Friday, November 30, 2012

Crafting with Carlo Rossi: Jewelry Organization

Along the same lines of furniture re-do's to make a house a home, Melissa decided that it was an absolute must to figure out a creative way to organize her jewelry. Wanting a system that was not only eye-catching and organized, Melissa wanted the whole piece to reflect her love of traveling and her addiction to purchasing new earrings, bracelets and necklaces while in foreign lands.

So it was, she sat down with an over sized cork board, some finishing nails, a giant National Geographic map, coins from around the world, super glue, black paint, a staple gun and of course a glass of Carlo Rossi. From this point she was able to move forward:

  • Paint the frame black: Check
  • Glue various coins to the heads of nails: Check
  • Let everything dry: Check
  • Sip wine: Check
  • Use staple gun to attach naturally aged map: Check
  • Carefully hammer coin/nails onto frame, realizing that super gluing after rather than before might have been a better idea: Check
  • Poor another glass of wine: Check
  • String flower wire from one nail to the next toward the upper end of the frame to create a place to hand awesome earrings: Check
  • Hang Jewelry Organization system on the wall and admire daily your handiwork: Check
And there you have a DIY, over sized jewelry organization system!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Because Fall won't Last Forever...

AND the Harringtons had just bought a new (but used, obviously) Subaru, it was clear that one thing needed to happen: A trip to the mountains! AKA: Happy Jack...AKA: The place where the couple said their vows and promised to be intentional in living their lives together as one and the same, yet perfectly unique, to weather storms, show respect and support each others dreams. Where they, unknowingly promised to enter a life of adventure and growth, beauty and simplicity of setting here, there and everywhere and bring a sweet pup into their lives to love and care for because she's fantastic.
And the outdoors were fantastic and beautiful and held the promise of new life and growth. And the outdoors provided a perfect playground for the pup and blessed her little puppy soul with freedom to run and explore and take in the fresh air of a new land and a new land where inevitably her heart is learning to beat and thrive.

And fall doesn't last forever, it hardly lasts a season in these parts, so getting out in it as often as possible is an absolute must, for joy, for health, for living it up!

To Grandmother's House we Go

Upon returning to home it seems there is an unspoken (if you're fortunate) pressure to make time for all the family and friends who have so beautifully and graciously supported you while you made the choice to live half a world away. And while, in that time of transition you find yourself often wanting to simply sit and just be, to try to wrap your finite mind around the grandness of what has just taken place, you remember how these are the people that you came back for. Because when you left in the first place, it was never to escape, it was simply to be and to experience and you left a lot behind, both then and now. So, when it suddenly seems you have a free evening and a vehicle and not only are grandparents within driving distance but the parents you've yet to see will be at the grandparent's house, you make the only logical choice, drive to Torrington and receive the familial hugs for which you've been longing. 

Upon arrival, after hugs and love and all that good stuff you've been missing you join the women and take a quick trip to the local pizzeria, order two large pizzas and return to enjoy them as a family, gathered in the living room and around the dining room table. You chastise your grandmother for the ridiculous amounts of pizza, cheese and lunch-meat that she's feeding your sweet three-legged mutt while simultaneously giving thanks that your sweet mutt is being loved just as much and as well as she was in her home country. You listen to the same old stories, new stories and even manage to tell a few of your own. You look up at the clock, disappointed to see that time continues to move forward and your work schedule is requiring that you begin the drive home for proper rest and safety on the road. You soak in a few more hugs, pile into the car, look lovingly out at your family who welcomed you home and the man and the mutt that are always by your side and realize that a quiet night, sitting and contemplating change would have been nothing compared to this moment.
And, when you return home, you decorate your dining room table with a fall-themed, handmade gift from your lovely grandma and start to feel like your heart still beats in this place, in this home. You gingerly unwrap old newspapers from the Blue Willow dishes you've coveted, loved and desired for as long as your little heart can remember and are further reminded that indeed, your heart beats in two places and indeed, you will always ache for one when you're in the other, yet that ache will not be alone. As the heart aches, it will swell because you recognize that your love and the love you receive comes so fully and beautifully from multiple corners of the world, and that, is so incredibly perfect.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Furniture Re-do's

