The year 2008 has come with its many surprises, joys, some tears of all the ups and downs, but most importantly, blessings that have surmounted our lives with beautiful experiences and unexpected gifts God has bestowed upon us.
- My citizenship in January 2008.
- The purchase of my Honda Accord in February 2008.
- Centenary (100 year celebration) Khilafat Jalsa in Pennsylvania & meeting with Hazoor!
- Trip to Washington DC with my siblings after the Jalsa.
- Amma's (mother-in-law's) visit to our apartment for Ahmed's Engagement that took place after Jalsa.
- Madiha (my sister) and I had the opportunity to sing our Qaseedah in front of the ladies' section at the Jalsa convention. She sang in Arabic and I sang the translation in Urdu simultaneously.
- Appearing several times as a co-host on the radio show "Youth Forum" and being praised by people all the way from Dubai. An amazing experience.
- My 3rd prize winning for the essay writing competition on the topic of: "Blessings of Khilafat"
- Hurricane Ike and its aftermath. Family gathered at Nasir Mamoo's to seek shelter.
- Saying goodbye to Richmond Green Apartments.
- Purchasing our beautiful home, doing the loan on it and saving thousands of dollars.
- Moving into our beautiful home and falling in love with my kitchen and backyard.
- Brother-in-law's gland surgery and his way to recovery.
- First time voting as an American Citizen.
- Making of friends -- the precious ones, whom I can always rely on.
- Our first Halloween in our new home. It was fun to receive kids at the door wearing scary costumes. I wore a black chaadar and dracula teeth to scare them off.
- The masjid, located 10 minutes away from our house, feels like my second home. I love our Houston mosque. I seek refuge in God's residence and I find peace in my every "sajdah".
- Reading; "Islam's response to Contemporary Issues" and being awed again by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmed's penmanship and immense wisdom.
The book is inspiring and covers all real subjects we face in today's society.
- My excitement for "Little Mosque on the Prairie" season 4 -- still continues. Am a BIG fan.
- Obama's win of Presidential election against McCain! A historic moment witnessed from my living room while jumping out of joy.
- My sister Madiha's engagement in Tracy, CA : An absolute beautiful moment. Getting to know her lovely in-laws.
- Lunch with Tabassum (Tabs) in Rice Village and our ongoing conversations on various topics. Great friend.
- The discovery of great places around Houston, especially restaurants. Great people too!
- Tested of my love and questioned of my worth - a painful phase.
- New Hobby: Gardening of front and backyard.
- Our subscription to Netflix and watching Planet Earth on DVD.
- My wholehearted acceptance at Azam's Chinese Stir Fry noodles being better than mine. I let go of my culinary pride! ;)
- My participation at the Ijtema; winning 1st prize English Impromptu Speech and 2nd for Tilawat. I also managed to dominate the workshops/discussions by voicing my opinion on everything that was on my mind. Very liberating.
- Garage hunting in our neighborhood and finding great objects to (re)use.
- The purchase of our bikes and touring around our neighborhood, even when it rained!
- The movie Slumdog Millionaire -- excellent movie we saw in the theaters.
- The relief of Bush finally leaving the White House.
The 'shoe throwing' episode was an absolute highlight! Literally jootay parhe...
- My friend Rizwana in Canada gave birth to her precious little baby girl; Ariana Mahrosh Upal.
- Nabeel's (my brother) first semester in College - he is working hard towards a bright future, Inshallah.
- The economic crisis around the country (and the world) making us weary of our future. Strengthening our strategies in all aspects.
- My Thanksgiving dinner to family and friends in our new home with the making of my experimental menu which turned out a success!
- Weekend away at Mani Khala's and getting to know her College friend, Shamuna baji.
- Our little road trip to Sonora, TX to see the Caverns of Sonora. Pretty cool.
- The conception of my new entrepreneurial project (in the works).
- Skipping on jump ropes to skip on a gym membership.
- My part-time job at Banana Republic turns out to be a ' God sent temporary distraction' for me; alas my passion for fashion. Love the employee discount!
- Very mild (wet) snowfall in Houston that lasted for half a day.
- I clearly remember the day in 2008 when my friend Fakhra took her time out during her stressful finals to spend time with me while I was visiting my family in Tracy.
Not only was she a delight to my eyes, but her personality and one on one attention, made me feel like a queen. Her book of quotes for my birthday and the ballerina card are two things I keep very close to me.
- The desire to make something out of myself -- gaining another level of confidence.
- The ugliness, The beautiful, The inevitable, The impossible & lastly...
The Incredible!!! (Alhamdulillah)