Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An Earley Update!

Hello! This is the first time I've blogged about what's actually going on in our lives for ages! Long overdue. My apologies. Well, here goes...

Life is good! Summer was EXCELLENT, and if you got through half the photos on the blog, you could tell we had a blast! The highlight was definitely family. One of the most special moments was being able to attend my sister's sealing, to the two gorgeous children she and my brother-in-law adopted a year or so ago. They are just great.

Other highlights include Brian being able to revisit his mission in Ireland. It was so much fun. I'd never been there and loved the people and the countryside immensely. We had a lot of fun, travelling all over, visiting the people and places Brian had served around. We've agreed that if all goes well, this summer we'll head over to my mission... SAN DIEGO!

Right now Brian is already back at BYU, 2 days into the new semester, and I think he's really enjoying it. He's now working on campus as a peer mentor for entering freshman and he just LOVES it! He's still working in the lab (with MICE!), is planning on working a temple shift, and has a full schedule of classes so he will be BU-SY this semester. I am a little sad not to be able to hang out with him as much but we're going to just have to adapt.

As for myself, I am NOT busy. I am blissfully waiting to hear on a couple of jobs I've applied to. I am unstressed and very content with my situation, although I'm guessing I'll get a bit "antsy" as they say around here if it goes on for too long. Life truly is good and I'm excited to see where I'll get to work!

There'll be more info soon, but here's a picture I've been saving. This is my ALL-TIME favorite sign. Ever. I love Ireland.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Scotland: The Wallace Monument!

The Wallace Monument was probably the coolest thing we saw in Scotland. The trek up to the tower is a gorgeous 20 minute uphill hike. Then there are 246 steps up the narrowest spiral stone staircase you can imagine... Especially awkward when people were going the opposite direction, but still loads of fun and definitely worth it. 

The monument itself!
William Wallace.
Also William Wallace.
This was kind of creepy. The face was a flat screen that several projectors projected onto. It made the face appear 3D.
Here William is standing trial before the English and argues his cause until he's condemned. 
They say this is Wallace's actual sword. It's 5"6 long, including the handle. That is my height!  With a sword this big they say he'd have had to be at least 6"6 to weild it properly. 
The tower had about 5 different floors with exhibits on each. This one was full of the busts of famous Scotsmen.
Can you guess who this famous economist is?
And the answer... Adam Smith! The guy behind the invisible hand theory. Ha. Econ 110 thanks you. He also happens to appear on British 20 pound notes.
Ha. This made me laugh. About a hundred and fifty years ago the Scottish held a competition to find the best design for the National Wallace Monument. The design above was the original winner. It depicts the Lion (Scotland) trouncing the Lapith (England). They eventually thought it might be a bit too anti-English and decided on the tower instead. Ha.    
The arches atop the tower.
Mum!
Brian & I. The views were amazing!
Mum & Rikk.

Brian scaling the walls in his new shoes.

After we got home, Brian started delving into his family history. Not only is he related to a line of English and Irish royalty, but he's also related to William Wallace! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Scotland: Music Appreciation Night!

This night was SO much fun! I had a blast at Cumbernauld's Relief Society activity. Not only did we enjoy music, but we also had the chance to sample some delicious treats!

Mum adding even more treats to the table.
The table was decorated gorgeously. I loved the teacups and teapots and the food itself was just lovely!
All the food had some sort of musical theme involved in the name. These are "Chopin's Chocolate Delights" :)
Delicious Victoria Sponges! Brian's favorite! Luckily there was extra of both cakes for me to bring him.
The main part of the night consisted of each of us playing a song we'd brought and explaining why it meant something to us. We had a ridiculous amount of fun.
 
Maureen is "Flying Without Wings"!
Overall a really great night. Thanks for organizing it Alison! 

Scotland: Loch Katrine, Daisies, and a Traumatic Glasgow Experience

We got to do so many things in our two weeks in Scotland! Loch Katrine (pronounced "Katrin") is a huge lake with a lot of history. Apparently Rob Roy used to hide his stolen cattle there, among other things.

Where we got the boat.
"Lady of the Lake"

After the Loch we went to a little village to have lunch and split up to look around the shops. While Brian & I waited for mum & Rikk, Brian gathered me a bouquet of daisies! 


Then I taught him to make daisy chains! He did a really good job too, here's the finished product:


Glasgow is an amazing city. Edinburgh is good too, but too touristy for my liking.

Monster construction going on right now! Apart from the crane it looked like there'd been an earthquake!

Brian's traumatizing trip to the shoe shop...

Brian was really sad to let go of his old, holey, no-longer-white tennis shoes. We took a picture so he could remember them. 
So sad! I think the only thing that finally persuaded Brian to part with them was the fact that we got 5 pounds off his new pair in a randomly convenient recycling program.
Good times!

Scotland: The Isle of Arran!

The Isle of Arran was a lot of fun. We got to go with some great friends. 

Here's Jim, Derek & Siobhan. (Jim's Siobhan's Dad.) You can't tell, but she is 7 months pregnant here!
Here's my  mum, Siobhan's mum Helen, my stepdad Rikk, and Brian. We're all on the ferry on the way to Arran!

The ferry was windy and cold in the shade but a lot of fun.

Some of the grounds at Brodick castle. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures inside.
"A blue Hydrangea!" ~Mum :)

The men who would rather sit on a bench than look around the shops with us. Ha.
Then they wandered off and we found them playing mini-golf! Ha. It was so much fun watching them! We got to cheer and boo and hiss! Jim even started dancing... though I think it was to distract us from his cheating! lol
Mum and Helen with their big n small ice creams. My mum believes it's not a proper holiday unless you eat an icecream everyday! She got that from her mother... I'm guessing it's going to rub of on me one of these days too.
Siobhan & I!
This is Derek holding the rubbish from all our fish and chips!
Great people, great times!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Belfast!

"The Thing with the Ring"?

Brian preached right here as a missionary :)

Love this building! It is the Belfast City Hall.
Apparently on her first visit, Queen Victoria was supposed to proclaim Belfast a city. Unfortunately he hated it so much she left within a few hours. Luckily she did return, demand new buildings be constructed, and finally gave it city status. Now half the city is named after her.
The ceiling as you enter city hall.
I think this is where she announced Belfast was an official city.
I think this represents Irish hard times, the next Irish better times. 
Can you spot the thing with the ring? The Titanic (it was constructed here)? The tree of life?
Us getting cold & wet on the open bus tour :)
Irish parliament building
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