Winter Getaway

IMG_0211 My favourite things are always spontaneous.  I love it when friends call up in the middle of the night to go out for food/drinks, or stay the night to wake up to an impromptu breakfast the next morning.  I love it when Sean and I dine out for no reason or when we go for drives just because, and when weekends away are planned on a whim.  I also love it when our pantry is stocked and ready for urgent food cravings for fresh brownies or cookies, and when we have a bottle of chilled white wine and a red on our counter to accompany a nice dinner in.  Most people think that I don’t like surprises, but really, it’s the waiting that I don’t like.  When I’ve bought something special for someone, I want to give it to them right away and not have to wait a week.  I want to invite someone for dinner the moment that they’ve shared their special news, and between Sean and I, we always exchange gifts at 12:01 am on the day of the occasion because I can’t wait for gifts either!  It’s become a normal thing for us.  Needless to say, Sean has had to accomodate my crazy ways.

A couple of weekends ago, we were treated to a ski-in, ski-out resort and we couldn’t have been more grateful.  We found out last minute, and we were packed and ready to leave before you could say “Go!”  Sean and I went skiing again, and this time I even managed to go down a non-beginner hill!  We spent each morning having breakfast by our window, praying together, reading and taking in the beautiful winter scenery.  Coincidentally the internet connection was horrible, so it forced us not to be on our phone/ipad first thing in the morning.

My Dad came up to join us on Sunday and we spent the day eating, watching episodes of The King of Queens, chatting and snacking.  I couldn’t have asked for a more pleasant weekend.  Weekends like these make me wish that it didn’t take us time away from the busyness back home to enjoy some lazy and restful days.

Me, and a little time

IMG_4988I’ve had my blog for a year now, and to be honest, I can’t believe I’ve stuck to it.  My posts are far and few, but my writing has helped me.  I used to be the girl who always loved to be around people and never wanted to miss time with friends or family, but after losing my Mom, I’ve changed.  I now need time alone.

When I’m alone, I don’t feel the burdening weight of pressure I put on myself.  I write when I have the time to reflect on the things that I would have wanted to share with my Mom and although hard at times, it also brings me joy.  My blog has helped me articulate some of my emotions, and has most importantly, reminded that my Mom will always remain with me not only as memories, but in the ways that I love my husband and family, persevere through difficult times, lovingly help others and pursue the wildest of my dreams.

In January, we celebrated my Dad’s 59th birthday (in Korean custom, he actually turned 60), and as we talked about the past year together, we acknowledged a new found sense of peace; a peace in knowing that although the coming year will have it’s own challenges, we can trust in God’s grace and power to bring us His comfort and His healing.  My Dad is the greatest example to me of how one can choose to live a life of hope and not in fear.

My Mom was an avid reader and a talented poet, and my love for poetry, writing, art and expression comes solely from her influence.  This blog has become a place for me to connect with all the things my Mom believed in and passed on to me, and all the things I’ve grown to love and now share with my husband.

New Year’s Day Skiing

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Happy belated 2015!  Sean and I spent our first day of the year skiing (for me)/snowboarding (for the hubby) thanks to my Dad’s Christmas gift to us.  I started the year learning something new, and it feels great!  It always helped to know that Sean was always close enough to be there if I ever wiped out, and we were able to capture everything on camera with our incredibly cool GoPro – a gift from Sean’s parents.

Sean and I have been so blessed to see God’s faithfulness in our lives this past year.  We were reminded of how God has His hand in everything, from the big things to the little things.  My hope for the new year is that through my faith and in my actions, others will be able to see more of His reflection in me.

May your year be filled with much love, grace, healing, joy and laughter.

Santa Cupcakes

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Every year, we get together with my husband’s extended family to celebrate Christmas, and we usually have between 15 to 20 kids there.  For the last couple of years, I’ve been asked to make cupcakes for the kids.  This year, I decided on Santa ones.  They take me a good three hours to make from start to finish, but getting big hugs and smiles from little ones makes it all worthwhile.

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Christmas Brunch

Since getting married, Sean and I have been starting some of our own holiday traditions.  This year, we had my Dad over for brunch Christmas morning, and I made eggs Benedict for the first time, Sean’s favourite breakfast meal.  My family loved it, so for the years when we have breakfast/brunch at our home, this will be our Christmas menu with loads of fruit, good coffee and mimosas.

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Simple, slightly indulgent, and a little bit more special.

Live Generously

Wednesday marked two years since my Mom passed away.  It seems like forever ago since I had the chance to hug her, talk to her, drop by to see her, or eat her delicious food.  Sean says that her yukaechang (spicy Korean soup) is better than any other.  The sharp pain in my chest when I think of missing her has not faded, and a flood of tears will still come at any moment.  Every stressful or hard day is made worse because my Mom isn’t here to tell me that like all things, this too will pass.  She was always my greatest source of comfort.

My Mom was the most generous person I know.  She would always put others before herself, and her heart was always drawn to those in need.  During this Christmas season, my eyes have been opened to the needs around me: Families who can’t afford Christmas presents or a tree, a son caring for his father who has the onset of Alzheimer’s, people who have to work Christmas Eve/Day, children and people without families or are away from their families and people who don’t have warm homes and good food to eat.

Our pastor recently said that generosity is something she feels is learned.  I’ve been privileged enough to see my Mom giving to others my whole life.  Her greatest life lesson to me has been to live generously, and like her, I hope to love on others and give to others just as she had always done.  Whenever I do things for those less fortunate, I think of her.  I think of how if she were here today, she would be doing the same thing, and in some way, it makes me feel closer to her.  One day, when Sean and I have little ones of our own, I will tell them of my Mom’s generous heart, and how God has given us much so that we may give to others.  I will tell them of the woman with two copper coins who gave to God all that she had (a story from the Bible my Mom would tell me often), and teach them of storing their treasures in Heaven, and not here on Earth.

When I look back on my Mom’s short life, I think of how many lives she’s touched, and how many people she has helped.  Her life is a testament to me of what it means to walk the Christian life.  Jesus loved the broken, poor and unloved, and with all that God has given me, and in my Mom’s memory, I want to remember to live each day generously.

Ancient Rome

IMG_8448Rome was saved for last on our trip.  Vast and beautiful, we were sometimes overwhelmed by just how much there was to see there.  Our legs also had the workout of a lifetime.  I was disappointed that the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps were under restoration at the time that we were there, but I can appreciate and respect Rome’s efforts to preserve the history and culture of this ancient city.

My highlights:

IMG_8110(Seeing preserved ruins scattered throughout the city)

IMG_8274 IMG_8413(Vatican City)

(Seeing Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam)

IMG_8130 IMG_8217(Visiting the Colosseum – while eating the biggest donut we could find)

IMG_8080(The Pantheon at night)

IMG_8462(Having dessert at 1 am while the streets were empty)

(On our last night in Rome: Having dinner together at Life)

Sean and I loved this trip for the simple things.  We had on great pairs of Nikes, carried everything we needed in two backpacks,  and wandered everywhere while barely looking at a map.  Visiting Italy had always been a dream of mine, and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to see so much of it, together with Sean.