Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Every OB appointment I have they do an ultrasound. However they aren't as good about printing pictures of the ultrasound.

The two below I had to ask the doctor for so the boys could see. That was their own request for the day, knowing where I was going. We still don't have the pictures from the big 18 week ultrasound with the typical she's a girl photo. But atleast we have these two. I wanted to get these scanned and on the blog before leaving tonight. Remember the collections of posts become our family journal each year.

19 weeks. 

 27 weeks.
Last week the estimate was that our little lady is just over 3 lbs and her head is measuring about a week ahead. Perhaps she will be smaller than the boys, I'm hoping at least. But really, she's doing great. Right on track.

Tonight we leave for our flights home. A total of 33 hours of travel. I imagine the boys will do better than I will. I'm dreading the travel. We have one long leg, 16.5 hours from the Middle East to LA. Then another hopper to Idaho.
The boys have been chomping at the bit to get on the plane and to Idaho. Carter keeps asking if there is snow there. Owen asks how long until Christmas. Even Mike is full of excitement.
 I'm excited, but sad at the same time, because I know after the holidays Mike will have to go back without us for 5 weeks. I'm not sure how I am going to manage the boys by myself at the very end of this pregnancy, the thought scares the heck out of me.
Off to finish packing. I've really been packing for two days now, taking it easy I suppose or a bit of denial or procrastination. You decide.
Keep us in your prayers, we may need it to survive the next 33 hours!
Hugs, A

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December in a Jingle.

We've had a busy month.
Prepping for the holidays.
Decorating our home into a winter wonderland.
Prepping to leave to have the baby.
Enjoying the season and each other. 

I enjoyed the annual Christmas Tea (minus the tea for me).
Rolled the Bunco dice and exchanged gifts under the tree.
Went to three holiday craft shows in the sandbox, believe that one, surprisingly awesome.
Made and sold our own craft this year- 11 set of Christmas count downs.
We took the boys to the Carol Sing with live nativity. 
We participated in a live nativity for the kids- they were 'Wise' Dille boys.
We made sugar cookies to give away and ate them all instead. Hey they were good!
Hosted a mommy cookie exchange, does that make up for eating the other ones?

Introduced our elf, Jingle.
Who sadly returned back to Santa yesterday after losing his magic from a mischievous four year old while there was a babysitter in the house.
We heard he may be given enough magic to meet us in Idaho, but alas, we will have to see.

We spent a night on the Polar Express.
Complete with a golf cart/train ride in our Christmas jammies.
*More pictures coming soon on this one.*

 So blessed to be here and be able to celebrate the season while here.

Taught my last Boot Camp while preggo this morning.
Had our last play date this afternoon.
Almost packed.
One more sleep until Idaho.
Hugs, A

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dille Christmas Card 2011

Red Revamped Christmas Card
Create beautiful photo Christmas cards at
View the entire collection of cards.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Hopefully you've received your Christmas card from us already. If not, here's your sneak peak.

We are down to just three more days left in the sandbox. This is not the normal thing to hear or read from an expat, but for me it's too soon.

I want every day to linger, for more time to be here in the comfort of our own home, together with each other, soaking in the Christmas lights on the tree, soaking in the feelings of Christmas.

Much Love, A

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Seasonal Visitor

 Did you know that Santa visits the Sandbox too?
 We keep it pretty hush, hush (he doesn't have a visa) and he goes by the
'Seasonal Visitor'.
He also comes a few weeks before Christmas to make sure he makes it back to the North Pole in time for the big night.
He knows everything about you, after all he's been working on his naughty and nice list. So when you get a chance to meet him he already knows your name and what you have been up to. He knew all about the baby sister on the way and that he would need to take the boys gifts to Idaho for them. He also reminded the boys about being great big brothers and how much mommy will need their help.
The boys told him what they wanted.
Carter, " A guitar, fast car, gloves and coloring pages."
Owen, " A drum and a guitar."
Then the big guy gave the boys two early Christmas gifts. After all, he's traveled that far, why not lighten his load for the next trip.
At home in front of our tree. Getting ready to open our presents. 
And wouldn't you know. Santa hit the nail on the head... Two Guitars! Man that guy is good!
 Mini Jam Session before bed.
Now all the boys can talk about is how many days until we get on the airplane and how many days until Christmas. 
Hugs, A

Pink Christmas

I was thrown the most wonderful Pink Christmas Baby Shower last weekend.
Lisa (pictured below on left) and Jen (on the right), as well as Adrienne and Jen S. (who sadly both couldn't make it) hosted the shower and did such a great job at making me feel so special that day. 
It was a wonderful morning spent with some of my favorite ladies from camp. Who literally showered me with pink baby things under the Christmas tree. After two boys and a lot of blue, it felt pretty surreal unwrapping little girlie things. I loved it all and am so excited to put our little lady in all of the cute outfits we were given.

They even went in on a group gift to give us a high chair and play mat. The generousity and love that was poured out that morning was humbling. I feel so blessed to be here and be surrounded by so many amazing friends who love and care for our family.

Of course, it wasn't until the end of the shower I finally took out my camera. I was a little preoccupied with chatting, laughing, playing a few games (did you know that currently my tummy is 8 squares of TP wide?), opening presents and enjoying a delicious brunch.

Here are some of the ladies and I.
My first friend here in the Sandbox, Yvette. Her husband works with Mike and they came to pick us up from the airport when we arrived. The boys and I LOVE her! She has been so supportive and loving this past year and is a big reason we are still here.
Franca, Me, Erin and Kasondra. Fellow playgroup moms and such wonderful friends. Franca and Erin are also now avid Boot Campers since my class started this fall. (Yes, still teaching BC for one more week and I still manage pretty well.)
 Charlotte and I. Charlotte has three awesome little boys around our kids age and moved here just weeks after us from Houston.
 Edith, Fiona and I. More playgroup moms who we love. These two are so much fun in every way.  
 Jolene and I. Jolene is one of the other fitness instructors on camp, she's a tough cookie and will make you work hard. She's also heaven sent and subbed my class last month when we were all sick.
 Me, Heidi and Shelly. Also fitness buddies and Shelly has two little ones, Abby who Carter adores and Luke who is Owens age.
Emily and I. She's a newly wed and pregnant too. But still in the first trimester. When I come back in the spring I'll get to go to her shower!
Another 'blooming' buddy. Fiona is expecting in June. We laughed about having a belly bump. I win. She also guessed my width in TP right on. This girl is good!
The Pink Shower Cake made by Tori. It was chocolate and oh so yummy!
This was at the end of the shower, one little group photo in front of the tree. Lisa, Jen, Fiona, Me, Emily and Edith.
I really couldn't and can't say thank you enough for that morning and for all of the love and support we have been shown with this pregnancy. I'm so thankful for Jen and Lisa, for coordinating and throwing the shower. Lisa went all out with the decorations and her house with beautifally transformed into a pink Christmas theme. The front door was lined with pink and adorned with a Christmas tree with pink snow flakes.
I'm so grateful and blessed.
Thank you ladies! I will miss you all so much over the next two months when I freeze back in Idaho. Don't forget about me ok, I am coming back. Promise!
Hugs, A

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Card Prep.

I love the idea of a perfect Christmas Card.
The entire family, coordinating outfits, happy faces and write ups on the family. I love getting cards like this in the mail, well I use too, when we lived in the States and received them (Although I did get THREE last year in the Sandbox- thanks ladies you know who you are and how awesome you are to me!)
I've always wanted to be a family like that. One that was happy and sent out happy little Christmas cards. For the past four years we've done it, we managed to send out cards. This year we did it again. Not perfect Christmas cards mind you, but perfect enough for me. It was a lot harder getting two little guys to cooperate this year in the same photo, I can only imagine what next year will be like.
This year I had higher expectations of a family photo with smiling little boys on the beach, and being pregnant. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Results that I shall not reveal until you my friend, open your mailbox and find your Dille Christmas card happily awaiting for you to line on your mantel with the rest of your cards. That's half the fun isn't it? Real mail with friends and family wishing you a Merry Christmas. 
So to tide you over until that card comes to your house, here's some out takes of our mini photo shoot.
 I didn't realize until looking at this photo how big I am getting and this was two weeks ago. 27 weeks.

