Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

Dear Shin,

Filed under: Married Life — Annie at 7:29 pm on Thursday, October 9, 2008

Today is our 4th anniversary. It seemed appropriate to write to you here on this brilliant anniversary gift you gave me 3 years ago. This is where I’ve recorded my thoughts for the past 3 years! It’s been so beneficial in a lot of ways… maybe it’s helped make our marriage healthier too in some ways- as an emotional outlet, a hobby, seeing life as it’s actually recorded instead of remembering everything with a depressive outlook (although my negativity has really diminished a lot- or is that because I’m not pms’ing), and recording the fun times and reprogramming my outlook on life. Anyhow the website gift has been really good.

That’s probably how a marriage commitment is in some ways. You purchase a domain name (or a home), set it up with values (haha pun), you decorate it with a theme/skin, and then you create lots and lots of memories. You keep the junk and the spam out- especially the dangerous ones(!), and you spend time revisiting it and improving it while other entries you leave alone to remember it just as it was. There are some days you neglect writing in it but that former history re-sparks your passion. And there come moments when you realize that the site looks completely different than when it started or it’s gone a different direction than you intended but it’s uniquely yours! That’s our marriage!

This year of our 4th marriage we’ve experienced some tremendous things! Hearing from God to leave our home for a year. Experiencing difficulties in Paraguay and then transitioning back to something equally foreign and difficult- living with your parents and by another set of cultural rules. I’ve survived that and so have you Mr Mediator!! Missouri where we witnessed significant spiritual milestones including, “It is now time,” and spiritual baptism. Now living with new paradigms about worship, intimacy and systematic theology! Most important of all, the gift we received in Missouri amidst prayer- baby.

One fantastic, unforgettable pregnancy. An entity formed by God himself that He put inside of me but which is from you and me too. That weird unity/John 17 stuff. How awesome and wonderful it is to celebrate our first anniversary where I’m “with child.” A kicking, headbutting, thumping in time with Gershwin and Star Wars little boy.

We might also remember the objects that have salted our life-this was the year we bought a graphic tablet. And buying our first baby crib was something new, and receiving a providential gift of a sewing machine (the beemer). Just for the record.

Providence- which reminds me… how thankful I am to God for you. All this time I’ve never felt your love waver. You’ve been so steady and smiling and optimistic my “smiley!” You say that I’m more beautiful now than when we first married in my early 20’s. What a lucky woman I am. It must be true because I’m happier than I ever was and because I think my heart is resembling yours more and more everyday.

I love you.

Happy anniversary happy anniversary! Happy anniversary HAAAppy anniversareeeeee!
*sung to the William Tell overture theme*

Quilting & Bedding

Filed under: Arts & Crafts — Annie at 2:53 pm on Wednesday, October 8, 2008

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My first baby quilt is finished. I love it! I might still quilt in a few dinosaurs along the edges but not sure. I like it as is. I’d rather move on to the next quilt or make some accessory bedding items.

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I’m already into my next project- coffee cup place mats. They’re turning out so lovely I have a bunch of people in mind I want to give it to. A late but personal wedding gift, my friend in Paraguay, my mom and/or mother-in-law for Christmas, a church lady I’m very fond of who collects porcelain tea cups and always serves her guests tea and cookies. The handles have to be hand sewn and it’s really time-consuming.

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Our baby mattress came yesterday. The box was filthy and so was the inner plastic covering but the mattress is wonderfully soft and dense at the same time. It’s the Sealy Baby Posturepedic. The crib we ordered in ebony is out of stock and will be available November 4th. It’s really a great, practical crib so I’d hate to order something else- it looks like we’ll just have to wait- which is potentially problematic because if the mattress doesn’t fit well then we’ll have to resell or return it and there are time limits. Not nice.

The Kenmore 12 Stitch

Filed under: Arts & Crafts — Annie at 11:53 am on Wednesday, October 8, 2008

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I picked up my *new Kenmore sewing machine yesterday from my mom’s house!

It was a gift to me from my mom’s friend Suzie. When she first told me about it I anticipated it would be an old but working machine like the one I have. I hadn’t heard anything about Kenmore sewing machines so I anticipated it would be lightweight with lots of plastic parts like my Singer.

I got an initial glimpse at my mom’s house. She told me this was a gift to Suzie by her in-laws on the occasion of her wedding! So essentially it’s a “Hahm” gift, which is often the expensive-to-impress set of items that the groom’s parents give the bride. It’s like a reverse dowry that can include jewelry, linens, clothing, skincare, etc. Then I understood how special this gift was. I am really undeserving to inherit this. I’m going to make her an extra special gift of appreciation for her with the machine.

Shin brought it into the house and up the stairs to the recent, “library-turned-craft room.” He said it was heavy. As soon as we got it home at almost 10pm last night I brushed off the webs and insect remains and sponged down the grime on the outer case with some water and cleaning agent. It must have been in a garage judging by the evidence. But when I removed the hard case it was like finding a well-preserved artifact.

The chrome on the knobs were still shiny and new. There was a box of extra accessories still in original packaging. The type that reads, “Kenmore 12 Stitch” was endearingly retro. Everything was metal like the heavy duty machines in my quilting class- It’s resemblance to the classroom machines is one of the reasons I already like it.

I was too excited to sew anything that night. I just opened everything with a hinge and appreciated the different mechanical parts. I wanted to savor this experience of discovering it. I also looked up the model and serial numbers online to see if I could obtain the manual. Manuals are pricey. Maybe it is worth holding on to all the dust collecting cell phone and software manuals so that twenty years from now I can sell a poor, overly xeroxed copy of it for $10 a pop and charge for shipping and handling!@#$

The model and serial number is 158-13520 made by Sears & Roebuck, in case anyone has the manual. It’s made in Japan which surprised me. I thought Sears products were all made in the USA. That’s exciting because my teacher recommended I purchase a Janome Sewing Machine which are excellent and made in Japan.

This morning I asked my MIL to take a look at it and we threaded it and tried to figure out the other functions. We looked for the regular straight stitch feature and at first it didn’t look like it had one because the pictures only indicated 12 types of zigzag and embroidery. I was kind of glum but figured it was still excellent for certain parts of the quilting process. But it was too unsettling that it would lack the most basic feature so I gave the pedal a whirl trying different knob settings and problem solving skills. That was when I finally interacted with it instead of just gawking.

It felt noticeably different than my Singer. There was a certain pleasant weight in the tension like reeling in a fishing line on a smooth reel and feeling the ocean pulling at the same time.

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The feel of the pedal responsiveness was a lot like driving a BMW. The power is sensitive and immediate giving momentum to a solid vehicle.

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On the drive home last night Shin said that I would finally have a “real” sewing machine. “What do you mean a real sewing machine? This one’s been through a lot with me! It works just fine!” But my Singer does have a crucial missing part. He said of course I’d be satisfied with an old Honda that gets me from place to place- until I rode a fine European car. He’s right.

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My MIL also had some preconceptions about it being an older machine but when she saw the quality it produced she complimented the stitching as “hulyung heh” which means something to be proud of- and she said the tension was really nice.

Ok. I’m done hyping it up. Now I’ve got real sewing to finish up.