Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Woohoo, I did it!

I managed to blog every single day this month! I've tried these little challenges before and I always manage to forget and give up about a week into it, so I'm pretty proud of myself for actually following through this time. :)

Things are going good around here today. It was therapy day and today we decided to start scaling it back to every other week instead of once a week. That's a good thing, because it means that everything is going well enough that I don't need to go once a week, but honestly I'll really miss going weekly! I like therapy. It's been really good for me and I definitely think it has helped. My anxiety isn't totally gone but I'm dealing with it a lot better. Therapy also helped me unload some baggage that I had been carrying around for far too long. It's been freeing. This was the year of working on myself and therapy was an important tool in that process. I'm really going to miss it when I stop going completely.

Other than that there's not much new going on around here. Shawn has the day off tomorrow and I'm looking forward to that. I like it when he's home on a weekday. It doesn't happen very often, but it's always nice. We have errands to run and Christmas stuff to do. I'm excited to get the tree up!

So I guess this wraps up my month of blogging. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit. We'll see if blogging daily has become a habit. Something tells me that it hasn't, but you never know! :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 29

Woohoo, 29 days in a row! I didn't think I'd make it this far! :)

So I don't really have anything specific to blog about today so I went to the blogher site to borrow their writing prompt and I noticed that I've missed a lot of them, so I copied the past week or so and I'll catch up. Here we go.

What is the last thing you do before bed?
Usually take allergy medicine, check my e-mail and plug in my iPad. Heaven forbid it not be charged in the morning since checking my e-mail is also the first thing I do when I wake up!

 Describe an heirloom that has been passed down through generations of your family. What is its significance to you personally? 
 I don't think I have anything that has been passed down through generations. I do have a special heirloom though. When I was growing up my grandma had a china cabinet that had a lot of antique dolls in it. I used to love to look at all the treasures in that cabinet when I was a kid. A few years ago my grandma sold the house they had lived in for 50 years and moved into a condo and she decided to give her dolls to her granddaughters. She picked out a doll for each granddaughter and included a note about where the doll came from. I absolutely adore my grandma and I was so touched to receive that doll. It's something that I keep carefully stored in a box and someday I'll give it to Clarissa.

Do you enjoy being alone? Would you rather be around other people?
I actually do enjoy being alone. I almost enjoy it too much sometimes and I have to force myself to get out and socialize. I'm a homebody. I don't mind being alone or just home with the family.

Write about a piece of music that changed your life forever. What do you feel when you hear it now?
That's a hard one. There are a lot of songs that have affected me in one way or another. There are several hymns that have special meaning to me. Pachebel's Canon in D was the song that first made me love classical music. We studied in in a humanities class and it was the first classical piece that I truly loved. I listen to it sometimes when my anxiety is bothering me because it's really soothing. Even some country songs evoke a strong memory. Anything sung by Vince Gill reminds me of an old boyfriend. The song Amazed by Lonestar was playing when we picked Josh up from the nursery at the hospital to take him home and when we hear that song Shawn and I always say "awww...remember when we took Josh home from the hospital and this song was playing?". Every time. It's obnoxious. :) I could go on. The soundtrack to my life is extremely long. It;s so long that it could be one of those compilations with it's own late night infomercial, only I'd be the only one who would buy it and I'd listen to it and say "awww...." when every song started. :)

 What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you, and why?
I'm not a super lucky person! I've never won anything in my entire life. My mother, on the other hand, is always winning something. She was born with the luck gene and didn't pass it on, I guess! If you want the honest I-know-this-is-cheesy-but-I'm-going-to-say-it-anyway truth, Shawn and the kids are the luckiest thing that have ever happened to me. And now that I think of it, that makes me pretty darn lucky.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Back to Life

Well, the vacation fun is over and it's time to get back to real life! I had a really fun trip to my hometown. I needed a few days away REALLY bad! It helped, my brain feels clear again and I'm ready to get back to work around here.

So today I've been taking advantage of Cyber Monday and getting most of my Christmas shopping done. I'm a big internet shopper. I prefer to shop that way, especially for Christmas presents because I can do it without the kids and everything just shows up at my house in discreet brown boxes that are easy to hide. I've got probably 80% of my shopping done now. I got the big things done today that I knew were going to take some searching around, so that's good.

I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. I'm anxious to get the Christmas tree up and get into a Christmasy mood. We have some fun parties and things coming up that I'm looking forward to. Next week Shawn's company party is at one of our favorite restaurants, so we're really looking forward to that!

One of the other things I've been working on is planning the summer vacation that I'm so excited about. Over the Thanksgiving holiday our trip to Canada turned into a trip to the Oregon coast. I was telling my mom all about our plans to go to Canada and Shawn and I kept bringing up the trip we took to the Oregon Coast with the boys when they were little and we kept saying how much fun it was and my mom said "well then why don't you just go back there?". Shawn and I looked at each other and you know what, that's where we really want to go. I wanted to do Canada because we've never been there before, but it's a lot farther drive that Oregon and with Clarissa being so young still I'm not sure how much fun a super long car trip would actually be. I still want to take the trip to Northern Idaho and Canada but I think we're going to do it in a few years when a super long car trip would be easier.

The Oregon coast is still a long drive but we can stop in Portland for the night and go to the zoo and do all the other things we love to do along the way. I absolutely love going to the Oregon coast. That's where we spent our honeymoon and some of the best vacations I've ever had in my life have been there. It's peaceful and beautiful and everything I love about going on vacation.

The Oregon coast is stunningly beautiful. It's ocean on one side and forest on the other. Renting a beach house is really fun there because you feel like you're in the woods but you can go right outside and play in the ocean. I love it there because it's never super crowded so it's quiet and peaceful but there are still a lot of fun things to do. The more we talked about it this weekend the more we realized that it was the perfect location for our summer vacation.

So I've had a great time searching for beach houses to rent. There are a million different options all up and down the coast so I'm still not sure exactly where we'll end up, but I'm having fun looking. Part of the fun of a vacation for me is planning it. I'll spend all winter planning it before I decide on anything.

