Challenge Accepted Day 40

Another day in beautiful South Korea. I’m not going to call it a good day or a bad day just another day. It was interesting. I had hoped to meet my girlfriend in a city called Daegu today. We travelled here (to South Korea) together and the story of our travel is pretty funny. Another day though. Anyway, we became fast friends during our respective journeys and I am so glad we did but we are just far enough away from each other that things keep popping in the way, yet close enough that we should be able to sort it out! I thought today might have been the day. Missed communication, combined with a planned dinner date tonight with hubby and his ‘work-wife’ and her husband (it’s an Army thing) – that didn’t even work out because she ended up having to go to Daegu (of all places!!!) and my hubby went to Seoul, meant it just didn’t happen. But it needs to. I feel like we need to ensure our friendship endures. We have both had some adjusting to do whilst here and neither of us are ‘loving’ it here yet, but we’re getting there and I know we’d do better if we each made a bigger effort! Also goes back to the one car thing. I have to be here in time to pick my hubby up if I want the car then there’s the school bus pick up when the kids are in school and it’s a 2 hour journey on a good day! So many variables get in the way of our social lives! I’m not sure how other Mums/Moms do it! For me, it was enough just trying to get to a farewell lunch for a lady today after our original plans didn’t really work out. Up and out of the house at 0430 to drop hubby off just so I could have the car, it almost wasn’t worth it to get up at that hour, then I remembered that today was the last day of Spring break so it was worth it to get out and do stuff. Though, nothing went as planned….
It’s a pot luck. I’m up at literally ‘sparrow-fart’, I start thinking about what I could make with what’s in the fridge/freezer. Stromboli. Yum! My one-coffee mind thinks yes, defrost it and get it happening, my one-coffee mind doesn’t take into account size of microwave versus size of glass container holding the frozen bread and that it won’t turn around in said microwave. I put it in there anyway. Low and behold, however many minutes later, one side of the bread has started to cook and is now ruined. Shit! What now? Spaghetti and pasta. Everyone loves spaghetti. Oh dear, no spaghetti sauce! I’m going to have to make it and double time it to get all the ingredients loving each other (as they should in spaghetti sauce). That’s what I do. It’s a little bit of crushed tomatoes, meets a little bit of tomato paste, meets a little bit of tomato sauce. Onions and garlic join forces, as do pepperoni (I know, I never thought I would be putting pepperoni in spaghetti but it’s a winner with kids) and ham. Mince (aka ground beef) with red wine and lots of seasonings including basil pesto, all top it off. For the next 2 hours, all of the above mentioned ingredients happily meet and intertwine to create a yummy, kid-friendly spaghetti sauce. 
There is no workout today! I know, disappointing. There is something going on with my T25 Beta selection and I’m not sure about what to do. They used to work, now they don’t. I may have to axe the T25 workout and move on to Insanity! After ensuring all DVDs are in good working order that is. I have done lots of running and walking and lifting and stretching, but none of it is in conjunction with any DVD. I haven’t figured all of this out just yet as it was all a bit of a surprise. I was going to give it more thought and further fiddling this afternoon but my afternoon disappeared in a flash. 
So we went to this luncheon/potluck/farewell. It was a bit weird because I didn’t know anyone and felt like a bit of an outsider, but all of the ladies were so friendly and inviting though not at first, even if any of them read this I have to share with you what happened when I first walked in; so we get there about 15 minutes late because I take a wrong turn. It’s all ok, I’m not too worried. We walk in the door and our host has to immediately go and deal with her two screaming children so I just stand there, crockpot in hand thinking “umm, ok…” No one turns to say hello, no says anything. I tend to my kids and put the crockpot in the kitchen and still no one acknowledges my arrival. It’s a small place. I’m thinking ok, I guess I need to take a leap out of my comfort zone and greet all of you, so I do. Finally, the 7 or 8 women who are there, start speaking to me. I don’t know about you, but for me, I was ready to haul my butt out of there very shortly after arriving! I don’t think any of them were purposefully being rude, most just didn’t know me and those couple who did were in conversation with their backs to the door and there were noisy kids everywhere. Anyway, not the most welcoming greeting I’ve been given but I did enjoy myself afterwards nonetheless. In fact, I really enjoyed myself and was able to connect with a couple of women and thought we could become firm friends. All good things must come to an end and I had to pick up some stuff at the grocery store and Mail off the package to my Mum (that I forgot to take with me on post). So 2.5 hours later, we finally left the party. 
