Friday, September 18, 2009

Steve got his visa!

That's right people. I've got a visa and I'll be joining my wife on Wednesday, just in time for dinner. I'm sure most of you lost sleep thinking about it, but worry no longer.

My beginnings as a Post-Grad

Well, dear friends, it's high time that I post to this blog of which I am co-owner/joint-CEO/equal shareholder with my amazing husband, Steve.  Since it's titled "a tale of two cities," I figure I should represent the city abroad - amazing, quaint, and fascinating EDINBURGH!!!  I've been here just under a week, but I feel like I have a pretty good sense of where things are located, and where I need to be, which is nice.  I thought I'd share some experiences I've had as I settle into my role as a post-graduate at the University of Edinburgh.  Apparently, the PG's are treated a little more...regally...than say, the undergrads.  For example, in the UK they call the orientation week "Freshers Week."  The undergrads had an awesome pub crawl to look forward to - older and wiser students took them on tours of local pubs.  Well, for the post-grads, they sponsored a wine and cheese tasting event.  Ha!  At my program orientation, everyone was super excited about that.  I'm sure it was a great night on the town, but I skipped out on the alcoholic festivities in order to spend some time with Steve's best friend and former roommate - the one and only Joseph Castleton.  The three of us originally planned a great meeting of the eternals (see Steve's previous post for the reference) here in Edinburgh, but Steve's visa threw a wrench in our brilliant plan, so it was just me and Joseph for a couple hours.  I showed him the sweet UofE campus and a few things around town.  It was really fun getting to know Joe a bit better.  We decided to take a picture of the three of us, for posterity's sake, of course, which can be seen below.  Steve is actually in the picture - he was talking on the phone with Joseph when I snapped the photo.

The rest of the pics are of the amazing University of Edinburgh campus.  I thought BYU was a beautiful campus (which it is!), but it pales in comparison to this one.  The pics speak for themselves, but I'll offer a brief explanation of each.

Residence halls.  Ummmm, yeah, I think these beat out DT, Heritage, AND Helaman Halls - easy.  I wonder if people feel like they're living in a Harry Potter book.  Doesn't this kind of remind you of Hogwarts?  After all, Edinburgh is the place where that whole series took flight.

This is a lecture hall located on the west side of Bristo square.  It's the large quad on campus, similar to the space between the Wilk and the HBLL for those of you familiar with the BYU campus.

Not everything on campus is old and cool looking.  Some of it is modern and cool looking!  I know it sounds really crazy, but I love graffiti.  Not all of it, but a lot of it.  These friendly city workers saw me taking a picture and joked that they would jump in, so I figured, "hey, why not?"  They're not the artists themselves, but they were painting over the wall on the opposite side.  Friendly people.  Awesome accents.  Fantastic.

I love the parks in and surrounding the campus.  They're gorgeous, and huge.  If the weather was a tiny bit warmer, I'd sit out here all day and do my homework.  

And this, ladies and gentleman, is where I will be studying the art and the history of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment in Europe.  This is Minto House at 20 Chambers Street, which is where all of my classes are located.  I met my professors this week, and I can already tell it's going to be a fantastic year.  I can't wait for classes to start.
So this is a small taste of what's been going on this week.  I've adjusted quite well to this marriage thing, if I do say so myself.  But that's probably because there is no cause for adjustment yet!  Ha!  Sad, but true.  I'm fine living here by myself (meaning, I can get along and stand on my own two feet), but I'm really excited for Steve to come.  Everything that is fun and wonderful about this place will be that much more fun and wonderful once he's here.  Cheers!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eternal Companion meets Eternal Buddy

I realize that this sounds like there will be an ultimate fighting match but you would be wrong. You see Joseph, who some of my roommates in Taiwan called my eternal buddy, spend the summer in Russia doing stuff that I'm not really allowed to talk about. We had this wonderful plan where I get to fly out there and then three days later he comes to stay with the newlyweds. Sounds like an awesome plan until I realize that I can't even apply for a visa until I get married, so my hopes get washed away. Meanwhile, after we had plan this happy reunion, Joseph had bought a ticket home from Edinburgh, which means he has to get there and spend some time there. So with Kristen in Edinburgh, Joe there too, and me in America, I am the one who gets left out. Tomorrow there will be a great meeting of the eternals while I am busy making sure fellow Americans are satisfied with there bat warranty claims. It just doesn't seem quite fair to me. But I expect I'll here about how wonderful it was, or at least both will tell me that and then I'll hear different stories later. But wish them luck maybe someday I'll get to join in another momentous meeting.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Recently we were married and of course even more recently we have been seperated due to the visa requirements of the UK. So I have been thinking a lot, because let's face it, I don't have anything else better to do. The Nat King Cole song, "L-O-V-E," has been running through my mind and I decided that I should change some of the lyrics:

L is for the lonliness I feel
O is for my overseas affair
V is very, very frustrated by a visa
E is even more than anyone can every imagine

I could continue but let's not worry about it anymore. But Kristen has made it to Scotland and I have managed to retain my sanity. I went to church today and it turns out that the Elders Quroum President in the ward I'm attending is from Scotland. When I told him that Kristen is going to the University of Edinburgh he was a little disturbed because he went to the rival University of Glasgow. Interesting how small the world can be. But apparently his parents, who still live in Glasgow, will be moving down to Preston, England to be the temple president and matron. This happens to be the temple in our district. And this next part is for Whitney. Craig, the husband of the couple I'm staying with, went to school in Grenoble, France. This just happens to be the place where my fellow teacher in Taiwan went after her stint in Taiwan. So apparently there is some reason why I'm suppose to stay in America while my wife gets things started in Scotland.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Hey everybody. We thought we'd start a blog as a family. Seemed fitting that we're married now. It should be an interesting beginning, especially since Kristen is moving to Scotland on Friday and I'll be waiting to get my visa for a few weeks all by myself. I never dreamed I'd be married and living apart, but at least we're sealed for eternity.