New Blog Site!

the new blog!

the new blog!

Hey there!

I’m excited to share my new blog site with you. There are many changes, but it’s still the same old me :)  I’m so thankful for those of you that follow this blog and hope to see you around on the new site!

xo.

Mrs. Kim

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Bright Side of the Road

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Sunshine. Jacket & scarf temps. Easy Breezy. The weather has gone and turned gorgeous.

And I’m thinking Hallelujah! with every step I take.

…A little Puff Daddy, anyone??

Every step I taaaaaaaaaake…every move I make / Every single day, every time I pray…I’ll be missing you…

(Side note: Whenever the stalker song Every Breath You Take comes on by the Police, I always get tricked and excitedly think it’s Puff Daddy…am I the only one??? Always gets me…every. single. time.) 

Today I can’t help but hum along to Van Morrison’s  “Bright Side of the Road” as it plays along in my inner jukebox (does that song not just make you want to skip everywhere,…or is it just me???)

So, since the weather is so amazing, I decided to post a little peek at the Kims’ Europiversary Trip pics.  Most days it was pretty grey and rainy, but the first day we arrived the sun sparkled as it kissed us just so. 

Happy Tuesday, friends! 

xo,

mrs. kim

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The last photo is our first glimpse of Ghent in Belgium. Such an adorable little town…but, more on that later ;) 

 

Why My Husband Is Better Than Yours

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I am still sick (how’s that for putting a little bah-humbug on the holiday spirits?) and, to top it off, we are canceling our holiday party scheduled for this weekend.  So, to not think about how disappointed I am, I’ve been charged with scouting out all the best Parisian and Belgian “musts” for our Europiversary trip in….23 days!

So, with me being so sick lately (3 weeks and counting to a little more precise), I just wanted to proclaim to the world that I most definitely have the best husband in the world.  He cooks. He cleans. He cuddles.  Yesterday he came home with our 2-day museum passes for Paris. And today…(I just L.O.V.E. this)…he made homemade tea for his sick, coughing, voiceless wife.  Now I just have to wait three whole days for it to marinate before I can sip down that yummy ginger-jujube-honeyliciousness (he even sat and pitted all the jujubes!). 

He’s simply the best. 

Stay warm out there (or cool…if you’re in the tropics ;).

xo,

Mrs. Kim 

 

The Spirit of Christmas

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I can hardly even believe it’s December already.

In less than a month, Mr. Kim and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. It sort of blows my mind to think that a full year has almost gone by.

Happy belated Turkey Day to you and yours…my lovely hubs was taking care of his sick wife…again. He’s the best. Really. The. Best.

Well, with the Siberian winds making their way over to Korea, I have been thinking a lot lately about those who don’t have a warm place to go home to.

A couple of weeks ago I went into one of the subway stations in Seoul to go home after a Bible study, and there were all these homeless people trying to keep warm under cardboard and old ratty blankets, huddled on top of the cold, dirty tile floor.

Crowds of passersby bustled past them without even a glance, except maybe to keep from stumbling over one. I immediately felt my heart drop and paused for a long moment.

I couldn’t truly know how that must feel. I can imagine it would be utterly cold and lonely. And probably quite hopeless.  What I wanted to do was drape my coat over them.  Not only for warmth, but to show that…among the hundreds of people who pass them by without a care in the world… someone does, in fact, care.

When you live in poverty, you don’t expect much, except that you’ll be without. When you live in poverty, you understand very clearly just how many people have compassion in this world…how many have grace and generosity.  When you live in poverty, charity isn’t something that you think about once or twice a year; charity is something you hope for, you know that you need daily…whether you get it or not.

I remember when I first started working in developing countries as a teenager and into my early twenties. The amount of people in need was overwhelming. I remember feeling so small: How could I…little ole me…really make any difference? I had this huge desire and passion to help but felt paralyzed by the fear that all my efforts wouldn’t actually amount to anything at all. I felt confused.

And then I met a girl I’m going to call Anya. I was 18 at the time. She was probably about 14. She was orphaned when her mother (a prostitute) was put in jail.  I spent part of my summer serving with this charity, which runs several programs in Russia. The summer before my mother had died in car crash my family was in.

