my parents were not there, I wouldn’t have any reason to stay. I wanted them to stay in here, in the house we had built together. Where we celebrated Christmases, and had family come visit us. Where I had dozens of sleepovers and movie nights. Where I arrived home to after going on my first date, getting my license, and eventually my diploma. The thought of that brick house on the west side of town not being ours was something I couldn’t think of. Moving took on a different meaning to me as I reached my senior year. It was something I had forgotten how to do. It was something I didn’t want to do. I simply couldn’t imagine driving by that house seeing different cars in the driveway, different flowers in the beds, and different people in the windows, where new colors decked the wall and different aromas filled the house. That house was not just a place I lived in like all of the others, it had become our home, a place where I knew we’d be forever. A place where my best friend, my sister, lived just up the hall. That house was where I grew up. It was my family’s home and the symbol of the place we knew we could always return to and would always be accepted at.

My senior year came and went, and as it came closer to the time to move, my family couldn’t seem to leave. P, my sister, loved her school. We loved our church. We loved our life here. Oklahoma had become our home, and leaving it didn’t seem natural. So, my family decided to stay here, and I decided to attend college and remain close to home. Things are still as normal, and I still live in that red brick house on the west side of town.

Now, if you were to drive by my house you would simply see a house. And I guess that’s pretty much all it is. However, when I drive by my house I see the love and joy of many wonderful years my family has built on. I see a place that after many years of moving, I knew that we would always be here. That brings me to the moral of my story. Home is where the heart is. Home is the place you cannot imagine leaving. Regardless of where we may have moved, we would have been “okay, ” but over the many years we spent in here, it became close to our heart. So, remember that home is where your heart is. I hope you have found a place for your heart as my family has found for ours.

A Millions Things I Want to Say in 10 Minutes

The post title is my life in a nut shell. smile Now with everything out in the open, I have so much I want to tuck away here in my blog, but have to really prioritize how much time I spend on here! I don’t know about you- but I’m addicted. I have a few blogs I try and read everyday- Josie’s (J&M), Crystal’s, and Jandlea- and I am starting to have others I like to read… this is getting to be quite an addiction! smile I never thought I was a “nosey” woman, interested in the affairs of others- but maybe I am! Or, maybe it’s just that everyone is in a similar area of their life as I. Who knows…

Having rambled all of that nonsense… because that is not the main topic of my blog, I will try to adhere to just writing what I need ot write and getting off! smile

Well today I turned the “big” 22. I am at the point when I still get really excited about birthdays. I hope that doesn’t go away, but I hear for women it does! I think it has to do with our society and how we are supposed to look 20 forever, while for men, it is attractive for them to age because we associate their age with status and wisdom. I think women get the shaft on that deal… am I making sense? Who knows. Once again, stating the unnecessary.  22 is so young, but I am already feeling “old.” I am surrounded by fresh high school grads that are in their first year of college, and it is so funny just how those 4 years makes such a difference. I will just try to enjoy these next few years and tackle the big 2-5 or 3-0 no fun birthday time when and if it ever comes. I look too far ahead too much instead of just enjoying what is right in front of me.

Tonight we are going out with my mom and sister. After dinner we get to do what every girl looks forward to doing on their birthday… pack! My mom is going to come over after dinner and cake and stuff and help us get some stuff pack to send over there so it is there when we arrive. What a birthday surprise! smile

Last night was sad. The kids had planned a special birthday surprise for me… and we had to “pop all the balloons” by announcing our resignation. I know you will be surprised, but the party just wasn’t the same after that- imagine that. I got close to “my” girls these last 2 years. so they were all crying, it was bad. I didn’t know what to say- it’s hard to tell a 14 year old, “Oh- we will keep in touch! You can always email and write- I’m still here for you,” when they need you in front of their face to talk about their breakups and family problems. It was sad. I felt more sad for them just because of the lifes most of our kids come from. For most of them, they have no stability. They have parents in jail or on drugs or have never met their dad- they needed some stability, and I think Will and I were like a big brother or sister they could rely on for godly wisdom. I was sad because I wonder what will happen to them when we go. 80% of our church is in their 50s or older, so there has never been a big emphasis on youth, so I am worried about what happens now…

Well- I told Sheri today too. She is my “boss” (I work in the transcripts office at my university). It was so hard because all of us girls that work there have gotten so close to her- she’s like the “cool mom” in our office. The lady we can always talk to. I teared up and just let it all go. She was shocked and worried about us (her mom side). We didn’t get to talk very long because I had to go to class, so tomorrow morning we’ll get to talk more. I feel bad because I had told her I would work through the month of May because Kaci was going to quit when school got out, and Sheri was going to need me and Carly. I can’t worry about those things though- if I worried about things like that I would be afraid to do anything in fear of hurting someones feelings. I just have to do what is best for our family, and right now that is moving.

