Monday, November 30, 2009

A Race Well Run

I had lofty goals of blogging while we were in Aberdeen, but alas a difficult internet connection prevented my efforts. And with a jet-lagged 8-month old who thinks it's nearly lunchtime, I decided to rise early today, make the best of it, and bang out the first and most important blog.

The graduation ceremony was held at Elphinstone Hall since Marischal College, the usual site, is under renovation. A dear friend of ours watched Genevie during the afternoon so I could enjoy the service unimpeded. And it was well worth the lengthy travel to see this journey through to its crowning goal. We had always known that if there were any way, humanly-speaking, that we could attend graduation together, we wanted to make it happen. It would have been like winning the Olympics and skipping the medal ceremony.

As an historian Trey revels in the rich historical tradition of the service -- the Latin, the robes, the music and pomp. November graduation is more lightly attended than July which had the added bonus for us that Trey was the only Divinity PhD who graduated in-person, so the Latin conferment was spoken directly to him, making it feel highly personalized. As you will see from the video I took, PhDs are "gowned" as part of the granting of the degree. The Aberdeen gown is red and black and unlike an American doctoral gown which is zipped in front with bars down the sleeves, the PhD gown is open in front with long, bell-like sleeves. Rather fetching if you ask me.

I'll let the rest of the story be told through the pictures.

We had the distinct and unexpected privilege of staying in our old home for the duration of our trip. The current residents, another University student family, are away on holiday and graciously opened The Orchard (as another friend has lovingly dubbed this sweet little house) to us.

Proceeding to the University for the ceremony.

Miracle of miracles, the weather while we were in Aberdeen was picturesque. Not without the occasional driech, we still saw the sun a good deal, and graduation day was gorgeous. Here, Dr. Holloway in front of his beloved King's.

And with the good Bishop.

King's in the waning autumn light.

Bishop Elphinstone's monument.

More of the monument and the beautiful sunset.

One of the graduation officers who helped to keep this crowd controlled. It was rather raucous at a few moments with some overeager relatives trying to snap photos. Interesting how cultural norms vary in this regard. This particular ceremony was definitely a united nations of graduates.

The requisite piper.

My ticket to the ceremony.

Trey's name in the program.

Elphinstone Hall.

Trey processing in carrying his robe.

The other graduates -- or graduands as they are called.

A race well run.

Trey with a former student and a colleague.

We went to La Bamba afterwards for a little celebration (Evie's in the carseat behind me). Mexican in Scotland? you ask. Fair enough, but it was one of our favorites, and what would a Holloway party be without some Mex?


Friday, November 20, 2009

The Week in Review

Yep, that's me. I've had lofty intentions of numerous blogs. Remeber me mentioning the Battleship NJ and my Roxie Hart costume? The busy-ness of my weeks ebbs and flows. Just when I think I'm getting the hang of this whole working-outside-the-home thing something happens to keep me on my toes. Much has happened. Here is the week in brief review:

This week I met a woman knitting on my train who, as it turns out, works 6 floors above me in the same building and is part of a weekly lunchtime knitting group in her office, which I have now joined. More on this to come.

Yesterday I went on my first client meeting and it looks like I may be going on my first business trip for my new company the week after Thanksgiving.

Lunchtime nursing sessions are a thing of the past. We finally found the winning combination. A cup without a lid and formula. This has eased everyone's schedule up a good bit.

Davis is now using the phrase "Bye, bye Miss American Pie" as a term of derision, like Lucy of Peanuts fame would say "You blockhead." Yes, Trey has exposed the children to music far beyond their years. They know nothing of Barney or Blues Clues jingles, but are well acquainted with artists ranging from Michael Jackson and U2 to Cindy Lauper and Jim Croce. Back to Davis. Somehow he's taken the repeating theme from Don McLean's famous song "American Pie" and turned it into an insult. Again, can someone please explain the mind of a two-year old?

Evie is now standing up without holding onto anything??? Seriously???

