Monday, August 30, 2010

God is so good.

Over and over again, God has proven himself faithful. When things seem to be at their worst, and we don't think we'll make it, and we're crying out in desperation, "Lord, please. Please take care of us." And we finally after trying time and time again to do it ourselves, put our trust and faith in Him completely. And He comes through for us. Every time. First with the visas, and now with the car. Praise the Lord, we sold the car today. We're signing it over and getting paid for it tomorrow--the day before we leave. I don't have time to give you a full update, so the next time you hear from me we'll be in SCOTLAND! I have time for only this, God is good. Jeremy is an amazing organizer--we got more into the back of that bug than I ever thought could fit into that little thing. I miss my pupper, but I know he's in wonderful hands with Kelsey and Drew. I also miss my best friend, Chelsea Rose, but am so excited for where we both are in our lives, and where we are going.
See you on the other side!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Our visas have been officially approved and issued. Just waiting for the UPS man to deliver them into our hands. Storage unit also gotten and paid for. Now just to sell the car. And, since I'm watching it now, for Liverpool to beat Manchester City today. Come on you Reds!
God is so good!

Friday, August 20, 2010


Yesterday was quite a wonderful day. It all began with an early morning latte and writing session on the porch of Moments Coffee Shop on a drizzly mountain morning. I always love getting up with Jeremy and going into work with him. I get to sit, shop to myself, and think, read, write, and take some time for myself, for repose. Here's an excerpt from my journal entry yesterday morning: 

This grey morning is no doubt how I'll normally be greeted by mornings in Edinburgh. Lucky for me, these mornings are my favorite. There is just something about those shades of grey tinged with a golden morning lavender, and the clouds weaving their sodden way between mountain peaks, leaving a light mist to rise out of the sleepy trees.
I cannot really describe the feeling I have when I think about where we'll be in two weeks' time. It's a kind of anxious excitement tinged with a looming fear of the unknown. It's a bit like the feeling I had before leaving for college at Montreat, but magnified and shifted slightly.
It's always nice to commit my feelings to paper, it's a kind of therapy in itself, and always makes me feel better, for a little while at least.
I also went on a long walk yesterday morning with Chelsea, and my loyal pup up and around Montreat. It was nice to get out and be active, while having wonderful company and conversation as well. Montreat will always have a special place in my heart, there's just something so peaceful about that sleepy mountain valley that never ceases to ease my fears and anxieties for a time.
Chelsea and I also decided to do a bit of shopping yesterday afternoon as well, and I found my school bag. The school bag for this coming year that I have been searching for for months now. Something that's not a backpack and not a laptop bag either, but something that will carry both my mini-computer and a few books as well as double as a purse. Not only did I find this bag, it's also bright green--which is perfect. It has plenty of room and many useful pockets, as well as a little change purse that is attached, which is perfect because so much of the money I'll be carrying around will be coins. It also comes with a little umbrella with a pocket for said umbrella, which I'll most definitely be needing on occasion in Scotland. It's perfect, and I'm so glad I got it.

I also received my new glasses in the mail yesterday. I've always wanted some tortoise shell glasses and I finally ordered some at the beginning of August and got them in the mail yesterday. They're quite scholarly, and seem to perfectly fit the coming chapter of my life. They totally make me look smarter. :) Heehee.
Yesterday evening was also wonderful for I was able to spend it with some of my best friends that I made at Biltmore this past year. Incidentally they are some of the people I trained with last year, and we've been close ever since. Marcy had us over for beer, guacamole (with salt!), and delicious burgers on the grill. Marcy and her husband, Bob, were of course there, Jeremy and I, and Fred was there as well. It was great to get together and talk and joke around again. I'll surely miss them all. 
Marcy had also gotten me some earrings that I've been wanting since training last year. At Biltmore, within Antler Hill Farm is a blacksmith named Doc Cudd. He is absolutely amazing, so if you're ever there you must go see him. But he makes this little leaf earrings, by hand, and they're incredibly beautiful and unique. Everyone loves them so much and as soon as he makes them, they're off the shelves, and I haven't been able to get any this whole year. Marcy, amazing lady that she is, managed to get a pair for me (and for herself as well), and I'm so excited about them. Fred made me a CD of some songs from when he was in the Marine Band and went to the Mountbatten Festival of Music in London in 1992 and played with the Royal Marines and some awesome bagpipers, plus some Loreena McKennitt, which you can never go wrong putting on a CD for me. The first song playing on my player down below is one that he gave me, though performed by a different bagpiper--I couldn't get the actual songs he gave me on the playlist. But yet another perfect gift!
I am blessed with wonderful friends, and will miss them all dearly.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

two weeks to the day.

