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Top 10 Reasons You Know You’ve Lived in Japan For a While

With our up-coming move back to the States, I’ve been reminiscing about our time here in Japan. Will I miss it? Yes. Would I want to come back here again? Probably not. It’s been a pretty long and difficult time for our family while living here – a lot of it due to Adam being gone so much and my health issues I dealt with while no family is around to help. (Thankfully, I’ve got military family though that stepped up in many amazing ways! You ladies are awesome!) So, with the past three years in mind, here is a quick list I put together.


You know you’ve lived in Japan for a while when…

-looking online for potential houses to purchase back in the States, you find a really nice 2,700 sq. ft. house and your first thought is, “Bummer, I probably wouldn’t be able to vacuum the entire house while plugged into one outlet.” 

-your two-year-old thinks trains are the main way of transportation. (She will be sorely disappointed when we move to Mississippi!)

-on said train, you feel the need to shush your child when they talk at a normal decibel level because it’s usually quiet enough to hear a pin drop.

-a store is 7 miles away and you plan for it to take an hour to get there. And are pleasantly surprised when you make it in that amount of time.

-shopping at a local store, you can leave your stroller with your purse sitting outside and are confident it will all be there when you exit twenty minutes later.

-you know all the good online stores that ship and how quickly it will take to get here.

-you think driving on the left side of the road is completely normal and it scares you to think about driving back on the right side.

-you always take along a full meal for your children when going out to eat because you don’t know what exactly you will get when you order.

-you find yourself bowing your head to everyone you pass, including fellow Americans.

-driving down the road, you see a car and think, “wow, that’s a nice looking car!” and then realize it’s a Toyota Prius.



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Soaking It All In

The dread of another deployment is looming.

The bags are starting to be packed. Wills and powers of attorney renewed. His favorite foods are  slowly disappearing from our pantry shelves. The simple things of everyday life are gradually changing.

I’m not a newbie when it comes to deployment. I’ve put in my time from being away from my husband. Deployments will never get easier as each one comes up, but my ability to handle and process it – the emotional and mental toll – just might be getting a little better each time.

I notice my bedtime shifts back later and later in the closing weeks before they leave, trying to hold on to and enjoy these last snippets of time together before he’s gone again. I’ve started to plan things, especially those first few weeks after his departure, to keep busy. I find busy-ness is the key to a successful shift of Daddy home then Daddy gone.

I’ve begun talking with our two-year-old, trying to prep her for the separation from the most important man in her life – her Daddy, buddy, and best friend. We’ve been watching Talk, Listen, Connect more recently. She’s a strong little girl and I know this time away from Daddy will only strengthen my relationship with her. Thankfully, her sister Scarlett is only a year old and will most likely not be affected in the same way, as she can’t really understand time and the concept of separation just yet.

While this deployment will be similar in that Adam is gone from us, it also brings a bit of excitement for us seeing as it’s our last one before we move onto our shore tour. We simply cannot wait to move from Japan to the land we know as home, where Adam will be around much more and get to experience the true every day life for a few years.

So, if I’m not around as much over the next little while, you understand why. We’re soaking up and enjoying as much time as we can with my husband, our little girls’ Daddy, before that good-bye comes again much too soon.

Our homecoming last November. We are already counting down the days to this years’ homecoming!


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A Marriage Post


Adam and I have recently begun the Real Marriage series by Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill church in Seattle. I feel it’s always a good time to go through marriage material with your spouse, whether you feel you need it or not. Outside of Christ and the church, there is no perfect marriage, which means everyone has room to improve – Adam and I included.

So, a couple weeks ago we began this marriage series done by Mark and his wife Grace and I love it so far! They also wrote a book which is what this sermon series is based on. I highly recommend it to everyone! He mentions in the first sermon that this is not only directed towards married couples, but also engaged, dating and even single people. Which means every one of you will get something out of it!

Here is the link to the sermons.

I hope you and your spouse, fiancé, or boyfriend/girlfriend get as much out of it as we have thus far!

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On This Day of Love

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I totally lucked out with marrying the best man on the face of this earth. Seriously. Sorry to all of you who were looking for Mr. Right, because I’ve snatched him up and I’m not letting him go!

Adam and I met 13 years ago, in high school. We had a few classes together Freshmen year. We began hanging out with the same group of friends our Junior year and by Senior year, he asked me to go out on a double date with another couple. Unfortunately {or fortunately?} they couldn’t make it that night, so we went ahead with just the two of us. We went skating in downtown Grand Rapids, holding hands and talking forever, and, well, the rest is history. Five years of dating, and then five wonderful years of marriage later… I couldn’t be more blessed!

It’s funny how when you are growing up, you hear from seasoned married people how each year just gets better and better. I always thought that was just a nice thing to say in front of their spouse because they didn’t want them to feel bad. But, how true it is! Every single year that I’m married to Adam, it just gets better and better.

In many ways, Adam and I question why we had to move to Japan. It was our last possible choice, and we honestly had no desire to live in Asia. Europe? Yes. Asia? No way. Nothing about this country or continent was a desirable place for us to live. But, I’m coming to realize now that one of the reasons we moved here was for our marriage. There’s nothing like moving to the opposite side of the world to make you fully rely on your spouse. Adam and I no longer had the chance to turn to our close friends or family when things got tough. Instead, we had to fully turn to each other to help us get through whatever came up. Not that we hadn’t before we moved, but there was absolutely no other option.

And now, having lived in Japan for 2.5 years and with our move back to the States coming in the next six months or so, I can be thankful for our three years here. I don’t look at these years as wasted. Sure, I’ve missed out on the birth of my niece {and still haven’t met her a full year later}, graduations, funerals, and other milestones. But, what I’ve gained has been an insurmountable faith in God and love for my husband.

Life can be such a mystery. The unexpected happens and we are left to question why. We may find that answer immediately, or it may take a couple years to come around and then, it hits you hard. God always has a reason for everything. It’s understanding why that’s the hardest part.

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