Category: fireworks

Christmas is coming…

…the goose is getting fat!  Actually, I have no idea how fat the rhetorical goose is, nor do I have any plans on buying a literal goose, but I do know that Christmas really is coming!  Just a few days away at this point!  Eek!  School and Christmas-y things have been keeping me busy for sure.  There’s not much about school that I particularly want to talk about, other than the fact that it was really hard, but I managed to get all A’s; but there’s plenty of Christmas updates that I have!

The lights, the music, the decorations…everything about Christmas sends a thrill through me.  I absolutely love this time of year.  I dragged a few of my friends with me to Atlantic Station, to see the official lighting of the enormous Christmas tree that they had erected in the middle of the plaza.  The lighting of the tree was actually somewhat of a letdown – there’s only so much fanfare you can have when all that’s happening is a cord getting plugged into an outlet – but they had fireworks afterward, which more than made up for that :).

My church also had a volunteer Christmas dinner at the end of November.  It’s an event that the staff puts on every year, in which they invite all of the church volunteers to a big fancy dinner to thank them for their service.  That was a blast.  As you can see from the pictures below, the people at my church can definitely be clowns…regardless of how dressed up they might be, lol…

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Matt, Amy, and Elizabeth – some amazing friends right there!!

As sort of a last hurrah, I hosted a Christmas party for a bunch of my friends the last Saturday of the semester.  I had hosted a potluck party last year (you can read about that here), but this year I wanted to put a bit more effort into it.  Rather than have people bring stuff, I made the whole meal – the pièce de résistance was a pork tenderloin that I marinated in a honey and brown sugar glaze.  Super yummy!!  Since I’m in a much bigger place now, I also had the space to be able to plan a few more activities this time around.  So we played a few games, did a white elephant gift exchange, decorated gingerbread cookies that I had made in advance, and overall just had a splendid time.  Most of my best friends from Atlanta, and all of my roommates were able to be there.  I felt very blessed, indeed.  And then I promptly fell asleep after they all left – considering it was the first real party that I planned and hosted all by myself, I may have overreached a bit.  I was exhausted by the end of the night.  Was so totally worth it, though :).

L-R: Chelsea and Kelsey

L-R: Lauren, her fiance Michael, Matt, Jonathan, Jessica, and little Nicholas

This is such a fitting hat for Jonathan…

Decorating the gingerbread cookies…

As a bit of a side note…I went to see some of my relatives in the north Georgia mountains with my dear friend Elizabeth way back in October.  It’s not Christmas-y, but I have nowhere else to put the pictures from that trip, so it’s just getting tacked onto the bottom of this post.  We just went up for the day, to get away from school and visit my family and see the beautiful fall colors.  It was a lovely day :).  Pictures are below – enjoy!

Summers are for memories

Aren’t summers great?  Particularly when you’re a student.  Students’ summers are marked by lazy afternoons by the pool, vacationing over the weekends, and visiting friends and family.  My summers, even though I’m a graduate student, are still much the same.  I realize that this is probably the last summer I’ll have like that, so I’m trying to make the most of it!

Of all the great things about this summer, though, I’d have to say that my favorite part was reconnecting with family and friends that I haven’t seen in a while.  My summer is almost over now – I moved back to Atlanta to begin settling in for the new semester last weekend – which means that now I’m only left with the nostalgic memories.  Here are a few of my favorites:

My Great-Aunt and Great-Uncle had a big anniversary party / family reunion dealio around the 4th of July.  My dad and brothers couldn’t make it, but my mom and sister and I did.  We drove midway up to Atlanta, visited with Julia a bit, and then went the rest of the way up to Dahlonega, in North Georgia.  Oh my word.  That was so much fun.  It was at an absolutely lovely venue, and it seemed like everyone was there.  I’ve often wished that I could see more of that side of my family….but it’s always a blast whenever I do get to see them!  My my, it’s amazing to see how everyone grows up!  🙂

Bill and Rose Dery….what an incredible couple! 

Hope and Hope – these two cousins were joined at the hip all night long!

The whole clan.  Or at least most of it…I think 😉

My cousins + Daniel’s new fiancé! 🙂

That same week, I also got to see fireworks not once, but twice!  I suppose that somewhat makes up for the fact that this was the first 4th of July I’ve been home for in 3 years.  Other countries don’t find the fourth day in July nearly as important as we do…ergo, no fireworks ;).

My 2 youngest siblings were in a production of the Little Mermaid this summer.  Hope played the most adorable seagull / princess / ocean creature you’ve ever seen….and Matt, our little budding thespian, got the lead male role of Prince Eric!  We were all very proud.  Although i must admit, I was about ready to go postal any time I heard any of the music from the Little Mermaid by the end of the summer.  Too much of anything is never a good thing…. 😉

Hope is third from the left

One proud Grammie!

