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We had a wonderful trip home to Canada at the beginning of July, but as always did not get to visit people or do half the things we wanted to. I guess there is just so much that you can do in only 5 days! Saturday through Monday, Lloyd and I, and my Mom went to stay and Grandma’s and Grandpa’s to prepare for the party. Grandma’s garden was in bloom and looking wonderful. Canada day we spent a leisurely time outside under a tree in the front yard.

The birthday party for Grandpa on Sunday, went well and we had a beautiful hot day to accompany it.

Summer is a busy time for birthdays. Almost ten of my close family and friends have birthday in July! May I say I very Happy Birthday to…

  • My new brother in law (he who not be named) who had a birthday sometime in the past year 😉
  • Ali White, a very dear friend turned 27 on July 8th. Picture of her and I below, she was a bridesmaid at my wedding:
  • Nadia Frost, another very dear friend who will be 30 years young July 18th. Picture of her and I below, she was also a bridesmaid at my wedding:
  • My youngest brother Landon, turns 22 on July 17th.
  • Still upcoming this month are my Dad’s, Grandmother’s, Aunt Sonya’s, Joe Lischeron’s, Kimber O’Brien’s birthdays to name a few!

And congratulations to Carrie and Chris Dye (picture below) who are expecting:

and Deon Reid who just gave birth to her son Eric yesterday!

The rest of the time we took care of some chores we have been meaning to do, and got a little visit in with Ali and Bernie. Lloyd worked on Thursday and Friday. The night before we left we met Chris Robb a nd Rebecca at The Superior in James Bay for dinner. They gave us a beautiful print by Barbara Weaver-Bosson for our wedding, thank you! I would say The Superior was an overall hit. The meals were tapas style and very tasty, it was a little on the pricey side, but ambiance was fun and had a guitar player for entertainment.

We flew out of Victoria on the way back to San Francisco, connecting in Vancouver. We had to go through customs in Vancouver. Instead of going out and around to get into US customs, they directed us another way in which we waited about 10 minutes to open (it was 6am). We ended up being the first in line. He looked at our passports, scanned Lloyd’s then mine… which he stopped. Then put a giant “I” on our customs declaration form and said there was a little something they had to clear up and I had to go through to the immigration office. So we went in and waited for about 20-25 minutes and they finally called ” julie”. No one else getting up I assumed it was me, so I got up and went through the doors. Lloyd came in with me and the customs officer looked at him and said “I only called Julie”, at which point I bite my tongue to correct him that my name was actually “Julia” (I dislike being called Julie by anyone other than certain friends of the family). He opened both our passports and said, “Are you guys like ‘living together'”. I said ah no, he is my HUSBAND! He then asked if I had ever been denied entry into the US, and why. I said I was visiting my fiance and was told I could not prove I was returning to my country of origin. He looked at me and said “and did you?”. Yes of course I answered, I returned for Christmas like I said I would. He kept me quite a few more minutes without saying anything, and asked how long I was waiting, I answered about half an hour, and he said oh that is pretty good (meanwhile it is 7:10, and our plane was to board at 7:00… they get nasty when you point this out, so again kept quiet. Our plane ended up being delayed due to weather in San Francisco, so fortunately we did not miss it.). Finally returned our passports and said I could go. Previously by another customs agent, I have been told that it actually appears on my passport as “removed from the United States” because customs is considered US grounds, and that it will remain on there for quite some time. Thankfully Lloyd and I have been able to travel together since me being “denied”, and besides this trip into the immigrations office have been fortunate. Seems it just depends who you get and if they are in a bad mood or not… which I think is ridiculous. It was ridiculous being denied in October, and continues to be so. I now have a TN Spousal visa…. must I go through these shenanigans every time I cross the boarder? and what would have happened if I didn’t have Lloyd and his passport with me?

I am trying to find motivation to start the second unit of my geography course, and with volunteering every morning am finidng it increasingly difficult… ug. (hence my procrastination on writing this post instead of doing homework).

