Saturday, November 1, 2014

Visa Update


Well, after sending out my application I have been nervous and stressed about the entire process.  My brain kept thinking horrible thoughts; "What if I missed something? What if I made a mistake on the deadline? What if I get someone who is having a really bad day, and decides to reject every application that crosses his desk?"  Well, I tortured myself for a week and a half and then I got an email. It said I had mailed my application and documents to the wrong place.

I sent everything to New York; apparently they haven't processed settlement applications since 2012. Well f**k me. I also sent the wrong kind of shipping label as they don't take hand written FedEx waybills so I made TWO BIG FAT GIANT mistakes. I forwarded Vern the email and I called my mom. I had trouble holding it together when I told her. {As I'm typing this I'm sitting in a public laundromat with my eyes filling with tears as I recall that horrible day. Hope no one notices.} Anyway, I think I made my mom cry. I  just needed my mom that day, it wasn't my intent to upset her but my parents really want Vernon and I to be happy and to be together.  I cried for days, actually lost my appetite for three days and felt like my life was over.  I will never get to be with my husband.  We will have to re-do this entire process and will have to come up with ANOTHER $1,513, but with the way the economy is going, and how the value of the dollar is getting worse, we would never be able to come up with that amount of money again.  I also pride myself in being an intelligent person and to make such a dumb mistake I was so embarrassed.  People were constantly asking me "Have you heard anything?" and I would lie and say "no".  Only a couple people new what I had done and I really didn't want anyone else to know.

Vernon, my wonderful husband, remained positive and managed to keep me from going out of my mind or slipping into a deep depression.  I got the application and paperwork back after a couple more weeks and more shipping costs. I had to go through my paperwork again because they went through everything in New York.  I put it all together again for the immigration folks in the UK and added a cover letter explaining the embarrassing error.  I went to the post office and sent it again, incurring more shipping costs to get everything to the UK and to get my originals back from the UK. THEN!... there was a mix up in Green Bay with my package because they were being dumb, and an amazing USPS employee here in Iron Mountain went above and beyond to make sure my package made it to the UK when it was supposed to.  At this point I'm feeling as if there is an evil force trying to keep me from moving to the UK.

Well, this is how the rest of this went:

  • Monday, October 13: UK Immigration received my application and documents per tracking ID.
  • Tuesday, October 14: I received an automated email saying they received my application.  I then received a second automated email saying I'm missing the Appendix 2. {WILL THIS NEVER END?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!} I worked on the Appendix 2 that night.  It is a 17 page document.
  • Wednesday, October 15:  Finished working on the Appendix 2 and planned on emailing it from work tomorrow morning.
  • Thursday, October 16, 6:30am: I received an automated email saying "A decision has been made and my passport will be shipped via UPS tracking ID blah blah blah..." 
Then all hell breaks loose. I am sobbing uncontrollably, get Vern on a hangout, I can barely talk I'm crying so hard, as I naturally assume they have denied me.  "I haven't turned in the Appendix 2 yet!" There was no deadline, it hadn't been 2 days yet. Why would they do this to us? I've worked so hard, I'm employed, I'm responsible, I deserve to live with my husband!  Why didn't they wait for the Appendix 2?  Vernon did some research while I'm hyper ventilating and crying and he's remaining unusually positive.  I think he's being crazy as there is no way they'd approved me.  My passport was picked up by UPS before I even emailed the Appendix 2 but I emailed it anyway.

  • Monday, October 20: the package arrives via UPS at work. I have to wait until Vern is home from work and I go into my boss' office and start a hangout.  I open the package together with Vern, he looked like he was about to be sick and felt like this was not going to be good at all, I started to cry before I even got it open.  I found my passport and went through it... > > > > >









YUP, I GOT IT! {CRYING AGAIN}

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Visa Application


This visa application process has many steps.  After I knew I had all the information I needed I had to log into the UK Visas and Immigration site and start the process there.  I had to create an account and submit my application electronically.  Vernon was online with me in a Google Hangout and we were screen sharing so he could help me with whatever information I needed, and it was a good thing he was there.  This application took us nearly 3 hours to complete. Not sure if that is the norm or if we did a lot of talking or what but we were online with this application for quite some time.  This is not something to rush through so if you are going to do this, make sure you have plenty of time set aside and access to your sponsor or family member for any questions.  You can save the application without processing it so if you need to save it unfinished you can do that too.  It's also good to save as you go. I made the mistake of not saving which I think is one of the reasons it took us so long to get this done.  We also had to pay for our application during this time.  In US dollars it cost us $1,513.  That amount will most likely change as the currency exchange fluctuates.

