Friday, July 30, 2010

VFF Adventures: A Misadventure

Yesterday my mother, sister-in-law, and friend Danielle arrived in the land of Korea...

along with them, my VFF!!!! wooo hooo!!!! (trust me I was just as excited about the rest of them coming too :) ) But I had envisioned wandering the streets of Busan and Seoul in my new VFF's. I was going to conquer the world in them. I was going to get stared at. I couldn't wait.

So of course I put them on and admired their beauty.

I walked around for five minutes in the house... and then I noticed something a bit funny.

Not all was well in VFF land.

*gasp* a hole!!!??? I was shocked, upset, aghast that this could happen to me!
So I re-inspected.

And saw that yes, it truly is a huge gaping hole in my brand new Vibram Five Fingers.

Now I'm sure you're thinking, what's the big deal? Just send 'em back and get a new pair! Ummmm, people... I'm in freakin' South Korea... I ordered these puppies a month ago and had to wait for my mom to bring them over for me. 

Soooooo now they get to go back with my mom next week, get send back to the VFF company and they will send her a new pair, and the she will have to mail them to me. So in about another month I'll actually  have them. *le sigh*

So I guess I'll just continue on my barefoot ways... and wait for the day when I'll actually put on VFF's without fear of a hole.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

VFF Adventures: Barefoot Baby!

Lately I've been desk warming... which means I've had loads of downtime.

And with this lovely time I've been researching, reading, and searching for as much info as possible about barefoot or minimal footwear running!

I wrote a post before about the Vibram Five Fingers, and I'm happy to say I'll be receiving mine on Friday!!! After ordering them a month ago and waiting impatiently patiently for them to get here... they will be making their appearance along with my Mom!!!!

Ahhh I can't wait until I have a pair of my own!!!!

So throughout all of this research I found an AWESOME website with all sorts of info about VFF's and barefoot running... and instantly I was hooked.

I've been wondering how to adapt and transition into the VFF's and have REALLY wanted to just be gutsy and go all out with the barefoot running and I came across this encouraging article.

The actually suggested starting with barefoot first and VFF second. Because with the VFF's you really have to work on your running form they suggest that to get the correct form you really need to start barefoot to get it down right!

So I took these babies for a spin

(here they are lovely and dirty in cambodia)

Now as much as I love being barefoot... in Korea it's a terrifying thing. There literally glass on every surface and I'm not really up for completely slicing off a toe. But there is a track nearby and I dragged Jon along with me and we gave our little toes a spin around the track.

We alternated running one lap (about .12) and walking one lap. Jon's smooth and supple feet were "feeling" the track after 2 run arounds and he called it quits, my callousy, rugged feet made it a few more times and it ended up being a mile. My feet are feeling a little sore, but otherwise good.

Throughout all of the reading and researching the one piece of advice I've seen over and over is to start SLOW! And so I am... I think every other day for two weeks I'll try doing the mile alternating the walking and running and then I'll move up the mileage depending on how my feet feel.

As "rough" as my feet feel apparently after a few weeks of barefooting it, my brain will start to recognize that the nerves in the balls of my feet are getting a lot more stimulation. Because of this my brain will start sending signals down to the soles of my feet and fat will start being deposited there. Voila! Instant padding :) Truthfully half the fun of this is, is just finding out how absolutely incredible our bodies are. We are truly created in a unique way and our bodies and feet in general were created so capably and they can do so much! We just have to be willing to put them to use! And I fully plan on it :)

I'm hoping in the future to put up some more of the scientific reasoning behind barefoot/minimal footwear. In the meantime... go get the book Born to Run... now!

As for me I'm going to go soak my sore toes and remember the bliss they felt in all of this glorious Mexican sand :)

If you have anymore questions about barefoot/minimal footwear walking and running send 'em my way! I'm happy to research things and have found a lot of information on the subject :)

Sweet Shot Tuesday

Now... I know I already put up this shot with my post about puppies

but it's just so cute and I wanted to submit it for Sweet Shot Tuesday

Sweet Shot Day

If you haven't checked out Sweet Shot Tuesday... do yourself a favor and check it out!
If you are here visiting from SST Enjoy! Take a look around and feel free to come back again :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday's Meditations: Decisions

For every action, there is a reaction. For every too there is a fro. For every decision there are rewards or consequences.

What happens when you make the same decision as someone else, but with an extremely different outcome?

This past Friday, the 23rd, my dad would've celebrated his 58th birthday.

But 14 1/2 years ago to the day he lost the chance to celebrate anymore birthdays. I don't like to dwell on these types of days and they usually pass by with little notice. Or if I do notice, I really don't bring notice to it. I'm one of many who have lost a loved one. And through all of it I know how absolutely blessed I am to have had 10 short years with my dad, and know I'm even more blessed to have an amazing step-father.

