Monday, December 15, 2014

Motherhood: Some think I'm crazy

This post is going to be an honest one.  Some of you may think I am off my rocker, others may think I am absolutely correct, and some of you might feel for me.  Whatever you think or whatever you feel that is fine.  I know that there are some people who will understand where I am coming from and this is for those of you who love me enough to accept my path and will walk through it with me even with all the frustrations, happy tears, sad tears, all the waiting periods and all ups and downs. 

 There are ladies out there who know that they don't want children.  There are many excuses why they don't want children.  Some don't want children because they don't want their bodies to be stretched out, tore up, swollen, and sore.   Some don't want children because they think having kids means life stops and changes so much and they just can't handle the thought of that.  Some just know they won't have the patience or attitude to have little ones.  I am sure there are many more but these are the most common I hear. 
To that I say, I may never be skinny again, heck I may never be back at my pre-pregnancy weight, but that is OK for me.  My husband and daughter still love me unconditionally.  I might have crazy stretch marks, but those are just stretch marks made from love!  It just means my body can handle anything that is thrown at it because let's face it.  Any woman who has carried a child has put their body through war! 
Now moving on, my life never stopped after I had my baby girl!  In fact it got that much better.  Not only do I love her like crazy, but I have experienced things I NEVER would have without her.  Some moms like to keep their child on a schedule and that is wonderful, however I don't.  This way we don't have to work life around nap time, nap time works around us.  Obviously, like a few days ago I knew that before I did anything else I had to get cranky girl down for a nap, but it doesn't stop my life, it only shifts my order of doing things.  We hike, we go out to eat, we go to sporting events, we go on random weekend vacations to random places (while in Korea, you never know if you will get a bed or the floor).  Life keeps on moving and now it is more fun with little feet.  Plus date night means so much more, because it doesn't happen as often. 
As for the frustration and patience.... remember I said this is an honest post... NO ONE HAS THEM!  Not all the time anyway.  Just yesterday I found myself snapping and going crazy because my Princess turned into a crazy, crying, cranky, needy, hitting and kicking the floor DRAMA QUEEN!  Oh and this wasn't just a little thing, this went on for hours off and on all day!  Yes I lost my cool.  But then she brought me over a book sat on my lap and said, "mommy read please." and half way through the book my heart was melting with more love and patience then I had all day!  Being a mom is rough I get that, but it better be a really good excuse for you to not want such amazing blessings in your life. 

With all of that being said, I am back on the fertility journey.  Most of you, if not all of you, know that my first child was a fertility baby.  Hubby and I went through a wonderful fertility doctor and after lots of tests, drugs, and shots, I became pregnant with my little princess!  Today, right after I finish this blog, I will be starting medication yet again!  Prenatal vitamins, provara and in a few days Chlomid.  Some of you may be shocked right now that I am so openly announcing this.  However, I have been down this road before so I know I need my family and friends as a support group even if we aren't in the same country.  I have gone this route before and nothing happened so we proceeded to an off post fertility doctor who through the IUI was successful!  Going in for procedures are more pills, injections, tests and in the end a lot more money.  So we are going to start off with just the 3 medications for now.  If this doesn't happen then Dr. Ma would like to continue trying this way for 3 months.  If those 3 months are up and still nothing then we will be looking at going back to the Korean hospital.  Which in all honesty I loved!  This will be my 4th time going through all this, so friends and family I ask for prayers that we won't have to go further than our first round of meds!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tres Dias.... without saying too much

So I sit here and re write this because, something happened and I deleted the last one.  Some might be thinking, why didn't you save it, but I assure you I did.  When I went to edit a few things that is when I hit something on the keyboard and it deleted everything.  So I begin again.....
Some of you know that I last weekend I went on a ladies retreat called Tres Dias.  They have weekends for the men as well, which I will now be sending the hubs on when that arises.  As the days got closer and closer to the Thursday, the day to leave, the thought of leaving my daughter behind became frightening to me.  I have left her with the sitter before but even then I still was able to receive pictures and updates via my phone.  Well that and I have never left her for 3 whole days.  Anyway, I found myself coming up with more and more ways to get out of it.
Audrey will never go to sleep for daddy...
What if something happens, even though there is an emergency number to tell me it will take me forever to get home...
Audrey is getting the sniffles, I better stay home...
I will get too far behind in school...
There was even a car accident, well a fender bender, at an intersection RIGHT behind me and I remember thinking, "If only that was my car they bumped" (Audrey was not in the car), "It would slow me down and possibly make me miss going."
No such luck.  I have 2 very important people in my life who pushed and pushed for me to go.  They pushed so hard that I showed up at the church a few minutes earlier than needed.  Going into this thing I just kept thinking, "If we don't get on the bus soon and out of here, I am turning back."  The clock kept ticking and soon we were on the bus and well off to our destination.
 Thank goodness it wasn't called Uno Dias, because my first 24 hours was not what I thought it would be.  I was missing Auder-Pop terribly and I just really wanted to see her face.  I was ready to go home.  Then slowly as Friday progressed I started feeling a little better as time moved on.  Once Saturday came, I was a changed girl!  Happy and peppy and feeling joyful!  Then time was moving too quickly and the day was slipping by.  I was so blessed, I grew in my faith, I learned a lot, I talked with so many wonderful and beautiful ladies, it was amazing!  I am so happy those two people pushed me to go!  I had such an amazing time that I am going back to the next one as a volunteer.  I want to relive that weekend but I want to do it from the other side of things. 
So many people, including myself, get turned off by the secrecy of what happens on this weekend.  Really there are no secrets, but you wouldn't want me to tell you to much.  I was very annoyed to go into the weekend not knowing anything, but I came out of it so glad that no one told me anything that would go on and I got to experience every moment without anticipation!  If you want to be blessed, if you want to learn, grew closer to Christ, form new friendships, get away from the worldly ways, laugh, dance, cry, be there for others, and all around have an amazing time.  Then you need to become part of the Tres Dias family!  Notice I keep using the word amazing..... well to be honest, its the most amazing word I have for the weekend.... words can't describe what an amazing time I had :)
Last but not least, I want to thank all of you who had such kind and loving words for me throughout the weekend and the ones who prayed for the weekend.  They mean the world to me and I will treasure them always!  You know who you are!
Love and Blessings!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Vacation part 2

