Thursday, 27 March 2008

Just Ordinary Life

Dunfermline Museum

I've been working for about a month now, and I feel like life has finally gotten into a steady, happy routine. I work every day Monday - Friday before school and after. This means I have get up earlier than I have in years (since I was in High School, acutally) and drive half an hour to the school to draw sleepy pictures with sleepy children. Once the bell has rung the kids run off to class I drive home, cook breakfast, check e-mail, then go back to bed for a few hours. Around 2pm I drive back to school where the children have been binging on sugar all day and are ready to destroy, torment, and deconstruct everything in sight. They're lovely....

The worst part of the job (other than the unholy wake up call) is the environment destroying commute. I have to drive two hours everyday for four hours of work. To remedy this situation Malcolm and I have decided to move closer to Dunfermline, the town we both work in. Last weekend we went house-hunting, and viewed only three properties before we found our new home. The first rental was a detached house that was a charming bungalow on the outside and a dated, ugly mess on the inside. I've wanted to live in a 'bungalow' ever since visiting my Aunt and staying in her perfect Pasadena bungalow. The property we viewed lacked the charm and character of it's SoCal counterpart, so we moved on. The next property was much more modern, but tiny. It had a nice back garden, but one that looked onto the adjacent 17 houses. No thanks. Lastly we looked at a new flat only minutes away from my school. It wasn't a house (what I really wanted) but it was spacious, modern, and had an en-suite master bath (something both Malcolm and I really really wanted). We move in next month, and I really look forward to the shorter commute but am dreading moving all our furniture up three flights of stairs.

Also, my parents are coming for their first 'European Vacation' in June. We've just booked a cruise that'll take us through Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy and I'm SO excited. June come quickly!!!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Welcome to the world, Brayden West!

Snow in the backyard, Naperville

Recently my brother and his wife brought another little life into the world. And they called him Brayden... I was so excited to meet the little boy that I flew back to Chicago for 10 days.

Of course I relish any trip 'back home'. After a long long long flight from Glasgow (via London) I felt like applauding when the plane finally landed. That night as I moved throught a fog of jet-lag I finally got to hold little Brayden for the first time. Not having held a baby since my own brother was little (about 20 years ago) I was quite unsure of exactly how to do it. Eventually I got the hang of it and the baby fell asleep in my arms. Just in time to watch the next episode of Lost; can you believe Aaron is with Kate? Me neither!

Two days later my parents held a party for Matt and Jacqui and Brayden. We were celebrating their wedding, the birth of Brayden, and saying goodbye to Matt who will be leaving for Navy basic training at the end of this month. My uncle flew in from DC for the occasion, and a good time was had by all.

Later in the week my parents, grandma, and I all went to see Wicked, a play about the Wicked Witch in Oz. I was so excited to go to a play, and have a fun and fabulous night out in Chicago. Having read the book the play was based on I kind of knew the basic story, but I was blown away by the production. The songs, costumes, and sets were just amazing, and I recomend Wicked to everyone. My grandma loved it as well, and raved about it the whole trip home!

My last few days in the US were mostly spent relaxing, hangin out with Matt, Jacqui, and Brayden, and shopping. Every time I come to the States I end up carriying an extra suitcase home full of 'American' stuff I miss or is too expensive in the UK.

I was sad to finally leave but excited to get back to Scotland. I had found a job in December and was just waiting to start. Three days after I got back from the US I started my new job as a 'Playworker'. Basically day-care at a school in the mornings and afternoons. As of today I've been there a week, and I really enjoy all of the staff and kids that I work with. The hardest part is waking up at 6am after months and months of sleeping till noon! Oh, well. I'm happy to finally be a productive member of society who is earning a paycheck (or cheque). Woo Hoo!!!