Welcome to our unaccompanied tours (UT) blog, Foggy Bottom Rambles! We can share information, programs, and resources quickly with you and since blogs are a two way street, we (and the other readers) can hear from you. What's in a name you say? This blog reflects how we (back here in DC, Foggy Bottom area) provide information (rambles) to you. Find websites and information, upcoming webinars, programs and events. FLO does not endorse organizations or companies linked-to in this blog, the views they express, or the products/services they offer. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOAskUT@state.gov.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cheers to 2012!

Are you missing your family on New Year’s?  Here are some ideas to still have fun and ring in the New Year with a smile. 
  • Put together a New Year’s Eve party for others. Gather your closest friends who are in the same boat and enjoy the celebration together.
  • Call an old friend or your family. Spend some time talking on the phone, watching New Year's Eve specials together, and reminisce on the year gone by and discuss what's ahead.
  • Cook a great dinner. Just because you're alone doesn't mean you have to dine on bad food. By cooking a swanky meal, you can enjoy the holiday and put a little spectacular into the everyday.  Consider combining this cooking experience with calling an old friend/family via Skype. 
  • Indulge in your favorite hobbies or interests. If you're a reader, curl up with a novel. If you're a film buff, have an all-night marathon of your favorites. The possibilities are endless - just enjoy yourself.
Also, check out these funny New Year's superstitions.  Did you know that one superstition says the first person to enter your home at the stroke of midnight will influence the year you are about to have?  Preferably, *the superstition says*, the person should be a dark haired, tall, good looking man – bearing gifts….hmm…interesting.
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Home for the Holidays

Thank you to everyone who attended Diplomacy and Home for The Holidays and we hope you all had a great time.  Sherri and I really enjoyed meeting everyone!  We hope to be receiving additional photos soon, but here are a few shots FLOsters Liz and Lycia took for us.

A glimpse of the beautiful hors d'oeuvre table

One of the most impressive gingerbread houses I've ever seen...


UT Team saying goodnight and handing out Hallmark Recordable Storybooks

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Today's Event: Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays

Today, The Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will host Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays for 350 unaccompanied tour family members.  For those who are able to join us, we look forward to seeing you today.  For those who are unable to join us, we want to invite you to take part in some of the exciting virtual opportunities offered by our partnership with Skype and the Department of State.  If you have any questions about how to join via Skype please contact FLOaskUT@state.gov

You can learn more about starting to use Skype at http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/support/user-guides/start-skype/. You can also find more info about making video calls using Skype at http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/support/user-guides/video-calling/.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

'Tis the season to...

...be stressed!  Being apart from loved ones during the holidays isn't always easy.  Take a look at this website with five tips about how to manage stress from separation and stay positive during the holidays.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Take ten minutes...

...to watch this video.  We received an email from a UT daughter who wanted to share the video with fellow UT family members, and said, "for all the families out there who aren't physically together -we still share the same sky, the same earth".  

A nice thought for Thanksgiving...

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

One thing leads to another...click-click...

...and that is what makes the internet so entertaining.

I'm always interested in staying current with vast collection of Foreign Service blogs, so I make an effort to check out the official State blogroll.  After a few clicks here and few scrolls there, I landed on the well-known Life After Jerusalem blog.  This blog includes the longest list of Foreign Service blogs I've seen so far.  The list just keeps going...and I keep clicking...

What I found: 

A blog I'd never seen before- all about life in Kabul as a Cultural Affairs Officer.  It has some interesting pictures.  Click here.

Another find:  A NY Times article about biometric data collection in Afghanistan.  If you are an EFM, and have worked in a consular section before capturing fingerprints, you will appreciate this article.  Click here.  

Wing Tips On The Ground, one of our favorites, includes a packing list and tips (including some great pictures) before heading to Iraq.  Click here.  

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quick Tuesday tip!

Getting ready for the holidays?  Click here for a well organized checklist to help you manage your time. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

4 days remaining...

...Until the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) which will take place at 2:00 PM EST on Wednesday, November 9, 2011.  The test should last about 30 seconds and will transmit via TV and radio.  For more information, click here.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and thank you to everyone who RSVPed to this year's Holiday Party.

