Saturday, December 22, 2007

12 days of Christmas.

It was a little short of 12 days but every one of them felt like Christmas this past week! I made all my connections and got into Dallas and spent the entire week hanging out with Michelle and getting to know all of her close friends and family.

We went to a Christmas symphony, ate the finest steaks Texas had to offer, looked at Christmas lights (where whole blocks had themes...never seen that before! Must be a Texan thing!), ate some more, shopped, sent Christmas presents to my family, hit up all the Christmas parties, went to the famous Dr. Pepper Museum, ate a gut-pack (another Texan thing), ate cookies every day, ate the most amazing Korean food I've ever had, (yes I gained a few pounds this week), and when we weren't stuffing food in our mouths or laughing we were talking and catching up on pretty much everything.

It was a great week. I think we both needed some time together outside of Iraq, and I was so thankful this trip worked out. I'm so glad I got to meet all of you blog lurkers, now you have to comment now that we've met! "Ya'll" are amazing friends and now I know why Michelle loves you so much! So many thanks to Michelle's family for the amazing week!

"The Ninnies." Incredible night. It was so good to meet all of you! (almost all of you.)

....and this is how it started and ended. Right now I'm stuck in the Istanbul airport. The weather has been nasty pretty much everywhere so it made me miss my flight to Italy today. I have to wait until the counters open up at 4 in the morning so that I can schedule another flight. In the meantime....relaxing on a sofa in Gloria Jeans catching up on e-mails!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Iraq - Istanbul - London - Chicago - Dallas - Chicago - London - Istanbul - Rome - Turin - Rome - Istanbul - Iraq

That's my flight schedule these next few weeks!

Things are going to be crazy and I'm going to try to blog when I can but I wanted to let you know what I'll be up to. I'm traveling back to the States for a week to meet "the girl's" family and spend some time with them. I can't tell you how excited (ok a little nervous) I am about that! I'll probably meet all of you loyal Texas readers! After that I'm going to my sister's house in Italy for Christmas, where I'll be with part of my family!

I'm so thankful for this break. These past couple of weeks I've felt maxed out in every area of my life. But I've kept looking towards these weeks out of the country to get re-energized and focused so that I can come back for a few more months.

I'm writing while in my hotel in Istanbul, and it's amazing what a hot shower and a quiet room has done to clear up my mind. It's already been so good to think through things and just give thanks for these past few months in Iraq. I hope to communicate a lot of that to you through this blog and in person if I see you during my travels!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


You can check out this link to find out the latest on Aras.

You can also write him and his mother at

I know it would mean so much to them to get a letter from you, letting them know how much you love them, are keeping them in your thoughts, and how you've been following their story. That's why I'm not blogging today, so you can have that 2 minutes to write them a quick note!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Favorite Spot.

A couple days ago I was able to go visit this small village on the outskirts of the city. The first time I went there was to visit a child who needs heart surgery and I've been itching to get back. It's quickly becoming my favorite place to go.