Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Life, Love and you guessed it.........MONEY (part 4)

Remember this series?

Be honest.

Okay I'll admit, I forgot too, but with a little prompting from a reader (thanks anonymous ;) I shall forge on.....

See, yet another example of how I don't carry through with things I start. GEEZ (okay enough negative self-talk).
Let's play catch up shall we:

Part 1 -- In this post I talked about how unhappy I was with my husband when I became the main breadwinner (he likes to use this term: 'sugar mama') in our relationship. This unhappiness does not stem from the idea that I think women should not assume financial responsibility in a relationship but has more to do with different expectations in a relationship (maybe cultural, maybe not). I also touched on some personal family money issues.

Part 2 -- I continued on about the family money saga and about how Sung Hyun and I viewed the same situation in 2 very different ways. I also talked about how Sung Hyun doesn't fit into the Korean community here.

Part 3 -- Was an optimistic post about (hopefully) good things to come!

Now onto Part 4...


When Sung Hyun first came to Canada he was employed almost immediately. He applied for about 8 welding jobs, advertised online, but didn't get so much as an interview. So he snatched up the first job that came his way. We accidentally applied for this position because we thought it was a welding job, but it turned out to be very different. For 6 months Sung Hyun worked outside (in the middle of winter) shoveling metal at a junk yard. He had a strong work ethic and all of his coworkers loved him. Even though he was well liked, made a decent amount of money ($20/ hour) as a new immigrant, he knew that this job was not something he wanted to do long term.

So he quit.

Our next plan was for him to challenge the Canadian welding exam. We filled out the paperwork (geez that was a process - yet another example of government bureaucracy) then once he got the approval to 'challenge the exam' all he had to do was the practical weld test. The only problem was that he was over a year out of practice and the welding in Canada was somehow different than what he was used to in Korea. So 1-2 months of test prep turned into 4 months. Even though Sung Hyun was not confident with his skills his welding teacher told him to just do the practical test. It was almost certain that he would fail the first time because the pass rate was around 20%.

Uncertain about his abilities, but with the urging of his teacher he went ahead and booked the welding exam. I dropped him off early in the morning and as I drove away I had butterflies in my stomach. Sung Hyun's future success in Canada was dependant on how well he did on his exam. Before he shut the door to my car door he said "I hope the examiner didn't fight with his wife last night" except it sounded more like this: "I hope test man is last night no fighting with his wife", you get the point.

I waited and waited and waited. All day I was anxious to find out if he passed. Since I was working ALL DAY it was my dad's responsibility to pick him up at the test centre.

SIX hours later Sung Hyun called.


I tried to cheer him up telling him that he could practice more and try again. Then he yelled JUST KIDDING in Korean. I was ecstatic and I didn't really believe him. When I got home he proudly displayed his new Canadian welding ticket.

We decided that the next best plan of action was for Sung Hyun to hold off on job searching until his Korean family finished up their vacation in Canada (which unfortunately didn't happen). So to pass the time before their arrival he went back to welding school. He was on a mission to get more welding tickets. And that he did.

He now holds 2 B Pressure welding tickets and a T.I.G carbon-carbon ticket. He passed all 3 exams on the first try. All 3 times he received compliments from the examiners.

Two weeks ago Sung Hyun came back from Korea. Two days later he went job hunting. He got offered 2 jobs with 2 different welding unions in the city. He started safety training the following Monday and Tuesday, went to his first job site on Wednesday and has been welding away ever since. He has to pass a daily x-ray inspection to see if his welding is up to code. Last Tuesday his bossed called him aside to give him his first report. All his x-rays came back perfect and his boss congratulated him and told him to keep doing a good job.

Only now is he starting realize that his work is valued. After spending 12 years in Korea welding, his skill and profession are FINALLY being recognized.

This my friends is why we came to CANADA.

Three cheers for my LOVER!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guess what I made today?

Here's a hint:

A first for me! My Korean mamma would be so PROUD!

Sunday weigh-in #14

Not as good as I had hoped for but not bad either. I'll take a 0.4 gain this week:

This week I've learned not to be so hard on myself. And to just 'keep going' even when the going gets tough.

Sunday breakfast

Saturday, August 27, 2011

STUPID, I know!

When the going gets TOUGH........

........I QUIT!

I make excuses for myself NOT to succeed. Stupid, I know!

"I don't deserve to do well, I don't deserve to be happy."

I set myself up for failure and fall short of accomplishing my goals (which are realistically set too high to begin with).

I didn't complete my last semester of Korean classes because I was worried I would fail the final exams. Stupid, I know!

I start something only to quit it a few months later. I rarely see projects from start to finish. When things get tough it's just easier to walk away and start something else; just get up and move, and keep going.

But then just the other night I found this inspiriting quote on the Internet:

"If you want to succeed, double your failure rate." Thomas Watson

And then moments later I found this little gem written by one of my favourite bloggers and I actually thought she wrote THIS for me.

When I read it I just sat there thinking. And I said to myself "Jennifer what the hell are you so afraid of? and why are you letting this fear stand in the way of who YOU are and who YOU want to be?" Stupid, I know!

So when times get tough instead of walking away I'm going to walk on over to my little bloggie and pour out my heart. Because it's comments like these from all my wonderful readers that really make a difference to me.

People reaching out to help me? Wow!

I may not have quantity but I certainly can count on my readers for quality.


Today I woke up and I followed through with one on my goals. I signed up for a 5K race over a month ago and I've been working hard to train for this race because if you know me I'm NOT a runner. I'm lucky to have met a wonderful lady (Sharla) through my good friend Tanya. Sharla was the first person to take me out for a run. The first time we went together was awful. I had to stop every couple of minutes. But she kept encouraging me to push on and make it to the end. When we finished the run she asked me when I would like to run again later that week. It was obvious that she could run much further distances at a much faster pace. Why would she want to go with me again if I was only holding her back? We scheduled another run a couple of days later and then the following week and before long I had gone on 5 or 6 runs with her.

Then she left for a 1 month vacation around Canada.

She told me that by the time she got back I'd be able to run the entire distance around the lake (about 4K) without stopping to walk. I didn't believe her.

So I kept running. I ran at night. I tracked a 5K course around my house and I went by myself. Then I signed up for a 5K race.

And she was almost right. By the time she got back I could run 5K with only one 30 second walking break. I set a goal for the race. I wanted to complete the 5K in 30 minutes.

But then, since I was having such a terrible week, I didn't run at all. My personal trainer at the gym cancelled my Monday workout because she was sick. It was a good 10 + days of zero exercise.

I felt awful. I was a failure.

I decided NOT to run the 5K race because I wasn't in 'good enough' shape. I had let myself go, when times got busy. I was disappointed at myself for not seeing this through, so I ate food (that didn't even taste that good) to make myself feel better. Stupid, I know.

But then I changed my mind. I decided that going out to run in a race, even if I didn't do well, would be better than not doing it. At least I'd be exercising.

So the night before the race I did nothing to prepare, in fact I even drank beer at dinner. I didn't set out my clothes. I didn't turn on my alarm clock. I didn't charge my watch.

I was creating as many obstacles for myself as I could so that I didn't have to do the race.

"Oh my shoes are old and I didn't have enough time to buy new ones so I probably shouldn't race."

"If I sleep in and miss the race then it wasn't meant to be. My body just needed the sleep."

"If I leave late, get in a panic then maybe I won't find the start, so I could just go home."

"Sung Hyun was supposed to race with me and he has to work today so I shouldn't go alone"


So today when I woke up I was nervous. I second guessed myself all the way to the race. I almost went home when I couldn't find a place to park.

"There is still time to back out"

"I'm going to smile in this picture, but man am I scared!"

This time NONE of my excuses stopped me from running.

TODAY I ran the 5K race!!!!

And my NEW goal before I started was to 'just finish the f'ing thing'.

So I surprised myself when I crossed the finish line at 29:59.

That's 1 second off my original goal that I never thought I could ever accomplish.


I also walked away with a prize to 'body talk' which apparently helps to relieve stress. Can't help but think that's a hint!

Thank you to my dear readers and an even bigger thank you to all those who have taken the time to comment. You're words have made a difference!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New post (about life) down below!

Hello dear readers, thanks for hanging on, I've posted about my life, as of late, down below the Sunday weigh-in so if you want to know how I'm doing please check it out!

On a more positive note, I found my Korean mom in Canada. Well, actually she's my Chinese student at Regina Open Door but acts exactly like my Korean mom. She's adorable, loveable and doesn't speak a lick of English. But that doesn't stop me from giving her hugs:

I'm in love! She makes me miss my K. mom even more.
Here's the whole gang! Actually they are all really great. I think it's pretty cool that they get to study English in this wonderful country for FREE. And I have the pleasure of teaching them. Pretty nifty ;)


A commenter last week asked about my skin routine. And I don't have any secret advice to give away, in fact if someone wants to teach me how to properly look after my skin that would be GRAND. I usually just wash it with soap and water and slap on some lotion. I was using Clinic for a few years but I ran out and haven't decided it was a priority in my life so I haven't picked up anything to replace it.

I know I said this before but I just wanted to make sure everyone was up to date about the travel agent who stole our money situation........he's signed a legal document drafted by a lawyer stating that he will pay the sum of the tickets back by the end of August. That's in less in a week, I'm getting anxious.

Another commenter asked me to finish my money series. DUH! I always half start projects and never finish them. Sorry to keep you waiting. That will be on my check list of things to tackle soon.

I have been taking an intensive TESOL teaching course during the month of August that will get me accredited by Languages Canada so I can teach anywhere in Canada.

