Monday, November 28, 2011

NYR 11-20-11 - the boy turns 9

Today Mac turned 9.




How did that happen?

When he was born, I was sure I could never love him or want to protect him more than I did that first night in the hospital when I refused to let myself sleep so I could stare at him and make sure he was still breathing.

I no longer stare at his chest all through the night to make sure it's rising and falling with his breaths, but I do still check on his sleeping body just before I go to bed. I stand still by his bed long enough to make sure I can see his chest rising and falling.

I've learned in 9 years that a mother's love on the birth date of her child is just a drop in the bucket compared to the love that swells with each passing minute that child is in her life.

For the best gift of my life, I am truly thankful.

NYR 11-19-11 - leaving on a jet plane

For going home to the BOG to my family, I am ever so truly thankful.

Friday, November 18, 2011

NYR 11-18-11 - another 100?


I have successfully completed my course with yes, another 100. The old girl's still got it.

Now I'm just waiting for somebody to tell me when the graduation ceremony is. I'm pretty sure I could be named Valedictorian for once in my life. Valedictorian of the GSO Acquisitions Module... it has a nice, resume-building ring to it, no?

For finishing the course, passing the tests, and confirming that I no longer have sufficient stamina or brain power to ever consider going back to school for an advanced degree, I am truly thankful.

NYR 11-5-11 through 11-17-11: A Summary

I am truly thankful for:

11-5-11: Being with the people I love.

11-6-11: Visits that are good for the soul.

11-7-11: The best snack. Ever.

11-9-11: Delicious pizza with a friend all the way from Mozambique days. Summer is still the same breath of fresh, happy air. Her parents very aptly named her.

11-10-11: Mexican food with some spicy chicks from Bogota days.

11-11-11: A holiday from school. I've missed two Colombian holidays during my time in DC. Finally, a holiday I can celebrate.

11-12-11: A BEAUTIFUL fall day in Washington, DC. I'm talking "perfection". I explored some museums (okay, really the gift shops), I checked out the newly dedicated Martin Luther King Memorial, I ate lunch at my favorite DC restaurant Founding Farmers, and I walked. Oh, how I walked. I google-mapped my route because I honestly felt like I walked about 17 miles. It turns out it was only 6.4 miles but I think their calculations might be off slightly. All I know is my feet and legs HURT.

11-13-11: A fabulous Brazilian lunch with some State Department friends from different posts. It was SUCH a great time.

11-14-11: A delicious cheeseburger - called The MACK - with some classmates who might have invited me along just to be the "den mother". I found out one of them graduated from college in 2010. Yes, that was last year. That means he's 23. A mere child. I learned that people that young are called millenials. There you go.

11-15-11: I LOVE this cooking store and wish I owned one.

11-16-11: dinner out with Jimmy's good friend from grad school. I had a delicious steak and enjoyed Matt's always-smart-and-interesting discussions.

11-17-11: My pre-game dinner at Five Guys. I'm sort of like a superstitious football player who does the same pre-game ritual before every game because it worked once before. I'm convinced there's brain power in those Five Guys burgers. It worked two weeks ago as a pre-test meal, so why not this time, too?

Friday, November 4, 2011

NYR 11-4-11-a perfect score

Today I scored 100 on my midterm.

Yes, that is a perfect score.

Yes, I am an over-achiever.

No, I did not sleep two winks last night because of anxiety. It took a good two hours after i got the test results for the knots in my stomach to unkink.

I am too old for this stress, and I am way too old to ever consider going back to school. Too.much.pressure.

For happy endngs on the midterm, I am truly thankful. This really was a case of answered prayers.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NYR 11-3-11 - Five Guys

Tomorrow is my big mid-term exam. If I don't pass it (and the final in two weeks), I don't get my contract warrant and my contracting career ends approximately 4 weeks after it started. I feel E.NOR.MOUS pressure.

