You Know You're at Your Korean Mama House When...

As I said in my last post I am currently chillaxing at my own daechoong mama's house for a couple weeks before heading back to Hawaii.  It has been nothing short of great (aside from the fact that my kids are not adjusting to the time difference, which is why I am typing this at 3am =T ). While being here I've made note of a few things that I've noticed in almost every Korean house I've ever been in. So you know you're at your Korean mama house when...

1) You have a Million blankets

One of many rules of living in a Korean household is that you need to have about 10 blankets of varying thickness for every one person in your household. Currently there are 6 people staying at my parents house right now and surprisingly there are more than a mountain of blankets to accommodate all of us.

2) You're technology is severely outdated

There are times when staying at my mom's I feel like I'm living in a time capsule.

If you open my mom's desk drawer in her office you will find floppy disks... for reals. I remember when we first bought a desktop without a floppy disk drive because you know.. it was 2005, my mom practically hyperventilated. How was she possibly going to store data without a floppy disk drive?? I think she's still getting used to using USBs.

Books that have absolutely no relevance or use in this millenium...




You will find a VHS player as well. Just in case they make a comeback...and don't even get me started on cassette players

However she refuses to throw out any of the above.

3) You see things that your mom refuses to throw out or change.

This is a picture of me as a baby. I think I am about 9month-1year here. Note the coffee table.



This is a picture of Kaitlyn.

Same. Coffee Table.

I kid you not. That coffee table is older than me. It has lasted the years and has seen this family go through everything. When I begged suggested that my parents FINALLY get a new one. my mom replies "Why I need new one? This is good table. I bought at Macys." riiiggght.... 33 plus years ago. It has gotten to the point where it has become part of the family and I am sure it will grow old with my parents and will one day be buried next to them when they pass.

4) There is a Kimchi Refrigerator that occupies so much space it should pay rent.




I remember coming home and seeing this gigantic thing. Now, like every Korean household, we already have 2 refrigorators, you know, one for the Korean food and one for the American food. We have to do this so our toast doesn't taste like it was infused with Kimchi flavor. So why? Why do we need another fridge just for Kimchi? Because my mom insists.

5) There is a drawer filled with everything free from takeout or fast food.




In a Korean house getting anything for free is almost like getting money. In this drawer is a collection of chopsticks from takeout and napkins from fast food restaurants and anything else you get for free. You never throw it out because at some point you may need a million chopsticks and good thing you have this supply lest you would have to go out and buy them. Money in your pocket.

6) There is a China Cabinet behind the dining table.


There is an unspoken rule in all Korean households that you must have a china cabinet behind the dining table. I think it is because when Korean's immigrated in the 70's and 80's they visited an American household at one point and noticed they all had one. Funny thing is it is now 2013 and what is now extremely dated to the 70's has become a set in stone requirement of any Korean house. My parents didn't have a china cabinet until after my brother and I graduated college. They said they always felt ashamed they didn't have one, finally being able to buy that china cabinet I think was like a milestone for them. After years of toil... a china cabinet.

7) There are pictures of Jesus




When 2D doesn't work... 3D does the trick.


In truth I love this about my mom. She loves Jesus and is so proud of her faith. She runs her own busines and has to meet many different people at our house but she is never ashamed to show what she believes.

8) There are pictures of you everywhere.

My mom loves showing her clients pictures of her kids. She is very proud of us to say the least.


Notice the picture of my high school proof that she framed. I tried to explain to my mom that that wasn't actual picture but a proof to order the actual pictures and she replied "I see your face so what?"... nevermind...

9) You get perspective.

Seeing remnants and pictures of my childhood I can't help but get moved by God's faithfulness over the years. I am all the more grateful for all they have sacrificed to get me to where I am. For example, here is a picture of my brother and I at the church we grew up in.



Here is a picture of my family in the same room celebrating my daughters first birthday.



I was 4 in the picture and 27 years later we were able to celebrate my daughters birthday in a space that was a happy vivid part of my childhood.


I stumbled upon this book in my mom's room. Turns out an article I wrote about being a pastor at my old church, the church I grew up in, was used to contribute to their 25 year anniversary book.



10) You find post-its

Mom loves post-its. Ironically the post-it was invented to keep people organized, but her explosion of post-its all over her office gives her away. Post-its behind the TV, on calenders, all over the desk etc. On my last visit I thought of a creative way to use her post-it obsession to say thank you.

I wrote a bunch of post-its and hid them all over her desk. In places where I knew she would look over time, on certain files, on next month's calender, the next package of copy paper etc. On each note I wrote words of gratitude and encouragement. She slowly began to find them and put them on the wall behind her desk... along with all the other post-its. Here are the ones she found... there are others she has yet to discover.



Though my mom was forgetful and om the details arena...lacked to say the least, and was very daechoong, being home reminds me all the more that her prayers, love, dedication, and concentration on the important things like love, family, and faith that allowed me to be where I am.



I hope to be as great of a deachoong mama to my kids as she was to me.


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