The Breakfast in Michigan

Michigan is where I called home for nine years growing up and I feel lucky that I still get the chance to go back. This town (technically it’s a village!) is tucked in a cozy corner of Michigan where downtown is one street and you bump into people you know all the time. It’s the town that teenagers can’t wait to get out of and the town parents dream of once they have a family.
One of the greatest things about Michigan is that it has all four seasons. And fall is quite glorious here. Unfortunately I brought the rainy weather with me from DC and it was like that my whole stay here. But the leaves were just starting to change color and I thought it was beautiful anyway. I even brought back a few, pressed between my book! 😀
My other best friend from grade school currently lives here with her family and I was really excited to see her. We got our girl time together to catch up and I also got to hang out with her husband and adorable girls (she has three!). I sometimes still can’t believe she’s a mom but she’s an amazing one and I loved seeing her in her element.
On my first morning there, I also got to see one of my old friends. D and I went to school and church together when we were younger and and I hadn’t seen her in years. But (thanks to facebook) we’d kept in touch here and there over the years and I finally got to see her over breakfast!
To tell you the truth, I was nervous. I always am when I’m meet someone I haven’t seen in a while. Am I the only one? I think, what if there’s nothing to talk about and we end up having awkward pauses? What if we’re on a different page and don’t like each other anymore? What if she can’t understand my English? So many awful possibilities.
I really had nothing to worry about though. Breakfast with D was great! It certainly was kind of odd, in the sense that the last time I’d seen her we were both nine years old, and here we were catching up as adults, talking about family, work, and men. Very surreal. But we had tons of laughs and hush-hush talks. It was great.
Reconnecting with old friends always puts a smile on my face and I was beyond happy to see D during my short stay in Michigan. Can’t wait until the next time! xx
Would you believe this gigantic omelette was the “half omelette on the menu?

The only selfie photo, after a few dozen, that included both our faces in the shot! 😀
Oh Michigan, you are truly beautiful and will always be home to me.

The Old Photos: Lake Michigan

Look at this crazy winter photo of
the North Pier Outer Lighthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan!
Apparently a wind chill advisory
was issued in Michigan this past week.
My family used to live right by Lake Michigan.
In the winter, parts of Lake Michigan would freeze over
and it becomes this massive field of snow and ice.
(I don’t think Lake Michigan has ever completely frozen over.)
This is us exploring out on Lake Michigan.
I remember being excited and a little freaked out
about walking out above the deep water.
Don’t you love our retro snowsuits?

The Old Photos: Sledding

One of the great things about going back home?
The old photo albums.
The boxes and boxes of photo albums.
And I thought I’d share a few sledding photos I found here.

This is the apartment we grew up in.
That’s me, my sister, and my dad.
The apartment had a tiny slope behind it and
my dad would use his shovel to make a sledding course
so it would be an awesome bumpy and curvy ride!
I have such good memories of playing in snow.
Sledding is the bomb when you’re seven.

The Good Bye in Michigan

Woke up bright and early to see
sweet Stella playing with my cellphone.
Look at her cute pj’s!
Lily had to go to school so
we took a group picture on the porch swing
before she had to go.
Lily gave me a hug before leaving
because I wouldn’t see her when she came back.

But Stella decided she wanted to hug me, too.
This is her running back to the car after
giving me that hug.

How cute are these girls?

As for Tennyson and I
we headed over to Apple Valley
so I could get my bag of oats.
Oats are so expensive in Japan.
Probably because people don’t really eat oats.
Anyways, the oats were so cheap
I ended up getting a 10 pound bag!
Can’t wait to make oatmeal at home this winter.
We had breakfast with Katrina and her girls.
Danelle makes the best breakfasts!
(Can’t believe I forgot to take a picture!)
And then all too soon
it was time for us to head back to Chicago.
So sad.
And I vowed right then and there to come back
and spend a longer time in Michigan next time I come!
Loved hanging out with Danelle and her family.
Thanks so much for having me!

The Trip to Michigan

Tennyson and I took a short trip to Michigan!
There was no way I was missing a chance to go back.
So Tennyson got a rental car and drove us there.
It was like a little road trip.
We talked about life.
We listened to Azealia Banks.
And the weird thing is…it felt normal.
This always happens.
It’s like we do this every other weekend and
we don’t really live half way across the world from each other.
So weird.
But I guess that’s what happens when you’re good friends.
You know, when you don’t feel the gap of time and instantly re-connect?
Anyways, the number one reason
(actually the only reason)
we went back to Michigan was
to see this lovely girl!!!
And oh it was SO GOOD to see Danelle!!!

I haven’t seen Danelle since 2005.
I was so so bummed when I couldn’t go to her wedding.
And now she’s a mother of two beautiful girls!
I loved every minute I got with her and her family.
We spent the afternoon
drawing all over their driveway.
So. Much. Fun.

Danelle is just as creative as ever!
(She was always the artsy one in grade school)
Look at the pretty driveway!
And now look at Danelle on the roof
doing her professional photographer thing!
She’s crazy.
But I bet she got great pictures of pretty Lily.
(She is such a sweet heart, I love her poses!)

Tennyson and I butted into Lily’s picture
and grabbed one of the three of us!
We had so much fun!
I wish I took writing class more seriously
so I could tell you how utterly charming Lily is!
She is so much like Danelle,
super smart and seriously cute as hell.
And even though I live on the other side of the world
I cannot wait to see how these girls grow up.
Aaaaand here is sweet Stella!
She’d just woken up from her nap
and probably wondering who the asian woman is 😀

This girl is such a jewel.

She has this amazing talent of being able to
walk around in any size shoes.

Look at her in my shoes!

She was skipping around the living room and
wearing them like they weren’t twice the size of her own feet.

So funny.

I haven’t seen these girls in over 5 years
and I was so happy to see them!
I get sentimental and nostalgic
every time I got back to Michigan.
But getting to catch up with old friends is my favorite part.
Oh, and of course, taking a whole bunch of pictures! 😀