Did you hear the good news? Our family is headed for another overseas adventure and we couldn't be more thrilled! Read more about it here.
+ enjoying the beautiful weather
+ experiencing monsoon season in busan [so far, so good]
+ loving our view of the ocean
+ finishing his first year of school in busan [Big J]
+ saying goodbye to friends who are moving away
+ preparing for our own overseas move this month [more later]
+ realizing life is full of surprises
+ feeling grateful for my dear husband + silly boys
+ and all the wonderful friends we met in busan
+ knowing how difficult it has been + will be to say "goodbye"
+ taking day trips to places we have not visited before
+ squeezing in a lot of sewing time
+ knowing that my sewing machine will be packed away for 3+ mos
+ anticipating good times this summer
+ planning some blueberry picking trips in pdx
+ enjoying family time in chicago
+ and maybe squeezing in a trip to california
+ finding it hard to believe Big J will be a first-grader this fall
+ and Baby J will be starting preschool
+ realizing I will have some dedicated work time
+ working on a new website
+ sketching out new designs
+ looking forward to re-opening the shoppe [winter 09]
+ trying to improve myself each day
+ and challenging myself in new ways
+ knowing life is good
We survived the last week of school! Phew! It has been very busy around here lately with Baby J's birthday party, end-of-the-school-year activities, sprained arm [Big J], tackling a long list of birthday/farewell gifts [8 down, 15 more to go...no joke!], dealing with some unexpected changes and preparing for new adventures this summer.
So in the midst of a hectic week it was really refreshing to take time out to share a meal with some wonderful friends. My dear friend Sarah invited six of us over to her apartment for lunch. Sarah is an amazing cook [she makes THE best salads ever], wife, mother and artist. And she really knows how to set a beautiful table.
She is also one of the most thoughtful people I know. Sarah gifted me with one of her custom fiber art pieces and I couldn't be more happy!
I love all the details in her work. She uses beautiful hanbok [traditional Korean dress] fabric and adds texture via machine stitching and embroidery. And of course she already knows me so well, do you see all the grey?
I love the fact that this piece will always be a reminder of our friendship--a Norwegian-American from Norway and a Korean-American from the U.S. who met in beautiful Busan, South Korea.
After lunch at the duck restaurant we headed next door to a local greenhouse.
There were so many beautiful flowers and plants on display.
I love the small delicate ones...
...and this grouping of mini plants.
But my favorite thing to see was this traditional clay village.
See the halmuhni [grandmother] chopping up the radish? Too cute!
Last week I had lunch with some school mums at a traditional duck restaurant in Gijang, a 1/2-hour drive from Busan.
The restaurant consists of a main eating room along with several individual rooms and traditional clay huts.
We had a lovely meal of duck, served two different ways--one was roasted in a pumpkin and the other was served in a clay pot with different grains.
The duck was accompanied with a spicy salad of fresh greens and mushrooms.
But I have to say the highlight of the experience was walking around the grounds after the meal.
There was so many things...
...like beautiful stone pots filled with homemade soy sauce and bean curd...
...and antique yellow school chairs...
...the perfect place to sit while enjoying a treat from one of the school mums...
...after hopping around the grounds.
Although I've been a bit quiet lately we've been having a full, fun spring so far. We had our third visitor[s] from Oregon a few weeks ago [Mariko and her peeps], celebrated my 35th birthday, then it was Big J's 6th birthday party and for the past few weeks we've been hosting my sister + her family who are visiting from California. The cousins are having fun playing together and the parents have been enjoying several quiet dinners after the children have gone down for the night [thanks to my mother who has been doing her fair share of babysitting]. The weather has been really incredible and since Appah had three days off for the holidays [Labor Day, Buddha's Birthday, Children's Day] we have been enjoying morning runs along the beach. I love spring!
It is hard to believe we've been living in Busan for six months. Our whole family has adjusted quickly to life overseas and we love the conveniences of living in the "city" where everything is within walking distance--markets, restaurants, cafes, bakeries, shops. But one of the things I do miss about living in the States is the easy access to craft and fabric stores [although my pocketbook would disagree]. I was assuming Busan would be similar to Tokyo with its abundance of arts and crafts stores. I was wrong. I'm told it is a different scene up in Seoul, but in Busan the only "real" fabric store is the Busan Jin Market [a 30-45 minute drive across town]. It is a four story building that is overflowing with bolts of fabric [imported and domestic]. You'll find fabric used for traditional Korean dresses [hanboks], ribbons, buttons and all sorts of crafting goodness. Although I still haven't found pattern paper or interfacing at the market it is a real treat to see the variety of fabric they have to offer.
My first trip to the market was back in October of 2008, a week after I arrived in Busan. I was so overwhelmed by all the organized chaos that I left empty-handed. But to my surprise the friend whom I was accompanying was able to navigate the narrow walkways and find her way around. After several more trips I'm slowly remembering the location of my favorite stall for ginghams and the other stall that sells cute simple cotton prints. Oh, and this is one of those places where you need to snatch up any fabric that you like because you never know if you'll find it on the next trip.
It wasn't until my trip to the market with Mariko that I remembered to bring my camera though these photographs don't do the market justice. Needless to say if you are a fabric lover this is a must-see for anyone who visits Busan.
The weather was so nice over the weekend. We enjoyed a lot of family time together, eating yummy local food + walking around our neighborhood.
:: dongbaek island ::
:: nurimaru apec house ::
:: taking a break ::
:: haeundae beach ::
:: shells for me found by the boys ::
:: growing shell collection ::
Tomorrow Big J goes back to school and this week I plan to work on Big J's party preparations, go on a field trip with Big J's class, do my homework for my Korean lesson, catch up on emails [or try my best!], try out some new recipes, bake some lemon glazed cookies, exercise and spend some time with a friend who will be visiting from Oregon. Looks like it will be a good week! Have a good one! [Happy Easter to those who are celebrating!]