Archive for February, 2012

It’s a Boy!

Today we went to our 18 week appointment to find out the sex of the baby!  We are proud to announce that our baby is a BOY!  Of course, the baby was very proud of his man-hood as you can see from the photo.  The doctor said everything looked great and had no concerns regarding the growth of the child.  The baby’s heart beat was 158 beats/minute and weighed 9 oz.  We also discovered that Amanda is actually 19 weeks instead of 18 weeks but they are going to keep the due date the same.  Amanda now weighs 133.5 pounds.


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In the Beginning

Jeff Here

In the Beginning…well that’s pretty dramatic. Anyway, in July 2011 Amanda and I were feeling kind of restless and had been for the last few months. Also, as with any recession, things could definitely be better in terms of our finances and they didn’t seem to be getting any better anytime soon. So I thought about looking for a new job. I couldn’t find anything local so I thought about looking further out. Of course if we were going to move, I wanted to move somewhere awesome! I thought to myself, Denver, CO? Boseman, MT? That would be really cool but they were in the same recession as we were, maybe not as bad as Forbes Magazine’s #4 on Worst Place to Find a Job list, but still pretty bad.

Fun Fact: The Asheville Metro Area, which includes a population of about 400,000 people had a net growth of 100 jobs for 2011. That’s 0.00025 jobs per capita.

So then one night while lying in bed I thought, “what about New Zealand?” So I got on the internet and started looking at job postings. There were tons for Civil Engineering in New Zealand due to the earthquakes in Christchurch. So I did more and more research. Then I thought, “hmm, maybe I should ask Amanda if she even wants to go to New Zealand.” So I said, “Honey, I’ve been thinking, do you want to move to New Zealand?” She was like, “really…are you serious?” And I responded, “yeah, I’m serious, I’ve been looking and there are tons of jobs for Civil Engineering due to the earthquakes in Christchurch.” She said, “holy crap really?…Of course I want to go to New Zealand!…Wait, this isn’t like the time you wanted to move to Germany is it?” Then I said, “no, here look at all this stuff.”

Then we continued to do research together. I started seriously looking for a job in August 2011 and in 3 weeks had landed a Job with a large engineering firm in Christchurch.

Christchurch had 2 major damage causing earthquakes, and have had a series of smaller earthquakes that have shaken the city since. The first earthquake was in September 2010 and was measured at 7.1 magnitude. This earthquake was centered west of the city and caused between $2.75-3.5 billion in damage. The second major earthquake, which was considered an aftershock of the September earthquake, happened in February 2011. Although this earthquake was a smaller magnitude, at 6.3, it was closer to the city and was much more shallow than the first earthquake and therefore caused considerably more damage. The damage estimates are between $20-30 billion dollars and 184 people were killed. The city experienced extreme liquefaction, which is where the soil becomes liquid and oozes out of the ground, causing the land around it to sink. A lot of the land has been deemed unusable and the houses there will need to be rebuilt elsewhere. That’s where I come in.

Along the way, we’ve had some set backs with our visa applications and Amanda became pregnant (Opps!).  The delay in our move was actually more of a blessing due to Amanda having a very hard pregnancy.  But, our patience finally paid off and we received our visas in the mail on Monday.  As of right now we are leaving on March 3!

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