Tricking and treating...

                                                              ...Outside the box...

To show our support, we are collecting leftover candy from our colleagues in DC to send to our colleagues serving unaccompanied tours around the world to celebrate a belated Halloween - because a chocolate bar tastes good anytime of year...

                                             ...Inside the box... it is filling up quickly!

Friday, October 28, 2011

If someone asked you...

Would you be able to come up with a list of "life lessons?"  What would they be?  I found the essay, 30 Lessons I’ve Learned In 30 Years, and thought it had some really interesting points.  I've just pasted the first five, and will add another five next week, but if you can't wait click here to see all thirty. 

1. We must love. You know the saying, “tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” right? I know, such statements sound so banal and vapid on the surface that we often dismiss them with a waive of the hand. But it’s the cold truth, a truth so profound that perhaps we can only discuss it with little clichéd statements. But we must love, even if it breaks our hearts. Because unless we love, our lives will flash by.

2. Love isn’t enough. Although we must love, love is not enough to survive. We must take action to show others that we care, to show them that we love them.

3. Happiness is not for sale in any store. We can’t buy happiness. It sounds cliché to even say that, and yet we search the aisles and shelves and pages on eBay in search of something more, something to fill the void. But we can’t fill the void with stuff. It doesn’t work that way, no matter how hard we try or how much stuff we buy, because that stuff won’t make us happy. At best it will pacify us momentarily.

4. Success is perspectival. I used to think I was successful because I had a six-figure job that my friends and family could be proud of. I thought the house with too many bedrooms would make me look even more successful, and so would the luxury car and the tailored suits and the nice watch and the big screen TV and all of the trappings of the material world. But I got all of that and I sure didn’t feel successful. Instead, I felt depressed. So what did I do? I bought more stuff. And when that didn’t work I figured out that I had to do something else with my life, that I had to stop living a lie and start living my dreams.

5. You must make changemust. I knew that I wanted to change my life for the longest time. I knew I was unhappy, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled. I knew I didn’t have freedom. Not real freedom. The problem was that I knew these things intellectually but not emotionally. I didn’t have the feeling in my gut that things must change. I knew they should change, but the change wasn’t a must for me, and thus it didn’t happen. Anthony Robbins has a good aphorism to describe all these shoulds in your life: he says “after a while you end up shoulding all over yourself.” But once you understand these things on an emotional level you are able to turn your shoulds into musts. I believe that that is the pivotal point, that is when you get leverage, that is when you are compelled to take action. Thus, a decision is not a real decision until it is a must for you, until you feel it on your nerve-endings, until you are compelled to take action. Once your shoulds have turned into musts, then you have made a real decision.

                           What are some lessons you've learned so far?  Please share...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Holiday Party at the State Department

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, will host Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays, a reception for family members of unaccompanied tour employees this December at the Department of State. This is a wonderful opportunity for family members in the Washington D.C. area to get into the holiday spirit and to honor the work, service and sacrifice of State Department men and women that are currently on unaccompanied tours.

In order to receive an official invitation, please contact FLOaskUT@state.gov for details within the next week.  Please note that ‘Family’ is defined broadly to include spouse, partner, fiancé, parent, sibling, and children of anyone under Chief of Mission at an unaccompanied tour posting.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Are you in the D.C. area on November 30th from 6pm-9pm?

Learn how to nurture and strengthen relationships during unaccompanied tours with FSI's Long Distance Relatioships class, MQ801.  This class is open to all foreign affairs agency employees and adult EFMs.  To register, email FLOaskUT@state.gov to find out how to register.  I took the class last year and thought it was well worth it!

Enjoy the weekend! 

Friday, October 7, 2011


Use these quick techniques whenever you feel
stressed at work or home:

1.  Count 10 slow, deep breaths.
2.  Do five slow, small circles with your head,
stretching out your neck muscles.
3.  Stop what you are doing and get up. Walk
around your office or go to another room for
just a few minutes.
4.  Picture yourself in a place you find relaxing

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Kerri's Corner

Apples, apples, come get your apples!  Fall is my favorite season.  My number one reason for loving Fall is because Honeycrisp apples are out.  Every Sunday we go to the local neighborhood market and buy no less than 3 pounds of apples for the week.  A relatively new variety, Honeycrisps have a sweet, mellow flavor. They're very juicy and full of flavor.  You can eat them raw or make an apple crisp with them.  Some people enjoy their Honeycrisp with a dollop of yogurt.  There is no wrong way to eat a Honeycrisp.  Go get one!

