Allie takes DC + vomit inducing flag day

We have been here in DC for over a month now which is totally crazy to me. I get more comfortable here with each day. In the month we have been here we have had 3 different sets of visitors. First, Scott’s sister, Taylor, and her husband, Josh, came and stayed with us for their spring break. After that my aunt Andrea and her family came over their spring break. And most recently Scott’s mom, sister, and aunt were here just this past week. It’s been really nice to have familiar faces and Allie is becoming a pro at all things DC.

At the World War 2 memorial. Thankfully, Utah and Idaho are right next to each other because we weren't really sure which one gets to claim Allie.  In addition to WW2, we have also been to all the other monuments.

At the World War 2 memorial. Thankfully, Utah and Idaho are right next to each other because we weren’t really sure which one gets to claim Allie. In addition to WW2, we have also been to all the other monuments.

We’ve been to the national mall multiple times, it’s nice to get out and walk around regardless of how many times you’ve seen everything!

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

We've taken a trip out to Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington

We’ve taken a trip out to Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington

We ventured out to the National Museum of Health and Medicine with Taylor and Josh who are in nursing and medical school. This is Allie with an Allie sized skeleton.

We ventured out to the National Museum of Health and Medicine with Taylor and Josh who are in nursing and medical school. This is Allie with an Allie sized skeleton.

We went to a show at Ford's Theatre. Above us in the picture is the box where Lincoln was shot. The show was AWESOME, Scott and I both really liked it.

We went to a show at Ford’s Theatre. Above us in the picture is the box where Lincoln was shot. The show was AWESOME, Scott and I both really liked it.

The beautiful Library of Congress

The beautiful Library of Congress

We got to go on a tour of the Supreme Court. The tour guide stumped us when he asked "What's the highest court in all the land?" We answered the supreme court and he said that was incorrect. Then we went to the top floor the basketball court ABOVE the supreme court chambers aka. the highest court in the land. He even let us take a few shots

We got to go on a tour of the Supreme Court. The tour guide stumped us when he asked “What’s the highest court in all the land?” We answered the supreme court and he said that was incorrect. Then we went to the top floor the basketball court ABOVE the supreme court chambers aka. the highest court in the land. He even let us take a few shots

Allie gets very exhausted being everybody's DC tour guide

Allie gets very exhausted being everybody’s DC tour guide

It really has been awesome to live here. Scott said to me the other day “I think we’ve done more in the month we’ve lived here than the entire time we did in Idaho”. And I do more walking here than I’ve done in years, it’s really good!

Allie enjoyed some March Madness

Allie enjoyed some March Madness

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A photo Aunt Cassidy snapped

Allie's sad face whenever our visitors leave

Allie’s sad face whenever our visitors leave

We celebrated our first holiday with Allie, Easter! The Easter bunny did find her and bring her a basket with some bunny socks and some of her mom and dad’s favorite candy. She was kind enough to share her candy with us.

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Living here is such a great experience. I was worried our apartment here would never feel like home but now that there are clothes on floor and dishes in the sink it feels like home 🙂

Now let me tell you about a little experience we had on Friday called FLAG DAY. As you know Scott has been in beginning training with the state department for about a month.  After his first week we received what is called the “bid list”. A list of the available positions and places he could get assigned. Getting the list is awesome and scary because it narrows down the places we could go from anywhere in the world to anywhere on the list. We had a few weeks to research the places on our list and had to give each one a rank of high, medium, or low. We also had a meeting with one of the personnel who would be doing the assigning called a Career Development Officer (CDO). Our meeting with the CDO went something like this

CDO: what are some of your priorities when it comes to the post you get?

ME: I want to learn Spanish, be somewhere that is easy to get to for our families, and please don’t send me to India.

CDO: Where would you be most happy?

ME: please don’t send me to India

ME: please don’t send me to India

ME: please don’t send me to India

After everybody has their meeting with a CDO the CDO’s all get together and make the decision on where everybody is going. They take into account the meeting and your rankings and decide your fate. Then everybody finds out where they are going in an intense, nerve wracking ceremony known as flag day.

A brief explanation of how flag day works: a tray of miniature flags is brought in the room, one flag for each person. They pick up a miniature flag and display that same flag up on the big screen. They announce the name of the city, county, and job. Everybody holds their breath and then they announce the name of the person going there. Everybody cheers. Said person exhales, goes up to the front of the room, accepts the miniature flag, and acts excited whether they are or not. Families and friends cheer and/or cry. Then the next flag is presented until everybody knows where they are going. I’m telling you it’s intense.

Scott and I were both feeling sick with nerves the morning of flag day. I had confidence that we would go somewhere that we would be happy with but it’s still the unknown that makes your stomach knot up.

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Putting on a brave face before it starts

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All the flags being brought into the room. I thought I would throw up at this point.

Allie looking cute as ever to learn her fate.

Allie looking cute as ever to learn her fate.

Like I said, I was confident we would get assigned somewhere high on our list. But there was still the options of India and Africa looming in the air. (I think in the future we will be ready and happy to do a tour in India or Africa but I don’t feel like at this point I am ready for that) With every flag my stomach lurched. I was either begging and hoping they wouldn’t say Scott’s name or crossing my fingers they would. The first time India came up I really felt sick.  Scott’s gut feeling has been Jamaica for some time while my gut was saying Mexico. The Jamaica flag came up and one of Scott’s favorite classmates got called. The second time Jamaica came up I knew it was going to be Scott.

Announcer: Kingston, Jamaica. Consular. Scott Ficklin.

Me: CHEERS AND TEARS!!

I would have cried no matter what we got. It was just the relief of finally knowing and not having to stress anymore. We are so excited and thrilled to be going to Jamaica! Scott has a couple more months of training then we should arrive in Jamaica early July. We’ve been researching Jamaica non stop since Friday. I understand that the everyday reality of living in Jamaica is nothing like vacationing at a resort in paradise there but we are preparing ourselves the best we can and I know that we will have a great time there. And I will be investing in very large amounts of sunscreen! I may get a tan for the first time in my life.

We're going to Jamaica!!!

We’re going to Jamaica!!!

We are so excited that Scott's friend and classmate + family will be going to Jamaica with us.

We are so excited that Scott’s friend and classmate + family will be going to Jamaica with us.

We joke that we need to start a google calendar so people can start booking their stay with us. But really, one of the things I told the CDO was I really wanted to be in a place where our friends and family could easily visit. We look forward to having people enjoy Jamaica with us. It’s a free hotel and I’m the maid!! We will be there for 2 years starting in July so there is plenty of time for everybody.

Allie is excited to be a beach baby and maybe even get a little Jamaican accent! haha

Allie is excited to be a beach baby and maybe even get a little Jamaican accent! haha

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3 responses to “Allie takes DC + vomit inducing flag day

  1. Pingback: 2015 in Review | ficklomat·

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