Friday, December 05, 2014

Blog Move

I have been redesiging my blog over the last few months and found myself increasingly dissatisfied with Blogger's limitations. I started experimenting on Wordpress, and I'm in love. I've imported my blog there and have already added new posts in the last month. Everything posted and commented previouly will be visible on Wordpress, anything new on Wordpress will not show here on Blogger. 

So if you want to keep up with this Dutchie, her Japanese husband and their little one due in April, come check us out on Wordpress.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Little one loading: 30% complete

Yes! I am pregnant!

There is a little one currently growing in my belly, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve been together for more than 10 years and during all those 10 years we’ve been talking about having children together, some day. Some day is finally here!

Even though it was only our third month trying, I already felt pretty desperate to get pregnant, because I had been looking forward to being pregnant for years. The negative pregnancy test the previous month trying was pretty depressing, and I wasn’t sure how many more times I could handle that. I took a home pregnancy test at 5 am, when Yasu was still fast asleep, and anxiously waited for 3 minutes to turn over the stick and discover TWO lines!

I was ecstatic but it was also very surreal (I took a second test the next day just to make sure). It was impossible to surprise Yasu because as soon as I woke him up he asked whether my pregnancy test was positive. Yes! Yes!

We hugged, kissed, rolled around in excitement, fantasized about raising our baby and teaching it Dutch and Japanese, but mostly tried to comprehend our luck and our reality. It started to sink in, and this overwhelming feeling of happiness and unbelief and gratefulness. And the tears, so many happy tears. Yasu hugged me as I cried, deliriously happy. We are going to be a mommy and a daddy!

When we found out back in August, we were already in celebratory mode, from my birthday earlier that week and more importantly from Yasu scoring an amazing full time permanent job at the university. And now we’re expecting a baby! Our lives are no longer on hold, like they were in the States, we are moving ahead. We are ready for this, bring it on!

The baby, a.k.a. Akachan (Japanese for baby) at 7 weeks.

Akachan today, at 12 weeks, 30% complete.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mission accomplished

Our trip to Japan had a purpose, besides fun, it was for Yasu to renew his driver's license. 

His Japanese license expired when we lived in the States. We could not renew it from there, so we both took an American driver's exam and passed, easily. We were going to swap our American licenses for new English ones, but unfortunately, the UK does not regard the American license good enough. I guess someone has told them how easy the exams are in the States.

Thankfully, it is possible to swap Dutch and Japanese licenses for English ones. I have a Dutch one and now Yasu has a new Japanese one. Soon we'll have English ones.

Now that the official part of our trip is over, it is time to enjoy all that Japan has to offer: food, friends and fun!
Since the license renewal is in Akashi, we started our food adventure with eggy octopus balls (akashiyaki). Look at the joy in this boy's face when eating his country's delicious food:
Dinner was chicken wings (tebasaki) from an old Nagoya favorite, Yamachan, which finally opened up shop in Osaka as well. So good.

We have a long list of people to meet up with here and tonight we met up with Natsuko and Tomomi, two old AEON coworkers. It was lovely to see these two ladies again.
And we did purikura!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Back in Japan!

Today we traveled. First to my home country and then to his home country.

We got up in the middle of the night to take a bus to Manchester Airport, where a plane to the Netherlands was waiting for us.
We spent a few hours in Amsterdam, ran a few errands, bought a few Dutch groceries, and took a plane to Japan.
We've been so excited to go to Japan, we haven't been there since we left in 2010 to move to San Francisco. We miss so much from Japan and we can't wait to indulge ourselves in anything and everything Japanese during the coming two weeks. So we need a lot of yen!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Living in the park