During my time in Moscow, I lived in the orphanage. The orphanage itself was run by the government and, to give you an idea of what it was like, when I looked from my bedroom window at the orphanage there were prostitutes waiting, old needles strewn about, and drug addicts waiting for their next hit.

Anya and I bonded quickly during my stay. She told me she liked my “I Y New York” t-shirt one day, and so I decided to give it to her. She was ecstatic. We talked about life. Asked lots of questions about each other’s lives.

When I told her that my mom had died, she said, “Wow, that is difficult…?” I nodded. Then she told me about her mother, who had been put in jail again. She looked down at her toes. I, too, looked at my toes and tried to imagine what she must be feeling.

I could understand what it was to lose my mother. I connected with her immediately in that way. Though, in the same way, I felt that our situations were also very different. I had a wonderful mother for the time she was on this earth, one who was never put in jail and was always there to raise me. I still had my father, who loved me and took care of my every need. I had never been an orphan. I had never lived in…or really even been to…a place like where she’s living.

As I felt overwhelmed by the poverty and needs I saw during my time in Russia, I would always go back to Anya. How would I feel, orphaned and alone, to know that even just one single person in the world cared about me?  I would feel hopeful. I would feel loved. That my life actually mattered…to someone. 

I decided then that every life mattered. Even if I could only help one person—Anya—to feel loved, to feel cared for…anything…then it was worth it.

Because her life mattered. It mattered to her.

From that time on, wherever I go and whomever I serve…I always remind myself of Anya. I do my best to make a difference not in many people’s lives, but in someone’s life.

Not to get all religiousy on you, but isn’t Christmas supposed to be about celebrating the birth of Jesus?  It’s not really about Santa (though my dad still  gives us gifts that are “from Santa!”), but it is about giving.

Jesus, whether you are religious or not, was a man who lived thousands of years ago. He lived his life kneeling down to help the marginalized. He noticed those whom others made an effort to ignore. He touched the untouchables.

To keep it simple, he made people feel loved, cared for…and that their lives mattered.

On the subway that night, I went on my way, lost in those thoughts. And it brought me back to similar thing that happened to me when I lived in Philly several years ago. In the same way this experience has stuck with me for weeks, it stayed with me. And so, I was inspired to do something. I told a couple of close friends that I wanted to go to LOVE Park to give some coats and food to the homeless there. Anyone who wanted to come was welcome. We ended up piling into my car, coats loaded in the trunk, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a big thermos of hot cocoa.

I remember approaching the first few people, who were huddled under blankets, trying to escape the bitter cold. They were startled at first, and then confused and surprised. But what happened next was quite amazing.

As we handed them the things we had brought, we also gave them smiles.  We talked to them. And we listened as they talked. They talked about their hardships. About their gratitude for us. About their lives.

I honestly don’t think that it mattered what they talked about, but just the fact that someone was listening to them meant so much. I could see it in their eyes…it’s a look someone gets when they recognize that someone cares about them.

And so, this Christmas…our first Christmas as newlyweds…Mr. Kim and I decided to share a little love, warmth…and hopefully joy to those who have quite a bit less than we do.  We’ll be heading to Seoul on Christmas afternoon with our trunk filled with as many socks and gloves and whatever other warm things we can get our hands on.  And our hearts filled with love and hope that we can let someone know that someone does care. 

I’d like to think that’s the true spirit of Christmas….and that, if we look for it, it’s actually all around us.

Have you seen this spirit of Christmas lately? I’d love to hear about it!

xo,

Mrs. Kim

*The photo at the top is from our second annual coat drive n Philly for the homeless at LOVE park. Me (far right), a few friends and a homeless woman with her three kids.

November 19, 2013 :: Focus on What Matters

I wrote the following about a week or so go, and have been sick so I’m just posting it now…
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I saw a woman at Starbucks today, sitting alone with what was most likely an Americano (because that’s what the average Korean at Starbucks drinks), a small raspberry-pink leather journal and a pencil. 

And I envied her…just a bit.

