Monday, April 26, 2010

Tom's First Weekend Home

My husband if finally home from Japan!  He had a great time, but is happy to be home again.  Needless to say, Jake was very excited to see Tom (I just posted the video of the reunion on Facebook).  Tom had the weekend to recuperate and get her sleep cycle back on Washington time before he had to go back to work on Monday.  He came home with a plan to accomplish that!

His plan was to stay up as long as he possibly could on Friday and go to bed around 8 pm that night.  That means it would be around noon Japan time.  This would require him to stay awake for over 24 hours.  He got a hour or so of sleep on the plane, but as most people know sleeping on a plane is not a real fitful sleep.  I had also not had a real great night sleep the night before. We were both a little tired as the afternoon progressed.  By 7 pm that night we were both ready to call an end to the day.

We did a lot of running around with the grocery store and other places that we needed.  We also took Jake to the dog park.  Like always he had an absolute blast and loved interacting with the other people and dogs there. 

The next day Tom woke up around 3 am and was up for a few hours and then came back to bed to sleep for a few hours.  While we had been in Japan the grass in our yard had gone crazy!  It was growing up like crazy.  It's kind of confusing to me what makes the grass suddenly start growing here in the spring.  It gets a little warmer and it rains a little less, but not by an extreme amount.  What makes the grass and flowers suddenly start sprouting like crazy?

Our backyard was a jungle.  Although I really think Jake enjoyed it.  Tom mowed the lawn on Saturday.  It was pretty much an all day experience!  He did an amazing job and it looks tons better.  Through the experience of seeing our grass grown everywhere, we realized there are portions of our yard that are not grass.  We're not exactly sure what it is, but we know we eventually have to replace it with actual grass or something else. 

Sunday, after church we went to dinner at Aaron and Christine's house.  They are friend of our from Silverdale that are sadly moving to Arizona at the end of this week.  We brought a bunch of ingredients to make tacos to the their house and mixed with some ingredients they were trying to get rid of!  They had some delicious Peach and Mango salsa that we ate with chips as a side dish.  It was a lot of fun to see them and hang out and of course the food was amazing!  After dinner they made brownies (one of my weaknesses) and relaxed around a pan of that!  We're excited to see them again on Friday.  They're staying at our house that night on their way out of town after they check out of their apartment.  We'll miss you guys!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tom's Coming Home

The whole Japan visit is finally winding down.  Tom and I left for Japan on March 1st (almost 2 months ago).  I've been home for 3 1/2 weeks now.  I've been alone with Jake since I got home.  Tom and I have done our best to stay in contact during this time.  We've used the instant messaging feature on Facebook a lot as well as speaking a few times from phone calls through the Navy Base.  The difficult part of this has definitely been the time difference.  There is a sixteen hour time difference between here and Japan.  Japan is sixteen hours ahead of me.  This means that if I wait for Tom to get home from work in Japan to talk to him it is 1 am my time.  A little tricky, but  we deal with it anyways.

Today is Tom's last day of work in Japan.  Tomorrow morning he takes off for the airport.  I am picking him up here in Seattle at 9 am Friday.  We've decided to leave Jake at home when I go to pick him up.  We're anticipating him going a little crazy when he sees him and thought it would be easier to handle here at home than in the car.  I'm sure Tom will be exhausted when we get him, but he'll have to spend a little time bonding with the little monster. 

I'm counting the hours babe!  Fly safe!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


As a lot of you might know, I've got a thing for TV shows.  Just like books, I prefer stories that continue for more than one show or book.  In books, I like it when an author writes books in a series so that a story or character continues for more than one book.  It's the same with movies, I like it when I get to see characters for more than one movie.  This is one of the many reason I like TV shows.  In TV shows, the story goes on for more than one story or one situation.  You get to see the characters grow and change with each episode.  However, at the end its sad to see it end.

One of my favorite TV shows is "Friends".  Before I got married I had about half of the seasons on DVD.  It was a TV show I introduced Tom to and he actually liked.  It's also a show that no matter how many times I watch it, it makes me laugh and giggle.  This is the main reason I own the seasons.