Many years ago my father made a decision. A decision to leave his wife and children to live a very different lifestyle. My dad chose homosexuality. I'm not sure what his reward for this decision was, but I know the consequences have taken their toll on everyone involved.

Obviously those consequences resulted in disappointment from family members, limited time with his children, AIDS/HIV, and ultimately... death.

To say that this wasn't devastating would be a lie. But I truly think that my family is tight knit and stronger because of his decisions. We are more accepting of others. We are able to share emotion freely and able to talk about difficult things. Those are some of the rewards amongst all the struggle.

But I guess my question is what about  other men, who made the same choices and decisions, who've reaped some of the same consequences... and yet they have lived through it all.  The reason I'm even contemplating any of this, is because of an article I found on CNN.

It got me wondering why things just turn out so differently for what you think should be happening. That's not to say I'd want any of these men dead... but at the same time I couldn't help but wonder why they weren't and my dad is!

These men made similar choices to my fathers. These men have lived with AIDS/HIV for 30 years. Some of them have had numerous surgeries, been on numerous drugs and medicines. But the fact remains, they have LIVED. While my father had months... they have had years!

I guess I'm just interested in and amazed at how life paths can all seem so similar, and yet they turn out unsimilar 

What small difference in each of these men's lives added up to the result in an early death for some, and long lives for others?

Now granted, I don't know that the quality of life of some of these men is all that fantastic. But it's still hard for me to comprehend how they can live with such a horrible virus for so long, when we saw it eat my father away in just weeks.

Decisions in life can be really small and simple, and some can really change our lives and those around us. I just never really thought before how seemingly similar life decision can have such different results from those around us.

And to be honest... that's what I enjoy about life. I like that we are all different. I like that a good decision for someone else, might be a terrible one for me. It's what keeps things interesting and really makes me think about how I was created so perfectly unique. 

But it also gets me wondering to whether I put enough thought into some of my decisions. Do I really think about who I may effect? Do I think of the rewards or consequences enough?

Do you think about decisions too much or too little?

* this post isn't meant to be depressing or a "pity me" post in any way... it's more the circumstances just kind of came together and got me to thinking about this crazy thing we call life :) *

Sunday, July 25, 2010


While taking a walk today we noticed the cutest puppies EVER. Oh so cute!

We worked a lot on "being gentle" with Eoghan... I believe at one time Amanda reminded him
"Eoghan we do not pick up animals by their necks"

Nothing like some puppy kisses :)

Even Ethan got in on some kisses

He wasn't quite sure what to think about it :)

Eoghan getting that whole "gentle" thing down

These puppies were just so much fun to play with! We'll definitely be hittin' up the neighbors for more play time :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010


It's been hot here in Korea land.

I mean reeeeeeaaaaallllllly hot.

Like, I have the AC on, a fan blowing, and all I'm doing is typing on my computer yet I'm sweating

Now that the rainy season is pretty much over, the humidity has set in and let me tell you... it's a treat.

Despite the heat Jon and I have still been trying get our workouts in and this week it has been a bit of a struggle. Jon was biking to and from school (one of those bike rides at 12), then we were heading to the gym and playing with my students for an hour...and then coming home to do p90X or and Insanity workout. Talk about some serious sweating.

yes... this is after 2 games of badminton and some jumping rope in the gym. And it gets worse.

and yes... it does get worse than this.

I didn't realize until I sat down on the gym floor just how sweaty I was. My legs were slick... like just taken a shower slick. The students gathered and were beyond confused. They had all been spraying water on each other... and yet I (who had, had NO water sprayed on her) was wetter than the students.

It was slightly uncomfortable. I wish I was lying, but the students were actually touching my legs and hair feeling the sweat, trying to figure out how someone could possibly expel that much water from their body. And just be thankful I didn't take a picture of my head. It literally looked like I came out of the shower.  My students were fascinated with my copious amounts of sweat. 
I'm cool like that.

Now I handle heat pretty well, and it hasn't really effected me in quite the same way... but as for Jon...

This was him "getting ready" for P90X....

Attractive honey... attractive :)

He also managed to get heat exhaustion and has spent the last 3 days taking cold showers, feeling dizzy, having major headaches, muscle fatigue, and has not been able to function at a normal level.

Honestly as much as I enjoy the heat and the sun, I'd be ok with a little rain for a day. It is bloody hot here and I don't think my husband can take much more of it :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

The School

So yesterday I talked about the creepiest place ever and how they wanted us to live at an abandoned school.

Here is said abandoned school. The creepiest part is that the school has only been shut down for like 3 years... and it has really gone downhill.

Well hello there headless statue... oh, wait two headless statues. A man and a boy,  creeptastick.

