Friday, December 31, 2010

A new year and a new blog

Everywhere people are getting ready for the new year, and in some places people have already entered the new year. I can't believe how quickly a year goes by. I remember when I was in high school and a week seemed endless, I wish I could experience time like that again.

For 2011, I've launched a new blog. From now on the Loulogue will be my personal blog and the new blog will be for all things crafty. So if you're reading this blog to see what Yasu and I are up to, you're in the right place but if you're mainly hanging out here to see what happens in the eleventh monkey world, hop on over to the new eleventh monkey blog and follow me there.



For now, it's a collection of all the eleventh monkey blog posts posted here in the past and a few new posts, but I have loads of plans for this new blog. I can't wait to start in the new year!

But first, we're heading into to city to start our celebration of the past year. I want to follow Dutch traditions, by eating 'oliebollen' (literally oil balls) and watching fireworks at midnight. Well, they don't have oliebollen here, nor box mixes to make some yourself, but I have found a place that sells square-shaped beignets that just taste like oliebollen, so we'll have oil squares this year. And the city of San Francisco is so kind to host a free fireworks show at midnight, so that's taken care of as well!

Happy 2011 everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Monkeys

I sew many kinds of animals, and sometimes even skulls or cupcakes, but my favorite creature is still a monkey. And I'm the eleventh monkey - because I was born in the year of the monkey on the eleventh of August - so it's only natural that I like to create monkeys, monkeys and more monkeys.

And so I have, this past month. I've made three custom monkeys for customers and an itty bitty monkey on a key chain as a birthday surprise for my husband.

And now I'm off to dream about making even more monkeys... I wish my hands could sew faster, then I would have at least a hundred different versions of monkeys in my shop.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gourmetten for Christmas

For Christmas we invited over some friends to enjoy a Dutch-style dinner. In Dutch we call it ‘gourmetten’ and it’s similar to what the Americans call raclette, apparently. But with raclette the focus is on melting cheese and with ‘gourmetten’ cheese is just a side dish, the focus is on the meat. 

It’s a do-it-yourself cook-at-the-table dinner, with lots of little meats, vegetables, little potatoes. There is one shared grill on top, and everyone has his own little pan to cook things in under the grill. It’s a lot of fun and Dutch people love doing it for Christmas.

In the Netherlands, we just go to the supermarket and buy ourselves a ‘gourmet’ platter with all kinds of little marinated meats, sausages, and tiny burgers. But they don’t sell those here. Any meat you buy here is big, very big. 

So Yasu and I had to prepare everything ourselves, we spent a lot of time in the kitchen, but it was fun to pre-cook together. We prepared lots of meaty things, like turkey cordon bleu, tiny soy pork satays, roast beef and spring onion rolls, marinated beef strips, tiny sausages, meat balls. Also some cheesy things like bread-crummed chees sticks, and sliced veggies with cheese on top. And we even made our own garlic butter, Dutch egg salad, and tuna salad to serve with the bread. We served it all with a small variety of dip sauces.

Of course, we made way too much, but we didn’t want our guests to go hungry and we can always do another ‘gourmet’ party tomorrow for the second day of Christmas (which we officially celebrate in the Netherlands). They weren’t familiar with this kind of cooking, but I’m happy to report that they loved it!

Of course, we also prepared dessert. Yasu got to bake his Christmas cookies, for which he practiced. He baked a large batch of sugar cookies, which he decorated beautifully and colorfully with icing, blue sugar and chocolate chips. His cookies were popular but not as popular as his boiled chestnuts, a popular snack in Japan, which were all gone by the end of the night (most of them left in Kosuke’s happy stomach).

I made a batch of french-vanilla-red-velvet-cream-cheese-and-walnuts cupcakes, which were huge and delicious, but I forgot to take pictures of them.

Yasu and I spent lots of hours grocery shopping and at least ten hours in the kitchen cooking and baking, but the whole process was fun to do together (it’s a good thing Yasu is on winter break now) and it was worth it. We had such a wonderful Christmas meal and our guests really enjoyed it as well. And tomorrow we get to do a private ‘gourmet’ do-over with all the leftovers. 

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas surprise

This morning I woke up to find this adorable Christmas card next to the bed telling me how happy Yasu is to be spending this Christmas and all future Christmases together. And then he starts to play his guitar and sings "All I Want For Christmas Is You" to me! Well, good morning and Merry Christmas to you too!