Aside from finding great goods at garage sales, the Harringtons (mostly Melissa) took to hitting up a local Flea Market and looking at old furniture with fresh eyes. Wanting to work toward creating a simple and well organized home, but one that didn't focus on the color brown, Melissa decided a bit of paint was just what the interior decorator called for. A bit of Google searching and Pintrest grazing revealed that while laminate furniture wasn't the best for painting, it could in fact be done.

The Mrs. then made her way to a local hardware and paint store to purchase Kilz Paint Primer and, knowing that while 519 is home, it won't be home forever, opted to use up some leftover paint from the upstairs remodeling undertakings. Working only part time, the afternoons were full of free time to slap on some primer and apply a couple coats of sweet, baby blue to bring a little color to the dark basement space which the couple calls home. Although not necessarily a first choice in color, the change over of a bookshelf and TV stand have done exactly what was necessary, add color to blank walls and brown-tile floors.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Grateful for Garage Sales

Upon returning to the states, the Harringtons were eager to hit up a few garage sales to bolster their furnishings and work toward creating a home. Having sold numerous belongings two years ago (with an equally large amount in storage) the couple was in need of a couch, above all else and also were hoping to run across some canning supplies. Fortunately, a few mornings of hitting up some garage sales provided another fine piece of workmanship in the form of a retro rocking couch, as well as an ottoman, dry goods canisters and a mother load of canning jars.
Other good finds included a large frame (which joyfully holds the 'Panda' Map of South Korea), large area rugs (to warm up the basement tile and help Lady feel a bit more settled) and a random assortment of odds and ends which will undoubtedly end up in a future garage sale, but, for the time being will serve some purpose.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Our "First" Second-time Around 519 Guest: Harris

Just a few days after their 5-year wedding anniversary and barely a week after having returned to the USA, the Harringtons were thrilled to welcome their first guest into 519. Even more thrilling was that this guest was in fact a good-friend-turned-family-who-also-just-returned-from-the-land-of-kimchi...which means, the couple was able to wade through re-entry/reverse culture shock with someone who was on the exact same page. It was an incredible blessing to share the homeland, aka, the Kingdom, with this dear friend and to know that the bonds and friendships created half a world away were not created in vain.

The visit began with dinner out at the Library followed by a couple of growlers following the crew home for a rowdy game of Nerts with a Harrington sister before settling in for a night of rest and deep sleep. Since the Harrington duo was already employed, they made their way to work each morning while guest, Harris took his time walking, exploring, getting lost and reconnecting to sweet Lady Annyeong.
Wanting Harris to understand the fullness and beauty of Wyoming life, the Harringtons were sure to escort their east-coast friend out to the Snowies where the crew enjoyed some hiking and gallivanting below the majestic and looming Medicine Bow Peak. Alone on the trail, the crew took in the fall colors, cool-to-frigid breeze and the unadulterated beauty of the Mountain West.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Celebrating 5 Years: Family and Settling

For the past year, we at THT have re-counted the 5 years that worked together to create the Harrington Duo. The series culminated on September 7, 2012 when the couple celebrated 5 years of marriage. Unfortunately, the actual story of their 5-year anniversary has been unpublished for a lack of time, effort and mostly time. Fortunately, nearly three months later, THT is ready to let the world know how the couple celebrated this major milestone.

Rather than set out for a romantic week-end getaway, the couple chalked up their recent Jeju trip as the special event and warmly welcomed the parents of Mike Harrington into town for their first family reunion since returning to the states.