Try Honeycrisp Apple Bread

2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup sour milk (add 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to fresh milk)
1 teaspoon soda
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups chopped Honeycrisp apples
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix together all ingredients. Divide batter between 2 greased loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees (at times I have to bake the loaves for 10 or 15 minutes more until they feel set when tapped).  Note: Batter will be stiff. 


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Employees headed to hooches...

Items you might want to include in your consumables shipment...

Soup mixes/cans
Any speciality food items you like, Thai Mexican, Indian...
Tea, coffee, coffee filter
Crackers and snack food
Laundry soap, dryer sheets, bleach, spot remover
Towels and washclothes
Bedding (beds are twin size), pillows
Small pastic container with drawers
Clorox wipes
Bath soap
Swiffer wet/dry ones (for the kitchen floors)
Small pastic bags (for the wastebaskets)
Dust cloths (it is very dusty and dirty)
Good quality air purifier and humidifier
Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, hair color
Cosmetics you like...very little available, even the basics like mascara
Toothpaste, mouthwash
Contacts and lens cleaners, Visine
Calendars, family photos
Holiday decorations, birthday candles
Greeting cards
Any hobby items that you want to work on (in moments you have some free time)
Toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, napkins
220 Volt Coffee Pot, Tea Kettle
Bed risers to maximize storage under the bed (you can buy these at Bed, Bath and Beyond)
Dishes (if you don't want to eat off paper plates), flatware, glasses, mugs, plastic storage bowls with lids
Adaptors, batteries
Small stereo system
Hooches are provided with TV/DVD, microwave, small refrigerators, telephone and shower curtain

Thursday, September 29, 2011

AAFSW “Happy Hour” at Oakwood Apartments Falls Church

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 7 – 9 p.m.
For new diplomatic spouses (whose partners are in A-100, BSAC or other training), current AAFSW members and any local foreign affairs agency spouses who may be interested in joining AAFSW. Newcomers can meet others in the same situation, talk to experienced spouses and learn about helpful resources and groups. Snacks and drinks, including wine, will be provided (bring a finger food if you like, not required).
Please RSVP with your name, contact information and affiliation by Friday, Sept. 30 to office@aafsw.org , or send questions to the same address. If you are in the DC area, we hope to see you there!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just a small note...

The other day I found this article about five important things to remember to avoid when attempting to build stronger relationships and thought I'd share.

Happy Monday!  Can't believe September is almost over...didn't it go by so fast?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If you are a visual person, you will appreciate this...

Are you working on your resume?  The website Vizualize.me automatically connects to your LinkedIn account and creates a visual resume all about youIn a world where plain old resumes are becoming obsolete...this might be something to consider to stand out.  Of course, some industries and sectors will be more receptive to this kind of resume than others, but no matter what, it will definitely make a statement and will be hard to forget.  What does YOUR infographic resume look like?

(Also, don't forget, if you are researching job opportunities and need guidance, FLO has an Employment Team dedicated to helping you!  Just email FLOaskEmployment@state.gov.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Do you know about our new program...

..."Ask A Returnee"?

Whether you are posted to an unaccompanied tour, getting ready to go, or just thinking of bidding, you may have questions about life before, during, and after an unaccompanied tour.  We have assembled a group of people that are either serving or have served at an unaccompanied post.  They are ready to answer your questions and make suggestions about rules, regulations, and everyday life.  This is a great opportunity to ask real people, FSOs, EFMs, contractors, and others what life at these posts is really like.  Remember “to know the road ahead, ask those coming back”.

We have provided our volunteers with pseudonyms so they will feel comfortable responding honestly to your questions.  If the pseudonyms look familiar; good for you, they were first made popular by Ben Franklin.

