Hello friends! It's been a while since I've blogged about FS life, because right now I'm just living normal life. But every now and then something comes up that reminds me that just because we're in America doesn't mean our lives are exactly "normal."
For example, our car. Oh man, are cars complicated in the Foreign Service! When you go to your first post, State will ship a car for you OR store one (if you have two cars, I believe you have to pay to store the second car yourself). We had our car shipped to Russia, but because we didn't move back to the U.S. for a tour and are only here on temporary orders, we had two choices: have the car stored in Europe and then shipped to our next post when we arrive, or have it sent back to America. However, if we had it brought back here, it would not then be shipped to our next post. That might have been our best option (we could have bought a used car in Peru), but since I've been back here since March, we couldn't very well wait until September or October for our car to get here from Russia. So we bought a car, thinking we'd just sell it when we left.
Haha, silly us. Not only did we end up with a lemon, but a few weeks ago someone T-boned John, and we're still waiting to hear if the car is going to be totaled. If it isn't, we're going to have a hell of a time selling it in May. If it is, we will be carless. With only four and a half months before we go to post, we are stuck either buying ANOTHER car to sell, or buying one to keep and paying for storage ourselves. I have no idea what we're going to do. I just know it's stressing us out.
I am also dealing with something I know is a major issue for many FS spouses: employment. Right now a "real job" is not realistic (even if I had a more standard career path, which has been rendered nearly impossible between the Marine Corps and Foreign Service, trying to find a job for less than a year doesn't usually make sense). With the writing thing finally going well, I just want a few hours a day to write and revise. If we were going to be here long term, I would probably start looking for a part-time nanny or some sort of daycare situation for Will. Unfortunately, finding something like that for such a short period of time isn't easy (if anyone has a suggestion, I'm all ears!). I was praying John would be switched to the early schedule for language training (the A schedule is from 7:30 to 2:30, while the B schedule is from 10:30 to 5:30 - unfortunately, you don't get to pick which schedule you get) but that hasn't happened yet. I am grateful I've been able to stay home with both of my children, but frankly, I struggle with the full-time stay-at-home mom gig.
There are so many wonderful aspects of Foreign Service life, but it's often the little things we take for granted that become complications when your employer is involved in more than just your career. We faced this in the Marine Corps as well, although to a lesser extent. Every day on the Facebook group for Foreign Service members and their families, I see examples of this, whether it's how to get your pet to post during the summer months or how to reserve your child's place in school when you don't even know where you'll be living. I love the sense of adventure this lifestyle brings, the opportunity to see the world and expose our children to new experiences and people. But sometimes I wonder how long it will take before all those little things slowly drive me insane...