Monday, June 5, 2017

Let's go!

Jake has been in korea for 5 weeks now! So hard to believe how fast it has gone (he might not agree on this.) I'm sorry I have never posted how to watch his games it has been so busy for me here with the kids! 

Jake has pitched the best he has ever pitched in his entire career! To God we give all the glory! Game after game has been so fun and exciting! It's also been great since he was the first foreigner to sign in Korea so the pressure was on! They either will love you or hate you quickly.... the first game he said it felt like he has never pitched before and playing a game of darts haha! He did good, but it definitely wasn't very pretty! 

He went 5 inning 0 runs 2 hit 2 strikeouts 4 walks (the ugly part lol) 

Game #2 game he went 6 inning 3 earned runs 5 strikeouts and got the loss. 

Game #3 7 innings 1 run 5 strikeouts and got the win! It was his first win in the majors and was so exciting to watch!!! He has been hero of the game twice as well which is really fun they pick two of the best players for the game and you get money too if you get it haha! Here is his one interview which broke my heart his almost lost it talking about us, but so exciting we got to watch live! 



This post will be short but I can't wait to tell you more about the differences between Japan and Korea and our experience! We loved Japan, but it was very challenging and challenges in Seoul but very westernized so really has been easy on Jake everyone speaks English, we live above a 8 story mall, outback, Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, burger joint all in our one building! 

I just wanted to share how to watch and can actually rewatch him the next night if interested vs 4:30 am haha! 



Click here to watch : jake's first win interview

Here is the English version to keep track of Jake's stats and all his information I just saved this to my iPhone homescreen https://mykbostats.com/players/1624

Then there is an app called : NAVER it is green with an N that can actually watch the games! 



I hope this helps for those who are asking I will do a blog soon!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lets go to Korea?

ready for Korea
Hi!!! I just want to say I have a ton of people I added from my Facebook post, so welcome.. I have been doing this blog ever since I started traveling back in 2010. I have never made it public on any of my social media because this was more for our moms/family to know a little bit of detail in our life since we all know sometimes the details get left out from some people (Ahem Jake.) After baseball I plan on printing them all, and doing a book for our kids and the crazy adventure we call our life! Most of the time it's such a blur during the season I have a hard time remembering. I'm shocked at how many wanted to follow, and wanted to say THANK YOU! Thank you for caring, and praying for us and being our support system! It means so much to Jake and I! This blog is very casual so sorry to any teachers who may be reading this and my grammar! I do this for my family, and keep it as private as I can, but of course anyone can find it if they truly want to on google.  If you want to know more about us and how we met read here http://jakeandtayb.blogspot.com/2011/01/how-we-met.html

if you ever want to comment or email us you cannot respond to the email being sent out... I am trying to get that fixed, but above the "contact us" on our blog is our email or brigham1017@gmail.com if you ever want to shoot us a message <3

WOW this last month has been CRAZZZAYYYYY!!! Jake continued to be in extended in Lakeland waiting for a spot to open up. He pitched every Friday and did amazing. A couple weeks ago we heard a Korean team was interested in Jake. We didn't want to think much into it because we heard they were looking at 3 other pitchers, and I'm sure none in extended. We heard they were coming to watch him on Friday and of course I was a nervous wreck! Most of our family came to the game and I tried so hard not to say anything to Jake because he knew they were there and the pressure was on. We saw them walk in and I wanted to pass out. I watched them more than Jake. haha  Jake had a great game and it was so hard not to walk up to them and ask what did they think of him.. I held back... I did see them take pictures of us lol.. I would say a good week passed by before we heard anything! At this time we started to pack up our home because we rented it out to some of our best friends because we never imagined we would still be here. We wanted to keep our promise and my parents offered for us to move in with them until we figured out where we were going. This was not easy I'm not even going to lie.. It's not easy for anyone, but we felt like we wouldn't be here long. I then have to pack up our house I had already packed our crates for the season, and now I'm trying to put stuff aside incase we go to Korea, Ohio, OR PA, but felt like chances were so slim because of extended. I technically was packing for 3 different places. Asian teams really only want guys in AAA or big leagues. I am so grateful Jake was with me to help get moved to my parents, and we move in Saturday. SATURDAY night we get an offer from the team and hear they want us!! I think we both were shocked, scared, excited... I don't think you understand how hard it is to get overseas.. in Korea they don't do minor leagues unless you're hurt, but they release a lot there if you don't play well unlike Japan lots of times the first year guys will be in the minors most the year. Jake will be in the majors over there. They are only allowed 3 foreigners per team. THREE!!! I CAN'T believe they wanted Jake.. It was such a God thing! We had an out with Detroit for July, and never expected we would get an offer before then especially with current situation.

