Yea, it's been a while.
We've been living in Panama for about a year now. Aaron more continuously than myself, though. He got here at the end of November 2012. My first arrival in Panama was January 2013 (we spent that Christmas in the US).
A month after my arrival, I found out that I was pregnant. We immediately made the decision to medevac back to DC to have the baby. So when August 2013 came around, Augie and I made our way back to DC to await the arrival of little baby Tess. Aaron met us in September 2013, and Tess was born October 5, only a few days after my birthday and 3 weeks after Augie's 4th birthday.
We spent Thanksgiving 2013 with my family in DC, and arrived back in Panama in early December. We're supposed to leave here in November 2014, a.k.a. in less than 10 months. So, Aaron is in the midst of bidding on mid-level positions for the first time.
As I am not the employee, I don't know everything that goes into bidding. But here's what I do know - bidding winter cycle SUCKS. And, also, perhaps I shouldn't have assured my friends and family that "there's a 99% chance we'll be back in DC for our next tour" because with each passing day, I'm becoming less and less convinced that we'll actually be able to live up to that. Next time, I will make sure to be more careful with my words when people start asking us "Where do you think you'll go next?"...why is it that people seem to ask that immediately after you get to a place? I swear, 2 weeks into Panama we were getting that question. And another question I've been getting since about 12 hours after Tess was born: "So do you think you'll have another one?" ...how the crap should I know? I'm still trying to get used to the TWO I do have!
Anyhoo, yes, DC is our desired next assignment. But it seems like there are a lot of jobs on the winter bid list that aren't *actually* on the winter bid list - they are *supposed* to be on the summer bid list, but for some reason they appear on the winter bid list and get the hopes up of people who have been suckered into bidding winter! Note that these are just jobs at Aaron's level, in Aaron's cone, and in his desired bureau(s). But out of 5 DC jobs listed on the bid list in which he's expressed interest, 4 of them aren't actually supposed to be on there, so he's not allowed to bid on them.
So now there's a chance we could go overseas again. I mean, it's not the worst situation, many of the overseas options aren't too shabby. But I was hoping for a DC tour, partly to be near family and friends again if even for a short time. Also, partly because I'd like to try to get a civil service job with State - one that might be transferable overseas after a couple years at Main State. Going back overseas immediately means my options at whatever Embassy we're at are limited to things like fingerprinting visa applicants, doing secretarial work, etc. I've done these things, and they're fine, but not what I'm looking for anymore. I want something more substantive where I'm teleworking for an office and reporting back to them directly.
But we'll see. Who knows what will happen, we still have to wait almost another two months before handshakes are offered. For now, I'm just going to sit back and wait, and hope that all of these overseas jobs aren't mis-labeled too.