And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Decade Together

When TJ and I were first married whenever we would do something he deemed that only an old married couple would do he would say, "it's like we have been married for ten years."  This of course was only after one or two years of marriage.  Now here we are 10 years later and seriously I love that man more than ever before.  Like any married couple, we have our challenges; our arguments; our set-backs.  But through it all, the ups and the downs, we come out on top...more and more in love.  That sounds pretty cliché and sappy, but honestly he is my best friend and I feel so blessed that he is mine forever and ever!

For our actual anniversary celebration we would like to make it over to Taiwan for a weekend trip with just the two of us.  However, since we are not sure when/if that will happen we wanted to make sure that we did something for the actual day.  The celebrations lasted through the weekend and included family activities as well as activities with just the two of us.

On Thursday (the actual day) we went out to dinner as a family to our favorite Shabu-Shabu restaurant and enjoyed some delicious boiled meat and veggies (much better then it sounds...think Melting Pot).  We hit up the huge and new mall after where we both picked out our own anniversary present.  TJ got a new pair of wooden sunglasses (in addition to his new Nissan Figaro car), and I got a new outfit. 

Saturday was spent with just TJ and I doing some adventurous zip-lining through the jungle.  Being able to experience nature and feeling the adrenaline pump through my veins while soaring hundreds of feet above ground was exhilarating.  I loved being able to share it with TJ too!!


When we were all finished we hurried home to grab the kids and headed back over to the Ryuku Glass Factory to blow our own glass vases.  We wanted a keepsake to remember our 10th by and we figured this was just the thing!  The actual blowing/molding itself was not quite as interactive as I imagined it, but I guess the liability of having the patrons actually melt down the glass and stand next to the hot kiln is more then even the Japanese Liability can afford.  We were able to make the initial blow into the vase to shape it and then we rolled the metal dowel back and forth to make the mouth of the vase into the size we wanted it.  Overall it was a lot of fun and I'm glad we have such awesome keepsakes!

Through all the festivities I was reminded time and time again of how lucky I am.  Not only do I have an amazing husband, but together we have the two greatest children on the planet (I might be slightly biased). When I take the time to look around I realize that I have a pretty great life; mostly attributed to my choice 10 years ago to say yes!  Here's to forever more years of this!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

An Unwelcome Visitor

When you first arrive on island you receive an orientation where all the basics of living on Okinawa are covered.  All the way from where to sign up for housing to what type of "creatures" to try and avoid.  Among all of these "creatures" are the infamous Habu Snake.  The Japanese word ‘Habu’ refers to a particular type of snake that inhabits the Ryukyu Islands. These snakes are also known as tree vipers or pit vipers. There are three species of Habus found on Okinawa. Two of these species have been introduced and one is native to the island. They are all venomous snakes that feed mainly on rodents and other small mammals.  Habu snakes are large, venomous and can be aggressive when provoked.  Native Okinawa Habu snakes are of a pale greenish yellow color and are marked with a wavy pattern of dark green patches with yellow edges. The underside is much plainer and almost white.  A Habu snake can grow up to eight feet long, although most of them don’t reach that size. The introduced species are only three or four feet in length and are more gray-brown in appearance than the native Okinawa Habu.

So needless to say the Habu is something to try and avoid here on island.  In our two years here we have heard stories of people spotting them while out and about and a few people (always a friend of a friend) who was bitten, but never had a personal encounter.

Then one evening on our drive home low-and-behold mere feet from our driveway a habu, in all of its 4 feet, scaly, and poisonous glory.  Most people at this point would have gone home and gone inside...perhaps even called an on base pest-control (do they have that here?); but not my husband....No, TJ wanted to make sure it was alive, so he got out of the car and probed it with a 6 foot tree branch.  The snake was in fact not dead, but very much alive.  This was easily determined when the snake bared its fangs and struck the branch.  TJ screamed like a girl and ran back into the car where he proceeded to drive over it.  After three failed attempts our neighbor came out and directed him where to steer his tires.  There was a loud "POP" and the snake was a goner. 

TJ and Mike were able to drag the snake into the ocean where it will hopefully be carried out to sea and stand as a reminder to all of its Habu friends to stay away from our neighborhood.  Unfortunately I think there was an adverse affect because Mike spotted a second Habu just up the road from our house.  Perhaps the Habu are seeking retaliation for their friend.  EEKK!!!  Only one more year...only one more year...