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Monday, March 17, 2014


[I wrote this as a toast to Pete on our wedding day. St. Patrick's Day is the anniversary of when we met in 2011]


Thomas Merton’s famous prayer begins with, ‘My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me.’

Husband – I did not see this coming.

When I left Spokane on holiday to drag the kids around the world and live six months in New Zealand, I was sure this place was a happy diversion.

Then, I got Sidetracked. At the cafe called Sidetrack, where I met a handsome, smiley guy in a red surfy t-shirt with thick brown hair who asked good questions and gave good conversation.

Listening is sexy.

So are sand dunes, walks around the Mount, pouring rain, text messages and a first getaway in the Coromandel.

I knew you were special when you and Finley played at being warriors with monkey tails the first time you met. When Fiona climbed into your lap.

I loved you way back at La Barca, though all I could say at the time was, ‘I really, really LIKE you.’

I was hooked. Decided to stay here a little longer. Sidetracked – again.

Life is what happens when you say, ‘I’ll never apply for another visa,’ ‘I’m not staying,’ and ‘I could never marry another mortal because mortals invite disaster.’

Love and laughter, coffees and walks, dinners and movies, chemistry and attraction… conspired to sidetrack me. I zigged when I thought I would zag.  Flew South when I could’ve stayed North.  

We’re here today because we’re more than diversion or whim. Though our location, vocation, health or fortunes may change, what remains is love – the love we share for each other, for Fiona and Finley and for this new thing we’ve created called our family.  The glue that binds us is commitment called marriage.

When I arrived in New Zealand three years ago, I didn’t have this community, these friends or your love. But then, I got Sidetracked – and for that, I’m happy, because I want to walk and dance and zig and zag and roam the world – with you.

Here’s to getting sidetracked, here’s to those who’ve aided and abetted our adventure – to our friends, family – especially Pete’s mum and stepdad, for your influence on this fine human, my husband.  To Dad and Kathe for traveling from the States – and to all of you for helping us along the way.

We are no one without our families, and we are nowhere without our friends. Cheers to you.

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