Friday, January 3, 2014


I've decided I'm going to start this new blogging madness by jumping back a bit and recording the journey that led us to New Zealand.  I'll get us caught up from there, and then, when time allows, go back through the past two years and add in a few blog worthy posts (like maybe the birth of our second born.  Sorry Quinn, I promise we do love you!).  The next few posts will undoubtedly be quite boring as I record the process of what brought us half way around the globe.  If there's anyone actually reading this blog, sorry in advance!

The whole idea of moving to New Zealand started because Brett and I are poor at making decisions.  That's really what it all comes down to. :)

One year ago, Brett was 6 months out from graduating from his Family Medicine Residency at St Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, AZ.  It was time to start figuring out what we wanted to do when he graduated from Residency and became a free man.  One of the perks of going through pre-med undergrad, medical school, and finally residency, is that 11 years of your life are essentially planned out for you, without many decisions to make.  It feels as if school will never end and you can just follow through all of the programs in a non-decision-making bliss year after year after year.  The problem is that one day Residency does end, and you are suddenly left wondering how 11 years of schooling has already gone by and where the next school counselor is to guide you down your next path.  Unfortunately that counselor doesn't exist any more, and you are instantly a part of the real world, making real adult decisions, all by yourself.  That is what led us to New Zealand.  We were finally free to make our own choices, and we simply could not make the monumental decision of where to set up our family.  Utah and Arizona both pull at our heart strings and we couldn't come to a conclusion about where we needed to be.  Solution: we decided to just postpone the inevitable by moving away.  Mature, right? :)

Brett started looking into working as a locum tenens, which is a physician who works temporarily for another physician on leave or compensates for a physician shortage in a specific location.  We soon realized there were needs for locum tenens doctors not only all over the country, but all over the world!  One night we were discussing what it would be like to move to another country for work, and I concluded that as long as we went somewhere that spoke English and was safe, it could be the adventure of a lifetime!  New Zealand instantly came to Brett's mind (I think he's had a secret desire to visit since he saw the first Lord of the Rings movie in 2001) and the idea was born.  Just. Like. That.  Because of their temporary nature, locum tenens positions usually do not become available until a month or two before their start date, and so (bonus!) we were able to postpone our decision-making for 6 months and vowed to start looking into positions once he graduated in June.

June came, Brett graduated (HOORAY!!!), and we started contacting locum tenens agencies.  We sifted through many different opportunities, including one in a town with a population of 4,000 people that was 3 hours from anything, and one in a run-down coastal city that was gravitating toward slums.  The positions were either not what we were looking for, or we were not what they were looking for.

For 2 months we sorted through positions and researched areas of New Zealand.  We got the kids passports and looked into things like long term storage, shipping across the globe, international banking, international insurance, etc. etc.

At the beginning of September a position in Hamilton became available.  Hamilton was centrally located on the North Island, which would be perfect for the endless exploring we were planning on doing.  It had a population of 150,000, which was significantly more than many of the other positions we had been offered.  The only temple in New Zealand was located in Hamilton, which meant that there was a strong church presence there.  Brett liked the non-traditional work hours they were requesting, and, after just a bit of discussion, we applied for and received a contract. We sent back our acceptance from a house boat in Lake Powell, and just like that we were headed to Hamilton, NZ!

The next few weeks we spent working on the endless forms of proof of identity for our New Zealand Visas and getting our house listed on the market (sad sad day).  Gulp, this was really happening!

Wednesday October 30th is a day I will never forget.  That afternoon all of the New Zealand stars aligned and we were informed, within hours of each other, that our Visas had been approved (which was much quicker than expected!), AND that we had an offer on our house!  What a blessing!  Our house was set to close on December 6th, so we booked our flights for December 8th.  It was a bit of a reality check when we purchased those tickets.  We were really truly leaving.

From that point on, the month of November and first week of December were somewhat of a blur.   Those last 5 weeks were spent sorting through every.single.item in our ENTIRE house to determine what we were taking with us (almost nothing!), what we were storing (not much more), and what we were selling, or donating, or throwing away.   We held a very productive garage sale, and tore up Craigslist.   It was pretty surreal to watch things we'd been holding on to for 9 years disappear out of our lives forever.  It was liberating as well though.  We sold our car in one morning, while on our way to St. George, which is a story for another post, but let's just say it was a very crazy, but efficient morning.  When we weren't sorting and selling, we were packing for two different lives. We had to box up everything that we had decided to keep and store while we were away, and we had to strategically pack what we were going to live off of for the next 10 months.  Thar whole process was not something I would wish upon anyone.