After I completed the online application I had to pick a location and date to get my biometrics done.  I chose Milwaukee because I planned on being in the area in a few weeks and it would give me time to get my supporting documents together.   It is very important to print and keep these three items: 1. Your completed application. You will need it for your biometrics appointment.  2. Your biometrics appointment letter. You can't get past security without it. 3. Proof of application payment.  I don't remember if they looked at it at my biometrics appointment but you will need to send it along with your application and supporting documents.  When it came time for my appointment I arrived at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Milwaukee. (USCIS) The security was the same as at an airport. I read that phones and beverages are not allowed so I just left it all in the car.  <<<Me parked with a view of the building I have to go to.  I got there early which was REALLY REALLY smart.  When I got there I had plenty of places to park, there was no one there except one family, but maybe 10 minutes after I arrived the people started pouring in.  I showed security my US Passport (photo ID) and my appointment letter and they x-rayed my purse and went through it.  After security I was asked to stand in front of another door and wait for someone to help me.  They looked at my letter, application and photo ID, wrote something on my application and told me to have a seat and wait until my number is called.  After a short wait, my number was called, I went into another room and a very friendly woman had me clean my hands with sanitizer. She took my photo, then had me stand in front of this glass plate where she wiped my fingertips and placed my fingers on the glass.  My fingerprints appeared before my eyes on the screen in front of me. It was very cool! No ink, no mess! Everyone from security to the fingerprint lab was very professional and friendly and kept people moving along. My appointment was for 11am, but I got there before 10:30 and I was out of there before 11.

Finally, I had to get my supporting documents together.  I didn't put in as much time before the appointment as I should have, and then took a road trip to see my daughter the weekend after my appointment which left me only with a few days to make my copies and put all my paperwork together.  I miscalculated how  much time I would actually need to do this.  I had access to a large table where I could spread out and worked every night for 3 nights until midnight, During this time I got really sick, landing me in bed over the weekend that I was supposed to finish putting this stuff together.  I finally got it finished 2 days later than I would have liked, but I was still within the 2 week deadline after my biometrics appointment.  Remember to be mindful of the deadlines.  The paperwork ended up being 11 pounds and I spent over $100 to have it overnighted.  I also included a box and shipping label for returning my originals.  It was hectic, stressful and very emotional when that package was taken from my sight but now it's just time to sit back and wait until I hear from the UK whether my visa application is accepted or not.  They say 8-12 weeks so we'll see how it goes.



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Working in the UK

As I've mentioned I am moving to England. When I told my boss he informed me that I would be able to continue working from the UK.  At first this sounded simple, just take my computer overseas and just keep doing what I'm doing.  Well, there is a lot more to think about. Should I stay on as an employee? Should I work as an independent contractor? Do I create a business? I'm not even sure.  I don't know whether to create a US LLC or a UK LLC; or if I need to create anything at all. If I create a UK LLC will that create problems for the company I work for? If I create a US LLC will I be paying double taxes? What are the pros and cons of remaining an employee? So many questions.

 I have been reaching out to various resources for help and not getting much of a response, however there is a group on Linkedin that I reached out to and they have sent me an abundance of information that I checked out.  Have some things to research yet as it was all very thorough and kind of complicated.  I have family that is willing to help me out with this stuff too but I still need to get the UK side figured out. It's difficult finding people on the UK side when I am six time zones away.  So far Linkedin has been my best resource. Vernon has reached out to a type of UK Citizen information site. Not exactly sure how they will be able to help him but it's a step into finding the right information we need.  Our goal is to make this as painless as possible for us and my employer.