Sung Hyun got a job! YAHHH!!! After 5 months of no income it's nice that he's back in the game. I didn't tell you about this did I?! Probably another reason I felt so much pressure to work 5 jobs at once. He wanted to take a couple of months off to get some welding tickets but 1-2 months turned into 5 and my income during that time didn't cover the welding courses he was taking. So it's a huge relief that he'll be making money again. More to write about that in the MONEY series.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday weigh-in #13

Last week I was 151.8 so I'm happy with the results this week:

And next week I'd like to kiss the 150's goodbye!

Friday dinner eats!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Honest and true to EVERYONE else but not MYSELF!

I've got a confession to make.

I need to re-evaluate what is important to me. I know, you (my dear readers) have been telling me this from the start. Sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of things that make you happy, things that you want to accomplish. Don't worry, I hear these words echoing in the back of my head.

I just haven't listened.

Because I thought coming home (back to Canada) and working a regular job and saving up money to buy a house would make me happy. I thought because that is what everyone else (with a exception of a few) is doing then I should be doing that too. In Korea I felt that I was 'getting behind' on life and that I should quickly get into the work world, secure a steady job (you know one that comes with pension and EDO's because those are 'the best') work my way up the ladder, go to grad school (because that's the new Bachelor's Degree) buy a house (complete with a picket fence - white, of course!) and then make babies.

But the simple truth is, that this is not what makes ME happy (not at this moment anyways). And I feel pressured by my husband, by my family, to subscribe to these ideals. So I've got the good job, I'm going to grad school, I've saved up a deposit for a house and I look around and say 'what's next?'. And even though I know THIS in NOT what makes me happy I still get up everyday and participate in this LIFE that I've created for myself. AND the worst part is that I've only got myself to blame. No one forced me to do this.

So I've been filling my time up with work. Because if I work I don't have to think. I get home exhausted, have a shit ton of homework and prep to do, go to work on weekends and I'm so distracted that I don't have time to know any different. I haven't scheduled in time for my husband or myself and I know that sounds awful but if I slow down and stop for a second then it's too hard for me to keep going. It's all or nothing!

It all came to a HEAD this past Friday. I had a mini melt down (okay A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN) and because the previous 2 nights I only slept for 4 hours I didn't even have enough energy to cry. I had terrible pains in my chest, felt anxious all the time, and at one point after my second cup of coffee I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest.

So I've got some hard thinking to do in the next little while. This week was a rough one, hence the lack of interaction on this blog. Instead I've been stuffing my face with fatty foods because that is what I do when things don't work out. And I'm so disappointed in myself for doing this because nothing good ever comes of it.


So that's my life as of late. How's yours?

Thursday eats

sideways oatmeal.....my camera is wonky (or I don't know how to use it properly)
2 cups of strong coffee = bad idea (lesson learned)
3 samosa, beans and sausage
grapes (in case you didn't know - hehe)
chicken salad and cherries
hummus with pita bread and other yummy stuff

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday eats

Sorry that this blog has turned into a photo gallery of my food consumption but I have to say it's really motivating me to eat healthier. I'm more conscious of what I'm putting in my mouth and I'm expecting to see good results on the scale this Sunday because of it. Here's what I ate today:

Egg (mostly the white) with a pear for breakfast
egg salad bagel for lunch
snack during break
snack during break

.......with a side of cheese (and I'm not talking about the food)
chicken salad with Italian dressing
small helping of noodles a student brought to class today

This was pretty cool!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Sung Hyun is back from Korea. As soon as he arrived home he started unpacking all his goodies and made little piles in our room. He's organized like that (probably why my mom likes his so much!)
He came back with Korean canned tuna (weird!) and lots of instant packaged coffee (weirder!)
We both pretended to be excited to see each other again!
Then I tucked him into bed


I was pretty happy to see him, I'll admit

Tuesday eats

black coffee + OIAJ (Oats In A Jar)
This breakfast is prepared the night before, left in the fridge and eaten cold the next day. I've mixed almond milk and Greek yogurt with raw oatmeal, chia seeds, cinnamon, and flax. Then in the morning I topped it off with almond butter (peanut butter would work fine too)
whole grain veggie & feta pizza with veggies
snack (blueberry banana muffin and grapes)
snack (banana and nuts/ dried blueberries)
dinner (chicken salad with Italian dressing)
snack (fruit PLUS 2 sushi rolls)

Monday eats

Maybe I'm eating too much? Thoughts?

had 3 pieces

* 1 hour personal training


Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday eats


3 egg whites cooked with oatmeal and blueberries topped with natural peanut butter with some black iced coffee

Chickpeas with Indian spices, Greek yogurt, strawberries and carrots with a green monster to drink

How to make a green monster: 1/2 c. almond milk, 1/2 c. water, 1 frozen banana + 2 handfuls of spinach.....blend until smooth

pistachios with a plum

steak, salad, mushrooms and potatoes


shared this plate with a friend