“Settling into a new country is like getting used to a new pair of shoes. At first they pinch a little, but you like the way they look, so you carry on. The longer you have them, the more comfortable they become. Until one day without realizing it you reach a glorious plateau. Wearing those shoes is like wearing no shoes at all. The more scuffed they get, the more you love them and the more you can’t imagine life without them.”  – Tahir Shah In Arabian Nights

It’s been a while since my last post. For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, we are a military family and got our orders to move to Japan. This was our second move since we got married over five years ago. The first one was from SoCal to the East Coast. It was an easy one and probably the easiest in the history of my husband’s military career. We lived with his family (which is not unusual for a Filipino family like us) for over a year since we know we’ll be changing duty stations soon. We don’t have a child at the time so we only had to move a room. It’s pretty much just our clothes, a couple of drawers and some random items plus a dish set and a stainless steel cookware set that my mother-in-law gave us. We decided to do a combination of a military move (they pack, pick-up and deliver your household goods to your new duty station) and a DITY move (you move your good and they’ll pay you based on its total weight). It only took two guys and a little over an hour to strip our room and we drove our tiny car with some of our things along with our valuables. The drive from San Diego to SC was really fun and memorable. I kinda felt bad for my tiny hatchback since it was only a few months old then and certainly not built for snowy roads! We experienced all kinds of weather conditions along the way. After more than a week, we finally reached our destination. We rented an apartment for about three months and later moved in to our first house. The same house where our son was born. It holds so much memories, both good and bad.
When we got our orders to Japan, the first sad thought was leaving the house behind. Then, we started to realize that there are things that’ll be more challenging to deal with. There was the initial anxiety that made us feel like there’s going to be a lot of problems and that things will never get done as planned. The overseas screening process was very simple but it becomes complicated when you are dealing with several departments and talking to different people who happened to have different levels of knowledge when it comes to the service and assistance they provide. That happens a lot everywhere. So, we ended up waiting for a document that was supposed to come in from Japan office and wasted two weeks of leave days in the East Coast when we could’ve been spending time with family in California and Washington before the big move. We put the house in the rental market but couldn’t finalize anything because we don’t know when we can leave the house. There was also a miscommunication with getting our passports so we got it last minute. The travel was bad, too! Our son and I were both sick and eventhough he has his own seat, he stayed uncomfortably on my lap the whole time. We were both feverish and congested. It’s probably the weather change since it’s hot from where we came from and it was too cold in Washington which is also where we flew out of. We have three big suitcases full of clothes, a medium one for random stuff, a carry on luggage, a big duffle bag for me, a backpack for my husband, my son’s tiny luggage plus a Diono car seat (which is really heavy!) and a stroller. Yes, we had to bring all of that because those are the things we used while on vacation for more than two weeks and the same things we’ll need in Japan since we will live at the Navy Lodge until the housing office can assign us a spot in one of the towers. Because of all the chaos, we didn’t have time to do an unaccompanied baggage with all our essentials. We also had to wait for almost two months for all out household goods (HHG) to be delivered. We didn’t get lucky on that one either. The movers didn’t really pack our stuff well so there were a lot of damaged stuff including a buffet that matches our dining set. Oh, and we lost one of our big luggages at the airport! Thanks to the staff at Narita airport for the fast response. They tracked it down and it was already in Korea! We got it back after a couple of days. I am so glad about that because it had all my husband’s clothes including his boxers. Inspite of all the craziness, we got here in Japan safe and sound. Yay! This was back in September and the weather was perfect. We had to attend a mandatory housing brief and a seminar or course about Japanese culture which explains everything we needed to know to live here. On the last day, we did a tour to see a shrine and the Great Buddha. We took the written exam to get our licenses followed by the actual driving test. We were assigned a 2-bedroom tower with only one full bath. The place is really small and we don’t have a lot of things but moving here made it seem otherwise. All the cabinets and storage space are full and we are constantly looking for storage/organization solutions. It is a challenge coming from a 3-bedroom house with a master suite and 2 1/2 baths. All the baby stuff and toys are also taking up so much room but we are here now. We have everything we need and we chose to live on base so I don’t have to drive far by myself with a baby in tow when my husband is on deployment. We try to go out as much as we can and experience the Japanese culture. There are just so much to see and do We are thankful that we got the opportunity to live here. Time just flew by! We’ve been here for half a year. Now, if we could just stay longer…

