After being in Dubai for three months now (half way), Layne and I both have hit a point where we officially miss home. Of course, we dearly miss our family and friends, but there are a couple more things I could add to that list…
- My full kitchen/US foods-
- Graham crackers: This is a staple snack item at the Schroeder home! They do not really have graham crackers like you would think here. They have a million different types of crackers and biscuits, but Honey Maid Grahams do not fill the shelves, like in the States. I sure do miss these little bites of goodness!
- Jif Natural PB: If you are a peanut butter eater, you know that it is hard to switch once you find your favorite. After college, I switched from the high sugar, lots of additives peanut butter, to the natural stuff. It’s a transition, so don’t think you can do it over night, but once you do, you cannot go back! I have had the hardest time finding a natural pb here that tastes similar to my Jif Natural at home. Most of the ones I have had must use a different oil or possibly burnt peanuts?
- Veggie burgers: Thanks to my college bestie being a vegetarian, I feel in love with Morning Star veggie burgers when I was in school. I sure do miss these babies in my life, but have replaced them with chicken burgers to get by, which are ok for the time being.
- Jimmy Dean Turkey sausage: I put this stuff on my omelets, in our homemade pizzas, in casseroles, EVERYWHERE! I love this turkey sausage and definitely cannot find anything similar to this ground turkey sausage here at all! Jimmy and I will have to reconvene our relationship the instant we get home.
- Actual Seedless Grapes: I swear, every time I buy “seedless grapes” here, they have seeds! You think you are going to bite into this nice refreshing snack, then CHOMP…you hit a seed and your mouth instantly gets upset! Not sure what this is all about honestly! Bad advertising I guess?
- My kitchen tools: I really miss having a full kitchen stocked with everything that you need to cook/bake until your Pinterest heart desires. It is quite difficult to stock a pantry that you only need for a couple of months, besides the fact that you don’t have anything to cook the food in to begin with. I debated going to the little Japanese store across town to stock up on cheap bakeware and dish sets, however I think I will just muster through with my one 9×9 glass dish (yes one), I’ll just get creative!
- My (soccer mom) VAN- Going somewhere without having to rely on anyone else is really an unappreciated concept! I cannot get a license here, because of the insurance on our leased “work car”. I was so excited when I found out that I could get a license with my Visitors VISA, but was quickly shot down by Layne’s HR contact about the insurance on the vehicle. WAH WAHH! Luckily we have great friends here, who have been more than willing to give us a lift, whenever needed! Thank you Lord for my mommy friends! #blessed…Caden and I also have Layne after work and on weekends. He was graciously given a company car to drive and it has become our best friend. It is so nice to have a vehicle, especially when getting groceries or exploring the city! However, I do miss my spacious van and getting behind the wheel, with some Christian tunes on the radio!
- My Puppy- Zeek is having the time of his life with Uncle Ry Ry, however we sure do miss him! We really miss his snuggles and cuddling under the blankets! He is such a snuggle bud and although it is rather warm here in Dubai, you can never have enough cuddles and miss that third “furnace” of mine! I also miss seeing him and Caden play together. Zeek and Caden really started to get used to each other before we left. Caden actually started to interact with Zeek and that was one thing I was upset to see get cut upon leaving. I just hope that he actually wants to return to us when we get back! Cousin Winston sure is making Zeek feel right at home back in Michigan!
- Our full size home– We have been very blessed to be staying in a lovely one bedroom apartment on the Marina here, however I sure do miss the space of our own home! Having two bedrooms, one for Caden and one for us is definitely a game changer. Like it or not, we let the little dude cry it out for a little bit in the US and he quickly learned to put himself to sleep…here it is a little difficult to proceed with the “cry it out” process, when the crying is within sneezing distance!
I also miss having a yard! I miss our deck, my flowers (dead or alive), the grass (also dead or alive, thanks Zeek) and the stary skies. You don’t see much of that around here. It is more mute with grey, tan, blue, and black colors everywhere…beautiful, just different.
- Football: GO BUCKEYES! I was talking to Layne the other day and it amazes me, and makes me sad to be quite honest, that many people here have probably never experienced friday night football (or Saturday for college) under the lights. How can you go your whole life without that excitement! I can honestly say that I miss the tailgating, jerseys, greasy food, sweatshirt weather and everything that goes with it! I want to host a game here, just so my friends in Dubai can experience that!
- Midland Farmers Market: I LOVE the farmers market, back in Midland, during this time of year. When I first moved to Midland, I quickly became an apple snob after my first bite into a freshly picked apple. I sure miss going to the market to get my 1/2 bushel, pumpkins, fresh flowers and a coffee! This is honestly one of my favorite things about where we live in Midland and I could rave about it for days!
- Leaves/Color changing: The colors of Michigan in the fall are exquisite. You can take a bike ride down the rail trail and see every shade of red, orange and yellow, that you could image, for 30 miles to be exact! Simply beautiful! As previously stated, there is not a lot of color here and my eyes sure have missed that refreshing pop, when I walk down the street.
- TV shows: Its fall, which means- my TV shows return! I know its been on forever, but I have to find out what happens in Greys! Here in Dubai I cannot even use the app to catch up, because it isn’t allowed! The struggle is real! I miss my TGIT and the couple other weeknight shows that Layne and I used to watch together! Arabic soaps just won’t do the trick!
- Cider Donuts from our favorite apple orchard in Saginaw, MI- Apple Valley Orchard! Let me tell you, our friends Brad and Patty, sure do know how to make a “mean” cider donut! Oh, and caramel apples too!! Next fall we should be able to take Caden to jump in the bounce house there and we cannot wait! If you are reading this, and are in the area, please visit, as you will not be disappointed!
Regardless of everything we are missing here in Dubai, this has been such a wonderful experience and is only six months out of our lives…we will live!! I am so blessed to have this opportunity to travel with my family to a new country and experience a different way of life. It will be something that I never forget and I thank God for it, every day.
Cheers to the second half of our journey!