Detroit was very kind and gave us no issues to signing overseas. It was funny because we heard the same day Korea told us Jake was flying out that Saturday that a spot had opened up in Toledo. The timing of Jake days before he had to leave to move us out, and in to my parents was incredible and I could not have done it without him.. We didn't realize he would leave as quick as he did, but it is what it is. I have some obligations, and don't have anyone to fly out with me until the end of June so it will be about 8 weeks that we are apart. This part is tough... Friday night before Jake left Ryley our niece was saying goodbye to Jake, and we have been prepping Stella all week about him leaving. She didn't seem to care much until she saw Ryley saying goodbye it finally clicked to her that her daddy was leaving her. Her daddy has been home with her every single day for 6 months. She cried for 45 minutes straight begging him to stay with her or for her to go with him.. talk about questioning everything! We all were crying, and my heart was breaking for her and Jake! If only she knew he was doing this for her.. It has been a hard week adjusting to the single mom life (of course I have lots of help here.) I have tried to keep our usual routine, but for a 3 year old this little one has been through A LOT! 14 MOVES and now on her 3rd country... She is amazing, and such a go with the flow little girl for all she has been through! The older she will get I know the harder it will be, but that is why we try to be a family unit as much as we can and travel with him. I have seen a huge difference in her this week, and hoping as time goes on it will get easier...
day before he left

Jake arrived safely after a 24 hour travel day one 15 hour flight YUCKKK... Dreading this.. Seoul is compared a lot to NYC or Tokyo. It's ver americanized and something I am looking forward to. I think it will be a lot easier for me than it was in Sendai. The only American restaurant we had was McDonalds.. That made it so hard how sick I was, and not used to Japanese food. Seoul they have a ton, and so many speak English as well! They went to apply for his work visa and got denied! That made it very interesting so he had to leave the country fly to Japan for 48 hours apply for it there, sit, and wait.. He is flying back to Korea tomorrow and will pitch Friday morning (our time.) He is very anxious to get out there and never imagined it would take over a week for all of this! He hasn't even been able to practice or anything. He flies in from Japan tonight and will get to finally go to our apartment. He has been in a hotel the last 12 days. They do give us a fully furnished 3 bedroom apartment I think its on the 26th floor... I will post pictures once I get them!
our new normal

I will do in a post later this week how you can watch his game for any of you interested in keeping up with him!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Life on the funny farm



This is Jake's 12th season playing and my 9th season apart of this rollercoaster we call our life. The last 9 weeks has been some of the hardest weeks of our life. We welcomed our sweet son into the world on January 25 weighing 7 lbs 3 oz. I had an amazing labor like Stella, and he is the sweetest little boy. We love him so much, and so grateful to get to experience a boy and girl. He has stolen my heart.  Everyone thinks it will be so easy after birth, but Cope got very sick around 3 weeks with strep b, croup, and another infection. Then the medical bills start coming in (we picked a horrible plan while in Japan) and Jake starts spring training two weeks after he is born now competing for a spot. It was a lot adjusting to two kids, being so spoiled having Jake with me 24/7 for 4 months, and a new team knowing the reality of the situation if he didn't pitch well.

