Monday, September 28, 2009

We're all winners!


icycle helmets, matching shirts, and Bob Marley music makes for an unbeatable combination!

This fall I joined the DC Kickball league with some of my friends, and so far it has been a blast. Dave and I played in the same league last spring, but this time of year the weather simply couldn't get any better. We have been riding our bikes to and from the National Mall for games. Our team record so far has not been great, but in the end we are all winners because it is, after all, just kickball. The past two weeks we have been too busy to hang out with our teammates after the games, so instead we have been stopping by 7-11 for the essential victory (or at-least-we-had-good-sportsmanship) Slurpee.

Did I mention my legs are sore? That doesn't bode well for my personal fitness!
Neat-o drop cap from designer Jessica Hishe and her "Daily Drop Cap" project (found via Swiss Miss)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy September!

This month has really flown by! I started Russian language training which has been "очень трудный" (a.k.a. very difficult), but I love it. It is fun learning a new alphabet and new sounds to make. Plus I keep pinching myself that this is my job. Yes, this is what I am doing all day, every day.

As I get used to my new schedule and get better at organizing my time, I promise to be a more regular blogger!

And most importantly, did you notice my new banner? It was designed by two fantastic artists, Joel and Ashley. Please visit their website at This Paper Ship and their photography/poetry blog at Spring to Spring.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Esprit de Corps

Some friends and I went to a dog-themed winery on Saturday and enjoyed some Norton, a grape that is native to North America. Oh my gosh it was good. I don't know a lot about wines, but I really like reds, and this was a particularly delicious red. I also can't get enough cheese lately.
On Sunday we welcomed the 148th A-100 with a classy shindig organized by my friend and me and executed by an abundance of volunteers from our class. Every Foreign Service class sponsors the class two after theirs in order to promote camaraderie and esprit de corps. As the people close to me can verify, this event has been giving me quite the heartache. I am not a naturally organized person and I also suffer from perfectionism and worry. But I can say that it feels great when something you plan goes smoothly. I am so grateful for all of my friends who came out to help with the event. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of the event to post.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Horay for ripe tomatoes!

This weekend we made an impulsive but totally worthwhile trip to see my family in Ohio. Nothing beats late summer at my parents' house. The garden is in full swing, which means fresh tomatoes and herbs. The weekend consisted of great food, a high school soccer game, an arts festival, and lots of card games. We also got to see my aunts, uncle, and precious grandma.

One of my favorite meals that my dad makes is fresh tomato salad with pesto. Tomatoes from the store or even from the farmer's market just aren't the same.

I hope you had a lovely long weekend, too!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What motivates you?

If you haven't yet discovered the TED Talks, you are missing out. Check out this fascinating presentation by career analyst Dan Pink who asserts that our notion of motivation needs to change. He says that traditional financial incentives and rewards actually destroy creativity. It goes against conventional thinking, but just look at the difference between Encarta and Wikipedia. The bottom line: "We do things because they matter, because we like it, because they are interesting, and because they are part of something important." What motivates you?