I thought it would be great to start blogging again and was excited to get back into it. I’d forgotten how time consuming it is and I’ve realised how foggy my brain has become over the years!
My days are spent with two young children at home, battling the mess, preparing breakfasts, snacks, lunches, breastfeeding, entertaining, listening to running commentaries of what various toys are doing and what the latest piece of kiddy artwork depicts, changing poopy nappies and then washing them since I’ve chosen the washable route. In the afternoon, my older children get in from school, noise and chaos ensues, help is required with homework although sometimes I have to redirect the question to someone who might be a little more knowledgable (dad!) when I’m faced with a request to “help me prepare something on titration”, I have to start preparing an evening meal with constant interruptions because the baby is crying, so and so won’t get out of my room, arguments over the laptop/ipad/dolls/Lego etc, the baby pooped. After dinner, it’s clear up time, bath time, story time, bed time, more homework time and don’t forget to fit Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha in throughout the day, waiting for the lagger who still hasn’t got wudu and can’t find her abaya and then trying after prayer to practise the Tashahud with the younger kids because they’re still getting it muddled.
So maybe you can see, having a profound moment, a light bulb moment going off inside this chaotic head is not something that happens too often and I’m struggling to find time to sit and write something that I’d really love to write.
Every day life is good though, busy but a huge blessing Alhamdu Lillah, especially when you see smiles like this every day…
Whew… it’s been a long time! Since I last blogged just over 3 years ago so much has happened. It was November 2010, I had just returned from the trip of a lifetime having performed Hajj, I then moved back to England for 18 months and subsequently moved back to Saudi Arabia,` had another baby girl and have been blessed to have had the opportunity to start some awesomely exciting new projects, the first of which I hope to complete in the next few months in’shaa’Allah.
After 10 years (minus those 18 months spent back in England), Riyadh really feels like home. I was sorry to leave it that first time and when we eventually leave again, I will be sorry to go. Coming back to Riyadh after 18 months spent in England felt like coming home, the wave of relief that came over me as we landed in the soothingly familiar King Khalid airport was overwhelming.
We very quickly settled back into life here as though we had never left. We’ve made some fun road trips since we’ve been back, most recently we journeyed to the UAE and spent time in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We’ve enjoyed eating out as a family and have found new favourites among the restaurants that Riyadh has to offer. The older kids have grown up significantly and I now have 3 teenaged daughters as well as my younger children. Generally we’ve settled into new rhythms and all have our various activities to keep us busy.
Alhamdu Lillah we arrived home safely from our hajj. It was a very quick journey for us as we didn’t want to leave the children for too long so we wanted to get back to Riyadh quickly. We left the older children in Riyadh and just took the little one who is 17 months old but still breastfeeding.
What with the long drive to Makkah, the ten hours spent waiting at the checkpoint queue to get into Makkah and all the walking involved in hajj (carrying the little one) it was quite a gruelling journey but alhamdu Lillah – Allah subhana wa Ta’ala made our journey easy and blessed with ease us in so many ways.
Hajj was a wonderful experience. It was amazing finally to be there reciting the Talbiya (Labbaik Allaahumma labbaik, labbaika laa shareeka laka labbaik. Lahul hamda, wa ni’mataka laka wal mulk, laa shareeka lak.) and performing hajj for Allah subhanahu wa Ta’ala. I went with a Saudi hamla of course and had a wonderful time sitting with the Saudi ladies in my tent and talking in my terrible Arabic! It was good to practise my Arabic and found that I can keep up some kind of conversation. I found the ladies to be so warm and friendly and we really enjoyed eachother’s company.
I came home feeling ill – caught the flu at the last minute (just as we were leaving Makkah) and just felt overwhelmed by everything. I felt elated to have performed hajj, relieved, happy, tired, aching all over, feverish… and now I feel ready to go all over again!
بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم
The second floor of the sa’y; this is the Marwa end.
بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم
The Ka’aba, at last, to perform 7 tawaf, followed by 2 raka behind the Maqam Ibrahim and then Sa’y.
The hajj trains operate between Arafat which is one end of the line through Muzdalifah, Mina and end at the Jamarat.