Friday, June 9

Happy Wooden Anniversary!

Yesterday was our fifth wedding anniversary which traditionally is celebrated with a wooden gift. I doubt Rachel would like a baseball bat as an anniversary gift so I think I'll break with tradition and buy her something nicer. Looking back and speaking for myself, it's been a wonderful five years, the best five years of my life. From our wedding day to the day Madison joined us as a family to our latest adventure in Washington DC, it's been a great ride.

Rachel is my ideal partner in life, she and I complement each other in many ways and I am lucky to have her as my wife. She looks after me when I'm sick (and like all men we're big babies when we're sick), takes good care of Madison and I and is always there to cheer me up when I'm down. She's a strong woman who is supportive and always takes the time to listen to what I have to say, even when she knows I'm wrong. It scares me to even think of life without my wife and perhaps that is the ultimate test of love.

Happy 5th hon. I love you and miss you :)

Wednesday, June 7

Keeping in Touch

Keeping in touch with Rachel and Maddy in real time is proving to be more difficult than I anticipated. I am 7 hours ahead of them in Samoa so that means that when I get up at 7am in the morning, it's midnight for them. When Rachel gets to work at 8am, my day is almost done at 3pm. When Rachel gets home at 5pm it's already midnight for me over here. In terms of having a nice phone call conversation, it's tough to have one without one of yawning due to the lateness of the hour.

We've tried out chatting over VoIP on the Internet using Skype with headphone sets and while it's great because it's free, we still can't manage to chat for long due to the time differences. It was so much fun chatting to Madison using the headset mic, but it would be better if we didn't have to go to these lengths just to stay in touch.

Friday, June 2


There's safety in familiarity, being around people and places we've grown to know, following a path that we've travelled before. I guess that's one reason I moved back to Samoa after ten years in New Zealand. It was a safe move for me, I was going home and while moving back to the States could also be viewed as a move back home since I was born here, it doesn't really feel like it. Maybe that's why most of my extended family still live in New Zealand and to a lesser extent Australia; it's in the comfort zone and it's become a safe place to be.

However, I can gain some comfort from the parallels I see in how I was brought up as a kid and how Madison will be raised now in the States. My parents moved back to the States from Samoa and raised us three kids for the first third of our lives (for me it's more like a fourth now yikes!) in the States and I can safely say from experience that the school systems in the US are superior to what's available in Samoa. It should give Maddy a head start in life, something every parent wants for their kids.

The difference for Madison will be that while we spoke English first before picking up Samoan, his first language is Samoan so he might struggle a li'l bit communicating with other kids here in the US. Then again, he might not because he's such a clever little boy and I shouldn't put it beyond him, I'm sure he's smarter at this age than I was at the same age.