I came home from class this afternoon and immediately started studying. I made a deal with myself that if I studied until a certain time, I could walk over to Five Guys and get a burger and fries for dinner.

Bribery with food speaks to me, so I studied hard and left promptly for my takeout dinner at the appointed hour.

I got back to the hotel room (so I could continue studying over dinner) and immediately devoured my supper. I consumed approximately 4,269 calories in approximately 7 minutes.

Thank you, Five Guys. I love every single one of you.

NYR 11-2-11 - this makes me happy

Mac really better like football because he got all his gear in the mail today. (Jimmy had to order a facemask. Who knew that helmets didn't come with facemasks?)

Receiving this photo made my day. For that sweet boy (even with that mean football player face he's sporting), I am so thankful.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NYR 11-1-11 - the nice weather is back

Today as I rode the shuttle home from the training facility on a really lovely fall afternoon, I tried to soak up all the autumn-ness in the air. The sun was shining and the leaves were such beautiful shades of red and orange and yellow. As much as we love Bogota, there is no fall season there with all these vibrant colors.

For the opportunity to witness all this fall glory, I am truly thankful.

NYR 10-31-11 - the day for ghosts and goblins

Sending Happy Halloween wishes from our zombie to you!

For Bubby's extraordinary makeup talents and costume design skills, I am truly thankful. (Otherwise, Mac as a zombie would not have looked anything like that!).

NYR 10-30-11 - too much Target

I have now officially sworn off shopping with my Norwegian friend. Why? Because we spent 5 hours in Target today.

No, I am not kidding.

And yes, I am prone to exaggeration, but I am not exaggerating on this one.

My friend had heard about the glories of Target and wanted to experience this fantastic store firsthand. I am a Target lover, so I was happy to go along.

But even a Target lover has her limits. My previous record for maximum time spent in a Target on one shopping trip might be one hour.


If we round up.

We shopped - without food, I might add - from 10:30am until 3:30pm. I had a 30-minute conversation with my mother just leaning on the buggy while my friend shopped. I saw things in Target that I had no idea they sold. I had time to investigate everything.

For scratching "Target shopping trip" off my to-do list, I am truly thankful. I may never go to Target ever again.

(In good news, if you average out what I spent per hour, I spent much, much less on this trip than I typically do on a shorter Target trip!)

NYR 10-29-11 - shopping marathon

I've been hanging out with a girl from Norway who's attending my class. We decided to go shopping today to avoid the snow (SNOW!) that was forecast to fall today in Washington, DC as part of that freak snowstorm that moved up through the Northeast.

I walked to her hotel by the appointed meeting time of 9:30 and we promptly caught the Metro to Pentagon City, which was my favorite mall back in the day when we lived here.

Now I am not a shopper. I know what I need and I go with a laser-like focus through a store or mall until I find what I need. Then I leave and find something more pleasant to do.

That is not how my Norwegian friend shops. She's more of a long-haul mall-goer. Whereas I am a sprinter shopper, she's a marathon shopper. Between the mall and two mini-malls within walking distance, we shopped until 6:30 when we met a friend from Brasilia days for dinner.

I was D.O.N.E.

By the time we ate dinner and Metro-ed back to our respective hotels, I finally walked into my hotel room at 9:30.

I was really D.O.N.E. by then.

The positive outcome is that I got some great clothes, and for that I am truly thankful.

P.S. By all accounts, it did snow a little in our neighborhood, but I never saw it because it doesn't snow inside shopping malls.

NYR 10-28-11 - TGIF

I have studied more this week, I think, than I have since college. My brain hurts, my mind is tired, and I just hope I'll remember everything I am learning.

For Friday coming around - thank you Lord, I am truly grateful.

NYR 10-27-11 - dinner with a Bogota friend

The more we move around the globe, the more I appreciate visiting with friends from different parts of our lives. It takes effort to keep up these friendships but they are so worth it.

Tonight I had dinner with a friend who left Bogota this past summer, and I am truly thankful for the effort she made to come out to meet me.