Monday, March 19, 2012

24 Things to Remember

By Collin McCarty

Your presence is a present to the world.
You are unique and one of a kind.
Your life can be what you want it to be.
Take the days just one at a time.

Count your blessings, not your troubles.
You will make it through whatever comes along.
Within you are so many answers.
Understand, have courage, be strong.

Do not put limits on yourself.
So many dreams are waiting to be realized.
Decisions are too important to leave to chance.
Reach for your peak, your goal and your prize.

Nothing wastes more energy than worrying.
The longer one carries a problem the heavier it gets.
Do not take things too seriously.
Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.

Remember that a little love goes a long way.
Remember that a lot… goes forever.
Remember that friendship is a wise investment.
Life’s treasure is people together.

Realize that it is never too late.
Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
Have heart, hope and happiness.
Take the time to wish upon a star.

And don’t ever forget…
For even a day…
How very special you are.

{I came across this list tonight and fell in love with it.  So many of these bits of advice ring true for me, especially at this point in my life.  Hopefully it makes the beginning of your week a little brighter too.}

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Littlest Leprechauns


{Happy *belated* St. Patrick's Day from Korea!}

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Igidae Park

Over the weekend we joined some friends for a hike at Igidae Park.  To get there we took a nice stroll along the beach.

When we reached the park, we found it was made up of trails, bridges and stairs paralleling the jagged coastline.

The sun shone brightly in some spots, giving us the hope that spring weather has arrived.  The biting shady cold and wintery wind reminded us that it's not quite here yet, after all. 

Come quickly spring!  We are more than ready for you.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, BFF

Erin and I met in sixth grade language arts class.  While our friendship wasn't instant, we eventually bonded, and the rest is history.

We've spent countless nights over the years gossiping about boys, having manicure parties, vegging out with movie marathons, and trick-or-treating into our high school years.  What can I say?  I love candy.

Erin and I really grew up together, but unlike many young friendships, we never grew apart.  We didn't attend the same school beyond eighth grade, but we've always stayed close. 

I came across this quote recently and it really made me stop and think about relationships and friendship.

"Respect those friends who find time for you in their busy schedule. But really love those friends who never look at their schedule when you need them."

Erin is the kind of friend who would drop everything for someone she cares about.  Lucky me!

Over the last sixteen years she has taught me an immeasurable amount about friendship, loyalty and life.  In return, I taught her how to drive.

 Erin and I took about three million photos together in the days before digital cameras.
If I had access to my old albums and a scanner, there would be some embarrasing pics in this post.  Luckily for everyone involved, that's not the case.  Here's a cute one instead.  

Happy Birthday Erin. I love you!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


An extremely powerful and well done video to raise awareness.  
It also does a wonderful job of putting life's small frustrations into perspective.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Grads and Newbies

Wednesday was a day of goodbyes.

A graduation ceremony was held for the seven-year-olds who are moving into first grade.

The six-year-olds serenaded the graduates with "I Will Remember You."  It was too cute.

Instead of spending whole days at our school, the seven-year-olds will now come for afternoon classes after their day at elementary school.  I am lucky enough to be teaching three classes of grads in the afternoons and I'm really looking forward to continuing with a lot of familiar faces.


We celebrated the last day of the elementary school year with our existing students on Wednesday afternoon.  It comes as no surprise that our students love to celebrate with "snack parties."  The kids and I brought snacks and drinks to share as we chatted and played games. 
I'll miss this elementary class most.


The school year for kindergarteners starts on Monday.  Our existing students will be moving up a level and we'll have four classes of newbies too.  We got a sneak peek of the new little ones last week when they came to school for an orientation.

 The teachers made a new friend, too.  Pororo the penguin is quite a hit here.

I am both excited and terrified to be the main teacher for four classes of brand new four and five-year-old students that will start tomorrow.  
(What?  It's March?  How did that happen??)  
These kids haven't been in school before and likely know zero English.  
It will be a challenge, but hopefully I'm up for it!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Weekend, Milestones and Life Lately

Life has been busy lately, but good.  Although the weekend seems like forever ago, it was nice to relax after finishing a ton of work on Friday to wrap up the school year that came to an end yesterday. 

We stayed in on Friday night and whipped up some pineapple margaritas.  Lots.  We definitely made up for not partaking in National Margarita Day.  Ryan also made some delicious Mexican food to go with our cocktails.

Getting together with friends at a used English bookstore/coffee/wine and beer shop for drinks and games seemed like a nice low key way to spend Saturday night.

On Sunday we joined the same friends at their place for french toast brunch.  They had real maple syrup, a luxury around these parts.  They also have the most adorable rescued puppy!

That evening Ryan's team played in its first ultimate frisbee game of the spring season and pulled out a win.  I predict another championship in their future!

Besides an end to the school year, this week marked some other milestones as well.

We've been back in Busan for six months now.  The time seems to have flown by, which I both love and hate at the same time.  I am a true believer in living in the moment, but like most people I have a tendency to get caught up in the daily grind and sometimes need reminders to enjoy this time in my life before it passes too quickly.

When I reminisce on those hot and sticky first days back, I realize we've already been here for the end of a summer, into fall, and now hopefully we're nearing the end of this chilly winter.  I can't wait to see cherry blossoms signifying spring is here.

Two years ago today I started this blog to document our adventures the first time around.  At this time in 2010 we were fresh off an airplane, gazing around in wonder at each new sight and sound we encountered in our new home. We had no idea where life would take us, and never could have predicted we'd be back here now.  

I'm in a better place now than I was two weeks ago.  I feel good about where we are and where we're going.  I think it's helped that I've made an effort to connect more often with some of the people who are closest to me at home.  Thank you skype!

Speaking of skype, I got the full recap on the rest of my parents' trip this morning since we were off school for a holiday.  (Happy Independence Movement Day Korea!)  It sounds like they had a wonderful time exploring Southeast Asia.  

After skyping I celebrated by staying in my PJs all day, catching up on what I missed at the Academy Awards, and reading with a cup of tea and a designer muffin.  I was so happy to get my hands on this book after being left in suspense since finishing the first one in September.

I had no complaints about taking a Thursday off for the holiday.  Four-day work weeks are fine anytime.  Is next week too soon?