Saturday, March 27, 2010

The ABC's of Me

The ABCs of Me

I got this from a friend's blog and thought it was fun. Here it goes:

A - Age: 32
B - Bed size: Queen. Someday we'd love a King, but we were told a king would never fit in the bedrooms in Japanese housing. I think they were right- maybe we'll get one when we move back to the states someday.
C - Chore you hate: Making the bed and cleaning the bathrooms
D - Dog's name: Maverick
E - Essential start your day item: My slippers on my feet, and usually a Coke or Dr. Pepper (I'm not a coffee drinker usually, but I do need caffeine!)
F - Favorite color: Blue
G - Gold or Silver or Platinum: Silver or Platinum
H - Height: 5'1"
I - Instruments you play: None, unless you could the PS3 Rock Band Guitar/Bass. I'm sooo NOT musical!
J - Jewelry you wear everyday: Wedding ring (engagement band and wedding band are attached) and my Tag Heuer watch
K - Kids: Miss Mallory Moo- 7 months
L - Living arrangements: Base housing on Yokota Air Base, Japan. But we scored a 3 bedroom somehow and so it isn't TOO bad (although it is VERY concrete-y)
M - Mom's name: Jane
N - Nicknames: Kimmie, Lil' Kim, Apple-Ass :)
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: When I had Mallory (I don't know if that meant my birth or when I gave birth)
P - Pet Peeve: People who leave their blinker on when driving, People who smack gum or chew food loudly, incorrect grammar... (I can't name just one :)
Q - Quote: "You don't choose your family. You are God's gift to them, as they are to you." and also "I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me."

R - Right handed or left handed: Right
S - Siblings:One younger brother, Cody
T - Time you wake up: Whenever my little alarm clock wakes up ;)
U - Underwear: I used to be a thong girl, but since becoming a Mommy, I also became a very boring full-butt panty girl. I think this officially means I'm old.
V - Vegetable you dislike: Spinach, Beets and Mushrooms
W - Ways you run late: All the ways possible- I'm notorious for being about 10 minutes late everywhere I go! (Brett says he has a "no shit time" and a "Kim time" when we have to go somewhere- and "Kim time" is at least 20 minutes earlier than the "no shit we have to leave now" time)
X - X-rays you've had: Mouth (lots and lots and lots), arm
Y - Yummy food you make: I hope there is more than one but I'll go with chicken enchilladas
Z - Zoo favorite: Monkeys- they are always so entertaining

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What a Difference A Year Makes!!

So just about exactly this time 1 year ago, I was nervously boarding an airplane to MOVE to Japan. I was about to leave friends, family, the comforts of Texas (and the USA for that matter), lots of my stuff in storage, my car and pretty much everything I'd ever MOVE to Japan. I had a suitcase of clothes, my (newish) husband, 1 dog, 1 cat and my pregnant self-that was IT! And I was MOVING to Japan- for 3 YEARS! To say that I was terrified would be putting it mildly, but I think I did well covering it up.
Fast forward to today- wow, is my life different! In just 1 short year we have:

*eaten at a wide variety of restaurants and tried lots of new foods
*been to the cherry blosson festival
*taken Japanese cooking classes
*bought 2 new (to us) cars and set up a household
*ridden the trains many times
*toured a Sake factory
*been to Jane's Pearls (and won a very pretty pearl necklace from spouse club)
*been to a Sumo Tournament
*Traveled to Singapore (once for me, 3 times for Brett)
*toured Yokohama
*driven to Yokosuka Naval Base and Japanese Ikea
*celebrated our 1st anniversary
*been to a Japanese baseball game
*watched a fireworks festival
*hosted friends and my parents in our house for a few weeks
*toured the Mt. Fuji waterfalls
*traveled around and seen many parts of Tokyo
*watched the world famous Tsukiji Fish Market Tuna trades
*Taken a trip to Florida (with a 2 month old)
*Taken a trip home for the holidays (with a 4 month old)
*toured Hiroshima and Miyajima Island
*flew down and toured Okinawa for a week
*been to the Plum Blossom Festival
*many, many more...