My mom has told me more than I have wanted to hear, but it does make me laugh every single time that my life right now is "life on the funny farm".. I guess laughing is better than crying and have done more than I like to of that as well. I remember when Jake would pitch and I wouldn’t be allowed to mention money or anything that would stress him out. ha i feel like now everything happens the day he pitches including Stella taking off running up to him while warming up to show him her new lollipop as the entire front office is there and watching (oops) LIFE HAPPENS ON DAYS YOU PITCH.. This has been the hardest spring training of the 12 spring trainings he has had. We aren’t dumb, we are “old” in baseball and we knew we are one of the guys who easily could be released plus hearing they needed to release 20+ guys. We had negativity daily from players, and that got to Jake mentally big time. I book a place in AAA (Toledo, Ohio) weeks ago, and then know possibility of 7 different scenarios can happen. Monday we were told one thing and in another state so I started to look frantically for a place there (because Jake is leaving in 2 days) and then to Tuesday being told something completely different. I haven’t even been able to pack because i don't know what I'm packing for. I knew it would come down to 24 hours before we would leave we would find out where we would move to. We also have decided to rent our home out for the season, and they are supposed to be moving in the end of April but haven’t packed one thing for that either! So life on the funny farm.. 

 This past week i’m cross sided. I don't know what to think anymore or where to begin between therapy for Cope, and life. I am waving my white flag and giving it to the Lord. We don't understand the outcome of everything, but I know this Jake has worked so hard and continues to amaze me with his attitude, and spirit. I know wherever we end up this season is exactly where we are supposed to be. We definitely aren’t starting where we would like to, BUT it isn’t where we are finishing. We have so much to be thankful for and I have been reminded constantly on social media seeing so many friends getting released it could be worse! Jake was told that he has to stay in extended here. What this means is he doesn't have a spot on any team, and until unfortunately someone gets hurt he will just practice in Lakeland with the 18 year olds who just signed or guys who are rehabbing. Not going to lie we both were very upset at first, and still hurts. Its humbling to be this far in the game, and to be in extended with no spot?? I mean we thought we were going back to Japan to now extended at 29 years old.. I was so proud of Jake for accepting this assignment we looked at a lot of different options, but between our agent and us talking we all agreed this was the best option especially with two kids, and really like Detroit. We get to live at home, Cope can continue therapy for his neck to strengthen, and get older before we leave. I was so proud of Jake he said lots of times older guys aren't the nicest everyone is bitter in extended, but he plans on using this for good and to help the young players and to have the best attitude every day. Thats all you can do! We will take each day for what it is and keep pushing through to follow his dream of playing baseball! It could be a day or a month, but we are just on standby for AA or AAA. Our parents are amazing and both willing to do whatever to help transition us with with this move. My dad is on stand by to drive both places are about 17 hours with my car and trailer, and the Brighams have talked about driving Jake's car up because more than likely Jake will have to fly out quickly once we get the call. I'm grateful they haven't disowned us and our crazy life just yet... haha 

 I could not be prouder of Jake and how hard he has worked, and continues to work to pursue his dream! I believe this still is an exciting time for us and our family! Looking at these pictures I have to stop and smile knowing how blessed are we?? Our marriage is stronger than ever, we have two beautiful now healthy children, and an amazing support system from our friends and family! This is just one curveball in our journey and I know God has big plans for us whether its baseball or not I know HE ISN'T DONE with us! 








Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hello 2017

This off season is flying by for us! I keep trying to blink harder to go back to October! We have less than 5 weeks to go before Cope arrives. Yes-Cope Ryan is his name. Jake and I always have loved really unique names (me more than him) and heard Cope before we had Stella. Ryan as many of you know is after my brother who passed away. We were very unsure on Cope until about a month or so ago, and Stella kept calling him Copey so it stuck.

We have really unplugged and have focused on enjoying our last few months with just Stella and craziness of the season. Jake and I have grown so much in our marriage in Japan realizing what our family needs during the off season because we always end up having the hardest off seasons. This has been my favorite so far and really trying to soak up all our blessings in Florida.

Baseball... oh baseball you're going to put me into labor.. it's been a very hard two months. We really really wanted to be in Japan, but I believe God is closing that door for us right now. I wish we could understand, but we don't. We just have to trust. I feel like it's for Cope and I. As much as I tried to put a brave face on that I  would be okay with Jake leaving a week after his son is born, and away from us for 2 months. It's not okay. I think we would do what we have to for our family, but that may have been my breaking point in this lifestyle. It has been sad and hard for me to watch Jake do everything he did this season embracing the culture, pitching well, amazing to the fans to not being wanted. Japan will be a very special place and memory for us and we will always be grateful for the friends we made and unbelievable experiences! We really hope to go back again to play, but for now trusting in God where He wants our family to be for 2017 and that's with a team in the states!

