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A Year Of Awesome

Posted by on Jan 24, 2016 in Miscellaneous | 1 comment

A Year Of Awesome

Dear Mike, It’s our anniversary! Our seventh!! We’re not in the same country today, but I’d still take this anniversary over the one two years ago when we went to chemo together, or four years ago when our wee baby broke his leg in Northern Laos. So this anniversary isn’t exactly a win, but in the grand scheme of our anniversaries to date, I’d still call it a draw. I wasn’t exactly in the most fully-present or romantic mood during our skype call today. That might have had something to do with the fact that I was sitting on the...

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10 Parenting Hacks That Have Served Me Well

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Parenting | 10 comments

10 Parenting Hacks That Have Served Me Well

When we had our first child, Mike and I were living in Luang Prabang, in Northern Laos. There was no such thing as a mother’s group. In fact, there were very few other mothers who spoke English, and at that stage my Lao was—and I’m being gentle in this assessment—terrible. I’ve been a mother for just over four years now, and we have a two year old, as well. After being so isolated during the first two years of my journey as a parent, I’m continually surprised and delighted by just how many good ideas I can glean from hearing or...

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Unpleasant Constants, Falling Coconuts, And Keeping Things In Perspective

Posted by on Dec 6, 2015 in Life in Vanuatu | 0 comments

Unpleasant Constants, Falling Coconuts, And Keeping Things In Perspective

It is a painful irony that we’ve lived in some of the most beautiful tropical locations you can search out in this world during the last five years, yet my lymphedema makes it more difficult for me to fully enjoy them. My feet are on my mind right now because on Tuesday this week I came down with cellulitis. When that happens, it happens fast and quietly–sort of like a falling coconut. I was fine on Tuesday morning at 10am. At 11am, when I got up from my desk I was limping, badly. It felt like I’d strained a muscle, or wrenched a...

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Good Will Come

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Parenting | 65 comments

Good Will Come

  Almost four years ago, when my firstborn, Dominic, was five months old, my mother in law was carrying him down the stairs of our house in Northern Laos. She slipped and fell. Dominic’s knee hit the wood. His femur broke. Luckily, the one X-ray machine in town was working that day. Luckily, the one X-ray technician was also working. Unluckily, by the time we held the film up against the sunlight and saw the sharp angles of that small bone in all the wrong places, the one flight to Bangkok that day had already left. Even with good...

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What I’ve been reading lately: Out Of Sorts and other goodies

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Writing | 12 comments

What I’ve been reading lately: Out Of Sorts and other goodies

I’ve been meaning to do one of these posts for a while now, but Mike has been traveling a fair bit, the kids have been sick (nothing makes you grateful for a washing machine like a two year old vomiting nine times in nine hours), and there are a dozen projects competing for time and attention. Plus, when it comes right down to it, I’d generally rather read books than write about them. This week, however, a blogger I’ve been reading for years now is launching her second book (go Sarah!!). Several of Sarah Bessey’s posts about her...

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Putting down some roots

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Life in Vanuatu | 3 comments

Putting down some roots

Dear friends, Today, it’s been six months since Cyclone Pam, and five months since the kids and I arrived here to face the mammoth task of unpacking, learning our new home-city, and making new friends all over again. Five months!! It’s gone by so fast, I can’t even fathom. But when I think about all we’ve mapped out during those months it makes more sense. I’ve learned the hard way where two different doctors are, and that there’s a decent dental clinic here. I know which of three different Chinese restaurants is our pick, and...

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50 Great Gifts For Pregnant Women And New Parents

Posted by on Sep 13, 2015 in Pregnancy | 11 comments

50 Great Gifts For Pregnant Women And New Parents

Looking for some good gifts for pregnant women or new parents? Good on you!! If there’s ever a time in life when someone can benefit from being lavished with thoughtful gifts, it’s when a baby is on the way. (Or, probably even more, after the baby has actually arrived and we new parent’s are sleep-deprived, love-drunk, irritable, joyful automatons.) So, here are 40 great gifts for pregnant women or new parents (please note that some of the links above are for affiliate products, meaning if you click and buy, you’re...

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Behind The Facebook Photos…

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Life in Vanuatu | 1 comment

Behind The Facebook Photos…

It’s 6:30pm. By some miracle of miracles both kids are in bed. It’s dark, cold, and rainy outside. It feels like 10:00pm. I know many people are curious about what’s going on behind the scenes for us, so here are some snapshots of life in Vanuatu during the last week. I was at a cocktail party with Mike last Thursday at the Australian High Commissioner’s house. It was a diplomatic “do”—wine and champagne being shopped around by smiling servers, a great deal of talk about reconstruction work, and a whole roasted pig that...

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All things domestic in Port Vila

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Life in Vanuatu | 2 comments

All things domestic in Port Vila

I’ve thought about posting a couple of times in the last couple of weeks but everything here (and in my head) feels like such a disorganized mash-up of good and bad, overwhelming and (barely) manageable, frustrating and unexpectedly sweet. And complicated. Everything seems to be more complicated and time consuming than it feels like it should be at the moment. I like to have a point when I write something—a bit of a theme. And we’ve got too many important balls in the air to at the moment to pinpoint one, so I’ve temporarily tossed...

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The Tax Of Novelty

Posted by on Apr 25, 2015 in Life in Vanuatu | 0 comments

The Tax Of Novelty

You guys, we are so tired. So tired. I thought moving to Vanuatu would spawn a whole series of new blog posts. After all, novelty is often fuel for creativity for me, since I usually need to write about things to process them fully. When we moved to Laos five years ago, I posted three times a week without fail. But you know what I neglected to factor into the picture? The two children we’ve acquired since then. That, and buying a house. Oh, and the fact that novelty might be good creative fuel, but the tax of novelty is fatigue. In Laos, the...

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