Inchmahome Priory – April 2016

I am just back from a quick solo trip across the pond.  It was a very short trip to check in on family with various health concerns, but still an amazing visit. I never forget how blessed I am. I certainly missed my little family while I was gone, and was certainly glad to be reunited after 10 days away!

While I was in Scotland, my family (parents, siblings, niece and nephew) was able to squeeze in a visit to the 13th century Inchmahome Priory on an island in the Lake of Menteith.  It was established in the 1200s by Augustinian cannons and is now beautifully preserved on the idyllic lake and can only be reached via boat.  I really wish my little girl was able to visit it with us, as I certainly remember a visit out there when I was about her age – it was fun to go back and see it as an adult and actually learn about the history of the priory instead of running around in the woods! It was fun to see my niece and nephew enjoy it though, I certainly have to try and plan a visit back!


A Day Out At New Lanark

New Lanark is a World Heritage site on the River Clyde, about 40 miles South east of Glasgow.  We were lucky enough to visit this place as a family this past summer – I had visited several times growing up as it is a popular destination for school field trips, but certainly appreciated it more this time around.  Founded in 1786, New Lanark is a preserved example of attempted Utopian society and planned settlements.  As a village based the around cotton mills, it became synonymous with welfare, social reform and the burgeoning Industrial Revolution of the 18th century in Great Britain.  The Mills operated commercially until the 1960s, but remain preserved to this day, along with the village and local community.  My husband was happy to get the opportunity to get pictures he could use for his history classes, and we had fun traipsing around the historic village in spite of the rain!


New Lanark on the banks of the River Clyde



Some examples of the machinery used



The cotton mills and housing


Robert Owen’s house


Clay and Erin outside Robert Owens’ house


**I had planned to post about this when we actually *visited* last August….but I’m running about 6 months behind 🙂

Castles with my husband

The advantage of being married to a fellow nerd is that when we go back to Scotland, I can drag him to historical places and he loves it. One of our favourite things to do as a couple in Scotland (or anywhere else, really) is take in as many castles as we can. Now…please forgive the husband’s star trek/star wars t-shirts that he refuses to retire and seems to be wearing in almost every photo we are in. And for several of these we took plenty of photos, but none with both of us in it! Here are some of our most loved castle visits

Blackness Castle

In this photo it’s about 5pm and already pitch black. The staff let us in for free since we hardly had any daylight left,but it was fun – it’s shaped like a boat! I used to run around in this castle as a kid and I remember the day my family stumbled upon it by accident when we were out for a drive, so I’m glad hubby could see it too….now we just have to go back when it’s not freezing! *also, husband had travelled with me to Scotland, at Christmas time without a winter coat. Don’t ask me why….so he’s borrowing my father’s ancient jacket, just want to throw that out there

Linlithgow Palace
This shot certainly doesnt take in the beauty of this castle. It’s not too far from my parent’s home in Stirling, so we visit it regularly when we are home. linlithgow

Glamis Castle:
You can’t come to this castle and not think of Macbeth by Shakespeare. This was taken in 2009, on our first visit home as a married couple. I had never been before so it was a fun day trip for all of us.

Stirling Castle:
The castle from my hometown. I have been to this castle many times in my life, but I enjoyed this visit here the most – it was taken a few days before our wedding at Doune Castle in 2007. This was my husband’s first visit to Scotland so it was great to finally show him the sights in the town where I grew up.

The Belvedere, Vienna
I know this doesn’t technically count as a castle…per say, but it is a beautiful historic residence that we stumbled upon in Vienna, Austria during our honeymoon.

There are certainly more I can write about, and I will leave those to future posts. Hopefully I can make it back to all of these places and take some better quality photos…that’s as good an excuse as any, isn’t it?

Dreaming of Summer

Here are some more pictures of our time in Scotland and Erin’s 2 year photoshoot with our dear friends ThisPaperShip!  Also pictured is our adorable neice, Millie Grace, who was the intended purpose of our summer trip.  Erin loves her new little cousin very much, and it gave us such joy to see her interacting with Millie. We are very blessed to have such a great relationship with our family – not many families can understand how we all stay so close being so far away but again, that is just another bonus of the third culture lifestyle.


Now that we are back in Dallas, we are full steam ahead again in our respective day jobs.  I love Autumn so much and can’t wait until it arrives and the Holiday season can inch its way closer to us! I do miss all the activities that the summer here brings us, even though we are certainly keeping busy with Erin and work.  We have some fun things on the calendar coming up, and plenty of projects in our house to get underway, so we never find ourselves without something to do.

Our summer trip was so much fun. We got take Erin to Inverness, and we spent some time exploring Castle Urqhart and Loch Ness. Erin was very fascinated with the trebuchet, and her daddy happily explained it to her.
castle urquart






Here are some other snapshots taken at King’s Park in Stirling and Callendar House in Falkirk. King’s Park is a right of passage for all Stirling kids 🙂



And finally, some more of Princess Erin









Now back to the reality of work and our busy weekly schedule. Roll on Autumn and the Holidays!!

Every girl is a princess

Every girl is a princess

Erin’s two year portrait, taken at Cambuskenneth Abbey in Stirling, Scotland. The now ruined Augustinian monastery dates back to the 12th century, and was at one time one of the most important Abbeys in Scotland. James III of Scotland and Princess Margaret of Denmark are buried there. We loved having the chance to get Erin’s pictures in this beautiful setting and letting her run around to her heart’s content. Even though Erin is only 2, she is half Scottish and we take every opportunity to introduce her to her country’s heritage. She loves to explore and was very fascinated with “the tower!” pictured behind her.

Pictures taken by ThisPaperShip, 2013. Do not use without permission.