The Shower Situation

Over here, shower curtains don't really exist. They put up these three foot pieces of glass in the shower and expect you to not destroy the bathroom while showering. I really don't get it. At our old place in Edinburgh, we just put up a shower curtain and rod brought with us from the states...I was smart enough to pack one in my things! (no joke) Now that we have moved, our bath/shower is much longer and the shower curtain rod doesn't work. This leaves us trying to figure out how to shower without destroying our bathroom. Ian is a little better at it than me. If I am not paying attention, I end up spraying water all over the bathroom. It can be quite the mess! But, both of us seem to get the ledge of the bath totally wet, which in turn drains all over the floor and the rug we have right there, creating quite the mess. If we put the rug on the radiator, it dries, but who really wants to do that every single stinking day?!? I think I need to be trained to take more mellow showers!

On a good note, the bathroom of our new place is about three times the size of our old bathroom! And, it has a heated towel rack attached to the wall! Though I never seem to take showers at the right time to use a heated towel, it does mean I get to use a dry towel and that is something I can get on board with!


This morning I woke up and was missing a contact lens. Now, I have been wearing contacts for the past 14 years of my life and sleeping in them practically every night (I'm not good at following instructions!) and have never had this happen! I can't find it anywhere either...the dried up little thing has to be around here somewhere.

Today the weather in Aberdeen was beautiful. It was supposed to be the nicest in Scotland. Go figure given that we are on the North Sea and so far north, but I will take what I can get.

While Ian tried to chase down our mailman, without success, I stood in the middle of our street realizing how quaint the street is. And, about the mailman, he keeps not delivering the mail to our house but to the flat above us. This keeps us from getting our packages (presents for baby!) unless I can catch him in the act. This really is annoying.

A girl at the store today asked, "How's your bump?" but I wasn't sure how to respond...Um, it's good...growing rapidly and thinking about making an entrance into this world...

I entered a raffle to win a BMW. Ian is rather certain I am going to win, given that the drawing is on my birthday.

Ian helped me work on the baby's room today. We took off the door a couple days ago. It didn't open very wide (only about 90 degrees) and the room is already small as it is, so we needed all the room we could get. We put a sheet on the bed and hung up a vinyl tree on the wall.

Mind over Matter

The mind is an interesting tool. It has the ability to bring up an event and relive it, the emotions and all, all with just a thought, a picture, a smell. There is something about that which is so great. It can take you back to almost any memory and put a smile on your face.

Today I googled my old address to make sure I was spelling the street name's an odd one, Lakens Harbor, so I needed to check. When I googled it, it gave me the option to view the street view. As soon as I clicked on the photo, tons of memories went flooding back to me. I spent six years of my life on that street...six important years (from 14 to 19 years old). I did a lot of growing up, making mistakes, making good friends and crying on that street. Some of my best high school memories were with people who once lived on that street. I remember sitting on top of Becky's roof with her and Karen, having late night chats with Karen on the sidewalk, sneaking into bed with Josh during a thunderstorm, then claiming it was him who was scared. When we lived there, people from my family's past used to visit more...I wasn't addicted to the internet, or the tv for that matter (though the tv still isn't a big deal for me). My dad's office Christmas parties always ended at that house. Jenny (our lab) spent her last years at that house.

It was amazing, sitting here, staring at a picture, a plain picture, of a house, having so many memories flood back to me. It is also amazing how I am able to remember almost all the positive memories, and not so many of the negative ones. I can also remember the funny ones (the ones my parents probably find not-so-funny), like breaking the water main with Jeremy, getting yelled at by the neighbors for 4-wheeling through an adjacent lot, Jeremy and the other neighbor boys getting in trouble with the cops, breaking a spindle on the staircase...

I will always have my memories...well at least until I am old and senile. But until that point, all I have to do is look at one plain photo to instantly remember some great stories of my youth. The only thing that saddens me is how many of those people who I was once so close to, I barely talk to. I guess that is how life gets in the way of friendships, if we allow it to...but I will always have my memories.

Pregnancy Pics

A good friend over here in Scotland took some pregnancy pics. Some of Ian and I together and some of just are a few for your viewing pleasure:

A Life Without Internet... not a life worth living.