We just launched this program and we are starting with Monterray.  Read Polly Baker's responses here.  Have a question about Monterrey?  Email us at FLOaskUT@state.gov and we will direct your question to Polly and post the response here

Friday, September 16, 2011

Some light reading...

It's Friday!

10 Coolest Small Towns in the U.S.A. - are any of our readers from these cool towns?

Top Fall Getaways - guess what city is first?

Lazy Mammals Live Longer  - another excuse to sleep in this weekend...

Ten Ways to Live Longer - keep your head up!

Qualities of The Highest Earning Women - from now on, just call me Deborah.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Update on Kabul

Many of you have been contacting FLO to ask if we have more information on the recent incident in Kabul.  First of all, we are happy to report that all Embassy personnel are safe and accounted for.   So far, all we know is on Tuesday afternoon (Kabul time), September 13, 2011, suicide bombers and gunmen launched a coordinated attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul.  Again, the U.S. Embassy is reporting no causalities among Embassy personnel.  Please refer to the U.S. Embassy website for further information.   FLO continues to follow the events taking place in Afghanistan. 

This might be a good time to remind you that FLO’s Unaccompanied Tours staff (and all of FLO) are here to support you at all times.  I encourage you to email FLOaskUT@state.gov, or call us at the numbers listed below if you would like to know more about our program.  
We would also like to remind you of the many services designed for individuals looking for counseling or life style coaching are available through MHN.  MHN is a free, anonymous, confidential service trained in telephonic counseling skills.  Access the website here at https://members.mhn.com/ and use the company code ‘unaccompaniedtour’  to login.  If you would like to call them, their number is 1 800 213 5811.  Let the telephone operator know you are associated with an unaccompanied tour through the State Department.   If you experience problems accessing the service, please contact us at 202 647 1076, FLOaskUT@state.gov

We remain committed to our motto:  Unaccompanied, but not alone.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy Monday! 

Some activities for younger children while mom or dad is serving at a UT post...

The Counting Chain

Unlike most chains this one actually counts how many days daddy/mommy has been away, the perfect thing about this is it can be used as decoration.  This is the same type of chain that a child would make in school to count down until Christmas.  As every day passes, write something you did that day or remember. It' a great way to remember everything they want to tell the loved one that isn't there. Once daddy/mommy is due home, use the counting chain as a welcome home gift...it'll definitely be long enough to decorate the living room.

The Keepsake Box

Get a shoebox and have your child decorate it.  Inside the box they get to add something every day or week (depending on what you want to try) and once daddy/mommy comes back they can tell them all about the items.

These ideas are courtesy of this website.  

Also, remember to stick to routines.  Routines will help your child feel secure.  As time goes on and she/he feels more comfortable, ask your child to help you create new family routines, such as Backward Day (try eggs for lunch, sandwiches for breakfast).  Take care of yourself by including physical activity in your routines: a family walk, a game of tag, or dancing to favorite tunes. Also, eat (and serve) good foods to feel your best and get plenty of sleep. By keeping yourself physically healthy, you’ll keep yourself emotionally healthy, too.

More resources can be found at this website.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Returning to D.C.?

On September 18th the Foreign Service Youth Foundation is hosting a welcome-back picnic for Foreign Service families that recently returned to the D.C. area from overseas. Whether or not your family falls into that category, we hope you’ll attend—to make new friends, reconnect with old ones, and welcome home your colleagues. The picnic offers food and fun for the entire family.

If you would like more details about the event, please email us at FLOaskUT@state.gov.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This week taught us something...

= to be prepared.  So, with a hurricane on the way to D.C. (maybe) take a second to review the tips in this article.

(My backyard in Florida after a CAT3 hurricane years ago...)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Check out this interesting website - D (our intern) found it for us, of course.  If you love photography- check out the inspiring collection of shots.  If you are looking for ways to design your new house, apartment, or hooch, check out their home and furniture section for unique ideas. 

Warning: you might spend way too much time mesmerized by this website.   

Monday, August 22, 2011

A great book for Foreign Service kids...

