Hi, I'm Sarah and this is my blog. With nearly a decade of posts, Novakistan is filled with stories from my early days in Minnesota and then our Diplomatic adventures in the Philippines, Peru, DC and Malawi, our current home. I'm glad you're here and hope you enjoy our overseas adventures as much as we do!

Nia’s 1st International Day at School

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

We’re pretty new to this International School thing but I can already tell that one of my favorite days of the year is going to be International Day. We participated in our first one at the end of October and it was the coolest darn thing. The kids all come in dress representative of their […]

December 12, 2017

Adult-ing is Freakin’ Awesome

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

I’ve been doing a lot of “adult-ing” lately, which it turns out, is ridiculously fun. So fun, in fact, that I recommend you drop everything right this minute and go try it yourself! What is “adult-ing”, you ask? Well… it’s doing the kind of things you did BEFORE you had kids and became L-A-M-E. It’s going to […]

December 4, 2017

Nia Takes to the Water

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a little swimmer on our hands! It wasn’t looking so good for awhile there. She had a lot of fear about getting into the water and stomped around for days insisting, “I’m NOT going!” By some miracle we got her in the water and although she’s the world’s worst listener, over the […]

November 29, 2017

Nia Sees First-hand How the “Circle of Life” Works

Foreign Service LifeTravel

Hi everyone – Sorry for the break in posting. We’ve been busy showing my parents the best of Africa. Of course, no trip to Africa would be complete without a safari, so after a few days in Lilongwe, that’s exactly where we took them. We took them to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia for […]

November 14, 2017

Nia’s 10-year-old OBSESSION

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

I’ve noticed a fascinating new trend lately. My daughter is no longer interested in playing with children her own age, she has become obsessed with befriending “Big Girls”, especially ones who are about 10 years of age or so. This is not super surprising, because she’s long been obsessed with Michelle, the 10 year old […]

October 16, 2017

Reading Day Fun!

Foreign Service LifeMalawi

This past Friday was Reading Day at Nia’s school. Each year on this day, students dress up as their favorite book character and bring a corresponding book. Nia insisted on being “Shine” from the relatively new “Shimmer and Shine” series on Nickelodeon. For those who aren’t up on their children’s programming, Shimmer and Shine are […]

October 10, 2017

Making Magic with Mud and Bricks

Foreign Service LifeMalawiVolunteering

You should be impressed with me because on Saturday I helped build a house out of literally 2 things – mud and bricks. And in the 8 hours we worked on it, the house went from looking like this…. to this! How cool is that?? This was old-school building, Africa-style. And I actually genuinely enjoyed […]

October 3, 2017

The 4th and Final Miller Girl Wedding


I’m pretty sure my Dad breathed a sigh of relief as Jenna Miller, the 4th and final Miller gal to get married, walked down the aisle last Saturday. With all 4 of us officially handed off and the ‘no return’ policy in place, I think he’ll finally be able to sit back and relax a […]

September 23, 2017
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