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Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Exciting Year of 2013

2013 has been an exciting year. A lot of changes have come our way, and we are excited to see what 2014 has to offer. 

Here is what our 2013 looked like for those that missed it: 


We started the New Year off to a great start. We rang in 2013 with our families back in Georgia. 

After returning to Hawaii, Matt started his internship and final semester at BYU-H and I started my second semester of full time teaching. We were truly blessed to find Matt such an amazing internship that was also on the way to my work. We loved being car pool buddies that semester. 

We also welcomed the newest member to our Ho/Bowen family with the birth of Malia and Caleb's little boy Eli. 


We celebrated Chinese New Year's in downtown Honolulu with Obachan and the Ho/ Graham Family. It was a really neat experience and I'm really glad I braved the crowds and went and experienced this. 


Matt and I celebrated another Easter in Hawaii. This year we hosted both Easter brunch and dinner with our close friends and family in the area. We had a blast dying Easter eggs and visiting with our loved ones. We spread some Easter cheer by 'Egging' some of our neighbors. 

We also experienced our first Eat the Street and bought our first piece of art from Heather Brown. 


Matt graduated with his Bachelors in Social Work! Matt's family flew in for the special occasion and we had a great visit with his parents, sister, Caleb, and of course little Eli. The Thursday before graduation, I threw Matt a Mustache Bash. While the set up was a little stressful- the party was a blast. I loved how well all the decor turned out, and the food was delicious (even if we had to 'steal' a barbecue to cook the hot dogs) 

 {Obachan- Matt's Grandma- how cool was she to throw on this mustache and party with us} 

{Caleb, Malia, Eli, Matt, Me, Janice, and Kevin} 

Matt graduating was my highlight of the year. I am so completely proud of him. 

My dad also came for a visit in April and we had a great visit with him treating us to even better food. It was so great to see both of our families this month. April was also the month we got our teaching contracts for Korea! It was official- we would be spending the next year teaching English in Korea! 

We also had to move out of our TVA apartment and we moved into a little studio apartment on Laie Point. 


This was a pretty slow month for us. Matt continued working for the company he interned at. He had his first experience with kidney stones! {Not fun!}

 At the end of the month, Matt left Hawaii and moved to Korea. This was the start of our 10 week separation. During the last few weeks of Matt living in Hawaii we tried to live it up. 


I spent a lot of time with my friends and family in Hawaii while Matt was in Korea. I am still so so grateful for my friends that supported me and let me be a third wheel during my last  month in Hawaii. {I will never forget the kindness and love that Arianna & Josh, Jane & Tyler, and Sarah showed me this month.} I had such a blast with these guys and wish Matt and I had been a bit more social while living in Hawaii. 

I celebrated my 25th birthday, and learned that Matt can be pretty sneaky and equally romantic when he puts his mind to it. {Again, thanks to my friends back in Hawaii.} 

At the end of the month, I ended my first year of teaching at Mililani Middle. It was sad that I would not be returning the next school year, but I was excited to be starting this new adventure. And who knows? We might return to Hawaii in the near future... :) 


Matt celebrated his 26th birthday. 

My cousins Jessie and Jake visited me in Hawaii and we had a wonderful vacation. We went all over Oahu and even traveled to Maui. I also sold our car, the rest of our belongings, and shipped everything home. It was the best way to end my 4 and a half years in Hawaii. 

I went scuba diving for the first time with my cousins and my friends Jane and Tyler. It was amazing. 

On July 10th I said goodbye to Hawaii and made a quick visit home to Georgia. Leaving Hawaii was a lot harder than I thought it would be. During my visit, I went to Missouri for the Asian Baby reunion,  saw some really cool Barn Quilts, traveled to New York to see my friend Jenny, met my newest niece Ansley, flew to California to visit my dad, and had all around had a great visit with my family. Matt and I also Skyped every day. 


I moved to Korea. After 10 long weeks apart, I was finally back with my husband! After a 13 hour flight- I had finally made it! And boy is Korea hot in August! 

We explored the area of Suwon by seeing the fortress and the Korean Folk Village. I fell in love with Korean BBQ and loved being reunited with my husband. 


We moved into our new apartment and I started teaching English. It's been an adjustment from teaching history in an American public school, but we are enjoying it. 

During Chuseok, we traveled to the DMZ and took a tour. It was pretty exciting taking a step into North Korea. 


We kept exploring our area of Korea. October was filled with work, work, and more work. Our highlight was visiting the Bongeunsa Temple in Seoul. 

We were able to carve a pumpkin here and celebrate Halloween a bit. We also visited the Olympic Park here in Seoul. 


Matt and I celebrated 3 years of marriage. We hosted Thanksgiving at our place and met our cousin Alohi for the first time. 

We also went to Seoul's Lantern Festival. It was pretty amazing. 


Matt and I started an Advent Calendar to make sure we got out an did stuff during the season. We saw a bunch of Christmas lights in Seoul. We made a visit to Lotte World. Norman our Elf returned for his second year. And we celebrated our first Christmas in Korea. Our December was a pretty great way to end 2013. 

In 2014, we plan on exploring Korea even more. We have a couple of trips in the near future in the works, including our trip to Japan at the end of January! 

We hope you had a wonderful 2013 and that your 2014 is even better! 


Love, The Hos 

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