Monday, May 7, 2012

Two months

We have exactly two months left in Japan.  I can't believe it!  The last few months have really flown by.  This week our movers will be hauling away all our crap, and we won't be seeing it for about 3 months.  We'll be kind of camping out, using borrowed crap to get us through.

I still can't believe I'm actually moving!  I see the piles of stuff boxed up, and I get this unsettling feeling down deep in my gut.  I think I'm just nervous about what lies ahead and sad to finish this chapter of my life.

I promise once the movers leave, I'll get back to chatting with you.  I have so much to tell you and so many amazing photos to share!     :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Parrots at Abbey Road in Roppongi

This is where I'll be tonight and every Saturday night until I leave Tokyo, Japan.
This Beatles tribute band is freaking amazing!  I've already seen them twice, and I'll be seeing them again tonight at Abbey Road downtown in Roppongi.  If you are ever in Tokyo, you've got to check these guys out!  They are amazing!  Seriously!  AMAZING!

As you know, I'm a huge fan of The Beatles.  So much so that I named my kiddo after John Lennon's first son, Julian.  But on this blog, I refer to my son as Jude, as in Hey Jude.  You can totally blame my father for my love of The Beatles, and I'm doing my best to instill that same love for The Beatles in my kid.  In fact, I'll be taking Jude to Abbey Road tonight for the first time.  Since kids are allowed and the place is really nice, I feel comfortable bringing him.  I can't wait to see Jude's reaction when he sees The Beatles playlist on our iPod come alive!  And, of course he'll be wearing hearing protection!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Like a chicken with its head cut off

So, my visitors left, and now I'm playing catch up.

The movers will be here on May 9th and 10th to pack up all our crap, and I've been organizing, cleaning and throwing stuff out.  The movers won't move any  liquids and all batteries have to be removed from all electronic items.  In addition, all things have to be cleaned, so that little critters won't eat them as they travel the slow boat to China, I mean America!  I also need to photograph all valuables for insurance purposes and get rid of all my plants, making sure all the pots are clean enough for packing.  In addition to all of that, we've got to get our passports in order, clean our apartment and get it ready for inspection.  And I'm still working, Jude is still in school and Husband is still working, so daily activities must continue as well.  And I'm trying to plan our Hawaiian vacation.

Phew!  I'm one tired midget, Mexican momma!

And, I've still got over 1,300 photos I need to download from my Farewell Tokyo Tour.  

I wish there were more hours in a day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Out of town visitors

Sorry I've been ignoring you lately, but I have visitors from foreign lands currently staying with me.  And I have been playing tour guide.  I'm considering this my Farewell Tour of Tokyo, and enjoying every minute of it.  I have over 1,000 pictures on my camera and need to download them for your viewing pleasure; however, each minute is jam packed with cool, exciting stuff and activities, so I haven't had the time to sit at the computer.  But, don't worry, faithful reader, as soon as I get a free moment, I will share Tokyo's lovely sites with you.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Officially official

We will be leaving Japan on July 6.  It's officially official.  

I have so many mixed emotions about our move back to the States.  Sometimes it all seems so overwhelming!  I'm worried about so many things and excited about so many more things.  I stay up late thinking about all the things that need to happen in the next 3 months and the months following our move.  I'm excited about a new beginning, but so sad to say goodbye.  

So overwhelmed!

So excited!

So sad!  



I don't have very many friends, but the ones I have are awesome-- really awesome!

And sometimes my friends have drama in their lives, and I try to stay out of it as best I can.  As you know, I hate drama.  If I see drama coming, I run the other way.  I prefer to live simply and drama free.  But sometimes other peoples' drama can spill over, and sometimes I'm caught in its nasty web.  And, well, that happens.

But if I'm your friend, then I'm willing to get caught in the web with you, and together we can fight our way out, becoming stronger and better friends in the end.

And I try not to judge people on the decisions they make.  I know I'm not perfect.  And I cannot un-friend a person because they make decisions that others may not agree with.  Life is short and sometimes people just need to do what is best for them, and I can understand that.

