2012 was a year of calm and stability compared with the storm of change that was 2011. This was our first full year in Japan and full of positive experiences and growth. Both Dustin and I have become more comfortable and confident in our jobs, Dustin teaching and me managing our household and family in a foreign country. Even the simplest things can be complicated here, mostly because of the language barrier and different systems, but we have managed to find a secure rhythm and routine to life over the past year.
Last year at this time, William was 9 months old. I was still dealing with him waking every 3 hours, breastfeeding, and all the energy that must be devoted into entertaining/corralling a young, super active baby. People always say: "Enjoy these moments because they grow up way too fast!", but these are people whose children are already grown and out of the house. When you are up all night with a sick infant or just had your bookshelf dismantled by little grubby hands, you kind of wish they would grow up at least a little bit faster. They do grow up though, and over the course of the past year William has become much more independent, self entertained, and capable. He was also sleeps though the night! Woo hoo!
|I can't believe he was so little!|
|William has developed a true affinity for Japanese food.|
Theo has grown so much too. November 1st marked his first full year of yochien and his Japanese has gotten quite good over that time. He now even talks in the local Hiroshima dialect as well as standard Japanese. He has become extremely close to his brother, always making sure that he is entertained and well looked after. I feel so lucky to have two children who don't just put up with each other's company, but seek it out and enjoy it.
|The last day of school, March 2012|
|Best friends beating the summer heat|
We were also able to escape the tiny confines of our apartment and move into a house that is just the right fit for our family. If I were to pick one event this past year that has had the most positive influence on our lives it would be this move. So much stress and annoyance was generated by being squeezed into cramped quarters and having no personal outdoor space for our children to tear around in. We love this old house!
We also left behind bit of the summer heat and headed back to Canada for a family visit. This will probably be the last trip we make back west for at least a few years, so it was good to see every one.
While we were in Canada, I was able to spend some time with my sister and her newborn daughter Josephine. This is my first niece and I am so glad that I got to meet her!
We were also able to rent a garden plot in our neighbourhood, which is something we have been wanting to do ever since we got here. This picture is pretty old, since we have already been harvesting veggies from our garden for a few weeks now.
Through Dustin's work, our church, and random chance we have developed an amazing group of friends over the past year. We have met so many loving, supportive people and I can't imagine what our life in Japan would be like without them. Sniff, sniff...I love you guys!
Overall, 2012 was a fantastic year. Welcome 2013, if you are anything like your predecessor we are in for some good times!
I think you were really brave to bring two small children to this crazy country. It looks like you have done an great job of not just surviving, but also enjoying your time here. It is an incredible experience to give to your children.
Don't forget if you have any extra time in 2013 you are welcome to pop down to Oita..... the cottage is waiting for you!
Thanks! We have actually been talking about trying to make a trip down south this year. Hopefully it works out this time!
You don't know how happy it makes me to know how happy you and Dustin are in Japan! A good job, happy children, great friends, and a sweet little house -- what a fine life!
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