Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Latest...

Warning:  This post became extremely, extremely long.  Get a cup of coffee and a muffin for this one, or skip to the bottom for a SUMMARY. for real.

Hmmmm. Can't sleep. Haven't written on this thing for many weeks. Thought it was time for an update.

I know people are wondering what in the world is the status for le Rey and I getting together. Like starting our life together. In the same country.

Or maybe you're not.

I mean, it has been years now.

Years of being apart. Years of waiting. Years of things in the way that had to get done first (UK citizenship for le Rey, deployments, getting out of the military, now my visa).

I am trying not to complain here. 

I mean, really, each day that I've had here since I moved back last December has been extra time with my family and friends here in AZ.

This is something I will not have when I move to England.

That is part of the "living abroad" experience--I can't have all my loved ones from around the world with me.


So I am trying to make the most of my time here in Arizona while I can. 

Without letting the fact that I miss le Rey so much hinder my time here with loved ones.

Oh, yea........update: le Rey has a job and a flat (apartment) for us (part of the long list of requirements for my visa for the UK). But it could still still take a bit of time for ALL of the paperwork to be submitted and processed.

Maybe sometime in January.

Luckily, I was not holding my breath to be in England for Christmas.

I think my expectations for things and wishing and hoping went out a loooong time ago. Now when things happen, I'm pleasantly surprised. I like it better that way. This brings less disappointment, and a higher frequency of happier days. I prefer to be happy as often as possible. Which is a choice. And a manipulation of the mind at times.

Also extra luckily (well, blessing actually), le Rey's brother and sister-in-law are living in Paris this year for work, so le Rey will have family to spend Christmas with.

I cannot imagine if le Rey was in London alone for Christmas. That would seriously break my heart.

Since we have been flying to see each other for years now in this long-distance relationship, money is sortof running out for too many flights.

Money is sortof going towards visa costs, rent for upcoming apartment in England, and student loans (mine).

And money for our wedding which I tried to switch from June to April to have slightly cheaper rates for flights and accommodation and not be so close to the Olympics.

But who am I kidding? Planning a wedding in an international city that I still don't have a visa for? I really have no desire to attempt to plan it, coordinate dates and times for everyone, etc.

I really just want to get to England, set up our place to live,
get a job and eat dinners together and dance in our living              
room barefoot. every.night.

I would like to hold hands with le Rey, snuggle on the couch,
go to church together again, kiss each other good morning,
at night, and for any reason in between. I would like to share
daily life with le Rey again.

How the crap have I (and le Rey) waited SO long? And why?

Surely this has crossed your mind.

We must look like a pair of fools.

I have for sure asked le Rey, more than once........"Are we sure this is meant to be? Why is it taking so long if it is? Why have there been so many obstacles?"

Who knows? Will the waiting make it all that much sweeter? Will we appreciate each other more than the average couple because of all this? Will we adore each other passionately until we're 90?

Only time will tell, but I know I do not have crazy, romantic, on a pedestal type of ideas about marriage. It will be tough and we will have to work at it. Everyday with the same person. For years (hopefully many, many years). But surely we will get sick of each other. There must be so many highs and lows.

But, I love le Rey deeply for a million reasons and cannot imagine taking on the massive committment of marriage with anyone but him. That is why I waited (and continue to now wait for the freakin' visa!). I have always felt that it's him. He's the one. We may not have had a lot of time together the last couple years.....but we were still there for each other emotionally the best we could. New jobs. Deployments. Family stuff. The agony of waiting. Supporting each other with kind words and prayer from afar with the intention of being husband and wife someday.

Sorry if this sound a bit dismal.....I blame it on the fact that I can't sleep and it's extremely late.

But I am doing well!! A lot better since the last time I blogged.

I can see now, more than ever, the importance of living in the moment and not waiting until __________ happens before "your life can begin". If I would've thought that, I shudder to think what my mental state would be right now or what risks I may not have taken.

I hate when people say to me, "Why are you doing that now? I'll do that when I retire" or "My life didn't begin until I had a baby" etc. This is not a dress rehearsal people! Today could be your last day!!

So, while I miss le Rey and have a hard time sometimes (especially without an end date in sight!)...I think I'm human and a pretty darn happy person, trying to make the most out of my life!

I have also recently been given the enormous blessing of a long-term assignment at a super nice school (in second grade).

I mean, really. No behavior problems. Kids working hard. I am compliamenting them ALL THE TIME they are just so sweet and diligent! I make sure I appreciate this class every day because these are seriously the groups that you have to remember when you have a really bad day in a challenging class (or when you have a challenging year).

You would have to see it to believe it.

I can hardly believe how smoothly each day is. Day after day.

Anyway, it goes until Christmas.

