January 22-February 14, 2015 My last family dinner… last family games night… last night with the whole family together for a while actually. My heart is breaking. I love living and working in Saudi Arabia, but being back home with my family reminds me how much I absolutely love them all and miss spending time with them. I am devastated to think of leaving and going back to KSA in just a few days. Even though I have a lot to look forward to… trips to Europe, Dubai, etc… all sorts of travels and adventures and great life experiences to come yet… But I know what is ahead of me. I know the struggles I’ll face on a daily basis in Saudi Arabia. The frustrations and inconveniences that drive me mad. The stress. All the stress. So much stress. When I originally moved to Saudi Arabia, I was sad to leave my family, but so excited to come and have this great life experience. And it has been really great. But now I know what it is. The good and the bad. And knowing the bad makes it so much harder to leave my family behind and come back here to the bad, even if there’s lots of good as well!! Regardless… I’m going to cherish this last night we have together. We started the night with bowling… my niece’s first time bowling!!! Not sure what she loved more… running around and throwing the balls (quite pitifully but so adorably!)… or drinking Joel’s milkshake!! After bowling, we went out for dinner… the food was so good… check out my fabulous salad!!! And dad and Eric were obviously thrilled with their steaming desserts! I miss family dinners!!! They’re seriously my favorite times at homes. Everyone around the table, talking and laughing. And we’re a family who loves debates and big discussions… so at home, especially Sunday lunches turn into big debates. It’s stimulating. It challenges us. It makes us open our minds as we don’t all share the same perspective on everything! For me… the best part of the night though, was when I stepped away from the table, leaving my phone out… and when I came back, one of my siblings was on my phone taking a selfie. At first I laughed when I got it back… and then I looked at the picture… and the ones before it… and realized my entire family had passed my phone around the table… taking a selfie so that I’d have a picture to take with me back to Saudi of each of them… and then I cried. Just a simple little thing, but so thoughtful… This wonderful group of people I’m blessed to call my family… Can’t wait to come back and see them… and as it’s the 1st of July as I’m writing this… it’s only about 2 weeks away from now!!!!!!