Sunday, May 26, 2013

Vice President and Dr. Biden's Meet and Greet for Embassy Employees

Vice President and Dr. Biden flew to Bogota today (with their granddaughters) for a quick trip to the region.  The first event they held - at VP Biden's request and not the embassy's - was a meet and greet for embassy families.  Dr. Biden spoke first, followed by the Vice President.  

I loved this guy before, but now I really love this guy. He was super charismatic, engaging, personal and funny. 

First of all, he apologized over and over for coming in on a Sunday because as he sarcastically said, he was sure everybody wanted to dress up (and dress their children up) on a Sunday afternoon to see him.  He then went on to thank all the employees who have done so much to further the work in Colombia and - most important and meaningful to me - he praised (and I mean really praised, like over the top praised) all the spouses who have given up great careers, left their homes and families to follow a spouse in his or her pursuit of government service, etc.  Since he didn't have to say that bit, I think he really meant it.  And I might have a teensy crush on him now just for saying it.

Because of a late move on my part before he came in, I ended up at the end of the rope line by the sound guys - really it was a terrible angle for his speech.  But lucky for me, I ended up being the first person on the rope line that he came over to meet.  Jimmy was going to take my picture with him but then Jimmy got pulled in and I threw the camera at somebody who took a couple snaps.  

The other thing he apparently always does at embassy visits is take a photo with the children.  They already had all the kids on a separate stage  and then the Vice President and Dr. Biden went over right in the middle of them.  They then stood up and shook hands, Mac's included (and I really hope Mac's hands were clean and he hadn't just wiped his nose), and told them they all deserved a present for coming out in their nice clothes on a Sunday afternoon.  (That, by the way, is the only thing Mac remembered from everything that either of them said).

In 15 years of State Department life, this was the first meet and greet I've ever done with anybody (President, VP or Secretary of State) because Mac and I have always been away when they've come to visit, so this was pretty special all the way around.
Mac is just behind the VP - I think  he's holding the back of the VP's chair (he's in a light-colored, long-sleeved shirt)

Me, shaking the VP's hand.   WOW!

Me, with my real love and my new crush
 (oh, and that super-serious Secret Service Agent in the background who photo-bombed my picture)

Enthusiastically taking the stage

Vice President Biden giving his speech

Dr. Biden, Vice President Biden, and our Ambassador and his wife

The Vice President and Dr. Biden greeting all the children

One of the many DC- and Maryland-plated armored vehicles that were flown in for the visit

The VP's sweet ride

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm a day late but that's by intention because I think Mother's Day should be celebrated for longer than one measly day.

So Happy Mother's Day to all of you great people out there who care, love, cook, nag, clean, put on Band-Aids, soothe, wake up in the middle of the night, fight battles with and for your children.  We are blessed.

For the woman I call Mother and for the child who made me Mother, I am truly thankful.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

how do you use this thing?

A couple weeks ago I went to an emerald party that a friend hosted.

Because that's how we roll, living in Colombia.  We just flit around, buying emeralds on a weekday.


A friend snapped this photo which is proof that I'm not going to enough emerald parties because I didn't know how to use the loupe (that little eyepiece thing you look through to see the imperfections in a gemstone).


(Truth be told, I was more concerned about that delicious food on my lap falling - notice the knocked knees - than I was with seeing the imperfections in the emerald.)

Needless to say, I bought nothing.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday afternoon musings full of {heart}

1.  Monday is another Colombian holiday.  I {heart} long weekends.

2.  I {heart} Mother's Day, especially when I don't have to go to work the next day.  For Mother's Day, my boys are treating me to a fancy brunch at one of my favorite restaurants.  I can't wait.

3.  I only have 13 more full-time work days.  I {heart} knowing that I only have to go to that office for 13 more full days.

4.  We have just booked a last-minute trip to Leticia to experience the Amazon.  After four years in Brazil and nearly three years in Colombia without having gone to the Amazon, we felt like we should go.  I {heart} having trips to look forward to (even when they're trips that involve things like mosquitoes and bug repellent).

5.  Mac's at a friend's going-away sleepover tonight.  I don't {heart} going-away anythings, but I {heart} a found evening out with Jimmy that doesn't involve a babysitter.  We're going with a group of friends to a fairly new Mediterranean restaurant a few blocks from our apartment.  I had appetizers there a few weeks ago and they have a warm brie with caramelized beets that is the beet bomb diggety.  De-lish.  I hope we get to eat that again tonight.

6.  Jimmy and Mac leave next Wednesday for his niece's wedding in Charleston.  I {heart} spring weddings in Charleston.

7.  I am missing the wedding festivities, but will be traveling to Medellin for a girls' weekend away.  I {heart} trips with the girls every once in awhile.  We're eating at a famous molecular cuisine restaurant while we're there.  As you may know, I {{double heart}} good food, but I'm afraid molecular cuisine is going to fill me as much up as eating air would.  I will report back to you on this later.

8.  I made a recipe for Pad Thai last night that had been recommended by my friend Alisa.  It was truly easy and truly delicious - even Mac ate it!  I {heart} when a new recipe actually works out how you hoped it would.

9.  We are planning the so-called "Wild West Adventure" for a couple weeks this summer with our UN friends and we are super excited about it.  We'll be in Jackson Hole for a few days for a conference before heading out to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.  I {heart} everything I'm reading about these amazing places and can't wait to see them in person.

10.  Happy Mother's Day to all you great folks out there who, whether somebody calls you "Mom" or not, mother someone in some form or fashion every single day.  I {heart} Moms!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

On our Colombian holiday (Labor Day)

Jimmy's out of town and so Mac and I were left to our own devices on this Colombian Labor Day holiday.  Rather than dance around the maypole for May Day, we went to brunch with our friend at one of our favorite breakfast spots in town.  Then I did a little sorting and organizing and loading up of the car of stuff we've sold in a yard sale of sorts.

And then I decided we needed to do a project.  Some months ago I bought a robotic hand kit.  It seemed like a great idea at the time, but putting this together was complicated for two people who do not have the most nimble fingers.  There was a lot of knot-tying on fishing line (and in our case, a lot of knot-untying on fishing line to correct mistakes).  But now that it's done, Mac has declared it "so cool".

Peace out!

the dog conversation that will not end

The other day I got a handwritten note from my son (aka Mac Story in case he needed to clarify who he was).  Please read:

It's a new take on the old "only and lonely child" story that he's sticking with.  The use of "sincerely" and the flourish of his signature were almost enough to break me.  Almost.

He's persistent and followed up with an email after his research about the best non-shedding apartment dogs:

Good job Mac.  How about you research now "how to make lazy boys who won't take care of their fish that they had to have into non-lazy boys who suddenly want to walk dogs and vacuum up after supposedly non-shedding dogs and clean up dog poop".  I wonder what Google has to say about that????

Sincerely, the mother of the only and lonely Mac Story