All I know is that as long as you treat me and my family with respect, and you show me the same kindness I have shown you, I will be your friend to the matter what!   And just because others might judge you, I won't jump on that band wagon and become a hater.  I'm too grown up for that.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Addicted to donuts

I recently discovered Krispy Kreme donuts here in Japan.  I had never eaten a Krispy Kreme until about 2 months ago.  And that first Krispy Kreme was like a little piece of heaven!  So, needless to say, we've been going and getting donuts quite often, maybe a little too often!  My expanding waste line might be contributed to my mass consumption on Krispy Kreme donuts!  Maybe.

Here is Jude making funny faces after eating 2 glazed Krispy Kreme donuts.  

Rice and Ramen

The other night we had rice and ramen for dinner.  We went to our favorite ramen shop and pigged out!  This is what we ate:

This is what the fried rice looked like before we cooked it at our table.
And this is what it looked like after it was cooked and before I shoved it down my face!
And here is Jude pigging out on ramen.  Yes, my kid can use chopsticks.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trayvon Martin

So, I live on the other side of the planet in Japan.  I didn't hear about Trayvon's death until a few days after it happened, when the media went crazy.

Once I read the news reports, I was shocked and saddened.  I know everyone has an opinion on the matter, so I'm going to give you mine; after all, this is MY useless blog.

As a mother of a mixed race minority son, Trayvon Martin's death scares me.  When did it become okay to kill a young boy because of the way he looks and the clothes he wears?  When did it become okay for the police to turn the other way and not investigate a shooting  fully simply because the shooter was a half-ass neighborhood watch guy with too much free time on his hands and a concealed handgun license?   When did all this happen?  When did it become a death sentence to walk home from a friend's house wearing a hoodie and baggy pants?  

If this is the America my husband has promised to serve, then I don't want him to serve anymore!  And if this is the America we are going back to, then I'd rather stay in Japan!

Life is such a precious thing!  I don't understand how one man can take another's so easily!  I don't understand why the police didn't do a full investigation.  I just don't understand!

In my opinion, Trayvon Martin's death is such a tragedy for America.  It brings race and racism to the forefront, illustrating just how far we still need to go as a nation.

And aren't we better than all of this?!  Aren't we the greatest nation in the world?  Yet, our youth, especially minority boys, seem to have to live in fear of being hunted down in cold blood because of the way they look.

As a mother, I can only imagine the heartache Trayvon's parents must be feeling.  I hope someday they can find peace.

And as a mother of a minority son, Trayvon's death infuriates me to the core!  I hope the police realize their mistakes and investigate Trayvon's death thoroughly.  As an AMERICAN, doesn't he deserve that?!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hawaiian pit-stop

As of right now, we are scheduled to depart Japan on July 6th.  We will be leaving Japan and vacationing in Hawaii until July 12th.  On July 12th, we'll be leaving Hawaii and traveling to our new home in Georgia.  Again, these are just preliminary dates.  Things could change.

Knowing these potential dates make moving seem more real to me.  Before, it was just an idea that we were moving, but now with these dates, it seems real-- too real!  After living here for so long, it seems strange to me that I'll be living somewhere else.  Japan has become my home and leaving it will be so hard, but making a pit-stop in Hawaii gives me something to look forward to and makes leaving here a little easier.

100 Yen Sushi

In Japan, there is a chain sushi restaurant that sells most types of sushi for 100 Yen (about a dollar a plate).  The food isn't the best, but when you get a hankering for some quick, cheap sushi, this is the place to go.  So, today on my way home from work, I was starving, and I felt like eating sushi and didn't want to spend a fortune, so I went to a 100 Yen sushi shop.  I took these pictures.

This place also has a conveyor belt that brings sushi to you.  I tried to get a decent picture of it with my iPhone, but this was the best I could do.

And to keep prices down, the sushi chefs are kept in the kitchen, and you can order food by using a handy-dandy touch screen.  Then, the food you ordered comes to you on a little train they send out on the first little shelf.  Jude loves to order things so he can watch the train zoom around to him with food on it.  It's way cool!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Snow covered Fuji-san

So, I run 3-4 miles every Wednesday morning with a great group of ladies.  Today's run totally sucked, though!  The wind was strong, dry and cold, making for a miserable 4 miles.  But as I turned the corner, I caught a glimpse of Mt. Fuji covered in snow off in the distance.  And that made my miserable run a little less miserable.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today's adventure

Today I hung out with one of my favorite gal pals.  We went to a local resale shop and molested a bunch of kimonos, looking for the perfect one to cut up and make into a skirt.  The resale shop had a HUGE selection.  See for yourself.

