Saturday, November 27, 2010


It snowed here on Black Friday - weird for a family of Texans.  

Here are some photos we took:

View of the garden from our kitchen window during the snow.

View from our master bedroom - the steeple you see is connected to the church where I teach English.  Pentland Hills are in the background - there is a Mt. Aggie type (wet astroturf)  ski run on that particular hill.

In a friend's backyard - they have an amazing view of Arthur's Seat! Maybe the 3rd time I've worn my hair down since we've lived here.
Edinburgh Wind + Baby = Tangled Beyond Belief.
For the first time I am seeing the necessity of the short "mom cut" women tend to go for after having their first child.  I'm holding out as long as I can.

Our street - with the snow, it reminds me of that movie "The Holiday." Not quite as quaint, but close!

View from High Street - Taylor loves all of the "closes" connected to this street that give views of New Town

Random guy on High Street - there are usually people like him (dressed in costume) doing unusual things

View of the Forth straight ahead, the Salisbury Crags on the right, Carlton Hill on the left, and Waverley Train Station below

More of the same - gotta love those clouds - makes us feel like we're home

Other side of the bridge - below you see again, Waverely Train Station, to the right the Scott Monument with the ferris wheel behind it (put up for the holidays), and the castle on the left

The nicest baby changing station we've seen (John Lewis dept store).
We were actually accosted by a young mom on the bus our second night here when she saw we had a baby because she was adamant that we know about the baby room at John Lewis (I told you it feels a little like Aggieland here). We had no idea what she meant at the time.  Boy, she was right!

The castle lit up at 5:30 pm. No, that isn't a typo - it starts getting dark here at 3:30 (check above sunset pictures).

Home again, home again.  I tried to sneak a photo of him talking to his hands, but he caught me!

Hope your Black Friday was enjoyable even if you are a Longhorn fan. Hehe.

Gig 'Em y'all,

PS -  Go add your comment to my Thankful post.  Don't be scared.  I know more than 2 people read this!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


So I wanted to have a very meaningful post on Thanksgiving about what I am thankful for, but seeing how I don't live close to my Mom, I am a little busy with Thanksgiving preparations.  We're expecting 15-30 international students at our house for dinner.  Maybe we were slightly ambitious - could lead to a funny blog post in the near future...we'll see.  
So far the pumpkin pie looks like pumpkin pie and the apple pie though ridiculously flatter than my mom's (hey, everything's bigger in Texas right?), looks edible.  Photos later - I can't believe I forgot to charge the camera.

Anyway, I came across this old blog post that I wrote April-ish 2010 and never posted probably due to Baby Brain, and it seems appropriate for Thanksgiving. I did, however, take the liberty to add pictures (c'mon, I know you just get on this for the pictures!), so most of the pictures are more recent.

 15 Things That Make Me Happy
  1. Taylor Haden Ince - this whole post could be about him, but today I'll narrow it to how he makes the best cup of coffee in the world.  Happy.
(and no, I did not make him pose for this picture.  He just makes coffee that much.!)

2. Nudger Ince

3. A mom who can and does do it all

4. A  dad who always has the best ideas brewing

5. A brother who doesn’t follow the flow

6. Another brother who I know will answer when I call

7. A generous sister who holds my clothing hostage until I return hers

8. A father-in-law who lets us live in his house and is happy about it!

9. A praying mother-in-law

10.The most wise of all sister-in-laws in the world, ever

11. A Brother-in-law who still likes me even though he knew me when I was fifteen

12. A  brother-in-law that loves sharing the gospel in non-English speaking (preferably Latin) places

13. The cutest nieces that ever walked the planet

14. Our Tuesday Night Bible Study (Flipside!)

15. My job – who knew that hanging out with 12 year olds all day doesn’t necessarily make you a crazy person?

OK, so I HAD to add this last one. 
16. Houston’s Weather Forecast for this week – finally, Spring is here!  Where have you been these long, unusually cold winter months?  I think I may name this baby Spring, I love it so much. (This one is very ironic as today, the forecast for Edinburgh is snow! :))

Your turn - click on the word "comment" below this post and tell me at least one thing you are thankful for or that just plain makes you happy.

