Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Round 3 is a no go.  I am so surprised to get these results, but it goes to show that this process is so difficult to figure out.  I received my highest score yet on the three test sections, but didn't pass the essay.  Oddly enough, I personally thought I wrote my best essay on this last round.  This is so frustrating!!

I need some more self-reflection about next steps for me and my family.  I really thought this was the direction for me.  We will see if I am up for another round next year! 

Until then...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Test #3 is in the history books.  Not only was the commute less convenient this time around, the test was (seemed) tougher too.  Mainly the JK section.  It has been two years since I took the test, so maybe I just forgot the randomness of the test, or it was truly more difficult.  Either way, glad it is over.  I do think I did better on the EE, Bio and Essay.  Time will tell if my suspicions are correct!

I have been doing lots of reflecting on the FS life and am very hopeful it all works out.  I am a "sign" guy and tend to look for signs in the world pointing me one direction or another.  At the time of my previous A-100 offer, all signs were pointing away from the FS.  I really feel like I am sensing something very different this time around.  Again, time will tell if I am correct or not.

All other things in life are progressing well.  Our house renovation (of sorts) is coming along well.  We LOVE the house and our neighborhood.  We are right in the middle of some updates to our kitchen.  Not a total gut/remodel, but new counters, updating cabinets, new lights, new backsplash.  It is cool to see it all come together.  We are having a great summer with the kids and looking forward to our annual beach trip.  Summers go by too quickly!  I love having the kids home and less overall activities.  We have a great sitter who comes to the house, so the kids are enjoying the luxury of sleeping in daily and afternoons at the pool!  What a life!

Hopefully the next few weeks go by quickly.  I am anxious for the test results!  Until then...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Here we go again...

I have bitten the bullet and am taking the FSOT again in June.  I actually signed up to take the exam in Feb/March, but never got around to registering for a date.  I kind of forgot about it, then got an e-mail from the website letting me know I was eligible to register for the June date.  It also came at a time that I was particularly regretful about not accepting my previous A-100 spot--funny how the universe throws something your way just when you need it.  Anyway, I am ready to start this process all over again.

For whatever reason, the test is not being offered in my local city this time (I live in a decent metro of ~2 million people) so I am surprised that I have to drive 3 hours to a much smaller town in order to test.  Oh well, maybe that is the universe testing me and my true intentions on starting over.  Whatever the case, I am ready to give it my all.  Mrs. Consular Hopeful and I have had many a conversation lately about the FS lifestyle and we both feel this is the right time.  I sure hope it works out again.  Only time will tell.  Unfortunately I am horrible at waiting, which isn't a good characteristic to have when entering the FS process.

Here goes nothing!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I can't believe it...

Hello World!

Well, life sure is funny sometimes.  Just when you think everything is cruising along, the unpredictable smacks you in the face!

So I have been traveling this "consular hopeful" road for some while now...I think it started in November 2009.  After the passing the OA I though, "This might really happen."  Then things just seemed more and more impossible.  I started to realize that the FS thing just wasn't in the cards for me.  My family also moved on.  This past winter/spring was an incredibly busy time for us.  I got a new job/promotion (one that I love) and my wife took a leap in her career and landed a dream job of hers.  We also decided to add a 5th child to our crazy family and started an international adoption.  In the middle of all this, we found a dream house (107 years old and needs a major facelift...but unbelievable!).  We bought it and played the housing market game to sell our current home.  Life was crazy, but fun.  We were starting to get a little nervous as we took possession of the new home, but our old one wasn't selling.  We had lots of interest, but no bites.  We were buckling down and preparing for   two house payments.  We also had some fees due on the adoption and everything felt extremely tight (like I-think-I-am-going-to-suffocate tight!).

