It is finally nice enough to sit outside on our balcony. This evening, Martin did our finances and I enjoyed a beer. It’s my favorite space now.


NERD ALERT: I am unapologetically super excited about sitting outside and identifying the flights leaving contrails over our house. This flight is headed to Denmark.

I got the app FlightAware. It is so much fun. I think I just like being right all the time, and saying with confidence that THAT blinking light is going to Cairo, and THAT one is going to Brussels…

Using SkyGuide, we also identified space junk buzzing overhead. You will get a crick in your neck, but sooooo worth it

Travel Technology

Air travel photo from earlier this year

While lounging in my bed here in Germany, I’m watching online my husband’s plane fly over Kentucky while sending updates to my Dad’s phone as he waits for Martin in the Cincinnati/NKY airport parking lot. Technology.

1000th Photo

This is my 1,000th Instagram pic. A selfie, of course. First Instagram pic was taken in October 2011 as Martin and I headed into downtown DC for our first date night after our son was born. #1,000 was taken in our hallway in Germany after sending the girls off to school and before I headed to work, and the boys went out with Martin’s mom and brother.

Life is good.

The kids had such a good time with their Oma and Onkel Christian!
The kids had such a good time with their Oma and Onkel Christian!


I know that Germans love their peace and quiet, so I try to be respectful when I’m calling for the children as they are playing outside.

But every now and then, I forget myself and I end up yelling [in English] something like, “If you don’t get your lil’ asses into this house RIGHT NOW, you will be SO SORRY, you have no idea. YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!” Then I scan the neighborhood as my children run into the house, certain to see some older German frau on the phone calling me in, but I never do.

And now I know why. I just heard my German neighbor calling in her children. I have absolutely nothing to worry about. 😉

Just a Reminder

Also, I just had a delightful conversation explaining Twitter to Jaz! As a three-year-old who routinely talks in 140 characters or less, I dare say he has a better understanding of it than most adults.

And I can hear giggling and laughter outside my window right now. It’s Walpurgis Night here in Germany.They also had a parade go through the village center. I heard drums and horns playing a Bon Jovi song. Love German traditions … hope those kids don’t toilet paper my car…

Read more about the holiday HERE.

Social This, Social That


[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]I[/dropcap] bumped into Paul — a good friend and former colleague of mine — while attending a social media summit at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House earlier today.

Paul and I worked together for a few years at the Pentagon, when I was still active duty in the Air Force and he was a contractor. After my deployment, and after senior leadership realized that an Airman *could* blog about her deployment and not ruin the military, I was put on the team (which included Paul and my girl Moe, and JV, and others) that ultimately wrote the first policy on social media for the Department of Defense.

These days, the both of us work for the same department (but different agencies), so it’s not too unusual to cross paths. This time, it was at an event with a bunch of other federal workers from across the government, all who specialize in the communications, data, and information career fields.

It wasn’t very different than other workshops I’ve attended before (or participated in, like this one HERE, or HERE, or most recently, HERE).

There were three panels of speakers, all professional communicators, who shared some success stories and lessons learned from their sites and organizations. It was a great opportunity to meet others in the field and put some faces with the names I see in emails and various correspondence across the Internets.

My dad has said more than once that he always hesitates before telling people what it is that I do. Of course, he hesitated over the past year when my department was in the news all the time for a certain website and all that jazz.

“Why can’t you work at NASA?” he’s asked. “People know what happens at NASA. I wouldn’t have to explain.”

But he also admits he isn’t really sure how to explain what I do because public affairs specialist can mean a lot of things.

Each time he says that, I remind him he wouldn’t be wrong to just call me a professional communicator. I take official information and I relay it to the public in a variety of ways.

There’s a little bit of marketing. A little bit of PR. A lot of program management. A lot of writing. A lot of multimedia. Sometimes traditional media. And as the summit summarized today, social media and data, too.

All for the government.

And always for the people.

And most of the time, I work with some really awesome people like Paul.

And sometimes I get to take pictures like this one …



Golden Globes ’14

The following are the online posts and ensuing conversations I had in real time while watching the 2014 Golden Globes.

7:34 p.m. – I don’t feel guilty watching the Golden Globes because, well, Amy and Tina. That is all.

7:54 p.m. – Must be weird to be newly married to an actor and referred to simply as “the hot wife” during his interview. #GoldenGlobes

8:15 p.m. – Is Sandra angry? #GoldenGlobes

8:20 p.m. – Jacqueline got the music! Good lord, just the second award and that was awkward. #GoldenGlobes

8:27 p.m. – You just won a Golden Globe for just being awesome. Who is the most random person you thank?

8:49 p.m. – Paula Patton is living my nightmare of walking out a bathroom with the toilet paper attached to my whole body. #GoldenGlobes

8:55 p.m. – I don’t know who this guy with the weird hair is, but I like that he is bringing butterfly clips back!!! #GoldenGlobes

9:19 p.m. – Tina and Amy. Love. #GoldenGlobes

9:24 p.m. – Jared Leto!!!!!!!!! #GoldenGlobes

9:40 p.m. – Emma Thompson keeping it real. That’s how I would present, but with a rum and Coke. #GoldenGlobes

9:46 p.m. – Melissa and Jimmy. Meh. Maybe if I had as much as everyone there at the #GoldenGlobes…

10:05 p.m. – Random: parts of the movie “Traffic” were filmed in Cincinnati. 🙂 #GoldenGlobes

10:10 p.m. – What the hell was THAT? #GoldenGlobes

10:45 p.m. – Truth: I haven’t seen any of these movies yet. It’s cheaper to wait until we can rent via “On Demand” about six months later. #GoldenGlobes

11:23 p.m. – I see my prom dress is in style again. #GoldenGlobes

11:35 p.m. – Leo is trying to say the word “risk” as often as he dropped the f-bomb in the movie. #GoldenGlobes

Jan. 13, 12:06 a.m. – If I won a Golden Globe, my speech would be, “Oh, wow. I am so calm here because I prepared this speech, as I expected this. You all proved me right. Thank you to all.” #GoldenGlobes 😉




Posts from a Winter Wonderland

Jan 3, 6:04 a.m. – It’s snowing like crazy outside. Good thing Martin’s TDY orders for Delaware were delayed, and he won’t be going for another week or so. I’m not shoveling this stuff by myself.

10 a.m. – Snow plows are loud. Wonderful and necessary. And loud.

10:47 p.m. – Winter wonderland! (photo above) The kids are already inside with super red cheeks, recovering from playing outside as soon as the sun was up.

11:24 p.m. – Kids ready for round two in the snow!

2:18 p.m. – Those are some rosy cheeks!!

2:29 p.m. – It’s been a looooong time — more than three decades — since I brought out my flying bicycle kicks. This lady didn’t even take her earrings off.


Posts to Note

August 30, 6:58 p.m. – By request, Girls Night Out.

7:21 p.m. – First course = dessert.

8:03 p.m. – Jaz’s got a minor head cold, the first since his hospitalization in June. He’s had it for a little over a week now, and the preventative meds he inhales every day are working: he’s just slightly wheezy and feeling fine. Unfortunately, to his chagrin, the preventative meds don’t keep this anxious mother from constantly following him around, putting her ear to his back all the time, listening for a change in his breathing/wheezing. I don’t think there’s really anything to help with THAT. Continue reading