Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Our first Scottish wedding!

I do not want to post wedding photos before the bride and groom see them,
but I thought it would be ok to share some impertinent photos to give you a wee
taste of the wedding.

We got to help out with decorations the morning of. Sam was VERY organized and we knew what to do without her even being there.

As someone on my forum recently posted, one cool thing about living in Scotland is men roaming around in kilts and no one does a double-take. I must admit, I did do a double-take when I our minster showed up in these. :)

That's us trying our best to keep up during the ceilidh. And that's Bungie dancing with his wife. *gasp!* It felt a little better knowing that there were many there from England who did not know the dances either.

It's now over four and a half years since our wedding. I think other than the bride and groom, we were the cutest couple there. :)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

American mac and cheese

We had a very late lunch yesterday, 3pm. We went to the rehearsal of our friends' wedding in the morning and stayed out to do some shopping. We picked up a rotisserie chicken and that was our lunch. I figured that would be our dinner, too. But no. Two hours later my husband is asking was if for dinner. :) So I tell him we can have mac and cheese, something easy, and he is excited. Dilema: do we have the British mac and cheese, or the American mac and cheese that I just brought over? Since I felt a little sick I decided NOT to have the British one, as it smells strongly of BO. :( I had forgotten how much better the American one is! Even though it wasn't the white cheese, which was the cheese of choice back home.

So, if anyone should ever happen to need the box of macaroni and not use the cheese...DON'T PITCH IT. Send us the little packet of cheese. I have plenty of macaroni here. Though we really don't need too much of it, as we are TRYING to eat more healthy, it is a nice meal to get together quickly on those nights where we really don't feel like doing much. :) Cheers!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


10pm and still light.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

That's SUPER-Deli to you

I was just notified that I got the supervisor position. I am actually excited about it. I am looking forward to having more responsibility and hopefully making an impact on the store and the others I work with. We are hoping to move to the Stockbridge area when our lease is up with the university. Though it is months away I am already getting a little too excited and looking at flats online. It is a nice area.

Friday, May 19, 2006


I just had my interview with the district manager for the supervisor position at our store. I think it went well and he said he thinks it looks ok to move ahead, but he would talk to my manager and let me know on Monday...

So, how does a Starbucks interview differ from any other interview? Coffee tasting! I was told that I would be expected to put together a coffee tasting for us. It was suggested to me that I pick up some cheese and use a coffee that went with cheese. It just so happens that with my ASDA delivery yesterday I got Wensleydale cheese with blackcurrants and apple. SO, I ran home after work to cut some up, put it on a nice plate, and took it to my interview. Turns out that he had never had it before, but he thought it was glorious. He went on about it through the whole interview. And there we are at my interview, smelling, then slurping wee samples of Sulawesi and eating cheese. :)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Things I Brought Back

I thought you might get a good laugh if I were vulnurable and listed some of the things I brought back to Scotland from America. Notice, things I brought back. Josh reminds me that this was all my doing, that he would have been just fine without any of these things, though he does benefit from the use of some of them.

We went to America with 3 suitcases, because we did not want to deal with the trouble of 4 suitcases on the bus, train, and el, and walking through the airport and in the city. Though most of what we brought consisted of souveniers and things we would leave at home, I had to talk Josh into allowing another 'wee' suitcase. It was only the size of a carry-on, but it was almost the heaviest. Oh, and the weight limit went down from 70lbs. to 50lbs. which Josh was happy for, but it made it a bit more tricky.

So, here goes:

Reeses peanut butter cups
Hershey's cookies n cream
M&Ms (we get it here, but it just tastes different)
Laffy Taffy
Jolly Ranchers
Sweet Tart shockers (the last three just looked good in the store, but I have been enjoying them!)
Junior Mints
2 boxes of chocolate covered espresso beans from Starbucks, which I can most definately get here, but it is WAY cheaper there, especially with my discount (one was, I think, stolen at the airport)

toothpaste (just cheaper)
toothbrushes from Costco
Motrin from Costco (pain reliever can only be bought in very small quanities here)
Nyquil capsuls from Costco (cold medicine does not work here!)
Tylenol sinus and allergies from Costco
hand sanitizing wipes

PICKLES!!! (just one small jar)
plain, white, normal vineger
Sweet Baby Rays!!! (thanks, Bessie)
chili cheese Fritos
maple syrup
Tollhouse chocolate chips from Costco
Newman's Own family recipe Italian dressing
Almonds from Costco (very expensive here)
Kraft parmasian cheese (I got some stuff at Costco here that was terrible!)
Teddy Grahams
pudding mixes
Jello mixes
Lipton tea bags for my special sweet tea

