Big news, people! BIG NEWS. Last week, my husband flew back to DC to take the Foreign Service oral assessment (aka the last exam-related step on the road to becoming an FSO) and HE PASSED!! Hooray! I am so proud of him I could burst and I’m really excited for him to finally be able to realize his long-time dream of becoming a diplomat. He’s actually the one who convinced me to take the exam back when we were in graduate school. He had taken the written exam a couple of times by that point so he was invaluable in helping me to prepare for the exam. When we took the orals around the same time back in 2011 and I passed and he didn’t, I think I might have been more shocked than he was because he seemed (and continues to seem) infinitely more qualified for this job than I am. He’s done a lot of really interesting things since then, and I knew going into it this time around that he was going to blow it out of the water.

Since his exam was on Thursday and he wanted to have a couple of days to get used to the time change (the exam starts at 7 a.m.), he flew back east on Tuesday. I stayed here in Juarez and took a mid-day flight on Thursday. All morning I was on pins and needles waiting to hear if he had passed. He called me while I was picking up some dinner during my connection in Dallas and I actually shrieked out loud in the line at the restaurant. I couldn’t wait to get to DC to give him a giant hug and a kiss. We spent the weekend celebrating and visiting a bunch of our friends. There was much brunching, nerdy board and card games, and some really awesome friend reunions. It was fabulous.

For extra fun, on Monday we went to Inauguration. We didn’t have tickets so we just walked to the Mall and found a good spot near a jumbotron. It was cold. My feet were freezing by the time the ceremony was over, but even though I was shivering and starting to get cranky, I’m so so so glad that we went. I really felt like we got to see the completion of something awesome. We were in graduate school back in 2008, and were living on the south side of Chicago. We waited in line for more than 3 hours to cast our votes that year, and on November 4 we sat in Grant Park with 250,000 people and watched history unfold. We weren’t able to be at the 2009 inauguration because of school schedules etc, so it was really special to be able to be there this time.

Now we’re back in Juarez and are preparing to embark, yet again, on the wonderful journey of medical and security clearances. It’s going to involve a lot of patience, tons of paperwork, and probably at least 2 trips to medical facilities, but I’m pumped to get started and to finally become tandem FSOs!