So between Christmas shopping and summer vacation planning, I'm busy and happy and life is pretty good at the moment. Yay! :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fun in the car (aka I'm bored)

On The Road Again

Well, the fun is over and it's time to head home. I'm writing this from the freeway. I love going out of town but I alway hate the drive home. Only 280 more miles to go!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


We just got back from seeing the new Muppet movie with my brothers family. I've been waiting for months for that movie to come out and it was just as awesome as I hoped it would be! I love the Muppets. I've seen the old Muppet movies a million times and I never get tired of them. The new movie is super cute with lots of fun music. I can't wait to see it again!

We're having a great time at my moms house. I'm going to be sad to leave tomorrow. The kids have loved playing with their cousins and I've enjoyed spending time with family.

For now I'm off to eat some turkey noodle soup! Yum! :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Checking in!

We're having a fun trip! We had a great Thanksgiving yesterday and today we're doing some shopping and visiting family. For now I'm off to run errands with my mom! I love being back in my hometown with my family. No matter how long I've been gone this town still feels like home.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

On the road!

It's 8am and we're on the road. Only four more hours till we're at Grandmas house! :) Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's almost Thanksgiving!

We're leaving tomorrow morning to go to my hometown for Thanksgiving. This afternoon I've got therapy and lots of packing to do before we go.

I'm not sure how I'm going to keep up with my daily blog posts while I'm gone, but I'm going to try my hardest. I may be making short posts from my iPhone. I've been doing so good on my blogging every day for a month goal, so I'm hoping to keep it up through the end of the month!

I'm really looking forward to getting out of the house for a few days. I've been counting down the days all week! It will be nice to see my family, do a little Christmas shopping with my mom and let the kids run around with their cousins. We haven't been there since July, so it will be good to spend some time with family.

The other thing that I've really been looking forward recently is the new Muppet movie! I'm ridiculously excited about that movie. Next weekend I think we're going to get a babysitter for Clarissa and take the boys. I'm a huge fan of the old Muppet movies. I watched them over and over growing up and I can't wait to see this one!

I don't really have anything else to discuss today so I guess It's time to close the laptop and start packing. I hope all my blog readers have an awesome Thanksgiving! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Remember the other day when I said that I needed something to pull me out of my rut and that I really needed a vacation and that I needed some adventure in my life?

I've been thinking about it for the past several days and I think I've determined that vacations are definitely what is going to pull me out of my funk and I've started planning some fun adventures!

Before Clarissa came home we used to go on vacations a lot. They weren't always big vacations but every few months we would get out of the house for a few days and do something. I LOVE vacations. I love being a tourist, I love road trips, I love sleeping in a different bed, I love seeing new things, I love all the planning that goes into a vacation...I love it all.

Then Clarissa came home and we had a million reasons why it was never the right time to take a vacation. Frankly, the adoption was a huge drain on our finances, so for a while we couldn't afford vacations like we used to, and then Clarissa hit that toddler stage where it was hard to take her anywhere and a vacation just didn't sound like that much fun. Then I've had a string of health issues this year, we've had other stuff going on and suddenly we realized that it has been ages since we just packed up and left town for a few days. I need that in my life. It recharges my batteries and gives me something fun to look forward to. Vacations are exciting and they make me happy.

So next year we're taking vacations. Big ones, small ones, I don't care, but the Whites are leaving town. We've been talking more and more about going to Canada next summer and I think we're going to do it. We live in Southern Idaho and Canada boarders Idaho on the Northern tip, which is around an 8ish hour drive from here. We've never been to Northern Idaho or Canada but everyone says that it's beautiful. I think we're going to go for a week, maybe in July, I haven't decided when yet, and we'll spend a few days in Northern Idaho and a few days in Canada. I'm still at the beginning planning stages but I'm really excited about it!

I'm also planning a couple of short trips earlier in the year to our favorite little town in the mountains. We used to rent cabins in the mountains all the time and we haven't done it in ages. I just got an e-mail from the cabin rental company we use and they have a bunch of good specials through the winter, so it's not really that expensive to get away for a few days. I think we're going to try to rent a cabin for a long weekend at the end of January and again for spring break at the end of March. I love renting cabins up there. It's only an hour away but it's in the middle of nowhere and there's really not a single thing to do up there but hang out and play games, watch movies, enjoy the beautiful scenery and have fun family time. Every time we go we have a blast. It's something that I've really missed these past few years.

So there are my big vacation plans. I've declared next year our year of adventures and I'm determined to make it happen!

Monday, November 21, 2011

50 Things I'm Thankful For

  1. Shawn
  2. Josh
  3. Matthew
  4. Clarissa
  5. Friends
  6. My Church
  7. Freedom
  8. Shawn's job
  9. Adoption
  10. My blog readers
  11. My cat
  12. Therapy
  13. Prayer
  14. My house
  15. Music
  16. Photography
  17. Laughter
  18. The birds in my tree
  19. Yoga
  20. Animals
  21. Warm blankets
  22. Rain
  23. Electricity
  24. The internet
  25. Old friends who keep in touch
  26. Books
  27. Food
  28. Cell phones
  29. Hope
  30. Date nights
  31. Sunshine
  32. Doctors
  33. Clarissa's birth mother
  34. Flowers
  35. The fact that Shawn and Clarissa are downstairs right now singing the Muppet theme song at the top of their lungs and it's making me smile.
  36. Ice cream
  37. Good neighbors
  38. Love
  39. My Ipad
  40. Shoes
  41. Christmas
  42. fuzzy socks
  43. green grass
  44. popcorn
  45. Korean dramas
  46. Crayons
  47. Family vacations
  48. Toddler hugs
  49. Lemon flavored lip balm
  50. A million other things I don't have room to list. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

I'm too tired to blog tonight, so instead you get a Youtube video of otters holding hands.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 19

I don't have anything exciting to talk about today so I'm going back to using a blogher writing prompt, which is "describe the happiest moment of your life".