My biggest fear about moving to England was not having a job.  I've always had a job, since I was a kid.  My father always talked to us kids about working hard and having a strong work ethic.  We all have this.  My mom made many sacrifices and always put us first.  My dad put in long hours and made sure we always had what we needed.  I can't imagine not having a job.  I don't understand how people who deliberately live off the government have any self worth or pride.  I've always wanted my daughter to be proud of me and I don't want her thinking that it's ok to take advantage of the government benefits.  It's ok to get help when needed, but don't ever EXPECT a handout when all you want to do is nothing.  I'll beat her ass before I let that happen.  So far she's made me a very proud mom.

When I finally get to England, it will be nice to combine our households and have that extra bit of cash needed for getting things for our home and yard, going on little weekend getaways and of course, feeding my pizza and movie habit.  I really can't wait to see how frugal I can be with grocery shopping.  I want to get into saving money and finding those sales.  I also believe in shopping local, not a big fan of the WalMarts of the world so anxious to take advantage of the local farmers' markets and shops.

Wish us luck with this entire process. Lots to do and lots to think about.  I am very grateful for being able to keep my job and excited that I will be able to work from home and have dinner with my husband every night.  I'm always looking for advice and resources regarding this employment situation so leave a comment if you have anything for us.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy Anniversary to the Love of My Life


I don't even know where to begin.  I can't believe it has already been a year since we promised each other our unconditional love.  We are in the process of applying for my visa and it has been an interesting and stressful journey.  There have also been talks of what we would do on a quiet rainy Sunday, what color I want the bedroom to be, the condition of the living room furniture, money, kids, babies, parents, and everything in between.

I like it when you call me your wife, and I love calling you my husband.  I am very proud to be your wife because of the kind of son, brother, friend, father and granddad you are.  I am also very proud of your work ethic.  You set an incredible example for your children and you treat everyone around you with respect.

You tell me I'm beautiful every time you talk to me, even when I have just rolled out of bed with my hair going in every direction and have puffy eyes.   You tell me you need me, you want to spend time with me, and you want me to watch Star Trek with you even if it is against my will.  :)

I wish we could spend our first anniversary together.  I wish I could be there watching Star Trek with you.  I wish we could have a romantic dinner we cooked ourselves. But, we'll have to settle for a Google Hangout and lunch/dinner via webcam.

I appreciate you. I love you. I cherish you and can't wait for us to be together forever.  I love being your wife and I miss you so much.  Tomorrow will be fun, and we can celebrate together....I just realized I forgot the root beer.  Darn! I have a bottle of wine, I'll just crack that open.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HONEY! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Passport

Well, in order to get the process of this Visa thing going I need a passport.  I had one, but I need to change it to my married name and it had just expired.  All I had to do was fill out the DS-82, (make sure you fit the criteria first to use this form). I got this off the Travel.State.Gov website.  Then I went to the post office and had them look over the form and take my picture.  That was fun because the lady taking my picture was pretty short, she was holding the camera over her head and had to re-do my photo about three times.  I also need two passport photos for my Visa application so I asked for extra copies and she was able to print those off too.  There is an extra fee for the passport photos.  It is not included in the passport fee.  Same government, different departments.  She cut the photo for me and stapled it to my application.  I then had to mail my application, attached photo, original Marriage Certificate (to show proof of name change), and my most recent passport with a check for $170.00 ($110.00/passport, $60.00 to expedite) and mail it all to the special expedited passports address on the application.  Super easy. Expensive, but super easy.  I'm now waiting for my passport to come back so I can continue with getting my Visa paperwork together.  Should take 2-3 weeks.  I am able to check the status if I want at the same website.

The Visa information states that I am not allowed to smile. It messes with the facial recognition software or something?  So I'm trying to keep a straight face.  The postal employee is trying to make me laugh and I did crack a smile but I'm mumbling, "I can't smile!" and he's doing this song and dance thing.  Lucky we got the picture because I was losing hope.

