About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Italy Update

Katrina's work permit is in hand. She sent me an electronic copy yesterday. One piece of paper that gives Katrina permission to live and work in Italy for 2 years. She is guarding it with her life. She told me that she was even nervous putting the permit through the scanner at work.

Our next step is two fold. Katrina will be taking her permit to the Italian consulate office in Portland on Monday to apply for her Visa. We are told that this is just a formality. It requires some paperwork, approval by the consulate, and her passport. Once the consulate signs off on it, all of this paperwork must be mailed to the Italian embassy in San Francisco. The second part is for Brandon and I. Our Italian representative has filed for and entry permit for Brandon and I. This allows us to live in Italy, but could not be applied for until the work permit was issued. We are told it will take about 10 days to obtain. Once we get the entry permit, Brandon and I will need to make the same trip to Portland and follow the same process to obtain our Visa's.

That summarizes where we are not in the process of moving to Italy. We also need to start taking an inventory of our belongings, sort what we are taking and what we are storing, setup a move date with the moving company, meet with HP's tax service which will help us with our finances and taxes for the next couple of years, sell our car and rent our house out, and many more details yet to be worked out.

Its a much bigger process than just taking a vacation to Italy. Our hope is for an early April move, but we now know that this can be a slow process.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Italy Update

Italian immigration signed off on Katrina's work permit today! After 4 delays from November through February, we finally have a green light to move to Italy.
We do not have a timeline right now, but I suspect it will be similiar to the last timeline that puts us in Italy by April. I think we are not going to take the preview trip offered and take option 2: 30 days temporary housing.
Katrina will most likely head over first to begin work and find an apartment for us. Brandon and I would stay behind to wrap things up at home, then head over near or soon after the first of April.
Its an exciting day. Its time to pull out the checklists again and finish completing all the premove tasks.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Music Program

We just arrived home from Brandon's 2nd/3rd grade music program. It was very fun to watch. Brandon was very smiley when he saw us watching him. He wore his blue bandana and red cowboy hat, which we realized was a bit to small for him now.

Several different groups of children played the marimbas. I found that to be very enjoyable and very impressive at their age. Brandon's class sang several western and folk songs.

I have found that watching Brandon at these school performances is very special to me. He loves that we are there and I love that he wants us to see him perform.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Italy Update

Katrina's work permit was up for review on Monday and was once again delayed. I think this is the 4th time, but who's counting. I was not suprised by the news. I would have been more suprised if we had been told that the permit was issued.

Due to the delay, we will not be taking our preview trip on the 22nd.

The next meeting takes place on Monday the 23rd. While I still have hope, life goes on here in Corvallis.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Disneyland 2009

We had a fun and busy day at Disneyland yesterday. The skies were clear and it was reasonably warm during the afternoon. We arrived when the park opened at 10am and left the park at 8pm when it closed.

Brandon wanted to ride Big Thunder Mountain RR first, so we did. We hit all of the major Frontierland and Adventureland rides before heading to Tomorrowland for lunch. We rode Space Mountain just before lunch. Katrina and I had not been on it since it was remodeled, and it was Brandon's first time ever. He loved it.

After lunch we spent a few hours in Tomorrowland, then headed off to California Adventure and Soarin, Katrina's favorite ride. We hit the midway rides, rode on Soarin again, then bought some cotton candy to eat while we watched the Pixar parade.

After the parade we headed back to Disneyland. We had about 2 more hours before the park closed. We jumped on the train (of course) and rode it to the back of the park so that we could ride on Small World. By this time it was dark and Katrina was having fun taking nightime pictures of all the lights, so we slowly strolled through Fantasyland. Brandon and I rode on the teacups and the carousel while Katrina took pics. We toured the new castle walk through, then headed slowly down mainstreet. Watching the movie, Disneyland - the First 50 Years, was our last stop before heading back to the hotel.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Clouds and Sun

In Oregon we have a a lot of cloudy days, many rainy days and a few sunny days.

During the first few years we lived here I didn't think much of the clouds and rain. It never really rains that hard. Its usually just a constant light rain that lasts all day. You can even walk to the mailbox and not get very wet at all. The rainy days usually arrive in October and/or November. They continue with more consistency through December and January, then begin to slowly taper off until May. Some people say that summer never really begins in Oregon until after July 4.

I was never really bothered by all the rain and cloudiness until last year. I began to notice my mood being greatly affected by the cloudy and sunny days. It was amazing how much better I would feel when the sun came out. Full of energy and ready to take on the world. On cloudy days I was sometimes moody and not really wanting to take on lifes daily tasks, let along the world. Yes, weather related depression affects many people in the northwest. I never thought I would be one of those people.

Well, I am and I have had to make some adjustments in order to battle the gloominess of the Oregon winter. I keep so many more lights on in the house during the day. I do my best to get out of the house and get some fresh air while running errands or interacting with others. I continue to get on the treadmill each morning. All of these things help, but its still a struggle sometimes.

When the sun does come out....hoooray for those days! We've been lucky to have a drier than average winter with many more days of sunshine than usual.

In Oregon a winter day seems to come in two forms: 1) cloudy, rainy and fairly warm (for winter), or 2) sunny and cold.

I'll take sunny and cold any day of the week!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Italy Update

We have a new magical date...Monday February 16th. This is when the next immigration meeting takes place concerning Katrina's work permit. We had hoped it would be this week or next, but I guess it was not to be.

At least next week we will be at Disneyland. That should help take our minds off of waiting.

Until then, we keep doing what we've been doing for a few months now.....WAIT PATIENTLY.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Italy Update

Its the beginning of another week and month. We still don't have an answer concerning Katrina's work permit for Italy.

Last week we worked on getting another document legalized by the consulate and mailed off to Italy. Fed Ex says that it will arrive today. Olga, our relocation representative in Milan, will try to get an appointment with immigration this week. Hopefully we will have an answer by the end of the week. If the work permit is issued, we will take our preview trip on 2/22 and could move by the end of March. If they delay the permit again, then our preview trip and move date will be delayed as well.

Patience and waiting...patience and waiting....