Esmé Writing

Esmé writes her name.
The way Esmé writes the 'S' in her name makes me happy to be alive...

Esmé writes the word apple.Esmé writes the word mommy.

Above-left: Esmé draws her interpretation of an apple, and writes the word "apple", but spells it "ALIME". Above-right: Esmé draws mommy and does her best to spell it. Ask her how to spell "mommy" and she'll tell you: "OMOMOMOMOMOMOM ... and a Y!"

One Year Ago

Japan & KoreaFor the past couple of weeks our family has been quietly celebrating the one-year anniversary of our trip to Japan & South Korea--going out to a Japanese restaurant with friends, making sushi/kimbap at home, looking at all the pictures.

It was such a volatile year--with so many things going on--and this trip in some ways became the pin around which everything revolved. But amidst all the activity, and all the craziness preparing for this novel experience--once we finally arrived we found peace, relaxation, the kindness of strangers, and the generosity of friends. In the middle of some of the busiest cities in the world, we were chilling, on vacation.

I remember... the long flight, extra-special treatment at Japanese customs, the room (and the high-tech toilet), turning a corner and discovering Shibuya at night, the JR Yamanote Line, Asakusa, Akihabara, Ginza, Kamakura, Rose at Hase-dera, morning in Harajuku, Omotesando, Shinjuku, Mitaka, Ghibli, Maxie and the shinkansen, Yasaka-jinja, the ryokan, Hiromi, Higashkiyama, Kiyomizu-dera, Nara, soaking in the bath, the graveyards, Gion, Esmé and the Geisha, eating a village (kaiseki), Narita, Seoul, long drive, kids romping, dinner with friends, Gyeongju, mountain sunset, Sokkuram grotto, burial mounds, wandering around Seoul without kids, Insadong, Nanta, good-byes...

These experiences cast a long shadow.

All I Have to Do Is Show Up

Earlier today, Rose (my wife, that is) and I spoke for no less than 35 minutes on the phone, doing nothing but coordinating our calendars. Apparently my life is pretty well laid out now, and all I have to do is work, sleep, and show up at these various occurrences. Adds a bit of simplicity to things, I suppose.