Jan. - Feb. >>> It was a very cold winter here in Bloomington, and also in the North and the Midwest of the States. We had a lot of snow, which we enjoyed as much as we got annoyed by due to the fact that we had to do a lot of snow shoveling. Amar made a long trip for his conferences in Michigan and then in Spain from the end of January to the beginning of February, and he got snowed in in Michigan which unfortunately shortened his stay in the South of Spain (Seville) from original 4 days to just 1 and half a days! (^^;) Nevertheless, he immensely enjoyed his stay in Seville.
March - May >>> Michiko did several volunteer work with IU's East Asian Studies Center and Asian Culture Center, such as presentation of Japanese tea ceremony to Bloomington community and presentation of Japanese calligraphy at local schools and museums. Michiko also presented a Sevillanas (a flamenco dance) performance at International Spouses Circle at IU.
June >>> Amar had a big conference to attend in Edinburgh, Scotland, and making the most of this opportunity, Amar and I made a major trip in Europe. Michiko visited her friends in the UK (1 in Warwickshire, 2 in London), in France (4 in Paris), in Luxembourg, and in London caught up with Amar who had been to the conference in Edinburgh. Amar and Michiko flew to Denmark together to visit our mutual friends Sune and Anneli, and then came back to London to spend a week with our family. We spent some quality time with Colin (Amar's father) & Kerry, Tennille (Amar's sister) & Nick during our stay there.
July >>> We flew to Japan for Michiko's sister Tomoko's wedding with Koichi in Kobe, Japan. The wedding was beautiful and a lot of fun! We also enjoyed the stay with Michiko's family in Himeji, spending time together and visiting a local famous temple called Engyoji in Shosha Mountain (which happened to be a location for the film "Last Samurai"). Amar also went to Awaji to attend a conference after the wedding, and Michiko joined the last day of the conference and met Fraser (Amar's UCLA supervisor) there.
August >>> We found out that Michiko was pregnant!
Sep. - Oct. >>> Michiko continuously suffered from morning sickness, and had to give up doing any baking and much of cooking. But Michiko survived it with a help of Amar and the families of both sides.
November >>> Michiko's morning sickness was finally over, and Michiko started baking and cooking again, as well as her social life. ^0^
We had two long-stay visitors at home for the first time - Thomas from Denmark in early Nov., and Yuriko, Michiko's youngest sister, in late Nov. Thomas (who used to be Sune's student) came here for a mutual exchange of techniques and knowledge with Amar's research group. He turned out to be a very nice company and we enjoyed his stay in our house for a week. During Yuriko's stay for about two weeks in the US, the sisters made a short trip to NY to see two Off-Broadway shows (Blue Man Group and Stomp!). Michiko also did a tea ceremony presentation at a local high school while Yuriko was here.
We also found out that our baby is a boy, and when he heard the news Amar didn't stop saying, "It's a boy! It's a boy!" in rejoice. ^^
December >>> We had two big home parties at our place - one was a potluck with Michiko's Japanese language class students and the other a Christmas party with Amar's research group students. Both turned out to be very successful and we all had a good fun.