Because of the sudden moving situation I really haven't been focused on Visa paperwork, just the passport and getting packed and moved.  It's been stressful but I'm feeling better about the move, feel much happier in general, and really excited to be moving in with such a wonderful friend who is very accommodating and generous.

Have you or anyone you know gone through this process?  Any tips or advice for me or Vernon?  I'll take everything I can get.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Missing My Husband on a Cold Rainy Day


Today is a very chilly damp day.  I've been trapped in the woods all day waiting to talk to my husband on Google Hangout and the strong winds somehow blew the power out to the house.  It came on again pretty quick but then the internet was out. Thought it would kick in after a few minutes but no luck. I went upstairs and restarted the router, no go.  For the next two hours it was off and on about 3 times.  Can't use my data because there is no mobile service out here.  So, I didn't get to talk to my husband on Father's Day and I didn't get to see him on our usual Sunday Hangout.

I guess the combination of it being Father's Day and it being so cold and crappy out really made me miss Vernon.  The thunder and lightening finally came and it just downpoured in sheets for about 5 minutes.  All I wanted was to be cuddled up with him on the couch.  I was so chilled, and he keeps me warm.

I've been catching up on my shows, which I never have time to watch because of work and not living alone. Vernon sent me a message in between internet outages and said to relax, watch something and take it easy so that is what I'm doing. Even though I'm getting caught up on "The 100" and "Bates Motel" I'm still sad.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day Honey!


Happy Father's Day to my wonderful patient sexy husband.  Every day he loves and guides his two kids, Tom and Yaz as they grow and become responsible adults. They are both parents now and I find it comforting that they have a perfect example to look up to.  This is Diego, the newest member of the Phillips family.  He's getting big fast and so far, Grandad is the only one who can put him to sleep every time.  He does something called the "Diego dance". I can't wait to see that one.  I also love to see Grandad playing with sweet Saffron.  She's old enough to miss him when she hasn't seen him in a while. 


As I've said before, not only is Vernon a great dad to his two kids, he has been the attentive, supportive loving dad that my daughter deserves and never got.  She loves him and wants him to be happy.  She knows that he will always be there for her no matter what.  

Happy Father's Day Honey, I wish I could be there to spend the day with you and all the kids.  Would be an amazing day! I love you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I'm Moving to England!

Never again do I have to endure the extreme pain that this view causes me.  I am moving to England.  This has been something that we have  been talking about for a while and the wheels are finally set in motion.  I am amazed at how difficult and expensive this process is.

 The UK Border Agency has changed their website a few times since we started researching the Visa process and I'm really liking the brand new set up.  Much easier to navigate.  I'm not too fond of the income threshold requirement which was set in place in 2013. I was fearful that we would not meet that, but thankfully we do.  Well, I shouldn't say "we" because they don't care that I make well above the income threshold, they don't care that I am a self sufficient English speaking tax paying American, and they don't care that I have a job and an impressive résumé showing a variety of skills and experience.  They only care about Vernon's income.  We are lucky that he met the threshold so we at least know we wont be denied because of that.  The main areas they will be looking at are:  Finances, Proof of Relationship, Legal Marriage, and me not having a questionable/criminal background or a scary communicable disease.  This process is getting less intimidating the further we go because it's just paperwork isn't it? We don't have to make anything up, we don't have anything to hide, we just have to do what we love doing... telling people about our relationship.

I am a 43 year old mom and I have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years.  I have moved in with my parents and have thrown out, given away or sold most of my belongings, furniture, and household items. That was a very difficult thing for me to do.  I plan on hiring an international mover because I will be bringing along a few boxes and some select pieces of furniture that I am very attached to.  That process will be expensive also.

The MOST difficult part of this will be moving away from my daughter.  She is my world.  We have discussed it and she is not thrilled that I'm moving but she wants me to be happy and she loves Vernon like a dad.  She is attending school at Western Michigan University and her major is English, secondary education. In less than 2 years she will be a teacher somewhere on either coast of the US.  Maybe we can convince her to find a job in the UK? Ha ha, let's get me over there first.