Ally had decided to stay home, so Maddy, Hunter and I went to the commissary without a list, but using Mummy’s incredible baby-deranged memory. Yes, we forgot half the stuff! Oh well. Here’s the deal with the commissary, there are packers/baggers who pack/bag your groceries but only for tips. There are big signs in every commissary specifying this. As I explained to my daughter today, I think it’s a great service but A; I hate other people bagging my groceries. B; I hate being told to pay other people to bag my groceries. C; these people use more plastic than a small country would (the commissary has the worst plastic bags I’ve ever seen and, if given the chance, most of the baggers would triple bag your groceries) I have my own grocery bags that I use most of the time but sometimes I forget them and it drives me almost to the point of insanity with the number of bags these people think should be used for a couple of heavy items. On top of that, things are never put together or where I need them to be. I once watched as 2 baggers packed my groceries and used my frozen ‘freezer’ bags to put canned goods in because they were the sturdiest. Seriously, it really gets under my skin. I’m a pretty efficient bagger and I normally won’t do it unless I’ve got someone there to help me, like my 7yo old daughter today, but today really pissed me off. I was determined not to get stressed, I didn’t have very many items. I had brought in my own bags and had to tell them 3 times that I would bag it myself. Madison and Hunter unpacked it, I bagged it. We had one of those half trolleys/carts – that wasn’t even full. It wasn’t a long or difficult process yet, they started getting cranky because I was still bagging and the woman was asking me to pay. I paid then moved back to bagging the 7 or so items I had remaining. This man came over and started yelling at these women and I knew it was about me doing my own groceries. The cashier starts telling him (I think) that I wanted to do it myself and he is getting crankier and crankier. The door to the commissary decides at that point to close/open (hard to explain as I didn’t really see it) on my son’s head, so he starts screaming. I think to myself, I’m going to be very calm and I’m going to finish my groceries, my son isn’t bleeding, he’s not in tremendous danger or pain, he’s just gotten a fright) so I shall do what I’m doing then deal with him as we go to the car. Well, they all start freaking out (not about my son but the fact that now it is taking me too long to pack my groceries) and this man starts yelling some more and the ladies start pushing me out of the way. The whole thing turned into an ordeal. Yet there was only one person waiting in line and 3 checkouts open. I told them all they need to calm down and I calmly grabbed my son’s elbow as we walked out and asked him and Madison what exactly happened. This all took place in a matter of 30 – 60 seconds. It was weird and really pissed me off. Again, no one needs to dictate to me who packs my groceries, especially in a store the size of a 7-11. 
I got home a little cranky, grabbed the eldest child and the package and headed back to park almost exactly where I had been not 20 minutes before. We went to the post office, she grabbed me some butter (yes, I thought it best I not go back to the commissary today) and we came home. Our little garden was looking a tad worse for wear and we were starting to compete in the white trash competition, so I decided to clean it up with the help of the children. We cleaned, we prettied, we organized and all looked great. The girls then asked if they could go and ride their bikes and after all their hard work, it was a well-deserved reprieve. Hunter and I played in the new yard until Daddy called asking for us to come and get him. I grabbed Maddy, leaving Ally with her neighbourhood friends, and off we went. We came back to find Ally with a fresh bandage on her knee and a bloodied wound underneath. She did well though, she came home, grabbed her Girl Scout first aid kit, cleaned and wrapped the wound and was riding back to join her friends when we came along. We left Maddy with her and headed back to the house. Hubby was exhausted but ready for an ice cold beer, he and I sat out on our porch with Hunter discussing our days. Our neighbour’s came over to talk/meet, (their girls will be in Hunter’s class on Monday) and it was nice to finally meet the husband, but all of a sudden our dear, clumsy, crazy son, crashes behind me and I see Rebecca’s face and think “What has he done now?” Well, let’s just say he came damn close to doing permanent damage to his eye and the kid has a very fresh graze and scrape all the way down the left side of his face. He had already started to get a black eye when I picked him up off the ground! How, I don’t know. Only our Hunter could do it though. Our neighbours left when he started screaming and our eldest came back from bike riding crying and the entire house was filled with drama for the next 30 minutes. Luckily nothing is permanent. Ally and her sister had a fight and Madison embarrassed Ally in front of all the kids, and Hunter, well Hunter is truly a drama King and I’m sure he has a not-so-secret desire to do some permanent damage to his face! One day I’ll tell you about all the stuff our 3yo has done to his face! There was no emergency room trip today, but the sting is very real and he must have had a bit of a headache tonight as I gave him ibuprofen for his pain and he was out. No, he didn’t damage himself so badly he had a concussion, yes, sometimes it can just hurt like hell. Yes, I just went and checked on him after writing that to make sure he is ok! 

