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Mistletoe

It’s on days like these that I miss the blog the most; when it’s all chills and clouds outside; when I’m fixated on my keyboard trying to get work done, while all I really want is to be out in the cold breeze, sipping hot cocoa and penning down my thoughts somewhere with Sarah McLachlan’s “WinterSong” in the background.

-AUC, December 2015-

-AUC, December 2015-

Things have changed: Life’s different. I see it taking people I love to different places, paths, jobs, countries. I see me and Mr. Love getting immersed in new aspects of life. With a baby girl on the way, I don’t know what to expect (No, I didn’t read what to expect when you’re expecting). I’m ecstatic surely, but also petrified (just a little). Will we be good parents? What defines a good parent? Will she like us? Am I going to balance being a mom and being me? I have no idea what these few coming months will unfold, but I know I want to make my best to make things work, while not losing myself in the process of becoming a mother.

I love our little life. I want her to be part of it. I am excited to make her part of it. She is already so loved; her grandparents and our siblings have never been happier. Yes, our little life’s different, I suddenly feel like it’s “bigger”, but I like that. As life stretches a little, the adult in me grows, but the kid in me waits for Santa still – 20 days to go, for the snow and mistletoe.


#myrealdubai

I woke up to this view this morning. My family’s been visiting for a week and while I’m greatly enjoying our short getaway, I can see their excitement dissipating as they watch the news of agony and misfortune in Lebanon every night.

- Good morning Fujairah Spring -

– Good morning Fujairah Spring –

Having trained my mind to take a numb bystander position re- regular horrific happenings in Beirut, I can not but highlight how truly fortunate I believe I am to be here today. Dubai has offered me a whole lot throughout the past seven years: warmth, friendships, love, sense of security, personal and professional growth. I have not once felt that I do not belong or that i am treated differently.

With the famous #mydubai hashtag going so viral, my real dubai is actually not a snapshot, or a video. I need not document an aspect of it to remind myself or convince others of its timeless beauty. Mydubai is this calmness instilled in my heart every morning and night, knowing this is home, away from home.


Snow Flakes

This is not a blog post. This is a revelation. I’ve been observing my contentment trends for a while, and I’ve realized they’ve somewhat “matured”, probably because this year revolved around grateful living for me, and acknowledging little pleasures that I had long overlooked: visiting with family, watching a genuinely good movie, finding an interesting read, writing on this blog, seeking inspiration in others, dancing till my feet hurt, swinging till my eyes roll, exploring new relationships, building on already existing ones- relatively small things, but with quite a big impact.

(picture courtesy of my mama - Alexa takes on Shtoura)

(photo courtesy of my awesome mama – Alexa in Shtoura)

With all this in mind, I’ve decided to make my one and only new year’s resolution this morning, because December’s clearly all about getting things done, and January resolutions clearly don’t do it for me. Somehow, my mind always gets  tricked into believing the year has just started afresh (automatically granting me at least another 11 months to make things happen)- #error

This December, I’m making things happen. I’m hopping on a bike the minute I land home in Shtoura (for the very first time), and I won’t fall off it.  I’m going to dive freely into my sacred valley of snow flakes, almond trees, and homemade rice pudding, all whilst recapping how life-changing 2013 really was. I rose up a notch this year, set my priorities straight, and formed new habits – of kindness- in a span of 3 weeks only (it’s not a myth), and right now, I am utterly grateful. I’m hopping on a bike and I am owning the world!

TED’s non- cheesy guide to gratefulness here: my favorite is David Steindtl- Rasl!  Stop, Look, and Go!