After we shopped, we went to this amazing udon/tempura shop and pigged out on yummy  noodles and fried goodness.

Man, I'm really, really, really, really going to miss this place!

(Everyday I feel so lucky and blessed to be able to live in such an amazing and awesome country.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Allergies suck

So, all weekend Jude has been seriously suffering from bad allergies.  The poor kid sneezes about 100 times a day, and his nose is so stuffy and runny.  His eyes are so watery and puffy, he can barely see.  He's just miserable!  He's tried several different allergy medications, and they aren't helping, so he will be staying home from school today, and we'll be heading to the doctor.

I hate it when my poor little guy is miserable!  I wish there was something I could do for him!

Pinewood Derby

This weekend Jude participated in his first pinewood derby race.  This is one of the highlights of the year for all Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.  Actually, it's a huge deal!  Like, boys and dads go nuts over this kind of crap, getting all competitive and spending weeks to create the perfect car.

Husband and Jude had great time working together, but, unfortunately, Jude's car didn't place.  But, in the end, Jude and Husband spent countless hours working together, doing manly things as a team...and that's what it's all about.

So, good job boys!  Maybe next year!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


We were bored last night, so we decided to do our favorite thing: sing karaoke.  With our days numbered here, we are indulging in everything we enjoy. And nothing makes me happier than to hear Husband and Jude sing a duet.  I love it!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mother Nature's Alarm Clock

This morning around 4:25 AM, I was shaken awake, courtesy of another earthquake.  This earthquake was really close and quite strong. Thankfully, it was very short.

I tell you, there is nothing worse than being woken up by an earthquake!  I tend to wake up startled, scared, freaked out, and out of sorts.  It takes me several minutes to calm down and for my heart to stop racing.  Then, I'm usually too on edge to go back to sleep.

So, Japan's tectonic plates seem to be really on the move these last few days.  I just hope all these little quakes are ways of relieving pressure and NOT a build-up for the next BIG ONE that's expected to strike Tokyo.

Well, no matter what happens or how many times I'm shook or rattled by earthquakes, I intend to do my best to enjoy my last few months here in Japan.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday Class

I teach these lovely ladies conversational English on Thursdays.  They are a great group that always keeps me entertained.  And I think they've taught me more than I've taught them!

I'm so lucky to live in a place where I get paid to talk!  I love my job!


What a night!

Yesterday evening, when Jude and I were eating our dinner (Husband was working late again!), we felt a small earthquake--nothing special.  I turned on the TV to NHK and discovered that the wimpy earthquake we had felt had actually been a large one up north.  See for yourself:

a 6.8 magnitude earthquake!  Tsunami warnings were issued along with evacuation orders for those who live near the coastal areas of Aomori Prefecture, Iwate Prefecture and Hokkaido Prefecture.  Luckily, the only tsunami wave reported was about 3 inches.  No one was injured and no damage was reported.

Then, as I was settling down, getting ready for bed, and my anxiety was starting to fade away, we had another earthquake!  A 6.1 magnitude earthquake near Chiba Prefecture--that's only one prefecture over from us!  Narita Airport was temporarily shut down, and the bullet trains (Shinkasen) were also temporarily halted.  Our closet doors rattled, the mirror on my dresser shook and our windows shook for about 15 seconds or so.   Again, it took me about an hour to relax before I was able to go to sleep.

My Japanese peeps keep telling me I'll get used to the quakes, but I don't think that will ever happen!  Each time I feel the ground beneath me shake, rattle, and roll, it takes all of my self control to not run out of my 5th floor apartment building, screaming like a mad woman.  I guess that fight or flight response in me says get the hell out NOW!  

Maybe my memories of 3/11/11 are still too raw and real for me.  Maybe when I'm safely back in the U.S., I will be able to truly relax and not have to worry about the ground beneath me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Laundry Day

Most people in Japan do not have clothes dryers.  Since electricity is very expensive and space is limited, it's easier and more cost effective to dry your clothes outside.  So, on a beautiful day, you will see laundry and futons hanging off balconies everywhere.

(I took this picture today with my iPhone.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Before the bloom

In a few weeks, these trees will be in full bloom, and cherry blossoms will dominate the landscape. This will be my last chance to witness their beauty.  (I took this picture yesterday with  my iPhone.)

