Saturday, February 28, 2009

Next Steps

The next step in the process of our move to Italy is to get the Visas. For me, the Work Permit was a prerequisite to apply for a work visa. I received my work permit on Friday. It is hard to believe that so much time and effort could go into one little piece of paper. Right now, this is the most important piece of paper for us in our move to Italy. You may laugh, but I wasn't willing to put it through the auto document feeder on the copier at work to scan it. I carefully put each side down on the glass to scan and save an e-copy.

On Monday, I have an appointment with the Italian Consulate in Portland to apply for the Visa. How this works:
1. Visit the Consulate in person with a filled out Visa application and all paperwork, including work permit, passport, a passport photo to attach to the application and payment in cash. He will review and sign off on the application.
2. Since the Consulate in Portland is an "Honorary Consulate," I then have to mail everything off (including my passport) to the nearest full Consulate office in San Francisco.
3. They will review the application in San Francicso, hopefully approve it, and send my passport back to me with the visa "stamp."

Then I can officially move to Italy!

For Patrick and Brandon, an Entry Permit is a prerequisite to apply for their visas to accompany me. We haven't received those yet, they will follow in a week or two and then we will apply for their Visas through the same process.

We don't have a date yet, because of all of the uncertainty of timing of all of these application processes. We are fine with this. This is one of the lessons of our journey to live in Italy, letting go of expectations and just going with the flow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

We're going to Italy!!!

It's official, we got the work permits today, we are really and truly going to Italy. Just don't ask us when yet... it's going to take a little bit of time in order to sort things out and figure out when we are going. It could be by April 1, but I don't want to commit to any dates quite yet.

I think things will move very quickly from here on out. Work was busy anyway, but now we're going to have Visa applications and sorting out movers and everything else that it takes to move. AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! It's really happening! :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Funny Brandon Comment

Friday night we went to dinner with some friends. A very enjoyable evening, and lots of food! So much that we had some leftovers to take home. The restaurant uses the recyclable clamshells for putting the leftovers in. We were discussing that as we walked out the door and Brandon says out of the blue:

"You know, women are recyclable."

I asked, "What? Why?"

"Because they have babies!" Brandon answered.

Too funny, you just never know what's going to come out of a kid's mouth!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Second Grade Music Program

I just got home from the second and third grade music program at Adams Elementary. What fun! There is something wonderful about the goofy, off key, off beat performances... Maybe it's just a parent thing but I find myself enjoying the simplicity of it all and the joy the kids show.

I loved how the first thing Brandon did when he came into the room was scanning the audience for us. Looking anxious and then breaking into a big smile when he saw us there. He was performing just for "us" - how special is that?

Monday, February 16, 2009

News on Italy

And the news is... still no work permit.

There was another meeting today in Italy with the immigration folks. This time it was a different official, and this official had yet another document requirement. Nothing we need to do this time, they are taking care of it in Italy and then the next meeting will be February 23.

Maybe it will happen then, maybe not.

I can't say that I'm surprised about today's outcome. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mickey & Pals say "Hi!"

We're baaa-aaack! We arrived home today after three days in sunny southern California visiting Disneyland and California Adventure. We left on Monday afternoon, and just missed the rain in California. It rained on Monday and was supposed to rain today! It wasn't hot enough for sandals but it was sunny and boy, did that feel good. Here are a couple of family pics and a cute story of the trip.We were waiting in line for this next pic with Lightning and Mater, when Brandon says, "Hey look Mom, Mater has teeth just like mine!" And you know what, he's right! :) Brandon is always making us laugh.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

An Ending of Sorts

Yesterday we had a party to celebrate a major accomplishment at work... the qualification of the technology transfer project I've been leading for the last 9 months. This team of amazing folks accomplished what no one thought could be done! It was even qualified 5 days early.

So, we got together at Jim's house (our program manager). We had some snacks, some beer, some wine. We gave out some fun awards and shared funny stories. When you work on an intense project like this and people travel all over the world, interesting things are bound to happen. We toasted our success with the homemade Limoncello I brought back from Italy, made by one of our fantastic Italian colleagues.

For me, it brought closure. My work on this project and with these people doesn't end but it was a way to celebrate the milestone, to mark the time in our hectic schedules. It was a way to thank the fabulous people I get to work with every day. I keep saying it, but the best part of leading this project was working with this amazing team of people who just got things done! I am honored.

Sadiq receiving his award as the "Grumbling Gourmet", he provided us LOTS of funny stories The team surprised me with an award and a gift too, a bottle of wine and a travel journal with notes from them written in it!Pouring the precious LimoncelloA toast to our success!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Still Waiting

No news on the Italy front. The "last" document we needed was legalized and FedEx'd off last week, and arrived in Italy on Monday. No news on when they will meet with the officials on the work permit.

It's all ok, we have our Disneyland trip next week and lots to do before then. I've learned to keep an open mind and a somewhat open schedule with this. I'm not in such a hurry anymore. It doesn't help to get stressed about it.

Eventually, we'll be in Italy...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Double Exposure Challenge

This is not quite a double exposure, but I loved this one I got a few years ago of my cat, when he looked at me right as I took the picture...