  
  

 
So, basically today was a failure as far as T25 was concerned, though I did do both my day and night regimen of the Rodan and Fields Redefine. No AMP MD though. It was a failure as far as Stromboli was concerned but a winner when we talk spaghetti. A failure when it comes to entrances but it evened out when it came to staying the course. Both hit and miss in the commissary. Definitely some parenting wins and fails as well. Hence the reason why today was neither good nor bad, we shall call today and equilibrium of days. A day where  everything met to give an average of ok. 
I hope though that for you, your day and or night is amazing! 
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Challenge Accepted Day 39

So my hubby finally got home at about 0100 this morning and was full of talk having gone beyond his normal bedtime, though after he was done telling me all about it, literally crashed in 5 seconds. Sometimes the man drives me insane! How can one go to sleep so quickly? For me, well I lay there and lay there, finally allowing my darling Jasmine to come in and sleep with me. It’s not too often this happens. Jasmine is the loudest purrer ever firstly, secondly, she feels like she needs to show me her love by being as close to my head as possible and by digging her claws into me. I woke up this morning with marks all over my chest from where she had ‘lovingly’ clawed me throughout the night. And throughout the night I had to take cover under my pillow so she didn’t lovingly claw my face. It sounds like she’s being mean, but she’s honestly not, it’s just the way she is. It also means I don’t let her sleep in our bed very often anymore. Madison and Ally do though, unless she’s mean to them throughout the night and I mean properly mean, not lovingly mean- Yes, there’s a difference. Anyway, she was so cute, how could I say no to that sweet little face? 

