5 Months

People, I can hardly believe I have been living in Scotland for 5 months! It is almost as if this is actually my life...ha, ha! Today was actually a great way to ring in month 6. It is snowing outside. Even though it is a mess out there, it still is fun. And, while I was at work today, our very own J.K. Rowling came in for over an hour! In case you wanted to know, she got a tall chai tea latte and a pumpkin spice muffin. She wrote in her journal for a while, then read the paper. Aren't I just the good stalker?!? Kidding! But, I though some of you would be curious as to what she was up to...

Month 5 has been a good month. I went back to the states and got a taste of my old life, which I have to admit made me really miss my old life! Moving on...This month has definitely been a month of snow. It has snowed here a few times now this month. It never sticks around for long and makes a huge mess, but I am still over the moon when it snows. Seriously, I freak out and stand at the window staring and taking a million pictures! Do you think I act this way due to growing up in a warm climate? Ian and I are actually starting to make friends that we hang out with and everything! This is quite nice. I have been missing my social life, so it is nice to get out of the house (or hang out in the house) with people from time to time.

Here are some intriguing happenings from the month:

* Every person with a provisional drivers license has to put these huge "L" magnets on there car at the front and the back. I saw a police officer with these on his car the other day. If it isn't a joke, that is kind of crazy!
* Someone told me the other day that I said something that sounded Scottish...I guess if you run your words together and don't enunciate, it sounds Scottish! Okay, so maybe that was mean, but I still think it is true!
* Some random lady came up and asked me how long I was planning on living here (a common question), then proceeded to ask me if I was planning on having any kids while I was here. Now, this is an odd question for a stranger to ask anyway, but really, is it anyone's business?
* The road workers work here even when it is snowing outside. This was a shock to me, as I come from California where the road workers are known for being some of the laziest around!

Here are some random pictures from the month:

Fireworks to ring in the new year - they went off on 5 different hills in Edinburgh.

You know you wanted to see how great I look in that green apron!

I took this during one of the snowstorms. That is actually part of the castle in the background.

I thought this sign was funny. What exactly does it mean to go "dead slow"?


That's right, Ian and I wandered into the wonderful world of Costco today! It was great...reminded me a lot of home. There were different things in it - hot water kettles, baked beans galore, beef everywhere, tons of cheese and more. There were a couple things I checked for, but never found - sushi, pink bull, Foster Farms chicken. We did manage to walk out with a couple things:

Ian was excited to see the large apple pie, so we picked one of those up. Hopefully it tastes as good as in the states! He also grabbed up some blueberries and bagels.

I, on the other hand, went crazy over seeing People Magazine...the US Imported edition! A little taste of home! Right now that feels like a prized possession to me. I also got excited over a huge container of pomegranate seeds. Fruit (and really all food) is really expensive here. I had a fruit cup with pomegranate seeds the other day for 3.15GBP, but for a huge container of these bad boys at Costco, 5GBP was such a great deal!

Now, we couldn't pick up much because we did have to carry everything with us on the bus back home (not to mention thru Ikea first), but it still was great to spend a little time at one of America's top institutions!


There are things in life that can't help but radiate hope with everything they do.

One of those things is a sunrise. Not only are sunrises beautiful, but they bring with them the hope of a new day. They announce, "we have made it through the night!" They symbolise the hope of the day to come. Maybe this day will be unlike the rest. Maybe it will be better. Maybe I will be better. The other day I was on the bus on my way to work (at around 8:30) and had the pleasure of seeing the sun rise on Edinburgh. It was such a beautiful sight...weaving my way through the city on that double-decker, getting glimpses over the castle, over the chimney tops, over the meadow. It was such an experience! It put a smile on my face that really set me up for success for the day.

Today, once again on the bus (and again, on my way to work), I saw what I think might be the first signs of spring. On close look, I noticed very small buds on the trees! This gave me a hope...the dark, cold, wet days that I am now enduring will not last forever! Immediately, flashes of me laying in the sun in the park came into my head. I imagined tank tops, snow cones, flip flops and more! Now, all of this may just be an imagination here in Edinburgh, but in just a few short months I will still be here to find out!

Hope is something that helps us keep living. It gives us inspiration that there must be something beyond the daily grind. It pushes us to our limits. It pushes us to be better people. I have hope. I have a hope that my life will make a difference. I have a hope that there is something beyond this world. This hope is what keeps me going. It is what helps me get out of bed in the morning...

Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future.
- Charles F. Kettering

What a Week

Have you ever had one of those weeks when you are left feeling, "what did I do to deserve this?" I am sure you have. Well, this was my week. After being gone for a week, I was welcomed home by Ian who then had to leave town for his job for a week. So, it was just me, my dirty laundry, work and my computer for the week. Me, I can pretty much handle. My dirty laundry, I managed to handle as well...though I did struggle with the drying of it; oh how I miss modern luxuries like large washers and driers! My work, well lets just say this is something I can't always handle. None of my coworkers wanted to work this week. Many of them called in sick for reasons like a toothache, backache and stomachache. While these three nameless people were resting at home with their aches, me and my other fellow coworkers were at work struggling. When you work at an office and someone is "sick", it sucks, you complain, then you get over it. When you work at Starbucks and someone is "sick" (and on two days, two someones were sick), the dishes don't get done, the cafe is a mess and the line goes out the door. All you can do is look around and laugh! I was able to do this for about the first day, then I just got pissed off. Why are people not as committed to work as the rest of us? I hope they realize how much they are causing the rest of us to suffer while they ache away at home!

