Sunday, December 20, 2009

Busy in the Kitchen

Yesterday Katherine, Emma and I went to our Grandma's house to do some baking.  We had such a good time and even started our own baking group called the BAKE girls. The best part about the BAKE girls is that each of our names start with the letters to spell bake! Grandma Betty, Annie, Katherine and Emma. Pretty clever right? Grandma gets full credit for coming up with that...

Wondering about that darling tag? It is the tag used on our wonderful cakes we made! The BAKE girls' specialty is Rum cake-- a taste of Heaven mixed with a little bit of Hell (the rum).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Getting Organized!

It's probably a little early but recently I've been thinking about all the different things that I will and won't be able to bring over to Salt Lake. I recently purchased some dvd wallets for my collection of DVD's which of course will be totally useless without a multi region DVD player. That will probably have to be a first purchase.

My guitars are another thing I've been thinking about when I bring over. Are the to big for hand luggage? Probably! Shipping is so expensive though. The one thing I looked at and I'm just glad of is that I only have some stuff and not a full house. Now that is expensive to get over. I'm just lucky or maybe unlucky that I had to sell half my stuff because they won't work in the USA. Saved me some cash on shipping though.....

Anyway, you really don't think about all the different things that you have to organize. I never thought I'd have so much to do. At the moment I have plenty of time to get it done though.

I look forward to being able to pack for real. At the moment it feels like I'm getting organized for something that isn't real yet. It's all down to the government. I just hope we hear the good news sooner rather than later because I hate being away from Annie. Especially at this time of year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snow Days

All the snow lately has reminded me of a very fun night we had when Raymo was still in Utah. Unfortunately he missed the snow by a week so he still hasn't seen a "Utah winter" but we did have one good snow storm while he was here and we took full advantage!

At nearly 10 o'clock at night, Raymo, Katherine, Emma and I bundled up and headed outside for some good 'ole fashioned fun... Snowball fight!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Up All Night

I have my first shift since being back in Scotland. I'm now on the nightshift, 10 p.m. till 8 a.m. I'm pretty sure it will be horrible filling shelves all night. Nevermind though it's not for to long-just a few months- hopefully. Plus the money is better than working during the day. Not that I get to spend it though with visa's, flights... the list is endless. I'm sure I'll appreciate having put something aside when the time comes. I know that I've got something good to save toward!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

An Education in Immigration

Marrying an "alien" is hard, but not impossible. Like most people, both Raymo and I didn't realize how hard and time consuming obtaining a fiance visa would be but we are quickly finding out that patience is the key to making it through the process.

We are always trying to explain how the process works, so in an effort to keep everyone informed I thought I would share it on our blog...

*Please note this is the proccess as we understand it. Meaning, we could be wrong.*

First, I filed an I-129F. This document is a petition stating that I am an American citizen with a foriegn fiance who I plan to bring to the United States to marry, live, and work. Along with the I-129F both Raymo and I had to write personal statements about our current relationship and our intent for the future. And that's not all... we filled out papers about our general family and work history, gathered reciepts of money spent on eachother, copied flight iterneraries and included pictures of us together from last January through September. Finally, after completing the packet, I sent it off to the Office of Homeland Security in Laguna Nigel, California. We are currently waiting to hear if my petition was approved. The prcosssing time is about 5 months so we won't hear back until March.

If my petition has been approved, USCIS will notify the U.S. Consulate in London, England. Once they are aware of my petition they will "invite" Raymo to fill out a K-1 visa application. Because Raymo has not yet recieved an ivitation to fill this out we do not know specifically what we will be required to provide the U.S. Conulate with. We do however have some ideas from reading about it online. Some of the requirements include; pictures, emails, phone call logs, skype conversation logs, instant messanger conversations, receipts of money spent on eachother, statements given by family members, ect., ect. Raymo will also be required to have an interview at the U.S. Embassy in London.

If Raymo is approved and granted a Fiance visa, he has six months to enter the United States. Once here, we have 90 days to marry or Raymond will be kicked out of the Country. Don't think the process is over just yet though... Once we are married Raymo must apply to be a permanent resident with restrictions. For two years we will be on probation where the government is entitled to "check in on us" to ensure that we have a real relationship and are not committing fraud. After those two years Raymo will be able to apply for a green card and will be considered a permanent resident with no restrictions.

And that's how it's done!

Back to Scotland......

So that's me officially back in Scotland. It's not good. I'm already missing Annie and I'm looking forward to her visit in February. I've already got the clock counting down the days on my mac. Hopefully it will be the last trip made by one of us when we return on our own.
The journey isn't really all that bad. By the time your up in the air watched 2 movies and an episode of the office your pretty much landing. My only problem was that it was a 9 hour flight without separate screens so it was Harry Potter and 500 days of summer. I dealt with it though and It helped pass time.
Four hours in Paris was also helped by some PS3's being around the terminal so after a few games of Fifa and a look around the shops it was time to hit the last part of the journey.
Eventually I got back to Scotland and when I got home the first thing I did was well, obvious, I went to see if my beautiful fiancee was online.....
And now the waiting continues till February..... I'm just glad we have skype!