Twice in one week! Yasu surprises me with a lovely card and I had nothing... And on Tuesday, after it happened for the first time, I so swore to myself to ignore our 'let's-do-nothing' agreement from then on, and never be empty handed again. I had no idea it would happen again that quickly though. My husband is such a sneaky sweetheart, and he keeps on telling me not to feel guilty. But really, this will never happen again, next time I'll have something for him too. I hope...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Saved by the Internet

Before Christmas comes around us Dutchies usually send each other cards wishing people a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Having lived abroad for years now, I don't really adhere to that tradition anymore. But after I thanked my mother for the card she sent us this year, it became apparent she was expecting a card from us. 

Oops. And it was already too late to send a card from the States, it would never make it to the Netherlands in time for Christmas. 

But we live in the Age of the Internet and anything is possible there. So I gave some of this year's summer pictures a Christmas look with Picnik and turned it into a card on the Dutch Hallmark website. 

And they post the real card with a Dutch stamp somewhere within the Netherlands and that's how our impromptu card arrived today, very much on time for Christmas this year! Thank you, Mr. Internet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Celebrating again

The day that we got married we never really had any dinner, because we were on a plane to Guam, and plane food simply doesn’t qualify.

Our first night in Guam we ended up having dinner at the local Chili’s. So we thought it would be fun to celebrate our first anniversary by having dinner at Chili’s again, to reminisce about our honeymoon in Guam and our first year as a married couple.


And even though we agreed that dinner was all that we were going to do to celebrate (always thinking about our budget), Yasu surprised me with a lovely anniversary card.

But I really had nothing... Even though I had thought about getting a card myself, but in the end decided to stick to our agreement. I felt a little guilty, but I loved his surprise. He’s so sweet.

Our one-year-old secret wedding

A year ago today, Yasu and I got married in Osaka, in secret. Now that we live in the States it’s no longer a secret and I can finally show off our pictures of that day.

Don't expect pictures of us looking like a groom and bride or a wedding cake, our wedding was a very non-weddingy happening. It was just the two of us and our stamps at a very boring and busy City Hall. Our witnesses (my manager and a coworker) signed the papers beforehand at school, and we signed and most importantly stamped (stamps with your name in Kanji are more official in Japan) the papers at City Hall.

Then we handed in the papers and were told to wait among hundreds of strangers, called back a couple of times to clarify things, told to wait again and finally told that we were married. Just like that, no "Do you take.." or "I do", just "Okay everything's taken care of, you're married. Next!" A bit disappointing and a strange realization that all of a sudden we were husband and wife. 

We celebrated our sudden marriage with a lovely 'Happy Wedding' package from my parents including faux champagne, heart lollipops & chocolates, and soap bubbles.

After our little celebration over Yodogawa river, we biked to Osaka's tallest building, the Umeda Sky Building, which we listed this building as our official address on the marriage documents (don't worry it's legal). We had a pink heart-shaped lock engraved with our names and the date and locked it forever (at least that's the idea, we'll see when we visit with our kids in twenty years) on top of the Umeda Sky Building. 

We also wrote little messages to our new spouse on star-shaped paper ornaments for the building's Christmas tree. And then we quickly headed to the airport to start our two-week honeymoon in Guam!

This wedding was necessary for us to be together now, we've done the (extremely) long distance thing for more than 3 years, and we absolutely did not want to do it again. We'd already been together for 6 years and we knew we were going to be married someday anyway, hence our non-happening of a wedding.

But someday we're going to get married properly, complete with the suit, the dress, the cake, the rings and wedding guests. But that's one expensive party, so that'll have to wait until we can afford it. But we're together now and that's all that matters. And tonight we're going to celebrate our first anniversary as a married couple. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The other Bowl

A while back we went to check out this amazingly impressive supermarket in Berkeley that Yasu heard about at school. We weren’t very impressed and later learned we went to the wrong one, so today we went to the right one: Berkeley Bowl West.

And again we weren’t impressed, especially since Yasu was told that this one was 8 to 9 times larger than the other Berkeley Bowl. Ehm, not really, not even twice as big. Both Bowls are quite similar, the second one is newer and a bit cleaner though. And there’s a free shuttle from the BART station to take you there, which is nice for non-car-owners like us.

