Pregnancy · Summer Bucket List

A big secret, a little secret, and… where’d September go?

It’s been awhile, but I can explain my absence. I promise. I haven’t been on Little Snail lately because of a big secret we were keeping for several months. Ready for it? You may have heard by now or seen on instagram or Facebook, but…we’re having a baby!babydykehouse1We announced the pregnancy officially a few weeks ago by taking some pirikura shots (Japanese photo booth), which has to do with another little secret: when I put pirikura on my summer bucket list for this year, I already knew that’s how we were going to announce the baby ๐Ÿ˜‰ Checking things off left and right out here in Tokyo!
babydykehouse2And speaking of checking things off different lists, figuring out pregnancy in Japan has been pretty interesting (okay…downright stressful at times). A lot of things work differently here than back home. I’ll be sure to fill you in on some of the differences in future posts. For now, I just wanted to let you know things are healthy and happy so far, despite this mommy-to-be being so exhausted that September flew by and I didn’t have the energy even once to muster up a quick hello here on the blog. I was reading a book that said pregnant women should never, ever feel guilty about being FREAKING TIRED, so I’m working on letting go of the guilt and just trying to rest when I’m tired. (Easier said than done!)
babydykehouse3I must mention that in the weeks that have passed since these were taken, my belly has gotten huge, and our little girl (!) is kicking away like it’s nobody’s business.
babydykehouse4
Due January 25th, 2016. I love how this picture turned out!

I can’t wait to update you more on how things have been going with both baby and with life as of late (like more bucket list updates, etc.!). Hope you’ve been taking care of yourself and that you had a lovely end to summer!

xx Caitlyn

Monday Matters

Home, Sweet Michigan

โ€œTravel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.โ€ โ€“ Miriam Beard

20130701-101349.jpg

After nearly five years of living abroad in Japan, we’re finally home to Michigan. It’s strange, at the moment–the feeling that we’re on vacation for a while and going back to Japan soon is starting to fade, and yet being here permanently hasn’t quite sunk in yet either. It is so good to see family so often now, and difficult to explain how at the same time I so dearly miss my friends and “family” in Japan. How do you describe a life abroad for that long, where you start calling a different location home, too?

20130701-101410.jpgAn ema, or prayer card, I filled out about a week before leaving Japan.

I’ve said before that whether in Japan or the US, we’ll always be homesick for one place or the other. I can’t lie and say I don’t miss Japan, but I also can’t say that I’m not incredibly happy to be home. Life in Michigan is so comfortable–I love being in America!

20130701-101800.jpg

We lived in Kobe the last half of our time in Japan.

I know that our time spent abroad was invaluable. It definitely wasn’t always easy, but Chad and I learned so much about each other, about cultures all around the world, and about life in general in our time away from Michigan. We had some hard lessons, some fascinating lessons, and many once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Now that we’re home, we’re onto the next journey in our lives–a new beginning, so to speak. We’re not sure what that means for us exactly, and I think that’s okay. Through it all we’ll be together, with our past experiences to look back on and remember.

Here are a few pictures from our last few weeks in Japan–though there are so many more and it’s hard to choose only these to share!

20130701-101420.jpgGreen tea soba, at a restaurant with my beautiful kimono-wearing friends, a pretty coaster, a matcha parfait

20130701-101426.jpg

Standing in our kimono in Kyoto (except my lovely pregnant friend, who is still just as cute!).

20130701-101454.jpgPirikuraย (Japanese photo booth)

20130701-101752.jpgOn our last day in Japan, we got this message on our drinks from Starbucks! I decided to try the matcha flavor frappuccino for the first time since I didn’t know if it would be offered in the US.

Thank you to everyone in both Japan and in Michigan for all of your support and love over the past four and a half years. We couldn’t have made it through our adventures without you, and will keep on needing you in the future! Here’s to new beginnings!