I hope you appreciate how much thinking this entailed on my part, at a time when thinking is not my strong point.
As always, New Year’s was held at the Romgi’s parents’ house (a tradition we missed this year, since they were in California partying it up!). Delicious food all evening, firecrackers at midnight. Ah. The new semester started off right as I got a letter saying I made the Dean’s List for the College of Family, Home, & Social Sciences for Fall 2007! To celebrate I started reading a lot of non-school books and paying less attention in my classes. Huh. Great logic, Roni. I also volunteered to be in charge of the women’s book club for my ward, but that didn’t take off for another month or so.
I love doing the Year in Review because (thanks to blogging) it reminds me of all the adventures I had that somehow got pushed to the back of my mind in the intervening months. For example, I crashed our car in February. The insurance company sure said it was my fault, but I blame the snow…I made a left turn one evening and as I did so the tires started sliding, which pulled the car down the slanted side of the road and into a lamppost. Luckily I was fine, the lamppost was fine, and the front fender was…just a bit damaged. Then, a few days later, the car stopped working altogether. The key wouldn’t turn at all to start the car. Which meant we had to have it towed to a body shop. Yuck! (P.S. Thanks again, parents, for helping us out with that one!) It also meant that we had to postpone our Valentine’s Day anything, since it’s hard to sneak out to get a present when you have to walk everywhere. But once the car was fixed, the Romgi brought me awesome flowers, a pound of See’s chocolate (which I will always maintain is a perfect gift), and a new pet rat! If that sounds weird to you, just remind yourself that you and I are different. I’d been feeling miserable about the lizards dying, and careless for accidentally crashing the car, so having an adorable furry little animal to take care of and lavish with whatever affection you can really give a rat was wonderful. It helped me get out of a funk and start paying attention in classes again, too! Oh, and the Romgi and I both got jobs—at the law school (him) and Independent Study (me). And I bought the Romgi a rat so that my rat could have a friend. Even though they both have names, we refer to them as “my rat” and “your rat.” It sounds a lot more territorial than it really is.
Most of March was spent reading. The first meeting of the ward book club was held at my apartment, and I had the pleasure of being the only non-childbearing person there. Everyone else either had kids or was pregnant. Great way to feel left out. We talked about what kinds of books we wanted to read, how the club would be run, and so on. The woman who was previously in charge but decided she was too busy for the responsibility was a great contributor to the discussion (read: she was the discussion). The Romgi, who lurked in the other room where he could hear our conversation, later called her the Jabberwock. It’s a great nickname and I hope to someday meet another person I can secretly call the Jabberwock. Yeah. Anyway, I had prepared a list of possible books, and since no one seemed to have an opinion on what we read, I chose The Kite Runner and we planned to meet the following month. For the Romgi’s birthday, I made a smaller version of my mom’s 12-layer chocolate cake (it is the best cake in the world). And in a gesture of true love, I gave the Romgi Alien vs. Predator as one of his gifts. You just don’t understand us, do you? That’s ok, sometimes I don’t either.
At work one morning I was browsing through the recently-listed apartments in Provo, mainly because I liked the idea of upgrading. I happened upon a listing for a two-bedroom basement apartment with “tile floors” in the kitchen and bathroom, a “deep jetted tub,” and a washer and dryer for barely more than we were paying for our one-bedroom linoleum kitchen no-washer-and-dryer-or-laundromat apartment. I emailed the poster and made an arrangement for the Romgi and I to go see it after work. We totally lucked out—not only did we absolutely love the apartment, but thanks to my quick email, we were the first people to come take a look, and the tenants had been given permission to sell to anyone they liked. And they liked us. One downside: because the basement and upstairs were formerly one single house unit, Provo zoning laws prevented having an oven in the basement. That’s right. We have no oven. But we did still have an oven for all of April, since the current residents weren’t moving until mid-May. So I stuck around at our old place and hosted the first book discussion meeting of the book club. Guess what? No one showed up. That was awesome, after I stayed up the night before reading the book and skipped a class to get the apartment clean. Good news, though! The Romgi graduated college!! Sadly the Humanities department got the most boring…speaker…ever for their ceremony. Honestly, he talked for at least 45 minutes. That’s what I remember most about graduation. Isn’t that unfortunate?