 A huge thanks to our friends here who organized the family outings to the beach, supplied the props and Adrienne who took a few amazing photo of us.

Shouldn't life be filled with moments like these.  
Hugs, A

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rain in the Sanbox.

It's rained twice in the last week! Which could only mean...
We FINALLY had a chance to bring out the rain boots!
I only wish that the rain boots came with an umbrella. Because that my friends, is an item that never made it with us from Houston to the Sandbox.
So we dashed through the raindrops and once inside the car, Owen requested kid umbrellas for he and Carter for Christmas. 
Smart kid, although I don't think I'm willing to give up space in our bags from the States for umbrellas that we will use about five times a year.

One of the rain storms this past week was actually a tropical depression. The entire Eastern Province of the Kingdom closed schools for the day. Our company schools stayed open. 
 It rained and flooded, even with less than an inch coming down. You see, sandbox = no drainage system. Those days, best to stay on camp. Because you know not even rain will slow down the crazy and wreckless drivers in town. Although on camp it warrants most drivers creeping at perhaps half the speed limit because of the rain, like we were in a giant snow storm. Comical really.
So it rained. Our home phone line never recovered and we have a maintenance order in to install a new line. Waterproof you would hope, but sadly I doubt it.
 Most leaky roofs are met with the repair guy who says "don't worry, it never rains."

Back to the boots.
Rain Boots = Happy Boys!
Hugs, A

Thursday, December 1, 2011


The Holidays are here.

It can be a tad bitter sweet to be on the other side of the world from extended family and long time friends this time of year. But at the same time, this time last year was when we started to feel like "here" was home. It brings families in the sandbox together, turns friends into families and gives us all a reason to go all out with celebrations. Perhaps to compensate for the restrictions and lack of holiday festivities outside of camp. We have to work harder to create the holiday cheer here.

This year I've been excited about the holidays. Excited about celebrating with friends here and also excited that we'll get to go back to the States for Christmas Day. Almost feels like we get the best of both worlds right now.

I'm trying on rose colored glasses in hopes that I'll forget that when we get back to the States I'll go through my last month pregnant with Mike back in the sandbox, both in laws working non stop and me a single mom again. Yes, I'm choosing to focus on the holiday celebrations rather than the month of January.

Thanksgiving 2011 was great. We really didn't take any pictures, but our hosts, The Born's did and Brad even put together a little slide show. Here is the link. Enjoy!
Thanksgiving 2011 Video with pictures

With Thanksgiving in mind, here are a few things I am thankful for...
  • My little family and being married to my best friend. Couldn't be on this overseas adventure without his love and support.
  • The gospel in our lives and the way the Lord provides a way to worship no matter where we are.
  • Technology that bridges the gaps across the ocean and makes the distance seem less.
  • Pregnancy, and our little lady. So blessed and grateful to be bringing a new little miracle into the world and so happy that we'll get to adorn her in pink.
Hugs, A

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


So far two days on antibiotics will do this preggo sicko good. 
I'm beginning to feel like me again. Hurray!
Thank goodness for an OB who gave me drugs and boo to the ER doc who would do nothing because of my baby bump.

Still have a few more days on antibiotics and pink eye ointment.
But I think we are on the downward slope.
There are healthy and happy days ahead of us.
In the near future.

In the meantime.
I took down the fall decor and last night busted out the Christmas decor.
Out with the orange, in the with the red and green.
I'm giddy with excitement.
No tree yet, just about everything else.
I usually don't do this before Thanksgiving, but with the sickness for so long I thought we all needed a good morale and happy boost.

This morning I was back at it.
Another Boot Camp class with my largest attendance yet.
Which was great!
Only downfall was that the mic did not work.
So I had to yell, project and pretty much garantuee my voice will not be returning for several more days.
So worth it! A good sweat and a great class.
I hope everyone comes back.
I kind of love this fitness teaching thing.
It makes me happy.

You know what else makes me happy right now.
Christmas Movies.
Christmas Music. Loving this cd.
A toddler who continues to tell me, Santa says "ho,ho, ho" while patting his tummy.
A clean house.
A warm shower.
Hot Chocolate.
Homemade mac and cheese.
Twilight Woods Body Spray.
And... Nap Time.

