Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Yesterday was my last day as a Human Resource lady. Hopefully, it was also my last day going to work alongside machine gun-wielding soldiers and bomb dogs. You never know. I actually didn't hate HR. I like making people happy, and HR is a good place for that, if not a great place to get your creative juices flowing. Anyway, I am now officially unemployed. Yay me! Suck it, University of Southern California! Because if you don't have a job, you don't have to pay for college, right? That's the way the American college system works, I'm pretty sure.

The movers have begun packing up the house. I have two sick kids with fevers and vomit rockets, because of course I do. The events of the last month have wiped out all of our reserves.Thank gah for Netflix. We are officially looking towards the future and what our life will be like out from under the State Department's thumb. Awesome. That's what it's going to be like. Frickin' awesome. The free water in restaurants alone is going to be a game changer. Oh, and State-issued Drexel Heritage gold brocade sofa? You can go ahead and shove yourself right up your own ass. Whoops! Sorrynotsorry. Got a little carried away. As one does when it comes to Drexel.

It's not all beer and Belgian chocolate around here as we prepare to depart, though. I am facing a dilemma, and I need your help. I haven't lived in the U.S. for a long time, and I only know the name of one Kardashian. I've never seen a Housewives show. My friend Claire left an US Weekly behind when she breezed through Brussels last month and I didn't know anybody in it. I basically have about two items in my repertoire that I can talk about. Politics (and talking about that can get you killed these days) and how I much I hate camping, which is maybe too random. Just the other day we were watching "Wild" and Mitch was all, "We have to hike the Pacific Coast Trail!" And I was all, "Do they have a Four Seasons every few miles?" The girls were into it once they saw all the Pinterest boards for "Glamping". By the end of the conversation we had found a renovated airstream on ebay but then decided it was too much work and that was the end of that backpacking nonsense. Killer of dreams: Level-EXPERT. And apparently I am also a penis expert, according to a Buzzfeed quiz I took last week:

Too bad I can't put this on my resume. At least for the kind of job I'm seeking.
Jealous, much? Since being an expert on penises is really only an appropriate conversation topic for a small demographic, I'm basically not fit for mixed company. So, be good friends and tell me what I need to know about American pop culture. OH! Tropical diseases. I know about tropical diseases, too. Do you guys think potential new friends would like to hear about parasites?

camping/glamping/four seasons, pacific coast trail

Thursday, April 2, 2015

We'll Try Not to let the Door Hit Our Booties on the Way Out

Hi kids! Guess what? We quit the Foreign Service! I know what you may be thinking. We made it through a year of separation while Mitch was in Afghanistan, not to mention three years in Brazil without sharp cheddar cheese and a year in DC in a house that was constantly flooded, so WHY LEAVE WHEN WE ARE FINALLY TOGETHER IN THE HEART OF EUROPE? And for the love of God, could that sentence be any longer? It's a long, grisly story, but since there are still balls in play with State, I'm just going to say that we are 100% happy with our decision. Make that 90%. Okay, 85% and that's my final offer. Also, my mom always told me if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all, and Blogger doesn't have enough blank pages for all the things I'm not going to say. Well, I'll say one thing. I heart my husband, who doesn't take any crap, even from the gargantuan machine that is State.

My hometown. Not a dump!
Where will we go? What will we do? Full circle back to our hometown of Spokane, Washington, The scene of the crime where we met as awkward teenagers with tragic hair. God, I love Washington, where practically everything is legal except throwing food in the trash.  Mitch will be going back to building public schools in the private sector. The kids are looking forward to going to school without armed guards and high fences (but will likely miss the international field trips). Olivia is interested in learning how many pennies are in a nickel (parent fail).  Grace is dying for shopping malls and frappucinos. Henry is scouring the internet for rugby clubs (how does one go about banning specific topics from being found by their kid on the internet?). Also, aunties and uncles, grandparents, and cousins. Seamus is excited to only have one more trans-continental flight left in his canine life. Just kidding. He's a dog. He never knows what the eff is going on. We are all looking forward to being in the same time zone as Jack. As for me, I have a lot of, uh, unique employment ideas, but that's a post for a different day.

1986. Who knew it would take 35,000 miles and 29 years to get back home?

Also, and this is just between you and me, I've been dumping my water bottles into a kind of sad-looking ficus tree at the Whirled Peas Factory on my way to the water cooler. Sometimes it had tea in it. Tea is good for plants, right? Turns out, not so much for FAKE plants. Because mold. So it was only a matter of time before I was fired anyway. And I swear it wasn't me that broke the paper shredder. Three times.

So, that's our story for now. I've been updating this blog a little, mostly just dumping photos, so if you wanna see what we've been doing in our last few months in Belgium, go here and scroll down.

See ya stateside, suckahs.