Sunday, 30 November 2008

Day 61 of 365: *nom nom nom*

I loves me some cheese on toast with tomatoes and brown sauce!!

Day 60 of 365: So Sad

Four months later...and...they're dying. :-(

Day 60/61 of 365: **NO INTERNET**

I am NOT friends with Virgin Media at the moment. They seem to have gotten into the habit of cancelling our net and phone BEFORE we've received our bill to pay it. Unfortunately, we won't have the money to pay until this Friday, when I have gotten my first paycheck. We could pay, but then that would leave us no petrol to get me to and from teaching posts if they are in Birmingham (which they have been).

I have photos from each day, but I will have to update/backdate once our connection is restored. In the meantime, a postcard to Virgin Media...

Dear Virgin Media,

I hate you. We're fighting. In fact, I will be calling you soon from BT or Skype to confirm I STILL hate you.

NOT Your Friend,

P.S. Shove THAT up your "shadow credit limit."

Friday, 28 November 2008

Day 59 of 365: Smooth Sailing

I arrived this morning for my Year 2 post and was immediately informed I would be in Reception instead (this is like Kindergarten in the US). I wasn't sure what to expect, but for the most part I was pleasantly surprised. This was by far, the easiest and smoothest day I have had in supply teaching (spanning my massive 3-day career).

It was difficult to learn the children's names, mainly because there wasn't a "seating chart" of any sort since they didn't have seats. I worked with small groups in the morning on directional words (forwards, backwards, sideways, etc.) where we pretended to be robots outside. In the afternoon we sat in a circle and worked on listening skills with this cute little baby tiger called Lola. We talked about what it means to be good listeners and then passed Lola around the circle whispering an introduction to her and telling her what we liked to do at school. It was really precious to watch. Then Lola "played" some musical instruments for everyone to listen to carefully and the children had to guess the instrument she was playing.

It was a refreshing day compared to the last two. The kids were very well-behaved overall. So it was an absolutely lovely way to end the week.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Day 58 of 365: Definitely an Improvement

A new school today...and this time a Year 5 class. It went better than this past Tuesday overall. The morning was a bit rough since I was asked to work the playground duty, which left me no time to review the work that was assigned. But I definitely give the original classroom teacher big kudos for giving me work to complete with the kids. Already a bonus over the previous placement.

The students were much more well-mannered than the group on Tuesday as well, although that didn't completely eliminate all possibilities of conflict. Still, no one ended up with broken limbs or property by the end of the day.

I took this second pic while waiting for Matt to pick me up. He ended up stuck in traffic for 2.5 hours on the way there and then it was another 1.5 to get back home. These are the uniforms the students wore. Much more attractive than what I was forced to wear at their age -- in my opinion at least.

Timeplan called me before I left the school to offer me another Year 2 position at a school tomorrow. Let's see if the third time is a charm.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Day 57 of 365: Round Two! *ding, ding*

I received my paperwork yesterday in the mail from Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs to apply (AGAIN) for my National Insurance Number. I filled it out this afternoon and now it's ready to go back in the post for Timeplan to send off. The one which was sent previous (6th of Nov) was sent with a photocopy of my fiance visa rather than my residence permit and I received a response back within 10 days saying that my application itself was refused because I "did not need a National Insurance Number." Clearly this was because I am not legal to work on a fiance visa which makes it pointless to have a NINo. Little did they know, Timeplan made a big ole boo boo and should have sent different documentation to prove my eligibility to work in the UK -- namely via my Residence Permit, valid until Nov. 2010.

Now it's all settled and I hope to know something more at least by my first itty bitty pay on the 5th of December. As of tomorrow I will have two day's pay from supply posts, possibly three if I get called to a post for Friday as well.

Tomorrow is my trial day with a Year 5 class. This time it's at a Catholic school just outside Birmingham City Centre, so I'm hoping behaviour will be a little more in line. The up side to this is that if things are successful, I may be offered a long-term post there teaching Year 4 in January for the rest of the school year. This time, I not only have more backup lesson plans, but some fun brain-teasers as well, as long as there's time.