What to do, What to do

Now that Raymo has gone home I have to find things to keep myself busy. My latest endeavor is learning the art of calligraphy. Don't be fooled though, calligraphy is hard!

Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day! made it seem way easy. After reading her post on Project Wedding about calligraphy I was set on purchasing a calligraphy set and trying it out. When I told my parents my plan they successfully talked me out of spending the money on "professional tools". Instead I bought a chiseled felt marker and a sketch pad.

Despite my best efforts, I was quickly dissappointed with my calligraphy skills. Good thing I have 60 days to work on it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tying the Knot

Every blog starts with a story. So it only seems right to kick-off our blog with the story of our engagement. Just like all stories though, our story has two sides....

Raymo's side of the story...

We both knew that an engagement was coming so it was up to me to get the ball rolling. When I got back from a visit in September I was in contact with Annie's mum about getting a ring. After many emails and a lot of fun the ring and engagement was arranged ……
After the longest flight of my life I arrived in Salt Lake and I was so happy. I just wanted to get through to see Annie I could hardly wait to give her a massive squeeze. We soon got back to Annie's families house and hung out for the afternoon. Annie suggested going to ‘new moon’ at night which I tried hinting to not bother. Eventually I said ok and we booked tickets since I couldn't well say what my plans were for the night. With no sign of Annie's parents the nerves started to kick in again but eventually Annie's mum came in and said about dinner. When Annie's back was turned she made a gesture and mouthed towards me. Everything was going to plan. 
Off we went to Asia Palace a restaurant that we knew was nothing out of the ordinary to meet up with everyone. As we ate dinner I was trying to not do or say anything to give it away.  Conversation was following well and as the meal came to the end Annie’s dad began to hand out the fortune cookies. It was on…. 
The nerve’s kicked in as soon as I saw Annie open up her cookie. She looked confused. She then turned over her fortune to look even more confused. At this point I opened up my fortune cookie hoping that I did in fact have the correct one to get the ring. I turned to Annie and got down on one knee and asked her if she would marry me. She grabbed me instantly and gave me the biggest hug ever. I took it that it was a good sign. I asked her “do want the ring or not?”. I then placed the ring on her finger and give her another huge hug. We both looked down at the ring because this was the first I had actually seen the ring not in a photograph. It was perfect and I managed to surprise Annie as I had hoped.
After calling everyone we could think of back at the house we went to see New Moon. It was such a long day with lots of fun and excitement that when the movie was done we went straight home to bed.
What a great day though ……
Annie's side of the story...

I had been anticipating Raymo's arrival since the minute he left in September. Finally November 20th rolled around and I could hardly wait for his plane to land. I knew that at some point during his trip he would propose but that was the last thing I had been thinking about. I just couldn't wait to see him and just be able to talk, hug, and kiss-- you know that usual stuff. Finally he arrived. My day could not have been any better. Or so I thought... My mom had arranged for everyone to meet up for dinner at one of our favorite spots; Asia Palace. It didn't seem odd that she wanted to get everyone together for Raymo's first night in town and Asia Palace was the most unsuspecting place. As we ate dinner, conversation was flowing wonderfully and no one gave any hint as to the surprise that was coming soon. Raymo didn't even act strange which I always though would be a dead give-a-way on "the big night". After dinner my dad got up to get the fortune cookies. Like I said before, Asia Palace was the most unsuspecting place... the waiters never bring out the fortune cookies, it is your job to pick them up from the register so when my dad got up to get fortune cookies I thought nothing of it. One by one he gave everyone a cookie. I opened my cookie and could hardly believe the fortune when I saw it. Wait, let me back up one step... You know on a fortune cookie is has one side in English and one side in Chinese? Well I opened my fortune cookie up to a totally different language. It was Scottish Gealic! The only hint that it was something out of the ordinary was that it started with my name and ended with Raymo's. I turned the paper over to find it clearly written in English "Annie, will you marry me? Raymo". I'm sure my mouth dropped at that point. I turned to Raymo and found him down on one knee with a ring in hand. Although I didn't see him actually break his cookie open, I learned after the fact that the ring had indeed been insed his fortune cookie. It is hard to explain my reaction to seeing Raymo on a bended knee with a ring in hand. My mind was somewhere between shocked and over-excited. All I could think to do was give him a hug. After a few seconds (possibly a few tears) Raymo whispered in my ear "do you want the ring?". We both started laughing as he slipped the ring onto my finger. And that was it... we were officially engaged!
After dinner we went home and began calling family and friends to tell them our exciting news. We didn't have much time though... since I had no idea we would be getting engaged that night I had booked tickets to see New Moon. Afterall it was opening night and I was dying to see it! We ended our "engagement night" with a trip to the movies and litterally crashed when we got home. Between traveling and all the excitement of getting engaged we were seriously pooped!