Update: Yes we are still alive!

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I just realized how long it’s been since we updated the blog (two months?!) so I’m going to drop a couple of shorter updates in here to keep all y’all apprised of what’s been happening in our lives lately. 🙂

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First up: Thailand! We went to Chiang Mai, Thailand, again in late January/early February for our annual conference. Instead of going straight there, we took a brief detour through South Korea. Surprisingly, Incheon/Seoul felt way colder than UB even though it was significantly warmer. That’s the difference between a high desert climate and a marine climate, I guess! We made a local friend at the guesthouse where we were staying who showed us around and gave us some pretty great insights into Korean culture.

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Thailand was good for rest and professional development at the conference. We also were able to reconnect with a bunch of the teachers who went through training and orientation with us prior to moving overseas, and that was fun and encouraging. One of the highlights of the trip involved all of the fresh fruit and veggies that we could eat while there, which leads to the next update (a long time coming)…

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We are expecting! We found out at the beginning of October that we were expecting again, but considering how our first pregnancy had gone, we were hesitant to announce until we were 20 weeks along. We certainly intended to post something about this here sooner than now (29 weeks), but sometimes good intentions just fall by the wayside. The baby is due at the end of May, and the plan is to deliver locally at Intermed Hospital. My mom and Eric’s folks will be coming to visit us this summer (my mom flies in on the actual due date), and we are looking forward to seeing them and introducing them to both the new grandkid and to the city and country that we love.

 

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We have a few things coming up with our school, so we will post again when those happen. Next week, we will head out to the countryside with our school to go to camp so look for pics and such in the next couple of weeks!

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Rocky Mountain High

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A week ago, we flew from Seattle to Denver to start our training and orientation prior to the final move to Mongolia. Like the genius that I am, I decided to wear a Seahawks sweatshirt into Broncos country. (Fortunately, Eric remembered before we got off the plane so I could take it off and avoid getting burned at the stake.) Saying goodbye to the folks at the curb was really hard. There were tears all around and hugs that I didn’t want to end. Once inside the airport, a couple of the young men from our local fellowship came to see us off, so we got more hugs and well wishes there. It was nice to see everyone one last time before we made the super long trek to our gate.

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Nothing too exciting happened on the plane ride from Seattle to Denver, although the guy sitting to Eric’s left was snoring. The flight was not too long, and we had minimal turbulence. I think the worst part of the flight was realizing once again that airplanes for domestic flights just aren’t made for anyone who isn’t a petite 5’4″. In general, I think we were just too excited to get to the next phase of this move that it didn’t really matter!

In Denver, we connected with the rest of our future team, which was great! It was fun to meet up with our new colleagues and get to know each other a bit. In total, there are seven of us heading to Mongolia–four young women, a young man from Australia, and the two of us. We are a diverse group, and I can already tell that we are going to get along well!

Currently, we are staying at the UNC campus in Greeley. We have a pleasant little suite in the dorms to ourselves with a nice view of the campus. Most of our days are full of classes and informational sessions. Completing the coursework for TEFL certification and learning all the ins and outs of moving to Asia takes a lot of time! The last week has been challenging, but a lot of fun. Being surrounded by so many like-minded people who want to teach overseas has been a blast!

Decluttering

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Arrietty, Pod, and Homily Clock enjoying a quiet evening in their house under the floorboards.

Growing up the way that I did, I became something of a pack rat. I am not sure what exactly inspired me to be that way, but I think part of it came from the charm of The Borrowers. The other part surely came from a desire to claim roots somewhere. Since we moved around so much, my roots became my belongings that I could bring from place to place so that no matter where I was at in the world, I felt a semblance of “home.”

As I’ve grown up, I’ve actively tried to undo that entrenched habit of keeping everything because I am just sick and tired of carting so much stuff around with me wherever I go. Even so, Eric and I have a home–albeit a small one–and we have belongings. A great deal of those belongings will not be making the move with us to Mongolia because it is neither practical nor cost efficient to ship these things with us. I have mentioned this before and will probably mention it again as an international move is no small undertaking.

Currently, we volunteer at a local shelter which will likely become the resting place of a good deal of our belongings as I know that they will be put to use there. But how do I decide what to donate and what to put in storage? Some items–like my grandmother’s sewing machine and attached sewing table–will obviously stay in storage because of their familial importance, but what about dishes and such? The minimalist lifestyle holds great appeal for this former pack rat, but won’t I regret getting rid of our cozy little nest? Fortunately, I should have several months this summer to determine what will stay and what will go. I just hope I’ll be able to make sound decisions!

In unrelated news: we are continuing to raise our support for Mongolia and are inching along slowly. Any progress is better than no progress! Thank you to everyone who has committed to supporting us in one way or another. We appreciate you!

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PS. Any suggestions on how to approach this move are more than welcome!