Thought I would also include a piccy of the little Prince Myst. He fell asleep on the footstool in front of me shortly after Matt passed out on the sofa. He must have been resting up for his main snooze! Not sure how comfy the Xbox remote was, however.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Day 56 of 365: Back in the Saddle Again

Well, sort of...only it's not MY saddle, but I still have to continue breaking in this person's horses while they're out sick. Talk about 24 WILD mustangs!! We were even missing two today. I'm scared to ask the damage the entire herd can cause.

My day began with Matt dropping me off at the school, despite my holding back feeling physically ill, but I knew I had to get day one over with. I signed in at 8:10am and picked up a schedule -- which turned out to be incorrect. Luckily, a teacher helper during the literacy hour managed to edit it enough so I could get the students where they needed to be on time.

Where to begin?! One student managed to keep from acting up an entire 20 minutes into the day. From that point forward, he was what the south (US) would call "wide open." Entertaining the room with his raps and little gangsta moves --although I hardly see Ben Ten to be bad ass enough to fit into young Master T's rhymes. At one point he was "throwing up his dubs" and strutting across the room mumbling something about how he was going to "take it to the streets." I kindly assured him by this hour, I was certain it would be past his bedtime.This kid clearly watches too much TV.

Amidst Master T's antics, we had dear, sweet, puppet-master, Miss S. As soon as another student guessed my accent to be American, Miss S. claimed she couldn't understand the language I was speaking. The little manipulator made a solid attempt...A for effort. I told her I spoke the same language as she did, and asked if she understood anything I was saying at all, to which she replied, "no." Immediately I retorted, "good, then you understand." She eventually got worse and even paired up with Master T, adding a thuggish ruggish charm to her own little theatrical/lyrical performance.

Even with these two, you would think, surely it gets better. Hmm...I'm not so sure. One little boy, we'll call him Webster (uncanny resemblance, actually)...he came in a bit late and was constantly saying he wanted to go back home. For some reason, he kept saying that the little girls at the end of his table were punching him. I didn't witness this and everyone else in the class insisted he was telling stories. In retaliation, I can only assume, one of the accused girls came up to me during numeracy to show me where cute little Webster has supposedly cut her trousers with scissors. As it turns out, she was fibbing on him and actually did it herself! I'm sure her mom is going to love the story she's probably feeding tonight about how the supply teacher let little Webster bully her least that's the version I imagine she will be passing off as the truth.

I made it to dinner break and THANK GOODNESS I had an hour's worth of rest without children. The rest of the day wasn't much better. It was a blur of pinching, name-calling, broken headband, swearing, breaking rulers and using them as projectiles, table surfing, blu tack smuggling, Houdini acts out the door to "use the toilet," etc. The common phrase throughout the day was, "Can I use the toilet, Miss?" It was so unreal. The behaviour specialist had to even make a special visit to the room.

I was actually asked at the end of the day if I would return, and I said that I would, only if the regular classroom assistant would be in the following day. I don't think two day's worth of abuse is necessary. It's only just after 6 and I can feel the migraine coming to accompany the muscle aches.

We'll see if the phone rings, but one thing is for sure...Thursday cannot get much worse. Year 5 has NOTHING on this class!!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Day 55 of 365: My Trusty A to Z

In lieu of dropping breadcrumbs, I find this method more reliable.

I got two phone calls from Timeplan today. The first was to confirm some details about this coming Thursday and my post to cover Year 5. The second caught me off guard, having only just spoken to someone, and the conversation went a bit like this...

Me: Hello?
PG: Hello Megan, it's PG from Timeplan. Another call today, how are you?
Me: I'm doing alright. Thanks.
PG: That's good. We need a Year 2 cover for ***** Primary School tomorrow morning, are you available?
Me: Absolutely.
PG: Great! It's in Winson Green and the post code is *** ***. You will report to Mrs. M. Just remember to bring your time sheet.
Me: *furiously writes down info trying to decipher certain words in PG's New Zealand accent* Okay, great.
PG: Wonderful. I'll ring your mobile tomorrow afternoon to see how things went. You'll be fine.
Me: Thank you.
PG: Alright then, bye.

About this time is when my stomach starts to knot up. This will be my official FIRST DAY of supply teaching, EVER. I never did it in the states...just went right into teaching 3rd grade my first year. I shouldn't be as nervous as I am, and I know that, but my head is getting the best of me. I think my anxiety levels have gotten worse with age and I feel so silly for literally feeling this way. I know once I get day 1 out of the way, it will get better.

