I travel the world and am truly amazed with the sights, cultures, and people but in my eyes there is no place like home.


31 December 2008

Best Friends

Court and I have been best friends since middle school. We have been through the best of times and the worst of times. We couldn't be more different yet we get along perfectly. Today we decided on a girls day out. The plan was download wedding photos, manicures/pedicures, shopping, and lunch.

We definitely managed the shopping part and both purchased cute tops for the New Years Eve party tomorrow night. Then we went to Kona Grille for Suhsi and "one" glass of wine. Several glasses of wine and many more margaritas later (hey it was happy hour and they were only $3!!) we realized we were both late for our evening commitments. It was one of those days that I wouldn't take back for the world. We sat and chatted for ages and discussed life in general. Where we have been and what we have become. How happy she is being married and with her life.

How fun it was to be her maid of honor.

How happy I am in life but unsure about marriage or if I have the patience for it (and she agrees). Just a fun day and reminds me what a great friend I have in Courtney. Here's to many more great days (and unexpected happy hours) in the future. Especially now that I am finally going to be back home.

25 December 2008


Merry Christmas, I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays with their families. I am spending Christmas with my family and despite the frigid temperatures here I feel very blessed. My car may be stuck half way up the drive due to the snow/ice and every time I walk outside I feel as though I am hanging out in an ice cooler but my family is near and that keeps me warm (at least I am trying to convince myself of that). Returning to Omaha mid winter means a new 4X4 for me as well....not what I was planning but a necessity I have been told by my dad.

An early Christmas present, I was officially offered the position in Omaha US Army Corps of Engineers Office of Counsel!!! I am so excited and of course I accepted. Mid February I will finally be an officially practicing attorney for USACE and back in Omaha. Good news for all and of course my parents are elated. It must have been that champagne brunch in Dubai before the big interview that brought me good luck.

Time for Christmas brunch and presents.

20 December 2008


Many of the laws, rules, and regulations in Kuwait I do not agree with. Many are based on strict Muslim religious beliefs. Alcohol is banned, showing too much skin is illegal (although to a certain extent this is a good thing), during Ramadan no one can eat or drink during the fasting period in public, etc….However occasionally something makes total sense and I wonder why we don’t do the same in the US. As I was driving into work today after a run on Gulf Road I came upon this.

If you look closer you can see the police cars and police men out at all the different cars (although of course there were several just standing around). They were checking the passengers of each car to determine if they were legally in Kuwait. You have to show either your civil ID, your passport with current and valid Visa, or in my case a CAC card. If you don’t have a valid ID you are arrested and deported.

Simple as that, set up checkpoints randomly and we could completely eliminate all illegal immigrants that are currently residing in the US.

19 December 2008

Tomorrow night I go Home!!

Nothing beats home (even if it means snow and cold), the feeling of being in a safe place around people you love and whom love you. The familiarity and the day to day comforts we often take for granted. Especially during the holidays. I know how it feels to be stuck thousands of miles away from your friends and family in a war zone. It can be tough, very tough. I even found some old photos on my computer for your viewing enjoyment.

I realize how blessed and lucky I am to be able to travel home for Christmas this year as many can not. I almost skipped it as I am finished with Kuwait in a few months. It felt like a waste of money to buy a ticket. But then I thought back to last Christmas, this was the last time I saw my grandma before she passed away. Amazingly she was in great spirits and we had so much fun. I will always remember grandma that way instead of her being sick. Loosing both my grandmas and my grandpa in the last several years has been very hard. I now realize how important it is to live every day to the fullest, to cherish lives little moments, and to thank God for this amazing life and family I have.

But for those that can’t go home and who are risking their lives daily to protect the freedoms many of us take for granted say a prayer and keep them in your thoughts. This song has always made me think of coming home – it was even on the CD from the USO concert yesterday. I have absolutely no regrets about the lifestyle I have chosen, but at times it can get old and I want nothing more than to just be home.