Monday, March 12, 2012

It snowed again!

Two weeks ago it snowed again.  It was crazy snow-- the kind that just keeps falling and falling.  It was so beautiful, and, of course, we had to go play in it.

I took this picture at a stop light down the street.

Jude at the park near our place, playing in the deep snow!

Sunday Sushi

I love how the food comes to us on a conveyor belt!  Awesomeness!

Time is running out

My time here in Japan is passing way too quickly.  Before I know it, our moving date will be upon us.  So, with that said, I've decided to chronicle my last months here on this blog.  I will do my best to update this useless blog with my photos and thoughts daily.  I want to capture everything wonderful about this place before I'm forced to leave it.

So, come along with me as I try to share daily what it means for me to live in this amazing, enchanted place I call home.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A year later, 3/11/12

Wow, I can't believe it's been a year since Japan experienced one of the world's worst natural disasters.  The time has flown by, but for me, 3/11/11 seems like yesterday.

Today will be a somber day with sirens blaring at 2:46 PM.  The sirens are expected to last for several minutes, and during that time we will take a few minutes to pray for all of those who died, suffered and are still suffering because of the earthquake and tsunami.

There are certain days in your life that you will never forget, like September 11th. For me, March 11th is one of those days.  No matter how hard I try to forget the fear, anxiousness, and sadness that grabbed hold of me on that day, I cannot.

The events of March 11th were unimaginable, and I was here to witness them firsthand.  On that day, I experience the worst moment of my entire life.  It happened when Jude and I were hiding under our dining room table, watching as things were shaking and falling, listening to the horrible sound of our apartment building contort and flex, being jerked around by the force of the earthquake.  Jude was crying hysterically and asked me, "Mommy, are we going to die?"  At that moment, I didn't know the answer to his question.  I had no idea what was going to happen.  At that moment, my heart sunk.  A 6 year old child should never, ever have to utter those words.  Never!  And to hear MY sweet, helpless baby ask me if we were going to die, shot a jolt through me.  I decided we weren't going to stay in our building to see what was going to happen.  I decided we were going take our chances and run out.  We were going to be active participants in whatever was going to happen next.  We weren't going to sit there under the table and wait.  No!  We were going to run and get out.  And that's just what we did.

Once we were out and safe, nothing else mattered.  I was safe and my baby was safe.  I spent the rest of that miserable day outside, too scared to go back inside, wanting to protect my baby boy from all that could harm him.  I refused to spend the night in my apartment building.  I was too scared to go back, so we spent the next several nights at a friend's house, where I felt safer.

Ten days later, under Husband's order, Jude and I evacuated back to the States-- not knowing if or when we would be able to return or see Husband again.

March 11th and the month that followed sucked!  The uncertainty of the situation was the worst part.

However, I know March 11th sucked a lot worse for my Japanese students, friends and co-workers.  Yet, they handled it with honor, patience, pride and resiliency.  I saw the sorrow in their eyes, and today, it still lingers for some.

So, today on March 11, 2012, I think about that dreadful day a year ago, and I'm overcome with sadness for my gracious host nation and all of those in it.  

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Conversation in the car

Jude:  "Mom, I love the snow because everything is so white and pretty."

Weenie:  "I agree, it's lovely."

Jude:  "But, mom, I still love you more than snow."

I know, I've got the sweetest little boy ever!  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Something has got to change

So, I'm lactose intolerant.  I've been this way for about 20 years!  However, recently it has gotten worse.  Way worse!  Before, I could have crackers or fried food even if there was a little bit of milk in it, and I'd be okay.  But now things have changed, and I seem to be having severe adverse reactions to ANYTHING that contains milk!   ANYTHING!  If I eat ANYTHING with even trace amounts of milk in it, I suffer severely!  Even if I take a pill (lactose enzyme), it doesn't help!  I spend the rest of the day bloated, gassy, and miserable.  All I want to do is roll up in the fetal position and die.  Seriously!  Nothing is worse than painful gas that you can't do anything about.

I always keep a bottle of anti-gas medication near, but I hate taking any additional medications.

I'm at a loss of what to do.

All I know it that something has to change!  I can't keep having adverse reactions after every freaking meal I eat.  It's getting ridiculous!

