Life Update: Nebraska to Nevada

I cannot believe June is wrapping up! Where has the time gone? I have been terrible at blogging over the last few months, and for that I apologize. My calendar is freeing up, and I am going to get back in the routine. Until then, I thought I would give you an update on how the big move and career change from Nebraska to Nevada is going.

In case you need a refresher, I announced in The Book of Life: Closing and Opening Chapters that I had made the big decision to leave Nebraska Extension and head west to start a career with Nevada Extension. A main reason for making this drastic move was getting back close to the family ranch and my family here. It has been a lot of fun to celebrate holidays and special occasions with my family again. We have probably seen each other more in the last six months than we have in six years!

We (the Hubs, the cat, and I) left Nebraska mid-December(ish). We picked my Dad up in Denver on day 2, and made our way across Colorado and Utah. We continued to have great weather, so on day 3 we took Nevada’s loneliest highway (Highway 50) across Nevada. When you have a roadtrip of ~1,600 miles you hope it is uneventful, and it was. We were blessed by the travel Gods.

Our belongings and their transportation to Nevada weren’t so lucky. We knew when we planned the move that it could take our stuff three to ten days to arrive. Little did we know that storm after storm across the country would derail those plans. In the end it was about 20 days later when our stuff arrived. Since I had to start work in that time I had to buy a few pairs of slacks and blouses, and we camped out in the apartment for about a week. We were sure glad to see the movers arrive.

Once we got our stuff and got unpacked we hit the ground running. A long journey finally came to an end when the Hubs became an official American citizen. You can read more at My story: 10 Immigration tips when marrying a non-American. Almost six years to the date of when he arrived on his fiance visa, he was raising his right hand and swearing allegiance to the USA. It was a great day, and one that we have waited for for a long time.

Tony

Meanwhile, back at my office… My office manager retired about 10 days after I arrived and our part-time office assistant went on vacation. It was a little stressful to not only learn what I was supposed to do, but to also learn about our budget, how to pay bills, and the other 749 things these great ladies had been doing. Happily, we have since hired a new and fabulous Office Manager and our part-time office assistant is back. It feels great to have all of the pieces in place and to be moving forward again. I immediately partnered up with the Chamber of Commerce to offer Social Media classes to local businesses, and it has gone over very well.

At the ranch, there was another great lamb crop born. Even though we had several large snow storms our family was prepared to handle them and to provide the best care for all of the animals. Read more about how we Care for baby lambs in freezing temperatures. My Mom sold several lambs to the 4-H members, and they did a great job raising them and showed them in May at the Nevada Jr. Livestock Show.

This past spring was a busy one as my Dad had a knee replaced. Considering the extent of the surgery, his recovery has been great. Just weeks after the replacement he was driving the skidsteer again – hard to keep a good rancher down. And even more exciting, my nephew was born. My Mom and I have made several trips to go visit him and his parents, and we anxiously await for their visit here at the end of the summer. I think it is safe to say he has all of wrapped around his chubby little fingers.

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As for fun… Well the Hubs and I took advantage of the nice weather and took a long weekend to Death Valley Super Bloom… A photo journal. Neither of us had ever been there, and it was fantastic. We are already planning our next visit – when the cooler temperatures return. We are also less than 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe, so we have been enjoying that scenic beauty and all that the lake has to offer.

Death AValley Super Bloom

As far as Cali cat, she handled the drive like a champ. However, the entire moving experience traumatized her. My parents have two indoor cats that are not welcoming to other cats, so Cali stayed with my Grandpa until our stuff arrived and we got unpacked (about 3 weeks). He loved the company, but she was not happy with me at all. Once we brought her home it took another month for her to get settled in. She is finally back to her old self now and is not looking forward to moving any time soon.

While there was a lot of other things that happened in the last six months, these are some of the major highlights. I look forward to getting back into a regular blogging routine. As usual, it will be a mixture of current research findings and events, interesting ag stories, and introductions to the people who grow and raise our food.


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

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My story: 10 Immigration Tips when Marrying a non-American

My husband is from London, England – born and raised. We met in 2006, were engaged in 2009, and married in 2010.

I had really never thought much about immigration before marrying a non-American. Growing up in agriculture, migrant workers from all over the world were needed to help with annual ranch work, harvest, tending to livestock, and other duties that occur in day-to-day work.

Do I think the U.S. has an immigration problem? Absolutely! However, I believe immigration is necessary and important. At the same time it is not easy, is time-consuming, and it is expensive.

My first-hand experience with immigration has led me to have some unique and personal experiences and thoughts on immigration. There are several ways to become a U.S. citizen through immigration, I am only familiar with the ins-and-outs of marriage immigration.

Last Friday, the hubs and I finally hit a milestone, he received permanent resident status! It has nearly taken five years to get to this point, but now he can take the U.S. citizenship test!

As we prepared for our final interview, and reflected on the past several years preparing for this day to come we thought we would put together a “top 10 list” of things we wish we would have known when we started this journey. Our list is two-fold, we hope that these tips can help others going through the immigration process. We also hope you have a better understanding of  what people going through the immigration process endure. We hope you will ask questions about the process instead of assuming what you hear or see through the media is the truth.

flags_final10 Immigration Tips when Marrying a non-American (in no particular order)

1. Get an immigration specific lawyer. Our first lawyer was a general practice lawyer who had little to no experience in immigration law, we wasted time and money…

2. Do not try to complete this process yourself – get a lawyer. When you start down the immigration road it seems fairly straightforward, and you believe you can do it yourselves – you can’t. Just hire a lawyer! Having someone to keep all of the forms, rules, and regulations straight is worth it. Additionally, this person will file all of the forms on your behalf and represent you if/when needed.

3. Not sure where to find a good lawyer? Contact your place of employment (for me, that was the University of Nebraska-Lincoln). While they were not able to directly help us since I was not the immigrant, they did provide recommendations for several lawyers, which was tremendously helpful.

4. Do your research. We read everything we could find online about the immigration process. There are many online forums and people who share information about “their experience” which is helpful in understanding what you may experience.

5. The process is going to be expensive! No way to get around it. I am not just talking about the lawyer, you will pay Homeland Security and other entities as you go. You will also have travel expenses to see your lawyer and to get to your nearest immigration center.  At one point we took out a small loan from the bank, and at other points we have asked our lawyer to put us on a payment plan.

6. Be sure you completely understand any travel restrictions, time limits, rules, and regulations. A failure to understand these could result in delays or a deferral of your case. For us, there was a time period that we could not travel out of the U.S. until a form had been processed. Every time we moved to a new residence, a new form had to be submitted with the new addresses. There are lots of little caveats that a good lawyer will clearly outline for you.

7. Save everything! At several intervals during the immigration process we were asked to gather evidence of our relationship. It is important to have both names on any financial documents (bank accounts, retirement funds, life insurance policies, etc.), housing/apartment leases, utility bills, tax forms, etc. – anything that shows you coexist together. Also, if friends or family send cards or other life announcements with both of your names, save these. You will need proof of a life together!

8. Take pictures together and with family and friends at every chance you get – document your life. Photos are also a great supplement to the items mentioned above in documenting your life together.

9. When/if you get called for an interview, don’t sweat the small stuff (easier said than done). If your relationship is legit you have nothing to worry about. When we were notified of our interview we were very nervous. We were told sometimes it is random, they may have a question, or they may need a little bit more proof. Even though we are “perfect citizens” there is the fear of the unknown. Our interview was only about 15 minutes, it was straightforward and easy.

10. Be patient. This is not an easy or quick process. Immigration in real-life is not the romantic comedy Hollywood makes it! While each immigration story is different, I hope our insights will either help someone you know going through the process or help you better understand what the process is like.

Wedding day
The hubs and I on our wedding day.

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