When we went to Japan, we brought a bunch of movies and a few seasons of Friends with us.  I went through those DVDs quite quickly.  When I got home, I finished watching the Friends seasons I had here and convinced Tom to let me buy the last four seasons.  I now own all ten seasons!  It's also been fun to watch all the gag reels and extra features.

Watching all the seasons in a short amount of time was a lot of fun.  It was so interesting to watch the characters evolve and progress.  One of the things I think is so endearing about this show is that all of the characters are relateable.  There are certain parts of each character that reminds me of myself at times.  The last season particularly was kind of an emotional watch for me.  In it Chandler and Monica are dealing with the fertility issues.  Their issues are very much in line with what I'm going through right now.  At the end of the season they end up adopting two adorable babies.  I'm hoping my story ends in such a beautiful way!

At the end of the series everyone reaches a point in their story that it's able to end happily ever after.  I absolutely love that in a show!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Girls Night

While I was in Japan I was trying to think of things I could do to break up the time a little bit while Tom was still in Japan.  One thing that occurred to me that I thought would be fun was to get together for a girls night with some people.

So, I asked a few girls if they wanted to come.  So Jenn, Marcie, Jana, and Tiffany all joined me at my house.  I decided to have a special pasta that I had made previously (that I really liked) called Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle.  It's really good and it was a hit with everyone else too.  Everyone else brought green salad with home-made dressing, rolls, drinks, and Lemon Meringue Pie.  Everything was so delicious and I have to admit I ate way too much.  But that's part of the fun of a get together.

It was a really great night and I think we all had a great time hanging out and visiting.  Although we all love our respective spouses it was fun to have a girls night where we could talk all night about kids, puppies, and jobs.  No guns or shipyard discussions all night long.  We all decided unanimously that this was something we would definitely have to do again!  Thanks for joining me girls!  It was an absolute blast!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lactose Intolerant?

I have to start this post off by saying I've never been terribly fond of milk.  Part of that I'm sure is due to our family being raised on a product called Powdered Milk.  I don't think any of my siblings like milk very much.  Ever since I left home I've bought milk from the store (either 2% or skim depending on who I was living with at the time).

But even with the regular milk, the only time I really ingested milk was a little bit with cereal, cooking with it, hot chocolate (which barely counts), or chocolate milk.  I never drank a glass with a meal or even with cookies or brownies like some people.  I'd much rather drink water any day.

All that stopped when I started herbalife a while ago.  The nutrition shakes are a powder that you mix with milk.  I drink 2 shakes a day and each shake is 8 oz of milk per day.  I started noticing changes in how I felt.  I was getting nauseated and gassy after I drank the shakes.  I changed to soy milk and all the sick feelings went away.

Now, I've started up on herbalife again.  I tried milk again because I haven't had any sick feelings since the original feelings.  After about 4 days of shakes, once again I'm nauseated and gassy.  I'm ready to change back to soy milk again.  I did a little research and I have all the signs of lactose intolerance.  The level of it varies from person to person  I guess I only show signs when I drink a fair amount of it.  I never have those feelings when I just have other small quantities of dairy in any form.

I guess I'm lucky to be able to monitor what I eat and know how to deal with it.  It could definitely be worse.  I'm 34 and I just learned I'm lactose interlerant.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Affair with Food

I've loved food for as long as I can remember.  Luckily while I was growing up my Mom didn't have a lot of junk food or sweets around, so I ate pretty healthy.  In addition to food, I've always had a bit of a sweet tooth!  I would always look forward to the Sundays we would make chocolate cake or brownies!  I guess that's not so unusual for a young person (however it really hasn't changed much).  There really were only a handful of food that I didn't like (macaroni & cheese and split pea soup).