Here goes nothing!

*leaps off cliff into choppy waters below with 20-30 potentially hungry 6-7 year olds*

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Day 54 of 365: Sneak Attack

He didn't know I was going to leap from around the corner to snap the photo. We had our usual, yummy Sunday tea at Em & Daz's, but we decided we were hungry again by the time we returned home, so Matthew offered to do some bacon & melted cheese pitas. In fact, one is now tickling my taste buds as I type.

I'm contemplating if we're going to do a Thanksgiving meal for Thursday. Cash is a bit tight at the moment, but I would still like to do a nice dinner if I can. If anything, maybe I will have to stick to my mom's pumpkin roll...should be a treat over here.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Day 53 of 365: Light Through Yonder Window

It is not the East, but the West in this case, as it was sunset around 4pm today. I thought about going for a walk, but stayed in since Matt was making ham & melted cheese paninis. By the time I was finished devouring mine plus a bowl of veggies at half-four, it was dark...ergo no walkie for me.

Boo! Hiss!

I'm almost finished reading Breaking Dawn. It's been a bit hard to concentrate lately. I'm going to feel so sad when I finish this book. The movie, Twilight (based off the first book in the Stephanie Meyer series) came out in the States yesterday. We won't get it in the UK until mid-December, which stinks. I really don't understand the delay between countries.

Nothing else to report. Melancholy mood for a bit of a melancholy day.


Friday, 21 November 2008

Day 52 of 365: G.I. Meg

I have now been immortalized forever on in the notebook belonging to a 5-year-old.

Mitch was sharing his artistic talents with me and when he got to this page he informs me it is actually me inside an army truck.


Thursday, 20 November 2008

Day 51 of 365: Back to School

So, what has TWO thumbs and may also soon have potential long-term employment?!

*points thumbs towards self*


I received a phone call yesterday about a position in a primary school in Birmingham that needs a Year 4 teacher to start for January. It's a long-term post to finish out the school year through July. Timeplan sent them my details this afternoon and had a reply off them within the hour! They even want me to come in next Thursday for a "trial day" in Year 5, and I will get paid as if it were a supply post!!

For now, I'm brushing up on the curriculum and getting some backup lessons prepared just in case. Year 4 is about the same as 3rd grade in the US, and 3rd grade happens to be the grade I taught my first year out of University.

Woo hoo for £110 for the day...that's petrol and groceries for next week! I won't waste away into nothing after all. :-P

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Day 50 of 365: Driving Miss Daisy

The funny thing is...I LITERALLY did -- well, I "drove" her in her pushchair anyway.

My pint-sized pal and I headed back home after dropping the boys at school this morning. We missed Balamory but arrived just in time to catch the tail end of Mr. Tumble teaching how to sign 'football boots.' Then Daisy's favourite...In the Night Garden. The convenient part about that program is that they say 'goodnight' to all the characters at the end, which also coincides with her nap time, so I casually turn off the TV and say it's time for her to sleep too. She's really good about it -- no arguing or crying -- she just grabs her blanket and heads up to her bed where she proceeds to talk to all her wall stickers until her eyes get heavy and she falls asleep 20-30 minutes later.

I usually take advantage of the quiet "alone" time to read a book until it's time to reverse the route to get the boys from school again. Today I finished a bit early since their grandma met us at the school...which then meant I walked home.

Lots of walking for my midget legs today. But I don't's good for me.

According to The Walk Zone, I walked roughly 6.31 miles (13,209 steps) since leaving the flat this morning. We'll see how accurate that really is when I actually rely on my pedometer Friday.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Day 49 of 365: Counting My Blessings

I sometimes catch myself staring at his hand...and the ring that now gleams on his third finger.

It makes me smile. I love this man.

That is all.

Monday, 17 November 2008

48 of 365: Migraine

I can't say it's the worst I've ever had, but it's probably the third biggest since I moved here in August. I was out and about by twenty past eight this morning to look after little Daisy. Her older brothers were dropped off at school and Daisy and I spent the morning together watching CBeebies, where I received a crash course in the characters of In the Night Garden. After Daisy's nap it was time to pick the boys up from school and I brought them back home to have their tea. I didn't get home until after 6 o'clock and realized soon after that a migraine was creeping up on me.

