Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflecting...Good bye 2013

I love the end of the year!  Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve!  It seems happiness is in the air the whole time.  Tomorrow brings in 2014 and I am ready.  The most common things I hear is, "I can't wait for this year to be over." of "I am not ready for a new year yet."  I too have said that I was so happy for a year to be done and over with.  Like when the husband had his last deployment, but then I reflect and realize that yes he might have been deployed but.... look at all the good that also came out of it.  And that year there were plenty of things that came out of it even though he was missing for most of it!  One thing I remember the most was in 2011 I looked at my friend and said, "I can say the actual words that HE IS COMING HOME THIS YEAR!"  That always made deployments easier because I know longer had to say next year. So for any family member who's loved one comes home in 2014, yes you can finally say that they will be home in so many months but most of all you can say this year!  :)

So many things took place in 2013 for me.  So many challenges, heartache, headaches, and so much laughter.  We brought in the New Year with dear friends Mike and Meechi!  They were building their home through the same builders we were and were less than a month behind.  This was the first New Years in both our homes and they hosted.  Audrey was not even 2 months old yet, we met new people and celebrated with good friends!  A few weeks later my family came to visit us for the second time in Colorado.  The first time was when I found out I was pregnant and now this time to see the little granddaughter/niece.  On their last full day we took them out to dinner and they surprised me with telling me that my mother would be back out a few weeks later to help me settle after Collin left for Korea.  Little did I know how much I was going to need that visit.

Collin was set to leave just a few days before Valentines day.  He was originally going to Kuwait, then a very small possibility to Afghanistan, then back to Kuwait then we got the word on Korea.  Audrey was a preemie and we didn't think it was a good time for us to follow.  So the day came for him to leave and I lost my water proof mascara and so I had to run to the store less than 2 miles away!  Wouldn't you know it was the one snow that we got in about a month that caused the roads to be slightly slick and I my car picked that day of all days to meet the sidewalk just down from our house.  (which delayed him leaving a day) My mom was supposed to come in that night and called to say she couldn't make it due to not feeling well but would get a flight the next day.  So after hours of headache with the car and high stress between Collin leaving, being a new mom, and my mom being sick we finally got to bed.  The next morning came and we had to be at the airport at 0430.  It was a heartbreaking day but my mom made it in that evening safe and sound.  Still feeling a bit yucky but we was getting better.  The last week and a half Audrey became sick and the last week we ended up quarantined in a hospital room due to RSV.  My biggest fear of anything serious happening to Audrey while Collin was gone came just a few weeks after he left.  But my mommy was there and was the biggest help ever!  She got me through it and we got released the afternoon before my mom had to fly back to Ohio.  After she left I cried almost the whole way home.... if this was a sign of how my year was going to be, I wanted to close my eyes and make it stop, I wanted to wish away 2013.

Thank God as humans we can't do that.  Collin settled into a cozy 3 bedroom apartment and we made plans to join him.  In June I quit my job and my brother came to visit.  When I flew back East with Audrey and my brother I was flying away from Colorado.  I had spent all of April and May sorting through our new 4 story (including the finished basement) home, working half my day, and being a mom the other half.  In late May I found a Property Manager for the house and started working on any details that needed fixed before new renters came in.  Yes I will toot my own horn and say that I somehow became SUPER SUPER mom!  Michael left the house in early June to join the military and Audrey was growing and keeping me on my toes.  Mid June I was in my parents house and soon at my family reunion.  I soon got word that early to mid July I was to fly home for the movers to start coming.  Audrey and I spent a week between Colorado and Arizona.  We got back with 12 hours to spare before the first set of packers came.  The first group was for our HHG to get packed and shipped to Korea.  They left on Wednesday and Thursday I was on a plane to AZ.  I got back Tuesday night and Wednesday the group came by to pack up the rest of our house and take it off to storage. Friday I finished odds and ends and Saturday I was back on a plane. 
I got to visit a lot more of family and was able to watch my little Princess grow.  Every couple of days it seemed that something would come up about us moving to Korea and the stress would wear on me for a couple days each time.  Ft. Carson couldn't send the passports until I had my Command Sponsorship and then once I forwarded that on something was wrong with the paperwork so Collin and I went back and forth trying to get everything straightened out until I just forwarded the letter from Carson to him and told him to fix it.  It all took at least 2 days it seemed to get things straightened out due to the time difference.  Collin wouldn't find out what was going on until after work and then we would have to wait until the next day to get the paperwork fixed and that was if he could get it done on side the next day.  This is when I learned I needed to have a little bit of patients.  Which is something God did not bless me with lol!  However all this activity was teaching me how to find it.  We finally got everything straightened out and my new renters had moved in and I was set to meet Collin mid September.  But first I got to attend my brothers wedding at the beginning  the month and visit with Nana and Bill before take off.  While at Nana's we were sitting around after dinner on a Sunday and I was talking about packing up the next morning so we would be ready to leave in the middle of the night Tuesday to catch our very early flight! Then the phone rang, it was Collin. He had called asking me if I could leave a day sooner due to increased traffic because of the Korean Holiday.  With high stress already I said if you can change it this late in the game then go for it.... I knew in my mind it was not going to happen, he wanted me on a flight in less than 24 hours!  Well 15 minutes later I had a new itinerary.  It was now time to get on the phone and change my rental car location and for some reason it took a total of 4 phone calls between Dallas and Killeen because no one seemed to know the correct procedures on how to change my drop off location and how much to finally charge me.  It was such a mess.  I started packing late that evening and finally got to bed around midnight only to be up with baby and out the door by 4am.  Ever since I got her it has been sweet!  And an opportunity of a life time!  Learning new foods and ways of living and seeing some beautiful places it has been a great adventure.

Even though my year was busy and pretty stressful I got to have a lot of fun traveling around with Audrey, seeing family and had a great summer over all.  God had everything under control the whole time and he knew that I would learn many lessons, many important lessons.  Like a little bit of patients!  And I am so happy it changed to Korea.  I thought we would miss Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, but I was wrong here we are and through everything I loved what it took to get here.  I just can't wait to find our new adventures in 2014.

Speaking of I guess it's time to turn on TV, sign off and watch Korea bring in the New Year!  This was supposed to be a blog highlighting my year but as always I went on and on!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

As I sit here typing on my brand new keyboard that I can connect by blue tooth to my galaxy tablet I find myself smiling; It was a good day!  Collin is playing with his new camera equipment and Audrey is finally fast asleep.  She was having so much fun playing all day that she just didn't want to go down.  Mike came down for a visit and is extremely sick but it was good seeing him.

It all started yesterday when late afternoon I started baking.  Made Cinnamon bread and prepped my baked corn then headed to a church service.  It was a little different but we enjoyed it. (Even with Audrey all over the place)It was a service with different denominations.  It was beautiful.  However I will admit that because Audrey wouldn't be quiet unless we were singing or their was someone else singing or playing music we had to whisper while singing What Does the Fox Say in her ear was a little awkward, especially during prayer!  That's right Grampy chuckle away. I can almost hear you now :)  It was the first time in a long time that everyone around me had big smiles plastered on their faces.  I can't remember the last time I felt sincere happiness all around me.  I couldn't help but think about why it has been so long since I have seen this.  I don't know what it was but it felt like Christmas warmth filled the room, A big present was wrapped up in the prettiest paper and at the end of service joy and love exploded.  It was like acceptance and I didn't even know what I was being excepted for.  I didn't have to give my name or say who I was but I was excepted.  It was nice and we are going to try the church out this Sunday.
After coming home I backed 2 1/2 dozen sugar cookies in all different Christmas shapes.  Collin made his deviled eggs and then we decorated the cookies and started to clean up until we realized it was near midnight and time to call it quits.