Yes, we now LIVE in Japan, and have 2 years to go. But, after getting over the culture shock (and the jet lag of course) we have really grown to love this place. We have met lots of great folks here and made many close friends. We have gotten to see and do many Japanese/Asian things. We have expanded our family by 1 very wonderful little person. I don't (normally) walk out the door anymore and immediately think "WTF, I'm in Japan". It just comes naturally now, although I do occasionally still experience that, especially when I would love nothing more than a quick trip to Target or a route 44 Sonic Cherry Limeade or a Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit. Instead I head over to the Daiso (Japanese $1 store), drink a chu-hi from a can, or eat some gyoza.
So, our lives are different than they were 1 year ago. Life is different...but different is good. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Culture Club Tour of the C-130

I love being a member of Culture Club here in Japan. It is a great opportunity to get to know a few Japanese women, learn about their culture, language, etc. We meet twice every month - once the Japanese host us Americans, and the other time we host the Japanese. This meeting was especially fun, as we hosted them here on base. They toured a C-130 (which is of course what Brett flies), showed them the Distinguished Visitor entrance, the 36th Eagle Airlifter Squadron Building and then hosted a tea and played dominoes. It was a LOT of fun! Here are a few pictures from our day.

C-130 on the flight line
Walking out to the flight line
Inside the C-130, with Lt. Col Kincaid giving the tour
Our Japanese ladies in the plane
Mallory and I inside Daddy's plane!
Sitting in Daddy's chair flying the airplane!

Look, I can navigate the plane too!
Our whole group, taken from the back of the plane looking inside
Out the back of the plane, anotehr C-130 passing by
Outside the airplane
Mommy and Mal outside Daddy's plane
On the bridge in the DV garden
Beautiful Japanese Distinguished Visitor Garden.
Barbie and Marcy on the Distinguished Visitor "red carpet". When head honchos visit Yokota, their plane pulls up to this "carpet" which they walk on to get to the garden, and then inside to the DV building. When normal people (i.e. me) get off a plane, you get onto a smelly, cramped bus and take a ride over to the passenger terminal and wait for your luggage. Eh, whatever....
Inside the squadron Heritage room, where we served a delicious lunch.
and had tea time as well
Beautiful tea cups and china
Eating lunch
Mallory was enjoying herself too!
Getting ready to play Mexican Train Dominoes (but not before being snuggled by all the Japanese ladies of course!)
Domino time
Thinking hard about the next move
Who will win?
We all had a great day, and I know everyone really enjoyed themselves. I feel so lucky to be a part of this group and get this experience. I wish Mal was older and could appreciate it too, but I guess that is what the blog is for- so she can look back someday and remember what fun we had in Japan!

SATB Tour- Part 8- All the way Home yeah, it's March and I celebrated Mallory's first St. Patrick's Day today. Unfortunately, I'm like 2 months behind in blogworld. I'm determined to catch up soon- I have about 14 more big events to blog about, and can't wait to share them all. Plus, Mallory is really growing up fast and I HAVE to share that. So...on with the show...

After Kansas City, Mom and I returned to Houston to see a few more friends before heading back to Japan.
The Piercy's met Mallory- here she is telling Judy and Sandy a story.
Riding on the "horsey" of Mr. Harry
Hanging out with Nana by the fire
Talking with Nana
Look at that cute baby in the mirror!
Precious, precious pumpkin!
Meeting Miss Brandy and seeing her new house (they used to live next door to my parents and just moved to a nice big house at the back of Kingwood. My parents REALLY miss them on their street.)
We went to Nana's Bunco and were the hit of the night! Not sure anyone wanted to play Bunco-they wanted to hold me instead. I was a really good girl and didn't fuss once all night long, and even helped Mommy win $10.
Miss Sheryl came by to see and hold Mal
Miss Cheryl wanted to hold Mal too-She's just a bit bigger than her new granddaughter
Miss Ginger
Visiting with Miss Tina
Playing Bunco with Mommy and Miss Barbara
Back at Nan's, eating "Topo Gigo"-Mommy's toy from when she was a baby in Italy!
Some family pictures0 Nana, Mommy and Mal

Grandpa, Mommy and Mal
The Happy Grandparents

I love Nana
Nana loves me too!
Look at theat cute face. Don't you just want to eat her with a spoon!
Sleeping on the flight back to Japan. It was a WONDERFUL trip to the states and we soooo enjoyed seeing and hanging out with everyone. I love that I got to introduce my sweet Mallory to so many friends and family members. It was really hard to go back to Japan, but having Brett there already made it easier. And it was good to get back into a routine and see all our friends here at Yokota again. Not sure when our next trip to the USA will be, but if anyone wants to visit in Japan- you are ALWAYS welcome!!