Valentine’s Weekend

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With us both being insanely busy it seemed as if Valentine’s Day just suddenly arrived without much forewarning. But it’s important to make time for the important stuff. So without any time to plan anything we just decided to have a weekend filled with things we like.

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We watched football, went out for delicious lunches, got our favourite cupcakes, talked, chatted, laughed, and watched the Lego Movie (so much fun!).

It goes to show you don’t have to come up with huge convoluted plans to have a nice weekend together if you just enjoy each other’s company.

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Austria Christmas

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Christmas at home just is special. The whole family together, catching up, relaxing, having fun.

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This year was wonderful, I loved being at home and really loved seeing my family. Unfortunately 3/4 of us became ill over Christmas, one of those horrible illnesses that drag on, mine lasted for most of my stay. But you realise quickly that none of it really matters that much as long as you are together.

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I can honestly say that despite the coughing and sniffling I absolutely loved my Christmas. I miss my family already. Roll on Easter!

Birthday Celebrations

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This week we celebrated Fraser’s birthday. Unfortunately he had to work on his actual birthday, which was on a Tuesday, so we just had a mini celebration in the evening, and saved the rest for the weekend.

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But I decided to surprise him with a birthday cake when he came home. It may not look like a masterpiece, I was just glad when I managed to get the sprinkles in the shape of a ’23’.

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The all important wish-making-candle-extinguishing procedure.

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And then cake consumption.

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The rest was saved for a celebratory day on Saturday, where we enjoyed some of Fraser’s favourite things. Such as a lovely breakfastSAM_1450 SAM_1452

A lovely afternoon with some coffee and cupcakes, in a gloriously sunny Edinburgh.

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Presents, cinema and dinner at Fraser’s favourite restaurant in the evening.

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Being 23 really isn’t so bad.

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A quarter of a century

Yes, a quarter of a century, that is now me. On Sunday the 21st of July 2013, I officially turned 25, which doesn’t really sound much better than a quarter of a century. People who know me, may know that I don’t generally look forward to birthdays. It is no reflection at all on the day itself or the people I spend it with as all of that is lovely, I just don’t like the feeling of getting older. And I don’t mean OLD, just older, I have felt that way since my 13th birthday. I guess I just wasn’t made for being a grown-up.

That being said, I always ALWAYS end up having a wonderful day and this year was no exception. The wonderfulness of this day was, in no small part, down to Fraser, who, in the absence of my excitement had been very excited about my birthday. He made sure it was special from start to finish.

He made me breakfast in the morning, anything I wanted. I wanted eggs and bacon. After breakfast it was time for presents and cards.

Cards first. Thank you to everyone who sent cards. I especially enjoyed being ‘Auntie Jemise’ this year (Jemsie it what those closest to me call me).

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And this is Fraser’s sweet card, ensuring that I don’t feel too bad about getting older.

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Then presents, and I got several lovely things. The crown jewel of which was Fraser’s main present to me, which was a camera. Yes, an awesome new camera. It has several functions with which I am not familiar, but I am SO enjoying using it. It’s a perfect present, considering I use my camera every week.

We spent a relaxing morning, not rushing anything, just doing what we wanted to do. I phoned my parents (never forget, your birthday is also a special day for them). By the afternoon we were hungry again and so it was time for my birthday tradition. You may remember that for the past two years on my birthday we have bought cupcakes from the wonderful Bibi’s Bakery. It is the best birthday tradition and I could not WAIT!!

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I mean just LOOK at how delicious. I had my usual, my favourites, chocolate-orange and smarties, and Fraser had Oreo and summer berries. They were delicious and gone too soon!

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Sooooo good!

It was such a nice day, we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around sunny Edinburgh, working up an appetite for the evening.

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We went to one of my favourite restaurants and afterwards walked around New Town as it was still so warm, before heading to the cinema to see Monsters University (we do love a good Pixar film).

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So all in all, I have to admit, turning a quarter of a century was really very pleasant. I could not have asked for a better birthday!

4 Years

Earlier this month we had our 4 year anniversary. Unfortunately it coincided with my body becoming completely pathetic and totally succumbing to the flu. Understandably I was in no mood to celebrate so we just decided to mark the occasion when I was feeling better. We tend to not have any kind of huge lavish celebration on our anniversary, preferring instead to just choose something where we can spend time together and enjoy each other’s company.

We went out for a walk in the afternoon and then went to our favourite Italian restaurant. Realising that despite having been there many times, neither of us had ever had a pizza from that restaurant we decided to each pick a pizza. And oh was THAT a good choice! Cue a meal of complete delicious pizzary goodness.

Seriously some of the best pizza I have ever had outside of Italy.

Afterwards we went to the cinema to see The Impossible (I would highly recommend it if you don’t mind snivelling your way through most of the film; it is very emotional but brilliantly acted).

I know I can’t put into words how happy the past 4 years have made me so I won’t try. I will just say that I am looking forward to many more wonderful years together.

