Monthly Archives: July 2014

the big goal post

The good news is I’m no longer freaking out about not being in the first group to fly over.  I’m totally at peace with it all until the next batch of tickets go out and my email stays ticketless.  I’m sure I’ll relive all those stages of grief again!  The bad news is I’ve been sick (so it’s a good thing I’m not flying).  I’ve not had a cold this bad in a long time.  The problem is it’s hard to get anything done when you’re hacking up a lung, so now is as good a time as any to write down my goals for this upcoming journey.  It’ll be good to go back this time next year, and see what I’ve accomplished. P.S. this will probably be a very boring post for most of you, so no worries if you move on to something else right now.

Personal/Family wishes:

  • I want to fly my children to different parts of the world.  This first year I hope to get them to at least two countries they’ve not been to yet.  More would be nice, but considering I’m flying them from the U.S. it’ll be costly, so we’ll see how it goes.
  • I’d like for my apartment to be my little nest, not just a place to sleep.  It’s really important to me to have a home to escape to.  What I like most about this is for the first time I’m building a nest just for me, so I’m designing it NONmama style!
  • Since I’ll be on my own I’d like to get more regimented with my writing and reading.  Actually do it daily versus when there’s free time (or when I’m too sick or lazy to do anything else).   Maybe I’ll even put together some sort of plan of what I’m writing — who knows?!  Is it a book, more articles, what?
  • I hope my parenting from a distance will help my children discover more of who they are.  Oh how I hope they find what makes them special and fine tune it.  I really, really do.
  • And while I’m pretty grounded I too hope to discover more of who I am, and how I fit in this crazy world of ours.
  • I hope to embrace change even when I don’t understand or like it, and I hope to remember to calm my shit down when it overwhelms me.
  • I hope to become part of my new community of so many countries and add more people to my lifelong friendships.
  • I know I’ll never be fluent in Arabic, but I’d like to integrate more than just a few words into my life there.  I really do want to connect with the people who are making this journey possible for me.
  • Be the best tour guide ever for my friends and family who are coming to visit. I cannot wait to show off my new ‘home.”
  • And last but not least, please oh please don’t let me accidentally offend the people around me.  I’m so loud and so obnoxiously me that I’ll have to work hard at keeping it down while keeping it real (or something like that).


  • I want to figure out what to do to help my students learn this thing I’m teaching not because they have to, but because, eventually, they’ll want to (ha! isn’t that what all teachers wish). Oh, how I hope I get to see some kids light up with their own magic, which has always been my favorite part about teaching here.
  • Build relationships with the teachers, admin, etc. I’ll be working with — not just the English speaking ones.  There’s so much for me to learn.
  • Figure out where my next step should be.  Will I stay in the classroom, or should I move on to something else when my time there is done?
  • Um, not fall flat on my face.  It’d really suck if I failed at this.

Financial:  Basically save while I spend!  Hahaha sounds so simple.  Okay, so year one I want to pay off:

  • Credit cards (should have this one accomplished the first few months)
  • Student loan (possible IF my $5.000 grant comes though like it should)
  • Car loan — pay it down enough to where I can either sell or decide to just go ahead and keep it (lord knows I do love that car, but is it wise to hang on to it).
  • I’d also like to start contributing to another retirement plan.  The goal is to start this my 5th month there — by then I should have paid off a good chunk of debt.

Travel:  OMG there is so much I want to see!  So for year one I’m saying I’ll go to the following places:

  • Germany (summer 2015 soooo doing this one!) and possibly Amsterdam
  • Oman (I’m cheating here since it’ll be an easy one to do)
  • Turkey
  • Jordan and the dead sea
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • a place I never heard of before I decided to move to Abu Dhabi (don’t know which one yet)
  • an Asian beach — so many to choose from, so we shall see where I end up!
  • other emirates in the UAE!  Hello?  A girl needs to learn the lay of her new land.
  • India

Okay, I think that’s enough to list.  Of course there are more places in Europe I want to see, more places in Africa, ha! more places in general, but this is just year one.  Hmmm, wonder if I’ll actually get to see all those places.

This is a pretty long list.  Sorry if I’ve bored any of you, but this one is written more for me.  Wow.  I wonder what will be going through my little pea brain this time next year.  Cannot believe that any day now I could be writing from an air conditioned pod somewhere in Abu Dhabi!


So this is the part that sucks…

It’s 1 a.m., and I cannot sleep.  My son is still up watching T.V., and the damned thing is irritating the hell out of me.  That’s not the reason I can’t sleep. I am freaking the hell out because about this time next week a group of teachers are flying to Abu Dhabi.  While I am very happy for them, I am not yet one of those teachers.

A group is flying out July 30th while the rest of us drool like mad dogs waiting for the magical email from Nirvana (of all names) travel agency. We were warned that there is no rhyme or reason as to who gets selected to fly when, and that we will fly out in several groups (sadly some of us won’t get there until September/October).  I read the blogs.  I prepared myself for the worst, and now I’m not even close to the worst (hello? it’s only July!) and I’m having a hard time.

