Tuesday, August 23, 2011

i heart faces. [pet week]

Here's another i heart faces challenge I couldn't resist entering. I just miss my little (not so little anymore) pup, Cael. We'll get to see him in just two short weeks, and I'm quite excited to be with him again.
This photo was taken in Montreat during the first snow of the season, it was also the first time Cael had ever seen snow too--thus beginning his love of it. I love the look on his face, it's adorable how you can just see the curiosity and amazement in his eyes. Miss you, Cael, see you soon!

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Friday, August 19, 2011

done and done.

I can hardly believe it, but it's true. My dissertation is officially finished and turned in, there's nothing else I can add to it or change about it, even if I wanted to--and I don't, I'm done. It feels pretty good, I have to say, though there's still the small detail of whether or not I'll get a good mark on it or not. I'm pretty certain I'll graduate though, regardless of my mark (unless I wildly fail it, which I'm not anticipating), so that's pretty cool. I'm going to be a Master of something--though to be fair, I don't know that I'll ever feel comfortable calling myself a Master in Highland Studies, there's so much more for me to learn.
Here's a little peek into what the last few days looked like for me:

Hard at work, editing and honing my argument. And adding in a key element to my analysis that I didn't consider to add until this past Monday. Whoops, haha, at least I got it all in there.

I was rewarded for my diligence when Jeremy called me to tell me to look out our window at the beautiful sunset playing on Arthur's Seat and the surrounding crags. Just breath-taking.

I finished it around lunchtime on Thursday afternoon, and opted to go ahead to get it printed that day instead of fretting and overworking it that night and standing in a queue for ages waiting to get it printed and bound at the print shop. I was rather excited to be done and see it looking to lovely and professional, hence my goofy grin.

My pretentiously long and academic dissertation title, and cover page. Hah, it's not as complicated as that title makes it sound. Ooer, but don't I sound smart?

Today with my two bound copies, ready to go turn it in. A bit more subdued than Thursday, you know, being a respectable academic or some-such nonsense, and wearing my academia (and glarey) specs.

Yep, so that's it. It's done, and all I can do is wait. Well, that, and pack and pull details together so Jeremy and I can go home in two and a half weeks. Here we come Western North Carolina!

Thanks for all your encouragement and prayers during this whole process. It's been difficult and trying, but overall it's been so good, and so good for me. And this year here has been brilliant for Jeremy and I as well, we've grown and matured and learned to appreciate one another in completely new ways. All of it has been more than a blessing.

Here's to two and a half more weeks in this amazing city, let's soak up as much as we can before we're spirited away back home.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

diagon alley.

When Jeremy and I were out and about in Edinburgh the other night to go see Ed Byrne, we decided to walk back home through Grassmarket and take a jaunt up to the castle to see if we could hear the tattoo going on. We heard the pipes from the tattoo before we even reached Grassmarket. We stood below impressive castle rock, gazing up at the huge new stadium seating and listened to the show.
On our way back down to Grassmarket, we took a close that we hadn't taken before. We found the clear remains of an arched door in the wall, probably once leading to a garden, that was all stoned up and filled in. I had my umbrella with me in case it rained, and couldn't help channeling a little bit of Hagrid.

Hah. Nothing happened unfortunately. But it's quite easy to imagine Harry Potter happenings and places around Edinburgh since Rowling birthed the idea of HP while living here. I mean, come on, doesn't Cockburn Street look like it could be Diagon Alley?

Or Victoria Street for that matter. Or any number of curvy, whimsical looking streets in Edinburgh.

Anyway, I'm still plugging away at my dissertation. Due the day after tomorrow! Ahh. On to more editing and perfecting.


Oh, thanks to all who have been praying for us and our imminent move. We just got word yesterday that our landlord wants to buy pretty much everything we offered her from what we've furnished the flat with. We basically just have to clean, pack and get out at the end of the month now (among other little things, but it's such a load off!). God is good!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

i heart faces. [beautiful eyes]

I know I've posted this photo before on my blog, but I couldn't resist bringing it back for i heart faces' challenge this week. I remember being completely enchanted when I got this shot and brought it up on my computer screen, her eyes are just so captivating. I also miss her dearly. She's about to start her second year at college, and I haven't seen her in far too long.
I will be remedying that soon, sister.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

belated bavaria and my lack of updates.

I fear that this space will be rather sparse for the remainder of our time in Edinburgh. I've got so much on my plate that I'm going to have to place this on the back burner for a while. Once we're home and relatively settled I've have no doubt that I'll be back with plenty to say, but I foresee little free time to fill this little white box with my comings and goings for the next few weeks.
That being said, I can give you a little taster of our long weekend in Bavaria. We went to visit my parents who have been living there since 2007, and enjoying the fruits of this Bavarian summer these last few months. It's still quite cool there, and it has rained quite often this summer, but we were able to find one full day of sunshine and warmth. We ate far too much delicious Bavarian food, and enjoyed the company of my loving parents. We cooked-out on the grill--which is something I've been dying to do for lack of it here in Edinburgh, and I relished the smell of BBQ, baked beans, and corn-on-the-cob.
I also got the chance to go riding with my dad on that sunny day we had. Nope, not horseback, but something just as exhilarating. Motorcycle. Yep. My dad finally got his bike. He's been wanting one for years, probably since his motorcycling time at Montreat when he and my mom were dating. Well, he has one now, a nice BMW with a smooth ride and lots of torque. It was impossible not to smile as the wind rushed past us on those beautiful back-roads of German countryside, and he pushed the speedometer higher and higher. It took a while for the feeling of "If I let go right now I'd go flying off the back of this thing and probably die" to subside, but once it did I was a junkie for speed and "woo!"ed everytime we came to a stretch of straight road. It was fun to spend some father-daughter time with my dad too. We haven't been able to do that in a while.
My mom and I spend some time cooking together in the kitchen--not much, but hey, we did. And also plenty of time poring over my dissertation for grammatical errors and ways to cut down my long-winded and scenic ways of saying things. My prose-style is definitely more conducive to creative writing than academic writing, but I'm holding my own.
It was lovely to see my parents, and they were lovely to have us and take us out to eat, and BBQ with us, and just generally loving on us. A break from everything was exactly what we needed, and we came back refreshed and ready (for the most part) to take on what this month is going to throw at us.
Those of you who are inclined, if you could pray for us as we finish our time here. That everything comes together as it should, and that we are able to get out of our flat, get our deposit and tie up all our loose ends easily and completely.
Here is a smattering of photos from our Bavarian weekend.

Until next time... (which may, in fact, be once we're home in our Blue Ridge Mountains!)