In the midst of all our New Zealand packing and prepping, we had so many amazing last hurrahs with friends and family.  Nothing was as hard as saying goodbye to those we love, even though we knew it would only be 10 months (or less) before we could squeeze them tight again.  And as much as we are loving New Zealand so far, being away from those we love is still the hardest part.  We are so so blessed to have so many that we love and care for.  To all those who in big or small ways helped us through this whole process to make a dream become a reality, we thank you, and we love you.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Revival

Two years ago this March we took a trip to Utah, where a social media-savy sister-in-law introduced me to Instagram.  After a little Insta-browsing and some Insta-stalking, I made my first Insta-post.  And I was insta-hooked.  The speed.  The ease.  My trusty phone, that I carted everywhere anyways, was suddenly all I needed.  Over night, Instagram became my way of recording our lives and sharing our pictures.  My $$ expensive Canon camera instantly disappeared to a top shelf to collect dust, and I tried to pretend that I had forgotten what Blogger was.  And yet, every so often, I found myself opening up my Internet browser and reading through some of my old blog posts.  I would laugh.  I would smile.  I would cry.  And I would realize that this is my journal, my family history, that I've been ignoring.  And so I would make a vow to catch up and start over.  Yet as soon as I would think about how long it takes me to make a post (because I SUCK at writing but have serious OCD issues), and about how much catching up I had to do (years!), I would just as quickly abandon that vow and turn back to my oh-so-easy Instagram.  And so the moral of this story is...I blame Instagram, and not my trend toward laziness (ok, maybe that does have a bit to do with it!) for my two year hiatus from blogging.

But new countries and new years are all about new beginnings, right??  So I'm choosing a new beginning.  I'm vowing (for real this time!) to catch this blog (somewhat) up to date, and then to keep it up to date as best as possible.  Because I know, a few years from now, reading these posts will again make me laugh and bring me to tears in a way that Instagram just can't.  (And also I want to remember what our lives were like behind the Insta-curtain. :) )

I know that no one reads blogs anymore, which is probably a REALLY good thing, because I won't have to stress as much about my horrible grammar and my uncanny ability to not.make.sense.  I'll record our lives for us, and those few who actually choose to read along will just ignore my ugly writing.  In the words of Dr Seuss, "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

And so I begin this blog again, almost two years later and on the opposite side of the world, with a new expectation of what this will become.  It is a recording of our lives, for us.

Now pardon me, while I try to figure out

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Things I Heart

A few of my most recent faves...

 ~ Sonic's new Sweet Potato Tots
Let it be known that I frequent Sonic on a very regular basis to satisfy my drink obsession.  However, I am NOT a fan of their food.  How that has changed!!  These could seriously be one of my most favorite foods...ever.  Try them.  You will thank me.
~ Lauren Oliver's "Delirium" Trilogy
Let's call it "Hunger Games" meets "Twilight" romance.  SO love them.  Had the 2nd book delivered to my house the day it was released.  Now just bummed I have to wait till next year for the final one.  :(

~ Aqua Sphere Kaiman Goggles
After spending half of my lap time fixing leaking, fogging, or unbearably uncomfortable goggles, I spent some time researching goggles and stumbled upon these babies.  Hallelujah!  Finally I can swim for an hour and leave the gym without burning eyes and a pounding headache.

 ~ Method All-Purpose Natural Cleaner in Cucumber
 My kitchen counters have never smelled so delicious and been so clean at the same time.

~ Hot Chelle Rae "Whatever" Album
Listening to this music might possibly make me feel like a 16 year old girl, and I might possibly just like that about it. ;)  Yes, it is 100% pure Pop, but when I turn up the tunes and sing along at the top of my lungs while driving around town, it makes me smile EVERY time. 

 ~ Cutco Knives
Every time I slice through something without even the slightest effort, I'm reminded why I love these so much. And, if I ever feel the need to cut a penny in half, it's nice to know that I can.  :)

~ Coca-Cola Freestyle Fountains
Two words.  Pibb Zero.  Until they decide to start selling this most divine beverage in stores, I may be doing zip code searches to locate all the Coca-Cola Freestyle Machines near me.

What are some of your recent faves???

Monday, March 19, 2012

Utah Fun

Brett had a week of vacation he needed to use up this month, so...Utah here we come!  We always miss the Blaser clan, and look for any excuse to get together with the Fam.