Yes, that's right. Two weeks from today (technically tonight at 6:25) Jeremy and I will have gotten everything finished and packed and be boarding a flight to London where we will then hop another flight to our new home in Edinburgh, Scotland. It still doesn't feel completely real. Like I've said numerous times, I don't think that it will until I'm on the plane or maybe even on the way from the airport in Edinburgh to Jeremy's aunt and uncle's flat. As I sit here, two weeks from my departure, I look around me realize, for the millionth time, that there's still so much to do. And when I say that, at this point, it's really just a bunch of stuff to take to Kiwanis or Goodwill, and a few things here or there to finish packing. So while it feels like a lot, I think it'll go by really quickly. The one little thing that is still eating away at my mind whilst I do everything, even sleep, is the fact that we have yet to hear about our visas. Those little things could make or break our next two weeks. If don't receive them before we're due to fly, we technically cannot enter the United Kingdom at all, which makes sense because I sent our passports along with our visa applications, as well as other important supporting documents. I know this is what we're supposed to be doing, and that the Lord will come through, but I can't help but stress out--it's what I do. It's only really been five business days since they began processing it, which was the minimal amount of time they said it might take, so it's not like they're long overdue to get us back our stuff. I know everything will come through, I have faith, but sometimes it is hard to maintain. I had tea with Chelsea's mom last week, and she reiterated to me something that Chelsea had already told me numerous times, something that has been an almost mantra in their family for years:
Don't doubt in the dark, what He has shown you in the light.
Hear that, Caitlin? You know Scotland is where you're supposed to be. Don't fret and doubt now that things have gotten difficult. Take heart, have faith. The Lord provides.
I'll keep you updated as these next two weeks progress, and inform all my lovely readers when our visas are approved. :)
 I must go, for who can resist a face like this begging you to take him outside?


Stalwartly waiting,

Friday, August 13, 2010

i shelter in thy honour'd shade.

Well, the time has most certainly been whiled away, and we leave in just about two weeks for Edinburgh. (How crazy is that?!) It is time for me to shift to the new phase of my blog, since it will be used primarily to keep up with friends and family no longer near us, and to chronicle our adventures in Scotland. I found the above silhouette of the skyline of Edinburgh which included Edinburgh Castle and St. Giles Cathedral and thought it appropriate to welcome all my readers and crown my writings from now on. The title of my blog and also that of this post is the last line of the stanza that opens and closes the address Robert Burns wrote about Edinburgh. I've created a page that explains this as well, called 'name.' at the top of my blog, but I will also post the original poem here. It's beautiful, and made me love Robbie Burns all the more. The poem in it's entirety is as follows.

Address to Edinburgh
Robert Burns, 1786

Edina! Scotia's darling seat!
All hail thy palaces and tow'rs,
Where once, beneath a Monarch's feet,
Sat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs:
From marking wildly scatt'red flow'rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd,
And singing, lone, the lingering hours,
I shelter in thy honour'd shade.

Here Wealth still swells the golden tide,
As busy Trade his labours plies;
There Architecture's noble pride
Bids elegance and splendour rise:
Here Justice, from her native skies,
High wields her balance and her rod;
There Learning, with his eagle eyes,
Seeks Science in her coy abode.

Thy sons, Edina, social, kind,
With open arms the stranger hail;
Their views enlarg'd, their liberal mind,
Above the narrow, rural vale:
Attentive still to Sorrow's wail,
Or modest Merit's silent claim;
And never may their sources fail!
And never Envy blot their name!

Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn,
Gay as the gilded summer sky,
Sweet as the dewy, milk-white thorn,
Dear as the raptur'd thrill of joy!
Fair Burnet strikes th' adoring eye,
Heaven's beauties on my fancy shine;
I see the Sire of Love on high,
And own His work indeed divine!

