J Simens.com

15,242,400: Wow, that’s a lot of moments so dear!

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose”, wise words from Fred Savage. He played Kevin Arnold in The Wonder Years. Memories are what bind families together around the world. Memories shared are quality time spent with family. Memories are often all we have of past times.

Resilience – one of the most common thread is the quality of time spent with family

Simens Wedding
Simens Wedding

Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear

How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights – in sunsets – In midnights – in cups of coffee – In inches – in miles – In laughter

How do you measure a year in the life?

How about love? – Measure in love – Seasons of love


I am usually not one to talk much about my personal romances. Some things are private even if you blog about “home life” and “parenting“.

My first kiss was…

My first love was …

At times, it is hard to remember since Kevin has been the love of my life for 29 years!

At one time I did have a boyfriend younger than I was…

At one time I did date a basketball player …

I remember my first kiss with Kevin…

And I remember the last one…

You will see the reasons for my questions if you watch this film. I love the rainbow in the short movie.  Briand’s Apricot evokes forgotten memories. This film is a film for the Dreamers, a film for the romantics and a film for film lovers.



Today we are celebrating our 29th Wedding Anniversary. We had spent 15,242,400 minutes in love (not counting the three months we were engaged and the few shorts weeks before that when we met) There are so many things I remember about the last 29 years.

A visible record will provide some perspective

I could say our marriage has been a little rocky (that’s not the right word).

It has been a little stoney (still not correct).

OK, it has been a gem!

A few things stand out –

When we first decided we would start a ‘global life,’ Kevin wanted to give me a gift to symbolize our move from the USA to Singapore.  Of course, he bought me a lovely gem!  Little did he know that this simple tradition would slowly grow into a beautiful collection with so many International moves under our belts.  I am a firm believer that family traditions are a must for all families but vital for mobile households!  These types of rituals don’t have to be big or expensive – it is the simple traditions that keep a family strong.

When we made our first move from the USA overseas. We jointly made the long inventory list. We packed up multiple suitcases. We stuffed the air shipment full. We moved. We unpacked together and went shopping for our new home together. The last international move, I  updated the inventory. I left and went to the USA for the summer holiday.  Later that year, we packed up our home in Bangkok and got it ready to head to Balikpapan.

That last international move from Bangkok to Balikpapan – Kevin sent the air shipment off to our son’s college. Kevin unpacked our home in Balikpapan. Kevin then meet me in the USA where I was still on vacation.

It is important that global families are flexible with what works best for them at that moment in time.

When we retired we packed up our expat life together and headed to the USA. We would not be returning to work. We are starting a new life of not “working”. I was excited.

When we first moved overseas, we went as a family of two. We had long walks together, fun dinners with lively conversations and many talks about the upcoming trips we would be doing.  Two children later and 18 years with kids in elementary and high school, we are once again alone. When we left Borneo, we were a family of two.

Today we are enjoying long walks together, fun dinners and many talks about planning family vacations. This afternoon we will jump on a paddle wheeler and cruise around Emerald Bay. We will cruise around Fannette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe. We will look at Vikingsholm, an excellent example of Scandinavian architecture which is a 38-room mansion.

It is important that the adults in the family remain close, so the children benefit from the quality of time spent with family.

It had been a great 29 years!



For those family members that flew to the San Francisco Bay area for our wedding, it was on May 2nd.  We are lucky enough to spend our 25th with about 25 of our best friends in Bangkok.  The only thing missing was our family!

Last year I was home alone in Balikpapan with Kevin on his way “home” to see me after a company golf tournament. We celebrated our anniversary one day late in Balikpapan but just in time for the USA. This year we had the champagne chilled, headed out to Lake Tahoe and took tons of photos to lock in this memory and share it with our family.

Notes: Movie – APRICOT -A Short Film by Ben Briand
by Moonwalk Films
Winner: Community Choice Award
Voted Best Narrative on Vimeo by its users

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