A new journey

I knew 2014 was going to be a big year.

By now, many of you know My American popped the question.

And thus, a new journey begins. Today, we received our NOA-1, a Notice of Action that our K-1 visa application is now under adjudication at the California Service Center.

That’s right.

The girl with the tattoo of a Maple Leaf and old pipe-blade hockey skates is getting ready to pack up her stuff and make a run for the border. I joke about cheap beer and wine but many of you know how difficult it’s going to be to leave Canada and become an American.

spokane engagementWe have to jump through many hoops along the way and I plan on chronicling each milestone for you here.

I’m hoping that everything will go tickety-boo and, by Christmas, I’ll be married to one of the two loves of my life.

Of course, you all know who the No. 1 heartthrob is …

maremma sheepdog

How could you not love that face?

One step toward a giant leap

We have a (potentially) long process ahead of us yet. We await any Requests for Evidence and then the NOA-2, which will allow me to collect the information I require and schedule my medical and interview in Vancouver.

That’s right … a medical.

But not before I gather:

  • My long-form birth certificate
  • A blood test indicating immunization for various diseases (my records are long since lost in the Nova Scotia system)
  • A criminal record check
  • A letter of compliance from Ford indicating the Great Escape can enter the country under safety and emission standards.

You won’t be shocked to hear each one of these steps will likely cost a chunk of change.

But you shouldn’t be shocked to hear I’ve found a website that is helping me each step of the way. VisaJourney.com is a valuable resource to anyone jumping into the U.S. immigration process, whether you’re a fiancee, a wife or a worker.

And in the meantime, I have a few other things to take care of.

Reading

I bought a bunch of books. Fiction books.

I also have a bunch of books on the shelf I’ve never read … John Grisham, John Irving, Carl Hiaasen, Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin and others.

They’re getting read. I’ve pledged to read at least 100 pages every day.

It forces me to step away from my computer and give my eyes a backscreen break.

And since I have a huge backyard all to myself in this weather:

Learning

I am a voracious and quick reader, so 100 pages of fiction a day is a snap.

That leaves plenty of time to empty out my RSS feed, my Pocket bookmarks and my Google Play Newstand saves.

Good grief, that’s overwhelming. But those of you in the know — the content marketing realm, that is — know it’s an ever-changing industry and we have to keep pace with the jukes.

It can get tiring and frustrating and we all wish sometimes the social media world would just slow down a little bit and let us all catch up, right?

Getting fit

A few months ago, I probably whined on Twitter about not having enough time in the day.

That’s over. I got laid off from my job as a career advice expert, so now I’m home. All day. With just a couple of small contracts to handle and supplement my Employment Insurance paycheque.

I need to fill my days or I’m going to get monumentally bored. Going? OK, it may already have happened a time or two and it’s only been a few weeks.

So I’m:

  • Running: Sometimes five miles a day, sometimes eight, maybe 10, depends on how blistering hot it is in the Okanagan.
  • Cycling: I have to be careful. I live in an area with A LOT of hills. If I bike too hard, I can’t run and right now running is my passion.
  • TRX: Suspension training is my strength outlet. I can’t really afford a gym pass so this is how I’m pounding my muscles with resistance training. It’s all bodyweight work, although I have a kettlebell, a few dumbbells (two 35-lb and two 10-lb) and a 20-lb medicine ball.
  • Yoga: It isn’t so much about getting fit as it is about calming my mind. And if you know me well, you know that’s no easy task.

Ahem, pounds. You can see I’m already adjusting to life as an American.

Working

I’m holding onto a couple of small contracts.

However, if you know anyone looking for one-off website or communications writing contracts, send them my way.

Planning

I’m not sure how life will transform when … er, if (hello, very kind U.S. visa adjudicators, I love you!) … my K-1 visa application is approved.

Once I get approved, I can cross the border with all my stuff. We have 90 days to get married and then I can apply for an Adjustment of Status, at which time I can apply for dispensation to get a job. Yeah, I can’t work until the government lets me.

It’s frustrating because as Independent Career Girl I want to take care of myself and contribute to the household (and the Washington State tax system!).

But follow the rules I must.

Don’t you dare for a minute, however, think I don’t have plans. This website, with matching DotCom URL, will be relaunched at some point so I can share my journey as Independent Career Girl turned Housewife.

I might be talking about DIY stuff, lifehacking, cooking and gardening. Yeah, gardening … if my mother reads that, she’ll keel over from a heart attack. Believe this, I already have the sections of the backyard reserved for my tomatoes, herbs and what-not.

And then there’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 of my plan, which I’m not quite ready to talk about.

So get ready to see a lot of changes around here.

I’m ready for them. Are you?

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