Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

Korean Heritage

Filed under: Married Life — Annie at 10:01 am on Monday, October 25, 2010

I accidentally created a fart bomb. Not inside my body- although being pregnant sometimes it feels that way. No, I set out some dried mung beans in a bowl of water on Saturday night to soften them so I could make some delicious pork and kimchi Korean style pancakes called “bindae tuk”. Only after thawing my pork chops and double-checking my ingredients I realized I was missing kimchi. We don’t keep kimchi in our house or our fridge so I figured I could bring home some leftovers from church on Sunday. So I let the mung beans sit another day and I covered the bowl so no insects could get in and went to church.

We got home and opened the door and this awful awful odor cloud met us. My husband said, “Oh my gosh. It smells like Elijah’s poo! And then upon further entry he said, “The toilet must have overflowed!” And he rushed in to double check- or maybe just to relieve himself. I went into the two bathrooms and the first bathroom smelled fresh as bleach and vanilla. The second bathroom also smelled neutral. I went to the kitchen.

My bowl of mung beans was covered with this thick foamy layer of bubbles. I lifted one side of the bowl and sniffed and that was a mistake. I yelled to Shin, “IT’S THE BEANS!” And took it outside. I strained the water, asked Shin for a double plastic bag and an extra cup of water to rinse it out and took the culprit to the dumpster. It was amazing how even outdoors the smell could just hang out in the air right above the common walkway. There was absolutely no wind to carry the gas away.

Well I learned by error that I should probably refrigerate my mung beans or atleast leave it uncovered. And in the process have discovered lethal material for the perfect homemade dorm prank… But most importantly I feel connected to my deep Korean heritage… of fermentation.

You Know You’re an Ajuma When…

Filed under: Married Life — Annie at 8:46 am on Friday, July 23, 2010

1. You start collecting any type of glassware; vases, platters, stemware, porcelain figurines
2. You can’t stay silent on certain issues anymore
2. You feel compelled to serve fruits to your guests after a meal
3. You develop the strength to scrub out old pot stains.
4. Your husband says you sound just like your mom
5. You use more than 4 types of skin toners, lotions, or creams after a single facewash
6. You religiously do your nightly skin care regimen

5th year of marriage

Filed under: Married Life — Annie at 12:11 am on Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shin: Tomorrow’s breakfast is at 7AM
Annie: Oh it is? Are you making breakfast? *excited and surprised*
Shin: No
Annie: Oh. Then would you please rephrase your comment to, “Honey, would you have breakfast ready at 7 please?” *sigh
Shin: Just translate my words

First Love

Filed under: Married Life — Annie at 1:49 pm on Monday, November 3, 2008


We met a few months before Christmas in 2000. It was absolutely the worst and best time to meet. It was the worst time to develop into anything serious and therefore the best time to develop a friendship. He was my brother’s 5th grade Awana leader and he and my brother often communicated online. That was eventually our starting point.

One night my brother showed me a silly music video of him on his website. He lip-synced to a Japanese, female rendition of “Fly Me to the Moon.” It was frightening because he mimicked a girl. I sat through his winking and exaggerated eyelash-batting feeling very uncomfortable and embarrassed for him until he pulled off the fake hair and revealed a cute boyish grin and an mp3 player. Then I was intrigued.

I asked my brother for an online introduction, which he did reluctantly. That first week we chatted tirelessly into the early morning hours. Luckily for me he was always online. We had a neat creative vibe between us. I remember one conversation where we were coming up with onomatopoeia back and forth to describe everyday stuff, like the sound of a sewing machine.

We decided we should introduce ourselves in person. We weren’t completely sure who the other was, although I now knew what he looked like. He thought I was a different girl at church that we both knew. He said people always thought he was a newcomer at church and asked him regularly if he was a visitor. That day he was looking around wondering who I might be and confined to waiting until I approached him. He noticed me though, prior to our meeting, and prayed, “God, I’d be happy if it was her.”

I deliberately sat a row or two ahead of him. Predictably, the pastor asked us to greet those around us and I turned around and said, “Hi, what’s your name? Oh are you new?” but gave away my identity in laughter. Then he said, “OH! It’s YOU!”

For the next 3 years we would have flowering periods of interaction and correspondence to periods of absolute silence. There would be moments our paths seemed to cross without our planning, to periods of deliberate withdrawal and breakage. Those years were the best but at the same time the most trying and unfulfilled years of waiting for him that I never want to repeat. It was the bondage of believing he was my ideal, yet having no assurance that he would ever initiate more, to being unable to abandon hope and move on emotionally.

Seeing him every morning and night is a reminder of that joy of fulfillment. But there are others tokens of our past that bring a sweet memory as well. One of them was a gift to him inspired by a pair of worn out house slippers. They were decorated with a plushy sun and moon character on either side. I cut the dolls off and made twin pillows with denim. I gave him the moon with stars in the background and a unique carrying box with yarn handles. It was a reference to “Fly me to the Moon” but also for the Korean folk tale about Brother Moon and Sister Sun.

Now they reside on our bed, reunited once more and currently employed as extra pregnancy cushioning! But always a reminder of the first love.

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*

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