Paper Source cards and envelopes
clear bags for my cards
bookmark sleeves
my quilt, started ages ago
fabric for a new quilt
a needle felting kit
I thought I would bring back tonnes more crafts stuff, but I figured if I brought back any scrapbooking stuff, I would have to bring it ALL!!!

socks and other unmentionables ;)
old clothes that I fit into again!
better trainers for work
2 Taste of Home magazines
plasters (band-aids, just haven't found any good ones here yet)
Victoria's Secret lotions and body sprays
a Cook's Illustrated cookbook

Things I would have loved to bring but could not pass customs if I tried:
Carnation (?) flavored coffee creamers - creamer in coffee is not done here, let alone flavored. No such thing as half and half, just use milk. I usually use double cream, which is like heavy whipping cream.
cheese - they pride themselves on good cheese, but I haven't found anything that works good for me yet, though I did have a soft cheese with cranberries in it recently, which was nice.
steaks - meat is expensive and it just tastes different
Chicago style deep dish pizza - though I have learned to make a mean pizza myself!
Ann Sather cinnamon rolls - though I make a pretty good one now
Mario's Italian ice (thanks for the treat, Boog)

I also would have liked to bring graham crackers, but I knew they would crumble too much. I was DELIGHTED to have s'mores on our camping trip. I made them every change I could.

I was looking for a garlic mix to add to butter for garlic bread. I used to get it at Costco, but they didn't have it when I looked. :(

Well, now you can see the things we have to do without here on a daily basis! :) Some of these things are available, but I took the opportunity to get them in the States as it is cheaper there. Others, I manage to do without just fine, but when they were staring at me in the grocery store I wondered how I ever LIVED without them. ;) Actually, I only then remembered that it existed. So, there you go. Laugh all you want, but it is amazing what things you find bring comfort to you when you are in a new country and still figuring out that courgette is zuccini and the yogurt tastes different and to get half and half you have to mix milk with single cream (or is it double? I can't remember.).

Monday, May 15, 2006

They noticed!

My first day back to work was yesterday (Sunday) but today was the first day I saw some of our regulars. I got quite a few "I haven't seen you in a while" and "You've been on holiday, haven't you?" and a "You're back!" It felt good to be missed. :)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

flickr pics

I am in the process of posting some of our pictures on the flickr site. Because many of the pictures involve children I am just posting most of the pictures as private, to be viewed only by friends and family. If you are in one of these 2 catagories and would like to view the pictures, just e-mail me and I will send you an invite.

Scooby, the Feezor dog

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


We made it home very tired, but in one piece. Josh is sleeping and I can't believe I am still awake. I did get a lot more sleep than him. During our 8 hour layover in Amsterdam Josh took a quick nap. I didn't hesitate to tell him the instant he opened his eyes that I could not stay awake any longer (someone needed to watch our possessions). So, he let me sleep. I woke up a couple of times, determined to get up, but the final time I actually sat up and Josh said "Our plane leave in an hour and a half." OH, NO! I felt so bad that I had slept that whole time and didn't let him sleep. It still weighs heavily on me. :(

Anyways, thank you for your prayers. Our long flight to Amsterdam went by fairly quickly. We didn't sleep at all, though, as the row next to us was overflowing with toddlers. When it was time to sleep, they woke up and decided that it would be great fun to scream at eachother the whole time! I give credit to anyone traveling with a child, but I was a bit annoyed that the parents didn't even try to calm the kids down. Well, it wasn't even the kids that we were most astonished at. The row in front of us was the one with the big emergency exit door. So, there was lots of space there for people to stand around and stretch and wait for the toilet. One of the men in the row yelled at anyone who stood in the way of his TV, even if they were waiting in line for the toilet. He even yelled at the flight attendant to do something about it (it was all in Dutch, so I don't exactly know the conversation). Appearantly, while I managed to doze off for a minute, Josh said he yelled at one guy who finally yelled back. And do you know what was on the screen? Nothing but a map showing how far we had flown. Oh, and next to us was the guy who was REALLY angry about the kids in the next row. Every so often he would grunt and push himself out of the chair and walk to the front of the plane. Sometimes he would go to the toilet and slam the door. I don't think he was even trying to sleep or anything. And he even shut off Josh's air blower (the thing on top that blows cool air on you). Later Josh asked me to put mine on because he was getting too hot.

