Signs you may have patience issues

1- People move out of your way when you walk behind them because they’re afraid you will run them over or sever a nerve ending or cut their Achilles tendon with that pointy work-appropriate weapon shoe you’re wearing.

2- You get frustrated with the microwave because it is simply Not Fast Enough. (Then you get to the point where you skip the microwave altogether, because eating soup straight out of a can is less torturous than having to wait idly by doing NOTHING while the whir of the microwave fan/vent thingy threatens to drown out the sound of your own thoughts)

3- You wonder why the elevator has to stop on ALL those floors before finally reaching yours. (Yours = the 3rd floor)

4- You press the walk signal button for the tenth time in a row (in a record time of 0.67 seconds), knowing full well that it won’t make a bit of difference. (Obviously, if anyone can will that light into action it’s you, so it’s always worth a try).

5- You finish people’s sentences because they aren’t finishing them fast enough.

6- Standing in line gives you hives. Actual hives.

7- You perfect the traffic lane bob-and-weave to avoid red lights at any cost.

8- Every time you tell yourself “This time I’m just going to WALK for exercise”, you end up running because walking is just. so. slow. (Even at 9 months pregnant).

9- You get mad as you wait for the 3 dancing dots (…) on your iMessage to turn into words (WHY CAN’T THIS PERSON TYPE FASTER?!?!?!).
Even worse is when the 3 dancing dots disappear and words never materialize after you’ve been waiting and watching. (Absolutely UNFORGIVABLE is when the 3 dancing dots come… then go… then come back again… then go, in a mind-numbing exercise of indecisive text messaging that leaves you ready to strangle the person on the other end and curse Apple for giving you too much information).

10- You are a loyal member of the Church of DVR (fast forward through all ads and unnecessary content!), and are waiting to invest money in the person who’s going to invent the “Skip all commercials (except the Carl’s Jr. ones)” feature.


Fadi Update

Fadi Quran has been released on bail, and allowed to return to his home in Hebron. Click here for more details from the Stanford Daily.

Details of next steps are still unclear, however, a sense of relief and gratitude for his well-being washed over me when I read the news.

Thank you to anyone and everyone who added their voice to the call for Fadi’s freedom. This is one extraordinary young man that I am so glad we have back in our midst!

Congratulations, Fadi and family.

Reality Check + Free Fadi

Some things I learned/re-learned over the weekend:

1- Sometimes, babies will wake up in the middle of the night and cry for an hour (or 2), and no matter what you do to try and console them, IT WILL NOT WORK.
2- Sometimes, no matter how strongly you’ve made and committed to your weekend exercise/running plans, those plans get sidetracked (see point number 1 above) and you have to decide to be ok with it.
3- Sometimes, speaking out against injustice and bringing awareness to a cause will create backlash, and will polarize people who read/hear your message. (Even if it is a humanitarian, peaceful message).
4- Sometimes getting backlash is a strong reminder that you can never please everyone, and in light of that, it is even more important to stand up for what you believe in.

Free Fadi Quran.
Update on Fadi’s hearing proceedings here.

Free Fadi Quran – the latest Israeli assault on youth and hope

I decided long ago I would not make this a political blog. Frankly, there are others out there who are much more equipped to take on that endeavor than I am.

However, today, I will join the voices around the world that are speaking up on behalf of Fadi Quran, who was recently assaulted and arrested by Israeli forces during a non-violent protest in the West Bank. (Read more at The Atlantic and The Stanford Daily).

This post is not about being political. This post is about being human.

Fadi, who is a 24 year-old Stanford alumni and extraordinary young man, is also a colleague and friend of my own brother.
Fadi visited my home in 2010, where I had the chance and honor to meet (and feed!) him.

