Is the grass truly greener on the other side?

Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged. – Helen Keller

Is the grass truly greener on the other side?

Do you ever feel that you’re always getting the short end of the stick?

Or do you constantly compare your life to others’ lives?

We are bombarded with daily images of the posh lifestyles of celebrities. Their expensive wardrobes and status can entice even the happiest person to drool over such luxury.

But by thinking about the world as a whole, you’ll find that your own life is wealthy beyond compare.

Make a short list of some of your overlooked privileges. Owning a car (or two!), having access to television, computers, drinkable water, a respectable wage at your job, and all of the freedoms you enjoy that are a foreign idea to many people around the world.

Be grateful for your life and over time, maybe you will see that your plot in life is someone else’s “greener grass.”

(This was today’s topic from SparkPeople’s Daily Reflections)


I took a class a few years ago and the topic was about being thankful.  We always have to thank Allah (God) for everything we have.  Anytime we are feeling low or sad about our current situation we should never look (and compare ourselves) at what the people who have more than us have.  In order to appreciate all that we have, and the situations we are in, we should always remember those who are less fortunate than we are.

I never forgot that lecture.


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Crying, Worried, and Stressed

My energy level is #4 high

My stress level is high at #4

My sleep quality is low at #2

My self-esteem level is moderate at #3

My stress level is high and my sleep quality is low because I am really worried about my father.  My father is 84yo and I felt guilty that I didn’t call him or my mother all last week (before that it was a month that I didn’t call them).  So I feel really crappy about that.  Well last week my father had to go to the hospital every single day for tests and biopsies.

Last October, an x-ray showed a spot on my father’s lung and then they put a catheter on him because his prostate is big and he couldn’t urinate normally anymore.  So last week they did biopsies on his prostate, bladder, kidney, and pancreas.  Another MRI was done and the spot on his lung got bigger.  My father refused to get a biopsy on his lung.  The doctors wanted to keep him a couple of days in the hospital but he refused.  Dad says that if he is gonna die that he wants to die at home with his wife of 40 years and not surrounded by ‘shitheads’ (his words).

So since Saturday I have been feeling really depressed by this whole situation.  I have been debating on going back home and leaving my own family here for an unknown period of time.  (My parents live in Texas and I live way on the other side of the world in the United Arab Emirates).  I have agonized over going since October.  I have little ones who are still in school and really have no one to watch them, take care of them, and cook for them.  My husband is always busy with work and he could probably take off work for a couple of weeks or maybe a month.  We have a live-in housemaid that we do not trust and DH is trying to get another housemaid who has worked with his family before and who is older, is very trustworthy, and knows how to cook.

Anyway, back to my father.  A very close family friend of ours (for almost 30 years) has been going to some doctor visits with my father for a while now (I did not know this) and the family friend was able to go to all of my father’s tests this past week.  PB (the family friend) has been talking to the doctors and writing everything for my 74 yo mother (so she can understand what is going on).  What we know for sure right now is that my father does indeed have cancer (in the lungs for sure) and will have some more tests this coming week.  The results for last week’s test will not be ready until this Thursday.

PB is a Godsend (MashaAllah).  I talked to him this morning and he said that my father is his regular old self, eating, not in pain, and ornery as ever…so that is good news.  But PB said that he will explain to dad what his options are in regards to treating the cancer but felt that undergoing any treatment (since he is 84yo) would hurt him more than help him.

PB told me that I don’t have to worry about coming home right now.  We will all just wait and see what the results this Thursday state and what the upcoming tests say too.

I will definitely plan on going back home this summer.   It gives me four months to lose at least 40 pounds InshaAllah (God Willing) so I can fit comfortably into an airplane seat.  I am so embarrassed to write that out.  But seriously, I was so worried about flying out now because I just knew that the plane trip would be so uncomfortable (especially if it was a long haul flight of 14 hours!).  I suffer on a 2 hour plane trip.

So I have a 4 month goal of 40 pounds gone to look forward to and a (comfortable) trip back home.  InshaAllah.

I know that death comes to everyone.  I cried and was worried and stressed because I was wanting so much to be with my father before he passes away or completely loses his memory.  I want to be able to give my father and mother dawah about Islam, InshaAllah.

My husband is so good at comforting me, MashaAllah.  He always has a hadith or an ayah from the Quran that makes me feel better and become patient.  May Allah bless him.

I pray that Allah will have mercy on my mother and father and guide them to Islam.  Ameen.  I pray that they will die as Muslims.  Ameen.

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You Are Beautiful

Yes you are!

Don’t you believe any differently.

Or let anyone tell you otherwise,

Or make you feel like you aren’t.

