First off I want to thank everybody who reached out to me with their kind emails, texts and messages.  It meant a lot!  After hitting what I'm hoping was my personal nadir here on Thursday night and some pouting for Joey's benefit on Friday, I had a really nice weekend.

Friday night we tried Ethiopian food for the first time.  The whole exper- ience was really cool - you are served a huge platter of different foods with a basket of really spongy bread rolled tightly like a tortilla (but not tasting anywhere like it) and you break off a piece of the bread and use it to pick up the food on the platter.  I have some choice comments about the taste of Ethiopian food but my husband is censoring my right to put them here.

Conversation that just transpired:
Me: "Can I write _________?" Joey "NO."  Me: "What about ______?" Joey "NO NO NO."  Mr. Hotshot Diplomat apparently no longer has a sense of humor.

Saturday it was so hot here it felt like we were in Ethiopia.  For some reason DC was experien- cing a late heat wave and it was in the mid-90s.  Which is no problem, if you're inside.  But we had agreed to go to a Nationals baseball game with some of the people in Joey's class, so instead we sat outside in the sun and baked.  I should take a picture of the incredibly sexy tan line on my thighs from my shorts.   To compensate, we drank several $8 beers and had a great time.

The back of his jersey says "Tom"

Saturday night we went out for pasta so I could carb-load for my big 20-mile run yesterday.  I'm not sure though that I hadn't been carb-loading all day, what with the Five Guys burger and fries followed by beer at the game, but just to make sure I ate several pieces of bread, a heaping plate of pasta followed by three scoops of gelato.  Don't worry, I paid my penance yesterday morning.  About mile 17 I hit a wall.  Oh my GOD I was convinced I was going to throw up.  I just kept counting the seconds and telling myself only 3 more miles, 2 more miles, half a mile...  I made it - it took 9 minutes longer than I wanted it to - but I did run the whole time.  I have one more 20-miler before the big marathon and next time there will be no double cheeseburger and fries beforehand, nor any alcohol the day before and I will be prepared and have Gu on hand instead of having Joey make a last minute run to CVS to get some peanut M&Ms.  Speaking of Joey, in true amazing husband fashion, he followed me the whole way on his bike as my water boy, which probably got pretty frustrating to pedal so slow while I was chugging along at the end.  I saw some people with Camelbak water packs which I think I might like to get, but I have to admit, there were a few spots along the trail that gave me the heebie jeebies and I was really glad I had my security behind me.

Today we finally get our 400 lbs of air shipment.  I am so excited for hangers - all of my clothes have been camping out on a chaise lounge in our bedroom and it is impossible to decide what to wear.  I also get my Ugg boots, which is perfect timing because its been quite chilly the last two days - I think fall is actually in the air. We actually could have gotten our shipment Saturday afternoon.  Last Monday Joey got an email from the moving company that our air freight was in DC and we should arrange a time for it to be dropped off.  So Joey emailed the woman to schedule a time and she replied, "How about Saturday?"  Joey wrote back, "Saturday would be great - what time?"  No reply.  This was Monday.  So all week long, he emails them, calls them - no reply.  So Saturday we're at the baseball game and Joey receives a phone call from the moving company: "We're at your house."

Joey replied, "I'm not - no one called me."

Shipping company: "No one called you?"

Joey: "No - I tried emailing you, calling you and never heard back, so I'm at a National's game."

Shipping company: "Well when can you be here?"

Joey: "Two hours"

Shipping company: "How about Monday between 2 and 5?"  So this afternoon it is.  Yay!

We also submitted our bid list last night.  We had to rank each of the 94 posts high, medium or low.  They ask that you submit your bidding strategy along with your bid list; your strategy is basically three preferences.  According to State, if your bid list matches your strategy, they will try to honor your preferences.

For example, say Joey wants to work in management and learn French.  If there were a management job in Paris on the bid list, Joey would bid that high because it fits within his preferences.  Well, say there is also a management job in Guinea, where they also speak French.  If Joey did not bid that post high, the folks at State would say, "Hmm, apparently he doesn't really honor his preferences so why should we?"

So we listed our three preferences as follows:
1) Must be able to take dogs.  Which precluded quite a few posts.  Some countries on the list only allowed two dogs, some had breed restrictions, and some countries have really long quarantines (Australia's is 6 mos.).  So any country where we couldn't bring the boys got ranked low.  Everything else we ranked medium or high to make the point that the dogs are our number one priority.

2) Our second preference was for Joey to learn a world language (French, Spanish, Italian or German).

3) Our third was that the job either be consular or management (his cone is management and so in order to be promoted he must work in his cone, but in order to be tenured you have to have consular experience).  So all the posts where the job is in the management or consular cones and the language is one of the above we ranked high.  Everything else we ranked medium.

We had a meeting last week with his career development officer and she said based on his preliminary bid list his strategy was very clear and since were open to so many places we should be happy where we end up.  We'll see.  Everything is now in the hands of the State Dept.  However, after some research of the different posts, some of the places in Africa actually sounded really cool - I think now that I've come to terms with this "worldwide availability" waiver that Joey signed, I might actually like some of those posts.  One week from Friday and we'll know for sure!