There’s one thing I really do like about both Bowls and that’s their produce department. They are rather sizable and their produce is actually fresh. Which seems to be quite an accomplishment in this area.

But they don’t always have the right sizes: either too tiny or too large. Grocery shopping isn’t always easy in the States.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yasu bakes

Yasu wants to bake cookies for Christmas, and so he will. Today he practiced by making two cookie-brownie cakes, while looking cute in my flowery apron.

He was surprised by how much work it was, but he did an awesome job. He did it all by himself, I just took the pictures. He was so proud of his work and his cakes are really delicious. 

He’s ready for Christmas cookies now!

Renegade

I dragged Yasu to a craft fair with me today. It was one of Renegade’s fairs, which I’ve seen popping up on creative blogs all over the web for more than a year. So I was happy to finally visit one myself. And Yasu was so patient, following me around from booth to booth, it’s a good thing he’s on winter break.

I didn’t buy anything because I was there to experience not to shop. Besides we’re living on a budget so we can’t afford handmade pretties anyway.

It was really interesting to see the hundreds of booths, and it was fun to fantasize having my own booth. I wondered how I would decorate it and showcase my products.

Maybe someday, but for now I’m happy with my little online shop.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Party

We usually decline party invitations because they’re usually later in the evening. And going back home after a party will inevitably end up being somewhere in the middle of the night and we just don’t feel safe on the San Francisco streets at night. Oh, how I miss never being afraid at night in Japan...

Besides Yasu and I aren’t such party animals, but I’m sure Bradley and Hannah have a hard time believing this after last night. Yesterday, Bradley and Hannah were hosting an end-of-semester party at their lovely apartment. Best part was that it started during the afternoon so we were pretty certain we’d be able to make it home before the city got scary.

But we didn’t. 

We were having too much fun to go home. It was great to catch up with people, to eat Hannah’s delicious foods, to drink Bradley’s alcoholic coffee-mint concoctions, and to play a card-drinking game called the Circle of Death. 

And instead of going home before 11 like the others and making sure to be back in bed on time like a proper 30-year-old, we went to some bar with Hannah and Bradley and danced (yes, really!) until the bar closed. And they actually wanted to see my passport to see whether I was old enough to enter, I guess tipsy looks young on me :)! We ended up crashing on their living-room futon like a couple of true party animals. What a fun party that was.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Celebration

When we lived in Japan we went out to dinner at least once a day, but here we eat our meals at home. It's cheaper, healthier and usually tastier too. But today was a special day, so we decided to go out for dinner to celebrate Yasu's birthday. 

We bought ourselves a Groupon for Rocketfish, a Japanese tapas restaurant somewhere in San Francisco. The food was very nice but extremely expensive, even with a 50% discount from Groupon. So I wouldn't really recommend this place unless you have way too much money to spend, or are in a hurry (service is uncomfortably quick).

In the spirit of being frugal we decided not to do gifts anymore, not for anniversaries, not for Christmas and also not for birthdays. But I felt really weird about not having a gift for his birthday, so when Yasu was at school today I made him a tiny keychain. We always get our keys mixed up, so it was a functional gift too. And Yasu loved it!

But my real birthday surprise for him was waiting at home. I baked him an actual birthday cake and decorated it myself. It consisted of two layers, a red velvet on top of a french vanilla layer, cream cheese frosting and nuts everywhere. The baking and frosting the cake weren't that hard, but the decorating was. 

YouTube videos make anything look easy, but writing '27' and 'Yasu' on the cake was a challenge, to say the least. Still the end product looked colorful and pretty happy, thanks to hundreds of tiny chocolate chips.

But what matters most was that Yasu was so surprised and happy to see the cake, to blow out the candles, and of course to eat it! It was his first time to receive such a personalized birthday cake. Even though we just celebrated his birthday between the two of us today, he let me know it was the best birthday he ever had! Success!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Happy birthday Yasu!

Almost 7 years ago I met Yasu for the first time, he was just 20 and a little weird (at least in my opinion). This is a picture of us on our first real date 7 years ago, during our last week in Atlanta. Two young people who had no idea idea that 7 years later they'd be married and living in the States again.

