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On motherhood, careers, and having it all

I only talk about gender, motherhood, and families in the Foreign Service with other women. Is that weird? While I certainly have male friends here, I find myself reluctant to complain about the inequalities and difficulties that we face to what I imagine will be an audience made unfriendly by its blind privilege. Maybe this isn’t the case! Maybe the men I know here at FSI would be thrilled to...

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Pumpkin granola and a day on the National Mall

PeaPod, you are my new best friend. Not only can I get groceries delivered to my door, I can get them delivered before 8 in the morning on a weekend, which means that I can spend the morning cooking and the afternoon hanging out, instead of spending the morning grocery shopping, and the afternoon cooking. First up! Pumpkin spice granola! I stuck to the tried and true 2 Peas and...

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Grocery dilemma. Where to shop in NoVa and DC without a car?

Moving to DC without a car has been marvelous. We walk everywhere! Including the closest grocery store, which is a mile away. Oh, Harris Teeter, you are wonderful, but how can you possibly not carry rice vinegar? When my husband and I lived in Benin, we were broke-ass cheap-asses. We agonized over every dollar spent (except at Happy Hour, strangely enough) and got used to living frugally. Now we live...

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Hi, my name is Theresa, and I am back!

I stopped blogging on my food blog when I found out that I’m pregnant. Six months in, I’m back in the States, enjoying DC as a foodie city, cooking up a storm, and wondering why I ever left! There are a lot of reasons, actually, mostly having to do with Judgey McJudge Judgers. You know, those people who think they have the right to tell me that I’m going to be...

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PANTS!

My A-100 suits got my through A-100, although barely. The last few days of class were a bit uncomfortable, and while I could have just put on the belly band, it felt too much like giving into the inevitable. Guess what? Giving in to the inevitable feels great! Once I got over the humiliation that was trying to find even moderately stylish plus-sized maternity clothes in the DC-metro area, I...

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We’re moving to Sierra Leone!

In February, Bertrand and I will once again pack up all of our bags to move across the world. This time, we’re going to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Dream country. Dream job. Perfect timing. We hadn’t really allowed ourselves to imagine that we’d be sent there, particularly since I speak French, and Sierra Leone is (sort of) an English speaking country. Surprise! We’re taking the weekend off to visit my parents,...

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On reconciling idealism with working for The Man

I am pleased to discover that I am not the only person in my A-100 class who finds it draining to be “on” all day, every day. Besides the firehose of information we need to absorb, A-100 is a big social event. Talk to everyone. Network. Get to work on that Corridor Reputation. Previous to the start of orientation, I was worried about working for The Man. I’m arrogant enough...

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We’re finally in DC!

“Home” is exhausting. “America” is exhausting. But having an American kitchen and a Costco membership is awesome. Bertrand and I moved into our Crystal City apartment last weekend, and we are thrilled with State’s corporate housing. We did the math and we could actually get a nicer place in town for the same per diem, but the no-hassle factor makes it 100% worth it. No security depsit. No rent. Fully...

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Home!

So besides the nauseating introspection about culture shock, what have I been up to? Well, I’ve been sick for the past week, which is miserable and not fun at all. Every time I think I’ve beaten one malady, another pops up to take its place. Between complaining about my muscles, my gut, and my pregnancy, I’ve been shopping. The State Department is all about Being A Suit (because we work...

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On consuming and consumption

Coming home has been harder than I expected. As long as I continue to think of living in America as a short break from reality, I’m OK. The minute I remind myself that this is permanent, that even though we’ll be posted abroad, we’re back to living a life of comfort, consumption, and red-white-and-blue, I start to panic. Yes, of course I’ll be fine. Yes, of course I’ll get used...