Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Anchors Aweigh...

So here's the first announcement of the week:
My husband has been accepted as an Officer into the United States Navy Medical Services Corps!
It's been a very long process (taking almost 7 months, and a lot of patience...), but I am so proud of him and this great service we are going to do together.  Plus he'll look great in that uniform ;)
So here's a hint about where we will be stationed:

pic from here

can you guess??
pic from here

We're moving to Japan!!
We will be stationed for 3 years at the naval base in Yokosuka, Japan - just south of Tokyo.

This has not been a decision we've made lightly.
Which is one of the reasons I've been distracted
- a lot of emotions have been running through my little head and heart. 
Lots of people say they would love the adventure of living overseas - but it's a whole different thing to actually pack up your things and fly 18 hrs to live in another country for 3 years. 
We are very close to our family and will be very sad that we won't be able to see them as much as we have been.  But we know that in the span of a lifetime, 3 years is just a blink of an eye. 
So Ryan starts medical officer training in the middle of October.  That will last 5 weeks and Charlotte and I will be staying with family during that time.  Then we will head on over to Japan! 

We decided to join the Navy for several reasons, but here are a few:
*they offer excellent loan repayment for medical professions (9 years of college hasn't been cheap)
*the work is diverse - Ryan will work with families on the base as well as train sailors and marines in hearing conservation.
*lots of benefits - free medical services, shopping at the exchange...etc.

So we feel that this is definitely the best financial move for our family,
as well as a great cultural experience, and a chance to serve our country!
I will definitely be continuing this blog - so you can follow right along with all of our adventures. 
I guess I'm going to have to learn amigurumi :) 
and I've already scouted out the fabric stores in Tokyo - there are lots! 
So I'll have access to fun Japanese fabrics, paper, and washi tape ;)
If you have any info for me about JapanI'd love to hear it
(although please only share encouraging stories - I know there will be difficult times, but I'd like to focus on the positive).
hope you're having a great day!


  1. A friend of mine lived in Okinawa for 2 years. She loved it. She even made friends with some Japanese women who taught her to cook in exchange for English lessons. Good luck!

  2. And I will be moving with you. Just kidding...but can't wait to visit, and you know I will! Love you guys. Things I'm excited about for you:

    -Amazing scenery
    -Japanese crafts and arts
    -Charlotte becoming fluent in Japanese

  3. Wow, that is really cool! I have a friend living in Japan right now and it's been a pretty neat cultural experience for her! Best wishes to you guys!

  4. Okay, so I saw this the other day and laughed my head off. Then you shared your news and I thought I'd share it!


  5. Wow! Yes, a BIG change, but a great one for your family. I grew up in the Air Force and I think the moving new places kept our nuclear family strong and connected--and it's a great way to grow up. We can grow blinders and only see our own way of life--but Charlotte will be blessed to see a variety of ways of life.

    Congrats on your new lovely path. ; )

    Also, isn't it so wonderful that we have things like skype and email and all those things that weren't available just a few short decades ago?

    I can't wait to see Sew Homegrown 2.0 -the abroad version!

  6. Jessica!! Oh my gosh! I'm happy for you! This is going to be such an amazing adventure for your family!!
    And I totally want to hear more about it so call when you have time ok? ;)

  7. I am so excited for you and your family. I've had a few friends that have lived in Japan. They have loved the experience.

    Being in the military is such an honor and blessing. My husband serves in the Air Force. When one family member serves - I believe the whole family serves. We've been in 15 years as of 9/4/11. You'll be challenged and you'll grow in ways you never imagined. Enjoy it as much as you can. :-D

  8. WOW that is such fantastic news!! I am so excited for you guys. I am not sure if you know this but I grew up in a military family and spent 10 years in Germany. It was the most fantastic experience and I am so grateful to my parents for making the decisions that allowed me to grow up there.

  9. That is so awesome! Such a good opportunity for you all! :) I have a couple of friends who have been to Japan for a while (staying 3 months and 1 year respectively) and both got a really amazing experience out of it. I'll be you'll have a fantastic three years there and find tonnes of inspiration everywhere you look. Good luck with it all! :D

  10. I know a family that spent 5 years in Japan when their children were small. All the kids talk about it now as one of the highlights of their childhoods. One of them is even moving back now because she's always felt so tied to the country. They'll be in Sendai. Also, they all got jobs as kids modeling for clothing catalogues because it was so popular over there to be Caucasian. So, you know, maybe you can have a little model on your hands. :) It's hilarious to look at them now in the Japanese equivalent of the Sears catalogue. ;D

  11. http://www.vivatveritas.com

    Here is a crafty sewing blogger living in Japan. She has some great things and a baby!

  12. oh wow that is a huge change, but it will be great :) good luck with everything!
    xo dana

  13. What an adventure you have before you! I'm glad I recently found your blog, I'm looking forward to following along. Congratulations! And just wait, I bet the 3 years will just fly by!
    Thank you for your sacrifice and service to our country too. :)

  14. I just found your blog a short time a go,, I read it quietly from the side lines,, every post. I have several Japanese friends and we had a lovely girl stay on an exchange from japn for a year, then she returned to visiti twice more!. I love Japan and you living on the base will be just fine because there will be lots of Americans to help.The news of the upcoming baby has just brightned my day!I wish you all the best and i will follow your journey,, take care and be well.What an exciting time for your family!

  15. I used to live just north of there in Japan. It's a beautiful country, and I hope you are able to get off the base once in a while. (The base is not so exciting.)

    There are TONS of fabric stores in that area, but definitely plan to take a trip here: http://www.yuzawaya.co.jp/company/brochure2.html . (Click the home button at the bottom, then the first option at the top of the page for locations. Google chrome will translate it for you.) It's been a few years, but if you have questions, let me know.

  16. All I can think of is wow! wow! wow! We lived in Tokyo itself, for 5 years. LOVE those years & would live there again. I hv posted various positive things about Japan. Moved to Dubai (since Dec 2010) with hundreds to boxes filled with Japanese fabrics & wonderful Japanese goodies. I will be back there for the fabulous Tokyo Quilt Fest. If I can answer any of yr concerns, I will be happy to do so! It is pure heaven for anyone who sews/crafts! You lucky thing!

  17. I'm an on-again off-again lurker, but ran across this belatedly and just wanted to add some encouragement for you! When I was 2, my dad's company sent him to Tokyo (where we lived in a downtown apartment) for what was originally going to be two years. We only wound up staying six months due to some changes in plans, so I don't remember it much. However, my mom says it was a great experience and she's glad they did it. That's really saying something, because she was six months pregnant and the mother of a 2-year-old when they moved there! She talks about some of the challenges (using hole-in-the-floor public toilets while very pregnant and holding onto a curious 2-year-old) but I don't think she's ever told me of any regrets or truly bad experiences there. Apparently I enjoyed the adventure, and was spoiled by shopkeepers who loved my red hair. She's said the people were very friendly and helpful, although of course there were quite a lot of cultural differences to figure out. She remembers things like being able to leave your stroller outside of a small, crowded shop without worrying (the Japanese mothers left both stroller and child; Mom said she never felt quite comfortable with that) and that there were sidewalk vending machines for alcohol and the teenagers were simply expected not to make use of them (I don't know how effective that was, but the fact that it was perceived as effective seems encouraging). I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time living there -- congratulations!

  18. My husband's cousin's daughter found signing up was the only way to see herself through med school over here in England. She also made the decision for financial reasons. My youngest (16) is also aiming for a career in medicine but doesn't think he wants to take that route.


Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

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