I didn’t blog at all in May, which is probably because we were getting ready to move and then moving the whole month. Or most of it. We did have our one-year anniversary, which we celebrated by going to Ottavio’s, a delicious Italian restaurant in downtown Provo. If we ever have money (ha! Probably not while we’re in Provo) I’d like to go again. Then the Romgi’s parents took us out to celebrate his graduation, and that was at the very nice, very expensive Chef’s Table. De. Li. Cious. Mmm. At work I found out that I was being considered for a promotion of sorts; the woman who is a liaison between Independent Study and its professors thought I was an excellent candidate to replace one of her assistants who was leaving at the end of the summer. So I looked forward to doing an interview…someday.
In early June, I got an email—who knows why I got it at all, especially not until that day—about the TaLK program to teach English in rural Korea; it said the deadline to apply was in less than a week. The Romgi and I were both excited about the opportunity, since it would be a great cultural experience, we’d be helping people, and it would allow us to save up quite a bit of money for law school. Of course, it also meant we had one week to decide if we wanted to move abroad for a year. Better still: the program started August 1. But, we felt good about it, so we spent the next week frantically getting passports, letters of recommendation, luggage, a webcam to do a video interview with the Korean Consulate in San Francisco…finally everything was in except a copy of my passport, so we took a trip down to New Mexico for my family reunion over the weekend and hoped the passport would have arrived when we got back. The drive down to New Mexico was longer than I expected, but it was fun to meet up with my brother and his kids for part of it. Plus I got to introduce the Romgi to almost all the rest of my extended family, and he went horseback riding with my grandpa! Good times all around. But, we did have to get back to Provo. And when we did, guess what we found out? Yes, my passport came, but I was also pregnant! Um, Korea? For a year? With my first kid? I kind of regret my quick decision but I tossed the TaLK program out the door the same day. One last thing: we came home from work at the end of the month to find a bunch of baby quail trapped at the bottom of our stairs! They were too little to jump back up the steps. We have pictures on our phone…very adorable.
Remember that promotion at work? The interviews were finally held at the beginning of July, but even though I was the favorite choice, my good baby news meant I’d only be at Independent Study until the end of December—and they were looking for someone slightly more permanent. I was really kind of sad about that. And I got my first pregnancy cravings: sushi. With cooked meat, mind you, but I HAD to have sushi. I was desperate. The joke’s on me, though, because I ate too much the second time the Romgi humored me by taking me out to get sushi, and since then it sounds like one of the worst foods in the world. Too bad I didn’t tell the Romgi that right away, because he was really sweet to get me a sushi-making kit and book for my birthday. I promise, eventually sushi will sound good again, and then I can make my own and be super-awesome! Really. He also gave me an Ecosphere, which I’m wondering how he plans on ever topping in terms of best gifts. We went to Llama Fest in Spanish Fork at the Krishna temple (yes, those are all weird things to say, especially together), and I made a fabulous llama cupcake cake which I was, tragically, too nauseated to ever try. But I heard it was good. Also: my first prenatal visit. Complete disaster. After that I switched doctors and it’s been a much better experience ever since, but I felt so miserable. Now I’m convinced in the power of recommendation for finding a doctor you like. Trust other people. We did go against the first doctor’s advice and told our parents that we’re expecting, which made the Romgi’s family reunion easier—less explaining about why I felt sick when we drove on the twisty mountain roads. The reunion was a week-long event in Brian Head, near Cedar City, and we had a blast. We got to see Cyrano de Bergerac with the Romgi’s parents, look at petroglyphs, and go on a long-ish hike in the rain and hail. The hike was more fun in retrospect than it was at the time. Bonus: we found out that Sposita is also expecting a baby right around the same time as us.
New doctor: awesome. In early August I had my first appointment with him and he did an ultrasound—I got to see the Bwun! So tiny! Exactly the size and shape of a cinnamon bear, so we called it the Cinnabwun for a while. Trust me, it’s funny. The doctor said we should expect the Bwun around February 28. I stopped working at Independent Study and started doing classes through Independent Study…it seemed easier than going to campus everyday for classes, considering that I wanted to throw up more often than not. As the month went on, I started feeling better, with the exception of increasing hormone levels that made me ridiculously emotional. Everything was suddenly poignant, including the end of the movie Cars. Hmm. How about that?