So I left off when we had left Nanna's to head to Florida.  Again they had an open seat for Audrey on both flights so Audrey was able to have her own seat, which is always a blessing.  Landing in Atlanta was rough and I actually got motion sickness, which this round of trips was the first ever on a plane.  Except for the time I had food poisoning or something weird and had to fly but that is for another time.
Once we landed I had turned on my phone to find a text from my sister that she was already there waiting!  We were towards the back of the plane so we of course were stuck there forever before we got a chance to inboard.  We had such great visits with Collins side of the family already, and I was very excited to see mine.  Sure enough on our way off the escalators my sister was there waiting for hugs with a big smile on her face.  Audrey took right to Aunt Kimmy and in the car started mimicking her every move and sound from her car seat.  It was on this day the Audrey/Aunt Kimmy signature sound started.  WOOOOO HOOOOO!  We headed to her house and picked up the boys and headed to steak and shake.  It was so nice seeing her and the boys.  I can't remember the last time I had seen my nephews and they had certainly become tall and much older then I remembered :)
We had such a great time just hanging out and relaxing.  We went on a nature walk and a large tortoise that came walking right passed us.  Audrey yelled as she thought he was about to charge her, yet she still made sure to name him Guy!  We also went to a park where injured animals were sent until they could be sent back to the wild.  Unless of course they couldn't be sent back to the wild then the refugee would keep them and take care of them.  After the refugee we went and had lunch then headed to loggerhead.  Now this was the same type of thing, a refugee for sea turtles. I saw turtles so HUGE that I could hardly believe what I was seeing.  It was really cool.  Loggerhead was positioned right next to the Ocean so of course we had to take Audrey to her first Ocean.  At first she was horrified because the water was so cold, though she allowed Aunt Kimmy to continue dangling her feet.  Soon the girl was unstoppable.  Audrey would have ran into the Ocean by herself had we let her.  She became soaked in Ocean water and didn't want to leave.  She was a fan of the big blue, and we have a seashell from her very first visit.
Florida was beautiful as always but sadly after a few short days we had to board yet another plane.  The trip too the airport was interesting as it is only about a 15 minute drive but there was a terrible accident which slowed us down and forced my sister to have to drop us and run.  We made it to our gate 5 minutes prior to boarding.  It was a rush but we made it.  So off to Ohio we went!
Again the Atlanta landing was rough and again I thought I was going to be sick, I didn't lose it but I did have to keep putting drops of peppermint under my tongue.  We knew we would get in a little sooner than when my parents could, but after luggage and everything we figured it would have been pretty good timing.  Then we realized the plane landed almost 30 minutes early.  So by the time we got our luggage it was basically the time we would have originally landed and knew it could potentially be a long wait.  Then I saw the sign for the USO!  I didn't even know there was military in the area so this amazed me.  We wandered over and they welcomed us with arms wide opened.  It was so relaxing.  Audrey had tons of toys to play with and Collin and I had a tv with comfy reclining chairs and couches.  They of course also offered snacks and coffee!  Then the text came in that my parents were just around the corner!  We headed out and 5 minutes later the family had arrived.
Audrey again had gone straight to Grammy with no problems.  Our first stop Ihop!  Oh how I had missed that place.  I didn't want to go to sleep that night, I just wanted to stay up and talk.  But eventually mom and I were the only ones left so I gave in.  We had a great visit.  We went to a Lake Erie Monsters game, (the baby AVS), for military appreciation night, which was a blast.  Even after I ran into a 3 foot cement pillar and twisted my ankle on the way to the game.  I was  in a LOT of pain but knew we had to continue to the game.  Thank goodness I didn't do anything worse.
We also celebrated Audrey's second birthday in Bubble Guppies style.  I got to see so many people that I had not seen in a long time including a high school friend that I hadn't seen in years and a cousin who we figured it had been about 14 years since our last visit.  It was great, and it was once again confirmed how amazing our family is to all come together and how much Audrey is loved.
We also went to my grandmas for a night which was, as always wonderful.  We had a great big dinner that was much like an early Thanksgiving.  Then the next day my grandparents, two aunts and cousin went to Erie with us so I could get the much loved Chick-Fil-A!  It was a wonderful visit, except that on the way in, my grandma took a harsh fall, it was seriously one of those moments when everything around me froze and in slow motion I watched her fall to the ground but no matter what I did, there was nothing I could do fast enough to stop it.  I felt awful, we went there for me, and she took a tumble on the cement.  After she got up and became composed again, we got her some ice for the side of her head and she seemed to be ok, just a little sore.  The worst of it was needing to get new glasses.
We headed back to my parents that afternoon and had a relaxing night just hanging out and talking.  Tuesday morning came early and the day that I was dreading.  We packed up the night before and had to finish early in the morning.  My mom was babysitting so Audrey and I went to join her after lunch and Audrey got to play with a new friend.  Once her day was over we packed up and headed to Cleveland.  We got a suite with a full kitchen, table and chairs, living room with a fireplace and a Kind size bedroom.  Then upstairs was another bathroom and kind bed.  Matt took the pull out couch.  If anyone can make a hotel fun.... it was Matthew and I.  We played with a ball on he stairs for a long time laughing and hoping that no one was down stairs that would call in saying we were too loud.  Then he wanted to go find the gym and that was an adventure.  We walked around the premises for what seemed like forever until mom went in and rechecked directions.  The gym was in the Hotels second building, that looked nothing like the one we were staying in.  Matt had pointed it out awhile ago on our adventure but mom and I told him he was crazy and that, that building had to be a different Hotel.... joke was on us!  Once back we finally all gave in and called it a night.  4am came REALLY, REALLY early, and sure enough it was time to head to the airport.  Because of the time we had left my parents and Matt only had time to drop us off and say our good-byes.  Sometimes I think that is for the better because then there are not as many tears because it has to be quick, but then when I finally have time to process I think it hurts even more to have to say good-bye.
Audrey got another seat all the way back home.  It was an amazing, busy, vacation but a fantastic one!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Vacation part 1

I need to have a headset to talk directly to my blog page so that it doesn't take me so long to find the time to sit down and type.  We all made it back safely and all of our flights were fine... no crazy incident like last time, (see if you are unaware of that situation).  On our way from Houston to Tokyo though we did realize that we had a sick child on our hands.  Not the, I am sick and going to be lethargic and sleep the whole time, but more like I am irritated feeling and going to let you know about it, type of sick.  Audrey didn't sleep for more than 3 hours on the flight.  She did however sleep the 2 hours and 20 minutes from Tokyo to Seoul, in fact we all did.

Our visit was wonderful.  We got into PHX around 6pm and headed straight for the Hotel, however we had a heck of a time getting our rental car.  There was a bit of a line and it was not an easy transaction.  I must not of figured in the tax correctly because whenever I get a rental car I always set aside a card specifically for that and nothing else.  I was a dollar and some change off :(  So when getting ready to just use our bank account instead they informed Collin that any instate drivers license could only use a credit card.  Since Collin still has a AZ license he couldn't use the debit card.  So then we changed it so I would be the main driver, since I have a Colorado DL.  This of course entailed them going back through the entire system of input and deleting Collin's information and inserting mine.  After about another 20 minutes we had the keys.  We walked out to the rental cars and we were greeted with two gentlemen carrying bottles of water for us and walking us to our car.  After the initial inspection and again another lecture on the safety of buying additional insurance we were finally in the car.  Next stop was the hotel and once we got there it wasn't long before we were all asleep.  I thought we were in for some serious rest but Audrey had other plans and choose to wake up at 3am.  So her and I had an adventure walking around the hotel early in the morning, going into the hotel lobby and watching ABC's on the computer, going outside to run around some more and then playing on the steps leading from the first floor up to the top floor.  I even got her a bath and a little after 6 begged her to fall back asleep.  Somewhere around 630 we were both sleeping again.  The reason for our PHX visit was for my youngest step sons wedding.  The Mrs. had already been to Korea, but it was great to see her again. It was also great to finally meet my daughter in law from my oldest other step sons marriage.  I never know how I will be viewed because of being closer to their ages but I LOVE both of my daughter in laws.  The wedding was nice and although I missed the ceremony due to Audrey choosing to have a screaming fit 5 minutes prior to the beautiful bride walking down to meet her husband.  The wedding was very nice and the weekend was, well, frankly a whirlwind of events and to be honest most was a blur.  However, it was great for Collin to be able to spend so much time with his kids.  It really was the highlight for him.  The only thing I wish that had happened was I was hoping to see my step granddaughter.  I knew the boys wouldn't make it I just didn't know the little princess would not.
While there we got to stay with some very loving friends.  We had great conversation and an awesome time with them the whole way around.  I wish we could have spent more time with them but it was a very short weekend with the family and time was not on our side.  Sunday came and we had nothing to do and we discussed the zoo or something fun but when we woke up we quickly realized that the time zones had kicked in, and we were dragging.  So that Sunday we laid around, watched some football, a movie, napped, and just hung out.  Thank you friends for all your hospitality and helping out with Audrey.

