Some Cuteness!




Holly & Saffy:



Sunshine Award!

Moving along in our immigration process.

Our I-130 has been submitted and it will take 3-5 months before we move to the next step. Our immigration lawyer has been extremely helpful in helping us understand the process and steps we'll be taking.

Below our the next steps we'll be taking:

1. USCIS will send our lawyer a receipt notice sometime in the next few weeks confirming they received our I-130.

2. In approximately 3-5 months the USCIS will make a decision on the I-130 and will forward our file to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire.

3. The NVC will then send a packet with instructions to complete our I-864.

4. Once the packet is returned to the NVC, they will review everything and within 45-90 days they will forward the packet to the U.S. consulate in Manila.

5. The Consulate will send a packet with instructions for F.B. to complete a medical examination & obtain a police clearance certificate prior to scheduling his visa interview.

I emailed our lawyer to ask if we would need to file a I-485 and his reply was:

There will be no need to file an I-485 or an I-765 in your case, because F.B. will be consular processing. Once all of the paperwork is approved, he will be interviewed at the consulate and at that time he will submit his passport so the consulate can place a conditional permanent resident stamp in his passport. The passport will be sent back to him typically about a week or so after the interview and he will then be able to enter the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident (CPR). As a CPR he will be able to work for whomever he likes and travel in and out of the United States. The CPR status means he will be issued a green card that will have a two year expiration date. Two years after becoming a CPR he will be required to file an application to remove the conditional status and submit a packet of documents evidencing the fact that the two of you have been living together as husband and wife. The new green card will have an expiration date of 10 years from the date of issuance. F.B. will be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship three years after he is admitted to the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident. We will provide guidance on those issues after F.B. enters the U.S.

So we are moving along in our process, hopefully things will go much quicker once the I-130 is processed. If all goes well, it is highly possible F.B. may be in the USA by Xmas 2010. :-)

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia. 


The Winner....

Congratulations Patty! You've won the latest giveaway! I used a random number generator to determine the winner!

Please email your address to: tunaymahal8279ATyahooDOTcom and I will get your prizes shipped off to you!

I'm also including an extra prize of L’Occitane's Verbena Shower Gel. It's a brand new 1 fl.oz travel size. I'm currently obsessed with their Verbena scent. I just ordered a few more products, I have to post about! Congrat's on winning!!!
In other news, nearly 3 weeks later I finally got to pick up my car from the body shop tonight! The blizzard of 2010 did $2,000 worth of damage to my car. They had to repaint the hood, roof, buff out the windshield scratches. I had to pay a $500.00 deductible on my insurance plan, but State Farm covered the excess expenses. Very happy to have the car back because it costs me $203 dollars for driving the rental car 8 days. That was mainly because of the $17.99 insurance plan I put on it. Needless to say, my tax refund will be paying for all my car expenses. I just picked up a tarp cover at Walmart tonight for $50 so before this next snowstorm hits Thursday evening my car will be covered & protected from scratches!

I have to post about our latest immigration updates sometime this week. The lawyer went over with me all the next steps we'll be taking. For now our I-130 has been submitted and we should hear back in 3-5 months. I know... so long to wait but it's going to fairly quickly once that part is over!

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia. 

In rattie news, Ginger's sneezes were actually a respiratory infection. She started wheezing last weekend and was having trouble breathing. She had a visit to the vet and she's on antibiotics now for 2 weeks. He also took a look at her tumor under her right arm, but it can't be removed until her respiratory infection clears up and it's definitely getting bigger... slowly. On top of that, poor girl somehow sprained her foot in the cage and I've been putting ice on it and giving her a children's pain reliever to reduce the swelling. It's definitely looking a lot better now though!

I also stopped in Pet's Plus on Monday afternoon to see what's going on with the blue hooded rat I purchased back on February 5th. She still has mites... the vet was coming back on Thursday to check on her. They've been treating her orally and topically and it's not clearing up.

I posted my thoughts on the Rat Chatter Forums where I'm a moderator. We think they may not be cleaning her cage properly once they treat her for the mites- because the ivermectin doesn't kill the mites eggs. Which could be why the problem hasn't cleared up. I ordered some ivermectin myself online last night and if I haven't heard back from the pet store, I'm going to go pick up my blue hooded girl next Friday and treat her for the mites myself at home.

I'll have to take some precautions if I do that though. I already have a spare cage which I'll have to keep in a completely different room from my other girls. I'll have to also make sure I shower & change my clothes after handling the new girl before I touch my other girls. And her cage will have to be scrubbed down with diluted bleach & water every week when she gets her ivermectin treatment. Hopefully things will clear up much faster once she's at home with me!

