10 Things from July

Ermergerd. I have officially started my third year as an ALT.

In some ways, it doesn’t even feel like that amount of time has already passed. By day, the hours seem to drag on (especially around this time of the year when classes aren’t in session) but overall, two years have passed since Trevor and I have left Minnesota.

I was looking through some of my older blog posts, in particular the one about our New Years in Hongu. I had written some goals that I hoped to achieve and looking back… well, let’s just say the whole goal thing fizzled miserably 😦 But I don’t want to wait again until January to “start again”- it would just feel like an endless cycle. I admit I’ve been slacking on exercising but have just recently started again, forcing myself to wake up early to go out on my morning jog when I can. I also haven’t been doing my “two blog posts a month” that I had originally intended on doing, but (hopefully) that’s going to change with this post.

There’s been tons of things (though mostly small) that Trevor and I have been up to that I’ve been neglecting to let my family and friends know. So from here on, I would like to introduce a sort of Monthly Update, beginning with this post. Just a short highlight, ten things we’ve been up to (big or small) in that month.

So without further ado… 10 things from July!  Continue reading

Kyoto: Fushimi Inari Taisha

Maybe you didn’t notice, but on our Japan Bucket List, visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto was crossed off. Most of the bullets on that list will have a link directing you to a correlating blog post I wrote, but I didn’t write a particular post about Fushimi Inari Taisha. We actually went to Kyoto last year in November, a short day trip which we ended up spending with some new friends that Trevor made while I was at a business trip. (We hope to visit you in Switzerland soon Elena and Max!!! <3) Continue reading

Long time, no update?!

Hisashiburi! That pretty much means “long time no see.” I’ve been hearing a lot of that lately from my students and teachers alike.

That’s because earlier this week, Trevor and I arrived back to the village after being away for a month to be in the States- specifically, our hometown in Minnesota. Suffice to say, that trip back home was amazing. It felt so great to be back home after almost two years in mountain land.

There’s been quite a bit going on after my last post which was… back in early March? Dang. Slackin’ much.

But for the time being, I wanted to do a very quick and brief update- on this blog’s “About” page, I added a link to a… YouTube page!!!

***My husband Trevor is currently making videos here and there, documenting some of the things we are doing during our time here in Japan. If you are at all curious about some of the shenanigans we do, check out his page here! And be sure to subscribe for more videos in the future!***

Trevor’s currently working on a lot of clips he took while we were back in Minnesota. But last night, he put together a quick video of us making Umeshu, or Japanese plum liquor. Check it out!

What would you like to see in future videos? If it’s anything about Japanese school life… Unfortunately because of privacy reasons, it’s highly unlikely that we can get any clips or recording involving students.

Let us know!! Particular things around the Kansai area would work best 😉

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Here’s a random picture of cherry blossoms Trevor took while we were in Kashihara to make up for not having a post about spring… ;_;

Yellowcard Final World Tour Concert in Osaka, Japan!

Happy March!!!

Wow, March already?! Yesterday was my high school’s graduation ceremony. I was running on three and a half hours of sleep. Needless to say, it was a struggle to stay awake. But the lack of sleep was so worth it because Trevor and I got to see one of our favorite bands Yellowcard play one last time in Osaka. Last year, Yellowcard announced that they would be disbanding 😦 Upon hearing that, we knew we had to see them one more time. This would also give us the opportunity to experience what a rock concert in Japan would be like… Continue reading

My First Year of Flower Arrangement (Part 3: Winter 2017)

I have officially finished a full school year of flower arrangement courses! 😀

This school year felt like it came and went as quickly as cherry blossom season- incredibly quick yet memorable. I know I always say this, but I am so grateful to be a part of an amazing club. The girls are wonderful, and my teacher is always so sweet and helpful.

Winter semester of flower arrangement felt short. We only did four pieces starting from when the students came back from their winter breaks in January. We ended early February since a messy schedule of testing, high school entrance exams, and preparation for graduation was approaching.

A small amount compared with first and second semester, but nonetheless, had a lot of fun doing each one. Here they are!
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Valentine’s Day 2017

Happy Post-Valentine’s Day!

Whether you spent it alone, with friends, or with a special someone, I think one of the best things about Valentine’s Day… is chocolate. I love chocolate. I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, but I do like having an excuse to binge on chocolate treats and goodies. GIMME ALL THE CHOCOLATe.

I tried to do Valentine’s themed activities with my some of my classes… didn’t go so well. 😦 Oh well, now I know not to do it next year… Continue reading

Happy New Year 2017!

明けましておめでとうございます!

Happy New Year everyone! How is your 2017 going so far?

Do you have any New Years goals you want to accomplish? Though I didn’t start some of these at New Years, some of the things I still want to continue are…

  • jogging at least 3-4 times a week
  • eating less than 1500 calories everyday
  • follow a strict budget and meal plan
  • study, study more Japanese
  • write at least two blog posts every month

Thankfully I had a six day vacation from work a little before the New Year break. Unfortunately, Trevor and I had no where particularly special to go… but that’s okay because we (and especially me) had a very relaxing and quiet time at home. I admit I had a hard time forcing myself to go back to work on the Wednesday after break ended…

While we couldn’t go to Adventure World as we were intending to, we ended up deciding to go to Hongu, the closest town to Totsukawa on New Year’s day. My principal, hearing that I wasn’t really doing anything for New Year’s, told me that we can drop by Hongu since there will be some food stalls. Well… can’t say no to that right?

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2017 Totsukawa Ekiden!

It’s the start of the new school semester!!

It felt like my winter break was too short… After I came back to work, I immediately felt the stresses of some upcoming events: the 63rd annual Totsukawa Ekiden, and a 10-minute speech that I was to prepare and present in Japanese in front of the entire school. I spent my entire first day back dedicating myself to typing up my speech in English and then translating the best I could to Japanese before passing it off to a very good friend who edited my crummy translations into a speech worthy of presenting. (Thank you so much again Eri!!) I then spent the rest of the week waiting for the inevitable… the Totsukawa Ekiden. Continue reading