Hugs, A

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pitty Party.

Day 6.
Still Sick.
Started as a cold and morphed.
Voice is finally coming back- that was gone for two days.
Now I have a voice, but I also have Pink eye in BOTH eyes.
Still sore throat and cough.
This has not been my week.
I feel like crappo.

Owen now has pink eye too.
Carter had a little goop in his eye this a.m. so now he's on pink eye antibiotic too, just in case.
We think Mike tore a muscle in his calf and has been limping all week.

I believe it is safe to say the Dille's are out of luck this week.
We deserve a pitty party.

The few highlights I can share.
We are surviving. 
Hosted a playgroup for Owen and his three year old buddies.
Talked about Thanksgiving and made Indian headresses.
I taught two boot camps.
Spent an entire day with no water at the house due to watermain break on our road.
Went to a craft caravan and ate delicious cinnamon rolls for two days from show.
Then it all went to crappo and I've been hunkering down at the house ever since.

What I'm grateful for among all of this sickness stuff.
Recieving a priesthhood blessing reassuring me I WOULD indeed get better.
A husband who is worthy and willing to give me a blessing.
A husband who took the boys all day yesterday so I could just be sick and rest.
A home, that I can hunker down in.
Netflix and seasons of tv shows available to entertain the sicko.
A washing machine that works and is busy. Five loads just yesterday.
Losing my voice, perhaps I needed to learn to be more gentle in my tone to my boys.
The doctor who last night at urgent care, gave Mike double the dose of pink eye cream for Owen and his mom.

Lastly, I am grateful for a baby girl who continues to dance in my tummy while I deal with being sick.
I can miserable, but I'm glad she's still doing well.

Please send good healthy, get better vibes our way.
We need em.

Hugs, A

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Stay-Cation Wrap Up.

Well the holiday is over and today we got back down to business as usual. Mike off to work, Carter off to Pre-K and camp is starting to bustle with people again. Time seems to fly here, I can't believe an entire week of stay-cation is gone. I'm a bit sad about it actually. But then again, the idea of routine is pretty appealing right now too.

The boys have been non stop.  It's wrestle mania in our house these days usually ending in some kind of tears. So I can't decide which is better, the quite, because you know they are into something- like Owen "painting" his nails and face and arms in marker. Or if the loud is better, because I know what they are actually doing, but that means someone is about to get thrown down. Yeah, I think these boys could use a little break from each other and some time with their friends back at school on our normal routine.

We managed to get a few things done over the week. Some long afternoon naps, checks off the to-do list, a few mini trips around town and a whole lot of Dille family fun time.

One night we took the kids out to Fridays. First time we've been there since moving to KSA. Actually not too bad. Pretty much the same as back in the States. Decor to a tee was the same, food close too, although I was missing the half sandwich and soup combo. We sat in a booth that had a tv right above us. Carter colored, Owen watched cartoons. Hence the smile on Carter and the eyes looking up on Owen.
 Carters getting better with the camera. Imagine that, Mike and I were able to sit next to each other in the booth at dinner. That alone, was a treat.
The next day just hanging out playing with the camera. 
"Mom, take a picture of me!"
  Outdoor movie night thanks to the Nelsons on the Cricket field. We watch Cars 2, snuggled under blankets and munched on popcorn and cookies. I even busted out my scarf for the night. After the movie the boys chased a the Christensen twins around the field and wore them out. Some days it's just nice to be outside.

25 Weeks and continuing to Bloom.
*Side note, see the pretty purple flowers on our vines. Looking out the back patio window makes me smile each day.
Carter is our little photographer. Not too bad, although man, I'm looking pretty big from the front too. Hard to imagine what another three months will look like on me.
Hitting 25 weeks has been a dose of reality. In general, I'm feeling good and am just grateful to be pregnant with our little girl. I'm starting to really feel pregnant and am slowing down a lot. I imagine the days of painting my own toe nails are limited. I've officially taken all of my maternity clothes out of storage. I'm bouncing out of bed atleast once a night to fight off a calf cramp. I have officially decided I dislike the scale. Yup, I do.

