Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Life update - Dogs, Debt and Dreams

Hello friends, It's been a few months so I felt it was high time to post a little life update.

Let's jump right in.

We got a new dog. As you know we've had Winston for almost 3 years now. He is the doggy love of my life. I never used to like dogs because i would always sneeze and itch around them. Turned out I just needed a hypoallergenic pooch. Once I got Win I was super freaked out, not knowing if i'd be able to love and care for him like i should. About two weeks after getting him I knew we were soulmates. I kind of had a grinch moment where my heart grew 10 sizes and i would forever be a dog lover after that. So i thought i would have no trouble getting a new dog, a second dog, a doggy bestie for Winston. But the same thing happened. I had a freak out moment right after we got Charlie.

So what started this whole second dog thing was my sister had a friend with a puppy in need. This sweet little nugget had been abandoned at the door of her friends home. I texted Tom and asked what he thought. Tom was on board instantly. We both had wanted to get another dog for a while so that Winston wouldn't be by himself so much. Unfortunately and fortunately the doggy found another home with another family. We were a bit heartbroken because we'd fallen in love with his sweet little face but now we knew that we were ready for that new addition.

Fast forward about two weeks later where we found a rescue nearby that had a dog named Charlie. Charlie is an approximately 3 year old maltese mix. He is white and fluffy and simply adorable. He's also completely blind. So as we were going over his file we had to decide if we were ready to not only take on a new dog but to take on a special dog. We didn't think on it for too long, we were smitten.

So we went to the rescue, met Charlie and took him home same day. I remember driving home with Charlie on Tom's lap and i just kept thinking to myself how much i already loved him. He was precious!!

Then we got him home..........and introduced him to Winston.......and i don't know if i was expecting a sweet bonding moment but that's not what happened.

Winston went full alpha and there were a few fights. A few fights between the dogs tore me apart. I thought we had made a huge mistake, i was sure that they hated each other and that we'd be dealing with fights on a daily basis. My heart cannot take doggy fights. Winston was attacked by a big lab on one of our walks and i have never been able to get over it. After I got Winston inside after the attack I was sobbing, on my knees just completely heart broken. Winston was 100% fine and so was the other dog but i was forever changed in that moment. I thought he was being ripped apart in front of me and the sound of the growling and squealing has just never left me. So these little fights between Charlie and Winston just killed me, i could not handle it. So every time it happened i would cry and ask Tom if it was all a mistake because i was so doubtful and then Tom, that sweet, strong guy had to basically tell me i was being crazy and that it was fine and that dogs fight and they get to know each other in weird ways and HE WAS RIGHT. So right. I was way way emotional and should have just chilled out.

Let me just say, never in a million years would we consider taking Charlie back. That wasn't even an option. We knew we might just have to work on some training, mostly with Winston. The issue wasn't coming from Charlie, it was all Winston. So we started working with him on his behavior and things started getting better pretty quickly.

And now I wouldn't say that they're besties but they definitely don't hate each other and the fights have stopped all together. Yay!!!

Winston still gets growly when Charlie tries to get on the couch with us but it never leads to anything and we always tell him off.

Now, Charlie is seriously one of the most precious little doggies. He's used to our apartment and rarely bumps into things anymore. He knows where his food and water are at and he has his own little bed for sleeping. He is the funniest player, he bounces up about an inch off the ground and just spins. He spins and bounces, spins and bounces. It's so funny. I need to get a video.



He loves treats, going on walks, wrestling with Tom, tickles, naps. I mean he's perfect.

When we go on walks we tell him up or down when he's coming up to a curb. It's so cute because when we say up he will take his leg and look for a step! I love it and him and i'm so happy we have him in our family.

I feel like i could stop this post here...but i won't.

Let's get personal.

Tom and I are officially working towards paying off our credit card debt. I've been thinking about consolidating debt for a while to get out of the high interest rates from these cards. When i was a junior in high school I wrote a paper on the dangers of credit cards....and look where i am now. Didn't listen to my own advice.

We spent a lot of money in the moment when we didn't have the money to pay it off. Most of it comes from the 4 years of back and forth across the ocean dating. So was it worth it at the time? YES. But it's now become a big issue because we have dreams and we want to spend our money on better things than a monthly bill.

In order to pay off any amount of debt there must be sacrifices. So we're cutting back in some big ways. No more eating out (except for chippy night, i can't take chippy from tom. Ha!) It's amazing how much money you spend going out to dinner. So that's an obvious one. We're also cutting back on travel. This one is rough. We were hoping to go to the UK at Christmas but we just don't have the funds for it and those Christmas flights are expensive. So we're putting that off. There's a big family trip to Mexico that's planned for next year. We're also going to have to skip that. We wanted to go on a little road trip around California, just the two of us. That's also been put on hold. If we can buckle down and pay this debt off then it will open us up to so many opportunities.

The sacrifices will be worth it in the end.

Nitty gritty, we have approximately $10,000 to pay off. Oof. This doesn't include student loans. We'll work on that next. We are focusing on getting out from under CC's. As soon as that's done we will focus on student loans.

I'm hoping to be free from credit card debt in May of 2018. That's my timeline and i think we can do it! THEN after we've paid it off we can start saving for those dreams i was talking about.

Dreams include Christmas in the UK 2018. I told Tom's mum that we would be there this year and my heart is broken that we won't be able to. Money is lame.

Another dream is to move into a house with a yard for our dogs. I think I want a house more for my dogs than for myself. I want them to have a nice yard to play in and the apartment life is just not as good for them. I can't lie though, i also want a house! I've been on realtor's app everyday looking at houses for sale. The problem is we're in debt and can't make a down payment. Ha! It all comes together.

A problem with the whole house thing is I don't love the look of the houses in the Dallas Fort-Worth area. I have a house style in mind that i can't find here. PLUS the price of homes is crazy right now. I just can't fathom buying a home i'm not in love with. So we've got some things to consider. Do you know what state has cute affordable houses?...Georgia...You know another location that has cute homes?? The UK! Ha! But before we could ever even think about moving to Georgia or the UK we have to pay off debt so we can save money.

Speaking of the UK I just realized i haven't blogged about our trip to Wales in June or when Tom's family came to Texas in July.



i might surprise you with two blog posts published within days of each other. It's getting crazy around here. Ha!

Thanks for reading all of my ramblings. Be back soon!






Saturday, June 3, 2017

A little Life Update

Oh man, where to start?

It's been 6 months since my last post and a lot has happened. I will probably forget some things but i'm going to try to update you on the happenings of life these past couple of months.

But first, let's talk about the present. It's been June for a few days now and i think this might just be the best month of the entire year. Tom's birthday is in a few days and i can't wait to celebrate him. I've got a few crafty plans up my sleeve in order to give him a great 27th birthday!! 27 is crazy to think about, we met at 22...Has it really been almost 5 years?? So crazy!! I mean look at us, we were babies!!!! Remember skype dates..Ha! That was so long ago!!!


If Tom's birthday weren't enough excitement, we're also travelling back to the UK this month. This is the first time I've been back over since my 6 month rendezvous back in 2014. TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN!! I hadn't realized it had been so long. That's a little upsetting. I guess it makes sense though, Tom spent time here in 2015, then we saw each other again in Jamaica in 2016, where we got engaged. Then we got married almost 1 year ago. I have to refresh my memory because even though i lived it it's all very spread out and i often lose track of the when and the where. So it's been a while for me and i can't wait to get back. To be fair it's been a while for Tom as well. He's not been home in over a year thanks to a little thing called green card. You're pretty much stuck until the green card is delivered to you. More on that later...

I can't wait to get back to the UK. I'm so ready to see all of the friends and family that we've been missing. I'm also so excited to eat some Wagamama and pack my suitcase full of my favorite sweets and clothing from my favorite shops. It's going to be so magical.

But seriously, Wagamama needs to hit me up for a franchise in Dallas. Even if no one else ate there i would personally keep it in business!

While we're in the UK we will be spending a full week in Wales and a few days in Liverpool. I've never been to Wales so i'm excited to cross that off my list. We wish we had more days in Liverpool but we are planning a return trip at Christmas so we'll be back over very soon. Also Tom's family will be over here in August. They've rented a little house with a pool...so that's where we'll be while they're here!! I forsee glorious tans and delicious barbecues in our future.

Next on the list of exciting June moments is our one year anniversary. I cannot believe we've been married for a year. It has easily been the best year of my life. Getting to share it with Tom without worrying about when one of us has to leave to go home. It's been a dream and it's a dream that continues on because.. drum roll.. Tom has a green card.

The green card is one of the BIG things that's happened in the past couple of months. If you remember from the last post i was talking about how we dropped the ball. We didn't send the USCIS enough evidence and we got a letter back saying they needed more. Well we sent them a lot more, we probably went overboard but it doesn't matter because it worked.

