Tuesday, April 07, 2015

My birthday...

As most of you know, sadly Noboru's grandma passed away. It happened the day before my niece in Osaka's 6th grade graduation. And it was also his grandma's birthday weekend as well, but she unfortunately did not make it to her birthday. However, it was also my birthday that weekend too. However because of our emergency unplanned trip to Osaka. My birthday had to be postponed and whatnot. And that is totally fine. I firmly believe in family first. And being there for family in times like this are most important. So, I just wanted to mention that first, in case anyone is wondering. Why did she celebrate or have a birthday dinner twice this year. That's why. So, we arrived back to our town near the Chiba/Ibaraki border very early March 22nd. what, 2am-ish or so, I forget now. Because so much has happened since then. But we arrived so late and were so exhausted. We all went right to bed. We ended up sleeping in, until 10:30am-ish. However we all sort of felt like zombies all day. And Noboru...poor Noboru he actually had work that day. @_@ : (  So he could not be with me for my birthday dinner. And I was fine with it, but we made plans for the upcoming Friday to go to yakiniku. We had originally planned to go to yakiniku on the Friday before my birthday anyway. So, just a week or so late and it's okay. So on my actual birthday since it was just the boys and I...but it was still my birthday, I decided to make a special dinner of tacos. Both the boys really love tacos and we hadn't had them in forever.  This was before we went to Guam.

We were all sorta zombie like... all that day having driven so far all the night and that morning, but tacos were pretty great for a birthday dinner. : ) My actual birthday was spent very low key. The kids and I enjoyed our tacos. They both said, "let's have family DVD night mom, since it's your birthday, you can pick the movie!" Aww. I picked the newest Hunger Games Mockinjay, we had seen it once already on DVD, but we watched it again and it was nice, just to relax on the couch after a hot shower and be in some cozy jammies and relax. 

Oh birthday cake. You were set to arrive a certain day and then we had to leave unexpectedly. It was so nice for you to arrive Sunday on my birthday. Sorry for giving you... the run around though. You must have spent a few extra days at the Kuroneko/mail delivery place (sorta like UPS). Sorry for that. Wasn't intentional, I promise. : ) I called Noboru, and asked him if he'd like us to wait and cut the cake on March 27th the day we would be going to yakiniku. and he said...just save him a slice of cake and to please eat it on my birthday! Poor Noboru, honestly you guys, he felt so bad about my birthday. Meanwhile I felt *so bad* he couldn't enjoy the cake with us on my birthday, Which is why I wouldn't have minded holding off on cutting and eating the cake. But you know...sometimes things just can't be helped. : ) So, the kids and I cut the cake. They sang me the happy birthday song extra loud since Noboru wasn't there to add his voice too. : ) And we each had a slice. And you know..it tasted amazing and it was a nice low key birthday. Noboru had his slice the next day and he loved it. So that was my low-key birthday celebration on my actual birthday March 22nd. : )
Friday March 27th evening. Our family of 4 had our orginal birthday dinner plan. A week late but, didn't matter a bit. And guess what, I just completed that huge medical test that morning! And I was *very happy* to have gotten that over with! So, double reason to celebrate! : ) My 2nd birthday celebration March 27th, Friday. The day we could all be together and celebrate. 

We ate and we ate. And we talked and we talked. March was a very interesting month. And we were excited for our upcoming Guam trip. And excited for upcoming Spring break. Which has already happened now, but at the time of this picture, it had not happened yet. : )


