We’re here! In this blog, as most blogs, we may appear egocentric, self indulgent and presumptuous, portraying our lives here in New Zealand. I will write in a sort of “personal diary” format for no particular audience. That said, I apologize to my family for occasional vulgar language. I apologize to my friends for sentimental stories and photos intended for doting grandparents. If the “cuteness” becomes unbearably nauseating, skip ahead.

Despite the new sights, sounds and smells, we’ve slipped into a pretty comfortable routine. Brew coffee, make breakfast, look for socks, walk the kids to school, catch the bus to the city. Sophie and Milo seem to enjoy their little Hogwarts uniforms. Oh, they still appear neglected and unkempt, but in a cute Dickensian sort of way. They’re adorable. They’ve both adjusted very well. Sophie struggled for a week or so. Her class is a bit more advanced than anticipated. But she’ll catch up. Milo is obliviously cheerful about everything.

It’s cold. Not Utah cold, but cold. Few houses, including ours, have central heating. If you’re curious about the temperature of our home, look up the temperature of outdoor Auckland–THAT’S the temperature of our home. So, every morning and night, we huddle around a wood-burning stove or space heater, daring each other to run upstairs to retrieve more blankets and socks. Our house is small and vertical, mostly. Officially four flights with three bedrooms, one bathroom, and a play “room,” it fits our family nicely. Fully furnished, we rent the house from a family who’s living in England. We sleep on their sheets, drive their car, play with their kids’ toys, read their books, and dirty their pots. I feel, sometimes, we are living a home-swap-reality TV show.