Onto today; Another day, another adventure. It was actually a fairly nondescript day today, although, my TV and I nearly came to blows this morning. T25 RIPT Circuit doesn’t work with about 15 mins 20 seconds to go! I fiddled with it, I fast forwarded, I stopped, I skipped and attempted to rewind but nothing. Not a damn thing would happen after that time. By the time I got done getting angry, I honestly wasn’t sure what to do! How am I going to incorporate RIPT Circuit when I don’t have over half of it available. Any suggestions would be most appreciated please. I am truly at a loss and not sure what the best thing to do is. I didn’t continue with anything else thereafter. I tell you. It would be so easy to give up right now if I wasn’t accountable to all of you who read my blog. 
I washed my face using the morning Redefine regimen, then folded laundry. It was all very exciting. In the meantime, Maddy’s friend came over for a play date so that was wonderful for her, given big sis had her friend here for a sleepover. Only problem was then little brother felt left out. Luckily he was in the mood for a movie so I put Big Hero 6 on for him and promised he would have one of his friends over for a play date today or tomorrow, sure enough at 3:30pm, his friend came knocking on the door, so he got to have his play date too and Mummy kept her promise. Today it was like my house was the kind of house you would see in ‘The Cosby Show’ or ‘Growing Pains’, it was the kind of house I always wanted to be in when I was a kid, but we lived on a farm too far away from anyone for anyone to just pop over. It was great though. Not that I would want it everyday and I know my hubby certainly wouldn’t but it’s nice to know the kids want to come here and play and that this will be a regular thing. It makes me happy to know we have a welcoming home. 
This afternoon was spent painting and I really got into it and came a long way on what I hope will be my best painting so far. We finished the project for Grandma and Grandpa and will get that off in the mail tomorrow afternoon, hopefully in time for Mother’s Day. Grandma has another present in there so this is just a bonus thing for them so I will share it with you on here and if she sees it, well, it’s ok. 

  

I’m honestly not even sure where they would hang it up and it will just be one more piece of junk they’ll have to find a home for (sounds harsh I know, but none of us are super sentimental like that, we adore this stuff, but then it gets put away somewhere for safe keeping.). I just really liked the idea when I saw something on Pinterest, so I wanted to make my version of it, forever safekeeping their footprints at their current size. Anyway, this was my first attempt at calligraphy style writing too, not bad. The present I did get my Mum though is practical for her current needs, so I think she’ll like it too. 
We had to go out to dinner again tonight with hubby’s VIPs and it was actually a good, fun night. Our kids were amazing! They sat at a table next to us but they were independent and did so well at it! I was so proud. It meant hubby and I had grown up conversations and people could swear and tell stories without worrying about kids being near by. It was great. I felt like an independent adult too, not just like ‘Mummy’! Sometimes, when we go to places, my kids occupy my entire night and I don’t get to talk/socialize/do anything but deal with them, sometimes it’s like people don’t want to approach me because I’m a Mummy and that’s all I appear to be able to do. Tonight, it was refreshing to not be shunned to a corner, to talk to adults about adult things, to not be harassed every five seconds, to just be Sheryn. I know I’ll miss them being little, but every now and then it feels great to bask in the glory of their growing independence too.
All in all, though not an exciting day for many, for me it was quite peaceful. I’m looking forward to painting again as soon as possible, but I now have to awaken at 0430 to drop my hubby off so I can have the vehicle tomorrow. Bah! Yuck. Not sure why the Army needs everything to happen so early. I’m also a tad concerned that I’ll be out before curfew. It’s ok for hubby, he’ll be in uniform, but not sure how it works for me. Guess we’ll find out. It’s not like I’ll have been out on the town or anything though is it? Oh well, I’ll let you know on the morrow! 

Tonight’s plan is to do my night regimen then assess whether or not I’m too tired to paint 😜 Have a great day and/or night no matter where in the world you are and hit me with your suggestions for the T25 Beta RIPT Circuit please. 

Challenge Accepted Day 37

Well, I finally worked up the courage to do yesterday’s workout and I honestly nearly threw up a number of times. My body just isn’t feeling too good yet, so no double workout today unless something dramatically changes. I’m going to take each day as it comes with whatever this weird thing is that has hit me. I’ll definitely be working out everyday (aside from yesterday of course) so I’ll be a day behind and will need to catch up somewhere this week, but not today. Today is going to be a day about art. My kids are doing a project for their grandma and grandpa and I am going to continue to paint. I wish I had started painting in Hawaii, other than a wall mural for my daughter that is. It would have been nice to sit out on the beach and paint. Yesterday, had it not been windy, would have been so inspiring to paint. Like I said, water calms me down and takes me to a place of serenity like nothing. So I finished my workout and began to feel normal enough to eat so I made myself a yummy lunch: 

  

