It’s a good day for a love note.
Not just because it’s the last day of June (or was when I started this!), and writing a list of things I’m thankful for each month is my new thing here on the blog, but because I think honing in on all the soulful blessings I’ve got happening will help balance out the frustrations I’ve felt this week, preparing documents for my upcoming medical exam and interview at the U.S. consulate.
I’ll spare you the details. Bureaucracy is a boring topic, and you don’t really want to know how many trips I’ve taken to the clinic in the last week for doctor’s notes, requisitions, tests, and ultimately vaccines to lay out my medical history and prove I’m all boosted up before I make the States my home. Or how many hours Joe and I have spent researching, downloading, evidence-gathering, form-completing, photocopying, faxing, printing, triple-checking, and researching again to make sure every single immigration step is carried out properly. (Every form in this process is named a combination of several letters and numbers, like the DS 230 and G-325 and the DS 156 K, so it’s starting to feel like we’re talking in code. Maybe I should write an article about this. I could call it The Language of Immigration. Or maybe that would be the most boring thing ever written?)
I’m on a time crunch for this visa: Joe and I have two weddings to attend this month—his brother Nick and fiancee Caroline’s in Chicago, and my friend Josh and fiancee Melinda’s in Colorado. Time crunch’s and bureaucracy don’t mix well, I’m learning. And there’s been a few curve balls thrown our way, which has given way to some late-night skype tears on my part, I’ll admit.
But I’m writing this while tucked into bed in the spare room of Melissa and Steve’s garden-floor condo in Vancouver. The window is open, the air flowing in. Melissa is my oldest friend. We go back 26 years and she is home to me. The mountains appeared suddenly into view through the plane’s window tonight—extra tall to my eyes after three months in the prairies—and the sky was clear, a calm, pale pink. I like flying in the evenings. It feels good to be back in B.C. And June gave me so much to be grateful for. The list:
♥ A new job! I’m now a staff writer for Fine Lifestyles/Fine Homes—a group of magazines based in Saskatchewan, with branches in Halifax and Cleveland too. I interview Canadian business owners and managers and write about what makes them successful. It’s really diverse: in the last month I’ve interviewed a jewellery designer, a pet groomer, an optician, two journeymen, a shoe salesman, an x-ray technician, a weight-loss coach, and the daughter of a Greek restaurant owner.
♥ Waskesiu Lake sunsets. (As seen above.) Waskesiu is one of my favourite places in the world, where I spent my summers from ages 9-15, and the sunsets are amazing. I was so happy to show them to Joe.
♥ Which leads me to… Joe’s visit to Canada. We hiked, drank wine, canoed the Waskesiu River with my dad, went out for beer and pizza, watched a flock of four white pelicans float and dive for fish on the water, barbecued asparagus and portabello burgers, watched old episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s show “No Reservations,” daydreamed about renting cars for weekend trips around Oregon next winter, watched butterflies mating…have you ever seen butterflies mating?
This might be one of the most random things I’ve ever witnessed. They just clump up together and do their thing, hundreds of them!
♥ My cousin Heather, who put together the most thoughtful, elaborate picnic basket as a gift for Joe and I to take to the lake. It had two kinds of gourmet cheese, a bottle of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, a book, crackers, cookies, blueberries, nuts, wine glasses, purple napkins, a heartfelt card she’d written, and chocolate! What a sweet, thoughtful gift. I was so touched.
♥ Spending a weekend with my close friends Sarah and Rainbow and their three awesome kids Zayden (5), Auley Mae (2), and Laurelle (1) in Spring Lake, Alberta. Sarah and I kicked off the visit with mojitos at Earls, and shared heart-to-heart chats each day I was there. Rainbow served up gourmet cocktails, grilled salmon, eggs benny, burritos and a massive cheese plate…I felt seriously spoiled! Every morning I woke to either Laurelle cooing in her crib or Auley Mae and Zayden climbing onto my bed, ready for their Auntie Coco to get up and play with them. I love this family so much.
(This is Zayden. He has such a big heart and imagination.)
♥ Finding out my submission was accepted for publication in the September issue of Danielle Magazine. Danielle Laporte is a really inspiring writer and speaker I’ve been following for the last couple years, so I’m thrilled to be having my work featured in her magazine. It’s a piece on love. I’m excited to share it with you once it’s in print!
♥ Getting to be at my nephew Liam’s 3rd birthday party. (He’s Heather’s little guy.) There’s not much that’s cuter than a three year-old’s hug. Something about his little hand on my shoulder really gets me here.
♥ My dad. He helped me out so much these last few months, always with such genuine, rock-solid caring. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for his family. I can’t imagine my life without him.
Thank you, June. You kicked my butt a little, but brought me so much love.
Anything you’re feeling extra thankful for this month? I’d love to hear about it!