So, not only is this the most stressful, difficult and expensive thing I have ever done in my life, I get offered a little challenge.  I was informed last week that Heidi and I will be homeless at the end of the month.  I cried for days.  Didn't eat much or sleep at all.  I hated everyone except Vernon and Heidi.  I even hated myself because I have finally failed to keep a roof over my kid's head.  In the past we've lived without enough food, months without hot water, managed to live years without a phone, TV, and internet as those items are luxury items, and have gone several days without heat in the brutal UP winters because nobody gives a shit if you are a single mother who can't afford to pay the heat bill, but she always had a roof over her head.  I had nightmares of us living in my car in the parking lot at work. What if people found out? Where would I shower? Nobody wants people in their house, they have stuff to do, family plans, no room, I don't blame them.  Asking the people that I asked was the most humiliating thing I've ever had to do, and they would have helped if they could, but it's not like I'm asking to borrow their lawn mower for the afternoon.  Also, during all of this, my dear husband landed himself in the hospital.  My life was falling apart and getting to the UK seemed impossible now and Vernon is so sick he's in the hospital.  I was afraid to tell him what was going on with me and I ended up doing the selfish thing and dumped my problems onto him.  The thing is, he's the only one I depend on, the only person I can really talk to. He should be, he's my husband. But I should have been a better wife and waited until he was better.  Now he's going to read this and scold me because he wants me to tell him everything that is going on with me, good and bad, because that is the amazing man that he is.  I just know it makes him feel helpless when he can't help me with such problems, just like I feel helpless with him being in the hospital without his wife by his side comforting him.  I will add that mum and dad have been absolutely AMAZING during this time and have taken a lot of the worry and guilt off of me for not being there. Well, Vernon seems to be better and should be getting out tomorrow and I have found a place to live.  A friend has a spare room for me and Heidi and she has already made us feel welcome and wanted; and we haven't even moved in yet.  I don't know if I will ever be able to thank her enough for this.

Another challenge that I faced this week was my boss.  I have been fearing this conversation for months.  How do I tell my boss, who has expanded my skill set, taught me new things, challenged me, and promoted me that I am moving to England?  Well, I did just that and his reaction was that he was happy for me, expecting this conversation sooner or later, and was ready with his answer.  He said I couldn't get away that easy and told me that I would be allowed to work remotely from England after I move.  How amazing is that? I'm going to get to keep my job. I love my job. Thank goodness it's in Salesforce.com and IT. Not everyone can do what I have the privilege of doing which is work from home.  That conversation was yesterday, and I think it finally kicked in today because I really haven't been able to enjoy my good news as I have been focused on Vernon and his health.  This weekend we will celebrate and I will give him all the awesome juicy details during our Google Hangout.

Well this is already ridiculously long but I have so much to say. I will keep you posted and try to document this process.  I've been getting help from a fellow blogger/friend who did the same move and has been very supportive, informative and helpful.  One day I hope to do the same for another soon to be expat.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Love Is All Around, Wet Wet Wet

Over our 14 year relationship Vernon has burned me many CD's; and as technology changed, shared many digital songs with me. I thought that if there is a while in between blog posts I would do a quick post on one of "our songs" that pops into my head; and we have lots of them.

This one is special to me because it is the theme song to one of our favorite movies "Four Weddings and a Funeral". He's also sent it to me on a CD. I get emotional every time I hear it.


 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Wedding


We got married July 27. It was an intimate ceremony at my parents' house. Last summer was rainy and cool and on our wedding day it drizzled off and on all morning.  The plan was to do everything outside: Get married, play cornhole and enjoy our shredded turkey sandwiches in the sunshine.  I was stressing over the sporadic rain but when it came to "I do" time, it stopped. We had our ceremony, took pictures, and it started up again.  I feel like God stopped the rain just for us.  The photos below were taken by a local photographer, Mearleen's Photography. She also made us the most amazing DVD. The DVD was very important to us because Vernon's parents were not able to be at the wedding. I told Mearleen how we wanted it done so that my future in-laws didn't miss anything. She delivered exactly what we wanted.  We couldn't have asked for a more perfect wedding day.