Christmas morning...... I woke up to Collin getting a head start on the mess we left last night.  He was doing dishes and I was dirtying more making my blueberry muffins for breakfast!  About 830 Mike arrived and Audrey woke.  Mike started passing out gifts and the fun began.  It was so much fun watching Audrey partially unwrap a gift and then find entertainment in something else.  Santa was good to all of us this year!  Audrey loves Christmas!  Hopefully these toys will last her awhile as Santa seemed to have pleased her!
We got to google+ plus with family while opening gifts and they got to watch Audrey play with her new toys.
Early afternoon we began our simple but yummy feast!  Collin did amazing and you know its an amazing meal when you eat so much that now at 8pm we still never got that dessert.

As my day is ready to end and we are ready for bed I anxiously await to see pictures of Christmas morning from my friends and family. Merry Christmas!!!  A King is born!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Sunday in Korea

So yesterday I woke up bright and early, 8am on a Sunday is early for me.  Collin is home and can't sleep in due to his internal clock so he gets Audrey when she wakes. Anyway I woke up with a ton of idea's for things to do.  Including a visit to the Onnuri Church.  However, Collin explained that the morning service is pretty far away and he would rather we go to the 4pm service which is much closer.  I love the family we have at the other church.  The people there are amazing but Collin and I just are not getting fed the way we need to fed, so we are looking into other options.  Not for certain that we will leave our Church family that we currently have but I need to know what is out there and so this past Sunday was the first step. I just feel that God is leading me in a different directions.
With the decision of going to the afternoon service I had to make a new plan for the day.
First we would head onto post.  I had to Western Union some money to my mom from the Love for Lily fundraiser.  I had to pull money from an ATM for a Christmas gift that I am not able to purchase until a bit later and we pulled out WON to go back to the Christmas store!  Before we left post though I was for sure to go get a cupcake from the FRG bake sale.  A friend of mine makes the best cupcakes in the world and I wasn't about to miss out.
Once we left post Collin asked if we could just drive to the Christmas store.  I sucked it up and agreed.  Driving there of course made me nauseous as almost every drive does in Korea with the constant stop and go. I don't know why my car sickness seems to be getting worse and worse.  All things do come to an end though and we were pulling in to the bus terminal.  all three of us got out of the car and walking in the elevator.  The Christmas store is on the 3rd floor!  Anything you could want for Christmas decor is on that floor, just past the floral department.  As we reached the 3rd floor we noticed it was quiet and kind of dark.  When we turned the corner there was a man that spoke to Collin.  Even though I don't understand the language, I do understand when someone is trying to tell you that they are not opened.  I could even understand it more when my husband says REALLY in Korean.  I assumed Collin was asking a question when I was sure I heard the man say in English 12.  I smiled and looked at Collin and said, "12?  Well we will just come back that is only 50 minutes from not."  In my head I figured we would get an early lunch and then head back.  Then I heard that Korean word again for REALLY as my husband was conversing more........ Uh oh Thats not a good sound. I thought to myself and I was right.  As the elevator doors closed Collin announced that they were not opening that night until Midnight!  12am :(  Extremely upset I refused to believe the man.  As we left Collin conversed with the Gate Guy who charged us 2.00 for our 5 minutes of parking.  Then I heard that word again REALLY?  WOW!  ugh what now.  Well the parking guard confirmed it.  They were not opening until midnight.  My thoughts were  I got car sick for this, and we should have just went to morning service, and stupid Koreans!  Why would you not open until MIDNIGHT!  Ok so if you ask Collin they were not just my thoughts.

Upset we figured we would try to save our late morning/afternoon.  Let's take Audrey to play at a large indoor playground.  Once parking in an underground parking garage we walking in to find the elevators not working.  After entering a LONG dark hallway we came to the conclusion that they were not opened.  "You have got to be kidding me!"  I barked at Collin.  My day was not going as planned at all.  We finally ran into a woman at the end of the hallway as we were leaving and Collin asked her about it.  The woman (again in Korean) spoke quickly to Collin looking very annoyed.  Collin replied and I heard my favorite Korean word again but in a very confused tone REALLY?
I grumbled many upsetting things and I asked Collin why he seemed confused.  He said the woman told him they were closed for Holiday and when he asked what Holiday she said Sunday.  The confused tone was because she was calling Sunday a Holiday.

Well well, my Sunday has been thrown upside down.  Collin mentioned about going to Iteawan but to be honest I was too annoyed and didn't want to deal with Ajumma or anyone else on a crowded subway and it was too cold to walk with the baby.  Ajumma is the term for an old woman.  Not just old Korean woman though.  These ladies have special powers, they get their way, they are allowed to be rude, and if they want to put their purses and bags on a baby changing station right as you go to change your baby they will.  Thing about it though you can't say anything to them.  They are old and believe they are right and you are wrong no matter what.  I have only met one nice old Korean woman before.  So we went home and watched some tv and let Audrey fall sound asleep.
She woke just in time though.  330pm was fast approaching and we had to get to church.  I was not loving the afternoon/early evening service but was willing to give it a try.  It was a lot further than we expected and I am so glad we ended up driving the whole way instead of walking from post.  Parking was horrible and once parked I wasn't sure we were even on the same block as the church anymore.  Once we got inside an usher quickly came up to us to help find us seats (since we were late) but stopped and suggested that we go to the family room.  "ALL babies go to the family room" he said and another usher came up beside him and said "I will show him the way, you can stay here and go check on her if you want" he said looking at me.  I didn't say anything I wasn't about to be separated in an area I have never been before.  Sure enough like the past 2 churches we attended it was a family room.  I am quickly thinking that there isn't a church that exists that has a nursery like back in the states.  Well an English speaking one I guess.  It was very nice though.  4 big mats were laid out through the room and buckets of toys were laying on each mat.  There were little kid tables that lined the room and big brown mats for the parents to sit on.  In the far lower left corner there was a partisan (if that is the right word) that could block off a couch for mom's who needed to nurse or possibly even need to change a diaper.  In the front of the room there was a large TV in the wall so that the parents and children (ages 0-4) could participate in praise and worship and the sermon.  The only draw back to all this is paying attention to the sermon and not my daughter.  The kids were all pretty quiet and if you could get your eyes on the tv and not the kids it was easy to hear the pastor and follow him.  However, that was the issue.  Not being distracted by the children.  I followed maybe half of the sermon, maybe a little less, but I believe if I could follow it better I would enjoy the sermon.  It seemed to be the speed I was looking for.  After expressing my concern to Collin he has offered to stay with Audrey while I go to the sanctuary and listen, but that does not sit well with me.  I don't want to go to church "alone"  I need my husband beside me.  I want to grow together.  This is one of the reasons we were seeking new possibilities.  I need to know that my husband is able to grow with me, that he can continue to lead our family.  I guess I could give him a run down of the sermon on the way home or even after we are home but it's just not the same.  We figured just like in the past we can switch off Sundays to be with Audrey.  Each get the chance to see if we can be fed at this church but it is just so frustrating to me.  My mom suggested I see about starting a nursery but you generally have to become a member before you can even attempt anything like that and with only 2 sermons out of the month I don't know how quickly we will be able determine if this is where we want to grow.  I know God will show us the way, he will let us know if it is time to settle or not but I am just feeling very frustrated in the mean time.  It has been a little over 3 months and I was really hoping to find a church we were 100% ready to call home already.  I miss the family of the church we were at just last week but being a family of the Church we must all understand that when God is telling us we need more then we must move and act on that.
I have emailed a Church on post to see if they by any chance have a nursery.  If they do we will more than likely attend this upcoming Sunday.  If they do not we still might give it a go.  Just trying to listen and follow the direction God is giving to us.

Well it is getting late.  Soon to be 11pm.  Everyone is sleeping and my eyes are getting tired.  Have an amazing week everyone!  Oh yeah we got snow this week!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I miss.....

I suppose that this post comes at a good time since we just celebrated Thanksgiving and we are in the Christmas season!  I should be cleaning since the Queen of the house is down for a nap but I figured why not blog instead :)  Cleaning can come later and I can fold laundry and hang clothes even with my speedy crawler following me everywhere! 

