Tuesday, November 29, 2011


It's officially the last day of November. 

Autumn is on its way out, with fewer orange and yellow leaves clinging to the trees every day. 

The beginning of December means warmer clothes, signs of the holidays, and hot chocolate for dessert.  Most obviously, December's start means that November (and therefore Movember) has come to an end.

During the month of November Ryan proudly refrained from shaving his mustache in an effort to create conversation and awareness about prostate cancer.  He teamed up with a group of friends here in Busan to raise money for cancer research.  Movember also hopes to motivate men to get regular health exams.  The team Ryan belongs to raised over $1,000.  South Korea as a whole raised nearly $10,000.

I'm very proud of his efforts and the statement he's made.
Day 10
Day 20
 Day 30

Don't worry, (because I know you would) the mustache isn't going anywhere for a few more days.... 
On Friday night all of Busan's Movember participants will gather to be judged on their 'staches.  I'll keep you posted on how Ryan measures up.

It's still not too late to donate to the cause.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving This Year

Ryan and I celebrated at our favorite Korean restaurant after work on Thanksgiving Day.

On Saturday morning we took a nice end of fall walk together, stopping at the store for some last minute Thanksgiving meal essentials.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....
I had fun trying on some wintery hats... and got some adorable new slippers.
But couldn't quite bear to spend nearly $15 on whipped cream.

At home we spent the day cooking in our cozy (meaning tiny) apartment.
bloody marys
cranberry martinis
cranberry sauce from dried cranberries=success! 
Four hours (and one power outage) later.... it was dinnertime.
On the menu, aside from the cranberry sauce
Roasted veggie salad, mushroom and walnut stuffing, green bean casserole (Ryan's family's Grandma Beans), mashed potatoes with gravy, mac n' cheese, chicken, and rolls.

And Costco pumpkin pie for dessert.

What a lovely Thanksgiving weekend.

And since I posted about being thankful last week I also wanted to share this fitting quote:
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them." -John F. Kennedy

And I will.  

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Dana!

One of my best friends has a birthday today.

Dana and I met as freshman in college when we both joined Delta Gamma.  We quickly realized we lived in the same dorm, and from then on we were pretty much inseparable...  and we have been ever since.

In college...
Freshman year
Sophomore year
Junior year
Senior year

After graduation...
And on each other's wedding days...

Even after this little move across the world happened, Dana and I have still managed to stay as close as ever.  We have so many fun memories to look back on, and I know there will be many more to come.

Happy Birthday Dana!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


And I am.  

Thankful for my wonderful friends, old and new, who are pretty much the greatest people ever.

I'm thankful for my family, who I don't go a day without thinking about.  They've helped make me the person I am today, and continue to shape me into the person I want to be.

I'm thankful to be on this wonderful and unexpected adventure, which has opened my eyes to an unbelievable amount of new people, places and things.

And I'm thankful for my wonderful husband.  He knows just when I need a laugh, a hug, some alone time and/or a glass of wine.  He supports me, uplifts me, and puts up me with me at my worst.

On all days, and especially today, I am thankful.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This is Why He Can't Sit Still

One of my kindergarten students had a birthday last week.  

The afternoon brought singing, birthday cake and Mickey Mouse lollipops.  

The celebration also brought the realization that the little boy I've taught for the last two months has just turned three, meaning I've been teaching English as a second language to a TWO YEAR-OLD.  

As I've mentioned before, the age system is different in Korea than in the US.  Birthday Boy's class is made up of Korean age "four year-olds," who are actually only two or three by American standards.  

It's no wonder he can't sit still.  He's just a baby.
And sometimes it drives me crazy to teach him.  But look at this kid.  
Truly adorable. 

Happy belated birthday J!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Weekend and This Week

On Saturday night, Ryan surprised me with dinner in our old neighborhood at our favorite place.  It was just as delicious as we remembered.

And they played Christmas music!  In English!  Including one of my favorite songs ever.
I was a happy girl.

Next it was on to see Moneyball at the movies.  We had to get the beer and popcorn combo, naturally.

And I made cookie bars for dessert...

Sunday was the coldest day we've had since being back in Busan, but the sun continues to shine and it's DRY.  As Oregonians it still amazes us when more than a few days pass with no rain.  No complaints here.

 We had a fab weekend, but of course we're missing home this week.  Thanksgiving is the best.  Driving to Eugene to visit Ryan's family and then on to a late dinner with my dad's siblings and their kids is one of our favorite annual events.  We had a blast hosting a potluck in Korea in 2010, but this year we're keeping it simple.  On Saturday (no time off for us this week) we'll make and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at home, just the two of us.  Although we're far, far away from our extended families and friends, we have each other and for that we're thankful.
{sunday at the beach}
It's fun to make our own family traditions.  
We hope you're lucky enough to enjoy yours as well.

Happy Thanksgiving week!