First let me say if you are a male… perhaps you do not want to read this next bit if you are sqeamish at all about ‘women things’… About a month of two ago, I experienced what I felt to be a heart palpitation. We went to the doctor, and she said it was rather normal, and happens most often in women and they think it may have something to do with hormones. She did an EKG, red blood cell test and a tyroid test, all were found to be normal. Recently around my period it has gotten worse, and most recently have experienced a tightness in my chest. I know I can be known to overreact about these things, but was very worried there was something really wrong. I was concerned that the birth control pill may be causing these side effects and perhaps I am at risk for a blood clot. I have always had issues with the pill, and only ever been able to find one that works for about 6-8 months before it causes some major side effects. After some debate, Lloyd and I decided I would stop taking the pill for about 6 months and see if I feel any better. We went to the doctor this morning again to follow up. She said the chest tightness is most likely nothing to worry about and actually gave a name to it (which I cannot remember) and gave me some stretches to do. She again said the heart palpitations were nothing to worry about. She suggested staying away from stimulants, like coffee, tea, alcohol and chocolate for the time being, which I am now really trying to do. I asked about the risk of a blood clot due to the pill, the doctor said it is always a risk however she said in the years that she has been practising medicine she has only had 2 patients to get blood clots due to the pill, and one of them had been a smoker. I told her we were going to try going off the pill to see what effects that had, and she said it was probably a good idea (however when I asked her on a previous visit she said that I was on the pill for long enough that if it were to cause side effects it would have already happened!? hmm). I feel a little more at ease today, but don’t think I will really feel better until I am off the pill a nd these symptoms have completely subsided.

Volunteering for summer school is over July 25th. My parents are supposed to be coming to visit California the first week in August. I am still hoping to go visit my friend Zoa in Honolulu in August, we will see, depending on prices of flights and progress on my course!

I have registered to do my 4 remaining pre-requisites courses at UVic this September in order to apply for my post degree program in elementary education. I continue to miss Victoria and Vancouver, and even though I may be away from Lloyd (which I dread) and looking forward to being in Victoria for September. I applied to SFU for these pre-requisites as well, but they are still in the process of reviewing my application, where with UVic it was only the case of re-applying.

Again… feel free to leaves comments on my blog…. and I would love to hear about what is going on in your lives, do drop me an email if you ever have a chance.

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!

So I finally arrived in San Francisco last night! It is really nice to be here. The first evening I got here it was raining a little, but this morning it is pleasant and has been ever since (so far MUCH warmer and less rain than Vancouver! Our apartment does not even have heat (or really need it yet)).
Foto below is me a few hours after arriving in SF:

 Julia's first nite in San Fran

Many of you know that I tried to fly into San Francisco last Saturday but was denied entry into the USA at customs in the Vancouver airport. It was a large misunderstanding which included a customs official who was a power tripping mean and nasty man (a.k.a. jerk), and him thinking I was going to marry an American, which is totally incorrect. So after talking to Lloyd’s CFO, Betty, and Betty talking to the immigration lawyers for me, we sorted out what I should do in order to try again.
Foto of Betty below:

Flickr Photo

Yesterday I attempted to enter the USA again through the same boarder at the Vancouver airport. I had to go into the immigrations office again. I provided him all the paperwork they had asked for. He said that it still did not indicate that I had ties in Canada and that I intended to return. So after some back and forth and some tears on my part, he said that he believed me and was going to let me through the boarder this time. However, he was going to issue me an I-94, which means that I have to return to Canada and surrender the little card to USA immigration when I do, to indicate I am back in the country, otherwise I will not be allowed back into the USA for an extended period of time, and it would also jeopardize my future husband’s entry if I did so. So I have until December 17th to come back to Canada! We are not sure what we are going to do yet about me getting back to San Francisco in January, please don’t ask, as we do not know yet. I will be sure to tell you when I do. I am confident it will all work out, and I am not worried.

We have taken over an apartment next to Andy and Chris (two of Lloyd’s colleagues). It has very much been a communal apartment, so there is tons of stuff left behind that I need to get ride of before our stuff arrives on the moving truck early next week! It’s an apartment in an old house, just up from the ground level, with hardwood floors and high ceilings. It is quite nice, and will be lovely once we’ve had a chance to clean up and unpack.

Flickr PhotoFlickr Photo

I do not have a phone yet, to keep in touch please use MSN, or Skype, and of course there is always email! Looking forward to chatting with everyone soon.