There, watching high the least alarms,
Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar;
Like some bold veteran, grey in arms,
And mark'd with many a seamy scar:
The pond'rous wall and massy bar,
Grim-rising o'er the rugged rock,
Have oft withstood assailing war,
And oft repell'd th' invader's shock.

With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears,
I view that noble, stately Dome,
Where Scotia's kings of other years,
Fam'd heroes! had their royal home:
Alas, how chang'd the times to come!
Their royal name low in the dust!
Their hapless race wild-wand'ring roam!
Tho' rigid Law cries out 'twas just!

Wild beats my heart to trace your steps,
Whose ancestors, in days of yore,
Thro' hostile ranks and ruin'd gaps
Old Scotia's bloody lion bore:
Ev'n I who sing in rustic lore,
Haply my sires have left their shed,
And fac'd grim Danger's loudest roar,
Bold-following where your fathers led!

Edina! Scotia's darling seat!
All hail thy palaces and tow'rs;
Where once, beneath a Monarch's feet,
Sat Legislation's sovereign pow'rs:
From marking wildly-scatt'red flow'rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd,
And singing, lone, the ling'ring hours,
I shelter in thy honour'd shade.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

holy homemade coat, batman!

Well, it's finished, and as I sit back and stare at its beauty I cannot believe that I was the one who made it. This has been by far my biggest and most daunting sewing project to date. And look, I conquered, and it's gorgeous. With that said, I could not have done this without the wisdom and patience of Mama Bober. For without her watchful eye, and instruction deciphering I could not have done it. Chelsea also played a role in moral support and mutual frustration with her own sewing project. Needless to say, I appreciate and love them both dearly for their help. Without further ado, this is the winter coat that shall be my primary in Scotland this winter.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

my best friend's wedding- chelsea & andrew

Chelsea Rose, my dear heart, married an equally amazing and wonderful man yesterday, Andrew Cook. Both of these are so dear to mine and Jeremy's heart, and we were honored to be apart of their day. It was gorgeous, and their love was so tangible that everyone there was covered with it. Here are some images I captured from their day, look and you'll see just as strongly the passion they have for one another. A true testament to what real love looks like.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

visas, and appendices, and supporting documents. oh my!

This is pretty much how I've felt for the past week and a half while I've been attempting to decipher and correctly navigate the Visa application process through the UK Border Agency. After numerous hours of wading through websites and checklists, countless e-mails and one phone call with an International Officer at the University, a couple different printings, a few screamed obscenities, several tears, two sets of passport photos, a two-hour trip to Charlotte for a five-minute appointment, doublecheck, triplecheck, about $600 and one bottle of white-out, I have finally (hopefully) gotten everything I need and will be sending out our rather large packet of applications and supporting documents tomorrow morning. Hurrah. Pray that all is in order and we get processed and approved with plenty of time to spare.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

scotland the brave.

As heart-rending rifts of deep piping play through my mind I realize that it is now less than a month before Jeremy and I set off to something completely new and different. Less than one month until we leave all familiarity and begin anew together in a place about which we're both passionate. Less than one month before we get on a plane with one-way tickets and spirit away to something completely ours together. I'm excited. I'm anxious. I'm still a bit stressed. But I'm so blessed to be embarking upon something so grand and unique. Jeremy and I are both ecstatic to be so close to attaining the goal we've been striving so long now to realize, but we know we can't celebrate yet, there is still much to do and much to finish.
Today was my last day at Biltmore, and while that saddens my heart, it also means that we are that much closer to being in Scotland. I have that much more time to finish packing and culling all of our stuff we've acquired. I have that much more time to prepare my mind for the scholarly feats I shall be attempting in the next year. And while I may be done working at Biltmore, that place and those people will always have a special place in my heart and thoughts, and I will never forget my time there.
Our visas are nearly finished, and should be completely submitted by the end of this week, and, Lord willing, all will be in order and we'll be approved quite soon thereafter. Cael is our only loose end and we hope that his situation will be remedied soon. I'll update soon with more milestones crossed. For now I leave you with a view of our future home.