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.
Blog powered by Typepad

« This -n- That | Main | It is Finished. »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


you tell them Kolbi! I loved this blog post :)


Basically, I love you.
And that last gif made me laugh so hard I had a contraction, which is bad, Kolbi. Because I have to hold this baby in for 15 more days until mah huzzband can get out of freaking Djibouti. 15!
No more funnies now. For reals. My uterus can't take it!



Sara Roy

Eloquently written. Thanks for that!


Amazing, love this!

Jen Dinoia

Didn't I tell you not to post that picture of me?! You were supposed to put the one of me sitting around eating bonbons all day long!

Course what's really sad? What got me through the second UT (and I hope and pray Army Wife never has to deal with this) is praying to whatever God I could find, every day, that the second UT did not end like the first and as long as I stayed healthy (remotely), it would be okay. Sad, sick and twisted, but true...

Oh, yeah, and all of those State-provided bonbons. They are super yum!

And, of course,


Oh Kolbi, you're the best!


Seriously? You got banned? Awww. I love you, lady, you know that?


Banned by the Huffington Post. Wow. That's quite a distinction. Something akin to being denigrated by Bigfoot for being dirty.


Anybody who gets banned by HuffPo can't be _all_ bad!


I <3 you! Only you could take on hater comments like this! Thank you! Heather


I love your blog. I admit... I am a lurker. I LOVE this:)


Woohoo! You go girl! You are so very awesome!


Well said Kolbi! I had a similarly WTF reaction to this comment. But I do have to say that in one FS post, I did have access to Embassy cars. But only because I wasn't allowed to drive because of my gender. And because we had to be in armored cars so we didn't get blown up. It was lovely. I'll take driving my own car any day. And Camille - squeeze those legs together!


I think I've just found another soul mate. I love you and I thank you so much for writing this!! If just one person back home accuses me of being a spoiled diplomat this homeleave I might just completely freak out on them (ending in me being imprisoned or committed, lol!)


OMG, I just found your blog, and I love you. I evacuated Cairo with a 3 and 1 year old earlier this week - that was super cushy! And am now awaiting the imminent arrival of my husband from said Cairo.

Heather and Jason are the most awesome people I know, and I have to say they are only one of the many many awesome couples we have met since joining this party. Diplomats work hard, under exceptionally tough circumstances. We go in with our families, and unarmed.

I have so much respect for the military peeps and their spouses, but don't you dare tell me this diplomacy gig is a party.

Carla Runs the World

This was awesome! And to be honest, Donna had a much more diplomatic response to army wife than I would have.

Lady, it is not a competition! And if it was, I certainly hope I wouldn't be winning the "who has it harder" fight!


Kolbi, you rock! I mean, you always rock but you super special rock when you get all pissed off for Donna. And banned from HufPo? Hm.


...and would it be so wrong for each of us to take our turn logging in to the comments section of HuffPo and placing a link to your blog in OUR comment?

I see nothing wrong with that.

As always, Kolbi, you make me laugh at the very same time that you're saying big stuff.



Ok...just went over to HuffPo to see what all the excitement was about and to try to link back to this post.

I found Army Wife and her comment. She sounds tired. And pissed off. But less at Donna (aka all UT spouses). And the "embassy car" phrase ~ well, clearly she's misinformed also.

So as much as I wanted to be mad at her too ~ being tired, mad & dumb is more pitiful to me than anything.

Donna's article ~ on the other hand ~ is excellent!


Kolbi, this post totally made my day!!! Because I too read Donna's article and loved it (of course). I also read the comments below and was pissed at Army Wife but didn't do anything. I feel the exact same way you do about the way Army folks and their spouses talk about State folks. Oh, it irritates me to no end but I don't say anything because neither my husband nor I have been in the Army and I know that the moment I say anything, I would be lynched. But you did and you did it with gusto and I love you for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Charlsie Kate

The fact that your comment was banned convinces me with all certainty that it was the greatest comment ever. Why do you get deleted and army wife gets to stay? Is it not enough that the television show Army Wives has seven seasons and counting?

Mrs. P

I'm violating my rule of never commenting on a blog because I just couldn't keep quiet any longer. You might recognize me as the now FAMOUS!! (thanks Donna) Mrs. P. who reportedly cried her way to the airport. I have a comment for said Army Wife - as a 20+ year military spouse living side by side with Donna I would like to tell "Army Wife" that until you live this life with these AMAZING PEOPLE you have no idea what you are talking about. They work every day to protect our freedom. They serve in places that are high threat, low income and low to no resource - and they often do it with their families. They don't have commisaries or AAFES and they don't complain about it. I think you owe my friends an apology. To all you amazing FS and DS folks - THANK YOU!
p.s. where can I get one of those cars?


Mrs P is here! Welcome to the party, my friend. The rest of y'all WISH you had a Mrs. P on your side. She is the butt-kicking-est Army wife there is in the whole of the United States Army. Probably better than any Navy spouses out there, either. Also? She makes the most delicious mint chocolate cookies in the history of cookiedom. And she shares them. I'd rather have Mrs. P than an Embassy car, any day.


P.S. Or maybe she's in the Air Force? Who knows? I'm still thinking about those cookies...

A Daring Adventure

Famous Mrs. P!

It is indeed a great honor to me that you broke your blog-commenting silence for this blog post of mine! And you left such a beautiful and touching comment, too! Any friend of Donna's is a friend of mine, and I also would have cried all the way to the airport if I had been there when Bart was leaving.

Thank you for your and your husband's service to our country. And thank you for being such a wonderful friend to Donna. I have to say, I am jealous of you! I have not yet had the pleasure of living in the same city... wait, country... wait, CONTINENT as she, but someday that will be remedied. For when we all retire, I will live next door to her. It has been decided. And no, she has no say in the matter.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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. 

Become a Fan

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!
free counters
Colorful! (Inside a Chengdu ancient Buddhist monastery.)
Have I mentioned that I absolutely adore taking pictures? Here are some that I've taken recently:
A Daring Adventure's items Go to A Daring Adventure's photostream