Birthday Adventures And Surprises

If you have subscribed to my YouTube channel, you know that my birthday is coming up this week. Jeremy and I decided to celebrate it early because not only would he not be here for my actual birthday (stupid recruiting duty training in St. Louis) but also because he got an extremely rare 72 reward for his hard work last month. For those of y’all not familiar with what that is, a 72 is a three day weekend. He was off Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Since he started recruiting duty, he has only had Sundays off and even then once or twice a month he still has to go in for a few hours on Sunday. Even for Thanksgiving and Christmas, he only got the day of off. So to have three whole days off in a row was really nice.

Before you read too much further I recommend going to see my latest video up on YouTube. It has the adventures we went on for Friday evening and all day on Saturday. If you like cats in kimonos, Medival fighters, metaphysical things you need to go check it out.

On Sunday, Jeremy told me I had another surprise but that we had to go pick up a Marine from the airport in Bloomington first. I was a little grumpy about having to spend one of his days off working. We drove to the airport but instead of picking up a Marine I was surprised to find my mom waiting for us! Jeremy knew I was disappointed about spending my actual birthday alone for the second year in a row. Last year Jeremy had left about a week before my birthday for recruiting school for two and a half months. Since he was going out of town for training on my actual birthday, he conspired with my mom for her to fly out to spend my birthday with me. My husband and mom are awesome!

After we picked her up we took her to our favorite pancake place, The Original Pancake House, for brunch. Jeremy and I love going there. Me because of the yummy food and him because a few of his poolees (high school students interested in joining the Marine Corps) work there. He likes checking up on them to make sure they are doing okay.


I was showing Mom my new camera I use for vlogging and got this picture of her while showing her the selfie mode. 

After brunch, we brought her back to our house. I was excited to show her some of the decluttering that I have been working on. We still have a lot of work we need to do decorating wise but the house is definitely more set up than when she was here from Christmas.

But Mom showing up for my birthday wasn’t my only surprise yesterday. A few weeks ago Jeremy and I had found a Korean BBQ and Hot Pot restaurant in Urbana. It was the closest to yakiniku and shabushabu that we have found since leaving Japan. We hadn’t been yet because it was so expensive. Jeremy had made reservations for the three of us for Hot Pot! I was so excited!

The whole experience was great. The owner helped us figure everything out since hot pots are different than shabushabu. She was really sweet and got us to try new things. I found out that I love Korean peanuts but really don’t like coagulated blood (at least I tried it!). Mom also tried xio long bao (Shanghai soup dumplings) for the first time. Xio long boa is my ultimate favorite food. I will learn how to make them one day.


After dinner, we headed home to watch Game of Thrones. It was better than last weeks episode but I am not emotionally ready next week’s episode. I felt like this episode was just setting us up to say goodbye to so many favorites. Do you have any predictions about who is going to survive the battle?

After Game of Thrones, Jeremy used my new pan to make us taiyaki. Taiyaki is my favorite festival food from Japan. It is a fish-shaped pastry made of pancake batter and stuffed with either custard, pudding, adzuki beans, cheese, or basically anything. Jeremy made homemade pudding for ours and made the pancake batter from the recipe on the back of the taiyaki packaging. It came out so good! I loved them. I am excited to experiment with new flavors in them.


All in all, it was a great way to spend my birthday. I do have somethings planned for Thursday, my real birthday, to do with Mom but I am really happy that three of us were able to celebrate together. I am really blessed to have such amazing people not only in my life but that also love me.

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