2-19-10 was my 2nd month of being married! Can't believe it! Just last month F.B. & I were at the Manila Hotel celebrating our 1st month... I'm still in the middle of changing my last name everywhere. My credit cards finally started to arrive with my new name. I still have to get a new passport though!


Special Kind of Love...

The day after F.B. & I were married we were in the parking garage at Robinson's Galleria. He was calling me "Poopsie Pie" & "Sweet-ems", "Snookums" to annoy me & I simply answered, "Dickhead." He says, "We've been married 1 whole day & already you're calling me a dickhead?!" Haha! Yes, I'm a bad wife.

F.B. said to me a few weeks after we were married. "You must be allergic to being married to me. You've been sick since the wedding & you're getting peely skin now where you wear your wedding band!"

Sarah Lynn: I miss you
FB: I miss you too
Sarah Lynn: I still don't take my wedding band off
Sarah Lynn: don't worry I'm not allergic to being married to you anymore
Sarah Lynn: I don't get peely skin there anymore lol!
FB: I haven't worn mine since you left....just kidding. LoL!
Sarah Lynn: you're terrible, LOL
Sarah Lynn: and on valentines day too!
FB: haha
FB: oops, I forgot LoL!
Sarah Lynn: tsk tsk... you better be wearing it at the mall right now!
FB: hmmm
FB: haha! of course I'm wearing it baby
FB: I just take it off at night when I go to sleep. haha
Sarah Lynn: I know
Sarah Lynn: hehe

I have weird nightmares where I literally start screaming in my sleep sometimes. F.B. has experienced this quite a few times... the one time he said I sat up, was screaming and saying "Where am I?" And then when I went to lay back down I smacked him real hard above his brow bone with my elbow! I actually left a bruise! We have photographic proof!

This past trip, I had a lot of those scream-mares again. I don't even know I'm doing it. In the morning, I have a small recollection, and I'll say to F, "Did I scream last night?" Right before I left I had one and he said I woke him up screaming and I would just scream more when he would try to put his arm around me. So he kinda moved over and braced himself hoping I wouldn't hit him in my sleep again. Then he said he couldn't get back to sleep because his heart was pounding, lol. My poor husband!

Sarah Lynn: I miss sleeping with you, Mr. Snore.
FB: I miss that too baby
Sarah Lynn: oh wait... I'm, Miss scream. Hahaha!
FB: I know
Sarah Lynn: I'm sorry, my mom said I should buy you ear plugs and a ski mask
Sarah Lynn: so you'll be protected from me when I have my scream-mares haha!
FB: LoL!
Sarah Lynn: well I did hit you that time and didn't know it, and you said it hurt so bad you wanted to cry lol!
FB: You didn't know it eh...ok... LoL!
Sarah Lynn: I didn't, lol!
Sarah Lynn: I thought you were teasing me, until I saw the bruise, lol
FB: ok baby, I believe you. haha
Sarah Lynn: haha, I'm an abusive wife, I beat you up
Sarah Lynn: and call you dickhead
Sarah Lynn: and give you the finger
Sarah Lynn: why did you marry me again? LOL
FB: cuz you'd beat me up more if I didn't. LoL!
Sarah Lynn: Ohhhhh lol!
Sarah Lynn: I never beat you up- liar
Sarah Lynn: I just tickled you a hell of a lot though
Sarah Lynn: so much you have no tickles left lol!
FB: I know. haha!

(This is true... F.B. & I used to have tickle wars. I tickled him one too many times under his arms and he's not ticklish there anymore! Darn!)

As you can tell F.B & I are a couple of dorks, hehe. I think that's why we get along so well. We both have weird warped senses of humor. We're always joking around with each other and we laugh a lot. ♥♥♥ He's my best friend. ♥♥♥
♥♥♥ Happy Valentines Baby, I miss you and I love you! ♥♥♥

Hopefully by next year... we'll be celebrating Valentines Day in the same place!


Thanks so much blizzard...

The 2nd blizzard of 2010 in Philadelphia left it's mark in more ways than one...

When we got hit with 28 inches of snow last weekend and then 24 inches on Wednesday all the heavy wet snow started making our trees sag really really badly... one of the trees dented my dads car and my own car had tree branches sagging down onto the hood and roof along with snow and ice. Then I saw the scratches... long massive scratches all over the front of my hood. Of my brand new car that I've owned just 1 year...