Three Little Kids and the State Department, an illustrated children's book by Foreign Service spouse Elaine Guihan, tells the story of her three boys growing up in a Foreign Service family, told from the children's perspective.   Perfect for eight to thirteen-year-olds it covers some of the problems and joys that children experience moving from post to post and culture to culture.  This book will give children a preview of what they might experience over the years.  Here are excerpts from the description in the November, 2008 issue of "Foreign Service Journal":

"Alex, Colin and Jim's dad is an FSO.  At an early age, they leave home with their parents and live in Mauritania, France, Cote d'Ivoire and Turkey with a surprising interlude in Washington, D.C.  Their life is not always easy but it's never dull.  Plunked down in the Sahara, the boys play in the desert, learn how to wear a headscarf and drink camel's milk.  After two years, they pack their suitcases and move to France, an amazingly beautiful place.  There they visit historic castles and roller skate at the Place de la Concorde.  More adventures follow in Turkey and Cote d'Ivoire.  Written in a light, wry tone the book is colorfully illustrated."  

The book is available on Amazon.com or Xlibris.com. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Invite to Diplomatic Reception Rooms Tour

As an unaccompanied tour family member, you are invited to a tour of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms on September 8th at 9:30AM.  If you would like to attend, please RSVP before September 1st to FLOaskUT@state.gov.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Home sweet home...

We've followed The Perlman Update blog for months now and we are happy to see that her husband has returned after a year in Baghdad.  Read her posting about his return here.  Enjoy VA and hope you keep blogging!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Foreign Service Officer Michael recently returned from serving one year in Monterrey, Mexico.  Shortly after Michael's family arrived in Monterrey, the post was declared unaccompanied.  Michael's family had to unexpectedly turn right back around and return to the United States while he remained at post for the next year.  Michael's son, Michael Jr., is seen in this video receiving his Medal and Certificate of Recognition on June 9, 2011 - in appreciation for the sacrifice asked of him while separated from his father.  Congratulations to Michael Jr.!

If you want information on how to nominate your child for a Medal and Certificate of Recognition, email us at: FLOaskUT@state.gov

Thanks for sharing this video with us! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Why I Serve 
by Courtney Beale
Courtney Beale serves as Acting Spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.  The following is from the Department's DipNote blog:

The insistent ringing penetrated my slumber. I woke up and looked at the clock. It was only 1:00 am, so it couldn't be the alarm. Then I realized it was the press phone, the one that all the journalists knew to call when they had questions for the U.S. Embassy. What now? My contact's questions shook me wide awake. An American official, he said, had been taken into custody at the airport trying to leave the country with sensitive military equipment. "Is it true?" he asked.

In a highly charged press environment leery of America and Americans, the last thing we needed was another inaccurate story to fuel further suspicions. I spent the next hour on the phone with the embassy's security office piecing together what had really happened, which was -- as usual -- much less newsworthy than the rumors. Just as the papers went to press, I was able to call back the journalist, tell him he had his facts wrong, and stop the non-incident from becoming front page news that morning.

In press work, especially in Pakistan, we often count our victories in what we prevent rather than what we create. 

I volunteered for a tour in Islamabad wanting to serve my country. The same motivations prompted my father to join the Navy 45 years ago. He flew F-4 Phantoms off aircraft carriers during the Vietnam War, putting his life on the line to defend our country. He also developed a lifelong passion for flying. I had always deeply respected him for having seen history in the making, and for helping make it himself. I grew up inspired by his service to America. Seeking an unaccompanied assignment and spending a year away from my husband was my own way of giving back to our nation.

While I can never compare squashing rumors during middle-of-the-night phone calls to flying a jet over a war zone, I feel honored to work in the press section at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. I was drawn to press work in this volatile region, because it is the great nexus of policy, public diplomacy, and national security. Pakistan has arguably the most intense and freewheeling media environment in the world, and conspiracy theories and misinformation about the United States run rampant. Having served in India and speaking Urdu, I felt called to use my skills and experience to tell America's story sensitively but honestly, and help create an environment of opinion conducive to U.S. policy goals.

From the massive U.S. relief effort after last summer's historic floods to the death of Osama bin Laden this spring, there has not been a dull moment since I arrived. I have certainly collected a few tales to tell my own children one day. But more than that, my service has also helped me discover new passions of my own -- the music, the people, the food, and the history of South Asia -- that I'll carry with me wherever I go in life.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

So you think it is hot....

