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Where is spring?

April 13, 2018

While I’ve heard reports of temps in the 90s back home in California, out here in the Midwest we’re still cruising along with temps colder than any California winter I’ve ever experienced. Summer has hit SoCal and we’re over here wondering if we’ll ever get spring.

But the cold temperatures made it perfect to do a headshot/hat photoshoot recently for Rebekah’s crochet business.┬áBeing out there shooting reminded me just how much I’ve missed doing portraits. I need to get back into doing them. Here are just a few of my favorites from the day.

 

Special thanks to Alyssa, Emily, and Gabrielle for modeling for us.

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Spring is coming!

March 18, 2018

For several weeks now, Olga, Michael and I had been planning to go down to Chicago yesterday for St. Patrick’s day and to see the river dyed green. But then things came up and they decided it was best to stay local for the weekend. So I decided to use the extra free time to get errands done. (A totally free Saturday is so rare since we’re usually out exploring on Saturdays.)

But the day was just so nice that they ended up calling me while I was on my way to Madison and after I got my errands run, we met up at Blue Mounds State Park to do some hiking/exploring.

They had stopped in Mt. Horeb on the way in while waiting for me to get there and said it was fun, so I stopped there on the way back home. And then followed signs to check out Stewart Lake Park while I was there.

All in all it was such a great day of getting things accomplished (boring things like an oil change and new tires’ lug nuts retorqued and fun things like buying a new laptop in anticipation of getting back into photography and buying new photo editing software – my old laptop is too old and slow to add any new programs) and of fellowship, exercise, and exploring.

I love days like that.

*I’m trying out publishing from the WordPress app without changing photo size, etc like I usually do. This is faster but it might not be pretty.

South Korea – Winter Olympics 2018

March 11, 2018

Last year when I first moved to Wisconsin and met all of our fabulous athletes on campus, one of them asked me if we could take a missions trip together sometime. I said yes and then a few months later she asked if we could plan a trip over Thanksgiving. I looked at flights but it was such a short time-frame and flights were really expensive, so nothing seemed feasible. But several weeks later we had a missionary from South Korea at our church and he presented an opportunity to join Wings Bearing Precious Seed to hand out Gospels/the plan of salvation at the Olympics. I had wanted to go to Vancouver with an outreach team when the Winter Olympics were there and it hadn’t worked out, so this was an opportunity that I was definitely interested in. Alyssa and I prayed about it and God opened the door to join the team even though the trip was just a few months away. We didn’t know any of the other team members before going, but we definitely got to know them over the week we spent together.

We made so many memories. Had so many laughs. Had so many new experiences. And got to spread the Gospel to over 19,000 people and 40 different countries.

All it in all it was a great trip. There were challenges, but for the most part everything went smoothly and I’m so glad we were able to go.

A few pictures of the trip, somewhat in chronological order-ish. Just taken with my phone so they aren’t the best.

On our way!

We made it!

I lost another suitcase to Asia. =(

Well we didn’t make it to a raccoon cafe but we stumbled upon a cat cafe. But with a $12 entry fee, we didn’t go inside.

Incheon Airport’s cool globe infinity mirror

Alyssa and I with the missionaries. And a photobomb by one of our other group members. =)

With our fabulous Korean hosts

Hitting the street food vendors in Seoul on our last night

Twice we had Korean BBQ. Both experiences were amazing.

Super excited to get to see an event. And it was snowing when we arrived, ha.

Alyssa, Regina and I celebrating our gold and silver medals. =)

Go USA!

With a few of our group members. Found out that the guy on the far right has been to Lighthouse with the Cola Wars team, ha.

Views out the window of Alpensia Ski Resort

Korea dessert – bingsu. Amazing.

One of the Olympic Villages

Blurry picture of our Wed night service at the lodge where we were staying. It was a full house.

One of our 2 Korean BBQ nights.

Colorful streets

What we did a lot of: hand out literature.

There were so many colorful places to take pictures. I kept pulling out my phone as we walked around town.

Church selfies on Sunday. =)

Hanging out with Soohorang. The official mascot.

In front of the train station.

Sightseeing after church

Early morning explorations on our first day in Korea.

I don’t know who they were but they were colorful so I took a picture. =)

 

Inside the venue where the Opening and Closing ceremonies arena was.

Everything is transformed for the Olympics – even the storm drain covers.

Our entire group at the airport before parting ways for different flights.

*I also got to cross off a bucket list item: attend an Olympic event.

Frigid Weather and Fantastic Weekends

December 19, 2017

It’s cold. At least here in Wisconsin it’s cold. My weather app tells me it’s nice and warm in Southern California. Maybe a little too warm what with all the fires I keep reading about. =( But over here in Watertown we’ve been getting tiny little snowflakes.

I started writing this about a week or so ago. And the above sentence is far as I made it. I’ve been on a roll lately with blogging, obviously. ­čśë

The weather isn’t so frigid right now…but the weekends are still fantastic. And this weekend will be especially fantastic as I will be heading home on Friday! [Home as in California home.] I couldn’t be more excited to see my family and I’m a little excited about warm weather as well.

Last weekend I did an escape room for the first time ever and that was all that I had expected it to be. It was fabulous.

We answered all the questions correctly, we escaped in time, AND we made it onto the leaderboard for our escape time. This team rocked it.

 

Then on Saturday a friend and I went and froze walking around the holiday lights display at the Rotary Botanical Gardens down in Janesville.

Two weekends ago I went on a very spur-of-the-moment trip down to St. Louis and managed to also see Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I while down there. We somehow snagged $14 orchestra level seats on the way down, and had a great time.