That's a tough one because I honestly don't think I have one happiest moment. There are several events that pop into my head, like my wedding day, the birth of my children, our trip to Korea to get Clarissa, etc. It would be hard for me to say that one of those events was more happy than the others because they were all pretty amazing events in my life.

In general, my happiest moments are those spent with my family. Every now and then we'll be doing something together, like a family vacation or a holiday or even a fun movie night and I'll think to myself "this is a PERFECT moment". One of those moments that you just stop and take a mental picture of so that you will remember it forever.

A few years before we adopted Clarissa we went to Disney World with the boys. That was an absolutely perfect week. I remember stopping several times and looking around at my kids having so much fun and thinking that that was the most perfect week of my life. We still talk about that trip. I remember sitting on top of a mountain in Korea at night listening to a Korean music festival thinking that that was another one of life's perfect moments. I've been blessed with many happy moments in my life. To choose one as the happiest would be impossible.

I'm grateful for those happy moments because the memory of them gets me through moments that aren't so happy. This year has been incredibly difficult for me for some reason. I honestly don't even know why exactly, nothing specific has changed in my life, I've just been struggling for the past several months. In fact, I was just reading back on my blog earlier today and it really struck me how much happier and more fun my posts used to be. I can tell that things have changed a bit this year. Sometimes I just get stuck in my head and it takes a new hobby or a vacation or some sort of change to pull me out of it. I just haven't managed to find the right thing to pull me out of it this time. I will though, I'm not worried.

Shawn and I went out for ice cream this evening and we were talking about taking a big family vacation next summer. We haven't taken a vacation for a while because vacationing with a toddler isn't really our favorite thing to do, especially one who is a terrible sleeper and doesn't sleep well away from home, but I think by next summer Clarissa will be old enough for vacations to be enjoyable again. We're thinking of driving up to Northern Idaho and into Canada. We really don't live that far away from Canada but neither of us have ever been. I think having a vacation to look forward to might be the thing to help pull me out of my rut. We need some time away. I told Shawn that I want next year to be our year of adventures. Before Clarissa came home we used to take a lot of day trips and do lots of fun things and we've quit doing that. This year has been my year of self reflection. Next year I'm shaking it off and going on vacation. I've got a lot more perfect moments to make. :) 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 18

I just got back from a date night with Shawn. We realized recently that we don't get out of the house without the kids nearly enough, and by not nearly enough I mean almost never! For a long time after we brought Clarissa home from Korea we didn't want to leave her with anyone while we were still working on the attachment process and after a while we just got so used to never going out alone that we just quit having date nights altogether. We're trying to change that though. We have the sweetest girl down the street who babysits for us. The kids love her and she does a great job with them.

Tonight we went out for Mexican food, walked around the mall for a while and then went out for desert. It was nice to get out for a bit. I feel like I've been cooped up inve house too much lately now that it's getting cold outside. It actually snowed for a few minutes here today! The kids were hoping for lots of snow but I'm hoping it waits a bit longer because we're going out of town for Thanksgiving and I don't like to travel in bad weather.

That's pretty much all at is going on around here today. I'm trying really hard to stick to my goal of making a blog
post every day this month but I'm struggling to come up with things to blog about. Remember when we were in the adoption process and there was always something exciting going on to blog about?! Maybe we need to adopt again so I have something to write about, lol. As fun as that sounds, I don't think it's going to happen. It's funny, whenever anyone asks me about the adoption process I look back on it so fondly and say how much fun it was, but then I occasionally read back on my blog posts and remember how much I complained about how hard it was! The wait was awful! I always forget about that part because the outcome has been so amazing and so worth it. We're pretty sure our family is complete and we're not likely to adopt again, but I admit there is a little part of me that wishes we could do it again.

Ok, well, I've run out of things to talk about so I'm off to put on my pj's and snuggle up with Shawn!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

So that's where I got my love of books!

Today you get another old photo. This one is REALLY old! It's my dad in 1955. I love this picture. I wonder what he was reading.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blast from the past

I don't have much time for a blog post tonight, so instead you get a random picture from my childhood.

That was my family (minus my sister who must have been taking the picture) on Thanksgiving. I'm taking a guess on the year but it was probably around 1990.

This picture makes me smile and brings back great memories. It seemed fitting to share because next week is Thanksgiving and this Friday would have been my dad's 64th birthday. I miss him. I'm grateful for these old photos so I can still see his face every now and then.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 15

I'm completely out of blog topic ideas today. I checked the blogher writing prompt and started a blog post about it (the topic was to describe your favorite place) but it was boring and I wasn't inspired. The Oregon Coast is my favorite place, by the way.

So I'll tell two quick stories and be on my way.

The first story is that I made sugar cookies yesterday. Josh came home from school yesterday with a certificate that said he made the honor roll for first quarter. I was super excited about that and decided to make sugar cookies as a special treat to celebrate.

I really don't love to bake. I do make things occasionally but it's not my favorite thing to do. When I make cookies they're usually really simple ones. Sugar cookies are kind of a big pain to make and I always forget that until I'm halfway through making them and start asking myself what I was thinking. I found a cool snowflake cookie cutter that I thought would be fun. I envisioned frosting them with light blue frosting and sprinkling silver glittery sprinkles on them. They were beautiful in my head! :)

Three hours after I got the brilliant idea and starting pulling out ingredients, my kitchen looked like a tornado hit it, there was flour everywhere, I had frosting in my hair, there were cookie sheets all over the place and I was questioning my sanity, lol. I'm a messy cook on a good day and sugar cookies are just messy to make. The snowflake cookie cutter ended up being the wrong choice. They didn't look much like snowflakes in the end and they were really hard to frost with all the little pointy spikes. They weren't nearly as pretty in reality as they were in my head. They do taste great though and since I wasn't planning on entering them in a pretty cookie contest, I'd say they were a success. I just won't be making them again any time soon. :)

My second story is that this morning I was getting ready to take Matthew to school and my vision started to get weird. There was a bright, blurry spot in the center, almost like someone had shot a flashbulb in my eyes. I drove Matthew to school and got halfway home and it started to get worse. I started losing my peripheral vision. It was bright and sparkly and I couldn't see well at all. I was driving at the time, which was really scary. I didn't know what was going on and I was kind of freaking out.

