Saturday, January 26, 2013

Indy #FTW

This past week was spent in the subzero temperatures of Indianapolis at a conference. SUBZERO folks. They hit RECORD LOWS while I was there. And by record lows I mean 4 degrees and lower. I didn't see the sun for 5 days, but I DID have to walk outside at night. Twice. But Indy is so walkable it wasn't the end of the world. Aaaannnnnd I actually like the cold. What?

And to be honest, I would never have expected to get so much out of a sales negotiations training or a session on email deliverability. I actually knew what they meant with they said DNS records, email authentication and SPF. The technology industry makes you such a nerd. But it is encouraging to know that this is the one industry that will continuously be moving forward - so I'm trying to soak in all the information I can. And by "soak in" I mean, I instagram, doodle, and get coffee with smart people and hope by some form of osmosis the information in their brain gets into mine. Because most of this is still a foreign language and world to me. Thanks for nothing event and mission trip planning jobs.

But at the end of the day, I'm grateful to be pushed and challenged. I'm grateful that I still have so much to learn, and that there are thousands of incredible people around me to help. I rub shoulders with some of the smartest and most humble people in the world, and they are doing BIG things. And going BIG places. And handling BIG accounts (think Microsoft, Lexus, Delta and Papa John's). So bring on the challenge! I welcome you with open arms.

Number three on the far left does say "Unlimited Derek Grant sponsored Jaeger bombs". These were a list of our top 10 conference takeaways. Two related to Derek Grant's Jaeger bombs, 1 related to standup comedy (also performed by DG), and 2 related to karaoke. Obviously this was a meaningful week.

But the good news is that these tech-savvy work things always include crazy good food, drinks, and kick-ass activities. This week we had a casino night followed by karaoke (yes I participated, and no, I wasn't drunk), and then the next night was improv at a swanky ballroom with build-your-own tacos and stir-fry, followed by churros and bowls of ice cream in a waffle cone. 


Hello freshman 15. 


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I also learned this little treasure thanks to Adam Berry from the UK:

Yep, and I ALWAYS do my peace signs like that. Awesome. 

Just keepin' it real folks.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Italia and then some

For mine and Patrick's FIFTH anniversary (dang, where did the time go!?), we have bought tickets to visit the most beautiful country in the world...


Going to Italy has been a dream of ours ever since I can remember.

And Julia Roberts really sealed the deal for me in Eat, Pray, Love through her attractive male friends and 'no carb left behind' policy. Who doesn't want to go somewhere that is strictly known for its beauty, wine, pizza, and cappaccinos? I'm not quite sure how they stay so thin and beautiful with such high pasta consumption, but I fully intend to investigate. And by investigate I mean eat everything in sight and wear stretchable leggings every day, on the off chance that my pants will stop fitting by day 3. Surely you're not taking advantage of Italy if your pants still fit by the end of the week.

But I digress...

This will probably be our last big trip before we start incorporating children into the family, AND IT CANNOT GET HERE FAST ENOUGH. I'm jumping out of my pants excited over this, and can't wait to take advantage of this country of such immense and stunning beauty!!! Come on March! I've never been so excited about you.


In other without HaRim is hard. We feel like true empty-nesters and have subsequently read a lot of books, watched all of our DVR, and re-organized our closets. I bought some extra magazines, did some wash, lamented cooking because I was cooking for 2 and not 3, and I got some links taken out of my watch. Annnddd I also framed a few pictures. And by a few I mean 5.

All because I've had time to do those things. 

But at the end of the day, I'm so incredibly grateful for the time we had with Harim. And I'm glad that he is happy and thriving and had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live on his own for 3 months at 15. You learn a lot about yourself by living on your own, and we're blessed to have gotten to see him step into more of himself. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bittersweet Good-byes

This morning we took our precious HaRim to the airport to fly home to Korea. We know how excited he is to go back to the more familiar things, but we were of course devastated to watch him go through security and turn left around the corner to his gate. We know that this is only the beginning of our journey as friends, so we are hopeful for the many years to come. But today was still a sad day, with hundreds of tears shed and hugs given.

We celebrated HaRim last night with 20 of his friends, and a handful of our friends who have gotten to spend some time with him during his stay. Watching him be loved on by everyone was so beautiful. It was obvious to us that his friends see all the greatness in him that we see, and were elated to honor him with us.

I wish I could adequately articulate who HaRim is to you, if you didn't get a chance to meet him. His heart is huge, which is shown through the dozens of cards he's written us, the piano songs he learned, the meals he's cooked, and the dish washing that he helped with almost every night. He asked about curse words and pop music, birth control and drinking. He tried every food put in front of him, took our recommendations at restaurants, tried his first cup of coffee, prayed for our future children, and enabled us to push the doors of our home open a little further (which you never feel comfortable doing until someone makes you).

He continually gave of himself to serve our home and family, and in the most simple but meaningful ways.

We couldn't keep secrets from each other because HaRim told them all, which made us all a little bit more kind and a little bit more sincere with our words. We knew that he was watching us, and would ask if we were mad if we were quiet for too long. He'd wonder if we were ever sad or lonely, and would pray for anyone he heard of going through a difficult time. He was observant, and always looking for who he wanted to be in every situation.

He never withheld a compliment, and always made it a point to tell me when I looked beautiful. We heard him share with his friends how loved he is and what awesome American parents he has. We sang for him so he could learn tunes to piano songs, we taught him how to do wash, and we let him teach us how to fully love someone as if he's your own.

Unfortunately we did laugh a time or two at his expense. But we at least made an effort to explain when we could. Yes, you need to decorate yourself for dinner. No, you have to use soap when you clean the dishes, not lotion. And yes, you do have to put soap in the washing machine. Yeah, we're going to need to cook that bacon a little longer. America doesn't eat raw meat. Yes, we need to wash your pants. 5 weeks is too long without clean clothes. No, we don't need another bowl of ramen noodles, anchovies, or squid, but yes, we'll always help you try a new recipe. No, seaweed is not our favorite, but we love your fried rice and cooked peppers. Yes, 'damn it' is a bad word. No you can't take a flask on your retreat for your juice. 

We are so ready for our own babies, and having HaRim made our hearts hope even more for that dream to be realized. We truly love HaRim more than anything in this world, and know that our lives will never be the same again. The home and family he helped us build will be a part of our children, and a part of our children's children. Patrick and I are richly blessed, and love that you got to take this journey with us.

Love you all!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


So much is distilled in our tears...I have learned that if you follow your tears, you will find your heart. And if you find your heart, you will find what is dear to God. And if you find what is dear to God, you will find the answer to how you should live your life. 

-Ken Gire