In the middle of all this...I got an offer for A-100.  It's okay...I fell out of my chair too!  I couldn't believe it.  My head was spinning.  I felt like I worked so hard to get to this point, but now we had moved on from the FS dream.  Life was moving in a different direction and we were okay with that.  The A-100 offer brought back all of those dreams and lead to some very difficult days of decision making.  In the end, I had to turn down the offer.  To say I was devastated was an understatement.  The timing just couldn't have been worse--two new jobs (one a dream job for my wife), a pending adoption, two mortgages--one of which is a money pit and couldn't be flipped without a major loss of funds!

I know it was the right decision for us and we are happy.  Now that a few months has passed...and I am officially off the register (boo!), I am finally able to talk about it.  We have sold the old house and are working slowing to fix up our new home.  The adoption is moving along well.  There are times though that I can't help but feel like I made a mistake, yet knowing it was the only decision we could make given the circumstances.

It has given me re-newed belief that I may one day join the FS ranks.  Life just needs to calm down a bit for us!  Once our adoption is completed I think I will start the process over again (yuck!) and see what happens.  Until then, we are happy.  The kids are healthy and life is awesome.

I just laugh at how things work out sometimes!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Time!

Hello again!  I hope everyone has been enjoying a nice summer.  We have had a great one!  We went on several trips...the largest was spending a week on Hilton Head Island.  Now summer is winding down and the kids start school again in one week.  I hate to see the summer end, but I am excited for the new school year and getting back into a routine.

Nothing (obviously!) to report on the FS front.  I haven't thought much about it over the summer, which is a good thing.  With the little thinking I did, I have decided to take the test again next Fen/March.  I think this is something I will always keep on the back burner.  It was a hard pill to swallow (not getting through the PNQ's), but everything about this process is such a mystery.  I'm not really sure where this road will lead, but part of me just enjoys the fact that I do have something working on the back burner.  It makes the sometimes mundane things about the front burners more tolerable!

Until next time...

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's a No

Well it looks like my second shot at this crazy life wasn't meant to be.  I was dissed at the QEP.  I can't say I am completely shocked, though I was shocked at my reaction.  I was pretty disappointed this morning!  I turned in the same PNQ's that I used last year and I wasn't really comfortable with that approached.  I knew it was risky, but I didn't put forth any effort to change my essays.  I rolled the dice and it didn't work in my favor.  I felt like I had been punched in the gut.

In the end, it is all okay.  I wish I was heading back to DC for the orals, but that is not in the plans for me right now.  I am reviewing my language options (though I don't think I can commit to anything that will get me to a passing score by next June when my current candidacy expires) and will see if I can start something that might pay off if I decide to retest next year.  Who knows, maybe the FS will start a crazy hiring spree and I will get called up!  HA!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A fork in the road

I have been on the register for 3 months now.  I haven't asked for an updated placement and I know it doesn't really matter.  I don't think (or haven't heard) of any classes called after March, but I also haven't been following the A-100 group.  It just got to be too much and super negative.  I also stopped meeting with my French tutor in February.  She was great, but I was not putting in the effort to progress.  Unfortunately our schedules didn't match up well and she was only available during the evenings.  We were trying to meet two nights per week, but it proved to be too much for my family.  Between basketball, violin lessons, cub scouts, homework and everything else...something had to give. 

Now I am at a fork and not sure where to go.  I could look for another tutor that would be available during the week.  I could make something work early in the mornings.  The other option I am considering is learning Arabic.  It sounds crazy (I didn't have the time for French, but would have the time for Arabic?)  I know.  I am thinking it may be more realistic to get to a level 2 in Arabic over the next year than a level 3 in French.  Who knows.  I have a couple options that may work. 

At the same time I am ready to throw in the towel so to speak.  I would like to continue the pursuit of this career, but I am not sure learning a language on a part time basis is realistic for me.  If I can't make it "in" on my own merits, is this worth it?? 

The results of the QEP will make all the difference.  If I don't make it (and I am not sure I will...just by the sound of things on A-100) then the pressure is on to move forward with a language, if this is going to happen at all.