Oh yeah..

I guess this is pretty old news now and I should have posted it a while ago, but Martin’s K-1 Visa was approved! We have our flights booked to come to the US together May 29th (I’m going to spend a month in CZ with him and his family). I’m currently on my way back from Hawaii after shooting a wedding, then Atlanta for a couple of weeks before heading out. Excited!

Post medical

The medical went just fine! Martin endured a few pokes and prods and we were on our way pretty quickly. Managing to get all of the paperwork together and putting another milestone in the process behind us felt pretty good. Now we wait for the embassy here in London to receive his results (which should be in the next day or two), and then for them to schedule his interview. Unfortunately, I’ve read that it takes around 6 weeks to be assigned a date, and then the interview might not be for a month after that, so there’s a good chance that I won’t be here to go to the interview with him, which I was looking forward to. But, progress!
Yesterday we went to Sevenoaks and saw some deer.

IMG_0058msToday it’s raining, not much motivation to get out and about.

Making progress!

We have the UK police certificate in hand, and today I booked Martin’s medical exam! We go this Thursday. So excited to be taking a big step in the visa process : D
I’ll let you guys know how it goes!

From Hampstead Heath this weekend, that’s the city of London behind us..

Planning stuff

We’ve gotten the paperwork for Martin’s UK police record submitted! Finally. Once he has the results (which of course are clean), we can schedule his medical interview! After that is the embassy interview, the last step before getting his visa. So that is exciting. The ball is rolling!

Today I’m trying to do wedding stuff. I am not a big fan of weddings and all of the girly things that go along with planning one, so it’s kind of weird. I’m looking forward to our families and friends all hanging out together in the Czech Republic, but I don’t want to think about flowers, or save-the-date announcements, or who my photographer is going to be. We are still trying to narrow down and date and venue (the end of May possibly?). It’s not so easy aligning our work schedules with the visa schedule with the weather schedule with family/friend expectation schedule. But I guess we’re not the first to go through this kind of thing. I just don’t want to look back and say “see, that is why I never wanted to have a wedding.” I just want everyone to have a fun time in Europe and for me to look awesome during it.

Anyways, that’s my update for now! I am working on a wedding registry that I’m putting together through Amazon (ok I’ll admit that part is fun) and setting up a temporary information site for our wedding (that’s the thing to do these days). Then we just have to decide what kind of invites we’ll be sending out, where we’re having this thing, what day we’re having this thing, where everyone will stay, what we’ll eat, what we’ll listen to, who will take photos….

Despite my obvious lack of enthusiasm for putting on a big frilly white dress and picking out table arrangements, I am excited to marry Martin. And for all the new stuff we’re gonna get for our kitchen. Once we have a kitchen.

So here I am, settled back in London (well, Sidcup), working on our visa for Martin. What. A. Pain. It’s so much stupid paperwork and confusion and waiting. Right now we’re trying to get copies of his criminal records from all the places he’s lived for over 12 months so that he can then make an appointment for his medical exam and then his interview at the embassy. My advice to anyone single and looking for a partner…fall in love with someone from your own country. Ha. Relationships are hard enough, and jumping through all the hoops just to legally co-exist in the same country can be a real nightmare at times. Obviously we do it because we believe it will be worth it in the end, but some days you just want to pull your hair out and jump on the next flight home. One step at a time though, and one day at a time…and I’m counting down the days until my final flight out of London, which should be in March when I go to Peru. Then, after Peru, Atlanta for a week, then Hawaii to shoot a wedding, then most likely to Czech Republic where Martin will be waiting! Cannot wait.

Last week we visited Martin’s mom in CZ, here are a few photos.
Brno
This was awesome.
Pardubice
Martin’s first operation was on this cat, good to see he’s still alive (and yes he has all his limbs).
The family’s summer cottage
Cold but pretty
I really like CZ. I wonder how I would do living there, and I’m sure I’ll find out at some point. Like I’ve said before, I really like the people and character there.
Well, maybe I’ll have more interesting news later, for now I’m just trying to be a better blogger.

Overdue update

Well I tried really hard to be a good blogger, but it’s been three months since my last post so I have failed as of late! Since I’m so terribly behind I’ll just give a few updates:

  • We got engaged! Yay!
  • I spent 4 months in Atlanta working, which was a great thing for me since I’m not able to work in London
  • I’m back in London now, for a few more months, and we moved to Sidcup, which is close to Martin’s job
  • We still have no idea what we’re doing next, a little behind on the visa process
  • We just got back from a 5 day visit to Czech Republic to see Martin’s mom
  • Today is Christmas Eve and it’s the first time I’ve been away from my family for Christmas

All of the trains are shut down tomorrow, and the cabs are super expensive, so we may have to find a pub in Sidcup to spend part of our Christmas. I have a bunch of photos to edit from Czech, I’ll post those later!

Vesele Vanoce!

Czech School of Atlanta

This morning I got to attend the grand opening of the new Czech School here in Atlanta! Thanks to the networking of Facebook I was able to find and link up with some of the people in charge of putting everything together, and since I wanted to get involved with the Czech community here, I volunteered to take photos at the event.

I think there were thirty-something students registered for classes that start next Saturday. As of right now, there aren’t any classes for adults, but that will eventually change. The children will learn to speak, write, sing, and so-forth, in Czech.

Also, the school will help them to keep the Czech culture alive and well here in the States!

The ribbon cutting ceremony with the mayor of Sandy Springs, Eva Galambos.

Some Czech entertainment.

The kids receiving their school binders and some treats.

Yay Czech food, and no Caraway seeds!

The Board members plus some kids.

I realized today that I’m very thankful to have met Martin and to be introduced to this culture. Learning about and starting to really appreciate the Czech people, history, and way of life is honestly very amazing. He’s not just someone that I met down the street that I already know everything about. He represents an entire rich, interesting community that I am constantly learning new things about. It’s fun trying to learn the language and communicate. I love how passionate they are about their culture and customs. And I just really like Czech people. Once they warm up to you they are some of the friendliest people in the world. There is something different about them to me, but I haven’t put my finger on what that is just yet.

I hope to have to opportunity to do some more volunteering, even non-photography related, soon, and to meet someone that could do some Czech tutoring with me. Martin should be visiting in a couple of months, so that is something to look forward to! For now, I’m staying busy shooting weddings, families, and whatever else comes my way.