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Flight Delays & Fancy Dress

This past week, Zach and I, along with his parents, took a trip to the UK for his Cambridge graduation. It was the first time out of the country for my in-laws, and boy, did they get a crash course in trans-continental traveling! Zach and I were supposed to meet them in Atlanta where we would all be on the same flight to London, then catch a bus to another London airport to fly on to Glasgow. We thought we would be available to guide them through the airport maze and answer any questions about customs and border patrol.

But you know what they say about best-laid plans…

As Zach and I were walking away from the check-in counter in Atlanta where we’d just sent off our checked bags, Zach got a call.

“Hey, our plane to Atlanta has a problem with its brake system. They’re working on it and will tell us soon how long it will be before we can take off.”

Thus began hours of phone calls, delays, and scrambling to re-book flights and convey as much information as possible via text, while Zach and I flew over the Atlantic several hours ahead of his parents. They stepped up to the challenge of navigating these new experiences like pros, though, and met us in Glasgow later the next night. They even chose to walk the mile from the bus station with us to our Air BnB instead of catching a cab! We Vickerys are a strong bunch.

After all of that craziness, the rest of the trip was fairly smooth (and very cold!). We spent the next day and a half enjoying Glasgow while Zach met with his supervisor, and then it was on to Cambridge for the rest of the week. We enjoyed as much of Cambridge history, architecture, and food as possible in the few days we were there, even fitting in an Evensong Service at King’s College Chapel. And if Mrs. Susan’s FitBit data is to be believed, we walked a total of 145,834 steps (that’s 69.21 miles for those of you following along at home)!

Then came Saturday and Zach’s graduation ceremony. He got all dressed up in his academic robes and white bow tie and paraded down the streets of Cambridge with other members of his college on the way to the Senate House. He told me that was when he felt most like a Cambridge student. Then he stood with other members of Magdalene College while the Praelector told the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (in Latin, of course) that he deserved to have his degree conferred upon him due to his moral and academic standing. He knelt in front of the Vice-Chancellor (whose voice sounded just like Judy Dench) and she clasped his hands and, to put it in his words, “spoke some Latin at him.”

We met him outside the Senate House for pictures and admired his diploma. He was very happy to be allowed to walk on the grass, which, if you’ve ever been to Cambridge is much more exciting than it may seem.

We wrapped up our trip with a whirlwind tour of London and then it was back across the pond (and back to work) for our very tired, very happy group!


7 Amazon Finds to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

**This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This simply means that if you click on the links and buy the products listed here, I get a small commission. It does not change the price you pay, it just helps me pay for the costs of this blog!**


If you’re anything like me, getting out of bed to go to the gym is becoming harder and harder to do as January (cold, cold January) wears on. Maybe you’re still on top of all your New Year’s resolutions. Or maybe, like me, you need a bit of a push now that the “new-ness” of the year has worn off and 6 a.m. runs aren’t as fun as they were two weeks ago, or becoming a more organized person is harder than you thought.

If you find yourself in that boat, here are a few gifts you can buy yourself with that leftover Christmas money.

1. A Journal to Get You Organized

I got a bullet journal for Christmas in 2017 and it certainly helped me stay on task with my goal to be more organized in 2018! This year, I’m simplifying the way I bullet journal to help this practice better meet my needs. In other words, my spreads may not be Instagram-worthy, but they get the job done! If you’re wanting to know more about Bullet Journaling, the creator of the method just released a book explaining the system and why it works, which you can buy here.

2. A Book to Get You Motivated

This was one of maybe three non-fiction books I read last year and it was by far the one I most enjoyed. If you want to read more about the science behind sticking to your goals but also like to read stories much more than you want to hear statistics, this book is for you!

3. A Belt to Keep You Running

There’s tons of versions of these, but I like a belt that has multiple pockets but doesn’t look like a fanny pack, circa 1997. When I ran my first 5k this past Thanksgiving, my aunt was able to keep keys, tissues, and even mints in her fancy-schmancy belt. I use mine to keep my phone and keys with me but out of the way during outdoor runs. And maybe for you, purchasing a practical accessory like this will give you one less excuse not to make time for that early morning jog!

4. A Bath Pillow to Help You Relax

Zach bought me this as a Christmas gift this year and I have never taken more baths in the month of January than I have in 2019! This pillow is super easy to attach and remove, and it does a great job of keeping your upper back and neck from having to touch the too-cold bathtub rim while you’re relaxing after a long day. Also, this is totally a purchase you can get if your New Year’s resolution was to burn more calories, because a recent study found that sitting in a hot bath can actually burn as many or more calories as a 30-minute walk! So, #treatyoself friends.

5. Some Aromatherapy to Help You Sleep

I got these for Christmas, too! They don’t smell strongly of lavender, but they do give off just enough of an aroma to leave you feeling peaceful and ready for a restful night of sleep. Add these to your 2019 self-care regimen (and make your nose happy while you burn those calories!).

6 & 7. Some Great Books that Remind You to Relax


Zach and I got these books for each other for Christmas this year, and I’ve already loaned my copy to two special women in my life!


These aren’t your typical productivity or self-help books, but my goodness were they helpful for us to consider. Reset was written first and is directed toward men, while Refresh was adapted from this first book to address similar needs from a woman’s perspective. Both books remind us that the pace in which we live our lives flows from the way we see God and ourselves. Each book is a really quick but great read when you need to remember the importance of a grace-paced life, especially in this first-of-the-year, perfection-obsessed season.