Sunday, May 13, 2007

Reasons to Smile

I am a pretty simple person. I like being a simple person. I like finding joy in the different things in life. Here are the things that made me smile this weekend. I had an amazingly fun weekend.
I am blessed indeed.
Reasons to Smile:
#1 Mini Road Trip to the Ocean;
Ty and his friends invited me to tag along this Saturday to surf with them. Everything about the day was wonderful. The weather, the waves, the conversation, etc. One of my favorite things was being in a car!! I love to road trip. So I rolled down the window and enjoyed the fresh air (as opposed to my usual train riding). Ohhhh, I love this feeling. #2 Palm Trees and Summer Skin. I love the way the sun *kisses* my cheeks and brings out my freckles. :) The day was amazing. The palm trees made the day complete and walking away with a pink face was fun. :)
#3 So many times riding the train... I had to add this one twice. Did I mention i love this feeling of riding in the car with the windows down? Ahhhhh so wonderful.
#4 The gang (plus Kuniyasu's girlfriend Yuka who took the picture) who went surfing. Jo, Tomo (different than the BEST club guy), Kuniyasu (wearing your shirt, Joni!!), and Ty.
It was so much fun. Kuniyasu and Ty were giving me pointers all day long. Sorry I don't have pictures of the actual beach/surfing. But believe me, it was amazing. It was such a thrill.

#5 Driving on a road that went under the ocean. Isn't that crazy? Here we are about to "tunnel" under...
and here is where the road *should be*. :) crazy.
#6 on reasons to smile: Safety in driving and seeing new things. Like this crazy road, surfing for the first time since 2001 and being in the ocean again.
What a blessing. I am so blessed.
#7 GPS tracking or direction giving. Something to that effect... you can't see it very well but we are on the road "underwater" (see right hand of screen). How funny is that?

#8 Kuniyasu made me smile. He is such a great guy and generous friend. He was so patient when teaching me to surf. He stayed by his girlfriend's side the whole day teaching and talking her through the waves. He is a great surfer but he didn't just forget about us and enjoy himself. (i am guilty of that when snowboarding, I am terribly impatient.) He was good to watch over me. One of my favorite things he said was,
"If you go anywhere, tell me. I don't want to lose you."
(p.s. Joni, that shirt ROCKS! That's awesome that you got him that in CA! Good Job!)
#9 Yuka was the best hostess this weekend. She let me stay the night at her place so we could get up at 4:30AM to head to the beach (*yowch!*). She paid for everything and insisted I was the guest. I couldn't believe it. I was so honored that she would think of me first. Wow, talk about learning lessons about serving by being served. I was in awe of her friendship to a complete stranger. She is great.
#10 Ice Cream!!!!
#11 Ty! I had a ton of fun bonding with Ty. He is a lifelong friend for sure.

Sunday was amazing as well!

#12 Mary

#13 Saaya

#14 Our trip to Chichibu to see more of Japanese culture and the amazing flower park. #15 Never ceasing amazement of how unique God is. And how honored I am to be chosen to serve Him. *Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who ahs measured the Spirit of the LORD or what man shows him his counsel?...* Isaiah 40:12-13
#16 Long walks... #17 Getting back into nature
#18 Laughter and Friendship
#19 Finding faces in wooden tables and finding the Japanese word for dimples and freckles. :) #20 Over-coming the communication barrier, even for a short time, and being able to talk... as friends.
#21 Green Tea and Soba Ice Cream... funny faces and hanging out.
#22 Trying new things... and being able to now say, "i'm a weaver." :)#23 Mary's personality coming out in her coaster. I know that sounds funny but it is always refreshing to see Mary's true personality come out. I enjoy every moment I am with my friend. She is reason #23 for making me smile.
#24 Saaya's unique friendship and being able to be myself with her. The craziest thing she has said to me so far is, "You're from Illinois, right? Do you know Illinois State University? Chuo University has a partnership with Illinois and I am thinking of going there." (uh, my family lives 15 minutes from campus... I was shocked!)
#25 Seeing kimono fabric being woven... this pattern was my favorite (blue and green flowers... am I really that predictable? tee hee hee) #26 Being reminded that there is no country like Japan and how honored I am to be here now. What an experience of a lifetime. I live such a fun life. God has blessed me indeed. (the before and after of the fabric being woven... individual strings being woven into fabric)
And the most random of my blessings this weekend?

#27 Finding a surfboard at a 2nd hand shop for 1500yen or $13 Jo: "Ty, I just found a surfboard. It's 1500 yen. What should I do? What if it's not good?"

Ty: "Who cares. Buy it anyway!"

#28 I am thankful for getting this baby back to Tokyo, via train. :)
What a fun weekend!!!


Jomama said...

Woo-hoo, I loved road-tripping with you via this blog! Wonder why you love it so? :) And let's find the plague that compares the freckles on your face to the stars sparkling in the heavens...I have ALWAYS loved them, silly girl! You are fearfully and wonderfully made! Hugs to you and your friends from IL. Hope we meet some at ISU! XOXOX

Joanna Kay said...

I think my love for road tripping was first developed in me when you let me wonder the yellow van on the way to Florida. Wow, no AC and driving the highway with the door open. We Schupbachs live life on the edddddggggggeeeee!
And then my love only deepened when Sarah and I took our first road trip together... with you, dear Mother, as the driver. I love that you used to road trip with us because we didn't have our licenses. :) ha ha ha!
What fun memories.
When the road trips resume, whether it be Japan or what not, I expect you to be at my side, Leslie!

Jordan said...

A surfing tip Jack Johnson gave me the last time we surfed the North Shore of Oahu: Don't let the surfboard whack you in the face. It might cause a nosebleed, and sharks can smell blood in the water for MILES!

Joanna Kay said...

Wow, that's so cool that you surfed with Jack Johnson. Did you guys sit around a campfire afterwards and play guitar? Or Ukuklele?
Hey, thanks for the good advice, I'll be sure to keep that in mind. Here's one that Chris Thile told me the last time we had coffee, "Keep secrets!" Isn't that one useful too?

Jordan said...

Hmmm, that is a good one. I'll try to keep it in mind. Thanks!

Kelli B said...

first of all, i cant get over your hair-cut-cuteness. it seriously suits you so well!

secondly, that is AWESOME about the surfboard! What a steal.

thirdly, the underwater road??? did you get freaked out? I would freak out. in a good way. how random and cool is that?

love your adventure JO.