LIFE LATELY.

I realize i’ve been posting a lot less frequently here on my blog…and I can say it’s forsure a result of the season of life I am in right now. When I was living in Kashiwa, every part of my life was new, interesting and worth documenting to share with others. I mostly blogged to show my family what I was up to and talk in detail about events and things I was learning. But now that I am home, it’s not that my life is any less interesting, it’s just that the people I blogged for are the same people I see every day so I don’t feel as compelled to write on here. haha!

Anyway, it’s still a worthy venture to blog about things going on and share some photos…for my own expression (i’ve always considered blogging a form of therapy for me) and to document where I am at in life so I can one day look back on this and say..”Awww.”

So here are three big things in my life lately…

#1 THE BEACH

JPEG image-DD6CD49792B4-2.jpeg
JPEG image-DD6CD49792B4-3.jpeg

One of the main things I missed when living in Japan was the beach. Which is just about the most ironic thing ever considering Japan is an ISLAND…and an ISLAND THE SIZE OF CALIFORNIA mind you. Yet - beaches are hard to come by there…mostly because the coast of Tokyo is predominantly for shipping boats and cargo, and the closest beach to me in Chiba was almost a 2 hour bus and train ride away. So, now that I am home and a 10 minute drive from miles and miles of the California coastline, I am trying to take advantage of it. Ever since I was young, I always connected to God at the beach. The way he made rocks turn into sand, the constant flow of the tide, the power of the sea and the certainty that only God could create a sunset as magical as the ones you see over the ocean. I am thankful to be home and back at the beach.

#2 NEW HOBBIES

JPEG image-DD6CD49792B4-5.jpeg
JPEG image-DD6CD49792B4-1.jpeg

Recently I have accumulated two new hobbies. This was never something I had planned…they both kinda fell into my lap and KAPOW…here we are.

The first new hobby is Jewelry. Very random, I know. It all started when my aunt suggested I help out her friend’s Jewelry company. I obliged, and now I help out this lady who sells amazing diamonds and gemstones. I now know the difference between a Moonstone and a Morganite, Karat and Carat (there is a diff, not just a spelling error) and White Gold and Sterling Silver lol!!

The second new hobby is Climbing. Specifically…bouldering. As we all know the Oscar winning documentary FREE SOLO (which documents climber Alex Honnold as he free climbs El Cap) just came out and has been creating a buzz around rock climbing and bouldering. This spurred my cousins and I to sign up for a groupon at Hangar 18 just to try it out and ever since we went…WE’VE BEEN HOOKED. Not gunna lie, climbing is a weird unconventional sport where you basically strap on funny looking shoes, pat powder on your hands and climb up a colored pattern of rocks to the top. But it’s strangely addicting. For me, I am actually TERRIBLE at it. Like really really seriously bad. But yet, I keep going back. There a slow, rhythmic calm to climbing that lets you go at your own pace. Plus, the moment you reach the top of any climb always feel like an amazing victory. It’s a fun way to socialize, be humbled at how bad you are at something, and work out!! Perfect!

#3 QT WITH JORDAN

JPEG image-DD6CD49792B4-6.jpeg
photo 2.jpg

Lately i’ve been spending a lot of quality time with the newest addition to the Komae family and my brother’s third son, Jordan. He’s the chillest cutest most cuddly little thing and holding him is my favorite thing in the world. It’s an honor to be around my siblings’ kids on a daily basis, to be a part of their lives and to watch them grow up. It’s moment like these that make me so incredibly thankful to be home…and I pause to reflect on God’s goodness and His perfect timing in all things.

Blessed to be home and enjoying life here in sunny southern California…but already scheming my next trip back to Japan :)

FILM FROM JAPAN

There is something absolutely magical about film photography.

and…why is that??

From a photography standpoint, the beauty is in the fact that you can’t alter what you are shooting. You see a shot, you position your camera, and that is that. You leave the scene and cross your fingers that your film develops into something as beautiful as your own eyes witnessed.

From a personal standpoint, film photos carry a deep sense of emotion. When I see a photo in film…I can almost feel how frozen that moment is. I enter this world where I pick a part every single detail given to me. The ray of sunlight in the corner telling me what time of day it must have been, the choice of clothes someone is wearing hinting what season it was, a smirk, a smile, a grin, almost exuding an audible sound when seen in a photo. So much emotion squeeze into a tiny frame. That is the beauty of film.

Over my time in Japan, I occasionally carried a disposable camera around with me. I noticed I shot moments that were the simplest things…because as it turns out, those are the scenes I really wanted to freeze in time.

Here are a few of them.

