Tanner and I are back in Minnesota, in our own house, without the girls, which is all rather strange.  It feels terribly familiar and yet half empty at the same time.  It’s odd being back here, after all we’ve been through. And we left this house thinking we’d never come back to it.

I will say this…all the one-on-one time with Tanner might be exactly what our relationship needs.  He and I are both introverts, both not given to excess verbosity. So, the house is kinda quiet most of the time.  And yet when I’m not working, I’m able to devote my attention to him and I’m trying to make this time special for him. Read the rest of this entry »

Breakfast at Ocean Beach Club

Breakfast at Ocean Beach Club

When we all arrived on the island of St. Martin sixteen months ago, the stress of relocation, of being jobless, of being in a strange place, and of med school all made it a challenge to really feel like this island was “home”.  After the last two months Tanner and I spent down there, however, my feelings for this place have changed completely.

I love this island.  I wish I was still there, and I hope I get to go back again before Carina is done in August.  I’m also a little sad it took me so long to feel this way about it.  I’m not saying I didn’t like the island at first… I guess I’m saying that it just took a while to be able to honestly say, “I LOVE it here!” Read the rest of this entry »

For eight months Casey has been persistent in requesting another blog post from me. Up to now I’ve declined, using the “I’m too busy” excuse. But in reality, I’ve tried to write something several times and all I’ve wanted to say is, “I want to go home”. Read the rest of this entry »

Andi sporting her trophy and medal

Andi sporting her trophy and medal

Each year Andi’s school, Learning Unlimited, host a science fair.

Collectively, the students put it a staggering amount of time and effort. They spent months and countless hours researching and prepping their projects, and the result was an impressive display of ingenuity across the board.  The competition was fierce  and until the awards were announced, Andi didn’t think her project was going to win.

Carina, being the scientist, was more involved than I was.  But by and large, she let Andi and her partner Manni work it out themselves. Cari’s role was limited to proof reading their reports and helping them construct their display. All of the credit for the field research, the model construction, the surveys, and the imagination behind the project go to Andi and Manni.

In addition to learning about their subject, it was also interesting to watch Andi work through a complex project with a joint partner, navigate the people skills needed to pull it off, and juggle time management to put in the required hours to make it all a success.  Job well done on all counts, Andi! Read the rest of this entry »

3 Comments, Written on March 25th, 2013 , Learning Unlimited
Josh Willingham autogrphs Tanner's Baseball

Josh Willingham autographs Tanner’s Baseball


We have a tradition in our family: When our kids turn twelve, we take them on a trip of their choice… anywhere they want to go (within reason).  Two years ago Andi opted for a cruise to the Bahamas, and Tanner decided he wanted to go to Fort Myers, Florida and watch the Minnesota Twins at their spring training.

It was SO!  MUCH!  FUN! Read the rest of this entry »

3 Comments, Written on March 24th, 2013 , St. Martin Activities
Rainbow Beach Sunset

Rainbow Beach Sunset

Last Saturday evening we were all sitting in our Rainbow living room when I happened to glance out the window. The sky was literally on fire with the pink glow of sunset, like I’d never seen before.  I grabbed my camera and ran barefoot down the stairs, across the parking lot, and around the middle building to the pool area.  By the time I got there, the best of the light was gone, but enough of it was still there to grab this photograph.

When I got back, Cari suggested Pizza for dinner.  Nobody felt like cooking, so it sounded like a great idea.  She Skyped in an order to Pizza Dan’s, and 20 minutes later she, Piper, Tanner and I made the short walk to pick it up. It was a pleasant evening… gentle breeze, not too humid, and even a bit cool (for Caribbean standards). Read the rest of this entry »

Carina, holding Piper, volunteering at the tie-die event with at-risk kids.

Yesterday I received the following Facebook message from my sister, Rebecca:  “I’m trying to figure out where you live right now.  Did you get a job that lets you live in St Martin’s? Or are you just visiting? What are school plans for Cari? And how is Andi doing? I guess I’m hoping for an all-around update on life.”

And Rebecca isn’t the only one who has asked us the same thing, so I figured I’d set the record straight.

Yes, I have a fantastic job (with great people) that is 100% remote, meaning I can literally work from anyplace that has a solid and reliable internet connection. I’ve had this job since the end of October, 2012.  So, the obvious question is: Why have Tanner and I not been on the island since I’ve had this job?   Read the rest of this entry »

The ‘Welcome to St. Maartin” sign by which tourists love to take their photos.

It’s good to be back!

Hey, I’ll be honest… I wasn’t at all sad to leave winter behind and come down here with Tanner to spend two months in the Caribbean with the girls!

In the months that I’ve been away, I’ve fielded a lot of comments and questions from people back at home about the island.  As a result it made me realize that I’ve not done a very good job of documenting in this blog what the island of St. Martin is really like.  I vowed that as soon as I got back here, I would take some time to drive around and photograph the inside of the island, away from the beautiful beaches, to show the parts of the island that you’ll never see on postcards and tourist brochures. Read the rest of this entry »

Christmas Break, 2012

Having the girls back in Minnesota for a few weeks was a special treat. We spent a lot of time just being with each other and visiting with family and friends.  I’ll let the photos do most of the talking, but first, here’s a quick catch-up:

It’s been one year since we embarked on this adventure.

What a year.

The winding path we’ve been on has led us through experiences we never imagined. Many  have been enjoyable.  Some have been… memorable.  And we’re just getting started.

2013 now stands ahead of us with promises of more untold adventures.  Cari will finish up on the island in August, and at this point we have no idea what our summer will look like, or where we will land in the fall. Read the rest of this entry »

2 Comments, Written on January 20th, 2013 , Everything Else

Andi and Tanner taking off on a para-saling adventure

What a trip!

It is now Sunday, December 2nd, 2012.  Tanner and I got back to MN a week ago today.  The time we spent with the girls down in St. Martin was fantastic, and I was profoundly grateful to be back with my wife and two daughters.

Little Piper is growing up so fast it’s scary.  She talks incessantly and acts more like an adult than a two year old.  Andi is doing remarkably well considering all that life is putting her through, and I am deeply impressed with her resilience.  Carina is happily slogging along, and despite the pace at which new material comes at her, she still seems to be enjoying this whole med school thing.  (Thank goodness!)  The first weekend I was there was block weekend so I didn’t really get to spend any time with her for the first couple of days, but after blocks her schedule slacked off a little and we had some good, quality time with each other and the kids. Read the rest of this entry »

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