We are a tandem couple in the U.S. Foreign Service. Alex joined in March 2010 and was assigned a public diplomacy job in Cotonou, Benin. Andy joined in January 2013 and took a one-year management job in Washington, D.C. Along the way we’ve added sons Flynn (born May 2011) and Jonah (born August 2013) to the clan. In 2014 we moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, where Andy and Alex served as consular officers. In fall 2016 we head on to Chennai, India.

16 Responses to us

  1. Zachary says:

    Hey guys! I am actually an aspiring diplomat (I will be attending Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service next year), and I wanted to know if perhaps we could correspond via email so I could ask you some questions about life as a FSO? Thanks so much!

  2. Peter Thomas says:

    Curious what your experience has been with your child regarding schools and malaria prevention/meds.
    I am scheduled to bring my wife and 2 boys (including 5.5 yr old, 20 month) to Benin soon for health work so any information is helpful.

    Peter T.

  3. Ganessane says:

    Thanks for all your posts….. Really interesting to read your narration….
    I am coming to Benin to start a new-life next month….. If possible meet u there.
    till then, take care Alex and Andy and the cute little one.

  4. Mark says:

    I see that you have a dog. My wife and I have two 80 pound dogs. I received an email about applying for the Foreign Service Officer position – economic. Our dogs are our kids (no children).

    Does this position facilitate the safe transportation of pets to new posts? Once there, will housing accommodate them?

    Thank you for your insight,


  5. Josh says:

    I have been accepted to the Oral Interview for the Information Management Technical Specialist. I am looking at all options to see how life is like as LDS living around the world. I looked through a few of your blogs and noticed that you are LDS too. Is it difficult finding our church from the places that you have lived?


  6. Jess says:

    Hi, I just found your Blog. I was searching for information about a toddler bed. My husband is in the foreign service and we are about to leave DC for our first overseas post. Your blog is very informative and makes me so excited for what the future holds for our family.

  7. Bethany says:

    Hi – I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin right now, potentially interested in foreign service when my service is done. I ran across your blog today – any chance you’d like to get together and chat in Cotonou sometime? I’d love to learn about your experiences. I live up north so I don’t get down that often, but should be there a few times in the next few months. Either way, hope the chaleur is treating you well. No rain up here yet.

  8. Shawn says:

    Hi guys. Really nice blog. I’ve started a new blog on helping people prepare and pass for the Foreign Service Test. If you don’t mind, I’d like to add your blog to my links and would be happy if you could consider adding mine to yours.

    Good luck with bidding. Some people hate it, but I’ve always enjoyed it. I guess it helps I’ve generally gotten what I’ve asked for (not that that is always a good thing…)

  9. Dave says:

    I have enjoyed reading your blog. I will be applying for the regional medical technologist (RMT) position once it opens (hopefully soon) and would like to get first hand experiences of the daily/weekly routine. From what I have found out about the job there are not many RMT’s out there so I’m taking a shot in the dark that you might have met one or know someone who does. I would really appreciate appreciate hearing their thoughts on the job, and the lifestyle both work and family.

  10. Anna says:

    I found your blog today and am extremely interested in conversing with you through email. I desire to become a Foreign Officer for the State Department, however, my only reservation is that I want to have another child within the next two years. Since you are somewhat experienced with this issue, it would be greatly appreciated if you could provide insight and answers to my questions. Thank you.

  11. Brian T says:

    I just want to say that my wife and I have been strongly debating me attempting to become a FSO and your blog has been instrumental in helping with some of her concerns of living abroad with small children and infants.

    Thank you.


  12. kyle says:

    I was looking through your site and I didn’t see a section on where I could contact you. Right now I’m in community college and I plan on transferring to a four year college after I finish my associates degree. My dream is to become a foreign service officer. I have an assignment for an English class where I’m supposed to interview somebody that works in your career field that you’re interested in (which for me is the foreign service). If you would be able to help me out with answering about 20 questions more or less for my school paper I would appreciate it very much. My e-mail is

  13. dr. jerry says:

    a wonderful looking home. i hope you are all happy. i wis

  14. LMF says:

    Hi, I’ve enjoyed your blog over the years. I’m currently posted to Lagos. Do you have room for my blog on your blogroll? I even have a Flag Day story!

    Take care.

  15. Alex says:

    We’ve been neglecting the blog as of late — apologies. But of course! Will link you up asap.

  16. Jeffrey Hurt says:

    I have so many questions. I have literally started at your blog from 2010. I second the comments made regarding lds living. How do standards effect the opportunities? Are you for example automatically excluded from certain events if you choose not to drink alcohol?

    I would love to pick either of your brains or if you have a contact for me, that would be great as well.

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