Monday morning came and we were off to see Nana and Grandpa Bill.  Orbitz had sent me an email saying that our flight had changed to a 5 hour layover in Dallas and we would not get into Killeen until after 10pm at night.  This was very unexceptable so Collin spent easily an hour and a half on the phone getting it all worked out.  We finally got an early departure from Dallas and our ETA for Killeen was now just after 7.  This was better than the 10 but not as good as our origional flight.  Since Nana and Grandpa Bill wouldn't be able to pick us up that late I started searching for a rental car.  This worked out in the end much smoother, however, it was difficult getting the car at first.  Knowing that Killeen is so small I realized I should get the car as soon as possible.  When I called from the house, I was told by Enterprise that the only thing available was a van at $80 plus a day.  NOT HAPPENING.  So I tried to log on once we got the airport and search through USAA and Orbitz.  I couldn't connect in the PHX airport so waited until we got to Dallas.  Most of you know I stress easily and not having the car set in stone this close to arrival had my stress level up, but I knew in all reality everything would work out.  Once we were in Dallas and found our connecting flight I was able to get onto Orbitz, the USAA website was taking way too long to load, but Orbitz said they had compact cars all the way up to vans availible through Enterprise.  I thought this was slightly odd but went with the compact car anway.  After landing in Killeen we went to the rental area and checked in to get our car.  The guy looked at us puzzled and said, "We don't have any compacts available."  After a bit of discussion, we got the next size up and were on our way.  Advice for the futre.  They may tell you on the phone or on their website they are out of cars, but they always set aside cars for their partners like Orbitz!  An hour or so later we arrived at Nanna's house.
As always this is a warm and relaxing visit.  Nanna and Collin went to the store and she of course spoiled Audrey with new toys, and a day or two later we found Audrey's Anna trick or treat costume.  Being only a day or two away from Halloween, I didn't think we would still find one.  There were several Elsa's out there at the Church trunk or treat but only 1 Anna!  Audrey still doesn't understand the concept of trick or treating yet but in all honesty that is ok with me.  She will either start enjoying it in a year or two or she won't.   At Nanna and Bill's we found Duck Dynasty wine and of course HAD to try it.  It wasn't bad, I enjoyed mine and Collin said his was good as well.  Unfortunately Audrey still wasn't adjusted, I don't think we really were either and she was up several nights all night long.  Audrey was not the nice little princess she usually is.  On our last full day Nanna and I went and got our hair done, mine was a cut and straightened and Nanna was color.  It was Halloween and all the hairdressers were all dressed up.  Saturday came and by 5am we were awoken by a knock on our door.  My alarm never went off and Nanna came to the rescue.  We were soon off for an early flight to Florida.

Well Audrey has gotten awake so I guess I will finish telling you all about the last part of my trip later.  Time to get her some toast and try to call some family.  Hope you all are having a great week.  I will try to get the rest of the trip up before I go to bed tonight :)

Friday, October 10, 2014


A little bit of back information.

I remember when I first moved here Collin had the computer room in the spare bedroom.  There was a full size bed in the corner of one of our 3 bedrooms on the 10th floor.  I on the other hand, had other plans.  My dream for my baby girl was to have a large nursery with all the amazing furniture, and a separate play room with more toys and gadgets that a girl could ever want.  Although I still have a lot of those items, living in a 3 bedroom apartment made me have to severely downsized and the guest room with the bed, in my eyes, needed to become the playroom.  With that, the bed had to go, the computer was now in the living room, and the toys took over.

Fast forward to the present. 

We  now live in a 4 bedroom apartment.  There is a nice master bedroom that of course we take over, and a hallway connects to a tiny room with no closets.  There is a large room that has been separated with wooden sliding doors to make 2 rooms, each room having closets.  The rooms were taken up by our room, the baby's bedroom, a computer room with workout equipment and a closet full of photography equipment and a playroom.  All this and no guest room or bed because I thought it would be better not to have one.  I remember telling Collin, "Who is ever going to visit us in Korea that we will need a bed?  If local friends stay over or your son comes to visit, they can sleep on the couch!"  I never thought we would actually get family here!

Last week was amazing.  Collins brother and his brothers youngest son who he hadn't seen in 6 years, and his brothers wife, who he had never met, came to visit.  I was suddenly regretting not having that spare bed.  However we did have 2 air mattress set up, that seemed to work just fine for them.  With a little shuffling around of the playroom, all had a comfortable room to sleep in.

The long weekend was so busy, short and wonderful all at the same time.  It was such a pleasure meeting this part of the family for the first time.  I chuckled every time I heard Collins brother say the same things Collin does like when we part ways with my step son Collin likes to say, "Make good choices." Well wouldn't you know as we were turning to leave our son Collin's brother said, "Make good choices!"  It was so perfect.  In fact I didn't even realize it wasn't Collin until I truly processed the voice in my head, and our son said, "Wow they are brothers."

They arrived early early in the morning and unfortunately their first sight of me was just crawling out of bed with Audrey to great them.  I am sure a horrible sight for them.  So much for first impressions mean everything.  Although I guess they got a glimpse of the real me, and to be honest in made picking out my clothing for the rest of the week more relaxed.  I mean they already saw me at my worst lol!  After they went down for a early morning nap we headed off to lunch and then got caught in the rain walking home.  The rest of the day was easy and relaxed.  Friday we were out and about all day and went to an old Korean village that we had never seen before, so it made it a first for everyone.  We also hit up a great lunch in Myeongdong, walked through the shopping, which I found a fabulous store to do clothing shopping for me even though I am considered very large in this Country, went to Nagwon Music mall (which I have never seen so many music stores in my soon to be 31 years of living, and I thought of my music teacher in high school almost the whole time).  Then we went to visit our son!  It was a long busy day and by the time we got home we were out for 11 hours that day!

Our second day, was much more low key.  We went to a park where there was a lot of music things going on.  We even saw John Park perform for an woman's Adidas event in the park.  Many of you probably don't know, but he was a finalist on one of the American Idols.  My brother in law actually got a picture with him so it was kind of cool.  We took a stroll in Itewan, walked home and a few hours later enjoyed fireworks on the roof of our apartment complex.

After Church on Sunday, we stayed in the house and visited until the sad hour came for them to pack up and head home.  A wonderful, but fast weekend, with many awesome memories made! 

The Village

 The crowds of Myeongdong... Can you find Collin and I?

Random family pics!

Just a few photos of the amazing fireworks.  This year was England, China, Italy, and Korea!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Finding my place... after a year!