So wow. That was long enough.

Perhaps I should edit this.

Or try to sleep.

Visa: le Rey has worked very hard to get many things done for it and we are getting closer.  And I'm really OK. I have a lot to be thankful for.
Wedding plans: pppppffffffffff.
My portfolio business: no new sales, but I've been spending a.lot.of.time posting on my teacher blog (which is a strange, strange blog world) and uploading documents that will eventually lead to me uploading documents on Teachers-Pay-Teachers, etc websites to generate more business (hopefully).

With all this time spent on the teacher blog, and my new favorite place in the world (PINTEREST) and finding facebook to strangely not give me updates on very many people (problem in my settings?)......I am trying to delete my facebook. But I still need to write down everyone's email address from my inbox.


Love you all,

I promise my next update will be Christmas cookies and sleigh bells and wreaths and Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation kindof of fun!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Life (the roller coaster)

Do you ever feel super down?

Like in a black hole that has sucked you in?

Don't feel uncomfortable.
I'm ok. 
I'm well-aware of my family history of depression, etc and I monitor myself closely.
I think I'm pulling myself out of this funk, but I'm still mad that I wasted time being moody, negative, grouchy, and so full of self-pity.

I reached my limit with being apart from le Rey.
Coz I miss him so, so much.
And the fact that he still does not have a job.
And so I still don't have a visa to join him in England.
And he has a surgery coming up that I may or may not be there for.
And I live with my parents which I did not imagine for myself at this age (although I'm grateful).
And I'm supposed to plan a wedding in London and I hate that it's so expensive for guests.
And I don't know how to find a venue without seeing it in person. And when I don't know roughly how many people might be coming.

Then last week I got sick.
I don't know what the doctor calls it, but I call it similiar-to-the-beginning-of-pneumonia-in-Australia-June-2010-illness.
She gave me antibiotics.

By then I was super cranky.
And it was fall break, so I not working (staying busy) and silly me thought I would take it easy and relax.

I forget how the things that I've suppressed will come up when I don't keep myself busy.

Yes, I know this is not a great coping mechanism, but it's what I'm using for now.

And then when my sister told me I was seriously impossible to be around anymore (and I knew she was right).......I got really panicked.  Because don't we take out our bad stuff on the ones that are closest to us?
Which is so not nice.

And then I was like, come on-snap out of this!!  Life is not that bad! You don't want to spend your last couple months here being a horrible person to everyone!

But still I could not change my attitude!
Do you ever have days like this?

Finally.....finally.......things started looking up.
I started feeling more sensible and like myself again.

Then I had a day like today that really puts life into perspective.

Today I subbed for a third class whose teacher unexpectedly died.
She was 42.
She had a teenage daughter.
I didn't know her, but it's obvious she was very loved.
The teacher didn't show up for work and the principal went to her house yesterday and found her there.

So when I got there today, the students didn't know yet.

They said to me, "When is our teacher coming back?"
I wanted to slither away and avoid this inevitably sad situation.

But I ushered them into the classroom and chatted with them while they ate breakfast.
I looked at the teacher's desk and pictures and thought, this could be any teacher's desk, this could be my desk. Spelling copies for the week, assessments.........random stuff, you know how we leave it.

A little unfinished.
Because we always expect to come back the next day.

So the principal and a grief counselor brought the kids into a room, and told them.
Just like that.
They were so shocked.

They asked why, talked about people they knew that had died, drew pictures and wrote letters for her family.

Then I had to take them back to class.

Surprisingly, they did well. (Probably still in shock).
They're seriously a class of sweeties.
I kept them very busy and just helped them get on with it.
I'm a bit cold that way when there is grief.

Anyone that knows me knows that whenever death or grief is involved, I am no where to be found.
I don't know how to support people in that situation.
I don't want to bring it up if they don't want to talk about it.
I don't want to not bring it up and seem insensitive.
I don't want to be the 59th phone call that may overwhelm them.

So I sortof ignore it.

I know, not great.

Anyway, that was my day, I will be there tomorrow and then they have a long term sub that will start.

Life is precious, hey?

I better not waste it on what ifs, negative thoughts and a dreary outlook.


When soldiers come home (best feeling!)


Friends & Experiences

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thrift Stores

I really love a bargain.

Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill, Savers, the local op-shop, Twice as Nice, etc.............if I stumble upon one, and have the time, I will almost always stop and browse.

I can't remember when this started, but I remember being in high school and going with friends to look for jeans that we could buy and cut into cut-off shorts, and also Saturday trips to Buffalo Exchange to get cute tank tops.

As I've traveled, I have been so happy to explore England and Australia's thrift stores too, where I began to buy pictures frames and vases for the current place I was living, as well as books and other things for my classroom.

