Wholesome Wednesday: HAPPY 10th Halloween

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I can’t believe another Halloween has come and gone! Another year has come and gone. Tonight marked ten years since Jacob and I met. I’m not sure if I have ever blogged about our love story but maybe one year I will but until then just know our love story began on a Halloween. On this day we celebrate each other more than the scary, frightful and trick or treating. God bringing us together on such a crazy night is what we truly celebrate and love to look back on. Thankfully I have photographic documentation too! Can I share with y’all again how much happiness we create each year with this simple tradition of dressing up in costumes?

Last year I shared tips on DIY costumes and saving money on purchased costumes, you can read that post here. This year I just want to share a few photos of our family evolving since Halloween 2009. I happened to find most original photos except a couple. The photo from 2009 was taken on a camera with actual film so the original is still in my scrapbook. I took a photo of the scrapbook photo for you though. Jacob was gone for Halloween 2010, 2011 and 2013 so we don’t have those. The only other missing photo is from 2015 which is on our old desk top. That computer is currently in storage back in the states, bummer. I hope you enjoy what we do have and posted above. Reminiscing in our memories brings so much happiness. Enjoy!

Happy Halloween,

d

Tuesday Thoughts: Trick or Treat

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Ding dong! Someone answers their door and you scream, “Trick or treat!” It was exciting as a kid! Wasn’t it? It’s even more exciting to watch your own children do it. I have to admit celebrating Halloween this way was actually pretty fun as a child. I don’t remember enjoying dressing up as much as I did collecting can. My sister and I worked so hard to collect as much candy as possible. Today, in adult and parenthood the joys have reversed. I love dressing up more than collecting the candy. In fact, I try to avoid candy as much as possible. So, is it possible to remove the absurd amount of candy without taking away our children’s joy??

Yes, it is possible and quite easy. Don’t take them trick or treating! Just boycott Halloween.  I am just kidding y’all! Take a deep breath, I’m not that parent, I promise. Instead my view is quite the opposite. We’re allowing the girls to collect as much candy as they want or can during the different events we attend in October. This will include tonight’s trick or treating. We will trick or treat first then tend to the doorbell. Once they choose a few pieces to keep for themselves to enjoy they will dump the rest into our “Halloween” bucket. Yes, you are reading this correctly! We are recycling our collected candy for the trick or treaters on Halloween! Don’t worry because we made it a teachable but fun tradition for the girls. And it saved us a little bit of money! You can see we have already got started in the photos …

How do you like that for control management?!

Blessings,

d

Momentum Mondays: MariCar

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Oh Mondays. Mondays can have such negative stigma can’t they? Not mine, not anymore! I have decided that Mondays will be my day. In going from zero to sixty since our arrival here in Japan we have finally and intentionally slowed down our pace. I personally needed to begin taking back a little time for myself, for my well-being and rejuvenation. It’s a little reminiscent as to why I began this blog in the first place and it has the name it does. I took back one day a week where I traded my humidified messy bun with baby blow out stained clothes for curls, a dress and makeup. Oh how Sundays have become one my favorite days and now I’m looking forward to Mondays too.

Mondays for me have typically been a day that lacked momentum. It comes right after a weekend in which we spend time together as a family. Sometimes that time is spent being lazy at home and other times it’s being out and about in the world. Non the less by Monday I’m drained, lol. I go hard all week and weekend being there for my husband, my girls. You moms know! By the time we have time for ourselves (which is usually at the end of a week or day) we are too exhausted to do anything! Yeah girl, I heard that amen! Our role as mothers are so hard yet so much more rewarding. As much of a reward it is to no longer have an audience every time I go to the restroom I want an even more triumphant reward, time. I have found no better reward than to give myself a little more momentum by carving out a little time at the beginning of the week for myself. Mondays for me, myself, and I. This Monday I actually made a little time for me myself and Mario! ‘

I signed up for this regiment spouses social event months ago. I figured it was a good start in getting to know the work family and in the meantime do something new. You think in that time I would have researched exactly what this was going to entale but I didn’t. Instead I waited until last night to only research what I should wear. No judgments please as I legitimately wanted to know if I needed to wear closed toe shoes, which I did! I assumed like many of you reading the title that this would just be an ordinary go-cart race track in which we raced each other around on. I definitely assumed the uniqueness was just dressing up as Mario Cart characters.

Oh no, it was so much more!!! Once I started receiving notifications from the other women about needing my license and passport I started getting nervous! Then on the carpool ride I found out we were driving around in these go carts ( dressed up as Mario Cart characters) in the streets! Yes, you read that right! We drove around in the streets of the island’s biggest city! This is not something that would ever fly in America and so I am super grateful for the opportunity to have experience this and with the women I did! They were so full of life and joy bringing making me feel right at home. For one whole hour I even felt like a teenager again! I may have even been a little more of a rebellious teenager in the last ten minutes with breaking a coupe rules by videoing some moments and then finally zooming past everyone so I could finish in “first” because to my surprise it was not a race at all. It was simply speeding around town in a hilarious costume and laughing the whole time.

I hope you are encouraged to get out there, take back a little time for yourself and do something new.

Enjoy the photos and if you are curious about those rebel videos I took then check out my Instagram stories!

Blessings,

d

Fatherhood Friday: Finding Dory

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

 

My sense of direction has not always been the best, and I am thrilled to witness that our daughters take after their mother as they grow up.  “You missed the turn back there, Dad!”  Kids! What a constant source of wonder.

