27 January 2015

twenty fourteen - a review

2014 was a year I just sat back and let happen. I didn't make any goals, I didn't plan for anything big, and wow, what a year it turned out to be. We started the year by saying "so long" to sweet California, and the people that mean the most to us there. We celebrated three years of marriage and six years together. We spent a month in Utah surrounded by family, and then headed off on our biggest adventure yet, with Steven's career taking us to Tokyo in March. The Spring was all about adjusting to this new life, and country, surrounded by blossoming trees everywhere we looked. My words were published in the New Zealand parenting magazine OH! Baby, and all over the internet in April (what a wild and humbling experience!). We celebrated Steven's 24th birthday in May. In June, Steven worked his tail off, graduated ALS, and was promoted in his career. In July, we spent my 22nd birthday at Lake Sai, near Mount Fuji, and I had the privilege to start writing for Coffee + Crumbs. Anabel took her very first steps this month, started talking and signing more, and began telling us she was ready to potty train! In August, our sweet girl turned one with my mama in town, and we spent her day with swimming and coconut cake. We spent the rest of the summer in the Pacific and The East China Sea and all around our most beloved Okinawa. In the Autumn, we adventured all over Tokyo to see the most beautiful foliage. Steven traded road biking for BMX biking, and I slowly built up my photo business in our new home. Anabel was Mickey Mouse for Halloween, my parents joined us for Thanksgiving, and we spent a day at Tokyo Disney. Our winter came quickly after that. December was for celebrating Christmas with just us three, a tiny bit of snow, and a lot of sickness in and out of our home.

I leave 2014 with nothing but gratefulness. I leave it with a better sense of who I am, what I want, and a strength that I am proud to carry. 2014 was all about mistakes being made, lessons being learned, and trying our hardest to figure everything out together. I have no doubt that 2015 will bring us even more of the love and growth that we need; and I am just going to hang on tight and ride this ride trusting that whatever comes our way will come with a purpose. 

(2012  & 2013, if you're interested!)

30 November 2014


November was the busiest month of the year over here. We had a shift in work schedules, a chock full calendar, and a baby who was sick for the very first time. We shared an incredible Thanksgiving meal with our friends here in Japan. And we were lucky to have my parents under our roof the next day for the most delicious second feast, featuring the tastiest Apple Sausage Sourdough Stuffing. Anabel was in heaven having her Grandma and Papa in town, and she still requests to see them every day. We adventured to Mount Fuji and to Tokyo Disneyland. We drank spring water that began at the top of the Mount as snow and spent 80 years melting and traveling to the very bottom to 8 different springs. We met Mickey Mouse and ate too many buckets of curry, and honey, and caramel flavored popcorn. We stood under rows of trees with golden leaves, and shuffled our feet in piles of gold beneath them. I took our family photos, and we were able to order and get our Christmas cards -that doubled as ornaments!- in the mail on time for the first year in...well, ever, I dare say. (We chose to go with Tiny Prints this year!) Our house is now quieting down, and the sickness has been chased away with our trusty oils and humidifier. The holiday season is now in full swing. A tiny wreath hangs on our condo door. Icicle lights dangle above our balcony. A tree that is mostly half-decorated, due to a very helpful toddler running around, illuminates our living room. And just the palpable happiness that sits heavy in the air this time of year is all around us. This country is lit up everywhere you look, and the best Christmas soundtrack plays nearly everywhere you go. November was chaotic and busy and beautiful in its own strange way. I have no doubt December, and even the New Year to come will follow suit.