Today marks the day that I joined the group of so many people throughout the world.  I got married.  2 years ago I married the love of my life and I could not be happier.  Sure we have our ups and downs (doesn’t every one?) but I still cherish every moment that I spend with her.  She brightens my day and she makes me smile even just hearing her voice.  I may not get to see her some days due to work, and we spend days without seeing each others face in the light, but it doesn’t diminish our love for each other. She is going to hate the fact that I am writing this for everyone to see, but I don’t care.  I still love her no matter what!  As days go by I get to spend time with her and each moment is as special as the last. Now with a house and a fur baby (the cat) life is pretty nice! What more in life could we ask for!  Dearest Heidi, I love you. 

The time has finally come to start this adventure. It has been in the planning stages for quite some time. The whole point of this trip was to make up for lost trips in the past and also for Heidi to get down to Australia to meet my folks, and possibly the rest of Australia. I won't get to indepth into the booking of this but I will certainly point out some of the moments that have caused things to change. The planning of this particular trip started over a year ago, back when I first started my current job really. There was always intentions of visiting Australia during 2016 as we had to wait out leave and time etc. So it was always going to be during the Summer vacation for Heidi. But it was a complicated thing as we had a lot of points stashed away, but only in certain places. None of which could really help too much. We had points with Singapore Airlines after we had to cancel the Japan trip, Points with Qantas and also with American. So we knew that getting to Australia would probably involve Qantas and coming home would probably involve Singapore Airlines (as we wanted Suites). What was going to happen in the middle, well who knows! We got some stuff worked out after over a month of working through schedules and possible ideas, but once space started opening up, it changed quickly. In the end our trip ended up being down to Australia on Qantas in Economy (thank you Qantas for never releasing space) and then from Brisbane to Singapore on Emirates on the Red Eye. Then Singapore Airlines in Suites to Tokyo on the Red Eye with a connection to San Francisco on ANA. We would have 6 nights and an extra day in Brisbane thanks to the Red Eye and about 2 nights in Singapore for a good way to end the trip. The stop in Tokyo was only about 8 hours so wouldn't require a hotel or anything as it was a daytime stop. Maybe enough time to go downtown if we were lucky.
Our flights for this Epic Journey would look like this.

Our flights for this Epic Journey would look like this.

Then the changes started happening, just weeks after we started booking. Singapore to Tokyo was taken off suites. Change that to a day time flight and now we lose a day in Singapore, but gain an overnight in Tokyo. Then Emirates cancelled its Brisbane to Singapore Leg, so we were rebooked on the Qantas Daytime flight. We managed to move that to the day before giving us 3 nights in Singapore. Then the SEA-LAX flights started changing. First we had 5 hours (what we wanted), Then 3, Then 2. This wasn't going to happen with runway works in LAX and the only option they would give us as 12 hours. Guess who gets to go plane spotting! In the end it would be 5 nights in Brisbane, 3 in Singapore and then 1 in Tokyo (thank you 24 hour stopover rule!). It would be a lightning fast yet still pretty good time. Now it was time for hotels. In Brisbane we were covered. It is called sponging off my parents. But for the rest of it, we wanted to use one of the benefits of my work. I get some free hotel nights at some amazing hotels and I wanted to experience some good stuff (and spoil heidi). Heidi's folks decided to come (and so did a friend for a while but he pulled out) and we ended up deciding on having a big party with my family (which will be bigger than our wedding) and we decided to do a lot of touristy things. When we are finished they fly off to do other stuff but there will be plenty of adventures as well. It took a bit of arranging but this is what we ended up with (flights as well). Monday 18th July Alaska Airlines - AS462 - SEA-LAX - 0700-0950 - 737-900ER - Economy Qantas Airways - QF94 - LAX-MEL - 2210-0700+2 - A380 - Economy Wednesday 20th July Qantas Airways - QF610 - MEL-BNE - 0905-1115 - 737-800 - Economy Accomodation - Parents House - 20th to 25th July Monday 25th July Qantas Airways - QF51 - BNE-SIN - 1215-1835 - A330-300 - Business Accommodation - Fullerton Bay Hotel - 25th to 27th July Accommodation - Raffles Hotel Singapore - 27th to 28th July Thursday 28th July Singapore Airlines - SQ12 - SIN-NRT - 0925-1730 - A380 - Suites Accommodation - Peninsula Hotel Tokyo - 28th to 29th July Friday 29th July All Nippon Airways - NH8 - NRT-SFO - 1710-1055 - 777-300ER - First United Airlines - UA424 - SFO-SEA - 1440-1650 - A319 - First It is going to be a fun and busy time!

Friday 12th February 2016 After getting my nice shiny new Nissan Maxima and hitting the 405 north towards LAX I was starting to get hungry. I wanted to head to a place that had come recommended to me by a friend. It was an old school restaurant, with the old neon style signs. But it was also a replica of the restaurant that was used for Pulp Fiction. They had all the same booths etc from the old Hawthorne Grill which has since closed. I am not sure if they are the same or both owned by the same people at one time, but Pann’s was pretty amazing on the inside. I had my breakfast (which was really my lunch) and then found out that a friend was stuck at LAX for several hours. By the time we finally connected, she couldn’t leave the terminal, but if only I had of known! After a tasty filling meal, I was ready to get into the sun and get some spotting done. I was just going to hit up Imperial Hill for a little while and get some photos before I had to head out to Ontario. It was fun texting back and forth with my friend who was on the opposite side of the airport, showing her the planes on my side. After getting heaps of photos of stuff I wanted, there was an o shit moment. My camera batteries started to die. This was expected because I had two batteries that had been heavily abused lately, so I knew they would be ending soon enough. But with two others spare I didn’t want to charge the ones in the camera up. So I left the battery charger in Seattle thinking I wouldn't need it. Sadly I did not check the spare batteries status as for some reason they were dead too. Sigh. So now I had 4 dead batteries and no charger. I through in the towel for the day and headed towards Ontario (with a brief stop for some fresh donuts… what don’t judge me!). Traffic in LA is notoriously bad, and today was no different. I left the LAX area around 1pm ish and hit the freeway towards Ontario around 1:45pm. I managed to reach Ontario at 4:15pm, around 2.5 hours after I left… sigh! I don’t mind spending 2.5 hours driving somewhere, but not doing 5mph stuck in traffic like that. It was horrific! It was only 60 miles, how could it be so hard! Ugh! Either way by the time I got there I was spent! I decided I needed to catch up on a few things and just chill out for a while. I looked around online for a good hotel deal when we were planning this trip and about the best deal I could find was for the Aloft Hotel Rancho Cucamonga, it wasn’t a bad hotel. Basic rooms, yet still nice and trendy. Not bad to be honest for the price compared to what the other hotels were asking. The room was large enough and looked clean. The hotel had a decent gym, a pool and free parking. About all you could ask for right? I had some stuff I needed to do online (which I did) and headed out to grab some food. I found a place that I heard on the radio earlier that day, and it fit the bill. I had my first visit to Souplantation. It wasn’t bad but a little confusing, but it was tasty! I headed back briefly to the hotel with some supplies I had picked up to set up a little gift display for Heidi, and then headed off to get her dinner and pick her up. She asked me to get her a specific order and since it was around the corner from the airport, it was a given. It was ready right as she landed and then by the time I got to the airport, she was standing on the curb. Easy as pie and minutes later we were back at the hotel to sleep! Saturday 13th February 2016 Today was not going to be a thoroughly eventful day. After a morning run, Heidi and I headed off to her friends place to hang out and chill for the day. Today wasn’t about doing anything other than relaxing and catching up. Heidi was excited to see her best friend and her two children. I was surprised when the oldest daughter actually didn’t try to hide from me so much and that was pretty good. At one point I was walking holding her hand, so that was pretty good! We had to go to the mall to get some new swimwear (since I had left mine at home, again) and then we all came back to the hotel (well I had a nap before the others got there) and headed to the pool for a bit. By the time the sun went down and we hopped out, it was starting to get a bit chilly, so we warmed up and headed out for some all you can eat sushi! The place was one that I found last time in Ontario and it was still there. It had a huge line and it was amazing! We may have waited a little while, but totally worth it! By the end of the day we were rested, relaxed and thoroughly full. Pretty awesome day if you ask me. Sunday 14th February 2016 Waking up on my normal schedule this morning and off to the gym, then a quick breakfast before hitting the road with Heidi. We were off to Palm Desert today to catch up with Heidi’s grandparents who move down to the city for a couple of months a year during winter. It was my first time in the area and it was such a new experience for me. I was excited to go and visit the city that I had heard so much about, and finally give in to Heidi, who had wanted to go so much. It is only about an hour or so drive out to Palm Desert and this was going to give us a good test of Russell, the Maxima (named of course after Russell Crowe’s character from Gladiator). The car handled it well, and easy as hell, comfortable drive! Pretty soon we were in Palm Desert meeting up with the Grandparents and getting shown around. We hit up the markets, Babes for some BBQ and then out to the Date Farm for a shake. We also got to see where the grandparents were staying, and if they stay there again next year, we might ourselves head down for a weekend to check it out! We left Palm Desert mid afternoon, waving goodbye to the grandparents and still really relaxed. We headed back to Ontario to head to the movies on what was Valentine's Day. We wanted to see Deadpool, since it’s a “Valentine’s Day movie”. HAH! Not really but it is a good justification right? Really loved the movie in a full theatre. Movie theatres in the USA feel so different. Way more people, more cinemas (this one had 22, the AMC next door had 30) and way crappier seats. Ehhh, whatever. We finished off the night with some Sonic for dinner and some ice cream. Nice and relaxed! Monday 15th February 2016 Today was the day Heidi was heading home and after another run and then packing everything up, we headed out to grab some breakfast. We went to a little dive place that had some good food, and it wasn’t far from the hotel. One thing I have a problem with though is choosing foods that I won’t be able to finish, like pancakes at dive places. I said I wanted a full stack, to which Heidi knowing something I didn’t somehow, asked me if i was sure. I said yes, but really I should have listened to the wife. They were HUGE! I finished a good portion (with some help from Heidi) and took the rest with me. I dropped Heidi at the airport and soon had to head off towards Orange County. I wanted to get down there without hitting traffic. It was an easy drive following the freeways and I only had to leave the freeway once, but that was because the Sat Nav in the car locked up and I had to get off, park the car and turn it off. 3 minutes after leaving the freeway I was back on it. No big deal. Sadly though I was in Orange County super early without a camera to go spotting as originally planned. I headed to the hotel, but they didn’t have any rooms for me yet, so I just headed out to find something to do. I did a dry run of dropping off the car so I knew what I was doing the next day, and then headed back to try and see if Best Buy had a charger. No dice on that, then I ended up heading out to have coffee with a friend from twitter. By the time I got back to the hotel, they had a room for me and I spent the afternoon doing some laundry and getting ready for my big road trip starting the next day! I gassed the car up in the late afternoon when crowds would have died down at the local costco (just around the corner from the hotel) and then parked the car for the evening. Russell had been a good drive, good fuel economy, great looking, all the good bells and whistles. Heidi and I both agreed the car needed one or two things. 1. a Sunroof to really make it a good weather luxury car and 2. Memory Seat settings for the drivers. If only that could have worked, it would have been fantastic! But I was really happy with it either way! I was planning on staying around the hotel that night for dinner, since It was going to be an early start for my morning flight to Dallas and on to Raleigh. The one kicker for flying east is you lose so much time that you just have to suck it up and take what you end up with. My 6:45am departure meant a 5pm arrival into Raleigh. Eh what can you do. That Hooters next door to the hotel looks ok enough, plus I haven’t eaten there in forever! Tomorrow the real adventure begins. Current Location: La Quinta John Wayne Airport - Costa Mesa, CA. States Visited: 1 Miles Driven: 424 Cheapest Gas - Costco Costa Mesa - $2.18pg