Thankful for y'all,

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28-29

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our newest addition!

I have a really cute dishwasher.

Problem is, he is a PhD student, and has a job, so he doesn't have time to do the dishes every night anymore.  You see, Taylor's dad taught him that if you don't make dinner, you're on clean-up detail, and for that, I am eternally grateful.  The tradition will be passed down to Seth no doubt (you're welcome Liddy!).  He's just a little too short to start helping at this point.  And he's usually asleep before we eat dinner anyway.

Or, you know, spinning in his bed

Taylor actually likes doing the dishes, unlike me.  But this year, he just unfortunately doesn't have the time.  I am happy to lighten his load, but my hands (on the other hand - sorry, I couldn't resist!) are not happy with this arrangement.

Dear Santa,

Will you please put Frederic Fekkai hand cream in my stocking this year?  I am desperate.  I promise I have been a good girl.

Love and candycanes,

. . . not to mention I feel like I spend all of my time in the kitchen since we host friends and students in our flat like every night (OK, I exaggerate a little).  But still, that is a lot of dishes people!

So as to the title of this post, no we are not having another baby.


But we are pleased to present the newest member of the Ince household:

affectionately known as "Mr. Bosch"

This was Taylor's 4th anniversary present to me back in September, and I couldn't be happier.  It took awhile for us to find exactly the right fit for the new position (hard act to follow!), but thanks to a little website called Gumtree (think Craig's List for Edinburgh), we found what we were looking for.  I highly doubt that the traditional year 4 anniversary gift is "major appliance," but who needs sentiment when you have a dishwasher that works every night (even if he isn't quite as handsome as his former position holder)?

So, it's been an adventurous 4 years to say the least!  Lots of dishwashing (for Taylor), cooking (for Robin), praying, teaching, listening, moving, parenting, traveling, not hiking, reading, and just plain loving being married for both of us.  I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for year 5!  Love you, Tay!

"He has made everything beautiful in its time . . ." Ecclesiastes 3:11a

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our Walk to Church

Little man checking out his feet before we leave, "why do they put shoes on me?  I can't even walk!"

Walk by the neighbors

Pass through Holyrood Park

 Check out Salisbury Crags

Stop and pose for millionth picture

Enjoy the autumn colors

Laugh at Daddy who is donning a French accent and calling him Henri Matisse

Wave hello to the Queen at the Palace

Shake our heads at the ugly Parliament Building that cost 400 million pounds
and looks. like. this.

Home again, home again jiggity-jog!

As the Baker Girls would say, "Happy Nappy Time!"

Unfortunately this phrase denotes a much different meaning in Britain. . .

Happy Sunday Y'all!  

Hope your walk (drive!) was as pretty as ours!

The Inces

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Goes Up...

I am not a hiker. I didn't know this until 3 hours into my first real hike.


When what was supposed to be a fairly easy 4 hour hike in picturesque Hallstatt, Austria turned out to be a 10 hour one, Taylor feared I was ruined for hiking forever.

I grew up going to the beach. Vacation to my family was synonymous with relaxing in the sun not self exertion (unless it involved strapping boards to your feet and flying down a mountain - for this they make an exception). The Inces on the other hand went toe to toe with Mother Nature.

And liked it.

Enjoying Mother Nature to the Kellams meant taking a dip in emerald colored water 30 feet away from a freezer full of popsicles, a lounge chair, and a NY Times bestseller.

For the Inces it meant driving to Colorado in the middle of summer, the heat blasting in the Suburban (aka Nathanael's Revenge),  camping, and of course hiking.

So when we started talking about moving to Scotland, I dreaded all of the hiking in my near future. Taylor assured me that it was more like hill-walking and that I would definitely enjoy it.

We live close to a "mountain" here in Edinburgh. You can even see it out of our kitchen window if you are over 6 feet tall and stand in exactly the right spot. And believe it or not, I optimistically looked forward to getting "into" hiking despite my previous bad experience which included me crying as I sat down in the middle of the path refusing to go on, Taylor pushing me in the back with his Bible as he read the Psalms aloud and pleaded with God that I wouldn't be so wimpy, and Nathanael finally silently throwing his hands up in the air and sprinting ahead of us (literally) so that he could actually see the summit of the mountain since I made it clear that I wasn't going past the rest stop. To my credit, we had been hiking for 6 hours already and still had to go back down. And going down ended up being almost as hard as going up. . .