I was close to home and managed to see well enough to get home and I immediately ran in the house and called Shawn and explained what was happening. By the time I got him on the phone my vision was clearing and it wasn't as bad. Shawn listened to me describe what had happened and then said, "so did you get the headache yet?" Shawn suffers from occasional migraines and what I described is exactly what happens to him right before he gets a migraine. He told me to go take some pain medicine right away and lay down. I did end up getting a headache, although not a terrible one, thanks to the medicine. My vision is fine now and I feel fine, it was just super scary for a few minutes. That has never happened to me before. I later looked up migraine auras online and what they described is exactly what happened. It's good to know if it ever happens again. It was scary for a few minutes.

So there are my two stories for the day. Let's hope I have something more interesting to talk about tomorrow!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 14

Woohoo, I've blogged every day for two weeks straight! Yay me! :)

There's not a whole lot going on here these days. I've taken up yoga for my anxiety, which is super hilarious because I'm so bad at it. I bought a set of videos and there are some really great routines on there for stress relief that mostly just involve laying on the yoga mat and breathing deeply. I'm really good at laying there and breathing! :) But I've been trying to branch out and do some of the more strenuous routines (they're videos for beginners, so strenuous is relative. They're supposed to be really simple routines) and I've discovered that there is pretty much no one in the world less flexible than me! It's embarassing how bad I am at it. I start off super excited and determined to follow along and five minutes into it I'm sitting on my yoga mat giving the yoga video lady the finger while she turns herself into a human pretzel. It's super awesome, I'm sad that you all can't witness the hillarity that is me doing yoga.

In other news, this morning Clarissa brought me a book and asked me to read it to her. It was a big book about the solar system that we bought for one of the boys a few years ago. It's not exactly a picture book that you read to a two year old. I really didn't want to read a reference book about the solar system to her so I told her to go find me another book to read. Instead of finding another book to read she sad down next to me, opened up the solar system book and started pointing to planets and correctly naming them! Apparently Shawn has been reading it to her and teaching her the planets. I had no idea she could name the planets! Silly me for thinking that a reference book on the solar system was to much to read a two year old, lol.

Last night we went over to a friends house for ice cream. These were the friends we went on our yearly cabin trip with earlier this year. They compiled all the pictures and video that everyone took on the cabin trip and made a super cute video out of it that we watched last night. It was fun to relieve that trip and remember how much fun we had. I love those friends. They're like family to me.

And speaking of family, we're going to my moms house for Thanksgiving this year, which should be fun. I've been going a bit stir crazy around here lately and I'm desperate to get out of town for a few days. I'm looking forward to taking a break from life and spending a few days with family.

Well, it sounds like Clarissa is up from her nap so I'm off to entertain her and think about dinner! More blogging tomorrow! :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More pictures!

I'm finally getting around to sharing some Halloween pictures! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Flowergirl

Last month Clarissa got to be the flower girl in a friends wedding. I had the flu that day and felt so crappy I forgot my camera so I have no pictures of the event, which has been driving me me crazy, but I just got my hands on this one. It's not great, but Clarissa really looked so cute that night and she had so much fun being the flower girl! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Pepero Day!

Today is Pepero Day in Korea. Pepero is a popular Korean snack, sort of similar to a pretzel stick dipped in chocolate, but it's more cookie that pretzel. It's long and skinny like a pretzel. They're pretty yummy!

Anyway, a Pepero stick is shaped like the number one, so Korea celebrates Pepero Day on 11/11 every year. On Pepero Day you exchange Pepero with your friends and family.

It's a silly little holiday, but I'm kind of a sucker for things like Valentine's Day, where you give candy and gifts to the people you love, so Pepero Day is right up my alley, lol. We like to celebrate Korean holidays and traditions whenever we can. For one thing it's just fun to have more holidays to celebrate and as Clarissa gets older I want to make sure that she has every opportunity to learn about her birth culture as much as she wants to.

So yesterday we went to the Korean market and loaded up on Pepero and this morning we took them around to our friends. We had preschool this morning so we took enough for all the kids in the class and I explained the holiday to them and we ate Pepero at snack time and then we went to a few friends houses and shared Pepero with them. I also made Shawn take some to work with him to hand out to his employees. I'm not sure he wanted to explain to 30 employees what Pepero Day is, but he's a good sport. :)

After preschool I wanted to take a picture of Clarissa with her Pepero to post on my blog, but I sat her down, got one half decent picture, realized my camera settings were wrong and she went off to play before I could give it another shot. So here is Clarissa's Happy Pepero Day picture. It's not great quality, but with a face that cute it's still worth sharing. :)

Happy Pepero Day everyone! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10

I don't have much to blog about but I wanted to share a funny story from today.

Remember the Korean exchange student named Michael that we hosted for a month earlier this year? When he went back to Korea Clarissa kept asking where he went and we had to keep reminding her that he went back to Korea.

We talk about Korea a lot in our house and Clarissa is used to hearing about it but obviously doesn't really grasp what Korea actually is. It's interesting though, that she can often point out something that is Korean. If she sees a picture of an Asian person she will point to them and say "Korea!". Sometimes when she sees something distinctly Asian/Korean looking, like some of the Korean nicknacks we have or whatever, she'll identify it as Korea. But I'm sure that she has no idea what Korea actually is. She's just too young to understand it.

