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I think we’ve pretty much settled into our apartment now. We are still decorating and looking for a few pieces of furniture, but the whole place is set up and livable now, and this past week we focused more on work (and play!)

Last weekend Tristan and I took a quick trip to Wilmington for the 4th of July to visit some of Tristan’s family. Here we are with his grandparents:

2016-07-04-12.32.05After that we came back to Cary and got a lot of work done on business development. I feel like we are juggling so many things at the moment that it’s hard to keep my head on straight, but it seems like we are really making progress. Once that is less vague I will write more about it!

On Wednesday we got invited to go tubing with some friends from the triangle area! I left my phone at home for safekeeping which turned out to be a great idea. The person who had a camera on the river took a ton of great pictures, but then lost it in the river near the end of our trip! So I don’t have any pictures to show, but thankfully didn’t lose my camera or phone. We had a good time though, and somehow managed not to get burned after 3 hours on the river.

Other than that nothing too exciting has happened. Next week we have an anniversary and a birthday to celebrate. I haven’t decided what I want to do for the big 31,  so you’ll just have to wait and see!

Progress Pictures


These are some pictures I took last night before going to bed. We’ve got the living room pretty much set up and cleaned out, and the office is useable but still messy. We are looking for some more storage/work table options to put in there so we can organize it more.

It’s starting to feel like home!

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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!