Winter Blues and Disinclination

I’ve been cheated out of a brutal, frigid, snowy, slushy nightmare winter and I’d like to know to whom I can address the strongly worded letter I’ve composed on the subject.

We haven’t had any Weather, to speak of.

Every day starts and ends of course and the atmospheric conditions adjust and wobble about, but we’re not having Weather, not anything you could be in at all.

Last Saturday it rained, or rather spritzed and misted, for most of the day, and like all Saturdays we were on the go. of course without umbrellas. But I loved it, because it was something and not the sort of nothing weather we’ve had for weeks now.

No snow or rain. Not really sunny or sharp or crisp. Hazy, sometimes, approaching dull. Overcast, but not gloomy or menacing. Sometimes cold but otherwise merely chilly. Weak.

At the end of fall I was bracing myself for the bitter Korean winter, and even looking forward to it, skimpy on the snow and heavy on the biting wind as it usually is, because, I told myself, when are you going to have a winter like this again? (Currier and Ives were not based out of Oakland.)

I spoke a bit soon, I guess. It hasn’t even been really cold– except for at around 2am most nights. We’ve turned our heat on maybe twice? and that was to dry laundry. This to say, I know, East Coast Americans, that you’re suffering. But remember you are also living my dream right now.

Silver lining: I don’t have to experience Koreans attempting to drive in the snow. #mercy

It’s Friday evening (chilly, not freezing) and I’m the only person in the cafe besides the barista. V. dramatic K-ballads are the music du jour. Occasionally interrupted by ‘Call Me Maybe.’

I’m procrastinating getting my syllabi and lesson plans for next semester done. I ordered tea (Earl Grey) instead of a toffee nut latte…and feel like I deserve a cookie because of it.

I have a Very Cute Planner (it is mint green, and every month has a different Sort of Thing on the margins. March is robots. Also it is almost my name. My name, if I were French. #inmydreams) and my task tonight is to plot out my semester therein, and just in general to make sure all my ducks are in a row (an expression from my mother) for classes to start on Monday.

So far…the ducks are wandering far and wide. They show no inclination towards discipline.

Come along, duckies. Back to it.

how many ducks will fit in there anyway (image via)

Ten Things Tuesday #4

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  1. Last week of vacation has so far seen two mornings at the tax office. Hooray?
  2. I’ve been craving a haircut for about six months and am juuuust shy of hacking at it myself. We’ll see… (in the meantime, what do you guys think? Pixie again? Lob? the ajumma perm?)
  3. Operation Sugarless was utterly derailed by the holiday weekend…and by the cherry crumble I baked for Nate last night…and by the slice of pecan tart So Young and I shared to fortify ourselves for the tax office this morning (so you see it was necessary). I hold out high hopes for tomorrow.
  4. Themes that keep cropping up this week: consecration. praying big. taxes.
  5. There are a few movies that I only ever stumble across on TV during a routine channel-flip, and they always make me stay: Indiana Jones (Raiders), A Few Good Men, Demolition Man. It’s not the years, it’s the mileage. Thank you for playing ‘Should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid.’ Enhance your calm, John Spartan.
  6. ps. people in old movies move their heads SO MUCH when they kiss.  Why. Why is this. Is that how all old-timey directors thought people kissed? Did they not strain their necks? Am I doing something wrong? Are all of us? Food for thought, people.
  7. Currently watching: This dude, and dreaming of what might be this summer. Of note: my 5th grade teacher used to play some of his videos for us, because culture and history and all, but we wretched ingrates objected to his pleated pants and general unhipness. How the bratty have fallen.
  8. Currently listening to: This lady, as we’ve just finished Ken Burns’ Jazz.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzq-LyibcUk
  9. Mobile Word Ministry has a sermon video page! Next on the purchase list: a video camera that doesn’t automatically cut off at 20 minutes. #amen
  10. About eating healthy: Last night’s dinner was tuna, raw onion, cherry tomatoes, and pan-seared brussels sprouts with salt, pepper, lemon, and olive oil. My breath could punch you.

Look out, world.

What we do with free time

You can generally tell I’ve been doing things outside of the apartment when the blog gets quiet. I am an extrovert, so every internet quiz I’ve ever taken has told me, but more and more I love to be at home, just me and the internet and the husband and whatever he’s cooked.

I tell ya, it’s the good life.

But this past week marked the Lunar New Year, so Nate had three days off of work (which NEVER happens) making a FIVE.DAY.WEEKEND.

Why are we leaving Korea again?

Here’s the thing about Life with Nate: ‘Free time’ is a delusion and a snare. For an introvert (seriously a lot) homeboy is the busiest, most people-involved dude of all time. So today, after a five day weekend, we’re both kind of excited to get back to the usual schedule. So we can relax.

Here are a couple of highlights from our busyness: coffee and friends, coffee and friends, food and friends, Bible study, Bible study, Bible study, coffee-food-Bible-talking. The occasional waffle. My newly minted sugar-abstentious lifestyle submerged beneath banana-stuffed French toast. #worthit

We even got a surprise Skype with Mom and Dad, and I can’t say enough what a blessing our parents are to us. On Lunar New Year in Korea it is a big deal to honor your parents, and the fact that Nate and I have such encouraging, strengthening, hilarious people on our side is a great gift of God. Dad is Nate’s mentor in the ordination process, and to see my two favorite men share stories and laugh together brings me more joy than even banana-stuffed French toast, real talk.

