Monday, October 27, 2008

We Have Pumpkins!

Not quite the Halloween event of rollicking around the pumpkin patch to one pick out, but we now have pumpkins for Halloween. Krishna pre-ordered them at the market last week, since they are not a popular item this time of year. They are beautiful!

They put us in the mood to start our Halloween decorating with our supplies ordered from Oriental Trading about a month ago.

Change to Post: I later tagged this post with "trailing partner" since Anonymous Attorney comments may be thought provoking for others. Please see comments below, in full post:


Anonymous said...

YEAH for Krishna! Are they doomed for the dinner table or the jack o lantern knife?


Natalie Buda Smith said...


Hopefully both, depending on our carving skills! I am already craving a spicy pumpkin pie.

Anonymous said...

Hey, love your blog, and it's great to see you guys have pumpkins!

I'm thinking about applying for the foreign service as a consular officer. Is there any chance that you could get your husband to write some about his job over there and how he likes/dislikes it?


Wichita, KS

Natalie Buda Smith said...

Hi Brody,

With our schedules of late he will probably not be able to post, but I can tell you that the work of a consular officer is a lot more interesting than at first glance. It can be very diverse and deals with real people.

The work can also be very different per post since each country and city is different, and the American Citizen Services work can very meaningful and exciting.

I do know that Alan is very happy with his choice of consular and finds it to be a great fit for him.

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

natalie- i was enjoying your blog so much! my daughter is in her first posting to haiti..what's happened? i hope everything is okay..

Natalie Buda Smith said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement. Nothing has happened, I have just been caught up in the FS life. I soon will post again!

Los Alexander said...

natalie & alan -

thank you for providing such a wonderful well-written blog about your experiences and journeys as an FSO family. currently residing in argentina, we are waiting for the qep results to come out this month...and see if the oa is in our future. i love to see others pursue their dreams and fulfill them - congratulations to you all!

-wade, tania, our infant boy, and our faithful boston terrier

dev said...

i understand that you love the city of calcutta

Anonymous said...


I am an attorney and my current boyfriend (of 5 years) and I met in law school. It is his dream to join the FS. Over the past year, I have done tons of research on being a FS officer spouse. It became apparent very early on that I wouldnt be able to have my legal career should I choose to follow him. This question is for you as well as any other FS wives/partners- did you have to sacrifice much in order to join your spouses, and if so, how do you feel about that decision now?

I am seriously tortured over this decision as I love him so much and I know this job will make him so happy. I also, however, want happiness in my own life.


Anonymous said...

Ok.. your blog reflects that you like the city of calcutta .....i am also a calcuttan and really love my city.....saw yr blog and yr calcutta posts

Natalie Buda Smith said...

Dear Anonymous Attorney,

Your situation is a complex one.

If you can't find a position as an attorney with a large international firm or organization based in the U.S. and operating in the countries that you may be posted to, be prepared for finding creative solutions to continue working in your field.

That said, there are usually employment opportunities at post for family members, for example with the Professional Associates program, or you could decide to join yourself. I know several lawyers who do quite well in the State department as officers or specialists.

Yes, most spouses/partners make many sacrifices to accompany their partner/spouse. The question for you is if the gain will be enough to make you feel like the sacrifices made were worth it.

I am happy to read that you are tortured over this decision, since you are fully thinking through the situation before making the jump into the foreign service life. It was a hard decision for me as well, but when I weighed the gains against the sacrifices, it was clear that it was a good decision for me and us.

If you want more from my perspective, feel free to let me know and we can try to communicate via email.

- Natalie

Unknown said...

Hi quick question!
I've enjoyed reading the blog, after finishing (very recently) the FSOT I am further looking into possibilities if I get hired (I feel I did very well on fsot but am much more concerned with oral prospects!).

I am going into my third year of law school. My wife is entirely supportive of this career and we will be expecting to have a child within this next year. All that being said, right now one of our biggest concerns is our dog.

We understand their may be times where the family is apart and my wife and our children wont be able to accompany me with hardship posts but where we can go together, it is so important to my wife (and myself) to have our little dog with us.

How hard is it to get posts (aside from hardship ones)that allow you to bring your dog?
Thanks so much!

Natalie Buda Smith said...


It is great to read that your wife supports your upcoming career, since the whole family joins the Foreign Service.

As you have read on this blog, we have a large dog at post with us. Others have dogs and cats at this post. Since you do have a voice in your assignments, doing research on which posts are best for your family with a dog is important when putting together your bid list.

The Overseas Briefing Center, both at FSI and online, has great resources to use to learn countries import laws and shipping logistics. It is just one facet of several that will shape which posts are best for you and your family.

If you do have a dog that needs a lot of green space, you will have issues with finding posts that can accommodate that sort of dog, but if you have a dog that is flexible – our large Labrador is a very flexible family dog - there will be many choices.


Lani said...

Dear Anonymous Attorney:

I too am faced with the same situation. My boyfriend and I met in law school. We just celebrated our 2 year anniversary, and we are facing the torment of graduation.

I want to join the foreign service, he wants to be a tax attorney and work for the IRS.

So, as of right now, we are applying to whatever jobs we can seeing that the economy is not very good. We'll make the necessary decisions from there.

We decided to worry about ourselves (as type-A lawyer people, we want our careers to be very fulfilling!) and doing what we need to do for our careers. If it is meant to be, we will find each other again.

What did you do?

P.S. Sorry Natalie for bombarding your e-mail and blog with so many of my comments!