As I was sitting here drinking my 4th cup of coffee today I was looking around my little apartment and thinking of the things I miss.  First on the list is my house.  I remember looking around my house about a year or so ago and thinking how I wish we would have went with a more open floor plan, and how I really want to paint these boring walls.  After having to replace the floor in the main level half bath, entry hallway and laundry room I remembered thinking how I want to change out all the bathroom floors from the vinyl to the tile and after the changed the main level floor how I disliked all the other bathroom floors and frowned when I walked in to one of the bathrooms.  I remember looking at the carpets and thinking how I wish I would have went with my first choice in carpet color and thickness and how I can't wait to redo the kitchen and Dining room floors in real wood.  I remember the disagreement with Collin on if we should zero scape or have grass.  (For 4 years I had zero scape and wanted to continue with the Colorado Climate but he wanted grass....... we got grass).  Then I remembered all the things I loved.  The size of the rooms and closets, my jetted tub, how we doubled the size of our deck for that patio furniture I wanted and never bought, the color of my house, the location as every time I went out back I was looking at Pikes Peak.... I could go on, but the point to this is all those things I love I love even more and all those things I wanted to change I miss so much just the way they are.  What I miss most about my house....... the size!  The fact that if I needed some quiet time I could wander to the basement and veg out, or if Collin was home and I got bored with his tv watching I could go up to the living room and read or watch my shows or just have quiet time, and if I needed to work on something I could just go to the office and have complete silence.  I could talk on the phone in any room and not have to worry about disturbing someone or them disturbing my phone call.  I miss my space!  I also miss the carpets like crazy.... this whole fake wood thing through the entire house with a baby is for the birds!  I will vacuum all day long if it means I don't have to look at another mop!  Plus the bumps and bruises from learning how to walk would be minimal compared to what Audrey is experiencing these days. Yes I miss my house!
I got used to looking at Pikes Peak whenever I wanted but I realize now I took that view for granted!  Now I look out my window to see tall buildings and a lot of fog these days.  Business and shops and people buzzing about.  The sounds of cars honking, police whistles blowing and tires screeching oh and the occasional bull horn being yelled into. I close my eyes sometimes and remember a snow covered Pikes Peak!  I miss the Colorado Mountains!

I miss my friends.  One of my best friends lived just a half mile down the road.  I regret not going to her house more. Half a mile away and we only got together once or twice a week and I blame myself. I would get so busy with work and hubby that I didn't take enough time to be with my friends.  Now I miss all of them so much! 

I desperately miss my car!  I am waiting on ours to die every time we get in it.  There are so many things wrong with it that I couldn't begin to start listing the problems.  I will miss it when we have to start taking a cab to the commissary or PX until we get a new one or ship ours over here but right now, now that I wonder everyday if it will run the next time.... I hate every thing about it. 
My car, like all cars at one point is new, clean, leather seats, sun rough, and all the safety bells and whistles and runs very smooth.  It's got the room to fit a PX trip and a monthly grocery shopping trip in it (unlike what we have now).  I figured the stress of driving the car to TX to get it delivered here wasn't worth it since we already had a FREE car here.  HA!  I should have endured the 13 hour drive with my 9 month old at the time and got it over here. It wouldn't be half as stressful as our current car situation. Our FREE car was free for a reason.

I miss the fact that if I want to buy something that isn't an everyday item that I can't just jump in my car and run to the store.  Chances are, while living here, I have to order it off line, pay shipping, and wait for the arrival.  I miss not having the luxury of choosing where to get my groceries or where to get my clothes or even having a mall that I can afford and I certainly miss the outlets. (example of this is going into baby gap at one of the malls here and seeing a winter coat for about 100.00.... For my growing toddler.... I don't think so).   The outlet prices here are the same as mall prices in America if not worse. I miss American restaurants being just minutes away and the many choices we have.  I miss being able to go to a Sky Sox baseball game for 10 bucks or a Cochise College Hockey game just a short drive away.

I miss my massages with Brenda, I miss walking into a nail salon and saying what I want and how I want it.  I have yet to do any of that here and one reason is because of the language barrier.  I am afraid it won't be what I wanted or how I want it and I won't be able to find away to tell them to fix it.  Even on post it is rare to find anyone who works at these types of places who speaks great English so I just have not bothered and really I have learned to live without these things but at the same time miss the pampering.  Plus I am afraid of spending the money on a massage only to be disappointed because it wasn't as great as my visits with Brenda....... for anyone in the Colorado Springs area Brenda is amazing at Therapeutic Massage off of Powers blvd and also does amazing prenatal massages (I had someone else for one of my prenatal massages and it just wasn't as good).

Yes I miss a lot from America!

In the few short months I have been here I have learned a lot of things.  I love my life and love where I am but I learned that when you have something appreciate it.  I know one day when I am driving down Powers Blvd I will miss subway transportation.  When I am filling up my tank and spending 100 plus a month on gas I will miss paying a cab or subway fare or even walking miles at a time to go somewhere.  Knowing I am not living here forever though, I am embracing all of these things now. I will  probably even miss the simplicity of my tiny little apartment and the convenient location.  I do everything I can to embrace everyday here, but I wish I would have learned this lesson when I was in the states. 
Hummm I say that but isn't it the American way to want bigger and better all the time?!  To not have enough time to visit with friends?  This also makes me realize that as an American we speed through life and want things on demand.  Hopefully I can learn from this and one day when I return I can remember to embrace everything and everyone just a little bit more.  I am sure once I am back to American life I will fall back into the American way again. I can only hope that you will remind me of this post.  Of this very moment of sitting in my apartment wishing I had my American life.  I hope that I can sit back once I am home again and smile and realize I embraced the days of Korean life and I didn't waste my time here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Clean your backyard first!

So many things I have been wanting to blog about, but once I get the time I am just too tired in the evenings.  It is 333 in the afternoon and Audrey still has not gone down for a nap.  So I figured I would try to blog as she is entertaining herself.  Yes, this blog could very well take me hours this way but maybe it will at least get done.  Now which subject to blog about....

Let's talk about cleaning up your house before you clean up others.  I am in no way trying to tell anyone how to live their life, as my life is not perfect, heck its barely tidy, and its pretty crazy, but it's my kind of crazy so it works for me.  This is just a personal thing I have to get off my chest and maybe advice to help others before they get too far in over thier heads.

I once had a friend who couldn't control her dog.  It was awful.  Her dog always ran away, always tore stuff up, having accidents in the house and always pulled on the leash during walks.  As we were talking I found myself telling her how we trained our dogs to let us know when they wanted to go out... funny side note really, we hung a bell by the door and every time we were ready to take them out we rang the bell.  We did this every time for a while and then one day we were upstairs in the office and we heard a bell ringing, not thinking about the door we continued on what is was we were doing.  Suddenly we both jumped at the same time and said, "The dogs!"  Sure enough Bear was at the door wagging his tail and jumping at the bell by the door.  It worked.... it really worked and it was all Collin's idea...... anyway I explained this to my friend along with how we crate trained.  Yes, Collin and I believe in crate training.  I know some people don't and they think it is cruel but we believe in it and we believe it works.  One day after I got home from work I walked into my house and found that the dogs had busted out of their crates... well 2 out of 3 of them, not only did they bust out but they destroyed the side of our couch and there was suddenly a dent in our stairway wall that wasn't there before.  As I continued to crate them and head off to work I also hired a puppy sitter who came by to play with them and let them out.  I got a phone call one day saying that the dogs put a hole in my wall.  Sighing I let her know that yes I know and I am finding someone to fix it soon.  Once getting home I was shocked!  The dent was now an actual hole.  A hole so big that I could put both arms through it.  After video taping I learned that Rebel was getting out of his crate first and then getting Bear out of his and only about 25% of the time Shelby would join. Shelby was the good lab, my chocolate lab,  Oh I loved my Shelby.  I knew she was not the root of the problem but was convinced the only reason she ever broke out was to scold the other two before they caused anymore damage.  Yes, Shelby was the Princess lab!
The vet believed the pups (Bear and Rebel) were let go too soon from their mother and could have several issues including separation anxiety.  I tried it all pills, sprays, smells, nothing seemed to work they even tore up chicken wire to get to where they wanted to go.  Longer story short I knew all this was going on in my house but yet wanted to take on helping my friend solving her problems.  It doesn't work that way.

