Children's Day

The first week of May in Japan is known as Golden Week. It's a week where there is a few national holidays and lots of people are off work and I guess it's a big deal out here. Children's Day is the last holiday during the week and is the reason they hang all the carp flags. They symbolize the mother's/fathers/children and they are hung everywhere. This river we went to had a ton strung over it and around it. So I had to take my pictures!
Summer goal: to paint our own block on the seawall! 


Happy Mother's Day

My dad sent me this video and I've seen a few people share it on facebook. It's a great 2 minute tribute to moms everywhere! I'm so glad we have this holiday to do a little something special for the mom(s) in our life.
Today I was thinking about my mom and I thought- she's such a GOOD person. Out of every person I know on the same level as I know her, she's the best. My dad is a close second ;) In fact, I feel like she's pretty close to perfect. She hasn't worked outside the home since the day she became a mom (except piano lessons), but yet she is always SO busy doing stuff for everyone but herself. She puts all of her 5 children's (plus husband) wants and needs before her own. As a selfish kid, I thought that was just her job. How dare she do what she wants! But that's why I like growing up. You realize so much more. You see the big picture. I really hope I can be as good of a mom to my kids. She has so many skills and talents and taught me so much. She taught me to be honest when I would take things from the store as a kid-she'd bring me back to return it. She taught me to love the truth and goodness of the gospel of Jesus Christ through her great example of how important it is in her life. She taught me to sew and helped me sew a few dresses when I was in 5th grade! (even though i'm still not very good). She taught me to play the piano. And she taught me to put others before myself, which I'm also still working on :). I love my mom so much and can't wait to see her in October when my baby is born and her showing me how to be a mom.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommas out there!


what we've been up to lately

The last couple months or so I really have not gotten out much. However since I have been so MIA on the blog I thought I'd put up some pictures taken from my iphone of some of the things that mostly I have been up to. Duke has been in the Philippines for the last 2.5 weeks. He still has a little while longer down there and I have really been missing him! He's been gone for several 10 day-2 weeks stints since we've been here, but this one has been the longest in a while and it's getting lonely. I'm excited for him to come back.
 Pretty poppy field over looking the ocean
 visited the southeast botanical gardens
 winston's fav spot on every sunny day. he's a sunbather at heart.
 at the botanical gardens trying out the mouth wash machine. These Japanese people seriously think of everything!
 we also ran through the aquarium the same day we were at the tropical dream center 
 saw an awesome *free* dolphin show (after watching blackfish I just can't patron these kinds of places, but this was free in the outside park, which duke pointed out this might be pushing it, but whatever)
 this cute & stylish girl was sitting in front of me. She kept touching my painted toenails. Love these little Japanese babies.
 I went to Girl's Camp for a week- a church run camp for girls 12-18. Some girl brought this mannequin. 
 visiting the beach with winston
 a good beach day with flat stanley and friends
 I've been taking walks along the seawall & right now these lilies are in bloom!
 Went snorkeling at madea flats-it was low tide, but was surprised how deep those little pools of water were! The snorkeling here is so awesome! We saw tons of fish and a lot of the Finding Nemo cast :)
 my little weirdo^
 Easter Sunday!
 this is what hanging out with Winston looks like sometimes^ I have to say I really really love having a dog. I never had one growing up and I have become so attached to this little guy. I love having him even more when Duke is gone. It's nice to come home to someone who's excited to see you and to just have another warm body in the house. He's the best!
 the most beauuuutiful day at Araha beach. (photos not edited, its just that pretty!)
 I declare this pizza the best pizza in Okinawa^ Pizzeria Onda in Minnetogawa. The menu is pretty much all in japanese, but I just get the Margherita and it never disappoints. 
 Winston did this to my boppy pillow^ Luckily is was bought used!
 Duke sent me these from the Philippines. He was able to go hike Mt Pinatubo. Looks gorgeous.
 So this always intrigues me. At low tide there are always a bunch of Japanese people out in the seaweed for hours picking it to eat later! To each their own I suppose. I hear they also collect octopus. YUM. ha.
Last week at the beach. 15 weeks and the tiniest of bumps is starting. This is the first "bump" picture I've taken. I wanted to take a "before picture" but when you're sick it doesn't really seem like a priority.

And that pretty much sums up the last 2 1/2 months or so :)

Tropical Dream Center

 Sometime back in early April we drove north and went to the Tropical Dream Center. Let me tell you, this place is aptly named. I love it! I went back in January when they hosted the international orchid festival. It was pretty incredible. It's basically a place filled with crazy amounts of flowers and plants. It was even better this time, because I have had pregnancy super nose -which 99% of the time is awful- but being among all the flowers, the smells were awesome! Here's a few pictures from our visit.

 ^we love all the awesome signs around here

 starfruit tree^