“Summertime” in Scotland

Hello friends and family! It has been ages since my last update, and I am finally sitting down with a cuppa and some time to catch you up. It’s “summertime” in Scotland, which means we hover at about 60-something degrees fahrenheit on most days, with rain showers that come and go. We have been to the beach a couple of times to catch the rays on those exceptional days when it has reached upwards of 80. But for the most part, we’re still in layers, close toed shoes, and waterproof jackets. We have certainly felt jealous when seeing people’s social media posts about pool days, backyard BBQs, and hot summer weather back home, while wearing shorts and tank tops. 🙂 So when we get a nice warm day here, we savor it!

Weeks and months have flown by and it’s hard to believe that we have lived in Scotland for over 10 months now. September 15th will mark a year since our arrival in Aberdeen.

I remember walking out of the airport to cloudy skies and rain upon our arrival, looking intently at our new city. I vividly recall the moment we stepped into our wee campus flat with nothing more than luggage and a hope that we were going to be happy here. We managed to find our way up cobbled streets to Khyber Pass for some Indian takeout, and then I FaceTimed my parents to show them our new abode. It was all so new.

I also remember waking up that first night, sleeping on travel sheets and a measly camping pillow. Freezing cold because our heat wasn’t turned on yet. No proper bedding. I woke up out of my tossing and turning, realized we had made the move across the world away from home and everyone we know and love, and I started crying. Nathan woke up and comforted me, assuring me that everything would be fine. Jet lag and heightened emotions were taking their toll. It was that kind of moment when reality hits you upside the head and you’re a bit stunned. No more planning and preparing. We had done it. We took the leap and made the move. I never woke up crying again, but I think back on that moment every so often and marvel. I wasn’t scared, necessarily. I wasn’t regretting the choice we made. I was simply hyper aware of the fact that everything had changed. I was excited but nervous. It was the epitome of bitter-sweet. Now we are approaching a year since that first night. We have established a life here and continue to do so, day by day.

Looking back on the spring and summer months, I am filled with gratitude for everything that has taken place and the way that we have continued to put down roots. I’ve progressively settled more into my research routine and rhythm, celebrated my 30th surrounded by friends, my parents visited for a week from Colorado, we celebrated Nathan’s 32nd, we made the move off campus to a new flat that we love, Nathan’s parents visited for two weeks, we traveled quite a bit by car and train, our friend Kylie came for a week-long visit, Nathan completed his one year submission for his program, we have both traveled for conferences in our respective fields of study within this last week, and we will end our summer adventures over the next few days in Edinburgh at The Abbey Summer School (a time and place for theological reflection, spiritual nourishment, and fellowship).

It has been an adventure, to say the least. We still have those moments when we turn to one another and say, “What are we doing here, Harry?” (our forever inside joke from Dumb & Dumber), to which we always laugh and laugh. But we are happy to have each other, to be researching and writing on topics we are both passionate about, and to have the opportunity to build friendships and community here, at the university, at church, and otherwise.

I’ll leave you with an assortment of pictures from the last few months. Until next time! Xx

 

 

 

 

Recap in a jiffy + springtime anticipations!

Here we are, nearly four months since the last time I posted an update. As is clear, I have struggled to keep up on my posts since the start of my PhD program. By the time I finish reading-note taking-typing-reading-note taking-typing at the end of a given day, I struggle to convince myself to switch gears and type for fun! But with the spare moments I have today, I am here and ready to give a running recap of what we’ve been up to and what we have in store for the upcoming months!

February brought a lot of joy. I began my PhD program the first week of the month. I settled into my new office with four other lovely ladies, all brilliant and talented. I jumped headlong into reading; getting my hands on any and all texts that might be relevant to my topic as I’m getting started. As a friend lovingly told me, “The first year in the program will feel like you’re under water and you don’t know which way is up. The second year you’ll still feel like you’re under water, but you’ll start to know which way is up.” We never quite got to what the third year might be like. Neither one of us is there yet. Ha. But I do love an honest appraisal and words from someone who has already completed part of the journey. Good thing I like to swim!! 😉

I celebrated my 30th birthday with several friends, surrounded by fun conversation, laughter, beautiful homemade desserts from my baker friend, and oodles of red and pink to boot! Perfect for this Valentine’s “baby.”

