We are a family of six from Utah who are off on a crazy adventure. Jason and I spent the first 17 years of our marriage in the same county in the same state and then decided we needed some new sights and smells. We’re now getting those, compliments of the Foreign Service. Jason is a former software executive who is now an Information Management Specialist. Erin is a former writer and editor who is now a full-time mommy. We have four beautiful children, who will hopefully one day thank us for this nomadic life, but for the time being wish they could strangle us and bury our bodies deep in the Great Salt Lake.


  1. Susan Brodine · October 10, 2010

    So glad you have produced this blog. Hope it’s okay if I tag along on your adventures through this. You will be sorely missed here, but I will be thinking of you as I walk by your house in the mornings. Sending you off with much love and thanks for the things I have learned from your great insights and attitude!

  2. Stephanie · January 26, 2012

    Hi there, fabulous blog. I’d like to request permission to include it in a roundup I do. Is there an email address where you can be reached? Alternatively you can contact me at stroud109 (at) yahoo (dot) com


  3. Lainie · May 18, 2012

    Hello Erin, We are packing up our life over the next few weeks to embark on a wild new adventure. We will arrive in DC early July for my husband to attend A100 class (#168) and along for ride are three children (17, 14 and 8), a dog and a cat. I think our family is in for a shock! I would really love to talk or email back and forth. I have so many questions about the American schools and such. It’s nice to know we are only ones with highschool aged children.

  4. Lainie · May 18, 2012

    sorry… *not the only ones with highschool aged children…

  5. Carin · July 12, 2012

    Hello! I am currently a student at BYU. After graduation, I plan on applying to work for the FS. I am an Amry Brat, and while I know there are difficulties, I loved the opportunities living in other countries gave me. Thanks for blogging your experiences!

  6. Heather · June 1, 2013

    Where will you be going next?

    • Erin · June 5, 2013

      We’re headed to Amman Jordan next.

  7. Cassi · June 10, 2013

    Hello! My husband is considering joining the foreign service. He actually his oral assessment scheduled for September. I’m very hesitant about choosing this career. We currently have two small daughters. We are also LDS. Is there a way I could email you some questions about foreign service life? My email address is.

  8. Cassi · November 25, 2013

    Hi Erin and family. I commented before about my husband being a potential officer in the foreign service. Well, it is happening, slowly. We are going through the medical clearance portion-he’s going the political officer route. I am anxious for many reasons. My main concern is the unaccompanied tours. We are leaving the military mainly because of deployments and frequent family separation. We are also LDS. I was wondering if you could give me some insight based in your experiences. On the whole, your situation seems pretty positive. I’ve done some reading and lots of blog reading, but I wonder if you could share with me your opinion of the foreign service and even political officer (if you interact with them much?)from your LDS, family centered point of view. My email address is crhakes@hotmail.com. Thank you. Happy thanksgiving in Jordan!

  9. Scott · February 27, 2014

    I just wanted to say thanks for keeping up on your blog. I just took the FSOT (and I’m from Utah too!) and I’ve been concerned about how my wife and my kids (don’t have any yet) would handle moving around so much. Your blog shows how it could be an amazing experience if it is handled well. Also, I live in Idaho now, just outside Rexburg, and I noticed your daughter is going to BYU-I (my wife went there for a year). Hope she enjoys it, it’s a great community here.

  10. Leslie · February 1, 2015

    Hi! Great blog. My husband and I are going through a similar path that you started back in 2010. He just passed the OA (FSS) a week ago. Just curious what it is like to live on the FSS salary with kids. We have two kids (10 and 13). Would love to talk via email leslie@solomonster.org.

  11. Jillian Romriell · January 23, 2017

    My husband is also considering Foreign Service (he’s currently an attorney), and I’m trying to find people to ask specific questions of. We are LDS as well, and have 3 children, ages 10, 7, and 2. I have been scouring your awesome blog and it has helped me with some of the questions I have, but of course I have a million others! đŸ™‚ If you are willing, please email me back! I assume my address will be given to you through the information I filled out below…

  12. Jeff Mascarinas · September 8, 2017

    Hi Jason and Erin, I received a conditional acceptance from the DoS to work as an IMS for IRM. I have a wife and 3 young boys (our youngest of whom is 1 month old) and we are hoping to embark on a similar path in the next 6-12 months. Thank you so much for your blog and vlogs, they have been very useful in helping me paint a picture as to what it’s like to live overseas. We are excited but at the same time nervous about what lies ahead for us! Keep the posts coming!

    • Erin · September 25, 2017

      Congratulations Jeff! Glad you enjoy the blog. Best of luck in your new career with the DoS. It’s a lifestyle that we truly love. And who knows, maybe you and Jason will work together at a post someday.

  13. Michele Barker · January 24

    We are another family that will be joining the FS shortly. I have enjoyed seeing/reading your blog. It is great to see that the kids can still be involved in the activities they have enjoyed at home and that they have made friends. Those are some of my sons’ greatest fears. I am also from Utah.
    Thank you!

  14. Michele · January 24

    We are another family that will be joining the FS shortly. I have enjoyed seeing/reading your blog. It is great to see that the kids can still be involved in the activities they have enjoyed at home and that they have made friends. Those are some of my sons’ greatest fears. I am also from Utah.
    Thank you!

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