Dear son did come in and steal some of my haloumi though, the kids loves it as much as Mummy! I cleaned the entire kitchen and had to immediately make all children more food as there is some instinct inside of kids that says as soon as the kitchen is clean, they require snacks and/or food that will use as many plates as possible. As I looked around at the new mess, I thought, “Why not?” I had bought a number of ingredients to make what looked like an amazing (super rich, bad, fattening, omg, I’m going to have a heart attack) dessert a while back and before everything went bad, thought I should make it. So I did! And it was just as good in taste as I suspected it would be. Yum. If you are a cheesecake lover, then this is for you! We ate it still warm out of the oven, but I’m suspecting cold it would be just as nice! I don’t know what would be an equivalent in Australia to crescent roll pastry but you could experiment with both puff and pie pastry and see which one works best for your taste buds. The rich center is what makes this divine. I’ve shared the link to the recipe on my Facebook page: aussiemumsadventures – check it out! 

    

The kids and I started working on the project for Grandma and Grandpa and the dessert was Hunter’s reward for listening and doing what I say, yes I’m that Mummy, the one who bribes when necessary with all sorts of things including food! They all did exactly what they were told and Hunter didn’t scream or anything and he hates anything gooey, messy, yucky, on him, so this was definitely a win! Can’t tell you too much about the project until it has arrived at its destined home. 
It was whilst we were waiting for part of it to dry that I sat down and caught up on Facebook posts and was greeted only with bad news. It has started with my friend’s husband, my hubby’s former soldier, who has been in a terrible motorcycle accident and may have a severe spinal injury. They have been operating on him for hours and have just induced a coma as he had to have part of his lung removed and a rib and so many other things. They don’t know the extent of his spinal injury but he couldn’t feel his legs. I called my husband to tell him and neither of us knew what to say other than the usual claims of, “Oh my God!” We never expect tragedy to strike and when it does, we don’t know how to express every emotion we go through. My friend is located in Germany, a long way from her family and his family. They have two little boys, they’re lives are before them. It’s unfair. They are good people. How come crap like this doesn’t happen to child molesters and murderers, why doesn’t karma work in obvious ways? 
The second thing I read is that Cayleb Hough’s remains have been found. I have been following and sharing Cayleb’s parents’ websites and sharing their desperate pleas to find him for months. He was last seen alive at 7am on Sunday, December 20th, 2015 in Highett, Victoria, Australia. I didn’t know Cayleb or his family, but I am a mother, so the heartache of not knowing the whereabouts of my children would be my worst nightmare. And now, their worst nightmare has come true. Cayleb was 17. The same age as my nephew. 
Sometimes, life sucks! We must appreciate every single moment we have with our loved ones. Right now I have let my girls go out and ride their bikes in our little ‘ville’ but I always worry about them getting hit by a car. Even though there’s only three streets, sometimes people come in here way too fast. But what should I do? Let them sit inside on their Ipads all day? Wrap them up in cotton wool? I’d like to do that, but they have to gain some independence too. They have to know their own boundaries. They have to learn to do some things without Mummy watching their every move. Being a parent is tough. Finding that happy medium between ensuring they have the skills required to make the right decisions through being independent learners and your need to protect them, is a fine line. 
So, I lay down for a while this afternoon and snuggled with my kiddos (after they’d safely come back in from riding their bikes) and we watched an episode of my now favourite go-to show on Netflix: Doc Martin. Brilliant. My headache was back in full force and my vision started to blur so it was a good way to hang out and snuggle and use excuses not to do anything. 

Finally I realized I hadn’t yet been to see the kitties today so we all went and saw them and patted them, well one of them anyway, the other one doesn’t like little people and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t like me by extension. It was funny when I went by myself the other night, just how different she was, she came over to me, rubbed her head on my leg and let me pat her, today she just sat in her chair looking very regal (she’s part Siamese) and wondering why I bought those hellions back with me! Oh well, they love her even if she’s not a fan of them. 
It was refreshing to take a walk after almost vomiting when I completed my earlier exercise. I kid you not, I took a selfie but I look absolutely awful in it, not sure I should share a ‘trying not to be sick, after-workout selfie’ with you all! Oh, what the hell! 

