15 March 2011

Devastating Disaster.

Hello Friends! 

I wanted to Thank You for your messages and concern for our safety in Japan. I can't tell you hor forunate I feel to have so much support during such a devastating time in a country we have made our home for the past 3 years. Here is how the events unfolded for us on Friday..  

Justin and I live on the 7th floor of a 9 floor apartment building. I was working on the computer when I felt the apartment start to shake. It was about a minute in when I started to realize that it was getting worse and that I needed to move to a safer area. I had no time to access the stairs so I crouched down in an interior door way and waited it out. I sat there for close to 40 minutes feeling several large aftershocks. Justin however was on duty in the hangar and evacuated the building. About an hour and half went by before Justin got home. That is when we learned the devastating tsunami that hit in the NE Coast of Japan. 

Once the nerves settled down I started the process of contacting everyone at home to let them know of the disaster and contacting my Japanese friends, students, and mothers to make sure they were safe. This is when I realized that many of them had family members in critically affected areas.  There are still some issues with contacting people in the area and tens of thousand of people are still unaccounted for due to power outages, cell phone network traffic, limited internet connectivity, and those that are stranded in cities around the country. 

Almost immediately Narita International Airport was closed indefinitely (which is now reopen) and many airlines were rerouted to Yokota. Over 2000 passengers were awaiting departure from the base. Over the weekend, the Air Force and Red Cross provided beds, warmth, food, and phones for many of the passengers. 

Throughout the past few days we have experienced many aftershocks and Justin said I was having some night terrors. But the damage done to us and our home is nothing compared to the devastation Japan is experiencing. Many of our own men and women in the Military and civilian rescue teams are supporting humanitarian efforts in Japan. Many of you may be wondering what you can do to help. Please donate money. Money given to the Red Cross will do more for the people of Japan than any donated goods. They will reach more people and provide more resources with cash than they ever could if they had to transport, store, and distribute donated necessities. So please consider donating. You can do so at American.RedCross.Org

Each day I feel very blessed to have so many people in our lives safe and accounted for. But I cannot say the same for so many people here. Japan is home and this is very difficult to make sense of. 

Please pray for the rescue efforts, the clean-up process, and the large scale recovery that Japan will need to undertake. 

Thank you for your support during this scary time, but we are safe and requesting that all the concern, prayers, and support be given to the citizens of Japan and specifically the areas that have been severely affected by the earthquake and tsunami. 

06 March 2011

outfit from the weekend: personal style.

Wanna know a secret? 


It might go a bit deeper than that. 
I love creating my personal style. 
No, this is not a style blog.. nor will it become one.. tried & failed!

But, I think this all started with a single clothing disaster, I wore a white-mini-tierd skirt over a pair of jeans. (gasp!) I'm shaking my head at the mental image that creates...
 I wish I had a picture of it. 
But I remember the thought process I was going through then (in highschool) to develop a style that is my own. Since then I like to think I've reformed to a more classic-American style. Thank the sweet lord!
I would hate to think how I could remix that white-tierd skirt into my current wardrobe..  

I still love to throw in a subtle uniqueness that is mine. 
Probably at first I wanted to stand out apart from my peers. 
But now, its more of presenting myself in a way that I'm happy with. 

So, this past weekend I had tickets for me and my Japanese Mama's to go to dinner theater. 
It was set up as a murder mystery and it was fabulous! 

Here is what I wore: 

The black skirt.. is actually a DRESS! 
I found a black 3/4 sleeve dress at H&M for under $10 and it has been such a work horse in my wardrobe this past season. I see myself transitioning it to spring and trying to brighten it up! 
The shirt (H&M, $20) is a navy and white polka dot button down. I belted it with a free studded belt that came attached to a shirt I got on SUPER SALE at the BX for $4 (and shirt is wicked cute too!). I accessorized simply with a necklace given to me by my grandmother that I wear like its attached to my skin. ok I'm a weirdo..  and a pair of black heels too boring to show. 

This is one of my better outfits from the weekend. 
But it didn't have much competition against my sweats and pajamas. 

Do you have any specific accessories that you must include with most of your outfits? 

04 March 2011

Set the Mood...

Some Coffee. Pretty red carnations. 
A few favorite books. 
And one relaxing morning. 
Doesn't get much better than that! 

How will you spend your Weekend? 

28 February 2011

9 more weekends.

That's all that remains of my time in Japan..

I'm shocked! It keeps flying by.

It always seems like its the weekend! (Which normally would be an ah-mazing thing!)
But, the time is dwindling down and there is not much left of our downtime to get my fill of food, sights, and the comforts of Japan that I've become so accustomed to. I'm already planning out strategies for those who will still live here to ship some goodies to us in England!

