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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What a disaster! Maybe he needs to add some ankles to his Cyberbones toe shoes.

Glad you're done packing. No more swimming for you guys, okay?


How terrible! I can't believe both of them had injuries. I hope that they both recover quickly, and the rest of the packout goes well.
Oh, and congrats on getting the UAB amount so close. I think it is great to get it as close as you can, that way you get the most out of it.

I would also like to say that I love the pool. Someday, I want a pool in my backyard, it is sort of a dream of mine. I not sure I will ever have it, but I can dream. Sometimes, the dream is much better than reality, but sometimes not. And now I am rambling. The end.


Guys+water=someone's gonna get hurt... quit blaming the poor pool ;) !! At least it looks like they were having fun! Hope everyone feels better soon and the rest of your move goes smoothly. btw... it sounds like you pack your UAB like we do, if you feel like labeling it unidentified!


Oh! You are Packing out! Well, bless you and I hope that all goes well. Your last post inspired me get my social on. When can we meet up when you guys get back to DC and are settled? You really are such a stellar voice in the FS community - keep up the good attitude :)


It is so comforting to hear how another mother of fearless boys gets through all of their crazy injuries! Thank you for making me feel at home with my mothering skills and their injuries.

I hope they each feel better really quickly and that packout continues to go smoothly!


Ouchie! I hope he is better soon. Tell him to be smarter than me and stay off of it until it heals. Didn't blog about it but I sprained an ankle first day in the states still sore almost 7 weeks later becuase I just wouldn't slow down.

Congratulations on making weight on UAB. I like the unidentified label since I am not exactly sure what is in mine. I will find out soon.


oh, no! So sorry they got hurt esp Dad. Hope it's all better this am. What lousy timing. Good luck w the rest of your packout. Lucky for you, you have two strapping young boys who can help out. :)


Uggg - I feel your pain. The day before we left for DR (post packout, pre-departure) our youngest (18 months at the time) fell in the hallway at Oakwood and broke his arm! We had been in Falls Church 7 months and had no idea where the ER was! But, we left for DR on time - cast and all. I swore that I would always research the nearest ER as soon as I arrived at each post. Well, come January, there was my husband suffering a major face laceration from a pool collision with our 4 year old. I had no idea, again where the ER was. BUT, now our 4 year old just completed his latest ER visit (last night, fall in the tub, two stitches to the chin) and we knew exactly where to go....because he had been before after falling off the bed and hitting his head. Yes, bad parent, that's me...or just the mom to two boys and a clumsy husband : ). Oh, and good luck with the pack out : ).


Hi Kolbi!

This post made it into the Weekly State Department Blog RoundUp! Check it out over at

Have a great weekend!

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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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