Back home again

Once again we are in between posts and I find myself unable (unwilling?) to sit down and write. On one hand, we’re back in America, and really is it so exciting to see photos and read about my latest trip to Trader Joe’s? On the other hand, we’ve added another member to the clan, which provides an easy scapegoat for all kinds of things, including blogging (sorry kid). Regardless, I’ve ignored much of my online connection to home in order to actually spend time at home in “real life,” which is probably as it should be. We are enjoying both the familiarity of Northern Virginia, and the excitement of exploring a new-to-us neighborhood among the many enclaves of the region. I’ll try to check in a bit more than the last time we were back in the US of A, if for no other reason than my brain could use the creative exercise.

Capturing this temperate climate scenery on a weekend walk




The things we move around the world

Yesterday I mentally tallied up the number of times I’ve moved (not counting short stints on mom’s couch in between jobs or our current, adult equivalent–home leave) since graduating from college. In almost 11 years I have moved 9 times. That’s nine instances of either loading up the car (the worst) or organizing the house for someone else to come along and load up their vehicle (the best) and transporting our lives across cities, states, and continents. While I rummage through rooms sorting and organizing, I always inevitably wonder to myself “how is it that we still have this?” as I pull out a desk trinket from an old job, one-half of a now useless kitchen appliance, or my favorite accidental global tote, a sorority beer stein that somehow made it into the ‘ship around the world’ box instead of in permanent storage with our other random mementos best suited to see the light of day when we finally settle into one place and we’re foisting old accoutrements onto our soon-to-be collegiate children.

One other seemingly random item I’ve been toting around all these years is a bin of college T-shirts that I told myself I would one day have made into a quilt. When I first told myself this, I just assumed I would pay someone else to make the blanket using my disposable income that never seemed disposable enough to warrant such a task. But once we got into this lifestyle and I realized how important hobbies were to my sanity, I figured what the hey, why not just do it myself?

So six months ago I set out to finally tackle the t-shirt project and here is the final product. I’m not one to wax nostalgic about the “good old days” of college, but the satisfaction of using this blanket at night while we’re re-watching The West Wing makes me thankful that I hung onto them all these years.

Front and back of the quilt
A close-up of the novelty stripe on the quilt back (the squirrel is the beloved, albeit quirky mascot of the Alpha Gams)

Speaking of moving, we’re coming up on our two years here, which means we are indeed rummaging through rooms sorting and organizing. My goal is to write one more post from Libreville to show some pictures I’ve been meaning to share but haven’t gotten around to posting. As for my state-by-state desserts, although I had every intention of baking 51 desserts in two years, it looks like I’ll be baking long past our time in Gabon is finished. And if it took me 11 years to transform my t-shirts into a quilt, then I’ve still got some time for this next project.


Blog Revamp

Well, it’s been a good three years since I last spruced up our little nook in internetdom, and I thought last night was as good a time as any to redecorate. It’s a bit hard to do any spur-of-the-moment renovations when you live overseas–Home Depot and Michael’s are right up there with unicorns when spotting their ilk abroad. And while most of the time I’m fine with that (waiting two weeks for a box to arrive provides mini Christmas feelings all year long), every so often I get the sudden urge to change things up (the result of not being able to live vicariously through This Old House episodes). An impromptu wall repainting or light fixture swap isn’t in the cards right now, but a little virtual sprucing is just at my fingertips…so here we are.

Truth be told, I’ve contemplated doing a major overhaul of the site for awhile–new name, new domain, the works–with the goal of establishing a broader audience and maybe even making a little money down the road. That may still happen at some point, but for now I’m happy with these minor renovations. I’ll also be starting a position at the embassy soon, so it’s possible my writing may become even sparser than it is now. So this virtual “repainting” is just enough to quell my inner This Old House junkie, which is lying dormant since the show isn’t on Netflix. Otherwise I assure you I would have spotted a unicorn by now.