112 rapid-fire memories from 2012

At the beginning of the year, I wondered how it could compare to 2012. I might have even worried a bit, thinking 2011 couldn’t get topped. Well, it’s different in 2012 but, man, has it been incredible (in the best sense of the word).

So, the list… the list of memories, quickly, from 2012:

  1. Announcing the adoption fund and the flurry of comments and questions that followed
  2. Answering “Why do you want to adopt?” dozens of times (and even three times here on Marshallogue)
  3. Walking and talking with Loren, about marriage, about adoption, about where life kept going
  4. Stepping into North Korea
  5. Attending Mannam cooking classes
  6. Staying out all night with Jina, wondering Gangnam
  7. Hiking to the top of Hallasan wearing Chuck’s and Crampons
  8. Riding the train overnight from Thailand to Laos
  9. Standing in front of Ankor Wat
  10. Riding on the back of the motorbike around Siem Reap
  11. Falling asleep at the theater before Batman even came on the screen
  12. Saying bye to David, doing the double-take hug
  13. Walking to the top of Namsan with Rosa
  14. Staying up all night at a coffee shop with friends two nights before leaving Korea
  15. Attending the Bennett wedding
  16. Getting confused by the fake border crossing into Cambodia
  17. Hurting my feet on the beach on Koh Chang
  18. Riding the ferry down the Han river with friends
  19. Visiting Museums with Tom, Ross, and David
  20. Shaking hands with Pastor Bill my last day at IWE
  21. Praying with the Growth Group by the subway station in Seoul, the last meeting we’d have together with me in the group
  22. Saying bye to my JLS students
  23. Saying “Farewell” to Korea, more than just a country to me now
  24. Seeing my family waiting for me when I returned from Korea
  25. Drinking orange soda out of an empty peanut can with Tom Tanzer
  26. Sitting against the wall of the train station in Bangkok eating street food and having that woman come up and try to get me to give her money for her son who was supposedly in the hospital (she didn’t speak English at all)
  27. Waiting in line to get back into Thailand from Cambodia, talking with the British guy who was studying at Harvard
  28. Taking Raquel to a Hot Chelle Rae concert and grabbing one of two pairs of sunglasses they threw out for the crowd
  29. Flying into Alaska, the turbulence landing in Juneau
  30. Listening to the man play “Carol of the Bells” on the organ in the atrium where Kevin works
  31. Sitting in Seattle in the airport, reading emails (thanks to free Wi-Fi) from friends I’d just left in Alaska, feeling how blessed I am, realizing how high life can feel
  32. Kicking a piece of ice back and forth on the driveway with Zach
  33. Drinking $.50 beer in the Cambodian guest house
  34. Eating fresh seafood and sweet, sticky rice on the floating market with friends from the TESOL course
  35. Getting a book in the mail and opening it to find my name in the dedication
  36. Trying out the Nexus 7 and discovering that it didn’t really work for me
  37. Surviving the Mayan calendar
  38. Compiling the list of posts from Marshallogue to include in the book version
  39. Imagining the pencil in the “M” for the Marshall logo
  40. Jamming with Ted and Will
  41. Remembering International Stuttering Day
  42. Hanging out with the Bennetts after their wedding
  43. Waiting for the subway at the empty station way too early in the morning on the day I left Korea, reflecting on what just happened, and then seeing Heather coming up the escalator
  44. Talking about my Korean year at church the week after I got back to Kentucky
  45. Playing chess blindfolded
  46. Seeing the guy crawling down the sidewalk in Bangkok
  47. Teaching my students card tricks at JLS
  48. Enjoying my birthday at the Muido park with Heather, Ashante, Suhee, Loren, Jihye, Ross, Miriam, Jung, Jina, and Gansukh
  49. Throwing Frisbee with Ross at Seoul National Forest (and not actually throwing much Frisbee because we kept talking so much)
  50. Opening my place up for couch surfers in Korea
  51. Watching movies with John the week I was back in Seoul after southeast Asia
  52. Talking with the man in the train on the way back from Laos
  53. Looking at paintings on the top of the second tallest building in Seoul
  54. Cooking dak galbi in red aprons with friends, including Loren’s mom and sister