A long walk Friday morning for our dream sandwich ingredients took us around a lake a few miles from the house. It’s manmade and I have no idea what’s in the water to make it all bluegreen, because let’s be real, we’re in central South Korea, not Capri. But it was a beautiful morning:

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distant haze brought to you by pollution

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(ps. the sandwiches were chicken and provolone on a baguette with spinach, tomatoes, and pesto. Toasted. oh yes. praise ye the Lord. in the sanctuary.)

It’s another ‘last’ we’ve just had: our last Lunar New Year in Korea. Moving is getting realer and realer. Ifs and whens are jockeying for position in our conversations these days. Life is rich here, how we have been nourished by our people and how fast God answers when we give him our time.

The best parts of the holiday weren’t the waffles, or the pancakes, or the french toast, or the enchiladas, or the sandwiches. (I’m now rethinking this paragraph.) Nate and I got to talk. Talk the way it’s hard to when you’re lounging at home with the internet to distract you (God only knows what we’re gonna do when we have kids). Got to move on purpose and challenge each other and discuss things vigorously, not always agreeing but always on the same team. And packed in and around and between us like mortar supporting bricks were the times with friends who are our family.

I’m trying to write more about that, but every sentence brings me to the brink of the reality that we’re about to leave all of this and go do a new thing. And right now it’s the last week of my vacation, and I’ve got oatmeal to eat and the last load of laundry to hang up, so we’ll save that breakdown for June.

Baa baa, y’all.

Ten Things Tuesday #3

Annnnd it’s a streak, y’all.

Three weeks running.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who made this possible.

(you’re the real stars…

not really.)

(that just sent me down a youtube rabbit hole of Jenna Maroney’s best moments.)

Which seems like as good a place as any to start this week’s ten things:

  1. Playlist of the best moments of 30 Rock: go here. It’s just…so good.
  2. I miss living with a clothes dryer. Not for most things, but for towels and sheets? come ON. Nothing compares. I say this as I look at the two laundry racks currently festooned with stiffly drying clothes. sigh.
  3. Recently all I want to wear are Big Ol’ Sweaters. pants optional. The vibe I’m looking for is ‘shapeless.’ I’m wearing this one right now:
    get it here
    get it here. (that’s me in the picture. Lasik truly does work wonders)

    (but full disclosure I do not wear pants when I blog at home. i mean are you kidding me? that is the behavior of sociopaths.)

  4. I love poking around on other people’s blogs but I am so so so so uncomfortable about commenting. Am I the only one?  Is it that awkward for everyone else? I sense a post on this topic coming on…
  5. Ann Voskamp is a champion and basically everyone knows it, but this post messed me up, is messing me up, shall will should would may might must can could continue to mess me up, for always, because that’s what Jesus does: he messes you up. Read it, read it, read it.
  6. Over the past week I’ve come to some uncomfortable realities about my habits and my health, and the result of those things is this: I have had Brussels sprouts (Shannan’s) for two days in a row, and yesterday Nate made me run up a hill. I almost divorced him but Jesus kept us together.
  7. Do any of the rest of you use the stickynote feature as a sort of mental trashcan, so that whatever is stuck in your head ends up there and it multiplies and stages a hostile takeover of your desktop screen? Just me? Okay then.
  8. I found coconut water at Emart and I’ve been hoarding the last two bottles. So good.
  9. Four more nights with the Serial Killer Eye Guards. I’m gonna miss those weirdos. (no I’m not.)
  10. The East Coast of the US is getting HAMMERED by winter storms, and I’m so jealous it’s making me a little twitchy. Be safe, but o my friends, revel for those of us whose winters are barren.

 

it’s Valentimes!

This video, my first Valentine. always and forever.

When I moved to Korea, before I met Nate, and thanks to my Life Hero Ms. Knope, my lady frands and coworkers and I threw Galentine’s Day.

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We didn’t eat frittatas and say empowering things, but we took up too much room in a cafe and traded weird Konglish greeting cards and (duh) chocolates, and took turns saying lovely true things about each other. Loved it.

I was personally late to the Valentine’s game: my first experiences with it were in university and 1000% platonic, but that didn’t make it less meaningful. I love Valentine’s Day. Oversaturation of the chocolate market? Check. License to spread love and goodwill and appreciation? Check. Flowers in the middle of winter? Check. Yearly I hear the droning of the Buzzkills with their cynicism and ‘singles awareness day’ and to them I say: put down the Haterade and try sipping something sweeter, like these things:

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(with free prints!)
(with free prints!)
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If you can send one of these, or even look at them, and still be grumpy about V-day, then I do not understand you.

The Boy and I never had a dating Valentine’s (since we met in March 2013 and married January 2014. #lockitup) and though we are all about oversaturation of the chocolate market and telling people they are loved, this year we’re gonna do a Nu Thang:

Palentine’s Day!!!

We’re double-dating this V-day with our buds Matt and Kelly: a nice dinner followed by a viewing of the most recent train wreck episode of The Bachelor.  And after we watch it, we’ll update our brackets for next week.  Yes. Brackets. It’s our way of sticking it to the man. The super boring, always-drunk man. Ugh.

Whatever your specific take on Valentine’s Day, I hope you lovely people have a warm and delightful February 14th. I hope you are reminded all day long that you’re valuable and that you are loved, no matter your relationships….and maybe that will prevent some of you from ever going on the Bachelor.