a wee wish list.

I'm living in Scotland for my month in between summer and fall semesters, and I am just in heaven. I just love this country. It's God's country, you know; it rains just enough to make the flowers bloom, and the leftovers never flood. Legend says the rainwater feeds into the distilleries to produce the finest Scotch whiskey. My ancestors came from the wee Island of Jura on the west northern coast of Scotland, and I do believe my blood runs thick. This just feels like home to me.

This is my third time here, and I know when I leave these shores I'll be back again. Here is a wee list (Scots love saying "wee," and I must say it's quite endearing) of things that you need/want to travel the wild country.

1 - Plaid watch, $12.99 at Payless. Gotta sport the plaid. 2 - Coriolis hat from Anthro for 38 lbs (about $45). It's pretty windy here so hang onto your hat, but this will keep your hair straight for the photo-ops in the castles. The breeze is always cool here. Always. 3 - Sasha tote from Fossil, $148. This is real leather, and I actually own this bag. I made an investment and purchased a sturdy leather purse to last me a lifetime (or at least the next few years). The perfect size to store an umbrella in case of sudden summer showers and a snack for the train. 4 - BB Dakota Wool Herringbone Coat, $138 from South Moon Under. Yellow is the new black. I love this color right now! Would love this coat... 5 - Burberry Stud Rainboots, $350 on stylehive.com. Completely unreasonable, but very cute, and "wellies" are a must-have here. 6 - Jessica Simpson triangle knit scarf, $65. I hate to say this, but she did something well. Summer days are not too cool, but they are breezy, and this scarf just would do the trick. 7 - Celtic jewelry is just gorgeous. This ring is $550, and absolutely stunning. There is a lot of symbolism they place in their jewelry, particularly wedding bands. Lovers knots and Eternity knots are found everywhere. The Scots are faithful and loyal to the death - to their country and to each other - and you can see it in the spirit of the citizens today. I love that their freedom and their country and their love for each other is cherished here. It's just beautiful.


final exams.

Here I am, getting ready for final exams again, exactly one year after what I thought would be my last final exams ever. Lies. I'm never going to stop learning, and getting tested over it, for that matter.

And what do I do best during finals? Not study.

I always end up getting it done, but I've found that my coping mechanism for dealing with things that stress me out is sometimes not dealing with them. Out of mind, out of sight, right? Or is it out of sight, out of mind?...... Maybe I need to re-evaluate my strategies. I may have been getting my idiom backwards. Idiot. (If you're noticing that "idiot" is a minimal pair to "idiom," and thinking how lucky that is to use them for dramatic effect, stop thinking and start applauding. I did that on purpose. Of course, if you're not familiar with phonetics and/or linguistics, you just think I'm a nerd. You may think I'm a nerd anyways. You are correct.)

I have also found that I do my best work under pressure...ergo...increase the pressure and increase the output. Does that mean my procrastination and "out of mind, out of sight" philosophy is actually helping me? If A leads to B, then by all means, promote A (that is, only if you really want B). Procrastination for the win! Logic for the win!

This weekend, to help with my promotion of A (that is, procrastination), I will be attending a family reunion all day Saturday, moving into a new apartment all day Sunday, and packing for Scotland and Ireland in between these extensive events. I think I've got A covered.

Let's not think about B (success of my finals) just yet. Let's think about where I'll be in less than a week.

The first two images are in Scotland, and the second is from Ireland. I'll be staying at Stirling University, in Stirling, Scotland, home of Stirling Castle and William Wallace Monument (see pics below).

Here is the University.

The Castle.

William Wallace Monument (think Braveheart).

(Get excited Kelley Nease!)

This one will be there with me!!! :)

More importantly, however, the day before I leave for Scotland, I will be doing this:

Sneaking into pools.

Growing mustaches.

Going to McDonald's.


Checkin' out the Newsboys.

Wrapping boys' houses. No we aren't middle schoolers. Yes, we still know how to have fun.

Dressing up.

Being best buds.

Getting dressed up and looking pretty (and sharing closets).

Listening to Ray.

Giving SEB dreds. (And calling me SEB again.)

Dressing up again (a little scarier this time).

Enjoying the spotlight.

Together again :).

Here's to three years of living in the Pink House, four years of friendship (and counting), and soon to be sharing a room (maybe even bunk beds eventually....so we have more play space of course).

Can't wait to take Dallas by storm with you.


the unmarked grave.

The dirt runs through my fingers as I grasp for bigger and bigger handfuls.
My fingernails are dirty; the creases in my hand are tainted brown.
I can't work fast enough.
Over and over again I bend to scoop up the rich, black soil that was so painstakingly piled.
Over and over again I throw it vehemently into the deep, black hole sitting at its side.
My tears mix to make mud that slows me down.
Puddles form as I pause, and I look into the well of shame and regret
Only to see my own blue eyes staring back at me.
Glistening, not sad, they are brimming and full of hope.
Barely noticing the ache in my back from my burden of meticulous toil,
I bend, often to my knees, to fill more and more of the depression.
The more I labor, the less I see of my face looking up at me
Until the ground is level and the semblance of me is gone.
Helpless to save myself, I had dug this grave - my only talent heaping death upon death.
Yet here I stand.
My salty tears have rendered this soil useless at the foot of a broken and battered wooden cross -
Bare, because the one who died on it was sent to the grave that I had just filled -
He had risen and was no longer dead.
I was.
No more will come of this mortal flesh soon to be eaten by worms.
No more dirt to move.
No more graves to dig.
It is finished.
I grasp the cross with both hands, bracing the ground with my feet to release it from it's station.
This grave needs no marker for it will not be revisited.
Beaming, I take up the cross to follow the Man who should be dead with my sin
But instead has given me new and abundant life.
I will never go back.