TBT: The Bedroom


Today’s #TBT photo is from January 1991. That’s my youngest sister Jinger and me in our bedroom, displaying our *new* pet gerbils — gifts from Santa — who would later prove to be the goriest pets ever.

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No Place Like Home

No matter where we go in the world, there’s absolutely no place like home!!! As we pulled into the driveway, Martin was busy on our patio, grilling us a delicious dinner of chicken, pork, and veggies while Jaz jumped around, excited to have his sisters back. I literally grabbed him as he was walking by and smooshed his face into mine. He’s a good sport. I am a lucky Frau!


One more road trip photo from the last leg of our trip.

Pit stop in Austria! It was sprinkling, but we were outside for the view. The six year old was bored with the schnitzel and salat.


Home Sweet Home

Stargazing in front of our home.

We signed today the documents that start the process of putting our house on the rental market. It didn’t take long at all to sign the forms, but for the rest of the day, I felt so melancholy. I posted online that it felt like I signed away a family member. I admit, I wasn’t prepared for feeling THAT sentimental about it. I mean, I always knew that a move to Germany would require us to leave this house. That’s a given. But the idea of actually leaving this place … putting it in black and white made it so real.

I realized how attached I am. This is home sweet home. Continue reading



The most exciting thing we did this weekend was get our flu shots. It really was pretty exciting, especially when we rolled up to our provider’s health clinic and saw a line of people that spilled out the door and into the parking lot. Who knew that vaccinations were so popular these days?

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Winter Day


We woke up to a winter wonderland outside, and then ventured out all together for a lunch date with some pretty amazing friends. Now we’re home, and the younger two are napping as Miss C and her best friend play outside on their sleds. Martin’s building me a fire in the fireplace. It’s so quiet here. The only thing missing here is a steaming hot cup of chocolate, but my feet are propped up and I’m feeling lazy. Not a bad day at all. Hope you are having a peaceful Sunday, too.

PS – About 30 seconds after I took this shot, Martin brought me a mug of hot chocolate.


A few years ago, I read this memoir Descent into Darkness Pearl Harbor, 1941 written by Edward Raymer, who was one of the US Navy divers to go down into the sunken ships after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He writes candidly about life on Hawaii as a young military man involved in such a strange and intense mission, with tales ranging from chasing women during his free time to going into the pitch-black bellies of those ships and hearing the bones of those who perished scrape against his diving helmet as they floated past him. I read the book in one day simply because I could not put it down.

Fortunately, my local library had a copy, but if yours doesn’t, you can still order the book on Amazon. I highly recommend getting your hands on it.


I’m watching “White House Down” and they have the main character driving into downtown DC in the morning on a weekday, and there’s not a single lane of traffic. They really took some creative license with this movie, didn’t they? 

The One About the Intern

She came here to put a stop to the nonsense.

I realize that I haven’t made a proper introduction here on the blog.

There’s another lady in our house.

The nearly-graduated college student arrived on our doorstep late at night in mid-September after a long drive with such hopeful optimism and excitement for her student volunteer (aka unpaid) assignment. She arrived ready to work. Ready to change the world. Ready to show ’em what she’s made of.

And then she got furloughed with the rest of us.

The good news is that she used those weeks to visit friends in southern Virginia, and the better news is that she came back as soon as the government re-opened, and she’s been chugging away ever since.

We call her Ashley the Intern.

Because her name is Ashley.

And she’s an intern.

She’s the fourth intern we’ve welcomed into our home. Remember our former cellar dwellars Alaina, Janah, and Ben? All of them were from Kentucky and all of them have moved on to some pretty impressive careers after they participated in career-broadening positions at places like the State Department and the Pentagon.

Ashley is breaking tradition, though: she’s not from Kentucky.

She’s from the Gulf Coast area of Mississippi.

But don’t feel too bad for her. (Ha, ha!)

She’s working in my department, although in a different division.

Every so often, I post various job and internship announcements on my Facebook wall, as I know a lot of folks who are interested in those things. After I posted this particular announcement, my friend and former Air Force colleague, Tanya, wrote me an email, saying, There was a lovely girl working for me at my old base who I just know would be great for the job.

That girl was Ashley, who submitted her resume and cover letter, and got hired.

As soon as I heard the news, I sent off an email to Ashley and said, “Congrats! You just got hired for a job with no paycheck. You can crash at my place.”

So that’s how the former Air Force brat (both her parents retired) and eternal optimist ended up living with us for her last semester in college.

In the few weeks she’s been here, there was the Navy Yard shooting a few blocks from our building, there was the furlough, there was drama during the furlough (although we weren’t in town that day), and our line of work has been in the headlines just a wee little bit.

On the flip side of that, she’s been to a lot of really great restaurants, had learned the subway system backwards and forwards, has been to Georgetown, Chinatown, and has taken a collection of selfies in front of the most impressive Washington DC sights.

It’s only gonna get better.

And for me, it’s just so awesome having her around! We clicked immediately, and her sense of humor and ambition is such a light in what’s been an incredibly stressful month. It’s nice to have another commuting buddy. The conversation definitely breaks up the morning and evening drag.

Of course, my kids adore her. They follow her around, and say her name about a billion times in an effort to get her attention. (Truth: it’s a nice break from the MomMomMomMomMom I normally get.)

And Martin is more than happy to share his coupon advice with her, because if there’s anyone out there living on a budget, it’s an intern with no paycheck.

I also think it’s fun being able to introduce her to the sights and sounds of Washington DC life. Professionally, she’s getting exposed to the grueling pace of government work and politics, and learning a lot. Personally, we as a family try to expose her to the things that make this place an exciting place to live: the museums, the food, the culture, the music, the people, and all that jazz.

Oh, and I can’t deem her a cellar dweller like the others.  We’ve since turned our cellar dwelling into a playroom, so she is now staying in the room that used to be my craft room/study on the first floor.

These interns are moving on up, aren’t they?


Super Moon

Photo taken from our back porch.


Did you see the “super moon” this weekend?

Martin and I stepped out onto our back porch shortly after midnight to go look up. I considered waking up the girls, as we’ve done in the past during such celestial events, but both of them crashed pretty late and they need their sleep.

Besides, it was nice to step outside and be alone with my husband, illuminated by nothing but the moon.

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