You are beautiful…one of a kind!

Every day is so wonderful

Then suddenly

it is hard to breathe

Now and then I get insecure

From all the pain, I’m so ashamed

I am beautiful no matter what they say

Words can’t bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring me down
So don’t you bring me down today

To all your friends, you’re delirious
So consumed in all your doom
Trying hard to fill the emptiness
The pieces gone, left the puzzle undone
Is that the way it is

You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring you down
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring you down
Don’t you bring me down today…

No matter what we do
No matter what we say
We’re the song inside the tune
Full of beautiful mistakes

And everywhere we go
The sun will always shine
And tomorrow we might wake on the other side
All the other times

We are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring us down
We are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring us down
Don’t you bring me down today

Don’t you bring me down today

Check out Operation Beautiful .  I found out about it just yesterday and I felt good just reading all the notes.


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Celebrating Life…

…and talking to myself.

I am having some “aha! moments” and it is only 7:30 in the morning.

image from Getty Images

This morning I realized that it is Little Miss Daisy’s birthday.  She is now 6 years old, MashaAllah.  I kept on thinking that her birthday was tomorrow and I was counting down those days.  She was asking me this morning, “When am I going to be 6?” I told her tomorrow and then thought that that wasn’t right.

Since she is going to be my last child, I have been feeling sad for days…sad because time is just going by too fast and she won’t be that little girl any more in just a few more years.

After our little conversation this morning I had this “aha” moment.  Why am I feeling sad for this when I should be happy and celebrating…life?

To really know me is to know that I linger in the past on a lot of things.  Maybe that is why I have weight issues and I get depressed easily.  I think about “what might have been”  if “I had done this or that”.

Back in December 2009 I wrote this (more as a reminder to myself than anything else).

Sometimes our mind wanders and we think too much and then we feel sorry for ourselves for what should have been or what might have been. Don’t go down that path because the thoughts that follow are from Shaytaan (‘aoothu billahi) as per this hadith:

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radhi allahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger pbuh.gif said, “A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than a weak one in all good things. Adhere to that which is most beneficial for you. Keep beseeching Allah for help and do not refrain from it. If you are afflicted in any way, do not say: ‘If I had taken this or that step, it would have resulted into such and such,’ but say only: ‘Allah so determined and did as He willed.’ The word ‘if’ opens the gates of satanic conduct.” (Muslim)

Find ways to strengthen your imaan. Make constant dhikr. Always ask for Allah’s forgiveness.

Well, I didn’t take my own advice and didn’t learn a lesson…until today’s “aha! moment”…why did it take so long?

As I sat with Daisy waiting for her bus, I was thinking to myself,

“Why am I feeling sad?  I can’t change the things I did or didn’t do in the past.  But I surely can live right now…live in the moment…and celebrate it and do those things today and look forward to tomorrow.”

So I will celebrate…

Yesterday, I joined this 8-week Battle Challenge over at SparkPeople.  It will be starting on January 31st.  The challenge is all about commitment, setting goals, giving support, and getting support.  I am committing myself to losing 20lbs by March 28th.  InshaAllah (God Willing).

If you have been wanting to lose weight you really, really need to check this place out.  They have an awesome nutrition and fitness system that you can customize to suit your needs.  The support, inspiration and motivation you find there is amazing!  I have never experienced anything like it online or offline.  If you are having a bad day you write about in your status or blog about it on SparkPeople and you will get support from people you have made friends with and people who you don’t even know.  It is so awesome…and it is FREE!

I also made some mini life goals for myself.  I will be adding more as the days go by but these are ones that came to me when I was experiencing my “aha! moment”!

In order to learn to love myself, I will look at myself everyday in the mirror and have a positive conversation with myself.  I took off my glasses this morning and did just that.  I told myself, “Because I love you.  I am going to take care of you.” I started crying because that was extremely difficult to do.  Thinking about it just now has me crying all over again.

image from Getty Images

Another goal I set for myself this morning is to declutter my surroundings.  You know FlyLady is a wonderful place (go check it out if you have no clue who she is).  I think that if we live with clutter all around us it feeds into our “body clutter”.  Clutter depresses us even if we don’t realize it.  So my goal is to throw away at least 5 things everyday.

Well, my morning has started off really good and hope that all of you have a wonderful morning too.

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Homemade and Handmade

I love making things for my family.

Today the weather is gorgeous.  The skies are a beautiful brilliant blue and it is slightly chilly.

I woke up this morning with the urge to make to make some homemade bread.  I love making bread.  I love the scent of the yeast after it has activated and I am always amazed to see how it has come alive after just a few minutes.

