Oh my neglected blog...There have been so many things going.  It doesn't take up 30 minutes of my day anymore.  Not to mention my empty camera and new unattractive surroundings.  Now that we live on base, we are surrounded by cinder block homes with the buzzing of F-15's flying overhead.  These two things are probably the only downside.  Our new home is about double the size of our small Japanese apartment, we have a yard and a big beautiful tree providing shade on our hot sunny days in December, our friends live within 5 minutes and we have been taking full advantage of that, grocery shopping and errand running is such a smaller task than before when we fought the Okinawa traffic all of 8 miles taking an average of 30 minutes each way.  This house is easy.  Overall, we finally feel like this is our 'first home'.  It has taken a while to make it feel like home..rearranging furniture, preparing for Christmas, preparing for baby...

First there is Christmas!  We have garland with beautiful lights strung along our ceiling and I bought some miniature trees and decorated them with ornaments snagged at the thrift store.  We are pretty new to this...Christmas in our first real home together...in other words, we had nothing; no ornaments, no lights, no decoration.  We've had to be creative!  Here in Okinawa everyone has a fake tree...everyone.  I could never have a fake tree...a huge joy to me during Christmas time is picking out a tree, getting it home, and letting the beautiful smell of nature waft through the house...watering it, dressing it up.  What a weird tradition;  But it's vital to my Christmas cheer.  So, I asked around and found out that our BX would get 1 shipment of trees in from the states, and they wouldn't give a date.  People told me the trees were awful, overpriced and small...this didn't sway us!  A few weeks ago, Adam took Cinder out to hunt for stray tennis balls at the courts nearby...while they were searching, he saw a car go by with a tree tied to the roof.  A few minutes later, another tree on another roof.  He immediately called me, jumped back in the van, 'Pick you up in 5!  Trees are here!'  We bolted to the BX to find about 2/3 of the selection still on the market.  There was a frenzy of people, cars pulling in, a big sign anticipating the line that would ensue....Adam and I grabbed the tallest tree there was and proclaimed, " We'll take it!"  Then we jumped around like giddy school children having picked out our very first Christmas tree, getting there in time against all odds, and SO excited to bring our 7.5 foot Noble Fir into our new home...despite the fact that we had no lights, no ornaments, no tree skirt, no shears...(they have sold out of the already small selection of Christmas decor on this little island) but we did buy a tree stand.  So we brought our love tree home, couldn't fit it in the tree stand because of all the mega limbs at the base, went to the hardware store and rented shears, finally got it to fit in the tree stand, trimmed it up a little for shape, and then sat and admired our gorgeous Christmas tree, sitting in front of our gorgeous window, in our gorgeous new cement home, with our gorgeous curious dog that we still have to watch around the gorgeous limbs of our gorgeous tree.  We LOVE our tree.  It remained bare for a few days, but I went to the thrift store, found some simple red ornaments, had a few sent from home, and some totally random things that we could hang up.  I also found some bootleg, semi-working Christmas lights at the thrift store (they are sold out of lights everywhere!)  So we have 3 different strands of lights on the tree...all a different shade of 'white' and the top half flickers out every night when the sun goes down...but it's still a half glowing, gorgeous hot mess!!!

Then we have Baby Luke's room...we decided to paint his room green! We found some paint that was a really nice shade of lime green.  woops...looked great on the sample, but after we painted 2 coats on the wall, we could barely open our eyes when the sun came in through the windows...it was electric LIME green.  Probably not conducive to rocking a baby to sleep.  So after a few days of deciding, we went back for a darker shade of green...this time going with 'Garden Party Green' ..the first coat is up and it's much much better.  The ceilings are pretty high in this house, and when I was applying the paint, I realized I would need a ladder to get to the top.  So my 7 month pregnant body hobbled to the top of this ladder...my fear of heights loudly present, I painted with a roller above my head.  I think I did an awful job, because I wanted so badly for it to be over.  So this weekend, I volunteered Adam to finish the top half of the room, while I take the bottom half. Ready to get that done so we can fill the walls with animals and photos, put the crib together and make it look like a baby room.  You could say I'm in the 'nesting phase!'
Here's an unfinished photo...how do you like his first tent?

Don't forget about our first baby...our dog has been so happy here.  Cinder loooves the new house, the new yard, the proximity to fenced in areas where she can run, the window where she can growl at every passerby...don't be fooled!  She only wants to shower them with wet doggy kisses.   Every Sunday, we get our dog owner friends together for a little doggy social hour.  The ball fields are not in use at the moment, so we take the pooches, close the fences and let them go wild.
We aren't the only ones who bring their dogs to this particular field.  We pulled up to the gate, and an unrecognizable car pulled in behind us.  A guy I didn't know got out and asked if we were taking our dog to run...I told him we were expecting about 8 more dogs to show up, and to please join us!  I pulled Cinder out of the van, and had to do a double take, when he pulled their IDENTICAL female boxer out of their car.
A little back story--Cinder was born on Okinawa to 2 purebred Boxers a little over a year and a half ago.  When we saw their boxer, we immediately thought it MUST be her sister.  They were identical...Cinder has 4 white paws and her front right leg is all white, a fawn color.  Exactly the same with this other dog.  We let them through the fence and their little butts were jiggling like crazy as they sniffed each other and ran around.  I asked the owners about their dog...
Her name is Zazzle.  She is also from Okinawa, but she is 3 or 4 years old.  GET THIS!  She had a litter of puppies about a year and a half ago with a purebred Boxer named Brutus.
It was Cinder's MOM!
I doubt they recognized each other as related...dogs just don't think that way.  But they definitely got along and played.  It was incredible to see these two boxers who looked exactly alike...and to find out we were meeting her mother.  SO COOL!  We are planning to meet up again this Sunday...hopefully making it a weekly thing.  If they can be still for half a second, then I will try to get a mother daughter portrait of the two.

Adam's job is going great!  He also has a new addiction to spearfishing.  He and a group of guys go out a few times a week and free dive along the reef with these huge spears...it is almost like a slingshot.  When they see a big fish, they have to sneakily get within 5 feet of them and release a band on their pole that sends the spear very quickly into the fish.  They are great fishermen!  Adam has brought home a few big fish that we've sauteed or eaten at the weekly Friday fish fry at his shop.  It's also fun to join them at the beach, because I roll around on a blanket like a beached whale while he catches our dinner.  HA!  My belly is huge!  I've gained nearly 20 lbs...Luke kicks me constantly, which I love!  It just means he is a healthy growing boy.   The discomforts of pregnancy are slowly creeping up on me now that I'm beginning the 3rd trimester blues...In a few weeks, we are going to go to a Japanese place off base to get a 3d ultrasound.  They've been highly recommended and it's something that the base doesn't offer.

That's all folks!  Sorry for not providing more photos...I'll be sure to take some pictures of our house tonight when the lights are a-glowing.

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