I called my insurance company, State Farm and because I have full coverage the damage to the car is covered under my insurance policy. They called a collision center for me and I had to drop the car off Friday afternoon. The auto body guy went over the car with me and he showed me how the tree branches had been swaying and scraping in the blizzard. Besides the awful scratches I noticed on the hood of my car, there was long scratches on the front part of the roof, the windshield has scratches! (how does that happen!?) and there are scratches and circles of missing paint on the sides of the car near the windshield. The auto body place made me fill out paperwork and they are going to take pictures of the damage for my insurance company. I'm still waiting to hear back from State Farm to find out how much my insurance covers; if it will cover all the repairs, or if I will have to copay anything.

My insurance company at least covers a big portion of a rental car. I've got an ugly red Chevy Impala at the moment that I have to pay $6.00 a day for. Out of my own pocket though I added an insurance with the car rental place of $17.99 a day in case of any damages or scratches happen to the rental- and with all these mountains of ice and snow and trees still sagging in our driveway and on the roads, it seemed like a good idea.

I'm supposed to hear back from the insurance company in 48 hours. And the collision place is supposed to call on Monday. I'm not sure how long the repairs will take... but I am so sick of winter. And then Monday... there's more snow coming... 6-8 inches, maybe more... yay...


Blizzard of 2010

Oh to think just 3 weeks ago I was in the Philippines in 80 degree weather! I missed the first snowstorm we had in Philadelphia back in December that left us with 23 inches of snow. Last weekend Philadelphia was hit with 28 inches of snow. Luckily it fell on a weekend so it didn't impact work so much. Tuesday night it started snowing and all day Wednesday it snowed. It was expected to be 24 inches of snow. The roads are a mess. They've closed several highways in Philadelphia, public transportation was suspended and a lot of people are still without power. Our own power surged a few times this evening. No work today and I'm not sure about tomorrow. It depends on the conditions of the roads and if I can even get out of our driveway!

Here is a video my brother took of the blizzard:

Luckily I made it to the post office Tuesday afternoon to mail back our immigration paperwork and a check for our lawyer. F.B. had to sign some documents and he sent them back to me through DHL. Then I sent everything back to our lawyer. I believe our next step will be preparing for the I-864. I am having my taxes prepared next Thursday so we can use my 2009 income besides 2 previous years. The papers I mailed back that F.B. & I signed are for our I-130. We also had to complete G-325A & form G-28.

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia.

Bad case of GGMR!

I stopped at Pet's Plus last week after getting my new drivers license. I just went into look but they had 1 each male & female Blue Hooded rats. I wanted to get the female, but the manager explained they were treating the blue hooded ones for mites right now and he didn't want to let me take her home until she is mite free. He did say, if I wanted to buy her he would mark her as sold and they would call me when she finished her mites treatment and the vet gives the okay. So... of course I got her! She's a big girl too, she must be an older rat because she's almost as big if not bigger than my Ginger. Her name is going to be Hazelnut, and I can't wait to bring her home!

They also said they had some feeder rats, all different colors in the back so I went to take a look. They had a bunch of PEW girls and two little black hooded babies. They are so itty bitty they can't be more than month or so. I told him I'd take the the two black hooded girls too. Sooo.... please meet Pepper & Poppy. They don't have perfect hoods- Pepper's stops mid back and Poppy's almost reaches her tail. They are soooo small, just babies really. Poor babies... I can't believe they were going to let them become feeders!

I only really meant to get the blue hooded girl, lol. But when I saw those babies, I just couldn't resist! Bad case of GGMR! (Gotta Get More Rats!) I definitely won't be getting anymore ratties anytime soon, 7 rats is more than enough! Good thing I have a huge Ferret Nation cage!

(Ginger, Saffron, Holly, Ivy, Pepper, Poppy... and soon Hazelnut!)

Holly & Ivy are getting along with Ginger and Saffy. So far no issues. Saffy & Ivy did squabble a little, I think Saffy is my Alpha Rat. Ginger, I have to make an appointment for her at the vet for next week. I've been waiting for my first paycheck before I made the appointment. She will definitely be getting her tumor removed hopefully by the end of this month.

In other news, Philadelphia got 28 inches of snow on Saturday! It was the 2nd biggest snowstorm in the city since 1996! It's definitely not going to be fun digging the car out and driving to work Monday morning.

Tansy enjoyed the snow, from her warm window seat!

Blogging Meme & Philippines Giveaway!

Time for a blogging meme! (Stolen from BPD in OKC).

1. How long have you been blogging?
I started this blog March 2008. Before I started this blog I used to have an online journal on Xanga.

2. What made you start?
I wanted a place where I could share & document my long distance relationship's story.

3. Who inspired you?
The idea started from reading other blogs out there, I wanted to tell my story too.

4. About how many hours a week would you estimate you spend on your blog?
I'm usually logged into my blogger dashboard reading blogs every day for 1-2 hours. When it comes to my own blog, I may spend 3-4 hours a week writing blogs.

