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Today is my 27th birthday.

Flowers from my parents and brothers for my birthday:

Looking back on my 27th year (or being 26th years) many things happened! My life has really done a 180 degree turn!

I started my 27th year living in Vancouver, BC. In July I moved out from living with a roommate and moved in by myself into a one bedroom apartment on Balsam and 3rd street. My Mom came to Vancouver and helped me re-paint the apartment that the previous tenants neglected to do. Thank you so much to Mom for helping out, it was a much larger job than expected.

The second weekend in July, I went to a BBQ at my good friends place, Ali and Bernie’s… where I met again Lloyd Budd… and we all know where that ended up! 😉

At the beginning of August I took a three week holiday from my vindictive boss’s and went to the Bowron Lakes with my Dad, brother Landon, and some family friends. It was a beautiful trip… the whole 7 days that we were there, it rained only for about an hour, which is almost unheard of in that area you can get freak snowstorms in the summer. I then spent a week visiting Sharla in Prince George, and Cheri in Quesnel.

I returned to Victoria to spend some time with Lloyd and to find out that he received an offer from Flock Inc. who wanted him to start right away. He gave his notice at Mercurial and started working remotely on the Flock project right away.

September my good friends Nadia and Andrew tied the knot. I was so happy to be included in their special day.

Lloyd accepted the position at Flock Inc, in California! I had very mixed feelings about him accepting the position, especially since not even a year previous I had moved back to BC, from Calgary, AB in order to be close to my family and friends.  I was not looking forward to the possibility of moving away from everyone again. I agreed it was an opportunity not to be passed by. The original plan was for Lloyd to alternate months in Canada and California for the first 6 months, while I transitioned to move down with him. After the first month we decided that long distance was too difficult, and even though I would miss my family and friend immensely, my heart ached to be with Lloyd more, so we planned for me to join him November 1st.

We announced our engagement to our family and friends near the end of October. Many were shocked that we got engaged so quickly, little did they know we were actually secretly engaged for a while before that even!

Entry into the United States proved difficult for me, and I was denied the first time I tried to enter. A week later I got into the USA, and have travelled back and forth with Lloyd since such time. Every time I now enter the USA they ask if I have ever been denied entry? Apparently it is to remain on my “record” for sometime.

November and December were some tough times for me, I moved to California to be with Lloyd, which was proving to be difficult with him working 16+ hours a day and commuting to Palo Alto, leaving me behind in San Francisco by myself, no friends or family around, and no job to identify with and little to do.

January and February I took some silversmith classes which I thoroughly enjoyed. I decided however that silversmithing will remain a hobby of mine for now, instead of going professional.

The commute and the many hours apart was becoming difficult and frustrating, so we made the decision to move closer to Lloyd’s work. Flock moved from Palo Alto to Mountain View for the beginning of March, and we moved from San Francisco to Mountain View that same month. Lloyd can now walk to work, it is only 6 blocks! He now comes home for dinner and we are spending a little more time together than we were, and living in a much nicer place, and I enjoy the community down in Mountain View quite a bit. All round it was a good move.

April I spent preparing for our wedding, and applying for teaching. Recently discovered that due to our visa being temporary, and being an International student I am not illegible to apply for the program and San Francisco State University.

Taken after my bridal shower in April in Victoria, BC:

We got married May 7th, which a community of people, in particular my parents Donna and Bart made possible. It was truly beautiful, I am lucky to have such a wonderful network of friends and family willing to help up to make the day what it was… thank you again to ALL those who helped.

In short in my 27th year:

  • I met my future husband again, and got married!
  • I quit my Human Resources job at Ernst and Young and moved to San Francisco with my fiance without a job or any prospects!
  • Picked up and left my life in Canada, to follow future husband, so he might be able to realize some of his dreams and aspirations in Open Source community.
  • Went from Human Resources work, to thinking of being a silversmith, to applying to be an Elementary school teacher!

What will my 28th year hold, I am not sure yet. Not being eligible for a teaching credential in California, I am planning on taking the 4 courses I am missing (take a couple and Foothills College in California and transfer them, the two Canadian studies courses I will take by correspondence) to get into either the University of Victoria or the Simon Fraser University teaching program for when we return to Canada… which I am hoping for sooner than later as I continue to miss my friends and family, and Lloyd is hoping for the later rather than sooner! Other than that, I will play it by ear and see what my 28th year has in store for me!

We got married last Sunday, May 7, 2006, at my parents home in Victoria, BC.

The morning we were to marry, we woke up to pouring rain! I was so upset, and concerned that the day would not be as I dreamed with all the rain… especially since we had planned an outside ceremony. My bridesmaids, my Mom and I went to our hair appointment as planned, and by the time I had finished getting my hair done, by around 11:30 AM the skies were beginning to clear and the sun came out!

The day before the wedding and the morning of the wedding were stressful for me. I barely slept the night before we got married. On the day of, there were two things in particular I would recommend any bride doing, that helped me relax and ENJOY the day! They were….

  • Firstly go get your makeup done! We got our hair done, then just my Mom and I went to get our makeup done at Clinique and it was so relaxing! I got to sit and just relax, it was wonderful.
  • Another thing I would suggest, even though it is "non-traditional", I would suggest to have your bridal photos taken BEFORE your ceremony. We really enjoyed ourselves, and it was nice to relax and have some fun with the bridal party before our ceremony. Also it allows you to have less time between the ceremony and reception, which I think can be awkward sometimes leaving guests 2-3 hours until the reception begins.

Our photographer took between 400 and 500 photos of our wedding, and I found about 35 that I thought were good, which I posted on my Flickr account. I am hoping that our friends and family forward us their photos they took as well, so we can add them to our collection.

All in all, the wedding worked out wonderfully! It really was something that I dreamed of, so many people helped create our beautiful day. THANK YOU! We were married and had the reception at my parents place. My Mom ran the show, and did a superb job! It was a smaller wedding, with about 48 people in total but really really LOVED it and would not trade it for the world!

We are now back in Victoria BC, to be wed this weekend!  Sunday May 7th!  Wow the time has flown by.  There are still lots of little things to do before the wedding.  The countdown continues.  My parents have done a lovely job of getting their yard ready for our ceremony.  My Mom and I continue to run around getting things done for the wedding each day.  Lloyd is in Victoria as well, though not working on our wedding, working on Flock as usual.

After picture of my parents yard… taken Thursday May 4th….


You may see why I was concerned if this was the before photo…

Below is a photo of myself at my bridal shower…

Prior to coming back to Victoria to get married I had decided to go back to school to be a teacher!  I did a few courses in Jewelry Making at Revere Academy in January and February, which I enjoyed very much.  Two conclusions came from that… 1) I want a "job" that has a lot of interaction with others, being a jeweler would not be a profession that has that.  Much of the time a jeweler is working in their studio alone. 2) Becoming a jeweler in California would be next to impossible.  The time of the unpaid apprenticeship is gone, and in order to get experience now a days, you are hired into a jewelry shop as a junior and work your way up.  Since I cannot get a job without a SSN, and getting a VISA for such a position would be very difficult as the jewelry profession is not on the wanted list by the USA government for position you can get a VISA for.  I have always enjoyed children, my Mom is a middle school teacher, my Dad a professor at the University of Victoria, my Aunt a Vice Principal and my late Grandmother a high school English teacher, it seemed only natural that I would be drawn to the profession as well.

I have already gone through a long and extensive process in order to apply to San Francisco State University in California.  One of the tasks was to get my transcripts evaluated by an accredited agency, so SFSU could read them and understand what the equivalency of my degree and grade point was.  Because I was coming to Canada to wed, I left my Canadian transcripts with the agency (ERES) and they promised to courier to official documents directly to SFSU to meet the deadline.  After paying another $145, on top of the $300 evaluation fee… I received an email this morning from ERES indicating they "forgot" to do my GPA conversion!!!  I will never deal with such an unprofessional agency again.  Out of due deligence I called SFSU last week (prior to the deadline) to ensure that they received what they needed, having not heard back from them, I continue to leave several messages.  Now I have to find out if they will even accept my application because of the missing GPA piece that ERES agency nicely "forgot" to include!

I started looking into taking my teaching credential in Canada.  I looked into UBC today to find out that their deadline for September addimissions has been extended to May 26th!  I could still apply…. HOWEVER…. in B.C. is appears that you have to have your undergrad degree in Science or the Arts… whereas I have a Bachelor of Business.  I have left a message with a UBC advisor to confirm this of course.   

So yesterday I went wedding dress shopping by myself. I ventured to Jessica McClintock, which is downtown San Francisco, in Union Square. The sales staff were less than attentive. They actually permitted me to take photos of me in the dresses, but she seemed to have a hard time with the digital camera that I had, and the ones they took mostly turned out blurry. I have a couple peoples votes for the dress below.  I posted it on flickr to get my bridesmaids and Mom’s opinion (as well as others).  I am still considering the dress, but am not “sold” on it at all.

Flickr PhotoFlickr Photo

My original vision of my wedding was something a little less then formal.  I wanted a “nice” dress (whatever that means!) that flows, which is not too “fru-fru/Cinderella” like.  I wanted to have my groom in khaki colored dress pants and a white long sleeved dress shirt (no suit, jacket or tux). I was surfing flickr and came across a beautiful dress that I really like, a photo of it is below. But where does one get such a thing?  I actually sent a note to the groom, who the flickr site seems to belong to, and asked. Hey it never hurts to ask, he could not respond, but at least I tried!

