Every time I visit Japan, Aya’s parents always ask if there is anything specific I’d like to do or try. They have done an excellent job at showing me Japan beginning from my very first trip fifteen years ago. I’ve tried all of the most popular Japanese foods, and even some of the not so popular ones. I’ve seen the scenic sights and the city sights. I’ve gone to the hot springs, and sang karaoke. I even saw my favorite enka singer in concert! After all that, it still seemed like I had a list of things that I wanted to try. During our previous trip, I requested the KFC Christmas chicken dinner (it’s a big deal there). But now, it’s getting harder to find things I haven’t tried yet. That was until I discovered matcha.
Happy New Year! It’s still January, right? Oh, it’s February already? MID FEBRUARY!?
Man, what a year so far. We kicked off the New Year in Japan with Aya’s family. We experienced the city, we soaked in the hot springs, ate fantastic food, visited with friends and had fun with family. The kids absorbed so much language and culture while we were there too! But all great trips have to come to an end. And just before the end, the day before we left, I got the flu. And then on the plane, Ellie got the flu. And when we landed and got home, Chloe got the flu. And after a few days of dealing with us, Aya got a bad head cold. And then she left for a week long business trip. Sooo, we spent the first two weeks back sick, miserable, jetlagged, cranky, and eating terrible. We went from going out to great restaurants eating fresh fish to eating Taco Bell on the couch. But finally, finally, that’s all over with and we are looking forward to a bright 2018! Well, at least trying…
We started our New Year’s Celebration on New Year’s Eve with a soba noodle dinner. I’ve been told that it’s a tradition to have soba noodles on New Year’s Eve and udon noodles for New Year’s dinner. The long noodles represent longevity and a long prosperous year to come. Also, soba noodles easily break.Â This can represent any misfortune you’ve experienced throughout the year, that it can now break and you can let it go.
This time last year, we made the decision that I would no longer be an unemployed dad, but officially be a stay-at-home dad. And here I am a year later, still happy we made that decision. It started out slow and cold with a winter that felt like it would never end, but it ended up being a really good year with a lot of growth, both physical and emotional. It didn’t seem like it in the moment, but looking back, a lot happened. From the insignificant, to the noteworthy, to the unexpected (good and bad), it all piled up to be quite the year.
It’s a New Year and that brings for me, a new site with a new look.Â I now own and operate my very own website domain.Â Welcome to my page!Â Please bear with me as I’m still finalizing the layout and getting used to the new set-up and format.Â A special thanks to my friends who have been helping me with the graphics and technical aspects of the site.
With the New Year here and my new site up and running, I’m very excited for this.Â Ellie and I are still getting overÂ our colds, but we’re ready to do this.Â Well, kinda…Â Actually I’m a little nervous, too.Â As Monday approaches and Aya goes back to work I’ll be home alone again.Â Alone to reestablish my own routine, and spend some good quality time with Ellie, but also alone with a sick walking baby that hasn’t been napping all week.Â However, she is the happiest, giggliest kid who has been chatting and saying words.Â “Hi… Hi…” (while waving) or “Eyes… Eyes…” (as she points at my eyes)Â So tomorrow I’m going to do a preemptive grocery shopping and get my menu and my week in order, because come Monday, we’re back in the groove.Â I have a lot on theÂ agenda for this year so I need a good start.
Just a few things I’m looking forward to in 2011:
- Ellie’s one year birthday is just weeks away!Â We aren’tplanning a big event, but needless to say, it’s an exciting milestone.
- Library time starts again this month.Â It is divided between “walkers” and “crawlers.”Â Ellie has graduated to the “walkers” group so there should be new faces, and new folks!
- More mallwalking with good friends to get us through the winter months.
- Since we are members at the Detroit Institute of Arts, visiting the museum will become part of our normal rotation.
- We are going to visit Aya’s folks in Japan in April.Â Konnichiwa!Â The thought of the 12 hour plane ride with a baby and dealing with Ellie adjusting to jetlag makes me want to puke.Â But the thought of being back in Japan and trying new Kit-Kat flavors keeps the excitement level up.
- Although we are still deep into winter, before you know it it’ll be time for another season of river walks and porch sittin’.
- And lots of family time of reading books, taking walks, packing picnics, and all that other stuff…
Although I am greatly anticipating all the new exciting moments that await me in 2011, I am also very thankful for all of the opportunities, learning, and growth that I’ve experienced throughout all of 2010.Â Starting with the birth of my daughter, to her first steps, and now her first words, and everything in between… wow, what a year.