Jake became a free agent first week of December and now officially teams can reach out to him. It's exciting thinking about being in the states this year after last year nothing sounds far. I'm thankful to receive the help I will need from our family, and adjusting to traveling with two. That itself will be a challenge packing up for 6 months it doesn't matter if this is my 6th season of full time travel I am the worst packer ever....

We had the opportunity to go to PAO a few weeks back the Christian conference for baseball players. It always is a great time to reconnect with people who understand our lifestyle, and a few days of amazing worship and teaching. It was in Orlando so worked out perfectly! It was the first time I have ever been away from Stella for a day. I survived... we were group leaders and that was the scariest thing ever, but again I survived and had an amazing group!

We are now in January and right before Christmas agreed to terms with Detroit Tigers! We are very excited for this new opportunity and felt like God was making it clear as day basically putting it in the palm of our hands to sign with them. Jake will live at home for spring training since in Lakeland woohoo!! He will get an extra almost 2 months at home with us, and not have to disrupt our life a little longer. He was not invited to big league camp, but will hopefully get some good opportunity and be able to pitch to be seen some. We appreciate all the prayers and support and excited be play American baseball again!! Detroit seems like the perfect fit for our family right now.

I'm 36 weeks pregnant and ready to have him! We have a crazy next two weeks and Jake's little brother, Luke is getting married (WHATT AND HOW?!?) We are very excited to celebrate and gain a new sister in law. We have no idea what to expect the arrival with Cope since Stella was born at 38 weeks, and I'm already dilated with many contractions sporadically. The doctors think two weeks or less so that means I really need to get ready! Second child problems slacking on everything last minute but we have just enjoyed life and our off season doing what we wanted!

I will try to keep you posted if I know when Jake is pitching but he will be playing in Lakeland, Disney, etc for spring training so if you're able to let us know if you happen to go to a game always love seeing familiar faces! Happy new year and I hope everyone had a great Christmas!!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Final days in Japan

Japan you forever changed us. This has by far been the hardest yet most rewarding season of our life. When we talked about playing overseas I never imagined it would actually happen. Then two teams contacted us, one in Japan the other Korea. Still didn't think it could happen. Now living here for 6 months I STILL can't believe we did this. Jake is the same way. This year went nothing like we planned baseball wise, but changed our marriage and our hearts. Coming to another country and becoming residents is so different than just visiting. We learned so much about Japan, the culture, and really tried to embrace it enjoying each day. Yes we both had horrible days, and just wanted to come home at times questioning this, but we knew deep down this is where we were meant to be. Attitude was going to make or break this for us.

I struggle with anxiety, and have dealt with this for a very long time. Being here amplified this on top of being pregnant and sick. God worked on me this entire season challenging me, and making me face some things I never thought I could handle or do. Our faith has grown individually that has made our marriage change for the good. Like all couples we go through dips, and have had a few hard seasons of life including right before we left. We both realized how important our walk is individually to have a healthy marriage and to parent. I wish I could say we would have made changes in the US, but I know being here did. We only have each other here, and I am so grateful for Jake standing by my side helping me with personal issues of my own, and I know him as he has been challenged with baseball. We believe this season went EXACTLY how it was supposed to. We do not understand all the injuries which the last one you almost just have to laugh at. I believe it was because it was more for us to grow as a family, and in our faith. Jake played great too don't get me wrong I'm just saying up and down, and injuries. He has battled through a unique year working hard on adjusting to pitch the best he can for Japanese baseball. I'm proud of him for taking criticism and adjusting which isn't easy playing for as long as him, but he continued to have the best attitude. Jake has thrown 108 innings in the minors he has a 2.52 ERA, & 85 strikeouts.

