Sunday, October 9, 2011

Everyday Life

It has been pointed out to me that for someone who doesn't work, & doesn't have kids (yet!) that I am one busy girl!  Half of the time I don't remember what I've been doing, but I know I'm busy.  Between PWOC (our women's Bible study), worship practice, squadron spouses, & serving on the board for our Yokota Officer's Spouses Club (YOSC) some weeks I have a meeting or two everyday.  Don't get me wrong, I love to stay busy and I know that I got that from my Momma.  Sometimes I wonder how I'm going to squeeze all of this in and keep the house up when our little man gets here.  I know it will all work itself out, but I get a little overwhelmed just thinking about it every once in a while. 

In other news, I can't believe that our little man will be here in a little over 3 months!!!  WOW!  I was talking to my friends Karen & Lynn this week and said something about being shocked that he would be here in 4 months, and they quickly pointed out that it wouldn't even be that long.  I guess with all of that counting in weeks I lost track of the months.  Where has the time gone?  I am so excited that I get to see my family in a couple of weeks, & they can see my baby bell in person.  It just loses something on Skype.  =)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

24 Weeks!

Ok in my effort to do better at blogging, I figure I should do a post even if I don't feel like there is really something big to write about.  For someone that doesn't work, this has been one busy week for me!  I had meetings on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday along with a baby checkup.  Thankfully today is a change of pace, and to top it off Kenny should be home from work around noon & will be off the rest of the day and tomorrow!  I love getting to spend some extra time with that man.  The weather has been amazing here this week, so I think we'll head into Tokyo today to do some exploring.
We got a good report at the doctor yesterday for our 24 week check-up.  Baby Boy Bierman is doing great!  Everything looked good from our 20 week ultrasound, and he has a great heart beat.  That is my favorite sound in the world!
Well, that is really it for today.  I decided that I had to write something, or I'd slip right back into being a slacker.  =)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Japan has had one heck of a rough year!  Since March we have had a 9.0 earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster & a couple of typhoons.  Oh & don't forget the hundreds of aftershocks we have had & continue to have since the big earthquake.  Thankfully, we here at Yokota have been kept safe. 
I just wanted to note that Americans & most other countries in the world for that matter, could learn a lot from the Japanese people.  Throughout all of this, they have maintained order & respect for people and their property.  There have not been the robberies and murders like there are when hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters hit places in the US.  It is so sad to see thieves in the States prey on people when they have just lost loved ones & almost everything they own.  The world should step back and learn a few things from the amazing people of Japan. 
That's really all I have to say.  I just wanted to give some props to this country that I am temporarily calling home.  Don't get me wrong, I love America & look forward to the day that we live there again.  I just wish we could bring a few things like this back with us.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our lives since April...

Well, once again I am beyond behind on my blog, and a LOT has happened since my last post in March.  The absolute biggest thing that has changed in our life is that we're pregnant!!!!  That's right, Baby Boy Bierman will be making his debut in January.  We couldn't be more excited.  This child is truly a miracle & blessing from God.  I could do a whole other blog post on our road to finally being pregnant, but I'll save that for another day.  The timing could not have worked out better when I found out that I was pregnant.  I had a trip back home planned already, so I got to tell my family in person.  It was so much fun!  I bought a cute little onesie here on base that said "Made in Japan...with American Parts" and had it wrapped up to give Mom & Dad to make the big announcement.  There was definitely lots of hugging & tears involved in that process. 
I had a wonderful & hectic trip at home in May/June.  I got to spend lots of quality time with my family as we were all living under one roof!  Yep, that's right, all 9 of us (we missed you Kenny!) were at Mom & Dad's house.  Bek & Ben were getting ready to move to Birmingham and had already sold their house, so we were extra cozy.  While I was at home, we ended up having my Mimi & my sweet nephew Hayes both in the hospital.  It was such a blessing that I was able to be at home to help out my sister with the kids & whatever else I could do. 
August came around, & Kenny and I got to go on the vacation of a lifetime!  We went to Hong Kong, flew to Sydney and cruised to the New Caledonia Islands, then back to Sydney for a few days.  It was amazing!  What a great way to spend our last kid-free vacation for a while.  It was nice to have Kenny home & away from work for a while.  He hadn't really had a chance to stop much since Thanksgiving last year, so it was a well deserved break for him. 
Unfortunately, I have to throw some bad news in here too.  Living as far away from family as we do definitely has some drawbacks, & we had to experience the worst kind in August.  We had just returned from vacation to get the news that my Mimi had passed away.  Ellen Jane Wightman, Mimi, passed away on August 17, 2011, at the age of 92.  Mimi was my mom's mom.  Those of you that know me well, know that Mimi holds a very special place in my heart.  It was extremely hard for me to not be able to go home to be with my family at this time, but it just was not possible.  It warmed my heart to hear of the love & support that my family got from our friends back home.  My friends here in Japan comforted me the best they could.  We are going home at the end of October, & I know that it will be bittersweet for me.  One of the first things I have always done, is go to see Mimi.  It is going to be hard not getting to see her, but I know that she is in a a better place and is no longer in any pain. 
That about brings us up to date.  September has been pretty busy here at Yokota so far.  We kicked off our women's Bible study ministry for the year as well as our spouses organization.  This past weekend we celebrated the United States Air Force's 64th birthday at the AF Ball.  We had a great time, but I have to admit that my feet & back were killing me by the end of the night!  Now we are just focusing on getting ready for this baby!  We are also looking forward to a whirlwind trip to Seattle & Little Rock at the end of October. 
I will try to do better at blogging, especially with this little one on the way.  I know that I have said that before, but really I'm going to try! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A New Normal

