My Heart // Our Story


To You,

It doesn’t take much. A quick thought; a small memory; a reminder of where I’m from. It doesn’t take much for me to feel every emotion rush to my eyes that then smile with pride, while tearing up over lost time. Every memory leads to a story over someone truly wonderful and giving and wise.

No one person is perfect, that’s just not a thing. But he shined in his imperfections like every star that fills the night sky. He was and is my star, and even though he’s gone, he’s never left me or my family behind. The pride I have over his name, his voice, his fight and his smile is what solidifies my strength, my kindness, my mind and my story. He held tradition high, yet could step back to make criticism over the wrong doing of a country. He may have missed many family dinners, but he was busy working three jobs to spread food amongst all the tables. He may have broken my heart the day he didn’t come home, but he’s helped it grow every day since he passed.

In a time where people are hateful towards fellow humans; judgmental over skin color or gender or love choices; and ignorant towards refugees, immigrants, and minorities — All I can say is that my father was an Asian man; He was stateless at one point and an immigrant a few times over; He washed dishes throughout med school and helped so many when needed. My father epitomizes what so many are fearful of, and that carries on in me and my siblings. He was my father on earth and my angel since June 8, 1992. And so every year I re-introduce my father to you, because his story is ongoing and we’ll never let it stop.

Dad – as with every day that passes, I love and miss you, now and always xoxo

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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Departure Zone B


engagement

Three years ago.
A weekend in Chicago.
A marathon run.
Loud restaurants and big crowds.
A lost debit card.
Tourists at the galleries.

Bus rides to Indy.
Foiled plans.
A closed museum.
A long ride to the airport.

One plane ticket home.
A ring in a pocket.
The departure lounge of an airport.
A proposal.
A ‘Yes’.
A missed flight home.

Me + You on our immigration journey Home.

xo

4.17.2016


To You,

On April 17, 2016, Patrick and I renewed our vows in a wedding and post-immigration celebration in front of our family and friends. We originally married on February 13, 2014 which commenced a whirlwind of immigration processing, and so this year we were finally able to round up the troops to celebrate in proper fashion.

With 52 of our closest family and friends who were able to attend, we held a ceremony and reception at the Strongwater Food & Spirits in Columbus, OH. We had guests travel in from the Midwest, East coast, West coast, Canada, England, and Australia for the occasion and I could not feel more blessed by the love and support of these few. To have my family in attendance was more than wonderful. To see my childhood friends in attendance was wonderful. To see my support group from my old workplace in attendance was wonderful.

There were many tears, lots of laughs, and good memories all around. And here are some pics that we’re finally able to share 🙂

Thank you to everyone,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Photographer: David Morris, Indianapolis
Dress: Vera Wang White Collection purchased off TradesyVeil: Melinda Rose Designs, Made in the USA
Groom’s Suit: Custom design from Surmesur in Toronto
Bridesmaids’ Suits: Custom design from Surmesur in Toronto
Shoes: My mother’s wedding shoes
Jewelry: Family jewels lent my by family
Venue: Strongwater Food & Spirits in Columbus, OH
Flowers: Rose and Bredl in Columbus, OH
Hair & Make-up: Stylists from The Salon and Salon You in Belleville, ON

1,348 days worth raising your glass to


To You,

Time goes by pretty fast when you’re having fun. Or so I’ve heard. Apparently, it can also go by pretty fast when you’re asking yourself “what the hell am I doing here” nearly everyday for a few months, followed by another few months of, “I cannot believe I moved here..”, to “how did we make it this long apart?” So, to each their own, you know.. time passes in happiness and misery.

[What a useless life motto, eh?]

..But, in the end, we are here. And I did move here. And we did somehow make it this long apart.

One thousand three hundred and forty eight days.

I started dating Patrick in June 2011. We were together nearly everyday from then until September 2011 when I moved to England for my postgraduate studies. And we didn’t live in the same country until those 1,348 days later.

[My well spoken husband just chimed in with, “Yeah! F*ck you, cheaters!” He’s sweet like that. And committed. And does not take kindly to anyone who uses long distance as an excuse for their infidelities.]

Today marks one year since I was legally able to immigrate and move to the United States (seriously – I still have to look at this handsome bloke’s face beside me to remind myself why sometimes). It has been a difficult year for me (sometimes, his pretty face doesn’t do it… that’s when I remind myself that airports still exist to take me places away from here). We were married nearly 1.5 years before we moved in together for the first time, and that in itself is amazingly euphoric. Like, euphoric as in when you take some hallucinogens, and everything is sparkly and floaty and bright, and then the walls start caving in and zombies are taking over the neighborhood and have already claimed your right leg as their own. (My husband just reminded me that I can’t speak from experience. But I’ve had some gnarly cold medicine before.. and ooo boy lemme tell you stories!….)

Long story short, I cannot put our relationship into words. I cannot rationalize our time spent apart. I will never be able to explain the pain and stress and complete exhaustion we endured to get here. People who know me know that I do not take marriage lightly. I don’t take relationships lightly. And when I left Patrick in Chicago O’Hare Airport in 2011, I did not say good-bye lightly.

In reality, we are not meant to be. We’re not “soul mates”. We did not promise to make this work, no matter how long it took. We took each day just as that – day by day. And each day that we built upon a strong foundation of trust, we committed to each other that much more.  It was hell. It’s still not easy. But, as my husband gives me a bouquet of flowers and simply states “I’m glad you’re here”, it reminds me that we have come a long way. Only few can appreciate this. But they’re a good few. 🙂

Thanks for having me, babe.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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2011, Chicago O’Hare

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June 2012, London, UK

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February 2014, USA

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February 2014, USA

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May 31, 2015 – U.S. Border

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April 17, 2016 – USA

Why, hello there!


To You,

This would be so much better if I had some thought-provoking, influential words to re-introduce these writings to you. Like, Adele lyrics-good. Or something to the extent of a Ghandi speech; a robust collective of sentimental sentences to make your eyeballs shed those salty tears.

But I don’t. I’ve been off for around 7 months, and honestly, I hadn’t realized it had been that long! There’s been so much chaos.. of mundane events.. crazy dullness.. like, insane day-to-day happenings. Basically, I’ve been learning how to have a day-to-day relationship with my husband, and oddly enough, it’s been exhausting. We’ve been so used the ridiculous situation we were in for 4 years of long distance, and now that we’re in one homely abode, we’ve been trying to adjust to the normalcy. Dinners together. Drives to work. Grocery shopping. So, although for us it’s been nuts, emotional, and overwhelming, for you it would have been stories on the craziness of cooking up some leftovers together. And staying in watching an episode of Making a Murderer on Netflix. (Okay, to be honest, it may have been like 4-6 episodes in one sitting..Yeah.)

I’ll be re-capping on what we’ve been through, creative projects we’re working on, and all the other weird stories on what it’s like to move in with your spouse after being married for 18 months.

But today – it was time to come back, because yesterday was our 2-year wedding anniversary. And remembering what we have been through together, and still realizing that there are few people who really understand what we’ve been through, I got that itch. Not like an uncomfortable itch that requires an ointment or anything – I’m not here to get that personal with you folks. But that itch to get back to writing. We have Part II of our wedding coming up in a couple of months where close friends and family have been invited to celebrate our journey, and come together for us to thank them personally for being there for us, and supporting us through what has been scientifically proven to cause complete insanity, and be diagnosed as a case of plain stupidity. But yesterday, we celebrated our wedding anniversary together which we were not able to do last year due to immigration processing. And so here I am, remembering how this blog came into fruition over 4 years ago.

There are no words that really sum up how yesterday felt. We’ve had a couple of truly rough months which are smoothing out gradually, and yesterday emphasized the amount of work we have put into this relationship, and how hard it has been. No amount of trust, respect, admiration, support, and love has been spared throughout our relationship. We have invested our life into each other these past four years, something we don’t recommend to others to do ever, but something we will never regret nor take for granted.

So I’ll leave this here with some lovely photos to cheese this shit up some more 😉 I’ll be back, keeping this blog thing up again. No more slacking for this lass!

Lots of love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Everybody needs a little sunshine in their life. And Corgis. Sunshine and corgis.


To You,

My Mr. Husband-Face and Corgi-child Emma Bear made an unexpected trip up to Canada to support me through some unexpected stress surrounding immigration last week. I will follow-up with a post regarding the unbelievable stress we endured and conquered during that week, but for now some photos I snapped with my dad’s 35mm Chinon from our well-needed hike through the Little Bluff Conservation Area in Picton, Ontario.

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Beautiful day for a hike, chip trucks, and good ol’ fashioned fresh air.

Peace,

Lots of love, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Long-Distance: How Sane People Turn Crazy


To You,

I never would have imagined years ago that whenever I was to be wed that my first year of marriage would be spent as stressed out as this one has been. Immigration provides you with one hell of an unpredictable timeline to say the absolute least. I have no issues with the offices or employees involved in processing our paperwork, but more so the nature of which I have never had a clue as to when this would/will culminate. People from the start have asked me “So, how long will this take?” and I have never been so unsure in responding to a query before in my life. I said the hope would be 8-months, but the reality could extend to beyond a year. It’s horrible, the waiting process. Just miserable.

People have always asked my husband and I, typically in separate situations, if we have any tips for long distance. I mean, I think we are a testament to the power of trust, respect, and communication in that we were only dating a mere few months before our distance expanded in September 2011.. and now we are married, and moving towards ridding of any distance ever again. But in the end, I would never recommend this to anyone, nor can I tell anyone how to make this work. I think both of us have truthfully told those inquiring that it’s a pain in the ass, requires top-notch communication, trust, and respect, and that the little things in a ‘normal’, close proximity relationship may be huge things when doing long distance. But again, some people are so laid back that their need for consistent communication may not be the case, but it was for me and him. In the end, I do not recommend long distance, I still wince at the notion of it, but all the same we have created a friendship, partnership, and relationship based off of the least superficial of necessities. Sure, my husband is the studliest of studs, but when you’re apart trust and communication trump that pretty face. But my oh my, is it ever gorgeous 😉

I love my husband more than I could possibly explain. He finds ways to nurture me from afar, and he encourages my strengths ten fold. In long distance you truly gain a best friend, because they are the only one who understands the painful moments of missing one another, the stresses that occur between you that explode to larger proportions due to long distance, and the angst of wanting fewer miles between you. No one else can listen to me cry, and weep, and sob out of loneliness and get the fact that I just want to hold his hand and be hugged by him alone. No one else can listen to me endlessly complain about the same stupid things about this process and understand the magnitude of my pain. No one else can begin to comprehend the joy in my face as it lights up when I get to sit down in front of my laptop and see his face on Facetime. But he can. And he does. That’s the beauty in our ridiculous tale. We completely like each other. He is my bestest of best friends and in the most loner-tone of honesties, knowing I can’t see or hang out with him, most days I’d much rather cozy up at my studio flat on my lonesome than hang out with others for the sake of not being alone.

Our relationship is founded in the endless effort we had to make to survive this type of situation together. Our communication would have never been so strong had we not gone through these years apart. Our trust would not have stood to be as solid as it is now. And the effort we had to make to show each other our commitment through distance would have never been as evident. For us, long distance has forced two people who hate phone conversations, have introverted characters (me more so than him), a pile worth of baggage, and dwindling trust issues from past experiences to challenge each other to grow selflessly, improve on our flaws, and build a kickass friendship.

But don’t get me wrong, it has definitely been a huge pain in the ass. 😉

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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First Year


One year momento. I photographed my ring with my dress. xo

              One year momento. I photographed my ring with my dress. xo

To You,

I’m not a huge birthday person – I don’t get excited for my birthday, and truly haven’t celebrated it in quite a few years. Other people’s birthdays I excite over, but never really my own (although my husband wishes to change this for me).

But today, I am excited. I have been giddy all week looking like a crazy person experiencing drug induced euphoria! Today is my one year wedding anniversary! One year ago I went to Indianapolis with mostly family and a couple co-workers knowing that I was eloping and marrying my most favorite of people 🙂

I have been emotional and down these past few weeks knowing that my beloved husband-face and I would not be able to see each other for our first anniversary as a married couple, but over the past few days I am just elated to say that I have been married to this amazing, studly, inspiring, super-awesome-cool-dude of a husband, Mr. Husband-Face for one year. It has been one of the hardest years – mentally and emotionally – with going through immigration and marriage apart. But today we can celebrate our achievements as a couple. I am so privileged to know this man, to call him my best friend and to forever call him my husband.

Happy Anniversary to Us! We have fought hard through this past year – and that deserves a few smiles 🙂

Much love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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Flowers from my husband-face.

Flowers from my husband-face.

This Is A Long One


To You,

As a little girl- an adventurous, outdoorsy, stubborn little girl – I don’t recall complaining about the cold. I remember complaining about having to eat foods I didn’t find appealing, having to clean up my messes before being able to go out and play, or about being bored with silly adult activities. But when the winter came, the cold never hindered my cravings to play outside, to build snow forts, to run around the snow and fall down hard knowing the plush powdering of flakes would act as a pillow to my snowsuited body. However now as adults all we do is complain. We hate the cold. We hate the heat. We hate to wait in lines. We hate the inconveniences of others. We hate differences. We hate responsibilities. We hate, we bitch, we whine, and we’re smug.

Over the past few years I’ve been trying to find things that I don’t hate. People I don’t hate, places I don’t hate. I’ve been trying to love, and to care, and to retrieve knowledge even from the idiotic incidences. This past year I’ve increasingly been battling with the plight to find what I love and attain it, because it seems as though I’m unable to behold all that I love, or at least all that I would love to pursue. The pursuit of one love means the loss of another, or a few, and vice versa. It’s the equivalent of making a list of all my friends and rating them from my absolute bestest to the one I kind of like, but not really, but still kinda, you know? Except now, these lists are not ever changing like our school yard mates, and listing them present precedence to the life you are choosing to build. It is scary, truly petrifying. And it’s emotionally nauseating.

I have attained many blessings in my life, but in all honesty many have conflicted with each other. The first time I moved to the UK in 2005 I was presented with the opportunity to work in the French Alps throughout the winter months, the hills of Great Malvern outside of Worcestershire in the summertime, and amidst the London hustle and bustle in the fall. I traveled to Nice for a week on my lonesome, and wandered the surrounding cities as freely as one could. But this whole time I wasn’t mentally or emotionally liberated, because I was in a relationship with someone back in North America. I wanted to love both, but in the end I found that I could not, or at least not pursue both loves equally. I was emotionally immature in that I didn’t know how to balance independence and relationships. It was rough, and at the end of one year abroad, I moved home to my boyfriend. I finished school as one was supposed to do, and that was that.

Funnily enough, that seemed to have been a foreshadowing lesson for me to learn from, as 6 years later I would be in an oddly identical situation. The first relationship ended after many differences became evident, and after I discovered I was to blame for losing my independence and my purpose. Shortly before it ended I decided I needed a jumpstart on my life and applied to grad school in Durham, England – the UK once again! Weeks before I accepted a placement offer, this familiar story presented itself to me once more. I somehow fell into a friendship and then relationship with someone again tied to North America, and yet here in front of me sat admittance paperwork to a university abroad. I am highly over-analytical and I saw the signs, I saw the plot lines to this situation and how it could possibly go (again), and I entered into it cautiously. Three and a half years later, I hold a Masters degree from Durham University, am married to someone tied singularly to the United States, and am undergoing immigration processes for me to immigrate south – permanently.

I’ve made highly conscious, but extremely emotion-influenced decisions to have ended up here. Nothing was by accident or by mistake. All was analyzed and rated. I have always been aware that everything I am capable of experiencing (I hold both a Canadian and EU passport and living abroad is simple for me) will either be much harder to experience from here on out or are not possible at all. I will obviously have other possibilities and experiences presented to me that are the blessings found in marriage, relationships, commitments… but they are the things that come unnaturally to me. Although I am a hopeless romantic, I am independent in plans. I don’t know how to plan travel for more than just myself, because I travel to self-explore. I don’t know how to plan family ideals with others, because I grew up under a widowed mother and so I’ve learned through nurture as to how to independently raise children. I don’t know how to commit without the sadness of losing a career I think I would be good at (but of course requires travel, moves, and not great for a family life). I think over the past few years of relationships that if nothing else, I know how to commit to others and support them wholeheartedly.

By the time four years roll around, I will have moved 3 times, the last two to get this relationship on the roads to ‘normalcy’, by which I mean logistically. The first move was to the UK which was all for me. The second was back home because I knew if I didn’t provide evidence of my intentions to move back in the long run he would never truly know that I would. And the third will be this permanent immigration south to the U.S to actually live with him. Along the way, however, these moves have taken sacrifices from me, like my energy levels, my ability to have fun, and increased level of seriousness, and neediness for maturity. I’m… well, tired. I want to have fun, but I’m tired. I’m tired because all I do is plan for finances, moves, government paperwork, immigration, family plans, etc. I’ve given up on even initiating the pursuit of a government based career due to its requirements for posting here, there, and anywhere, and so my joy for a career has turned into a frightening personal battle of feminist vs. self vs. wannabe-professional vs. compromising woman. And so a portion of myself available for amusement and fun has been diminished due to one section of my persona being scrambled and jumbled, and replaced with confusion and internal arguments reoccurring in my overwhelmed brain. I’m actually a spontaneous person, but how can I be spontaneous when even my gas money is budgeted in order for my finances to pay off rent, student loans, car payments, and impending immigration plans. I always told myself money didn’t matter as long as I was happy living where I was. And I’m not. And sadly this means money matters in order for me to wander elsewhere. I am tired and beaten up by people’s willingness to constantly remind me and criticize me that I need to learn to have fun, that I can’t be serious all the time, that someday I will figure this all out. I don’t feel supported at times in my difficult frustrating nature – I want to be silly and amusing and childish at times, but that ability was diminished when I was presented with the options to continue to live my free-spirited lifestyle or make hugely mature, life impacting decisions to negotiate my endless dreams for a life of love, commitment, and all things that marriage requires (a successful marriage, that is). I am not saying that marriage has made me a bore, but more so the sacrifices I’ve made to commit to a marriage with someone have not come natural to my ‘game plan’ and I have willingly dedicated myself to it with more dedication than I have ever given anything, because it’s an agreement just as firm as any professional contract in that signing it irresponsibly will result in loss, pain, financial strife, and personal doubt.

