Sunday, December 30, 2012

Goodbye 2012













Once again, the year flew by too quickly.  It was a year filled with family and friends, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  2012 was also a year full of new experiences and challenges.  We're all growing a little older and a little wiser, here in the Robinson house.  And we're looking forward to what challenges await us for 2013.

Happy New Year, everyone!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

So this was Christmas

It's interesting, celebrating Christmas with a teenager.  Make no mistake, he still gets super excited about Christmas day, and was asking everyday when packages would get here, and what did we buy for him, etc. etc.  But he's no longer at the age for toys.  They've been replaced which what I like to call Ethan's holy trinity of gifts: books, t-shirts, and video/computer games.  Well, he also wanted some music and guitar stuff too.  It's just strange not buying him little viking Playmobil figures like we did in the old days.  The closest we got was this game he got called "King's Table" which was supposedly played by vikings.

But even though gifts are changing, some traditions are not.  We still make German apple pancakes on Christmas morning, and it's becoming a tradition to have other people over who can't make it back home for Christmas.  Everybody brought over some food and we ate, drank, and were merry into the early morning.  And we hopefully didn't bother out neighbors.

It's gotten really cold in the last few days, and I've barely ventured out of the apartment, apart from going to see Les Miserables last night (which was awesome, by the way).  For me, these nights are for drinking hot drinks, cuddling with my boys, and watching Homeland (I've become hooked).

Oh yeah, and getting over this sore throat I've had for 3 days.  I dare you to get me out from under these blankets!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

These days

It's quiet around here these days.  We took Rachel to the airport on Wednesday and now the house feels empty without her around.  Two months went by so quickly, and we had such a good time with her. All my friends that met her wanted her to stay, and my students loved her.  I think it was hard for her to say goodbye.  I know it was for me.

But honestly, I'm welcoming the slower pace that we've had around here the last few days, even though I know it won't last long.  Year-end parties, Christmas parties, and New Year parties are in the future, which means our schedules will be busy again.  But I don't mind it.  I think it's important to be around people during the holidays.  Even if it's not our families, it's our extended Japanese family, who have become an important part of our lives.

But with all the parties and friends, I can't help but feel a little melancholy.  Having Rachel here made me realize how much I need her around.  We kind of complete each other, if that makes any sense.  But I'm happy she was able to stay for so long, and I'm looking forward to another beautiful Christmas season in Sapporo.  The city's really showing off this year, with lots and lots of snow almost every day.  Ethan's got the Christmas movies ready to go, and we'll kick off the Christmas week with Home Alone, hot chocolate, and some last-minute Christmas shopping.  I guess I won't be resting too much after all.  Oh well!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Snowiest City in the World

The snow has come to Sapporo, leaving it a wintry wonderland.

However, sometimes it's an icy deathtrap.  That's ice, y'all, and it's slippery.  I haven't slipped yet, but it's only a matter of time.

Winter is also the time for White Illumination in Odori Park.  We braved the cold on Friday night to eat German food in the German Market and take pictures of the lights.  But when we couldn't feel our toes, we decided to head indoors.  

Some snowflakes have even found their way into our apartment!
Stay warm, everyone!!