It felt good to get on the bus and know that we were nearly home. But then we had to lug our suitcases up the Mound and up a couple of flights of stairs in our building. Our suitcases are now unpacked, but our flat is a disaster. My counter full of American foods waiting to find their space in their new home. Since I didn't go grocery shopping I just ran down the street for some chips. And guess what I had with them...Sweet Baby Ray's! (thanks, Bessie)

So, it's back to normal life. As we were nearing Scotland I felt sad that a month had gone by so quickly; 2 weeks of anticipation and 2 weeks of holiday. I did actually start to wonder if it was a good idea to decide we would stay another 2 years. Everything in America was so familiar and I felt like I would just be spending the next 2 years as an outsider. As we flew over the mountains in Scotland my heart softened and I happy to see the country we had been getting to know over the last 8 months and would explore more fully in the next couple of years. As we were dragging our suitcases up the Mound, everything around me was familiar, and it was good to be back home.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Going home

It's hard to believe that 2 weeks is already gone. It has been a nice visit with family and friends. We hope that we can see some of you one the other side of the pond.

I have been spending the last 2 days rearranging everything in our suitcases to fit all of the American goodies I picked up during our visit. The hard thing is the weight limit. It is down to 50 pounds from the 70 pounds when we moved to Scotland. So, while we are able to spacially fit more in the suitcases, we cannot fit more in due to the weight limit. I also have a 15 pound box that I am mailing myself. Josh is thankful for the lower weight limit because he doesn't want to lug 140 pounds through the airport. :)

Please pray for a safe trip and that it will go by quickly. We will be taking a train tomorrow at 11:00 to Chicago. Then we will take the el to the airport. Our flight leaves O'hare at 4:40pm. We fly into Amsterdam where we will have an 8 hour layover. Then we will arrive in Edinburgh at 4pm where we will take a bus into the city centre.

Well, in the next few days I will try to get some pictures posted.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

First Week

It was a long day one week ago when we flew home for a visit. We did not sleep at night because we were going to leave our flat at 1:45am to catch a bus to the airport. The next bus was an hour later and we figured we should be there about 3 hours early for our international flight. When we arrived I wondered if the airport was open! I had never been to an airport in the middle of the night. There were about 20 people there and they were all sleeping. Even the Costa worker was sleeping!

We found out that we didn't need to be there that early because check-in didn't even start until an hour later. I had seen another one of our buses arrive during that time. So, we checked in, got on our plane and headed for Amsterdam. A one hour flight, then a 2 hour layover. The next flight was 8 hours. I really wasn't looking forward to the long day.

We flew KLM and I have to say that though they were the cheapest, we enjoyed (as much as you can enjoy a long flight) flying with them. We had a great attendant and the food (which, by the way, we didn't have to pay for) was good.

We arrived in Chicago about an hour later than we were supposed to, so we had to rush to our train, or the 'el'. We were going to take the el to our train downtown which was going to take us to Indiana where my mom would be picking us up. We had about an hour to get downtown. Not positive that we would make it to the train in time (the next train left an hour and a half later), we boarded the el to later hear "Because this train is delayed, we will run express until Jefferson Park." Praise God! At least that would cut out 3 stops. I think it was because of this that we actually did make it to our train with about 5 minutes to spare.

So, another hour train ride until we could relax. 17 hours from the time we left our flat, we made it home. We still had a few hours to make ourselves stay away in order to get on the right time schedule. 48 hours from our last real sleep (we were able to nap a little on the plane), and we were finally in bed. We slept good, but we were up at 5am.

I forgot to mention that we were sort of 'stuck' in our seats for the long flight. We were by the window and the isle seat was occupied by an elderly lady who did not speak English. We hated asking her to get up any time we wanted to move around, so we just wanted for her to go to the restroom, where we would jump up and do some walking. She only got up twice during the entire flight.

It has been an enjoyable week seeing family and friends again. We have been spoiled by everyone. We have been out to eat and had some of our favorite foods ready for us at home. Our church in Chicago had a wee get-together when we arrived and served Chicago style deep dish pizza for us. MMM! Today we will get have lunch with Josh's sister and brother-in-law who have driven down from Michigan to see us. We will also be looking forward to camping and a get-together with some of my friends from high school this weekend.

I thought it would feel strange to be back, and some things are a bit strange. I am still having the problem of looking right first when crossing the road. But it does feel like we have not been gone so long. It has been good to pick up with people again like we have not been so far away for so long. Whatever sort of accent I might have had is totally lost now. :)