Thankfully, there are amazing international markets around the world that will give me access to all the dishes that I've been so spoiled to have at my finger tips.

Like soba noodles.
Real ramen noodles.

um YUM!

But recently the biggest change in my life is the addition of some self-made fringe!
Exciting things are happening here people! Let me tell you! Exciting things...

Enjoy the last few hours of your weekend while I'm starting my week off here across the world.

23 February 2011

School Woes (Part II)

I put up a post yesterday touching on my frustrations directly attributed to the expense of school. After some reflection I realized how insensitive I was to students who are faced with leaving the classroom in the face of high tuition and costs. I am so fortunate to continue my education and receive grant money that although might not seem like enough, helps keep the tuition (somewhat) in control. And as one reader reminded me, it makes you appreciate the education you are paying for. It can also push you to work harder in the classes!

Bottom line is... I have to stop feeling sorry for myself.

After I got over my little tantrum, I downloaded a bunch of scholarship applications and submitted two yesterday. I woke up this morning feeling ready to take on this enormous balance by scheduling out the deadlines and preparing to write up several essays.

I'm getting by on the encouraging words of others. I'm staying motivated by the success stories of students in the same (or worse) situation. And I know that regardless of what may get in my way, paying for an education is worth every penny. It will only serve to benefit me and my career goals.

I know I'm not the only one. And for those of you in school and struggling to make ends meet. Keep it up. Your graduation date will come and you will be a college graduate!

So now, I'm finishing up my latte. Soaking up all the caffeine. And getting my butt in gear to submit some more scholarship essays and applications.
(The more I submit, the greater my chances of winning one!). 

Thanks for all the support yesterday!

22 February 2011

School Woes.

I have spent the greater part of my morning coordinating payments for college.
Although it is a necessary payment, I couldn't help but gasp at the amount and stress over watching our accounts dwindle down.

But all this stress is directed towards funding my educational efforts.
Is it mis-directed?

I should be thankful that we even have the money to cover the cost of my education.
I should be thankful that I received some financial aid.
I should be thankful for the opportunity to continue my education.

Instead I'm stressing.
It's expensive.
It's frustrating.

It could make a weaker person throw in the towel.

What makes someone push on?
Knowing that the future can be brighter and easier with a degree.
Understanding the importance of education, not only for monetary gain, but for personal growth.

So now I pick myself up. Add the payments to my calendar and work hard to make that money worth it.
Study hard. Learn the most I can. And earn good grades.

In the meantime though.. I'll be collecting quarters and cans to help out with these ghastly costs.

15 February 2011

I scored PCSing GOLD!

So.. I'm chatting with some of my friends about their current PCSing process and it turns out I'm WAY ahead of the game...

And all I want to do is brag! so sue me!

As soon as we found out that we were moving to another overseas base I immediately made appointments for the command sponsorship. And then I went directly to the source of it all and picked up a personal copy of the command sponsorship checklist. After all the appointments I would check in frequently with the guy coordinating the process to understand what I had left and to let him know that I want him to stay on top of this for me.

I absolutely attribute getting our orders so quickly to a proactive approach to getting this stuff done. Technically I could have waited. But why?
And really, most people don't get their orders until about a month out. And some.. a few weeks. And for unlucky few (that I've only heard horror stories about)... days!

But that is why we scored PCS GOLD!
Early orders = travel itinerary, early planning, organization, and making the move MUCH easier!

Now, I'm just organizing.
Trying to focus on getting our paperwork organized.

A Few Things about Organizing Paperwork for your Move:

1. Set aside copies of anything PCS related (including passports, itineraries, tickets, confirmation #'s, receipts) in an enclosed folder. (Accordion, Zipper Binder..) And label it PSC Essentials DO NOT PACK!

2. When shipping your car, make sure all the paperwork (title, bill of sale, receipts, maintenance, proof of past insurace) is together. That way at your gaining base you can show that a). you own the car, b). you have been responsibly paying insurance on it, and c). that it is up to date on all maintenance.

3. Keep Military Stuff with Military Stuff. I don't TOUCH any of that. I'm sure a majority of the contents of those annoying blue folders can be thrown away. But, what I've done is dedicated a bin to all of his military records. They are all together.

4. LABEL. Organization isn't any good without an accurate and easy to use labeling system!

5. For moving purposes, it helps when all paperwork is confined to one (or two) bins or a filing cabinet that can be shipped together. That way, on the other end of the moving process (unpacking), you can ret assured that everything is in one place (and hopefully in one piece!).

As I navigate through the moving process, I'll be keeping you updated! I'll share my tips and struggles to only hope that your move is as smooth as possible!

Bring it on PCS.. BRING IT ON!!