At the start of Ramadan, a public holiday was declared Monday for Baghdad as the temperature hit 122 Fahrenheit!

Friday, July 29, 2011

"For UT Team"

Our favorite "junior intern" drew the UT Team a beautiful picture!  Thanks, Tyler!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Having trouble sleeping?  Check out this article about ten foods that help you sleep better.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The world's skinniest house?

This house makes hooches look spacious!  I guess it would inspire you to stick to your diet...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Save us from the heat dome!

With 45% of the US population under a heat advisory, here are some tips to stay cool from CDC.

FYI,  it is supposed to be 114 tomorrow is Baghdad, 113 in Basrah, 105 in Mazar-I-Sharif, 94 in Kabul, 97 in Islamabad, 90 in Karachi, 95 in Monterray, and 85 in Juba... I guess we aren't the only ones feeling the heat

Some silly jokes to make you smile...

It was so hot that I saw a bumblebee back its stinger into a Popsicle.

It’s so hot…

The robins are laying their eggs sunny side up.

All the water buffalo at the zoo have evaporated.

The birds had to pick up the worms with potholders.

Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard boiled eggs.

Don't you want to just jump right in?
Have a fun and safe weekend! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Four Afghan women make history...

... as the first female pilots from their country.  "We should show the world that the women of Afghanistan are strong," said Lt. Sourya.

The women are also the first to attend the Defense Language Institute's general English course, where they will not only perfect their English skills, but also learn about U.S. history and culture.  "What a fantastic opportunity for us and the wing to build coalition and bilateral partnerships across the world," said Col. Eric Axelbank, the 37th Training Wing commander. The Institute represents 85 countries with over 1,100 students. 

Check out the full story and see pictures here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Are you in DC/VA?  You get a free pizza from Papa John's if you register below!  

Click here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Wandering Drays...United.

Fellow Foreign Service blogger, Heather, eloquently describes all her anticipation and excitement as her husband returns from a year long tour in Iraq...

"Finally. Just One Week.

I'm feeling melancholy tonight, thinking back over my husband's unaccompanied Baghdad assignment.  It's been nearly 1 1/2 years since Jason started the seemingly never-ending journey to Iraq.  Six months in D.C. for training; nearly a year in Baghdad.  And now, we have just a week. 
One teensy weensy week.  But the longest week.  Ever.  To get through.

In just one week...Jason will be home.  And I won't have to look forward to NOT looking forward to him heading back to Iraq.

Come to think about it, in just one week...

I alone won't have to bandage up boo-boos and wipe away tears when the kids fall and get hurt.  And I alone won't fail at mending broken hearts when friends hurt the kids' feelings.

There will be a real cook in the house.  One who makes meals.  That actually taste good.

Someone else will be here to carry the never-ending mountains of laundry down two flights of stairs to the basement.

I won't have to eat lunch alone in a restaurant reading a newspaper.

I won't have to walk through the house with the cell phone hoping for great reception in a room that won't dump our call into the black hole abyss of dropped calls.  Or hold my free hand over one ear while squishing the cell phone up to my other ear as tightly as possible so I can hear him better.  Because even a call that I can barely hear him is better than no call at all.

I'll be able to get mad at someone else, other than the kids, for using up all the hot water just before my shower.  Or for using my towel.  Or for forgetting to put a new roll of toilet paper in the bathroom on the dispenser.

We'll watch the kids as they catch fireflies with the sun drifting off into the horizon.  We'll both hear the baby as he tries to say new words and watch as he climbs into things he has no business climbing into.

We'll stay up late and talk about our dreams and plans.  And listen to the kids giggling upstairs as they pretend to fall asleep.

I won't go to sleep every night feeling all alone in a house full of sleeping children.

We'll be a family again.  All together, as we should be.  What a journey we've made to get back to exactly where we belong."

Thank you, Heather, for letting us share this on our blog.  
To follow Heather's blog and read more about her experiences during the UT, click here.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend...and remember...

Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them.  ~John Shirley