Monday, December 31, 2012

Stepanoff Visit- day 6

And we have finally made it to the final day of the Stepanoff girl's visit to Japan.  We had already seen and done so much already, but wanted one more horrah before they left us in the evening.  We started the morning out with a walk to the beach and around American Village one last time.  It was a bit cold out though, so our walk didn't last long with an infant!  We settled on a lunch at a Shabu Shabu restaurant where you can cook your own meat in sauce.  
Ready for the beach!

Playing in the sand

Silly boy

Love these boys to death!

The menu for ShabuShabu.  We got the Chicken, Pork, Beef, and "pluck." Gotta love the Japanese!

If this doesn't scream paleo I don't know what does!

We got Korean and Japanese sauce
After packing bags and relaxing a bit, it was time to say goodbye to our visitors.  We had a wonderful trip with no incidents. (Haha...)  Unfortunately, this trip made us that much more homesick.  Maybe not as much homesick as ready for what's next in our lives.  Spending over 3 years in Japan has been one of the most amazing experiences of our lives.  However we are really missing our family, and this visit made us realize just how much.  Saying goodbyes are always tough, but it was even harder for us this time because not only do we have 2 children now, but we don't even know when we will be seeing family again.  

Dear Marine Corps, Please send us orders very soon.  We are ready.

New year- New Steps!

What a year we've had!  As we entered 2013, I sat back and reflected on the year behind us.  I am very proud of what we have accomplished this year.  2012 has really been the best year of my life so far.  We have all accomplished so much both individually and as a family.  As the blog name suggests- we are taking big steps together.  But reflecting on the year behind me has made me realize that in 2012 we took GIANT steps!  Let's review:

We learned we were pregnant 
Zach had his first birthday (I'd call that an accomplishment for everyone for making it through the difficult first year!)
Krimp made it through a very hard 3 months of the the first trimester
Dima began his MBA
Dima spent 2 months in Korea
Dima was promoted
We went on a wonderful trip to Tokyo
Krimp graduated
Zach crossed more milestones then we can even name
Krimp ran a 5k while 8 months pregnant
We paid off a LOT of debt (so close!)
Dima completed multiple jobs at work
Dima was career designated
Elijah was born

Though I am positive that we are all individually responsible for our accomplishments, I cannot help but take the time to quickly point out that we did have some help here.  At the beginning of the year, I read a book called, "Push" by Chaleane Johnson.  The book was all about setting goals (not resolutions!) and sticking to them.  It pointed out that you should set forth 10 goals and strive each week to accomplish them.  Not just little goals like "I will lose weight" or something like that.  Something MEASURABLE.  She also pointed out that you should not look at them as something that could be possible, but as something that WILL happen.  So instead of a goal like, "I will lose weight."  One would say, "In January 2012 I weigh xxx lbs."  This way there's no if's and's or but's!  

So in Feb of 2012 I wrote my goals down.  I included all aspects of my life.  And here I sit, proud to say that 80% of them were accomplished.  The other 20%?  Well, let's just say that having another baby and Marine life got in the way.  Alas, 2013 will be my year for those goals!  

As we approach 2013 I am ready to share my new goals for this year.   I want to point out that by posting in a public manner, as I am today, is means of encouragement!  It helps motivate a person to accomplish all that they say.  Knowing that others are aware of your goals will help you keep motivated to accomplish them.  Nobody wants to be a failure.  It's also a way for others to understand why you may be skipping out on certain things.  I really encourage everyone to write down and share their goals, even with just one individual.

In January 2014 I will:

Have run a half marathon
Have finally gone on a very belated honeymoon with my husband
Have volunteered 3 times
Have gone on one family vacation
Made 5 new friends
Have potty trained Zach
Nursed Eli for at least 10 months
Be back to my pre Zach weigh in September (probably sooner!)
Paid off all college debt 8 years early
Enrolled Zach in preschool OR begun homeschooling him (Montessori method)

What a year we have ahead of us!  I greatly look forward to many of the things on that list.  I especially look forward to honeymooning with my husband.  Thanks to military life, we have waited 4 years now for a honeymoon and I cannot wait to finally get the honeymoon we've been waiting for.  Where that will be to is still in the works, as we still don't know what coast we will be living on at the time.  (Will we ever get orders?!)