 I did my best to spend some time in the pool this summer, too.  I didn’t get as much time as I would have liked – work definitely kept me hopping – but I got enough to at least get a few good shots!  And my last weekend in town, a friend of ours took me and my siblings out on his boat.  My goodness, that was fun!  The excitement was just compounded by the imminent danger of the boat breaking down at any minute.  It never actually did, but that doesn’t mean that we weren’t in a constant state of anticipation!  Ahhh, good stuff, it keeps us young, hehehe….

Aside from all of the good memories, it was definitely a challenging summer.  But I’m so grateful for it.  The Lord taught me so much, and grew my relationships with my family tremendously.  I feel energized and ready to take on another year at Georgia Tech….although I must also admit, I’m sooooo glad that this is my last year!! 🙂

(The pictures below are from an impromptu photoshoot I went on in a peanut field with my friend Chad.  I didn’t know where else to put them, so I just stuck them at the bottom :]).

Masquerades and fireworks

Well, I’m in rather better spirits than I was in my last blog, although far more sleep deprived.  Let me explain… :)So my voice finally came back on Thursday, and I taught my four classes.  I did a lesson on Halloween and my girls LOVED it.  And me?  Well I was just happy to be teaching (and therefore talking) again.  Their gasps of wonder at the pictures in my slideshow and sighs of understandment during the lesson was just icing on the cake :).  On Friday I didn’t have class, although no one told me that until I actually got to school, which was a bit frustrating.  So I edited some students’ papers and did administrative / emaili stuff for most of the day, and then went home early.

That night there was a masquerade party for another one of the English teachers in town.  I hadn’t planned on going, so instead I went home and ensconced myself in a blanket and watched the Chronicles of Narnia – love that movie :).  But around 11:00 pm, my friend texted me and said that I should come to the party – I would really enjoy it.  It was already so late, and it really took some convincing to persuade me to leave my warm little bubble, but I finally did, and was happy that I did.  There was dancing, I got to see some people I hadn’t seen in a while, and overall it was lots of fun.

Harry all dressed up for the masquerade

On Saturday I went with 4 guys from church to Busan, to see the fireworks.  Busan is renowned for their incredible fireworks shows on one of their many beaches; they had such a big turnout last year, in fact, that this year they stretched the event into 2 weekends instead of just 1.  I wasn’t able to go last weekend because of my Fulbright conference, so instead I went to the finale show.

What a trip that was!  We got there early, to stake out our spot.  The fireworks weren’t supposed to start until 8, but by the time we got there around 4, the beach was already almost full of people.  We just randomly happened to come across Lorna and a few other people that I had met at the Kyrios church retreat (it’s a small world!), and so we set up our blankets with them for the afternoon.  We played card games – I taught the South Africans how to play Apples to Apples, gotta love being a cultural ambassador! – sang songs, reminisced and caught up, ate lots of food, and overall had a great time.  I was glad to have some female companionship :).

On our way to Busan!!
Our friends from Kyrios 🙂
I stole Anthony’s hat!!! 🙂
Norman….I don’t know, lol

About an hour before the fireworks started, however, it started raining – hard. But we had come all this way to see the fireworks, I was darned if I was going to go home now!  So we got out our rain jackets and umbrellas, and hunkered down to wait out the rain.  It was still raining when the fireworks finally started, but you know what they say – the show must go on!  And what a show it was!!  An hour of nonstop lights, lasers, flying fiery kites, and fireworks synched perfectly to music – made the trip and waiting in the rain completely worth it.

Sitting out the rain….
Me and Lorna <3

We didn’t want to stay the night in Busan, though, so after the fireworks ended we headed back to the train station to catch a late train back – us and all the other 3 million people in attendance.  I have never seen such a crush of humanity in my life.  We had to fight for every inch we got, and there were times when I was being squished on all sides so hard that I literally couldn’t breathe.  I was glad when we finally made it to the train station.  We had about an hour to kill before our train left, so we went and got hamburgers (and randomly ran into Megan, my friend from Andong!), and then got on the train.  More people.  In fact, it was standing room only for most of the hour and a half ride back to Gyeongju.  I finally fell into bed, completely spent, around 2 am.  It was sooo worth it, though – check out my pictures below :). The last one is a video!!

So yeah, Sunday came, I dragged myself to church – found out about 45 second before the service started, in fact, that I would be leading it (gotta love Korea!) – came home and took a nap.  I’m finally feeling human again :).  Please continue to keep my homestay situation in your prayers, I’m hoping by next week to have a definitive answer.  Au revior!

Some of the night shots before the rain started
Isn’t that an awesome picture??  I love my camera.  I would marry it it I could…. 😉

Make sure you watch the video directly above!! 🙂