And today we celebrate his 27th birthday! One year closer to my 30 years of age, but I'm afraid he'll never catch up with me. I already suggested a trade, because age just looks better on men, but he doesn't want to swap with me. Lucky man. As long as we're together he'll never have to feel old.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Snowy men

I love snow. I miss snow. I always dream of a white Christmas, but haven't seen one in ages. They had a white Christmas in my home country last year, but then I was in Guam, where they definitely don't get snow. And this Christmas I'll be here in San Francisco, and unfortunately it never gets cold enough for snow here. 

So I have been creating some snow of my own, in the shape of snowman ornaments. Meet this group of cold cousins: Billy, Cody, Jerry, Lenny, and Ronny. Watch out when you hug them, they're prone to melt in warm arms.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Flamingo dance

A while back we had lots of fun in some hat store in Berkeley, and I just found this short video on my iPhone of Yasu that makes me so happy.


The appropriate ending to this song*: "I'm told that I'm a little crazy, but that is totally okay!" 

*Always On My Mind - The Guest

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Christmas lights

No Christmas tree for us this year, but we did get 300 colorful Christmas lights to brighten up our apartment.
I love Christmas, and I love our lights. Someday when we live in a real house we'll get a tree and some ornaments to go with these lights.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy birthday Moem!

Today my mother turns 48! Which is very young considering she has a 30-year-old daughter! Look at how cute she used to be (when she was just a little younger than 48):
Well, she's still adorable. I wish I could celebrate her birthday with her today, especially since she's in the hospital now, recuperating from her spine-tumor-removal surgery. I will just have to celebrate her from here, so I'm going to bake a cake in her honor today, send her a picture, and then eat it with Yasu while wishing her a lots of good health and love for her special day. And we already sung her a birthday song through skype > land line phone > cell phone > hospital phone, the connection sucked but she loved it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Going to see Harry Potter

The new Harry Potter movie premiered last week, but I contained myself and was somehow able to wait until today to go and see it. I'm over-the-top excited and I have high expectations!
Of course, Yasu is coming with me to see the movie but he's less excited than I am. The story is a little complicated for him and he doesn't read novels so just telling him to read the books doesn't help. So last week I spend an evening telling him the big picture of all seven books, so that he will be able to fully understand and enjoy the movie tonight. Going over the most important story lines with Yasu really made me wish I had all seven books here with me in the States, so I can read the story over and over again. Just for fun! I'm going to get a box with all seven books someday and read them to him and our kiddies.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Windows

This is what the windows in San Francisco were telling us today. Interesting messages, but not sure if they apply or not.
But I do consider people living in pretty San Francisco houses lucky, and a fire alarm on the sidewalk is rather weird.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hats hats hats

What's more fun than trying on hats? Yeah, can't think of anything better either! Bryna (one of Yasu's schoolfriends) introduced us to a store called Berkeley Hats where they have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of hats. Hats are everywhere, on the floor, on the walls, on the counters, on the ceilings, on the customers, where ever you looked there were new hats to discover!
Most of the hats they sell are 'serious' hats, like to protect your head from the cold, to dress up like cowboys during Bon Jovi concerts, to wear on the golf court, to look cool when you're with your fashion sensitive friends or for fancy tea parties with the queen. But we enjoyed the 'crazy' hats the most.
A turkey hat and Christmas tree hat for the holidays, a colorful mohawk and fluffy yak for our cold winter ears and a mushroom hat when you want to pretend you're in Mario-world.
This is a great place to go when you need a Halloween costume, they have so many options and it's not so expensive. We already found some good candidates for next year, a farao, a flamingo, a chicken or a deep sea diver. Hmm difficult...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Layers

It's getting cold here, and it's almost December so it's about time. It's nowhere near freezing though, I guess that's too much to expect in California anyway. It is cloudy, rainy and sunny, which is the perfect recipe for a nice rainbow.
It may not be freezing but I get cold really easily. So today I wore a lot of clothes: two turtlenecks, four sweaters of which two really thick ones, a scarf, a tuque, fingerless gloves, jeans, two pairs of socks, winter slippers and two blankets wrapped around my waist. Yasu made fun of me, I did kind of look like a homeless person, and all I was doing was surfing the Internet. You'd think I was getting ready for some ice skating championship.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Louana the Second

My sweet mother is in the hospital now awaiting surgery on a tumor in her spinal cord. It really sucks that I’m so far away and can’t really be there for her. She has already forbidden me to use my frequent flier miles to come home... Several times. She wants me to save them for her 50th birthday in two years, which she deems a much better occasion to come home for. So I needed to think of another way to be there for her in this terrible time, so I’ve created a mini-me:

She’s actually much prettier and cuter than me and the only things we really have in common are our long brown hair and the mole next to our noses. I’m a little jealous of her and she gets to travel really cheaply, her plane ride to the Netherlands was less than $10!