I’m frustrated in people criticizing how much I am struggling through this, and the toll it has taken on me. I personally know no one who is a wife and a step-mother who is doing the best she can from a distance. I’m not saying that no one else exists, but that everyone available to commentate on my moodiness, my exhaustion, my lack of fun and silliness – they are not dealing with this, only I am. I would love support, I would love someone to understand that I’m sad that my ability to laugh at silly things has lessened over the years, but I’m human and I have had to take my life insanely seriously the past couple of years, and so at times I require the same amount of maturity in return. Otherwise, I’m having to remain serious for everyone which again takes its boring toll on me.

I haven’t lost it all. But I’m not the same as I was, and honestly I’m fine with it. I know that what I do still have are my dreams to travel, to wander, to exist as both the observer and the observed, and above everything else, to learn. And although most of this will never again be as I was most comfortable and happy to dream it to be, they are still my dreams and still mine and still who I am. And so, yes, I am a little more sad and nostalgic when I talk about wandering the coasts of France again, but hugely because the more I’m criticized the more I realize that no one else to sees the real me anymore, but the “faults” which are results from going through the past few years.

I still dream of returning to my wandering the streets of small Chinese villages. I still wish to stroll around the port townships along the Mediterranean. I still envision hiking the Scottish Highlands again, and enjoying a cup of coffee at my favourite hidden cafés in the countryside of England. I want to board the Alps again, cycle around France, befriend regulars at the local bars, and eat fresh fruits under the sun. I’m an adventure junkie, a solo-traveling weirdo, a soul-searching child, and funny genuine woman. And over the past few years, I’ve had to negotiate the activities that make the solo-me me in order to be a strong partner, committed wife, and dedicated step-mother. These are serious roles, and my ideals of fun have been replaced with budgeting for immigration instead of travels. And so my soul is internally playful, but painfully responsible. It’s life, and I’m aware, but please stop critiquing my lacking of fun. I am still fun, I’m just really tired. I want to go outside and play in the snow, make snow angels and feel my cheeks flush up due to the crisp air. I miss running around until I fell into a pile of snowy mounds, because right now all I want to do is cozy up under the mounds of my plush white duvet… I’m not un-fun. And it hurts more than you would imagine when people tell me I am.

Peace out,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

2014: The Year of Commitment, Change, Challenge, and Corgis (but really – what year isn’t the year of Corgis, right?)


To You,

2014 was hard. It was lovely, and it was challenging, and it was hard. 2014 for me was the beginning of truly realizing the value and the triumph of commitment, love, and relationships. It was a year where I’ve begun to realize that perhaps my personal relationships with friends – new and old – went to the wayside a little bit, but only due to the true commitment I chose to put towards my first year of marriage, a long-distanced marriage. I’ve lost consistent touch with some, but my husband and I have been through so much together these past few years of being a couple, and now together in marriage I had to choose to put all I possibly could into getting through this year of immigration with him. They say the first year is the hardest – but it’s not, really if you ask me. Every year from here on out we will have to choose how much we wish to commit to our lives together, not just in the first. Our first year of being married I will say is the toughest as it sits in its own category of having to endure our first year completely apart without knowing how long this process of me moving to the U.S to be with my husband and step-daughter will take. But if nothing else, 2014 was the year I chose to commit to my husband, dedicate all my time into building a long-distance however solid relationship with my step-daughter, and pushing myself to figure out how to be a solid wife to my husband from afar. I want this year to be over, but not because I don’t value all that its challenged me with and taught me along the way, but because 2014 was battled through only to commence a triumphant 2015 with my husband.

So, cheers to you and yours this New Year’s Eve! I hope the culmination of 2014 brings many learned lessons to your growth, and that 2015 only makes you stronger.

Much Love to you all!

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo new years 2014fb3fb6fb9IMG_9811_Small163Small_Indy201420140614_130542rain3Thanksgiving2014_6_webThanksgiving2014_15_webIndyOct2014-6_small47dec2014

A gorgeous book from my husband. Arrow through the heart, indeed.

A gorgeous book from my husband. Arrow through the heart, indeed.

A little box filled with things of "home" sent from Idaho - from her home, my future home, and my ancestral home.