Matt was okay for me to stay behind while he went up to Em & Daz's for a bit since the best way for me to get rid of these is to be in a pitch black, cold room after doping myself up on Aleve or some other sort of Ibuprofen, etc. About 10 minutes after he left, he was back again. I was curious so I peeked out of the bedroom where I went to lie down, and here he made a stop to get me my caffeine fix!! I ran out of my soda and he surprised me by bringing me some right away rather than when he got back for the night. I know it sounds so silly, but it was really a sweet thing to do considering the headaches I get when I start to go through withdrawal.

Best hubby everrrrrr!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Day 47 of 365: Pampering the Peds

Just when I think Sundays could not get any better (with Emma's gorgeous roast dinner and all, that is)...

She is now sharing her love of fluffy socks with me!! I have this pair (pictured above, which are currently keeping my feet toasty warm) and a white pair with blue toes and heels, which Matt has tried unsuccessfully to pinch off me (don't ask -- he WILL deny it). They're SO unbelievably comfy and I love them! They also come in super handy in this ever-so-cold, meat locker of a flat.

Thanks, Em!! xx

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Day 46 of 365: DRATS!

This blister pack with caved in pouches is all that remains of our supply of Nurofen Plus with codeine. Not good...for two reasons. First off, they relieve this wretched abdominal pain I have each month. Secondly...they knock my butt out long enough to spare Matt from my moodiness.

Lucky for me, he tries to empathize with my pain and in return, he has made me some tasty ham & cheese on toast to take my mind off the cramps and fill my growling belly.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Day 45 of 365: Tough Life

This is a common topic of conversation between me and Matt -- how hard Myst has it, being a cat. No job. No responsibility. No worry about paying bills. Just lounging around all day being given tuna and crunchies...not a care in the world. Don't let the picture fool you, though. He's not as sweet and innocent as he looks -- keeping us up all hours of the night while he chases his ball down the stairs (carrying it back up repeatedly to do it again) or scampers across the bedroom floor only to start tearing at the wallpaper. Each night we place bets how many times it will take before his fuzzy rump gets locked in the kitchen.

I met with Sue and the kids again today to see where the boys come out of their classrooms. I'll start next week watching the little girl in the morning and then picking the boys up at school in the afternoon for 3 days. Not bad considering I still have open times available for supply work if needed, and I have registered as well with a tutoring agency, which pays £16.50/hr. for tutoring clients' children in the local area. Between those three jobs I should be able to start bringing in a decent amount of money on my own to help out.

Still, I wish I could be a cat.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Day 44 of 365: Organized Chaos

I've been working on our 'Thank You' cards and it's really making me miss all my usual scrap-booking supplies like my Elmer's Rubber Cement and my Cutter Bee scissors. I've also forgotten to bring my setters for my little eyelet embellishments...and my Zig pens!


In other news...Matt seems to have "the lurg" (as he likes to refer to it). Last night he started complaining of a runny nose and he has been coughing and sneezing like crazy. I let him sleep in a bit later today because I knew he didn't feel well. As he sits here with me now, doped up on Nurofen Plus from this afternoon and Lemsip Max, my own eyes are beginning to water.

Luckily, this has not dampened his dedication to Call of Doody Duty 4.

*insert heavy gunfire here*

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Day 43 of 365: Busy Bees

Busy bees we were today. I took this while we were out running our errands. I meant to get a picture from when we were in Birmingham, but I completely forgot to pull out my camera and it was a gorgeous Dudley Parish Church will have to be proof enough.

This is what we did in Birmingham. I opened a bank account so I finally have somewhere for my wages to go (once I have wages to actually go somewhere). I had to settle for a picture of the business card as I forgot to take a pic of the outside of the bank itself.

We had to walk from the Timeplan office under the five ways. It's just a series of under-bridge walkways (they call them subways here, but not referring to any train) below a large roundabout at a major road junction near the city centre. Lots of food buggies also down there made it very tempting, but DH and I exercised restraint.