Yasu really likes her too, so it’s a good thing I sent her to my mom, so that Yasu doesn’t have to divide his attention between us.

My mother opened her package with mini Louana in it today, in her hospital room in front of the Skype camera (hospitals these days are pretty modern). And she loved the doll - it took her a while to recognize who she was, but the mole did the trick - and she even cried when she read the purple note hiding in the doll’s tummy pocket. My mom has never been the over-emotional type, but ever since she’s been in the hospital and on lots of morfine she has no problem sharing her feelings with us. She’s become quite sentimental. It’s a bit funny but I like it. And now my mom has a way to hug me whenever she wants.

Translation of the purple note: “My name is Louana the Second, and I love my sweet mom very, very much. Unfortunately, my mom is in the hospital right now and not doing well physically, so she needs many hugs from her daughter (Louana the First). But Louana the First lives quite far away, but don’t worry, there is a connection between us, kind of like an invisible USB cable, or WiFi, or even better LouFi! So when you hug me really hard, the hug will travel through LouFi and be received by Louana the First just moments later! Oh, kisses will travel through LouFi as well!”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cupcakes and muffins

I keep on baking, some weeks more than others, but I want to become an experienced baker someday. Just before Halloween I made some bloody cupcakes with Frankenstein hair and brains, a.k.a. red velvet cupcakes with green butter cream icing. They were pretty easy with those packages from the supermarket but also extremely sweet, which makes them even more American to me. I definitely need to adjust the recipe, or start cooking them from scratch to get a less sweet result. But for a first try at cupcakes they were fun, especially messing around with icing, and edible. I read somewhere that muffins are just ugly cupcake wannabes, but my muffins definitely look prettier than my cupcakes.
I tried pumpkin spice muffins a while back, and they were okay, but small and a bit sticky. This time I didn't follow the recipe on the box (because I'd thrown away the box last time) and just did what seemed right, resulting in a thicker batter. I also kept them in the oven longer and the muffins turned out much bigger and fluffier. Great! Once I've got the baking from supermarket boxes down I'm going to move on to baking from scratch. Baby steps.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How-to cook Japanese curry (by Yasu)

Have your wife send you a box of curry roux from Japan when you're living with your inlaws in the Netherlands. Then forget to cook it before your wife also comes to the Netherlands and you move to the States. Then have your wife bring the box with her on the airplane when she follows you to the States a week later. Then wait three months before finally using it.
Put on your wife's pretty apron. Then chop onions, carrots and potato. Then stir-fry them in oil. Then add bite-sized beef and stir-fry it along with the veggies.
At the same time boil eggs in a frying pan, the Yasu-way, and they'll turn out perfectly.
Add water. Then occasionally stir while you let it sit for about 15 minutes.
Check out what's inside the box of curry roux. 
Add the chocolate-looking curry to the pan and stir. Then stir some more until it looks like this:
Don't forget to smell and taste the curry along the way to check if it's really what you want it to be.
Serve the curry on steamed white rice with the boiled eggs and some sliced cucumber when you don't have actual tsukemono (Japanese pickles).
 Admire your dinner and wait for your wife to complement your cooking.
Then eat!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Grocery shopping

We weren't able to get all of our groceries at the Berkeley Bowl this week so I convinced Yasu to come with me to the local Lucky, to get the rest and to experience a huge American supermarket. Which is quite a spectacle for us foreigners, and that's why Yasu wanted to go the Berkeley Bowl. But we ended up going to the wrong one, the little sister of the original Berkeley Bowl, rumored to be the biggest supermarket ever. The one we visited was a bit dissapointing, but we'll go to the big Bowl for sure someday soon.
We started off our Lucky's adventure with a little Starbucks date, and I got to try the Peppermint Mocha coffee, which was good but tasted more like hot cocoa than coffee. Then Yasu got to be impressed by Lucky's. Not the produce department - which is really below par,  I've never seen so many soft tomatoes and fungussy strawberries in my life - but by the long aisles of hundreds of sodas, chips and cereals, packaged meats, huge turkeys, and the enormous frozen food department. Also quite different here are the size of things, just look at the sandwich Yasu is holding! 
There is so much to see and buy in the typical American supermarket and it was quite overwhelming the first time I went there. My trip to the grocery store takes me about two hours every week, and Yasu now understands why. I just wish I had a car to bring everything home in, but for now my crappy American bike and huge Ikea bag will have to suffice, to bring our food home.

Monday, November 08, 2010

An afternoon in Berkeley

When we were out exploring Berkeley today we stumbled upon a bus that looked quite shocking:
We tried to find out what had happened by asking bystanders and they seemed convinced some kind of bomb exploded because all the windows were shattered (at least as they could see from the side we were on). the inside was totally burnt out and the engine seemed to be totally fine and unburned. Yasu and I had actually seen huge clouds of smoke in the distance about an hour earlier when we left the train station. So people concluded it happened more than an hour ago and all the victims were already taken from the scene by ambulances. I just hoped nobody had been seriously hurt.
Yasu desperately needed a haircut and the salon was right across the bus scene. The hairdressers told us that something under the bus had suddenly caught fire several hours earlier, and that the bus driver had gotten all the passengers out quickly and safely. The bus had been burning for a while before the fire department came to put out the fire. The firefighters had broken half of the windows in the bus in order to put out the fire inside the bus better. Great, no terrorist attack and no casualties, except for the bus of course.
Sorry, forgot to take before and after pictures of Yasu's hair but I got some 'during the haircut' pictures while the lady with the razor was telling us the bus story.

The reason we were in Berkeley was actually to do some grocery shopping at the Berkeley Bowl, the biggest and most impressive supermarket ever, according to one of Yasu's classmates anyway. Yasu wanted to check it out and I also though it would be fun to do some groceries together for a change. The produce department was impressive. 
They had loads of seasonal products like pumpkins of course and also produce I know from home but sold in a very different way, like Brussels sprouts still on their stalks. Didn't even know they grew on stalks, but I don't know a lot. They also had weird produce, like kiwis in the shape of fans (sorry no picture), tomatoes in the shapes of pumpkins and bell peppers in all colors, even purple, and cauliflower in rather sick colors, green, orange and again purple. No thanks.
Although, the supermarket's produce department was amazing, because of quantity and quality (the supermarket near us can learn a LOT from the Berkeley Bowl), the rest of the supermarket wasn't impressive at all, a little dirty and unorganized and rather small. Apparently, we'd gone to the wrong Berkeley Bowl, the original one is about 8 to 9 times larger than the one we visited. Well, I'm not sure if I believe that, so we'll just have to check that out another time!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Fall seems to have arrived

Even though the weather and temperature here in middle California still reminds me of summer most of the time, it really does appear to be autumn right now. 
Colored leaves on the trees and fallen leaves decorating the sidewalks everywhere, those are definite signs of fall. But the weather keeps confusing me. I wonder what winter in this part of California will be like.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

30 years ago

In 1980 my mother was pregnant with me. While I lived in her comfortable and warm tummy, people were already taking pictures of me.
Then on August 11 at 11:02 in the morning my mother gave birth to me. She was only seventeen and already a mother to a baby girl.
In the Netherlands it’s common to send birth cards to family and friends to announce the birth of a new baby. This was mine:
Card translation: "After months of waiting their wish was finally fulfilled, I am their first child and they call me Louana. I was born at 11:02 am and I weighed 7 pounds. My mommy and daddy are: Robert and Louise van Luttervelt."
 
I loved hanging out with my mommy, especially when she fed me with a bottle (for some reason I didn’t like breast feeding). And I got used to smiling for the camera at a very young age.
As you may have guessed I’m organizing old pictures. I scanned all the analog pictures I could find in the house before I moved to Japan and threw them in a file on my hard drive. All this time they’ve been out of order and patiently waiting for me to organize them. I’ve finally started, I wonder how long this is going to take me...