  

Tonight though I started feeling almost normal. I made a 7 layered dip that was absolutely sensational, my friend who’s cats I’m looking after had some avos (Aussie for avocados) that needed to be used – she told me to grab them – so I made my own guacamole and my own salsa, they both worked so well in this dish as the salsa was really spicy and the guacamole had too much lime juice on it, making the whole thing come together like a star! Given it was taco Tuesday, it was only fair to incorporate it all with our dinner. Hubby was absolutely delighted, in fact I think the quote was “Best taco ever!” I skipped the tortilla but did have another small piece of heaven (the dessert I made earlier) so can’t really say I cut any calories today, may have added quite a few extra on though! Oh well, sometimes one also has to remember that life is short and we need to take advantage of every single day we have! 

Remember, you’ll never be younger than you are right now! Have an amazing day or night, wherever you are. And if you have time, maybe spare a thought or two for a family who tonight are coming to terms with the fact they shall never see their son again and another family who are hoping for a full recovery for their loved one. 

Challenge Accepted Day 36

Well what a lovely day! I awoke feeling like rubbish still, but it was time to put the big girl panties on and get out and about. And out and about we got. My girls are on Spring break this week and today was a great start to it (other than my rubbish cold that is)! Our neighbor and newfound friend, Rachel put out last week that she wanted to go and check out this place called Anmyeondo island. I love the beach, I love water, I love the peaceful feeling I get when I’m near it and I needed to feel some of that. So I jumped at the chance to join in and travel there. We cancelled our dentist appointments and changed some other stuff around just so we could go. That’s how important it was to me. 
  
This past year has felt like a very long winter. We moved from Hawaii to Colorado in July, 2013 and although Colorado was in Summer at the time, it doesn’t really ever get over 80F in the Springs and that doesn’t qualify as Summer for me, just like Hawaii never got over 80 nor did it ever really get under 70F. So the weather suited me just fine because it was always semi-warm, whereas when it gets cold, I need it to get hot, just to balance me out. My friend Trine (Norwegian) doesn’t think it gets really cold in Colorado and perhaps compared to Norway it doesn’t, but it got down to -32C once (That’s -25.6F) aka bloody cold, too bloody cold for my liking! No one told me hair can freeze when it gets that cold, my hair was damp when I left the house and it froze almost immediately and a giant chunk snapped off, literally snapped. Goodbye hair, it was nice knowing you. No, thank you very much. I like my hair and I like my warmth and though she is one of my dearest friends, we shall always agree to disagree when it comes to Winter. It just doesn’t work for me. Off point, I know. 2015 was a year that seemed to me like perpetual cold. No, it wasn’t the coldest winter on record in Colorado, in fact it was a fairly warm winter, but it was still winter, then we went to Australia in July, my first time home in 5 years, almost to the day, and it’s winter, again. Yay (sarcasm) It hadn’t even gotten up to 80 in Colorado yet! The Sunshine Coast was ok, though I still desperately missed Summer, but Melbourne was absolutely freezing. By the time I get back to Colorado at the end of August, they have pretty much had 5 weeks straight of 80+F temps that all came to an end the week we arrived back, no I’m not kidding! We booked a cruise in January to try and locate some warmth, but even that only gave us one day of nice, warm, laying in the sun, weather and that was on our second last day.
  