Immediately upon meeting him, I could tell that this young man would go on to make a difference in the world. Fadi has a peaceful, yet strong presence that can’t be denied, and a soul that immediately puts your own soul at ease. He comfortably and with ease was able to transition between speaking about issues of Palestinian-Israeli politics,internal American politics, world current events, and history. He has an opinion about everything, yet will never impose that opinion on you. He is generous with his thank-yous, and as genuine as they come.

At only 22 when I met him, Fadi was (and is) one of the most eloquent, well-read, intelligent, gentle human beings I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. 
Fadi is one of the young men that I am proud to have a connection to, and someone whom I look forward to watching as he inevitably brings his vision of leadership and peace to the Middle East.

Fadi has been interviewed and quoted by TIME Magazine, the New York Times, the Guardian, and Al Jazeera, and recognized as the “face of the new Middle East”.

My words cannot do you justice, Fadi, but hopefully our collective words can help bring justice to you.

Please join me in signing this petition to call for Fadi’s freedom. It would mean a lot to me, my family, Fadi’s family, and the future of a new generation of leaders. Please also feel free to leave comments here as a sign of solidarity and unity. Thank you for your compassion and support.

For more information, go to, and read this article on These links also contain video of Fadi’s assault.

Free Fadi.

In which I foolishly disclose more than I should

So, it’s that time again. Time for me to take concrete steps towards getting this rear-end whipped back into shape. Any by concrete steps, I mean signing up for this race in April.

Shouldn’t you keep that a secret, you say, in case you end up falling short of your lofty goal? Shouldn’t you, Ms. Halistic, especially in light of your work schedule, the erratic and highly unpredictable sleep “schedule” (word used very loosely here) of your 8 month-old infant, and the sheer exhaustion you suffer especially on the nights/days when your husband has class in addition to work, and doesn’t walk through the door until after 10:30 pm?

Wise words, I say. Wise. Words. Still, my answer is NO! No, because today, I am making you a part of this. Yes, you are now accountable for me reaching this goal of mine, and I will hold you to it!

Typically, I would have no trouble motivating myself to wake up in the early morning hours while most of the world is still sleeping, and pound the roads until I OWNED them (or more accurately, until I pwned them awww yeah). These are not typical times though (see above for more details), and so I need your help. By letting you in on my plan, I am effectively putting a risk mitigation plan in place.

Deep breath, hold it, hold it, hold it, aaaand exhaaaaale. Here we go.

This morning I was able to get in a short run. At this point I’m trying to simply do whatever I can before starting my 9 week training program for the half marathon. Training starts in 4 days, with a plan I got from In parallel, I’m working on experimenting with barefoot (or almost barefoot) running via my brand-spankin’ new Vibram Five Fingers.

I became interested in barefoot running about 2 years ago, after reading Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run. I was fascinated by the theory, his experiences, and the people he profiled as part of his running journey. I became so taken by the idea that I strapped on a pair of almost-zero support, worn-out Puma H-Streets and went for an enthusiastic 7-miler.

Ouch. My calves/shins/legs had never experienced pain that like before. There were parts of my legs that I had never even felt before, and muscles that were so sore that it hurt to shift in my chair, let alone walk or climb/descend a flight of stairs (and at the time, we lived on the 3rd floor of a building with NO elevator).

Long story short, I recently decided to go back to my experimentation with barefoot running, because if you know me, you know that contrary to what most reasonably intelligent people would do, when I find something that challenges me and causes me PAIN, I run TOWARDS it instead of AWAY from it. Yet even my masochistic self does not desire the level of pain I felt for the 2 weeks following my stupid Puma experiment, and so I’ve decided to take it slow.

Here, I’ll say it again, since I can see the disbelief in your eyes. I am TAKING IT SLOW with the barefoot running. This morning, I ran only 1 mile in them, then made myself switch to my regular running shoes. SEE?!?!? You didn’t think I could do it, but I did!

Here’s what the view looked like this morning for that first mile:

Mile #1

I have to say, that first mile today was exhilarating. My legs and feet definitely felt it the rest of the day, although it wasn’t as much pain as it was the kind of delicious soreness you feel after putting in a good effort. Yum. My legs feel ALIVE.

