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…

Continue reading “HAPPY NEW YEAR…”


The day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas season.  At least that’s how it was in our house growing up. That’s when my brother and I would help my parents put up the Christmas lights on the house. There was an inside team and an outside team. The inside team were the light checkers, and the outside team were the light putter-uppers. While we did all of this we would graze on the Thanksgiving leftovers all-day long. And of course to set the mood, we would start jamming the Christmas tunes. Christmas music in November!? It’s so early, what’s wrong with you!?

Continue reading “WHO YOU CALLING SCROOGE?”


IMG_8089 editI’ve never felt the desire to get that classic shot of Ellie sitting on Santa’s lap every year. You know the photo. The one where Ellie would be in her fancy holiday dress, bows in hair, and I’d be hoping for that adorable perfect moment when she’s smiling in wonderment but most likely be shrieking in terror. Yes, that photo. I’m not against it, it’s just never been my thing. Aya never had this tradition as a child, and I really don’t remember liking it too much either. I know I went a few times, but the experience wasn’t lasting enough to remember it too clearly. So it wasn’t something important for me to do it with Ellie.

Continue reading “ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS…”