Saturday, December 16, 2017

Fall Memories

Japan in the Fall is quite possibly the best time of year! 
 The combination of great weather, fall leaves, and a boy that loves to be outside made for some great memories.

First Time Meeting Santa

Luke's first Santa Claus experience at the ward party! 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Hartleys in Japan!

Makenzie and Smitty came to Japan for two weeks for a BABY-MOON! It was such a fun surprise to find out they are having another baby and spending time with them! They are so dang fun, they really know how to vacation right. They did 7 days in Tokyo and another 7 days taking the JR pass and exploring all over Japan.

We loved spending time with them!!  Highlights in Tokyo: Maid Cafe for "Smitty's Birthday," Melon Pan & vending machine finds, Onsen runs, Kenzie and Riley's arcade basketball shoot-off, and exploring the best of Tokyo's park's, views, and food.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

We spent the last two Thanksgivings with the Budge Family in our ward.  They are seriously the greatest. Becky is now pregnant with her fifth kid in January and she put on such an amazing dinner and display! Feels like America in there home. It was crazy reflecting on the previous year and how much change has happened between the two thanksgiving dinners.

Thanksgiving 2016, we had been in Tokyo just a couple months and hardly knew anyone and Riley was still getting adjusted to job and I was not even showing yet in my pregnancy. Then this year we had Luke with us, and surrounded by so many people we have come to love and consider practically family and just felt so good and so much to be grateful for. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Afternoon in November at Miyajima Island

During our weekend trip, we took a ferry to Miyajima Island. It is home of the  iconic "floating" torii gate and the world's largest wooden ladle! It was such a fun afternoon- going through the little vendor shops, seeing the fearless deers, and watching the sun go down. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Hiroshima Peace Memorial

We took a little weekend trip to Hiroshima and visited the Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Park. The park was beautiful with all the fall leaves and colors. I loved that the focus was on "peace" and honoring the lives of those that died in the Atomic Bomb. 

It was also a really sad and heavy place. . .  It was hard to see the images and read stories from the attack and aftermath years later of the nuclear bomb. It was eye opening and made me at moments sad to be American. I'm grateful though for the peace we have now and friendship, and hope this history never repeats.