Strange as it may sound, things are starting to feel normal around here.  Granted it is a totally new kind of normal, but it is normal nonetheless.  The active duty member are still working 24/7, there are a lot of people who have left the base & many of the places on base are closed or have shortened hours.  We seem to have settled in to some sort of routine.  Thank goodness!  Yes, it's no fun having husbands that are working 7 days a week, but this is still nothing compared to the loss that so many people have experienced.  We were fortunate enough to have a very normal Saturday night.  Kenny had to work all day, but he wanted us to do something with friends when he got off work.  So we called up our dear friends the Miners, and asked them to come join for dinner.  It was the first time we have gotten to fire up the grill in a while.  We had a great, relaxing evening sitting around the table eating, talking & laughing.  It is so nice to feel somewhat normal again.  Things in Japan are going to take a very long time to return to normal.  But, I am so thankful for our Yokota Family that is adjusting together to make our own normal. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thank goodness for friends!

I would be lost without my friends!!!  I am so lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing group of women here in Japan.  Since the day that the earthquake happened we have all rallied around one another to help each other through this.  Last night was a very needed break from everything going on.  My friend Gabbi is a Pampered Chef consultant here.  She had a party planned with someone that chose to take the voluntary evacuation, so she called me and asked if I wanted to have the party here.  As you know, I'm never one to turn down a party, so I gladly agreed.  It was very last minute, but we had a great group of about 10 girls here.  One of our friends showed up with her "Earthquake Margarita Kit" and it could not have been better timing.  We had a great night talking, laughing, eating and relaxing.  We all agreed that is was just what we needed!  With all of our husbands working so much we have leaned on each other a lot.  I can not imagine being here without my friends. 

I don't want to leave out my family and friends back home in this post.  I have been so overwhelmed by the love & support both from Yokota and at home.  Your prayers, support & encouraging words are helping to carry me through this.  Please continue to support Japan!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Where do I start?

Wow!  Where do I start to describe the last 9 days of our lives here in Japan?!?  Friday, March 11, 2011 started out just like any other Friday for me.  I spent a couple of hours having Friday morning coffee with my girlfriends, then Kenny had a small break from lunch so I met him for lunch as Santa Sushi.  (Yes, that is the real name of the restaurant.  It is one of our favorites here!)  After lunch, I met back up with some of the girls to do a little shopping at the BXtra.  On my way home, around 2:00pm, I decided to stop at the salon here by my house to see if they had any openings for a pedicure that day.  Just my luck, they had one right then!  So of course, I took it.  I had my Kindle in my purse and just sat in the massage chair relaxing while I was getting pampered.  Around 2:50pm as she was painting my toenails I began to realize that I was moving more than just the massage chair was moving me.  We all stopped and just looked at each other kinda like, "Oh crap, we're having an earthquake."  So, at first it really wasn't a big deal.  We get little tremors here in Japan a lot.  Well, then it kept going and getting stronger by the second!  At this point the Japanese ladies working in there told us to get outside.  The humor to the situation is that here I am barefoot with the toe separators on my feet trying to run outside.  I'm sure I looked a little strange.  The shaking felt like it lasted forever!!!  I've heard different reports that it lasted 2-5 minutes.  The buildings were all swaying, and I'm not going to lie...I was scared.  Once we stopped moving, we thought it was all over & went back inside.  They finished up my toes & I went next door to pick up my dry cleaning.  That is when the 2nd big one hit.  I had been frantically trying to call Kenny, but the phone lines were all jammed.  We had no clue what was really going on.  As soon as the 2nd one finished, I went straight to find my friends Lynn & Mindy who live across the parking lot from me.  Kenny had been trying to find me too, but he didn't know where I was.  He had talked to Lynn, so I knew that he was ok.  Once we felt it was safe to go back inside, we all went to Lynn's house.  I finally got ahold of Kenny & he told us to turn on the news because a tsunami was heading straight for the coast of Japan.  We learned that the earthquake that we had just experienced was one of the largest in history!  At the epicenter it was a 9.0, & they estimate that we felt it as a 5.1 here at Yokota over 320 miles away from the epicenter.  WOW!!!  The second one that followed about 30 minutes later was somewhere close to an 8.0 I believe.  (I could be wrong on that one.)  We immediately knew that life in Japan had just drastically changed for us.  Since last Friday we have had close to 500 aftershocks or new earthquakes.  Some have been small enough that we don't notice them, and some have woken us up at night.  None of them have been nearly as strong as the first two!