Here are today’s stats, just for reference

Vibram mileage: 1
Total mileage: 4.25

And now I shall go to bed, which is the real test for the soreness effect since I’ll know A LOT more about the damage I did when I wake up tomorrow morning!

What I’ve Been Up To

As I may have stated before, I don’t believe in making excuses stating the reasons for why I haven’t been writing. Ahem. Sooo, with that, I’ll give a little view into what I’ve been up to lately, which involves 2 boys that are growing faster than I can say Cat in a Hat.


He doesn’t usually get to go into his big brother’s bed, which explains the excitement on his face :)


 No, we do not allow baby-eating in our household, but we’ve all been tempted by this little one :) He’s pretty delicious-looking, and his big brother has REALLY good taste

I’ll be attempting my hand at this writing thing again, more for myself than for any other reason. I would love to have you if you’d like to come along for the ride!

See you here soon!

Motherhood and the Quest for Peace

In some parts of the world, including the part of the world where my own mother lives, March 21st is Mother’s Day. On the eve of this celebration of mothers and all they impart upon this world – we would be nowhere without them – I sit awake, restless, desperately attempting to find peace in my heart with the mother I am today.

My own mother gave herself, fully and completely, to us. To her family, her children, to being our rock and the one constant in the constantly changing backdrop of our lives. I lived in more apartments and houses than I care to count, went to 11 schools (all before college), and can’t remember most of the people I was friends with for mere months at a time. But mama was always there, with a hot, home-cooked meal ready for me when I came home from school. She was always there, cloaking me with the invisible security blanket of knowing I never had to wonder where she was or what she was doing. She was there, she was mine, and nothing else in her life was more important or of higher priority.

I, on the other hand, leave my son and his father sleeping in their beds on 5 mornings a week, as I head out to spend the next 11 or so hours of my (and their) day enclosed in an office, unavailable, distant, away. They rise and spend the next hour and a half together before my husband drops off my beautiful boy at school. The hour and a half that used to be mine, that used to carry some of our best, sleepy-eyed, uninhibited memories together.

How can I be a good mother if I’m only there for 3 of his waking hours? How can he learn to trust that I will always be there, if, for the most part, I’m not?

And now look what I’ve done.
I’ve gone and made another one.
In a matter of months, another boy will be born to this family, and I will spend however many weeks of maternity leave I get agonizing over the day when I will have to leave yet another infant in the care of someone who, no matter how amazing she is, is not me.
What have I done?

Some days are positive, upbeat, fulfilling on all fronts, professional and personal.
Other days make me feel handcuffed, trapped, yet insufficient in any of the roles I have taken upon myself.
My need to prove that I can do anything any other woman can do – be an intelligent and high-achieving professional, be a nurturing and selfless mother, be an accomplished recreational athlete – leaves me pursuing everything all at once, yet mastering none of it.

 I am not as good of a professional as the woman who dedicates her life to her career, not as good of a mother as the woman who spends all her time ensuring she personally meets each and every one of her children’s needs, and not as athletic as the woman who knows exactly what she wants out of each workout.

I wonder whether trying to have “it all” is an attempt at keeping each part of “me” alive, or whether I am simply lost, not sure of which parts of me are the real me, trying to find myself in my work, my physical health, and my relationship with my family.
I wonder, more importantly, about whether that means my children will be lost as well, not having the security blanket of knowing that they never have to wonder where I am or what I’m doing, or whether they are my highest priority.

The answer is yes, they are and always will be my highest priority. I may not do everything perfectly, I may not always make the right choices or be the best, most selfless mother. But I love my son (and my yet-to-be-born son) with a fierce intensity that perhaps only I know. It will be my life’s mission to ensure that they know it just as surely, just as securely, as I always knew the love of my own mother.
In the meanwhile, I can only hope that my darling, beautiful, and perfect boy knows that his mama is always there, even when he can’t see her right in front of him.