My parents came two weeks later, at the end of the month, and we spent an entire week making up for the six months we’ve been apart. We walked, rode buses, explored, ate, talked, and drank coffee on repeat. It felt wonderful to show them our wee flat, to introduce them to the “granite city” and to tour them around the places we frequent now. Church, offices, campus, historic sites, stores, malls, etc. The goodbye was difficult and of course tears were shed, but the time we had together was priceless.

As we proceeded through March and now into April, we have been busy. I have been in choir rehearsals for our Easter concert (which is tonight!), we’ve been leading our Wednesday night small group for church, and Nathan has been working long hours beyond school work, teaching classes online for CCU. It’s easy for days and weeks to slip by in the routine, but the routine shows that we are settled, more and more, and invested in our new normal in Aberdeen.

With the change of seasons, we are leaving the dark, coldEST months behind us, and we are moving towards long days of sunlight. The daffodils are blooming and the trees are just about to burst into green fullness. We are anticipating the adventure and fun of the months ahead! Nathan’s 32nd birthday in May, seeing Wicked in the theater (been waiting years for this!), friends and family coming for visits, more strolls on the beach, travel to conferences in the UK, and some little excursions of our own! All peppered in between our continuing work and research. Work hard, play hard.

Next weekend we’ll be in Inverness for a spring getaway, and we are looking forward to experiencing another part of the country!

So there’s our update in jiffy! I’ll leave you with an assortment of pictures from the last few months. Until next time. Xx

 

 

a wee list of happy things…

Hello, dear friends and family. January 16th…A beautiful Friday morning here. As can be expected, I’m guzzling my coffee and listening to some tunes to get my day going. I have been thinking about this post in the last week, and wondering what my next update might include. Holiday recap? Anticipations for the start of my PhD program in just a few weeks? Normal daily life stuff? Though all that would be fine, I have decided to just do something simple… a little list of things that I’m enjoying here in Scotland. Why? Because I find that I am nearing the point of feeling more adjusted and more settled. And so, I’m beginning to actually notice things that I like. As if my mind and emotions aren’t as centered on the notion of “this is different,” “this is new and strange,” or “back home…” Of course I still find myself saying these things at times, but I seem to be embracing life here more with each week. Passing Christmas and the dawning of 2015 seemed to initiate a shift of sorts. Over the hump and on to the new year!

Nathan has reminded me several times that it takes nearly 6 months to scale the peak of adjustment to life overseas, after which things just start to click and feel good, less awkward, and more like the norm. Yesterday marked 4 months since the day of our arrival here. My 30th birthday, February 14th, will mark 5 months since our departure from Denver.

So I want to share a funny little compilation of things I’m noticing more and enjoying with the passing weeks:

…green grass. year round!! the leaves have fallen off the trees, of course, but the grass stays this electric shade of green and it’s beautiful. makes the dark, winter months more cheery

…more sunlight with each day (we are moving toward the summer months when the sun will stay up until late hours of the night and rise in the wee hours of the morning)

…being close to the sea. seriously cold, yes. but we’re less than a mile away and being near water is so refreshing. you can jog along the entire Aberdeen bay coastline, and it’s gorgeous.

…seeing the big ships anchored off the coast and docked in the harbor (and the lighthouse on the jetty!)

…our humble abode. just the space we need. warm, cozy, simple. it’s starting to feel more like our own

…public transportation. without a car, i find that i am extremely thankful for buses and trains. especially when the wind is blowing 70mph on days like yesterday!!

…adorable little eateries. like the little cafe on campus called Kilau. the best coffee in town and amazingly delicious food. and run by a lovely couple! and Books & Beans and The Coffee House down in the city centre.

