February was a busy month for us, and I can’t believe we are half way through March! February was full of getting settled into my new job, spending time with dear friends, and Jared working away at his GRO. I, unfortunately, cannot tell you what GRO stands for, but I can tell you what I understand it to be! Basically Jared has to submit a chapter of his PhD thesis for review at the beginning of April. He has to “pass” this review in order to continue on. I think they are basically looking to ensure that you are getting work done, that your writing is up to the standards they expect, and that you are still on the right track. Jared is working closely with his supervisor on this, and this week he finally started writing! Much of this year has been spent reading and note taking, re-reading notes, organising his notes, outlining the paper… and this week he finally got to start writing! In typical Jared fashion, he wrote about 2000 words on the first day. His GRO should be about 10,000-12,000 words, which will compromise one of his many chapters, a total of approximately 80,000 words. I’m taking applications for editors, as I’m not sure any number of cookie rewards can motivate me to read this one… Just kidding. I’ll read it. But someone with a higher education may be able to help more than me. The theology of divine attributes didn’t come up much in nursing school.
While Jared’s been reading and writing away, I’ve been falling into the routine of my new job. I love my job, I love my coworkers, I love the unit I work on… everything is going really well! I know last time I said it was all a bit overwhelming at first, but I have settled in well. I am working on a respiratory floor, with a lot of acute cases, and I am regularly asked “You’re a trained nurse, right? Can you do this?” There’s times where I unfortunately have to say that I am not allowed to do something here, as it probably wouldn’t be wise as I’m not licensed to practice here… but there are other times where I am happy to say yes! I have gotten to assist with some cool procedures and do some basic nursing things that I probably wouldn’t get to do otherwise. I am only contracted on this unit until the end of March, but I am hoping, praying, and begging that I can stay here. I do have a full time contract with the hospital, I just may be moved to a different area at the end of the month. And unfortunately no one can tell me where that is, so it makes planning our travels difficult, but we are busy enough here that we are just holding out for now. I’ve also been continuing with my training for the half marathon in May, and I covet your prayers….. The longest I’ve run so far is 8 miles. I do a long run one day a week, and two shorter runs during the week. Today’s long run was only 5 miles, but it only goes up from here. I’m not sure why I ever thought this was a good idea, but I’m in it now. Pray for me.
As I’ve mentioned before, I love hosting parties and having people over, especially when I can cook ridiculous amounts of food for them. In February we hosted a birthday lunch for one of our best friends here, Jeff. He and his wife, Hayley, are from California, and we have bonded over our mutual California-ness. It was also our flat-mate, Harry’s birthday, and we celebrated him as well. We ate pulled pork sandwiches on homemade rolls, a delicious salad from Hayley, haggis flavored crisps (chips), apple-peach pie, and chocolate cake provided by our friend Kim. We also drank Jeff and Jared’s first attempt at homebrewed beer, which we estimated contained 1.5% alcohol. They adjusted some things for the second batch. The culmination of the day was Jared convincing Harry and Jeff to celebrate their birthdays by jumping off the pier, into the North Sea, in the snow. We were all bundled up, freezing, but felt we couldn’t complain as they came jumping back out of the water. A birthday to remember.
Last weekend Hayley and I hosted a baby shower for our friend Kim. Kim is German, and is here with her husband for the year, while he completes a master’s degree in Biblical Studies. Baby showers aren’t a thing in Germany, but she was overjoyed to indulge Hayley and I in our desire to plan a shower for her. Our living room was transformed with tissue paper decorations, ironing boards as tables (again), borrowed dishes, and cheap plastic table cloths. We worked with what we had, and what we could afford. We filled the room with Scots, an Australian, a Finn, a couple Americans, and our celebrated German (and mini German). We played some games, ate far too much food, and showered Kim with lots of love and gifts for her new baby boy. We are now counting down the days until his arrival! They are planning to have him at the hospital where I work, so I anxiously check my phone every time I’m at work, just hoping for a text to say he’s here!
Life in St Andrews is good, we love our friends, and are enjoying the sweet days with them before many of them depart this summer. We have friends moving to London, back to Germany, maybe to DC, and all over. We’ll have lots of places to visit in the coming years! While life here is treking on, there have also been some big changes back home in California. After many years of service in Santa Cruz, Jared’s parents are moving on to somewhere new. We don’t know where yet, but we are praying that God takes them somewhere they can be greatly used, and greatly loved. As they go through big transitions, it is hard to be so far away, but we know that God has good plans for them, and we are excited to see where he takes them!