2011-09-14 Our Morning Walk

It was such a beautiful morning and I wanted Sumi to breathe in the nice air, most especially because our garbage has been stinking up the whole place (blame it on Sumi's sticky poo), so we decided to go on a little walk around the neighborhood. West Hartford is a town known for its perfectly manicured lawns. People are mostly nice here too, offering a wave or a pleasant, "good morning." It was awesome though to see something quite out of the ordinary this morning featured right on someone's front lawn:

I have no idea what type of mushroom this is, but thought it would be cool to take a picture of it. It's so rare to find someone who allows such things to grow (in the front mind you). There is also a deeper lesson to all of this...Behind those perfectly manicured lawns and white picket fences, people have problems. It may not be seen (facebook profiles are like perfectly manicured lawns), but they are definitely there. So, it was a breath of fresh air to find this fungus, declaring its existence to the world.

Sumaya seemed to enjoy it as well (or, maybe we have an IPhone addict in our midst)!

2011-09-12 "Dear Sumaya", letter from Marwa to Sumaya

Salaam dear Sumi,Today, you are 15 months old. With mama and baba both working, you have been spending quality time with both us but on separate occasions...and you still cry when we leave you with the babysitter for two hours on Friday. Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of Sept.11, 2001- a day in which extremists attacked America in the name of Islam. I worry about the ramifications this will have on you. I want you to love Islam with all of your heart, to love Allah and His messengers and to spread that love. I don't want you to be bullied, and I hope by the time you go to school, Muslims will have made a more positive impact on our society. The past tens years have been fraught with attacks against Muslims, but have also given us the opportunity to engage with non-Muslims about the proper teachings of Islam. It's what made me decide to become a chaplain. I hope you understand one day that every time mama leaves you for work, it's with the intention that others may see a Muslim just trying her very best. America needs to see us out there, working, engaging, and smiling. Please always smile. You have a beautiful smile and I love how your eyes half moon every time your cheeks rise. By the way, just so you know, you love to give your mama and baba kisses. You love pointing and saying baaaybeee to anyone in close proximity. You say keekee for giddo and foo-huuu for mama fufu. You also like to whine when we don't let you play with our cell phones. You're learning and growing everyday and I pray that Allah keeps you on the straight path my beautiful Sumi. Love, Mama

2011-09-11 Apple picking Reflection

One cannot really take advantage of living in Connecticut without visiting the various farms in close proximity. Today was a beautiful day to go apple picking. I have never went apple picking before and was very excited to visit Rose Berry Farm in South Glastonbury. I went there once before with Sumi and picked up some raspberries, but Ahmed had yet to see the beautiful acres of tilled land. When he saw the view, all he could say was, "Wow, subhanAllah!" We ended up getting 8 lbs of gala apples while munching away as we picked. Such small things in life can really be a great catalyst for reflection and enjoyment. I really hope we get to visit and support our local farmers more frequently. Here are some pictures Ahmed took with his Iphone since his SLR would be too bulky to carry around while picking apples.

And of course, there are two tiny teeth marks on almost all the apples we picked ;) A Sumi trademark, if you will.

2011-09-31 On the Pulpit

We're really blessed to have such an amazing library about a mile away from home. Sumi loves going to the preschool room wherein resides all the baby dolls and kitchen tools a kid can ask for. This is her addressing the world, pay close attention!

2011-09-31 Sumi in the Sandbox

This is Sumaya's first time playing in the sand. I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to let her in for fear of all the little sand particles getting in her hair, on the car seat, in our home...you get the idea. It wasn't bad at all though, alhamdulillah.

2011-05-29 Our wonderful time with the Ezzeddine family!

 This is when Ahmed called Iman "Khadija." She was not happy, not one bit! :)
 Beautiful Maryam. Her favorite question, "Ma haadha?"
 Maryam getting ready to pray with me.
 Teaching Noor how to play Angry Birds. Sorry Maha :)
 She was really into it.
 We went through a lot of bananas this weekend
 Iman plotting away
 But at least there's enough time for a cute pose!
 Sumaya loves climbing stairs. This was her favorite past time all weekend.
A mini-house above the dryer. La ba2s.

2011-05-02 Walk Against Hunger and New Park!

On May 1, 2011, we participated in the annual Foodshare "Walk Against Hunger," to raise money for various organizations that help the needy in Connecticut. Alhamdulillah, there were over 100 Muslim participants this year, the largest of any faith based group attending. This was also Sumaya's first walk. The sun was a bit stronger than we thought, but Sumi was drenched in sunscreen and mama was the one who ended up getting some sunburn. We walked three miles while Sumi took a nice nap in her stroller. Afterwards, we discovered a new park very close to us with swings and slides and a sand pit where kids leave their shovels. It was nice talking to some parents with their kids and Sumi LOVES swinging.
 Sumi does love Rebecca, she's just making sure that I'm not going anywhere :)
 Muslims against Hunger!
 Sumaya's double x-small shirt. Maybe it will fit next year.
 Sumi eating apples with her baba.
 It was such a nice day, alhamdulillah.
 Sumi and mama dancing to the music
 Epic Pure Joy
 Safe Landings.
 Ready to start.
and Finish! (Do you see the red sunburned cheeks?)
 Mmm...ice cream mustache
 Sumaya loves black beans
 ...and swings
Epic Pure Joy Part II