When I went on my mission I really learned to love oriental food and rice.  They had the most delicious fruit and vegetables.  They also had some of the most delicious dishes!  Luckily or sadly, my native companions were unbelievably awesome cooks.  This is where my love of food backfired on me.  It started doing what had never been a problem in my life before.  I started to gain weight.  Of course I was a little older, so I'm sure my metabolism slowing down didn't help matters (or every house we visited giving me food and sprite, because we couldn't drink unboiled water).  Whatever the issue, my body would never be the same.

When I got back I dieted to take off some of the extra weight.  It worked pretty well.  I never really got back to my college weight, but I was definitely not overweight.  I was able to balance my lover for food and my weight for the next few years.  Of course when I got married, the typical thing happened and I put on more weight than I had gained previously.  That's when I reached my limit and was willing to try something I had never tried before.  Diet Supplements.  As some of you know, my in-laws sell Herbalife as a side business.

It really helped me at that period of my weight loss.  It helped me manage my appetite and slowly learn the amount of food and the kind of food I should be eating.  That was really the start of not only me become more healthy, but the metamorphosis of my love of food to my love of cooking.  I would have never guessed I would love it so much or be pretty good at it.  Since then when I look at a recipe I automatically judge 1.  if it's calling for an ingredient I've never heard of before and will never use again and 2.  how healthy the dish is.  If the ingredients are too hard to find the recipe gets scraped.  Also if the recipe is unhealthy I probably won't even add it to my list, unless it has amazing reviews than I might consider it.

I am once again in dieting mode after Thanksgiving, than Christmas, than a month eating out in Japan.  I'm trying the whole Herbalife thing again, but I'm not sure how well it's working this time around.  Obviously I don't have as much weight to lose, so it's not coming off quite as fast.  But at the same time I'm not quite sure if the cost of the product is worth it.  I have come far enough now that I could probably do it on my own.  Tom's also going to try it again when he gets home.

What I've learned is food can be one of the best sensory things in the world.  I love the social interaction that tends to happen naturally around food.  But at the same time I've learned to be smart about it in most instances.  There are delicious dishes out there that are very good for you!  You just have to be willing to sometimes step out of the box and try something new.

Thanks babe for always being my guinea pig when I cook something new!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Party & Park

I am very thankful for a loving family.  To save me from a boring weekend by myself at home my loving cousin Jana invited me to a birthday party at her house.  It was a combined birthday party for my cousin Tony's wife Tiffany and my Uncle RV.  The lovely benefit of having dinner at Jana's house is I can bring Jake with me.  I never enjoy leaving Jake for long periods of time if I don't have to.

So, Friday Jake and I took off for Jana's house far far away in Grapeview with our salad ingredients (that was my assignment for the dinner).  It was an absolutely delicious meal.  We had grilled steaks with mushrooms.  I forget what they marinated the steaks in, but it was absolutely amazing!  One of the best steaks I've ever had!

Like always it was a lot of fun to hang out with everyone!  Jake really enjoyed himself as well!  As soon as I told Jake we were going bye-bye (one of the words he know by the way) he went crazy ballistic.  He had so much fun with Jana's dog.  There were a couple of times though that Jake got a little energetic for her and she had to show him who the bigger dog in charge was.  Serves him right!

This morning (or afternoon) when we got up I took Jake to the dog park.  Like always he loved it!  He had a lot of fun sniffing everything and other dogs bums!  Very exciting!  For most of the time, he was a perfect angel.  There was a moment towards the end that I lost him for a little bit.  The dog park is very big, and for a moment I couldn't locate him.  A little scary, but I eventually found him and it all turned out okay.

It managed to completely wear him out!  It worked out great because I had to spend the afternoon writing a lesson and putting together some handouts for the service project next weekend.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Beautiful Day

Today was the first really beautiful day that we've had since I returned from Japan.  It was still a bit chilly but it was sunny and gorgeous!  I had to post a couple of pictures of my dog Jake enjoying the sunlight.  Jake's always loved the Sunlight and warmth that comes with a beautiful day!  He's a big wuss when it comes to being cold and he will do anything for a warm day or a warm blanket!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Harry Potter (The 2nd Time Through)

My romance with the Harry Potter books began soon after I got home from my mission.  I was bored one day and looking for a book to read.  My mom told me I should read Harry Potter.  At first, I was really not into it.  In my head, I figured it was a kids book.  But I was that bored, so I started reading it.  Long story short...I obviously loved it.  That was the start of it all.