  55. Skyping with Miriam
  56. Playing basketball at Southeast with Ted when he broke his leg
  57. Talking with the Korean guy in the van on the way to BKK
  58. Checking into JL Bangkok only to find I was staying at the wrong place
  59. Joking about the Zombie Hotel where Tom and I stayed during the TESOL course
  60. Watching all the students sneak looks back at us, the group of substitute teachers waiting to practice teaching on them
  61. Laying over in Seattle and sleeping on the seats with armrests
  62. Getting stranded in Chicago on the way back from Juneau, getting a hotel, and then giving away the rest of the food vouchers they gave me
  63. Giving everyone a hug when I got back to America from Asia
  64. Staying out all night with coworkers from JLS
  65. Throwing the window open on the train in Thailand
  66. Walking through the fair in Louisville with Momma, Raquel, Zach, and Ted
  67. Riding rides with everyone at Holiday World
  68. Bringing boxes filled with Christmas decorations down from the attic after Alaska
  69. Applying for teaching positions in Saudi Arabia
  70. Turning in my last project for the Master’s degree
  71. Getting my diploma in the mail
  72. Signing for my TESOL certificate right after video recording Oil saying the entire, official name of Bangkok in Thai
  73. Eating that crazy hot dish in the mall with Oil and Tom and Markus
  74. Hanging out and taking that cover photo with friends in Korea at that festival (sorry, I don’t remember what the festival was even called… maybe Buddha’s birthday, but I’m not sure)
  75. Video recording Raquel and William playing the game where the players try to get the eggs out of the nest and the dinosaur scares the players by trying to bite them
  76. Taking Zach to the park and playing with him on the slide
  77. Getting a “retirement” check from Korea
  78. Leaving my fake Chuck’s in Seoul
  79. Hanging out with Tae right before he joined the army
  80. Watching the Olympics and feeling more connected to the international athletes than I had before living abroad
  81. Telling everyone at IWE to prepare to meet back up in 2020
  82. Feeling disappointed about missing Momma’s birthday but still thankful I flew back for the wedding
  83. Eating bugs on Khaosan Road and feeling happy
  84. Finding out that Ted didn’t wear his leg brace for his broken leg when he went in for the job interview
  85. Seeing Pop’s TV clip
  86. Asking Lule how to say “Thank you” in Albanian and then learning it from her
  87. Wondering if I was about to drown on Koh Chang
  88. Waiting for photos to upload on Facebook
  89. Talking with Cann Thavy as the rain started falling again in front of the office for the vacation lodges on Koh Chang
  90. Hearing that the woman running the guest house on Koh Chang was from Cambodia
  91. Playing guitar for worship
  92. Having breakfast with Pastor Bill, telling him my plans for after Korea, and he telling me his
  93. Going to the Men’s breakfast with the Ochaki’s
  94. Seeing the Cohns again after Asia
  95. Watching Ted’s leg vibrate in his sleep and hearing Raquel giggle about it
  96. Searching for a fan for Grandma Jones on the arts and crafts and touristy street in Seoul
  97. Signing the table cloth with family for Thanksgiving
  98. Talking with Blaine after the movie ended Thanksgiving night
  99. Watching Marko try to buy cigars from the young lady not at the checkout line
  100. Sitting on the roof of the apartment/hotel building while chatting with Tom and Marko (in his towel)
  101. Rocking the sound room with Jon and Jason and Thomas and others
  102. Helping William choose classes
  103. Talking with Ted about Neustar all night
  104. Attending the art class with Susie and painting a sunflower
  105. Waking up to Zach “chumming” me
  106. Moving Ricky from the back to the front or from the front to the back
  107. Turning down beggars in Siem Reap
  108. Listening to music in the van waiting for Raquel’s ballet class to finish like the olden days
  109. Watching Raquel perform her part as Clara en pointe
  110. Looking through old photos with my brothers and sister all together
  111. Getting a verse from Jina for our New Year, Bible verse exchange
  112. Remembering these memories again and feeling really, really, really happy (how can I say that better?) right before the New Year ticked over

Happy New Year!