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

3x3 crop

2011, Chicago O’Hare

0025

June 2012, London, UK

fb6

February 2014, USA

fb39

February 2014, USA

IMG_0894

May 31, 2015 – U.S. Border

FullSizeRender

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

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

fb19fb3fb6

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.

xoxo

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

“Have a Full and Awake Day xo”


IMG-20140614-WA0000

20140614_130542

I’ve had a rough time lately, and have been hugely anxious and stressed all week. So at work, my husband surprised me with two deliveries: the first a pizza and wings from Boston Pizza, and the second a large latté from Starbucks. (Reminder: he lives in Indiana and I in eastern Ontario – he ordered them from the US for me, haha).

🙂

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


002DWP_VolumeI_small

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.

“My fiancé…”: Coming to Terms With Terms


To You,

For whatever reason – most likely because I’m The Awkward of Awkwards and anything remotely normal within society feels icky to me – but for whatever reason through the whirlwind of change and all things that life has decided to toss my way this past year, I have been having an oddly hard time accepting my new place in life, my newly found status and title, my association to and with the terminology of which seems alien and unknown to me: my new found days as a fiancée. 

There is an odd association to this term to me, and perhaps it’s because I don’t quite understand the usage of this term. I’ve always hated proclaiming such identifiable terms, because for whatever reason it seems like I’m making a statement within a statement, as if I’m not only stating something of relevance but making it known that yes, I am a gal betrothed to my bloke to live forever and ever in one’s dreams of wedded bliss.

But maybe – JUST MAYBE – I’m acting stupid. I know, it’s a rare occasion when I’m being irrational, silly, or stupid (never a rare occasion to be sarcastic and snarky, might I add), but I want to find goodness in this newly found status of mine (and his) rather than pure awkward stuttering. And I think I’ve found my comfort zone within using the term fiancé(e).

• I don’t care that I have a fiancé. BUT I care a whole hell of a lot as to who that fiancé is, and for that I am so unbelievably proud. And in using the term, I’m proud of the man I get to call my fiancé, because he asked me to be that person in his life and I chose him just as much. So, for me, in using this term (of which sounds pompous for the first while of referring to it, by the way.. ‘fiancéeeeee..’), it’s not me proclaiming what I have, but acknowledging the person embodied in its symbolism.

It’s still something to get accustomed to using and feeling normal about it, but I’ll get there. Besides, I got too many judgmental looks when calling him my ‘hooked’ and me his ‘hooker’ (look up alternative terms for fiancé.. it was a fun game for us newbies!).

Peace out,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo