The Dyer Family

I did double duty during Scottie and Steph’s engagement session, for I was ALSO able to take Dyer Family Photos. Taking pictures of Stef when Ezra was still in her belly, and then taking them again, one year later, was SUCH A JOY. It’s crazy to think that during the time I was gone, Ezra was born and grew to a boy who was almost walking!

These are two of my very best friends with their miracle little baby boy. My friends are ridiculously photogenic, they passed it on to Ezra as well.

DSC_8172

Above Ezra is getting his nap in before his photo shoot, he is a smart boy!

DSC_8227        DSC_8440DSC_8311 DSC_8248   DSC_8419DSC_8426

DSC_8556 DSC_8562

DSC_8673 DSC_8828

The Westhouse/Dyer Family. A picture for the parents.

DSC_8869

Me with two of the best people I know.

Advertisements

The Village has Visitors

I am not blogging my summer in order whatsoever. Like, I mean, at all.

OH WELL.

In July my dear friend Jee Young flew from New York to Chicago, met up with another fabulous friend, Jane, and together they drove… to my village.

Arriving around 11:30 at night, the first thing Jee Young says, “It’s so dark here!”

I forgot, the country is dark. There are no streetlights, building lights, and very few car lights… it’s dark. Really dark.

The second thing Jee Young says, “We stood outside looking up at all the stars, there are so many stars!”

It reminded me of the time when I told my 2nd graders in Seoul that I missed seeing stars. They tried arguing with me that you can see a lot of stars in the city. I told them “No, you can’t.” Then one boy said, “Yes, you can! Once, I saw SEVEN.”

Jane and Jee Young had the privilege of getting a full tour (a whopping three hours long, and that included lunch) of the village of Middleville, which even included the log house my dad built and the family lived in for the first ten years of my life.  We ate lunch at the one real restaurant that wasn’t also a bar, and visited my old high school —where I got a library card at the public library— in which I got lost in because there has been so much renovation I didn’t even feel like it was the school I attended.

Oh yes, and we also took a field trip to my sister’s farm, where they saw tractors in real life and cows, very SMELLY cows.

Aaaaahhhh the country.

DSC_9064 DSC_9068 DSC_9071 DSC_9074 DSC_9077 DSC_9082 DSC_9084 DSC_9086 DSC_9088 DSC_9114 DSC_9121 DSC_9130 DSC_9137

Having people you meet on the other side of the world visit your home town is really special. I am so grateful to Jane and Jee Young for making the effort to visit me this summer.

Until my next totally out-of-order post about my summer…

 

 

Izzie and the Beast at the Fair

“Are you sure you want to take them by yourself?” My dad looks skeptically over his glasses as my niece and nephew are running around the car exclaiming, “The fair, the fair! We are going to the fair!”

“Yes,” I say with full confidence— and then give a scared deer-caught-in-the-headlight look. Can I handle this? CAN I? “We told them they were going to go to the fair, someone needs to take them.”

What my older sister and I didn’t realize at the time of this promise, was that it would be the hottest week of summer… and the fair was the last place on earth we wanted to be. Also, we were going in the morning (the only time I could take them— as I had a Cambodian wedding to get to later) when the rides wouldn’t be open and animals and crafts (and BIG BIG tractors) would be the only things to see.

My sister, Amie, the mother of Izzie and the Beast, is allergic to everything. Going to the fair just to look at animals? It only made sense that I, the one home for the summer with nothing to do and not allergic to everything, should get the quality time of taking my niece and nephew to the fair. Never mind the horror stories of the Beast in public and why he is called the Beast in the first place.

I am a cool Aunt. I can do it.

And I did.

Not having to worry about going on rides and playing games turned out to be a huge blessing (I am pretty sure the Beast is afraid of heights), we got to see SO MANY different kinds of animals and had the most incredible time. We ate fries and snow cones and drank SODA and had cotton candy (did I mention I was leaving for the rest of the day? haha). They got to pet cows, a pig, a goat, a horse, a chicken, a rooster, a duck, and were sad when they couldn’t pet the bunnies (kids, always want more!).

I had not been to the fair in eight years. What a special memory to tuck in my pocket and pull out to smile about as I am separated from my family yet again.

DSC_9980

DSC_9981 DSC_9991 DSC_9936

DSC_9915DSC_9932

DSC_9964

DSC_9969

DSC_0007

Can’t wait to see these munchkins at Christmas!

When I owned a car…

Heading up Morning Star Drive, arriving at my parent’s home after ten months abroad, peering over the steering wheel, I look for Dustie— waiting for her to come bounding out of the garage. She doesn’t come, and then I remember. The tears come before I can stop them. My youngest brother Jordan is the first to greet me as I come out of the car, I apologize for the tearful greeting, the loss of my dog overshadowing for a moment a joyful reunion with my family. Losing the only dog you’ve ever loved is hard.

Coming back to my home state is a different experience every time. This time around I can’t stop looking at the sky. Stars. Sunsets. Clouds. Michigan is incredibly beautiful.

DSC_7387 DSC_7503

 

Back in Korea we celebrate birthdays every weekend. Here in Michigan, I go to weddings and baby showers, dance recitals for my niece, and take day trips with my momma.

It’s fun. Now, just waiting for the weather to cooperate so I can get a tan!

When I come home.

I know I am home when three laptops cannot be on the same internet connection at my parent’s house at the same time/even when I am the only one on I have to wait five minutes for a page to load (slight exaggeration, slight).

