Never Enough

September 27, 2012 § 2 Comments

I am a firm believer that you can never have too many photographs.

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Whether you take photos of your family…

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…Your friends…

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…Amazing animals…

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…Funny attractions…

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…Exciting moments in someone else’s life…

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…Encouraging signage…

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…Even when you’re riding a double decker bus in London and your husband thinks it’s time to stop taking photos, it probably isn’t.

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Because someday you’re going to look back on these photos and be so glad you took the time to take them.

Tell me, what do you take photos of and do you take them often?

Also, I’m becoming an Instagram addict. Find me there: “christinastorch”.

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How To Renew A Green Card

September 18, 2012 § 3 Comments

I haven’t written about American Immigration stuff for a while, mostly because I was enjoying the two years I had between receiving my first green card and having to renew it. It was a blissful state of knowing I had done everything I had to do at that moment, but now I’m back at it! This time around is much easier. Last time we used an immigration lawyer because we were in a hurry, but this time, I filed all the paperwork myself.

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And paperwork I did file! The USCIS forms were only a few pages long, the rest is “proof of relationship”. This means credit card and bank statements, insurance forms, wills, emails, photos, documentation of trips taken together, health insurance, leases, letters, wedding invitations, and anything else you can think of that ties you to your American significant other. I even had two good friends write letters on our behalf, stating we’re a real couple. (Thanks, Annie and Kate!)

Just a few weeks after sending this in, I received an appointment to have my “biometrics” taken, which was this morning. Biometrics, as I now know, is a very fancy and intimidating word for photograph and fingerprints.

Because I live in Brooklyn, I’m always assigned to have this done in Borough Park, which is SO FAR from where I live. Three subways and nearly an hour and a half, and I step out of the subway to pouring rain and gusty winds. (Oh good! I wanted to look wet and disheveled for my new green card photo ;)

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The application center is in a very old strip mall. The sort of place that is only still open because the place you’re assigned to go to is in it. Luckily, the trip to these offices takes about 30 times as long as the procedure you go through. A very pleasant lady takes my photo and fingerprints and sends me on my way. She also tells me they have new computers which read fingerprints much more accurately, so my smudgy, almost non-existant fingerprints are accepted instantly this time. Hooray!

Now I just wait to be approved for my new permanent resident status, and then for my new green card to arrive in the mail. Thanks, America!

P.S. Visit Immihelp for help renewing your green card yourself, it helped me.

Julia and Jay Get Married

September 11, 2012 § 3 Comments

Saturday September 8 was the best day of the summer. Possibly the best day of the year. Definitely the best day of Julia and Jay’s lives. It was the day these two lovely, brilliant, loving people got married.

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The day started out with hair and makeup at the bridal suite at the Ivy Hotel.

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What a gorgeous hotel!

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Us ladies were soon joined by Rick the super wedding photographer.

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After much primping, we were finally ready! But first, some shots of Julia in her dress before we leave for the church.

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The most beautiful bride I’ve ever seen? Yes.

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The ceremony and reception were both held at the Berkeley Church. The ceremony was beautiful. Obviously there are no photos from me (yet!) as I was lucky enough to stand up for Julia. The best part? When Julia started to get choked up saying her vows. Cathy, the maid-of-honour, was ready with a tissue for Julia, but Jay took out his handkerchief and gently dabbed away her tears. That’s the moment we all lost it and succumbed to our tears of joy for these sweeties.

After the ceremony, the wedding party had a little photo shoot then got to relax and mingle in the courtyard with the guests. It was so fun to see all of my friends all dressed up!

After a short while, we all headed back into the venue for the reception. After the bride, groom, and wedding party were announced, we sat down to dinner. Following dinner, Julia and Jay had surprises for each other.

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Jay serenaded Julia with a Johnny Horton love song and Julia played Jay a surprise video she made for him. Did I mention this is a talented couple?

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Nick didn’t get to sit with me since I was at the head table, but his seat was right behind mine at a table full of friends. I’m so lucky!

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Our place cards were written on the back of Tattly temporary tattoos! Heart badges that read “loved”.

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Paul did a great job as MC! He even got us to make barnyard animal noises between toasts.

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We all had fun playing in the photo booth.

Photo booth!

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Before long, the entire wedding turned into a giant dance party.

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Oh look, it’s the best man in a beaver hat.

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I think Julia had a good time.

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All in all, a fantastic day. I was so happy to be part of the wedding, even though I no longer live in Toronto. Can I tell you how hard it was to leave the wedding that night, surrounded by some of my best friends in the world? Very hard! What wonderful people I have in Canada.

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Congratulations again, Julia and Jay! Enjoy your honeymoon in Belize and your first week of married life! xo

Bachelorette Cottage Party Weekend

September 5, 2012 § 3 Comments

This Labour Day weekend, some of my best friends and I celebrated the remaining single days of our good friend Julia with a cottage bachelorette weekend! I flew to Toronto on Friday and met up with Sarah and Karen to drive up there together.

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Unfortunately, we managed to lock our car keys in the trunk and the trunk release button inside the car was broken. Luckily, this very nice Thrifty man came to help us and wait with us for an hour until they could send someone to save us. I don’t think he was too upset about hanging out with some pre-bachelorette party girls for that long.

We missed all the traffic and got to the cottage just in time for tacos and to see Julia open her obligatory embarrassing bachelorette gift from her cousin.

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Slutty lingerie? Check. Gaudy “Bachelorette” wine glass? Check!

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The weather was lovely all weekend. Not too hot, not too cold. We managed to get in a good amount of sunshine time on the dock and in the yard. Is Sarah naked here? Only we will ever really know.

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We also got in a lot of cardio, thanks to the 800 stairs down the hill to the water!

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What a pretty bride-to-be!

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Canadian reading and Karen’s gimp. (Remember gimp bracelets, girls?)

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There was kitchen dancing.

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And games.

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And Jana’s famous Magic Juice.

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And best of all, lots of lady friend times in the sun.

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Together, we helped Julia choose the music for her ceremony. By the way, it’s going to be AWESOME.

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Dock pilates, for some reason.

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The last night there, we had the best dance party in ages, all of us outfitted in vintage gowns by Sarah Curtis. Those photos won’t make the internet, so you’ll just have to use your imagination. Karen was very excited about the pile of silky gowns!

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All in all, a fantastic bachelorette cottage party weekend and the perfect send off for Julia into married life. Love you, ladies!

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