Anyway- you will all get a much needed break from all of my ramblings this weekend so you can prepare for next week’s dose of our excitement! smile

Will is taking me to the Waterford hotel in the City (oklahoma city). We are going to eat at bellinis, a really nice restaurant and them go to the OU scrimmage saturday. I am really looking forward to spending this weekend with will, it may be the last few days of serenity we will have for quite some time.

Broken Silence

I can now freely talk about our “big secret,” and I am so ready to. It’s been killing me for months now…

Will and I are moving to Kuwait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know if all of the exlamation marks are necessary since I’ve never been there and it is in an area of unrest, but nontheless I am excited about this new chapter.

We applied for jobs a few months ago-once my family decided to move over there- but had heard nothing and couldn’t say anything for risk of Will losing his job- our situation is not the greatest where we are now. The church where we serve is famous in our town for divisions and “running off staff,” so we totally had to keep our mouth shut until Will could officially resign. We are going to tell the youth tonight, which will be sad because they planned a “surprise” birthday party for me. :( It is time to leave for now. We will continue to serve God, just not in a full time ministry position. That is a whole other blog day though- I don’t want to talk about all of those hurts.

Will and I got notice that we will have to be in Kuwait in 3 weeks. I will probably have to take my finals early and not get to go to graduation, which will be sad, but at the same time I will be glad to be in the same place as my family.

I have yet to get a job, but Will will be starting in a few weeks. As of now we will be living in the same building as my parents, so that will be nice so they can help us find our way around and get adjusted to life there. It sounds really different than what we Okies are used to. smile

There is just so much I want to say and blog about this new venture in our lives, but I don’t even know where to begin! My thoughts have been going a million miles a minute with the thoughts of moving and packing and school and finals and...and...and… smile Talk about a curve ball thrown into the mix. smile

I wanted so badly to tell the ladies I work with today, but I couldn’t. :( They told me to go get the mail and when I came back, they had cake and ice cream and sang happy birthday to me today since we all work different times on Thursday. I didn’t want to ruin everything. Carly made me a good cake, and Sheri got frozen yogurt to save on fat. wink Kaci- my bridesmaid- wrote me the most heart wrentching card and got me the incubus cd… how could I drop Big Bertha on them today?

So you are thinking- the longer you wait, the harder it is, and I know… I am just sad and for some reason scared to tell them. Not that they will be mad, but I had kept this whole thing from them for so long and now I’m all of a sudden like, “yeah, we’ve been planning on this forever now, and by the way… I have to be there in three weeks...“ That’s probably not the best way to have to tell someone somthing that big. I don’t know…

My mind is going everywhere! I tend to consider every single detail of every single thing, so I am driving myself crazy writing dozens of lists of things we need to remember to do. Poor Will, I am just going to have to try and not worry about everything so much. This is an exciting time for us. There will probably never be another time in our lives when this is the “perfect opportunity“ for us. We have no kids, nothing of serious importance… we can just get up and go. It is really exciting.

I could go on and on and on… and in the coming weeks, you’ll get to learn of all of the crazy stress moments in preparing to leave, but I am going to leave now and get other things done- like homework! That has seemed to take a backseat lately. smile

On a positive note, I found out I will be graduating cum laude. I was a little dissapointed because I thought I would be Magna (how dumb for me to be dissapointed, I know...), but that’s still pretty good.

Tomorrow is my birthday! What a fun thing! smile

God has totally blessed us, we have a lot to celebrate…

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brittny I'm B-Love. Lover of God, my husband Will, my doggies, OU football, weight training, plyometrics healthy eating (mostly!), peanut butter, and all things health related. Buckle up and get ready for my constant embarrassing moments, health and fitness tips,and my effort to rely on Christ while living life in the real world. Follow me on Feedly! Sign up for monthly emails at!

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