…people! we have been surrounded by amazing people since our arrival. through school and church. interesting, funny, cultured, compassionate, engaging, supportive, faithful, faith-filled, smart…the list could go on. just good people, period.

…the size of this city. not too big, not too small. not overwhelmingly touristy. expensive (absolutely!!), but the perfect size for getting around on foot and by bus

…time. these years to be here with Nathan, to be in school together, to travel, to explore, to try new things, and figure life out in another country. i’m always thankful for his sense of urgency and stress that is always significantly less than mine. he keeps me level and grounded. 🙂

…the excitement at the thought of showing our families around to our new city, school, church, and introducing them to new friends here. my parents have officially booked their tickets to come over at the very end of February/early March. you know i’m counting down!

…God’s faithfulness. in all the details. all the time. in the big and small. i see his handiwork and ways that he makes paths through uncharted territory

Just some of the items on my growing list of enjoyments… I’ll leave you with as assortment of pictures from the last month. Xx

On the no. 19 bus. Double decker. We like sitting up top!

On the no. 19 bus. Double decker. We like sitting up top!

Look at that grass!! Stunning, isn’t it?!

Christmas Eve. Enjoying my lovely new shirt and necklace sent from Mom. ❤

Our wee tree with lots of gifts from family. Blessed.

At the bus stop heading for an overnight hotel stay, just for fun!

The first snow on campus since our arrival! It lasted all of 5 minutes, but we were happy.

At the train station in Aberdeen. Nathan heading off for his Society of Old Testament Studies conference in Cambridge.

Selfie time before his train left.

The eastward view from the 7th floor of the Uni library. Those faint little blips of color are ships anchored off of the coast. Please excuse the slant…I must have been sitting awkwardly!

Another slanted view, but a clearer day and look at the coast from the 7th floor of the library! Hello, North Sea.

Some preparatory research and reading before the start of my program. Westward view from the library. A nice little nook…

 

 

 

Following in someone’s footsteps ;)

School announcement

Yep! If you’ve guessed that I am returning to school, you are right! 🙂 I have been accepted into a PhD program here at the University of Aberdeen. I will be joining Nathan in the Divinity department, but I will be completing my degree in the area of Practical Theology. I have the opportunity to research and write underneath an amazing professor here who is known around the world for his multidisciplinary interests and research. Because of his areas of expertise and the unique program offered under his supervision, I will be able to commence a doctoral project that allows for the integration of both theology and mental health counseling~ two of my passions! So this is an exciting opportunity and something that Nathan and I are thrilled about!

I will begin the program in February and join Nathan in a season of hard work, focus, tons of reading and writing, and lots of growth over the next 3 years. For those of you who have tracked along on our journey to Scotland thus far, you will know that this was not originally in our plans for the move to Aberdeen. At least not in the plans for our initial time here. But many of you will also know that I have had every intention of pursuing doctoral work at some point, knowing that both Nathan and I have a desire to teach at the collegiate level paired with desire to write, in addition to keeping active in local church ministry.

It’s surely been a varied road leading to this point, on which I like to look back and smile. I never quite knew where it would lead! BA in Sacred Music from ORU in 2006, 3 years on staff for ORU in the Worship Department and the completion of my Master of Divinity in 2009, on to a year in California serving in local church ministry leading worship and teaching Jr. High, then back to Colorado where I completed my M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Denver Seminary in 2012. Since then, 2,000 hours of clinical work as a therapist in Colorado, while serving in local church ministry. And now, Aberdeen! Who would have known?! All the while I have had a desire to go on for doctoral work, specifically in a program that would allow me to bring my two areas of educational/professional training and experience together. But timing and location is everything!

So with the support and encouragement of some key professors from my past programs, mixed in with a lot of prayer and discussion with Nathan about it, I felt confident to apply here and to pursue this opportunity, knowing that it will be the best place to complete my PhD, underneath the ideal supervisor. An incredible opportunity!

