Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Post Pregnancy Shopping Experience

I went clothes shopping recently and it was both an exciting and nerve wracking experience. It’s been almost two years since I’ve bought any non-maternity clothes. Now that our family is complete and I’ve lost the baby weight, we trekked across the Saudi/Bahrain causeway to spend the weekend near beaches and better malls.

While there are many advantages and fun experiences to living abroad, clothes shopping is not one of them. For one thing very few of the stores here are American brands. Don’t get me wrong, the stores are great but they are all European brands and sizes. I just got down the whole converting the exchange rate so you can imagine my fear of the size difference. While in some stores in the U.S. I am a consistent 4, I’m a consistent nothing in the sizing here and EVERYTHING must be tried on so shopping takes a long time.

A big plus here is that few people get out until lunchtime and after. This means that with some planning (and hey the kids have us up around 5am every morning anyway) we can cover a lot of shopping ground before the crowds grow.

While getting a mostly new wardrobe was exhausting it was thrilling considering it was so long overdo. Now to start figuring out what I’ll wear this summer at the RWA San Diego conference.

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Unproductive weekend retreats creates productivity

If you read my last post then you’ll know that my life the last few weeks has been as entertaining as a sitcom and not the good parts but the absurd, “so much #$@#$ can’t happen to one person at the same time” kind of entertaining. So this weekend my family is taking a much-deserved two-night getaway to Bahrain.

People often ask me about my life in Saudi Arabia and I don’t talk much about it on the blog because for the most part my life on a compound here is very normal. In many ways it’s an easier life than what I had in the States. On the compound there is no traffic. It takes me five minutes to get to my daughter’s school, the grocery store, my dance studio, etc. Of course I realize my life would be very different outside a westernized compound so it’s hard for me to really comment on the true Saudi living experience, but my experience is good. There are cons, the biggest is the distance from family but I’ve yet to live anywhere that doesn’t have it’s fair share of disadvantages.

An amazing advantage and treat we’ve found is the small country of Bahrain. It’s a short drive from where we live and has a much different feel to it than Saudi. Not better just different and a fun change of things when we want to take a quick trip. Being an island the beaches are great and the overall atmosphere feels like a vacation. So in a short drive and quick night or two stay we feel like we’ve really done something.

I can almost guarantee that next week I’ll be very productive because I’ve taken some time (however short it may be) to unwind and check out of my typical, never normal life.
And you don’t have to live driving distance from a foreign country to have a little, short trip. When I lived in Houston I would go to Galveston. When in Arkansas one day we just took out driving to better explore the areas around where we lived.

Taking a little break is fun and in the long run promotes great productivity; at least that is how it works for me! So while I’m watching the latest Disney movie, enjoying beach time and some retail therapy I’ll be looking forward to my productive week ahead. For now I’m off to enjoy a long holiday weekend in the Middle East.

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When you have your own “Terrible, Horrible, No Good Day” moment just keep #amwriting

You know that children’s book, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Day?” Well for me it’s been that kind of few weeks. I’m sporting a stitched-up-split-lower-lip, 2 broken teeth and a nasty concussion. No I didn’t take up MMA training and I didn’t tame a grizzly. As much as I’d love to share some awesomely heroic story the truth is I pushed myself when I should have taken it easy. I suffer from chronic migraines and yes I finally have a good treatment plan to prevent most of them but I still get one from time to time. Two weeks ago I had one. I took medicine and powered through my long Monday night of 6 hours of dance classes. It’s recital season and very hard to cancel class. I came home and spent time with baby boy and then passed out. Luckily I wasn’t holding my son.

Lately I’ve either been spending my time at the neurologist or the dentist and after my upcoming root canals I should by then be on a first name basis with the staff of a clinic that until recently I only visited once a year. On top of all this I have a daughter undergoing tests to find out the cause of her hypoglycemia, a dog with reoccurring ear infections, scheduling drama over my dance recital and a slew of annoyances that seem to pop up each day. Annoyances like the cat knocking over a vase of flowers just as I’m about to leave the house, the dogs deciding a mud bath is a splendid idea again just before I need to be somewhere, etc. And then our bathroom flooded the entire downstairs creating a horrible mess! We’ve all had times like these but this has been my “are you kidding me?” time of times.

Which brings me to my writing. It’s so hard to write when life happens but it’s a fact that all writers must face. Life happens and that’s a good thing even when you have a time when you want to curl up in a ball and SCREAM. Times like these are frustrating but also, at least for me motivating. After a long day of dental appointments and dance classes yesterday it would have been easy to just not have time to write. It would have been nice to have more time to relax and settle in for the night. However, once I got my butt in the chair and started to write I found that I wrote past the time I had promised to do so. That often happens, I just get going and the thoughts flow. It’s therapeutic, relaxing and extremely motivating. After a day like that I was able to string together not just a coherent thought but also a pretty good fictional scene! Then after feeling like I rose up over my bad day I was able to have 45 minutes to cuddle on the couch with my dogs and catch up on a TV show.

Having a bad day, week, or longer? Just keep writing…..

Having a bad day, week, or longer? Just keep writing…..

It was the perfect end to a hectic and rough day. I always hate to use the term “bad day” because those should be reserved for times of health crisis or when something is going on with my children. Luckily they are well and happy and it’s important to always keep that in perspective.

So when life seems so rough that your life could rival a sitcom I recommend to not cut writing (or any goal you desire) out of your daily plans. To stop writing was tempting. That would have been easier but then I’d just add another thing to my list to complain about. Control what you can control and keep up the #amwriting!

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