Hello my friends and family.  I am sorry for once again another long delay, but again I have found myself really busy and swamped with school.  Today marks 1 year of living in Korea.  In fact it was about this time 1 year ago that I step foot in a high rise in a three bedroom apartment on the 10th floor.  My world was quickly about to change from living just outside pretty Colorado Springs, where Pikes Peak was just outside my door, to a busy noisy city of 2 million people.  I remember all the mixed feelings, I was happy to be with my husband but, I knew it was going to be a hard adventure. 
Well here it is a year later.  I still know very little Korean, and I still get lost often if I am not with someone, but I have a lot more confidence in who I am and in my life.  This has been one of the most wonderful years of my life, I have truly been blessed while living here and although I miss my friends and family and American food and American shopping and......... I digress.....  the point is, that even though I am so far away, I wouldn't change any of it.  Korea has shown me a new life, a new outlook, and has brought me to a deeper stronger walk with God.  Today I think I am really starting to find my place here.  Yes sad that I am saying that after a whole year but, I am feeling great.

I have started meeting different and new people.  Some I am still not to sure about and others I absolutely love being around.  We even have a girl who lives in the same apartment complex that we do, that knew the Robertson family growing up.  In fact she told us a couple nights ago that they are the same people now that they were years ago, just a lot richer!  This woman was at the park by our apartments and there were several American kids there, Audrey actually played with them and had a good time, for some reason my daughter is really shy (I don't know where that comes from because well....... most of you know both her dad and I and neither of us are shy).  I seem some of them down at the park often now and it is really nice to meet a group of parents who just want to be parents.  No comparing where each others child is at, no judgmental thoughts or looks, no one is worried about looking perfect and no talking about rank.  Which is something I am not used to with military wives.  Rank is always part of the conversation.  I couldn't believe it when I actually looked at my husband on the way home and said, "that was a nice time, and no one asked about rank!"  I couldn't believe that was one of my first statements.  Sad but true that military spouses are so worried about who's husband holds what rank.  It was such a calm, relaxes night, talking with new friends.

I also have started up with PWOC.  Protestant Women of the Church.  We meet every Wednesday morning for announcements, prayer, and praise and worship time.  After words we all break for our classes.  There were several classes to choose from and I got into the the class that I really wanted... Calm My Anxious Heart!  Due to sickness in my house I had to miss last weeks but this weeks was awesome.  I love the group of women in that class and I can already tell I made the right choice for me.  There is homework, on top of my already busy homework school life, but it is a fraction of what I have had to do in my Bible class and that class is over next Sunday.  Anyway after PWOC there was a lunch a cross the street, now normally I wouldn't go to these things because I usually feel real out of place.  Collin had called me, and I told him I didn't know if I would be going to lunch or not and he said that I should go.  While I was still deciding if I wanted to go or not, a distant friend asked me if I was going and that she thought she would be going so I figured why not.  At least I have one person if I don't get a table with anyone else I know.  (By the way I say distant because we don't really talk and really don't know too much about each other).  I am so glad I went to that lunch.  I sat with a her and a good friend of mine and we all had our little girls.  It was amazing conversation and fellowship. 

So here I am a year into Korea and finally feeling like I am fitting in somewhere.  My husband told me today that he can see a difference in me.  Between getting out more and meeting the right crew, he says I am always in such a better mood.  I am looking forward to another 17months here and I am enjoying my favorite month here, September. 

I will be stateside for a visit soon and I am very much looking forward to stepping on American soil again.

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

VBS week... and other stuff!

You know that Vacation Bible School was a success when 3 days after the final day everyone is still talking about it and posting pictures on Facebook.  So many of my fellow volunteers are still posting and l love seeing it.  I made so many friends last week.  Everyone was amazing and I can't stop thanking the pre-k family enough!  I really miss my kids.  I wish I would be able to stay in contact better.  Two of them had birthdays on Sunday and I hope they went well!  VBS week was an experience I will never forget.  The kids are all truly amazing and to watch their little lives light up when learning about Jesus is so awesome!  Watching them sing songs and learning the hand motions and participating is outstanding and simply awesome!  I think I have found that I really want to work with kids.  I found my thing. 
Collins birthday was this weekend and I have to say it was a great night.  There are 2 guys here in Korea with us that I would do anything for and both of them were with us!  Sitting around and talking football and hockey was a blast.  I can't wait to see how the football season turns out to see who is right and who is wrong about their assumptions!  There was plenty of talk about Cleveland and Johnny football!  Somehow though the evening, for awhile, kept going back to Sharknado.  A movie none of us have watched but yet talking about the concept seem to intrigue these 3 men lol.  I just sat back and laughed, found a smile forming a cross my face and realized how lucky I am.  It was indeed a great evening!
August is almost upon us and there will be some upcoming changes in the Shorey house.  Whenever Collin is gone it gives me a chance to clean up my diet, dedicate myself to more workout time, and revamp my plan.  I guess I should say plans because with both Collin and the Nanny being gone my volunteer work is going to be pretty slow which also means I will have a lot more time at home.  My big plans for August are to look over the budget and prepare for our upcoming vacation to the states.  Plan for my September Jeju Island trip that I am really wanting to take.  I have to go to Hallasan and even if we can't climb much with the Audrey I will climb parts of it!  I say mostly the word I and not we because it is my goal more than Collin's!  Hallasan is the biggest mountain in South Korea, which isn't saying much for the height of a mountain.  I am used to Pikes Peak and well I don't think Hallasan is even half of the peaks sumit that I used to look at everyday!  However, I want to go do it!  Who knows if we leave early enough maybe we can reach the top even with Audrey.  I doubt it but a girl can dream!  I will also start looking at the many trips we want to take next year and all the little weekender trips we can take throughout the year.  I would love to see Thailand, Japan, and China.  Japan is first on the list though as I want to go to Mt. Fuji.  It is funny, I used to be such an ocean girl, I always wanted large bodies of water around me and now I am all about the mountains.  August is also going to be a month to crack down on not only my health and weight loss but for little miss A.  She is potty trained for the Nanny.  Never has issues unless they are out playing and can't make it to a potty in time.  At home though she is completely potty trained for Minda and well it's time she is completely potty trained for mommy too. So while we are home the princes will be in big girl underwear!  We will also get her back in her own bed.  We have had some rough nights with sleeping and so she has been back in our bed again.  Nights like tonight we were just too lazy and put her in our bed instead of hers because neither of us wanted to deal with it.  So once it is just her and I, we are going to get back to it, along with a better schedule.  We were doing so well with a schedule and then I just got lazy, or busy, or something.... yes, the Shorey household will be a busy one in August!
I can't believe that July is winding down so quickly.  It seems like just last week we were starting July!  Which also means that the real heat is just around the corner.  I never thought I would experience the kind of heat that I have these past couple of weeks.  There are times when I don't feel like I can fully breath outside it has been so unbearable. Collin says it has been a good summer so far but if next year is hotter than this year, I am not going to do so well!  That and I am sure our electric bill is going to be 900.00 for this month.  I say this because May and June combined was 900.00 and those were not even hot months :( 
School is going well.  I am into my 3rd week of a computer class and only have 2 more to go!  Which reminds me I should probably get my books ordered for my Bible class since it starts soon.  I can't believe fall semester is right around the corner already.  I am not loving this computer class but I am pushing for an A as always. I did enjoy my English class and even though my final grade was a B I think I learned more in those 5 weeks than I have in a long time.  Oh and I am taking a Korean class.  Not sure how well that is going to go, but I also know I can't have Collin teach me the language.  Our brains operate very different and it would just be one disaster after another!  I missed last week due to VBS but I guess we got a bunch of new students so instead they just repeated the previous week.  I may not be able to have Collin teach me but I sure can have him help me brush up to be ready for this Thursday!
Well better get off here.  It is 1am and Audrey has successfully been sleeping for 2 1/2 hours!  I better get some sleep in before she decides she wants to wake back up.  It has been a rough 5 nights with her. 
I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and has and even more fantastic week!

My amazing and beautiful class!  This was only 15 kiddo's out of the 22 signed up.  Although the largest class was only 20.  I loved every minute of it :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Checking in

Well hello friends and family,
I hope this morning (for most of you) is going great for you.  I know this evening was a productive one for me.  I realize I have not blogged in awhile and wanted to check in and let you all know I am doing well.

VBS is coming along nicely. We have our last big meeting on Thursday and then I am holding our last group meeting for the pre-k team on Friday!  It seems that I have an awesome and motivated group that I am working with so that always helps a leader out.  I am a little concerned because the nursery leaders fell through on their background checks so as of now we don't have anyone in the nursery and well I can't volunteer if we don't have nursery teachers.  However, I am confident in our  VBS Director that she will get it sorted out.

School is going well.  Another class down and another one has started.  It is Monday night here and I have 3 out of my 5 assignments completed that need to be done for the week.  The last 2 I might night a little help on from Collin.  I am trying to get as far ahead as possible for 2 reasons.  The first is because I don't want to have to deal with too much during VBS week and second is because duty calls the husband away for a portion of August. 

Speaking of August, it is going to be a bit of a different month for me.  The volunteer work for me is going to be going down considerably.  Not only will Collin be gone off and on but our nanny will be on vacation the entire month.  I think I am seeing crazy late nights for me in order to keep up with homework and housework. 

The church volunteer work is going pretty smooth also.  The baseball game is less then a month away and the Everland trip is less than 2 months away.  I didn't make church last Sunday because Audrey decided that waking up at 1230am and not going back to bed until 4am would be so much more fun then sleep.  Anyway, Collin said that not too many people signed up for the baseball game and so this Sunday we are going to wear our Doosan Bears jersey's and try to get moral up!  This Sunday is our last Sunday for the baseball game sign ups.  Although I must say they did only give us 2 weeks to get this all taken care of. 

As most of you have seen this past weekend ended up being a terrific one. It started on Thursday when we found out that my stepson Mike and his wife are expecting a baby.  She is very early on and so the wait to find out if it is a boy or girl is going to drive me crazy.  This is grand baby 4 for me.  (step grand baby but all the same).  Friday night I got to hang out with 3 of the most wonderful men in my Korean life.  My husband being the number 1 and then 2 of his friends, which by default have become great friends to me as well.  We hung out in the house and had a great time.  One of the best in awhile.  Friday afternoon I received an invite to go hang out with a group of ladies on Saturday night.  No husbands, no kids, just the ladies.  Anyone who knows me, knows that hanging out with 9 ladies while only knowing 1 of them is a big decision for me, but I did it and it was an amazing time!  I think it helped that it was also a cross the street from my house so I guess psychologically I felt like I was basically home if I felt too uncomfortable.  Saturday morning my daughter also had her first modeling shoot.  We don't plan on making it an ongoing thing but it was fun and I think it could be fun every once in awhile.  It was more of a big play date for her as there were 4 other little girls between the ages of 2-3.  Audrey was the youngest but she did fantastic in her 3 hours.  They supplied food and drink and snacks and I got to meet some other parents as well.  All and all it was a great experience and the weekend was just fabulous.  Besides the fact that I didn't make church on Sunday I got some much needed sleep after such a fun weekend.

It is now after midnight and my brain is winding down.  I was thinking about picking up the house before bed, but instead I think I will sit in my favorite spot.  Play a couple games on the computer and then once my brain is completely done, fall fast asleep.

Have a wonderful day everyone!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

All I wanted was to blog

Well that seems like the story of the past few days.  So many times I wanted to blog about things but school just kept interrupting.  After last night I was beyond caught up!  I had all my assignments done and turned in before the due date and I only had 2 left and neither of them were due until the weekend.  HA!  I ended up writing a 3 page paper tonight on a personal experience that was significant in my life.  I wrote that paper about me being overweight and in Korean!  I actually found it fun to write as I even giggled while re reading it!  I titled it "The Call Me Fat!"  Even though I am exhausted and only have 1 more assignment for this week to complete I will probably go ahead and finish it tomorrow as I HAVE to dive into my manual on being the Pre K Director VBS!

However now I must shed some light on my amazing day!  I don't know why it was so amazing, I woke up to the second day of rain which has positives and negatives.  The positive is that it cools off my house and I can save on my electric bill and that it helps move out the yellow dust.  The negative is we can't really go outside to play and well it's rain.  Most of you know that my DIL (daughter in law) is here and so we all sat around and talked for a bit as I got Audrey functioning for the morning.  Minda showed up and I was out the door by 0910 this morning.  I was dragging this morning and starving so I figured B. King and Starbucks was first on my to do list after I called my USO boss to let her know I might be a little late.  (Volunteer work, I am allowed to be late) As I got my Venti Carmel Ribbon Crunch Frap nothing else seemed to matter not even the rain.  Those things just seemed to make the worst days better, but then again who wouldn't love a Venti Caramel Ribbon Crunch with whipped cream, because if your going to be that bad you might as well go all the way!  After getting my drink and running back through the rain and getting in my car it happened.  Something so frustrating that even my Ribbon Crunch couldn't hold my smile.  I turned the key and the car was dead!  I frantically started texting Collin who isn't even in the Country, and my boss to let her know I was really going to be late.  I then closed my eyes and asked God why he had to test my patients this morning.  Just then I looked down and saw that I was between park and reverse.... It is fact that your car won't start when out of gears.  I quickly text everyone back and laughed as I realized I passed my first test of the day with flying colors.  I didn't lose my cool when I thought I would have to walk or pay for a taxi to go to work and miss my B. King.  Maybe I was able to keep my cool because of the Ribbon Crunch ;)  Anyway I got my breakfast and headed into work.

Even with the car incident I couldn't stop smiling now.  I had a spring in my step and I didn't know why but I sure was going with it.  The USO wasn't bad today we talked about upcoming tasks I was taking on due to the boss leaving.  We shared stories about our weekend and laughed at my panic that I had with the car!

I had to leave the USO early because I had a dr. appointment to go to.  It was THE MOST PLEASANT appointment and smoothest appointment ever since I have been in Korea!  They called me back early they were quick about getting everything done and I only waited about 2 minutes for the doctor to come in.  I got all the answers I wanted and more!  I am getting referred out to Korean dr and I didn't think that our insurance would cover it due to so many negative stories but my doctor is 98% sure that they will cover what I need if not more!  The doctor even inquired about my birth story and when I gave her the short version she insisted on hearing the full thing.  We might as well have been sipping coffee by the beach! After the appointment I needed to run my referral to down to the Tricare referral office, but they were already out to their hour and a half lunch so I choose to go to the gym instead!

The gym was awful, in the fact that I just felt like I really struggled today.  I found that I am ready to move up in 2 areas but I really struggled today.  However I didn't give up.  I had the best trainer in the world and I hope to cross paths again before our military career ends and so I have to look amazing the next time I see her.  I was going to call it quits after the weights because I have the stability ball at home and I have been doing a lot of the abs, legs, toning type of stuff at home.  But again I found that spring in my step and went for it.  I felt like I was going to drop by the end of today but I am so proud of myself for going beyond my expectations and not giving up.  After all it would have been easy too with no one watching me.   After the gym I returned to tricare.