I love the idea of recycling these things, instead of tossing them in a the ever-expanding landfill. Lots of items look like they've never been used.  And there's so many things that you can buy and alter slightly to make your own.

I also feel my style is constantly evolving, so it's nice to donate items after awhile, knowing I didn't spend much money on them in the first place. And sometimes when I'm packing to move back from overseas, I have too much stuff, so I have to leave things (usually clothes) behind. I think my flatmates liked that when I moved last : )

I am hoping when I move to England, le Rey and I will do some thrift store hunting together to find furniture for our flat that we can refinish together. I also hope to find jars and mismatched vases for the flat, but that I will also use at the wedding (going for a vintage sortof feel).

Here are some past and recent treasures I found at thrift stores in Phoenix and Melbourne.

Do you have favorite thrift stores?

Can't wait to wear these! Dr. Scholl's-so comfortable and I don't think they've ever been worn! $10!
I have to buy black flats about once a year if I wear them abroad since I walk to the stations, etc so much.

these will probably wear out in 2 months when I wear them in England,
but I've already got my back-up as seen above.

love this owl necklace!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesdays

I was inspired by my friend Katie to do one of these (check out her witty blog here)

1. TV shows that make me laugh OUT LOUD  : )

The Middle- a humorous look at a middle-class American family. The middle child Sue is so awkward but determined. Cracks me up every time. In the episode tonight, the parents had to duct tape the dishwasher and stuff the cracks with towels to run it (who hasn't had broken appliances you couldn't replace for awhile?)

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia- I know this isn't new, but I'm only just now finding out about it. It's like a version of Seinfeld, updated. It has the guy from Horrible Bosses, with the unusual voice. Yes please. I think everything he says is funny.

2. My Smoothies

My new concoction for smoothies now is a frozen fruit mix, then I mix it with berries or whatever I have. No milk, yogurt or anything else. It feels so fresh and delicious!

The frozen fruit mix is very tasty:
3 medium bananas
1/2 cup sugar
2 cans crushed pineapple (with juice)
2 cups orange juice
2 cups ginger ale

 Mash bananas thoroughly. Add sugar and other ingredients (put in freezer).  I put in small tupperware cups so that I can take out one cup to thaw and put in blender with berries.

3. Volunteering

I finally found a volunteer opportunity that suites me well. I've tried packing food boxes, Christmas Angel, soup kitchen etc but did not feel any of them were my niche.

Helping teachers is what (I think) I'm good at!! Copying, bulletin boards, advice, resources! Plus I am a teacher, so I think like a teacher, so I try to organize things in ways that make sense to teachers! I've taken a few days off from subbing this week and am helping a new first grade teacher (started 6 weeks into school year as the school had to add another section due to large class sizes)..........I know for sure I am meant to help out any teachers I can so that they are not as stressed and can have more enjoyable days. yay.

4. British films

This is not new, but I've felt an extra urge this week to watch some of my favorites. Over the weekend I watched Bridget Jones and last week I rented The Holiday. I fast-forwarded through some of the scenes with Jack Black and Kate Winslet. I really just like the Cameron Diaz-Jude Law stuff in England. I love Jude Law in that movie--who's with me?! Adorable.

I also like Run Fat Boy Run, Wimbeldon, Love Actually, Notting Hill, About A I forgetting any? There is something about London movies that sucks me in. And New York movies. Love.

5. Personal Theme Songs

Do you remember ages ago on Ally McBeal when she had some personal theme song that would pop into her head, yadda yadda yadda, I forgot why and the rest of it but hey.

I had a personal theme song last year that I would listen to every day on the train going to work. It inspired me. It made me happy. It made me reflective. It made me want to be extraordinary.  That song lasted about a year as a sortof "favorite". Well more like a year and half, because I still play it alot.

Basically it's the closest thing to expressing my heart/soul/mind when I have no words that do it justice.

I love having a go-to song to wake me up/get me inspired/change my mood. Well I just love music. Singing, dancing in my living room, getting motivated at the gym, music while I'm on the computer.........anyway.

Do you have anything similiar to what I'm talking about? Am I crazy? (like Ally McBeal dance with ghost babies crazy?)

Here are a few that I remember from the past couple years:

Andvari by Sigur Ros for winding down, on the train after work:.......although I may have blurred my love for this song with my love for Robert Pattinson as this song was in Remember Me in a love scene. Should I admit that?
Hello by Martin Solveig & Dragonette to feel youthful : ) it's so great!

That should conclude my blog on music I love what I'm loving Wednesdays! Would love feedback on things mentioned above or things YOU'RE loving!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Goodbye British Army!!

2006-a wedding for one of his friends-
wow is my hair dark!