I love to knead the dough while I look out the window.  Sometimes I daydream.  Sometimes I sing.  I love how the aroma of baking bread fills up the house and the anticipation of eating a hot and fluffy roll right out of the oven (just one though)

You can find my recipe for whole wheat rolls at my cooking blog Emiratican Kitchen.

I love to sew and crochet things for my girly-girls.  I love it when they ask me, “Mama, can you make this for me?”

Rosebud is having Sports Day at her school this coming week and she has to dress up in orange.  So I am gonna be making her some things to wear.  I started this yesterday morning.  Can you guess what I am making?

This is my progress so far.

I think that I will be done with it by tonight, InshaAllah and then I will be adding some bling-bling  When I am finished I will showcase it here, InshaAllah 


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Feeling Trigger Happy




Country Music


(this post is definitely not about what you were initially thinking)

These are all my triggers to overeating.  When I am depressed or stressed out I raid the kitchen cupboards and the fridge.

I find myself innocently doing these things….

Whenever I am sick (and I am recovering from being sick almost a week) all I want are some comfort foods.

Country music….need I say anything about this?!?!  I think that it has depressing lyrics and listening to it makes a person want to wallow in misery and self-pity 

Anyways, I rarely (if ever) listen to music but every once in a while a song will pop into my head (Alabama and George Strait or even Miss Reba MacIntyre) and will get me into a depressive mood.

And boredom is maybe my #1 trigger happy enemy so I have to find productive ways to keep myself busy.

Because when I am busy I will not (over) eat.

I have to learn to   myself and find other ways (besides food) to occupy my time and emotions.

So every day, every moment, I need to ask myself…

“What would a person who loves herself do?”

This can be my weight loss mantra

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Don’t You Just Wish…

…that you could sometimes capture a moment and not let it pass and just keep it forever?  That things won’t change?

This is a sentimental post.  In a few more days Little Miss Daisy will turning 6 years old (InshaAllah)!

The years have passed by so very quickly and seeing my little baby grow up (especially since I know that she is the last one) is heartbreaking for me.

Last night Daisy just looked so fragile and petite (her feelings got hurt and she had the most sorrowful, vulnerable look on her) and then one moment later she was so strong and independent…resilient in that the bounced back, went to go wash up and put her pajamas on.

I cried last night and gave her a big hug (the kind of hug where you just tightly hold your child and bury your head in their hair and take deep breaths to forever remember their scent).  She looked up from the hug and just wiped my tears away.

Daisy:  “What’s the matter Mama?”

Me:  “You’re growing up and I am gonna miss you.”

Daisy:  “I am not going anywhere Mama.”

Well, for now she’s not.

This morning she wanted to be a ballerina.  I combed her hair up into a tiny ballerina bun.  She danced around in her little pink tutu and then minutes later settled down to do her homework. 

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Brrrrrr…I Am a Wimp

My dad always jokes with me that if the temperature gets below 100F that I am freezing!

Well yeah he is right.  I am so used to the temperatures being over or around 100F (what is that in Celsius…32C?).  I have what is called “acclimated” to my environment.  

Yesterday and today the girls and I have been freezing…and it was only 68F/20C.  I finally gave in and turned the heater on! Last night I slept with two fluffy blankets because it got down to the 50’s ….how would I handle it if I was back home and it was snowing?!?!

Here is my heater turned on full blast this morning and I was sitting right next to it to warm up!

And this is what I am drinking to warm up…a huge mug of green tea and mint without sugar…because I am attempting to be sugar-free (we’ll see how long that lasts) 

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As Pretty as a Picture

I was driving around my old neighborhood in Ghafiyah today.  This is an older neighborhood filled with a lot of run-down homes built together all helter-skelter and dirt roads that ride like a roller coaster because of the ruts and bumps.

I did noticed some new things in my old neighborhood.  The middle school for girls looks like they are planting date trees and paving the outside perimeter of the school with a brick parking lot.  Some older homes also have new coats of paint and trees and bushes are being planted.  So there is a lot of remodeling that seems to be going on.

I was delighted to see one home painted with such a refreshing scene that I had to share it here.  The artist used the outside wall of the courtyard as a canvas so that anyone passing by will get to enjoy the picture too.

Ayman the artist

I thought that it was really neat that someone would do this as a form of advertising for themselves and also to brighten up a little bit of Ghafiyah.

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Something You Don’t See Everyday

Something unusual and  a bit of useless fact

This morning I made breakfast and saw an unusual sight

In my whole life I have never seen a double-yoked egg.  I googled it and the chances of seeing one are 1/10th of 1%

I even found an article of a woman who found 6 double-yoked eggs in her egg carton!  That is a one in a trillion chance.  Imagine that!

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