Yes, it's me. I've been gone for months and I'm sorry about that. Life has just gotten in the way. I've been meaning to post here for awhile now and things have kept me busy and occupied. So, I figured it's better late than never.
What's been going on?
Last December my husband and I moved from Southern California to Liverpool, England. He's originally from there and we've been talking about giving it a go living there. He's been wanting to go back home for some time and I love it there so we took a chance and started the process of moving across the pond.
What most don't know is it's not as easy as simply (or not so simply) packing up your life and moving. It takes a lot of paperwork, money and time to complete the move.
How DO you do it?
Well, since he's from England... born and raised he has kind of dual citizenship by default. He became a citizen of the US about two years ago now. Going home for him is easy. Taking me with him is what's difficult. We always knew that when we left in December. We knew that I'd only be there for a few weeks to a few months, depending on what my passport was stamped when we went through Immigration upon arrival. We knew that when that time was up I'd have to come back to the states, with him remaining behind in the UK to work while I came back to So Cal to file paperwork.
You see, I had to do the paperwork from here in the US. I had to send over 3 pounds in weight of paperwork to prove our 15 year marriage. We had to prove that we weren't in it for a green card. Needless to say it was more paperwork than I could even tell you here, so I'll just leave it at that.
It also costs a CRAP TON of money as well.... and the catch? Or two catches actually....
1. This lasts 2.5 years. Then we have to do it allllllllllll over again. The good thing, I can do it from the UK then and it'll save us some money in airfare and shipping (It was... just in shipping the paperwork $277.00!! Why? Because you have to pay for the originals to be sent back to you as well. And shipping stuff two day, so they get the paperwork in the time they give you from when you complete your bio-metrics appt. it is in fact that much to send 3 pounds in weight of paperwork from Southern California to Sheffield, England)
2. They can deny you. And if they DO deny you and you choose to apply again you start over from scratch. And you PAY all over again as well. There's no guarantee in any of this. Our fate is in someones hands right now. AND IT IS TERRIFYING.
Wait?? You guys are APART to do this?
Yes. We sure are. I came back to the states in mid April and I've been here since. I had to renew my passport and we had to finish gathering things for our paperwork so we could e-file and then mail the forms needed. They received the paperwork on June 20th and it was just last week that I received an email letting me know that it was in fact received and someone would be assigned to work on it soon.
They ask you what your date of travel is and we picked Sept 15th, (this is due to the fact that it tends to take, on the norm 2-3 months. There is a quicker way to rush things, but that costs another $1000.00. Yeah, no.) so that means if it's completed and they've approved me that'll be the earliest date I can leave the US. However... yes, another however.... lol If everything is done and set and I can head back "home" I have ONE MONTH to enter the UK or we're not sure what happens exactly. SOOOO, our goal is for me to be back in the UK before our 16 years together/15 years married anniversaries on Oct. 11th.
We HOPE *crosses EVERYTHING* that I'll be traveling the first week in Oct. We hope.
We're really missing each other. Texts and FaceTime has helped and we do "dates" where we watch a movie or TV show together, but even that's starting to become hard to take. We have moments where were depressed and angry, and were really trying to deal. We know there are other people out there who are apart for so much longer than what we're dealing with so I feel for everyone that's for sure.
What else have you been up to?
I've been spending TONS of time with family. When I first came over, no one knew what the date was. They thought I was coming home later than I really was. We planned this to surprise everyone and we did that by leaps and bounds. And have the videos to prove it lol. Lots of time with my nieces. Mainly the older one since the younger niece doesn't like to come stay with us more than a night. She gets homesick.
I've been trying to slowly sort the last of the stuff that we didn't pack before December last year. It's mainly some misc. things and my books. We're going to ship everything over at some point, so I'm trying to purge as many books as possible to save us some money. I HATE doing it, but I have to sacrifice something and it happens to be weight in the form of books. :(
I've also taken a few small trips with family while I've been here and seen a few friends. I've attended a book signing too!
One extremely exciting thing that happened right at the beginning of the year. Great friend and author Heidi Joy Tretheway was in the UK for work and I had a chance to take a day out to see her. It was one of the best days and we all had a great time! While we were chatting we talked about her hiring me to be her PA... so soon after that, exactly that happened.
If you haven't read her books, you are SO MISSING OUT! Here's her Amazon link. Don't walk, RUN and grab up her books - Tattoo Thief is FREE! And the fourth book - Say It Louder comes out really soon.
I've also been BETA reading for her, JC Emery, Toni Aleo, Bethany Lopez and others. I LOVE doing it!
And lastly, I've been working on plotting my OWN writing. Working for Heidi has helped me to learn SO MUCH and I know I have some great friends that I can go to for questions.
So, in a nut shell, the blog has taken a back seat. At least for now. Sadly, something had to give and it fell here.
Does this mean the blog is finished?
No. Not necessarily. I'll never say never. Having been blogging for SIX years here at A Life Bound By Books is hard to just give up. It's hard enough just putting it on hiatus. It's hard enough not having posted anything in as long as I have. It was just such a huge part of who I was for so long, that giving it up took so much out of me I don't even know how to start explaining it.
I'm still here. I'm still great friends with my co-blogger, Jenny who used to post reviews and various events in the book world she had attended. As a matter of fact, she's from the UK and lives not too far from where I do over there. We've seen each other a bunch of times. She picked us up at the airport when we landed with another friend Rachel AND when I came back the states her and her mum came with me lol.
I'm still VERY active on Facebook. You can find me -
Lisa (My Personal page but I talk mainly bookish things)
Please feel free to find me on both.
So what now?
Well, that's a great question. Mainly I'll just keep plugging along here until we hear back on my immigration status. I'll also continue to reading as much as I can and try to get ready for that long, long, boring flight back to the UK. I can't wait to see my husband and friends there. I can't wait to do all the things there we have planned. I can't wait to start attending author signings there again. I can't wait for the weather. I just can't wait! Being in this holding pattern for this long isn't fun. I mean by the time I get back over there it'll be just two weeks shy of SIX LONG MONTHS! (That is if it all goes to our plan.)
If you guys could all send some good thoughts our way and maybe cross your fingers would be wonderful.
And with that... I'm officially putting A Life Bound By Books on HIATUS.
I'll try not to stay away this long again. And I promise that when time permits we'll be back.
PS - If anyone ever has any questions about Immigration from the US to the UK please feel free to email me. You can find my email on the right had sidebar. I still use that email and check it daily. We'd be more than happy to help anyone. It's a daunting task and we've come a long, long way and have untangled a lot to find the answers we have. So please feel free to ask away.