Friday, May 27, 2011

State Department Blog RoundUp

All right!  It is still technically Friday, so I am not as horrifically late as I thought I would be.  This week, month even, has been... challenging.  That's a good word.  Now I only have a semi-normal three-day week before I get to spend 24 hours flying 6,000 miles home!  Now that's a great beginning to summer if I ever knew one!

This is a busy time of year for everyone, I think, so we only had a few Round Up submissions.  The rest are a collection of posts I've managed to read this week - only a small sampling of what's out there.

Having not had a chance to write my own post on this week's OTP, I'll put in a few sentences here.  I think for me, the most surefire sign that summer was coming each year was the transition to outdoor living.  Coming home from school or work and hanging out outside talking about our days with my family rather than doing so inside was always a welcome change.  We spend a lot of time in the backyard and do a lot of grilling, so it becomes the locus of life.  My mom works on her gardens, my dad gets the lawn and fields in tip-top shape, the large garden gets planted and maintained, my nieces and nephews play and run and frolic, and the whole family basks in the sunshine and newly-green environment.

So with that as a backdrop, let's venture on to everyone else's summer transitions and busy days:

Whale Ears and Wonderings took a great trip down memory lane in honor of Memorial Day, with lots of fun photos!  She also mentions a bakery that an Arabic classmate (who is now also in Amman) and I heard about last year and thought was the greatest name for a bakery ever!  Go to WE&W's post to find out more!

Stephanie at Where in the World Am I? is excited about her first Indian vacation over Memorial Day weekend, which was more work than she anticipated but should be a great time!  Have fun!

A Postcard From... has a beautiful post from her R&R trip to Ko Phi Phi.  I never made it to the southern islands when I lived in Thailand, but this post has me wanting to get back there soon!

Rambles and Ruminations is celebrating the beginning of summer in the best possible way - by finishing up a semester of grad school craziness!  Congrats on being halfway done!

Small Bits, taking a brief break from the border, has a memory-inducing experience looking through a thesis draft for a good friend.

Muttering Behind the Hardline had a tough week but was touched by the outpouring of support offered by the FS blogger community.  I think we've all been there, so best of luck!

Life After Jerusalem can take a breath of relief after her last progress test and takes some time to address work-life balance, a tough thing for any FS family.

Cyberbones is trying to both support and avoid her son's newest obsession in a post I can't even read in its entirety because it touches on my greatest fear and induces scary physiological reactions.  But I do encourage you to read it and then look at the post that inspired it all!

Misplaced Texan, an A-100 classmate and real-life friend of mine (with a newly public blog!), posted on the exciting news that bid lists are coming out sooner than we expected!

Two Crabs is also thinking about second-tour bidding...

The Dinoia family is starting to see some progress in dealing with incorrect hospital billing, which makes the end of radiation treatments that much sweeter!  Congrats Jen!

Last week's Round Up host, Ogles and Observations, has an exciting milestone to celebrate this week.

Tuk and Tam made a pretty amazing cake this week - check out her epic endeavor and see the phenomenal final product.  There's a project for another day, for sure!

Something Edited This Way Comes posted her toddler son's photo essay of Venice, which I thought was very artfully done.

Adrian at Life in the Land of the Long White Cloud has a third entry in his series of extreme Kiwi posts.  I still regret that my trip to NZ a few years back did not manage to include Zorbing...

Pulling Stakes' oldest displays his perfect sense of timing and distraction in this post.

Diplomatic Mom had no idea that her son's underwear would help her meet her neighbors, as evidenced in this post

The Afghan Plan, musing while on R&R, has some reflections on the training (or lack thereof?) he received prior to arriving at his PRT.  Good reading for those of you heading to AIP outposts this transfer season...

Email From the Embassy is busy, busy, busy these days but still has some time to reflect on living in the Middle East these days, a topic near and dear to my heart.

Lisa at What Were We Thinking has a very enjoyable (and creative) approach to weaning her youngest and is looking forward to a similar approach with potty training. 

Just Us heads to the Dead Sea for a fun family outing, complete with lots of mud and floating. 

Jill at The Perlman Update said goodbye to her husband for the last time (!) and is looking forward to a busy two weeks before their unaccompanied tour is over!  Congratulations on making it to the home stretch! 

Nomad by Nature's floppy-eared kid had a fun playdate with his brother, with beautiful pictures to show for it.

Well That Was Different had a great week, with a new house and a school acceptance to show for it!

And, last but not least, a special shout-out to a couple of blogs by FS kids.

Hannah at Millimania across the Globe blogs about life in Amman and life in the FS.

Morgan at Running to South America, himself the son of two prolific FS bloggers, is raising money for an awesome rugby trip to South America this summer/winter.  The vehicle for doing so:  the Wellington Marathon. 

All right, that's all for now.  Next week's FS Blog Round Up is up for grabs at A Daring Adventure.  It's not that hard, I promise!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day long weekend!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

State Department Blog Round Up: Call for Submissions

All right FS bloggers!  It's once again time for me to host a State Department Blog Round Up, for Friday, May 27th, 2011.  (Which is coincidentally my oldest nephew's 19th birthday!)
I fully admit early on, though, that I may be a tad late with the RoundUp, as I have work visitors in town all week and will be working Thursday and part of Friday, which is usually my weekend.  Nonetheless, the Round Up will go on!

We're coming up on Memorial Day weekend, that wonderful late May long weekend that serves three important purposes.  First, and most importantly, it is a time to remember the many men and women who have given their lives in service to our great country and to honor their efforts and memories.  Second, for those not working in the education sector, it is the first long weekend since February, which, let me tell you, is a very long three months.  And finally, it serves as a gateway to summer.  Whether one celebrates with barbecues, picnics, trips to the beach, the first camping trip of the season, preparing the gardens and lawns after a long winter, or other similar activity, Memorial Day weekend is the time we say goodbye to winter and hello to summer.  (Now I know what you're thinking - some of you are lucky enough to have a long spring in between winter and summer.  However, I grew up in New Hampshire, where we almost always have snow lingering into April and horrific mud seasons into May.  So spring is a bit of a blink-and-you-miss-it season in those parts.)


The optional talking point for this week's Round Up is your memories/traditions/rituals/etc. about Memorial Day weekend and/or the beginning of summer.  You may, of course, submit posts on other subjects as well.

In keeping with the new RoundUp format, please link to your blog (or others you want included) in the comments section.  Alternatively, you can email me.

Happy blogging!