We get to South Korea and it’s bleak and miserable and cold and we arrive in Seoul to -30C weather where we have to go and take our dog to play every day, at least twice a day and where the son does nothing but cry as soon as we head outside. It was truly miserable. The one thing about Colorado’s winter is that it is truly beautiful, picturesque probably better describes it. It may be cold and snowing but at least the sun comes out a lot and there’s beautiful mountains and scenery to look at, even on the coldest days. Not South Korea. The trees seem to all be deciduous, so everything looks dead in Winter. It’s cold and bleak with high rises and buildings and junk everywhere. The Koreans are extremely technologically advanced but they still don’t care about litter. I drove back from the beach today and watched car after car roll down their windows and throw stuff out. The beach was covered in trash in parts, just like the streets here. I hate it. I want to stop people in the street and say “what are you doing?” There are also no public rubbish bins (garbage bins) so what are people supposed to do with their garbage? I had two bags of garbage just after our picnic today, the first I left in the restrooms inside the garbage bin in there because I didn’t want to leave a bag of garbage in my car, the second, I took with us. 
Back to today; I would have liked to crawl back into bed, but my need for beach and fresh air was more important, even with an almost 2 hour drive each way! I get out of bed and get cracking early enough to get an esky (cooler) packed as well as our picnic, but not early enough to work out. I do my Rodan and Fields regimen and lavish my face with Reverse #4 sunscreen (my fave sunscreen ever) then have to get breakfast for all children whilst also getting the youngest two ready. I take lots of vitamin C and some medicine that will stop my nose from running. Then it’s time to drop hubby off at work before feeding the cats we are looking after and picking up hubby’s colleague’s teenage daughter whom I have asked to join us, then meeting with Rachel at 9am (0900 in military speak). Crazy start to the day, yes. 
We are off. It was a fairly easy drive given the Korean driving skills, no great drama on the roads, a couple of weird GPS turns, but I expect nothing less, and all goes smoothly. Rachel is leading the minivan convoy and does a great job. I’m a terrible driver/leader, I don’t know why but I always sit there and think the person behind me wants me to go faster or something, and here, all I want to do is go faster but apparently, the Korean speeding ticket is an absolute fortune and there are speed cameras everywhere, so I don’t take any chances. I actually led on the way back and my phone and my car GPS were going crazy with camera locations so it was really a matter of using my cruise control, but I probably also braked a lot and poor Rachel was probably like, “What are you doing?” But I’m not sure how anal they are with speeding tickets and I don’t want to take a chance, so if I thought there was a speed camera, I slowed down to the exact speed limit if not less. And it helped that my GPS lady shuts up when I slow down too!
There are 9 of us hitting the beach including 2 adults, two teens, one tween, and 4 kids all under 8. In our car, we are excited. I can tell you that we all looked at the scenery as we were driving through these regions and finally saw ‘beautiful’ South Korea. It was wonderful to see only green for a change, or green intermingled with flowering cherry blossoms. I wish I could share a photo of it with you, but unfortunately as the driver, there were no good photos. It didn’t help that I didn’t take my camera either! We crossed a number of large bridges to get to the island and it was truly magnificent. I go excited the minute I saw water! We had no idea which beach we should have chosen though, so it was a matter of guess work and between us, we ended up at a bit of a rocky cove, but it meant we found amazing shells! I have never seen so many shells in my life! It was truly amazing. And we collected a lot. Thank goodness Rachel had a spare ziplock bag for us to throw some cool shells in. 
Leaving my eldest on the beach with her teenage friend (because neither of them really felt like going for a walk) the rest of us did a short hike over to the next beach where we discovered some cool shells, tide pools and a big rock stack. A gorgeous scenic viewing area claimed some space at the top of a fairly steep (for my 3 yo) staircase, there were also bunkers (we think) in between. That was my guess anyway, perhaps dating back to the Korean War where sentries kept an eye out for invasion? If anyone can enlighten me further, I would appreciate it.