If you are struggling to pay your bills but got approved for a new car would you add that extra monthly payment to your income? What if a friend really needed to borrow some money but you didn't even have enough to pay your own bills, why would you lend money you don't have?  A friend of mine told a story or rather a quick scenario about writing checks.... If you look in your bank account and don't have any money and you look in your savings and don't have the money to transfer but man those shoes in the window are killer and you just have to have them, and payday is Monday and if you go late enough on Friday they can't possible cash that check prior to Monday so.... why not go for it?!  What if that check goes through Prior to your pay check clearing?  Oppps more of a mess then you were already in!
Clean up your current mess before you make more of one.

If you can't keep your house clean for more than a day do you really think you should offer to help clean someones else's house?  Trust me with a 1 year old I can't keep my house organized or overly clean so I am NOT going to help you figure out how to keep your house clean or organized!

I once was a manager, or as I was technically considered a Site Senior Supervisor, who was in charge of the entire staff, scheduling, disciplining, and all the management stuff that came with the job.  There were plenty of times I was in over my head.  I always seemed short staffed but I wasn't in charge of the hiring, my upper management did that.  So I was struggling with being down officers and yet trying not to have overtime.  Anyone in a position to make out schedules with a large turnover rate and short staffed knows how hard it is to avoid OT.  One particular occasion I was being told by my company boss that I had to figure out how to stop the OT from happening and I was struggling with the schedule.  The client for the Site that I managed my team came to me and told me we needed to provide extra duties.  I loved this Client and who I considered my main boss, and I loved that we had a great working relationship so I told him "No problem, I would get it covered immediately!"
What was I thinking?!  I was already struggling in my small house, but yet agreed to provide work in the bigger house.  I was now 80 hours short and maxed out on hours!  (yes I accomplished the task, with overtime but minimal OT and both sides of the house were happy!  I went from 80 hours to about 20!)
Anyway I tell you this because it only created more headache for me and more problems when I didn't take care of my own backyard and dove into the front yard as well!
It's just like a retail store.  If your short a lead cashier.... don't train your current cashiers to stock the shelves until you have trained one of them to be the lead cashier.

I was recently asked if I could bake some cookies..... I don't bake for my household, I burnt a pie that was already made and just frozen (it could be the difference between American oven settings and Korea's).  It was awful so I am not going to try and bake for others.  I did offer to buy some though :)

Take what you want from this but I am just trying to stress my worry for those who don't feel the need to take care of their house before taking care of others.  I certainly won't give you advise on much... but that is probably because I have a lot to take care of before I can try to take care of you.  I will tell you to talk to a financial specialist, not me.  Call Molly Maids, not me.  Call a dog trainer cause I failed with mine.  I do feel confident to give you the above advise as I have learned from my mistake of not cleaning up my own mess first in the past and I won't make that mistake again!  (at least I am going to try my best)!

For those of you who stuck through this lengthy personal rant I want you to know that the challenge is going well and I will be doing measurements and weigh in, in 3 days.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Festival!

I love mommy hood but sometimes it is exhausting.  I think we are teething because there has been a lot of ear pulling, fussiness, being very clingy and just down right exhausting.  Daddy comes home and helps as much as he can but he has school so he keeps very busy in the evenings with studying and homework.  However, she is holding her free stand for probably about 15 seconds now and is trying to mimic just about everything we say and do now :)  If you count she is a pro at saying 8 it's really cute! 

It is getting pretty cold here.  Most days are in the mid to low 30's so it makes for going for walks challenging.  Walking on post the wind is usually at our backs but coming home gets pretty bad.  Monday, Audrey took the blanket and actually covered half of her face.  I wanted to go to the PX today but I just can't justify bundling her up and walking over there if it is not a must have.  Monday after we got home it started to snow.  Nothing stuck though so it was just that annoying snow.  Audrey was sleeping so missed out but I saw it flying around the living room balcony. 

This past weekend was a lot of fun.  Saturday we had a Bazaar to go to on post to help support the high school.  It was nice to not be working at an event but part of me misses it.  I think I actually want to get in on the coordinating side of it a little more.  I don't know what is more important for me.  Coordinating it and learning that side of things or trying to become a vendor at one of these things.  Anyway, we went shopping for something specific at the PX, I say specific because I really can't remember what it was after walking out of there with a ton of clearance baby clothes :) I got like 65.00 of stuff for 30.00  Can't pass that up.  So after shopping we fed Audrey and then headed to the Bazaar.  She fell asleep on the way and unfortunately missed Santa all together.  Hoping to find another one soon.  Then that evening we went to the Lantern Festival which was pretty cool!  It was cold out so Audrey was bundled up pretty good and slept through half of it but it is really amazing the things they put together.  It was also the last weekend for it and was crazy crazy busy!  I felt like cattle being herded down a long narrow path at times.  Collin bought me some light up roses and we bought some other lantern goodies, which one exploded on me after we got home.  See it was 220 plugs and they gave you an attachment so you could use 110 as well.  All our 110 were being used at the time so I just figured I would use the 220.  HA WRONG!  I don't know what happened but when I plugged it in, it exploded.  Light bulb and the little thing the light bulb sits in shot up and out of the flower.  The ends of the flower are even burnt :(  I am so bummed I broke it.......... needless to say I am never using 220 again.  I even have Collin plug in the converters now cause I am too paranoid.

Sunday after church we went to see where Collin goes to school.  It was beautiful.  Freezing cold but beautiful!  And nice to get out and go somewhere we have never been. 

Last night we finally did Audrey's birthday cupcake.... things have been crazy.  She enjoyed it.  Made a bigger mess of that then she did from her cake.  A friend from the church gave Audrey a really nice gift card for one of the department stores here too.  I am itching to go buy her something nice! 

Well I guess I will go for now.  Everyone is in bed and I am exhausted just have a few things I wanted to get done before I head off to bed as well.  If Audrey is anything like she was today, tomorrow I am going to need every ounce of sleep I can get! 

Audrey covering her face on the walk.

Walking through Collins University

The Lantern Festival


Thursday, November 14, 2013

New steps New Journey!

Today I am very excited about a new journey in my life.  I have promised myself many times since I have been here that I would lose weight.  Well that hasn't happened yet.  However, today I got my Body by Vi kit.  So why should this be different from anything else?  I have tried diets, and the gym, I even tried a worm infested shake with essential oils (don't even get me started on that one).  Well a couple of reasons this one is going to work.  The big reason is because it's a 90 day Challenge.  Right there is what I need.... Challenge.  It makes it more demanding, makes me feel like it's something I have to complete.  Isn't it funny what a single word can do to you?  Plus it challenges you too make your commitment public and now that I have done that on FB then how can I possible  not stick with it.  I even measured and weighed myself and ugh scary!
Another reason is that I want to have another baby someday and I really really want to be healthier the next pregnancy, not to mention I just want to be healthy for my children and to be able to keep up with them. 
However there is a huge huge reason why I will make this work.  See Collin also is participating in the challenge.  I get to wear the band, and have the website but tomorrow morning both of us will begin our journey.  I WILL kick his butt in these next 90 days!