A little box filled with things of “home” sent from Idaho – from her home, my future home, and my ancestral home.

xoxo

Thanks For Listening, Babe


To You,

The people that listen to you are the people you need to keep around. And it’s not just about hearing you, but understanding and responding to what it is that you say. Nowadays people listen, engage, and disperse, never really absorbing the words that flow from your chords… but when someone does – let your heart and head appreciate those individuals. I’ve had some rough days dealing with immigration woes and difficulties surrounding the limitations this situation deals me, and I’m in need of a friend, my best friend, to be there for me. He always is, never a doubt, but this past week he demonstrated the ideals of what a best friend and partner should be. What we should all attain to be – as a wife, what I always work hard to be.

On Sunday of last week, my husband surprised me by showing up to my workplace with a coffee in hand and my insanely missed Corgi in tow. Not only did I desperately need a coffee, but my husband as well 😉 He surprised me by planning a trip up here for 5 days, and it was the happiest I had been in a long time. I’ve needed his company so badly these past few months, having many miserable nights unable to sleep, unable to deal with silly immigration stress. And there he was, a huge smile on his face and a coffee in hand, here to hang out with his wife for a few days. Amazeballs.

It’s been hard this holiday season knowing I wouldn’t be seeing him or my step-daughter, but just him showing up here made my heart giddy 🙂 This man is my favourite, my bestest, my heart, and my smile. And to make things even more sappy, I came home from work on Tuesday to him decorating my apartment with Christmas lights and garland – as he put it, maybe I would feel more at home and cheery looking at holiday decorations this next week.

7 6Best friends listen. They absorb, and they respond. He’s not perfect. And he can definitely be a wee bit of a jerk every now and again, but as I told him, he’s the most wonderful husband because everything he did for me this week was everything I needed from anybody as of late, and he was the one to respond. He always is. And I always will for him.

3 4 8 dec2014Happy Days to all of you, always!

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

There Can Always be One More Day


To You,

I have just returned from my latest visit to my husband and step-daughter in Indiana. And although I will give a more appreciative recollection of my travels in a later post, right now I am rather frustrated with the ongoing obstacles of immigration and lack of clarity amongst those who call these trips ‘holidays’.

Before I continue, I will clearly state that Yes, I do understand the process of immigration, and comprehend the wait times, extreme precautions they administer, and the overall scheduling of these required steps in order to verify that any immigrant be admitted legally into the United States.

Now, that being said, I will state what may have been obvious to many, but not diligently expressed to myself or my husband throughout the beginning stages of this process:

On October 8th, I entered U.S Customs at the Pearson Toronto Airport at 4:30AM prior to going through security to await the boarding of my flight south. Unfortunately I was pulled into their interrogation quarters and learned that this will be my last visit to the United States until I officially receive my visa in the many months to come. I was nearly denied entry on this trip, and was firmly warned that once I had received my application receipt in May 2014, that that was silent notification that as a traveler with the ‘intent to immigrate’ I was officially inadmissible to the U.S until my visa is issued to me.

People constantly comment on my trips to see my husband and step-daughter as to how 6 days is a long visit, much longer than the last; they call these trips holidays, or vacations, and time-off. I could have extended my original travel dates by one extra day, which is considered no big deal adding an extra day to my ‘holidays’. But my frustration and anger at the moment is directed to the improper notions that my time with my husband is a ‘vacation’, ‘time off’. No, my time with my husband is time, quality time. I never take sufficient time to see my family due to work conflicts, working around other people’s schedules, and guilt that I have more time off than others (which is untrue since I work 6 days per week every week). I am frustrated at the notion that people do not understand that I work here, and my travels to Indiana are me going home, for 3 days, 5 days, or the luxurious extent of 6 days. This trip could have been extended for one more day, but post-booking a work change occurred and I was no longer needed at work on a certain date, and so would be coming home a day before I actually needed to be back, something that would have gratefully given me one extra day at no cost. Instead, me being a little nuts for my husband, a few hours before my departure flight back to Toronto I made the decision to book another flight the next day to give me one more night and morning with my husband.

All I’ve ever wanted with my husband and his daughter is time. That’s it. We don’t vacation, or go on holidays. This trip, I went to her soccer game. We all cooked Canadian Thanksgiving together. I helped my step-daughter with her cursive writing. I fell asleep next to my husband, and we drank coffee in bed the next morning. I drove him to work, and did his laundry because when I’m bored I clean. I rearranged his apartment some of which to his disliking, but like I said, I clean when I’m bored. We visited with his family and we went grocery shopping. I was not on holiday, I was at home. And to those of you who state how 6-days is a long time: You try it and you tell me that this is a long time at home. Tell me over the next few years how a few days every few months is sufficient. Tell me how you would feel if all of a sudden you had no idea when you would next see your family, because after this visit of 6 whole days you would be inadmissible to visit for months to come.