I think it's time to change my diet.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I would do it all again

This picture was taken a couple of years ago, before I chopped off my hair. 
Husband and I will be celebrating our 9 year wedding anniversary on Friday.  We were married on President's Day, 2003.  

Our relationship has had its ups and downs.  It hasn't all been roses and chocolate and sweet tender kisses and hot hotel sex.  Like most couples, we've had our moments where things were less than perfect.  But through it all, we've managed to stay true to one another.  And after those less than perfect moments, we were lucky enough to find each other on the other side, where we could fall in love all over again.

And if Husband asked me to marry him again, I would-- not just for the perfect moments, but for the un-perfect moments, too.

So, Happy Anniversary, Leo!  I love you with all of me--not just now but forever!

Wide Open Spaces

I took this picture in Ameyoko Market near Ueno Station.
I'm used to crowds.  When you live in Japan, you are never alone.  Never!  You are always surrounded by people.  Always!  I've gotten accustomed to navigating my way through congested areas thick with Japanese people.  This is my life.

However, with our upcoming move to Georgia, I'm dreading the wide open spaces filled with nothingness.  I'm worried I'll feel alone.  Since we are moving to a town with only 60,000 people, I know I'll be overwhelmed by the silence and lack of people surrounding me.  I'm not sure what I'll do when I'm the only person standing in line, or when I'm the only customer in a store.

I think I might get lost in the silence, and there will be no one there to help me find my way.

Growing up

When we moved here to Japan, Jude was a toddler, crapping in his diapers.  He had just turned 3 years old.  In the last 4 1/2 years, my little guy  has blossomed to a big kid, a really big kid!  He's only 7 years old and he's already 4 feet tall.  He'll be taller than me before I know it.
Jude and I hiking in the jungles of Khao Sok National Park in Thailand. 
Shit, where does the time go?!

Happy Valentine's Day

Since I live in the future, I already had a great Valentine's day with my family!  I started the day by volunteering at Jude's school.  His class had a Valentine's day party, and I helped out.  Then, for dinner we ate sushi.  Yum!  After that, Husband and I curled up on the couch together and watched a cheesy girly flick.

And Husband surprised me with an AWESOME Valentine's day gift:  Breaking Dawn Part 1 on Blu-ray!  Yes, my husband LOVES me!  I loved how Husband wrapped the gift in Christmas wrapping paper!

So, I hope you have a great day and spend it with those you love most!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Instagram pics

Here are a few pictures I took with my iPhone last week:

I took this picture at the Tama Zoo- one of our favorite places in Tokyo!
Last week it snowed.  I took this at 7 AM near the park near my apartment building.  
My kiddo trying to make a snow angel. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012


It's officially unofficial that we will be moving to Georgia this summer.  We haven't gotten all the paperwork, yet, but Husband is expected to be at his new job by August 22nd.  And since Jude's school starts on August 1st, we hope to be there and settled before school starts. We hope to leave Japan the first week of July or so.

Keep in mind, these dates could change.

So we have about 5 months left in the Land of the Rising Sun!  I  can't believe it.  I wish time would pass a little slower, so I can take it all in just a little more!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Within the span of about 20 minutes, we have had 4 FUCKING EARTHQUAKES this morning--the largest was a 5.5 magnitude in Yamanashi prefecture.  What the fuck?!  I'm seriously on edge right now!  Our building swayed and our glass cabinets rattled and shook, nothing broke.  We are fine, but I think I'll be spending the day outside!  WHAT THE FUCK?!

1st one of the morning at 7:44 AM Tokyo time.  Our windows shook and cabinets rattled!
Four minutes later, another one!  A 5.5 magnitude, but we felt it as a 2 here.  Our building seriously swayed!
Six minutes later, another one!  I nearly shit my pants!
And another one!  

Thursday, January 26, 2012


"TOKYO (AP) — A new study is warning that Tokyo has a 70 percent chance of being hit by a powerful magnitude-7 earthquake within four years.
The study published Monday by University of Tokyo seismologist based the warning on an increase in  seismic activity in the region since last year's March 11 disaster, when a magnitude-9 quake and subsequent tsunami along Japan's northern coast left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing.
The group said the number of moderate earthquakes in Tokyo increased sevenfold in the six-month period after March 11 compared with the previous six months, leading to the prediction.
Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries. Tokyo's last major quake was the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake that killed 140,000 people."
The article can be found here.

