Visa troubles & Heavy hearts

To make a long story short, because this is just getting harder and harder for us to talk about - Our visa paper work is missing! Almost three months ago we got a letter from the USCIS saying that our case had been approved and that they were sending it to the National Visa Center. It was only going to take about a month, then the National Visa Center would send our case to the US Embassy in Sweden so that I could go on my interview. Well, two months passed by and we heard nothing. So we contacted the National Visa Center who said that they hadn't gotten our paper work. Great. Basically, after several weeks of trying to figure things out - this is what is going to happen.
On September 29th it will be three months since the paper work was approved and lost, which means that the USCIS will create a service request. That means that they will assign someone our case and try to find our stuff. It's been an emotional roller coaster since someone at the USCIS made it sound super simple at first, like he would just fix it for us. But after doing some research we know that a lot of people have to wait months and months during a service request and it's not even a guarantee that our case will be recovered again. So we are stuck in a very difficult and heart wrenching situation right now. Is it worth waiting for several months for paper work that might not even be found? Would it go faster to simply send in another visa petition? But that means we would have to wait for another 9 months. Although if they don't find our paper work and we send in another petition later on, we will have to wait a whole lot longer than 9 months. This situation sucks more than I can tell you. When I dropped Nick off at the airport we were sure that I would move to San Jose in October/November and our biggest concern was if I would miss Halloween and celebrating our birthdays together. But now I am probably not even going to celebrate Christmas and New Years in San Jose. Who knows if I will even be back until next summer? It's too hard to talk to people about it so both me and Nick have started to shut down a bit. People of course ask us how the visa is coming along, but all I can bring myself to do is to write this blog update so anyone who reads it will at least know what is going on.
I wrote a list of pros and cons of staying longer in Sweden. The thought of being stuck here when I already feel trapped, lonely and sad is painful but at least there are a few good things about it.
Being apart of Agnes's first Christmas
Getting to spend a snowy winter in Sweden, which I haven't done in two years
I get to spend more time with my best friend Sofie
Me and Sofie can go on that roadtrip to the north
I get more chances to finish school and hopefully get my degree
I get to make money since the pre school where I am at wants to keep me for as long as possible
Keep going to the gym here in Västerås to stay fit and busy
Sofie is throwing me a surprise birthday celebration
Maybe we will have a summer wedding after all, like I always wanted
Me and Nick were supposed to start going to the gym together in San Jose, I was looking forward to that
Nick was going to have two procedures done soon, but now I can't take care of him if he does
On Christmas, birthdays and other holidays I will feel terribly lonely going to bed at night by myself
We are wasting more time that we could have spent building a future together
We will miss my birthday
We will miss Halloween
We will miss Thanksgiving
We will miss his birthday
We will miss Christmas
We will miss New Years
Being away from Nick
Being away from Nick
Being away from Nick
Being away from Nick outweighs all of the good things about staying

