Japan Life Updates

Blueberry Farm July 30

I have been seeing posts from friends here in Japan forever about fruit picking in the area, but with regular pregnancy tiredness and the average toddlerhood sass, we just haven’t really left the house lately on days off. We braved the 82 degree heat today (all of you back home will scoff at me for that as you sit in 100 degree Missouri, I’m sure) and visited a nearby blueberry farm. We were absolutely not disappointed.


We pulled up to a tiny farm, complete with several chickens, a greenhouse, some barn cats, and a small field of blueberries. As often is the case in Japan, we technically parked in the front yard of the Japanese family that owned the farm.
So far, our experience has proved that Japanese families run their businesses often out of one or two rooms of their own house, or their businesses are stationed directly on their personal property. Many have their business as the lowest level of their house, with their residence on the upper level.



Henry wasn’t 100% sure about the bugs, grass, ants, and hundreds of tiny toddler-sized trees, but he warmed up quickly after tasting a few berries.


As we entered the farm, the sweet Japanese lady at the front table explained to us how everything worked. Adult entry fees cost 500 yen, (equating to about $4.50) and all kids under 7 were free.



35.5 week baby bump, blueberries included. Pardon my lack of eyes, we went mid-day and the sun isn’t nice to my already squinty face. 

Most pick-yourself-farms know you will eat as you pick, but I have rarely had a farm ENCOURAGE me to eat all that I could. The Japanese woman bowed to us, motioned to the field, and said “Please PLEASE eat eat eat! As long as you want, eat eat eat!”
And that we did.





At the end of your picking, you can choose to take your basket of berries up to the front and pay to take those berries home, too. Takeaway berries cost 100 yen per 100 grams, which is actually WAY cheaper than you can even find in grocery stores in the area. A pint of blueberries from the store often can cost you anywhere from $5-$7. I expected our two rather full baskets to cost us a pretty penny, but amazingly we only paid 1100 yen (about $9.90) for a HUGE bag full of fresh berries.

And of course all three of us left with full bellies, especially the littlest one of us.



As we went up to pay, the sweet Japanese family all greeted Henry, and the workers who were renovating the family’s home even stopped their work to come interact with us as we paid for our berries. They first sent us with an extra to-go cup full of berries for Henry to eat on the way home, then proceeded to say “gift for you, gift for you!” We watched as they took our bag and scooped almost the exact amount that we had already  picked right into our bag- completely free. We paid $9.90 for a little over 4lbs of fresh blueberries!


This was the first bag we picked, we went home with around 4x this many berries.
Henry isn’t about the smiling life these days, apparently. #threenager at age two.
Henry, munching on his gift from the Japanese family, quickly fell asleep on the way home. 

The kindness and hospitality of the Japanese will never cease to amaze me. Perhaps it is because we live closer to rural Japan than to any of the majorly crowded cities- but I am under the belief that this country has things down right. The slow, calm pace and sweet servanthood of every native you come in contact with will surely make you want to never leave the country.


Apple, cherry, and raspberry picking has now been added to our bucket list for sure.

Life · Parenting


Two years ago on this day, at 5:44pm, our lives got so much brighter. Our sweet little 8lb boy with a full head of black hair was born, and I so vividly remember not being able to hold back tears as they handed him to me.
“Oh my gosh, that’s my baby. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh, he’s our baby. This is our Henry.”


During my pregnancy with him, I stumbled upon the song Cecilia and the Satellite by Andrew McMahon, and it played on repeat for the following 20 weeks. Such a sweet song, written for his own daughter, and his words are so unbelievably true.

“For all the things my eyes have seen, the best by far is you.
For all the places I have been, I’m no place without you.
For all the things my hands have held, the best by far is you.”

Man, you’ll hear me constantly talk through my emotions about motherhood in similar ways, but I never knew just how deeply it would change me until my sweet Henry was laid on my chest that day in July.
Two years later, I still feel the same.


It’s funny, because typically the first birthday is the hardest for parents . But this second birthday has been so much more tearful than expected. The little boy that made me a mom is turning two only a few weeks before his little sister will make her appearance, making it all the more real that it has actually been two entire years since our lives changed so drastically.


So, my sweet boy. You went to sleep last night a 1 year old, and opened your eyes this morning a whole number bigger. And since I can’t seem to figure out how to stop this from happening each year, here’s to you on your second birthday.


You are so resilient. I am constantly in awe of your ability to go with the flow, and your ability to adapt to any situation. Less than a year ago you moved 6000 miles away from the United States with us, and ever since Japan has simply been your new playground.
You have the sweetest heart, and I hope you never lose that. Your sensitive and caring nature dumbfounds me, and sometimes I am convicted so deeply of my own fallen heart simply by looking at you and the way that you interact with your world. You love kitty cats, you pat my arm when I cry. You snuggle your daddy as he sleeps, you say “pwease” and “ank-youuuu” for everything we hand you. You have a heart of absolute gold, and a face full of sass, and I could not love that more about you.



I pray you will remain resilient as your baby sister comes. So excited for her arrival, we anxiously await as she gets bigger every day. But the countdown is bittersweet knowing that every day that we get closer to meeting her is a day closer to you no longer being our only baby. I pray you always feel loved, cherished, and important, no matter how many times you become a big brother.
I pray so many things for you, sweet boy.

I pray you never stop saying yellow the way you do. “Wewwow”
I pray you never lose your love for all things “vroom vroom.”
I pray you always carry kittens around, snuggling them as you do every single day right now.
I pray you ask US to say “MMM, GOOD” about our food forever.
I pray you always walk up to us and open our hands to stack your matchbox cars in, no matter what else we are busy with.
I pray you never stop leaning forward to have me kiss your forehead every night.
I pray you never stop grabbing my face to kiss me.
I pray you always reach your hand towards mine as we leave the house.
I pray you always bring me books to read to you.
I pray you always look at everything in your world with the same wonder that you do right now. I especially pray you always excitedly and loudly exclaim, “WOW, LOOK AT THAT!”


I pray you stay this little forever, but since I know you won’t, I hope you are always your sweet, thoughtful, and funny self. I hope as you grow well into your toddler years and into the years of school, that you know Jesus as your best friend, your parents as your absolutes, and your family as your biggest fans- no matter how far away they may be at the time.

I fear about the attitude and temperament of your coming little sister, because I do not see how I could ever be blessed with another baby as sweet as you. Thankfully, as seen with you, I have been surprised before. I’m sure you both will grow into quite the spitfires, and I am okay with that. Teach her to see the world you do. I wish I could learn more through your little eyes.

You are so dearly loved, my sweet boy. Your daddy and I can’t seem to say that enough.



Grow in height, grow in sizes, but mostly, please continue growing in your sweet personality and your care for others. If the world could have a million Henrys, it would be all the better for it.

Happy birthday baby boy.