Ten Things Tuesday: Creepin thru Bavaria

This week’s edition of the newly revived Ten Things Tuesday is dedicated to the fact that Nathan does not pay attention when I have a camera.

of course it is hard to pay attention when you’re asleep.

  1. Flight out of Korea to Russia.  Many emotions make a man sleepy.
  2. Admiring St. Michael’s in Munich, early on a Sunday morning.
  3. Peering out of our window in Hallstatt, Austria.
    IMG_0457(it looks like he’s pointing at me but he’s just mid-scroll on the Kindle.)
  4. Winding, green-arched, village streets are SO done, you guys.
  5. Sleepy and beardy in Southern Germany.
  6. Duesseldorf trams don’t make you sleepy, just pensive. (but I think he was going for thoughtful)
  7. Daydreaming at a Salzburg bus stop.
  8. Amsterdam, whatever, blah blah blah.
  9. I don’t sleep well in trains or planes or buses. Which is good because I am not this cute.
  10. I mean come ON.
    IMG_1205 - Copy

I hope I never stop sniping pictures of him. I hope he never stops falling asleep on my shoulder.
And he’s not too bad awake, either.

Ten Things Tuesday #6

  1. I was born and raised in Bloomfield Connecticut, but I and all nine of my siblings say y’all on the regular. Casually. It’s probably an even split between Y’all and You guys. Never  ‘Youse guys.’ Sally McMahon permitted y’all in her household, but ‘youse guys’ would have gotten you the grammar lecture to end all grammar lectures, delivered in a horrifying 30s era gangster impression, see? Shudder.
  2. Weekly conviction, from Emily by way of Sara. God’s not on social media.
  3. Things I Have Googled this week: When was Jonah written (courtesy of Nate texting Bible questions from work), what’s the difference between eau de parfum/eau de toilette (borne of too much beauty blog reading), how to take a screenshot (see last post), and ‘WWII German Artillery’ (from a discussion that arose during a Band of Brothers viewing).
  4. The weather is full-on schizo out here: Monday morning was straight-up balmy and I ran in shorts (or whatever halfway between capri and shorts would be called. what’s the word? oh yeah, unattractive) with no frostbite, and this morning was so frigid and windy that Nate and I had to shove our way through the buffeting gusts to reach the bus stop. Buffeting. Gusts.

    It’s set! It’s dry! None of those horrible chips and ridges and fingerprint ridges that happen when I inevitably poke my nails to see if they’re dry? #bless
  6. That Sally Hansen stuff is part of my current campaign to #SaveTheNails. I don’t know what it is: some form of seasonal affective disorder or just teenage rebellion, but this time of year my fingernails go straight to the Other Place. They’re thin. They’re brittle. They’re chipping and flaking right down to the quick. I picked up the Insta-Dri in hopes it will stop me picking my nails. Like maybe if they’re pretty enough I’ll leave them alone. I also picked up some cuticle butter that I want to eat because it smells like lemons.
  7. I will not eat the cuticle butter. I will not eat the cuticle butter. I will not eat the cuticle butter.
  8. Currently contemplating a follow-up to my student emails post about the ‘interesting facts’ my students had to submit about themselves this week. Teaser: ‘my nickname is Camel for 4 years.’ Yea? Nay?
  9. Currently listening to: Nate making robot noises in the kitchen while he toasts us up some garlic bread. Soundtrack of happiness.
  10. Today, after a month of no eye makeup, I tried to wing my eyeliner, and I did not stab myself, not even a little. Victory, o friends.

My Lasik Experience

(If you want more detailed information about LASIK or Hanbit Clinic, feel free to comment or to send an email!)

I’ve worn glasses since the 4th grade, when my post-bedtime hallway/closet light sneak reading caught up with me. My favorite (only) hobby was reading, and no parent-imposed bedtime was gonna keep me from it–but it came at a price. To my parents. Because eye care is expensive, y’all.