Today I needed to run to the Korean market to buy some Korean snacks called Pepero because tomorrow is Pepero day in Korea (I'll make a post about that tomorrow). I asked her if she wanted to go to the Korean store and she got all excited and said "I love Korea!". Somehow I think she thought we were finally going to that mysterious, much talked about place called Korea, lol. We got in the car and as I was strapping her in we were talking about Korea and she said "Anyoung!", which is Korean for "Hi". We have taught her that in the past but I had absolutely no idea that she remembered it or that she associated it with Korea. I asked her again what people say in Korea and she said "anyoung!". It blew me away! Smart girl!

So then we got to the Korean market and we did our shopping. I love going to the Korean market. I like to walk around and look at all the cool stuff. We paid for our Pepero and as we were walking out of the store, Clarissa looked back, all confused and said "where's Michael?". We've been telling her all this time that Michael was in Korea and she thought that the Korean market was Korea, so I guess she was expecting to see Michael there! It made us all laugh. But now I'm afraid one of these days I'm going to explain to her that she came from Korea and she's going to think we bought her at the Korean market, lol.

Check back tomorrow to hear all about Pepero Day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 9

Look at me, following through for 9 days! Way to go, Wendy. :)

Today was therapy day. I love therapy. It clears my head and for someone who always has a million things going on in her head, that says a lot.

So the blogher writing prompt for the day is this: When was the first time that you realized that your home was not like other peoples home?

Hmmm....I'm pondering the question and I'm not sure I understand it. Everyone's home is different, right? I think I realized that the first time I went to someone's house that wasn't mine, lol.

Ok, so I don't like the question very much, but I guess I can do a general blog post about home.

I grew up in the same house from the time I was four until I got married. My wedding reception was in the backyard. I loved that house. I loved the neighborhood, I loved the neighbors, I loved growing up there. It was a great neighborhood with tons of kids, where everyone knew each other. We played in the street and wandered in and out of each others houses during the summer when I was a kid.

Three months after I got married my mom got remarried and sold the house. It happened really suddenly and I was devastated when she sold that house. I had gone through a lot of change and upheaval and loss over the past couple of years with my dad dying and some other things in my life and it was just one more loss that took me a while to process. I struggle with change and after a lifetime of everything being the same, the years between 20 and 22 were just one big change after another. Some good changes, some terrible changes, but just a lot of change.

So it's no big surprise that in my adult life I have not been someone that likes to move or make major changes, especially to our living situation. Shawn and I have been married for 14 years and we've moved four times, and quite possibly will not move again until our children are grown and married. We lived in two different apartments while he was going to school and then we built a cute little starter home after he graduated that we lived in for three years and then we bought this home, which we intend to be our "forever" home. My goal was to find a house that we could comfortably raise our family in before our oldest child started Kindergarten and we managed to do that. We moved here when Josh was four and Matthew was one.

We bought our current house from my aunt and uncle. We originally moved to this city so that Shawn could complete a year of internships for college and when we came here for a weekend to look for apartments my aunt and uncle offered to let us stay at their house (this house) while we looked for a place to live. I had never been here until then.

The first time we walked into this house I gasped. We were broke college students at the time but this was my dream house. I don't know what it was specifically but it was weird, it just felt like my house. I remember laying in bed with Shawn in the guest room in the basement that night and telling him that this was the house I wanted to live in someday. And then we laughed because we were broke college students who couldn't afford penny candy, let alone a house.

When Shawn graduated we ended up building a house about a mile from this house and we used to come over here and visit my aunt and uncle all the time. We had Thanksgiving dinner here, we celebrated the fourth of July here...I loved coming to visit my aunt and uncle and I still loved their house. Shawn and I still whispered to each other that if they ever moved we were going to buy their house.

And then one day my aunt called and told me that they were moving. And suddenly so were we! Thirty days later we had sold our house and moved a mile down the road to this house.

I love that we have a history with this house. I have pictures of Josh as a baby in this house, when it still belonged to my aunt and uncle. Every now and then Shawn and I sleep in the basement spare room and giggle about the night we slept there and declared that this was the house we wanted to buy someday and how it felt like such an impossible dream.

So this is it, this is home. This is the house my kids will be talking about when they're all grown up. This is where they'll make their memories.

Home means stability to me. It's a soft place to land where the people around you support you and care about you and love you, warts and all. Our home is happy. We laugh and celebrate here. Friends are welcome here. There is lots of love here.

So there is my story about home. I'm nine days into my month of blogging. Let's see how long I can keep it up, lol!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 8

Writing in my blog every day is hard when nothing interesting is going on around here! I'm really trying hard to stick to my goal of blogging every day but today I'm kind of searching for something to write about. It was a pretty low key day around here.

So I've gone back to the blogher site and I guess I'll use their writing prompt for the day, which is this:

Has anything traumatic ever happened to you? Describe the scenes surrounding a particular event.

When I think about traumatic moments in my life three events popped into my head. My dad's death, a difficult breakup and Matthew's birth. They were all traumatic for different reasons but when I think of life changing, difficult moments in my life, those three things probably top the list.

My dad died of cancer a few weeks before my 21st birthday. He was first diagnosed with gallbladder cancer the year before. I was living across the country from my family at the time, as a live in nanny in New Jersey when my mom called to tell me that they discovered cancer on my dads gallbladder during routine gallbladder surgery. Being so far away from home was difficult. I couldn't be there for my mom and I didn't feel like I had a lot of details about exactly what was happening.

I was only supposed to be in New Jersey for a year and my year was almost up when the cancer was discovered, so I finished out my last few weeks or so in New Jersey and was able to join my family again fairly quickly.

The cancer my dad had had spread and was not treatable. They removed what they could but they knew it would come back. We were lucky to have another good year with him where he was healthy and happy before the cancer reappeared and he passed away.

Losing a parent is really hard no matter how old you are. My family changed a lot after he died and I've struggled with the trauma of all of those changes for years. Therapy has helped. Talking through some of that old trauma has been really helpful to me.