Flickr Photo

I previously went wedding dress shopping with one of my bridesmaids in Vancouver and as I mentioned in my previous blog I found one that I really liked, but it is $700 and does not fit at all with the whole theme of “less than formal” that we are going for. Which now makes me think, did I make the wrong choice, am I missing out my not choosing a “fru-fru/Cinderella” dress as I call it?! My first instinct is to say no, I am not. A wedding is supposed to be about two people sharing the celebration of their union (isn’t it?) not about the dress and what you are wearing.  So why then do women get caught up in all this, and I am not saying I am not one of them… because I am! I now have spoken to all my girlfriends, and gotten everyone’s opinion and feel I might be making the wrong choice by going with a more casual dress, which some of them tell me.  I am so undecided at the moment, and easily swayed, which is making my decision making process difficult.  My groom is nicely reminding me of what our originals thoughts about the wedding were, as he definitely does not want it to turn into a Cinderalla like “production”, as I do not.  I think I would like to keep trying for my original idea…. 😮 fingers crossed that I can find a wonderful dress I love that fits in 😉  My search continues.

I wanted to do a post about living in San Fran and about our upcoming wedding, but I feel that they overlap in my head so I might as will blog about them both at the same time for this post.

So far living in SF has been great. It’s been great to be able to be with Lloyd. Over the past weekend we attended “Super Happy Dev House 5” (shdh) which is basically a geek party where people in the techy biz get together and exchange ideas one evening. There is not a lot of drinking (I mean alcohol drinking), but instead there are energy drinks being passed around. The party was still going strong when we left at 3am.
Flickr Photo
Flickr PhotoFlickr Photo

We has a brunch date the next morning with Emilia and her husband Jason. Emilia is a friend of one of my best friends’, Nadia. Nadia lives in Vancouver, Emilia in SF. It was nice to met someone new, and I might even have a pal to help me shop for wedding dresses! Any other SF volunteers? Foto of Emilia and Jason below:

Flickr Photo

Before I left Vancouver Nadia and I went to a few wedding dress stores. It is funny what you think you like is not necessarily what looks good on you. I tried on several dresses, one was even $2500! I would like to keep the cost of my dress at a minimum but at the same time I want to find something that I really like and feel good in. The one that I really really liked was $720. This is so silly! You look for a dress that you wear once, but costs and arm and a leg! Practically it makes no sense! Does every woman go through this? then give up and decide to bite the bullet and spend what she needs to to get the dress she wants? So far my friends that have been brides, mostly that has been the case. Hehe, well I can hope that I will be different! We wanted to take photos in the store, but the shops strictly prohibited it at the request of the designers. I guess they don’t want someone taking a photo of one of their dresses then having it copied?! I cross my fingers that I can find something reasonable in SF that I love.

Our stuff arrived on the moving truck on Monday morning. I did a LOT of cleaning of our place on Friday. I could not believe the dust bunnies that were on the floor. There is still a lot of cleaning to be done. I have pretty severe allergies to dust and molds etc, so it’s pretty important that I get it all sorted out. I am still sneezing and my eyes are itchy, I hope after the next clean the house will settle and my allergies will stop reacting! This is a foto of our place after our stuff arrived, I think it looks a lot worse than it is:

Flickr Photo

To be continued… for another day 😮

Dear friends & family,

We have some exciting news to share with all of you….
Lloyd and I are engaged to be married.
Flickr Photo
Since we first met we have felt a real connection between us. I think for those who have seen us together you wouldagree. One evening Lloyd and I went for a walk around the Cedar Hill Golf course, the moon was not quite full, but almost, we were talking of many things, excited to see each other after spending some time apart as I had recently been on a trip to Northern BC. In the conversation we were chatting about our plans and Lloyd said…. “in a couple months I plan to propose to you…. Julia will you marry me?” and I responded, “I would like that”. Then over the next months a couple times a week Lloyd would ask me again, every time I would say yes. We were going to wait to make the announcement until we found the ring, and we have been looking, however we really wanted to take the opportunity to tell our parents inperson, and this past weekend was a good opportunity.

My Dad’s reaction was not that of shock or at all upset, it was (and I could see him thinking when I told him) “Wow, if my daughter is getting married I am getting old!” Here is a photo of my Dad with one of his favourite friends, Lucifer the evening that we told him we were engaged.
Flickr Photo
Lloyd and I both enjoy more intimate events. The ceremonywill only be immediate family, and we are also planning to have small wedding receptions on other days. We are planning these smaller events in order to get the most of our time one on one with the important people in our lives, such as yourselves. At the receptions, you will all have the opportunity to watch the wedding video if you want. We are planning these events for approximately the first or second weekends in May, to be held in Victoria, BC. Once we have had a chance to get settled in SanFrancisco, we will be sure to send you an update on the details of our wedding planning.