We got a whole extra day together!! - Nick going home

So the day came when it was time to take Nick to the airport. We got up pretty early to get ready. Nick had packed his luggage the night before and filled it with all kinds of Swedish treats, the Marabou chocolate took up most space and became very popular among his family and friends ;) While he was in the shower I was supposed to get started on breakfast but instead I wrote him a sweet card and managed to sneak it into his backpack seconds before he came out of the shower, haha!
His flight was going to take off at 1:20 so around 10 am we were on our way to Arlanda airport. The mood in the car wasn't exactly fun. But when we had just reached the city Enköping Nick got a text message saying that his flight was delayed 7 hours!!! WHAT!? We turned the car around and went back home feeling very taken aback by the fact that we wouldn't have to say good bye yet. The best part about coming home was Nick pulling a prank on my parents saying that he had decided to move in and then he gave my dad a list of things he'll need. My dad's inital "WHAT? :O" was priceless xD hahaha
It was wonderful getting a whole day extra together. We laid in bed, cooked a pasta dish, shared a chocolate pastry, played dice and had so many funny tickle fights where I ended up on the floor (totally losing the fight lol). It was the perfect ending to this vacation since we felt more complete now. We switched body sprays so he got to bring back his old one and I got his new one. The old one just makes me sad these days while the new one reminds me of more recent fun times. We also switched sweaters. He got his black sweater back and I got to keep his flannel sweater that I love so much. I always hug his sweater at night but that black one had also started to remind me of sad times. The flannel sweater reminds me of his vacation in Sweden and it's all good.
Going to the airport again wasn't easy though. I was an emotional wreck while Nick played games on his cell phone trying to forget about what was going on. We always tend to deal with these things in different ways. The airport made us hella confused though and we ended up standing in the wrong line for like half an hour until we found the Norweigan line that only took about 5 minutes, haha! His flight was delayed yet another 1½ hour so we took a walk outside and then sat down at a café to chill. Nick had a beer and played "brain it on" which is a fun game to challenge your problem solving skills. I knew that we would have to say good bye at the gate/security check point but he had been trying to avoid thinking about it, so he didn't realize that we would have to say good bye so suddenly. We both ended up crying of course but it was different this time. We knew we would see each other soon, so it wasn't as heartbreaking. It was harder for Nick though. He said that he now realizes what it was like for me to leave San Jose. It's worse for the person who gets on the airplane because they are leaving all of the fun times that they have had here. And they don't know when they will get it back. Nick told me that he had been really scared about flying here over the big ocean and to a new country, but that it was nothing compared to how he felt now leaving me. Neithe one of us wanted him to go but he had to. We waved to each other before he went through security and that was the last time I saw him. I both laughed and cried the whole way home because I felt happier now than I had in the last 6 months, but was so sad that he was gone.
Nick's flight actually ended up being even more delayed. Poor guy, he was trapped on that plane for 12 hours instead of 10! He got home really late but still stayed up all night because his dad and friends had arranged a welcome home party. While I went back to my lonely and quiet bedroom with no one to greet me. I am very tired of feeling like I have almost no one here in Sweden. It did make me happy though, when Nick told me that he had just unpacked his bag and found my card :) it took him completely by surprise and made him so happy.
I didn't like the thought of having to sleep alone in my bed again. But we were both calmer this time around. I felt a lot stronger. We knew what we were getting ourselves into this time. The last time we were so scared because 6 months seemed like an eternity, and it was, although we never doubted if we would get through it or not. Now we knew how to mentally prepare ourselves. We truly needed those 6 months for our relationship to grow stronger, it has been like a crash course in marriage. And yet these two vacation weeks were more than needed as well, because we were running out of energy and didn't know how much longer we could keep going. It feels like a hundred years ago that we stayed at the hotel in Västerås and everything was awkward. We didn't know how to be together because we had been apart for so long. Now we can laugh at how we acted like newly in love teenagers when he first got to Sweden. We feel newly in love now again, but in a much better way.
It's crazy to think back to how I wanted my life to be as a kid. I dreamt about living in California with my dream guy. I didn't have any preferences for how he would look but I am sucker for rock n roll guys. I wanted him to be taller than me, sort of mysterious but also silly, funny, emotional and willing to talk to me about everything. I think it's so sad that a lot of guys are raised to not speak about their feelings but Nick is not afraid of doing that. It's inspiring whenever he admits that certain things scares him, because he also does whatever he can to work on those things. Now my dream guy is back in California and I can't wait to join him, to start building our dream life together!
A ton of Marabou chocolate in his luggage ;)
Leaving my house for the first time
Aaaand we are back :D and Caroline won this round of the dice game ;)
At Arlanda airport after spending more time at home
This was the bench he sat down on to have a cigarette when I first picked him up. Weird flashback :)
Standing in the wrong line lol
We had a lot of time to kill so we took a walk around the airport
Those perfect eyes <3
Hanging out with that horrible feeling in our stomachs
After leaving Nick I went back to my car, bawled my eyes out for quite a while and then drove home
It's just you and me now, sweater

My grandmother met Nick & Our last big dinner

Our time was running out and I really wanted Nick to meet my grandmother before he went home. It was very important to me since she is my only grandparent who is still alive and who knows if Nick will get another chance to meet her. I would be really upset with myself if I procrastinate this until it is too late. My grandmother has demensia but she is still pretty clear in the head. She gave Nick the lemon muffins that she had heard that he liked. And we sat down to eat rhubarb pie (or as my mom said - rubber pie) which is a typical Swedish treat, yet another thing to cross off my Sweden bucket list for Nick ;) and he liked it!
Grandmother Berith told us a lot about her childhood since it is quite different from how a childhood in America looked like in the 30's. It was especially fun since Nick has now seen the farm where my grandmother grew up so he knew what she was talking about. Even I found out some things that I hadn't heard before. My grandfather's father had walked all the way from here and up to the north of Norway in the middle of the winter to work. He and his co-workers almost froze to death and all they got to eat was rotten potatoes. In the summers he built railroads for the trains that became a more and more popular way of traveling. My grandmother's father had a completely different life and owned a huge part of the forest around his farm.
Afterwards me and Nick decided to take a trip back to Anundshög since we were attacked by bugs the last time. We actually ran into my old study buddy Sussi there, which was fun since I haven't seen her daughter yet. Her 1½ year old kid wasn't even born when I went to America. We had a nice time walking around, reading the signs and enjoying the beautiful weather. One of the highlights was taking a short walk in the forest which Nick was pretty impressed by, the trees sure are tall and everything is so green. On our way home we decided to quickly stop by Sofie's place so that she and Nick could say good bye one last time :)
For our last big dinner together I reeeeally wanted Nick to make his yummy mashed potatoes. So we decided on that and a mushroom omelet. It tasted amazing, of course, and we had bought more chocolate pastries from Öhrmans for dessert. It was our last night together so we had to go all out!! For the rest of the night we were being totally silly. And when Nick heard a strange sound from the street, we rushed outside in our shorts while it was raining, to see if there had been a car crash or something. But there was nothing there. We stayed outside for a while goofing us and Nick serenaded the neighbors with opera.
We spent the evening playing games on our phones that we had found and become obsessed with. It was cozy just laying there next to each other. We gotta appreciate the simple things in life since we made a deal to not buy things that we really don't need, so that we can save up for things we want in the future. We went into a decoration/design store in Stockholm and pointed out all of the things we would love to buy. We talked about how nice it is that we always have the same taste and that we can't wait to decorate our own house one day. It often happens that we dream away in stores like that, no matter if we are there together or not.
For our whole vacation some people kept nagging on us about when Nick would be coming home. We understood that they missed him, but since they get to see him every day you'd think that they can at least let us have these two weeks out of 9 months together. It mostly just stressed us out being asked about his flight information etc. I wish they could have just let us have a relaxing vacation without having to think about Nick leaving until it came down to him actually leaving. It hurt to even think about. We couldn't really believe that we had met on Tinder and now he was in way away in Sweden with me, it's funny how life works out.
When we were having a tickle fight in bed and I sat down on his leg, Nick went "Ouchh get off me, I don't have legs of steel." then stopped for a moment and said "Oh my God actually I do hahaha" since he has a ton of metal in there after breaking his leg ;) lol
Grandmother giving Nick his favorite muffins
Anundshög rune stone
I thought it was too steep but he actually made it all the way up there - I took the stairs ;)
The country side of Sweden, where you can see miles and miles away <3 we have mountains further up north
Nick worked very hard to get this shot, he had to fight off a bee like six times
Nick said good bye to Sofie real quick :)
Lol yeah... he laid down in bed and ended up like this
Outside trying to find out what the noise was all about
I had Captain Jack Sparro in bed with me
Chocolate pastries <3
Delicious dinner
Game night!