Wednesday, September 23, 2020

First Stop, California!

The first few days we spent in California! This was long overdue. The last time we were at Grandma and Grandpa Stevenson’s house together Luke was Clay’s age (7 months old)! We had a great few days with a couple beautiful hikes, yummy food, pool time, and some great grandparent bonding for the kids.

Julene had so many great toys saved from Riley’s childhood and more and would pull them out and then play together for hours. David came in for the win helping get suits and find clothes for the kids for wedding and everything. We were so spoiled with love and bellies filled with long missed foods from America including multiple bags of spicy chips for me.

Always blown away by the generosity and thoughtfulness of Riley’s parents. They are the ultimate grandparents with the kids too and so grateful they came and helped us drive to Utah, and Idaho. So excited thinking we have more time together in the tail end of the trip!










Spontaneous America Trip!


In September, the Japan border restrictions lifted for Japanese residence to travel and return back home. We had canceled our trip to the US earlier in the summer because we wouldn’t have be able to return home.


We were bummed, but had planned a new adventure within japan as an alternative trip. We were actually booking our flights to Hokkaido, when Riley decided to look to see how much it would be to fly to the US and found a seriously great affordable flight that we couldn’t pass up. It was in three days!

We booked a 2 month trip home to the states, Riley would work japan hours (5pm to 3am) from US and we would catch up on family time and introduce Clay to the grandparents, see Whitney after her mission return, and make it just in time for Ethan and Chelsea’s wedding! It’s been a dream come true, and the hours haven’t been as terrible as anticipated for Riley (knock on wood).

We called up Riley’s parents and confirmed things and they were on board, even cancelling their flights to help drive with us to Utah for the wedding (another tender mercy). We surprised siblings and my family and it’s been a great few weeks and my heart is especially full.

Sad empty airports. Strange times. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Rainbow Bridge Run


We ran across Tokyo’s iconic rainbow bridge from our house this month! Riley did it first and raves about it all week and the following week I did it. Another half-marathon for the books! We both decided it made the “top 5 fav run" of all-time and had to document it. 

It’s been running lately that has filled me with gratitude  and strengthened my love for Japan and for where we live now, knowing what a unique opportunity it is. I know one day I will miss running these streets and always having something new to discover. There is something so beautiful about running, about using your body as means of transportation to experience a world that only exists on foot. I had to stop on the bridge and snap a few photos and a sweaty selfie! 







I’m not fast or a talented runner, I have no idea why rhythmically lifting both feet off the ground and awkward arm swings and labored breath can be so appealing... but running has been a source of joy and satisfaction my whole life.  Running has helped me through some of the most challenging times and been a way to get headspace and unwind. These days it’s the way I connect with my self again and feel alive, not weighed down from carrying kids and keeping up with the constant demands that come with little ones. A chance to unplug from the world, ponder and be grateful for body and free.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Chronicles of Clay- 7 Months


Today makes 7 months with our little, big Clay! You have to watch Clay closely-- he is a full-time moving vacuum cleaner and destroyer of Luke's towers.  He choked a few times and even swallowed and digested some clay (playdough) that was later found in diaper. Luke is always building road-blocks in attempts to keep him from knocking down his creations. He started more solids, grew a few more teeth (zoom in to see those front ones) and is biting, and even pulling himself up on things! Growing way too fast. Clay has been initiated into the daily home wresting matches and loves playing with Luke (until things get too rough anyways).  Let the games begin!
 Avocado boogies
Big fans of PB over here, Clay included


 This boy is in everything, 2 minutes later the tomatoes were all over the floor. . . 

They share clothes: one day Luke, next day Clay, half-way through day, dirty clothes bin.
 Train adventures
both outside and indoors, see luke's train below 

these days are SO hot. . , 

. . . that one time Luke took a nap and Clay! Nap eclipse. I just decided to sit and enjoy the moment. 
The sleeping arrangement these days. . . 

Going to have to lower the crib, pulling himself up 


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Donut Date


Luke has been borderline obsessed with donuts this year. It's been pretty funny, as we haven't ever ate them but we made a cardboard donut shop and talk about donuts often. One 'bucketlist' item for America was going to a donut shop, but as we aren't going anytime soon I decided to take the boys on a donut date in Harajuku. The shop was ironically very American themed and was a fun little date. Not sure if donuts lived up to Luke's expectations, as halfway through his donut he stopped and wanted icecream . . .




Thought it was cute they misspelled California, also donut price = $4 USD 





Such a perfect message for this time: