Friday, December 23, 2011


I've been contemplating what to write in my last Korea post for some time now. I've thought of writing of our favorite memories, and even some of the hardest ones. I've thought of comparing and contrasting our year in Korea with everyday life in the U.S. I've thought of writing all the pros of living here along withe the cons. But lets be real - as much as you enjoy reading this blog (seriously, don't kid yourself, you worship it) I'm betting you aren't all that interested in reading an almost novel right about now. I see you. You can't even sit still in your seat for more than 5 minutes, giddy with anticipation of our arrival home.

[ I have been toying with the idea of combining posts and writing passages of "in between posts." There were many things I mindfully omitted from my writing the past year. Certain opinions, truths, and observations were left out as to not rock the boat. I wanted to keep this light and informative- and let us not forget, this is a public page :). So if I ever decide to mush the good, bad and ugly all together for sport, I'll be sure to let you know.]

Instead of babbling on about a year of living in Korea, I'd prefer to enlighten you with some spark notes. Here goes nothin.

There's No Place Like Home. No matter how gorgeous the mountains, or how sparkly and lengthy the newness and adventure, home was always on my mind.

Living In A Small Apartment In Korea Is Tricky. It can be rather challenging and uncomfortable to adapt to a brand new lifestyle. Even more so to adapt and realize you have to hold that stamina for another eleven months. But this can also be very humbling and rewarding.

I'm Unafraid.
 Few people I've met and imagine will meet have done anything like this. I am proud of us for having the kahonies to come here, and even more proud for sticking with it, when at times all I could think of was getting on the next plane to Detroit.

Leave. Now. It is an absolute must to get out of the U.S. for a while. And I'm not talkin a week on the beach. I'm talking running in the streets, getting lost, meeting people from all ends of the world, visiting landmarks, climbing mountains, exploring, exploring, exploring. Sounds kind of tiring doesn't it? Maybe, but also totally worth it. And I'm betting something you'll never forget. By experiencing the aforementioned I not only had great adventures but developed a fresh, passionate appreciation for the country I was born in. 

Brendan Is The Ultimate Best. I am beyond grateful for him taking this journey with me. We have grown and learned so much together and I couldn't imagine doing this without him. 

We Love You. We Love You. We Love You. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Mom, Dad, Angela, Annie, Jarod, Eric, Evan, Jarod, Grandma, Papa, Nonna, Nonno, our Aunts, Uncles, cousins, and friends. We appreciate you more than words can say. There were times our hearts ached more than ever before. There isn't a way we could have made it this year without your skype calls, emails, text messages, care packages and love.

I'll leave you with an excerpt from a book called Horrace and Morris but Mostly Dolores. I read this with my level 5 kids sometime when the weather was hot. As soon as we came to this part part, I knew it belonged here. This resonates with our year rather nicely, and I'd like to believe I will carry this spirit the rest of my life.

"Horrace and Morris but mostly Dolores never said, "This is something we shouldn't do." They said, "This is something we've got to do." And so there was almost nothing they didn't do." 

Thanks for virtually tagging along with us the past twelve months. And, as always, we really really miss you. An obnoxious amount. Come on now, this is getting ridiculous. Ok really, we'll be home from Australia the 12th of January. And of course, we'll post photos and stories of adventures here. BRIMMING WITH EXCITEMENT! 

See you soon, so so soon!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Oh So, Oh So Close

It's been a few weeks since our last post. I'm fairly certain..let's make that almost one hundred percent certain..the next post will be to say goodbye to Korea. So, I figured it would be good to have one last regular post before the goodbye one. 
We almost can't contain our excitement. We are leaving in less than 2 weeks. AH! Can you believe it?  We are ready to get out of here, emotionally speaking. Physically so, we are not even close to ready, as our first sock has yet to be packed. We did our last grocery shop at Home Plus today and it felt weird and great all at the same time. 
In school, we're trying to busy ourselves with Christmas crafts and songs. Not.Really.Working. Ok, well maybe kind of but it's hard to pretend these are just normal weeks! We feel like little kids peeing our pants in anticipation. Don't pee yet, but I can't make any promises. Ew. Ok. That was gross. 
Anyway, here are some photos of life lately. Next time you read this, our dupas will be on a plane to Sydney, Australia!!!!! 
We beyond miss you. 

Brendan's Birthday! Look at all those sweeties!

December/countdown to Christmas calendar. I secretly made it for my own selfish pleasure. Countdown to us leaving. :)

I have a photo of Smile wearing this coat from when we first got to Korea. I know I posted it because I loved it as much as this one. His cuteness is so decieving. What a little monster. :) 

Brendan's student Sophia made this for us. It says, "Thank you for teach us." 

Photo booth in Daegu for Brendan's Birthday. 

There is a kid's character called Pororo here and I really like him. Too much I think. There he is on my head.

 Oknow I will explain the sweatshirts. I told you about how couple and family clothes are all the rage here. Well, I just had to get us some. We forgot to have the server take a photo of us together, but I will post one soon. You should see the backs of them. Ah, I'll post those too. Soon. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pepero Day and Open House

Happy Pepero Day, almost Thanksgiving, and end of November!! The past couple weeks have been pretty busy. Our open house was Friday, Pepero Day the Friday before that, and our co teacher left Korea and we are welcoming a new teacher. In the photos below you'll see what Peperos look like, they are basically long skinny breadsticks dipped in chocolate. There are different kinds, chocolate almond covered ones, inside out ones, etc.  Here there is a whole day devoted to them, the equivalent of our Valentine's Day. Kids bring Peperos to school and give them out to each other. We got tons of boxes that day. In my last class of the day the kids were complaining of belly aches because of all the Peperos they ate, it was hilarous, "Ohhhh teachaaaa!! Stomach-uhh!" 

