Back at it

Has it really been over a year since I’ve last posted? Lots have changed since then, but it’s too long and boring to write except for the fact that I’m engaged.

Wedding planning has begun and is in full-swing, and it’s exciting! But here’s the thing: our budget is tight, especially considering it’s a Chicago wedding. There will definitely be more posts coming regarding the budget and wedding planning, but until then, know that our budget is $15,000 for 120 people. Can it work? Well, it’s gotta.



summer nights

Late night snacks are always a good idea – sometimes. There’s a culture of eating meals at convenient stores here; specifically, instant ramen noodles. I always see it on tv or hear of it through friends and family members, and I finally got to experience it!

Let’s get one thing clear. I never eat this late and I haven’t eaten instant ramen in about 4-5 years. Even at church retreats when they give it out as midnight snacks, I refuse to eat it.


But it was 1:30AM and the conditions were perfect. I told my cousins I wouldn’t eat any but after almost no convincing, I was in line with them, pouring hot water into my container. It was…. amazing, haha. I didn’t think I would enjoy it that much, but it was so good. I don’t think it was the noodles per se that were good, but the ambiance was perfect: the brisk air, sitting outside of a convenience store, and talking life with my cousins. These moments don’t come easily, and I think I’ll look back on this night and smile every time I think of it.

it begins with failure

A lot of times I look at success, whether it be in a relationship or a career or a mindset, as an immediate occurrence rather than constant effort. I blame myself for this mentality, but I also blame the culture I grew up in and the way I’ve been socialized to believe that everyone attains success and has their lives figured out by age 23. What a lie this world feeds us! I always forget about how Daniel and his companions suffered for their faith and how Joseph’s rise to power came with time and righteousness. Or how Esther had to sacrifice and risked her people, or how Ruth had stayed faithful to her mother-in-law and gleaned the fields for something to eat.

It’s so easy to get lost in the little things in life rather than looking at the bigger picture. I’m learning about but more importantly accepting failure. Failure is a good thing and necessary thing. I mean, c’mon… Oprah was fired from her job, Seinfeld was booed off stage, Marilyn Monroe was told she couldn’t become a model, J.K Rowling lived off welfare, etc. You get the point.

A lot of times I get embarrassed by mistakes and failures and I get shy and my self-confidence drops to the point I want to hide under my bedsheets for days, but that’s the thing. Embarrassing setbacks and attempts are building blocks to something greater, even leading to major lifestyle changes.

Yes, I’ve been in a slump this past year.
Yes, I did horribly on an interview this week.
Yes, I’ll sometimes eat bags of popcorn (healthier than chips) and live vicariously through blogs to make myself feel better.

But do I regret any failed interview or days wasted eating popcorn? For some time I was hard on myself and thought I did, but the thing is.. I really don’t. I’m learning something more valuable, and that’s to get back on my feet again.


Flowers are always a good reminder for me of God’s faithfulness. People don’t know or understand why I dry flowers or press them or collect photos of them, but it’s because I’m always reminded of how good God is and how great his mercy is. If he takes care of the lilies of the field, how much more will he take care of and provide for me. And yet, even King Solomon wasn’t clothed as elegantly as these.

Cheers to the opportunity to be in Korea.
Cheers to flowers – dead and alive.
Cheers to living life.

happy days


Sometimes I feel like I have to dress like a Korean or I’ll get mad judged. Then there are other times I dress like a nineties chick in leggings, keds, and a sweater tied around my waist. One thing I’m learning again and again here is that you just gotta be confident. Who cares if they judge? Gotta stay true to who I am.

On a different note, it’s finally feeling like spring! Sunshine and a light breeze in the air. If only the humidity would go away, it would be perfect. Cafes feel like my escape into society. If I’m not at a cafe, I’m usually at home alone and it can get pretty lonely. I love going to them in Chicago but I love them even more here! It gives me a sense of community and just puts me in a better mood, especially if the lighting and atmosphere is on point.


weekend roundup

The weather here has been really crummy this weekend. Rain, rain, rain. It would be better if it would just pour but its just been glum. But just because the weather has been downcast doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the weekend. It was actually pretty packed. My dad hurt his leg playing tennis so I’ve been going to the hospital with him the past couple days to get therapy, spent an afternoon in Gangnam, and took a day trip down to Daejun. Packed to say the least!


1. Fresh juice that costs 7,500 won. Um, no thanks.
2. This concept was cool. A cafe within an Urban Outfitters-esque store
3. Pastries and pastries and pastries galoreIMG_2429My parents sharing food at a gas station/rest area on the way down to Daejun. Cute, no? It was a snack before we went to the greatest buffet of my life. Photos of 2 of like 8 plates I ate. The sushi and dessert were amazing!
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market day

Overexposed photos, just the way I like them. Every Thursday, there’s a street market in our city, so I made my way over there this afternoon. So many venders and so many people! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to people not walking on the right side of the street/side walk and people bumping into each other without saying excuse me. But I do think I can get used to the freshly fried donuts. It was probably the most delicious thing I’ve eaten so far, and it only cost 50 cents. Say whaaat. It was so good I went back on my way home and bought four more! Looking forward to getting more next week!

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thought #1

I would like to think I’m open to new cultures and experiences. That I’m able to adjust easily to changing circumstances. But why is it so difficult for me to get accustomed to Korean culture? When it comes to Korea, I’m so critical from the way they dress to the way they treat workers to the way they lavishly live their lives. Truly, an outsider and Western “I’m better than you” mentality. Because let me be honest, sometimes when I’m out with my parents, I’ll speak English rather than Korean to show people that I’m from the States. Messed up, yo.

Yesterday I went to a cafe to order an Iced Americano. After I thought I had successfully ordered, the cashier said something about having a membership or getting a discount. I’m not sure which it was but either way, my response was a blank stare. I immediately said, “Excuse me? I don’t know what that is. I’m from America” in English. The waiter just smiled and apologized.

It’s hard, and I think it’s hard because I don’t want to be embarrassed. I realize that using the “I’m from the States” phrase is only an excuse to get away with not knowing the culture or language (note: very different from being ignorant of the culture). In a sense, I don’t want to associate myself with Koreans, and it’s always been like that. I’m hoping during my time here my mentality will change and I’ll be more open to this place. Because let’s be real, there’s a lot of great things to like about this place like the sheep cafe I will be visiting next week. Yes, a sheep cafe.