So...I was on the bus on my way home after a day that I was unable to laugh about, stewing in my coworker-pissedoffness when I saw something...
There was a guy walking and whenever he took a step with his left leg, his arms seized up like chicken wings. I watched him walk for a few steps and realized my week wasn't that bad. This guy is probably glad that he can even walk. I need to remember how blessed I truly am and not sweat the small stuff...like coworkers with aches!

Anyway, Ian returned home and we had a nice night out. Here are some pictures from our nice night:

Up, Up & Away

There is a joy in flying that I have never been able to get over. There is nothing like the feeling of sitting on an airplane at the beginning of a runway. As soon as the plane starts to move, excitement fills my body. First you hear the noise of the engine, then the plane starts to move faster and faster...when we are speeding along the runway, a smile crosses my face. Will we take off? What are the pilots thinking right now? Exactly how long is this runway? Then, in an instant, we are off.

My flight out of Los Angeles started like any other. But, as we sped down the runway, I began thinking about all I am leaving behind and sadness went through me. I am leaving behind a job that I loved (though haven't truly had for 5 months), great coworkers, great friends, great family. I am flying away from my grandpa's funeral, but at the same time wondering if I should have just stayed for it.

There are hard decisions that have to be made when you live 7500 miles away from home. One of those decisions was when Ian's mom had a stroke and we just felt so far away at that moment. I am feeling that way again about not being at my Grandpa's funeral. With the technology of today (unlimited international calling, emails, good 'ole snail mail, video chat) it makes me feel close to home even when I am not. But, there are critical times when I just want to be home and can't. I know there will be more visits, more calls, more emails, but I hope that the people who are truly important in my life know how much I love them, think about them, wish I was with them and would be on a plane to them in a heartbeat if they asked.

It's the Simple Things

It's the simple things in life that...

*make life easier
*make life fun
*make me laugh
*make me smile
*make me want to be...

Being "home" for a few days made me once again see all I am missing out on. All you Americans don't realize how lucky you really are. Every day you get in your cars, play with your radios, control the temperature of your vehicles, drive as far as you want, get fast food, shop at your big box retailers and wear short sleeved shirts without even thinking about it. All of these things are things I truly miss.

When I got behind the wheel of my rental car the other day, I was filled with excitement. Gunning that bad ass Ford Focus even put a smile on my face! Speed just makes me giddy. I was even more excited when I got to blast the radio and control the temperature of the car. Isn't modern technology great? Then, being able to get Taco Bell and In-n-Out to my hearts content (I had both once), pleased my taste buds. After that, I was able to hit up every big box retailer that I missed - Target, Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, Best Buy and more. Now, I wasn't able to buy everything that I wanted due to suitcase space (what was I thinking only bringing one suitcase with me?!?), but I was able to browse and be in awe of the sheer volume of product all in one place.

Also, it was great to be surrounded by people that love me...and that I love. Going back to Foursquare and seeing all my old friends made me so happy. Hanging out at a friend's house, having dinner with friends, watching TV, sleepovers...it was just all so great! Also, I feel blessed that I got to see my grandpa one last time before he died (he died last night).

I really feel like there are things I am missing out on by living in Scotland. Yet, if I wasn't living in Scotland, I would miss out on the beauty of green landscape, the joy of snow, the awe of old buildings (and not just American old), the laughter of unrealistically small apples and the adventure of public transportation.

Life is such an adventure, wherever I am.

Here's to 2008

I remember when I was younger, all those years ago...ha, ha, it was such a huge deal for a new year to come. It was filled with such enthusiasm and excitement. I remember making resolutions and never sticking to them! Fast forward all those years to 2008. I no longer make resolutions (why would I want to change my perfect self anyway?). Instead, a new year holds dreams and hopes for the future. Here is a little of what I am hoping and dreaming of for 2008.

Ian and I are celebrating our 5 year anniversary in June. I thank God for the great marriage that we have. I want that to continue and for us to continue to constantly making each other laugh. Maybe we can even buy a little place of our own over here in Scotland. And maybe, if I am a really good girl, we could even get a car!

I would love to make some good friends over here in Scotland. Good friends are hard to find. I value those of you that I have back in the states (hopefully you know who you are) and always want to hold on to you.

I think 2008 is the year for another tattoo. I have been thinking about it for a year now. I think it's time! Jeremy is always around for these momentous occasions in my life, so he better come visit me and come with me for this tattoo!

I would love to spend time really getting to know the city I live in. Really immerse myself in the history of it. And actually see more than the areas I daily travel on the bus.

Well folks, even though I didn't share with you my innermost dreams and ambitions, you now have an idea of what my 2008 should look like. You ready to live it with me?
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