안녕히 계세요

2012, what can I say? I was happy to have known you, but I’m glad you’re almost gone. In 2012 we learned just how much we could do without (health insurance, fancy dinners, new clothes) and what was non-negotiable (spending time with friends, home-cooked meals, lots and lots of books for Desmond). We are excited for 2013. It’s going to be epic. I promise.  I also promise that we are pretty much done blogging. We got our 2012 stats from WordPress, and while I think it was meant to be an encouragement to keep blogging, it really cemented for me why I should stop. Every single one of the most read posts were written in 2010 or 2011, and they were all about living in Korea.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad those posts have staying power, and I’m really happy to be able to give some sort of guidance for pregnant foreigners residing in Korea, but I think this blog has reached the end of its usefulness. It started off as a travel blog, and unfortunately we’re pretty stationary at the moment. I live a very ordinary life, and while Desmond may be exceptionally cute, I’m just not really willing to put aside time to style him and take photos of how lovely our life is together, much less sit down and think of a way to put words to photos. I also don’t feel comfortable talking about my job the way I did when we lived abroad. I love my job more than I’ve ever loved any job, and since I devote a good part of my life to it, the things I am able to publicly share have dwindled considerably.   I know some bloggers found success by posting about the “real” stuff, but I don’t want to do that. The real stuff is real, and while we’ve hinted at our financial situation and living situation etc., I don’t really want to go blabbing about just how hard things have been to the internet at large.

Don’t let it get you down, just know that while you might not see any new posts, that just means we are working even harder and trying even more to make our lives awesome. We might upload a video or photo from time to time, but for now we are officially signing off.  Thanks for reading,

Happy New Year,


Joo-Young, Julie, and Desmond

Dressing Desmond

I remember when Des was just a glimmer in our eye and a wave of nausea in my stomach. I remember looking at baby clothes and thinking, there’s no way anything could ever fit in something so small. Then he arrived and we dressed him up in every tiny outfit we’d stored up and you know what? They were big on him. Then, just the other day Joo-Young and I were going boot shopping for Des and we saw the best pair of little froggy rain-boots. We sighed when we realized they were way too big. We debated buying them now and waiting a few months until Joo-Young   got the genius idea to hold one up to Desmond’s foot. They were a perfect fit. I know I should have gotten accepted this by now, but it seems my tiny baby is now hulking out of all of his clothes and is ever-threatening to fit into the next size up.  Folks, we have a toddler on our hands.
IMG_3960 Desmond in all of his booted glory

IMG_3951 He also finally fits into this sweet alpaca tunic from Kat and Nathan.

IMG_3944 He’s got a way to go before he fits in this one though.

IMG_3927 But don’t tell him that.

IMG_3922 He thinks it fits juuust great.





Thanksgiving came and went, and mostly none of the photos came out. Isn’t it always the way? Well for us it is. Hours of cooking and labor are celebrated by a spread that photographs like a school lunch. Don’t worry, even though I can’t prove it to you, I can promise that it was delicious, and it even looked nice too. My parents and grandparents came, as did my mom’s little brother. At the end of the night (who are we kidding, it was seven thirty) we sent everyone off with leftover dinner packed into restaurant take-out boxes, which I thought was pretty awesome and I wonder why no one has thought of doing that before (besides restaurants of course).

IMG_3869 Joo-Young cooked (duh)

IMG_3882 (I cleaned (double duh).

Then, just three short days later we found ourselves at another family Thanksgiving at my Grandparent’s house with cousins and aunties and uncles and a particular strain of the white elephant game that never quite seems to end. Desmond had a grand old time robbing everyone of their garbage presents.  I was even able to let my crazy-mom gene lie dormant while Des stuffed his face with pumpkin pie and whipped cream.  Go for it buddy; Thanksgiving II is your day to shine.

IMG_3901 Desmond and his Great-Grandpa, Jim.

IMG_3916 Back home and filled with holiday cheer, we decided to get our Christmas tree. It is a rosemary bush from Trader Joe’s. Ho ho ho.

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Finally Posting

Okay, I am posting something now.  It has been a long time.  It is a video complete with me posing as a deceased sheep papa and Desmond playing the sandbag banjo.  If that’s not enough to excite you, well then you might not be human.

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Jelly and Boy


Jelly is the most patient cat in the world. Perhaps she is so calm because of Garrison Keillor’s non-stop soothing droning in our kitchen. Oh Prairie Home Companion, we are simultaneously irritated and charmed by you.

And then there’s this:  A lovely video of the two friends at play, and then in the background a thorough discussion on NPR about the movie Alien complete with a sound clip of the monster bursting out of the guy’s chest.  Damn you NPR– you work your way into wayyy too many of our home movies.

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Just Checking In

Sorry for the silence, photos coming soon, and video.  So many videos.  Stay tuned.