I wore glasses exclusively until I was 21, when the glasses I wore every single day for four years of college and half a semester of grad school snapped over Thanksgiving break. I’d saved up a little bit of money and was able then to get new glasses and a year’s worth of contact lenses.

Contact lenses were amazing, but the cost of replacing them and the upkeep got annoying. I have very sensitive eyes; like my eyes are total wusses. I squint outside even when it’s overcast. There was only one kind of contact solution I found that didn’t majorly irritate my eyes, and I couldn’t leave lenses in too long or my eyes would get mad.

like dis
like dis

When I moved to Korea, I decided that Lasik was definitely an investment I’d be interested in, but I put it off because of other things (student loans, trips home and abroad, getting married). But with our farewell to Korea now looming, Nate and I decided that this was my best shot.

I talked to one of the deacons at church, who was an eye surgeon until he retired a few years ago–but luckily, he was able to set me up an appointment with an English-speaking eye doctor at a clinic downtown.

I went to Hanbit Eye and Laser Center, located just outside of Banwoldang Exit 12 on the 3rd floor of the KEB Building. Here’s a map:


I went in twice before the actual procedure: once to for a thorough going-over and a few days later to ensure stability. The surgery itself was happily scheduled in the morning on Friday, which meant Nate could come with me.

They’d mentioned that my eyes (which scored super low on the dryness test, apparently) would need artificial tears as well as the medicated eyedrops they give standard, and they’d also explained that the actual procedure would take about ten minutes total (if that–each laser was about 20 seconds per eye) and that I would experience ‘mild discomfort.’

But you see, my eyes, they are wusses. Total wimps. And ‘mild discomfort’ is the relative-est of terms.

I didn’t think I’d have any problems because I’m not squeamish about touching my eyes and never had trouble popping contacts in and out–but there’s apparently a big difference between me touching my eye and plastic suctiony ring of death touching my eye. Nate anticipated this, which is why he kept asking how I was doing in the morning before the surgery, and was surprised by the breeziness of my responses. Once that suctiony ring of death latched on, I actually thought I might black out, which I have never done. But I muttered a prayer and dug my thumbnail into my index finger and got through it. I donned my serial killer eye guards and hid my face in Nate’s shoulder to block the light out all the way home. It hurt a lot more than I’d anticipated, but Nate took excellent care of me, fetching me ibuprofen and folding one of his shirts over my eyes to block the light.

(Since I kept my eyes shut basically all day, I thought that shirt was a towel, and blew my nose into it, which is gross either way, but hey, #marriage.)

The ‘mild discomfort’ lasted basically until I woke up from the nap I took that afternoon, where it became actual mild discomfort that lasted until the next day. Now, five days post-op, I’m totally fine aside from dry eyes. I got to wash my face today, and I can run again tomorrow, the eye guards will be our bedfellows for only 10 more days, and I can wear eye makeup again in…three weeks! Small, small, price to pay, friends and neighbors. I’m mostly excited for losing the eye guards, because then I’ll get to live my fantasy of waking up, looking across the room, and knowing instantly what I’m looking at.

I’m really grateful that I live in a time and place where this is even possible. It was so fast, and so easy, and golly. geez. jeepers. Thanks, Lord, for this gift.

On Sunday

This is The Boy.

hello Boy.
hello Boy.

We’ve been married since January 2014.

He’s the best.

He plays guitar like a dream and grins like a kid and runs like a total nut, but more than anything else, he loves to learn about Jesus. Wants to plant a church and preach, and study the Bible with all comers, forever and ever, amen.

Actually, wants to doesn’t catch it. Needs to is better.

For five years, since Jesus changed his life, since he moved to Korea with two weeks notice, he’s been learning and sharing and teaching and preaching the Word.

On Sunday, he preached in front of a church.

blurry, because using flash in church is NOT reverent.
blurry, because using flash in church is NOT reverent.

It’s incredible to see anyone doing what they were created to do, but this is something special. How God opened closed doors and answered unsaid prayers to make this possible. How the message came together in just two days. How open that Boy is to the Lord’s leading. And not to be biased, but it was good. I forgot he was my Boy while he was up there. He was just the messenger of grace to people needing truth.

