It’s been less than a week, and it’s all I can think about.

A pet.

I’ve never had my own pet before. The last time I lived with an animal, I was 17 years old, half a lifetime ago.

I always assumed I’d have a dog one day…well, Jacob and I are almost to 10 years of marriage and it hasn’t been possible. When Ryder turned five, I decided I’d get him a pet. I chose a guinea pig due to his size. I’m not sure we’re actually allowed pets. But, as I’m learning, guinea pigs are actually quite neat little animals. Their poop comes out in perfectly packaged plastic pellets.

Instead of doing my readings, I’m on my hands and knees chasing him around from behind the furniture, or tempting him with new vegetables, or cuddling him on my lap and reading about how to take care of them. It’s just like having a baby!


Guinea pigs can’t fly on airplanes. This means we’ll probably have to leave him with a friend in a year or two, because I don’t intend to stay in South Africa forever. I’m already trying to imagine how to carry him across country lines. Ryder, unprompted, also thought like me; he asked me to smuggle him through security and hide him on the airplane.

He’s so cuddly and cute and pathetic—he’s frightened of everything. Ryder named him Sweetie Pie and Cutie Pie. He gets called both.

I am a bit allergic to him, I think. I wasn’t expecting that; perhaps I’m allergic to everything with fur. Stinks when you love animals like I do. I bought gloves to handle him.

Ryder likes to introduce him to his favorite songs and movies on the ipad. He rushes straight to him when he gets home from school. The guinea pig, meanwhile, shoots like a rocket into a corner and cowers inside the yogurt cup tunnel we made him.IMG_20170924_091837

Jacob also adores the guinea pig. We’ve gone pet crazy over here.IMG_0411IMG_0414


Ryder update! Age 5

September 3, 2017 Read the full article →

Apparently the age of four was just a blur of countries (about 16 of them). Now Ryder is five years old, and living a life of routine. Mostly. He was attending a Montessori school, but was admitted to the German international school. His teacher, who knew him from the last time we were in Cape […]


Energy psychology, parenting, and fashion

July 22, 2017 Read the full article →
lido deck

When I was engaged I won a drawing at a bridal fair. The lady at the fair told me, when I showed up, “I knew it was meant for you!” I have a suspicion that she said that because I was not “dressing my truth.” Since then, Dressing Your Truth has become semi-famous in Utah. […]


Life with an Au Pair

July 3, 2017 Read the full article →

Life for us now is very different, living in one place, in South Africa, while I have internships and classes and Jacob is doing film extra castings and trying out an app idea for South African clubs and Ryder is attending the same school he went to the last time we were here but with […]


Entering Mozambique

July 3, 2017 Read the full article →

It was time to leave Kruger National Park and I was ready. Six nights of sleeping in a tent. Six nights of shoveling cough drops methodically into my mouth and counting down the minutes until the sun came up. We’d decided the night before to arrange a doctor for Ryder. He had a fever. I […]


Tribute to Sophie

May 10, 2017 Read the full article →

I remember the moment I met Sophie. It was at the gate to Ryder’s preschool in Chiang Mai. I was thrilled there would be another boy Ryder’s age who was also an English speaker. She was from England, and had a pleasant yet shy way about her, as did her son, Shaye. “Will you ever […]


Just Another Day in the Life

April 30, 2017 Read the full article →

Of an American digital nomad music therapist student at the University of Pretoria in Cape Town. So. Our au pair offered to take us to her witch doctor here. Naturally I jumped at the chance. Wouldn’t you? Then of course, when I mentioned this to two visiting friends from the States, one of whom we […]


Things Ryder Says: April 2017

April 23, 2017 Read the full article →
Ryder in tree

On my stolen phone: Mom, can we eat at the restaurant with the camel, where you got your phone stolen? I didn’t get it stolen at the Indian restaurant in Cape Town, I got it stolen at the McDonalds in Chile [in December 2015]. I want to go back to the restaurant in Chile. Why? […]


A Year of Highlights with Ryder

March 27, 2017 Read the full article →

Why haven’t I written about Ryder for a year? I don’t know. For a while I gave monthly updates. Once the baby stage is over, the milestones aren’t as apparent. And so it goes. And time races on. Here’s an overview of what the last year was like for this third culture kid. He and […]


The Miraculous Story of the South African Visa

March 10, 2017 Read the full article →

It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes the work of government workers, TSA agents, baggage claim lost and found workers, and more to ship Kalli, Jacob, and Ryder to South Africa in one piece. It started with my ambivalence to commit. Yes, it should come as no surprise after 8 years […]