Around the same time my dad died I was dealing with trauma #2-the end of a relationship that was really significant to me. It's a long story that I'm not going to go into, but the end of that relationship affected me deeply and it changed me in a lot of ways. I was young and naive and I guess you can say that I put all my eggs in that relationships basket. When someone you love decides they don't love you back...well, it's traumatic. It took me a while to heal from that.The fact that it happened at the same time my dad was dying didn't help. Life in general was traumatic for a while. Thankfully that's when Shawn showed up. All my lifes traumas are a little more tolerable when he's around. :)

Trauma #3 was Matthew's birth. I think I've shared that story here before so I won't share the long version. The short version is that the cord prolapsed during labor and I was rushed into emergency surgery and that was honestly the scariest moment of my life. It was a horrifying experience that obviously ended happily, but it does rank as the #1 scariest moment of my life. The short version of that story doesn't sound so bad. The long version is kind of awful. I'm grateful for a quick thinking doctor and a bit of divine intervention that saved that situation from being a lot more traumatic than it was.

I've had other traumas and challenges in my life, as we all have, but there are the three that came to mind when I thought about the blog topic tonight. Something I've learned as I've examined my life in my quest for a better me this year is that all experiences have value, even the crappy ones. I learned important life lessons from the traumas in my life, the big ones and the small ones. What I've learned from the self reflection this year is that you can either let your challenges get you down and make you weak or you can learn from them and let them make you stronger. These days I'm aiming for stronger.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Last month when I was sick and didn't feel well enough to do anything but lay on the couch I watched a lot of Netflix and I got hooked on the show Felicity. I've been working my way through all 84 episodes for the past few weeks.

The show is all about college life and I sometimes watch it right before I go to bed so I've been having dreams about college lately. Last night I had a dream that I decided to go back to college but I couldn't decide what to major in, so I kept researching different careers to decide what I wanted to do.

I decided that I wanted to be a school librarian so I was going to schools to talk to their librarians about what degree you need to be a librarian. Then Shawn decided that he was going to go back to school too. Shawn has a doctorate degree in Pharmacy and a career he loves so has no reason to go back to school, so I was trying to tell him that he didn't need more college but he said that he needed to take three more classes to get his black belt in pharmacy, lol. Who can argue with that, right?!

Then we found out that it was going to cost us $27,000 a year to go back to school, but I told Shawn that was fine because I'd be able to pay that back in no time with my new career as a school librarian. First of all, I'm not sure what college I was planning to go to that cost $27,000 a year, but I'm pretty sure you don't have to go to Harvard to be a school librarian. Second, apparently my dream self was horribly misinformed about how much money school librarians make, lol. Maybe Shawn could help pay it back once he became a black belt in pharmacy because I'm sure pharmacy black belts make a fortune!. :)

In real life I never graduated from college, something that has always bugged me. I had big plans but life got in the way. I went for a year and decided that the major I chose was not what I wanted to do and my life was kind of in turmoil at the time so I took a year off to sort things out and while I was trying to regroup and figure out what to do next I met Shawn. When we got married he still had four years of a very difficult doctorate program to get through and I needed to work to pay the bills while he was in school. By the time he was done with school we had Josh and eleven years later I still wish that I had managed to somehow fit college in there.

So once Clarissa starts school and I don't have little kids at home anymore I'm planning to eventually go back to school. I'm still not quite sure what I want to be when I grow up though, so like my dream I'm still trying to figure out what I would go to school for. When I was in high school my plan was to get a degree in psychology. Then when I actually got to college I changed my mind at the last minute and majored in social work. I took a bunch of social work classes and hated them. I knew it wasn't for me. I may decide to do what I wanted to do in the first place and get a degree in psychology. Or who knows, maybe I'll do like my dream and become a school librarian, lol. I do like books! Josh told me recently that I should be a zookeeper because I like the zoo so much. Honestly, I don't know if I really even care about having a career. I love being a full time mom and I'm not in a hurry to go back to work or anything. I just like learning and it would complete a goal I set for myself a long time ago to get a college degree.

So there is my dream. The real life dream I had last night and the dream I have of finally earning a college degree. It's good to have dreams! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I love Sundays. It's a day filled with family and church. We don't go anywhere besides church on Sundays, the rest of the day is family time and I enjoy the one day of the week when we're not running to a million different places and we can just have a nice family day.

Although today wasn't as relaxing as most Sundays because I had to teach a class of teenage girls at church. I'm the secretary in our church's young women organization. As the secretary I don't usually have to teach Sunday lessons, which works great for me because I absolutely hate standing up in front of people. I have social anxiety when it comes to things like that. But today was the one day a year where the secretary gets to teach the lesson. 

I've worked on the lesson all week and I thought I would have to fill about 20-25 minutes. Because I don't like standing up in front of groups of people I've been stressing over this lesson for the past several days. I thought I was ready and I had a good 25 minutes worth of lesson planned.

Then I got to the class, the opening portion went way faster than it usually does and when it was time for me to teach I looked at the clock and realized that I had 45 minutes to fill. I'm really not a great teacher. I'm not used to doing it, I'm not great at winging it and having to fill 45 minutes with 25 minutes worth of information felt like one of those bad dreams when you realize that you have to take a test that you forgot to study for. Plus when I get nervous I talk really fast and I can trim a 25 minute lesson into about 15 if I don't remind myself to slow down!

For some people standing in front of 30 teenage girls and teaching a class isn't that big of a deal. To me it's just super intimidating for some reason. Put me in front of a group of little kids and I can teach all day but teenage girls scare me, lol.

In the end it went fine. I felt like I kept repeating myself, but I somehow managed to stretch a 25 minute lesson into 45 minutes and the good news is that it will be a long time before it will be my turn to teach the lesson again. Whew. I came home, put on my jammies and now I'm going to eat Halloween candy and watch The Amazing Race with my family. The perfect end to my Sunday. :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5

I don't really have anything exciting to blog about today, so here's a picture of our family that my mom took in September. Maybe I'll think of something more exciting to blog about tomorrow.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I didn't like the NaBloPoMo writing prompt for today, so I'm just going with whatever is in my head. that I'm sitting here I'm realizing that there's not a whole lot of anything in my head right now. Darn.