On Sunday, the Boy preached his first sermon. Next Sunday, he preaches his second.

We are a thankful and humbled household this week.

Go here to listen, and here to keep track of future messages.

Handel’s Messiah: December 2014

This is a bit of a throwback, but It’s something I meant to post about and never did, so let’s be trendy together and call it nostalgia. Or um vintage. Yeah, way vintage guys. Way.

One of the nicest things about The Boy is that he likes method and tradition and routines. I think this is nice because I appreciate aspects of those things without being able to maintain them myself. Kind of the same way I feel about zookeepers. What a fun job it must be that I will never ever be good at.


My one exception to tradition maintenance is Christmas. I have all the tolerance in the world for Christmas traditions and routines, and also very strong feelings about which ones I like to follow and which ones I will not. That’s the same thing as tolerance, right? Yes. Moving on. Nate only has one Christmas tradition he feels super strongly about, and it was a new one to me: every year, Nate goes to see Handel’s Messiah performed.

(swoon. he’s so classy.)

This was a Pagaard tradition that’s now been inherited by our 2-member Pagaard extension, so we’re keeping it going. Of course, living in Korea limits the opportunity to do so. By ‘limits the opportunity’ I mean there is ONE place in the whole of Korea that annually produces the English version of the Messiah, in a little Methodist church up in Seoul, a 2 hour train-ride north of us. Nate’s gone every year for four years.

(swoon swoon swoon.)

So we took a weekend off in mid-December to see the show and see Seoul lit up for Christmas. The company that does the production is volunteer-based, which means it’s a labor of love. (Let’s just say that this year, there was a lot of love.)

(Our pictures are also a labor of love, in that we similarly have the very best possible intentions. And yet they turn out like this.)

RIP Beard
RIP Beard

Once in Seoul we checked out Myeongdong, one of the bigger shopping areas in Seoul.  It’s insane and busy and packed and fun to wander in–when it’s above freezing.

Don't know that guy. but the pose works.
Don’t know that guy. but the pose works.

Then, gloriously, this happened. I love this place. Some of this stuff was flavored like Ballantyne…scotch? Whiskey? I am ill-equipped to answer this. and there was a Guinness milk chocolate flavor in there too. Neither of them got me tipsy, so don’t worry Mom.

IMG_0043Eventually, we got to the main event.

The choir, gearing up
The choir, gearing up

The church was full. We sat with Koreans and Americans and South Africans and Austrians and all of us were totally captivated by the movement of the music. A few of the instruments weren’t tuned properly. Nate has perfect pitch, and I grew up with people who have perfect pitch pointing things out to me, so it got a little painful at times, but you know what? It was so great. People from everywhere, crammed together, hearing this incredible story of prophecy and fulfillment in Jesus, for us, going on to the end. I’m getting goosebumps a month later, thinking about it.

Christmas isn’t Christmas because of the manger but because of the Cross, and because of the Resurrection and the Ascension and His promise to return.

Behold, I tell you a mystery;
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…

The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

I want to post all the rest of it. Because it’s just that good. But go here and read it and be reminded of the Truth.

After the Messiah we walked around Seoul to see the lights…

Seoul Christmas Light
Seoul Christmas Lights 2
Festal Cheer!
Seoul Christmas Lights 3



So Festive.

Our hotel was located on this mysterious stretch of road in Seoul between some majorly bustling areas which somehow manages to be completely dead after 9pm. In Seoul, literally one of the largest, fullest-of-people, busiest cities in the whole wide world. Luckily, we found signs of life nearby (Korea has a habit of building soju bars and meat restaurants in close proximity) and ended the night on a delicious note.

Korean side dishes. Nom.
Korean side dishes. Nom.

2014 marked our final winter in Korea, so we’re a little extra aware of everything about it, and extra grateful for everything we get to experience here. It’s weird and amazing to consider where we’ll be hearing the music of the Messiah next December. I can’t wait.