A week from today we will be honoring Trey's recent accomplishment at the graduation ceremony for the University of Aberdeen. I will be posting more about this. We have a week of great fun ahead of us.

Posts to look forward to -- raking leaves, the Battleship NJ, Halloween karaoke party, our upcoming trip, and my new knitting circle.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Own Questions

Admittedly, I have an inquisitive mind. I collect random pieces of trivia, particularly of the medical variety. I wonder strange things and then I often look them up online to satisfy my niggling curiosity.

Today one of my musings was satisfied. My building has about 18 elevators for the tower that I'm in. My series of floors has 5 devoted to it. Not too long ago I began to wonder how interiors of the elevator were vacuumed. I mean, I don't see any electrical outlets in the elevators themselves. And from experience I've learned that the elevators get decidedly angry and loudly protest when you try to keep the door open longer than deemed acceptable. Plus, wouldn't that require two people? One to prevent the doors from closing on the cord and being called to another floor and another to clean the carpet? My imagination was going a little wild.

As I disembarked its confines this morning I was greeted by a gentleman with a nifty contraption which instantly answered my query. A battery operated vacuum. And now I know. Brilliant!

Naked Fighting

Naked fighting? What is that? I asked the same question the other day while I was putting the boys to bed. Bedtime has taken on new meaning since I now spend most of the day away from my boys. Before I used to rush through it. Now it's become a time to read multiple books, talk, laugh, tickle, and just be together. I feel like being away from them has given me a renewed appreciation for them, their off-the-wall questions, their boundless energy, their simple affection.

Back to naked fighting. I was undressing Davis to put him in his JJs (pajamas), when he said, "No, Mom. Don't put them on. I want to naked fight." Huh? "What are you talking about, Davis?" He repeated himself, so I do what I always do in such situations and turned to my translator. "Addison, what is he talking about?" Addison gave me a "there, there" look. "Boxing, Mom. He calls boxing naked fighting."

And so right there in next to nothing but their birthday suits, I shamelessly allowed my boys to pretend "box". Like I said, bedtime has become a lot more fun. No pictures this time. Just good memories.

And for a little preview, today or tomorrow I'll be posting the pictures from our recent trip to the Battleship New Jersey as well as a little post-Halloween karaoke soiree I attended dressed as Roxie Hart from Chicago. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Miracle Worker

Pictures with smiling small children actually making eye contact are a rarity, like four-leaf clovers or white Christmases. Every small child you add to the mix doesn't double the challenge. He or she multiplies it...exponentially. With three total, forget about it. I'd lost all hope of ever managing a photo with all of them looking at the camera AND smiling.

And then Trey stopped by today at lunch for the daily feeding and he brought with him some of the most precious photos I've ever seen. Seriously. He's a miracle worker. OK, I'm slightly biased, but c'mon. They're cute, aren't they?

Slight resemblance?

My two babies.

And this one just cracks me up while making me feel like the richest woman alive. Their personalities bubble through, each with their own sweet traits and such evident love for one another.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Sunday Evie was still not well enough from her recent virus to go to church, so Trey stayed home with her and I spontaneously decided to travel into the city to church with them via train instead of car. And although it took a lot longer than I anticipated, the weather was glorious and we had the rare opportunity to sit in the front row of the front car for a fabulous view the entire way. Boys and trains are like milk and cookies.

As we dropped Davis off at his Sunday School class, I had to put a moratorium on the questions. They were flowing like a torrent from Addison. I couldn't keep up, so I said, "No more questions, Addison." He paused for a moment and then bowled me over with this one: "What are questions?"

Serenity now!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hayrides and Halloween

An autumn still life -- apple cider, pumpkin, and cider doughnut.

Last Saturday, Halloween, dawned misty and moisty. Typically Scottish -- sunny one moment, driech the next. And I wasn't complaining because it fit. We decided to take a trip to Mood's Farm for apples and pumpkins and cider doughnuts and a hayride before Trick or Treating later. I'll let the pictures tell the story.

A good day ends with flushed cheeks.