Memories…!! 

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Sometimes memories of mine are so vivid and so real that I can just close my eyes and go right there, be there, feel the same way I did then. Memories are a funny thing aren’t they? They change over time, shift and collapse! We hold on to the ones we want and the rest just dissipates into a hazy fog! And a simple song, smell or even a specific texture can evoke these forgotten memories! Mine are with me all the time, they are my happy place, and my stress defense mechanism. Whenever I am down, upset, or uncomfortable, I run to my childhood memories and seek refuge in them! I run to the days when my dad used to take me to the bakery next to his work and we would buy my favorite cakes, and eat them in the car; while talking about his work and my school, who said what, and who did what in my class, and it always felt like a guilty pleasure that I shared with him. I would also run to the summery quiet afternoons, all bundled up in my mom’s arms, probably too big for that already, while she is telling me a story after another, and I never seemed to be satisfied, always wanting to hear more about the turtle who sewed the napkin and married the prince or the spoiled princess who married the homeless man and learned how to appreciate life. (I think she used to make up these stories lol). The moral of these stories never passed unnoticed, I would never say it out loud but it taught me some valuable life lessons!  I would also run to the mornings where my sister would fill the bathtub with water, put my swimming costume on, and pretend to put salt in the water because I have insisted on that so it feels like seawater! (Now how hilarious is that)! There are also the afternoons spent with my brother, eating dates while he gave me massages! It was so exciting because I felt like a grown up, I would close my eyes and tell him whether the pressure was good or not and he would say, “yes Ma’am”, and once done I would tip him with imaginary coins and say goodbye! Or when he would insist on turning me into a monkey because he was a magician and I would run terrified to the mirror to check if he succeeded in his mission! My favorite memories though, would have to be the ones with my grandma! (May her soul rest in peace). She would take some old clothes and transform them into these beautiful princess dresses that I would wear proudly, sit on the table with her and enjoy our tea parties! We would talk and sing and she would tell me stories about the past, most of them would make my jaw fall, because everything in her stories was so magical and new!

I also remember weekends spent at my aunt’s house! It was a mixture of cooking, makeup and acting classes. (I should specify that I was only  seven by then lol) my aunt would bring a chair to the kitchen, sit there and give me instructions, “pour the flour, OK enough!! Now go get two eggs from the fridge, don’t you break them…” I would have a little apron on that my grandma made for me, for occasions like these and i would be so happy I could cry! Then when my cousin comes home from work, she would bring her unwanted makeup and accessories, she would lay them on the floor and I would sit there dazzled not knowing from where to start! and when everybody gets busy i would sneak out and secretly head to the big mirror in the hallway, grab a comb and pretend to be a TV presenter!

Oh! and those summery evenings spent in the garden with my uncle playing on the “Oud” and all my brothers, sisters and cousins singing and clapping! Or the nights when the electricity would suddenly  go off, my dad would bring candles and my mom would get some sheets and we would pretend that we were camping! Until today whenever the electricity goes off, I get the same chill I used to get when I was a child!

These memories are so dear to my heart! They remind me of a precious time of my life that I owe to every member of my beautiful family who have worked so hard to make my days and nights filled with joy, beauty and laughter. These memories have become the essence of my sanity! And somewhere in the future when Adam will be all grown up, and think back to being little, I hope  he will remember some precious memories too, and they will be his happy place too, I try to make these everydays count , to be present and to make the ordinary extraordinary, the regular somehow special!

Ouiam

Thank God It’s Friday: Hello Tajine!!

 

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Hello Friday and Hello Tajine!!

This Friday, was a dusty one, it was windy and cloudy!  And a good day to stay home, drink some hot chocolate, while little peanut runs around, telling me all kind of stories, while I nod and laugh and pretend that I know exactly what he is talking about! Moments like these, make this time of my life magnificently awesome! It is the season of tiny things and a laughing baby and a house that never seems to be truly quiet. A season of a baby turning into a toddler. A season of me teaching small tiny things, to a small tiny person, and learning from everything he is! A season of tiny pajamas and the tiniest socks! A season that makes me feel sad, happy and bittersweet! A season, I know will end soon and I am not sure how ready I am for that, yet a new one will begin and I know I will be in love with it too, and it will be my favorite then, just like this one is my favorite now!  I sip my hot chocolate and try to be present! Be here. I take a second and I try to capture it all! The smiles, the cries, the running around, and the little kisses coming my way every time he passes by!

It is also the season of good food and yummy dishes, today’s dish is Moroccan and vegetarian. Here, I will share my way of making it. As all my other recipes, this one is easy, quick and of course super delicious!

