First to clear up a misconception... while we are in long term training (such as language at FSI), we are not really allowed to take leave. This means I'm actually less able to take time off to fly and see my family than when I am posted abroad (weird right?) Since my folks are west coast based, this makes our communication continue to be primarily text, skype, and phone call based. And super short weekend flights with the puppy.
|I forget sometimes how gorgeous it can be to see our country from the skies.|
|Puppy doesn't get frequent flyer miles. Sad.|
|I don't always pose in my mom's gym clothes drawer. But when I do, I look like an advertisement for ASCPA|
|Making my way downtown, walking fast, grandma's holding me like a churro.|
|Beautiful sky as we drove around Nevada|
|Hardest part of being abroad...missing out on dumb stuff and time with family. #vacayinvegas|
|#vacayinvegas is also where I discovered Game of Thrones slot machines #goodbyeperdiem|
|I tried to repair my brother's floating wall when I visited. I failed.|
|Our family goes big for Thanksgiving feasts. #oneturkeyisneverenough|
Now please enjoy some light entertainment in the form of a few random snippets of conversations with my nonstop source of comedy sitcom material (and beloved maternal): Teapot.
M = Me
TP = Teapot
K = Kettle (make an intelligent guess)
My constant encouragement to hit the gym
M (on skype): Hey, sorry I haven't called in a while. I've been really sick, the weather has been so cold.
TP: Oh is that why? No wonder your face looks so bloated. I thought you just got fat again.
|I'm not fat, this is just my bone structure. And fur.|
TP (while out eating X-Mas dinner with the family): ...I just think you shouldn't date someone too young, you'll always end up just being a mom and taking care of them. You need someone who knows how to take care of you.
M: Uh huh. And what if I happen to be dating someone who's older?
TP: Wait, are you dating someone? Are they divorced? Why aren't they married already? Is there something wrong with them? And do they have a house yet? What kind of person at that age doesn't own something more permanent? Do they have an established career? A graduate degree?
M: ...if you ask one more question, I'm going to find the first divorced, fresh out of state penitentiary, internet blind date and marry them, I swear.
TP: Why are you always so dramatic?
|Excellent refugee exhibit we caught at the MoMA in New York|
Nothing is ever good enough
M: (texts pictures of the first big snow we have in the DMV during January)
TP: (texts back) Do you mind getting some snow on the trees, the picture would look much nicer.
|Sorry about the lack of snow on trees. I'll go get my spray paint right now...|
Teapot (out at dinner, trying to be casual): So...who are you dating? Tell us more...
M: Well he's a man.
TP: Of course he's a man.
K: You should be happy it's a man.
TP: Yea, it's a modern era. Could have been a woman.
|Alright, I like showing off my cute dog, ok?|
|And food obsession. But that's nothing new. #rameninNY|
This land is my land
TP: I'm just saying, that city in [country] is clearly more nationalistic and pro-unification! It's something to pay attention! It's a big deal!
M: ...I am dating someone who is isn't insane, is the same religion, doesn't have a criminal record, and can possibly communicate with you and you're complaining about what politics his ancestral city may have leanings towards?
TP: (pause) ...I'm just saying...
M: Go to your drawer right now! What type of passport do you have!
M: Done with this conversation.
|Great luncheon fundraiser called Empty Bowl, supported by local restaurants and ceramic studios. You enjoy a lite lunch of soup and breads while getting to choose and keep a lovely ceramic bowl. Proceeds help our local food bank.|
TP: I don't understand why you would dress the puppy up as a rabbit, she is clearly much more of a lion look.
M: (confused and looks at the photo I sent) ...that's a penguin costume.
|Eastern Market is getting lively again now that the weather is better.|
M: (notice 4 missed calls in the span of 20 mins, calls back) Hey, is something wrong?
TP: Where were you? Why didn't you answer the phone on a Sunday?
M: I was napping, it's freezing outside.
TP: What if this was an emergency? Why are you napping? Don't you realize your parents could be incredibly worried about you?
M: Alright, sorry, what's wrong?
TP: Oh, I saw it was snowing in DC, is puppy too cold? I think you should order her a parka and some boots.
M: ...I'm hanging up now.
|Super cute french bakery I studied at the other afternoon.|
Vacation while you can
M: So yea, I'm taking off for the weekend for a short trip. It'll be nice to travel a bit.
TP: Well it's good you have friends and can do all your traveling now. When you have a family, you'll never be able to go anywhere.
M: Why not? Families vacay.
TP: Life is different when you're married, you'll have to travel with your husband and go with him everywhere -
M: ...when was the last time you took dad with you on any vacation with your friends?
TP: That's different. (pause ) Your father is happiest making me happy.
M: And for every pot, God created a lid.
|Come on, cutest sake ever at a pho party fundraising event?|
The blurred lines of animal and human rights
TP: I'm so excited to be coming to visit the puppy! I'm going to take her to the supermarket!
M: We've talked about this, you know you can't take her to the supermarket.
TP: I don't understand why people are so mean and won't let her in. She's tiny and so cute and well-mannered.
M: Dogs shed, people have allergies. And it's a hygiene issue.
TP: None of this would be a problem if you just bought me a stroller like I asked you to.
M: I'm not buying you a dog stroller.
TP: Well, how about a baby bjorn?
|J asked but apparently there's not much in Shanghai, WV. We still want to drive through it and take a picture though.|
TP: I've been thinking, you need to be more like a cat.
TP: In dating. Make sure you're like a cat more.
TP: Like Cookie (our house cat), she'll sit right by me while I eat breakfast, but she won't look at me, she'll just stare into the backyard. So even thought I know she wants attention and food, she's not going to do anything until I give her a head scratch or treat. You want to let the man take initiative or they won't appreciate you as much. Don't be clingy. Be like a cat.
|Bonus photos! Congrats to the 189th A-100 class who just had their flag day!|
|Also welcome to the incoming March 190th A-100. Go baby diplomats!|
But seriously, it'll be great having the maternal out to visit. What could go wrong?
|As always, Tea.|