Today marks another special day!  Toddler life begins!  Audrey is a whole year old today.  I won't bore you with the details but it was the craziest 3 hours and 25 minutes of my life!  Ok so maybe a few details.  Monday night November 12th the Steelers were playing a Monday night game and I fell asleep before it was over (they lost).  This piece of information  is not important except for the fact that the Steelers were playing a Monday night game and that is always important to me.  Ok so anyway... Tuesday morning my water broke at 0550.  I didn't start having real contractions until about 0700 and up until that point I was determined to go to work.  The hospital was maybe 10 minutes from my job and I had paperwork to finish off and make sure all was in order and being my first child I had plenty of time. The hospital was 40 minutes from my home.  Collin was on 24 staff duty and wouldn't even get home until 0900 and he would need to try to get some sleep.  When I returned home after choosing not to go to work I found Collin was in bed trying to sleep.  Someone at work heard the news and went in to relieve him early.  Knowing he needed some sleep I paced outside and then down in the basement while making a few phone calls.  My mother was my biggest phone call :)  She talked to me as I was having contractions, and after Collin just couldn't sleep she talked as I tried to pack my bag and the babies bag, she talked to me as my contractions were getting to be 5-7 minutes apart and oddly enough I don't remember anything we talked about except for when I sat down and had to breath through a contraction and heard my mom say something to the effect of get off this phone and get Collin.  These contractions are coming way to quick.  I alerted Collin and he said, "I am taking a shower" and off he went.  See we went through the bradly classes and Collin was at one time an instructor.  Between the class and his knowledge we knew there was no way Audrey was coming that soon.  After a 5 minute shower I was bent over the counter in pain and told him how sorry I was but there was no way I was going to be able to do this drug free.  He took me down stairs and after some screaming in pain we were in the car.  A little over half way there I knew I had to push.  I told him she wasn't going to wait but he assured me we were almost there and at that point I could see the hospital.  After the most insane roller coaster from checking in at the ER to wheeling up to Labor and Delivery triage to getting rolled down on a bed to L&D and then getting placed on another bed.  Then being told I couldn't have drugs and to push and 2 1/2 pushes later hearing my baby it was finally over!  That day I did what I didn't think was possible I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, all natural, and she was  healthy!

Happy Birthday Audrey Ruth you make mommy and daddy so proud!

 Right after the delivery,  they wanted to rush her away but Collin convinced them to let us have a moment!
 He was amazing right there with her every 3 hours for 5.5 days until we were released!  I saw so much pride in him that day!

 The best thing I have ever done!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Don't spit out the window

One of the things I like so much about Korea is the crime rate.  Sure there is crime, its everywhere, but here I don't here about people breaking into homes, or kids shooting up a school, or rape or stabbings or kidnappings or any of the above.  I am sure it happens.  I am not saying that there is no crime here I am just saying that you don't hear about it even a quarter of what you hear in the states.  The worst thing that I have been told that happens here is suicide.  Ok so that is awful I am not trying to down play it but I have not even heard of one in the month and a half I have been here and yet it is so common in the states.  Part of this I assume is the fact that guns are not allowed in Korea.  Now I am not trying to get into a political debate because I will say that because of the Country America is we should be allowed to have guns!  We at the time of living in the states did not always have a gun in the home but believe me, with all the break ins and there were plenty of times that I mention to Collin that I wish I had one.  On one of the streets I lived on back in Colorado there were at least 3 break ins just on my street and I praise God that it was never our home.  It is because we  have always been able to have guns that we feel with the society we live in we need and want our weapons.  However now looking at a Country that doesn't allow them I can see a side of innocence. 

Audrey and I went on a walk about a week ago.  Collin was working late and we wanted to get some fresh air.  As we were walking I saw a very young girl around age 7.  She was walking with another girl, probably about the same age, coming home from school.  They were walking together alone.  The one girl turned off to head into the same apartments I live in and the other kept walking.  She was about 50 steps ahead of me and at the end of the road she started walking up the steps to go a cross the bridge.  WOW she was at least another 5 minutes from home from where we went separate ways. (I only know this because I know about how long it takes to walk up the stairs, over the bridge, and back down to the nearest apartments.  The slow pace that the girl was going would put her at the nearest apartments in about 5 minutes. It is also not out of the ordinary to see young school kids get on the subway alone either.  I share this story only because the lack of crime here amazes me and makes me very happy.

Now Don't spit out the window!  Yes our biggest crimes lol!  Every once in awhile something comes up and the apartment complex makes a building wide announcement over the loud speak.  If it is not important then they only announce it in Korean but if it is something that needs to be heard and is really really important they will announce in Korean and then in English.  Well for the past 2 days we have had an announcement after 5pm (generally after most people are off work)  The announcement has been something like this....

We strive to keep our building nice and clean
and it takes a lot of money to have cleaning done
to the outside of the building.  A lot of money for 
window cleaning, so don't spit out your window.

Now just like any warning or announcement or print on the drive through cup you know someone did it and that's why they have to say don't do it!  Be careful contains hot liquid, Don't place in or near water (hair dryers) Keep out of Children's reach (plastic bags)...... and so on.  Just a shame.  I am waiting for the announcement of follow house rules because the Americans that live below you don't appreciate you stomping around and moving furniture at 2am, or This is a none smoking facility and the Americans above you with the small child doesn't appreciate your smoke coming from your balcony to theirs. 

Anyway if there is one thing I have learned while I have been here is Don't spit out a window cause it cost too much money to clean them. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

long day

I can't believe its been a week since I have been on here.  I mean almost everyday I think of something else I want to share with you and I just never seem to have the time.  Then when I do have the time I am too tired to even think about it.  Audrey is keeping us on our toes! 
She is furniture surfing and getting more and more brave about letting go.  With that comes lots of tears.  So far only 1 bump and 1 bruise and both were from different times.  We have also realized the speed in which those little legs can move when in a crawling position.  However, there are serious advantages to that now.  I can walk room from room and get her excited to follow mommy and she does.  If I go into another room soon I hear the patting of here little hands crawling as fast as she can to catch mommy!  Daddy has now learned the same game so she gets quite a work out without even knowing it. 
Today her and I sat down and read a book from Usborn books over and over again.  A friend of mine is a consultant and gave us a set of these little black and white contrast books.  She loves one more than the others and the picture and the word Bird perk her interest as she says b....b....b...b..... and tries to get bird off her lips every time.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that yes she was 5 weeks early and yes its ok for her to be behind in some things.  Other times I look in amazement and wonder... how did she pick up on that so quick. 
Monday we went to baby story time.  More like a 30 minute play time and if  the kids want to pay attention there are songs being sang and books being read.  In a room full of 6months to 2 year olds it is pretty much all play! 

Last night I was pretty sick and it made for a long night at the ER and even a shorter night for sleep.  Collin was exhausted so after I got Audrey down for a nap, I worked up the energy to get some house work down.  Laundry......... Love washing it, drying it, and wearing it clean........ but I hate the part of folding, hanging and putting away.  However at the end of the day it is nice to be able to sleep on nice fresh clean sheets.  After Laundry I decided to clean up the kitchen and then break for dinner.  (we did a fend for yourself night since naps ran a little long).  After dinner Collin played with Audrey and I did the dishes and wiped the counters and joined the family.  Since it is a work night Collin headed off to bed and I stayed up with Audrey.  About another hour had past and Audrey actually reached for her own paci and put it in her mouth.  Reached to be up on my lap and snuggled into me.  Yes, she was finally exhausted.  Once she was in bed it was time to clean some more.  I have been pretty disgusted with my floors.  I think every building in Korea has the same floors, Laminate wood.  Being in an apartment ours had not been taking care of very well and I feel like no matter how many times we swept or ran the swiffer mop over the floor it never seemed clean enough for me.  So tonight I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the kitchen floor.  Yes I am feeling satisfied. 

