Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We're having a fun Halloween weekend at our house! Friday afternoon the kids put their costumes on and we went trick or treating at Shawn's pharmacy, which is kind of a tradition. His coworkers spoil the kids on Halloween, it's always really fun for everyone. Then that night we went to a really fun Halloween party at the kids taekwondo school. It was for all the taekwondo students and their families and there were a ton of people there! We ate lots of food, the kids played games, there was a costume contest (our boys were finalists in their hanboks, but didn't win) and we all had a great time. It was a really great night, Master Lee and his wife put a lot of work into that fun event.

Saturday morning we attempted to go to Boo At The Zoo, which is a fun event at the zoo, but when we got over there I think every single person in the entire city was packed into the zoo, there was no place to park and it really didn't look like it was going to be that fun with so many people so we changed our minds and headed home to do other fun family things instead.

We were actually going to go to a Halloween party at our church in the evening, but I've got some sort of stomach virus and Clarissa wasn't really in the mood to go out so we voted to stay home instead and have a fun family movie night. We ordered pizza, let the kids eat way too much candy and we watched scary movies (well, kid friendly scary movies!). It was really fun, I'm kind of glad that we decided to do that instead.

Today we've continued the party and we've had a fun watching more movies and spending time together. We let the kids watch Ghostbusters today, which was fun. I absolutely love to watch movies from my childhood with them. We've had a good time.

It's been fun spreading the holiday out for a few days. I'll be kind of bummed tomorrow when the kids go back to school and life goes back to normal. It's been a nice weekend.

With Halloween being on a Sunday there isn't going to be a lot of door to door trick or treating going on this year, so we didn't get very elaborate with the kids costumes. The boys decided to wear their hanboks to the party they had the other night and I dressed Clarissa in the cute ladybug costume she wore last year. It was a little too big for her last year but it looked super cute on her this year! She didn't cooperate for many pictures but here are a few. She was pretty proud of her costume, she didn't want to take it off! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010


I decided to get in a quick blog post while Clarissa is taking a nap. I'm kind of in a funk today and in the mood to write, although I guess I don't have anything specific to write about.

I'm in my annual holiday funk. It's the time of the year when we start figuring out our plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I have my annual meltdown about family issues. My family situation is a little complicated and while I've learned to deal with it most of the year, the beginning of the holiday season always gets me down a bit. I get incredibly homesick for a home and a past that isn't there anymore and it's hard. I miss my dad a lot around the holidays and trying to figure out what we're going to do for Thanksgiving is always a reminder that my family is much different than it used to be. So I mope around about it for a week, have a good cry and then put myself back together and move on until next year when I repeat the same thing all over again, even though I swear to myself that I'm not going to.

So that's where I am today. It's cold and dark outside and I'm feeling a little cold and dark inside. I've been mopey today. I tried to work on a few projects earlier but my heart isn't really in it today. Fortunately I have Clarissa around during the day to snuggle with and make me smile, which always helps. She's been my little buddy today.

The other good thing about today is that a friend brought me a pie as a thank you for letting her borrow my camera and I haven't been able to stay out of it all day. Chocolate pie will make anything feel better. :)

Tomorrow is Josh's school program where he is singing a solo and I'm really looking forward to that. He's really excited about it.

On Thursday I have a new friend coming over who is an adult Korean adoptee! We were introduced by the head of a local Korean organization and we were amused to find out that we've met before. She used to be a dental hygenist at my dentists office! Anyway, we've been e-mailing back and forth about our love of all things Korean and I'm looking forward to getting together with her and her cute kids.

So good things are coming up this week that will pull me out of my funk. I'll have my little pity party and then I'll shake it off, stop looking back and keep moving forward. Better days are ahead. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Well, obviously I didn't make another Korea blog post like I was going to last week. Clarissa's one year mark came and went on Friday and I was determined to get a blog post in and it never happened. My days keep flying by faster than I can keep up with them these days.

Anyway, almost a week late I'm here to say that Clarissa has now offically been home for a year! Yay! :) I'm having a hard time comprehending that it's been a year. It really did go by ridiculously quickly. But it's nice to look back and see how far we've come. Clarissa is doing really amazing. She's healthy and happy and she has us all completely wrapped around her little finger. She's still a terrible sleeper, but we're working on that. She's such a busy kid that she really hates it when she has to take a break to sleep! This week I'm researching melatonin for kids. If you have any experience with it, I'd love to hear it.