We are better people because of Japan. We have learned we are the outcast here and different yet so many accepted us, loved, and showed us grace when lots of times we didn't deserve it. I want to be like that when I'm home. I want to help the struggling mom I see out, or open a door for someone even if I'm in a hurry. I want to smile, and be happier knowing how good we have it in America! We are so spoiled. I can't tell you how spoiled Americans are!! I think everyone should have to move out of the US for a month, and everyone would appreciate it a little more, and trust me we were treated like kings here and still was hard. It is very hard everyone knowing who you are, and fanning over jake it can get to your head. It isn't normal, and I will be so glad for no one to know who we are in the grocery store, or walking outside I still am not used to it, but it taught us to be as real as possible. Never ignore them, go out of our way to greet and take pictures or whatever! They are the reason he has a job, and the day he forgets that he should walk away from this career. I love the people here! I want to bring 5 home with me.. That has been the best part about Japan the kindness and respect Japanese show.

I can't even begin to express how much We took for granted at home, and even to have a car, or go to one store to grocery shop! Read what we are trying to buy, or let alone understand the language. I don't think I will know what to do when I can ask someone a question in the store, and not try to play charades!  I sit here thinking how blessed We are for the love and support of our family and friends back home and how different it is here. I'm so grateful.

The isolation has been the hardest for me mentally. I can't even imagine not having Stella here. It also has been the most humbling to experience this. My mother in law asked me a while ago "doesn't that bother you not speaking to anyone while you're out or being able to read anything?" I have thought about it before, and with my personality no...Jake however has learned so much Japanese, and will barely use a translator at the field because he is so determined to talk to the guys. The team says they have never had a foreigner like him. It's impressive the amount he has learned. This shows our personalities. I know I should have tried harder. Even with the people at our church I stayed in such a small bubble, and wouldn't let anyone in, but was scared because everything is different. I hung out with a few wives recently who just love and accept me! I'm truly grateful for them not giving up, and showing me love being the new girl.

If you want to find out who truly cares about you move out of the country..We have seen over and over who loves and supports us here realizing we want to focus on people who want to be apart of our life, and we can't handle the negativity or constant issues anymore.. Life is TOO SHORT. We are sad to see the outcome of some, yet have grown so much with others that don't have to work at. It comes naturally, and same with Jake! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the ones who have worked hard at being there for us with a 14 hour time difference. You will never know how much your text, FaceTime, email, meant to us during this year.

Thank you Japan for wanting us, and allowing us the privilege to live in this country to play the game Jake loves! Thank you for changing our lives, and giving us one of the coolest adventures of our life! I will miss the amazing friends we made, how safe I felt, and the people who constantly reminded us how we should be daily! We are so humbled by this experience, and give God all the glory for opening doors we never knew could open! We hope to return for 2017 season, but it's up in the air if his option will be picked up. We will find out hopefully by end of September. So until then please pray we feel our work is not done in Japan, but if it is what an incredible season, and can't wait to see where in the world (literally) the Brighams end up in 2017 as a family of 4! I'm holding on for dear life for our next adventure!

Until then my mom comes tomorrow WOOHOOOOO this has been the longest I've gone EVER in my life without seeing my parents. I almost died, ask jake.. We pack up our entire apartment what I need for off season, then box of IF we return next year to keep here, then donate if don't get asked back. Ha so my mom and I have a fun few weeks ahead getting my life organized and moving to the states September 8!! Jake will then move home sometime in October and will enjoy our normal quiet life for about 4-5 months have a baby then do it all over again hopefully.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Let's add one more

As I sit on a local train traveling 45 minutes to Tokyo my second city in less than 48 hours traveling alone. Stella is sprawled out sleeping on me. I have my luggage in my stroller, and backpack crammed in on my lap sweating to death surrounded by tons of people glaring at me because Stella's feet are on the seat! Haha Jake is back up to the majors, and I am sooo excited to be traveling somewhere new, and a much needed break from life in Sendai! We have all star break starting tomorrow with two full off days woohoo (God's gift to baseball families.) I am so excited to see and explore Tokyo! We just left Tachikawa, and is where my mom lived for a couple years! It was very cool to get to see where she lived..