Today is 1 year from the day that I stepped foot into a 747 and that moment changed my life. It wasn't to fly anywhere, it was to start something that would begin a journey.. one together. I am talking about the moment that Heidi and I got married.
From Getting Married in a 747
The first day I met Heidi, it was just a coffee date, and things went mixed from there. We had several other dates, but we wanted to "take it slow" and I did say that to a friend (a fact she points out to me all the time). That didn't really happen as we were married last October. But it was right and it was something we both wanted to do. So now fast forward a year. A lot has changed in that time, but one thing has not, my love for Heidi. I still love that woman with all my heart, each and every day. She makes me smile, she makes me laugh and I love every moment we spend together. Our daily lives may keep us apart most of the time (I work nights, she works days) but those moments when we can see each other mean the most to me. Being able to see her smile, brings a smile to my face. On this special day we get to celebrate our future together and think back to that moment in the first 747. Making a commitment to each other, one that will continue, forever. Heidi Muir (yes, she has started the process to change her name), I love you the most.

I have wanted to do this post for a while now, but following requests from Heidi I have not until now (she has ok’d this though). I have wanted to talk about the process of obtaining my Green Card as I know a lot of my family and friends have questeions about what happens during the process. It is surprising to know that so many people go through this same process yet each and every case will be different. My case while not unique, felt not so easy. Most of you know how we got married, most of you know that I do in fact love my wife (and she loves me as well funnily enough). You also may know how I got over here to the USA, now you can learn how I get to stay. The whole Permanent Residency (PR) process is a lenghthy one and I can tell you now, we were not expecting it to take so long. When we got engaged, we knew that we would have a road ahead of us to get it all donem however we expected a few months to get it all done, we did not expect the lengthy road of almost a year! My situation was a little bit easier compared to some other people in the fact that I was already in the USA when we got engaged, if I had been outside of the country, that’s a whole other story. As my original work visa doesn’t allow “Dual Intent” it meant that if I had left the country and tried to come back with the “Intent to immigrate”, that’s a no entry situation. What it meant was that I was stuck here in the USA till things got fixed up. The process for me to get my PR begins with plenty of paperwork and i mean plenty. Our original filing was almost 130 pages of forms and supporting documents. Then later on followed up by about another 100 or more pages. It isn’t just forms but proof of an ongoing relationship/marriage. So you need to prove everything to the government. You need to show how you met, what you did, did you travel together, did you move in together. You also need to show bills and shared expenses. Now Heidi and I had only been together 9 months when this all started so I am sure had it been for more than that, our documentation might of been bigger, but this was big enough. The one thing that surprised me about what was required was legal statements from our friends and family about how they know us, how we met etc. This was not something we expected, nor where we prepared for. Thankfully our friends were willing to help us out! It also required a doctors visit to get a specific set of paperwork signed off after tests were run. I was also legally required to get a flu shot and a few other vaccination boosters (my MMR was done in school and thus not recorded in my yellow book, so to prove to the government I had it, I had to do it again). They ran blood work (I can say I am free of Syphilus!) and the usual kinds of tests and all it got me was a signed, sealed envelope that said I was perfectly healthy. The biggest hurdle was getting all this information together. Originally we were going to do this ourselves, however that was not working. Heidi and I are both very different people in life. Heidi can be very logical at times, but the majority of the time she follows the Yellow (social) brain. This means (and this is in no way an insult) that she flicks between following along, to wanting to do things a certain way. This is very evident when it comes to forms and anything where her teacher brain comes into play. Unfortunately for this instance it was not something what would help combat my 100% Blue (logic) brain. In the end we gave up battling each other (we fought more over this stupid PR) than we ever did our entire relationship) and got some help from a laywer. It wasn’t cheap but it was worth it in the end because all we had to do is point to what the laywer said and anything that we had to do was because the laywer said so (it didn’t end the flighting, but it sure did cut it WAY down). Once you send in all the paperwork, be prepared to wait. Wait, wait and wait some more. I wanted so badly for this whole process to speed up but it wasn’t going to. The good thing with the US Government is that they know that it will take a while for the whole process, so rather than make you sit in some limbo status (which when you are adjusting from a work visa to a PR you are in no mans land) they send you an EAD and an AP. The EAD stands for Employment Authorisation Document and the AP stands for Advanced Parole. The EAD allows you to work, the AP allows you to travel. The AP doesn’t mean you can just leave and come back when you want. It really just means if you need to travel for work or something, you can come back into the country as a Parolee (yes… I was a parolee after I came back from Germany). The EAD lets you work so that you can support yourself/family. It meant I could jump out from the sinking ship that was work and move on with my life to find something else. The EAD took about 2 months or so to process from our filing date, and from that date on, you just need to be patient. The EAD is valid a year and hopefully that meant I could get the interview before that time before having to try to renew it. I had seen online wait times of several months We prepared so much extra evidence that (and multiple copies as requested) that it took up 3 document wallets! That did not even include the almost 60 photos which were hand labelled with dates, locations etc. It was not an easy task. There was even quizzing back and forth between me and Heidi to make sure we were prepared for any question (and in case anyone asks, yes I know Heidi’s birthday and our anniversary off the top of my head, her phone number though, that is a tough one). We almost didn’t make the interview with both of us having to juggle our schedules to make sure we could go (not that I had a choice since it is legally required). In the end stuff worked out but it was not without stress. When the interview day finally rolled around I was an absolute mess. I was stressing myself more the previous few days than I had ever stressed in my entire life. All the “What If” scenarios were playing in my head and they just would not stop. By the time we got to the USCIS building I could not stop fidgeting or stop my hand from shaking. I had gone from stressing to nerves kicking in, something that I have not had that bad in years. When I was younger, even though I loved flying, the morning of a flight I would throw up because I was nervous (not sure what about). That doesn’t happen anymore but it was that level of nerves. Having Heidi by my side the whole time did help (I didn’t puke, just so everyone knows). We met up with our laywer before the interivew and then met him again at the USCIS building (parking is cash only folks… thats a tip you will probably never need, but it is a necessary one). We were there at the same time as an Oath Ceremony for a whole lot of citizens, so it was REALLY busy. There was a couple of hundred people I would say there to see the ceremony and it meant lines were huge, so thankful we got there early. It did mean a lot of waiting (but isn’t that what you get when dealing with the government?). It was so “Hurry up and Wait” it wasn’t funny. The interview was late starting (who didn’t see that coming), but Heidi kept me calm and before you knew it my name was called. The whole interview was a non event in the end. We had a really nice guy, who turned out to be an ex navy pilot. His first question to me after my name was “What is my favorite plane”. Thinking it was a trick question, I gave him a question back of “Civilian or Military” and it just went on from there. The interview was mainly going through to see that I would answer the same to the large list of usual questions when you enter a country. No I’m not a terrorist or a member of the communist party, no I have never commited espionage, stuff like that. Heidi had like maybe one or two questions, but the interviewer had advised her upfront she was there more as a “prop” as he put it. Heidi did get one question that she loved which was when the interview turned to her and said “So what irritates you most about him”. It was as if the flood gates opened and out came the dirty laundry! All while we were under oath as well. Great :/ The interview was over in about 10 minutes or less and the laywer did not say a word. He just sat in the back listening and getting paid. But he had told us going in that his goal in the whole process is to not say a word as if he has to talk, well then something isn’t going well. The interviewer outlined the process of what will happen and we must have gotten someone senior because rather than having to recommend approval and someone else approve it, he was rubber stamping me on the spot (not literally) and saying that they will start issuing my Green Card. The Green Card (which really is green) took about 2 weeks to show up from the interview (probably less actually) and it’s valid for 2 years to begin with. We then have to go back to the USCIS and prove we are still together and put in another couple of hundred pages of paperwork and then they make me a PR for good. Then the cards are good for 10 years after that, like a passport). Speaking of a passport, it is time to discuss citizenship. The next logical step after PR is Nationalization right? I still need to look into the whole process more but before I can even apply for it I need to be a PR and in the country for 3 straight years. Sure I can go away for a couple of weeks, but not for a couple of months (so no big round the world trips for 6 months, sorry Heidi!). It will mean more paperwork, some studying and some testing but eventually I will probably do it, more for the fact that it will make both of our lives easier. So there you have it, from start to finish for my PR status. It was a long long road but it was something that both Heidi and I went through for each other. But now for a couple of tips that I know will help anyone else who might be going through the process: GET A LAYWER. It may seem expensive but it is worth it, trust me on this. Your relationship will thank you. Submit everything you can think of, and when you have done that, throw in some more. Proof, Proof and more proof. Photos, bills, paperwork from leases etc all of it! Nothing is to small if you both paid for it. Photos of you two making out somewhere special, throw it in, I know we did! Be patient, it is a long and lengthy process but it will be worth it in the end. Don’t be afriad, just take it as it comes. Don’t worry to much about the interview, if you come prepared it won’t be a hassle at all. So now you all know what we went through, hopefully you can get a real understanding of what the last year of our lives has been like and what we have gone through. I don’t for any minute have any regrets of the whole process and it sure worked out in the end.

