Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I was asked by my father to transcribe my grandpa's diary.  Scribbled in pen and pencil and written over the span of three years, this diary is a personal account of my grandfather's life as a solider in World War II.  It starts July 2nd, 1940.   

When my father asked me to do this, over a year ago, I was not at all interested.  I was busy.  I had too many things to do.  But this year during the holiday season I thought I'd start.  

I need a magnifying glass and a light.  I'll need some patience and a second opinion too, but I have indeed started.  

I have opened the diary.

And in doing this, I have entered a new world.

The words etched into these pages were written by a young man only beginning to learn about life.  A man who was cheeky, who was curious, who wanted to have a good time.  This man I knew only as my grandfather.  His war stories are of times before he met and married my grandmother.  Before he ever dreamed of having a family.  

So as my eyes take time to examine the ink pressed into the weathered paper, my mind takes time to imagine his reality, to create a picture in my head of his experience.  As I delicately hold the edges of the paper, I imagine his hands pressed along these same pages, sixty years prior.

My grandpa nearly died in the war.  He was injured and removed from duty when shrapnel from his tank exploded and pierced his body, killing his friend in the seat next to him.  My grandpa, who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, never spoke of the war.  It was a thing of the past, something he wanted to forget.

But he's doing it now, sixty years later, on paper.

Oh, the questions I would ask him if he were still alive.

Simple Love: We couldn't be more opposite

When Sung Hyun walked into my office with all the journal articles on the floor and post-it notes on the walls he said one thing: "wow, this room smell is a geek."

He does not step foot in my office anymore.  It's the geek room.

Often at night during the week when Sung Hyun is out of town I'll read before bed -- most likely journal articles or books of some sorts.  I underline the passages that are of interest.  I write in the margins.

Last Saturday night while I was chatting in bed with Sung Hyun he came across something hard under the covers by his feet.

As he pulled a mechanical pencil out from the covers he threw it to my side of the floor, "what is this geek tool doing in bed?!"

We laughed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The little owl pillows


One of the coolest things I brought back from Korea this summer was something for myself.  This little something is no where to be found in stores and since I've been back in Canada lots of people have been asking where I got my little owl pillows.

Well I'm here to tell you:

A lovely lady named Gabrielle, Gabby for short, made them for me on special request.  

I wanted.......wait for and purple pillows to match my Christmas tree living room (I bet you would have never guessed!)

Gabby happily worked with me and sent me pattern samples by email until I was happy with the colours (and trust me, I'm kind of picky like that).

And I'm here to pass on the cuteness.  She'll happily work with you to do the same if you are interested -- and she'll ship internationally!  

Here's a small peek:

For information on pricing and sizes etc. contact Gabby at: (and tell her I say 'hi')

Disclaimer: I'm not making any money for this post or receiving free product :)

Sung Hyun's cheating on me

We sold Sung Hyun's baby last weekend.  He almost cried.  He stood in the driveway waving to it as the new owner whisked it away.  

That's one less thing for us to worry about.  Selling a baby car is a bit stressful, especially in winter.  

Here's his new ride:

He's calling this one his girlfriend.

Slightly jealous, I am not! 

(I'm still his wife, ha!) 

An early Christmas present

My dear friend Anne-Marie, whom I met in Korea, is staying with me this week.  Unfortunately she's at work full-time doing an externship with an audiology clinic in my city for part of her speech language pathology school requirements, so my time with her is limited.  But I'll take every moment I can have with her because she's such a dear friend.

Since I drive her to work in the morning I'm up when it's still dark out (holy snap, welcome to real life Jen!) which hasn't happened for a very long time.  There's so much day in front of me that I really don't know what to do with myself.  I guess I should start my Christmas shopping.  Yesterday I went to the university gym and got some running around done (HELLO IAN - he was bugging me about my white Christmas tree).  

I've got a long list of things to accomplish during my short break from school and Anne-Marie is just the friend to kick me into high gear.  She super organized and usually sorts out my clothes or 

Here is some of the fun we got into in Korea:

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Going to CUBA

I'm going to Cuba in a month.

So diet starts in T-tmrs (tee minus tomorrow).

And tomorrow turns into the next tomorrow.

And the next next tomorrow.

It's simple:  I'm gonna be a jiggly mess on the beach!  A HOT jiggly mess on the beach


(how can I eat healthy this month....seems to be IMPOSSIBLEEEEEEE)

Like everyone else

I just had to be like everyone else with my white Christmas tree and purple and green decorations!


People have green trees?

I never did 'fit' in :)


p.s. (funny story): when I told my mom I bought a 'white' Christmas tree she exploded and said, "a WHITE tree?  That's not a real Christmas tree!"

p.p.s. my mom has a 'real' Christmas tree.  It's a 'green' plastic one ;)

(sorry mom)

The perfect dish

Okay so my favourite store in the city is HomeSense.  They have super cool home stuff and you all know I like to buy home goodies.  So when I saw this green and purple raised serving platter I KNEW I had to buy it (hello! it matches my decor) -- it was a $17 SCORE!

The problem is...I don't cook.  So when Sung Hyun said, "what are you going to do with that?" and I replied, "I'm going to bake a cake," I knew I had to do exactly that.  

I'm a woman of my word (sometimes)

So I made a cheesecake.  Okay I didn't make it.  I had the students that I tutor come over and make it while I supervised.  

When Sung Hyun got home this weekend I took all the credit, "See, look....I used the tray"

So the perfect dish turned me into the PERFECT WIFE, you see!

She's cool like that!

Have you ever met a blogger in real life?  I mean someone that you follow online first and then have the chance to meet in person?


I've been meaning to write this post for a long while because it's been long overdue.

Her name is Jolene.  She's smart (wrapping up her Master's as an A+ student in just over a YEAR! -- dude, it's gonna take me a year to decide on a topic).  She's got a full-time job (as a teacher).  She makes the most delicious looking meals (don't believe me? check here -- she even makes kimchi, KIMCHI....yup, that's right....pretty sure my mother-in-law would LOVE her too.  And my husband!!)

Anyways, I've met Jolene twice.  She's even cooler in person.  And we're kind of completely opposite but still the same.  She's neat and tidy and organized and efficient.  And I'm the opposite of all of those -- kinda like a hot mess.  But we're connected with school and swap grad stories like we're childhood friends on the play ground.

And she's got a boyfriend who plays that drums....and has tattoos.  He kind of looks bad ass but I'm guessing he's a sweetie.  And I've just started my love affair with music (seriously, I NEVER really listened to music before and I still don't know how to download me a geek).

I'm kind of hoping she'll invite me to a show so I can get drunk, dance, and pretend I'm cool.  Kind of like sex, drugs, rock n' roll (minus the sex and drugs)!

She wrote about our meetings on her blog because clearly she's more organized then I'll ever be.  But for some reason I can't link to the direct entry where she was talking about ME.  So incase you don't believe that I met this cool gal in person go check out her blog in September and click older posts (at the bottom of the page) then you can see ma' pretty face (and double kimchi fingers).

Where to start?

I seem to have lost my camera.  I write much better when I start with a picture.  This white screen looking back at me right now is.....scary.

Here goes...

School is done for the semester and I feel AMAZING.  What a wild ride it was.  Lots of highs and certainly plenty of lows.  For the past 2 weeks or so I had my nose to the grind and was dedicating every minute to my school work.  There's no such thing as balance in my books!  

So need less to say, I'm happily in love with my husband again.  It's amazing how I can truly enjoy my time with him when I don't have a thesis bubble following me around EVERYWHERE.  I'm giving myself a 3 week break!  

Seriously I'd wake up in cold sweats for the last week or so because I didn't have a direction for my final paper.  I buried myself in the literature.  All I could think about was my topic.  I devoured any book/ article that I could find and I'm pretty proud to say that I am starting to enjoy reading, albeit I'll always LOVE writing more.

AND I found an editor to proof read my stuff, which I'll pay in coffee/ lunch dates.

During my studies one night I went blind.  For 30 minutes, all I could see was a bright light, like a bar code, that dashed across my vision.  It was scary.  I cried and panicked and thought I'd lose my vision, because even when I closed my eyes I could still see the light.  It was better the next day with some rest.  I suspect my eyes were strained from looking at the computer screen for 10+ hours a day.

Okay what else....

I got a job as an RA (research assistant) then the next day I lost the job because the professor "changed her mind" and decided she didn't want an RA.  So that screwed me out of the job I turned down (because I accepted the RA position).  So no work next semester.  What shall I do with all my time?

HA!  I'll find a way to fill it....I'm not worried about that.

I miss writing.  I've connected with some real cool people in real life and had many good conversations with these people.  

I'm finding my way in the mess that is grad school.  I'm growing more than I ever expected and pushing myself past limits that I didn't even know existed. 

It's lovely and complicated all rolled up into one -- quite transformational and I LOVE IT!