Packing up the house has been so hectic. I have never had to move, get rid of, donate, and trash so many things in such a short period of time. When Scott and I first moved into our place in Buffalo we had hardly anything – and I mean hardly anything – a bed, clothes, some odds and ends, some used furniture. Man, can a lot accumulate over the course of two years! The picture to the left is of Scott and I when we first moved into our Buffalo apartment – a lovely lower on a tree-lined, bird-chirping street with our wonderful landlord who lives upstairs – seriously couldn’t have found a better home for the last two years in Buffalo. While packing up the house, Scott and I kept feeling like we just moved in. We had planned on staying in that apartment until buying a house in Buffalo. But, plans change, dreams change, and situations change. One of the most blessed changes that has happened over the past two years was meeting Emily. She has been such a dear friend to me and a blessing in more ways than I can count. We met while teaching at School 53 on the East Side of Buffalo and not only has she taught me how to be a better teacher, but she has taught me how to be a better friend. I will truly miss her when gone,

but again, thanks to Skype, Emily will not be far from me! She is such a caring, self-less friend and I am so thankful that our paths crossed. Shakespeare constantly writes about moments written in the stars, and please humor me for a moment, because our friendship is one of those happenings that was written in the stars. We go way back, even though we have only known each other for two years. For example – Scott student taught with Emily’s mom (Mary) about three and a half years ago. Weird coincidence yes, but there’s more. Emily is soon to marry Josh at the end of July and they are seriously perfect for each other! Buy anyways, now follow me if you can . . . My mother has worked with Josh’s mother and sister (whose name is also Emily) for years. Our families have know each other and go

Emily and Mary – Mother-Daughter Pic!

way back even though Emily and I have only known each other for 2 years. We seriously are star-crossed friends – and clearly huge literary dorks! I am so excited for Emily and Josh – they  make each other so happy. They will hopefully – fingers crossed – visit us while in Abu Dhabi – Scott and Josh can go kayaking in the mangroves while Emily and I hit up the amazing malls and souks! So this just goes to prove that not all change is bad or scary. Emily becoming my friend is such an unexpected, long awaited, and blessed change in my life. Speaking of shopping while in the Emirates, there is one mall, the Mall of the Emirates, that has an indoor ski slope! This mall is located in Dubai which is about an hour and a half north of Abu Dhabi (so I apologize that my Abu Dhabi fact of the day is actually a Dubai fact of the day). Now I know that we are looking forward to some warmer weather, but in case we miss the snow and miss the cold, all we have to do is go to Dubai and the indoor ski slope in the mall of the Emirates in order to experience winter again:

You can see many more pictures of this amazing indoor snow park which features a place for kids to build snowmen and a small lodge-like area to have hot chocolate. I like the touch of the fake evergreen trees! Check it out! Masalaama everyone . . .