Here's a cute story from this morning. Clarissa and I had preschool this morning and there is a cute little boy named Alex in the class. We were sitting there eating our snack when suddenly he stood up and took his shirt off. His mom asked him why he took his shirt off and he said "I'm hot!". Clarissa thought that someone taking their shirt off in the middle of preschool was the funniest thing that has ever happened in her life. She burst out laughing and hasn't stopped talking about it all day. All afternoon she'll be playing with toys or whatever and all of a sudden she'll start giggling and say "Alex took his shirt off!"  It's funny what amuses a two year old. :)

Speaking of Clarissa, I feel bad that I didn't blog on October 15th, which was the two year anniversary of her joining our family!! TWO YEARS, can you believe it?! Clarissa celebrated the day by being the flower girl in a friends wedding. If you've been reading my blog for a long time maybe you remember me talking about our Korean friend Larry. He used to be a co-worker of Shawn's and when he found out that we were adopting from Korea he was really excited and we kind of bonded over it and became good friends. While we were waiting for Clarissa he came over several times and made us Korean food and helped me with the language and we all watched Korean movies together. Larry had a girlfriend named Michelle, who we also became close with. When Clarissa joined our family they were really exited for us and last year when they got engaged they asked Clarissa to be the flower girl.

I had really been looking forward to the wedding and the whole flower girl thing, unfortunately when the big day arrived it was the day I started getting the flu and I really didn't feel well. We got Clarissa dressed up in her super cute flower girl dress and went to the wedding and everything was beautiful but I didn't feel well that night. Clarissa did a great job as the flower girl though, which was a big relief because you can never predict what a two year old is going to do! :) The kids had a ball at the reception and they danced all night. You should see Clarissa do the chicken dance. I wish I had gotten it on video!

Anyway, we're super happy for Larry and Michelle and it was a fun way to spend Clarissa's second family day. It honestly blows my mind that two years has passed. Why is it that the two years we waited for her seemed to drag on for an eternity and the two years since have flown by like nothing? Probably because I'm way busier now! It's fun now to read blog posts from before Clarissa came home. It's fun to remember how excited I was and how I wondered what she'd look like and what she'd be like. Honestly, the whole experience far exceeded anything I could have imagined. Having Clarissa in our family has been amazing. I absolutely adore that little girl.

Things are going awesome with the boys these days too. Josh is settled in to middle school and is getting straight A's, which I'm really proud of. It was great to go to parent teacher conferences and have every one of his teachers go on about what a great kid he is. I'm proud of the person he is becoming. He turns 12 in May, something I'm not quite ready for, but I'm excited to see him learning and growing and becoming his own person. He's an awesome kid.

Matthew is loving third grade. He's still on a year round school schedule and his track break starts on Monday, so he'll be home for the rest of the month. It's weird this year because Josh and Matthew are on different school schedules now, so Matthew will be home and Josh will still have school. It's kind of a bummer for Matthew because he and Josh are such good friends and play well together when they're both home. He'll miss having Josh home. Matthew is in the gifted program, which meets one day a week and that program still continues through track break because it involves other schools that aren't on a year round schedule, so I'll still take him over there for part of the day every Tuesday through track break. He loves the gifted program so he's excited that he'll still be able to do that during the break.

Both the boys are still in taekwondo and doing great. They're high blue belts and are hopefully going to be advancing to their red belts next month. After that they just have high red and deputy belt (which is black and red) and then they'll get their black belts. The last few belts generally progress slower though, because it progressively gets harder, so it will be at least another year before they get their black belts. I'm proud of how hard they've worked. They can do things I never imagined that they'd be able to do!

So there's your update on what's happening in the kids lives these days. I have awesome kids and I'm proud of them.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NaBloPoMo day 3

Today's writing prompt is this:

Can you listen to music and write? What song did you hear today?

Music has always had a profound effect on me. Certain songs can change my mood. Certain songs bring back very strong memories. I listen to music every chance I get. I usually have music playing in the background when I'm making blog posts. The song that is playing right now is Cannonball by Damien Rice. I like mellow songs when I'm posting on my blog. I have a playlist on my Ipad called "Mellow" and it has 136 songs on it. I usually start that playlist when I sit down to blog.

My musical tastes are kind of all over the place. I listen to a playlist with Lady Gaga, Pink and Bruno Mars when I shower in the morning to wake me up. I just finished listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to help get Clarissa to take a nap. I'm obsessed with the Wicked soundtrack and I love other Broadway soundtracks as well. The radio station in my car is set to country music because I can generally count on it to be safe for my kids to listen to and there is some nostalgia value in country music for me that I like.

The current song playing while I blog is The Promise, by Tracy Chapman. I love that song. It's haunting. Next up is Down by Jason Walker. Also a good one.

So on another topic, while I'm sitting here blogging and listening to music, I'm also eating a little bag of German chocolates called Schoko-Bons. When I was 19 I was a nanny in for a family in New Jersey. The nanny they had before me was German and while I was there she came back to visit and brought chocolates for the family. One of the chocolates she brought were Schoko-Bons. I'm not really sure why she bought chocolate for the kids because the kids mom didn't really let them eat much candy so I ended up eating most of it and I fell in LOVE with Schoko-Bons. I'd never seen them before and they're not easy to find in the US. For years I remembered eating those chocolates and wished I could find more of them and then one day years later it occured to me to search for them online, and of course you can buy anything online!