I have been craving to go back to the art of journaling again lately. Journals with crisp paper. Pens that write well. Time to get lost in thoughts. To breathe. To reflect. To inhale. Exhale. Stretch. Expand.

Expand. Life feels so compressing lately. We are doing so many good things, but so often I feel like there’s no time to breathe. To lay out and expand—in time, in space, in thoughts. Time to just enjoy being, for we are always doing something.

I miss reading, just for the sake of reading. I bought two Brené Brown books today on my e-reader and decided to just read during my two hour “lunch break.” No computer. No work. No planning. There are things that need to get done, but they can wait. I need to breathe again.

I need to remember what it feels like to stop.

To take breaks, and not always have to be “online” or getting things done. I remind myself that it’s the little things in life that often bring the simplest, but greatest joy.

So, since we’re talking about joy…here are a few of the things I’ve been enjoying lately:

  • This chai tea with milk & honey is the perfect amount of warmth, spice and cozy sweetness on these cold, windy days we’ve been having lately
  • The warmest, softest scarf I’ve ever had! And it’s so big, it’s almost like a small blanket. Perfect for burrowing into when I step outside into the frigid morning air.
  • This men’s lambswool blend cardigan from UNIQLO (a fabulous Japanese clothing brand). I actually have two—one in olive and another in this speckled brown.  They are so warm and versatile, I kind of just want to wear them every day. And it gets better…they even have pockets! Swoon!
  • My turquoise Bern helmet with this winter knit liner that keeps my ears toasty warm and safe from the elements.
  • These Manuka + Eucalyptus throat drops by Wedderspoon—and Manuka honey in general. How have I never discovered the wonders of this miracle honey before??
  • Brené Brown. Okay, I know I’m sort of a latecomer with this…but I’ve only been hiding out in Asia for the last five years…and we’re pretty much in a bubble out here. I showed her two TED talks recently in my adult English courses and was so struck by her talks. Especially the one on vulnerability…I could go on, but more on that in another blog post ;) 
  • Lastly…homemade chicken soup (…and don’t forget the kimchi!). Doesn’t a little dose of homemade chicken soup just make everything a little better when you’re sick? 

xo, 

Mrs. Kim

Eureka! She’s gettin’ hitched!

Well, I have been on a posting hiatus due to several factors (Macbook fell ill and STILL with the Fixer-Upers, and we went on a splendid holiday to Cambodia with very limitted internet access… posts to come soooon!!), but I wanted to give a quick, fun shout out to my dear friend Eureka (she totally lives up to her name, by the way. She is pure awesomeness). :)

In the weeks before she ties the knot, I’d like to share some helpful marriage advice that was given to me, along with some fun illustrations to go along (hand-sketched by moi).

All the happiness to you, Beeks. I hope your day is magical, you deserve it!

xo,
Mrs. Kim

▲ RULES FOR FAIR FIGHTING▲

Two Truths for a Godly Marriage (a.k.a. one that lasts!):

☞ you will fight!
☞ you must make up!

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[1.] Build on the right foundation.
[2.] Create same goals for building right.
[3.] Communicate positively.

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[4.] Be the best of friends!
[5.] Speak don’t sweep >> i.e. don’t stuff/ignore/sweep away your issues.
[6.] Waste fights not. >> i.e. learn from them! Look for patterns, triggers, etc. and grow from those insights.

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[7.] Be blunt about expectations. >> …because neither of you are mind readers! (at least it’s not very likely)
[8.] Always communicate feelings…but never absolutes. >> i.e. “When you said that, it made me feel like you didn’t care.” = YES!! | “You NEVER buy me flowers!!!!” = NO!!!!
[9.] Don’t wander off topic. >> i.e.only discuss the issue/s at hand…not things that are totally unrelated but you think will support your side
[10.] Agree to an OFF-LIMITS words list >> i.e. divorce, stupid, ugly, idiot, fat, I’m leaving, etc.

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[11.] Don’t bring up the past.
[12.] Find the humor in fighting!
[13.] Finish with forgiveness.
[14.] Encourage daily.

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[15.] Don’t settle for a good marriage…grow an excellent one!!! ♥