Sunday, June 29, 2008


Today's blog #5 (ridiculous I know -- I think this will be the last)
So as a preface to this blog, I am one of six children and Kenta is one of four children. Given that you might think that we would have been an aunt or uncle much earlier in life, but since we are both the oldest children and the first to marry in our respective families, we have missed out. That is until April 25 when Kenta's sister Emi, who married Jeff Stapler on Valentine's Day of 2007, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. They named her Kailie Hana Stapler. With graduation and the move we hadn't been to see our new niece until June 21 when we drove down to their small town in Missouri for her blessing. Since Jeff is not a member of our church, Emi decided she would like her father, now Grandpa Takagi, to bless Kailie. So we arranged a big family get together in Missouri. We drove down from Indianapolis. Kenta's mom and brother (Koji) were already in the states moving Naomi (his other sister) into her new apt in DC. They were joined in DC by Kenta's dad who flew in from Japan. Then those four flew into St Louis and drove to join us. Lots of crazy traveling. But we all had a wonderful time with Jeff, Emi, and Kailie. We practically had to draw straws in order to hold Kailie, but everyone got the opportunity they wanted, I think. Anyway, here are some fun pics.
The Arch of St Louis, MO

The flooded Mississippi River

Kailie and Grandma Takagi

Sleeping Kailie and Grandpa Takagi

Koji holding a smiling Kailie... well she was smiling just before the picture was taken.

Takagi clan just after the blessing

(L --> R Kenta, Virginia, Naomi, Koji, Grandpa Takagi with Kailie, Jeff, Emi, & Grandma Takagi)

As a somewhat sad conclusion to this blog, three days after Kailie was blessed Jeff was deployed to Iraq for the next 15 months. He's an officer in the army in the military police division. He'll be able to come home for 18 days leave at some point in time, but he will surely be missed by his wife and new baby. Now that Kenta and I are only 6 hours away from Emi, we're going to try to get down there to hang out more often. Emi and Kailie are, of course, always welcome to come up and stay with us, but traveling that long with a 2 month old might be a bit difficult so we don't expect them anytime in the next couple months.

A Work in Progress...

Today's blog #4

Our new home:

Here are the bare bones our the apt. Yes, that's Kenta taking a nap on the floor while we were waiting for the rain to stop so that we could unload the truck.

Kitchen -- small!!
Stairs... I know they're not interesting, but it's proof that we have two floors.
Kenta didn't tell me he was taking this picture -- I don't look the greatest.
Bedroom -- Kenta took the picture and didn't think it was important to make the bed. This was a point of daily dispute early in our marriage, but I have since given up since I almost always leave the house while he's still asleep. However, it would have been nice if he would have at least pulled up the sheets for the picture. Oh well.
The Spare 'Oom (for you Narnia fans)
Our kitchen is very small, so I use part of this room from my extra freezer and pantry shelves, but it also houses my crafts, extra food storage, our nice serving dishes and anything else that doesn't fit nicely somewhere else in the house. It also doubles as a guest room with the addition of an air mattress. All welcome -- just call before you come. :)

Our new love seat

So when we bought our new furniture we ordered the color 'camel' for our couches. We they came, they seemed more like a mocha. In my stressed state, this was more than enough for a minor break down. I have since learned that if I turn on all the lights in the living room and open the blinds in the middle of the day they look a little bit more camel-like... but most of the time they're closer to a mocha. Oh well.

Our asian-inspired room divider. We're still working on how to decorate it. One of our many works in progress.

Our new table. We got the taller of the two heights available for the table and chairs (counter or pub height), and I LOVE THEM!! I love tall furniture for some reason, always have, so I just love having a taller table to sit at. Yay!

More pictures to come as we put things together a little bit more.

The Big Move


I know what you're thinking -- no posts in over a month and now this is the third today. Well it's Sunday, so I'm not studying, cleaning, unpacking, organizing, or hanging things on the walls. I thought it was an appropriate time to catch up.