We received the card in April and it's good for two years. We will need to reapply before it expires but we're not thinking about that just yet. So if you look back and think about this process, it's taken us about a year and a half to finalize everything. We started the process in November of 2015. A year and a half of paperwork and sending money to the USCIS. A year and a half of nerves because you never know if it will actually work out or not. That year and a half was rough but so worth it.

Tom can now work here and travel out of the country without having to apply for a visa to get back in. Life just got a whole lot easier and we are loving it.

Speaking of working, Tom changed jobs in late February. The bookstore job wasn't keeping him on since it was only a temp position. He quickly found a job at a little garden center nearby. He really likes it and it's not a bad gig while he tries to study for the history certification test. Teaching is still the plan he just needs time to study before he tries to go after the test.

Another newer plan is starting to take shape for both of us. As you know i've always loved the entrepreneur lifestyle. I think i've got Tom hooked on an idea and we're looking at making it happen.
We will fill you in on the blog if anything comes from it. :)

As for me, I'm still working for The Container Store. My job role has changed and is changing a bit at the moment but for the most part i'm still designing closets. One of the cooler things I've started doing is PR designs for blogs and magazines. There are some things in the works and if i ever see the final product i'll post it here for y'all to see.

Let's see...what else is there. We are still in an apartment. I don't love apartment life but with that being said we just signed on for another year long lease. We're hoping to figure something else out next year. At least we'll definitely be moving from this apartment. Not that it's bad, it's just so expensive. We could live in a small house for what it costs to live in this apartment. But the apartment is close to work, for both of us..We just happen to work in an expensive part of North Texas where all apartments cost basically as much as house payments. Meh...rant over!

I'll finish it up with some exciting news. Tom got his learners permit for driving back in February. He has his driving test this Tuesday!! So wish him luck and send good vibes his way that he passes with flying colors. Right now he doesn't need a car. We live so close to his work that he can bike there in under 5 minutes. But it has been really nice to hand the wheels over to him. I'm no longer the sole driver and it's pretty amazing! ;)

I think that's all for now, i've probably forgotten loads of things but i'll try to do another update sooner rather than later.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Emily

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Love and marriage and visa's and a few wedding pictures!!

Well hello everyone...or hello no one?? I'm not sure who's still around, if anyone but here I am anyhow!! It's been a while since i've blogged and so so much has happened. Life changing things like a full time job and a little thing called marriage. If you've been wondering where i've been for the past couple of months those two things sum it up best, full time job and marriage.

I'd like to also state that I'm very full from a giant pizza and the first Harry Potter film is on so if i start rambling or just fall asleep and accidentally hit publish then you'll know why. Just to be clear it's the pizza coma making me sleepy not Harry Potter.

Ok so let's start where we left off. I think I blogged about the fact that we got engaged and then I filled you all in on Tom's visa interview. Well spoiler alert...Tom made it to America which means he was in fact granted a visa! We also got married, yep we're officially hitched and have been for almost 4 months. 

It's kind of surreal typing that out on this blog. 4 years ago I was just introducing you all to this guy that i met online and now we're married, living in a little apartment in Dallas trying to survive on one income. One income that brought tears tonight which is why we got a pizza...because when there's tears about money you should go spend that money on a pizza...and chocolate...and Dr. Pepper. See I'm already bringing this post full circle.

Let's go back to the fact that we're married and to get married we had a little wedding.

I will come back around and blog the wedding in more detail but for now you should know that it was wonderful, surreal and just pretty perfect especially since we planned it all in about a month and a half.

Here's a few pictures from the big day.













Funny story, a few hours before the wedding Tom and I ran into a nearby Target looking for a shirt and tie for him to wear in the ceremony. Yep, we're chill, so chill that I'm pretty sure i stopped to look in the dollar bins hours before I walked down the aisle. 

My best friend Lauren came early to help me get ready and she commented on how calm and chill we were. When you are marrying the person you're meant for there's nothing in the world that could happen to make either of us stress or panic. We wanted to have a fun day celebrating our relationship and that's exactly what we did! 

Like I said i'll blog a bit more on the wedding soon.

For now here's a little visa update for everyone. 

We are in the middle of applying for Tom's green card. We sent everything out a few weeks ago. We've gone and gotten Tom's fingerprints taken and now we're gathering some additional proof to send off to the USCIS. We dropped the ball a bit and didn't send over everything we needed to so now we're scrambling a bit to get everything sent back over, correctly this time so that we won't have anything else slowing down the process.

