Saturday, January 21, 2012

current happenings

Well these homes are more than awesome.

Walking around in Kamakura neighborhoods. Apparently they have a knack for modern architecture.

pounding the mochi!

We have been dying for a true mochi experience since we arrived in Japan. We LOVE mochi and have been known to prepare it many different ways (check out other mochi posts here & here). When we interviewed at Ella's school and discovered they held a mochi pounding event we were over the moon! In fact, I'm pretty sure they were creeped out by our excitement. Flash forward to last weekend and we finally got our chance to pound the mochi!

The fathers took turns pounding steamed rice in a large mortar & pestle while the teachers splashed warm water to keep the rice moist. After the rice was pounded into a smooth ball they removed it and placed it on a table of flour. While the kids got to pull the mochi apart and roll it into balls the parents prepared the edible mochi for eating. We made balls of warm mochi covered in soy bean power (which is also amazing on vanilla ice cream). We also dipped warm mochi into (soy?) sauce and rolled it in seaweed. In the end we all sat around the table and feasted on mochi, tea and pickled cabbage.

It was a great experience and as always, the cute babies running around in tiny people aprons and bandanna's made it all the more enjoyable!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

hello, goodbye.

2011 was quite a year. It's strange how quickly a year moves when you are documenting a little person's every first something in their life. Looking back through pictures Brandon & I can see that we had a very successful year. We taught a little person how to crawl, sit, walk, dance, eat, wave bye-bye and blow kisses. We took a baby on two international flights. We taught a little person how to brush their teeth. I got a promotion too. It was a good year. Sorry, but I couldn't pic just one - here is this year in photos! xoxo

A new city for living, Yokosuka, Japan. A new city for discovering, Tokyo, Japan.

Jiji & Grandma visit for the 3rd time. Aunt Stephanie visits from Okinawa. We visit Aunt Stephanie in Okinawa. 2011 Cherry Blossom's. Meeting new friends.
Shie & Nate at their pop-up shop in Tokyo. Ella and Cypress play on a hot summer day. Seeing old friends: Kent a friend from high school tours through with his band, Letting Up.

Laura visits Tokyo for business.

A trip back home to Texas

Brandon with great, best friends Ty & Sean and Sean's rehearsal dinner.
Ella meets her Nana Elaine for the first time. Tear.

Marine Day, Zushi Beach.

Ella begins Japanese Day School in May and by her birthday, fits in great!

Ella's first birthday Party!

Yokohama Octoberfest & Jiji & Grandma Willett visit for the 4th time!

Sumo Championships.

Out first time to Mt. Fuji.

And we should never forget the over 15,000 people who lost their lives on March 11, 2011 to the great Japan earth quake and tsunami. And we should never forget the thousands of people who selflessly came to their aide.

Good bye 2011. Hello 2012.