5. What kind of experience or background do you have with writing?
I used to write stories & poetry and songs a lot when I was younger.

6. Talk about how you come up with blog topics. Where do you get your ideas?
I blog mostly about my daily life, my long distance relationship, our immigration process, pets, photography, my trips to the Philippines. I try to keep my topics interesting & unique. Sometimes I like to do features on different places, products, foods, etc.

7. What or who inspires you and your blog?
Life, my husband, the future.

8. Where and/or how do your brainstorming for your blog?
I post a lot of pictures on my blog, so most of the time the stories write themselves from my pictures. Sometimes when I'm out and something interesting is happening, I'll say, "This is blog worthy!"

9. Do you have any blogging rules or guidelines you follow?
I try to link and cross reference posts, so people reading can either back track in my blog or click a link for something I'm talking about to get a better understanding.

10. Is there anything you will not blog about?
I don't blog about work in depth or co-workers.

11. Do you have any sort of a publishing schedule in terms of day of week or topic?
I go with the flow and whenever I'm inspired I blog. When I'm blogging from the Philippines, I try to update at least once a week.

And now in honor of blogging it's time for another giveaway!

I picked up this gorgeous freshwater pearl bracelet & key chain from Kultura in the Philippines. The pearls on the bracelet are an iridescenct burgundy color. (Kind of reddish/purple.) The chain is silver. It's stunning in person, the picture doesn't do it justice! The rubber keychain says, 'Manila, Philippines'.

I'm also including 4 packs of San Mig 3-in-1 instant coffee in: Original & Mild. (best instant coffee ever! I always stock up when I'm in the Phil!) and 2 packs of Close Up Lemon Mint Twist Toothpaste! Both Philippines Products!

To enter the giveaway leave me a comment telling me how you found my blog & why you enjoy reading it.

(Remember anyone can comment, you don't have to be registered on blogger!)

This giveaway is not restricted to the United States, so my international readers can enter! Family & friends are not excluded from the giveaway. I will use a random number generator to determine the winner!

The deadline to enter this giveaway will be: February 22nd, 2010.

(This entry will have a future date until the giveaway is over!)


L'Occitane Verbena Lotion

When F.B. & I stayed at the Manila Hotel for our honeymoon, the hotel had a L'Occitane Verbena travel set.

I knew L'Occitane was a pretty expensive brand, so I was excited about the bath products. When I smelled them though... wow! I love the verbena scent! It's a fresh citrusy lime/lemon scent. Amazing! My husband will tell you, I kept putting the lotion on my hands and smelling them, hahaha! Yes, those travel products definitely came with me when we checked out of the hotel. I was happy when we stayed at the Manila Hotel again for our 1st month of being married, because it meant more L'Occitane products!

I loved the verbena scent so much, that while I was still in the Philippines, I went online and ordered some products to have shipped home to me. (There is a L'Occitane store in Greenbelt 5 now & I also saw one at Power Plant mall in the Philippines. The only store near me in PA is at the King of Prussia mall.)

The $3.00 travel sizes (like the hotel had) were out of stock so I ended up getting verbena hand lotion.

I also got a verbena soap on a rope. This thing was much bigger than I expected! Definitely worth $10!

I've been taking the hand lotion to work and already I've gotten 3 compliments about how good it smells and what brand is it? I'm definitely addicted to L'Occitane's verbena scent! (Darn 5 star hotel! lol!) Have you used any of L'Occitane's products?

(Nope, not getting paid to recommend these products! I just wanted to share them, because I love them!)

 photo sarahlynn_zpse7845bbe.jpg

Nutmeg: Dec 2008-Feb 2010

I can't even think straight right now... I came home from work and found Nutmeg slumped in the cage, she seemed to be paralyzed on her left side. When you touched her belly or sides she was in pain and actually bit me twice. I called the vet and made an appointment, she started to deteriorate really fast, she became limp, she started gasping for breath. My brother said we should just drive over to the vet right away since it was an emergency. The doctor wasn't even at the vet yet... Nutmeg suffered for an hour with fluid coming out of her mouth and nose before she passed away at the vet before the doctor could come to put her to sleep. We brought her home and buried her. This is like a nightmare... I already lost my Cinnamon not even a week ago yet. I know Cinnamon was older but Nutmeg was just over a year old...

She's been funny since I got back, timid, scared, not herself at all. She was normally my little spaz. She loved to roll around the house in her Super Pet ball. She was the only one that loved it. I thought maybe it was because I had been in the Philippines for so long and that was why she wasn't acting like herself... but now I think she was ill. Maybe she had a tumor in her belly? I'm not even sure.... I just wasn't expecting this, it's too much for me right now... my sweet dumbo girl....


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