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.