The FS BRU ... Crazy Is the New Normal

Anyone who knows me in real life, or who has read this blog more than a handful of times knows that my personal catch phrase is ... "There's never a dull moment here in the Perlman Household ... aka Casa de Chaos". I say it ALL. THE. TIME. In fact, when I looked back through my archives, I had to laugh when I realized that over 40 of my 650+ blog posts are completely focused around our family's chaos ... and more specifically, around moving, traveling with our kids, and life's little speed bumps.

I'm constantly running around, schlepping kids from here to yonder. Heading to Target or Wegmans or Costco several times each week. Someone is always melting down. There's a bottomless pit of laundry. I can't remember the last time we went on a road trip without someone barfing. And despite my best intentions, I leave WAY too many things until the last possible minute because I thrive under pressure.

At this point, I can't remember operating any differently. And frankly? I'm okay with it.

Since moving back to the States, our chaos compared to what we had overseas hasn't lessened. It's just changed. Instead of dealing with the idiosyncrasies of household staff, calculating the exchange rates on groceries and knick knacks, and packing up our UAB, HHE, and Consumables for yet another overseas location ... I'm maneuvering through community craziness, and over-committing. I'm learning my way around Northern Virginia's insane Routes and Highways. And I'm mentally preparing for Matt bidding on his next position - for the 4th year in a row!

In a nutshell, same sh*t, different country.

Of course, it helps to know that I'm not alone. And after reading all of the below submissions to this week's Blog Round-Up, you too will have the comfort of knowing that we're all nutty in this crazy lifestyle together.

Becky's at Small Bits's son embraces the chaos in his every day life.

Heather in Zimbabwe "Remembers When ..." Anyone with kids knows exactly what she remembers.

While this lifestyle brings a lot of chaos, Carla in Manila reminds us that it also provides creative ways to relax as well

Anyone who's gone through a pack out with the State Department knows that IS THE definition of chaos. Sara's pictures from Costa Rica to Manila proved this was no exception!

Sometimes even the most mundane things prove to be frenetic. Just read about Heather's attempt of riding the subway in Cairo.

Things you NEVER say to a woman ... "You're Overweight!" Let's just agree that Daniela in Delhi was less than pleased.

Getting kids ready for school in the morning is often like attempting to herd cats. Or in Erica in Iceland's case, monkeys.

Kate in Brasilia always keeps me in stitches ... figuratively speaking. Of course, her recent visit to the dermatologist had her literally in them. And her little dog too. Though, if I were her, I'd totally fire his fur-stylist. With his new 'do I think he'll be staying in doors for awhile.

April Showers is a phrase that just doesn't do this family justice. From EER time to school board commitments, a knee injury to Dengue Fever ... Life Is A Zoo In The Jungle have their hands full!

Stephanie in Hyderabad went for a run and encountered heat, traffic, and a naked man walking down the street. Oh the things you see in India!

Kolbi has to look at little tushies every time she leaves the house. And walk around droppings that one would think were left by animals ... though they'd be wrong!

Natasha is a brand spanking new FS Spouse and blogger. She and her husband are in a whirlwind few months of language training, changing careers, getting married, and now preparing to move overseas. Go wish her a hearty Mazal Tov!

Alexis's definition of chaos: moving to a new house in a new country where she had to speak a new language and start a new job all the while figuring out how to keep up with a new baby. Yup ... I'd say she's pretty darn accurate.

Nothing like a little butt-show at the doctor's office to have you realize you're not in Kansas anymore. Thankfully it wasn't HER butt ... though Emily in Romania did have fun at her latest OB appointment with a little condomania.

Lydia in Manama is going and feeling a little crazy and trying to jump back on the blogging bandwagon. Doesn't it always seem that the more time passes, the more things stay the same?

Babies are chaotic, right? A Postcard From just had her first one ... go checkout her little Birdie!

Jen is keeping her eye on the prize, all while preparing for her husband's departure way too soon!

Apparently all of us love Trader Joe's and flock there the minute we land back in country. However, THIS trip proved to be slightly more expensive than most for Jessica. Nothing like leaving the parking lot with groceries AND a fender bender.

Traveling with kids always provides chaos ... and good blog fodder. And leave it to Ana at Stumble Abroad in Indonesia to tell us how she averts as much of it as she can!

Donna just came on a whirlwind trip here to DC, and in less than four hours with a realtor, found a house. Of course, she may be eating ramen noodles for the next ten years if they accept her offer ...

Sadie in Saudi went on an amazing trip to the Parrotfish Festival ... and proved that men will do just about anything to get their picture taken!

Melissa in Jerusalem has 5 kids. Need I say more about her chaos?

Lisa in Tijuana's uterus spoke to the woman at Denny's. Does it speak to you too?

Crystal in Mali is currently on "Authorized Departure" in Michigan. If that isn't utter and complete chaos, I don't know what is!

With oodles of boys in her home, Shannon in Malawi always has great stories to tell. Of course they're always infinitely crazier when her husband out of town.

Anyone who has ever moved mid-tour knows exactly how Kelly in Vienna is feeling ...

We had a lot of great submissions this edition with many new-to-me bloggers. Thanks to all who sent in their links! The next FS BRU will be out on Friday, May 25th. With the optional talking point ... Honesty.

I want you to be honest with yourself and write something that has made you think. That has, dare I say it, almost scared you to have it published. Have you had a difficult time at post? Ever posted a recap of your tour? Want to talk about anything on your mind like ... cruddy neighbors? Medical issues? Unaccompanied tours? I've been reading a lot of wonderfully raw posts recently about people's true feelings of their assignments, their daily lives, things that make them tick. And it's refreshing. You get to really "know" someone when you "hear" them pour their heart out through their writing.

As always, never a need to write anything new ... unless you want to. Make sure to send me your links with a small blurb about it to thefsroundup@me.com by Monday, May 21st.

Until then ...


jessie said...

Hi Jill, I just stumbled across your blog, which in turn means I stumbled across the blog of many others in the Foreign Service- thank you! I've been a FS +1 for a couple years now and glad to find the online community! We're finishing a first tour in Guangzhou and will be heading to DC then Dar Es Salaam in the next year. Thanks for the round up, and I look forward to contributing in the future!

Anonymous said...

I'm so mad that I keep forgetting to submit. Especially this topic- we are everything crazy and in no way normal. But then, that is what makes us special. Thanks for rounding up!

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