After we got back from our trip to NYC and Cooperstown it was time to load up the truck and head west... well a little bit further west as least. We left Rochester on Friday, June 6 and arrived in Indy very late Friday night (it's normally a 9 hour drive, but will frequent gas stops for our gas guzzling moving truck and the slower speed required by our large load it took us a little over 11 hours). We stayed in a hotel that night so that we would have a comfortable bed to sleep in that night. It started raining as we got in at 1 am and it didn't stop raining until after noon on Saturday. There was flooding EVERYWHERE! We were drenched just walking to and from our car. WELCOME TO INDIANA!

For those of you who don't know Kenta and I decided to rent a townhouse instead of buying a house. If you want all the nitty, gritty details of our hours of discussion on the topic, just let me know. As most of you who know us might guess I wanted to buy a house. Kenta wanted to rent. He won... this time :)

Here are a few pictures from our move. I'll add more pics of our house in the next post.

While we still live in New York State... Part 2

On our way back from NYC (see previous post) we stopped for the afternoon in Cooperstown, NY to see the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I'll spare you the 20+ pictures that Kenta took while we were there. Here are a few representative pictures.

K&V in front of the Baseball Hall of Fame

A life-size sculpture of Babe Ruth. I thought this was especially amazing because it was all done in ash (the type of wood used for bats), but the folds of his uniform and the leather of his shoes seemed so real! I was super impressed.

This is part of the actual HALL of fame.

We had a great time. Kenta was like a kid in a candy shop looking at all the pictures and memorabilia. I have a tendency to try to read EVERYTHING when I go to museums. Kenta is usually pretty patient with this trait of mine, but he was so excited to see the rest of the museum that he ended up going through each room twice while I was going through it once. This gave him plenty of time to take those 20-30 pictures I previously alluded to. What fun.

While we still live in New York State... Part 1

While we were still official New York residents, we thought we would enjoy some of the state's famous sites. So we left for "The City" (which, for your non-NY residents, means New York City) to grab a few more NY memories. We started at the Empire State Building and Time Square on our first evening.

K&V on the observation deck of the Empire State Building

(Please forgive my flying hair -- it was windy)

It's amazing how small the Statue of Liberty is from up so high!

She's on Ellis Island which is the island to the left in the picture

Time Square

The NASDAQ on Time Square

On day 2 we walked around the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) for a few hours, then went to Little Italy for famous Lombardi's Pizza. After walking around Little Italy for a while we went to Chinatown. Then we had to go back to Time Square for Kenta to glare through the NASDAQ windows to watch the taping of his favorite show 'Fast Money' (it's on CNBC for you non-stock obsessed folk). Then we went uptown a bit for our first and last baseball game in the House That Ruth Built. In a little twist of irony we drove 6 hours to see the Yankees play the Blue Jays, a team that is only a 3 hour drive from our house. It was a packed day, but we had a blast!

Virginia in front of the Met

K&V in front of the Egyptian temple shown in more detail below

Can you tell I had spent the previous 2 weeks packing and organizing my house? I'm looking just a little drowsy.

Previously mentioned Egyptian temple

A beautiful Japanese garden in the Asian section

Lombardi's Pizza

This was the very first pizza restaurant in the US.

I'm excited!

Kenta's ready to eat too.
A picture taken through the window while the show was being aired live. Kenta was as giddy at this point in time as I was in the pizza picture above. So cute.
The new Yankee Stadium (still under construction)
Don't worry; you're not seeing things -- they have fashioned this stadium after the Roman Coliseum. I feel that's a more than little bit pompous, but I guess that's just a statement of Yankee pride.

Joba Chamberlain warming up. He's a Yankee pitching phenom who started his first game that day.

(He allowed several runs in three innings and lost the game... everyone has to start somewhere, right?)
Because of the way tickets sell so quickly at Yankee Stadium, we were out in the nose bleed outfield despite buying our tickets weeks in advance. Unfortunately that area seems to draw a pretty rough crowd. Luckily, because of problems in the past, there is no alcohol allowed in that section. We heard a lot of heckling, swearing, yelling at just about anyone, throwing things at fans of the opposing team, etc., etc. I can't image what it would have been like with a higher blood alcohol level! I was glad we didn't have any kids with us. However, we did have a great view of the American flag which flew very nicely on that windy day.

Famous Yankee players, including Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, etc.