Let the Emotional Upheaval Begin

It’s not even Friday, and yet all I can think of is an absurd collection of jumbled thoughts.  Usually I save these sorts of ramblings for, well, for Fridays, but today is today and carpe diem and all that.  Here you go.

Our dates have been scheduled:  Our van will be shipped out next week.  Our furniture and other household goods will be packed and shipped on June 4.  We will fly to California on June 15.  I feel myself on the precipice of one of those crystalline moments I talked about last summer.  Here’s a tidbit:

This storm of emotion has me up and down and all over the place, getting choked up and/or losing my temper at the littlest thing.
Oddly enough, that’s not the crazy part.
The crazy part is I like it.  I like this range of emotions, this deep, soul-moving melancholy.
Weird, right? (read the rest of my torment right here.)

So here we are, on the brink of a major life change, again.  The grief of our final departure from Korea and the joy of our return to California are swirling about in my mind, pushing tears (and tempers) easily to the surface and making every moment precious.

I both love and hate these moments.  Love, because they bring with them adventure, and newness and a chance to joyfully appreciate the subtle nuances of my life that, more often than not, are overrun by the errands and tasks that comprise my day.  Hate, because I am not one who goes forward without looking back, without wondering if we are making the right decision, worrying excessively that my beloved nieces will forget me, forget us.

That somehow our time here will vaporize and nothing will be left but this blog, a few inside jokes, and some photographs.

When we first decided to move to Korea, we got some peculiar reactions.  One of the funniest was that of a friend’s boyfriend.  Now, I’ve always liked this guy, but I think he just kind of tolerated me before.  Which is why his awed reaction to our move was so interesting and – I admit it – flattering to me.  In his mind, I went from being just his girlfriend’s crazy friend to being bold and adventuresome, someone he wished to emulate.  He asked me countless questions about our plans, about what we would experience, and what other travel plans we would make when we were here.  I’ve got to admit, my vanity took over for awhile.  I fancied myself just as he imagined me: wild and brave and full of wanderlust.

But the truth is far from that.  We haven’t traveled much outside Korea, we haven’t had many grand adventures other than the craziness of raising 4 kids in a foreign country.  (Heck.  That’s a crazy adventure no matter where you are.) To be completely honest: we are still ourselves, just living in a different culture.  True to (insane) form, a few weeks ago I had a mini panic attack thinking about all the “Korean” things we haven’t done yet, all the places we should have gone.

I haven’t had the luxury of indulging those regretful thoughts, though.  Life marches inexorably on, and the time for leaving is near.  Other than a couple of trips we have planned the next two weekends, there isn’t much we can fit in.  So I’m finding, or trying to find, peace in the knowledge that I have spent plenty of time doing the things that matter.  Hugging my nieces, eating dinner out with my brother and his lovely wife, living my vocation as a mother and a wife.

Will it be enough to get me Cool Points with people back home?  Probably not.  But then, I’ve never been very cool, and it seems to be working out alright so far.


Oklahoma: My prayers go out to the families of those lost in the tornado, especially those who lost a child.  There are no words to console in those situations, so I must rely on heavenly aid.

Please keep another friend in your prayers.  The intentions are private, but she and her family and in need of serious prayers.


  1. What will you and your family be doing in California?

    • Laura, my husband will be returning to his previous job as a school counselor. We are moving home now because it was either that, or give that job up permanently. We are very excited to live near grandparents again, but we are so sad to leave our family and friends here.

  2. I think you’ve garnered ALL the coolness points, whether you like it or not!

  3. Just moving to a different state counts as totally courageous in my book, never mind a whole other country with a whole other language. Just beyond brave. And what a great experience for your kids (at least the ones old enough to remember). They’ll talk about Korea the way mine talk about that one trip to Disney – non stop and with fond memories!

    • I guess it did take a certain bravery to attempt it at first. But it was so clearly the path God wanted us on that it didn’t “feel” brave, if that makes any sense. Just felt right.

  4. In my mind, California (particularly SoCal!) is almost as far-off and exotic as Korea, so there’s still that: you ability to mesmerize me with the tales of your daily life will lose none of their mystique.

    • Haha! That’s funny! I hadn’t thought of it that way. When my blog first started, virtually everyone who read it was *from* SoCal. Not so now, I guess.

  5. I agree with everybody else. I am not sure what adventures would have won you more coolness points, you must have totally different standards than the rest of us. And I think even with all our very small moves, we really did expand inside, whether we liked it or not. And I can see it in our kids. The photos and short stories are awesome, and will always be there to remind you, but your eyes have seen what they have seen, and your heart has done what it’s done, even if you feel like the same people in the moment.

  6. It is amazing how the needs of everyday life with small children just envelopes everything, isn’t it. I live in an area that is considered quite a vacation and tourist area with all sorts of great hiking and places to go… and how often do I do that sort of thing? Hardly at all! I still think you get major coolness points, for whatever that’s worth! I hope these next few weeks go well and you’re able to get back to CA without too much angst!

  7. You are definitely very cool…just being in Korea is cool.

    And, I hear you on the upheaval and emotions involved in long-distance moves…and we’re only moving 1400 miles..I can’t imagine an international move. You’re so right…life just keeps marching on and we just keep living our lives and moving forward.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and your adventures in Korea..and I’m looking forward to reading about adventures in CA as well (CA seems pretty exotic to this east coast gal).

  8. Prayers! Love these days! You’re super cool. You hold your brave head up high!

  9. I hope my sister is still in CA when you guys get there! I can pretty much promise that your kids will fall in love with her and she can take them off your hands for a while so you can get stuff done 🙂

  10. You are amazing! I couldn’t imagine doing what you do. I love living in CA, crazy as it is at times. Praying that all goes well for you and the family. BTW, awesome photos!