Monday, November 29, 2010

good bye faces

What brought us to Japan? It's been a while since we started this blog so some of our sweet reader's might not know why. Work! About 18 months ago Brandon finished culinary school and had quite a bit of management experience racked up from his post-college days. I was in-between jobs (waiting tables at the best restaurant in the world p.s.) so we decided it was the perfect time to do something spectacular with our lives. We were one year into marriage and it was just the two of us with one month left on our lease when Brandon responded to a job listing for a company, in Japan. Who knew that all of those years of working in a corporate restaurant would land us smack in the middle of Japan, working for a family run company?

Fast forward. So, here we are about to leave Sasebo, Japan (where we both work on a Navy base) Brandon serving some of America's finest their burgers and beer, but more importantly meeting some of the most kind, hard-working people in the world. This would all be a story best told by Brandon but I don't think it's hard to know his feelings about his staff, neh the family, that he came to love like brothers and sisters. So rather than putting words in his mouth I will let him write an entry, eventually, about what his experience was like. I will however, tell you that watching Brandon evolve into a General Manager over the last 16 months has been a heart warming experience. It seems he has experienced every emotion one would in a good relationship(happiness, confusion, surprise, disappointment, rage, love - and pride, to name a few) and come out with a sparkling, cohesive,
self-sufficient example of a well-run, profitable store.

For a professional standpoint it's no surprise that he was offered this new opportunity. Sure, I am bias and think my husband deserves a billion promotions in a year but I think that most people would agree he plain rocks at his job. So, congratulations hubby! You deserve this and we (Ella & I) are behind you 100%. Like I told you in the car (driving! ah, how I barely remember those days) on the highway in San Antonio, I will follow you anywhere in the world. I must admit, I am happy this move takes us to a big city. Maybe we'll get some counter top space? Eh?

In the meantime-here are some good-bye faces from the Sasebo staff!

Brandon with his kitchen crew!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Thanksgiving #2 in Japan has now come and gone. It goes with out saying that this holiday season will be tough with out family. Now that we have Ella, it seems like we are back at the same feelings as last year when we celebrated for the first time in Japan. An exciting new adventure. Missing family.

We always talk about how crazy it is that all of these things are happening again. We can recognize which festivals are approaching by the decorations around town and which Japanese holiday it is by what stores close. We know winter is around the corner because all of the flower vendors have switched their stock and all of the bakeries are featuring their strawberry shortcake. All kinds of things are happening that we are used too, which is just another sign that you have become a citizen of your surroundings. All be it, we move in a month and everything will be new and ripe for discovery. . .again.

This year's Thanksgiving was very different from [last year]. You may recall how we spent the day last year, drinking and cooking all day long. Ending in a fantastic pot roast cooked on top of our washing machine. Remember that?

Well, this year we changed it up a bit. Ella spent her first Thanksgiving helping mommy at work and dad came along to volunteer. We spent the day serving the troops at our annual USO Thanksgiving Feast. It was a great turn out and Ella was a hit with all of the sailor's in her turkey bib. It was great to have her there bringing smiles too all of their faces. We know that Thanksgiving is about tradition, but how do you really keep tradition when you move around all of the time? So our tradition is spending time as a family. What better way than the three of us serving some fine, hard working people who are so far from their own families? We may not have a big turkey, shitake mushroom gravy, asparagus casserole OR the Cowboys game, but we have each other. That is more than enough to celebrate!

Pie Eating Contest!
With the volunteer crew, still happy after clean up.

When service was over we spent some extra time packing up the left-overs to be delivered around base to those who were on duty, to our USO Center, and various single sailor areas. Just to spread the love a little more. We also grabbed some left-overs for ourselves and headed home to pull together a small meal of our own. Brandon made a great sauce for the turkey (gotta love his culinary genius sometimes) and we served it up "family style". We spent the rest of the night enjoying drinks with Manami and reminiscing about the last year and how so much has changed. We often realize this when we are sitting around holding our beautiful little baby, she is a constant reminder of where we have been, but more importantly, where we will go.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

kid clothes

Here's a fun new thing for us! Japanese kid's clothes are the coolest thing ever. Of course, they believe that USA kids clothes are the coolest ever - and in the case of JCrew, I agree - but otherwise, they definitely win!

current happenings

Shot of our entry way, on a good day. These cute shoes are ready and waiting for her little feet to grow!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

the birth story

Check out Ella's birth story [here], if you like.