Okay, so maybe I am being a little dramatic. But, I am stuck here at home (in my first week of maternity leave, non-the-less) without internet. It won't be up and running until Monday. The past three days have been among the longest in my life! In case you are wondering how I am posting this blog, it's thanks to Ian's work internt. Anyway, back to my internet saga. Honestly, I would rather have the internet than tv or even the phone (of course I only say this because I can cheat and use the internet to call people and Ian and I really aren't hooked on any tv shows). Since I live by absolutely non of you, the internet is my lifeline for keeping in touch with people. I even told my mom today that I have a "modern" relationship with my brothers...facebook! I say that half joking. I love those men to death, and wish I lived closer to them, but honestly, that is how we communicate. Then there is the internet being my source for all things news. It's hard being out of the loop for 5 minutes, let alone 3 days! What if something crazy happened and I wasn't among the first to know?!? Then there is the inability to spend my days researching all things baby and figuring out what waterproof mattress pad really is the best for my bundle of joy.

I never meant for the internet to consume my life, but it has. It wasn't like this back in the states, but I am pretty sure the addiction has grown so large now, it will never go away. Anything I want to know, day or night, at my fingertips, it's like a dream. And only 3 more days until this "dream" is back up and running in the comfort of my own home...hopefully I can make it.

Maternity Leave

The time has is my first official day of maternity leave! Actually, if you want to get technical, I am on vacation this week (gotta use up all my vacation time for the year!) and begin my maternity leave next week. But either way, I am getting paid to sit at home...yeah! I have waited for this time. Time to put my feet up, keep the feet swelling to a minimum and get ready for baby. Here are my plans for the next few weeks before baby arrives:

1. Apply for my driver's license, study and take (well, and pass) the theory (written) test. Just so you know, all you have to do is send away for your drivers license and without having passed any test, you can drive as long as another licensed driver is in the car...I think this is funny.

2. Finish our 2008 photo album. I started working on one of those books you have printed, but never finished it. I really need to get this done before the baby comes, and 2009 ends!

3. Write a book...yeah you read this correctly, I have plans!

4. Prepare for baby! This is the most fun part. I want to paint the room, decorate and just get everything ready for baby. So excited about this! Once the room is done, I will post pictures.

Just Look for Yourself...

So I saw this sticker on the wall at a made me laugh. Not so much the sticker as much as that it was on a wall in the middle of Starbucks and no one had tried to take it down.

Please Note: I do realize that this post proves that my maturity hasn't quite caught up with my age!


Baby g and I have been incredibly blessed lately by an outpouring of love. It started a couple weeks ago with a get well gift I got in the mail from my friends at Foursquare and it hasn't let up. Then, the girls at my work threw me a surprise baby shower. And surprise it was! (If you know me well, you know I HATE surprises). I didn't even know it was coming. When I walked in, I apparently turned bright red and stood against the wall for like five minutes before I could walk all the way into the room. Surprises really throw me off! Then came some baby presents in the mail from some wonderful ladies that helped shape my childhood...Miss Ginny and Miss Ev, if you read this, thank you SO MUCH! I can't express how blessed I felt getting that stuff from you. Then, we got a present from our good friends in Edinburgh. Next came the goodbye dinner from my work...I still can't believe I am almost done. Then, to top it all off, when I was leaving work yesterday, two really sweet customers stopped me to give me a gift. They gave me a gift certificate for a facial and a bib for a baby.

Honestly, I am one of those people that never feels like 1. I deserve anything and 2. that people will actually want to give me anything. I am learning to accept things, without feeling super embarrassed and also feeling so appreciative that people would want to bless me and baby g so much.

I am also getting excited to move up to my new home next week so I can actually set up all my fun baby stuff, play with it and get ready for baby g's arrival!


This past weekend was supposed to be our big trip to see Michael Jackson in concert, but for obvious reasons, that did not happen. Since we both had a few days off, we decided to go to Amsterdam. Ian used Holiday Inn points to book a hotel for us. He bought a travel book about Amsterdam the day before we left. On the flight over, I was reading it and discovered it said this about our hotel:

The absolute top of the range - one of the best and most luxurious hotels in the country, occupying a grand, chateau-style, nineteenth-century mansion beside the Singelgracht canal. Favored by visiting celebrities, the hotel was treated to a scrumptious renovation to the tune of 50 million euros in the late nineties.

