This diary entry is part 32 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 18 - December 2022

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!




(Is that the sound of one of those whistles?)

All the girls are here!  All the boys are here!!! EVERYONE’S here!!!  Jack and Grace! Liz! Even Allison!!!  We’ve got cookies and cakes and snacks and…  Jack even brought a male friend and Ai’s making eyes at him!!!

Well, Japanese style, so it’s a lowered head and blushing.  His name is Clint, he’s a coworker of Jack’s, and he’s, well, cute enough to be Ai’s vacation romance. Hahaha!!!

Hahaha!!! I think we found Ai’s vacation romance!!!

Liz brought her male friend too!!!  He’s not a boyfriend yet but she’s really into him, so that might be happening.

There’s gonna be a lotta kissing!!!


Well, except for Allison, Grace, and David.  They’re playing legos. David brought out his big ol’ box o’ legos and they’re just having a blast.  Katie is here too and is playing with Grace.  She seems a little sad for some reason.  She seems to get that way when there are children around,.

So we’re just chatting and, well, there’s some flirting going on, and sparkling cider and egg nog being drank.  All in all, a nice, quiet party.

Well, except for one thing.  Crystal’s weebing out.

See, ever since she met Ai, she’s been kind of treating her a bit like an anime character.  Nothing terrible or too inappropriate, but she’s been speaking some pidgin anime Japanese (some of it’s a little rude) and just making a bit of a pain of herself.  It’s not to the level of “cut that out”, but it makes Ai a bit uncomfortable.  I might have to take her aside.  But Ai can take care of herself, so I’m not worrying about it too much.

I mean, Ai handled David really well, I’m sure she can deal with Crystal.

Okay!!!  I’m going back to chatting and eating chocolate stuffs!!!


This diary entry is part 31 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 18 - December 2022

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

So this morning we had no idea what we were going to do!  I had my run, and Ai and Beth took Marie for a walk.  Ai and Marie are getting along great!  I’d almost send her back with Ai, they get along so well!

I mean I like Marie, but I think she’ll be sad when Ai leaves.  Oh well.

So we had a few options today.  I asked her if there was anything that she would feel bad she missed out on if she left Texas not having done it.  She said, a Rodeo.  I said…  it’s not the right season for rodeos.  I looked it up, and… yeah.  It’s not.  Aww.  No rodeos.

She was disappointed.

She said she’d heard there were some bats on a bridge here she wanted to see.

I said it was the wrong season and all the bats were hibernating.


So we thought and we thought and we thought some more, we thought and we thought till our thinkers were sore!!!

It’s hard to think with a sore thinker!!!

Then I had an idea!

An awful idea!

I had a terrible, awful idea!

… actually, it was pretty good.

I asked if she wanted to go to a game place.  There’s one over on 183 that I went to with Jack once and it was fun.

She said that sounded like fun.

So we went!!!

She said it reminded her of Akihabara, a little!!!

She’d never done bowling, so we bowled for a bit – we’re both not very good, but we had fun.  There were all sorts of games, too, and she had fun playing them all.  There were even one or two in Japanese language!!!

So after that we got some lunch and went back to the house.  Diana and Crystal and Liz came over, and we all spent the evening playing games and watching movies and doing fun things!!!  Ai made a Japanese dinner for everyone!!!

Well, fun for girls, anyway.  David just retreated to his game.  Don’t blame the kid.

Now we’re going to make a girl-pile!  All of us!  Even Ai wants to try!!!

I told her she doesn’t have to if she doesn’t want, and she said she’d try and if she didn’t like it she’d go to the couch.

So…. GIRL-PILE!!!!


I hope she doesn’t mind that one of us snores… not saying who!!!

Okay!!!  Time for bed!!!  But first we’re going to brush each others’ hair!!!  I haven’t brushed Ai’s yet here, and it’s so black and thick, like Liz’s!  We’ll make it all shiny!!!

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and we’re having a big party!!!!!

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 30 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 18 - December 2022

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

Ai wanted a break today.

She said she really liked all the stuff we’ve been doing and it’s been loads of fun and she loves America, but she’s been going all over the place and is tired.  So she just wants a day where we don’t do anything big.

I think that’s a fair request.  I had a couple of those in Japan as well.

It was a very nice day, though.  Mild temperatures, and the air smelled really good.  So we did just that.  I took my run and we let her sleep in.  After that, we had breakfast and we just watched Youtube videos.  It was fun!!!  I showed her some interesting things from japan that she didn’t know about – like the Seto Ohashi bridge – now she wants to see it!  And also a fun channel called “Jet Lag the game” where a couple of teams chased each other around the world.  After that we went over to Sabby’s shop to see how it was going there.  Ai was amazed that I was a part owner.  I just shrugged and said “I had it, and Sabby’s a good baker, so it fit.”  She tried some of Sabby’s cookies and said they absolutely were as good as I said.

The store was less busy than before Christmas, but we switched to some new years product, and it was still flying off the shelves.  Katie and the others were doing a good job, Sabby and the baker were busy, so after trying the product, we went to get lunch.  We went to a place called Hat Creek, over near the stadium, and OMG was it busy.  They have a playground, and it was full of children.  Running around, hopping, climbing stuff, playing tag…  I’m going to have to take Grace there someday, she’ll love it!  So she got herself a burger – she said it was really good.  Mine was good too.

Some guy gave his name as Dr. Evil – the Texan Tinkerer guy was there too!!!  But I just said hi, introduced Ai to him and his friends, and moved on.  But not before he greeted her in Japanese!  I didn’t know he could speak Japanese!  He’s almost as good as me!!! Hahaha!!!

Anyway, after that, we came back home, and Ai took a nap to sleep off her burger.  Don’t blame her.  The best burgers make you sleepy.  Haha!!!

So after Sabby came home, she made a nice dinner, and we just sat around talking.  It was nice.

David mostly stopped being awkward around Ai, thankfully.  I think it helped that she stopped him in the hallway and told him that she didn’t mind too much that he got a good look at her, but he needs to not think much about it, and certainly not try to do it again.  He got the message.  And for her part, she’s locking the door from now on.

All’s well that ends well.

So Ai’s on the couch sleeping.  She told me that it was a nice, quiet day, just like she wanted, and tomorrow we can do whatever.

I don’t blame her.  Sometimes you just need a quiet day.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 29 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 18 - December 2022

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

And Ai and I went to ride horses today!

And…  well…  related to that…  well, let’s start from the beginning?

This morning David apologized to me.  Well… it wasn’t a perfect apology, but it was an apology.  He told me that I’m really his sister and that he should have asked his mother rather than me.

I told him I was actually flattered that he came to me, but teaching him about those things really wasn’t my place, and that could make Sabby mad at me.

He nodded.

And I also told him that I could have handled it differently but that his question shocked me and I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just dragged him to Sabby and let her deal with it.  But I could have done better.

Kid gave me a hug.


I also told him that he’d better be careful with his “girlfriends” or pretty much everyone would be hunting him down.

He nodded and ran off to play a game.

David’s gonna David.

So Ai and I went to ride horses!!!  Liz came along too!!!

It was so much fun!!!

But first we had to get Ai the right outfit!  So we took her to a boot store!  We got her a pretty pair of boots, and a fancy cowgirl hat, and everything!  By the time we were done, you’d think she was a Texan!  A small, Japanese Texan!  She looked at herself in the mirror, and didn’t recognize herself.  Then she took a selfie to send back to her parents!

So we went to a ranch where they had horses to ride!  They gave each of us a gentle horse, and…  I knew how to ride already!!!  I didn’t know I could ride, but I knew!!!  So I explained to the horse teacher person that I think I knew how to ride, and that I’d lost my memory, he called someone over.  He said “See how well she can ride and if she’s good get her a better horse!”

So I rode perfectly, and they got me a better horse!!!

I mean, the other horse was nice, but he was a beginner horse.  This horse was a little more…  spirited!!! So I jumped on and soon I was riding him all over the field!!!  He was having fun too, you could tell!  Ai and Liz just kind of sat there on their horse and watched me kick up dust!!!

Eventually I pulled up the reins and stopped back in front of them, and patted my horse.  Liz just said “I didn’t know you could ride like that!”

“Neither did I!”, I said.  I rode around a bit more while Ai and Liz got their lessons, and then we trotted out to harass some cows they had on hand to play cowboy/cowgirl.  It was fun!

Well, not for the cows, but we were driving them to better pasture anyway, so everyone wins.

Afterwards, I helped brush my horse down, and he seemed quite happy to let me.  Spirited is one thing, but he knows a good thing when he has it!

So let’s see.  I found out I can do martial arts (kinda), I can play piano, and now I can ride a horse!  What else can I do?

I guess I’ll find out.

Ai was…  what’s that phrase?  On cloud nine.  She was so happy.  She said that she’s always wanted to ride a horse, but Japan is so crowded there’s no good place!  I know, I was there… just buildings and buildings and buildings….  But in Texas we’ve got loads of room!!!  She loved her horse too!  When she was helped off, she patted him on the neck and told him he was a good horse.  He whinnied but she gave him a sugar cube and all was well.

Liz and Ai were babbling like a brook all the way home!  They had so much fun!!!

And she has boots and a hat too!!!

She seemed to feel bad that we were spending so much to show her a good time, and I said “Well, I did stay at your house when I was in Japan, and…  I’ll be back, and you can buy me stuff while I’m there.”  She nodded enthusiastically, and did another selfie.  Who taught her duckface?  Hahaha!!!

She has a few more days here, and I’m not sure what we’re going to do.  We’ve thought about taking a trip up to Dallas, taking a day trip to Houston (but we might do that before she leaves), going to the coast (but the Texas coast isn’t very nice, honestly), going downtown… lots of stuff to do.  I guess we should give her some options and let her decide.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 28 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 18 - December 2022

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

Hey, today’s entry might or might not be for little eyes.  It depends on the eyes, I suppose.  So parents, if you’re reading this with your kids, please read through first to make sure it’s okay.  I think it’s fine, but you might not!!!

Okay!!! Here we go!!!

So David, well…  I’m honored and ticked at him all at the same time.

This morning, David knocked on my door, and wanted to ask me a question.

I said, “sure, ask away”.

Oh boy did I regret that.

He fidgeted a bit, then said, “Do all girls, ummm… .have hair?”

I looked at him funny.  “Well, unless we shave our heads, I guess so?  And some cancer patients don’t…”

“No, no,” he said.  “hair. You know.  Hair.  Umm….   there.”

I.   finally figured out what he was asking.  “Is…this about… you know…”

He nodded.  “And when I was at camp, I showed them mine and they showed me theirs, and…”


I don’t get paid enough for this.

I grabbed his arm and started dragging.  “Oh, no.  Oh no no no.  I’m not answering these questions.  No way.  I’m not your mother and I know I’m your big sister and you can ask me almost anything but no way am I answering this question.  SABBY!”, I said, as I found Sabby getting ready to go to the shop.  “Here.  YOUR son has a question.”

He just started blushing.  Sabby looked confused.  “Lily, wha-“

“David has a question.  Well?  Ask your mother!  Not me!”

David gave me a death stare but finally stammered out the same question he asked me.  And she had about the same reaction.  “Well, yes, unless we shave our head or -“

I stomped my foot.  “THAT isn’t what he was asking.”

“ohhhh,” she said, and sighed.

“And what else did you tell me, David?’

He mumbled the same thing he told me.

“What?”, she said, softly.

“He said that at camp he showed them his and they showed him theirs, and…  YOU deal with this!”  I let go of David’s arm and ran off to my room.  I heard Sabby yelling at him as I went upstairs.  I wouldn’t want to be him.  I felt a little bad for ratting him out, and I was happy that he trusted me, but…  but… NO!!!  Not my kid!!!  Sabby’s kid!!!

Ai came in.  “What… happened?”

I shook my head.  “You remember yesterday?  Well… David had a question about what he saw.”

She lowered her head.  “I’m sorry for causing trouble.”

I shook my head vigorously.  “You didn’t.  It had to happen eventually.  If he didn’t walk in on you, then maybe me, or even Beth.  And he’d have the same questions.”

David stomped by.  “Thanks a lot, Lily, see if I ever trust you again.”  And slammed the door to his room.

I sighed.  I really did appreciate that he trusted me enough to ask.  But it’s not my place!!!

I gave Ai a quick hug and walked downstairs.  “Sabby…  I didn’t mean to violate his trust.”

She sighed.  “He’ll get over it.  You’re right.  I’d rather not have you answering those questions.”

“Did you know -”

“No.  And I wish I didn’t.  I thought I was doing the right thing sending him to camp.”  She sighed and put her head in her hands.  “BOTH of those girls!  Seriously!!!”

“Did he -” 

“No, thank goodness.  It was…  innocent.  But still.  I didn’t want to have to deal with this today.”

“Me neither,” I said.  “I’m going to go try to talk to David”.

So I did.  I knocked on his door.  “Go away,” he said.  I opened his door anyway.


“I trusted you!  And you ran to mom!”

“I’m your big sister,” I exclaimed. “Not your mom!  I’m not supposed to answer those kinds of questions!”

“But I trusted you!”

I sat down next to him.  “I know, and I’m sorry.  But…  I’m kind of a kid.  Like you!  Just a bit older.  Would you ask your friends those questions?”

He shook his head.

“And what would you do if they asked you?”

He stayed silent.

“The same thing I did?”

“No, but…”

“You wouldn’t be comfortable, would you?”

He shook his head.

“Your mother loves you,” I said quietly.  “She wants what’s best for you.  And she wants to be able to teach you these things before you find out for yourself.  Like… well…  yesterday.  Do you understand?”

“I know,” he said.  “I just… I was embarrassed to ask her, and… and you’re my sister, but not really, and..”

“What do you mean I’m not really your sister?”

“Well, you just showed up one day, and I had another sister.  But that doesn’t make you my sister, does it?  Not really? So I thought maybe you’d tell me and I wouldn’t have to talk about embarrassing things with mom.”

I felt the tears start.  I couldn’t help it.

“David, I’ve been your sister since your parents adopted me.  I’m…  sorry you don’t feel that way.  Maybe… maybe that’s my fault.”

“Lily -“

But I stood up and walked out.  I closed his door softly, and then went into mine, where Ai was sitting reading one of the mangas I gave her.

I sat down on the bed and wiped my eyes.

“What’s wrong?”, she asked.

“David… doesn’t think I’m his sister.  Not really.”

“Do you think you’re his sister?”

I nodded.

“Family is important,” she said, after thinking for a bit.  “But sometimes with plants you have to water the seeds for them to grow.”

“A family isn’t a garden,” I said.

“Isn’t it?”, she said quietly.

I wiped my eyes again.  Maybe it is.

Maybe it is.

“What do you want to do today?,” I asked.  “This is your vacation, after all.”

Ai shrugged.  “it is, but I don’t know what is here.”

“Well… oh.  I have an idea.”

So I went to tell Sabby my idea, and she was fine with it.  I rounded up David and Beth and told them we’re going somewhere with Ai.  They grumbled a bit but I told them food was a part of the deal, so they got in the car.

We went to the Asian supermarket!  The one in Cedar Park!!!

We went to the food court, and we had asian food!!!  And then we wandered around the supermarket, and Ai was picking stuff out left and right!!!  Japanese drinks!  Japanese snacks!  Japanese everything!!!  She even picked up something called tarako and said we should try it, it’s delicious!!!  David and Beth hadn’t been there before, so they were asking Ai about stuff and she was telling them what it was all for.

And some stuff was just gross.  Eww.

And tonight Ai took some of her newly purchased bounty and made us a Japanese dinner.  It was delicious.

Maybe Ai’s right.  Sometimes family is like a garden, and you have to water it.  That’s why I took David along today.

Sometimes it needs to be just us girls.  But sometimes…  it wouldn’t hurt to treat him more like a brother.

Tomorrow Ai’s going to learn to ride a horse!  And so am I!!!

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 27 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 18 - December 2022

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

And there was DRAMA this morning!!!

Well, funnily enough, not as much as you’d think.

So… David forgot we have a houseguest.  He walked in on Ai in the shower.  It was completely unintentional, he just… forgot.  He can be a bit spacey.

But Ai’s Japanese.  They think about these things differently.  To hear her tell it, he walked in, stopped, and just stood there frozen, his eyes bugged out.  She was giggling when she told me this!  She just said “Ummm…  David?  Can you close the door please?” (did I tell you we have a clear shower curtain in that bathroom?  haha!!)

He snapped out of it, eeped out a “sorry”, and ran out, slamming the door after himself.  He came down, his face beet red.  She came down a few minutes later, seeming completely unconcerned.  He eeped and ran out of the room.

I asked her what happened, and she told me matter-of-factly.  Japanese think of these things differently.  She’d have preferred he didn’t, of course – but to her, it’s just a body.  She said that she used to take baths with her parents as a girl, and sometimes does even now, it’s not a big deal.  But David…  haha.  Poor kid.  I told Sabby what happened, and she sighed.

“I’ll take care of it,” she said, and went upstairs.

That may be the first time David saw… certain parts.  He never walked in on me, but he’s been a bit more spacey than usual lately.  Maybe it’s the hormones.  And I lock the door, haha.  The good news – for him – is that while Ai is pretty, she’s not as… gifted… as I am.  So at least his nose didn’t bleed.  Hahahaha!!!!!!!

Well, that drama aside, it was a pretty good day.  We took Ai down to see the San Antonio riverwalk.  She thought it was really pretty.  That Texas Bushman guy was there and scared her.  Haha!  I saw him – he’d gotten me earlier – so I just watched as she squealed.  Hahah!  She got a selfie with him, though, of course.  She was having a good time walking through and seeing the sights and doing some light shopping.  We got some lunch and some ice cream, and, yeah, that girl can really put it away.  Haha!!!

She was kind of amazed at how aggressive the drivers were on I-35 though.  Yeah, they’re a bit awful.  Tokyo drivers are pretty polite – usually.  On the way back we took her to the Buc-ees at New Braunfels – the largest convenience store in the world.  She was…  confused.  I mean, she thought it was impressive and all, but she asked “why would you even want this?”  I… had no good answer.  I told her “Americans just do things because we can sometimes.”  She just nodded and got something with a cartoon beaver on it.

So anyway, we got home, and she wanted to rest for a while.  I don’t blame her.  It’s been an eventful few days.  So while she was napping, I did some stuff on the computer and chatted with Jack for a while.  We need to go on a date soon!!!

For dinner, we took Ai to that track sushi place!  She actually teared up a little.  Said it reminded her of home.  Awww.  Then we took her to the Japanese bookstore next door, and had her chat in Japanese with the cashiers.  That was hilarious – she was far better than them.  Hahah!!!

Okay!  Got lots to do tomorrow, so sleep time!!!

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 26 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 18 - December 2022

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

Ho ho ho!!!!

So this morning David woke us all up, as is our tradition, it seems.  We all went downstairs in our PJs and Ai was still asleep… she woke up bleary-eyed and we told her to come on over, she could nap after – it was present-opening time!

She was a bit cranky, but we gave her a cup of coffee with a bit of cocoa in it, and that perked her up a bit.  Don’t blame her but that’s Christmas!!!

Besides, we had presents for her too.

We spent the next half hour just ripping the paper off – except for Beth and Ai, who gave each other knowing looks as they meticulously removed the wrapping.  I had to think a lot about what I was going to get Ai, but eventually I got her a very pretty choker necklace with a gold-plated Texas hanging from it.  She loved it and put it right on.  She has very nice skin tone and it went well with her neck.

… that sounds silly, doesn’t it?

I also got her a set of English language manga, and she really like that.  She said it’ll help her learn better!

The family (the ones who weren’t me) got her a set of scented bath soaps and cleansers.  She looked at them like “are you trying to tell me something?” and Sabby laughed.  “No, you’re fine.  We just couldn’t think of what to get you and maybe you can’t find this kind in Japan.”

She looked at it, then shrugged.  “Actually, I probably can’t.  Thank you, they smell nice.”

Ai seemed to feel badly that she hadn’t bought us anything, but we just told her that she was the guest, and her presence was enough for us.  She bowed and said “arigatou gozaimasu”, and we kept opening presents.

There were many presents so I’m not going to tell all of them, but Dave and Sabby got me a genuine Japanese painting, with the hanko on it and everything.  that was very thoughtful, actually, and it looked like it cost a bit.  I got sabby some rather expensive bubble baths (because she likes baths), and Dave got a gun cleaning kit.

Beth got me one of those “sisters” lockets where she gets half and I get the other half and they fit together – that was really sweet of her.  I got her a voucher for voice lessons.  She looked at me puzzled.

“You’re a pretty good singer,” I said, “And if you ever want to be Miss America, you need a talent, right?”

“you think I could be -“

“Beth, you’re beautiful, smart… you can be anything you want.”

She gave me a hug.  Truthfully, she might return them, but I tried.

And what do you think David got?  A game.  Obviously.  Well, a Steam voucher.  Which he still really liked, of course.  But I was really surprised by what he gave me!  He gave me a mug that said “#1 Big Sister”.


Beth looked a bit put out, but then she got one too.

As we were cleaning up, I asked Ai what she thought of our tradition.

“It’s… nice,” she said.  “You all took time to give meaningful gifts.  I think I like this tradition.”  She held up her soaps.  “Maybe I should take the shower.”

“All yours,” I said, “See, Sabby’s making breakfast anyway.”

The pots and pans were clinking and soon we smelled bacon.  Yumm!!!

So after we had breakfast, and I took a run, and everyone got showered, Sabby started on making dinner.  Well, except for the turkey – Dave (carefully) deep fried it like he did on Thanksgiving.  David and Beth were playing with some of their gifts, and everyone started arriving.  Jack and Grace arrived first.  I gave jack a big hug and kiss, and grace wanted one too.  She got one on the cheek, of course.

“This is for you,” she said, and handed me a poorly wrapped present.

I opened it.  It was a cat ear headband.  haahah!!!!  So I put it on!!!  I had one for her too, it was just a simple toy I got at Wal-Mart yesterday, but she loved it.

Jack had a gift for me too, but he told me to open it later.  I blushed.  I gave him a set of very nice cologne.  I told him “Wear it for me next time – it really smells good.”  And I blushed more.

And so did he, haha!!

Well, there were more gifts and Liz and her family came over too, but if I tell you everything then I can just publish this page!

When Ai met Jack though, she just stopped, looked him up and down, and blushed.  Then she looked at me.

“Hot, huh?” I asked.

She just nodded.  “Sugoku – I mean, very.”

“Mine,” I said, but I said it gently.  “But you can kiss his cheek if you want.”

She blushed harder, said “yoroshiku onegaishimasu”, and bowed.  He bowed back.

I think I need to find that girl a vacation boyfriend.  Remember what Liz said?  Every girl needs a vacation romance once in her life…

Katie showed up as well…  why does everyone drool over Jack?  He’s hot but… he’s just… Jack.  Right?  I guess he does look a bit like one of those BTS idols, but… still.  He’s Jack.  I told Katie he’s seventeen and hands off.  She laughed, and said she’s pregnant anyway, and she ain’t doing that again.  haaha!!!

Okay, so dinner.  We had everything.  Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied yams, cranberry sauce…  everything.  Even sparkling cider.  Ai’s eyes opened wide and she just had this drooly look on her face – and she completely and utterly forgot about Jack.

We said a quick prayer and then dug in.  Ai didn’t seem to even know where to start so I just offered to make her a plate, and she nodded mutely.  So I did, with a little bit of everything.  “There’s plenty,” I said, “so if there’s something you really like, just get more.”

“Where is she from?,” Grace asked.


“Is that near Dallas?”

Everyone laughed, and Grace just looked a little offended.  “Very, very far away.”

“Farther than… Ohio?”


“Farther than… Det…det…detwoit?”


“Wooooow”, she said, and attacked her turkey.

Ai giggled.  I think they’ll get along fine.

Katie shoveled down the food, it was amusing.  She and Ai seemed to be having a competition as to how much they could eat.  Katie won, but barely.  She was eating for two, and Ai is mostly stomach by volume.  Haha!!!

I even made Marie a plate, which didn’t last very long.

Okay, this diary has been very long, but it’s Christmas!!! anyway, long story short, Ai really, really, really enjoyed the dinner, everyone talked and laughed and had fun, and afterwards David, Dave, Jack, Jack’s dad and Liz’s dad went to watch football, Ai, Liz, Beth, and I went up to my room to play games, and the mothers went to clean up in the kitchen with Grace wandering around and playing with Marie.  We offered to help, but we were shooed away, apparently this is when the women talk, well, women stuff that’s not for girls like me.


It was… a nice Christmas.  A very nice Christmas.  I did take a bit of time to take Allison her gift – a stuffed Tiger!  She loved it.  But she was busy doing her own Christmas so it was just a deliver and dash.

We spent it with family.

I can’t think of a better way to spend Christmas.  Well, apart from sitting on a throne made from a metric ton of chocolate, but you can’t have everything.

And… I’m blushing… I’m NOT telling you what Jack got me!!!

I’m working on something for you too!!!

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 25 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 18 - December 2022

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

What a day!!!

So this morning we all got up.  Ai is jet-lagged but she said she slept okay.  I went for a run and asked Ai if she wanted to run with me, and she said “heck no!”  She likes exercise but not like that!  I asked her if she wanted to take Marie for a walk instead, and so that’s what she did.  I gave her a poop bag asked Beth to go with her.  They got their coats and, from what they tell me, Marie had a blast!!!

So Liz and I went for a run in the freezing cold.  Brrr.

But after that we went for chocolate pancakes!!!!!

So…  it was a pretty busy day.  Lots of preparations!!!  After we got chocolate pancakes (Ai seemed more amused than anything at the sheer amount of chocolate I put on my plate but she had some eggs and toast) we took her to Wal-Mart.  It seems like everyone who visits the US wants to see a Wal-Mart for some reason. We usually go to HEB but we had to pick up some food, and hey, it’s Ai’s vacation, right?  Of course, it was also one of the busiest shopping days of the year.  She walked in, stopped at the entrance, looked around, and breathed “くそ大木”.  I said I didn’t know she swore.  She just shook her head and we went to wander around and see all the cheap stuff.

We told her we’d take her to get some real Texas clothes elsewhere, so she just contented herself with some touristy stuff like Austin postcards and UT stuff.  We got stuff for food tomorrow – and we’d need a LOT of it, because everyone was coming around!

After that we took everything home, and then took Ai out to get a nice dress.  If she wanted to to go the Christmas Eve service at the church, she’d need something a little less t-shirty.  So we went to the mall!!!

OMG she had so much fun!  She said they do have malls in Japan but they’re Japanese malls and not American malls!!!  We took her to get a nice, semi-conservative dress, and she had fun trying different ones on.  Finding them in her size was a little hard, though – we ended up having to get her a kid’s size.  She’s not tiny, but she’s small, at least by American standards.  Eventually she chose a nice, cute dress that she was happy with.  Apparently she likes poufy!  Who knew!

After we did some last-minute shopping, we took her to the food court.  They have a Japanese-inspired place there!  She tried it.

Apparently, it’s only Japanese inspired.

I told her we’d take her to a real sushi place before she left.

So she came home, and Sabby started making stuff for tomorrow.  When she gets going, she gets going.  But then after that, she went to the shop to close down and tell everyone to get an early start on their holiday.  She invited Katie to Christmas Eve with us too.

I asked Sabby if she was sure she wanted her employees getting too integrated with our family, and she said that our employees are our family, and if they need something then we’ll give it to them – if we can.  And Katie needs a family, and we happen to have one, and she’ll hear no more about that.  Cat-girl wanted to go off and party, and the baker has her own family, and the other dooters have plans of their own, so no hard feelings anyway.

I love Sabby, even though I wonder about her sometimes.  But I can’t complain.  She did that for me too.

So we rested for a bit, and then it was time to go to Christmas Eve services!  And they were actually really nice!  They had a ceremony where everyone lit a candle (and they were careful to tell us how to put out the flame so all that smoke didn’t set off the fire alarms, haha) and everyone who had been a Christian for 10, or 20, or 30, or 40 years put out their flames.  Eventually there was like two candles lit, for people who had been Christians for like 90 years.  That was cool.

Ai didn’t know any of the words to the songs, but she still just sat there and watched everything go on around her.  She seemed content.

There was also a pageant where a bunch of kids acted out the Christmas story!  Which was funny, because some kids were dressed as sheep, some as trees, and I think one was hanging from a harness and was a cloud.  I asked Sabby about that and she said that there’s not enough roles for everyone, so they’ve gotta be creative.  Heh, I guess so.

I looked over at Katie and there were tears coming out of her eyes. Aww.

Anyway, we came home, and sat around the tree and opened presents – most of the presents were for tomorrow but we have a rule that we’re allowed to open one.  We had a present for Ai too.  It was her own ornament for the tree.  She loved it.  She said it made her feel like a part of our family.  I told her she’s my cousin, and I’m a part of the family, so she is.  She hugged me impulsively and sniffled.

But the surprise was, Sabby had a present for Katie too.  She said she couldn’t get her better benefits than the rest of the employees because that would be unfair and possibly illegal, but she had pulled some strings and got her hooked up with a pregnancy resource center, and that they’d take good care of her and her baby too.  It didn’t hurt that our company made a moderately large donation to said resource center…  she’ll be well taken care of.  Money talks…  And the beauty is, if cat-girl gets pregnant somehow, she can go to the same resource center!  So it’s fair.

Lots of tears tonight, I guess.

We all drank egg nog (Ai thought it was way too sweet, so she diluted hers with some milk – maybe girl’s gotta point) and I played some Christmas carols on the piano (to which Ai didn’t understand half the words, but she enjoyed herself anyway).  I played a couple of j-pop songs for her, and she was so happy!  She didn’t think I knew oogoe diamond!  Hahaha!!!

Anyway, I’m writing this now, Ai’s asleep on the couch, Marie’s snuggled up with her, and dreams of sugarplums are dancing through everyone’s heads.  If there’s a clatter, though… well, Dave’s a second amendment guy and Santa better watch out!  I hear reindeer is tasty, but it’d be hard explaining an old guy with a huge bag on our roof…


Merry Christmas!!! Love you all!!! ❤🎁🎁

This diary entry is part 24 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 18 - December 2022

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

AI’s here!!!

Her flight was a little late, sadly.  But she made it.  She was sooo tired, but happy too!  Burbling!!!  We met her at the gate, and got in the car.  I sat in the back with her and Sabby drove.

We went to see Emiko and her family first.  We didn’t spend too much time there, but they exchanged presents and Emiko had some light snacks, which were very appreciated.  After an hour, we headed back to Austin.  Ai was tired, so she just looked out the window and watched the countryside go by.  She remarked how everything looked different than Japan.  She thought downtown Austin was neat, but remarked at how quickly it went by.  Tokyo is just building after building.

I guess it does look different, at that.

After a couple of hours, we made it back, and showed Ai the couch, where she’d be sleeping for a little while.  She tried it out, said “that’s pretty comfortable”, and dropped right off to sleep.


Marie came up, sniffed her, and then snuggled up to her.  How cute!!!

Anyway, she woke a couple of hours later, and said “wow, your sofas are really soft.”  In Japan, they have bedrolls and pillows mostly, but western furniture is a little different.

So then we went for BBQ.  That’s something Ai has been looking forward to for quite a while.

OMG that girl has a stomach about half the size of her body!!!

She ate chicken!!!  Brisket!!! Sausage!!! and the fixins’ too!  Towards the end she just sat there with the most satisfied look on her face, while munching on some cobbler.  All she would say was “Gochisousama, I like Texas.” Then we piled back in the car and went back home.  There were other things I wanted to show her but she was tired.  I don’t blame her, she’d been on a plane for twelve hours.

Liz, Crystal, and Diana came over, and we ate popcorn and root beer (Ai didn’t really like root beer, she said it tasted like medicine, so we made her some hot chocolate, which she drank greedily) and watched a movie.  Ai was still really tired, so the girls went up to Beth’s room, Liz went up to mine, and Ai slept on the couch.  We did invite her, but she said she was just too tired and wanted to sleep.  She asked if it was normal for girls to make a pile in a sleepover…  I told her not really, but it’s not really weird either.  She said they have a little more sense of personal space in Japan.  Yeah, I guess here too, if I’m being honest.  It’s just what we do, I guess.

I don’t blame the girl for wanting to sleep, though.  I was tired when I went to Japan, too.

Everyone likes her!!!  But of course they do!  She’s my cousin!!!  And she’s Japanese and not yankii, so she’s very polite!!!

I left Marie out of her kennel, Ai seems to like it when Marie sleeps next to her.  I told Marie not to get used to it.  Hahaha!!!  She just yawned and sprawled all over Ai.  Ai said she needs a dog now.

Okay.  Goodnight!!!  Liz and I are going to play games and make a pile!!

Love you all!!! 

This diary entry is part 23 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 18 - December 2022

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

I’m at the Houston airport waiting for Ai!  Beth and Sabby are here too!!!  Beth has never met Ai, but she wanted to come along, and, well, why not?  The baker and dooters are at the shop taking care of business, and, well…  we get a day off if we want.  I took care of payroll already, so everyone’s happy.  Well, except cat-girl.  She’s dooting instead of jiggling, it’s too cold.  Oh well, she still does a good job.  We made Katie the assistant manager for the day – it’s not a permanent promotion, but we needed someone to handle karens while we’re gone.

Her flight (UA 6) is running just a bit late, so we got some ridiculously expensive lunch and coffee, and we’re sitting in the waiting area outside security waiting for her flight to arrive.

I’m so happy to see her!!!!

I have so many places to take her!!!  But tonight she gets to eat and rest, and tomorrow is getting ready for Christmas and Christmas Eve!!!

Love you all!!!  More tonight!!! ❤