Monday, April 18, 2016

Rated R for Language. Or maybe more like Q.

i'm feeling nostalgic today my friends.

I walked through target today and they had a table of gift ideas for mothers for Mother's Day. I know I need to get on the ball and look for something nice to send to my mom so that it actually gets to her by Mother's Day. But I'm a slacker and going to the post office is a feat that I am not always prepared to accomplish. So. we'll see what happens.

My mom and I have a great relationship. It's not ideal, but it works for us. When I lived in Korea before I got married, I took some Korean language classes to appease my parents. They were pretty mad that I 1. grew up in their Korean home and my Korean sucked 2. that I lived in Korea for over 2 years and my Korean still sucked. So I signed up for these classes, and I ended up being in the 'advanced class' (see? I didn't suck that badly!) with a bunch of Chinese ladies who were married to Korean men. Admittedly- all of them had a better grasp of the Korean language than I did. Ugh. My parents were right to be mad. My Korean did really suck, And as a kid, I went to Korean language classes every Saturday morning, and often times on Monday evenings too. I am something of a resistant learner when I want to be.

Anyhoo, back to my Korean classes as an adult: I was in this class with these Chinese ladies, and they would talk about how they had trouble communicating with their husbands- because they didn't have the same native language. As if it isn't hard enough already when you are trying to communicate with your spouse in the same language! But then one of the women talked about how her kids didn't really want to learn Chinese, they just wanted to speak Korean, because it was easier for them. And then it made me so sad for this mom who couldn't even properly, fully, and freely communicate with her own children because there was a language barrier there. AND THEN I REALIZED THAT WAS MY OWN MOTHER'S PLIGHT FOR THE LAST 24 YEARS WITH ME! And it broke my heart.

When I was a kid, I didn't like eating Korean food as often as my mom cooked it (pretty much 3 times a day, every day.) And I did not want to learn Korean. Cause I didn't see any value in learning this foreign language. I am so embarrassed for the kid that I was, and so very much wish I had paid more attention during all those classes that my parents paid money for! I wish I could talk to my mom on the phone for longer periods of time, and joke around with her and explain to her in detail the things that I am going through and need her advice on. But we do the best that we can. And often times my sister needs to translate things for the both of us. Like the time when my mom thought that Chris spent $30,000 on my engagement ring... cause apparently that's what I told her. Korean is hard people!

But apparently so is English. Even though I am feeling nostalgic and even a little sad right now, I leave you with one of my favorite moments with my mom from about 15 years ago:

I was driving us to the mall one lovely Sunday afternoon. There was a lot of traffic on our way there due to an insane number of people who were trying to enjoy the great outdoors at a park near the mall.

I let out a giant: "Oh Crap!" Because I try not to swear in front of my mother.
But then my mom said as loudly as all get out: "Octopussy!"
*** What the?!?!?!
Me: "Mom! What did you just say???"
Me: "Why would you say that?!?!?!!!"
*** now mind you- my mom is a giant James Bond fan. And in 1983, there was a movie that came out that was in fact called Octopussy. So I was frantically looking around to see if there was some giant billboard of this movie. But no. No such billboard could be found. Probably since the movie had been released over a decade earlier.
Mom: "You say CRAB, I say OCTOPUSSY!"
Me: "Mom! I said CRAP. Not crab. And I think the word you are looking for is just 'OCTOPUS.' "
Mom: "Oh. Not octopussy?"
Me: "No. Please stop saying that."

I have to admit that this post was prompted by me telling a bunch of friends at dinner tonight a story about the only time I have ever heard my dad swear in English. It involved ice, our giant van, my dad driving me to the subway station, and us sliding through an intersection and my dad letting out a giant: "Oh Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!"

Magical times. Riding in cars with old immigrants aka my parents.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Fostering Joy

It has recently come to my attention that people don't know anything about my baby, because I never talk about him. And do you know why I never talk about him? Because he's perfect and no one likes a bragger. But, here I am, about to brag about the most amazing 6 month old in the universe.

But before I start showing my baby off, I just want to tell you that I feel sorry for you. Cause you can't see my beautiful baby.

See this dog?

My boy, W, is cuter than him.

This dog is sad because he can't see a picture of W on social media, or even on this blog. It's ok sad dog. Keep eating your tasty looking bagel. I hope the rest of you have some delicious food you can drown your sorrows in.

So, we got baby W when he was 3 days old. He was a six pound peanut. And now at 6 months old- he's still a little peanut, but he has this gigantic noggin! I actually don't know how much he weighs because I am a slacker and I haven't taken him to his six month well-check yet. But I'm going tomorrow! He finally rolled from his front to his back (and it was a lot less rolling, and a lot more gravity making said giant head fall over and propelling his body over.) He coos and says 'dada', which I recognize as a sound he is making, but Chris is elated that he is W's first word. Whatever. He eats like a champ and sleeps pretty great for a little guy. Like I said before- he's perfect. 

