Once again… separated, but who will complain if a date for re-union is basically set for in a couple of weeks? ;) The only thing that sucks is that I won’t be there for J’s birthday and Halloween. I really wished I would have made it back to CA by then.
This was a fun weekend. Kim got here Friday night and we went out to dinner at my favorite Italian place in my town. Remember how she was not meant to go out to dinner? So we had to make up for that :)
She had yummy Pasta frutti di mare [=with seafood] and I had a tomato soup and Insalata Gigli [= with tuna, onions and white beans] … not to forget, the yummy pizza rolls with garlic butter!
We got up around 10 a.m. Saturday, had coffee and breakfast and were checking something
on the Internet, when my Mom checked the mailbox and was yelling up the stairs “Sandra,
here’s an important letter for you!”.
So know you can have a guess who it was from?! :) The American Consulate in Frankfurt!
We were flipping out… this is the letter I have been waiting for since the middle of July! It’s
such a coincidence, too, that Kim was here with me when I got it, because we had been
talking about the LDR situation for such a long time.
I have an interview appointment for the beginning of November. Yeah, it’s still about 5 weeks
and that sucks, but AT LEAST we have a date now! I probably won’t be able to fly out before the end of November which – also – sucks, but I think I am ok with it now. Like I said, AT LEAST we have a date and can start planning.
Ilka arrived shortly after lunch time and we had some coffee first and then Ilka did our hair. I needed a haircut very badly and I also got some new color :) It looks so much better now. [Thanks hun!]
We went out for some cocktails in the evening and caught up on the latest news :) It’s just fun to hang out with the girls :)
Sunday morning, after a yummy breakfast, we drove to DÃƒÂ¼sseldorf and had some coffee at Starbucks. Then we dropped Kim off at Pia’s and Ilka left around 6 p.m. [Thanks for the awesome weekend, girls!]
So it’s back to LDR again.
The last week with J was awesome. It’s amazing how much more important every minute of the day seems to be if you know that you only get to spend a couple of days together with your honey.
J arrived on Thursday, September 1st. I picked him up at the airport and surprised my Mom and Dad. They both thought I was visiting one of my friends when I showed up with him at home. Surprise = successful :)
In the evening we showed up at my sister’s place. She was totally flabbergasted to see J as well. I guess it really is baffling somehow if someone, who you expect to be 6000 miles away on a different continent, shows up out of the blue.
We also surprised my great-aunt and granddad on Friday afternoon, but we gave them a fair warning, because I was afraid that they would get a heart-attack if J just turns up on their doorpstep.
Friday night, Nina, J and I drove to MÃƒÂ¼nster. Dirk plays soccer for PreuÃƒÅ¸en MÃƒÂ¼nster in the Regionalliga Nord and we got VIP passes. It was awesome. I have never been to any of Dirk’s soccer matches before [yeah, yeah, please don’t ask me why], but it was fun! Having a VIP pass, we were allowed to park in a special parking lot behind the stadium, we had access to the VIP area [where you get free drinks and food] and roofed grandstand seats :)
J was all excited. He totally enjoyed being there and seeing Dirk play. I usually don’t like soccer matches that much, because some of the fans really go overboard during the matches. So did the fans of Armenia Bielefeld, who were yelling some really unpleasant things and also threw firecrackers into the adverse fanblock.
In the end, MÃƒÂ¼nster won and Dirk came up to the fence and shook our hands. Yeah, there might have been some jealous fans standing behind us… I must admit it was kind of cool to call one of the players my brother-in-law :)
It’s been exactly 7 months since I left Sacramento. I had a hard time leaving and I knew I would miss it. In the last few months, I’ve thought of Sacramento often. This is where I had my first “real” home with J. Although I loved living in Davis and J. and I shared our first own place with a roommate there, Sacramento is where I felt “home”. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what it will be like when I finally return to the US to start my married life with J. Funnily enough, I always think about returning to Sacramento. You can call it nostalgia or stupidity… it is where I want to be right now. I’ve caught myself yesterday thinking about going shopping at Trader Joe’s, driving down Folsom Blvd. and stopping at the supermarket right around the corner from our [old] apartment. I thought about getting my coffee ready in the morning to go to work, walking up the stairs to my office and going out for lunch with my co-workers.
I thought about the little crÃƒÂªpe-place that J. and I liked to go to and about all the walking that we’ve done in the neighborhood. I miss Sacramento. I really do. It hurts to realize that I won’t go back there when I finally get on the plane.
