Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sunflower Festival

A few weeks ago a Sunflower Festival was held in Kitanakagusku Village. Sunflowers are my favorite flower and I was excited to see so many big, happy, yellow flowers in one place. Local farmers grew thousands of these big sunnies and visitors were welcome to wander through paths in the fields for free. There were some local vendors selling food, pottery and plants. But, unfortunately there weren't any sunflowers for sale!

Spring is definitely here!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Adorable Animals

It seems like every time I get on facebook another one of my friends is pregnant. Makes me feel extra pathetic for blogging about my cat... but hey, maybe you all need a break from all the baby bumps?

And who doesn't love a kitten in a tee shirt dress! You may remember this same dress on my hedgie back when he was partying it up for his 1st birthday, but he was kind enough to loan it to Jade for their play date.

Lately we've had double the kitten fun at our house. Zoey has been staying with us while her owners are out of town. Jade wasn't a fan of this house guest at first, but after a few days the kittens were big time besties. We get endless entertainment watching these two play and be cute together.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kitten Cuteness Overload

In my couple months away you've missed out on some extreme kitten cuteness. I can't resist showing you what a ridiculous cat lady I'm becoming.

Christmas Kitten:

Kitten in a basket:

Kitten tee shirt time coming soon.

Winter Wonderland

As a post deployment trip and to celebrate our 4 year anniversary Brad and I set out to explore the winter wonderland of Nagano, Japan. It was kind of a lot of work getting there with having to take, taxi, plane, monorail, train, bullet train, and a bus ride to get there (and back), but it was totally worth it.

Nagano is completely beautiful. It snowed a lot while we were there making it extra special. We were going primarily to ski/board. Brad had gone snowboarding once before and I was excited to try skiing for the first time. We stayed at a pretty nice resort right on the Shiga Kogen ski slopes. Our breakfast and dinner were included in our room package, so we enjoyed an extensive buffet breakfast with plenty of strange Japanese options and delish Western choices. We loved the fancy resort multi coursed dinners every night. After skiing all day we ate every bite of our meals! The dining room was a big room full of floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the ski slopes to maximize the breathtaking mountain views.
So, prior to this trip I've never skied. I tried to take a ski lesson, but one wasn't available, so I was on my own. Bunny slope?? Ummm my first time having skis on my feet was going through the gate and sitting down on the lift and going up a huge mountain. Freak out central. I was panicked! Somehow I managed not to crash off the ski lift (that time) and proceeded to careen down the mountain with absolutely no control. No way to turn or stop. I was crying and praying and falling A LOT. Man, getting back up onto skis after falling took some practice. But, I did eventually get the hang of it and by our third trip down the mountain I didn't fall. I did fall a lot the 3 days we were out there, but I have officially caught the ski bug. I loved it! Can't wait to go again.

While we were in Nagano I insisted that we take a trip over to the Jigokudani Monkey Park to see the Snow Monkeys in the hot springs. You had to walk through this snowy park along this snow covered path and snow covered trees. So pretty. And it was snowing at the time too. Perfect. Oooooh my gosh the monkeys are the cutest things ever and they were everywhere. The babies were especially adorable. You could get right up next to them, inches away. It took all my self control not to touch! This was an amazing experience.

I could have stayed in Nagano for a while longer. We were having a blast out on the slopes, the food was great, the place is generally beautiful and who doesn't love being on vacation. I'm so glad we did this trip and would really recommend it!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Homecoming, holidays and what's been happening

Have I really not blogged since November?! Bad girl. Sorry for the break in the blogging. I feel like I blinked and months have gone by. I have so much to catch you all up on. If you're still there, thank you for sticking around! Life's been busy!

After 6.5 months apart my husband is HOME from Afghanistan! I will totally blame him on why I've been sucked into a black hole since December. In a good way. His homecoming was pretty high stress for me, even though I was so happy he was coming home. I was really nervous standing in the hanger watching his plane come in for landing. Seeing those wheels hit the ground gave me such a feeling of relief and then seeing him walk towards me was a whole new emotion that is really hard to describe. When he was back in my arms all was right in the world again. He said something funny like "Hi, remember me? I'm your husband."

Then, a few days after Brad got home my sister Mary flew in for a 3.5 week visit for Christmas and New Years. My sister is my best friend and having her here was amazing. We went around and did a ton of touristy stuff around the island, ate a ton of yummy food, and laughed a lot. I absolutely loved having her here. Time went too fast.
We celebrated our first Christmas on Okinawa (last year we celebrated in Australia). Mary was here making it extra special. On Christmas Eve we went to huge Christmas light display and show at the zoo. Christmas morning we all opened up presents, we had a big breakfast of my moms baked french toast and we spent the day making a big Christmas dinner, watching movies and drinking wine. It was lovely.

Even the kitten and hedgie had a great Christmas!

For NYE, Brad, my sister and I celebrated with a bunch of friends up at the O-Club. We went to a big dinner then moved over to the bar for drinks and dancing. (Unfortunately the duck-face-peace sign was out in force that night.)Fun night to kick of 2012!

Brad and I celebrated our 4 year marriage anniversary Jan 5!

Brad and I took a post deployment/anniversary trip up to Nagano in mainland Japan. Separate post on this soon!

So on top of all this stuff, I've been working a crap-ton. I'm working on an upcoming show and all the workshops that come before it. I love my job! And I've been doing some really great work with Makoto these days. I started him in the double dressage bridle and he is going great in it. Fancy-shmancy. My friend and co-worker Alexis also started Sky in the double too. Makoto and Sky happen to be best buds. Cute.

My kitten is doing great! After skin infections, ear infections and eye infections she finally got a clear bill of health a few weeks ago. Yay! She's getting big. I kinda miss her being coffee cup size. 4 months old already.

Remember Lucy, the adorable baby piglet? She is HUGE now. But still as adorable and sweet as ever.
And, I'm blogging on my new MacBook Pro! I am kind of obsessed with it. And, if you couldn't tell from the pictures above, I have brown hair now! See ya, bleach.

So, there is 2 months in summary. I'll try not to be such a stranger around here in the future!