USO CSM of the Army Concert

Last night was the annual USO CSM (Command Sergeant Major) of the Army concert. They held it in Zone 6 at Camp Arifjan. It was quite chilly out last night (Kuwait chilly as in around 5C, not so chilly for those of you in the midst of the IA/NE snowstorm) so I bundled up before the concert.

And required Starbucks to keep warm. Yes there is a Starbucks on Camp Arifjan for all the troops to enjoy along with a Starbucks on probably every corner in Kuwait City.

I usually don’t advantage of USO since I live and work off base but realized it is silly not to. It was a nice break from the monotony of work and Kuwait. For free I got to see three wonderful country singers – Craig Moran, Kenni Thomas, and Mark Wilis, the Army band, Miami cheerleaders, and LeAnn Tweeden. Plus I sat in the second row so you couldn’t get much closer! It was an amazing concert cold and all.

So nice of these performers to take time away from tours that generate income and thier families during the holidays to entertain the troops! They head to Iraq next. The cheerleaders came out a few times and the last set they had on the cutest Holiday outfits ever. If only I was a size 2!!!

Kenni Thomas is probably the lesser known of the performers but is amazing. I met him here last year at our CSM’s home when I had stopped by for a work meeting. He is a very nice guy and super cool. He is ex Special Forces in the Army.

Mark Wilis is obviously quite popular if you are a country fan.

And my favorite of the evening was definitely Craig Morgan, who is also ex Army. He was very fun and upbeat and his songs were great as well. Plus he was mega hot!! I may just have a crush on Craig Morgan at the moment.

After the concert was a big meet and greet and I am kicking myself for not going and getting photos with Craig Morgan but it was just so cold and I felt nerdy so we left. They did give out free CD’s though – so thanks USO and thanks to everyone who supports the USO.

Again sorry for the bad photos – sure hoping Santa, Mrs. Claus more likely, brings me a new camera for Christmas.

14 December 2008

Camel Racing

Yesterday we went to the Kuwait Camel Racing Club. It was so much fun. There is a small clubhouse for observation. There were definitely a lot of men in Dishdasha’s (the local attire consisting of the headscarf and “man-dress”). Good thing we went with a large group.

They let us walk out right next to the track for observation as well.

They no longer use Jockeys on the camels. In the past very little children (as young as 4) were used as Jockeys and this was obviously considered inhumane. So now robotic jockeys ride the camels – they are hilarious.

The jockeys are remote controlled so a vehicle follows each camel around the track with the remote. I would think they would all crash as it looks like sheer madness. Quite entertaining though.

In Kuwait betting is illegal but something tells me there was a lot of under the table betting going on. They did give out an award to the winning camel owner at the end.

In between one of the races a man took us to view the camels – I am sure he thought we were crazy American’s who would be excited over this, and he was correct. The poor camels definitely looked worse for the wear. They were all scarred up and some were foaming at the mouth. Quite sad honestly.

Here they are prepping the camels for the next race.

They kept trying to get me to ride a camel but none of them looked very happy at this prospect so I passed.

I did get to pose with one of the robotic jockeys.

And at the end a portion of our group posed with one of the winning camels. Fun times for sure!

I think they keep the camels out in the desert near the Racing Club as at the end you saw the handlers walking them home, not a trailer in site…

Happy Birthday Ray!!!

Today’s is my dad’s Birthday (I call him Ray, always have not sure why) and the poor guy has to spend it alone as he is out of town working. I am obviously not home to celebrate so wanted to wish him a very happy birthday. Even though I am sure he will never in a million years look at this blog!! Things of this nature are just not of interest to him.

He is a wonderful dad and an amazing role model. He has greatly excelled in his career and life in general. Someone I can always look up to and hope to please. I have always wanted to make him proud, maybe if I get the USACE attorney job that will work. Hopefully that counts as a “real” job unlike my current position.

Have a great birthday dad and know that even though I may not tell you I love you all the time or spend as much time with you as mom you mean the world to me and everything you do for us does not go unnoticed.

* I had to include the "homeless man photo from Vieques, PR..."