We were very fortunate to have no damage here on base, & everyone was safe.  Praise God!  Unfortunately the rest of Japan was not so lucky.  The area near Sendai is completely devastated by the earthquake & tsunami.  The rest of the night we sat glued to the news to try to understand what was happening, & if we were safe.  We have been & continue to be very safe here at Yokota!  We have zero radiation in our air, we have power, water & food.  We are truly blessed!

Immediately, our active duty members went to work.  Planning, organizing, making sure everyone was accounted for, etc.  Yokota Air Base is now the hub of military relief efforts for Operation Tomodachi, which translated means Operation Friendship.  I could not be more proud to be a part of this community, & the work that we are doing to help our wonderful host country of Japan.  It has been amazing to see how the AF & our sister services our working together to bring aid to our friends here.  Our military members are working around the clock planning, flying, doing search & rescue, delivering relief aid, & many other things.  They are working extremely long, hard hours.  Kenny has been working on average 14-18 hours a day.  There is no such thing as a weekend here at Yokota AB right now.  Everyone is working 24/7.

This week has been a whirlwind to say the least.  I have not had time to sit down & write it all out until now.  I have been staying busy cooking meals & baking cookies to take to all of the guys working with Kenny.  I have also had the opportunity to volunteer with the Red Cross some on base.  I am surrounded by an amazing group of friends here.  Since all of our husbands are working around the clock, we have had a lot of girls nights.  We have laughed, cried, talked & sat in silence together.  We have been scared, shocked, and felt a peace that only God can give us.  I know that God is in control of this. 

Kenny & I have made the decision that I will stay here in Japan unless they government does a mandatory evacuation of Japan.  This is our home.  We are here together.  I can not imagine leaving him here right now.  This is where I belong.  This is where God has placed us, & He has a purpose for us to be here.  I ask that you would please pray for the people of Japan who have lost everything.  They have lost loved ones, their homes, their cities.  Please pray that they will be able to cool the nuclear reactors.  Please pray for the military doing the relief work.  Pray that they will get the rest they need to do their jobs.  Please pray for us, the families here, that we will remain safe.  Pray that we know how to support our spouses the best way we can. 

I know this post is a little all over the place, but to be honest the last 9 days have been a little all over the place.  Know that we appreciate your thoughts & prayers.  I will keep you as updated as I can either here or on facebook. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, it's probably a good thing that I've never really been a big Valentine's Day fan....this was the 1st of many Valentine's Day that Kenny was gone for.  The beauty of being an Air Force wife is that I definitely was not alone!  Kenny is only gone for about 1 month, so I'm one of the lucky ones.  Last week, several of my friends husbands left for a 4-5 month deployment, so it's pretty easy to keep my little one month in perspective.  This weekend we all kept super busy together!  We had 2 baby showers & a Work Widows Valentine's Dinner.  It was so much fun!!!  Then last night Lynn, Mindy & I had a dinner & movie night.  It was a perfect, low key night.  I hope you all have a great week!  Remember to say a prayer for our troops who have to be away from their loved ones on Valentine's day. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Quick Getaway!