We've been living in the park for about a month now, and so far we're loving it! Our new "street" is so beautiful and peaceful.
Even the steps up to our place on the fourth floor are pretty. Yes, we're living on the fourth floor again, just like in the States. But in this building we get to enter on the second floor, so we have to climb one less flight of stairs, which really does make quite the difference.
I've been unpacking after work and on the weekends and I'm finally ready to welcome people in to come and have a look. So let's go in!
For some reason I  really loved the long hallway in our old apartment on Corbar Hill, and when we went to view this place I was hoping for another long hallway. I was not disappointed, and this hallway is even longer.
The doors have pretty glass windows and there's a long ladder in the landing, that can be used to enter the attic. I have not been up there because I am afraid of getting on and off ladders, but Yasu has been up there and it's huge. It even has three skylights, so technically we could turn into another room, but for now it just holds our moving boxes.
I am happy to report that all the pretty doors actually close, which is a nice change from the other apartment.
The landing is so large, we kind of consider it another room and we're currently using it as our dining room.
Our favorite room right now is probably the living room.
It's because this room has the big purple couch which is just super comfortable.
We like relaxing here together in the evenings, during and after dinner. Even though we have a dining room now, we got into the habit of eating dinner in the living room in the old place, and we still like doing that here. We really ought to be using the dining room though.
I love the little round wall in the corner next to the door.
The bedroom is right next door to the living room.
This room comes with lots of built-in storage, which is awesome.
Our previous bedroom did not have any storage so we bough a huge wardrobe and a drawer chest. We brought it over to the new place and now have way too much storage! Perhaps we should buy more clothes.
The hallway to the landing is on the inside of the living room's round wall.
The bedroom is on the park side of the building, so the view is spectacular.
We have so many rooms in this place, that besides Yasu's office at the university (which is just a 5 minute walk from here) he now gets to have a home office as well. He doesn't have a lot of furniture yet, but he loves his room nonetheless.
This room comes with another built-in wardrobe, so we have even more space to store stuff.
Yasu may not have a lot of furniture now, but he does have a beautiful view from his desk.
We had two bathrooms in the previous apartment, but we only have one here. Which is more than enough, because we never seemed to want to take a shower at the same time anyways. Having two toilets was nice though, but we'll get used to having just one again.
We're glad this bathroom doesn't have a bath, because we are shower-ers.
Our new kitchen is a lot bigger than the old one! We now have two ovens and even space for a microwave again. 
We also love our new washer-dryer. I do not miss going to the laundromat. I used to do that in the States and it was such a waste of time.
And last, but not least, my new studio. Which comes with a decorative fireplace, just like the living room.
This room is very big, the previous tenants even used it as a living room. I don't have enough stuff to fill it up, but I don't mind, it's very spacious now.
Lots of light in this room because it has two windows.
This apartment is probably the best thing about living in England. No matter how much I would like to move back to Japan, I don't want to leave this apartment. Especially, since apartments in Japan are so tiny and so expensive. So for now, we are thoroughly enjoying the enormous amount of space in our English apartment, because who knows where we'll be in a couple of years. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ten years

Ten years ago today, in a different time zone, we shared our first official kiss! In Yasu's dorm room in Spice House on Emory University's Frat Row, in Georgia, USA.

Ten years of travels, international moves, and adventures later, we are still sharing kisses. 

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Last to leave

My mom has been here for more than two glorious weeks, but sadly today she had to go home.

We had so much fun and quality time together. One of the biggest drawbacks of living abroad is being far away from your family. Of course, with today's technology we are all in constant contact with each other, but nothing is as good as a real visit, when you can really hug and kiss someone.

She now knows her way around Buxton, Manchester and everywhere in between by bus, so she is confident she can make it to the airport herself. We dropped her off at the bus stop here in Buxton and spent a few more minutes together.

Unfortunately, the bus came much too quickly and we had to say goodbye, but I have a feeling she will be back soon. This year.

We live so close to the Netherlands now, she'll be unstoppable. And we don't mind at all!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Moem at Corbar Cross

Today we did it. We finally convinced my mom to hike up to Corbar Cross with us!

We've been talking about going up there way before she even arrived here two weeks ago. But she simply would not be convinced to come up there with us until today. Not even on New Year's Day when all her kids went up there. Too cold and wet for her, even though she had enough gear to protect her from the elements, she even bought waterproof and warm hiking boots especially...

She's leaving Buxton tomorrow, so today was our last chance. She was saying things like "we'll do it next time I'm in Buxton", but I was adamant. I knew she would love it up there, and there's no time like the present. I'm still not sure how we changed her mind today, but she came! And as predicted she absolutely loved it!
I think she's become quite the country gal up there on Corbar Hill.

She and Yasu even ended up chasing a herd of sheep, until one of them angrily stamped back at them and they finally hurried back.  I was happy they were safe again until they tried to get the attention of a Longhorn Buffalo Bull, which was even scarier than stamping sheep. Luckily, the bull couldn't care less about them yelling at him and they gave up and climbed down the hill with me back down to Buxton.

I knew she would love it up there, and she sure is happy she climbed up Corbar Hill with us!