As soon as we arrived in Bountiful, Weston felt right at home... Grandpa and Grandma have plenty of swords and balls. :)
We took our regular visit up to Ogden and the Flowrider.  Weston had a blast playing in the water, and I'm sure he'll be surfing before we know it. 
While we were all at the Flowrider, we had a surprise baby arrival.  Brett's brother BJ barely made it home from Ogden in time, and the baby was born 12 minutes after they walked into the hospital!!  We were all very impressed with Christie's no-epidural delivery!  We decided to pay a visit to the hospital in a way BJ and Christie would appreciate...with WIGS.  
Talk about creepy...
Baby Brigham was absolutely PERFECT and Christie looked just as good herself.
While in Salt Lake, we also got to meet up with our buddies Kalie and Isaac Chamberlain for a fun morning at the Gateway Discovery Center.  SO SO sad that I didn't get any pics of us together. :( Just one of Weston to document the trip.

Then after only a day and a half in Bountiful, we zipped our suitcases back up and headed down to St. George with a bunch of the fam.  Check out this car packed with FOUR car seats and one very good 8-year-old helper. 
Once in St. George we spent most of our time...
...hiking and biking through Snow Canyon...
(Notice Weston folded in half in the carrier!  He is really sleeping like that.)
...playing cards...
(this is how we entertained the little boys and kept them away from the cards: chocolate milk, cheerios, and a movie.  such great parenting.)
...and visiting with Friends. 
Chris and Nichole Forsey stayed with us, and Steve and Laura Crawford and John and Jessica Leavitt stopped by for several visits.  So fun to catch up. 
At one point, the boys decided they needed to do something manly, so they headed out to rock climb and shoot BB's...
...but quickly changed to throwing large sandstone rocks off the cliffs after they ran out of BB's.  Can you just feel the testosterone swelling?? ;)
Sporting some sweet poses:
Chris Forsey, Brett, Colby, and Chase
Nichole Forsey, baby girl, and Me
(Obviously I was informed of this hike at the last minute, thus I'm in a cardigan and jeans with tennis shoes.  Not the greatest hiking outfit.)
Someone left these cheese puff balls out and Weston discovered them.  You would have thought he had died and gone to heaven.  He devoured a fifth of the carton before I even noticed.  I'm seriously surprised he didn't puke.  Look at that face after being caught.  SO cute!
And apparently Bridget got bored one night, and I found these wonderful pics on my camera.  Sorry Bridge.  I HAD to post them.  Don't kill me.

After a wonderful four days in St. George, we headed back up to Bountiful to get in a little more time with the rest of the family...
...and then packed our bags and headed home.  Weston was a champ on both plane flights and both road trips, and spent most of the time buckling the seat belts and playing games on Dad's phone.
We had an absolute BLAST but need about a week to recover from all the partying and lack of sleep.  Thanks Blasers for always showing us a good time.  Love you all.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Weston Faves

Weston is definitely building up his own little personality lately.  This boy is VERY passionate about the things near and dear to his heart. 

A few of his absolute faves...

...his swords (which could be any of the following: swords, spatulas, rulers, mixing spoons, cardboard tubes, etc)
A true boy is never without at least one (or three) swords.  Don't challenge him to a sword fight unless you're ready for a good challenge.

...keys (or in Weston's words "EEEYS!!!")
Oh, the obsession with keys. He knows which keys open/start which things, and must know where a set of keys is at all times. He recently got his own set of real un-cut keys just so we can prevent any more lost keys.

The ONLY time I get this kid to sit still for more than a second.  I think we read at least ten books a day...and Weston has several of his faves memorized.

...climbing (EVERYTHING...any chair, table, piano, counter, toilet, desk, get the idea.  Also, the higher the better.)
Different places I have found him after a mere 30 seconds of inattention.
How he manages to have a head still intact, I have no idea.
Can you tell Dad dressed him? :)
Just to get an idea on this height, compare the counter height to the toilet.  When standing on the ground, his head only comes to the drawer knobs!
 We're trying to teach him climbing is an outdoor thing.  There is obviously room for improvement.

...the moon and stars
I never realized there were moons and stars in SO many, advertisements, decor, pictures, street signs, books...he spots them all...and "oohs and ahhs" continuously until you acknowledge.

...footballs, or any balls for that matter
A bedtime story is not complete without a football in hand
Neither is a good meal.

Our little boy is DEFINITELY, ALL BOY!!