All in all it was a pretty successful day!  The only thing that didn't take place was the mailing of several items.  I had all intentions on getting Audrey and I dressed and fed and to take a walk on post to go to the post office so I could get some mailing done, but then I got an email from the hubby explaining that the air was poor quality today and I should just stay inside.  It didn't bother us much though cause that just gave us more time to talk on google+ with some family back home.  Those moments are always sweet happy moments.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A little bit of bad for a lot of good news!

Collin had a long day at work today and so Audrey and I just hung out around the apartment since there is never any telling when daddy could be home.  Collin did however get to come home for a fast lunch and to fill me in on some news and bring home the mail. 
He informed me that he is allowed to go to a Korean class to brush up on his Korean.  This is good and a little sad for me.  The pro's to this is since he is already an amazing linguist he should have no problem scoring a 2+, 2+ ( I don't really get the grading scale) but once you score that high we will actually make more money.  More money would mean that I won't feel like I should be working and take some of the pressures off of us. If I was to go to work then I need to find child care and there are 2 issues with this.  The first is there is a waiting list for childcare and I would have to work evenings and then what kind of family time would we have.  The second one is even if I started to work and we could get childcare I would have to work full time and half of my paycheck (if not more) would go straight to the childcare.  The sad news to all this is that it is November 6th to December 12th!  That is over a month and even though it is a school he can commute to he will be gone for long hours of the day as he still has to go to work in the early hours before the class starts.  I probably will not see my husband during daylight.  However, we are together and that is the most important thing of all. 
Collin also took some books and invites to work for my Scentsy Open House in November.  I gave him 10 bags to take in.  The bags included invites that smell like A wink and a smile, a catalog, my new business cards, and 1 each of the winter pamphlets and fall pamphlets.  When he returned home he told me, "I have bad news."  I braced myself and said, "ok, fire away." To my surprise his bad news  was music to my ears!  "I gave out all your bags and I need more!" WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO seriously!? That's awesome!  He went on to tell me how some seemed very excited and one already said that she couldn't make it but will send an order home for me!  The bad news, and when I say bad news it really isn't bad just bad for my bank account, I had to order more books already!  I chose the route of giving out full books because I am starting in a new location and wanted to go all out!  I usually order 2 packs of books and have way too many left over!  This time I ordered 1 pack and could have used at least 5 more just today!  This is all a huge relief to me for multiple reasons.  The first one is that I had no desire to put Scentsy on hold and so I need this to work out here.  The second one is I already know of 3 Scentsy consultants on post and this is not a very big post.  Lastly, I miscalculated.  I thought I was "safe" until November.  I need to have $150 in orders every 3 months and well October is one of those months.  So if I don't have another $80.00 in orders by the end of October I have to spend the $80.00 and I would have felt awful spending the money on it if the Open House is a bust anyway!
With that being said, anyone who doesn't know my mother, if your ever interested in Scentsy look me up.  www.stacyshorey.scentsy.us we can ship to APO addresses :)
So today has been a great day at it is only 335pm.  Oh yeah and our 1st Birthday invites came in today!  So exciting!
Later I am going to pack a box of clothes for singles mom's who live in a shelter.  I am going to donate some of Audrey's clothes.  We were totally blessed with clothes from newborn to 6 months so now I am going to give the clothes to mommies in need.  First though I am getting off here and spending some awesome time with the family!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The best husband/daddy ever!

Well hello family. I hope all is doing well. I have been under the weather for about a little over a week now. It was a sinus infection that has turned into a nasty cold. However, I have an amazing husband who has been very helpful this past week. Audrey woke up screaming a couple nights ago and knowing that I was still as sick as could be (was actually at my peak) he got up and came out and did everything he could to help.  He even made us a make shift bed on the floor so we could lay down and still let Audrey watch ShushyBye until she fell asleep.  Eventually we all got back to sleep and Collins alarm clock went off about an hour later.  I then woke up and managed to get Audrey back in bed and we slept for about another 3 hours.  

Our bed on the floor.

Collin has also stayed up with her getting her to sleep for me so I could go to bed early and get my rest.  This has cause many short nights as he gets up at 3-330 to get ready to head into work.  He has been changing most of the diapers, feeding her most of the time, and playing with her most of the time.  I don't know about you all but when I get sick I get very short tempered and so Collin has been helping me not get to that state of frustration with Auder-pop.  Today he got up, well every weekend morning, changes her, feeds her breakfast, and if I am still not up starts her bath or has playtime.  But I am usually up prior to her finishing her cereal or yogurt in the mornings.  He also gave her, her bath this morning for me.

Collin being a Rock Star daddy!

Yes, I have an amazing husband and I couldn't have dreamed up a better man!  I just can't believe what an active daddy he is.   Audrey has been a little backed up and yesterday I gave her prunes and was very disappointed that it didn't solve the problem.  However this evening when Collin realized she needed changed he also discovered the biggest blow out ever!  Yes, Matthew even worse then the one on the plane from Colorado Springs to Baltimore.  I thought we were just going to have to give her another bath.  Collin took care of all of it.  I offered to take over and he said, "I am her father and I can take care of this!"  I did get down to help it was everywhere.  Collin said out of all of his children, 2 boys and 2 girls, that was the biggest blow out he has ever seen! 

As most of you know on my good days we were still pretty active, walked up Namsan Mountain (which is really a hill compared to the other mountains) and went up the Seoul Tower and the Teddy Bear Museum.  Which it took Audrey awhile to stop freakin out every time she saw a life sized teddy bear.

Today I was feeling miserable but I wanted to get out into the fresh air so we ended up going on a 2-3 mile walk.  We found parts of Seoul that we had never walked before, the Woman's University, and a beautiful park.  And you will never guess what we found in the park.

Yup more outside gyms!  This was the biggest.  Both pictures are one gym and then there were little workout stations all over the park.


Well that was our week in a nut shell.  Depending on how I am feeling tomorrow, after church we are looking to go to either that Japanese Prison or some weird tunnel contraption that Collin saw from Seoul Tower.  But first I am sure we will take the subway to Itaewon to grab lunch then either walk home or go get back on the subway and venture out in the city for more site seeing.  I love my life!  Coming here was one of the best decisions in life I have ever made.  
Have a great weekend everyone! 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

According to Koreans we are bad parents...........

So there are a few things I have learned in the 3 1/2 weeks I have been here.  The first is that Koreans love babies with Blue Eyes and light skin.  Second is that they are very blunt and will tell you what they think no matter what.

Every time we go somewhere, we can be stopped or walking, people will drop what they are doing to admire Audrey.  There was a young man on the subway shortly after we got here that walked from his end of the subway car that we were in to the other end where we were just to stand next to Audrey and stare at her.  Every time we get on the subway people just stare and some of them will interact with her and talking Collin in their language about her age and how pretty she is and cute.  Yesterday was about the third time that I noticed the most odd thing ever.  In the states most of the time if people really just want to touch your baby they generally say "can I touch your baby?"  Or if they are really brave they will ask, "Can I hold her."  At that time I usually will let Audrey be the judge of if she wants to go or not and unless she really knows you, or knows your a good friend of mommy or daddy her body language clearly says leave me alone!  However in Korea there is no asking.  People jump at the chance to touch her.  I will look down and someone has her hand or touching her hair or her face or something.  If they can't get to anything else they reach for her feet that will be sticking out somewhere.  I had a woman actually push through several people one time on a very busy subway just to stand next to me and my daughter.  funny but a bit creepy.  However that is not what happened yesterday, yesterday I had a man probably in his mid 40's reaching for Audrey wanting to hold her.  Never asked or anything. The look no his face said it all look at this baby, if only I could hold her.  Audrey however did not let go of me.  In fact she clung a little tighter.  The best he did was hold out a hand to him as if to say, "Touch only please"  One day on the subway a couple weeks ago an older woman, a typical grandma type, was watching her, smiling at her, touching her, and then all of the sudden reached for her and Audrey nearly lunged to be with the elderly lady.  I looked at Collin with panic stricken eyes and he grinned and gave me a reassuring look as if to say, it is ok.  He told me once we were off the subway that as weird as that is, it will become very common.
Well I am still not sure how "common" it has become to me and how much I appreciate it, but I am learning that it is not a weird occurrence.