6 days is not a long time. However, yes we make it the most quality time possible of which includes arguments, fighting, loving, laughing, hugging, sitting, eating, joking, driving, and just being.

But do not – DO NOT tell me my ‘vacation’ to see my husband was a long one, because I’m typing now after a day of holding back tears, my heart and stomach wrenching with ache and my head unable to translate my fury over others’ misinterpretation of my time with my husband and family. It’s time, the most wonderful and beautiful version of time that I am now inadmissible from holding for an undetermined amount of government appointed time.

I could have had one more day. There can always be one more day, but instead there officially is not until I receive my visa.

IndyOct2014-17_smallPowering through,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

A New Post Redirected Back at Life


To You,

Seasons are usually a tell tale sign of time flying by, memories collected in the snow, on the sandy beaches, running through piles of leaves, and basking under the crisp reddening sun. This past year, seasons have been obsolete and time has  been difficult to trace and at times, appreciate. It’s hard to explain standing here in what to most is still considered my youth and watch time fly by and not even care. 

For what feels like ages, I have been sitting and waiting for U.S Immigration to process my visa papers in order for me to follow a life in the U.S with my husband. And I am exhausted, but I have to be in order to remain distracted and aloof as to how much time these days feel like to me. I work 6 days per week in order to lose track of the days. I have one day off per week which means my time off is merely there for me to rest, sleep up, clean up, and get back to the next day. I cannot give myself time to process that this is all taking so long. 

Honestly, I am a woose because this paperwork process has only been months, but having been in a long distance relationship for years, immigration is dragging out the final days of our distance due to the anticipation for this to be done and Part II to commence. I miss my husband, I want to create a steady local relationship with my step-daughter, and I am tired of having to wait to understand what home will feel like. 

In complete vulnerability, I am not doing well. Hence the lack of writing in the past few months. I have moved into my own flat and yet I am married. My belongings here are mine; there is no “ours” here. I’m feeling distant from a lot, and unenthusiastic about much. I’m mad and uninterested in many, and impatient towards most. I’m tired. Exhausted. I’m constantly kicking for emotional survival, and it’s becoming harder each day.

People tell me to wait, be patient, this isn’t forever. But it has been long enough, and although rationally I understand that this too shall pass, emotionally I am just plain tired.

It’s been a rough few months, and it just feels like that none of this will be alleviated soon. 

Breathing in and out,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Packing Boxes, but Not Yet Moving Home


To You,

There are people out there who hate moving. They hate the chaos, the packing, the sorting, the re-sorting, the mental frustration and emotional rollercoasters. Right now I’m in the midst of packing boxes of bits and pieces, artwork, books, records, clothes, etc. as I prep for yet another move in the story that is my life. You see, most of my adventures revolve around a move. And this one adds a rather depressing, melancholy tale to my immigration woes as I am yes moving out of my family home to help clear the clutter as my mum preps for her own move abroad, however I am not yet moving to my husband.

I am in an awkward head-space right now as I get my shit together in a depressive mindset knowing that although I am married – and happily so – I am not yet able to move in with him. And for two people who have never had the opportunity to share a home due to long distance and international dilemmas, we have always made our individual abodes a home for the other, even if we would step into said space a mere couple times per year. While dating, my husband (well, boyfriend at the time) had an extra key made for me to his apartment – and its pertinent to note that I was living in England at the time doing my Master’s degree. And whenever I’m in town visiting, he lets me redecorate and make it homey for me – he even purchased a pillow for my side of the bed, and when accumulating the days I’m able to visit, I’m usually there for about 1-mth per year, maybe 2.

This upcoming move into my own flat again is bittersweet. I enjoy living on my own – I did so for the first time during my postgrad degree in the UK and loved it, in fact I really wanted to enjoy that single studio-living lifestyle again. However, I never pictured that after being married I would then be given the opportunity to do so again. It throws me off, it makes me sad, and it just doesn’t feel right.

I miss my husband like mad. People say we’ll drive each other nuts when we’re able to move in with each other, and yeah, that may be the case but bring it on! Phone calls getting dropped drive me crazy, opposite work schedules drive me crazy because we can’t find the times to talk, bad phone lines drive me crazy, and having to Skype at the local Starbucks due to limiting satellite internet service at home drives me crazy – so you know what, bring on the crazy that I get to deal with in person!!

But for now, it’s back to packing boxes. I’m trying to stay excited about having my personal space again in my small Victorian bachelor space. But I miss my husband, and I would love to be packing these boxes and shoving them in a truck to head south of the border to arrive at our home.

Home is where the heart is. But I’ll do the best I can to make it homey for me and him since it makes me imagine a life with him rather than away from him.