Salon 323

Perennial Gardens

Vernon, my daughter and nephews decorating the sign for the four wheeler.

We wanted an eggless cake and a local girl who bakes as a hobby sold her first cakes to us.  She went above and beyond to find the most amazing eggless cake recipe and then perfected it. 

This handsome couple graced the top of my parents' wedding cake many years ago.

Perennial Gardens


We did a "first look". Then I put on his boutonniere

I was trying so hard not to cry.







I love this girl!

Ok Ok, I had to throw a little bit of Yooper in there.

I can't believe we all fit inside. My family did an amazing job moving everything into the house.

I wish we could do it again.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Love is an Open Door

A selfie I sent to Vernon on Valentine's Day
I'd like to post more often than I do but I don't always have the time so I thought I'd post various songs that have some relevance in our relationship. Some for the both of us, some more for me than him and vice versa.

Ever since I saw the movie Frozen I fell in love with the music.  Had to get the soundtrack immediately.  I listen to it every day on my commute to and from work which is about a 50 minute drive.  I know these songs and I sing along. This particular song reminds me of me and Vernon, our relationship and how fast it grew.  We are in sync with each other and have had similar experiences, much like Anna and Hans.  I absolutely love this song.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Two New Years and One Valentine's Day

One of the things that make a long distance relationship difficult is a holiday.  People want to spend the holidays with their loved ones, whether it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, or in this case, New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day.




New Year's Eve is when couples share their first kiss of the year.  Vernon and I had an amazing 2013 by getting married and introducing him to my extended family who welcomed him with open arms.  We are excited for 2014 because this is going to be a great year for the both of us.  Our kids are becoming adults and we are enjoying calling each other husband and wife.  We celebrated 2013 and watched the fireworks over Big Ben and the London Eye.  Vernon turned the computer around so I could see and he sat on the floor.  We were in a silly mood, and had a toast at Midnight Greenwich Mean Time/ 6pm Central Standard Time.  We both had a root beer.

/

Then... 6 hours later at Midnight Central Standard Time we had another toast! I was just planning on going to bed after talking to Vern earlier and he says, "I'll set my alarm early tomorrow and we can see in your New Year".  I wasn't even going to ask him to get up early so I was happy that he wanted to do this.  We had a second toast, root beer for me again and I think he had coffee. I had fallen asleep from 11 to 11:30 so I was not as silly as I was earlier. He caught me dozing too as he tried calling me and I didn't pick up right away. He knows me too well. 


Vernon has not missed one Valentine's Day.  He is always so thoughtful and gets me something wonderful every year.  The packages arrived a week early and I was anxious to open them.  A small box from Amazon and a bigger box from Barnes and Noble cried my name every day... "Kimberly! Open Me!" No matter how much I begged, he would not let me open them.  Then finally, February 13, late at night I got to Google Hangout with Vernon while he got ready for work and I got to open my presents! They were perfect!






Leave a comment below and let me know how you celebrate New Year's Eve or Valentine's Day with your loved ones.  I'm curious to see what will happen on Valentine's Day if we ever spend one together. 


Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Do you want a slow dance or not"

Fourteen years. We have been together for fourteen years.  Sometimes I just can't believe it has been that long, and yet I can't seem to remember a time when I didn't know Vernon.  It's as if he's been with me my entire life.  Vernon's been working on a project going through our old emails, trying to get them organized. He found a very important one, one I really don't remember typing, yet I remember those feelings like it was yesterday.  I sent him an email after 2 1/2 months of exchanging letters, emails and what I think was one phone call where I paced up and down the living room holding note cards with things to talk about because I didn't want him to think I was a moron. I was shocked to see the date of this email, because like I said, I remember the feelings, it's everything else that's a bit of a blur.  This email defines our relationship now.  This email really expresses our connection to each other at such an early point in our friendship.  I've omitted the babbling and boring bits.

