It's hard to believe that four weeks from today we'll be flying back to the U.S. I suppose that every time I write one of these, it will be a countdown of sorts from four to three to two to one and finally the day we leave.
It's not that I'm really excited about leaving or anything. In fact, I really have a whole host of emotions that I need to sort out related to leaving our abroad life (for now at least) and going back to the U.S. Not that I've really had a lot of time to think about such things as we've been quite busy settling in here. I wouldn't exactly say we've established a routine, as each day is different - really and truly - aside from hectic meal times happening around the same time each day, there's not much rhyme or reason to the rest of things.
For example, on Tuesday we made an orange cake and brownies for Caroline and the kids to take with them to a friend's house today, grilled cheese for lunch, and pizza for dinner. We cleaned up the playroom and play farm area in the living room, emptied and refilled the dishwasher, filled milk and water cups, washed dishes, learned how to iron duvet covers and then did so, got a massive glue stain out of one of the children's shorts, washed windows, and put away clean laundry, among other things.
While our days may not be totally predictable, we've been doing a lot of playing with the kids and a lot of cooking - those have been our primary duties thus far - we've been cooking supper and/or lunch most days (our American recipes like sloppy joes, homemade pizza, and fajitas have been met with mild success. We've found that the more cheese something has, the better!).
We worked full days on Monday and Tuesday so that we can have today and Thursday off - Caroline and the kids are going to stay with some friends for a night, so it made sense for us to be off. We're going to try and do a few local things as long as the weather is decent, and be back in time to make dinner for us and Hugh in the evenings.
Last week we were working more normal days - about five hours a day - and we had much better weather most days, so we were able to get out for walks here and there, sometimes the two of us, sometimes with the kids, and sometimes just me.
We also got away this past weekend for our first road trip. We went about an hour away to St. Andrews and Danny did a great job driving us there and back. Only about ten minutes away from the farm, we came across a field of sheep, and there were SO many, and they were so precious, that we decided to stop the car (no pulling over here as there's no shoulder on the roads, you simply have to stop and put on your hazards) to get a better look - don't worry, they're quiet country roads. Much to our surprise, they started running towards us! They were very loud and very excited to see us. So fun.
Despite the weather being a bit subpar, we had a great time in St Andrews. We walked all around town a couple times, saw many of the places where Will and Kate hung out and lived while they were in college, and checked out many of the sights. We stayed overnight in the nearby fishing village of Anstruther and the next day we walked around and along the coast of the North Sea, and went back to St Andrews for a bit. And lucky us - the sun even came out for a little while right before we left and we got to see everything one last time with blue skies and sunshine. It was a perfect way to end our trip. A few photos now, and a then whole post on Friday...
Tonight while the kids were getting into bed the two of us snuck out for a walk before it got dark. We talked about some challenges I had today and how we can work through those in the future. To be honest, things aren't always easy living with other people and living at your job, but a good dose of flexibility, open communication, and willingness to learn helps a lot. I'm better at some of those than others, and certainly have a long way to come on being good at living with others, but here's to hoping we're all friends at the end of our time in Scotland (I think we will be).
This week we're excited to see a few things on our days off mid-week, get a tour of the farm today from Hugh, and hopefully go somewhere this weekend. Next week, the twins go back to nursery after a two week Easter holiday, so things will look quite different as they'll be away three days a week for most of the day. We'll miss them while they're gone - the house will be so quiet, too! I'm sure next week will be interesting for all of us as we'll have to adjust our schedules and create new routines. Perhaps we'll start doing most of our hours on the days that the twins are around.
I feel like this post is a bit all over the place - I keep trying to fix it and organize it better, but it's just going to have to be a little all over the place I think. I suppose it's a sort like our life right now - a little crazy (I'm getting the feeling that's how things go with small kids!) but quite beautiful and fun if you take a minute to look around. Anyways, thanks for hanging in there through the disorganization, and we're looking forward to week three!