Sorry it's been so long since I last posted, we 've been staying busy! John went to Alaska and Guam in August, he got to see some of our friends from Clovis while he was in Guam and was able to see Mt Denali while he was in Alaska.
While John was travelling, Annelise and I went to the Nebuta Festival in Aomori, the capital of our prefecture. We were able to see a really cool parade with amazing floats, lots of taiko drumming (GIANT drums!!), and dancers wearing the traditional haneto costume. Annelise loved the parade and we had a great time, even though it was REALLY hot that day.
Misawa actually got pretty hot this summer, it was hotter in Misawa than it was on Okinawa, which is hundreds of miles to the South. Thankfully, it only lasted a few weeks and then we ushered in a short, but beautiful, Fall season. John and I went to the Air Force Ball again this year and had fun, and we also took a short trip to South Korea.
John had to go to Osan Air Base in Korea for a week for some work stuff, so Annelise and I hopped a military flight out there and spent about 20 hours in a new country! We were able to eat at Chili's (yes, I thought of Clovis), we went to dinner with one of John's friends and ate traditional Korean food (I did not try the kimchi), and I even got some shopping done! We want to go back for a week in the Spring, Annelise and I didn't really see any of Korea other than the base and the area immediately outside the gate, and I want to shop some more!
Annelise loved having her Daddy home for the entire month of October, we went to the park a lot and also explored some more of the Misawa area. We went to a beautiful temple in Nanbu, Apple Hill in Namioka (Mom and Dad, it's where we stopped on the way to Hirosaki), and I showed him around Aomori.
Annelise is growing and changing, she has so many words now! There's still a lot I don't understand, but she's learning more and more every day. Right now we're working on counting (she can say her numbers in the right order but doesn't really count things yet) and colors. She's growing taller and taller, but not any bigger around. She still fits into some of her 18 months clothes, but the pants are definitely too short. Annelise also loves to sing, we started swimming lessons again this month and she really enjoys singing along with us during the classes.
John is in the middle of another class for his Master's degree, he's got about a year left. He's doing well so far, but it's tough to get all of the reading/papers done and still make time to spend with us. We can't fly by the seat of our pants anymore when it comes to weekend plans, we have to make sure to figure things out during the week so we can have fun as a family and have time for John to study.
I've been 'hardly working' lately but am transitioning into 'working hard'. I've got a ton of craft projects to complete before the holidays, plus decorating the house and making Christmas candy for our deployed friends. Between Officers' Spouses Club meetings, squadron spouses meetings, being a Key Spouse, and taking care of Annelise, I've had to send her to a sitter for a couple of hours a day just to have enough time to exercise and run errands. Because of John's erratic schedule (he will be gone for a total of 8 months this year), I can't depend on him being home for me to exercise in the early mornings or evenings, so I've been hitting the gym in the middle of the day. Annelise loves going to the sitter to play with her friends and I like having some time to myself. I will admit to dropping her off a few times in order to come back home and nap, but those are usually on days that she's kept us up at night or something.
Although I'm looking forward to the holidays, I'm not looking forward to Winter. The Japanese almanacs are predicting a very harsh winter, so I'm just glad that John is boing to be home to shovel every morning! I've got my Christmas shopping about done, I just need to shop for John and my dad/brothers. Boys are so difficult to shop for and I really hate giving gift cards!
Since it's Halloween, we're going Trick or Treating tonight, so I guess I'd better get ready! I'll try to be better about updating, but there will definitely be a post for Annelise's second birthday.
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