I have this cheesy phrase that I have been uttering to God since Lily was a baby. I would say it more and more the cuter and fatter each of my babies got: "You have outdone yourself Lord!" I would say it when they awoke from their naps (only if they had a long enough nap to warrant me missing them.) I would say it when I would feed them. I would say it while I would be giving them their baths. Cause is there anything cuter than a baby in a bathtub? No. There is not. I'm not gonna lie- I never said it with J, my previous foster child. But to my discredit- I usually only say it when I'm looking at babies. There is just something so precious, and innocent, and magnificent about babies that brings out this mushy cheeseball in me, and it helps me to see how good, and pure, and wonderful God is for creating these incredible little creatures.

The only bad thing about baby W is that he is rude. He interrupts conversations that I am having ALL THE TIME. People have honestly been baring their souls and hardships to me while I would be holding W, and then he would suddenly turn and look at them with his gorgeous blue/green/brown/purple eyes (see how good I am at keeping his identity a secret! His eyes are only one of the above listed colors, but I am not going to tell you which one it is!) and the person would stop talking to me to talk to him. See? Rude.

As the kids' 3rd quarter wrapped up a few weeks ago, we went to their school to see their end of quarter work. Topher wrote a little piece entitled: "How to Take Care of Foster Kids". Yeah, he wrote a book about it. I'm looking for a publisher as we speak. Page one said: "First, you need a foster kid to come to your house." Page two was just as riveting: "Then you take care of the kid. You feed them and play with them and love them. If it is a toddler, you play with them. But toddlers are hard and foster babies are easy." True story child.

I think my lack of posting about W has caused people to think that we weren't fostering anymore. And I am not lying when I say I barely feel like I am fostering right now. To the state's credit- they are making my job very easy. He goes on his visits to see his parents twice a week and an amazing person comes and picks him up, supervises the visits, and brings him home. EVERY WEEK. I used to drive for about an hour, one way, to drive J to her visits every other week. I just didn't have any opportunities to miss her or have a real break from her before I registered her for school. But I have lots of opportunities to miss baby W, and miss him I do!

I have come to realize that I can do things that are sad, but I do not like to do things that are hard. Fostering J was really hard for me. We didn't connect the way I thought we should, and that made me feel like poop all the time. I felt like a failure. I felt so mad that she was so 'bad' (toddler bad. not actually evil-bad) when I was trying so hard to do something so good for her. And for God. I felt guilty for how happy I was when she went back home. Then I felt afraid that maybe there was something wrong with me and that I would never connect with any foster kids. And then I felt anxious about whether or not I could continue to foster if I felt like a failure the whole time.

But then baby W came along and washed all those fears and anxieties away. I now  know I can love freely and wholly, a baby that I did not grow in my womb. People say they couldn't foster because they wouldn't be able to say goodbye. It would be too hard. The opposite is true for me. I will be crushed if/when I have to say bye to this baby that I am in love with. (I even love the weird way his breath smells as he pulls my face into his with his sweet little hands! I'm a smitten kitten!) But I would rather be sad, even depressed that someone I loved dearly and well has gone away, rather than missing out on the insane joy I have been blessed to experience the last six months.

Man, I did not mean for this to be a public service announcement. But if there is anything in you that has ever thought about the remote possibility of fostering- e-mail me! Call me! Text me! I will help you to start this journey. There are over 18,000 kids in the foster care system in Arizona alone. I want to challenge you to open your heart and your home to see how God can outdo himself.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

when you want upon a star

when I last wrote, a month ago, I bragged about how mature and awesome I have become in my old age. since that post, I have pooped in my pants (thanks for nothing amoxicillin!) and fallen into a depression that could rival any self-centered 16 year old's. and that's why bragging is something we should all avoid.

I thought I was doing fine. my life is going really well! when i'm hanging out with people, I forget about myself. I forget that I hate my skin. i'm able to focus on others. but when i'm alone... it's bad news bears. my skin is just really really sucking still and I am so very frustrated about it. the most frustrating thing is that my Chinese voodoo herbal doctor did not heal me this time. and I really had all my eggs in that basket. but after about three weeks of suffering through drinking the most disgusting crap on earth, twice a day, I still look awful. and all I can think about is this verse:

"some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God."
-Psalm 20:7

ugh. was I trusting in my voodoo doctor too much? apparently. (she isn't a voodoo doctor. I;m just saying that to be hilarious. because I am hilarious.) but I would justify that she was giving me herbs, and herbs are from the earth, and God created the earth, so God was still healing me. it's like 6 degrees of separation from the Holy One. only I did this one in 4. and yet no healing. weird.

