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