Officially NC Residents

After a week of apartment hunting and arrangements, T and I finally found a place! Since coming back to North Carolina two weeks ago we’ve been meeting up and spending time with friends and relatives. But this week it was time to make the big move to our new place.

On Sunday we drove down to T’s parents’ house in Charlotte where we visited and spent the night. Monday morning we rented a 17′ Uhaul truck and, with my in-laws’ help, loaded up a lot of the furniture they have been keeping for us. Some of it was so huge that we just wouldn’t have space for it in our apartment– I found myself thinking I’d hate to move into this huge new apartment and fill it with so much furniture that it felt small! So we ended up with a dresser, some nightstands, a sofa, dining room table and chairs. It filled a large portion of the truck.

T drove the truck up to Raleigh where we put in all of the things we have been keeping at my parents’ house. It’s crazy how much stuff we have when you add all of the things we left there while living in Korea! There are a lot of extra books I’d forgotten about, and all of our wedding china. It’s pretty nice china but I want to make use of it. I’ll have to plan some fancy dinners at our place in the near future.

Anyway, Mom and Dad helped tremendously on this end loading and then unloading things into the new apartment. Thankfully this place has an elevator which made the process a lot less painful. Some of the furniture was a tight squeeze but with some finagling it all fit in the elevator somehow. I am sure we’ve made a terrible first impression on the downstairs neighbors, but hopefully we’ll make it up to them by being quiet people the rest of the year!

We spent the last two days unpacking everything and arranging things. T’s mom even drove up to see the new place and help us settle in. It’s a very nice feeling to be in our new place, and we are full of hope and excitement about what this next year will bring. Lots of time with family, and friends, and new places to explore. And lots of potential for our business, which we can finally start working on now that our office space is set up! As work is slow in the summer I am continuing to teach English online a few times a week. Every time I think I should quit it, I teach another lesson and have such fun, and end up committing to more future lessons. Once my regular job picks up again I’ll have to decide what to do. I have some students that I really love talking to, and I hate to let them down by quitting the website. But we’ll see.

Pictures to come in a few days once the place looks presentable!

Spring has Sprung!

The weather has been so nice lately! It really affects my mood. It’s so easy to wake up when the sun is already up, so most days I get a very early start. I’ve been teaching online classes starting early and it makes my whole day feel productive to get so much done first thing in the morning.

Over the weekend we celebrated the coming of spring with our neighbors and some of T’s classmates at a huge all-day cookout in the courtyard behind our apartment. We were able to come and go all afternoon and people were still celebrating. Then on Sunday T and I went to Fillmore Glen State Park to do some hiking. We don’t often both have a whole day free, and it was nice to get out of town, especially for T’s birthday. Unfortunately the main gorge trail was still closed despite the nice weather, but we hiked up the rim trail and got some exercise. I’d like to go back when the trail is open again so we can see some of the waterfalls.

It is also the time of year for spring cleaning. I’ve recently become obsessed with dust. I feel like I dust daily and yet every morning there is a thin layer of it already beginning to pile up again, and particles glittering in the air. This week I did some really deep cleaning, using the vacuum attachments to get every nook and cranny and invested in some decent dusting cloths. I even wiped down the walls, swept and mopped the hard floors twice. We’ve got a small air purifier in the bedroom which helps reduce allergens but doesn’t really collect much dust. I’ll keep this up for a week and see if it’s making any difference. Both of us have mild dust allergies, but I’ve noticed a significant improvement in sleep quality since we got the air purifier, so it must be doing something.

While doing all of this cleaning I’ve also rounded up a lot of things to donate to the Salvation Army. Since we’ll inevitably be moving in a couple of months, even if we don’t know where yet, I figure it’s a good idea to get a head start on de-cluttering. I donated a bunch of clothes on Monday, and then went inside and found some professional looking clothes for myself. It’s amazing what you can get there for so cheap, and some stuff is practically unused! Since I’ve started teaching online I felt pretty underdressed (I must admit I wear t-shirts and pajama pants around the house all day, since I just work at home!). Thanks to the Salvation Army, I’ve now spruced up the wardrobe a bit.

