(...but not in that order).
First of all... in case anyone has not yet heard... one of our own dear bloggers is facing MORE than her fair share of trial and uncertainty. Not only is Jen's husband currently assigned on an unaccompanied tour to Baghdad, but she is now shocked to be facing treatment/surgery for breast cancer (The Dinoia Family). Jen is extremely active, involved, and influential in the foreign service community. She is the moderator and/or creator of many of the information-sharing resources that we with State use daily, and she's so sweet and kind that she's beloved by all who know her.
Her brave story reminds us to be diligent, ourselves, with preventative forms of detection (The Perlman Update).
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In other news, Lydia at the blog Here, There & Everywhere will be hosting this week's State Department Blog RoundUp, and her optional theme this week has to do with traditions! Do you have any traditions that have come about for your family because of your experience with the State Department?
(Hmmmmm.... I'll have to think on that one, myself!)
But whether or not you choose to write about the optional theme this week, be sure to send RoundUp submissions to Lydia for inclusion in this week's RoundUp!
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As for us... we FINALLY left the apartment this weekend and headed out into the beautiful weather! I can't even remember the last time we went somewhere pretty and I took pictures. I seriously don't. Between moving and moving and... moving...there's been a serious lack of outdoorsy beauty in our lives.
We headed to the Washington DC Zoo! And we saw:
A Mandarin Duck! (To match our Mandarin Chinese!)
And Pandas! (To match the fact that there is a HUGE panda center in Chendgu!)
Oh my goodness - talk about cute! They were eating frozen fruit and getting it all over their faces.
Not a care in the world!
And there were Toucan(s):
And another incredibly interesting type of bird called a Victoria Crowned Pigeon:
I love the contrast between the bright red of its eyes and the blue of its feathers:
And what's not to like about the nifty feathers on its head? Fun and interesting bird...
I was so happy to be outside with my camera - I just can't TELL you the joy.
There were FLOWERS everywhere!
Some sort of gorgeous pink flowers that I can't for the life of me identify, but I'm for sure and certain that Shannon (The Flower Goddess) knows what these beautiful, pink flowers are.
And then, of course, there were... my boys.
They both totally hate having their pictures taken, but Matthew actually allowed me to take a few more...