What Seems Like Forever Ago…

Barnabas Stephan Nel was born.  It started early in the morning on October 4, 2013 and by 9:51 pm he entered into the world.


In the early days after his birth, everything was all very fresh and I could remember every detail of his birth story.  Now that he is 10 weeks old, it’s a little foggier.  But that’s what they say happens so it’s no surprise.

I do remember how faithful the Lord was in all of it.  My water broke early at 6 am that morning, and we arrived at the hospital at 10:30 am with no contractions so they put me on a drip.  By the end of the day I had only dialated to 4 cm and they could tell something was wrong.  They rushed me into an emergency c-section and we found out that we were parents to a baby boy.  During the c-section they saw that the placenta was ripping from the uterine wall which was causing the complications.  I’m so grateful that God kept both of us safe so that we could meet each other.

Finding out that Barnabas was a boy when he was born was the best surprise both Etienne and I have ever had.  It was so fun not knowing his gender until the very end, and it helped us give all the glory to God.  And it made that moment he was born all the more special.

For me, besides Barnabas being born, the greatest part of the whole experience was getting to go through it with my husband.  It was an emotional roller coaster, painful and exciting.  And I couldn’t have done it without Etienne right beside me, holding my hand, reading scripture to me and praying for all three of us.  

Not only were those moments an emotional roller coaster, but much of the next few weeks were as well.  Little Barnabas became the patient at the hospital instead of me a few days after he was born when his jaundice levels spiked and he needed 12 hours of phototherapy.  And then at his 3 1/2 week check-up we realized that he had been losing weight since we had left the hospital.  After seeing a lactation consultant, we were told to put him on formula so that he could gain his birth weight back and continue to grow after that.  Now at almost 11 weeks he is as happy and healthy as ever and we are so grateful!

Here are some pictures from the hospital and coming home of our little guy:








Much love!


Pregnant in Dubai

You may wonder what it was like being pregnant in the summer here….

I have a picture that says more than words.


Thankfully, after we got the lens defogged we were able to take another picture with me looking a little happier…


Do you see anybody in the background? 🙂

I must have had help, right?

You’re right, I couldn’t have done this room without some help.  So here comes my acceptance speech, not that anyone’s giving me an award for my accomplishments… I don’t think anyone ever saw my movie… but I can still thank a few people who made this all possible.

Two people in particular….


Oh wait, one of these people is a dog.  The other people is my husband, Etienne.  As you can see one of them served as the foreman, Nellie the dog, and the other served as the worker bee, Etienne.



I wouldn’t necessarily say this to her cute little face, but Nellie was a bit of a Micro-Manager during the whole thing.  She was very concerned about quality control.  She didn’t let anything slip by her little nose.



If you need someone with a rigid ideal of perfection in interior decorating and installation, Nellie’s CV is on linkedin.  Connect with her there.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.

Until later, stay well!

Rock-a-bye Baby

Here’s the last picture of the room until the most important thing is added: the baby!!!


No room is complete without a rocking chair!  But actually since my parents are coming to visit when the baby is born, the rocking chair has been moved to our room to give them some space- and I just don’t know if I’ll want to give it back when it’s all said and done.  It’s nice to have one in every room and makes everything look so cozy!  Maybe I’ll change my habit of buying too many tables and start buying too many rocking chairs instead…

My Belly Button

I always used to wonder what treasures were deep inside my belly button.  Ever since I was a little girl.  I imagined there could be anything in there.  But now, the mystery is over.  When some people are pregnant, they completely lose their belly button.  That hasn’t happened to me…. yet.  But I can say that for the first time I can actually see what’s in there and that’s pretty exciting!  I hope the same thing for all of you one day- not that you will be able to see into your belly button- but that certain mysteries in your life will be revealed 🙂

And on to the next pictures of the baby room.  These are pretty revealing- just like all that talk about my belly button.  Because they contain about 2/3 of what the room holds.  Drum roll please…..

crib crib 2 Zephaniah


This painting is of Zephaniah 3:17.  We hope that it will be a great reminder of who God is for our little one, as they grow up and learn more about Him, the One who is mighty to save.

Until next time, stay well!


What exactly is bunting?

Is it the thing that a batter does in baseball to trick the other players when he only hits the ball lightly and then they have to scramble towards home base to get the ball?  The dictionary on my Mac didn’t even have a definition for it, so now I’m starting to worry.

When you live in a community with a lot of expatriates from around the world- you often find yourself thinking, “I have no idea what my friend is talking about…” during a casual conversation about things like bunting, spanners or serviettes.

I resorted to a google search for this one: where I found that bunting can be a type of songbird or a festive party decoration.  So what’s that word I’m thinking about that relates to baseball?… I’ve been gone for too long 🙂  No, no wait I found it on wikipedia:

“To deliberately bat the ball weakly to a particular spot on the infield by holding the bat nearly still and letting the ball hit it. Typically, a bunt is used to advance other runners and is then referred to as a sacrifice or a sacrifice hit or a sacrifice bunt. When done correctly, fielders have no play except, at best, to throw the batter-runner out at first base.”

Okay, I’ve gone on this tangent for long enough.  But at least I know I haven’t forgotten everything.  The whole point is that I made some bunting!  But not the baseball or bird kind, the festive kind!  I posted the pattern on facebook a while ago and here is the finished product!


And closer so that you can see the colours:Bunting close up

Etienne and I figure that everyday will be a party with this little boy or girl, so why not hang up permanent bunting!  See you soon!

When You are a Teacher….

You end up having a lot of books.  I’m sure if I had taught for longer than a year and a half, I would have ended my career with even more books.  But I could never resist getting a good picture book to read to my class, so now- we have a little library for our little one, which I’m sure will only get bigger with time!


There’s also a picture of me in this bookshelf- from when I was in second grade.  Etienne wanted to bring it back with us to Dubai the last time we visited my parents’ house, so here it is!

The next stop in the room is our guest bed!  That’s right!  A guest bed that turns into a daybed/couch during the rest of the year!  I’m sure Etienne and I will use it a lot to sleep on during our late nights with this little one!


So there we go, two more stops in our baby room.  Stay tuned for the rest.  Stay well.

Welcome Back…

As I write this post, I’m thinking about a lot of things.  One of those things is that I’ve been living in Dubai for almost 3 years.  So much has happened in that time and I’m so grateful for every bit of it.

There have been some exciting developments recently.  Before Etienne and I got married, I became a teacher for rowdy 2 year-olds, which was so fun, but consumed all of my time.  My blogging became nonexistent.  And then in January of this year I resigned after having back problems from all the bending and chasing my job seemed to require.  Only a week after I stopped working, we found out that we were pregnant!  Now I’m 33 weeks pregnant and we are getting ready to meet this little one for the first time.

In order to share our lives better with you, I thought it would be a good time to start blogging again.  Who knows how regular or how thorough it will end up being- but especially for people like my mom who are not on facebook- it will be another way to show you what we’re all looking like over here in the desert.

To start off my posting- I thought I’d share some photos of the baby’s room.  The post right before this one was just a teaser of that.  It’s been so much fun getting this room ready, especially since we don’t know the gender of our baby.


This is a project I found on pintrest, pinned off of this website: http://donkeyandthecarrot.blogspot.ae/2012/02/kids-rooms-to-love.html

I figured since we don’t get very much rain here it’s important to create it somehow.  That’s all for now, but I’ll see you soon!