Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Playing Catch up

Despite the total lack of posts here lately, we Robinsons have been quite busy.  There seemed to always be something going on in February, and as exciting as that is, I'm looking forward to a little down-time in March.  Here's some of the things that went on this month:

  • The Sapporo Snow Festival

Another winter, another snow festival.  We went on the last day, and the smaller snow sculptures were looking a little sad and melty.  The large ones were quite impressive this year, but because it was pretty cold the day we went, we kinda quickly hurried through it all.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the ice sculptures in Susukino, and I missed the Otaru ice festival again this year, which I've heard is really nice.  Oh well, next year!

  • In January, we went bowling with our friends Krista and Dan.  It was boys against girls, and the boys suggested we place bets on the games.  Each game had a different bet, and we won all four games!  One of the things that boys had to do was make us a nice, romantic dinner.  So a few weeks ago, they made good on their promise.

Homemade macaroni and cheese, and steak.  It was delicious!!  They also made peanut butter and chocolate brownies, and we ate those so fast, I forgot to take a picture!

After dinner, we played Apples to Apples and had some great conversation.  All around, a great night!

  • Ethan turned 13 last Thursday.  I know, I know, I need to stop talking about it.  But you turn 13 only once.

We didn't have a party, since his birthday was on a weekday, but we got him a cake and he opened some presents from family back home.  He was especially psyched about the military hats and patches from his grandparents.  He's modeling two of them above.  We went in with some other family members and bought him an iPad on Sunday.  Now, every couple of minutes, he'll say, "Mom, I love this iPad.  Thanks so much!"  I raised such a courteous boy ;)

Takuya and I are performing at Cafe Monkey Bar this Saturday.  We performed at an open mic last Sunday, and there are some other performing opportunities in the works.  More about that soon!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Boy

My boy turned 13 this past Thursday.

I now officially have a teenager.  How did this happen?

It seems like only yesterday that he was a little fuzzy headed cutie, like the pictures below.

My mom sent me these pictures with Ethan's birthday package.  I'd never realized it until now, but I guess he's always had an interest in the guitar.  It makes me so happy to know that music is an important part of his life (and that he has a great musical taste)!

I used to carry this boy in my arms, let him sleep in our bed when he had nightmares, and play cowboys and indians with him.

And now, he's taller than me, can literally lift me up, and has turned out to be an all-around courteous and kind person.  What a blessed person I am to have such a wonderful son.

I can't stop him from growing up, and even though I want him to stay my "little boy", I can't wait to see what kind of man he turns out to be.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I *heart* you!!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

On this day that's all about hearts and chocolates, I thought I'd share something from my home.  Since living in Japan (and this apartment) is only a temporal thing, I wanted our place to feel homey without having to buy too many things.  I thought of hanging a bunch of pictures on the wall, and I loved the size and shape of the Hipstamatic photos when they were printed from my iPhone.

I'm not sure where I got the idea to put them in a heart shape, but I played around with how I wanted them until I thought it looked sort of like a pixelated heart.  Each picture is from our time spent here in Japan, and each holds a special memory.

Trips to the botanical gardens, relaxing in the park, Ethan looking sullen.  It makes me happy when I see this every day.  I've added a few more pictures since I first put it up, and the heart's getting fatter.

Here's hoping your heart is full of good memories too this Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Future

This is me thinking about the future. Or something. Honestly I don't know what I'm doing here.

This past year and a half that we've lived in Japan has been such an incredible experience.  I never ever thought I'd live outside of the United States, much less Japan.  And yet here we are, deciding to spend yet another year in this country.  Honestly, it was an easy decision: we love where we are and what we do.  We're in a really good place right now, so why would we want to leave that?  Japan hasn't grown old to me yet, and there's still so much to encounter and discover.  But through all this excitement, there's this lingering thought always in the back of my mind -

What am I going to do when we leave here?

This one sentence encompasses the following: Where are we going to live?  Should I go back into teaching?  What is Nathan going to do?  How are we going to pay all our student loans?  What if there aren't any jobs available back home?

Granted, I don't dwell on these thoughts everyday.  These problems are still quite far away, but nevertheless, they will eventually have to be answered.

I'm not even sure I want to teach when I go back to America.  Being a theater teacher is a lot of long hours and hard work, and as rewarding as it was to direct plays, I'm just not sure I'm feeling the creativity for it anymore.  It doesn't help that all the news I hear from back home makes it seem as if there are no teaching jobs available (and theater teaching jobs are pretty few aand far between all ready).  What if the only jobs waiting for me are retail or food service?  I was terrible at retail because I hate handling money (my cash drawer was always short), and I've never worked as a waitress.

Plus, I'm 31 years old, and there's always this (nagging) part of me that tells me that I should have this sorted out by now.  That I should already have the steady career, the house and mortgage, a couple kids and a retirement fund.

And then I tell that nagging part of myself to be quiet.  Because the fact is, I  - we - chose this path.  I can't do anything about the past, and it's pointless to worry about the future to the extent that you don't appreciate the present. And when it gets to the point that I have to answer those tough questions, I know I'll have the strength to figure it out.

Even if it is a little scary.