For my Husband and his Lady Love


“Her absence is no more emphatic in those places than anywhere else. It’s not local at all. I suppose if one were forbidden all salt one wouldn’t notice it much more in any one food more than another. Eating in general would be different, every day, at every meal. It is like that. The act of living is different all through. Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”

-C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

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xo

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1992


To You,

Twenty-five years ago my father left this earth leaving behind more life and influence than can possibly be comprehended. I didn’t know then, but my father was soon to be the dream I forever chased throughout this world to continue his story of a life lived. Twenty-five years is a long time. Seven years is not in comparison to the extent that a human has the capability to live. I was 7 when my dad passed, and yet his stories have made it so that I’ve come to know him through every year of his shortened life.

He passed 25 years ago, and yet his life has extended a quarter century past his last breath. I have said so much about my father over these past years, and I don’t think I will ever be able to tell the story of his life to the extent that it is felt within my brother, sister, and I. He had his fears, and his faults; he was a specimen of health and strength, and although cancer and progressive illness took him away with a sweeping attack, it did not end his life and as such, his battle was never lost.

You see, he still lives in every story we tell, and in the many stories we have yet to write. Our life is not just ours to live, and when we live with the beauty and truth that my father’s life effervesced, our own chapters are then engraved onto every soul we choose to love. Twenty-five years ago we thought his life was over. But little did he know that his life was the perfect beginning to many more stories to come. And man, have we got some stories to tell.

Dad – as always – this one’s for you.

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Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

 

 

 

All the love to the Mamas


Yeah this one right here goes out to all the baby’s mamas, mamas
Mamas, mamas, baby mamas, mamas“…

To You,

A short little somethin’ somethin’ to wish all the mamas out there a Happy & Wonderful Mother’s Day! For all of you who mother, provide care, take care, and nurture – this day is for you, and we thank you 🙂

And to my mama, the legend that she is – I’ll never know how you raised three out-of-the-box children to adulthood and beyond, and not one of us has been incarcerated to this day… it’s truly a miracle. You let us be us (whether that was best for society or not), and kept us polite, responsible, and appreciative. The only mistake you made was making us fearless, and that’s how you ended up with all three of us living in different continents, pursuing lives worth living and stories worth telling 😉

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My ma proved that there is no excuse for laziness, no excuse for not being there for your family, and zero excuses for giving up. To us, everyday is mother’s day because she’s not stopped once to give us everything we could possibly need to survive our stories. …Including sending me side cash for my cheese fund – like I said, she gets what the real necessities in life are.

So to my Ma – Happy Mother’s Day! And enjoy your adventures in Australia 🙂

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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

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

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

Christmas Day 2014: FaceTime, Family, and Drugged-Up Unconsciousness.


To You,

I hope everyone is feeling somewhat rested and de-bloated following holiday festivities of lounging in your PJ’s, stuffing your faces with dish upon dish, and enjoying exhausting enjoyable catch-ups with family members near and far. This year was a bit of a dooze.. not because of the people I spent it with, but more so because I took a Robax muscle relaxant in the morning due to a three-day ongoing headache and neck stiffness, and apparently my stomach was just empty enough for it to hit the bottom of my tum, and knock me out on and off throughout the entire day. So I slept, woke up in time to watch the first NBA Christmas Day match of the day, eat dinner, fall asleep for another two hours, wake up again to accompany my sister to the GO train station in Oshawa, drive back, and fall asleep again in the late evening. I kind of screwed that one up.

My day was a little sore, with me missing my husband terribly. I miss him so, so much I honestly cannot express into words as to how much I miss his presence. We scheduled a rendez-vous on FaceTime in the morning so that myself, my mum, and sister could watch my step-daughter open her gifts from the Canucks, and so my husband could be there to see my mum and sister open their gifts from him. It was great that we could at least arrange that. The day carried out there-on afterwards with a Skype session with my brother and his gal pal in Australia, and then the muscle relaxants took effect.. was not pretty. My mum gave out her packed up stockings which contained the traditional goods – chocolate dollars, toothbrushes, little gift cards, and little other tidbits. I opened mine enthusiastically, yet horizontally.

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My yearly gold-wrapped chocolate dollars. Thanks ma/Santa.