Ummmm again another amazing experience.  I walked into the office and the lady greeted me with a smile and said, "Good afternoon!  What can I do for you today ma'am."  I told her I needed to turn in the paper and I was ready to turn around and leave.  I expected the normal of ok I will take it, thank you, have a good day.  But instead I got, "Hold on one moment please."  She walked away and returned.  She wanted to make sure I didn't leave without it getting placed on the proper desk.  I said, "Thank you, you are awesome!"  She literally stopped for probably 5 seconds and just smiled really big at me and said, "Sometimes we really need to hear that, so thank you."  I again was going to walk away when she stopped me and made sure that I not only had her office number but the Korean doctors number so I could call if no one reached me by Monday to set up an appointment.  She gave me a shuttle schedule and said if I had any problems or questions to call her directly and she made sure to write her name on the back of the card, as I was walking away again she told me to have a great day and that I made her day today.  What a wake up call.  We all complain about how awful our health care is here in Korea, or anywhere in general, but we should all take the time to tell someone that we appreciate what they are doing.  One sentence that I said to that lady changed her day!  I changed someones day today and made them smile!  What did you do?

The rest of my day was great with Audrey, I made her a potty sticker board, and since making it we have been able to place our first sticker on it.  It is nothing fancy but she smiled when I she picked out her first sticker!

I have no reason as to why my day was so perfect but it was.... and now I am going to close my eyes and end it on a perfect note!  (Ok so I will clean up my kitchen and living room first).  Good night to all going to bed and good morning to all those who are starting there day!  Smile and tell someone they are awesome today.... It makes a difference!
So I am not miss crafty but she enjoys the concept!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

An exhausting and crazy weekend!

Good morning!  To most of my readers anyway.  I hope you are all doing well!  I am in my favorite spot.... yes you guessed it on my balcony with the windows open listening to the busy traffic of the city below.  Tonight though I have a whole different view.  I am looking the I'Park mall straight on, seeing a much broader view of the city and high rises and on a clear day/evening I can see the 63 building, which glows when the sun goes down.  It's really weird how a shift in view can change the way life feels in general. I knew by looking out the window before that I was living in a city but now I can see the bridge traffic of two bridges, a school playground, a passenger train and so many more high rises that it really feels like the city now.  I feel like I am surrounded in it so much more than I was before moving to this apartment.  It is exciting. 

As most of you know, and if you couldn't tell from the above, the family moved this weekend.  We we were living on the 10th floor but we have moved down to the 9th.  My elevator friend, yes I have an elevator friend, laughed at me when I told her we were moving to the 9th floor.  She couldn't believe we were moving down.  "Most people move up, " She said while shaking her head in disbelief.  And it is true.  If your going to move in a high rise you certainly don't move down, well unless your crazy Americans like us!

The move went relatively smooth except for a few hiccups but what move doesn't have though.  However ours was a little weird.  Friday Collin had a group of guys lined up to come over and help him move and only 1 work related friend showed up and that was Tom!  Being his best friend however counts as a friend and not a work relation so forget I even said that.  There was another soldier who came but Collin knows him as a friend and doesn't work anywhere with him.  The last person who showed was his son Mike!  Anyway a friend on mine headed off to a 31 party that another friend was hosting so the boys started the heavy lifting.  All was going pretty well I guessed because I never got a phone call and a text.  It was when I was sitting on the floor filling out my order form and my daughter becoming very cranky and tired that I heard my friend on the phone with her husband.  When she hung up I heard her say, "Call your husband!"  I looked at my phone and sure enough I missed 2 calls at this point!  I called him back and he began to tell me that Security went up to the apartment and walked him down to the main office.  Apparently because we were moving and using the elevator we needed to pay 100,000Won, after much discussion about how we were only using the elevator for the major things and using the stairs as much as we could because we were only 1 floor down they lowered it to 50,000Won.  Ummm a little strange if you ask me.  I guess people were getting pretty annoyed that we were using up the elevator so much for our move and they had important things to do.  Oh well.  This incident was really the biggest one we had so far all weekend. 
Today was a pretty awesome day as well.  Everyone helped out with Audrey a TON and we got a lot done.  Both bathrooms, Audrey's play room, most of her bedroom (prior to her wanting to go to bed) and most of the office/workout room.  Tomorrow I look forward to finishing both of those rooms, getting my closet and vanity set up along with starting our bedroom.  I say starting because looking at it tonight I have to cringe and hope that we can have it done before Collin goes back to work on Tuesday!  For those of you NOT on Facebook, please enjoy the following!

 The Play room (now has ABC and 123 Mats!

 Guest/Audrey's bathroom

 I might not be able to have my jetted tub but I will take a spa like shower!
 We have a pantry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It makes up for not having a single drawer in the kitchen!
 A huge laundry room for a Korean apartment!
And our DVD's have a new home.... the first time since we started living here like 8 months ago (15 months for Collin).

Tonight is just the kind of night I love after a long day.  Audrey is already in bed, I am in my favorite spot and Collin and Tom are out in the living room playing Football on the PS3.  What a fun weekend!
Happy Memorial Day family and friends and remember this weekend isn't just about the cookouts and long weekends.... its about those who have died fighting for Americans freedom!  Thank you to all who have served and continue to serve.  And thank you to all the Spouses and families who put up with it and love it ;)

Monday, May 19, 2014

America VS South Korea!

Tonight I would like to point out a few of the many differences between the USA and the Republic of Korea!

So with living in South Korea, specifically Seoul, I have learned that things are done differently then back in the states and the people are way different.  The most obvious is the living arrangements.  Back in the states the majority of homes are houses here they are apartments then there are the difference with what is in the home or going on in the home.  I have come to learn that the land of tiny people don't believe in carpeting, you do not walk into a home with your shoes on, and you don't have a washer and a dryer.  In fact you have an all in one!  A friend of mine has this machine that washes your clothes and then dries them.  Pretty fancy right?   WRONG!  This method for 1 load will take you 4-6 hours.  Could you imagine waiting that long to do laundry?  The next time I want to complain about the dryer taking so long I will remember how it could be worse.  We are lucky enough to not have an apartment that came with this contraption and so we needed to borrow one from military housing!  We have a washer and dryer.  Very nice but very little room for both machines. 
Another is transportation.  Many people drive in this city but traffic laws don't really mean anything here, if your not making an illegal U turn, running a red light, blocking an ambulance, riding your motorcycle on the sidewalk (if you are a motorcycle owner), cutting someone off for NO REASON except you want to be a car link or two ahead, or going on the yellow/red light and having to stop in the middle of the intersection and blocking the oncoming traffic than you don't need to be driving in South Korea.  You need to just take public transportation, because if you are a careful driver and believe in letting people get in front of you because they need to get in the other lane, stopping on yellow lights or obey any other traffic law you will probably get in an accident your first week here.  Yes transportation if driving, is a dangerous adventure here.  However, I have learned to love the idea of public transportation, however again if you are nice and don't look out for yourself you will get ran over or left not making it on the subway.  We have waited for an elevator before with the stroller and somehow 2 elevator trips later we still were not on the elevator.  WHY?  Because we were not looking out for us and everyone push their way past the stroller and into the elevator until there was no room left. 