Now to the bad parent part.  Yesterday we went to the zoo and it was a warm day starting out.  Even once getting to the zoo it was still a warm day.  If you remember from a past post I had said how even in the 70's I find many people in long sleeve shirts and jeans.  Well yesterday was low 70's and in the shade when the wind blew it possibly got into the high 60's.  Anyway once we got to the tram to ride into the zoo there were 3 elderly ladies going on and on to Collin about how we do not have Audrey dressed appropriately and how it is too cold and she should have a jacket on.  Ok so when we got in the shade and on the tram with the extra breeze from the movement it was cooler but Audrey never got cool.  They went on to say that we are big people and it doesn't effect us like it does her little body and they just couldn't believe we didn't have a jacket on her.  Collin assured them that we had a sweatshirt in the bag for her if she was to start getting cold.  The elderly ladies did not see that to be a good answer and again told Collin that we are big and she is too small to not have a jacket on.  The one lady closest to me, the one pushing the hardest talked directly to me (In Korean of course) but by her hand gestures I could tell she was telling me you are big much bigger, she is small and with giant hand gestures and emphasis on the words I could tell that yes she was calling me very very big!  I get it, I didn't grow up on rice, I know I am big............ sheesh these woman are not kind about thisI nodded and looked at the ground.  Collin better speak fast or get me off this tram cause I was ready to go off in English.  I know how to dress MY daughter so back off!  Finally we were at the zoo.  I didn't say a word I looked at them and assured them to get off first then Collin and then I would follow I didn't want to even have to say good-bye at that point.  Later the winds did pick up and I looked at Collin and said, "Ok, now we can put on her sweatshirt."  Audrey was a little warm but, at least her ears were covered with the hood when the wind whipped through.  At this point we figured we might as well just head home because the air was beginning to cool.  STILL NOT COLD.  IT WAS 65.5 OUT!  Now on the way out I did realize I had forgotten something.  Socks.  I had left them sitting on the changing table at home.  Collin and I bent down several times to feel her feet and thankfully they never felt cold but wouldn't you know on the way back to the subway I had a lady stop us and tell us that we really should have socks on her feet.  Collin told her something in Korean and began walking again.  I knew what the woman was getting at by her tone and reaching down to touch her feet. Collin was very short in what he said and so I let it go.  When we got to the elevator I told Collin how the Koreans sure did make me feel like the worlds worst mom today.
Bottom line Audrey never got cold, and was a happy girl.

Oh yeah when we went to the petting zoo the ladies on the tram, the ones who insisted I didn't know how to dress my daughter were the ladies giving out the food for the animals, they were very pleased to see her in a sweatshirt.......... in fact they rewarded us.... oh yes they wanted to make sure they gave us extra carrots to feed the deer.  After she gave me the extra carrots and said something in Korean I said Cumsumnida (ok don't know how to spell it but it means thank you) and looked at Collin and jokingly said, "aww they rewarded us for dressing our daughter properly!"  Collin laughed and said, "That's exactly what just happened"  Seriously people Seriously!

Monday, October 7, 2013

A new week

Holy Cow it is a new week already!  Who would have thought Monday would have come so quickly.
Last week like the past 2 weeks was great!  Especially Saturday night!  Seoul had its annual firework show.  The show is put on by 4 different countries.  This year was Canada, Japan, France and Korea.  Best Fireworks ever!  Each Country set off their own 15 minute show and Korea got like 20 to 25 minutes with 5 minute breaks in between!  It was unexplainable.  They say that over 1 million people come to watch these international fireworks.  I will post a picture or 2 at the bottom but, we were forced to stand very far away and my pictures do not do it justice however CNN did have some amazing photo's that were posted and an article explaining the theme each country did and that it cost 3.3 million and 10,000 fireworks were used!  (Go to CNN.com and in the search field just put Seoul fireworks festival) and I will also share on FB!

Today was my first day back at the gym since I tore the tendons in my foot!  It was pretty good.  I actually ran for a bit on the treadmill and was rather impressed with myself.  Although anyone who knows me knows I am initially shy and I certainly don't like trying new things out for the first time by myself.  So with that being said I really didn't do much more than cardio as there was very little machines compared to what I am used to and  ones that I had never seen in my workouts in America lol!  So with others in the gym I didn't dare try them.  In fact I am pretty sure I just want to go onto post and used the new gym there.  I work out best when someone is pushing me to work out.  I was going to ask for a personal trainer for my birthday but they are a bit more then I was expecting and without working I feel guilty asking for such a thing, plus lets face it I have a first birthday to be buying for.  I was in the best shape of my life when Collin and I were working out together.  He pushed me, even when I hurt and I wanted to give up and cry he pushed me.  He knows my breaking points and he knows when I am there and when I just want to quit.  The problem with that is that the gym doesn't offer child care anymore.  I would so be willing to pay for child care for a couple hours if Collin and I could get in our groove again.  Plus it would be way cheaper then a personal trainer.
Now that all these thoughts have flashed through my head of the best way to get in shape and they are all seeming to fail miserably I guess I will really have to rely on those 3-5 mile walks that we seem to end up taking often.  I will get back into shape some way some how.  There is a lady on post trying to get a co-op started for babysitting at the gym as the gym has provided a room for it.  Now we just need the people!  I would love that!  I would have no issues watching kids for an hour or two if it means I get free child care to also get my work out on!  So hoping that there is a big enough interest! 

Well we are off to our last hope for a trunk or treat costume!  If we can't find anything then I guess I will order one offline and hope it arrives in time!  Oh yeah and everyone that knows I hate carving pumpkins and refuse to do it............ so does Collin...... guess Audrey better make some pumpkin carving friends in the future cause that is so not happening in this house hold!  As it is, it has taken me a lot to set aside my hatred for Halloween and find a costume.  I know Audrey will be ADORABLE but really buying a costume for 1 night for a couple hours for candy she CANNOT eat!  Yes, seems ridiculous to me but everyone has convinced me that it will be fun to do with Auder-Pop!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Life is good

Well hello everyone!  I hope this finds everyone doing well.  I am great!  Day 2 of losing weight is not going so good.  I have not made it to the gym yet but I am drinking about 5 of the 8 glasses of water and for me lately that says something.  Every chance I get I choose to walk everywhere even though at times that walk is just down right exhausting.  There is a girl Sarah that we met at the Church..... ok well not exactly.  Collin met her a long time ago and somehow started talking about Scentsy and she needed a light bulb so Collin just gave her one of his, but anyway after church on Sunday he pointed  her out to me.  Then Monday when we were on post we saw them once again and we got to talk and I finally learned her name.  Yesterday at the PX (our shopping center) wouldn't you know, we ran into Sarah again.  We talked a lot more about the church and small groups and about Korea and how I was adjusting and what not and I was starting to feel good about meeting a new friend and then she said those words....... "yeah it's a shame we are leaving in 2 weeks"  Ugh are you kidding me?!  Every time I meet someone they are leaving!  Kind of like one of Collin's soldiers he hung out with over here.  Courtney and him had been buddies for awhile at work but as soon as I get here and get to meet her she is leaving!  In fact Collin is at her going away shindig now, Oh wait there is a text.... he is on his way home.  The life in the military.

Today I learned the process of walking on post and withdrawing rent money plus a little more (we never know how much utilities are until we go to pay), then we have to exchange the money into Won, then we get to go pay rent and all utilities.  The bank has a really bad exchange rate so we don't exchange our money there so we either can exchange it at the Realtors or if they don't have the money then we have to go find another place.  Today the realtor had enough to exchange and so we were able to do EVERYTHING in 1 stop.  Exchange, rent, and all utilities. 

