I have been totally absent from my blog for months. Testing and working on the cookbook has taken up most of my time. Family and friends have agreed to volunteer at testing recipes and now things are wrapping up. There have been several proofs made and the main work is now being done on formatting and making the book look as professional as possible. Testing still continues but on a smaller scale.
I have thought of my special friends and have missed you dearly! Thank you for thinking of me and for caring.
Many things have happened in the course of these months. High school graduation, College graduation, a Wedding and baby sitting the babies. Fattima and Ben went to London and Italy. Osama and Jacki went to Hawaii and Sumaya went to Disney world!
A big thank you to my good friend Marci over at koolaidmoms. She helped my daughter and her best friend plan their Disney World trip and that made all the difference!
Osama and Jacki went to Hawaii and I got to spend time with my grandbabies!
Meanwhile the newlyweds (who are coming up on one year) had a fantastic experience visiting London and various places in Italy!
Another huge change has been the addition of a new baby! I grew up with pets but given our situation it was forbidden. I never imagined having a special little friend again. Finally my kids convinced me to take the plunge and it is amazing!
Have a great day and so good to see you all once again!
Many of you already know that I am a mom to nine fantastic children. But maybe you don’t know that I have five sons and four daughters. Recently Foof got married and a month before the ceremony my eldest daughter Saleeha, got engaged! As I have written in many of my true life stories, it was hard to ever imagine this joy and the idea that my girls would be able to pick their own careers, daily habits and most importantly their love interest. But here we are, two of my girls have found amazing partners and now for the second time I am overjoyed to witness them blossom, find love and build a future.
Saleeha met her intended through a friend and they share many similarities including their love for literature and writing. It has been a long road for my girl, building that trust and learning to relax and accept love and a warm and endearing heart but she is there and I couldn’t be happier.
Edison is a soft spoken Phd in Chemistry, a poet and he loves to cook! The ring he picked has a vintage look and is just what Saleeha wanted.
They have not picked a wedding date and both of them are not really into having a big bash so they will find what suits them. I am all about being yourself and doing what works for you, so whatever they chose will make me happy for them.
Edison proposed at their special place, deception pass. I posted pictures last year after they shared a romantic day there.
Recently wedding dress shopping commenced and she found the perfect fit for her! It is gorgeous. I will only show a bit of the dress so that Edison isn’t disappointed!
There is hope after the storm, there is peace and you can make it, whatever your struggle might be it can be part of your life and can make you stronger, not break you. Never would I have imagined that we would be here, back home, together and thriving. Don’t ever give up and stay true to being the best you!
During the ceremony the boys got restless and could not resist playing with their fans just behind where the wedding party stood. They rolled, jumped and eventually took off their suspenders. Everyone agreed it was a precious part of the wedding.
It has almost been a month since Fattima and Ben said I do! Here are some pictures taken by the professional photographers!
The couple posed before the wedding for some special shots including the “first look”
Some individual photos
Special moments with family
Me and my kids and grandkids The ceremony
And finally the send off!
The happy couple a month later
More photos to follow!
Fattima and Ben paid us a visit yesterday and it is clear they are still on Island time! They were in a Reggae music, convertible top down, luau lovin haze!
I heard the little boys talking upstairs in their room, a few words here and there and some laughing. I had been awake since 4 a.m. so it was easy to just pop up there and cart them downstairs. I love seeing their smiling faces first thing in the morning. Of course the first question was “Heme wake”?
We sat together waiting for the other kids to wake up and eventually Fattima and Ben made their appearance with handfuls of beautiful bouquets from the local Farmer’s market.
Flowers were placed in containers with water and left for the next day. These flowers would be used as part of the centerpieces along with a picture of the bride and groom in their youth.
Meanwhile we worked on our various jobs. Jacki hemmed pants, steamed shirts and made sure all of the men looked just right! Osama served as one of the groomsman and the four younger brothers were ushers.
Yusuf and Alicia arrived that afternoon from Seattle and we all got together for a little family dinner that evening.
Fattima went back and forth trying to decide if staying at Osama and Jacki’s house was best or if getting a hotel room would work better. In the end she chose a hotel a few miles away where the four of us girls spent time steaming dresses, eating snacks and reminiscing.
The next morning it was up at 4 a.m. and off to hair and makeup!
