We landed one year ago today and I really can't believe how fast it has gone by. We found a lovely home to rent and move into, that is nearly walking distance to school and within 5 minutes of 4 beaches. We used to have to drive 20 minutes one way to school, so to be so close it is awesome. Our boys settled so nicely into school and made heaps of friends. I couldn't have hoped for them to fit in any better than they have. And we have been lucky enough to make friends with our boys' friend's parents etc. We were also very fortunate to be part of a kiwi group back in San Francisco. And one of our friends through the club connected us with her sister here and we became fast friends. We literally see her and her family at least once a month. We go hiking, biking, watch cricket, rugby, even celebrated easter together. They have two boys and we have two boys so it makes it super easy too. Overall, the way the kiwis have embraced us and my little American boys has been amazing.

I have been able to speak to my mum nearly everyday on Facetime. So that has been great. I feel bad for not being closer to her but she loves Facetime and she has been able to see our home, watch me hang laundry, seen my office etc. So she feels like she is part of our life here, and that has helped so much. Facebook, and texting has also helped to stay in touch with friends and family. Some of my friends are still hopeless with the time difference still, but we'll get there.

During the summer we spent every weekend at the beach with the boys going boogie boarding, and during Autumn and Winter every weekend was spent at the soccer/footy pitch for at least 3 hours as both boys played. I got involved in the PTA at our school, and that has helped me get more involved with the school and parents as I work 40+ hours per week. It has been a fun way to meet people and be involved too.

I have been working since November of last year for a company here. My commute is a bit longer than I would like, but my goal is to make it a year and get my first Kiwi job under my belt. I have to travel to AUS more than I would like. I was told tops 4 times per year and I have gone 5 times already and have at least 2 more to go. It is a very large company, a bit too big for my liking, and we have gone through some major consumer issues recently that have caused much stress and many, many extra hours of work. But I am learning a lot and hope to find something new and a bit more interesting in the new year. My husband has stayed working for his company back in the US, but has had to travel way more than we'd like, so he is going to continue looking for something here. He is just a tough person to employ here with his bizarre background.

Overall we really have so enjoyed our move. We have made heaps of friends. We have enjoyed loads of outdoor activities, going to beaches, hiking, skiing, boogie boarding, playing footy, etc. Our hope is to be here for the long term, but who really knows what tomorrow holds. We are just enjoying what life has given us here in NZ and will continue to enjoy it. Note: My boys never got a kiwi accent. They arrived at ages of 5 and 7. It's been a year and their American accents are as strong as ever. Even when I fake it, my younger son corrects me. It is very funny. Oh well, we didn't move here for them to get an accent.

If anyone has questions please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks