yesterday was a stressful day. my current visa expires in exactly 14 days from today. that means that in 14 short days i will become an illegal immigrant. thats right, Kristina Williams: Criminal. to avoid being blacklisted and kicked out of the country, i am in the process of applying for indefinite leave to remain. Thats fancy British talk for 'Permanent Resident' In order to gain said status in the UK, i not only have to pay 820 pounds and fill out over 20 pages of paperwork, I also have to take a test that proves i can speak english. really. just in case the fact that i was born and raised in America doesnt clear up that question for them, i have to take a test to prove that i have a valid understanding of the english language. and then i have to take another test proving that i have an understanding of history and culture in the UK. I feel that my 2 degrees in European and British history give me a pretty stable footing in that area, but all the same, i have to pay to go and take these tests to be legal to live in this country. Yesterday was my allotted time.
So off we went to take these "life in the UK" tests. Mind you I am still having issues sitting down due to the the stitches, so sitting at a computer for an hour was not my idea of fun. The room was me and about 10 other people who actually could not speak english. nice. several couldn't even understand enough english to sit the test in the first place. needless to say, i was annoyed i was paying money to take a test to prove that i had a working knowledge of a language THAT IS MY FIRST LANGUAGE. well, really my ONLY language. i passed.
with pass certificate in hand, we all headed to the post office to finish the paper work and send it all off with our passports. its always nerve wracking to me to send off my passport. but nevertheless, off it all went. all said, everything took about 5 hours. on top of trying to fit in feeding the baby and getting her to sleep and stay restful. It was a lot to have on my plate in one day. i was starting to stress.
So rhys and i went out to dinner. without the baby. i am not sure if there is an acceptable protocol on the first time new parents should leave their baby with someone else, but in our case it was 12 days. and the person she was left with was grandma. rhys and i needed some time to ourselves. not because we are tired of the baby, because i just cant get enough of her little puffy checks and small strawberry shaped mouth. but we needed a break from 4 people living in less than 400 square feet. Rhys, my mom, the baby and me have all be occupying our tiny flat for the last 3 and half weeks. and yesterday it was time for a little space. my mother very graciously offered to watch the baby, and we quickly accepted. (despite some comments from 'well meaning' friends, leaving a baby with their grandparent at 12 days is fine. Its not like we walked to a back alley way, found a strung out crack addict and said 'please come watch my 12 day old baby' it was her grandma. people, that is fine)
off rhys and i went. of course we went to Fridays because where else do we celebrate all major events?! The evening was warm with just the perfect amount of a light breeze. we drove with the windows down and just talked about life, changes, the baby, the future, and our growing family. Dinner was delicious and relaxed; i love general conversation with my husband. nothing calms my heart as much as peaceful down time with the love of my life. As we walked out of the restaurant, Green Day's 'Time of your life' was playing. As cheese as it sounds, it fit the moment perfectly. We both started to sing along and had just a bit of a pause at the car door. Rhys took me in his arms, gave me the biggest huge..so my feet were just a bit off the ground..and said he loved me. and it was just a little bit of heaven. as we drove home, the wind lightly blowing, Rhys put on the Robert Plant/Allison Krauss CD. nothing fits a cool summer evening quite like the perfect mix of a rock legend and a bluegrass heroine.
as the words "darling everything is going to be alright/ please read this letter that i wrote to you...." filled the car, i looked at my husband and smiled. a little tear welled up in my eye and i thought 'this is perfect' I couldnt wish for a better life. I have a mom who is willing to fly thousands of miles and spends weeks upon weeks taking care of my and my baby. I have a husband who is completely amazing. I have a baby who is perfectly beautiful.
i love my life.