Tuesday, April 6, 2010


We just got home from vacation. Now I feel homesick. Last night I made baked macaroni and cheese - so classic American. It was actually the first time I have ever made it. Kinda' thought it would help with the homesickness - think it made it a little worse.

We took our vacation at a resort - the first time we have ever stayed at a resort. We have never considered ourselves resort people - whatever that means. Well, I guess it means we have always been more of the backpacking type. But, the biggest issue with that and children - you guessed it - the food. In our old backpacking days we sometimes went all day without eating. One time, in Nicaragua, we actually found ourselves in a position where we ate practically nothing for four days. That was pretty bad. Of course with kids, you have to have access to easy and predictable food. Thus - the resort. And, in many ways, I think we were ready for that type of vacation.

The resort food ranged from excellent (the fruit, of course, we live in a tropical paradise) to passable (fish sticks on the snack bar - the kids loved them). I do have to say, staying at a resort is kind of like working from home with a full pantry. You want something to snack on, you walk right over, in your bathing suit and pop it in your mouth. This could be problematic if you were to stay at a resort a long time I imagine. Jeremy worked at home a lot before joining the Foreign Service - he has lost quite a bit of weight without even trying. I'm sure it has to do with the decrease in snack availability. He can put away a bag a chips like that. Anyway…

The resort where we stayed had food theme nights. We were there for "Oriental" night, Mexican night and Dominican night. "Oriental" night was mostly Chinese food, but also spaghetti and pizza - go figure. In case you're wondering, Mexican night did not include tacos. It did include black beans, Mexican rice and a soup that was labeled "tortilla soup." It was not like any other tortilla soup I have ever tried, but it was delicious (that's it in the photo above). Dominican night was the best, of course. There were no surprises there - Dominican food is predictable - which occasionally can be nice. We kind of got a little excited about it.

Now we're back to our eventful every day life. It's time to go back to thinking about food and cooking I guess. I need a job - a job that doesn't involve cooking. I love cooking. I love eating. I love food. But, the real me works outside the home. These are the ins and outs. It was only a few weeks ago that I posted this. One day I'm like, "I could totally do this forever," and the next day I'm like, "What in the world am I doing?" There was a point where I was deciding between social work school and cooking school. I made the right decision - I love to cook, but wouldn't have been a good chef. I like to believe I am a good social worker. If you could see me writing this you would be like, "Jeez woman - be thankful!" I am sitting here, outside. There is a perfect breeze. It's not hot at all. I am listening to Billie Holiday and my wind chimes that I have had in every single house since 2002 (I can close my eyes and it sounds like home). I have an almost empty cup of coffee…

Hey, that may have worked a little. I am thankful. It will come, whatever it is. The settling in more and more to this life, I guess. The job, if it's meant to be. The perfect tortilla…sometime…here or on 6 weeks of R&R this summer. For now, it's time for a walk. Then pick up my perfect children and…play…then cook dinner. No complaints.


  1. Well I sure would trade places w you right now, but I do understand that feeling of missing 'home,' even when you are experiencing wonderful things and places. The grass is always greener thing. I know that will be a problem for me if we join the FS...I always want whatever I don't have. I hope you find some clarity on the job front and are able to settle in as time goes by.

  2. ps sure would love to see photos of your home! I'm going to look if you've posted them, but I don't think so...

  3. I don't actually have photos of our house - it's part of my attempt to hold on to a little bit of privacy. Although, of course, it's no mystery who I am. I have these weird little rules I've placed on myself when I started For Lack of Tacos and I try to stick with them as much as I can.

  4. Jodi~
    I'd like to thank you for echoing almost exactly what I've been thinking through for myself. It's nice to hear it written in someone else's hand. And well written at that.

    As far as posting pictures of homes we're in, I understand the personal privacy piece. I'd also add the safety feature in that if our FS friends can find our blogs so also can the proverbial Bad Guys. We're careful too so as not to make it easy to find a way in.

    Now, the recipe for that perfect tortilla...I trust you'll post it when you find it? =)


  5. NKL

    You're welcome - it helps to put this stuff on paper...or on screen. I very frequently feel the same about your posts.


  6. Awww, Jodi. Hope you find where you belong, job-wise, doing what makes you happy.

    Sorry about the lack of American cheese. :( But glad you had a good vacation!

  7. I understand about the photos and the privacy, definitely.

  8. I was horrified for a moment when I saw that picture and you talked about making mac and cheese, but then I figured you were better than that. But for one second, I was seriously concerned.

    I might be in the minority, but I think it is important to keep hobbies/interests separate from work. When I first started studying journalism in college, I did everything in my power to avoid reporting on sports because I liked reserving sports as my escape. Didn't need to combine that with work. Good luck

  9. Thanks for your comment. And positivity. Glad I could make you chuckle. I bet it feels good to be on the 'other side'. Sometime you'll have to share your story of how your husband almost didn't make it. I'll try to keep the faith.
    Best of luck trying to find your own niche. I come from a long line of do-gooder social workers.

  10. It's Friday, and that means that the Two Month Blogiversary of the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up - and you're on it!

    Here is the link:


    (If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)


  11. I understand your comment about staying at a resort! I grew up in Florida, very close to all the theme parks, and well, everywhere is close to beaches(!), and I never once even thought to stay at a hotel, much less one of the resorts (altho I did a lot of camping)! Took the kids to a Disney resort a couple years back and it was a totally different experience. One thing we messed up on was to fill our schedule in advance ... we should have left a few days open to just relax and be spoiled. When the kids get older, old enough to carry and live out of a backpack, and eat whenever, not on schedule, we might be more adventurous, but 'discovering' resort life was nice.

  12. Hi Jodi. I've read your blog a couple times and love it, well done. Thanks for sharing. I too am a clinical social worker and new FS spouse posted to Virginia for 2 years. Seems I've run into a couple of FS spouses thus far with a social work background. Curious. thanks!