Our hike up to Arthur's Seat proved the same.

Call me naive, but I didn't even have second thoughts about going in the first place.  It was even my idea to take advantage of the small window of sunlight Edinburgh had to offer one Tuesday afternoon lest we miss our chance and Edinburgh turn to grey once more.  Taylor of course readily agreed and dropped his studies (knowing he should take advantage of this rare opportunity before I could change my mind no doubt).

What I hadn't anticipated was taking Seth.

I had been given many accounts of hiking up to Arthur's Seat from various people around the city (ok, let's be honest, I drilled anyone I knew or randomly overheard discussing it on the street), and their answers were always the same.

"It's easy.  It took us 45 minutes up and back. No problem."

Yada, yada, yada.

I believed them.  And they were probably telling the truth.  I just forgot the minute detail of bringing a four month old with us.  No, I didn't forget to bring Seth.  I just didn't mentally prepare how I'd handle a hike with him strapped to my fearless hiker-happy husband.

Our trip up the hill was a little steep, but for the most part, the path was wide and grassy - maybe I should have caught on and stopped right there.  Anxious to see the vista of our new city from the top and wanting to show my husband I could enjoy hiking with him, I pressed on.

We reached the top of the first hill and the view was spectacular,

but Arthur's Seat was blocking the best part of the city.  We carried on but not until after running into a septuagenarian Scotsman hiking alone in his loafers, shorts, and not without his walking sticks of course!  He merrily recounted the time he and his wife took their 4 month old son up to the Pentland Hills, and how his wife got quite irritated with him when the baby started turning blue from the cold.  Thanks.

We could see lots of people on top of Arthur's Seat,

and I scurried to keep up with Taylor as he strode up the side of the hill.  This one, however, was rocky and even steeper than the first.

Forget worrying about my own footing. What are we doing up here with a 4 month old (who is totally asleep at this point)?!

I kept looking left and right to see if people were giving us, are you crazy? expressions.  They weren't. So I let that console me and tried not to think about it. We picked our way past elementary school children, teenagers, parents, grandparents, and shortly made it to the top.  The view made me forget my misgivings instantly.

But they quickly came back as we made our way back down.

Taylor spotted some stone steps that led down the mountain on the side closer to our flat (the opposite side from where we climbed up).  The only problem was that we were here.

Not at the top of the actual stairs.  I was scared. Again my head swiveled from side to side to check out those around us to see if people were looking at us incredulously.  Taylor was standing in front of a "trail head." More like a footprint here and there made by some large rabbit and maybe a daring teenager.

"See.  Here is a trail marked out.  I will get us to the stairs," he promised confidently.  I wasn't buying it and began to balk, backing up and tripping over my feet.  Before I had the chance to protest, Taylor pulled me up on my feet, stopped me in my tracks,  and said,

"Do you trust me?" He didn't wait for a response.

"Am I the experienced hiker or are you?" Again not waiting for a response.

"Robin you've got to trust me even though you can't see where you are going."

He wasn't trying to be pastor-y or profound, but the weight of his statement silenced me instantly.  It hit me how that is such a picture of my walk with Christ.  I balk when I reach a trail head that I don't recognize, but I have to trust Him.  Trust that He knows the way better than I do and even though it may be hard, it is good.  It can even lead to an easier way down in the end.

So I decided that I would resist the urge to argue with my husband, and trust that he knew what he was doing better than I did.  And you know what?  We made it to the stairs.  And easily walked down the rest of the way.

A few steps into our descent, Taylor pointed to some colorful dots in a sheer crevice in the rock face.

Upon closer inspection, it dawned on me that those were some of the people we had seen up at the top.

"Aren't you glad I didn't take us down that way?" Taylor laughed.

Yes, yes I am.

Don't worry. They made it.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought for it never ceasing bearing fruit."  Jeremiah 17:7-8