God's Mysterious Connections...

I don't listen to Christian radio, so I always love it when we learn a new song in church.  However:

Me: Have you heard that new Hillsong one?
Friend (usually my sister): Oh ya, it's been around for months.  


The first time we sang Beneath the Waters (I Will Rise), I fell in love with everything about the song.  I don't know if it's just me, but more often than not the music from Hillsong transports me to that worshipful place before God unlike any other.  We sang it again this past Sunday, so it's been in my head and heart.  Our pastor has been preaching through Romans, and Romans 6 must have been on my mind, too, since all of a sudden I noticed a connection between Romans 6:3-4 and that song:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. ~Romans 6:3-4

The song's chorus:
I will rise, I will rise,
As Christ was raised to life,
Now in Him, Now in Him,
I live 
I'm so grateful for those spiritual connections that God creates, when the light bulb finally goes on in my head, and I understand.  I am grateful for the reminder of the life I have in Him today, and how His sacrifice restored hope for all of humanity.



Still Waiting...

It's nothing new, or so I've heard, for a first time pregnancy to go past the due date.  We're now +2 into overtime, and that baby hasn't made a peep.  However, thanks to many many prayers, I am feeling quite relaxed and extremely happy to be on a mini-vacation, if you will.  I didn't have to wake up for a 5AM class this morning, and I didn't have to rush my afternoon errands to start one at 5PM, either.

This is what I did instead:

One massive zucchini (yes, that is cut in half!!)
My food processor really helped to speed along
the grating process.

It yielded 25 1/2 cups of grated stuff, perfect for baking!

Here we have a gluten free zucchini brownie, a zucchini loaf,
and 2 dozen zucchini raisin walnut muffins

It's been really hard to resist digging into this smorgasbord, especially when all I want to do is eat, eat, eat!  If baby decides to wait another day, I've still got about 16 cups of grated zucchini to fill up my time, and my belly.



My Last Week...

This week is bittersweet for me.  I have been teaching phone English lessons since mid-March, and since I work from home, I've been able to work right up until the baby's due date (which is this Saturday, by the way!)
My plan is to take six weeks off from work, and then to return to my evening shift (since I work split shifts) so that Jake can take care of the baby during those three hours.  However, I'm saddened that I may not have the same students I had before.  My students will be given to other teachers, and the only way they might come back to me is if they request for me.  
So you see, I'm happy to have been approved for this time off to spend with our baby, but I'm frustrated that I will have to build up my student base all over again.  It's been especially difficult to say goodbye to them, since this week is the Korean thanksgiving, and many have been unable to make their lessons due to visiting relatives and traveling.

This morning I groggily rolled my way out of bed (looking, I imagine, almost identical to a beached whale) at 4:40am for my lesson at 5 and thought naively, "Ah, only two more days of getting up at stupid-o-clock."

And yet.

I really have no idea what life with our newborn will be like.  I grew up with younger siblings, but only remember my youngest brother's baby years the best.  Even then, I wasn't his mother (although I still felt and do have a special protective and nurturing bond for him), so I wasn't fully aware of the behind-the-scenes that my parents experienced.  

Despite whatever sleepless nights that may come, I can honestly say I am excited for this next phase in our lives.  Everything is new, scary, and exciting all rolled into one.  For now, all I want to do is to hold our precious baby in my arms and to finally look at his/her face, to touch those arms and legs that have been just out of reach but oh-so-present all these months, and to drink in the sweet smell that is a newborn's skin.  


39 weeks and 2 days


What I've Been Up to Lately, When Not Blogging...

In the Kitchen
A must try.  Jake loved these so much the first time I made them that he requested to have them once a week. Surprisingly, I have been doing just that.  If you know me, this is a very rare event.  I must really enjoy them, too (either that or they're a super easy meal option-try it yourself to find out!)

If you don't have access to a Korean store (or friend) to obtain the traditional Korean staple known as kimchi, more's the pity.  This fried rice dish took me only 15 minutes to prepare (which is saying a lot for someone who tends to stretch a 20 minute prep time into 40 minutes), and paired with a salad or some sort of meat dish it would make for a completely satisfying meal.  (It's probably a major faux pas in Korean cuisine, but I used brown rice and it still tasted amazing!)

What mine looked like

Since purchasing a pressure cooker in Brazil, I have sworn that it is my best kitchen tool.  I love how much I can save by buying dried beans, which is why I included the refried beans recipe for this tasty Mexican dish.  Not only fun to make, enfrijoladas also make an appeal as international 'comfort food', much like Kraft Dinner is to some people here (*cough cough* Jake *cough cough*)

The perfect medley of sweet and spicy, this recipe could be your gateway to cold noodle salad if you've never been a fan before.  Delicious freshly made, even better five days later.  Try it, and you won't be disappointed.