We have a big year ahead of us.  I hope you all enjoy watching us unravel what 2013 has for us.  For now, BRING IT 2013!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stepanoff Visit- Day 5

After a busy and eventful day yesterday, we decided to take it a little easier today.  We started the morning out lazily in the house.  We all got cuddle time with the boys, then headed out to Foster to the Officer's club for brunch.  The O club puts on an amazing brunch every week.  Though this one doesn't have crab legs like on Kadena, they do still have a great selection.  My favorite is of course the omelet bar and the fresh fruit!  Zach too seemed to love the fruit!  As always, he ate a LOT.  It's a good thing we don't have to pay for him yet!
Cuddle time for Elijah

He's been so happy lately!  He sure does love his family

Even Neko got hugs!

I don't get to cuddle Zach nearly enough these days.  I sure do love that boy!
Unfortunately, it was a bit rainy today.  We took it upon ourselves to stay local.  We headed just outside our home to American Village, where we explored a bit.  We got to partake in Dr. Fish, where you put your feet into a pool with fish who eat the dead skin off.  It feels a little like a tickle or vibration, and doesn't hurt.  It's always a top attraction when we have visitors!  We then walked around a bit more before heading back for a home cooked meal. 

Zach on the Ampamon train!

Dima smuggled something illegal into the country.  Zach was taking him away

He's too funny!

Elijah 365- part 15

Another week- and what an exciting one at that!  This week we celebrated my very favorite holiday of all time- Christmas!  Though Elijah is a bit young to fully partake in the holiday, we still had fun.  As always, we opened our pajamas on Christmas Eve.  The boys both got to be Santa.  And even more exciting- Eli got to meet his Grandmother and Auntie for the first time on Christmas Day.  What a wonderful gift!  Both boys got spoiled, and we've had so much fun in the days following with our family!  Merry Christmas to all!
Day 107- Dec 24 Waiting for Santa in his new PJ's.  Little Santa in Training!

Day 108- Dec 25- one of his new toys!

Day 109- Dec 26- With his Babushka

Day 110- Dec 27- Monkey boy!

Day 111- Dec 28.  Family photo. 

Day 112- Dec 29.  With his Babushka again

Day 113- Dec 30.  Passed out with the Baby Whisperer!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stepanoff visit- Day 4 part 2

After a fun filled morning doing crafts, we were hungry.  We had heard there was a great Dim Sum place at a nearby hotel that we'd been meaning to try out so headed that way.  This hotel was one of the most beautiful hotels.  I'd passed it many times before, but this was only our first time experiencing it.  It was perfectly situated on the beach with some beautiful gardens surrounding it.  Not to mention the killer view of the beach!  Our lunch was an all you can eat Dim Sum meal with the most stunning view!  
Zach was playing with little brother as we waited for our table

The food was pretty good

Zach is definitely an Asian child.  He loves eating veggies and rice!

This church was our view during our meal
After our tummies were full we headed out to explore this beautiful hotel.  It was stunning and we had the most beautiful day.  It's days like that I'm really going to miss Okinawa!

These churches had glass windows in the back that viewed the ocean

Kisses for Mama!

Sleepy boy!

So pretty!

How beautiful.  The nice Japanese lady let us look at this pretty view!
On an overlook

My new ride...
After a beautiful walk and exploring we headed to another place i've been wanting to check out- a salt making place.  Okinawians are known for their salt.  It has great health benefits and is used to sweeten many foods here including cookies.  It was a neat little place, and Dima's sister got to make some salt to take home.

Taking a break to play.  He loves going head first!

Making salt

Not quite sure why I've got my tongue out. 

Sleepy boy on the way home. 
We got home and relaxed a bit after a busy day.  After the boys were both fed and put to bed, Dima and his Mom and Sister made their way down to Naha to go to a Russian restaurant we've visited before.  Obviously, they have had better Russian food, but the experience of going to a place in Japan is unique.  They had a nice meal and returned home to rest for good! 

What a day!  We were all exhausted after so much fun!