Therefore, as their marriage turned five years old, the Harringtons found themselves surrounded by family throwing back some of Laramie's finest micro-brews at Altitude Chophouse and Brewery. Not much after polishing the first few sips of beer, the Harrington clan sat down for a delicious dinner which was preceded with artichoke dip and fried goat's cheese and topped off with perfectly prepared steaks (and additional beers).
The celebratory weekend continued forth with a few garage sales Saturday morning, the duos first Cowboy football game since 2010, Chinese take-out and breakfast at Perkin's.

While a romantic getaway is always nice, it's equally nice to celebrate milestones with family and friends who are ultimately the supports on which successful marriage rests, for the Harrington duo, getaways are never too far off, so an anniversary celebrated in company is nothing short of perfect.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ripped Pants and Wedding Vows

Not even a full week into their second-time-around-American-life the Harringtons were entering the work force as Albany County School District #1 employees and even attending a wedding at the most gorgeous church in town.

The afternoon of September 2nd a dear friend, sorority sister and study abroad amiga-who-cannot-be-replaced, pledged to love her best friend, the man she loves and who loves her back, for as long as they both shall live. It was a beautiful ceremony, for a gorgeous couple and as should be expected from this duo, the after party...ah-hem, reception, was absolutely phenomenal.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Upon Arrival: Burgers, Driving and Getting to Work

Twelve hours in air on one of the world's top airlines did little to ease the ache in the Harringtons hearts. However, disembarking the aircraft to be reunited with their pup, who easily made it through customs as well as a sister and within an hour or so good friends from their first Korean year did help to bring peace and joy to this time of transition.

More traumatized than the human sort, Lady Annyeong was not too thrilled that she was required to stay in her kennel while the Harrington duo chatted it up with immigration officials stating that: Yes, indeed, the furry creature within the crate had been properly vaccinated. Yes, you may see her papers. Yes, we do in fact have some food for her. Two days worth to be exact. Do you care to see her or the food?, well, okay. Thanks.

And just like that, the Harringtons exited customs to find Katie and Ashlee awaiting them. Lady Annyeong was quickly set free from her imprisonment and allowed to run and experience a new land for the first time, unfortunately for her the new 'land' was the parking lot of LAX. Fortunately, better exploration lay ahead for the sweet three-legged mutt.
From the airport, the crew made their way to Ashlee's house where Katie gathered her belongings and said her own farewell. Shortly thereafter, the Harrington trio and Lady Annyeong made their way to Kolt and Holly's place where they would spend their first American day in more than a year. The Harrington duo found comfort in knowing that just a year ago, Kolt and Holly had said fare-thee-well to the land of kimchi and remained connected to that time and place much as the Harringtons knew they always would be.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Of Departures of Final Farewells

While leaving seemingly take weeks, the moment hinges on just a few hours of drive time and wait time. After a long list of good-byes and one more fantastic meal shared in their home, the Harrington's laid to rest for their final Galma-sleep. On the morning of August 26th the Harrington's faced the moment-that-could-wait-no-longer, finished cleaning their apartment, loaded up in the car with Hyunhee, Hakcheol and of course Lady Annyeong.
Driving north to Incheon, the Harrington's (well...Melissa primarily considering Mike was feeling a bit motion sick) discussed various of aspects of Korea they were sad to leave and last minute concerns that maybe they forgot something to ensure Lady was USA ready. However, they desired more than anything for these last hours with some of their greatest friends to be full of nothing less than beauty and joy. Hyunhee and Hakcheol contributed greatly to the truth of this beauty by providing Plum Pie for breakfast, some fresh fruit and their presence during the majority of the Harrington's final Korean hours.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Good-bye Namseon, It's been a good run!

After two years of faithfully serving the students and staff of Namseon Middle School, Michael Teacher had to offer his final good-bye.

From the very beginning, Namseon Middle School welcomed and embraced the Harrington duo. Taking the couple to a buffet dinner on their first night in Daejeon and even continuing to invite Melissa to a "New Principal Welcome Dinner" and a Seoul-ful Field-trip.


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