I really am quite excited about moving to L.A though. I do believe it’s going to be a fantastic experience and I am sure that I’ll love it once I am settled in. I am looking forward to living in our beautiful apartment. I can’t wait to go shopping for accessories and then make it our home and start our life together.
But for right now, I feel nostalgic for Sacramento.
Now here are some real news: Jon told me that he received the NOA 1 (Notice of Action) for the second package of documents that he had sent out about 10 days ago. This was the application for the spouse visa (K-3) whereas the first package that we sent out was the application for the immigration visa (CR-1).
We are basically pursuing two ways of action and will take whatever will be processed sooner. The difference is that with the CR-1 (which usually takes longer to process) I would be a permanent resident and have a work permit upon entering the country. With the K-3 (which usually is issued faster) I will have a temporary permanent resident status [for 2 years] and will have to apply for a work permit upon entry.
Friday I picked up the paper that I had ordered for my wedding invitation envelopes and then I went over to my aunt’s place in the evening and started folding them while she was painting.
My cousin had 15 (!) friends over to celebrate into his 15th birthday that night and I thought I would keep my aunt some company and look out for the teenagers ;)
I must say that they really behaved well for hanging out in a room of only 15 square meters.
Yesterday I pretty much slept and hung out most of the day, because I had a bad headache. I am pretty sure it was because of that weird weather – snow flurry and some rain in between. I know, technically it’s still winter and spring won’t start before the 21st, but I really think we [and especially the people in Southern Germany] had enough snow for this season and it should start getting warmer soon.
In the evening, I worked on the envelopes some more and then I worked on my quilting project and watched some TV.
The most “exciting” project [not] of this weekend was my tax return :( I really wanted to sit down and do it and I thought it would be really easy, because I still had the forms from last year and thought I would just change the numbers. But since I got married on the last day of 2005, I am considered “married” for the whole tax year which means I have to do my tax return differently and fill out different forms from last year :( not fun! I spent almost the whole day on this.
I just took a break in the afternoon and went over to my sister’s place for some waffles with hot cherries :) We talked about some wedding stuff as well, since we’re both trying to figure out what our bridal bouquet and the decoration for the church and the restaurant should look like. Man, there are so many choices!
The weekend was perfect to get into that special Christmas mood. We had more snow on Saturday morning and it was freakin’ cold, so I bundled up and took the train to Köln. Surprisingly, Köln didn’t have any snow at all… but the Christmas market had started next to the cathedral and it was beautiful. First I went window shopping for a little bit, looked for some boots [found some real cute ones in chocolate brown, but they had this white lining along the sole which looked just weird and decided not to get them] and then had some Rievkooche [Reibekuchen] on the Christmas market. At 3 p.m. I met with Regine at the train station. We went to Starbucks and had some coffee. We were lucky and got a table with two of these nice big arm chairs and we hung out there for about two hours. It was really good to see her again.
The train was cramped with people on my way back which is not surprising for the first weekend of the Advent season.
On Sunday, I took a walk to the downtown area with my Mom since we had verkaufsoffenen Sonntag and all the stores were open. It was snowing real hard and it was fun to walk around. We made some hot cocoa when we got home and ate some self-baked christmas cookies that my Dad and my cousin had baked that morning :)
Yesterday Sanni came to visit :) I picked her up at the train station at 10:20 a.m. and we walked home and had breakfast first. Then I showed her my room and we spent most of the day inside chatting, laughing, cutting out scrapbooking templates and working on a movie clip [made with the windows movie maker]. We had lots and lots of tea and it was a really fun day. [Thanks again for coming to visit, Sanni!]
On a side note: I HATE the Telekom :( I wonder how many incompetent people can be working in one single spot. I told you that my Dad decided to get a router for our Internet access and it took us three days and consulting three (!) different people from Telekom to figure out which would be the right option to do this. We told them that we had two computers and that we were using a switch port right now to go online and that we wanted to go online with both computers at the same time. The first two people were not able to tell us that we could get their new deal [changing the T DSL service and getting a router for free] but then needed to get a wireless card for one of the computers since the router only came with one cable plug. It took us three days to figure that out and we only did, because I basically knew what we were looking for. Just imagine people who don’t know anything about routers, wireless and such at all… they would be totally lost with service personnel like that :( Oh well, why am I not surprised about this?