I sit here writing this blog post, amazed at how quickly half of the year flew by. July to December seems like quite a long time, when you are asked to fly your family across the world…to live…knowing no one…and never really hearing of the location. Well Dubai, you are on my radar now and it has been a blast! This once in a lifetime opportunity was given to us by the company Layne works for. He was chosen for a six month assignment in Dubai and luckily Caden and I were able to come along as well. My leader worked with me to take a six month leave of absence and we pulled Caden from daycare, so that we could all come “get another passport stamp” together.
I know that you all are probably wondering about the big Dubai Checklist! As you can see below, we completed all, but one of our listed activities- Tee&Putt. Out of everything on the list, this is probably the one we would skip, so I am glad it worked out that way! Some of the places on the list have also been altered, since the list was first created. I am so thankful for my husband and the journey that he was willing to take, with me, to check off my long bucket list. It seemed a little daunting at first, but when all of our guests arrived, it was quite easy to burn through! If I had to pick one favorite, I would probably choose the Aquaventure trip we took with Ryan and Haley. It was so fun getting to be a kid again at a water park and it was awesome that we got to bring Caden along for that experience too!
Dubai has taught me a lot about city living, navigating public transit, being a stay at home mom and grocery shopping with all new supplies. It has shown me how much I appreciate things in the US like driving a car myself, not having to use an elevator to bring in all of my groceries and eating my favorite snacks, whenever I want. However if I had to pick one thing that Dubai taught me most it is that God will always provide. Moving half way across the world with your family, specifically a one year old, is a big step. We were scared and nervous, but it was something that we had been praying about, so we took the plunge. Immediately upon my arrival here, I met several women whom I will cherish for the rest of my life. I know that they were placed into my life for a reason and I am so blessed that they made my trip what it was. I was recently asked, for an American mom/expat interview, what made Dubai home. It isn’t the events that we attended each week, it isn’t the malls and shopping offered, it isn’t the beautiful beach…it is the people that we met here that made Dubai home. These ladies and their little ones will always have a special place in Caden and I’s heart and we will forever cherish the memories.
Tonight we will begin our travels home, seven suitcases, three carry on’s, two personal items, one stroller and three Schroeders. Our winter coats and mittens are ready for the snow that awaits our arrival, however I can say that I am not excited about the 8′ F temps. (Hopefully our bodies don’t go into shock!) We are all ready and excited to get back to see family for Christmas, friends for the holidays and of course reunite with our puppy Zeek. Dubai was a great adventure for our family and we are anxious to see what the Big Man upstairs has in store for us next! Goodbye, expat living!
Thank you all for following along as we took all of our adventures from the Carrot Cake Challenge to the Diapers in Dubai posts. It was fun to keep everyone informed and of course share all of our fun photos. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!