And now I shall go hug his sleeping body with all my might, and breathe in the sweet smell of his youth, innocence, and clean hair.
 (Even darling, beautiful, and perfect boys smell better with shampoo, especially after a weekend of running and jumping on furniture).


I realize I may have caused some confusion with the “siblings” picture from my last post. The ultrasound picture in that post is NOT a picture of Baby halistic. I just used it to illustrate a point.

I am now equipped with an actual picture that I can share! We have the exclusive rights to debut this picture of Bambina/o!

As the ultrasound technician turned the screen to show me what she was seeing, she let out a little gasp. “Ooh! That’s a lot of movement! Look!”
I took a look, and sure enough, there was my Bambina/o, doing little baby crunches, up, down, up, down, arms reaching towards legs. In utero Boot Camp! Not wasting any time! That’s how I like ’em.

Except, I could only pay attention for a few seconds at a time since the technician kept pressing on the 32 ounces of fluid that I was ordered to chug one hour before the ultrasound, which were threatening to change the nature of our curteous technician-patient relationship forever. I have never before appreciated the simple bliss of being able to put one foot in front of the other without having to worry about offending the floor tiles.

Since this pregnancy has made me intolerant to the taste of my favorite beverage, water, I probably hadn’t had a cumulative 32 ounces of water over the past 3 DAYS before the ultrasound, so it’s safe to say my system was in SHOCK.

Thankfully, I was able to maintain my dignity and walk away from the ultrasound (although I almost forgot to grab the picture the technician was waving in front of my face) without offending any people or objects. I hope.

Shoe Shopping as Therapy

What IS it about shopping for shoes (online or otherwise) that is SO therapeutic? After a particularly challenging week, all I have the energy for tonight has been surfing the web, looking at fabulous, pointy, round-toe, shiny, non-shiny, yummy, shoes.

Thank you, Internet, for allowing me to put these little delights in my online  shopping bag with reckless abandon, only to cheat you moments later by casually closing my browser window as if nothing had ever happened between us! You are truly my no-strings-attached shoe addiction buddy.

Check it out (No I’m not getting paid for any of this, *SIGH*) :) Also, you may notice the styles are kind of on the conservative work-attire style side. That’s what my constraints are right now, but still! Joy! And heels! I kind of retired from heels for a while but now I’m back (kind of – I still wear flip flops to and from and inside the car. Thank you for that, San Diego. You taught me the joy of toe freedom).

Exhibit A: (But I want them in just the plain gray) 

And check this beauty. Her coloring is so fantastical: Jessica Bennett Norah pump.

And finally: J Renee Catrice pump

 Aaaah. I feel better already.

Oops! Just clicked the little X on the right-hand corner of that browser window that said “Nordstrom” and “Shopping bag” at the top.

Time for bed.

Dinner Party Roundup

So, we ended up having a handful of some of my favorite people attending the virtual dinner party! Thanks to all of you, the food was DELICIOUS :)

– Naelya brought some AMAZING sushi and hareeseh (which is a FABULOUS semolina cake that Naelya’s mom make REALLY well) for dessert (I laughed so hard when you told me your mom said she’d make hareeseh. Thank you for that!)

– Eid brought his sinus infection, some hummus topped with pine nuts, and shawerma chicken! Mmmmmmmmm! It was great. Hope you’re feeling better Eid, and I hope the mint tea helped warm you up a bit!

– I made herb-crusted salmon with lemon pine-nut couscous

– Dima brought the argeeleh/sheesha


– The Fabulous Kim brought the drinks!!! :D

Also, Shereen, Angela, Swapna, Abeer, and Dalia were all there too!

Oh I can’t tell you the laughs I got out of this. Thank you all for indulging my temporary insanity.

And now I shall go see if the little one has awakened from his ear-infection induced coma. Wish us luck and more sleep tonight!

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