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:

distant haze brought to you by pollution


(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.

A wee bit of thanks

I am thankful.

There are people who get grumpy about how thankfulness get so jam packed into this particular season and who inquire why folks don’t express gratitude more during the rest of the year, come on, right, ugh.

These are probably the same people who get annoyed by “I love you” mid-February.

But I say go for it. I am thankful all year round and I love my fambly and my Savior all year round, but what’s wrong with dedicating a holiday to it, drawing a little more emphasis than normal, surrounding love and gratitude with celebration? Calm down, cranky Facebook demagogues.

(but don’t start me on New Year’s resolutions. jk.)

Our wee little, baby little, fledgling Thanksgiving went off without significant hitches. We slept in (8.30!) and while Nate ran I made a triple batch of these beauties for the office T-day party before whipping up a salad and boiling the water for STOVE TOP STUFFING. A wedding gift that we’ve never yet used meant we could fit the entire meal (excluding salad) on one dish. Which we then ate off of communally. Hashtag life hack.

the chicken looks terrifying. which is what you get when you buy it from the back of a pickup truck.


After Nate prayed a Thank You prayer, we feasted whilst watching a Friends Thanksgiving episode marathon. The football episode…so good.

we are all Chandler Bing.

Then a quick jaunt to work for a few hours for me, biscuits in tow, and now I’m home and Boy is working, and I am resisting mightily the leftovers in the fridge til he comes back to share them. #WifeOfTheYear

I’m thankful for so much this year. Not least of which that this year will soon end.

(Is that too sour? It’s true, though it’s also a topic for another post.)

But before it does, and before we move on from this amazing, carb-laden holiday:

I’m thankful for Nate. For our sprout of a marriage. For all the laughs and plans and dreams and lazy times and busy times and serving times and for making me better, and making me believe in better. I love you.

I’m thankful that I have what I have. I could live with less and I believe I will in the very near future. For now, we have jobs and money and benefits. I’m grateful.

I’m thankful for family far away. I miss them so much. I’m missing the crop of McNieces and McNephews grow up, and I hate that, but I’m grateful that they are there and well and provided for.

I’m thankful for family close by: friends who are family who will make leaving this country so, so hard.

I’m thankful that I’m loved and forgiven and valued by the Creator Himself. I’m thankful that there is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain. I’m thankful that no matter how dark reality is, we have hope in Him.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!