The Carousel

This year my mum bought a Christmas present for the whole family for us to enjoy for years to come. A beautiful, hand crafted, traditional, miniature carousel. It really is amazing and contains so much detail and has been very nicely made. It was a lovely new addition to our Christmas.

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There are people dressed in traditional clothing dotted all around the carousel, there is so much life and character in it.

You can turn it on and the lights come on, it spins around and plays music. There are two settings, either a mixture of traditional songs, or a setting for Christmas songs. We enjoyed both!

It will be with us for many many years to come, our lovely carousel.

Merry Christmas

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Christmas at home is one of the best things in the year. This time it began with baking. LOTS of baking.

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Then of course decorating and preparing the house for Christmas.

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Then, naturally, on Christmas day there were presents and AMAZING food.

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The last few days have been wonderful. Valuable time spent with family, relaxing, eating good food, gazing out at foggy days whilst being warm and cozy indoors.

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We have had a great Christmas holiday and the most important thing was that we got to spend it together. I probably shouldn’t say this (it might sound a bit odd), but I am already looking forward to next Christmas.

Pre-celebrations

So far Fraser and I have always spent Christmas day apart. It can be very difficult but it is important to both of us to see our families at Christmas. But we have always made sure that we have our own Christmas day (or pre-Christmas) before I fly off home. And this year was no exception, we had a wonderful day together and did so many amaznig things that it felt just like the real thing.

It started the night before with presents under the tree.

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Then continued the next day with present giving, pancakes for breakfast and old Christms cartoons.

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Followed by a wintry walk and a trip to the cinema.

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Then Christmas dinner in the evening with crackers and obligatory punny jokes.

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The evening was capped off by some sparkler fun which provided us with seemingly endless entertainment.

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A perfect pre-celebration of Christmas, we really did get everything we wanted.

And here’s to you, graduation.

The end of June proved to surprisingly busy. There were two graduations, several visits from relatives, and the general adjustment to post-university life. I thought that this adjustment would happen suddenly and feel strange, and although it certainly made me very reflective, so far it hasn’t really felt that different. I think the reason for this could be that at the moment it still just feels like these are the summer holidays. It’s odd when you suddenly realise that this is the first time in your life where you don’t know exactly when the official end of those ‘summer holidays’ will be. Up until now there was always school or university, or work in the year before I came to university, to go back to. Now, it’s all up to us.

However, June was a month of celebration, we decided to put these thoughts on hold temporarily and enjoy all the exciting things that we had been looking forward to for months.

First, this guy graduated

looking very handsome and ………… sophisticated in his kilt.

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looking very handsome and ……….. sophisticated in his kilt

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Then my wonderful and amazing parents came to visit and spend a week with Fraser and me.

Now that I live so far away I try to treasure the times we spend together and remember as many little details as possible. I know that this trip is one I will often think of, we had a lot of fun and were even pretty lucky with the weather.

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We wandered around Edinburgh, including a windswept climb up the Crags. 

We went on a lovely walk in Stockbridge on a beautiful sunny day.

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…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. And just generally talked, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. I can’t wait for them to come and stay again. Hopefully soon!

Then, towards the end of their visit, it was time for me to finally bid goodbye to my undergrad days. On June 28th I graduated. After a little dancing around in the morning to Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs Robinson (any excuse for a little bit of S&G, as far as I’m concerned), we made our way to McEwan Hall on a rainy afternoon. 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. The ceremony was lovely, if a little surreal, and, (would you believe it?), afterwards, the doors opened and we wandered out to the sound of bagpipes and glorious, glowing sunshine. The perfect weather to take a few photos of graduation gowns and strange, red graduation tubes.

My parents told me how proud they were and how much they had enjoyed the ceremony and I obligingly posed for photographs.

       

Seriously though, the thought that most prominently occupied my mind that day was how much I owe to these two people:

      

From the first day I walked through the doors of my Kindergarten to the moment I put down my pen in my final university exam, I have known that I have had their love and encouragement and complete support to just go and do whatever makes me happy. I have always felt that as much as a graduation is for all the students who have worked very hard to get their degrees, it is also about the parents who have given everything to ensure that we make it to that day.

Fraser and I both know this, and recognised this on the days of our graduation ceremony. But just in case we didn’t mention it enough, or perhaps because it can never be said too often, thank you to friends and family for the years of support and love, and, looking at these photos, specifically, thank you for:

        

………. Graduation cards, ……………………… chocolate graduation medals,

congratulatory graduation meals, and just generally for making it all worth it for these two graduates!

It has now been nearly a month since my graduation and I have had some time to reflect. However, it all still seems like it passed in a bit of a haze. And I don’t just mean the day of the ceremony. Four years of university just flew by. I remember being inside McEwan Hall during Fresher’s week four years ago, wide-eyed and overwhelmed with new experiences. I had no idea what university would really be like. I can say with all confidence that it has been better, in every way, than I could have anticipated. So maybe that is what I need to remember now for the next stage. There is always the chance that it will be better than anything you could have ever imagined.