29 March 2014

"Love, love, here we are."

After eighteen days in Utah, we left Salt Lake late in the night. The shift in air pressure hurt Anabel's ears, and she sobbed almost the entire 2 hour flight to Seattle. Every bit of me was afraid that this was how the rest of our traveling would go. We spent nine hours in the Seattle-Tacoma airport, sleeping here and there, and then boarded the plane to the rest of our lives, across the Pacific, when the sun rose. Our girl did great this go around, and the ten hour flight went much better than the previous one. Almost immediately upon stepping onto Japanese soil, I felt the peaceful affirmation that

"yes... this is it. this is home."

It was cold and raining. Our bodies were shell shocked with jet lag. We were at the tail end of inextinguishable exhaustion, but I knew that we were finally where God wanted us. We spent a few weeks living out of suitcases and cardboard. (Honestly, our home is still half packed.) Being without a car forced us to walk around our new city, and to be reliant on people we didn't know. The tender mercies were infinite. We were constantly in awe of our God's awareness of us and the hardships we experienced during this giant transition. Through the hands of strangers, blue skies after gloomy ones, getting offered a home so soon, pink blossoms dusting the streets, or a baby that finally started sleeping through the night. With curry dinners, onigiri lunches, and cold drinks that taste like adolescence. And even more so apparent through my mom's love and help from so far away. Tiny things and massive things alike, He was there. It is hard to organize all that I want to say, but all in all, I just feel so unbelievably lucky. To be back in this beautiful country again, with the good man I fell in love with here almost six years ago. To feel all that again, and to have Anabel here with us this time. Her endlessly smiling at the locals, and even the cars that pass her by. For a girl who is extra shy, seeing her light up toward any Japanese national that is admiring her really means a lot. And I am positive that the people here are the kindest, most loving, and hospitable people you will ever come across. Anabel really is so happy here. Curious, too. From trying to taste the cherry and plum blossoms that surround our new home, to seeing so much for the first time from the seat of her stroller. It is such a treasure to see her love this place the way that we do. 

It is refreshing to feel so comfortable so soon here. Driving on the opposite side of the road, and not being able to read nearly everything (we're working on that!), truly does not feel abnormal. Steven and I talk a lot about being kids when we moved to Japan the first time, and how culture shocked we were. We wasted so. much. time hating it there, and only came to love Okinawa when we had to leave it. We aren't going to waste any time. We will love this for what it is. This opportunity and this gift is not lost on us. 

There are so many moments I want to remember. Ones where I sit back and watch my girl gnaw on halved clementines with vigor, exchange looks with Steven, both of us smitten with her enthusiasm over the littlest things. Or when we drive through the streets of Hamura, I get a glimpse of both of them in the rear view mirror, and I swear Japan smells the same as I remember it - and I'm fifteen again. Drunk on love, completely absorbed in the now. Life is simple and slow here. And I say this carefully because we definitely miss our family and our friends (we miss our dog and convenience too), but life is so, so good in this corner of the Earth. Up five stories towering over our new city. Three years of learning and loving in this part of the world ahead of us, and I am just so dang thankful to be here. 


  1. sending so much love your way! ecstatic to hear how happy you and your family are. can't wait to see/hear more ♥

  2. T'mama, I am SO glad we were able to reunite after these few years and meet both of our babies and chat, chat, chat.. before you left to the motherland! It seems like yesterday we were all in Japan huh?

    These pictures are beautiful, your life is beautiful, and that babe is beautiful!

    Good luck on your guys' new adventure!!!! Love and Miss you always !

  3. good luck on your adventures! can't wait to see what's ahead for you guys!

  4. About two months ago a friend of mine shared your post "Babies Ruin Bodies" on her FB page and noted how much she loved your post. I don't have children (yet) but I too loved what you wrote. Ever since reading the post I've been a lurker and kept your blog on my Kindle and I'd hit refresh now and then to see what's new. I love your writing, it's so honest and has a flow that makes for such a nice read. And your photography is and added bonus! But I wanted to come out of hiding and say I wish you all the best in your new home and the opportunities and memories that you will make. I look forward to reading all that you choose to share. As someone who quite possibly will be packing up the first home my husband and I ever owned, if all goes as hoped, we'll be moving somewhere away from it all and I'm so nervous but excited at the same time!

  5. Oh, these photos are absolutely wonderful!!

  6. Hello! What takes you to Japan?

  7. I meant to comment on this when I first read it, but never did. There's something about these few bits of writing that are just so lovely! I think it's amazing that you guys are following your path--especially since it's taken you so poetically full circle.