I was really hesitant about coming because first I had to do a bullet train 1.5 hour which is cake easiest way to travel, then get off in Tokyo station which is a mad house to find a local train for another hour, then cab to hotel. It's A LOT!! Stella really is such a good little traveler. From 6 months old she started traveling the country, and now world. We always said she is coming into our life, not the other way around. We have been criticized by many for keeping our child up until 1 am at times during the season, but what I do know is she needs her daddy as often as he is around during baseball. Stella just sleeps in and has a different schedule than most her age! She is the happiest when we are all together, and I constantly remind myself this is all worth it keeping my family together. I have wanted to come home bad and been very homesick, but days like these make it all worth it seeing the love she has for Jake. I'm moving home September 8, and I can't imagine the emotions I will feel!



The last 7 weeks has been rough.....not on a baseball level, but because I'm pregnant!! I thought I had it hard being sick in spring training in my nice rental house with a backyard, car, normal food.. Ha no being pregnant in another country has been by far the hardest thing ever. I have been stuck in my apartment for a month due to rain, and lack of bathrooms near (thanks all day morning sickness.)  For 3 weeks I was having to go to the doctor to get iv with fluids and vitamins. If only I could have those at my apartment! They helped a ton! We had a scare around 7 weeks, and after that I was pretty thankful for the morning sickness knowing our baby is okay!! We are so so excited to be adding a new baby to our family, and Stella is so cute talking about him or her!

The timing is an interesting one, but I know we will deal with it as time comes and God knew I didn't need another "perfect off season baby." I will be surrounded by so many who will help me. February 3 is my due date, and Jake reports end of January. He will stay home a week for baby then report to spring training IF we sign back with Japan as we hope to! We will have to be apart for 2 months, and I will move over with the babies in April. I always said I would never have a baby in season, but God sure does love showing me what He is going to do, instead of my plans!


Jake was down longer than we expected as he got hit in the shin then was rehabbing, and his last start gets hit AGAIN 1" away from the first!!! As I sat there watching with Shu I thought you have to be kidding me.. We are cursed here..not really, but has felt like it with all these random injuries! Most pitchers may never get hit in their career, and Jake gets hit back to back? Thankfully it wasn't very serious, and he was able to finish his last out and get examined. We hope he can stay up the next 2 months, and make a name for himself here showing how hard he has worked making improvements! We both feel God knew I needed Jake home these last 7 weeks to help me. He was home daily by 2 pm, and not traveling except a few times to pitch for just one night trips! If he was up he would have been gone weekly and was a blessing in disguise for sure!

I still have yet to try ramen, yakiniku, raw fish.. I am such a chicken! Jake on the other hand just ate pig intestines (yuck!) and cow tongue.. I like to stick to my food I know, and I can't tell you how excited I am for American food! While in Tokyo we ate at hard rock both nights and had thanksgiving dinner! It tasted so good!

My mom is coming end of August, staying two weeks, and helping me move home September 8!!! I am so so excited. Jake will finish the season, and be home early to mid October!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

June

Can't believe another month is almost over and almost July! As all my friends are sweating from the weather at home, the weather here is still in the 70s during the day and 60's at night! I have only been able to wear shorts twice! We are in rainy season now, and it rains all the time! It does make it  hard when it rains Stella and I can't get out since we walk or ride bike. It makes the days very long in our apartment. I am going on day 2 with next 6 days supposed to rain! Yikes! We are trying to figure out places to go when it rains. No luck yet.

Jake is still in the minors, he was probably on his last outing, and gets hit with a line drive in the leg. As Jake laid on the field he thought for sure this time it was broken! I knew when my phone rang it wasn't good..it was an experience going to a Japanese hospital, and thankfully it wasn't broken! It was badly bruised and has not been healing properly.. We find out today it is infected. They gave him antibiotics, and hopefully will clear it up in no time! He has had some good games, and some bad ones. He is really enjoying the baseball over here, and has adapted great! He has made some great friends on the team, and working hard daily doing what he loves!