Nearby I noticed an older Five Ways Shopping Centre -- blue lettering on a dirty and moss-covered white building. I made a sarcastic comment to Matt about the graffiti and how it looked like an inviting place to do business. Clearly this was a "happening" place to be, perhaps in the early to mid-90s. It has now been replaced by a more "hip" Five Ways down the Broad Street with a full movie theatre and loads of clubs and bars -- one promoting 'Vodka & Food,' which are life's necessities, obviously.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Day 42 of 365: Blinders

The amount of sheer concentration in his face is priceless. I don't even think he flinched or noticed when I set dinner down in front of him. A nuclear explosion could not break his focus. I know I've posted another of Matt playing Xbox somewhere in this blog, but it's the only worthwhile photo I've taken all day.

Matt came with me this morning to Jilly's Coffee Shop to meet a woman who is interested in someone to watch her 3 kids during the week. Two are school-aged and the third is a cute little 2-year-old. I met the older two and her husband later in the evening at her house. The boys are very much true boys. The majority of the night was spent showing me how many karate moves they could do. I guess when you're 5 and 8, it's important to get that stuff out of the way up front -- show the potential babysitter your massive strength and agility. They definitely have a lot of energy, but 3 kids are no match for the 24 I dealt with on a daily basis in a classroom.

I say...BRING IT!!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Day 41 of 365: Decisions...

We did a brief, 15-minute shopping excursion at Aldi tonight since we were running out of options for dinner. We were down to a strudel, 4 potato waffles, an expired ham joint and a tub of shopping was inevitable. Now the freezer is nice and full, once again with yumminess to at least last the rest of the week -- plus, we have a "fresh" bag of frozen veggies...WITHOUT PEAS!!!

If only Matt could decide now what to have for tea...

Also, I have this photo from yesterday that I still wanted to share...look what my sweetheart got me...

He shared two of his with me...'LOVE' and 'MY PAL.' I'm so glad he's my pal. :-P

P.S. Wedding Photos have been CLICK HERE (if you haven't seen them yet)!! Just click on the main photo of Matt and I or the link below the main picture that says 'pics.'

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Day 40 of 365: Meet Sweepy Cat


4 years

Em & Daz

Black & White "tuxedo"

Unknown (Eunuch)

Indoors mostly (but now knows how to unlock the cat-flap)

Lots of fuss, eating tuna & crunchies, and going on Sweepy Adventures in the back garden

Not being allowed on the furniture, being stuck outside (since he can only unlock the "out" position on the cat-flap), having his field mouse confiscated

Favorite Toy:
Dangly toy hanging from the kitchen door handle

Biting people's feet or biting fingers when too much fuss is given

Escape artist, catching mice

Lives Remaining:
9 of 9

Recent Adventure:
Recently, Sweep was walking across the kitchen counter when he mistakenly trod on the stove-top hob, which was still hot. Sweep gave a yelp and hopped down, but not before making a rather loud racket in the kitchen. He then came limping a bit into the front room where he was examined for injury. In the week following, Sweep ended up with a ouchy blister on his little kitty paw which has made walking a bit uncomfortable. A full recovery is expected and hopefully, Sweepy has learned to be a bit more cautious.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Day 39 of 365: A Game of "Chest"

This is the game of "chest" (commonly known to adults as 'chess') according to little an adorable little toddler.

First, you take out all the plastic pieces. Next, you set them up, at random, on the chess board (while Em puts them in the correct places). Once all the pieces are in place, you lift the magnetic board in the air and shake vigorously until all the pieces fall to the floor and then ask if your opponent would like to play again.

Matt and I went to Tony & Emma's tonight (a mutual friend of Em & Daz's) to partake in some fireworks and a bit of tasty munch. While the men-folk messed about outside with the pyrotechnics, Em and I stayed inside where it was warm and I looked on as she struck up this game with Tony & Emma's 2-year-old. Matt popped in for a bit when it started to rain, and I invited him to come learn to play chess. He claimed he already knew how, but I assured him that this version was definitely different -- not to mention the kids seemed to call it "chest" instead of chess.

Needless to say, it was very cute to watch.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Day 38 of 365: So, the Pot of Gold Would Be...?

We never found any such pot of gold on our way to Birmingham this afternoon. I had a few bits of paperwork left at Timeplan, one being the application for my National Insurance Number, and the other order of business was to give them a copy of my new Residence Permit, to show my right to work in the UK.