In the afternoon, the family tradition of watching the NBA Christmas Day pair-ups commenced, although it was a little uneventful as the only games our TV package allowed us to watch were not as eventful as years past. Oh well. Food, however, is always the peak of the day, sitting at the table eating an English roast dinner of beef, veggies, Yorkshire puddings, and English trifle desserts. Always so damn yum. In the early evening my sister was headed back to Toronto, and so we all drove her to the GO train station in Oshawa (a good hour away)… my sister drove my car there to give me time to drink more caffeine and normalize my alertness, we dropped her off and I drove home. I was due to work bright and early on Boxing Day, and so I headed back to my flat in the evening to then FaceTime with my husband-face so that we could open our gifts with each other. As usual, we kept it small and personal. It’s those gifts I cherish around the holidays. My husband knows me more than anyone, and so I know his little gifts for me will be sweet and thoughtful. I was also surprised with a little package on Christmas Eve from Idaho from another dear friend packed with a lovely mix of homely tidbits.

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.

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

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

So yes, that was my Christmas Day. New Year’s is approaching, and I will post a typical, expected reflection post in the days to come… but for now, Christmas Day was simple, yet sweet. I’m lucky to be able to spend it every year with family, and next year I look forward to experiencing the little moment of simplicity in person with my husband. I know I’ll always be away from someone in my family, and that truly sucks, but I know time is needed and due for me and my husband-face.

Much love,

Love from, Vic Louise

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

Holiday Blues


To You,

It’s of no surprise to anyone who has held a conversation for more than 5 minutes in their complete time of interacting with me that I miss my husband-face quite a bit. We have been married for almost 10 months now, and I’ve seen him less than a handful of times, and although I try my best not to dwell, I also don’t know how to deal with being apart throughout the near entirety of a 3 and a half year long relationship. I also have no one to relate to in the topic of the anxiety of trying to build a trusting relationship with my now step-daughter from afar as well.

It’s hard not to dwell on being away from my family during the holidays, the time where everyone else around you is planning time spent with their loved ones, discussing gift ideas for their family members… need I say more? I am happy to be able to spend some down time with my mum and sister, but in my three years plus of being with my now husband, my then boyfriend and fiancé, I have never spent Christmas with him and this year would have been amazing to spend at least Boxing Day with him and my other family members through to the New Year’s. We have always managed to spend New Year’s Eve together, creating a tradition of going snowboarding on New Year’s Day, and this year our one holiday tradition is a no-can-do due to immigration difficulties in me crossing the border whilst awaiting an immigration visa.

I miss this boy. More than I can explain because the minute I do, there’s no going back. He’s my bestfriend, my go-to person, my confident, and my most trusted. He makes me laugh when nothing else can, he gives me butterflies just with the thought of getting to Skype with him when the time allows it with our opposing schedules. He’s able to be the honest, blunt asshole in defending me when people have wronged me and I’m too naive to admit it, and he somehow supplies comfort when I need it through the means of online communication. He’s my guy.

He’s my bestfriend who I promise to not see upcoming blockbusters until we can see them together (yes, we both held out for Dark Knight Rises.. that’s commitment, man); we have a joint Pinterest board for us to pin hilarious online finds in the hopes of cheering each other up when needed. He’s my brilliant husband who complains at the fact that he doesn’t have a wedding band yet to wear proudly. So what’s a girl to do? Well, this year I’ve volunteered to work the extra shifts on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Eve knowing that if I’m going to be without my husband over the holidays, I may as well make money while doing it!

Peace & love,

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

It all started in an airport those three years ago


To You,

Three years ago in the early hours of the morning my boyfriend drove me to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. As we left from his apartment in Indianapolis, the mood was conflicting: rushed, as I had a plane to catch to London Heathrow in a few hours, yet hesitant to budge as I didn’t want to leave. However, in the realness of it all, my soul deserved this transition into the next stage of my adventurous so-called life.

Three years ago I had no idea as to what the next stage was to present to me – I was embarking on the attempt to hold out a long distance relationship without any end in sight as to when we would be local again, and I was heading to grad school in the UK. Three years ago this blog commenced, and three years ago I said what would turn into the first of many goodbyes to my boyfriend, and the first of a lifetime to come of “I love you“‘s.

There’s no other soul I could ever imagine running this course with, but I forever will as difficult as it may be. Here’s to our three years of long distance finally approaching its termination and a lifetime of marriage as husband and wife. Not many could ever pull off this relationship, but it will eternally remain one of my proudest commitments and my heart’s purest joy.

Much love to my Mr. Husband-Face, the only person I could ever survive this adventure with. And who would have thought it all started in that airport 😉

Lots of love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

September 2011, Chicago O'Hare International Airport

September 2011, Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Going through one of those “growing older and wiser” things


To You,

Sitting here on my weekly one day Wednesday off from work, I’ve been perplexed with fluctuating thoughts bumping around in the good ol’ cranium regarding my discontentment with certain aspects of my life. I’m one of those people who over-analyzes everything, has trouble forgetting anything that ever happened, and who tends to believe in the benefit of the doubt in human beings time and time again, which in the end results in time well wasted being invested in certain pursuits and relationships.

I think my twenties were filled with my ups and downs with people, trying to hold onto people who had let me down on more than one (or several) occasions. I am what my husband-face calls truly sentimental, one of the most sentimental he’s ever met. And this is true when it comes to things and relationships. However, I’m wondering if as I step through the finality of my twenties and push onwards through my thirties if I’m not losing my sentiment towards things and people but more so adding value to the sentiment of which I associate with these sorts of things.

Amongst an endless array of things, my relationship history with my husband has made me understand where one should put their time versus where one’s time is wasted. Our relationship has been an investment from day 1, knowing we would become one of those idiot couples attempting long-distance in the coming months after our first few dates – we knew that whatever level of trust we were about to reveal and demand to/from each other was going to determine the investment we were about to involve ourselves in. And each day since then we have had to invest a huge amount of our time into each other, our histories, our lives, and our future. And like any investment it has fluctuated in the market, but it’s one based off of a life-long plan and in order for it to succeed and flourish in its duration, it’s one that requires mutual trust, respect, and time inputted. So why should I involve my time in any other investment if it won’t stand by these same notions; if there isn’t sufficient mutual respect, trust, and time inputted, why should I invest myself into it any further?

Right now I am going through a strange emotional roller coaster – no, no, not a roller coaster, but maybe more like one of those experiences where you get in a bus in a small mountain village which rides along the routes that border the cliff of a death fall without guardrails, but with many bumps and turns.. yeah, it’s one of those ride-alongs. People don’t quite understand what it is we’re going through right now or what we have gone through up until now. Three years apart. And no, we don’t have a lot of money between us which would finance frequent visits throughout the months. And no, we don’t have any updates on our visa processing (which is the norm, expected, and all apart of the immigration process – but nonetheless annoying). We are in limbo, and my day-to-day life is fully invested in the repercussions of our situation – my logistics, my money, my time, my thoughts, my strength. And if people don’t understand the unbalanced motions of my life right now and if they are not invested in comprehending my frustrations as I do theirs, then why should I further invest in such relationships? I am in the first year of marriage, and in a normal situation this is a crucial time for any couple, but for us it only adds to our stress. It’s hard. It’s hard on us. And I miss him more than my sad-face emoticons could ever express.

The thing is, is I care. But I think at times I’ve invested my time and trust into others who have taken my ‘money’ and used it for their advantage alone and not mine when I’ve truly, truly needed it.

I think it’s an adult thing. Mixed with a life-lesson thing. It’s one of dem things.

Keep strong and carry on,

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

Someone Dumped a Crap Load of Smiles On Me This Week


To You,

This past week has brought me a crap load of loveliness. Like, a serious crap load. And it all arrived in an SUV.

My wonderful husband-face visited my homeland for the very first time and it brought me the utmost of annoyingly giddy joy! In a rare set of events, he was able to have the time to do so and so he did and I am so, so appreciative of his trip up here. With a daughter on his weekends free, a tightly scheduled job in order to earn the moolah, and a few other bumps that are present in our ever so odd relationship, his opportunities to visit me are minimal, but someone somewhere knew that I was so desperately in need of something wonderful to restore my faith that we will get through this immigration process fluidly and solidly and it was sent to me this week in the form of my Husband-Face.

You see, my Husband-Face is my best-friend. He truly is. I have a rough day: I want to tell my husband. I have a good day: I want to share it with my husband. I want to go antique hunting: I would go with my husband. Sports, news, art, design, coffee drinking, bad movie watching – it all works with my husband. I think more than anything through these past few years of dating long-distance and now being married long-distance, there aren’t many people who understand our plight more than each other. We are each other’s confidant, we have to be. He is not just a best-friend, but more so my partner and he came up here when I needed something wonderful the most, and I can never express my gratitude enough for that.

He’s headed back to Indiana now, and as always it’s not just that I miss him but rather that I feel like something is missing from me. He is truly, truly wonderful and one of the best people I have come across and I am beautifully blessed to have him locked in as my husband. [Yeah, that’s right Mr. Husband-Face – I said locked in :)]

Sweet dreams and keep on keeping on,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo