Fantastic Five: April, May, June, July & August


Ode to the the past fantastic five months… (with like a thousand pictures, just to warn you).

Dear April,

Spaseeba, spaseeba (thank you, thank you): we finally started to say ‘do svidaniya’ to big snow drifts and ‘prevyet’ to unearthed grass! However, you could have kept the sick bugs away from..everyone. It is not great to be that popular, seriously. But you did lead us on a short getaway weekend to Sapporo, Japan! One day you must make a comic strip about Americans at Costco stuffing their suitcases full of granola bars, beef jerky, string cheese, popcorn, avacados, pesto sauce, plastic press n seal wrap, wax paper, ziploc bags, and a huge bag of chocolate chips! We also had our first taste of authentic Ramen noodles and I am HOOKED.

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Dear May,

You BLESSED month bearing a ginormous amount of boxes, packing paper and missed toys and treasures! Humbled and blessed to set up house with our things and put up something on the barren walls! Hannah was thrilled to finally try out her Christmas present.  Things started really greening up and a new world was appearing in Sakhalin.

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…and all this just in time for us to say peace out. After the unpacking we packed for a big trip home. Go big AND go home, we stopped for 3 night stop in Tokyo on the way! I’m still in awe at the millions of people who can crowd on the subway and how it was a terrible decision to bring a double stroller. Very, COOL to see this jostling, happenin’ place with it’s ancient temples, great sushi, panda bears, endless shopping, cute little ladies on bicycles, gorgeous trees, and a lot more squished into three days. Hannah and Eli were treated like super stars with lots of flash photography. Regardless of their fame, traveling with two exhausted children was kind of a challenge.

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Now back to the states!!! We survived another super duper long flight by praying a lot. We celebrated by eating at Chick-fil-A at least once a day for a few weeks, and don’t forget the beloved trips to Walmart and Target–practically just to sight see in wonderment all those conveniences I took for granted.


Dear June

Hello Utah summer, we love you!  You treated us well, June. In a nut shell: spending much needed time with cousins, eating crawfish, celebrating our continuing miracle child with no need for a planned surgery, meeting TWO sweet, new babies, much needed lunch dates with Mom, a.k.a. Gwamma (ZUPAS!!!), breathing in delicious mountain air, Eli’s first haircut, all that splendid family time, grandparent love & spoiling, and introducing Eli to his love-at-first-sight: a four wheeler.

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Dear July,

PACKED is probably your theme. Packed full of fun, travel, change, last minute shopping trips and loads and loads of packing and unpacking and packing. We squeezed in some last minute family fun full of hard good byes. Colorado was beautiful and a lovely way to celebrate the Independence of our country by getting down in the dirt and rocks?!

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Oh hey, why not stop in Hawaii enroute back to Russia? Ok, sure, twist my arm!  My breath is still taken away by Hawaii’s beauty. We needed another week month there! And you know what? That crazy time zone differences did WONDERS for jet lag back in Russia! Totally amazing. 5am mornings are very doable compared to the 2am wakings wide-eyed and ready to run a marathons that would have happened otherwise.



Dear July (can’t say good bye yet) AND August,

Back in Yuzhno, we were delighted with all the lush green! What a new world that had come alive. While I will forgive you both (sort of) for your lack of sunshine, you meshed well with each other. Congrats on providing us with some perplexing bipolar weather!  But rain or shine, warm or cold we managed to get back in the groove of our lovely little life over here!

Thank you for the play dates, beach trips, afternoons at the park, Hannah’s first soccer lessons, Eli’s passion with basketballs (or any balls), campfires, fresh fresh crab (insert picture I need to get from my other half) and trying to squeeze my babies more every day. Any mom falls into bed at night (if she can make it there) with exhaustion in every part of her soul and at every stage of momhood. I’ve been tested to the max but at the end of the day, I love those sweet little babies with more of my soul I thought possible.

With that said…. I was purely thrilled to take a ladies trip to Japan (without kids)! My my first solo excursion out of the country. Woot woot! And to blessed Costco!! We basically spent an entire day of traveling for one hour of shopping at Costco, seriously. And it was great. Oh the things we crazy women will do for bulk snacks and Kirkland brand baby wipes!


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4 responses »

  1. What a wonderful post! I loved the monthly recap of all these events. So many of those pictures I haven’t seen! Darling, darling family!
    I think the 5th pic down of Jake in Tokyo is fun – he looks like’s got a halo! xoxoxox

  2. I love this post and I love you! I’m so glad you’re able to have this adventure while still touching base with your family back home. Your attitude and joy inspires me, as they always have. keep Costco-ing!

    • Thanks Elizabeth, you sweetheart! I’ve definitely had to work on my attitude through some of these travels, but it’s been great, haha! Thanks for reading!

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