Today was my sweet le Rey's last working day with the British Army! He is officially out in a month, but during the next 4 weeks he is granted time to "transition" into civilian life. He said today is the day he's been waiting for because he doesn't have any more duties and can start sorting out the next chapter (our chapter!).  I so wish I was there to celebrate with him, but we are still organzing my visa paperwork. It's ok. After 3 deployments, and 3 safe returns, I won't complain about small stuff like that. 

As you may know, I have been waiting for basically as long as I've known le Rey for his army days to be over. 

I've been quite open and honest and verbal about this (when have I ever been quiet about anything, right?), but I also want to say (even though le Rey will probably not read this coz he doesn't go on the internet very much and would also probably not like this little post about him, the private guy that he is) that I am immensely proud of le Rey and what he accomplished.

There are many things I admire about his time in the army:
1)It was his dream and he went after it
2)His service during his deployments
3)His commitment and perserverance through all of his trainings, duties, office politics, wear on his body, etc
4)His courage to get out of the army to start a new chapter in his life (with me! no more time apart!)

I feel I have probably talked negatively more often than I talked positively about his career with the army, but I have told him, and will say again that it is amazing that he went after his dream! How many people can say that?! He moved at a young age to another country, found his way, waited (in a hostel for months upon months), made it through basic training & 7 years & deployments and did it well!

I am so thankful that we are finally here. As hard as it has been sometimes, we made the best of it and I can now see the growth in both of us (especially me) in regard to communicating with each other, patience, appreciation and love. What a difficult but rewarding journey it has been to get to this point. Nearly every day I have moments when I think of le Rey and smile. No matter the distance or barriers for us to speak to each other-I have always felt loved.

Goodbye Army! He's mine now!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fragrant Friend

I've seen other blogs with "Memory Monday" or "Wordless Wednesday".............but since I don't know all the in's and out's yet, I am going to do "Thankful Thursday".  It's always good to count your blessings, don't ya think?

I am thankful for good times with friends. 

The other night I had a great time with a friend. We were laughing so hard that my stomach hurt.

She and I have been friends since we were 15 or 16, and even through all the moving around (college, around the world, etc), we are still friends!  I like how she knows everything about me and accepts my idiosyncrasies.  She's so caring and understanding.

She's also super smart, determined and hard-working. She's a doctor!!  Can you even imagine all the work that goes into completing that degree??!!

When we were watching Toddlers & Tiaras the other night (um, don't act like you've never watched it.......), they were filming in Henderson, Nevada and I love that we have memories where I can say: "Henderson, uh-huh ya we went there." And she says "Ya we did!" all sassy-like. Add that to nights out, trips, shopping, relationship crap, and more and you get a lot of memories!!

We also had a lot of fun walking around the house in a "jazz walk" (like how dancers strut onto a stage before they dance). I may have pulled my calf muscle, but that's ok.

She's great.

Something that cracks me up about my friend is that she has an enormous amount of lotions and perfumes.

Don't get me wrong, this works out well.  She smells good all the time and always has lotion when others need it. 

But she really has a lot of lotion. If you don't believe me, have a look at the pictures I took for a laugh  proof.

 This does not include her purse, car or work, folks. hee hee

Love you girl!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The uncertainy of subbing

I'm starting a long term position tomorrow in a kindergarten class where the teacher left after a few days. 

Don't know the details, but this class needs a teacher while the school hires a new one. Could be 1 week, 2 weeks, who knows...................I'm hoping tomorrow won't be like the craziness in Kindergarten Cop.

I wonder what I'm in for?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

So it begins

1. inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.

Yikes! Take a look at my blog......I feel like I am the walking definition of narcissism. Wedding website here, teacher blog there......I truly hope I do not come across as self-absorbed but instead as someone using blogging as a one-stop shop to stay in touch and up to date with my lovely friends and family across the planet!

I fear I'm a few years too late, as I've already had so many unusual and special things occur in my life that I wrote about in "notes" on Facebook, or mass emails through my hotmail account.  Hopefully I can incorporate some of the former adventures and stories into this blog even if it's from the past. And of course add my little insights and quips for my upcoming ventures through wedding planning, moving to England again, continuing my portfolio business and transitioning from unmarried, gypsy Kelli to Kelli the wife!!

So. Please bookmark this blog and check in from time to time, I beg you. I am determined to keep up my communication through this blog even with this HTML and links and gidgets jargon that confuses me!!! Sign up as a "Follower" so I know you're there, and please pass my URL along to anyone you know who likes to read about travel, teaching abroad, putting an international wedding together, or the miscellaneous recipes, music and favorite tv shows.

Lots of Love,
Kelli xx

Proof that I'm not a narcissist--a picture of me with a B A D haircut!