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That time of year...

So... It is December, again! Did you know this is my favorite month of the year? Not only because it's my birthday month...but also because this is the time we could spend together when you were off school. Do you remember our trip to Luxor & Aswan during the Christmas break of 2015? Do you remember how much fun we had riding the hot air balloon and learning about ancient Egyptians and the Nubian culture of the south?

You are in my thoughts all the time. Every day. Almost in every moment, I remember fondly something we did together or talked about. Like, a friendly card game reminds me of how 4-year-old "A" used to call cards "Arba3a w 3eshreen" (the number twenty-four). I feel so much love for you, my beloved "A"! You are the funniest, most adorable, sweet girl, I know!

Or if a person says a jumbled word to me by mistake, that rings a bell in my memory. Where did I hear that before? Then BAM! It sounds like a made-up word from a language you invented, my amazingly creative, smart, and unbelievably ingenious daughter, "H". You invented this language when you were 10 years old! You spent hours developing it then you showed it to me over FaceTime when I was in Saudi! I was so impressed with you. Have you ever thought about pursuing a career in cryptology or code-breaking or even linguistics? Do you still invent languages?

You probably look different than how I remember you... you are growing and changing exponentially. I wish I could see your beautiful faces today and admire how much you have grown into the amazing young ladies you are! I am so proud of you! So, I thought, let me share a recent photo of me so that you know what I look like now. Granted, there isn't much change other than a few extra pounds thanks to COVID-19 restricting a lot of activities and, well, a lot of pizza! But I thought you might be also wondering what I look like. So, here you go!

Typically, my face stays unshaved between Friday until Monday morning so you can see that I have some stubble and if you look closer you will see some grey hair! It was taken on a Sunday. Don't be fooled by the sunshine in the photo. It was a brisk November day!

This was taken in Crab Park, downtown Vancouver. Leo and I went for a spontaneous afternoon out together. We were sitting on a bench right on the beach. In the background, you can see some of downtown Vancouver's skyline with the famous "Lookout" building with the round-shaped structure at the top and the giant antenna at the top (far right in the photo). What a cool view from up there. There is also a 5-Star restaurant at the top of the Lookout where you dine with a spectacular view of the mountains, ocean, and the city all at the same time! When you come to visit me in Vancouver, what do you think about having dinner together there? It would be so much fun!

It is that time of the year and my birthday is approaching. This year I turn 42. One exciting thing about having children at a young age was that when you - "H" and "A" - are in your teens and early 20s, I will still be young and healthy to keep up with you! I am looking forward to the day we connect so that we can share our life experiences, swap stories and catch up. Boy! A lot has happened in our lives in the past 3 years!

Someone asked: "What would you like for a gift on your birthday?". I immediately answered: "My girls back". That's the absolute truth. You are what my heart desires most in the world than to be with you. To be able to pick up the phone and call you and chat about nothing. To see some funny meme or a video & send it to you to laugh about it later together. To be able to visit you in Holland & have you visit me in Canada & have fun together just like we did every time we were together!

I don't really believe in the "make a wish" thing on my birthday. But if such things exist, YOU are my wish!



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