I can/have to drive everywhere, and end up wishing for the subway after three days.

I am weirded out by “small-town” talk at the grocery store.

I eat a home-cooked meal every single night. sigh… (I may have had steak three times my first week home, whahaha).

I eat Chinese food, American/Chinese food!

The beach is only an hour away, and the pool is in my backyard.

I am in weddings.

I get woken up at 6:55 a.m. by my niece and nephew. I have never loved not sleeping in until now.

I er, Jordan makes pizza.

I listen to the radio.

I miss rice.

I miss walking.

I buy teaching supplies. Can’t WAIT to get my stapler.

I laugh until I cry talking about “No pants Noah” and “No top Travis”.

I create memories to hold me over until next summer with my friends and family (though it never does “hold me over”), and I love every second of it.

I enjoy life to the fullest, just as I do in Korea, when I come home…^^

A House Full of Flowers

Roses and Peonies. Blue mason jars. The smell, and the soft, clear-see through- blue vases  are interrupting every corner of my parents house. My sister got married this weekend!!! All week the weather forecast crept up from 85 degree afternoons, to 91˚… then 92˚.

Needless to say, when the dress rehearsal started at 6 p.m. and the sun beat the back of our legs and neck (with a temperature of only 85˚)… the bridal party was excited at the prospect of a “short and sweet” wedding ceremony the next day, as requested by the groom, especially since the actual wedding would be two hours earlier, at 4 p.m.

one of the flower girls was my niece, izabelle^^

The day arrived with a cloudy overcast and a heavy wind. The sun danced through the clouds throughout the morning, and the afternoon kissed us with beautiful cloud coverage and a much calmer breeze (with a few gusts of splendid wind). The bridesmaids tossed aside our little pink fans, and instead worried slightly about giving the friends and family in attendance a little more of a show than they bargained for. But no need to worry, our dresses all stayed in place.

the bride just after putting on her dress… absolutely stunning!

The ceremony was indeed, short— but incredibly sweet, with a beautiful song performed by our sister-in-law after the touching message. And as you have probably figured out, the weather was amazing! Afterwards the bridal party hopped on our wagon-pulled-by-giant-red-tractor and took a hay ride to our designated photo shoot spot (my sister married a dentist/family farmer, what can I say???).

the cake was delicious, and pink!

The reception included a favor of pink taffy (I did NOT go around and gather up all the forgotten favor bags and stuff them in a bag for later— I totally did NOT do that) as well as a gradient layered pink cake (pictured above!). Roses and peonies were set at each table, held in place by blue mason jars (hence the first paragraph). The bride was gorgeous, and the groom seemed to be bursting at the seams with happiness (as every wedding should show!). Each of the three brothers of the groom gave witty, short, and touching toasts, and then my little sis (maid of honor) showed them up with a sweeping finish to the toasts (I may be biased), and had everyone chuckling and wiping tears from their eyes.

After the couple had their first dance to “Makin’ Plans” by Miranda Lambert, my dad surprised most of the nine children by showing off the dance lessons he had been taking with mom oer the past several months and effortlessly swept his daughter around the dance floor for their father-daughter danced, joined in later by the groom and his mother.

I didn’t get the chance to take a whole lot of pictures, since there was need for video clips to capture the night, and because I was in the wedding I had to enlist the help of my youngest brother to get walking down the aisle/ceremony moments (I am in the process of putting the clips together now— it’s not too bad considering I wasn’t available for many precious moments). But I did get some pictures, spread throughout this post.

It was an amazing start to my summer at home, I am so excited for my sister and her new husband, and for the other four weddings I get to go to this summer!!!

Here are a few more pictures..(me with my flowers, me and the bride, me and my siblings— hey, it’s my blog— I choose the pictures!!! ^^)…

Right before this picture (above) was taken there are a couple of laughing shots, as our sister-in-law called herself the “Blind Side” sister… you know, the big black man in the family photo. Don’t let her blond hair fool you though, she has been a sister in the Welton clan for over a decade!

I shall leave you with a picture of the original Welton Family, my parents and the nine children they birthed. (First time we have all been together long enough for a picture to be taken in four years!)

Calm

Waiting for the calm in the storm. That is what I am doing.

Today, I have my last small group. Tomorrow I give my final presentation on my project document (thesis) for grad school. Saturday I work my last day at my first international school and pack up my apartment. Sunday I graduate with my masters. Monday I move apartments and pack for the States. Tuesday, I fly home.

Next Tuesday, I fly home.

June 16th is my sister’s wedding. I head to Chicago June 30th, and to New York on July 11th (for wedding #2 of the summer). Weddings 3, 4, and 5 take place June 21st, 28th, and August 3rd. I get to be a bridesmaid in #1, and #5!

August 9th, I come back to Korea and start teaching at a new international school.

Forget the calm, I love this storm.

A little bit of what I have been up to through pictures:

Saying goodbye to Han Wool for the summer, while Jee Young has a tearful goodbye with Hye Yun (as she is moving to Singapore!)

WICKED!!! After waiting for seven years, it only seems right that they would bring an English-speaking cast (from Australia, they were amazing) all the way to Korea for me. TOTALLY WORTH THE WAIT. I want to see it again.

I miss my smartphone.

Last week of school includes field day! I have never been more tired…

Until I write again… love the storm you’re in!