I have loved the church I found here, and been trying to go weekly by myself. Jake has formed a friendship with the pastor, Nobuki and has been meeting him once a week for coffee. He is our age, his wife is in her 30's. His wife doesn't speak very good English, but he does! I'm so happy for Jake to have found a friend outside of baseball and to connect on a spiritual level. They plan on winning the team over! Ha They are going to start doing chapel like we have back home, and Jake hopes that will open the door to talk about God with some teammates.

I would love to share a little of Nobuki's story. He is 28. When he was younger 20's he decided he wanted to go work for the huge disaster that happened in Haiti. He spent all his Money and bought one way flight. Nobuki, felt led to go volunteer, and be a missionary in Haiti. He gets to Haiti there for 3 days, and Japanese aid assigned guards to follow him around and after 3 days they said you can't be here and shipped him to Miami. Not knowing a soul, no visa, dirt broke he goes to a Japanese restaurant and gets hired. He learns how to cook, finds a church, and the first night he goes to church people offer him a place to live for free! Stays in Miami for two years. Fast forward a few years ago I'm not sure if most know, but this is where that horrible tsunami and earthquake happened in 2011. Nobuki immediately felt the need to come back here and help the community, and his hometown. He got involved with Samaritans purse, and his now wife, Satomi was working for them as a nurse. They ended up falling in love, and she was going to help start another Lifehouse (our church) in Tokyo until Nobuki swept her off her feet. Haha he then became the pastor I believe two years ago. He not only is a pastor, but has two other jobs.. 3 jobs..He is an awesome guy, and Jake has really enjoyed getting to spend time with him weekly! This Sunday they are doing baptisms, but since no pools here and church in a mall they do them in a bathtub in people's home! Nobuki is having one at his house, and we are going. It will be very interesting to see this!

We have met some really incredible people here! I haven't been able to hang out with anyone, so the only time I am really around other people is Sunday's. I will be excited when Jake is back up to go to some baseball games again! I miss it! Jake hasn't been traveling so we haven't been able to explore anymore of Japan this month. He has a few days off in July, and may go to Tokyo!

We have been trying to learn about Japan, and something that has been on our hearts is the orphanages here trying to understand it. We have learned that adoption is very unusual here. If you aren't able to get pregnant then unfortunately you probably don't have children. If a girl gets pregnant out of wedlock this is a big no no, and usually ends up giving her baby up. They have orphanages filled with children who have no hope in ever being adopted. The law is if the mother knows who the father is whether they are in the picture or not the baby can never be adopted. They will be raised in an orphanage until 18. It's so sad to me. Also if a family decided I believe up to 3 years old they changed their mind and don't want to raise their child anymore they can drop them off and raised by an orphanage.. Mind blowing to me.. No punishment or anything! This could be from career, divorce, affair etc.. We have also learned a little bit about adoption, but it's very hard to get a Japanese baby.
"According to the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, only 21 children, all below the age of 6, were adopted into the country from Japan in 2012. By comparison, there were 2,697 adoptions from China and 627 adoptions from South Korea in the same year. In the period from 1999 to 2012, there were a total of only 483 adoptions to the U.S. from Japan.-japantimes.co" We are trying our best to go to some orphanages during our time here to just serve, and spend time with the kids, and to help out with some needs! It's just been hard to get connected with one yet and language barrier.

Some cool facts we have learned is now that it is summer, everyone has summer uniforms even baseball teams! So now where all these men wore ties and jackets to work daily they don't have to in the summer! Our city has over 1 million people in 300 miles radius, and we are known as "the city of trees!" Swimming isn't very common here (Sendai) the closest pool is 45 mins away and they don't swim like us. Some pools require one piece, and swim caps! I assumed we would have a pool on top of our apartment haha.. Oops! They have all these cat cafe places where you can go and just sit to pet cats and drink coffee.. Hmm.. On Monday we went to an owl cafe! Pretty cool! We got to hold a ton of owls, monkey (it bit me) and pigs running all around us! Poor Stella..the employees were so obsessed with her and fascinated by her anytime they would bring one near her she would say "no, no thank you!" They would just die laughing. We couldn't help but to laugh too and probably scarred her for life!

Happy summer to everyone, and like always thank you for all the love and support!