Life Unparalleled

Loving Life as a Foreign Service Family – Current Parallel 6° 27' North- Lagos, Nigeria

January 6, 2019
by Dy

Fall in Lagos

This is a quick round up of our fall in Lagos. It was a busy season.

Oliver had his 9th birthday. He wanted a dog themed party, no swimming(can’t make it easy for mom can you) and lots of friends. Almost 40 kids showed up. It was a great day.

The kids each got their own stuffed dog that they got to make a named collar for.


We hid candy”poop” and the kids had to search for it and pick it up with dog do do bags.


Bone shaped rice crispies.


More kids


He wanted a giant cookie decorated like a dog instead of a cake. Have you noticed a theme- dogs and he always knows exactly what he wants.


Crawling through an obstacle course of yarn laser beams.


More candy searching. There was also jump rope(many kids first time) and we taught all these expat kids how to play Red Rover. Why are American games so aggressive?

We had Halloween

CLO through a great party and haunted house and the kids went trick or treating at the different compounds.


Roger as Dude Perfect- if you don’t know who that is look on Youtube.

Harrison as a viking including the hat and shield he actually bought when he was visiting Norway this year. It was easy to find Harrison in the group photos with his class because he was wearing that hat. Kid knows how to live his best life.


Oliver as Link from Legend of Zelda.


Dannica as a mermaid. All the little girls in the compound were in awe.


Ben as Sherlock’s Home.  Think about it….



I am handing out candy as the gold at the end of the rainbow. Yeah most people thought I was a fortune teller. That is what I get for costuming with what we had 10 minutes before kids started arriving.

Ben and I went to the Marine Ball again and had a lovely night. A great preparty with some friends that insisted we take adult prom pics by the pool.


Friends moved on to other posts and Karaoke was sung.


Ben and I teamed up with other friends who are scout leaders and look the boys on an awesome field trip to the US Consulate learning about fingerprinting, fake passports, the visa process, and what the Maries and DOD people do to keep us safe.


The kids all went to birthday parties. SO MANY BIRTHDAY PARTIES!!


Ben and I got to enjoy plenty of date nights. This is a new phase of our family life and we are really enjoying it, as well as some of the amazing restaurants here in Lagos.


Sunrises and sunsets here are fast, and often spectacular.




















November 7, 2018
by Ben

A Day in the Life of a Consular Officer

Ok, so I guess we haven’t been so great about this whole “consistency” thing in updating this blog.  Life has been busy, getting everyone home from R&R, starting a new year of school, starting up scouts, play rehearsals, violin lessons, fencing, and all of the other activities that 4 amazing kids are interested in, oh, and doing the job that brought us here in the first place.  Two family members also got a bonus trip in, which I’m sure will be a future post.

For the sake of diving back in, and covering some of the cool things I’ve done in the last few months, lets talk about a day in the life of a consular officer. Continue Reading →

October 21, 2018
by Dy

Utah Summer 2018

The last leg of our time in the US in 2018 was a trip to Utah. We flew into Salt Lake then left right away to drive down to St. George to pick up Harrison from Boy Scout Camp. We had a lovely visit and I took not enough pictures. Especially photos of friends. We had multiple get togethers and spent some one on one time with different people. It was so nice to see them after 18 months. We enjoyed the desert weather.


Continue Reading →

September 2, 2018
by Dy
1 Comment

Monterey Bay Area

The Monterey Bay area, I had never been there prior to meeting Ben. It is the home base for his mothers side of the family having lived there for generations. He spent many Winter and Summer vacations there while he was growing up in Arizona. 9 years ago his mom and step dad moved back. It is a beautiful area with so much to do and nature to enjoy. Fresh produce grown in the fields just out of town that help supply much of the US with delicious cravable things like artichokes and strawberries. That pretty much sums up our lovely two weeks here. Nature and good fresh food. Although we enjoy our jetsetting it was nice to just sleep in the same bed for a while. Thanks to generous grandparents the kids were lucky enough to enjoy some special excursions and camps.

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August 17, 2018
by Dy

Saratoga, Seattle, and Whidbey Island- 17th Wedding Anniversary

We were excited to continue our R and R (Rest and Relaxation) trip onward to the US. We started in Saratoga California where we visited with Ben’s grandparents. It was so great to see them. It had been a couple of years for the kids and I and the kids had grown so much. I adore his grandparents. Really good people all around and I try to live my life by his grandmothers philosophy. ” Every person on the earth is either a plus or a negative. Just be a plus.”

The most simple and concise life goal I know. They have lived in this house for over 50 years and just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Relationship goals right there. The kids played with old toys, and we watched old movies of Ben as a baby. His grandmother looks exactly the same with the same hair and even the same clothes. A special moment was watching Dannica play piano with her great grandfather. He used to play and teach piano lessons. The kids got to listen to stories shared by their great grandmother of their grandfather and great aunts and uncles growing up in Chicago, great grandpa talking about working as an engineer for NASA, and Aunt Joanna sharing the work she did on her recently completed phd. It was a special couple of days for us and I relished in the fact that the kids managed to get along the whole time we were all together so they think we are awesome parents. Ben’s sister and dad were also there and I somehow managed to get zero pictures. Oh well.

Continue Reading →

August 14, 2018
by Dy

Denmark and a Tiny Bit of Sweeden

This is a LONG post, with a lot of photos.  You’ve been warned.

June 20 –

We depart for the Lagos airport after work, to enjoy one of the perks of serving in a hardship post, R&R travel. When they wanted to widen the road on the way to the airport they didn’t tear down the whole building, that would be a waste, so they just took out a wall or two.


June 21 –

We arrive after our redeye flight and get settled in to our first home away from home away from home. We went to Copenhagen, to stay with friends we made back in A-100.  They were very generous to open their home to us, and it was really great to see them again. Continue Reading →

July 29, 2018
by Ben

Flowers and Suya

I got back from R&R before the rest of the family, while I am enjoying the luxury of paid time off for the first time in my life, I only have so much of it, so they stayed in the US for an extra few weeks when I had to come back to work. I miss them like crazy, but I’ve been working a lot, and my friends here have been keeping me busy as well.  I’ve also been walking our dog a lot more than I ever did before (she’s our son’s dog and normally he walks her).  All over the streets here, there are small businesses.  Nearly everyone in Nigeria, even those with other full time jobs, are also entrepreneurs.  One that is common, at least in this area, are flower stands.  People plant flowers in bags and grow them on the side of the road. It rains here more than enough, and with the tropical sun, they grow very well.  They’re also quite pretty.

This one includes the owner’s phone number, if any of you would like to place an order. Continue Reading →