A few Christmas events here and there…

A few weekends have held ice skating and late night adventures around Milwaukee. A few weekends have had home basketball games and just plain catching up on life and sleep. All in all, winter hasn’t been too bad so far. I AM counting the days till summer, however, when I can be out exploring again. It’s been so much fun being home in the states!

 

 

 

 

 

Just Another Ramble

November 3, 2017

Guys…it’s cold here. It’s been 4 years since I lived in a place that actually gets winter and I’m not sure this California girl is ready for such cold weather.

A few weekends ago, Michael, Olga and I went out and enjoyed what was probably the last nice weekend of the year. We went on a full day adventure exploring southwest Wisconsin and had a great time. We saw beautiful things, random things and hilariously funny things. I’m so glad I have such great adventuring buddies out here.

Can’t tell from this picture, but that bird in the upper left is a bald eagle.

Sun rays over the Mississippi River

Farms are everywhere out here.

One of our more interesting finds: the Grotto of the Holy Ghost

After MANY stops, we finally made it to the Mississippi River.

Now that the weather is cold, however, I feel my adventuring days are going to be severely limited. The cold just makes me want to go home or stay home, and either bundle up and do nothing or else just sleep. And I hate that. I don’t want to sleep away my life! I’m realizing that I could never live in Greenland or someplace that has long, dark winter months. It’s going to be challenging to stay active out here.

But, I do have a few trips coming up to look forward to. Next week I will┬áfinally┬ábe picking up some new US states! I can’t even remember the last time I visited new states. Honestly. I’ll be driving for the Cross Country teams here at MBU next week, as well as doing some photography, so I’ll get to visit Missouri and Mississippi with them.

Then for some new, big news, one of the girls here and I will be (Lord wiling) heading to South Korea next Feb with an Olympics Outreach team! I’m beyond excited about that. Especially since I was so close to the last winter Olympics in Sochi and didn’t make it down there, boo. Keep us in your prayers as we raise funds and prepare for that!

My last trip this year and into next year will be heading home to California for Christmas on Dec 22. I am ecstatic about that. I cannot wait to see my family and especially those nieces and nephews. It’s going to be awfully hard to leave the sunshine, warmth, and family of California to head back to cold, dreary Wisconsin. I’m already dreading it and I haven’t left yet. =(

So….there’s an update for you. Happy weekend, friends!

A leaf on my car last Sunday =)

I’m Still Here

October 15, 2017

Lake Michigan this past weekend.

The kitchen is clean (I’ve come to realize just how much I need a kitchen to be clean. Thanks, Mom, for passing on that gene ;)), the laundry is washing itself, errands are all run, today’s to-do list has been accomplished, unpacking is all finished, and pictures have been loaded onto the computer. So I guess I can’t really procrastinate in blogging any longer.

One of many tree-covered streets in Door County.

I just got back from a fabulous weekend getaway and it was so refreshing and invigorating. I’ve been getting out and seeing as much of the local area as I can each weekend, but this was the first overnight getaway I’ve had since I’ve been here. And it was fabulous. I don’t think I realized just how much I have missed shooting with my camera. I still took way more phone pictures, but it felt good to pull out the Canon and get some better shots. I still don’t have any editing software on the laptop, and my memory is almost full (both issues that will get rectified before Iceland. Which I probably haven’t mentioned. I got tickets to Iceland for next spring. So I’m pretty pumped about that. Can.Not.Wait.) so I don’t have a lot of good shots to post. But I do have some. =)

My new favorite Wisconsin road. =)

It’s getting colder here. Colder as in it now feels like a California winter and I’m so ready to start wearing my long wool coat but I’m pretty sure everyone would laugh at me so I’m trying to hold out as long as I can. I’ve done 4 cold winters before, so I know I can do this. But I also know that 6 months of winter is just way too long. Why can’t fall be 6 months and winter be like 2? (Oh wait, it can. If you live in CA. Ha.)

Anyway, life is good. I’m still enjoying being back in America – almost 11 months later. Who knows what the future holds but I know who holds the future and I’m not worried in the least. God provides the best adventures and I’m so thankful to know that He is in control. Everyone keeps asking if I’m staying in the states or going back overseas in the future and I honestly have no clue. I’d be happy either way, as long as God is leading and providing. But for now, I’m going to enjoy every moment of life here in Wisconsin.

Guys, I moved!

August 21, 2017

Every once in a while I do something like move to a new location. About….8 times in the last 10 years to be exact. And now that I find myself stateside for the time being, one of the new popular questions I get asked semi-frequently is, “soooooo…..how long do you plan to be in Wisconsin for?” This is asked after all the pleasantries are past, and is said in a low, suspicious tone. I’m not even kidding. It makes me laugh every single time because inevitably I know it’s going to be asked.

I get it, I do seem to move a lot. Keeps life interesting, what can I say?

But really though, the answer is that I’ll be here as long as God wants me to be. He’ll move me along if and when He wants me to move, and I know the timing will be perfect. But for now, I’m totally content to put down roots and settle into American life again for a while. It’s been a MUCH easier adjustment than I thought it might be. I don’t feel restless. I feel content. And that makes me happy.

I find myself asking the question “why didn’t I do this (head back to WI) sooner?” from time to time. But I know the answer. God knows what He’s doing, and those years of amazing adventures were gems I’ll keep tucked away in my heart for forever. I feel beyond spoiled by God and so incredibly thankful for every single place He’s let me live and travel. He truly does give the best gifts and when you give Him a little bit of faith, He turns it around into something far more amazing than you could ever imagine.

I have no idea what the future holds. I have no idea how long He’ll have me stay in Wisconsin. But I do know this: I’m going to do my best to make the most of it while I’m here.

Wisconsin is quite a bit greener than CA!