Now that I'm nearly employed...if I could only learn to catch the bus...

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Day 37 of 365: Hydration

This is my water bottle (hence the reason MY name is written on it) -- carefully marked off for my six 8 oz. servings of water I am supposed to drink daily. At the moment, I have gulped down 4.5, which leaves me less than 10 minutes to drink the remaining 1.5 (before midnight, DUH!). Considering how much I SOOO hate water, this may be a challenge.

I gained half a pound at my WW meeting this morning. My leader, Jane, asked if that was expected since I still had a grin on my face. I told her I actually expected worse as I had gotten married just over the weekend and gave myself permission to relax a bit and not count points for the week. I think 1/2 lb. wasn't too shabby considering the juicy, mouthwatering steak I devoured...not to mention some absolutely GORGEOUS tiramisu I plowed through the night before last. I'm proud of me anyway.

*takes a big gulp of what's left into a sloshy watery tummy*

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Day 36 of 365: Quality Control

Matt and I popped into our local Somerfield tonight to get a few things for dinner and a tin of tuna for Myst. I noticed this whilst walking down the refrigerated aisle and it made me giggle. I wasn't sure if it was to promote something to do with the police force and personal safety or deter shoplifting.

A young boy walked past at one point and brushed up against it by accident. He turned around right away and mumbled "sorry" and then did a double take when he must have realized it wasn't real. Then a man down the same aisle saw him do this and commented, "made you think twice, didn't it?" The boy's face turned red and he grinned and walked away.

Makes me wonder how effective a cardboard cutout of a law enforcement agent really is. I know I still can't take them too seriously in those little Charlie Chaplin hats.

England is funny.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Day 35 of 365: Election Day

As you can see, I did NOT vote for the blackcurrant flavoured midget gems. In fact, I voted them OUT (of the bag, that is) so I could find the darker green and red ones hiding in the bottom under the pile of black. I hate the way they taste -- like black licorice -- ick, ick, ICK! Matt likes them though, so I save them for him.

Such a good wifey.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Day 34 of 365: Legally Meg

Today was yet ANOTHER big appointment in Solihull (Birmingham) at the UK Border Agency's Public Enquiry Office for my Further Leave to Remain. Matt and I were ushered through security and didn't have to wait long before our number was called. We met with a woman behind a plate-glass window who asked for our passports, Matt's bank statements and payslips, and the application for Further Leave to Remain. She briefly flipped through Matt's bank statements and proceeded to cut out our passport photos with a scrap-booking-style die-cut punch. (Note to self: I NEED to get one of those!) Then she asked for our marriage certificate and sent us down to the payment window to release £595 of pretty purple British notes...

*A moment of silence, please...*

We were told the wait for my visa extension vignette sticker would be about an hour, so we popped out to have a mooch around some shops and a steak slice and piece of carrot cake from Firkins. We decided to return 45 minutes later only to find the big wooden doors to the UK Public Enquiry Office locked!! Panic set in...but it wasn't long until the security guard opened the door and asked if we were number thirty-seven. Apparently they had just called our number to say that my passport was ready!!

As you can see, my photo is absolutely HIDEOUS! The photo kiosks around here need to allow you to photo-shop some color into your skin and lighten the contrast before printing your photos. I don't think it helps that you're required to keep a neutral expression in a passport-style photo. I always joke that my original passport photo (from 2006) makes me look like the old woman from "Throw Mama From the Train" but this one surely takes the cake! So, because of that, I felt the need to submit further proof that I really don't think I look so horrendous be the judge...

See? Normal. Not like I belong to part of the Cullen family in Twilight as I may appear in the photo above. Plus, this was just another excuse to include a piccy of the new hubbalicious hubby. I like to pretend he LOVES when I take 12+ photos until I find a good one. The man's gotta love me to put up with it, that's for sure.

So, needless to say, in addition to being married to the greatest person in my life, I am now officially a UK resident and can FINALLY work...LEGALLY!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Day 33 of 365: Chillaxin'

Our first Sunday tea at Em & Daz's as "Mr. & Mrs." It still feels so weird to call Matt my husband when I've only gotten used to him being my fiance.

