This is us.  The one showing lots of shoulder (in her Chengdu, China Marine Ball ball gown!) is the EFM who writes this blog. The one wearing a tux (James) is the employee who moves her (and their two sons) around all over the world. The red link, below, is how you can get in touch with me...

The time in Chengdu, China

Chengdu: city of fabulous food and beautiful Buddhist monasteries!
Yes, Beijing's Forbidden City (pictured, above) is really pretty and all, but I like Chengdu much better than Beijing!

In Our Same Boat (with State)

  • Beyond the Cornfields
    Brand-new State Department family in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Love their two little girls (she just recently had a baby while being posted in Dhaka), horticulture, traveling and adventure!
  • Email From The Embassy
    State Department family formerly in Beijing, China, and recently posted to Amman, Jordan. A trailing spouse, she's also a writer, and frequently publishes articles with major news sources. A very experienced State family, this new post is something like overseas post number six or seven for them.
  • Just US
    A beautiful family of seven - they have arrived at their new post: Jerusalem! They just finished off an unaccompanied tour to Iraq and are very much looking forward to sightseeing around the middle east.
  • Our Life
    State Department family on their second post...Tijuana, Mexico. It's their first overseas assignment and they have two little boys. They love Tijuana so far and post pictures frequently! They also get to enjoy the best of both worlds for they can sneak over the border into San Diego when they want to!
  • The Dinoia Family
    State Department family formerly in California, now in DC for a DC tour. Next, the husband will do a one year unaccompanied tour. A very experienced State family (formerly in Iceland and Caracas) with a blog that has been around quite a while and has great archives. Jen has a sweet heart and a lot to give!
  • The Perlman Update
    State Department family formerly in Chennai, India, who then did a year-long unaccompanied tour in Iraq. They are now on a DC tour and after that will do another unaccompanied tour (Afghanistan). She totally tells it like it is and doesn't sugar-coat what life is really like. Witty, snarky, funny and down-to-earth. Look elsewhere if you want fake. Read if you want REAL.
  • Where in the World Am I?
    State Department family formerly in Bujumbura, Burundi and now in Hyderabad, India. They just had their first baby this summer - a beautiful little girl- (there's a separate blog about this) and she also eats gluten-free (with a separate blog, also).
One of the most intriguing things about Chengdu is that it is a seamless blend of ancient and modern... all together, side by side.

Can't Live Without (non-State)

  • Crass-Pollination: An ER blog
    The best ER nurse blog EVER!
  • Doctor Grumpy in the House
    The best doctor blog EVER!
  • In Which...
    My IRL friend, a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mama of seven. Her darling daughters are, goshdarnit, probably too young to be hoped for as my future daughters-in-law.
  • The Crib Chick
    My IRL friend, a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mama of five. Hopefully two (Any two! I'm not picky!) of which are my future daughters-in-law.
  • the underwear drawer
    An anesthesiologist who is possibly the most talented & entertaining writer ever. I've read her blog ever since she started medical school. No, don't know her in real life. Wish I did.
  • The Bloggess
    This blog is both hysterically funny and hilariously irreverent. I actually let my 17 year old son read it (who loves it as much as I do!), but wouldn't even CONSIDER letting my 12 year old son read it. Which is about all the description it needs!
The grounds of Chengdu monasteries can be very, very peaceful...even though they are smack dab in the heart of a city of millions of people.


Yes, there are Starbucks in Chengdu! All over the place, in fact. So much so, Starbucks even crafted mugs for Chengdu stores!
Texan bluebonnets. Because I learned during our very first posting (Houston) that there's nothing prettier in the spring than the meadows of Texas.
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Sara Roy

So glad that Matthew enjoyed the ocean! I'm sorry you lost your buyer.


SURELY you wouldn't malign our beloved office of Transportation! You know, the ones who wouldn't even let me book an appointment to ship my car overseas until I had one tiny piece of paper that takes a month to acquire, despite having every single other document needed! And SURELY not the office that told me once I had that sheet of paper it would take four weeks to find a day when a moving company could get my car!

Seriously. I could have driven it here faster. Urrrrrgh. Sorry!! But good photos of wavehopping... didn't you join in? ;-)


Looks like amazing fun!

(And, dealing with crazy buyers? Probably providential that transportation stonewalled. . . Just sayin'.)


Wow ... that ocean looks SO MUCH warmer than ours on the other coast. Such clear, crisp photos of the wave jumping - you need to give some photography lessons on your blog!

Sorry about your lost buyers... what a pain in the tush! Like this is what you needed right now...


That's so terrible about the buyer! Maybe it makes sense to hire somebody to empty your house and put it in storage the next time someone comes along? Especially if you can't rely on the Office of Trans to act in a functional manner. Best of luck on the sale! At least Texas is still seeing home sales (unlike most of the country).


sorry about your buyer, but i will agree w another poster that crazy buyers are not usually worth it. they probably would have walked over something else anyway.

love the pics! amazing how you can capture that.


Hmm, I too have been screwed by transportation. Also, I am perhaps more afraid of sharks than is natural and I was GOING to go to the same place that this happened, until, well, this happened. YIKES!! My colleagues had to go deal with this. A week earlier and it would have been me dealing with it. Yikes again!


*sigh* tis the life, eh? Actually, I do know of at least one awesome person in T & T...if you run into the same situation again, let me know, I am sure she could help!


It looks like the boys are having a great time! I love the one with Zachary talking to the feet.
Sorry about the house. So frustrating.


That really sucks you lost a buyer!! Yuck!! The State Dept. did the opposite to us. We got the okay to move and they showed up on our doorstep the next morning to pack and move us. I was very frustrated and overwhelmed!!

Well, Houston is a good area so hopefully you'll have another buyer in no-time!!

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James loves me. And our sons. And his job. But not having his picture taken. In 2011 he finished up over a year and half of training, and in the fall of 2011 we got to our first overseas post - Chengdu, China!
Mao says hi! Because Chengdu is one of the only cities in China with a Mao statue.
Flowers are like friends. Each one is unique. Each one is beautiful. They brighten up everything around them. And you can never have too many. 

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2012 is the Year of the Dragon, y'all! Talk about the ultimate in good luck! This kinda party only comes around once every twelve years!
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Colorful! (Inside a Chengdu ancient Buddhist monastery.)
Have I mentioned that I absolutely adore taking pictures? Here are some that I've taken recently:
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