Dessert Honourary Mention: Oatmeal Raisin Cashew Cookies
Maybe you saw me go on about this one on Facebook already.  Well I don't care.  I LOVED this recipe.  Super easy to whip up, the only thing that takes a bit of time is assembling them on the cookie sheet (since the batter is quite sticky and hard to work with).  SO. WORTH. IT. Trust me, you need to make these today.  If you are worried about the price of those fatty little cashews, a friend had success substituting them with mixed nuts, so NO EXCUSES.  These will blow your mind.

On my Night table 
Currently Reading:
Indigo: In Search of the Colour That Seduced the World, Catherine E. McKinley
The Chaperone, Laura Moriarty
Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster

I have been having the hardest time getting through these books.  They are all amazing, but I have been too distracted to sit down and just read.

Night Road, Kristin Hannah
If you want a good cry and a time to rage about the unfairness and tragedy of life, this is the book for you.  I always enjoy Hannah's writing.  She goes into so much detail that you can almost imagine yourself experiencing the joys and sorrows with the characters.  A great read about the coming-of-age and overcoming stigmas about ourselves, this book had much to offer in way of revenge masquerading as justice, redemption, and learning how to forgive.

First Time Mom: Getting Off On the Right Foot From Birth to Grade One, Kevin Leman
I know what you're thinking- isn't that a broad age gap to span? Well, it is and it isn't.  No, the baby hasn't even arrived yet, but it's always good to start thinking about the future.  Often situations creep up on us in ways that leave us flabbergasted and unable to react appropriately.  I feel a little more prepared for what is to come from having read this book.

The Cuckoo's Calling, Robert Galbraith
I'm sure most of you know by now that this is J.K. Rowling's latest, penned under her not-so-secret pseudonym. I enjoyed this mystery novel.  Even though it was slow and somewhat repetitive at times, Galbraith delved into the deep character development that is so true to Rowling's nature and story-telling characteristics.
  **Caveat Emptor: There is A LOT of swearing in this book

Through my headphones
Your Great Name, Natalie Grant
Brave, Sara Bareilles
Tidal Wave, Sub Focus
Jiya Re, from the Bollywood movie Jab Hak Tai Jaan

Favourite Online Articles
Diana Nyad's historic swim- I was so impressed with this woman's tenacity and will to overcome any obstacle.  She is a definite role model for perseverance in my books!
How to Make Popcorn in the Microwave- I once bought an air popper from Value Village, and it broke on the second use.  Since then I have been lamenting over a severe lack of popcorn, and I don't always have time to make it on the stove.  I stumbled across a couple of articles for making loose popcorn kernels in the microwave. First I tried the brown paper bag method(which worked but ended up burning a little-also, mega waste of brown paper bags!) as well as using a glass casserole dish with a fitted lid (which availed only 15-20 popped kernels.) After about 5 failed attempts, I then discovered this article, and my life has significantly 'popped'.  It turns out that all I needed was a little bit of ventilation for success and delicious, perfectly popped, homemade microwave popcorn.

Favourite Teaching Aids
Controversial Statements- I always enjoy these kind of agree/disagree lessons with my students, and they seem to be challenged by the discussions

Have you ever...?- Some of these questions are random, but they help us to talk about things we might not have otherwise, such as 'eating frogs' legs'.  Surprisingly, more people have tried them than you think!

The Game of 'What?'- I use the scenarios in this game to generate creativity in thinking 'outside-of-the-box'

Readings in my Bible

Again, the distraction problem is real.  Yesterday I stopped reading so that I could look up something baby-related online.  It would seem that my priorities are out of alignment.

Movies Worth Mentioning
Jab Hak Tai Jaan- a great and fun Bollywood film (find it on Netflix).  Be prepared for 3 hours of cheesy songs and romance, as is the custom with much of Bollywood.  I wouldn't have it any other way!
Wolverine- because Hugh Jackman.  That is all.
Elysium- I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this newest one from Matt Damon.  A new take on the old theme of separation of the classes, it kept me on my toes the entire time.  I also loved the surprise ending in this futuristic action flick.

Walks and movies with Jake- we even went to the drive-in, which was a first for me!
At the drive-in
Firming up baby names
Getting the nursery prepared
Coffee dates with friends
TV Shows: Once Upon a Time, Castle, Pretty Little Liars, North & South (BBC)