Cover up

I read this article today about Japan and its nuclear disaster.  You can read it here.

I'm trying not to focus on the fact that my family could have possibly been contaiminated by radiation following the massive March 11th quake.  I try not to think about what that radiation could possibly be doing to my body or my son's body.  I try not to focus on the fact that the situation at the Fukushima-Dai-ichi plant is still dangerous.  I try not to worry about the Japanese food we eat and whether or not it will be discovered to contain radiation.  I try to ignore the reports of future radiation possibly becoming air born in pollen this spring.  I try not to worry about any of it.  I just try to keep thinking about effing unicorns and effing rainbows, praying we are fine.  That's right.   Rainbows and unicorns.

Monday, January 23, 2012

24 hours

Husband will be back in my arms in 24 hours, but who's counting?  Oh, did I forget to tell you?  Husband has been gone for about a week.  We was on a business trip and will be returning tomorrow.

Even after almost 9 years of marriage, I still miss him when he's gone.  Even though I have a 7 year old, spastic monkey sleeping in my bed, it's not the same.  I miss the warmth and comfort only his daddy can provide.

Thankfully, I only have 24 more hours to go.

Go with the flow

Recently I've been feeling overwhelmed with all that's about to change.  But I'm trying to stay positive--for Jude's sake.  I'm trying to focus on all the great things and not dwell on the negative.  I know that no matter what happens, everything will work out for the best, because that's what always happens.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saturday Sushi

Yesterday Jude and I had lunch at our favorite sushi restaurant (Husband is out of town for work).  We couldn't help but take advantage of the photo op.

(Photos taken with my iPhone.)

Saturday, January 21, 2012


With the upcoming move back to the U.S., I'll be faced with tons of daunting choices to make: where to live, to work or not to work, where to send Jude to school, what kind of car to buy, what kind of washer and dryer do we need, what new furniture do we need, what can we do without, what church to join, what activities will Jude continue, etc.

All of these choices are overwhelming me, and I feel like I've been thrown into the deep end, unable to swim.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The journey back to me

I used to be wild and crazy, full of passion and curiosity, but most of all, just so completely full of passion.  But it seems lately I've taken on the role of mother and wife, forgetting who I am--forgetting what I need and want.  

I haven't thought about who I am in a long time.  I usually don't have the time to sit around and think about myself, but a recent conversation with a friend brought me back into focus-- into perspective.  It seems I have been lost, hidden under those labels I have created for myself.  I've pushed aside all my needs and desires, never taking the time to consider what I need or want.  I guess as mothers and wives we often do this-- placing all the emphasis on the external (our children, our husbands, our jobs), and we neglect the internal, until it erupts and grabs hold of us by the throat, refusing to let go until we examine it closely.  Then we realize just how far we've fallen and wonder if we can ever return to who we were, wondering if we are too far gone to make that journey back, wondering if the journey is even still worth it anymore-- to become who we used to be, wondering if it's even possible to find what once existed.   

Instagram pics

Empty train in Tokyo.
Traditional Japanese New Year's food prepared for me by my friend on New Year's day.
My family and I on New Year's day visiting a shrine in Ome, Tokyo, Japan. 
I drive over this bridge every Friday on my way to teach in Hino, Tokyo, Japan.
Here is a glimpse of my world in Japan.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Our new home...maybe

This week we were notified that we MIGHT be moving to a small town in central Georgia.  The paperwork hasn't gone through, yet, but Husband is convinced we will be moving there.  Let's just say I am less than excited.  In fact, I would rather stay here and endure earthquakes, tsunamis, radiation, typhoons, volcanoes, and floods than move to a small town in the middle of nowhere.

I was hoping Husband would be transferred somewhere in Texas, where we could be closer to our friends and family members, but it seems we will have to spend another 2-3 years away from our peeps.

I know.  I know.  I should be thankful I'm moving back to America, but I ain't.  I know Japan.  I know this area of Japan, and I love it.  I have everything I need here, and I'm happy here.  I've spent the last 4 1/2 years getting to know this wonderful country and its people.  I've gotten used to life here in Japan.  Jude doesn't even remember living in America.  We moved here one month after Jude's 3rd birthday, and he's forgotten about his home in Texas.  To him, Japan is his home.  He, too, doesn't want to leave this extraordinary land.

