About Me

Checking out the ice caves near McMurdo Station, Antarctica, 2008.

I’m an Office Management Specialist in the U.S. Foreign Service. I joined the State Department in 2011 and have been been lucky enough to be posted to Belize, London and Iceland. I started this adventure with my husband, our nine-month-old son and a cat. Since then our family dynamics have changed, and I am now a single mom to kid and cat…and have picked up a large dog along the way. I’m currently posted in DC for two years, and then we’ll be heading to Geneva, Switzerland this summer.

27 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi there! I’ve really been enjoying your blog. In fact, I’d like to include it in a roundup I do. Is there an email address where I can reach you?

    Thanks so much,
    Stephanie

  2. Hi! I’ve been following your blog since Belize, and I’m on my way to Iceland next week for vacation. I was hoping to get some tips on things to see/do and places to eat while we’re there. We have some stuff planned, but also some time to fill. If you have a sec to drop me an email, I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

  3. Hi Sweetheart, you are everywhere. I thought koalas we’re mean, and I used to think all llamas spit. Your Mom and I went on a trip to Julian for pie and shopping. I know the shopping part surprises you. Any whoo, back to the story, we stopped at a llama farm on the way home. I told your mom to back off they bite and spit. The owner of the property came out and set me straight.(another ugly American story, our Grandma would be so proud) He said only abused animals act out like that. Hope I made you laugh, I loved the Your 10 things your Mother taught you.

  4. Hi! I really like your blog 🙂 I am in high school right now, but I will be applying for colleges in the fall and spring (I am totally freaking out!). I was considering the foreign service as a career path and was wondering what I should do in regards to what I major in. Do you know what would be the best way to prepare myself for the test? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi! Sorry for the delayed response. Congratulations on graduating high school! As for what to study for a career in the Foreign Service, officers have five main areas of specialization: Consular, Economic, Political, Public Diplomacy, and Management. They also have jobs in Information Technology, English Language Programs, Medical, Office Management, and Security. So if you’re interested in any of those areas, you could major in those. To become an officer you have to pass the written Foreign Service Officer Test, so it’s good to brush up on a bit of everything. International Relations is also a good general major. You can find more info here about the test itself: https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/officer/test-process. Best of luck!!!

  5. Hi, I am interested in being a Foreign Service Officer. Not sure what area, but looking at Office Management Specialist and have some questions. Feel free to email me in response if you’d rather.
    What is your job title?
    What do you do at your job?
    How do I find out what each of the FSO job areas actually do?

    1. Hi Megan, thank you for your comment. Yep, I’m an Office Management Specialist (OMS). OMS duties include general office management, conference and visitor support, administrative and secretarial support at the embassy…like scheduling meetings, drafting correspondence, etc. State is currently hiring OMSs until Oct 25. You can check out the vacancy announcement here: https://careers.state.gov/work/opportunities/vacancy-announcements/oms

      If you’re interested in other FSO job areas, you can find their descriptions here: https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/officer/career-tracks

      Best of luck to you!!

  6. Hi. I really enjoy your blog. I’m on the OMS FSS register. I have a few questions regarding the “trailing spouse”, as my husband will be “trailing” me when/if I’m called. If you have time to send me an email, I’d be very grateful. Congrats on your new post stateside. Very exciting!

  7. Hello: I am currently in Belize but in a transition back to the UK this summer after more than 25 years. I would like to bring my three little dogs back but can not find Belize listed as a country on the register that the UK accepts pet passports. Did you travel with any pets? Do you know where I can find more information specific to travel from Belize. American Airlines says they can not transport to the UK from Belize. 😦 Thanks

    1. Hi! We took our cat, but we actually didn’t fly straight from Belize. We spent a month in the States and flew on United from Washington, DC. I don’t think they have any kind of pet passport…but there’s no longer a quarantine requirement, if you can send blood samples and proof of rabies vaccinations ahead of time. This is the site we used to get our info: http://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad. I hope that helps!

  8. Good morning. I have been a subscriber to your blog for a couple of years and I LOVE IT. I am thrilled to say I received an e-mail yesterday letting me know that I would be contacted to schedule my Oral Assessment. OMG!! I am extremely excited and nervous about the next steps. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice that would help in this process? I would love to hear from an expert such as yourself. I would love to hear from you.

    Best, Julie

    1. Hi Julie, sorry for the delayed reply! I haven’t checked on the blog in the last couple of weeks. So glad you’re enjoying the blog, and congratulations on your invitation to the oral assessment! I see your email address, so I’ll touch base with you there. Best of luck! Alia

  9. Hi Julie,
    I am thrilled to come across your blog (wish I would have found it sooner). I also have received an invite to the OA and was wondering if you had any advice/suggestions to remain calm?Thank you so much for your time. Stephane

    1. Hi Stephane, congratulations on being invited to the OA! I’m actually a Specialist, and our path doesn’t require the OA, just a good old-fashioned interview. As for advice on staying calm…I’d say just be as prepared as possible, arrive early, breathe deeply, and take your time!

  10. Hi Julie,
    Thank you for your advice. I did apply for the Office Management Specialist position. Would it be possible to get your email address to ask you some additional questions?
    Thank you, I appreciate your responses.

  11. Hi Julie,
    Thank you for the suggestions. I did apply to the Office Management Specialist position and headed to D.C. in a couple weeks. May I ask some additional questions (NDA approved)? Would it be possible to get your email address? Thank you!

  12. I just passed the oral assessment and am working my way through the clearance process. I know I still have a ways to go but I’m also about to be a single mother. I’d love to chat with you about your experiences as a single mom in the foreign service if you have time for that!

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