This morning as the kids were walking out the door to go to school she said "bye brothers!". She isn't putting very many sentences together yet and that's the first time I've heard her say that! It was really cute, I love it when she surprises us with new words. She is so in love with her brothers and the feeling is mutual. I love to watch them together.

Last Thursday the boys had parent teacher conferences. I'm taking one mom bragging paragraph to say that I was really proud to sit down with their teachers and hear how great they're doing this year. Matthew's teacher is requesting that he get tested for the gifted program, something we went through with Josh a few years ago. Plus Josh tried out for a music program a couple of weeks ago that the fifth grade is putting on and they gave him a solo! He's singing the first verse of "Lean On Me"" at the program in a few weeks. I'm really proud of my boys, they're such great kids.

This weekend we're hoping to get in a trip to the pumpkin patch and I'm really looking forward to that! Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the leaves, the pumpkins, the halloween decorations, the weather...I love all of it. Our subdivision has a fall related name and when the houses were built everyone was required to put trees in their front yard that would produce pretty leaves in the fall. So I love driving down our street in the fall and seeing all the pretty colors on the trees. I'm always kind of bummed when fall is over and all the pretty leaves are gone!

For now it's time to think about dinner and getting our evening routine going. The kids are at a church activity and will be home soon. Time to get off the computer and go be the mom!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Korea revisited

I didn't get around to posting yesterday, but here I am today with another Korea flashback post!

I've actually been sitting here for the past hour reading my blog posts from last October. It brings back fantastic memories, I'm so glad I wrote so much down. It was really fun to go back and read about our first couple of weeks at home with Clarissa and see how far we've come. Life has changed a lot over the past year!

A year ago today we went to church in Korea with Jin-Ha, we visited the border of North and South Korea (called the DMZ) and we visited a dairy farm in the cutest little rural town in Korea. I think that was probably my very favorite day in Korea.

One of my favorite experiences was visiting the DMZ. I never in my life thought that I would be standing at the border of South Korea, staring into North Korea. You hear so much about North Korea in the news and I never thought that I'd actually be looking at it! It might be a boring thing to visit for some people but I'm fascinated by the history of North and South Korea, so to me it was super interesting. You can't see much of it from the border, the area around the border is hilly and wooded, but it was still interesting.

One thing we were extremely lucky to do in Korea was to spend so much time with Clarissa and her foster mother. Most people only meet the foster mother at the adoption agency and only see their baby once at the agency before they go pick them up for good and take them home. We were extremely lucky that Jin-Ha (my friend in Korea, for those of you who weren't here last year) met the foster mother before we went to Korea (in a secret meeting that I wasn't really allowed to talk about at the time!!!) and they became friends, so we got to spend most of our week in Korea with Clarissa, her foster mother and Jin-Ha. We got to visit the foster mothers home and get to know her, and I'm really grateful for that. We've actually kept in touch since we've come home. I e-mail her photos about once a month and we've even Skyped with webcams a couple of times so that she could see Clarissa. I'm grateful for that relationship. It has worked out wonderfully for everyone.

So today I thought I'd share some photos that I never got around to posting last year. I took a bunch of great photos of Korea and then I got so busy with Clarissa when we got home that I never had time to post them and I eventually kind of forgot about it. I will try to get back tomorrow and post some more if I get a chance.

Enjoy! (by the way, that's North Korea behind Clarissa in the first picture.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Our first meeting

A year ago today I met Clarissa for the first time. I will never forget how amazing it was to hold her for the first time! She wasn't super excited about us, but we were instantly in love with her! Meeting her foster parents and seeing how much she was loved was awesome. I am so glad that we decided to travel to Korea instead of having her escorted to the US like I originally thought we'd do. Actually getting to see where she had been living and thank the wonderful people who had loved her so much was wonderful. Even if the trip had been a disaster otherwise, it would have been worth it to go just for that. I'm so grateful to her wonderful foster mother for all that she did for Clarissa.

Here are a few photos of our first meeting. It makes me smile to look at these! The first picture is of me right before they brought her in. There were some SERIOUS butterflies in my stomach!!!