After that, I read every book as it came out.  I was usually too cheap to buy them when they came out.  So I'd just wait until my girlfriends read their copies and they would let me read theirs.  Thank you very much Tammie & Shelli!  Tom has since read them all as well. 

We own all the movies as well.  While we were in Japan, I had the opportunity to watch them all ......twice.  I only made Tom watch them once.  Watching the movies made me want to read the books again.  So that's what I did when I got home.  I pulled out my one and only copy (happily the first one) and started reading it. 

The funny thing was as I was reading it, I realized I had remembered parts of it as they happened in the movie instead of the book.  Very sad!  It made me wonder how many other things in the rest of the books I've remembered wrong, by that I mean I remember them as the movies instead of the books.  I have the 2nd book on hold at the library!

It's still fun the 2nd time around.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon

Tonight I had dinner with my three cousins, two of their spouses and my Aunt (can I still call her my Aunt if she's no longer married to my Uncle?).  It was a delicious dinner and like always I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Thanks Tony & Tiffany for hosting the dinner.

Afterwards we drove back to Port Orchard and went to a movie.  Port Orchard's movie theatre isn't the nicest or the fanciest in the area, but it works.  We went to the movie "How To Train Your Dragon".  I wasn't sure about going to the movie, but it ended up being really cute!  It made me laugh, tear up, and get nervous.  I would totally recommend it to anybody.  It's also a really good kids movie for anybody interested.  I know it's about a dragon, but the boys relationship with his dragon really reminded me of Jake.  That probably has nothing to do with Jake being my pet.

Back to the Real World

Well, I've been back in Washington for a few days now.  The trip back was a lot more difficult than the trip to Japan.  The flight takes pretty much the same amount of time, but it seemed to take so much more out of me than the original trip.  Of course someone said to me it might have something to do with the excitement of the trip that I wasn't as tired.  They could have something there.

A positive aspect of the trip back to Washington was that I gained a day instead of losing a day.  My flight left Japan on Monday afternoon and after 9 hours in the air I arrived in Washington on Monday morning.  That's always how travelling should work.  Too bad it happened coming home instead of going on the vacation.

By the time I got home and ready to fall asleep around noon, it was about 4 am in the morning in Japan.  Because I can not sleep on airplanes I was pretty exhausted by this point.  I couldn't pick up Jake yet though because Josh and Jana weren't going to be home until around 6 pm.  So I set my alarm to wake me up 5 hours later.  Then I got up to make the drive to pick up my baby!  I was pretty excited.  Most people wouldn't get this.  For Tom and I though, Jake's our kid.  We both missed him a lot.  There were 2 different occasions that Tom and I gathered around the computer and watched the videos we had taken of Jake.

When I got to Josh and Jana's house Jake was pretty excited.  Of course sometimes it's hard to tell because he gets excited about any visitor.  But he did seem to remember me.  Jana's dog Lexi and Jake were getting along great!  She acted like a normal older sister putting up with the crazy younger brother.  The seemed quite fond of each other.  Jake even whined for a little bit when we were driving away.  I'm so glad he had such a great time.  Tom and I were both really happy that he was with people that would take such good care of him!  It really enabled us to enjoy ourselves knowing he was in such good hands.

He got a bath a couple of days later and shed more hair in that bath than I have ever seen before.  Then I washed his blankets and bedding and more hair everywhere.  It was crazy.  We usually give him a bath every other week.  Add the 4 weeks we were gone to the change is seasons and dog hair everywhere!  I've attached some pictures of his bath time.

I miss Tom, but I'm so happy to be with Jake again!  We look forward to Tom to come home and be with us again!