Saturday, March 28, 2015

Five Favourites

Family photos under the blue skies of Tennessee from the-lifestyle-project.com

Fave photo: boys in blue. My husband and nephew – don't they look so alike? I just love these guys! I took this photo before I left Tennessee last week. I don't know about you but considering that it's snowing in Ottawa right now I could really go for those warmer spring temperatures that still seem to be a myth on this side of the border. 

Fave book: I just finished Yes Please by Amy Poehler and thought it was enjoyable. Not my favourite comedic memoir (that would be Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling) as it had some moments that lagged and chapters that didn't flow into each other very well, but Amy had lots of insightful things to say and funny stories to share. It also made for a great way to stay occupied during my road trip last week. I liked Yes Please a whole lot more than Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl which I also finished reading recently.
Fave moment: I turned 28 last week! This birthday was a little bittersweet considering that it was much more low-key than celebrations in years past (like when I turned 27 on the exotic island of Little Corn, Nicaragua), however this is probably the last birthday I'll spend with my parents and extended family for a while so that made it extra special. My grandpa has been very sick the past couple of weeks but he had a rare moment of lucidity just before I blew out the candles on my cake and pulled me aside to wish me a happy birthday. It was such a touching moment.

Fave present: My family completely outdid themselves and surprised me with a brand new unlocked iPhone 6 for my birthday. How crazy is that? I feel so spoiled but incredibly grateful. This is my first (yes first!) smartphone so I'm embracing it with open arms!

My first selfies as a 28 year old!
Fave recent blog post: I'm getting ready to buy a 13" MacBook Pro with retina display next month and have been warned about how it's a blessing and a curse at the same time because the resolution of many web images is seriously lacking. It'll be all the more obvious on a new Mac so this post from Sarah about manually resizing your photos with HTML code came at just the perfect time. My HP is about to bite the dust and I'm looking forward to a new laptop. After all this time I'm finally going to be up to date on my technology. It feels great!

What are some of your favourite moments from the past week?
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

We Regret to Inform You...

The process of getting a US Immigration Visa via the-lifestyle-project.com

Oh man. Where do I even begin?

The last time we caught up I had just received my immigration interview date at the US Embassy in Montreal. Somehow six weeks have passed since then where not once did I manage to open up Blogger and finish a complete and coherent post, but we’re going to gloss right on over that and pretend that I’ve been here all along, okay?

The past week in particular has been a busy one. I flew back from Tennessee, picked up my medical results in Toronto (turns out that yes I’m immune to the chickenpox), celebrated my 28th birthday, nursed a wicked hangover that could only be cured by immense amounts of sleep and junk food, took a six hour solo road trip to Montreal and Ottawa (where I am now), and most heartbreakingly, received a denial of my immigration visa application. 

On Monday morning I found myself awake 90 minutes before my alarm as the anxiety knots in my stomach could no longer be ignored. I arrived a whole hour early for my appointment (a definite first for me!) which turned out to be fortunate because just to get through security at the front door took 20 minutes. No cell phones, cameras, MP3s, remote keychains for your car, purses larger than 10x12”, food or drinks... the list of prohibited items went on and on. 

After an excruciatingly long two hours past my designated appointment time (!!?!), I finally heard my number called over the loudspeaker and made my way to the back of the room for my interview. It was surprising how informal it seemed to just walk up to window eight and stand in front of the pane half-shouting my answers to the consulate officer on the other side. 

The officer double checked some of my documents and asked me a few simple questions about my address, my employment, how I met my husband, and what he did for a living. 

“So is your husband still working at the job listed here?” she asked.

“Yes, he is,” I replied.

“Okay, I’ll just need you to prove that. Do you have any of his pay stubs from this month?”

“Um… no. However, I do have originals of the ones we submitted with our application online and a confirmation letter from his employer,” I offered.

“Well, those are from 2014 so they’re outdated now.”

“And whose effing fault is it that my application has been sitting around for six months and the documents are now outdated?!” I wanted to snarkily reply. Instead I simply looked at her, hoping that the message would be conveyed through the subtle raising of my eyebrow. 

“Just a minute please,” she said as she walked away from the desk.

My heart started to sink. This wasn’t going the way I hoped. Why didn’t they just tell me I specifically needed to bring my husband's latest pay stubs to my interview? Why didn’t she want to see all the adorable wedding and travel photos I’d brought along? Why didn’t she care about the emails and itineraries and records proving the longevity of our relationship? 

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