With the official acceptance in hand now, I am feeling blessed to: 1) Have the chance to complete this program at a wonderful research institution; 2) Within a fantastic divinity program; 3) Alongside wonderful people from all over the world; 4) While we are living in Scotland, and 5) While Nathan and I can both dedicate the time and energy to pursue the capstones to our educational journeys!

So at some point down the road, 3-ish years from now, after a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, we will be the Drs. French! Here’s to the adventure ahead and wherever the road may lead!

You’re lovely, Edinburgh

This past weekend we made our first venture out of Aberdeen and the surrounding shire. After Nathan wrapped up with a class on Friday morning, we grabbed our bags, hopped on a bus, and made our way down to eat some lunch and sip a coffee before catching the train.

I was glad that we reserved seats weeks ago, as some people stood for almost the entire 2.5 hour trip. As we zipped along, heading south down the coast, I admired the breathtaking scenery out of the window beside me. Charcoal grey cliffs dropping dramatically into the North Sea below. Waves crashing at the bottoms. Green grass and dozens upon dozens of sheep spotting the pastures while grazing. Some looking up to see us while rushing by.

We arrived at the Waverly station in Edinburgh. Scrambled off the train and started our walk to the flat where we would stay with our friends visiting from the states. I immediately noticed something about Edinburgh. LOADS of tourist shops! Then I got to thinking about how I have not seen one such shop in Aberdeen! Cashmere stores, tourist trinkets, kilt makers, whiskey shops, pubs, cafes, and more. It was busy, bustling, and hilly! Beautiful architecture and seemingly rich culture. As we approached the flat, Sarah and Landon greeted us on the sidewalk. It was wonderful to see familiar faces and to know we had the weekend ahead of us to enjoy together.

We started Saturday off with breakfast at a delightful Italian cafe near the flat. Cases of gorgeous pastries, meats, and breakfast offerings. We sipped on coffee, savored the meals, and chatted at our little orange, sidewalk table. We set off from there and landed at the Holyrood Palace, where the Queen stays upon her visits to Scotland. While touring it, we admired rooms of gorgeous tapestries, furniture older than the USA, art, antique instruments and more, while we listened to the historical commentary by audio tour.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with beautiful sights. After visiting some shops, we enjoyed a delicious lunch and headed off for St. Giles’ Cathedral. When a wedding postponed our entrance, we walked on to the Scott Monument. 200 feet, 6 inches straight up into the air. Sarah and I successfully climbed to the first landing, winding up the stone stairwell narrow enough to make you nervous, took some pictures, and then descended back down to enjoy the massive Christmas market buzzing below. Nathan and Landon climbed on to the tippy top for a good photo op before the sun set. We then returned to tour the cathedral, taking in all its beauty and history.

On Sunday, we ventured out to the seaside. The skies were clear, blue, and the sun was shining brilliantly. I sat and soaked the rays in like a sponge. We walked the Portobello seafront area, joining hundreds of others strolling along the stretch and took in an amazing last day of November. The water was calm and blue. Dogs playing fetch with their owners. Families cycling past…kids ringing their handlebar bells. And surprisingly, several people enjoying heaping cones of ice cream while bundled in coats.

We enjoyed a final meal together at a most adorable beachside cafe, and then returned to pack up and head home. We were amazingly grateful for a weekend with good friends, full of fun, fellowship, adventure, and great conversation. Nathan and I returned with a sparked appetite for more weekend trips, more exploring, more adventures.

What a wonderful way to end our November and to begin Advent. A season of expectant waiting. May this season be especially blessed for each of you.

Please enjoy a gallery of photos from our weekend, most of which Nathan captured on our adventures around Edinburgh. Click on the first picture to launch the gallery.

Until next time! Xx.

 

Turkey day + 3 years celebrated

Hello, dear readers. I am finally posting after a few weeks of silence. I have been sick for a week now, so I couldn’t seem to muster the energy to post. I’m on the mend, but this bug was a bit of a doozy. I’m still battling a gnarly cough and lots of pressure in my ears. And now, poor Nathan is in its grip. We’ve been told that it’s quite typical for the newbies, fresh from the states, to get a whopper of a bug their first winter. So I guess our numbers got pulled. I will say that I’m ready to feel a bit more like myself. Being lodged up in our little flat for the majority of a week is enough to make a person feel like they’re losing touch. So I’m looking forward to fully recovering and getting out of town this weekend. We’ll be taking the train down to Edinburgh to see friends from the states. This will be our first trip out of Aberdeen and the surrounding shire. We’ve heard the trip is beautiful and we’re excited to experience more of what Scotland has to offer. Plus, it will be quality time with dear friends. Sarah and Landon celebrated their 2 year wedding anniversary on November 18th, and we celebrated our 3rd anniversary on November 19th. So this weekend together in Edinburgh will be a “Happy Anniversary” &  “Happy Thanksgiving” to the 4 of us 🙂 Quite looking forward to it.

So rewinding a tad…we hosted a potluck Thanksgiving dinner here over a week ago. It was a lovely time of food, conversation, and fellowship with new friends. I prepared a turkey breast crown in the slow cooker due to the minuscule size of our oven. Though I think it turned out a tad dry, it was still quite flavorful. I had nervously wondered if this, so-called, “large” turkey breast was going to feed 7 of us, even though it claimed it would feed 8-10. When the grocery delivery man brought it to our flat, I looked at it and panicked. “That’s it?! Oh no.” I’m used to a ginormous, American bird! I expected it to be smaller because since it is both wingless and legless, but I worried. However, I underestimated that little British turkey. It provided plenty of meat, and enough left over for some good turkey lunches.

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If you’re thinking “turkey in a slow cooker? What?” I will assure you, it was actually quite yummy. I searched for an easy but well liked recipe for slow cooker turkey breast (recipe HERE), and then perused the reviews to get some added tips on how others prepared theirs. I placed mine atop a bed of chopped celery, some chopped garlic, and yellow onion slices for added flavor. Next time, I will heed the advice to turn the turkey breast upside down in the slow cooker, to keep the meat extra moist. The only hangup? Finding Lipton Onion Soup Mix for seasoning is nearly impossible here. I was supposed to receive it with my order the week of our Thanksgiving, but lo and behold, it was “not available” the day of my delivery. Not only is it hard to come by, it’s darn expensive here! So thanks to Pinterest, I looked up a “make your own Lipton onion soup mix” (recipe HERE) and marched on to another nearby store the day before our feast in SHEETS OF RAIN and howling winds to secure the spices I would need. Though I was soaked through, from head to toe, I did get my supplies. But sadly, my body’s surrender to the doozy of a bug is likely thanks to my spice excursion out into the elements. Regardless, our Thanksgiving feast was delicious. Lots of wonderful dishes prepared by the hands of new friends. I continue to be thankful for the generous and fun-loving community we’ve experienced in such a short time here. Truly a blessing!

Then, on the 19th, Nathan and I celebrated our 3 years of marriage and our entrance into year #4. I was not feeling good, but we made it to our reservation for afternoon tea in the city at a cool little hotel. We sipped on tea and coffee, munched on finger sandwiches, assorted tea cakes and tray bakes, and delectable scones with clotted cream and jam. And I was happily wearing my anniversary present. A pair of cherry red Dr. Marten boots. I haven’t worn docs since I was in the 8th grade!!! But they are “in” here and I’ve been itching for a pair of my own. Mostly because my pair as a teen were black and boring. So I figured now is the time to sport something bold. Plus, they’re like a time machine back to the late 90’s! I feel like listening to “Linger” by the Cranberries while I wear them.

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So needless to say, we have been enjoying new traditions here in recent weeks. Christmas is just around the corner. We have put up our decorations, which are few in number but special.

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I am particularly happy to have these hand knitted Christmas stockings with us, made by my grandmother in Tulsa. I’ve had mine since I was a little girl. Nathan received his as he entered the family. 🙂

These things keep us close to those we love back home and help us to celebrate the season here in special ways. Until next time. XoxoFullSizeRender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frosty air + fireworks

It’s a windy morning here in Aberdeen, with a slight bite in the air and melancholy skies. While sipping my morning coffee, I’ve been watching the last of the yellow leaves get blown off the tree that sits just outside the back door. It feels like November to me, even though I’ve never experienced it here. But the air gets that smell about it, especially in the evenings… wood burning fireplaces mixed into a frosty cold. Nathan says it smells like Christmas time. To me, it reminds me of winter trips to the mountains with my family in Colorado. When we would step outside at night, the cold would rush into our nostrils and chill our lungs. I would breathe deeply and take in as much of that wintry essence as I could in one inhale.

I smelled it here last night. It was one of those beautifully clear nights and the moon was bright like a bulb in the sky. We ate dinner at home, bundled up from head to toe, and made our way to the Aberdeen beach for the Bonfire Night, AKA Guy Fawkes Night, AKA Firework Night. There’s a lot of history to November 5th that I won’t expound upon here, but should you be interested, check out this LINK at your leisure. Needles to say, you are to “Remember, remember the 5th of November!” So in place of a giant public bonfire, the city puts on a glorious firework display, all set to music.

Nathan and I moved along the streets and down into the masses of people. I felt like I was transported back into my childhood, into a swirl of 4th of July and trips to the circus. There were street vendors selling those plastic light up swords, wands, and spinning wheels. Children were twirling them about, enraptured with the bright colors. Others were writing words in the air with sparklers, imitating the fire throwers performing for the crowds.

We landed a spot on a grassy hill just above the sea of people gathering for the show. The perfect viewing area. As we waited, I observed. People walking to and fro. Children in puffy snowsuits with hats and mittens. Parents sipping hot cups of cocoa. Lots of conversations going on about us. Chitter chatter. And the smell of sparkler smoke thick in the air. Mmmm. The show began and for 20 minutes, we sat just below giant booms of colors, all synchronized to music. I noticed that the moon became the center of multiple bursts of color, like the golden inside of a bright flower. The little girl next to me kept saying “Wow! That is amazing!” I, too, kept saying the same to Nathan.  

As the show concluded, we zipped up the road to our church. Winding our way through the rush of people. We slipped into the warmth of the church coffee bar, and grabbed cups of cocoa with giant marshmallows, and snacked on miniature mince pies and other goodies. We talked, met lovely people, and thawed from the cold.

As we returned home for the night, that chill was in the air, with deep woodsy accents and the lingering scent of firework smoke. “That was really fun,” we shared. Both thankful to be in a place where we can embrace some new traditions, holidays, and adventures.

Next up on the list of celebrations…our 3rd wedding anniversary! November 19th. I’m already feeling especially sentimental.

Until next time. XOXO.

Figuring out our “new normal”

I am baffled by the fact that today is October 28th. Time is flying by here, and yet time is simultaneously moving at a snail’s pace. I can’t describe it. I can only resonate with the words of one of my new friends who describes it as living on “Narnia time.” We went through the wardrobe, came out the other side into Aber-Narnia and time is questionable now. Fast or slow? Slow or fast? Both/and? I can’t say…

All I know is that the holiday season is quickly descending upon us and soon the city of Aberdeen will be ablaze with the glimmer of Christmas lights, which we’ve been told is quite stunning! We are quickly being ushered into the anticipation of winter and the holiday season before us. How? Let me name 1 big reason. The time change. We rolled our clocks back an hour this past Sunday. And now, the sun is setting just after 4pm. And soon, we’re told that the sun won’t even rise until 9am. As you can see, it’s just after 3, and the sky is already getting sleepy.

So, as my mind attempts to wrap around the date on the calendar and the change of seasons we’re experiencing, I am thinking about the weeks and months to come. October is rushing to a close with Halloween this Friday, then we’ll zip into November which will be speckled with Christmas choir rehearsals (for me), our 3rd wedding anniversary(!!), the celebration of Thanksgiving, complete with potluck feasts with our fellow American friends here (MmmmMmm), a weekend trip to Edinburgh to see dear friends (!!), and the usual study/work/life events. Then…Christmas and the new year just around the corner!

I am continuing to adjust to our new life here. Some days it’s exciting and other days it’s hard to be far from those we love. And with the holidays coming up quickly, I am both excited to establish some new traditions, but I also twinge at the thought of missing out on the old.

From what Nathan and others have told me (from experience living abroad), it will take about 6 months to start to feel settled, in the fuller sense of the word. So I am giving myself some grace when I get choked up thinking about my family and friends that seem ages away. And when I get that itch to jump in a car and run to the store, but realize I can’t. Or when I start to feel disconnected from everything we knew as normal in the states. Or during those ironic moments when we’re standing outside our back door in pajamas and coats as the campus tests the fire alarms at 10pm… (oh the joys of campus accommodations).

But then I think about the blessings that we’ve been given in just 7 weeks here. A flat that is comfortable and convenient for us; community and new friends almost instantly; the opportunity to walk and get some fresh air (and exercise) as we run about town; technology that keeps us connected to family, friends, and work even though we’re umpteen miles away; the grocery delivery service here that we take full advantage of (a big blessing for all of us car-less folks who don’t want to walk 1-2 miles with 20 bags!); the many meals and fellowship we’ve shared with new friends already; the opportunity to study in a place that is beautiful; the church community we’ve joined and feel welcomed into; the opportunity to sit down and eat cooked dinners together at home almost every night (which we sadly found to be a rarity in the states), and so much more!

And really, though there are the moments I battle with it, the simplicity of life here is refreshing. We have less space, less money, less “stuff,” but yet we have what we need! We eat the food we buy, we use the belongings we brought with us in 4 bags, and we simply live more simply. 🙂 Don’t get me wrong…it’s not always easy! I have my moments when I just want access to everything I had before. Kitchen appliances and utensils, the bulk of my wardrobe that I left behind, furniture and home goods/decorations that I loved, pets that we snuggled, and on and on. I’ve even been pining away for my Subaru lately, after seeing numerous electric blue Subarus driving the streets of Aberdeen. I always trace them with my eyes as they pass me walking along the sidewalk. Oh to be back in my Subie and free to drive for miles and miles! Out of the elements, heat on, radio going, hair in tact, pain-free feet. Ahhhhhhhhh.

But then I return to my senses. This is what we signed up for, and this is what we’ve wanted for our years in Scotland! This was meant to be an adventure with different experiences than what we were used to with the conveniences of home. Yes, adjusting is weird and difficult some days, but it’s good. I’m feeling more resourceful, healthier, more frugal, and more in touch with the proceedings of each day. Everything seems more intentional here. Waste not, want not feels like an actual motto we’re living by these days.

And so, I’ll leave you with a link to a wonderful ARTICLE that I read months ago when preparing for our move here. Thank God for Pinterest. Her tips helped me then, and now they’re helping me all the more. Good to have some insight from an experienced expat.

So a happy day to you all. Signing off until next time. XO

Signs that you live in Scotland

As I chatted with my bestie on the phone, talking about fashion trends in the UK and the assorted cultural observations Nathan and I have made since arriving, I got to thinking about signs–signs that you live in Scotland!  At least what we have observed to be signs of living here! Of course, we’re still the newbies in this beautiful city, but we’re certainly enjoying the daily lessons in Scottish culture. So here’s to a fun and quick little show and tell from what we’ve made note of thus far 🙂 Enjoy!

*Simply click on the first photo to launch the gallery! I’ve added some commentary on each picture.