We had open house on Friday and I've been practicing songs for weeks, more like months, with the kids to perform for their parents. It's amazing how they turn from little spaz, crazy monkey monsters to shy, meak little angels when it comes time to sing in front of the parents. At the end of the day they are only 4 and 5, and pretty much adorable, which makes up for their lack of stage presence and the parents always seem elated after their songs. Sally carried the whole performance (what else is new) while donning angel wings and Ryan Lee and Jong Hae upped the cute factor with their red bow ties. 

After school on Friday Brendan and I traveled to Daegu, which is a little over an hour away (same place the body painting festival was) to celebrate his Birthday this coming Tuesday. We took the trip to have a special Birthday dinner at Bennigan's. Yes Bennigan's. This was quite a big deal for us, as Brendan had been dreaming of the Monte Cristo sandwich since we visited Daegu months ago. We had a great time and found a fun anime photo booth similar (but not nearly as cool) to the ones in Japan. 

Next week brings us Brendan's Birthday and Thanksgiving, which we will spend like any other day going to work and eating normal food. This sounds kind of sad and maybe depressing, until you remember after Thanksgiving passes we will have four weeks left in Korea and then we'll be on our way. Oh.Happy.Day.

We miss you, we miss you, we miss you, and are desperately trying not to get overly excited to see you- as we think this will make our time left pass slower. But who are we kidding, we're beyond the overly excited point. 

Some boxes of Pepero. 

I'm not quite sure what word to use to even come close to describing this face. But it is a must post photo. 

Happy Pepero Day!

Action shot from Open House. 

Don't you love Brad's rain coat?

Adorable. You too, Jong Hae. :) 


Ryan Lee rocking the bow tie with sweat pants. Typical. 

This is the last photo of Alice and I. Her and Christina are leaving for the U.S. today and won't return until mid January. So sad to see my littlest pup go. She's come so far and my heart broke a little on Friday when I had to say goodbye.

Group shot minus Sally.

Photos from booth in Daegu. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween! Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was Halloween and Lia Teacher's Birthday! Halloween in Korea, like many other things, isn't like Halloween at home. The holiday isn't really celebrated here. But we did get to party at Kid's College and the day ended up being a success. We took the kiddies trick or treating to some local stores and pharmacies, yes pharmacies. We also had cooking, arts and crafts and pumpkin carving. 

Having a Birthday on Halloween when you work in a school for little Korean munchkins is just as fun as you'd think it is. After the work day was over, Brendan treated me to dinner and an ice cream Birthday cake from Baskin Robins! I also got to skype with my grandparents, mama and sister, and baby cousins who all sang Happy Birthday! I really missed you guys for this one but am so grateful for the emails, text messages, skype calls, and gifts I received. How lucky am I to feel all that love so far away!

Our apartment is filled with cakes, pastries, gifts and Birthday goodies. I like to be surrounded with boxes and left over treats for a few days following my Birthday, it makes the place feel so warm and lovey.  My biggest problems now are figuring out how to fit the giant cake Smile got me into the freezer and where to put everything. I'd say those aren't bad problems to have. 

Missing you always. Thanks again for all the love. 

I was a princess this year. 

Sally and Alice. Both princesses as well. Quite the popular costume. Who woulda thought? 

My Sally. 

I had to post both. 

Getting hooked up at the pharmacy!

Bin. I liked his glasses. 

Cake from Smile. Don't mind the almost naked, fluffy Korean boy behind us. 



Baskin Robins!!

Brendan is going to kill me when he sees I posted this. Birthday hat, tiara, glasses AND boa! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Scarecrow Field Trip

Thursday we went for what is probably one of our last, if not last field trip with the kiddies.  We went to look at some scarecrows that ended up being more scary and weird looking than fun. But we got some good photos out of the morning and only had one crying child. :) 

We'd also like to give a special congrats to my mama who was recently inducted as President of Executive Women International Detroit-Windsor Chapter. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jinju Lantern Festival

This weekend marked our last 3 day weekend in Korea. From here on out, it's a straight shot to December with no days off. Sounds like a downer, until you remember December means Australia and then home sweet home. 

Saturday and Sunday we visited Jinju for their lantern festival. This one was different from the lantern parade we went to in Seoul - all of the giant lanterns were floating!!! It was really cool to see and the town was very pretty.  

We hope you enjoy the photos below.
As always, we miss you. Even more every passing day.

View from our hotel room. We were super close to the festivities- as the lanterns begin just to the right of the bridge. 

Some of the lanterns by day. 

There were a bunch of tunnels covered in lanterns like this. I went running Sunday morning through these and it was exceptional. 

Close up of a lantern. They were pretty big. 

Sometimes translations can get a bit tricky...

This and the next few figures are all lanterns. They all light up at night. 

Lanterns at night. 

View from bridge over the river. There were so many lanterns!