Here's what you might want to know about me, and probably then some things you might not want to know about me.
I am a creative soul who has spent the last 12 years looking for a place to call home. Since I went to university in Illinois, I have been exploring and growing as a woman. I grew up in a Christian household and still hold that faith to heart, if not necessarily agreeing with many denominations of the church. I studied art and theatre for my undergraduate work where I met some amazing people who helped guide me and nurture my sewing skills. I spent a semester studying at Oxford University in England where I fell in love with the culture of tea and scones. After graduating with my BA, I worked two professional theatre jobs (prop master for a summerstock theatre and stitcher for an opera company) I realized that I hated professional theatre work and promptly took a job offer in South Korea to teach English at a kindergarten.
|my students in South Korea|
I loved it.
I went to South Korea with my best friend and spent two years growing more independently and co-dependently with other expats and navigated the language barrier and cultural differences with as much grace as I could muster. That's saying a lot since I was introduced to soju cocktails pretty early on.
|Stephanie, BF Laura and I (and a robot too) in SK|
After that I moved back home to prepare to immigrate to Great Britain where I was certain that my future lay. Yeah, that wasn't right. Immigration changed their conditions and I was no longer qualified for the work visa I wanted. An invitation came to move to New Zealand and after two months of planning (and finishing a teaching contract) I moved to NZ to try my hand again at theatre. A theatre business internship and a couple part-time jobs later, I realized it wasn't quite right and I took another contract back in South Korea.
|My Korean sister- Mina|
I moved back to SK and back to the city I was in before. I made new friends and taught elementary aged students this time. Five months into my contract my worst nightmare came true. I got a phone call from my parents saying there had been an accident and one of my brothers had died. In full-on panic mode, I left to go home and take care of things and my family. It was the hardest three weeks of my life and I never want to go through it again. I distinctly recall telling my brother Jo that no one was allowed to die anytime soon, because I couldn't handle it. And I returned to SK to continue not handling it.
|The last time I saw my brother Stephen (his basic training graduation)|
Depression runs in my family and I had it. It was a really dark time and I threw myself into teaching and yoga, desperate to lose myself and forget the heartache. I reached out though and reconnected with friends I had left in New Zealand. Christmas came and went and I took a three week holiday to New Zealand, nearly a year after I had left the first time. It was a much-needed balm for my soul.
|Me and Laura's son, Elijah, my little buddy|
|Laura and I|
|typical NZ vista|
This is when I met my now-husband. We met, he was shy and suddenly I was the one who was taking control in a relationship. Although what we had for seven months wasn't a romantic relationship, it was a friendship from afar after I returned to South Korea. Things worked out though and I was able to quit my teaching contract after six months and move back to New Zealand. I came with my rescue dog, my sewing machine and a heart full of hope.
|moving day (well, nearly)|
A year and a half later Jeff and I got married on a gorgeous NZ summer day with our friends and family around us in a rainbow-filled rustic wedding where we all had entirely too much wild pork and fruit pies to eat. That brings us to now.
|Jeff and I on our wedding day|
|With the two best friends who brought us together|
|Our little surprise- riding off on his motorcycle!|
I currently work for a healthcare provider where I visit people in their homes and assist them with day-to-day cares. Oh, and I finished my MA in early childhood education and got my permanent residency here. I don't use my MA at the moment because I am in a catch-22 situation with teaching in NZ, so that's on hold for the foreseeable future. I have decided to take my sewing skills and passion for creating things to the next level and have started my own business. My husband spends all his free time creating things out of wood for the house, or building a wall out of stone for the property while I spend all my free time working on things that I can do- sewing, cooking, crafting, and cleaning. We are two creative spirits who found each other and are working hard to make our dreams come true. We have a ridiculous dog (the one who came from SK with me) and a talkative cat. We are hoping to expand our family soon but we're not rushing anything.
|Tai loves living in New Zealand|
|Squeak has adjusted to not being the only woman in the house|
So that's me. A creative gal from the USA who traveled to New Zealand to find her happy place. When the first Lord of the Rings movie came out and I found out it was filmed in New Zealand, I said to myself that I would live there someday. I forgot about that statement until recently and now it makes me smile to think that, while it may not have been the way I thought it would be, I still ended up here anyway.
|Us on our honeymoon getaway to Karamea|