What a wonderful day. I can't wait to show those photos to Clarissa when she's old enough to understand.
I'll be back with more photos tomorrow. For now we're off to taekwondo to watch the boys test for their green belts!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A year ago today

A year ago today we got on an airplane and flew halfway across the world to meet our beautiful Clarissa. A year ago today was the beginning of a wonderful journey and I'll be thinking about it a lot this week and remembering all the amazing experiences we had.

I realize that I never finished telling all the stories of our amazing trip, but I'm planning on revisiting it over the next few days. I have pictures I never shared and new stories to share, so check back.

One memory that stands out to me from the beginning of our adventure is how freakin' SCARED I was when we left the house to go to the airport. I was scared to fly, scared to go to a foreign country, scared to leave my boys, scared to come back with a baby who had no idea who we were...I don't think I've ever been as overwhelmed with emotion in my life. A friend drove us to the airport and I cried all the way there. I remember telling Shawn in the car that I decided I'd changed my mind about this whole adoption thing, lol.

I wish I could go back and talk to myself, knowing what I know now. That trip was probably the moat amazing week of my entire life. If I could rewind time and do it again I would do it in a heartbeat. All the things I thought were going to be so scary ended up not being scary at all.

I'll be back hopefully tomorrow with more memories and stories of our trip. I'm enjoying reading old blog posts and looking at pictures and remembering that amazing week. Stay tuned! :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tutu Cute!

Today I made Clarissa a tutu and it looked so cute on her that we had to do a photo shoot. :) I'm completely giddy about this for two reasons. First of all, I actually MADE something! And it WORKED! I'm not crafty. I have no patience for sewing or anything that resembles sewing. Fortunately I found the instructions for a no-sew tutu so I didn't even have to get out my sewing machine and say naughty words to it for an afternoon before giving up and sending it back to collect dust in the basement where it belongs. :)
Second, for the past year I have been trying like crazy to get cute pictures of Clarissa and I'm almost never sucessful. I've never seen a kid who hates having their picture taken as much as Clarissa! I've gotten some cute ones here and there but most of the time I end up with the back of her head as she runs from the camera.

But today for some reason all the planets aligned, I managed to make something cute, Clarissa was in the mood to have her picture taken and it was cloudy outside, which is the best picture taking weather.

Shawn was home today so we took her to an old train station that has super cute landscaping around it. It's a really popular spot to take pictures in Boise. We let her walk up and down the train tracks and we took a nice walk around the station grounds while I took a million pictures. It was a really fun afternoon and I couldn't wait to get home and start going through the pictures!

I really couldn't be happier with the results. I'm still going through them and playing around with them, but here are a few highlights!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday night

I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging so I wanted to make a blog post before I went to bed tonight but honestly I don't have a whole lot to blog about. Life is pretty uneventful around here lately. I feel like I say that a lot!

The boys are loving school this year. Josh just tried out for a little school play they're doing. He didn't get the part but I was so proud of him for trying. I love his enthusiasm for life. He loves trying new things.

Matthew is doing great in school and making lots of friends. Taekwondo green belt testing is next weekend so this coming week we're going to be spending a lot of time with both boys doing extra practice to make sure they're ready. They have to break a board again, which is always the part they get most nervous about.

Clarissa is growing and getting cuter every day! She's saying more words and generally entertaining us. In two weeks she will officially have been home for a year. I don't know about you, but I think that had to have been the fastest year in history. I have plans to do some more posts about our trip to Korea in the next couple of weeks and revisit some stories and share more photos. I never really got around to sharing all my stories and pictures after Clarissa got home. My life has gotten drastically busier since our sweet Clarissa joined the family!

There's not a whole lot new going on with me these days. I'm actually sitting here tonight feeling kind of melancholy. I don't know why, I feel like I just have a lot on my mind tonight. Thinking about the past, wondering about the future, evaluating my life...I get this way sometimes. It passes. I'm sitting here listening to my melancholy iPod playlist, which is now full of songs from the Glee soundtrack because who doesn't like a little REO Speedwagon and some Broadway ballads when they're feeling melancholy? Ah, Glee. What did I ever do without you?

I really need to go to bed and get some sleep because I think I'm going to try a photoshoot with the kids tomorrow. I'm making some canvas collages for the living room wall and I need one more good updated photo of each kid before I can finish it. Getting Clarissa to sit and pose for a photo is like trying to wrangle a pack of wild monkeys, so we'll see how successful I am! I'll post the results if I'm successful!