Today we also went down south.  Collin had to do some work down there so while he went to work Audrey and I went exploring.  In the food court was a play place for Audrey to hang out and she met 2 friends and I met their mom's.  They talked to me a little and we talked kids but the bad part is that it's an hour bus ride to get down there and the chances of me going down there often is very slim.  After that Audrey and I went around and looked at the different kiosks and stores and soon daddy was done with work.  From there we walked over to the mac flight area or whatever its called.  Its a mini airport and if I ever have open ended dates to come home I can fly on a military flight from there to Seattle Washington and then the rest of the travel is on me.  This sounds great and all except the MAC flights are not always reliable and I could get stuck somewhere so I would probably be on standby flights from Seattle on, unless I could find another MAC flight to get me closer to family or friends so someone could pick me up.  Anyway at the reason we even went to the mini airport was that I could get my Visa stamped in my passport and I am now allowed to be in Korea for 1 1/2 years! That was the last of our major paperwork we had to do since getting here.

One of the most enjoyable parts of today was ordering Audrey's first birthday, birthday invites!  I can't believe we are getting so close already and the other day we bought her first birthday present and I have 2 more on the way from Amazon. (Which is the best thing since sliced bread now that I am over here)

Yesterday we went and did what is hopefully close to a full month of grocery shopping.  At the time I knew that IN CASE there was a shutdown that commissaries would be closed (that is the cheapest by far for us to shop in Korea.) So I wanted to get as much done as possible.  I have since learned that with the shutdown only US Commissaries are closed but the oversees ones stay opened.  I am thanking God that they passed a bill so that Military will be getting paid.  However with that said I couldn't imagine the panic a lot of my friends and possibly family have at this time not knowing when they will get paid again.  A have a lot of friends who get paid under the government and some of them have children bigger and smaller than Audrey.  For those of you who have to worry about diapers, wipes, formula, food, gas, pet food, and all the other necessities just to get through a day, my heart breaks for you.  I am sending hugs and praying for all of you to make it through.  I know it feels good to complain about our "messed up" government but I think we all know that won't help, and keep your head up!  You can do this!

Now I think it is time to join my precious baby girl and get some much needed sleep!  Loving and missing all of you!   

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Jubilee Church

Happy Sunday!  First off I want to make clear that I am not discriminating against any form of church, judging the church, or saying one church is better than the other.  This blog is simply to inform those of you who are interested in my church hunting how today went.
Some of you know that a month or two back I found a church online called the Jubilee church.  I corresponded via email for awhile to get to know the background and the organization of the church, the dress, the classes, things like that.  After corresponding for a few days I for some reason lost total interest.  I didn't even have a desire to email the lady back.  They seemed to have everything I was looking for..... a mommy and me class, they work with the orphanage, and they feed the hungry in the subways from time to time among other things.  However the feeling of wanting to visit this church after a few emails had died suddenly.  I wasn't too worried though as Collin had found a church in Gangnam that he said seemed just like the church we came from in Colorado.  Rocky Mountain Calvary.  RMC was a wonderful and huge church that we attended for the few years we were stationed in Colorado.  As we got up this morning Collin tracked down that exact subway route and said, "It looks like the Jubilee Church you were talking about."  Ummmmmmm not exactly what I was thinking.    I thought I told him I had no plans of going to that church... hummmmm oh well here we go! 3 or 4 subway stops a transfer and another 3 or 4 subway stops and we arrived in Gangnam.  Once off the subway we had about a 7-10 minute walk, in dress sandals I might add..... however they are the MOST comfortable dress sandals so I figured we would be ok.  I being the we, cause lets face it.  If momma's feet were hurting after this walk daddy was going to know about it, but fortunately for Collin and my feet they are pretty comfortable!
Once we got there we found a little cafe on the top floor and got some rice crispy treats for breakfast and I got a mint Iced Mocha!  It's actually starting to cool off here but with Audrey strapped to me the whole way I was burning up! 15 minutes later we were down in the sanctuary.  Not as big as the 1000's I was used to with RMC but bigger than what I was used to with The City in Geneva Ohio.  We sat in the back in case Audrey wanted to get a little loud.  We certainly didn't want to make a first bad impression, but I didn't want to send Audrey to the Nursery when I didn't know anything about this church except that they were from New Jersey when they started 7 years ago.
Every last Sunday of the month is family Sunday so the kids join for the first part of praise and worship and we sing kid songs.  It cracked me up as even the adults where doing the kids hand motions that they have learned in class I assume.  After the 2 songs the kids were dismissed.  and I realized that all the babies that I saw were taken to a room in the back of the sanctuary by 1 parent.  It was considered a crying room and was were the babies 2 and under (2 and up had class rooms) could play.  This also means 1 parent had to stay in the room at all times.  Audrey kept starring at all the kids and smiling and waving so after we sang our last song I told Collin that I wanted to let her go play cause she just keeps starring and waving at all the kids.  She was so cute getting all happy whenever one child waved back or even a parent for that matter.  She would clap or jump in my lap with a smile!  So as I was going to take her back, Collin volunteered to go instead.  Needless to say it was very distracting throughout the entire service cause every once in awhile I would here a shriek or a cry coming out of that room and I wanted to keep an eye on my baby girl.  Audrey had a blast with the other kids!
Ok back to the church part and less of the play part.  It seemed very disorganized to me but Collin assured me after church that, that is just how Korean's do things and it makes sense to them.  We had Praise and Worship, announcements, prayer, more random announcements and then we got into the sermon.  Now up to this point I was very distracted.  After Praise and Worship there so many announcements that I practically forgot where I was.  Not too mention I was in a new church and essentially by myself since Collin had Audrey in the "Crying Room."  Another thing that didn't exactly tick with me was there was a LOT of reading and not a lot of teaching.  The Title of the sermon was "How to secure a future"  by the time the sermon was over I forgot all about the "How to secure a future" topic.  In fact I could tell you very little about what the message was.  I certainly didn't get securing my future out of it.
It was very much like a Methodist Church, with raising of the hands and modern Christian music.  We started with service with the Apostle Creed, did a lot of silent prayer before every prayer, and did a lot and I mean a lot of out loud group reading and when everyone is reading from different versions of the Bible it can get a little jumbled.  Oh yeah and because of the children's songs we only sang 1 other song and that was The Stand by Hillsong (which is a great song) but then we ended the church with the same song which I thought once again was another weird thing about this church.  They brought forth all the new decans in the Church which was cool I guess just have never seen such a thing before.  During the sermon everywhere I looked everyone was on their phones, mainly because they used phones instead of Bibles and, the 4 that were directly around me where FB'ing the whole time.  After the Sermon they did the offering and another series of announcements.  Again things were very strange to me and not exactly to my liking, but Collin was pleased with it and since it was an assistant pastor today and the senior pastor will be back next week we may go ahead and give it 1 more try..... or we may move on to another church.

After church we took the subway to Itewan and stopped at Taco Bell for lunch, by the way, in Korea they have Nacho Cheese Chicken Chalupa's and in the states they no longer do unless you special order them and pay extra.  Also a funny thing is that the #1 was a chalupa meal but you could only get it in baja.  You couldn't do a substitution for the Nacho Cheese.  In Korea it is Not an option you get whats on the menu and that is it!  After Taco Bell I told Collin I preferred to walk home.  After all it was a nice fall day and walking is better for you anyway and cheaper than the subway!  Once you get out of Itewan (the main city portion) and you get between there and the Yongsan part of Seoul it turns into a beautiful walk.  A path lined with bushes and trees on one side and benches and trees on the other.  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful walk but not going to lie, after about 2 miles or more with Audrey strapped to me almost the whole way and dress sandals, as comfortable as they may be my feet were hurting.  I was happy when I finally saw the last street to cross until I was home, although Collin misjudged the "go" like for walking and we had to run a cross the last few lanes.  We made it and the rest of the day was a lazy one!