Saturday, November 28, 2009

What a week!

This week has been full of one fabulous adventure after another, so I figured I should update our blog before it gets too crazy as everyone starts heading into the holiday season. Lots of random stuff has been going on here in Edinburgh, so I'll do a day-by-day recap.

MONDAY: Mud madness! Steve and I decided to spend our afternoon playing soccer with the missionaries for their preparation day activity. You may think this a bit strange, but there's a good explanation, I promise. Sister Corca, from Romania, is currently staying at the mission home for a little while and is assigned to work with the senior sister missionaries in the office. They wanted to put together a puzzle of the Sistine Chapel while a bunch of elders in the zone were getting together to play soccer. Right. Someone called Steve up and asked if I would come along so that Sister Corca could come and play too, rather than being stuck in the mission home. I was very happy to help even I am completely inept when it comes to soccer. The field we played on was super muddy, and as the picture attests, not all of it stayed on the ground. Overall, despite having serious hip issues the next day from slipping in the mud, it was a lot of fun getting to know the missionaries better - it reminded me of all the good times I had in the TSAM.

TUESDAY: The Caspers arrived in Edinburgh, but sadly we couldn't give them much of a warm welcome that evening. Steve had a training meeting for work, so jumped off the bus on a whim to make it there on time. And I had a meeting for Art in Healthcare later that night, so luckily I was able to give the Caspers a tour of the flat before I had to take off myself. The tour only lasted 20 seconds.....if that. =)

WEDNESDAY: Such a great day, despite the HORRENDOUS weather. Wow. I don't think I've ever seen (or felt) so much wind and rain at once! You have to remember that we live around a lot of old churches that have the crazy gargoyle rain spouts, which drench you with water as you round the corner right as the wind picks up. I had a blast at my internship that day because I was hanging up artwork in a local business office, as well as spending time discussing the 2010 exclusive print project AiH does with a local contemporary artist. The artist chosen for 2010 is John Brown. We met him at Edinburgh Printmakers to discuss the project, and I'm so excited to see it through from beginning to end. This internship is getting better and better by the week! While I was having fun with art, the Caspers and Steve toured Holyrood Palace and took refuge from the weather in the shops on the Royal Mile.

THURSDAY: Happy Thanksgiving! Even though the British ignore this holiday, we still had some fun. It was a little strange having class on Thanksgiving, but it only lasted for a couple hours in the morning, and then the fun began. The Caspers treated us to a lovely Thanksgiving lunch at Deacon Brodie's Tavern before Steve had to take off for work at 4pm. I met up with the Caspers after they explored the castle in time to see the annual lighting of the Norwegian Christmas tree on the Mound, which overlooks downtown Edinburgh. Gorgeous! The countdown was fun, but the fireworks that came right after were even better. It was quite the display to kick off the Christmas season in Edinburgh. We were freezing from standing around in the cold and decided to visit the Elephant House for hot chocolate. After thawing out, the three of us meandered back to St. Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile to attend the Norwegian Advent concert. The acoustics were amazing!!! The music was beautiful and it got me really excited for Christmas. And what is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? I managed somewhere in this crazy week to bake two pumpkin pies, which we cut into late Thursday night before finally calling it a day around 1:00am.

FRIDAY: the KILT!!!! Steve's kilt arrived Friday morning - just in the nick of time! He was really happy that he got to wear it to the stake Ceilidh last night, and I must say, he looked handsome! He really likes to shake his hips from side to side to make the folds in the fabric flare. Ha! Girls outgrow that at the age of five, but it's still a new experience for Steve. =) We danced the night away and had a grand time with friends from church. We also decided to spruce up our flat for Christmas. I went crazy, as usual, and did it all in one fell swoop - but it looks great, and it feels like Christmas now.

So there's the update for you. We'll be sure to post pictures from the holiday festivities as they come to give you a taste of Christmas in Scotland. We're thankful for so many things this year - especially our families and friends - and look forward to sharing the holidays with you even if it is via the internet!

Friday, November 13, 2009

When it rains it pours

Lately I have been thinking that I'd like something more productive to do with my time along with looking at grad schools and studying for the GMAT/GRE. I filled out job applications near the end of October and hadn't heard anything back that was overly positive. I received one semi-positive email from Sports Direct to come to 'open interview day.' I thought I should give it a shot, so I went and did alright. I mentioned that I'd worked in sporting equipment before and that I couldn't work Sundays. I left thinking that nothing would come of it but at least I had given it a fair chance. I also sent another email to the Scottish Parliament intern coordinator I had been talking to over the summer. The coordinator got back to me and said she was looking through applications, so I sent her my info again and started praying something would work.

Monday things started to get going. I got an email from Sports Direct offering me a position as a sales assistant. I won't go into the details of the job, mostly because I don't know what they are yet. There is a training meeting Thursday and then I get started. An email arrived from the intern coordinator today and I've been offered an internship. I am excited about earning a little money but even more excited about getting experience working in the Scottish government. Again I don't have many details to share but it will be a great opportunity.

We also got to attend the Preston England Temple last Saturday. It was a pretty amazing week considering I also got a bank account (with a sweet green visa card) and my National Insurance number. These two additions allow me to work legally and receive a paycheck. Life is good in Scotland. Kristen also finished one of her finals this week so we'll be celebrating tomorrow by taking a tour of this great little city.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Price is Right

So Kristen and I have this little game we like to play. Our neighborhood grocer closes rather late, 8 or 9 p.m. depending on the night, and we prefer to do a little shopping right before they close the doors as we have been known to find some good deals. Since we are going to the temple tomorrow we thought we should stock up on some munchies and maybe get a few other things. Here is everything we purchased.

Now this is the part where we need a little audience participation. We would like everyone to guess how much we spent on this evenings purchase. Of course we are on the Pound Sterling, though you can send in your guess using the USD (we'll google the exchange rate and pump out some magic numbers).

We have hand selected a few items for you to price. (Insert Bob Barker voice over here.) The first is a lovely bag of royal gala apples. These apples are home grown right here in the United Kingdom. Perfect for those sun shiny days of summer. And of course no picnic would be complete without. . .

a whole roasted chicken! This chicken is of the British variety and comes with two thighs, two breasts, two drumsticks and wings. The one thing you won't find on this chicken is a price that's too high!

And no one wants to eat apples or a chicken alone so we'll throw in six freshly made baguettes for you and your five friends. These baguettes were baked this morning and blah, blah, blah. I think you get my drift.

So there you have it folks. Kristen and I have made the purchase and will be enjoying the temple tomorrow. That should give you enough time to ponder over our purchase. We'd like to say the winner of our little competition can take these prizes home but I don't think you want stale bread, rotten apples, or smelly chicken. However we can mention your name in the follow up post. Until then. . . you're the next contestant on The Price is Right!