Here we are!
WELL... no we have not fallen off the face of the earth!! It's just been a busy couple of months. So, here I am to fill you in. June 20th was my last day of work in Aberdeen. I got several gifts, lots of hugs and shed a few tears. It was a good day but a bit sad to say goodbye. On June 21st we got on a plane and flew to Rome. From Rome we took a train to Florence where my mom and Uncle Don came and picked us up and drove us to the villa in Tuscany where they'd already been for a week along with Aunt Linda, Uncle John, Aunt Nancy and some friends Don and Donna. It wasn't until the next morning that we realised the beauty of our surroundings. This villa we were staying in was in the hills of Tuscany, so picturesque. The swimming pool was down some steps from the back porch overlooking all the olive trees and grape vineyards....very peaceful. Ainsley loved the swimming pool. Thank goodness we had it too, because it was sooooo hot in Italy! Anyway, I'll spare you every little detail and just be sure to add in a few pictures. All in all we spent 10 days in Italy, 7 in Tuscany and 3 (on the back end) in Rome. The Rome part was just us and my mom and it was so much fun. Andy's not sure there's beauty outside of Italy now that he's been there. As for me and Ainsley, we don't think there's good ice cream outside of Italy. The gelato (which we had every day at least once) is amazing! Ainsley took her first steps at the villa in Tuscany too, yay! So we got back to Scotland on July 1st, spent 9 days hanging out with friends and enjoying our surroundings then we flew to America, where we now are for the unforseeable future. We flew into Indiana and spent a very busy couple of days there. The days included: buying a car, renting a Uhaul, buying new mattresses, loading everything that was in storage the last 3 years into the Uhaul, getting my hair cut, hanging out with friends and family and having a 1st birthday party for Ainsley. It was very tiring but so much fun. We love our friends and family in Indiana so it was such a blessing to have almost all of them under one roof to celebrate Ainsley's birthday. Our daughter LOVES chocolate cake we quickly found out. She ate a whole piece herself then started licking and chewing the plate. When I took the plate away she was not happy. Although a huge mess she was so cute to watch dig in! So after a couple days in Indiana we headed south to Atlanta. Andy's parents drove down to spend the week with us and help us move in. It was so great to have them. Of course we didn't want them to leave though! Out of 9 grandkids spanning over 16 years Ainsley gave Gran her very first black eye. We probably shouldn't have taught her to head butt people at this young of an age should we? Oops! Anyway, the move-in experience was not great as our apartment was not ready for us when it was supposed to be, amongst other things. So our "getting settled" started a couple days later than planned. It did resort to us getting use of a corporate apartment for the week though which worked out very well since Jack and Rebecca were here. Something kind of cool happened...the first person Andy met when he walked in the building was this girl named Carol from Scotland! She lives only a few doors away from us and also happened to be selling a lot of home furniture type items, which we needed all of them (a tv, tv stand, dvd player, chair and footstool, coffee table, lamp) so the timing of it was perfect. And... we're able to get a good dose of the Scottish accent whenever we like. Our apartment is very nice and in a perfect location right downtown. I was able to connect with a Starbucks less than a mile away before we even got to the states so I started working less than a week after we got here. I am only working part time as a supervisor now which I totally love! It means we still get a paycheck, benefits and tip money (I forgot how good tips are in America, I love it!) and I get to be home with Ainsley more. It is fantastic. Andy also jumped right into work. He has been working and continues to work really hard to fulfill the vision he has for Church On The Street. He walks the streets every day as well to get to know these men and women he's serving. He never leaves home without a backpack full of clean socks and other essential items and almost always comes home with an empty backpack. Ainsley and I are getting to know some of the guys too. Ainsley is affectionately known on the streets as "blue eyes", "beautiful" or "pretty". Anyway, part of what Andy's been working on is updating the website so please look at it when you have a chance and you'll get a better idea for what goes on here. It is: http://www.churchonthestreet.com/
At the end of July just Ainsley and I flew out to Seattle for a week. One of my good friends Meaghan got married so that was the main reason for the trip. But of course it is always great to have an excuse to go to Washington since that's where most of my family is. We had a great time being with my family and friends. We missed Andy terribly though.
Speaking of missing Andy, we did once more last week when he flew over to Cambridge, England for his viva (oral defence of his dissertation) and a conference. First of all, he PASSED! Of course, who didn't think he would? He does have to make some corrections but the important thing is he is now officially a Doctor of Philosophy. Add that to the C.V....pretty impressive! :) He also had a great time with friends from Aberdeen who were in Cambridge for the same conference.
We've already had a few visitors which has been great. Troy and Katrina (who visited us in Scotland too) were the first as they had been living in Atlanta for the last year and stayed with us before they moved back to Indiana. One of Andy's best friends Mark lives over in Athens, Georgia and has come to stay with us a few times already. Our friend Jon was in town playing a show at Georgia Tech and he stayed the night with us. Then, over Labour Day weekend one of my best friends Colleen and her husband Dave and son Jake flew down from New York. We had so much fun! When Andy was in England our friend Shelli came down from Woodstock, Georgia to spend one night with Ainsley and I as well. As you can see our apartment is always open to visitors so come on! We love it.
Now for the "Ainsley update". When we got her weighed 2 months ago she was 24 pounds! She's cute as can be, has a great personality. She has started throwing mini tantrums though which I'm not happy about. We're trying our best to deal with them appropriately. She is walking really well and fast might I add. She claps when we say "yay!" or when she knows she's done something well. She gives high fives. She can reach and turn the handle on our front door (we always keep it locked so she can't escape). She walks to the door and says "bye bye" to let us know she wants to go play outside. She dances whenever music comes on. She says, "tick tick" for tickle tickle, "baaa" for ball, "bap bap" for clap clap and holds our cell phones up to her ear while babbling like crazy. She's got a lot to say! She reaches up to press the button whenever we see an elevator. She loves "helping" us unload the dishwasher. She loves to sit on the counter and play with utensils while I cook. Ainsley loves her bath. When the water turns on she reaches in to touch it and puts her arms up as to say, "take my clothes off!". After bath is always fun too. We usually spend a few minutes chasing her around the room while she giggles and steals things away from us. She sleeps 11 to 12 hours each night (in her own room finally). Her room is pretty cute too. We painted it a pale pink colour and are in the midst of "accessorizing". She loves to play in her room and is very good at opening the toy box to get toys out. We're still working on putting them back but that's okay. We live close to a few different parks and walk to them to play. Centennial Park has a water fountain of sorts which is always packed with people running through it. Ainsley loves it (as you'll see in one of the pictures). In the last 2 weeks she's gotten 3 new teeth for a total now of 11! I'm sure there's a million other things I'm forgetting so I'll be better now to keep updating as things happen. We love all of you and can't wait to see you soon. Also, stay tuned for the Italy pictures. They're not downloaded on this computer yet but once they are I'll add them.