Such a fantastic dinner, with my loved ones. And dinner was delicious. : )
What did, I get for my birthday this year. I have for the past 11 or 12 years had a digital camera. A top of the line expensive one? Nope! : ) I have always had a nice one but an affordable one. Top 10 best cameras? Nope. : ) Before now, I have always picked a low-mid range price digital camera. Just a dependable one that takes basic pics. Not the worst of the worst. But definitely not the best of the best either.: ) And I have been happy with my very average digital cameras all these years. Because I am not a professional photographer, so it never really mattered. And #2, all I need it for, is the day to day, type a pic. The only down side for me. Is every Sports day. Field day. In japan we call it undokai. Every undokai. I swear I take the lowest quality pics out of the entire class of parents. While most parents whip out their huge DSLR type cameras. Or much higher quality digi cams. Mine, I only get 1 chance during a race. Because it doesn't do continuous shots. Like most other cameras can do. Hahaha. So, for me, that is the only downside. Every undokai, I am like..."gah this sucky bullcrap camera!!!" Hahaha. : ) So, ever since last undokai. remember Noah's classmate from the same yochien? Lovely nice family, we really like. Anyway his parents bought a brand new huge DSLR and a brand new video camera for movie making for undokai 2014. And there I was clunking along with my trusty camera. And I said to myself. I have *got* to do something about this. Poor Noah, poor Branden, their pics always come out....well best I can, you know what I mean. And so since last Fall. I have been quietly looking for a camera. Was going to get one for Christmas. But since Noboru *had* to go to Hawaii anyway for work. It was the perfect chance to get some Sephora stuff since he had to be there ANYWAYS. So, the camera idea went on the back burner. And so my birthday rolls around and I began thinking about last undokai and all the frustration I felt trying to take pics yet again. And so, I found this camera. But I picked it in red. 

Noboru just wanted to buy me a DSLR while at the electronics store. But, I said, no thanks. Because I need a camera that is small. Can fit into my bag/purse. That I can take in my bag to Disneyland if I need it. Take it to Ikspiari or to the Hakone onsen place. I can't imagine lugging a big regular camera to all those places. Don't get me wrong, those are great cameras. But not a right fit for me. I need something small, that I can just toss in my bag and forget it's there, until I need it of course. But takes better undokai pictures than mine does now. Which basically means any camera on the market, has to be an improvement to mine now. Anyway after lots of research. Since early November. I decided on this model. I liked the reviews on kakaku.com. I like the reviews on Amazon.com. I went to an electronics store and tried the model one to see if i liked it. And I did. Then we found the cheapest place to buy online with an extended 5 year warranty etc and we bought it. 

This is the one we purchased Branden a while back. And in all of Japan, this ranks best 5 out of the entire country of Japan, as far as digital cameras go. That's impressive actually, Branden's camera. And the price, was beyond fair. And we are so glad Branden has this purple camera. I was thinking about getting this one too, but I know Branden would dislike me having the same camera as him. Nobody likes a copy cat!  Hahaha. : ) Besides I wanted a little bit higher quality one too. But Branden's is good though. Really good. And it's light years better than my old camera.

This is the one I picked. I know you're thinking...what? 50th place. However to be fair, this was ranked 5th place all last year. The only reason it's being pushed down now, is because a newer model came out. All 2015 models came out and this is getting knocked back. Which is fine. I had already decided on the Canon Powershot sx700 in red. And just because something newer came along, I was still sticking with this one. The price is right up my alley and I like the features and the customer reviews.

The reviews didn't change. Out of 5 possible gold stars this has 4.37. The Japanese are real sticklers with cameras and if they hated this or thought it was crap, they wouldn't have rated it this high. And I trust kakaku.com. 

I also went to Amazon.com and wanted to know what my fellow American consumer thought and look at those reviews.  4 and 1/2 stars. And not rated by 3 people...rated by 230 customers. and it still ranked that high. I did like I said.. go to the store and touched/tried it and held it in person and I liked what I saw. 
It's way bigger than my old one. Anyway is it as fancy shmancy as the other parents cameras at undokai, meh...still probably not. And that's okay, because the only one I am in competition with, is myself. I think it will take way better pictures than my other camera. That is, if I can figure out how to use it by then. : ) I wonder if this will fit in my old camera case or if I need to buy a new camera case now. @-@ Hahaha. So my birthday gift from Noboru this year. A much needed new digital camera.
And you know, I also got 5 hair colorings at the salon. I have not used any yet, but I will go and get my first hair coloring before my first observation day of the school year, I have an observation day on April 16th (for Bran) and April 18th for Noah. And I also got some Benefit's the Porefessional triple pack and some Shu Uemura cleansing oil. So, all in all, not a bad birthday at all. : )