Tom is antsy to start working and I'm antsy to have another income in the house. So please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue this long journey, hopefully we make headway soon!!

That's all for now! More to come, I promise!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Visa Interview!!

We started the Visa process last September. We filled out the information, we paid the money, we shipped off our relationship binder and waited. We thought the wait would be a few months but it only took a month to get the letter, the letter that said our case was moving forward!!

The next steps would happen in England. Tom went for his Medical appointment and then we waited for his interview appointment to be scheduled. Then we found out we missed a step and would have to send off some paperwork in order for Tom to get his interview appointment...So he did that and we waited and waited and waited annnnnnd waited....

Approximately 4 weeks after you fill out the paperwork you should get a letter from the Embassy with an interview date...4 weeks came and went, then 8 weeks, 12 weeks...no news.

We were freaking out. We called so many government phone numbers hoping someone could give us some info. There are SO many visa message boards and they were very helpful! We spoke to some helpful people but no one could tell us why it was taking so long.

I've followed along with some other couples cases and none of there's took this long. In fact a girl and her English Fiance filed for the visa after us and he's already moved to the USA...so something held ours up..not sure what it was but it was definitely something and it was driving us both a bit crazy!

Since we hadn't heard anything Tom decided to email the Embassy and ask about the status of the Interview Date. Well we heard back today and we have a date! An actual date!!! It seems all we needed to do was ask and poof we got a date!!



It feels like a weight has been lifted off us both. We thought for the longest time that we'd done something wrong and would have to start the process over again. But we don't, we got it, finally!!

Tom has his interview in London in two weeks!! Soon after that we can pick a date for him and his family to fly over for the wedding. We're thinking maybe mid to late June.

This is the best news. It's all finally happening. We've been waiting for this for so long!!

I took a trip back in time last week, by back in time I mean I clicked on one of my first blog posts...the one where i introduced Tom to all of you. How crazy is all of this. Two young kids meet online, fall in love, travel the world, get married. It's kind of a fairytale ;)

We are both so excited!! I can't wait to share everything that's coming in the next few weeks!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

We're Engaged!!!

I got home last night after a wonderful, amazing, life changing week in Jamaica.
The trip itself was to celebrate Tom's Sister and new Brother in law, they got married last wednesday in a stunning wedding overlooking our incredible resort in Negril.


The wedding wasn't the only super romantic occasion that went down in Jamaica. I mean it's the perfect setting for a proposal as well. That's right, a proposal!! On Saturday night April 16th Tom decided to pop THE question!

I kind of thought it might happen while we were in Jamaica but I wasn't sure. Tom has been pretty secretive and mum on the whole thing...So I wasn't expecting it at all and it was incredible. 

He left the ring with his parents so apparently he had to do a little running around to get his hands on it. I was at his side most of the day so he struggled to get away from me long enough to grab it. After escaping me for about 10 minutes after dinner he finally got it. I however wasn't aware that he was going after the ring and was a teeny bit upset that he left me awkwardly standing by a staircase for so long. When he walked off it felt like he was gone for an eternity...we've been apart for 8 months...I was a little clingy...I'm not even sorry about it! ;)

I remember asking him what he was doing up there? Did he sit down and have dinner with his family without me? It was like 10 minutes, where were yoouuu??? As I was saying this he was walking me down to the beach where he whipped out a little box and said he was sorry but he was getting something important...then he said Will You Marry Me...and I jumped around and hugged him and kissed him and didn't say anything...and he asked well will you?? And I think i shouted yes ;) and i bounced around the beach for a few minutes after he slid the pretty ring on my finger.

My cheeks hurt from smiling so much. It was perfect, It was a surprise, it was a dream come true...


I called my mom and dad first and told them, then I was able to facetime my sister and brother in law, then I called my brother and my pawpaw, tish and my granny! I texted a few people then posted it all over social media!! I'm so happy that we're finally here, finishing up this long distance business!! 

Oh and the ring, she's a beauty!!!


The ring is beautiful, it fits me to a T! I love every part of it and i'm so excited to wear it forever!!!

So now we're officially engaged by cultural standards ;) We've been "engaged" for a while now. We knew we were getting married we knew Tom was moving to Texas...We just hadn't really had a good chance to do the whole ring thing! But now we have and it feels great! 

Now it's time to plan a wedding!!

So many wonderful things are happening right now and i know more exciting times are ahead!!! 

