Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Visitors! Woo hoo!

Earlier this month we got to see family for the first time since we left Houston at the beginning of this year.  My dad and step mom, Esther, hopped on a few planes to make their way to Busan, and we were pumped about their arrival!

Because they got in so late, I stayed home with the sleeping boys while Talton picked them up from the airport.  I was so anxious about them getting here that I kept in touch with Talton while he waited at the arrivals door at the airport.  After 24 hours of travel time, they finally walked into our place at nearly 11:00 at night.

Understandably, they were exhausted and basically hit the hay not long after they walked in. 

The next morning, the boys were up and ready to visit and play!


Then we set out to show them the outdoor Haeundae Market.
 See the girls on the left?  They're staring at the boys in the stroller.  This is why I hate waiting to cross the street.  Often it's more than two people staring at them, and the stares last way longer than a quick glance.  Sometimes they even get all up in their faces and stroke their hair and arms while speaking to them in Korean.  I know the boys are adorable and such a different sight to see around these parts, but still, it makes them uncomfortable.  If only I had a dime for every time this happened.....

I did warn them about the smell of the market beforehand, because it can be overwhelming and not in the good way.  :)

Of course we had to stop at nearly every tank to look at and talk about the eels, fish, octopus, crabs, etc..

 The amount of stuff they cram into these booths is quite amazing.



She was cutting homemade noodles for this restaurant.  It reminds me of my mom making homemade noodles for beef and noodles back home.  I'm thinking they're probably not eating beef and noodles here though.  :)

Silk worms....a popular Korean snack when boiled/steamed and seasoned.  Nope, not kidding.  The smell of them cooked is like nothing I could even try to put into words.  Yuck.

This is my favorite Korean market vendor!  If I could put her in my pocket and take her home, I would....but then again, she might try to cook some silk worms in my house, so I won't.  She has such a kind spirit and a sweet smile.

 This lady was dishing out bowlfuls of this soup (in front of her), and there was quite a line for it, plus those people sitting behind her were enjoying it too.

My dad and Esther were just as enamored with the market as I was the first time I strolled through here.  I had many more fun things planned for them to experience our Korean life, so we stayed pretty busy for their time in Busan.  More on all of that very soon!

Father's Day 2013 in Korea

We started out the day by letting Daddy sleep in as much as possible (we had plans to get out that morning) and with a yummy, filling pancake breakfast....just what Daddy ordered--he loves him some pancakes!

Knowing that my dad was going to be visiting us in Busan over this holiday, we made sure to have T's Father's Day goodies ready before family arrived to be sure they would be ready in time.  The boys made him a card filled with tons of stickers inside (Don't underestimate the power of a peel-and-stick sticker session! That's like the definition of little kid fun!), they painted Model Magic cut into the shapes of boys that we then stuck magnets on the back of, and Connar answered a questionnaire all about his favorite man.

This questionnaire gives me a case of the giggles.  Talton asked if Connar really answered every question like I wrote it.  Yep, he did.  That's what makes it so funny.  :)

 I always knew T would be a fantastic dad.  :)
We love you, babe!

What a difference a year makes.

What a difference a year makes.
Crazy I tell ya.
I took the first picture of the boys one day shy of a full year after I took the second picture of them, in the same place in Busan.

Look how much older and bigger they both look!


They are such handsome, smart, funny, playful, and sweet little boys.  Talton and I are so lucky and blessed....and we know it.  We thank God every day for these joys.

See ya later, Rawls family!

So the life of an expat really hit home this week when my closest friend in Korea moved back to the U.S..  Trying to explain to Connar where his friends went is not easy and seems like time will be the only way he'll eventually understand the situation (Parker is too young to even try to understand).  The other day after we made cookies he said he wanted to take some to Ms. Cassie, and then later in the day he said he wanted to show Liam a toy that he got in his Happy Meal.  Then as he was eating lunch today, he asked if Liam was going to come each lunch with us too.  :(

They arrived in Busan a few months after us, so we've only known them for 10 months, but those 10 months were used wisely.  We became fast friends, the mommies and the kiddos.  I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the pictures I took of us over our mutual time in Korea.  It's fun to see how much the kids have changed, and it brings back a lot of good memories.  Here are some of my favorites starting from August 2012 through the day they left in June 2013.

They were here for only a week when I told Cassie I wanted to be "The First Week of School First Grade Fairy" for Greenlee (I left small treats and encouraging notes for her on her doorstep each night for the first week of school....you should've seen me ringing the bell and hightailing it to the elevator before she could open the door).  I'm sure she thought I was a little crazy considering we didn't know each other too well, but she indulged me and my need to be creative.


After one of our sand play dates, we stripped the boys to get all the sand out of pockets, etc., and they ran home in underwear/diapers and barefoot.  :)

We decorated pumpkins together for Halloween.

We had a Halloween dinner together...

...and then trick-or-treated in our building as a group.

We celebrated birthdays together too!

Girls' Night Out was always fun.

And we threw those kids in the strollers (check out that double stroller!) and hit the town like nobody's business!

Even when it was cold outside, we bundled up to burn off some energy together on the beach.

I adore this little girl and her traditional Korean hanbok.

Parker & Liam are only 2 months apart in age.

They even got their groove on!

We heart attacked their front door in February.

playing cars...one of their favorite things to do together

Many, many snack times were had on this couch.

We colored Easter eggs together.

We pulled off a great Easter egg hunt as well!

These two two-year-olds took off running and laughing.  She chased them while I grabbed the camera, of course!

Lunch time!

We discovered several amazing play places tucked in corners of this Korean city.

And when it warmed up again in the Spring, we couldn't wait to get outside again!

And since we met at the elevator in our building on their second day in Busan, it was only fitting that we saw them off on their last day in Busan.  Anything else wouldn't have felt right.  So G & L came to play with C & P while their momma and grandparents took care of some last minute things for a couple hours.

Greenlee couldn't get enough of Parker, as usual.  And as usual, he tried his best to wiggle out of her arms.  She's loved him from the get go, and if she had it her way and could've fit him in her backpack, he would probably be in Virginia with her right now.  :)

When he finally freed himself, G pulled up a seat next to him so she could still be close.  :)

Of course they dumped out all 426 cars and played, as little boys do.


We took 5 minutes and snapped some last minute pictures in front of our building and on our beach.
 This is par for the course: 1 out of 4 looking at the camera, 1 whining, and 2 wiggling to run free.  :)

And after many tears and big hugs, they were off.

I always imagined that we'd leave Korea at the same time, but it's just not what God had planned for our families.  What I'll always be thankful for, though, is his plan to have us meet here and have this once in a lifetime experience in Busan, South Korea together.

No goodbyes here.  Only see ya later, Rawls family.