Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Statesman of the Year

A few weeks ago I received a call from TN GOP Chairman Robin Smith to notify me that I had been chosen to be the TN GOP Statesman of the Year (6th District, one of 9). What a complete surprise! I have thought in the past that it might be a cool award to get, but never did I expect to receive it. Though I was unable to attend the annual Statesman's Dinner held last Saturday, I do consider it a great honor. I especially want to say Thank you to all who have called and written to say Congratulations.

I want to give kudos to Robin, I think she has been a wonderful State Party Chairman. One of her passions is the grassroots, that so often are forgotten by those who consider status and money to be the proper measure of who is important. I respect greatly the citizen who lives by a self-imposed honorable and moral code. I trust their judgement regardless of level of formal education or accumulated wealth. I wish every candidate Godspeed that can understand and reflect those values.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Real Estate Agents

We are interviewing real estate agents and trying to figure out how to balance the price of our home so that it sells quickly and still yields a return for us. It would be a shame for it to sell on day 2 for our asking price (we would feel that we under priced it) or for it to linger on the market (making us worry about our short timeframe).

It is nice that our neighbors hate to see us go. We have all lived here together for 10 years and enjoyed each other very much, watching kids, and dogs; helping each other out. Frankly, I love the house and the neighborhood. Those who know us best know that we are always building something or working on some home project, making the house fit us well.

There is paint to be touched up and clutter to be packed. Decisions must be made about what will go into long term storage, what will be sold and what goes with us. Not only must we sell and move out of this home, but we've got to find suitable temporary housing in DC. But I have to admit that as I work on these things I anxiously await the formal offer of employment that I thought would shortly follow the informal call. All the while watching the days tick off.

I suppose this is an opportunity to show off my flexibility and ability to remain calm. It is just one step at a time.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cleaning House

We spent the weekend cleaning house and getting ready to put our home on the market. I'm happy to say that we have been preparing our house for years for resale, so its just minor things that must be done.

Telling friends and family is both exciting and difficult. Their reactions vary, but they all have questions-which we cannot answer because we just don't know yet. Though we are excited and looking forward to leaving, we are not fond of leaving them.

Though we are making plans and decisions we still have not received the final offer. I won't be telling anyone outside of family until we actually have accepted the offer. But Sept 15th is coming up fast.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A New Beginning

It has been 5 years since I decided that I wanted to join the Foreign Service. It seems that dream is about to become a reality.
I received an ICO (immediate conditional offer of employment) last Nov 16, got my Security Clearance in Jan, Medical Clearance in June and finally my name on the register on June 24. For anyone contemplating such a career choice, be forewarned-it is an emotional roller coaster. I was ecstatic to learn my rank on the register was #8, devastated to find out that I had moved to #9 and that only eight would be called to the next class; and then elated to receive my invitation to training at FSI (the Foreign Service Institute). I suppose the only constant is change.
I start this blog, my very first, to not only chronicle my and my husband's entry into the Foreign Service, but hopefully as a journal of our travels and experiences. As I put it together I realize how much I love not only my country, but my state as well. Perhaps I will teach the world about the wonderful warmth of Tennesseans and their very rich history.