These Days

These Days | On the Street Where We Live (aretherelilactrees.com)  crepe myrtle, New Orleans, Louisiana, NOLA

So I (Jen) have had this post ready to go well before the end of July…and am only just getting it up well into August (facepalm). I was waiting for Andrew’s half of it and then the end of July and beginning of August started to whirlwind. How has it been a month since our last post?

We got back to Seoul Saturday afternoon after 24 hours (!) of traveling. Andrew’s mom dropped us off at the Chicago O’Hare airport around 8:30pm on Thursday, we took off around 12:30am and landed in Taipei almost 15 hours later, did a three or four-hour layover in a nice lounge where they served Taiwanese beef noodle soup for breakfast and made my life (and Andrew was able to shower which made his life), connected to Incheon, and then took the couple trains to our officetel. We managed to stay up until 7 that evening and then woke up refreshed as the sun started to rise Sunday morning. Andrew’s unfortunately already back to work; I’ll be prepping for the semester until one of my best friends arrives (!) for a girls’ trip to Tokyo and then her stay in Seoul.

Here’s a round-up of our July posts. Keep scrolling for our monthly updates!

jen

Feeling: so proud of my students who all graduated high school this year! This was a particularly special group of students to me as I looped two years with them and would have done all four if Andrew and I hadn’t decided to move abroad. I met them for a reunion/celebratory lunch date almost as soon as I landed in the States and it was tears and laughter and love all around.

Hoping: Cats the movie releases in Seoul this holiday season.

Listening: to this little ventriloquist belt it out.

Reading: Finished The Phantom Tollbooth but haven’t picked up a new read since.

Watching: Lily Pebbles. As far as YouTubers go, she’s always seemed genuine and just chill, and as one of the OGs, she’s someone I grew up with in a way. So happy for her and Rich and their little one. I’ve been eagerly watching their updates as new parents.

Wanting:

Waiting: to see our baby girl, Luna!

Finishing:

Eating: the best kimchi dumplings in the world (my mom’s).

Sipping: too many sweet teas and Thai teas to count.

Working:

Planning: our impromptu engagement shoot in Chicago and I have all the butterflies!!! We never get photos of us together, so there’s that, but there’s also the honor of my favorite photographer meeting us in the city just to shoot for us and it’s going to be so so special!

Saving: my energy for another year in Seoul.

Wearing: swimsuits mostly as I’ve been spending almost every day swimming in our pool. I may never buy a swimsuit from another brand again as this one by Solid & Striped (also here and here) is the softest and most comfortable swimsuit I’ve ever worn, and super pretty and flattering too!

Looking:

Buying: new workwear for us to bring back. It can be tempting to shop ‘til you drop in Seoul, but I’m an online shopper through and through, and for the price and quality (and, in Andrew’s case, size and style), clothes and shoe shopping are better here.

Bookmarking:

Loving: the Fjallraven Kanken Mini Backpack in pink (or peach pink here). My officemate recommended the Fjallraven backpacks to me as a work/travel/everyday bag and then I started seeing them pop up everywhere in Seoul. I loved that they are a sustainable brand, but the pink mini backpack is what sold me.

Leaving: the customer-favorite Gal Meets Glam Collection Beth dress, my first return for the brand. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a gorgeous dress—deep, rich colors including the lining color (which is a stunner, and yes, the dress is fully lined), figure-flattering silhouette and perfect length, super soft and heavy but comfortable fabric, vintage-style neckline with a pretty v-/bow-back—all around perfect for pre-fall, fall, and even winter. However, the narrow shoulders limited my range of motion, not by a lot but enough to make me worry about having to write on the whiteboard in my classroom or grab the handles on the subway or bus (this fit issue seemed to be a common theme in the reviews, but despite this, the dress sold out again in the Nordstrom sale). The determining factor for my returning the dress was that I didn’t love the color and print on me. I do love (and did keep) the Liza though, and highly recommend picking it up in the sale if you’re contemplating!

andrew

Feeling: the effects of the pollen in the Illinois air. I have winter allergies in Korea but summer allergies in the US.

Hoping: the jet lag isn’t too bad when we return to Korea.

Listening: to The Clearing Podcast. I have not gotten too much into the true crime podcast wave, but I’m two episodes in to this series and it’s quite good.

Reading: American Carnage. Writer Tim Alberta has covered the GOP for over a decade and his retelling of the recent history of the party that has lost its mind of late is quite captivating, albeit infuriating for a reader like me who has always found the party to be one of greed and bullying.

Watching: television again—it’s weird.

Wanting: John Delaney to go away. I get that these debates need conflict, but this guy is speaking at length on national television representing a sector of the party?

Waiting: for cooler weather.

Finishing: Jen’s mother’s 장어 with 김밥.

Eating: too much bread, too much cheese, too many desserts, too many breakfast pastries, and not enough Mexican food.

Sipping: coffee with my mother and Jen at a sweet little coffeeshop in my hometown.

Working: again soon F#%K!!!

Planning: our photoshoot in Chicago.

Wearing: my birthday present new shoes.

Saving: another new pair of tennis shoes from the outlet mall for when we get back to Korea.

Looking: forward to eating the American snacks that we’re smuggling through Incheon (shhh!).

Buying: bottomless cups of coffee.

Bookmarking: the National Review; been reading a lot of conservative media lately—they suck but if you’re like me and loathe the other side, see what the actual smart ones think and write about.

Loving: seeing Jen with Luna.

Leaving: the DMV after a two-hour wait to get a replacement license because I forgot to bring mine.

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