Still teaching Boot Camp, but even that is becoming more of a challenge. I want to do more, but this body of mine has other things in mind, like I don't know, growing a baby. So I'm taking a step back, but still pushing forward.

The boys are so excited for our little girl to arrive. Just the other day Carter asked me how the baby will come out. I used a line from Lindsay, "it's magic." Yeah, I'm not ready to go there and really, he's not that interested. Instead I think he was more worried about who would watch him and Owen while I went to the hospital, because that was his next question.

Another dose of reality that has hit this week is the actual timing of this pregnancy. We are on the downward slope now. Three months and there will be another little person in our family and that thought is overwhelming to me. The traveling and coordinating, the birthing and planning, the preparation and nesting, the, well, the EVERYTHING is overwhelming right now. Should I just chalk this up to hormones? I feel a bit all over the map these days.

We're happy. We have our moments. But we ARE happy.

We feel blessed and are grateful everyday for the life we have been given and the opportunity to live. Recently a good friend of ours lost her sister to cancer. It's been a battle for their family and my heart breaks for them and my prayers have been filled with concern for them. The gift of life is so precious. It can all be taken away in just a moment, so what are you doing with your moment? I want to do more, enjoy more and stress and worry less.

This morning I took the boys out for a ride in the "new to us", Bob Stroller. It was awesome. The sun, the birds chirping, the blue skies, the chit chat back and forth, this is what life is for. To find joy in the journey. Find joy in the small moments when the sun finds your face and you know the Lord put everything on the earth just for you.

When as you walk and talk to the boys about the color of the flowers or the sounds of the sprinkler and you feel the other little person inside of you move. My heart is full of gratitude. The Lord is so loving and all knowing.
Hugs, A

Beach in November.

A little Stay-Cation Beach Trip to Half Moon Bay Yacht Club.
It was a little chilly that morning with a good fall breeze, can you believe 'fall' is still here? Well enough fall to wear long sleeves and enough sandbox to still hang out at the beach all morning. We went with a few other stay-cation families and the boys had a blast. Mike was a trooper and got in the water them, this preggo lady did not brave the cold water this time.

Mike and Carter. Still amazes me how pretty and clear the water is here.
Owen, pointing to Beach Rule #9. Yes, that rule still makes me laugh too. Although this week, with it being Eid it was a good rule to have. Could you imagine that as you pull up to the beach with the kids?
 He doesn't look very happy here, but he had a great time! As we were getting ready to go I spotted him checking out his shadow.

 Another just for fun. They use the banners below pretty often around camp to decorate for events. Today they were lining the entrance to the beach.
 And perhaps one of the greatest things about spending the entire morning at the beach are the naps that follow.
 I was attempting to wake everyone up. My mom called and then the baby bump became the pillow.
Hugs, A

Monday, November 7, 2011


 The sandbox has been good to us the past 24 hours. Last night we had a rain storm. Complete with lightening and buckets of rain. It's been a VERY LONG time since we've seen rain here like that. Maybe since last February. Now, I do say 'rain' because there is water coming from the sky, it sounds the same, only when you look outside you realize it is really just raining mud. We were still glad to have our rainy mud storm. It was refreshing to hear the pitter patter of raindrops beat against the window. It felt familiar and homey.
Then today, after last nights rain I wasn't expecting much. Maybe more humidity. But the exact opposite. It was cool, the sky was blue, the wind sweeping across the yard. It felt like fall. Here in the sandbox, it felt like fall. I am welcoming the change of weather with open arms. I am thrilled with the thought of long sleeves and jeans (don't get me wrong I still want flip flops- so not too cold.)
We caught a movie, did a little organizing and Mike started the bunk bed. Tonight we ended our night sitting by the fire pit roasting marshmallows and grilling dinner. We ate on the back patio, we embraced our light jackets, we took in the smell of burnt marshmallows and savored the taste of somewhat stale smore's. (Hey you take what you can get here- even stale Graham crackers are a treat.) 
Carter told us how much he loved the fire and how much fun he was having. Owen devoured fresh marshmallows not waiting long enough to toast them.
 Hugs, A