Vending machines // These are the vending machines at Ichikashi High school. They’re located down on the first floor, in between the 3rd year homeroom classes. They hold the greatest selection of drinks imaginable: strawberry milk, melon soda, yogurt smoothies, lemon tea, and my ultimate favorite - grapefruit jelly soda. haha! But the best part of this spot is that when I would walk past here, there would always been a bunch of sweaty kids congregating, making jokes and having a moment in their busy busy days to just be kids. I loved it.

Vending machines // These are the vending machines at Ichikashi High school. They’re located down on the first floor, in between the 3rd year homeroom classes. They hold the greatest selection of drinks imaginable: strawberry milk, melon soda, yogurt smoothies, lemon tea, and my ultimate favorite - grapefruit jelly soda. haha! But the best part of this spot is that when I would walk past here, there would always been a bunch of sweaty kids congregating, making jokes and having a moment in their busy busy days to just be kids. I loved it.

Ichikashi walls // This is the view from the inner courtyard of school. The school is one big rectangle. Four stories tall, no elevators and identical looking hallways. It took me at least a year to get a handle on where I was walking and how to get to certain places since every staircase looks exactly the same. I found myself always looking out the windows to the courtyard to gain perspective and remember where I was in relation to the center of school. As simple as this building in this photo may look…it hold an endless array of memories for me.

Ichikashi walls // This is the view from the inner courtyard of school. The school is one big rectangle. Four stories tall, no elevators and identical looking hallways. It took me at least a year to get a handle on where I was walking and how to get to certain places since every staircase looks exactly the same. I found myself always looking out the windows to the courtyard to gain perspective and remember where I was in relation to the center of school. As simple as this building in this photo may look…it hold an endless array of memories for me.

Ebisawa sensei // During winter one year, I took a trip to a nearby prefecture with a few friends and bought some famous homegrown tsukemono (pickled veggies). I decided to bring the tsukemono to school to share with my coworkers, and when I pulled out the bag from the fridge, Ebisawa sensei’s motherly instinct kicked in (as it always did) and she began chopping it up properly right there in the English office. It was one of those moments when I thought…wow…I am really in Japan aren’t I?!

Ebisawa sensei // During winter one year, I took a trip to a nearby prefecture with a few friends and bought some famous homegrown tsukemono (pickled veggies). I decided to bring the tsukemono to school to share with my coworkers, and when I pulled out the bag from the fridge, Ebisawa sensei’s motherly instinct kicked in (as it always did) and she began chopping it up properly right there in the English office. It was one of those moments when I thought…wow…I am really in Japan aren’t I?!

Brave girls // I snapped this photo the morning we met up with these four students who were participating in an English speech contest. Nanako. Miyu. Rio. Kanon. These four girls are incredible. They fearlessly gave speeches in English with confidence, grace, and assurance in themselves. I was so proud of them! I remember telling them to meet at a very specific time (so we wouldn’t be late) and when I exited the train station they were all eagerly standing there already waiting. I felt so honored to be their teacher.

Brave girls // I snapped this photo the morning we met up with these four students who were participating in an English speech contest. Nanako. Miyu. Rio. Kanon. These four girls are incredible. They fearlessly gave speeches in English with confidence, grace, and assurance in themselves. I was so proud of them! I remember telling them to meet at a very specific time (so we wouldn’t be late) and when I exited the train station they were all eagerly standing there already waiting. I felt so honored to be their teacher.

Ueno // One day in the summer, I wandered into Ueno. I can’t remember why I went there exactly…but I often found myself going there simply to walk around the park. Ueno park is HUGE and famous and beautiful. I remember walking out of the train station on a warm day and stumbling across this giant field of…what are these exactly? I am not even sure haha. But the way these plants juxtaposed agains the buildings behind it stopped me in my tracks and was just one of a thousand reasons why I love this city.

Ueno // One day in the summer, I wandered into Ueno. I can’t remember why I went there exactly…but I often found myself going there simply to walk around the park. Ueno park is HUGE and famous and beautiful. I remember walking out of the train station on a warm day and stumbling across this giant field of…what are these exactly? I am not even sure haha. But the way these plants juxtaposed agains the buildings behind it stopped me in my tracks and was just one of a thousand reasons why I love this city.

Tama chan // I worked at Ichikashi with Tama for two years…and he quickly became like a brother to me. This photo cracks me up for a few reasons. First, Tama always wore a suit to work. Every single day. He said when he was in high school, one of his teachers did that and he thought it was so cool so he wanted to do the same. Then, one time I saw him in his “regular clothes” which were cut off shorts, a hawaiian t-shirt and sandals. HAHA. The second thing that cracks me up about this photo is the phone sitting on his lap. Tama is a super tall, suave looking dude…and yet for the longest time, he carried around this tiny old phone that was chipped on the side. I told him for years to get a smarphone and he would say, “no…I like my little dumb phone” haha

Tama chan // I worked at Ichikashi with Tama for two years…and he quickly became like a brother to me. This photo cracks me up for a few reasons. First, Tama always wore a suit to work. Every single day. He said when he was in high school, one of his teachers did that and he thought it was so cool so he wanted to do the same. Then, one time I saw him in his “regular clothes” which were cut off shorts, a hawaiian t-shirt and sandals. HAHA. The second thing that cracks me up about this photo is the phone sitting on his lap. Tama is a super tall, suave looking dude…and yet for the longest time, he carried around this tiny old phone that was chipped on the side. I told him for years to get a smarphone and he would say, “no…I like my little dumb phone” haha

kaiten sushi // I’m pretty sure I took this photo when I went to eat sushi with Steph. It was in the midst of a really tough season for me…and I can’t thank Steph enough for being with me through all of it and going out to eat to help me talk through stuff. One night we went to Kashiwa station to grab sushi which was always funny because I don’t eat fish! But honesty, I loved so many things on the menu that I thoroughly enjoyed eating here every time. My favorite was the tamago and the corn mayo “sushi” rolls. Plus, like any good sushi spot, they have HOT HOT green tea that you make at the table for yourself. bomb.

kaiten sushi // I’m pretty sure I took this photo when I went to eat sushi with Steph. It was in the midst of a really tough season for me…and I can’t thank Steph enough for being with me through all of it and going out to eat to help me talk through stuff. One night we went to Kashiwa station to grab sushi which was always funny because I don’t eat fish! But honesty, I loved so many things on the menu that I thoroughly enjoyed eating here every time. My favorite was the tamago and the corn mayo “sushi” rolls. Plus, like any good sushi spot, they have HOT HOT green tea that you make at the table for yourself. bomb.

Cam // I snapped this shot of Cam when we were on the Shinkansen on our way to Kyoto last Spring. I remember being in awe that my family was actually in Japan with me. It was the sweetest time ever and I will always look back on this as one of the greatest weeks of my life. Cam was so cute with these giant headphones on, sitting so nicely on the train awaiting our next adventure.

Cam // I snapped this shot of Cam when we were on the Shinkansen on our way to Kyoto last Spring. I remember being in awe that my family was actually in Japan with me. It was the sweetest time ever and I will always look back on this as one of the greatest weeks of my life. Cam was so cute with these giant headphones on, sitting so nicely on the train awaiting our next adventure.

Omotesando Ofie (Eden) // I snapped this shot on Cat Street in Omotesando. I remember it vividly because I was so stoked to take my family to this area that I had grown to love so much over the years. Eden and Len were both wearing these panda dresses and dancing down the streets having the best time ever. I loved this day more than anything!!

Omotesando Ofie (Eden) // I snapped this shot on Cat Street in Omotesando. I remember it vividly because I was so stoked to take my family to this area that I had grown to love so much over the years. Eden and Len were both wearing these panda dresses and dancing down the streets having the best time ever. I loved this day more than anything!!

Shibuya Mads // From that same day in Tokyo…we wandered through Shibuya as a family. This was epic with two strollers, five kids and six adults. We cruised around all the shops we wanted to see and walked through the scramble a few times. I remember the weather being perfect. A little chilly…but bright and sunny and more than we could ask for. I love how Lenny was still light enough to be carried on my sister’s shoulders because by now….shes way too big for that!

Shibuya Mads // From that same day in Tokyo…we wandered through Shibuya as a family. This was epic with two strollers, five kids and six adults. We cruised around all the shops we wanted to see and walked through the scramble a few times. I remember the weather being perfect. A little chilly…but bright and sunny and more than we could ask for. I love how Lenny was still light enough to be carried on my sister’s shoulders because by now….shes way too big for that!

The whole gang // This was from the day we took our family photoshoot in Shinjuku. Before we went, we walked through the National Art Center to go to Gogoyo ramen, famous for their burnt miso ramen. I had waked through this building countless times over my time in Japan…so finally walking through there with family was a dream come true. I made sure to have them all stop so I could freeze this moment in time.

The whole gang // This was from the day we took our family photoshoot in Shinjuku. Before we went, we walked through the National Art Center to go to Gogoyo ramen, famous for their burnt miso ramen. I had waked through this building countless times over my time in Japan…so finally walking through there with family was a dream come true. I made sure to have them all stop so I could freeze this moment in time.