I'm not saying Georgia, USA is bad.  I'm just saying that I don't care for small town living.  I prefer big cities.  Remember, I'm from Houston, Texas--the most awesomest place in Texas.  I like big cities because they provided you with so many options, and I like options.

But I know I don't have a choice in the matter.  That's how my life works.  I gave up everything to marry my husband and follow him around the world, and it's a choice I don't regret; however, I wish Georgia wasn't on my mind.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How Japan has changed me

When I moved to Japan, over 4 years ago, I was pretty set in my ways.  I didn't like change, and I was naive about how the world worked.

In the last 4 years, I've seen amazing things and met amazing people.

But living in Japan has made me more aware of the world around me.

1.  I'm not so quick to judge.
2.  I'm so thankful for everything I have because I know it can all be taken away in an instant.  I've seen those in the Tohoku area of Japan lose it all in the tsunami on 3/11/11.
3.  I've learned that all mothers in the world are similar:  we all want the best for our kids.
4.  I don't take certain things for granted anymore, especially space.  Here in Japan space is so hard to come by.  Everything is miniature, including apartments, streets, drinks, cars, parking spaces, etc.
5.  I'll never complain about prices in the U.S. again!  I just paid almost 8 dollars for 6 apples!  One mango was almost 5 dollars!  Everything in Japan is so freaking expensive!
6.  I've learned how to recycle just about everything and re-purpose things.
7.  I'll never take the stable ground of Texas for granted again!  (Once I leave Japan, I hope to never feel an earthquake again...for as long as I live!)
8.  I've become a very adventurous eater.  Raw or cooked, it doesn't really matter anymore.
9.  I know how difficult it can be when you are illiterate and don't speak the language!
10.  I don't sweat the small things because I know I can't control very much.  I've learned to just go with the flow and take whatever comes my way.
11.  I'll never complain about traffic in the U.S. again!  Nothing is worse than an 8 hour traffic jam!
12.  I'll never need a navigation system.  If I can navigate through the confusing streets of Japan, I can navigate anywhere unassisted!
13.  I consider any flight under 7 hours to be a short flight!
14.  I carry my own cloth grocery bags with me.
15.  In regards to fashion, anything goes!
16.  I like using public transportation, especially trains!
17.  I carry my own personal hand towel with me because most restrooms don't have paper towels.
18.  I've learned to not make trash, because chances are there won't be any trash cans to through your trash away, so you have to carry it with you until you get home.
19.  I've become an expert at using chopsticks.
20.  Free parking!  There ain't none in Japan!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


1.  The next time I see my Christmas decorations I'll be living in another country.

2.  This is my last winter, Christmas and New Years that I will spend in Japan.

3.  My next birthday will be celebrated in America!

4.  Jude's next birthday will be celebrated is America!

5.  Husband's next birthday will be celebrated in America!

6.  Next New Years I will not be going to a Japanese Shrine with a million other Japanese, nor will I be eating traditional Japanese New Year's food.

Change is coming!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


We just had another earthquake.  A 7.0 about 300 miles off the coast of Japan.  Our apartment rocked and rumbled for about 40 seconds.  The cabinets rattled and shook but nothing fell.  We experienced it here at a 4.0 magnitude.

I tell you, there is never a dull moment here.  NEVER!  I'm so over earthquakes.  SERIOUSLY!

Now we are waiting for aftershocks.  No tsunami warning has been issued.


Happy New Year!

I'm happy to say goodbye to 2011 and to bring in 2012 with great friends, food and fun.

2011 was a crazy year to say the least, especially with the earthquake, tsunami, typhoon, and BOMB!

2011 was wild ride that kept me on my toes.  I hope 2012 is boring and uneventful.  I've had enough excitement.  Really!  Enough!

2012 will bring change...lots of change.  In case you didn't know, my family and I will be relocating back to the states sometime in July.  Husband's job here is almost done.  We aren't sure where Husband's job will send us next, but we do know it's somewhere stateside.

And as much as I love it here in Japan, I'm ready to go back.  I'm ready to join the real world again and be close to family and friends.  I'm really, really ready to shop at Target and go eat at Luby's Cafeteria whenever I want.  It's the simple things in life that most people take for granted that I miss most.

So let the countdown begin: 6 months left in the land of the rising sun!