All you need is:

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 cup of water

1 onion (cut into small cubes)

2 potatoes (cut into cubes)

1 carrot (cut into pieces)

1 tomato (cut into small pieces)

½  tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ginger powder

Parsley and coriander (few leaves each)

Few olives

Heat up the pot, pour the oil and  add the onion and the spices, let the onions sweat, then add the tomato, stir, and add the water. Add the carrots and potatoes and let them cook over a low heat. When the vegetables are cooked add the parsley and coriander, then the olives,  stir for 3 minutes and Voila!!

Of course you can have your Tajine with chicken or meat, just add it with the onion and give it some time to cook before you add the vegetables!

Bon Appetit!!

Ouiam

When So Close To The End…..

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When so close to the end, yet a new start comes your way!

Where are you guys right now? Beginning? middle?? or in the process of closing some chapters, and opening some new ones? I always like to step back and really look at where i am! So When i think of myself before and after February 6, 2014, (Adam’s birthday), it is as if i am looking at two different people! Yet the same one! Me! The reason behind that is one moment. One very short and scary moment, when i looked right into my husband’s eyes, and said: “Take care of my son”. When i thought that i wasn’t coming back! (You can read all about it here). For that one minute, which lasted an eternity, i honestly believed that i have reached the end. In that same minute i looked back at my life and wished…! So when i opened my eyes again, and the doctor beside me said:  “you’ve made it!!” The first thing that came to my mind, was that list of things i wished for, few hours earlier! And I vowed that they will no longer be plain ordinary words written in a wish list! I was determined to make them a reality, then a beautiful memory that i will add and cherish for the rest of my life!
Now a little more than a year from Adam’s birthday, and things are still changing drastically in my life, determining who i really am. More importantly, who i really want to be! In every sense of that statement! Slowly after giving birth, i started welcoming the new me. Now, i would say things have changed to the better, but ask me again in ten years and i might have a different answer, i might poke fun at this naive me, for thinking that I have figured it all out! Because YES! We have the gift of always changing and evolving, but right now, i do think i have gone a long way, in a very short time.
The thought that maybe that day was the last day of my life -the end-, made me run my whole life  in a slide show, right before my eyes, and point out at things i wanted to change, things i wanted to do and things i needed in my life. Today i am more confident and i deeply trust my instincts, which i never had the courage to do before. Today i try to focus more on what really matters. Today i am more acceptant of ME, just the way i am, not the way i want people to see me, the bare bones, the real stuff. I am also less judgmental and more open-minded! Today i take a moment every day and close my eyes to be thankful for everything i have as well as things I do not have, because this only helps me develop empathy, and makes me feel for others. I am still not exactly where i want to be nonetheless. I am still working on it, and to make things a little easier on me, i started making monthly lists of small little goals that i wanted to accomplish. This has made the matter so much easier than having some kind of big scary list that just the fact of looking at it will give me a heart attack lol.

So this month, i have decided to share my list with all of you and here it is:

1- Downsize my stress zone to only: my little family and me. I usually stress so much and very often, over big things as well as the littlest ones! So this month I should try to only allow myself to stress about matters related to me and my little family ONLY. Everything else will have to just pass by, while I sit on my sofa and sip my tea! And it will right? Once I manage to do that, we can look into eliminating this stress once and for all 😉

2- Do one new thing that I have never tried before. This one goal is always present in my monthly lists. I am always hungry and eager to try new things, to explore and be more adventurous, and of course, it is more fun when i do all that, with my husband and my little one, as a family!

3- Make a new friend. After Adam was born, i have made some wonderful and thoughtful friends, they added a lot to my life. Therefore, this month i decided to go on the hunt of a new friend! And i am very excited!

4- Call one of my friends or relatives, whom i haven’t been in touch with for a long time. (and i have a feeling this will become part of my monthly goals)

5- Walk some more! Now that we have welcomed the spring, i can hardly wait to take long walks and just enjoy the beautiful weather!

6- Sleep earlier! Although Adam is usually asleep by 7pm, i am always doing something until midnight! And i always prefer to read than to sleep, so that takes another hour or so, which leaves me with about 6 hours of sleep and that is definitely not enough!

These monthly lists have been a great success so far, since big lists always confused me, these small ones, help me to focus on only few goals that I could reach easily and without breaking a sweat! Besides, i can always see and track the small changes almost daily and this always keeps me going.

How about you? Are you happy where you are now? Are you in the middle of a life-changing crisis like me lol? Do you think you have reached an end and trying to get to the next chapter? Please share!

Ouiam