So now every now and then, like once every couple of years, I order myself a little bag of Schoko-Bons and I eat the whole bag all by myself. A couple of weeks ago when I was sick and feeling sorry for myself I decided that I deserved a little pick me up so I spent $8 and ordered a little bag of them online, which I realize is kind of ridiculous, but when they came in the mail the other day it was like a happy little present to myself. It's a small bag so I've been rationing them out over the past several days. It's a silly little thing, but sometimes you have to give yourself a little present for getting through hard times, right? :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


So I was surfing the web this morning and discovered that according the the Blogher network, November is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). I'm not really part of whatever they're doing, I only stumbled across it by chance and I'm not part of their network or whatever, but I like the idea of it, so I've made a goal to make a blog post every day this month.

They're posting post topic ideas every day this month if you need some inspiration so I'm using their topic for today, which is "If you knew whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you want it to be?"

When I think of the best meal I ever ate it makes me think of Korea. One day when we were in Korea the adoption agency assigned us a tour guide to take us around the city for the day. Her name was Ji-Hee and she was awesome. We had the best time with her! We went to Gyeoungbokdong palace, we went shopping and then she took us out to lunch

We went to this tiny little restaurant off a side alley in Insadong, which is kind of a touristy shopping area. Insadong is one long street full of super cool shops and there are little side alleys along the way with neat little restaurants and different things. Anyway, she took us to this little restaurant and ordered tang soo yook. Tang soo yook is actually Koreanized Chinese food, I think. It's basically sweet and sour pork. I've had sweet and sour pork before, but this was a little different, and SO GOOD! Oh my goodness, I practically inhaled it. We ate some really good Korean food while we were there, but that tang soo yook was awesome.

So a couple of days later Shawn and I were back in Insadong, wandering around and doing a bit of souvineer shopping and we decided that we wanted to go back to that restaurant and have more tang soo yook. We thought we knew exactly where it was but when we started to go down the alley we realized that all the alleys looked exactly alike and we couldn't remember which alley we had gone down or what the front of the restaurant looked like. It was a tiny little restaurant and it didn't have a flashy front window or anything that would make it memorable. All we did remember was that there was a cool tree in the middle of the restaurant.

So we wandered up and down the alleys of Insadong for a really long time trying to find that restaurant again. We peeked in every window and couldn't find it. It was like it had dissapeared or something. It was the weirdest thing, because we were sure that we knew where it was but when we got to where we thought we remembered it, it wasn't there.

After walking for what seemed like ages, there it was. It was just a small little restaurant wedged between two other stores and it was really easy to miss. The only way we recognized it was by peeking in and seeing the tree.

So we went in and ordered more tang soo yook. The waiters didn't speak english and of course our Korean is minimal so we just sat down and said "tang soo yook!" They brought our food and it was as delicious the second time around as it was the first time and it was totally worth searching for.

When I think of Korea I always think of that little restaurant. When Shawn and I reminisce about our trip we always bring it up and giggle over the day we searched all afternoon for the restaurant with the tree in it. Some day I'm going to go back to Korea with my kids and we're going to go back to that little restaurant. I remember where it is. If you ever go to Insadong, it's down the first alley on the left, quite a ways down on the left hand side. Look for the tree in the middle of the restaurant, and be sure to order tang soo yook!

So if I knew that a meal was going to be my last, I would want it to be in Korea, in that little restaurant with the tree in the middle. Before I die I want to go back to Korea and eat tang soo yook one more time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm still alive!

People are starting to ask where I went (which I appreciated because I wasn't sure if anyone was even reading my blog anymore!) so I decided I'd better get here and update.

Frankly, it's been a pretty crappy month, which is why I haven't blogged. It's kind of a long story, but I've had one long string of assorted health problems. It started out with my heartburn flaring up again and it became hard to swallow, so they sent me for an endoscopy, where they stuck a camera down my throat to see what was going on down there. They ended up dilating my esophagus with a balloon type thing and now I can swallow again. Fun.

Then I started having crazy heart palpitations, which are super scary and feel like I'm having a heart attack 50 times a day. I had the same thing a few months ago and attributed it to some medication I was taking, but I"m not taking the medication anymore. I had a physical and they ran a million tests and there's nothing wrong with me, my heart is just beating weird for no reason. The doctor said it isn't going to hurt me and to just ignore it. Easier said than done.

Then two and a half weeks ago I got the flu and I've never been so sick in my whole life. I went back to the doctor to be tested for strep because it felt like I was swallowing glass but the test was negative. I had a fever, terrible congestion and my whole body hurt for two solid weeks. Even now I'm still not feeling super great. I still have a cough and my head is still a bit stuffy but I'm finally coming out of it.

So all in all, October was a pretty crappy month. I spent the entire month either on the couch or at the doctor. Neither of which were any fun. At one point Shawn and Clarissa got sick too and we were all so pathetic that neighbors started bringing us meals, which were wonderful and the highlight of my crappy month. I'm grateful for good friends.

So here it is, November first and I'm trying to pull myself back together and put crappy October behind me. In my quest for a better me, October was not successful. I missed some therapy due to being sick and my big plans and goal setting pretty much got abandoned for a bit.

It's OK though, I'm moving forward and not looking back. My latest plan in my quest to be a better me is yoga. I bought some yoga DVD's the other day and I actually kind of like it. I've always wanted to try it, but I'm sadly not flexible and I never dared to take a class at the gym because I really don't need a room full of people watching me make a fool out of myself. But now I'm doing yoga in the comfort of my home where no one gets to watch how bad I am at it! :) I've only been doing it for two days but so far I like it and it's been a nice stress reliever. Being sick for a month made my anxiety worse and now I'm trying to refocus and yoga is helping. I'm hoping that if I do it at home long enough I'll get good enough at it to take a class at the gym.

So there's a recap of my crappy month. Not much else is happening around here. Everything kind of came to a halt when I got sick. The kids went trick or treating last night and had a ball. This is the first year that Clarissa has been old enough to really kind of understand Halloween and she was SO excited! I have a bunch of pictures I want to share but my old laptop died and I just got a new one and I don't have Photoshop or any of my photos transferred over to it yet. That's my project for this week. I'll be back with pictures when I have things up and running better.

For now I'm going to eat some Halloween candy and go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day and it's time for me to get back to work!