And the number one thing I devote most of my time to (other than work)? Studying Japanese. I was telling T the other day how much easier it is to pick up this third (technically fourth, but I barely remember Spanish) language. After 5 months of dedicated study I’m at the same point I was after 3 years of studying Korean. My brain is just much more ready to accept it, and the book I got for Christmas (Fluent Forever) had a huge impact on the way I study. I’m really excited to see where I am at the end of this year. If you didn’t know, it was my New Year’s resolution to try and learn a new language in one year. Every time I am feeling lazy and am lounging around watching TV, I ask myself if at the end of the year I’ll be proud of the effort I put into studying. So there’s a lot less TV watching (although sometimes I do watching stuff in Japanese), and a lot more page turning. I am thinking about taking the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) at the end of the year, if it’s easy to take in the US) just to see where I am.

I just can’t sing the praises of taking video-chat language lessons enough. Using Cafetalk, I get to chat with a native speaker 3-5 times a week. Even if the conversations are redundant or simple, having to think of the right word or expression over and over turns it into a real, long-term memory much more quickly than looking at flashcards. It’s been so much fun, and I wish that more people knew the joy of language learning so I could share it with them.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading this far!

Naver

 

I haven’t been writing much on here lately because whenever I have free time I’ve dedicated it elsewhere. I’ve been working on my Naver blog, which is my Korean blog. I suspect if you plug the text into google translate it will make no sense, so I apologize for that! So instead of making you do that I’ll try to summarize what I’ve written about lately.

– T and I have really been enjoying Better Call Saul, the spin-off show that’s come out after Breaking Bad. I’m a huge fan of the writing, directing, and amazing acting of the main characters. Unfortunately the second season is airing right now, so it’ll be a while before I can see more on Netflix!

phlebotomy2– I have to get my blood drawn regularly. It’s always a huge hassle for me because my veins are apparently super tiny and difficult to find. There’s one woman who works at the school clinic who gets me on the first try EVERY time– she’s amazing and I always ask for her, and I don’t know what I’ll do when we have to move! But anyway, there was a whole ordeal last week because she was on vacation and nobody was able to successfully draw my blood. Just when I think I’m getting over my needle phobia, someone comes and pokes a million holes in my arms and traumatizes me all over again, hah! I’m waiting until she comes back before trying again.

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– I write on that blog for homework. Every week there’s a theme for the chapter I’m learning in my Korean lessons. This past week we talked about different forms of media, and I had to write about the first Korean media I was exposed to. For me it was a soap opera called “Let’s go to school, Sangdoo”. I’ll fully admit that it’s because of that show I eventually learned Korean! You may know the main character from the show, who later became Korean pop star/singer Rain. I actually think he’s a fantastic comedy actor, and although his music is fun I love his movies and TV shows more. It’s too bad all of his attempts to break into the American/English-speaking movie scene have been tremendous failures. The guy just can’t speak English, and they always put him in these bad guy ninja roles, which is pretty stupid casting for a prettyboy comedian actor.

 

Trip to ABQ

 

The busiest times are always the hardest to write, aren’t they? And yet those are the only times there’s anything interesting to write about! Last week I went to Albuquerque to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and two young nephews. It was a pretty relaxing vacation for me, although it gave me great insight into what life is like with two very young children to take care of. I enjoyed playing with my nephews and getting to know them a little better. I can’t believe how much they learn and grow, even just in the week I spent with them, let alone as whole years go by! So I’m glad I found the time to visit them this year, and hopefully it will be easy to get together wherever we are all living next. That’s still a big mystery for T and I, at this point!

I spent a lot of time with the kitty last week. As K and P were busy with the kids or already in bed, the cat sought me out and was my constant companion on the sofa.

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I asked K and P if we could see some nature, so we drove to the Albuquerque Volcanoes on the first day of my visit. It’s not much of a hike with two kids though- Z was ready to turn back pretty much the instant we set foot on the trail. But it was really beautiful, and such a dramatic change of scenery from anywhere I’ve lived before. A camera can’t really capture the colors out there as well as the human eye.

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One day after dropping Z off at school we drove up to the foothills of nearby mountains. Just a gorgeous day!2016-03-07-09.09.07 2016-03-07-09.09.33-2

 

K knows all about the best food in town. We had some donuts from Rebel Donuts, which featured a “Blue Sky” donut as a tribute to Breaking Bad. I don’t have any pictures, but I got to see THE car wash while I was in town !2016-03-07-09.46.18My last day we drove up to Santa Fe and had a look at some local art galleries on Canyon Road. I didn’t take any photos worth posting (and you can’t take pictures of the art in the galleries, anyway), but I enjoyed it more than I had expected. My favorite was the Longworth Gallery featuring works of magical realism. The works there made me feel like I had gone back in time to my childhood, when both my sister and I were really into fantasy and magic.

 

From Korea to Ithaca