 To:  VERNON PHILLIPS
Date:  8 December 1999, 00:48
I hate this!  I really hate this!  Vernon, aren't we supposed to be JUST
pen pals?  I am having a bad week.  This is going to be unlike any email
you have ever gotten from me.  I am having a bad week.  I am lonely.  I
am very lonely.  It has been a really REALLY long time since I felt
loved, secure and happy.  Then you had to say you wanted to dance with
me, "slow".  My stomach took a jump when I read that.  No one ever said
that to me before.  Not even my husband.  I don't want to fall for you
but you are not making it easy for me.   You are too damn nice and
really funny and easy to talk to.  I don't even know what you look like
and I don't care.  I was really sad this past weekend when you didn't
call.  Really sad.  I'm crying now.  I am also getting the impression
that you are falling for me.  I hope not.  It would be impossible, just
impossible.  We are too far apart and we both have kids that really
can't leave the country.  Sometimes I find myself daydreaming and it's
of me and you and i am in your arms and we are dancing so close and so
slow... Also, if you are falling for me, guys are different than
girls, you may not like the way I look.  I'm not skinny.
 ....You are so wonderful to me Vern, I really
like you.  I guess I just have to get out and meet some friends up here
in Michigan.  Then maybe I wouldn't feel so lonely.  I love your emails,
you are so sweet.   
....I think you are very special and I
think of you all the time... all the time.  I just felt like spilling my
guts to you tonight.  I miss you and hope you write soon.
Thinking of you...
Kimberly xxoo
Now this is Vernon's response to my gut spilling email.
To: Kimberly Jimenez
Date: 9 December 1999, 20:00
Our relationship, being what it is, prevents either of us from falling
too far. I do think about you a lot, and it's clear from reading your
letter that your thoughts have echoed mine, with regards to the
impossibility of our relationship ever going beyond a certain point.
We both have our own lives, our own families, children etc. I would
love to think that we could meet one day in the not so distant future,
but I don't want you to think that I am messing with your mind. I'm
sorry that you are lonely, I know that feeling all too well. 
 ....As usual I am unable to spend the right amount
of time on this letter, and for that I apologise. You deserve a better
effort from me, but before I write again I have to ask, would you
rather I was JUST a pen pal. Your friendship is important to me, and I
don't want it to end, but I don't want to become a problem for you, so
I suppose it's a question of "Do you want a slow dance or not" :-)
Until the next time,
-Vern.
Well, you all know the answer to that question.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Teeny Tiny Penises and CUPCAKES!

I had been busy planning the wedding and the closer it got to the big day the more stressed I became.  My friend Heather asked if she could throw me a bridal shower and bachelorette party.  I immediately said no, it just wasn't necessary.  I felt I was too old, I don't have any bridesmaids to help out and I didn't want my friend to take on this burden alone.  She insisted and convinced me to have these gatherings.  Boy am I glad I listened to her!  What fun they were. My girlfriend put together the nicest parties I could have asked for.  I also really needed the "me" time because I hadn't done anything for myself in months.

The bachelorette party was pretty low key, at my request.  We had my favorite...pizza! There was a game of pin the kiss on the shirtless guy and penis shaped swizzle sticks, (because she couldn't find penis shaped straws at the last minute).  We did have fun with the penis shaped swizzle sticks.



Another wonderful day was my bridal shower.  I couldn't have asked for a nicer time.  Heather and her girls really went all out.  The food was amazing and she came up with such clever games.  Everyone there had a great time.  There was only one slight mishap.... we had to search for safety pins in a bowl of rice, blindfolded.  When it was my daughter Heidi's turn we placed a frosted cupcake in front of her instead of the rice... let's just say I ended up with cupcake all over my dress from a hostile shower guest.  It was great! At the wedding expo I signed up to register at Presents of Mine and I'm so glad I did. I got a lot of really beautiful items for our future home together. 





I felt so blessed and so loved after this amazing weekend of a girls night out and then an afternoon of great food and laughs.  I don't feel I could ever thank Heather enough for everything she has done for me.  What a wonderful start to the wedding I've been waiting a long time for.