The title says it all. I am coming home to Australia for a little trip next year. Better yet, Heidi is coming with me. Getting it all booked was an absolute mission, but it is all done and dusted now. The most exciting thing is going to be introducing Heidi to my friends and family in Australia. My parents have spoken to Heidi (never seen since they can't work out Skype properly, and if someone wants to go give them a lesson, be my guest) and they know how much I love and care about her, but not having had them meet yet sucks a little bit. But that is going to change. We have always planned to go to Australia and I wanted to go this year, but time has always been the problem. All of the points we have used to head down on this trip I have had for quite some time, so it has just been finding the time for both of us to go. Sadly it won't be this year in 2015, it will be 2016 that I head down, shortly after the anniversary of my 4th year in the USA. So what are we doing in Australia? Well pretty much just spending time in Brisbane with my family and friends. I get to show Heidi where I grew up, where I went to School or where I went to have fun. I want to introduce her to my family, my friends, the town I love. Best of all, I want her to experience my home country in a way that really immerses her into the experience. Of course we get to do all the touristy things like cuddle a koala etc (they just smell like a giant bottle of Eucalyptus Oil but hey it is what she wants), feed some Kangaroos, check out the sites of Brisbane, Eat a meat pie etc. Getting down to Australia is not going to be fun, unfortunately what space there was in Business went way to quick so unfortunately we are flying down in Y. Why am I doing it, well because we didn't have a choice. So to get down to Australia we have to fly to Melbourne and then connect back up to Brisbane (the fun of flying on points means you go where you can, not where you want). From Brisbane though is the fun part. We leave Brisbane to take Heidi up to Asia for the first time, and of course the easiest way to do that for a couple of days is to Singapore (known as "Asia Light"). We get to fly up there on Emirates Business so Heidi will get her first taste of a premium class. For me it also means I will finish off all 3 classes on Emirates having flown First and Economy in the past. From Singapore we will head on further north on Singapore Airlines in Suites. This was something that had to be included. We had to cancel our Japan holiday with confirmed seats in Suites and it gutted both of us. So this means we get the best of both worlds. We were booked to have a 9 hour layover in Tokyo as well, before heading home to the USA on ANA First to San Francisco. But then.... it happened. I was chatting with a coworker yesterday showing him what I had booked when I saw the schedule. It told me that I had booked a 777-300ER from Singapore to Narita. I was like "Did i read something wrong? Did I screw up?" The only reason we were flying Singapore Airlines was for Suites and If I couldn't do that I would change things around. I checked my original itineraries and it showed as A380 (the 777 doesn't have Suites). So I called Singapore (SQ) and let them know about the situation. I had already checked to see if there was space on the earlier in the day SIN-NRT flight (the one that continues to LAX) and they were happy to allow us to change to that flight. They even waived the Reissue fee for us due to the schedule change. Thankfully that earlier flight arrived into LAX later than what our flight to SFO departed, so rather than having a Red Eye with a 9 hour stop, we now have 2 day flights with a 23 hour layover in between. Hello free stopover in Tokyo!! So for those who want dates (and i know there are a lot of you back home in Brissie who want to know) this is how this should all plan out:
Our flight routing for our trip to the Southern Hemisphere next year... what will be our Second Honeymoon

Our flight routing for our trip to the Southern Hemisphere next year... what will be our Second Honeymoon

18th July 2016 - Seattle to Los Angeles - Alaska Airlines - Economy 18th July 2016 - Los Angeles to Melbourne - Qantas Airways (arrives 2 Days later) - Economy 20th July 2016 - Melbourne to Brisbane - Qantas Airways - Economy 26th July 2016 - Brisbane to Singapore - Emirates - Business (This is a 2:30am departure) 28th July 2016 - Singapore to Tokyo Narita - Singapore Airlines - Suites 29th July 2016 - Tokyo Narita to San Francisco - All Nippon Airways - First 29th July 2016 - San Francisco to Seattle - Not yet booked, probably United So there you have it folks, I am coming home to Australia and bringing the wife with me. I am sure that there will be plenty of Schedule changes along the way (hopefully QF do some changes so that I can swap onto the Brisbane flight that runs direct from LAX if I am lucky). Now to try and figure out a way to get some Oneworld Status between now and the departure date so that Heidi and I can use the lounges to at least freshen up after our epic flight in Y.

Today is Friday the 12th of June, 2015. As I head off to work and deal with stuff all day, Heidi will be sleeping in and getting ready for a big day. Today is the day that Heidi graduates from SPU with a Masters in Arts (Teaching) degree. She has worked tirelessly over the last 2 years to finish this. Heidi and I have been together almost 18 months now so I have known her through almost her entire time at SPU doing her masters. This is a special day for her and I am sad that I will miss it. She will get to wear her cap and gown and soak in the love that will be thrown her way. I really wish I could be there but i can't 🙁 However my thoughts and love will be with her as she walks across that stage to receive her masters, something she has worked hard to achieve. The last 4 or 5 months have been especially hard for both of us. I have been through major changes in my life on the work side, and Heidi has been by my side the whole way. However Heidi has had it rough herself. For a little while she was the only bread winner in the family and she was also doing her Masters and doing her Student teaching, All at the same time. Working essentially three jobs all back to back has taken its toll on her. She has been a real trooper doing it all and I have done everything I can to make her life easier. But the day is all about her! Heidi, as you walk across that stage today, I want you to think about just how proud everyone is of you, how much we all love and support you and most of all. Feel proud of what YOU have done. You have done all the hard work, you deserve that praise, that love, that admiration. I <3 you and you need to know you are the smartest person in our family 😀

Everyone knows Valentines Day is about the ladies.  It is a day that is very commercialised, and is meant to be full of flowers and chocolates.  To be honest, I have never been that much of a fan.  But I do enjoy the day where I get to spoil Heidi.  So that is what I did.  I was determined to make up for last year when we didn't plan anything and it was really just a day where we ended up catching up at the last minute and had Teriyaki.  Classy!! Well this year was much better as I had a few different things planned.  I made sure to keep Heidi entertained and made her breakfast anything she wanted.  I also made sure she could do whatever she wanted in the morning after some errands (she wanted to study so I gave her total peace and quiet while I was doing chores by having my headphones in and staying silent the whole time).    I then took her for a picnic to an undisclosed location, well the location of the picnic was disclosed, what food we were having was not since we were going to get some takeout for lunch.  So Heidi had decided she would spend the entire car ride there trying to guess where we were going.  I even drove in the wrong direction to what I normally would to get there to confuse her.  She was sooooo excited to go to the Aussie Pie Company for lunch and then as I turned onto I5 North she was even more confused.  I had the time of my life confusing her.  We picked up some Japanese from a small asian deli in Georgetown and then headed over to West Seattle for a truck picnic by the water. I then took her to downtown for an activity I knew she would want.  I ended up telling her the activity the night before but I was originally just going to not tell her.   I took her to the Seattle Meowtrapolitan Cat Cafe.  They were having a pop up to help raise funds for some charities and get started for their cafe which is due to open sometime soon.  A cafe where Heidi can play with cats is like the best thing ever to her.  I was a little Meh about it, but hey, if it makes her happy.  She got to play with 1 or 2 cats and the coffee was fairly Meh.  All in all to keep Heidi happy for 30 mins of Cat time, well worth the $$$. We ended off our day with some games on the wii at home, and then a special dinner of Heidi's favourite foods, Mac & Cheese and Ice Cream (not together of course).  All in all a pretty good improvement over last year and getting to spend the evening in with a movie is always a good thing right? To next year!

Well, it had to happen.  At some point in my life the Patriots would have to make the Superbowl against the Seahawks.  My beloved team (ok my team, I don't know if i would say Beloved since I haven't followed them my entire life etc) beat the Colts last night (in a wet wet thumping) and now play against the Seahawks (who beat the packers in a pretty epic game to be honest) in 2 weeks time.  Now how do you handle a person who has been a Seahawks fan all her life, lives in Seattle, breathes Seattle and is die hard.  Well I just have to. But this post really has a history stemming back to the start of the season, Heidi & I put down a bet that had to do with our teams.  If either of our teams make the superbowl, then that person could have a new jersey ready for the superbowl if they want.  However there was a 2nd clause.  If either person's team won the superbowl, then the other party in the marriage had to have a jersey of that team.  This could get very interesting, as now that both of our teams are in the superbowl, 1 of us is getting 2 new jerseys, it is just going to be a matter of who gets an unwanted jersey 😉 To ensure safety and sanity in our household for the next two weeks, Heidi & I have banned all football talk, so this will be the last from me in regards to this game.  Heidi & I both want to make sure we come out of this in one whole piece and intact with sane minds.  But I know we can do it!  I am not going to spend the next two weeks throwing the patriots out there, I will be respectful (since I like my life in one piece) and I will only talk about the game unless someone approaches me about it.  That way I don't have people saying I am the one starting stuff. I will end with one thing. GO PATS!!!!!!

Dearest Heidi Today you turn a young 27 and it is not only the first birthday we celebrate as a married couple, but also the first birthday we celebrate together. Although I had an amazing birthday back in August when you suprised me with this: IMG_20140805_200431 That card has even made several suprising trips to work:
From Life in Seattle 2014
But rest assured my love that your birthday today will be a special one. Let everyone please wish Heidi a very special happy birthday. I know that today has not been a great one for you (her car broke down, she had to work, had to go to Uni as well and has to do an assignment tonight) but I will do my best to make sure you have at least some specialness. I