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We got our orders last Friday and we are moving to Japan in a few months!!! Yup, you heard it right. The Navy needs my husband there so like what they say, “Home is where his boots are…”.
Honestly, I have mixed emotions when my husband showed me the hard copy of the orders. I didn’t even know how to react. Mainly because it came unexpectedly. He was thinking about requesting for an extension here and although we knew we are up for new orders, we didn’t think it’ll be so soon. We all have to go through a series of screenings to determine our eligibility to get stationed there. It’s gonna be really busy in this household. I feel like there are so many things to do and so little time. Let’s see… Screenings first, then there’s medical, both our passports are expired, we need to get a passport for our little baby, sell the truck, sell the house, file the paperwork for the move, get a schedule for the movers to pack our stuff, drive the other car to San Diego and see some friends along the way… Ugh! That’s just probably half of my to-do list but I can’t think of the other half right now. Overwhelming. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I still have a Philippine passport so we’ll probably have to drive all the way down to the embassy in D.C. to get it renewed. Now, my head is hurting just thinking about all those things. My husband had to be at work at 4 a.m. today so I woke up at 3 to make sure he didn’t just turn his alarm off to go back to sleep. As usual, he did and I had to wake him up. It’s ok though since he had a long day yesterday and he’s on daddy duty as soon as he enters the front door! Hahah. It’s now 6 a.m. and I can’t go back to sleep. Maybe it’s because of all the thinking and worrying I’ve been doing lately.
On a positive note, this whole thing leaves me hopeful. That’s a new world opening up right in front of us. Moving here to the East Coast allowed us to experience a lot of “firsts” in our life and helped us grow. It’s our first time being away from both our families. We had our first baby here and we became first time homeowners. It’s been a crazy ride adjusting to everything. Moving to Japan will be another adjustment for our little family but I’m thankful for the opportunity to discover and learn other cultures. It’s like a long vacation somehow. 🙂 I’m looking forward to making more memories on this new adventure. I know the move is not gonna be easy but I’m up for the challenge.
No matter what house we end up living in, we’ll surely make it a HOME…

I’m sitting here alone in our living room and drinking some hot green tea on a quiet afternoon. My little boy is down for a nap. I usually catch up on house chores everytime he naps which is normally once a day or twice if I’m lucky. Today, I decided to just sit down and breathe for a minute. The green tea is not an everyday thing but I had to make up for my disappointment last night. We went to this sushi place downtown which was hubby’s idea since I was originally planning to grab something from Michael’s for the DIY wreath I’ve been planning to make. It was unexpectedly cold and we were both wearing short sleeved tees. Good thing our son is wearing long sleeves. i ordered some green tea to warm me up but it was so awful I couldn’t even force myself to drink it. So yeah, I had to erase that bitter taste in my head before I start hating green tea in general. Mission accomplished. Anyway, it’s been raining here since noon so I’m in a pensive mood… I hate it when it rains and I don’t have any adult company to distract me from feeling blue. I’m just thinking about my life right now.
I was raised by my grandmother to be a very domesticated woman. She served as a really good example for me when it comes to things that has to do with being a stay-at-home wife/mom. Cooking, cleaning, organizing and a lot of other things… Those are all right up my alley. She always tells me that I’ll never have a problem when I already have my own family. I believed her then. I can see myself enjoying every minute of everyday as a wife AND a mom. That was my dream. I graduated from college with a degree in Psychology, started working in different fields and all I can think about is when I’m gonna get married so I can have my own family. I was over 7,000 miles away from my husband before so that in itself was already quite a challenge. I left everything, pretty much my entire life behind to move here with him, get married and start a family. It was very challenging, still is but here we are. After countless nights of waiting and wishing on a shooting star! I have a husband who loves me and a 1-year old boy who keeps us on our toes. My dream came true…
After having a baby, everyday is like a rollercoaster ride. Mornings are very busy, as well as the rest of the day. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that I’m living the dream… There were times when nothing ever seems right but at the end of the day, I’m still thankful for all that I have… After all, my dream came true…
What happens after a dream comes true? You start dreaming MORE…

My little boy wakes up early in the morning to get a bottle of milk and goes back to sleep until around 9:30 or 10 if I’m lucky. There will be days when he wouldn’t go back to sleep at all! I’d have to wait for his nap around 3 in the afternoon to have some quiet time. If you know me, I like peace and quiet so much. Actually, like is an understatement. Love is probably a more suitable term to use. I remember that time at the hospital bed while I’m trying to push my baby out. I asked my husband to shut up and be quiet! Hahah. Anyway, I can already feel that today is going to be crazy! My li’l boy didn’t wanna go back to sleep and is already playing. I have a headache and I can feel an onset of a migraine. My husband is just coming home from work since he’s on graveyard shift and doing 14-hour days for 7 consecutive days. That’s military for you. No labor law or overtime pay whatsoever. Times like this make me miss those quiet mornings before we had a li’l one. Maybe you’re wondering why I’m still writing right this very moment. Well, I just need to breathe before getting up and deal with a lot of things. As soon as I’m done here, I’ll get breakfast ready so we can all eat as soon as the hubby gets home. Quiet mornings seem rare these days…
But then again, if I’m having quiet mornings, that’ll probably mean I don’t have a baby. And my hubby and I will still be wondering why we’re not yet blessed with a child. So, screw the quiet mornings! Although I still miss it… I wouldn’t change anything for the world… 🙂

This is my first blog and yes, my first post, too! So, I feel like an introduction is needed before I dive into this unknown world of blogging. I tried to do my homework and learn as much as I can about starting a blog but there’s just way too much available information out there and I’m starting to get confused. I have decided. Since this is my blog, I’m just gonna do it my way! 🙂 I signed up and here I am, blogging away. I must say, it’s not a walk in the park for a tired mom who just put her baby to sleep to figure out how it all works. I had to click each button on the page to figure out or at least have an idea what it’s supposed to do! Uhmmm, I still don’t know a lot of things but this is a start. I hope my next posts will be more interesting and worthy of your time. 🙂