Back when we were in Miami, I remember taking Lyianna as a small toddler to PetSmart to look at the animals there.  Due to the infamous congested traffic of South Miami, a trip to a Target for diapers would be at least a 45 minute affair.

I would joke to Lyianna that I was “taking her to the aquarium” as we took our time in the nicely air conditioned store.  I was a Resident at the time, and my time off was far and few in between.

Lyianna’s eyes would light up as we looked at the Beta Fish and then clown fish, “Nemo, Daddy!”  A simple trip to the pet store was such a treat to her. “We will certainly do more together when I finally have a better schedule,” I remember reassuring myself.

Fast forward a few years, and now we are a family of four and living clear across the world.  Our youngest daughter Camrielle now adores the sequel of Finding Nemo. When Danica and I found out that Okinawa had one of the largest aquariums in the world, I knew we had to go check it out.

We surprised the girls with a ‘Finding Nemo and Dory’ adventure to Okinawa’s Churaumi Aquarium. It was amazing!  The facilities were very grand, orderly, and majestic. We felt like tourists as everything was announced in Japanese.

As a gigantic whale shark glided past the glass displays, Lyianna commented “They’re fish here seem happier, don’t they Daddy?”  And Camrielle had that wide-eyed look of glee on her face as a shark swam above us through a clear tunnel.

I have to remind myself that life’s moments are constantly happening now, in the present.  With Danica, I am trying to plant seeds with our daughters so that they won’t lose their sense of wonder…. and also to always be able to find their way home.

Point your kids in the right direction—
    when they’re old they won’t be lost.

Proverbs 22:6, The Message

 

Blessings,

Jake

 

 

 

 

Wholesome Wednesday: Be Our Guest

White Frames: Walmart | Bed, Duvet, Nightstand, Curtains & Rug: Ikea | Chairs: Amazon | Scalloped Stand: Navy Exchange | Small Frames, Vase & Clock: Home Goods | Anchor Laundry tote: TJ MAXX | Gold Tray & Blue Pillows: Dirt Cheap | Map: Hobby Lobby

 

In the midst of still adjusting to our life and new routine here in Japan I have finally been graced with a little time to myself. I’m currently in the northern part of Okinawa island sitting in a little cafe. I am sipping on fresh squeezed pineapple juice while overlooking the Pacific Ocean and thinking of home, you my family and friends. Oh I really miss you … (So just as I was about to put a period at the end of this sentence I received a FaceTime call on my lap top! From my youth girls in Texas! Wo, God!)

Then it dawned on me, I haven’t really updated you in a while! Since we’re all missing home and y’all I figured I’d continue where I left off in our home reveal series. Today I’m welcoming you into our guest room. This is the first room we set up because we want to be prepared for visitors as soon as possible. Sadly, this may be the first place we are visited less frequently since it is the furthest we have been stationed. Non the less, we are ready for you!

The nautical theme of this room is inspired from our love of the sea. Jacob and I both were born and raised in California near the ocean. I prefer to just listen to and stare at it while Jacob loves to swim, snorkel, dive and sail it. We have incorporated our love into this space by working with the textures of rope and metal, focused on the primary color blue and use photos I’ve taken over the years of difference ocean settings. Well, I’m actually just getting around to placing photos in all of our empty frames, lol. Dependent on who visits we trade out a few photos of the sea with photos of whoever is visiting. We love being intentional about this as to make it more homelike for the guest.

We also love the nautical theme in our guest room for its neutrality.  I have a wonderful husband who enjoys being apart of the decorating process. So from the beginning of our marriage I have had the joyful the challenge of finding and keeping the balance between the feminine and masculine touch. One of our favorite pieces was the world map. It’s a popular one I believe and so to make it unique to us we are placing gold pins to mark everywhere we have lived. The color and texture of this map really brought out and tied together our connection with sea, travel and our appreciation for even handedness.

Neutral tones are the way to go. Especially, for us military (or anyone else who moves often) families always moving. We are often restricted with finances, size, and finances. So this works great with constant change and white walls. Incorporating clear furniture is another great “trick” to make a small space seem breathable. Overall this room is open, light, airy, relaxing and even a man can appreciate it. In fact, a few neighbor’s husbands have complimented the room. I have to admit when a man appreciates our taste it almost makes me more proud than when a woman admires it! Women just know how to meet you at your level of excitement though.

It sure was exciting when Jacob joined the Navy and has since been moving us around the world trading one ocean for another. It has made this interior design even more fitting.

We hope you soon you will experience our seafaring love of a room,

Until then, God bless you!

D

 

Friday Feast: Japanese Waffles

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Lyianna had been requesting pancakes so we went on adventure trying to find pancakes. We had no luck but when we stopped to ask a local they referred us here for waffles. Japanese waffles. These waffles are a completely different take on the American version. Which is ironic because the R cafe sits in American Village of Okinawa. I can explain American Village in another post.

Although I was satisfied with our find Lyianna was bummed. Her disappointment however was short-lived once she realized they came topped with ice cream. I would never have thought to add ice-cream with waffles or pancakes for that matter. Yet, this is how they do it here in Japan. The Japanese know what they’re doing because they totally have elevated the waffle with fruit to a more adventurous experience. Can you even imagine the mixture of texture and temperatures in your mouth?! It is shockingly fun and delicious. And as you see in the photos the view was the whip cream on top!

This sweet and cooling spot is ocean side making this a definite spot to be a frequented by our family.

blessings,

d

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