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Contrails

It is finally nice enough to sit outside on our balcony. This evening, Martin did our finances and I enjoyed a beer. It’s my favorite space now.

 

NERD ALERT: I am unapologetically super excited about sitting outside and identifying the flights leaving contrails over our house. This flight is headed to Denmark.

I got the app FlightAware. It is so much fun. I think I just like being right all the time, and saying with confidence that THAT blinking light is going to Cairo, and THAT one is going to Brussels…

Using SkyGuide, we also identified space junk buzzing overhead. You will get a crick in your neck, but sooooo worth it

1000th Photo

This is my 1,000th Instagram pic. A selfie, of course. First Instagram pic was taken in October 2011 as Martin and I headed into downtown DC for our first date night after our son was born. #1,000 was taken in our hallway in Germany after sending the girls off to school and before I headed to work, and the boys went out with Martin’s mom and brother.

Life is good.

The kids had such a good time with their Oma and Onkel Christian!
The kids had such a good time with their Oma and Onkel Christian!

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I know that Germans love their peace and quiet, so I try to be respectful when I’m calling for the children as they are playing outside.

But every now and then, I forget myself and I end up yelling [in English] something like, “If you don’t get your lil’ asses into this house RIGHT NOW, you will be SO SORRY, you have no idea. YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!” Then I scan the neighborhood as my children run into the house, certain to see some older German frau on the phone calling me in, but I never do.

And now I know why. I just heard my German neighbor calling in her children. I have absolutely nothing to worry about. 😉

Just a Reminder

Also, I just had a delightful conversation explaining Twitter to Jaz! As a three-year-old who routinely talks in 140 characters or less, I dare say he has a better understanding of it than most adults.

And I can hear giggling and laughter outside my window right now. It’s Walpurgis Night here in Germany.They also had a parade go through the village center. I heard drums and horns playing a Bon Jovi song. Love German traditions … hope those kids don’t toilet paper my car…

Read more about the holiday HERE.

Social This, Social That

 

[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]I[/dropcap] bumped into Paul — a good friend and former colleague of mine — while attending a social media summit at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House earlier today.

Paul and I worked together for a few years at the Pentagon, when I was still active duty in the Air Force and he was a contractor. After my deployment, and after senior leadership realized that an Airman *could* blog about her deployment and not ruin the military, I was put on the team (which included Paul and my girl Moe, and JV, and others) that ultimately wrote the first policy on social media for the Department of Defense.

These days, the both of us work for the same department (but different agencies), so it’s not too unusual to cross paths. This time, it was at an event with a bunch of other federal workers from across the government, all who specialize in the communications, data, and information career fields.

It wasn’t very different than other workshops I’ve attended before (or participated in, like this one HERE, or HERE, or most recently, HERE).

There were three panels of speakers, all professional communicators, who shared some success stories and lessons learned from their sites and organizations. It was a great opportunity to meet others in the field and put some faces with the names I see in emails and various correspondence across the Internets.

My dad has said more than once that he always hesitates before telling people what it is that I do. Of course, he hesitated over the past year when my department was in the news all the time for a certain website and all that jazz.

“Why can’t you work at NASA?” he’s asked. “People know what happens at NASA. I wouldn’t have to explain.”

But he also admits he isn’t really sure how to explain what I do because public affairs specialist can mean a lot of things.

Each time he says that, I remind him he wouldn’t be wrong to just call me a professional communicator. I take official information and I relay it to the public in a variety of ways.

There’s a little bit of marketing. A little bit of PR. A lot of program management. A lot of writing. A lot of multimedia. Sometimes traditional media. And as the summit summarized today, social media and data, too.

All for the government.

And always for the people.

And most of the time, I work with some really awesome people like Paul.

And sometimes I get to take pictures like this one …

 

 

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