Now, I must let you know, we stayed there FOR FREE. Not one cent left our pockets to stay at this hotel. This was definitely funny to us. The best part of the hotel for me was the bathroom. It was huge. The bathtub was longer than me and seriously, if I filled it all the way up, it would have almost covered my head! And, they gave bath salts to put in it. I ended up taking a bath both nights! Honestly, I can't remember the last time I took a bath before then; it has been years. But, lets get to outside the hotel...

Amsterdam has to be one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. The houses are stunning. The oldest one we saw dated back to 1477. They are all built next to each other, like townhouses. Some of them are leaning, which we found quite entertaining. We found out they are leaning because the structure underneath them is failing due to water in the foundation. While in the city, we visited the Anne Frank House. It is moving to think what the people that hid Anne's family for two years did. They really were loyal to her family. We also visited Begijnhof, a home for members of the Catholic sisterhood living as nuns, but without vows and with the right to return to the secular world. This little community was built with its back to the outside. You actually have to use a door to get to the courtyard. It was so peaceful inside, you couldn't even tell you were in the middle of a city.

Call me stupid, but I didn't realize that canals are weaved throughout the city. They are beautiful. The funny part is that tons of people live on them in makeshift houseboats. Some of them were quite nice, some of them not so nice. They were so serious that many of them had patios on the water, complete with gardens. We took a tour of the city from the canals and it was a fun experience.

The people of Amsterdam seem to ride bikes everywhere. No joke, there are 1000's of bikes every way you look. Because of my "condition" we didn't rent bikes, but I would have loved to under normal circumstances. Bikes have their own riding path next to where the cars go. And, when people lock them up, they don't lock them to poles, just chain the front wheel to the body so it can't be ridden. This results in an estimated 200,000 bikes a year being thrown into the canals! Canal cleaning boats come along and remove the bikes and other large objects from the bottom of the canals so the boats don't have trouble getting through.

I recommend to everyone to visit this city if they get a chance...hey, and we managed to have a good time without doing either of the things Amsterdam is known for...smoking pot and going to the red light district! There is so much more to this city than those two things!

2 Years

I can hardly believe that two years ago today, my life forever changed. I touched down in my new home, Scotland. I remember arriving at 7:30 in the morning. The sun was out and everything around the airport was green. More than being nervous about the big news, I was excited to see Ian, given that we hadn't seen each other in a few weeks. Little did I know how much I would change in two short years. Call it growing up, or acclimating to my surroundings, but I have changed. My "old" life almost seems like a dream, like another life I lived.

I have learned lessons on what matters in life, people not things. Being separated from all your worldly possessions tends to do that to you! I now realize that I probably could have sold all our stuff in storage and not look back. I certainly didn't feel that way in the beginning! It's just stuff. It doesn't give me, or really my life, value. I have also realized the value of those I love. Sometimes a phone call, email or text just doesn't cut it. When someone you love is going through something, good or bad, it is hard not being there. It is hard realizing my nephew has no clue who I am and having missed so many things in my friends and families life.

Living over here has opened my eyes to many different cultures. Obviously I am surrounded by Scottish people, but I also have Irish, Polish and Swedish friends. It makes for interesting debates on all types of things - politics, the economy, environment and more. It has opened my eyes to many different views and stretched me into figuring out exactly what I believe and where I stand on certain issues. In case you were wondering, I DO NOT think the Lockerbie bomber should have been released! It has also opened my eyes to a type of racism that I had never experienced before. A type that doesn't care about the color of your skin, but the place you are from. I have experienced people with downright hatred toward Americans, but I have also experienced people talk this way about other cultures. This is a phenomenon I had never experienced before, given that racism in America seems to be about the color of your skin and not other things.

Though I don't have an accent, and don't think I will ever get one, I do say words I never would have said before. "Quite" has become a normal part of my word dictionary. It comes out "quite" a lot! Also, I always remember to bring my reusable bags with me for grocery shopping. And there are my eating habits, which have totally adapted...can anyone say "fish and chips Fridays"?!? Then there is me never leaving the house without an rains pretty much every day. Also, the flat shoes (I often wonder why I moved my entire shoe collection when I never even get to use it). Heels don't work with cobblestone, then there are the rain puddles and hills. Really, flat shoes are a must!

Part of me wonders what will happen to me once I do return to America. Will I remember all the good things I learned over here? Or, will I just return to life as it once was? I hope I can find a happy medium, not being so materialistic and caring more about the environment but not going so overboard that everyone thinks I got knocked off my rocker!
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