Fattima wore her hair down with a bit of curl and fluff. The bridesmaids were asked to wear their hair up and a little flower was given to each one to complement the bride’s hairstyle.
We picked the girls up from the hotel where we found Jacki working on Deeja’s hair!
This was totally a family effort and each member played their part making the wedding a huge success.
I am still sorting through photos and getting back to routine so I decided to do a couple of posts sharing pictures of the two days leading up to the wedding. Thanks for your patience.
Last Friday we woke up early, packed the car and made our way to my hometown where we settled in at Osama and Jacki’s. An hour later we were at the wedding venue where we would take part in practicing our duties for the big day. Meanwhile our precious boys jumped and hopped, walked past the water and took pictures on the stairs.
It was a simple run through of the wedding timelineAfterwards we drove to Ben’s parents home where the Bridal party gathered for the traditional rehearsal dinner.
The house was built by Ben’s father and overlooks pine trees and an expansive, meticulously manicured lawn. Ben’s grandparents, his brother and sister as well as their future spouses were all present. Childhood friends who were now prepared to stand by Ben and witness his nuptials also arrived and later that evening dinner was served.
The menu consisted of Cornish hens smoked to perfection, Spinach pomegranate salad, beans and several selections of bread with savory butters. The meal was elegant, the company engaging and the atmosphere festive. Mother of the groom and sister of the groom worked tirelessly to bring together this beautiful event and it was amazing in every way.
Ben’s family welcomed us and started the wedding weekend off in grand form.
Games were available to anyone who was interested, some played basketball and others sat on the deck in the cool Fall air.
As the sun set we ate dessert and contemplated what we would do the next day in order to prepare for the wedding. Fattima posed with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law and Alayna.
The first look
Me and Alayna Wedding venueBennett jumping at Rehearsal
one more day to go
As we head towards the wedding I thought I would repost this story of Ben and Fattima’s romance!
He continued with his lecture on marriage and travel until tears hung in the creases of her eyelids. No decent man would allow his daughter to travel unaccompanied, not even for educational purposes. Her tiny silhouette stood in the form of a young woman, unfortunately the feisty and willful girl who had roamed the compound streets was no longer visible. Tears slowly dripped down her cheeks and onto wistful lips that had once been playful. She struggled to eat meals and found every excuse to avoid food that seemed distasteful and at times repulsive. As an infant and toddler her weight had been low much like her oldest brother and was eventually chalked up to family genes and the transition from breastfeeding to solid food. But now a slow decline was obviously due to lack of appetite and low caloric intake. Visits to the ER were made when stomach pain and distress could not be controlled at home and this continued well into her twenties. The connection between stress, anxiety and mealtime had not been made while still in a state of frozen survival.
A raise in his voice became evident as he circled back to the topic of marriage,when he handed over his duties to a husband it would be up to him, but until then the answer was still squarely no. She would not be allowed to travel with her grandparents to Paris, it was out of the question. Her older sister had been tricked into taking this trip and there was no going back but he could still shield her from this fate. He finished by reminding her that she was not just any girl and a man of upstanding character, wealth and reputable familial lineage would be the only acceptable suitor. A silent laugh and grin emanated from curved lips as he shook his head back and forth.
One last glance in the mirror produced a perfect figure but one that she was not accustomed to. In recent months bits and pieces, curves and a more voluptuous appearance had emerged leaving her both confused and frustrated. The dress fit nicely around her waist but somehow what had seemed delicate and flattering now stood as questionable. It was costly and she could not imagine spending so much for a garment that would be worn only once. A parade of dresses back and forth from dressing room to pedestal where she stood examining every detail were followed by discussion and finally a phone call to her betrothed. She giggled and smiled through a wisp of golden tinged hair until the conversation came to an end. There was no mistaking his feelings, it was up to her and she should be happy. The perfect ring of her choosing, a new home and now a dream wedding were all in her hands. It was clear that the past had faded and was no match for the sincerity of his blue and flawless eyes.
Foof did get to travel with her sister and grandparents to Paris and then to the United States! A deal of sorts was struck, that they would agree to cover their hair and abide by certain rules and we were able to make it happen. They got to see Paris, stayed at my childhood home in the woods with my parents, played in the snow and went with their brothers to the Oregon coast! They were gone for two months!!
Witness this and say I do
Respect and love
To heart be true