Sometime after dinner I found Daz & Matt in the kitchen playing cards and listening to "old school" Eminem. Smoking is now banned from the front room and so the guys had to close themselves in the kitchen to enjoy some male bonding. A different form of "gaming" than what we're all used to.

Not much to report today...winding down still from the euphoric "high" over the last 48 hours. Appointment for Further Leave to Remain tomorrow in Solihull!!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Day 32 of 365: Under New Management

We did it!!

DISCLAIMER: And before anyone gets into a tizzy over the blog title -- it is meant in good fun. I joked with Matt that I was going to get him a t-shirt with this phrase on it.

I took the picture of our rings earlier in the week while looking back at our Circle Journey book and reminiscing about everything we have been through to get to this day. When Matt and I first started talking, even before he visited me for the first time in 2006, we started sharing this little journal called a Circle Journey. We would write messages in it to one another and send it back and forth between the US and UK. It was a more personal way to stay in touch, in addition to web-cam conversations on MSN Instant Messenger and phone calls. We thought the book would be filled last August, so I purchased another to take over -- but there happened to be just enough pages left for a few messages. We felt it was appropriate to reserve these for messages for the wedding to put closure to our times of having to be physically separated.

Our day could not have been more beautiful!! (Well, not unless ALL the people we both love and care about could be there -- but thankfully we're planning on having a blessing back in the states in 12-18 months depending on money.)

The day (for me) started out with Em and I heading down to the hairdressers to sculpt my bonce. We have nearly play-by-play pictures, which turned out so cute and my hair was wonderful. We stopped on the way back to Em's for some bacon, sausage, egg and mushroom sandwiches and Daz then headed off to meet Matt at the flat. Em then got started on my nails and did a superb job -- even adding a little bling to my thumbs. We got dressed after that and just in time for the wedding car, a Jaguar XJ6 (incidentally the actual car once belonging to former UK Prime Minister, John Major), to pick us up at 3 o'clock.

When we arrived at Dudley Register office, David (my new father-in-law/our photographer) was ready with his camera. Matt was already being interviewed and I was ushered into the Castle Suite room and told to go sit next to him. He turned around to see me walking toward him and when I sat down, he smiled and told me I looked gorgeous. I didn't want to stop looking at him because, in turn, he looked so unbelievably handsome and I felt my heart melting just being next to him. Squee! So many reasons why I love this man!!

Our guests (Emma, Daz, Josie & David) were then allowed into the room and the ceremony began shortly thereafter. I don't know if this holds true for every bride, but I can honestly say, there is nothing more gorgeous than hearing your future husband saying his vows while staring deep into your eyes. When my turn came, it was all I could do to hold back tears -- and it didn't help seeing Matt holding his own back as well. I could even feel my legs shaking at one point. I'm not sure who was able to watch on the web cam, but we did give a wave to everyone at home we hope they saw.

We took some photos after the ceremony and then a few more out at the Priory ruins...but it was so cold and windy that we decided to cut it short and head off to Dunsley Hall for our dinner. Since the dinner itself didn't start until 7 o'clock, we were taken to a cozy sitting room where we had some scones with jam & cream and a few drinks while we waited. I followed Matt & Daz into the bar area when they stepped outside for a quick smoke and Matt surprised me when he came back in . He stood in the center of the room and motioned his finger for me to come over to him. I came over and he grabbed me close and started to dance with me to the soft music playing in the background. This was especially sweet because Matt and I had never slow-danced before this.

We had a lovely meal shortly after and I cannot remember when I had tasted a steak so good. After dinner we headed to the bar area for a nice chat and to wind down the night before the taxi came. We were joined by Daz's mom, Beth and her husband Simon and we were so happy they were able to pop out for a drink with us.

We are both so lucky to have had the help and support of Josie & David. Nothing would have happened as nicely if it weren't for them and I don't think any amount of "thank yous" can express how deeply and eternally grateful we both are. Never in my life have I met such genuine and caring people and I only hope that someday we will be able to express our gratitude. In addition, when it comes to being a Maid of Honour or Best Man -- we couldn't have searched and found two people we wanted more and were also thankful to have share in our day, as Emma & Daz. We love you guys!!

Also, we want to thank our family and friends, who were unable to attend, for all of their kind words and blessings on our special day. I will be posting a link to pictures as soon as I have them all collected.