With all this rule breaking and rudeness I have found 2 things lately that surprised me.  So this past weekend we went to a baseball game. There was 4 of us and 1 of us had a last minute ticket and was not sitting in the same row.  So our friend Tommi took that ticket and bounced around in seats until he was moved out of every single one of those seats.  No problem, he was just hanging out as long as possible and figured he would lose out in the end and have to sit in his assigned seat.  Well at one point I came back from the restroom and found him sitting in an empty row of 4 seats.  Instead of asking everyone to move I just sat down beside him.  This was 1 row below my seat so I figured worst case scenario I would  just hop the seat to get back to mine.  In America you see people who stand on a seat and move back to their row to avoid having to ask for the whole row to get up just so the traveling person could get to their seat.  Well wouldn't you know the correct seat owner had shown up (in the 4th or 5th inning) so I hopped on the seat and jumped back to mine.  BIG MISTAKE!  I not only got chewed out in Korean but there was a big scene of this girl needing to get a wipe/towel of some type to wipe her seat off and I am not talking brushing off whatever I left on the seat I am talking cleaning the seat!  WE ARE AT A BASEBALL GAME!  Then there are slits in the back of the seats.  Why they would do this in seats that are in a stadium I don't know but there are these slits and if you place your foot in the slit you will kick the person sitting in that seat.  Well Tom or Collin happened to place their foot in the slit of the mother of the paranoid seat wiper and she along with her husband made sure to turn around with dirty looks and to let (they figured it was Tom) Tom know they didn't appreciate him kicker her. AGAIN WE ARE AT A BASEBALL GAME!  Things happen no one was trying to kick anyone.  It would have been the same as bumping into someone by accident on the sidewalk.  Tom and Collin apologized in Korean, and in America this would have been returned with an it's ok, or a nod/smile of acknowledgement, they however just received the dirty looks. The second big thing I learned was that you do NOT leave ANY trash in your seating area at the end of the game.  You will pick up everything around your seat even if it blew in your area.  No empty cups, nacho trays, wrappers or straws better be laying around your area when you exit.  We had two young girls quickly correct us on the mistake of not having ALL of our trash.  Although it is amazing how much cleaner the sidewalks and streets are from having this kind of obedience. 

Lastly I would like to touch on mourning.  Now for anyone who may read this in the South Korea area I am not being disrespectful in anyway I am simply acknowledging the differences between America and here.  As many of you know there was a ferry disaster here about a month ago.  I am sure many of my American friends and family saw this and had deep sorrow for the families but in all honesty didn't think much more about it.  Just like the mudslides that happened around the same time in Washington.  Deep sorrow I am sure was felt but if you were not related or knew anyone in that accident you did not feel the need to mourn those loses other than feeling sad.  I am sure some of you sent up prayers for the families, some of you sent positive vibes towards those families, some said "prayers for the families" but never really prayed.  I get it, it is how Western society works.  Now, let's look at an American disaster.  Colorado (along with other States) have suffered some major natural disasters with all the fires. Many families mourned the losses of homes and and some the loss of a loved one.  People all around Colorado watched for days to see if their home would be in danger.  To see the destruction the fires were causing.  However it did not stop America, it didn't even stop Colorado from moving forward, many of the families said that they just want to move on to start over and to deal with the pain they way they have to.  Colorado everywhere lowered the flags, we stood together in helping families, supplying the fire fighters with what they needed, but we still celebrated we still moved on.  I am not saying it wasn't a big deal just that America keeps moving on.  Well here in South Korea they stop EVERY form of celebrating.  They shut down the water show that shoots out from the bridge, they take away DJ's at a US military ball, they stop cheerleaders, all music and the mascots at baseball games, in fact I believe I heard that the whole Country will stay in mourning for 2 months after the ferry indecent.  At first I thought it was pretty amazing how the Country as a whole mourned for the loss.  It was tragic and it still effects all of us that lives here.  I still get sick to my stomach every time I hear the news talk about it, but here they believe that if some are suffering everybody should suffer.  It is so much different from America.  It amazing to me the length they go to, to remind people of the suffering.  I mean they shut off a water show that takes place for a half hour at night because it shows signs of happiness and celebration.  I know this can be a very controversial topic that I just spoke of but I must say when it comes to tragedies I am so proud to be an American and the way we deal with them.

These are just a few of many differences living here but they are some of the biggest I have found.  With all that being said, If you ever have a chance to visit here, it is pretty stinking awesome and a great life experience!  With the hubby taking some leave time and the 4 day weekend I am definitely looking forward to our 6 day family vacation even if most of those days are working hard on the move :)  I CANNOT WAIT TO SHOW YOU ALL PICTURES OF OUR NEW APARTMENT!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

So much to tell

So I really wanted to get this post out last week, obviously that did not happen.  However,  now I am back in my zone!  My mothers day gift, for those who haven't seen, was patio furniture.  No I don't have a patio but I have a closed in balcony and I love coming out here to do my work or just to relax.  There is nothing like the window open on a spring/fall early morning or night and hearing the city traffic and the city life either wake up or slow down.  I love it and though I miss the simpleness of living in a town where I can drive anywhere and everywhere I am totally going to miss this when I leave.  I love it and it makes me calm myself on bad days and makes me a happy person! Plus now when I get back to the states I have a patio furniture that seats 2! 

 Daddy's little helper!

So last Friday we had our Culture night dinner!  It was free and fun!  It started out that they had my husband down as PFC Shorey (he is not a Private First Class) and they did not have me on the list.  So that was a little annoying but they got us seated and we ended up sitting with some young enlisted members and so Collin was in  his element.  He felt like he was able to mentor a little bit with every question they asked him.  There wasn't all the toasts associated with the military balls so that was nice!  The entertainment was pretty good too.  We had a performance by a University and they did some traditional Korean routines to traditional Korean music.  During dinner they also had a couple Oprah like singers which were pretty amazing a man and a woman and they traded off every other song.  The food was fantastic, and again free and really who doesn't like free!  It was so good that I ate shrimp!  I don't eat shrimp, anyone who knows me knows I don't eat anything that used to live in the water.  I thought it was orange glaze chicken but it wasn't... I won't be eating shrimp anytime soon but truth be told it wasn't half bad.  They had amazing prizes as well that consisted of, bikes, i pads, and CARS!  Yes they even gave away 2 cars, and no we didn't win.  All in all it was a fantastic night and did I mention it was free!  Korea's know how to do it right!  They are fantastic hosts!

This week has been fun.  We went to the Children's zoo and that is free (can you tell I love free!)  The zoo was not that great but for free it was super!  The elephant and the polar bear both seemed to have something wrong with them (a messed up ear and a crooked nose) but we are thinking there is a reason those they were at the free zoo.  They also have an amusement park there, a small one but I was still excited.  However as walking towards the entrance we found it closed which made me sad, but they had a few playgrounds and it was a fun day.  We had some friends join us and things are always better with friends.
 A toy that she still can't figure out how to walk with

 Watching the seals
A water show

Another thing that Koreans do well is celebrating holidays!  When I came here September of 2013 they were celebrating Chusok, basically Thanksgiving.  Well they got 3 full days off of work.  I am talking restaurants shut down, stores closed down, heck I couldn't even activate my cell phone until Monday!  We got here on a Tuesday night and I got my phone on Wednesday!  Well this past week was Children's Day, Buddha's Birthday, and Parents day and so when most people went home last Friday from work they didn't return until Wednesday or Thursday.  A friend wanted to take me and another friend to a Korean restaurant on Monday, Children's day but they were all shut down!  We ended up with pizza. CHILDREN'S DAY!  THEY GET THE DAY OFF FOR CHILDREN'S DAY! 
However in light of Buddha's birthday we did go to the Lateran festival!   As always it was absolutely amazing and I always find it interesting when I get a peak at another religion or get to learn a bit about it.  I got to get a good peak inside the Buddhist temple and found it fascinating.  So many questions pop in my head, I even saw many participants of the Buddhist faith bring a monk many gifts.  To see these followers bow and become so humble standing in front of this man and give him bags of treasures made me wonder, what could possibly be in those bags?!  I mean really what gift could you possible wrap up to give to someone so mighty that you must bow to him? 