Desmond’s great grandma and great grandpa got him a tiger suit for Halloween, and therefore we had to use every available opportunity for him to wear it.  It got to the point where he’d point at it all day and then when he got to put it on he’d run around in a fabulous mood grinning at everyone and knowing just how cute he was.

first we got all gussied up for our neighbor’s pumpkin carving party.

 That eyeliner nose didn’t last too long.

It was practically a hurricane outside (Sorry New Yorkers, too soon?) and so the gentlemen of the party decided to rig some tarps over our courtyard to provide a rain-free carving experience.  It worked great except if you happened to be standing near the edge when the tarp got full of water, then you were subject to a fully-clothed impromptu shower.

 Only three of our friends (& baby Mina) braved the weather, but we got to meet lots of new people and we all drank so much cider and ate so much squash soup that we had a grand old time anyway.

My pumpkin son.

Pumpkin family. In case you can’t tell what Joo-Young’s pumpkin is on the end there, it’s a werewolf battling a robot. Obviously.

This is our neighbor’s front window. They LOVE Halloween.

Then…. the real Halloween happened!  We went to our neighbor’s and got the babies all ready to go.  Desmond was a tiger (of course) and Olivia was a cow.  Then Olivia’s grandma brought out her stash of costumes, and we all threw something on.  I guess as an adult you can get away with wearing a hat and calling it a costume, Joo-Young and I did anyway.  I think he was a cast-a-way and I was a half-hearted cowgirl (I added boots to try to give it some flair).

Our front steps.

Cruising the beautiful houses on 16th. We never actually trick-or-treated, but we got to see everyone else in their costumes, and that was practically good enough (notice that I say practically. Obviously it would have been better to collect a giant candy hoard all to myself, but since the babies aren’t even old enough for candy, it would have been pretty gross if we’d gone begging to all the Halloween-weary candy saints at each house. We have our dignity to protect here people).

This guy. First we thought he was a statue. Then we thought he was a kid. Turns out there’s a full-grown man in that gremlin costume. Really getting into the spirit buddy. But seriously, this guy was rad.

Cow and Tiger entrapped on the backs of clown and cowgirl.

Can you see the Darth Vader pumpkin? The little girl handing out the candy was dressed as Princess Leia. We don’t have a picture because it’s sort of creepy to take photos of six year old girls who don’t belong to you… or is it? We can never tell what’s creepy anymore.

The Volunteer Park Conservatory was holding their second annual Haunted Conservatory, so we hiked over to see what all the fuss was about.

Ummm… it was pretty awesome. Joo-Young was playing with new settings on the camera throughout this, so unfortunately we don’t have photos of the bloody butler handing out candy eyeballs at the door or the fortune-teller in the cactus room, but I think you can get an idea of the awesomeness that we found under that ancient glass roof.

Free cider and cacti? Clearly I’m in heaven.

Chrysanthemum display outside the carnivorous plant room (no, no photos there… sorry team, call my husband to complain).

Pan in his labyrinth.


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Pumpkin Patch Part 2

Desmond’s fourth latte of the day.

Tessa really gets into the corn maze spirit.

Yes, it’s true.  All of these terribly attractive people are from Vashon Island.

Desmond made sure to taste each pumpkin to check which was the freshest.

This is from just last year!  Look how much he’s grown!  A gnome into a real boy.

For more photos of our pumpkin adventures, please visit my friend Kate’s blog.

Pumpkin Patch Part 1

The pumpkin patch! Here is the first batch! They are quite a catch!

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Hi guys, this has been the best week. Let me give you a little run down:

Desmond’s climbing skills have really taken off…

…and so have his walking skills! Yes, this little monster is mobile! He also got his first pair of jeans. And by jeans I mean jeggings sized for a three year old. Room to grow buddy. Room to grow.

He got some new boots…

…and some rad new pants. Put them together and you’ve got a magic combination of gnome and jazzercize.

We took some extreme close-ups,

and he got a little freaked out when papa tried imitating a napping sheep

He tried to get into everything,

but was thwarted by his parents childproofing skills.

But hey, he got over it pretty quick.

And then you guys? The coolest thing happened. We were wandering through the farmers’ market while I wished out-loud that there was a box of free kittens nearby, when suddenly we rounded the corner and there was the big Humane Society Cat-Mobile!   And there were cats inside! And we got one! And they waved the fee! So really, it was like we happened across a giant metal box of free cats! Obviously that’s not nearly as romantic as my original wish, but either way it was meant to be, and so now, I introduce you all to Jelly, who in her three days with us has proven to be quite possibly the world’s most perfect cat. Let me tell you, she really goes quite nicely with the world’s most perfect baby and the world’s most perfect husband (I’m starting a collection you see).

Whoa, Dad, you mean we get to keep this thing?

I will use my best gentle touch…

..and then I’ll get reeaallly close and see if she still loves me (she does!)

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