That sweet spot between homecoming and us needing to pack up and get the heck out of dodge was proving super difficult to nail.
We had been meaning to have photos taken in the downtown area of Yokosuka, since it is where we spend the majority of our days, but with Austin being gone so much and being here there and everywhere we just still hadn't found the time, so I was desperate to get them in before we would be leaving Japan!
I am so very glad we did.
But then, things got ...interesting. We had been fed all sorts of possible locations and things kept getting battered around and bandied about, but nothing stuck.
When we made our original announcement that we would be headed to Japan, we knew that we would be here through March of 2017. Which. You know. Is now.
So, naturally, plenty of folks have been asking about where in the world we would be headed.
I originally wanted to announce our new destination on our Christmas/New Years/Groundhog's/Valentine's.../now maybe just because here's a life update on our family(?) cards, but time kept wearing on as we waited for orders.
Eventually we received verbal orders and shared the news with immediate family, but have kept it close to the chest while waiting on written orders, in case something shifted dramatically and those verbal plans never materialized.
Just today (whenever today winds up being as I have promised to not publish this post until it is officially, officially, official) we received those orders, and it seems that our little Japan photo shoot was more telling than we knew.
We are staying in Japan!
I know. It's a lot to swallow and definitely not what we expected - especially given that once upon a time I told Austin I would follow him anywhere in the world...but I'd really rather not go to Japan. Haha. And then Life laughed.
There were months and months of weighing different places, different jobs, pros and cons and timing and BLAH. But, the long and short of it is - there was a good job here. A great job. Checked all the boxes.
And so, we go where the job is.
And that job is here.
In many ways it has been nice to keep this news close for the last few months, so that we have time to process it all ourselves. We had already started researching all the things to make life work again back stateside and pulling back from some things here - sort of like when your plane begins the initial decent and then pulls back up because it has been rerouted at the last minute? Very much that sort of feeling around our house for a while there.
We cannot understate just how much we miss our families and friends back on the East Coast and everywhere, and so many things about life in America in general (mail delivered to your door, 2 day Amazon shipping, Target, drive thru Starbucks, not being you know, completely illiterate in your every day life, Mexican food, omg Mexican food - just to name a few), but Japan has also become our home in a way we never though possible, and we love our little life here.
Though Austin will still be in a job that does go out to sea, it shouldn't* be with the same frequency as we have experienced until this point - but that's another post for another day, friends - so we are excited to get to explore more of Japan and Asia with our favorite guy along for the ride.
We truly love and like so much about this country, its amazing people and beautiful culture and landscape and we want to experience as much of it as we can while we have this opportunity.
(*Turns out, I have trust issues with being given "concrete" expectations, so I'll believe it when I see it. Don't tempt Murphy.)
So, we stay for a while longer, and our Japanese adventure continues.
Evelyn Rae is 5.5, Liam is 4, Patrick is a few days shy of 2
...and I'll share the normal holiday card kinds of family updates soon. Promise.
...and hey, also - we're open for visitors! Through 2019! Shoot us a note, we'd love to have you. Truly.
(Also, we are attempting to plan a trip home this summer. We have a niece and nephew we've only met over Facetime and we'd LOVE to get in some drinks, snacks and snuggles - as age appropriate - with everyone! We will keep you in the loop.)
(Also also, Austin is headed to a school in Newport, RI for a few weeks and flies out tomorrow, so he will be stateside for a bit, but pretty bound to RI. If you want to give him a ring, he will have my old cell with him. Text him, call him, email him...maybe all 3.)