Monday, December 31, 2007

2007: The Last Day

In an effort to persuade myself, if not you, that I've been keeping up with things on this blog, here I am to reflect on 2007. Furthermore, it actually is December 31st. Believe it or not, this is actually not some kind of back post meant to make you think that I've got my act together (though if you're willing to think that, thank you).

So, 2007. This was the year that Aogu started work at his new company, which was, and continues to be, a big deal. When he started, I don't know that either of us had any idea what to expect. We certainly didn't expect that his one colleague in the fledgling Chicago office would move away and leave Aogu on his own (though we hold no grudges and expect that said colleague will move back when the time is right). I don't know about Aogu, but I certainly didn't expect that he would embark on 35+ business trips (including day trips, but still!) and rack up nearly 100,000 frequent flyer miles. However, I did expect that he would enjoy his work more and feel that he is in a position to make a difference in the company, and thank God, that expectation has been fulfilled.

This year we reaped some benefit from Aogu's travel; we went to LA as a family twice, which was sweet for me since it felt like a bit of a homecoming. I thoroughly enjoyed the time with my grandma, aunt & uncle and several old friends, and I really hope (somehow!) to return in 2008. We also went to Oregon to celebrate Dad's 60th birthday, which means that he's getting a little older, but not any slower! We went to Galena with the Robles (it was way better than the Dells! :-) where do you want to go this year, guys?!) and to Detroit to visit the aforementioned colleague. I suppose 2007 is also noteworthy in that I didn't go to Japan at all (though Aogu went two or three times); that was a little strange, even upsetting, for me at moments, but I'm OK now because we are headed over in about two weeks for our first family visit in fifteen months!

Over the last twelve months our little baby girl Izumi started crawling and then walking and talking and overall flashing through so many different milestones that she's got my head spinning. She's 19 months now and not as chatty as some of her little friends, but still able to hold her own. Some of her words, not in any particular order: mama/papa/niinii (Japanese for "big brother") juice/nyunyu (Japanese for "milk") hai (Japanese for "yes") no/yes/baby/moo (said loudly in response to the sight of any animal with four legs, such as the giraffe statue at the Elephant Bar Restaurant, spotted yesterday. Credit to Rich for teaching her that first animal sound!) more/nai (Japanese for something that's gone or run out) ku (short for "kudasai" which is please in Japanese) mimi/meh/ashi ("ear" "eye" "leg") mine (where did she learn this?!) ikouka ("lets go") help/Bible (but only in the context of singing "Jesus Loves Me") Though we were too lazy to collect many girl toys for her until recently, her girlish instincts have blossomed nevertheless, and she can usually be found clutching one of her dolls. She's much more laid back, which brings some great balance to the family...

Koji over the last year: well, that's probably fodder for a separate post, or even a book. I can't grasp, let alone succintly summarize all the ways that he's grown and changed. He's in his second year of preschool and the "big brother" of the 3 & 4 year old class. He's become an amazing creator of all kinds of drawings and homemade weapons to defeat "kaiju (Japanese for a monster-like enemy)," constructed carefully out of used water bottles, tissue boxes, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, always finished with yards and yards of cellophane tape. He's much better at expressing his opinion, and almost always has one, which of course can be a good or bad thing. He still sucks his thumb, but not as much now that he's allowed to chew gum, and I don't think he's ever swallowed his gum though he likes to hide it on the roof of his mouth and try to fool me. He becomes angry and frustrated quickly, but he also recovers quickly and moves on to the next thing. He loves Izumi and plays with her a thousand times better than I ever would have asked or imagined; their current favorite game is to gather all the pillows and blankets in the basement and stuff them into a little tent and pretend they are "camping". He can say the alphabet, count to 20 and sing more songs than I can name, and all of the above is usually accompanied by top-of-the-lungs vocalization in Japanese, English or both.

I'm not good as many of my friends at expressing the gratitude and blessing that I feel because of the family that I've been given, so let me cap 2007 by speaking those words here: praise God Almighty for being so kind and generous to me in the gift of Aogu, Koji and Izumi. In 2008, I hope that I will take more time to reflect on this wonder and let Jesus, and you, know of just how much of it is in my every day life.

There should be even more of it at the end of May when our third baby is born! We don't know yet whether it's a he or she, but the fact that he or she is still with us and kicking (at 18 weeks) is enough to bring tears of joy to my eyes...

Finally, 2007 was the year that you kept reading what I wrote here (or waiting patiently for me to hurry up and post, please!); thank you for taking interest in my life. Love and blessings to you and yours for 2008!

P.S. Full disclosure: I've had various reasons through the year for not keeping up with this blog as I've wanted, but the lastest is this: I've succumbed to the lure of Facebook, and I can't believe I'm saying it, but I think that you should too!


clc said...

what a beautiful re-cap. i think it makes up for any lack of posts. :) but i won't succumb to facebook, i won't! i'll just return to the room in roppongi and await another entry. don't leave me hanging.



Riva said...

Congrats on being pregnant! I'm excited for you guys. Keep us updated with any news on the new baby. Your recap was very well done. Poor Izumi with all the boy stuff. That makes me feel better with my little boy who wants to dance like a princess...

AJ said...

Good summary. Sorry we didn't get to play the 80's game in 2007 together. But there is still 80's for 08.