Sakura // I took this photo at a park outside our Airbnb in Osaka. My family happened to come to Japan right at the peak of the sakura bloom…something only God could ordain. The entire week we were in Osaka and Kyoto we were blessed with sakura blooming all over the place. I love these flower…how momentary and beauty they are…and how my family was able to witness them too.

Sakura // I took this photo at a park outside our Airbnb in Osaka. My family happened to come to Japan right at the peak of the sakura bloom…something only God could ordain. The entire week we were in Osaka and Kyoto we were blessed with sakura blooming all over the place. I love these flower…how momentary and beauty they are…and how my family was able to witness them too.

me // I debated including this photo in the post…since it’s not a photo I took but rather a photo of me…which always feel awkward for a photographer. But when I look at the girl in this photo I can’t help but notice how truly happy she is. I see this and I am reminded of how my three years at Ichikashi were the absolute best years of my life. This photo is from my very last day there. My eyes were puffy with tears from saying goodbye, but also my heart swelled with gratitude for this place and the people within these walls. I walked out to the courtyard one last time … and I smiled with complete thankfulness to God for this place. This photo reminds me of how God truly blessed me and provided me an experience in Japan far beyond anything I could ever have dreamed up or imagined on my own! Thank you Jesus.

me // I debated including this photo in the post…since it’s not a photo I took but rather a photo of me…which always feel awkward for a photographer. But when I look at the girl in this photo I can’t help but notice how truly happy she is. I see this and I am reminded of how my three years at Ichikashi were the absolute best years of my life. This photo is from my very last day there. My eyes were puffy with tears from saying goodbye, but also my heart swelled with gratitude for this place and the people within these walls. I walked out to the courtyard one last time … and I smiled with complete thankfulness to God for this place. This photo reminds me of how God truly blessed me and provided me an experience in Japan far beyond anything I could ever have dreamed up or imagined on my own! Thank you Jesus.

Goal for 2019 … shoot more film!!!

お め で と う !

March 8th (tomorrow) is graduation day at Ichikashi, the high school I worked at in Japan!! Here are my posts from GRAD 2016, GRAD 2017 and GRAD 2018 <3

IMG_2762.JPG

We snapped this photo last July on one of my last days at Ichikashi…and now these students will be ending their high school days tomorrow. I am sad I can’t be there to celebrate with them, but my heart fills with joy and gratitude when I think back on the 2.5 years I spent with them and all the memories we share.

It was an honor to be considered their “sensei” and I thank God for allowing me to be a part of their lives.

I love you 3A! 卒後おめでとうございます!!

INSPIRED BY : THINGS I WANT BUT CAN'T AFFORD

I normally only post my own photos and stories on my blog, but i’ve been inspired by a lot of cool fashion labels recently…and as a creative outlet I thought i’d put them here.

So here is a collection of things I wish I had the money to buy :) <3<3<3

46060036.jpg
7-14.jpg

Leave it up to the Aussies to show us how to rock an amazing statement hat. LACK OF COLOUR

VeroNegro2_1024x1024.jpg
PiaPlata_Oro_1024x1024.jpg

The trendiest shoes of the moment that every Beverly Hills girl owns…LOQ

JHannah_formring_2_11713.jpg
67770010_copy.jpg

THIS RING…dream dream dream *insert ALL THE HEART EYES* J.HANNAH.

BabyShoulderBag_Void11_2048x2048.jpg
KARA_D34_BIKER_WALLET_354_2048x2048.jpg

I am all about that tiny bag trend…KARA knows what’sup.

lemaire-w-prespring-2019-005.jpg
lemaire-w-prespring-2019-003.jpg

Aiming to be that sophisticated French lady…just gotta wear anything LEMAIRE

hagt_2nd_10.jpg
9ce085fdcacceb4c44d46af115758de6-1440x1966.jpg

I am currently obsessed with everything about HAVE A GOOD TIME… a brand based in Tokyo.

PWH016_130_D_01.jpg

This fit by PALOMA WOOL is goals.

MATE_DZ2251.jpg
MATE_DZ0039_521679ec-6765-407a-ab1c-84a288967936.jpg

The new girl in town…MATE THE LABEL…comin at us with all the comfy looking t-shirts.

zz-12111742_GOLD-1.jpg
zz-12111112_GOLD-1.jpg

And last but not least…some funky hyped jewelry from AMBUSH <3

HI JORDAN.

On 2.7.19…my nephew Jordan was born!!!

I was at the house watching the older two boys when Jordan finally made his appearance in the world (around 11:30pm) so we were all eager to meet him on Friday morning when we woke up!

There is nothing more perfect in the world than a newborn baby <3