Eep! It's all happening!!

Now lets get this freaking visa finished up!! If anyone has a direct line to the interviewers office hand it over because this wait for an interview appointment has been the worst!!

Crossing our fingers it happens soon so we can get him over here!!! 

Now...which pizzeria is going to cater our wedding??? ;)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Promotion and a Visa Update

HEY! It's been a while ;)

It's about time for an update, it's past time actually...So little has happened in the past 4 months that there's not really been anything to update.

Tom still hasn't been contacted for an interview date...should we be concerned...maybe?? Our Visa Application period ended about a month ago. Tom looked into it and it looks like we're still ok he just has to submit an extra form at his interview. It is taking longer than we thought which has been good and bad. It's good because we didn't want Tom to have his interview during our trip to Jamaica. It's bad because we're tired of waiting...we've been apart for almost 8 months now... So hopefully we'll hear something soon about his interview and then we can really get things moving.

These kids need to be back together...it's time!!!!!!!!!


So something really exciting has happened and it's a big step in getting Tom over here. I've had my Part-Time job with the Container Store for almost 5 months now and It's been great. My job is basically in a call center doing customer service and design work. Well...that was my job!!!!! About a week ago my boss asked if i'd be interested in working with the B2B department, designing closets for other companies. At the beginning of the project my boss told me that they picked me for a reason and that this could lead to something else depending on how I did on the project. WELL...yesterday I found out that that they want me to move to the TCS Closet department, training will take place when I get back from Jamaica and the best part...IT'S FULL TIME!!!!! The best best part is I get to design closets all day everyday!! I'll mostly be working with the stores and organizers so the direct customer contact will probably come to a halt but I'm so excited to get to design pretty spaces like this all day long!!




So yea, looks like full time is happening in a matter of days and as soon as Tom gets this interview done we'll finally get to make plans to bring him over here!! 

Things are finally starting to align and we are so excited!! 

In other news...I SEE TOM NEXT WEEK...IN JAMAICA!!!!!!!! 
It's only for a week so it's bitter sweet but i don't even care, i get to see him, i'm so happy!! 
So I haven't posted much lately on here or instagram but there will probably be quite the spike in posts this time next week!

In other other news I got to see my absolute FAVORITE band in concert on Monday night. A few months ago I bought Mumford and Sons concert tickets for Tom and I because we thought he'd be here to go see them....Obviously that didn't happen so I got to take my wonderful cousin with me instead and it was THE BEST THING EVER! I have loved Mumford for years and to see them live in concert was so surreal. I had all the feels...I couldn't handle it...it was amazing!!!


That's all for now! Keep an eye out for a ton of pictures from Jamaica next week when Tomily will be reunited!!!! It's about time! Ahhh!!

Until next time ...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Humble brag

Today I graduated from Elfa Closet Design School. Yes, that's a thing and I did indeed graduate from it. For the past month I've been designing closets at work but I've had to have someone look it over before I showed it to a customer. It's called second set of eyes, just to make sure I haven't made any mistakes. Well as of today I'm off the second set of eyes list, they trust my knowledge and skills and believe that I can design the perfect closet solution for people all over the country...and world. I did some spaces for  a couple in Guam a few weeks ago ;). 

I can't get over how far i've come in the last 8 weeks. First of all I went into this job with ZERO prior experience in the corporate world or sales or closet design. After a few weeks of training and lots of practice I feel like I really know what I'm doing and it's such a fun job. I always hear people talk about their jobs and their peers and their bosses and it's never really positive and it really freaked me out when I started looking for a job. I thought all offices were like that, where people are awful to each other. I thought that everyone hated their boss and that work was just going to be awful no matter where you ended up. But that's just not true, at all!! This company has changed my whole outlook on the corporate world and working in an office. I have the best team, they are seriously incredible, so kind, funny and passionate. I'm just feeling extra grateful to have been given a chance to work for this company. I mean I get to design pretty spaces all day, it's a dream. ;)


 I've already got my sights set on my next goal with the company, and that's built-ins!! ;)


Speaking of dreams...this closet is THE dream!!
I'm sold, if only my store discount went towards this baby!!

...

In other news, Tom went to London yesterday and got his medical done! He spent the night in Westminster, had his early morning appointment and then hopped on the bus back home.
Now we just have to wait for his interview!!
We're both so happy things are finally starting to come together!
April can't get here soon enough, I can't wait to see him again
and not have to let him go this time! ;)

Hope you're all having a great week!!