A mini- fire pit. Apparently someone is taking shelter in one of the abandoned classrooms. I thoroughly enjoy that there is still writing on the blackboard.

Come and learn here students!!!! Dig through some filthy trash!

Walkin' on , Walkin' on broken glaaaasssss.  If you know the song I'm singing you get 20 high fives.
If you don't you should probably be questioning your existance...and taste in music (or my taste in music)

I think this was actually the weirdest part. This room still had all of it's decorations up.
Pictures drawn by the students, things hanging from the ceiling.

It was like nothing had been touched, in years. So odd.

Then I spotted this guy in the bushes... Did you know snakes can live in bushes?

And there you have it, and abandoned school building in the middle of nowhere, that they wanted us to live feet away from.

Can you say great set-up for a horror film??

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What might have been

Around a year ago,  we came out to the islands to see possible locations for where they might be building our houses. We were pretty excited to finally see where we'd be living for a year and we were getting ready to move all of our stuff out.

So imagine our surprise when we wind up in the middle of nowhere at an abandoned elementary school that had been closed for a few years. The great part is they didn't want to show us the location beforehand... and then we saw why. NO ONE in their right mind would live here.

Quite honestly it was the scariest place in Korea I've ever been.  And it was quickly demanded that another location be chosen... you'll see why.

Jon and I decided to revisit this little site and see if anything has changed, and although we didn't think it possible, it has gotten even creepier.

Our convo while looking around:

Jon: I feel like I'm just waiting to see a dead body lying around somewhere.

Sara: I'm pretty sure someone is going to jump out of one of these places and kill us.

It truly is one of the most unsettling places I've ever walked around.

because who wouldn't want to live here??

Some lovely broken glass for Eoghan and Ethan to play in :)

Look at all that mold!!! They were going to "re-wall paper" ...ummmm that doesn't get rid of the mold.
That and Amanda was pregnant, Eoghan is 1, there would be a new baby, and Jon is allergic to mold. Somehow I think it might've been a death trap health concern.

And I'm still trying to figure out what all of those spiky things sticking out of the buildings are.

Ahhhh Home Sweet Home.

And look at that view!!! What a FABULOUS  yard for Eoghan to play in. It's like his own corn maze. Especially considering these weeds were over my head. 

Needless to say, you can see our absolute refusal  worries and doubts about this as a possible place to live.
And because we put up enough of a fuss, they listened.

And we thank God for that everyday we are in our cute little house :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Defying Gravity

Apparently I'm really into confessing all of my geekier sides on the blog.
And today is no different. I am thoroughly in love with the show Glee. The plot is *meh* but the singing is
just beyond phenomenal. Seriously. The talent of the people on this show astounds me.

So much so, that I have of course downloaded all of the music from the show. And this song in particular is just beautiful. I could listen to it day in and day out.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

School's Out For The Summer!

Well, at least it was supposed to be. It'd be a bit of an understatement if I said I hadn't been counting down the days, weeks, months... up until July 16th. Teaching isn't really my first pick of a job so I have been looking forward to a month of being away from the school, not eating the school lunch, and not seeing any students.

Then I was told I'd have a summer school for four days. No big deal. I can handle that.

And so as I planned my days of laziness and planned my trips around Korea with our many visitors (yay!) I was so happy in my month long summer bubble of ignorance.

Then my school dropped the bomb and obliterated any hope I might've had. And they dropped this bomb 5 days before summer break started. Wasn't that sweet?  Summer is no longer just the season for relaxing and going to the beach, it's the season for desk warming. Which means going into the school and literally sitting at my myself.

I thought of every possible way to get out of it, tried to come up with a plan. But because my school didn't make me desk warm over the winter the school board office was not too impressed and forced the matter. My co-t has mentioned many times how absolutely ridiculous it all is the words stupid and dumb were thrown around. But she mentioned if I didn't my school may get in trouble, and I don't want to be that foreigner so I sucked it up! And actually I only have to be there for like 3 hours everyday which isn't too shabby.

That and the fact that I know english teachers ALL OVER Korea land are in the same boat really helps put it into perspective.

One clever waegookin (foreigner for you non-korean folk) put together this little video... and I think it captures the feelings of all of us native english teachers :)

So, as much as I'd love to just not have anything to do for the next month, I'll be spending some of that lovely time chillin' at my desk facebook stalking people like it's my job.

Ahhhhh Still livin' the good life :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gracie Girl

Happy 7th Birthday Gracie Girl~

From the get-go Gracie has always been ridiculously cute :) 
She is such a fun and active niece and there is NEVER a dull moment if she has anything to say about  (and believe me... she always has something to say :) )

We hope you have such a fun day Gracie Girl and know that we love and miss your spunky and lively spirit!

Love you!