By now we’d been in our new apartment for several months, and I had come to the conclusion that I left an entire cupboard full of stuff in our old kitchen. Despite repeated attempts to get in touch with the new tenants, they were never home. Finally we were driving by one night when I saw that the bathroom light was on and shouted for the Romgi to pull over. I ran up the stairs and probably weirded the new tenants out when I said I was sorry, but I wondered if they had my stuff. Yes and no. They had the cheap stuff. They gave the expensive stuff (such as our coolest-ever fish platter) to DI because they didn’t want it to go to waste. I can’t even blame my brain lapse in leaving the stuff on pregnancy! It was just dumb! So it goes on my list of regrets. The Romgi switched jobs because he had worked the maximum amount of time in a student position after graduating, which we found out in October was actually a very good thing…
The new job had an employee dinner with lots of door prizes. It was a nice dinner, with absolutely perfect mousse for dessert, and after we suffered through the two-hour presentation of awards they gave out the door prize we had entered for: a 42-inch plasma tv. Yes, we won. And yes, we fit it into our car. And yes, we put it in our bedroom in place of the computer monitor, so I’m writing this using a giant monitor. (And yes…I still have to wear contacts or glasses to be able to read anything on the screen.) We also got a $50 giftcard to P.F. Chang’s, which we’d been wanting to try, but…well, we’re poor, alright? I took a trip back to California for about a week and a half, which was relaxing and wonderful and fabulous. It was also the first time I’d gone without seeing the Romgi for more than a day since he was in Korea in 2006. Weird, huh? But when I got back to Utah we had The Ultrasound appointment and found out that the Bwun is a boy! And Sposita had her appointment and found out she’s having a girl! So we’re carrying on the tradition of having one boy and one girl around the same time. The bad news from October: Mother’s Cookies declared bankruptcy and shut down production, making Cookie Parade extremely hard to find. But we did get to make apple pie with our friends, which made me feel both talented and popular. Oh! And we spent a day at the zoo with the Romgi’s nephew. A very long day. And the Romgi took the LSAT. It’s hard to remember everything that happened, so it doesn’t necessarily end up here in order!
Drawing on the success of our apple pie, in November the Romgi and I tried making cup pies—which yes, are like little pies, made in cupcake tins. They’re unbelievably easy and delicious. We first made apple, then maple walnut, with a trial berry cup pie tossed in there as well. The greatest thing about cup pies, aside from their tastiness, is their great capacity for sharing. We’ve become friends with our basement neighbors (we live in a duplex) because of this. I also made banana muffins, endlessly good, which are difficult to share but I did manage to give some of them away. The people who we got the apartment from actually moved to the not-right-above-us upstairs apartment in the building (because the people who used to live there were moving to Texas or something), and we found out they’re having twin boys in January! Also, I feel like I should mention that November was election month, and we did actually put the tv antenna out the window so that we could watch coverage on election night. Plus we got a crib and bedding and started actually putting together the Bwun’s room, so he can have an awesome room here even if we have to move next summer (hooray for law school applications!).
…The world has been righted! Kellogg’s announced that it would purchase the Mother’s Cookies trademark and recipes, and produce many of Mother’s most popular cookies. Breathe a sigh of relief! The Romgi got his first law school acceptance letter, to McGeorge School of Law at University of the Pacific in Sacramento. And I played Rock Band for the first time; until my tummy is a little smaller and holding the guitar is more comfortable, I think I’ll stick with drums. We experienced the weirdest “ham” in the world at our ward party the same week I got to experience the “orange soda” gestational diabetes drink (which was surprisingly not as bad as I expected). I spent a lot of December being grouchy, but we had a really fun Christmas at Besta’s, and it was great to have a New Year’s party with Besta and our awesome neighbors, watching Nacho Libre and eating lots of food. My thoughts in the final moments of 2008 were, “Maybe I can go to bed soon…I’m so tired…” Here’s to a fantastic 2009!