Peace,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

A Simply Beautiful Elopement


To You,

On February 13th, 2014, me and my fiancé became Mrs. Wifey-Face and Mr. Husband-Face in an intimate elopement ceremony in Indianapolis. We will have a larger celebration down the road, but for now we are happily married as husband and wife, and our lengthy immigration process has commenced! It’s been a crazy whirlwind of events, but to let it speak for itself, here are a few photos from one of the loveliest of days: the day we said I do.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

 

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xoxo

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Dress: Boutique 1861 (Belt: Anthropologie)
Hair: Be Salon, Indianapolis, IN
Photographer: David Morris, Indianapolis, IN
Officiants: Same Day Weddings, Indianapolis, IN
Photo locations: Indianapolis City Market and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

IRI’s, CRI’s, K-3’s, Background Checks, Lawyer Fees: Lovey-Dovey Talk of an Immigrant Wedding


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To You,

It’s an odd thing what happens when you become engaged. Other people start to quickly ask you post engagement if you’ve set a date yet – it truly bewilders me how people have a date and venue planned days (or even hours) after they’re engaged, and three months into our engagement we have much larger questions on our plate than a date for a wedding celebration. Our main concern is immigration. Our budget is currently for immigration. Our priority is to be married, to move towards starting a partnered life together, and call each other husband and wife. Long distance sucks, but what I truly appreciate are the conversations we have that are based off the idea of a marriage and not a wedding. This isn’t to say that I won’t be excited to plan our wedding in the next year or so, but I am so much more excited to start our marriage together and working towards finalizing immigration details.

We don’t have a date planned yet. Not for the wedding ceremony and reception, that is. Our process is going to be very different in that things have to become official for us to complete this process of immigration much faster than what an official wedding ceremony filled with family and friends (of whom come from near and very, very far) could provide us. And although there are days when I feel like I’m missing out on planning our ‘wedding day’, my wedding party, our decorations, etc., I get reminded that I’m truly not when my excitement is evident when talking about meeting with a lawyer, about filing paperwork, and about becoming legally capable of seeing my future Mr. Husband Face on a daily basis, having dinners together, coffees together, and many, many frustrating annoying moments together!

I couldn’t care less about DJ’s, flowers, colour themes …right now – At some point I will be so excited to plan my wedding, especially when I know we can celebrate our long, dedicated journey to reaching that point together with our close family and friends. I understand that many can’t relate nor imagine having to put aside wedding planning to make room for paperwork and legal strategies. But in all honesty, I can’t ever imagine spending over $10,000 for a venue, hundreds of dollars for flowers, thousands of dollars on a dress… so I ask these individuals to remember, ‘To each their own‘.

Our marriage is much, MUCH more valuable than our wedding. And I’m so excited to start this long, painful process towards reaching something beautiful.

Sweet dreams,

Love From, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork: The Life of a Newly Engaged Couple


To You,

Since becoming engaged, life feels as though it has taken a shift. It’s strange to be honest with you, because we’re not becoming swamped in wedding dialogue or anything of the sort – rather, paperwork has taken over every inch of my mental capacity. People have dreams of weddings, bridal showers, engagement parties, etc., but in my case all I want is for this border in between our logistical separation to disappear. And for that to happen, paperwork must be filled!

And, Oh! Filled it shall become!!

Yeah, no – it’s not as magical as that. It’s beyond overwhelming to comprehend the costs, the process, the list of to-dos, and the government standards to be met. Wedding, shwedding – I want us in the same place, plain and simple. People spend an insane amount of money on their wedding, but for us, budgeting for filing visa petitions is priority. It’s less romantic, but much more real. And I want real – everyday, every week, every year. Our budget isn’t just for one day of celebrations, but for everyday of experiencing our life together. You know what? Hell, it is romantic! It may just not feel like it for a while.

I’m not crazy, and I will not second guess this process. It’s going to be harder than anything else we’ve experienced throughout our relationship and mainly because we’re not in control of this process. We know what we want, and we’ll go through months of frustration to get there, because this man makes me happy – and I don’t know many who have said that they wouldn’t fight for their own happiness. I don’t know if I can ever put into words how lucky I find myself to build something wonderful with someone who is the quintessential definition of a partner. You’ve read about our beginning, you’ve read about the distance and the struggle, and now you’ll be reading about our immigration funtimes.

Who knew that when I started this blog in September of 2011 that it would turn into the evolution of a love story? 😉

Keep the love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Some Old Posts to Reminisce On xoxo

Holidays circa November 2011

All my lovin’

The anticipation of meeting again…

An appetite for the mundane daily lovelies

T-bone, With love. One of my favourite memories to date.

Another time of anticipation celebrated with a Scrubs clip.

Lovely tunes.