“To Chhuon”


It’s a rare and beautiful thing to come across a human being who can influence your entire life without even being around to see it; a person who can give you the encouragement to take risks without being able to be there to give you the push; a person who presents an endless series of stories without being able to tell you a single one.

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We speak of him often. His siblings and family share his stories of growing up, of traveling, of living life. His beautiful endeavours of raising his children, taking care of his wife, and planning ahead for our lives well beyond his. His selfless love provided in his profession and his home.

Although I continue to search for the words, there hasn’t been one that fully encapsulates his presence and affect. A fighter, a traveler, a dreamer, a creator, a hero, a friend, a doctor, a brother, a son, a husband, a father. I carry his heart, his dreams, his story. His name. There is no greater role that I have been given the gift to carry out than that of being his daughter.

Dad, I love you now and always. And 24 years on, not a day goes by that we don’t miss you. So here’s to you.

Love, Me xo

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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.Β  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. πŸ™‚

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

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 πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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First Year


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

Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

Much love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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Flowers from my husband-face.

Flowers from my husband-face.

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.

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A Simply Beautiful Elopement


To You,

On February 13th, 2014, me and my fiancΓ© 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

It’s Been A Long Time Coming :)


To You,

It’s finally here!! The day I have honestly been waiting for since, oh, I don’t know, October 2011 maybe? Ups and downs, and major question marks as to whether it would come around successfully, the day is finally here.

In less than 24 hours my lad, Mr. Beardface, will be on a plane heading over the ocean for the first time to London town.

Words cannot sum up my excitement. πŸ™‚

My excitement at times seems quite pathetic and too mushy for some, but unless you have been in a long distance relationship you cannot comprehend that feeling of knowing that even for a short period of time you just get to see each other in person. In real life. And this is an even larger sum of excitement than our previous two visits, because A) he is coming to London, his first trip out of the U.S. EVER,Β  and B) we get to see each other with no distraction for the first time – no work, no school, just day trips and travels, and doing absolutely nothing, which is the most loveliest of days πŸ™‚

My dude and I unexpectedly started dating 2 to 3 months prior to my moving to England to pursue my Master’s degree, and even within those few months nothing was normal – it was chaotic, dramatic, and complicated to say the least. My life was in a transition of chaos, but he stuck with me through it all from the very first weeks of us just getting to know each other. Somehow through all the drama of my life at the time, we got to know each other enough to decide that as we were reaching the point of me moving permanently, neither one of us considered that to be the culmination of the relationship. So a few months getting to know each other, and then October onwards apart but still very much together.

Some people say that true love doesn’t exist, and I don’t necessarily disagree with them, but the romantic in me will always believe in a love ever after. A love of highΒ mutual standards. Hard work. And above all, commitment. I nearly gave up on this romantic dream of mine, and then along came someone who challenged me enough to keep the dream alive. He wasn’t someone that merely fit a physical void, but rather a person that came along completely unexpected, completely by chance, and in as such illuminated the start of a story that (as it turns out) had begun nearly two years before we’d actually met. And long distance, as much as it sucks and is hard and is exhausting, if both of you are in it completely the hard work is so rewarding in knowing that you have truly found something – and someone –Β  worth fighting for. There’s no determining whether or not it will work out in the long run as life is life, but it’s like the old saying goes in that you’ll never know unless you try.

To be honest, he’s been brilliant through it all – for a guy that hates talking on the phone, you can imagine how much the mere idea of long distance must have seemed, well.. crap. And we’ve both worked so, so hard through so many struggles, and therefore the fact that he is finally arriving in England, my childhood home second to Canada, means the world to me because we’re finally at the end of our overseas distance. National borders will still separate us for a while, but having just surpassed our 1-year anniversary, I think we have many milestones to celebrate during this trip.

So off to London tomorrow night, and then days of travels and blissful nothingness to follow πŸ™‚ I am so stupid happy right now, it’s lovely. And maybe a little embarrassing. πŸ˜‰

Nighty night and keep your dreams alight πŸ™‚

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

p.s – in regards to his being referred to as, ‘Mr. Beardface’, the story is summed up like this: When I left the U.S after my last visit in April, my lad decided to grow a protest beard of my not being with him in America any longer. So yes – he has not shaved in 2 months. Hence, ‘Mr. Beardface’… though soon to be Mr. Clean-shaven face as he’s scheduled in for a traditional wet shave in London immediately following his arrival.. lol