I've been wrestling a lot with the thin line that separates Wanting from Wishing.

Wishing is what my kids do when they throw pennies in a fountain. Wanting is what you do when you are prepared to make something happen.

I wish to be a successful blogger or writer one day. But I only write once a month because I would rather get more sleep than write. So this stays in the wish category.

I WANT to have my skin clear up. So I have gone to my Chinese herbalist, and the dermatologist, and my regular family doctor, and I spend tons of money on lotions and potions, and I am back to being red meat-free, pork-free, dairy free, gluten free, fried food less, seafood less, and I am taking every vitamin under the sun, and I am sun bathing, and basically driving myself insane with trying to get my skin better.

But then when I am weak and I eat some sushi, or a taco, or some ice cream, or some other offending food, I go from WANTING better skin, to just wishing for it. 'I hope this burger doesn't jack me up!' blow out the candles.

Is there something that you think you Want, but in fact you are just wishing for it?

Our pastor even talked about this in his sermon this weekend.

he spoke about the invalid in John 5:6-8. this man had been unable to walk for 38 years, and Jesus approaches him and asks: "Do you want to be healed?"

He asks do you WANT to be healed. not 'do you WISH to be healed?'

The man obviously says he wants to be healed and Jesus commands him to pick up his bed and walk. AND HE DOES IT! And is healed.

I am guilty of often times praying and asking God for something and wishing for Him to miraculously make it all happen. too often I am the man who says I want to be healed, but when God tells me to get up and pick up my bed and walk, I sit and stare and think 'how come I am not magically levitating and you haven't picked my bed up for me Lord?'

it is so easy to wish. to throw those coins. to blow out those candles. to wish upon a shooting star! but it is so hard to want. to do the work. to put in the effort. to be totally and completely healed.

what do you need healing for or from?

is it your body? your marriage? your mind? your friendships? your finances? what is it???

God can heal you. He is healing me. slowly. frustratingly so. but He is. when I stop being obsessed with myself and all the things that are wrong with me, I can see it and I can feel it. and I want to encourage you my friend, that you can be healed too. you are not alone. get out of that bed (I had a very hard time with that this last week and even cried once. pathetic! but that's ok!) put your big girl pants on. and tell me what you want. let's Want to get healed together, and leave the wishing to cute little kids at their birthday parties.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016



It's me.

I always have this song stuck in my head.

And I LOVE it.

Many many years ago, when the church I went to was a quaint, little church, they had cards for attendees to fill out so they could get a feel for who was coming to church. I brought a friend of mine who was a quite a few years older than me, and the card didn't just ask: How old are you? It wanted you to check a box to see which age backet you fit in. I believe there was a box for 20-34 year olds, which is the box I gladly checked. My friend however, had to check the 35-50 box. Thirty-five to FIFTY. I would now fall into that category! With fifty year olds!

But in all seriousness I am totally fine with being 35. I have had a very delightful birthday month, because I have phenomenal people in my life who floor me with their kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity, and friendship. My parents forgot my birthday, which is absolutely and completely fine, because they belong in the 67-100 year old bracket. I feel sorry for them more than anything else ;)  (Why can't I use emojis in my blogpost? Those little things say so much without saying anything at all.) But back to my birthday, it was a great one. Except I had one major party-pooper that followed me around to all of my birthday outings- and that party pooper is Guttate Psoriasis. AKA The Bane of my Existence.

If you're new around here, or you have a really bad memory (cause you're 67-100, or you're a mom) I struggled with guttate psoriasis last year (and on my birthday to boot). And when I say I struggled with it- I mean that it beat me down hard and good. It caused me to spiral down into a depression that caused me to hate myself, robbed me of my joy, and played such insane mind games with me that I convinced myself that my husband was cheating on me. Which he wasn't. But like I said- I was struggling slash losing my mind.

So now my guttate psoriasis is back, but fortunately the angst and insanity is not. Time hasn't healed me, but I have still done much healing, thank you very much Adele. You may be 25, and way richer and more famous than me, and you write great music, and I like the way you do your eye make up, and your skin is so clear and creamy- like cream cheese... I got nothing You are awesome Adele!

I am seeing my Chinese Herbal Doctor again and eating overly healthy foods and nothing that I actually want to be eating (Big Mac and a big Coke with a side of pizza.) I am doing weird things again like pouring apple cider vinegar on my head and rubbing coconut oil amd olive oil on my face and body. I basically smell like my pantry, and I have moments where I really really hate my skin (as in every time I look in the mirror) BUT that has not translated into me hating myself. Victory. I am loving my life, and very excited for the many different things that are coming up this year. I do believe this 35-50 portion of my life is going to be the best age bracket yet.