We love Yokota Air Base!  We have such an awesome network of friends here.  But even with all of that, it is nice to get away from here every once in a while.  The problem is that when you live in Japan, there aren't very many places that are close & cheap enough for an overnight trip.  EXCEPT...the awesome military hotel in downtown Tokyo!  We love the New Sanno!!!!  It is a very nice hotel that we get at a great price!  Well, last week, I was able to convince Kenny to take a day off during the week so that we could go to Tokyo without the weekend crowds.  It was just what we needed!  On our walk to the hotel from the train, we noticed a new winery that has opened a tasting bar right next door to the hotel.  After we dropped our bags off, we went back for a wine tasting.  It was great!  It is Kenzo Estate Winery.  Their vineyard is in Napa Valley, but it is a Japanese company.  We got to meet Kenzo himself & his wife while we were there.  They were so nice!  After the wine tasting we went back to relax at the hotel.  We then treated ourselves to a 4-star 5 course dinner at Wellingtons.  One of the restaurants in the New Sanno.  It was delicious!!!  They have a regular menu as well the course menu that changes monthly.  We went there when Mom & Dad came to visit & just had to go again.  We are so lucky to have the New Sanno to go to for a quick escape from the base. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


So, I was just noticing that I haven't blogged since August....That definitely earns me the title of the Worst Blogger Ever!  So, since there is no way I can possibly post all of the pictures and every detail of all the things we've done since August, I'll give a quick recap & try to add a few pictures.  I promise to do better!

September:  I spent all of September at home in Arkansas.  It was awesome!  I loved spending time with my family & friends.  Kenny even took some time off work & met me there.  It was the perfect timing for a trip home.  I got to go to a Razorback game, the lake, and and OU game with Kenny.  We love college football at our house!  We also had a retirement party for Kenny's dad. 

Caroline & I at the lake

Kenny & his dad at the retirement party
October:  We started the month off by leaving Arkansas & going to Seattle for a week.  One word...GORGEOUS!!!  Neither one of us had ever been there before, and we loved it!  Kenny had to go there for some training, so I got to tag along.  We celebrated our anniversary a little early with dinner at the top of the Seattle Space Needle.  Such a fun night!  It was nice to have a relaxing night there with him because he was going to have to be gone on our anniversary.  Probably our favorite thing that was did was drive through Mount Rainier National Park.  It was breathtakingly beautiful!  We also got to take in a Mariner's game.  We like baseball at our house too.  Probably the best thing about going to Seattle was that Kenny & I got to fly home to Japan together.  It's such a long flight to be on by yourself.  I loved having him there to lean on to fall asleep.  =)
Kenny & I at Mount Rainier

November:  We've decided that while we can't be with our families for Thanksgiving, it is a great time to take vacation.  We went to Saipan for Thanksgiving.  It is a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  It is one of the Northern Mariana Islands.  Saipan is a very important historical sight from WWII.  My Pa (my dad's dad) was actually on the island during the war before being on the 1st ship into Tokyo Bay after the bombing of Hiroshima.  Kenny & I had a great time taking in the historical sites & relaxing by the pool and beach.  It was probably the  most relaxing vacation we've ever had!

The view from our Thanksgiving dinner in Saipan

December:  Well in case you don't know... I LOVE Christmas!!!!  Spending time with family and friends, decorating, the smells, the lights & most importantly, celebrating the birth of Christ!  Unfortunately, I had a nasty cold that lasted about 3 weeks which put a little bit of a damper on the fun.  But, we still had plenty of fun!  We spent Christmas Eve & Christmas day with our Yokota family.  We are so blessed to be in a place where we are surrounded by such great friends!  God has definitely taken care of us!!!

Kenny & I at the base Christmas tree lighting ceremony

Amanda, Me, Michelle, Melissa & Lynn at the 36th Christmas party
And now here we are in January.  I thought things were supposed to settle down after the holidays?!?!  They definitely haven't!  We have been so busy, but I love it!  We just went snow skiing with a group from base.  We had such an awesome time!  Our dear friends the Miner's were on the trip with us.  We had so much fun laughing and skiing our way down the slopes.  We definitely made some lasting memories on that trip!!!  Kenny & I are hoping to hit the slopes one more time this month before he has to go on a trip for all of February.  It is so beautiful here in the mountains of Japan!  We love getting out of the city and into the mountains here.  It makes us feel a little more at home without so many buildings around.  But don't worry, there are still millions of Japanese people around to remind me that we aren't in Arkansas anymore.  =)   

Whew! I think that about sums up the last several months. I know I missed a lot, and I'm sorry. I will try to do better!