I met Caroline through my BFF and recently we were bridesmaids together at our BFF’s wedding. Through the years we have seen each other at dinners, gatherings, but more recently, spent time planning, organizing, and executing a memorable bachelorette party and bridal shower. Caroline is the go-to person for ideas, detailed planning – you should have seen the beautifully crafted email with visuals, and fun. So it was no surprise that she planned, organized, and hosted her Going Away Pink Party to commemorate a big change in her life – moving to Japan to participate in the JET program. She was able to get nearly every guest to wear some form of pink, even if it was socks, include a delicious and gorgeous spread of desserts made by Mr. and Mrs. Creamery – handcrafted ice cream popsicles, delicate macarons, and just yumminess in bite size portions, have a photo booth set-up where guests could be as silly as they wanted to be, and provide an environment where people from her life could eat, drink, and be merry in a unique space, APT 503. Everyone was celebrating Caroline and her upcoming adventures in Japan, but also a bit sad to see her leave for a while. I was very fortunate enough to take photos at her party and see how much Caroline is loved by those around her and document just the start of her adventure and new chapter in her life.

Caroline, I wish you all the best while you teach in Japan! I love traveling to Japan so I hope you get to enjoy the culture, the food, the beautiful architecture, and the lifestyle, but more importantly, I hope you enjoy the teaching experience with your friends and colleagues! Good luck and I look forward to seeing your pictures online!

Venue: APT 503

Dessert Table: Mr. and Mrs. Creamery

{Know someone interested in a family session or event photography? Feel free to view more photos from this event: Andrea Takeoka Photography}

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Sassy. That is the one word to describe the teenager trapped in Emi’s 4 year old body! I’m not sure where she is getting it from – is it a part of the early years? Japanese school? TV? – but it makes me fear the future. I’m hoping it is just a stage – please be a stage! – and that it is a matter of creating some kind of voice or opinion…or something! But for now, sassy.

Even though there is some sass, Emi is also still her loving, goofy self. She still likes to shake her booty, give a nightly kiss to Abby before Abby’s bedtime, say things that crack me up – and Emi even says, “That cracks me up!” and laughs harder, draw a happy face for herself and sad faces for those who make her upset, and want to copy the things I do, including be a bridesmaid, but will settle for a flower girl. The funniest thing Emi said this past month was, “Why you holding someone else’s hand?” after I walked down the aisle for Kris and Adrian’s wedding. There was plenty of sass and triune concern and I reassured her nobody was replacing Baba. She has Taro’s back! So because of that wedding, Emi is now obsessed with being in a wedding and having a partner to walk with. She literally has asked me every day when is a wedding taking place. If anybody needs a flower girl, Emi is available!

I feel like Emi just grew out of nowhere. She is able to push the car that Abby sits and rides on, can open the door at my parents’ house, unlock the door at home, and even ride Tower of Terror in Orlando (trip coming up very soon)! The last one is super crazy and probably won’t happen, but when did she get so tall??? I had to buy Emi new shoes and now she wears 10 1/2 in Nikes, but continues to need size 4 in the width of clothing yet size 5 in length. Emi is still super skinny and I sometimes use a rubber band hair tie to keep her pants from falling off! I improvise well.

Emi is writing far better now and especially loves to write her name whenever she gets a chance. We need to work on her sizing and writing on the lines, but overall, she is getting better. Some numbers, like eight, are still challenging and she still doesn’t always know how to write all her letters without seeing them first, but Emi does her best and I know it will eventually kick in, like all other things. She is going to start TK in August so I am hopeful that she will be on track with the other kids…and not have too much homework!

Emi has come a long way in swimming. She can do the backstroke, although occasionally she forgets to alternate her arms. Emi still needs to practice kicking on the surface, but she can pretty much make it across a 25 yard pool! I laugh when she swims and tries to talk to her instructor because she constantly wants to know where he is in relation to the direction she is going. Emi is completely water safe and can jump into the water and get herself to the wall safely. Her instructor is teaching Emi to dive and even go underwater, blow bubbles, and kick to the surface. The money I have put into the swimming lessons now seems all worth it since Emi has progressed so far since her first day. I am really proud of her and now Emi doesn’t cry, although she still gets nervous. Also, since she is now getting private lessons (at the semi-private rate) Emi is learning even faster!

The next update will be after our Disney World trip. Fingers crossed that we all survive the madness! Until then…

Abby is going to be my feisty one. She’s going to be the protector, defender, but have this loving, funny quality to her. She loves to laugh and play around with Emi, but at any moment, she could pull your hair or poke your eyes out. She will do pats of love…and then a good slap upside the face. I have experienced them first hand and they are not fun nor pretty, yet Abby thinks it is hilarious. But she knows that it isn’t okay, yet needs reminders. Hence, my defender and one day, she’ll probably stand up or be side by side with Emi if anybody tries to mess with them.

Abby continues to be the more independent one, roaming the house with her swaddle blankets, which she absolutely loves. She likes to mimic Emi, playing with her babies/dolls or with the toy kitchen. She makes me laugh when Abby walks around with the oven mitt on her hand. She does it pretty well. But with her independence comes her rascal like behavior – turning on the bathroom faucet or the bath tub, grabbing things from tables and running away with them in her hands, or stopping the washer because she likes pushing the buttons. The positive way to look at it is that Abby is very curious, but she definitely keeps me on my toes! I constantly have to ask Emi to keep an eye on her when I am cooking or even using the bathroom! Luckily Abby doesn’t do anything dangerous or get hurt. She just likes to do as she pleases, even if that is just walking from room to room! Plus she has Emi to model after and Emi is far more careful than wild and adventurous!

Abby loves animals and goes a bit wild when she sees a dog or cat. She points and says dog or meow…and really wants to touch it. The other thing Abby enjoys doing is coloring on paper. She definitely is copying Emi, but she has a good grip on the crayon and has learned that they don’t taste good. Emi and Abby do fight over the crayons at restaurants so I really need to start bringing a box.

It’s just a little more time before I am off for the summer. Hopefully the next update will be a bit longer so until then…