There is plenty of time before school starts.  There is still plenty of time before July 30th. I might still find myself going then, which is also part of the problem.  That’s in a few days.  My new life could begin just like that.

Am I ready?  Have I said all my goodbyes?  Gotten all my ducks in a row?

I applied for this job 8 months ago, and now it feels like all of a sudden it’s here.  Except it’s not, but it might be any minute.

The not knowing the when, where, etc. is the most nerve-wracking part about this whole experience.  I feel sorry for my family because from their perspective it must seem like I want to hurry up and leave them, which is so not the case.  I just want to know when I’m leaving.  I guess what it boils down to is that I worry that for me this trip will not happen.  I know that’s crazy talk, but there you have it.  Even crazier is I have a good life here, so it’s not a bad thing if I don’t go.  But, insert toddler temper tantrum here, I really want to do this.

Christmas in July…

A few months ago one of my besties, Ericka, said she’d like to throw a Christmas in July party for me since I won’t be here this Christmas —- and anyone who knows me knows I LOVE the winter holidays.  From Halloween to New Years it’s one food, drink and laugh filled celebration after the other.  To my new Abu Dhabi friends be prepared to play and not lose weight.

What I love most about that time of year —- other than all the lights and craziness —- is that it’s always about being with the people I love the most, so while I will embrace my new life I will also be quite homesick (although my peeps are coming to visit me so it’s all good).

Anyway, I suggested we go ahead and do it at my house since I have a big pool we can all escape the heat in.  Before I knew it a facebook event page popped up, and we were inviting people from all over.  Unbeknownst to me another one of my besties, Monica, secretly RSVPd.  The whole time she had been posting that she wished she could fly in for the event but money was tight, and blah, blah, blah.  This is the same woman who claims it’s her birthday every month, so I should’ve known better, but I didn’t and I just about peed myself (okay maybe I did a little) when she walked into my kitchen.

DSC05008Here’s the crazy beotch stuck in the cooler

She stayed with us through Tuesday, and oh my goodness it was just like the holidays —- except we could use the pool!  We had so much fun that I barely even thought about my upcoming move, which is a good thing because I think about it way too much (um, if things work out the way I’m hoping I should be on a plane within the next 3 weeks).

Wednesday I met up with a former department chair who is now retired and looking great (way to go Liz!) and yesterday I met up with some others moving to Abu Dhabi, including a couple who aren’t teachers but I hope we end up living in the same community.  Something tells me they’d be great neighbors/friends to have.

Today is the first day where I have absolutely no plans, which is why I’m in here typing away and posting party pics.  Of course this also means I have time on my hands, which means I’ve checked my email too many times to see if my e-ticket came in —- KNOWING that nothing will go out until Ramadan ends, but I like to torture myself.

Okay enough of my rambling and onto some of the pics.  I wish I had more, but, well, we were having too much fun.  What can I say?

IMG_3296 Hahahaha a Tres Leches cake made by non English speakers, so my name and fun is misspelled, which of course made this the perfect cake for the party.  Thanks Debbie!  It was an awesome cake, and I want to hug whomever decorated it.

IMG_3273 The calm before the storm.  The party preparers (although I didn’t really have to do much) chilling before getting things ready for the night ahead, which didn’t end until the wee hours  Sunday.

IMG_3301Even black Santa partied.   IMG_3292 The two crazies together…IMG_3291 hahaha Joe loves crazy DSC05036 DSC05035 DSC05031 DSC05029 DSC05026 DSC05023 DSC05021 DSC05011 DSC05009 IMG_3327 IMG_3321  IMG_3300 2014-07-13 20.43.20 DSC05034Just some of the party pics.  Needless to say after awhile cameras were forgotten, which is the way it should be!  Although I’m so bummed that I didn’t get any pics of the Premier crew.  It was soooooooo good to see some of my buds from the very first school I ever taught at. Greg, Monika and Dave I am so happy you came.   It’s official we all have to get together again, so I can take a photo!


The next day we went to Jimbos for breakfast, which is an establishment (hahaha dive bar) that serves free breakfast when you order a drink.    Then we came home watched the World Cup, Drunken History and Naked and Afraid — much more fun to watch these shows with friends over.  Besides it’s about all that we could handle at that point.

IMG_3346A post party party with just a few of us.  Aaron and Tanner kept us entertained with their diving off the roof antics.  If I can figure out how to do it I’ll post video later.

IMG_3289 DSC05044 IMG_3368 somebody taking a nap in the pool…DSC05041awww even the floats are tired


DSC05062 DSC05056 DSC05045our final party before putting Monica on a plane.  The pink flamingo is her gift to me. I’m to bring it every where I go and take pictures of it.  Hahahaha my flat flamingo!

Again, I love my people!  I will soooooo miss all of you.


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