25 January 2010

AOS interview with USCIS

Enough acronyms for you? Welcome to the alphabet soup that is immigration law.

Today was our interview with the government for George's adjustment of status. We had to be interviewed because, to simplify the process a lot, we had asked the government to change George's legal immigration status from being temporary and based upon his employment to being permanent and based upon our marriage. We submitted a boatload of evidence (photos, joint bank account statements, joint insurance statements, wedding invitation, etc.) and showed up today ready to explain our relationship to convince the government that we have a bona fide marriage.

We had the world's shortest interview. Our examiner asked George his address, whether he'd ever been a member of a terrorist organization, and how we met. Then, I gave the examiner a few new pieces of evidence. She had printed our approval letter before we came into her office, so we were approved and on our way in approximately five minutes. George is now a conditional Legal Permanent Resident (LPR), and, yes, will soon be a "green card" holder.

It's not like we ever expected a problem - after all, we are a real married couple - but it still feels nice to have this behind us. Up next, we'll need to file to remove the condition (and prove to the government that we are still married) in the 90 days prior to the two year anniversary of this date. A year after that, George will be eligible to apply for citizenship. Who ever said that immigration is simple?

Thank you so much, Linda, for all of your help!

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and should not be relied upon.

20 January 2010

Seizing a mountain...and then some

Two of my interests are colliding: bankruptcy and snow sports.

Although I want to say that it's a good thing we took our most recent trip to Whistler when we did, the reality is that little will change in day-to-day operations in a bankruptcy of this magnitude. Still, I'm curious to see what, if any, effect this will have on the Olympics and on the rest of this snow season.

Lenders to Auction Whistler During Olympics

15 January 2010

Attitude Adjustment

This was not the best week of my life. It has not stopped raining in the past 5+ days. On Monday, two dear friends buried their father/father-in-law. I've worked almost twice my normal hours, yet a pile of undone work taunts me. Because it's the first week of classes for the semester, I've had to do my reading as it was assigned instead of being able to prepare for the week the weekend (or even day) in advance. Traffic has been absolutely miserable, forcing me to clock 8-10 hours in my car commuting in the past five days. I confirmed my spot in a bar prep class, essentially paying thousands of dollars for a rare form of torture. Yes, I have plenty of material for my very own pity party.

And then, I turn on the news and hear about all of the death and destruction facing the people of Haiti. I cannot even begin to comprehend the crisis or the everyday conditions in Haiti, let alone the combination of the two. This report that I heard on my way home last night really grabbed my attention. I was also especially touched by this story.

Attitude adjusted.

10 January 2010


Since this week marks six months of marriage and four years of our relationship, we booked a trip to Whistler, B.C. for this past weekend. Despite rain and less than perfect snow conditions on Saturday, we had a brilliant time.

We strolled through the village, which is festively decorated in lights in anticipation of the Olympics beginning in 33 days.

We rode the Peak 2 Peak gondola, which is a bit terrifying when the fog makes it look like you're about to ride into the clouds, but which is also an extremely convenient (11-minute) way to get from one mountain to the other.

George was extremely patient as he waited for me when we rode together. He's about a million times faster and more experienced on a board than I am. For our second day on the mountain, I opted to take a lesson so that George could go and explore some of the more challenging runs while I got some instruction. Turns out, I actually look and feel like a snowboarder after a challenging lesson and lots of practice. Thanks, Marius.

We also took some time during those runs to rest our boards and enjoy the view. So beautiful!

Christmas Dinner Table

Before I share some photos from our most recent adventure, I want to take you back to Christmas and share some photos from the table we set for Christmas dinner. We were blessed to share Christmas with ten friends, and I made the most of the opportunity to play Martha Stewart.

I am quite pleased with how the centerpieces turned out. The candlesticks were wedding gifts perfectly suited for a Christmas celebration. For the larger pieces, I simply filled hurricane glasses with a little sand, a pillar candle, and either jinglebells or wine corks. Now, even though the holidays have passed, I'm finding it difficult to put away these centerpieces.

These Fostoria dishes have been in my family since the early 1900s, both loved and hated by many. It only takes a moment to look at the dishes sparkling in the sun to know why my grandmother cherishes these dishes. And, after spending several hours washing all of these by hand, I have a pretty good idea why other members of my family hate them.

I think George did an excellent job folding the napkins in such a fancy pattern. Expecting a rectangle fold, I'd asked him to iron and fold the napkins, never dreaming that he was so talented with a square of cotton and a hot iron.

The new table, sideboard, and chairs are wedding gifts that have made big impacts in our kitchen. It's so nice to be able to host larger groups and to be able to store the kitchen items that do not fit in our other cupboards.

Sadly, I was so busy pulling food out of the oven and enjoying our friends on Christmas Day that I managed to completely fail to take a single picture of the festivities. Ugh.