Nippon::Part Three::Christmas

i wrote earlier that our christmas would be a little different  than the "usual," western style one but even i was surprised at how un-christmasy it was.
christmas in japan is commonly celebrated with christmas cake and fried chicken. most people aren't christian and don't believe in its true meaning, but there are a few who do santa and presents. my family doesn't whatsoever but they believe in cake and fried chicken ;)

christmas day started off with waking up at 5:30 and going on a run with my dad and little brother. we sat at the kotatsu (a low table with a heater underneath) when we got back and it wasn't until 7:00 that i realized it was christmas day! we all looked at each other with wide eyes, sheepishly giggled, and shouted MERRY CHRISTMAS!! to each other. later that morning my aunt and uncle came to pick us up and we left for our mini vacation. the drive took about 3 1/2 hours but we broke it up.

we went to a shinto shrine called konpira. we had to climb 900 stairs to reach the top but there were shops on the way that kept it interesting. plus a creepy middle aged man with his friends who tried to say something to me in english but his accent was so thick, i thought he was saying something in japanese i didn't understand. then he thought my brother was my boyfriend. my mom asked me who it was and i said no idea. the man's friends heard and said don't worry, just a weird man! haha.

after we visited the shrine, we checked into our hotel and oh baby, it was nice. i've stayed at about three hotels in my entire life so i'm easily impressed but man, i liked that hotel (EXCEPT that the creepy man was there with his friends! the hotel was 2 hours away from the shrine and it was about 4 hours since we'd seen them. what are the odds?!)  our christmas dinner consisted of putting half the ocean on a table and i loved it. a lot of it was formal japanese food that i'm not used to but it was fun, tasty, and so pretty. if there was an award for beautiful presentation, that dinner would've gotten it hands down. i ate so much it hurt to move afterwards. i probably say this too much to make it valid but i've never eaten so much in my life.

after we ate, we headed upstairs to put on our yukata and went to the onsen. most people don't understand why anyone would ever want to go to a public bath so i won't try to explain it other than don't worry, boys and girls don't mix and it's fun.

then we said happy birthday Jesus and went to bed. and that was our christmas :)

Nippon::Part Two::Miyajima

apparently my goal of going on an eight mile bike ride today was too ambitious since i never changed out of my sweats or showered. woops.
anyways, while we were in japan, we took a day trip to miyajima, the shinto shrine. you wouldn't think going to a shrine would be exciting, but it was so much fun! after the ferry reached the island, we had to walk a ways to reach the red torii (gate). it turned out that the pathway was lined with little shops and food stands. i bought the cutest ceramic owls that are now perched on my window sill :) it makes me a little sad that they're going to sit in storage for a long time but oh well. we also saw the world's largest rice scooper, crazy number of deer that live on the island, and ate sweet potato ice cream.

Nippon :: Part One :: Picking Hassaku

this year we flew separately because of different schedules, money, etc. so i arrived second and for the first time, arrived in the morning. with the change in time zones, it was bizarre traveling for 23 hours (never again do i want a four segment trip!!) and then having another full day. i wasn't as tired as i thought i'd be so helping pick the hassaku was no problem.
in a way, this is what makes me feel most connected to my dad. he helped in the garden and fields after school when he was a kid and during the summers in college. his childhood was obviously a lot different than mine and much harder, but this gives me an idea of what part of his growing up was like. plus it makes me happy that we made the job go faster for my grandparents :)
^^pretty much a natural, amiright? (i like the farm stuff only when it's once in a while)

 ^^twinners. uncle yoshiki is older by 20 minutes though ;)
 ^^my mama looking good.
 ^^we pick them in december but they aren't ripe until april sooo...i've never eaten them. they ripen in the shed.
 ^^my 85 year old Ojiisan who still climbs trees. other than my dad, he's the hardest worker i know.
 ^^we actually really enjoy this. they did a lot of it before we got there but we were happy to pick the rest for them.


thoughts//mini update

from a high school photography class.

--realizing more and more that i could come home and be the only single one out of my friends. not the end of the world but while they're enjoying fun married shenanigans, i'll be either making my awkward way through the dating pool...or not at all.

--shopping for clothes has been so stressful. trying to find 6 to 8 outfits i can mix and match and not get tired of (ok, impossible) for 18 months has seriously worked the fashion brain cells. i've spent so many hours on pinterest trying to get ideas that i'm beginning to recognize the brands of skirts just by looking at them. and shoes? don't even get me started.

--today my dad explained to me that if i marry someone who is bad at sex, i'll have a very boring life. turns out he just mixed up his english and was trying to say something completely different.

--i felt so loved when jess told me that she was going to see me before i left and i didn't really have a choice in the matter. i really love that girl. and chipotles.

--target is bomb. i don't know why i'm still surprised every time i go there, i always spend more than anticipated. just need to accept that.

--i know what the weather is like in provo every day because people post videos and update their status' all. day. long.

--i'm going to be the craziest mama when i have babies. i kiss little rony (my mom is his nanny) about ten thousand times a day and take pictures of him and he's not even mine!

--the bummer about going to school is you usually don't get to take naps every day. so now that i'm not in school...naps whenever i want!

--maybe i'm vain but one of the hardest things about not being in provo is thinking that people have forgotten about me.

--my mom confessed something big the other day. i don't think she realized how much more i'd relate to her after knowing it!

--45 more days until i'm gone!


blast from the past

we've been cleaning out my dad's old computer and in the process of trying to save all the "important stuff," found the goods of memory lane. i know i'm not that old, but i've been laughing so hard going through these old photos. TP-ing the principal's house? got a picture. mud masks at young women's? took a picture. every possible silly face i could've taken with my bff? CHECK.
not sure why i felt the need to take a picture of errythang, but acne, braces, boyfriends, i got it allllll.
but ya know, since i'm an adult now and all mature and such, i'm glad i've got picture proof that i used to be cray cray.



how about we just say your mlk day was better?

my morning started out with "okay you're going to start feeling the effects of the anesthesia" to waking up with gauze in my mouth and ice around my face. it's funny though, one unanticipated result from the whole wisdom teeth process is that i'm beginning to understand why some women get knocked out so that they can just wake up after their baby has arrived in the world. it was so nice to not remember any pain and wake up when everything was done. that's not the route i'm planning on taking but it's tempting...
anyways, lots of movies and liquid food for me the next few days. my dad has already kindly pointed out that since i can't really eat anything solid, i'll probably lose wait! what a nice guy to be so optimistic for me ;) but at the rate i'm going through that ice cream, probably not......


miss me? me either.

from 2012
and yes, that's purple in my mother's hair.
i'm not really sure where to begin. the three posts that are saved in my drafts? sorry i'm not sorry for not blogging for a month? hope you're doing well? well now that that's out of the way...
i spent two weeks in japan with my family and had an amazing time. it's been years since all five of us have spent more than two days together so that plus seeing extended family made for a wonderful trip.

i'm living at home again and surprisingly enjoying it more than i thought i would. i love my family (and not paying rent) but living on my own for two plus years has made me independent. i like living on my own, braving roommate drama, and going to school. but i've rediscovered something obvious: it's nice to live with people who have known me my entire life. not just liz who's going to college, but ME me. the me who danced for 14 years, who gets cranky, who loves to cuddle with cats and read. the chubby kid me, the awkward teenage me, and the trying to become an adult me. is this cheesy enough yet? the point is, in this key time when i'm trying to prepare for my biggest adventure and responsibility yet, i'm happy i have them by my side.
 to prepare, i've been doing a lot of reading and journal writing. my usual hour or two a day is nothing compared to what i will be doing but baby steps, right? other than that, i fill my time with helping my mom and playing with babies. i thought i would miss school and all that comes with it (social life, people my own age, you know) buuuuut i don't. sure, i miss a little male interaction with men other than furry ones and blood related ones but that's not really where i'm at in life.

so there you have it. you didn't miss much ;) if the internet cooperates and i can upload photos, i'll do a few posts on japan. if not, well you'll just have to believe me that it was bomb :)