Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Highlights of 2011 & Questions of 2012

Last year was, the most challenging, exhilarating, and adventurous year of our young lives. Here are the highlights:

1) The Hub Winter Camp

We went up to Buck Creek Camp in Enumclaw, Washington with a bunch of crazy junior high and high school students. We played four square and ate all the peanut M&M's our stomachs could stomach. Garrick and I each stayed with a cabin of students and got lots of sleep! ;) For me, it was the last retreat with all of my girls. Can't wait to come to The Hub when we're back in the states!

2) Mother's Day in Kirkland

My parents, Garrick and I had brunch at Anthony's Homeport on the Kirkland waterfront for Mother's Day. Breakfast is our favorite food and activity. Mostly because bacon, cheese, and potatoes rock. Paired with my parents, it's impossible not to have a good time. After brunch we walked around the marina and had a quick photo shoot. My dad and Garrick wanted to keep posing for more photos, but modeling isn't their strong point.

3) Biking Trip on Whidbey Island

For our 3rd Anniversary, we camped at South Whidbey State park and biked the hills, valleys, and coastline of the island. Although at one point I sat on the side of the road and threatened to call a cab, I am proud to say we did it! Garrick acquired quite the biker tan line and my legs have never looked better. Again with the our love of breakfast, we ate at the Kneed & Feed in Coupeville, home of the best cinnamon rolls! All in all, a yummy and butt-kicking anniversary.

 4) Baseball

Garrick and his friend Jefff (yes with 3 f's) Rodland coached for Bellevue Baseball Club's 13U team. To say that Garrick likes baseball is not true. He loves baseball. I got to sit in the stands and chat with the team moms. This is especially fun if Garrick corrects the player who's mom I'm sitting next to. Jefff has a lovely wife Lindsay, and we had fun cheering on the team and our husbands!

5) Family

Two little boys and a red Ford truck is a recipe for cuteness. Recently we've been able to Skype with the two in the photo and Brayden makes lots of funny faces and shows us his toys, and Ryan smiles, waves, and says, "oh!" We lived with Garrick's family, in his old bedroom, for the three months before we left, only 10 minutes away from my parents. And, once a month we ate dinner & corn with my grandparents. We miss our family!

6) Going Away Parties

From The Hub sharing funny stories about Garrick, to all of my great girlfriends, we often were overwhelmed by the love we felt before we left. Can't wait to see all of you later this year! Our time apart has made us realize you're not that bad. ;)

7) Hello, St Andrews. Nice to meet you!

By far, the night we arrived in St Andrews was one of the hardest we've had here. Garrick thought it was fun to camp out on our living room floor, and I soaked my sleeping bag with tears. Garrick said about a week later that he was impressed with how fast I recovered and says I have "emotional whiplash." Whether we're playing Euchre, listening to Mark speak at Trinity, or walking on the East Sands, St Andrews is quickly becoming a place we'll miss. Because this whole blog is about our move here, I'll leave it at that.

Just four months ago we planned, packed, and planned some more for our year abroad. Scotland was all we thought about. What would our life be like? Where would I work? Who would be our new friends? What church would we go to? Would we like Scotland?

Now that we've finally settled in, it's time to start thinking about next year already. We don't know where we'll be 9 months from now, but we know we'll be together. :)

I feel like I'm performing CPR on this blog every week. Ask us anything your dying to know and we'll write a response! We need active readers!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Andrea vs. Wild

At 9:15 AM, I leave our flat in my "wind outfit": North Face jacket cinched around my head, wellies, and umbrella in hand. I make it one block before I decide to turn back to my warm and inviting bed. Roof tiles, branches, and garbage twirl around in the air, head-level. I don't want to make my debut in news as the girl who got knocked out by a roof tile. I try to take just one more step, and it's me versus the Scottish wind.

I lose.

Back under the covers, I phone work and the roof has come off the Meerkat enclosure. We're not opening until noon. Getting ready for work and then finding out you can go in late is almost as exciting as a school delay. Except, money is at stake.

Garrick and I walk to town around 11:30, get coffee and then I'm back behind my little desk in the gift shop, reading.

The title of our blog, "Wind, Wellies, and Water Closets," could not have been more accurate. When thinking of the title, I used wind merely for alliteration purposes and pictured more romantic wind. I don't know what that is, maybe the kind of wind that blows leaves around gracefully and wisps your hair ever so slightly.  Not the kind that makes your eyes water, ties knots in your hair, and propels your neighbor's garbage at your head.

So this ends my post about the weather. And I think I need to change my blog title to, "Tornadoes, Wellies, and Water Closets." If you don't believe me, maybe you'll believe BBC:


Waves at Largs

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Highlands Christmas and Hogmanay!


On December 24th, we traveled in a Mini MPV with 5 other friends to Grantown-on-Spey, a small town near Inverness. We played tetris to fit all of our baggage in the car and then drove up the A-9! We arrived at Corrimony House around noon the weekend festivities began. 
Corrimony House

Our beautiful room

Christmas morning Garrick, Lindsay and I woke up early and baked a breakfast casserole and cinnamon roles! We all brought a white elephant gift to exchange and Garrick got chocolate and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" and I got a puzzle of the UK.

Everyone displaying their gifts!
We hiked, relaxed, watched Star Wars and LOTR, and all helped out making food. On the last full day we drove up to Inverness and Loch Ness. Bob, Adam, and Raymond all jumped in Loch Ness and came out without a scratch from Nessie! We also visited Urqhuart Castle:

The Highlands are majestic and rugged. We will definitely go back soon, maybe in the summer next time!


Hogmanay is a Scottish word for the last day of the year and usually is celebrated well into New Years Day. Garrick and I hosted appetizers, dinner, and dessert at our flat before we made our way to town. Then we stopped at different pubs along the way before counting down at the fountain!

All in all, we made the best of the holiday season here and are so grateful for new friends to celebrate with. Our families were sorely missed, however, and I am excited to announce that my parents arrive on January 22nd! We can't wait!