  
It was a very easy hike even with young kids and well worth it for what awaited us at beach number 3, Sambong. A real life beach, with sand, and few rocks but lots of shells and tide pools. My phone decided a good time to die was right before I got a great photo of the entire beach! What I did get a photo of and what excited me the most was when Rachel’s kids found starfish! Starfish! They were beautiful and they were everywhere. It was so exciting, possibly even more so for me than for the kids, I love starfish! I grew up next to the wate but starfish were something I remember from a kid in New Guinea, I saw some in Tahiti, I think, and some in Malaysia or Thailand (or both) and a couple snorkeling in Hawaii, but that was it. This was literally hundreds of starfish hanging out on the beach in tide pools. We spent a long time just rescuing some who were looking like they had been beached, were starting to curl up, that sort of stuff. I have tried to do some research on starfish rescue (or ‘sea stars’ as they are now known – Ally kept saying this all afternoon but I didn’t give her credit and yet she was 100% correct) but no one seems to know too much about them. Apparently many are committing suicide on the west coast of the United States??? Seriously! Who knew? But no one knows why! Maybe real estate prices? Very strange though considering they have no brain according to scientists. Anyway, the kids and I thought it better safe than sorry given sometimes starfish just have to roll with the surf and have no control over where they end up, better to end up in small tidal pools with access to mussels than not, I say. So that’s what we did. Between us, we must have rescued 50 starfish. And yes, we are sticking with rescued! My kids are heroes! Even Hunter who hates anything stick or gooey on his hands, was very happy to pick these babies up and deliver them to the nearest tidal pool – Hero! 😊
  
These following two photos are credited to Rachel White:

   
 We eventually decided, given the next beach was 10km away, to end the hike there and return to our original location, find my eldest, and let the kids just play for a while before making our way back. On the way back, it seemed like what was an empty path became filled with Korean tourists from a bus tour, all on the steep steps. After many ‘hello’s’ though we go to the lookout to see the last group trying to take a photo. I asked if I could help by taking a photo for them and they were very happy. Having no idea, I mean none whatsoever, what Koreans use to say smile in a photo, I used the go-to for any English speaking person, “Cheese!” But this one dude in the back row cracked me up when his response was: “Kim Cheeeeeese!” Kimchee, or kimchi is a well known Korean dish and this seriously made me laugh, just because I guess I was expecting something like it, but I wasn’t. Brilliant! Next time, that shall be my go-to line, not Kimchee, but kimcheeeese! 
Back to the beach we go where the kids get to play for a while and the weather has warmed up enough for us to remove sweaters for a short while. It was fun. Needing to use the toilet wasn’t mind you, given the barnacle/rock extravaganza that awaited us, but it was fun nonetheless. I took the lead as I previously mentioned, to drive home when Rachel’s app didn’t want to cooperate, and it was all good except for my speeding up/slowing down maneuvers of course. We got home at a more decent hour than I expected and hubby was actually in between (meaning he came home to change before going out again) so it all worked out as the kids got to tell him all about their awesome, amazing, wonderful day at the beach. 
Unfortunately, the minute I got home, it was like all the congestion that spent most of the day leaving my body, came back in full force, perhaps the ocean air was a big contributor, anyway, rubbish was how I felt! It was time to check on the kitties again and I was supposed to start T25 beta round but at 7pm (the time we were back in the house) all this body wanted to do was relax, instead, I had to get my kids the extremely gourmet meal of ramen (2minute) noodles – thank you noodle Monday and for the fact that sometimes I don’t have to be elaborate! I had leftover pasta, got everyone in respective showers, including myself. Did the night regimen, no AMP MD tonight either, and sat down to write this. There may have been some trashy Korean TV in between, a first for our family as we searched for something suitable for the kids to watch with us, and it may have involved ‘little people’, a video of my dog intently watching the show ‘Little People, Big World’ and I may have also let my girls watch that crazy show ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ just to give them an idea about how I am a very normal mummy! But otherwise, a relatively quiet night! 
I hope your day and or night are magnificent, no matter where you are. For me, I just want to wake up without a sore, runny nose in the morning and be able to do a double Tuesday workout, given I didn’t do this one today! 
Happy trails! 😊