 This guy actually created the Korean language
A temple lantern

 Inside the temple
 The monk carrying out some of his gifts

Let's see what else has taken place..... oh yes!  Many of you know we got our list for new duty stations.  Well it was a horrible list and we are not looking forward to anywhere the military wants to send us next however....... I WILL MAKE THE MOST OUT OF WHEREVER THEY SEND US!  That being said, and yes my parents and immediate family are aware, we very well could be staying in Korea until early 2016.  We have not gotten orders yet and we have not been directly told yet but that is now a very real possibility.  Prior to finding this out I have been wanting a bigger apartment.  I have been wanting a bigger apartment especially now that I have met people and everyone seems to have bigger and better.  Collin got this apartment before we moved here and so many people say they were trying to get into our specific apartments.  Yes we are in an amazing location but we have some things lacking for us.  First off we have have a pretty small 3 bedroom apartment.  Just not enough room for stuff.  I do think that it is because I moved from such a big house.  However, I have been to at least 4 other apartments and all of them are bigger or newer.  My second issue is play area's for Audrey.  It seems like everyone else has a lot more and a lot better playgrounds and inside play rooms in and around their complex.  In fact a buddy of our who just moved here got a 4 bedroom in a gated community and very new and nice.  The down fall is that his location is not as great as ours and his dryer is in his kitchen. I believe that when looking out his living room window I see a splash pad for kids 10 floors down.  Ummmm Audrey needs that!!!!  Needless to say Collin heard about how great his apartment was compared to ours the majority of the time.  Although on the way home to our apartment I admitted that where we live is just fine and the location is great.  I told him that I realize the grass is always greener on the other side and no matter where I lived somewhere else would always have something more.  So for fun Collin asked our realtor if they had anything bigger but in the same area.  In less than 24 hours we were looking at a bigger nicer apartment.  Best part about it, is that it is in the same exact building and one floor below us!  So I get all the wonderful amenities that I already have, close to base, close to the subway, several convenient stores right outside the apartment doors if we ever need something in a hurry, a taxi stand just around the corner, and plenty of coffee shops connect to the building.  Oh yeah and that huge burger I took a picture of that lasted me 2 meals..... just a crossed the street hahaha!  I get to keep all that and get a bigger nicer apartment by the end of May! The only thing that makes me sad is the play area's for Audrey.  That is what friends are for right?  Our buddy who lives in the really nice apartment but not so great location.... I think he will get plenty of company this summer :)
The insanely huge burger!

Well I appreciate you stopping by today!  I must get my butt to bed now as I have church in the morning.  For any of you who are my wonderful Scentsy customers I am sorry for not getting this months items out.  I usually have it out already but this month has been busy!
I hope everyone has a great weekend and a very HAPPY MOTHERS DAY if you are indeed a mom!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Military Balls in Korea

Well hello everyone and happy Monday to most of you.  I thought I would share the on goings on the MI ball that was held last week!

Military balls are a time of beauty, a time for the woman of the military and the female spouses to get pampered.  You go shopping for the prettiest ball gown that fits your style, you find the shoes, the purse and figure out the hair.  Friday before the ball I went and got my nails done and a massage.  The french wrap is lovely and the massage ruined me.  It was my first Korean massage and let me tell you IT HURT!  I didn't realize just how much it hurt until the next morning Collin rubbed my back and I winced of pain and quickly ran to the mirror to make sure I wasn't bruised for the big evening.  Thankfully I was not.  I had never had such a horrible massage and it makes me miss Brenda from the Springs sooooooooooooo much!  She gives the best massages ever and I wish I could pay her a visit and talk about our kids together.  They are only 3 weeks apart.... anyway I digress.  Saturday was a day of fun....  I had my eyebrows and lip waxed, my makeup done and then my feet and hair.  It was tons of fun!  Because they did my feet and hair at the same time I got done about an hour sooner then I wanted too and had about an hour to sit around the house and hope my makeup didn't sweat off and my hair stayed in place. 

Finally 540 came.  Collin, Tom, and I were all ready to roll!  We headed downstairs to catch a cab and we were on our way to the ball.  Now most people love the final stage of the ball, including myself, because that is when all the official stuff is over and the DJ starts the dancing and they usually start off with the famous electric slide within the first few songs to get everyone moving.... Not the case for us that evening, no not a single dance.  Korea is still in a time of mourning and as long as that is happening certain elements of fun are prohibited.  So no DJ for us.  However the night was very nice and probably the most upscale military ball I will EVER attend.  The hotel had an enormous social area, a ball room for pictures and socializing.  There were BMW's on display along with ice sculptures.  The main lobby was filled with fancy stores with beautiful clothes and expensive time pieces.  There were some of the most beautiful dresses I have ever seen worn in person.  We were called into dinner area which was another enormous ball room.  Once seated with stood for the colors and for the official party.  Following was a series of toasts and a prayer.  In America this part is usually long and by the end of the speakers most people are not even paying attention.  However I will never think that again.  In Korea you do everything in English and then in Korean.  So yes this section of the night was twice as long as it usually is back in the states.  Dinner was served after all the important guests of the official party who were scheduled to speak spoke.  I was pretty shocked when I realized the first thing brought out to us was a piece of freshly cut salmon for each place setting.  I was shocked but sad as I wanted a salad NOT FISH!  I don't eat anything that used to swim.  So even though I was thinking fancy fancy I was scrunching up my nose and couldn't wait for them to take it away.  We were then served a very yummy soup.  Not sure what exactly it was but it seemed like it was some sort of potato soup.  Dinner was delicious.  Collin had the chicken and I had the beef tenderloin and it melted in my mouth.  Best ball food I ever had (except for the salmon).  I do not fully know what the dessert was either but it looked so fancy.  You know like one of those $15.00 desserts that is only about 3 bites with a small ball of strawberry ice cream. 
During dinner we had entertainment.  The JROTC kids did some awesome rifle routines and did a great job.  There were 2 sets of dance groups and then the Violets.  They are a group of 3 who play a bass, violin, and a flute to 'pop' music closing with Eye of the Tiger.  It was pretty cool.  I should have recorded it. 
After all was said and done I even went over and saw my trainer and we got to talk for awhile.  I felt very out of place as she was sitting at the head table with her husband, but she seemed very happy that I went to go talk to her.

All in all it was a great evening (even with the salmon and without the DJ).  I love going to the salon and getting all pretty and having Collin all handsome in his uniform.  We clean up pretty well!  This Friday is ball number 2 and although I am still uncertain about the dress I am very excited to get all done up again but on a smaller scale.

Well it is Monday night my time and time to head off to bed.  I have the USO at 9am and the gym at 3!  I hope everyone has a terrific day!