Take a look at our March newsletter!
The Medlin News
I’m Married to Wonder Woman! Yuliya Is the Strongest Person I Know
Who comes to mind when you think about the strongest person you know? Perhaps it’s a relative, a friend, a historical figure, or even yourself! For me, the individual who has shown so much courage, perseverance, and strength is my wife, Yuliya. Yuliya was born and raised in Ukraine under Soviet Union control. In 1991, when she was about 14, the USSR collapsed. Following the disbandment, Ukraine became an independent state. The years following were extremely difficult for everyone — the country experienced economic hardship that impacted all families and businesses. It was difficult for anyone to get jobs and support their loved ones. Everyone had to start from scratch and work from the ground up. But my wife and her family persevered through it all. Then, a couple of years after graduating high school, she traveled to a nearby big city to attend college. Although there was some economic improvement, many people struggled financially. Yuliya lived with a group of girls, and they never knew when their next meal would be. It was challenging for them to get resources, but my wife overcame those difficult times. Once she graduated from college, she got her first job at an outdoor kiosk. If you think
we experience freezing temperatures in the United States during the winter, you won’t believe how cold it gets in Ukraine! The average temperature can range between 23–36 degrees F — not including windchill. My wife worked in these harsh weather conditions every day. She didn’t have any heat; all she had was the layer of clothing she wore to work. Working at the kiosk was mentally and physically challenging for her. But like everything else, she pushed through. However, things started to get better once she got a great job as a pit boss at a casino. Yuliya was making good money and could move into an apartment, and even had the chance to travel around Europe! When Yuliya told me her life story and everything she endured, I fell in love with her even more. She is such an incredible woman. Despite many hardships, she rose to the challenges and made a great life for herself. But her journey isn’t over yet. I still haven’t gotten to the part where we met! I’m a huge fan of traveling, so I began going to dozens of European countries and always wanted to go to Ukraine. When I finally got to visit, I met Yuliya on the last day of my trip. Since that day, we’ve been inseparable. We dated long-distance for a while, and then I asked her to marry me. She then showed
even more strength when she picked up her entire life to live in Texas with me.
My wife has shown so much strength throughout her whole life. One of the things I love most about Yuliya is the love she has for her family. Watching her become a mother was so beautiful. She’s also a fantastic daughter — when the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out, Yuliya was in constant contact with her parents. She helped them in any way she could, and I am so grateful everyone in her family is safe. Please keep those still in Ukraine in your thoughts. I can’t believe I am the lucky guy who gets to call her my wife — I’m literally married to Wonder Woman! Thank you, Yuliya,
for all you do for our family. I am so thankful to have you in my life. I love you. This
month, for International Women’s Day, I will be celebrating you.
– Gary L. Medlin, Esq.
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Van Gogh Reincarnated? ONE-EARED RESCUE DOG BECOMES MASTER PAINTER
When a one-eared shelter dog in Connecticut struggled to find a new family last year, one of his caretakers had a wild idea: Why not teach him to paint? With help from TikTok and peanut butter, the aptly named Van Gogh became a social media star. “I’d seen TikTok videos of other dogs creating paintings, so why not Van Gogh?” Jaclyn Gartner, the founder of Happily Furever After Rescue, told The Washington Post. “He certainly had the name and the ear for it.” To leverage what she calls Van Gogh’s “fast and creative tongue,” Gartner covered small canvases in dollops of paint, wrapped them in plastic wrap, and slathered them in peanut butter. Then, she presented the treats to the boxer-pit bull mix. He quickly licked the canvases clean, creating his “art” along the way. According to the Post, Van Gogh’s first few paintings flopped — just like the work of the human artist Vincent Van Gogh, who didn’t become famous until after he died in 1890. This star rose thanks to Jo Van Gogh, the wife of his brother Theo, who advocated for his work after both Theo and Vincent passed away.
You could say that Gartner was dog Van Gogh’s Jo because, like the original painter’s, the pup’s art staged a comeback! After his first “art show” drew just two guests, Gartner started auctioning off his paintings online. His abstract work like “Peacock Swirl” and a rendition of human Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” quickly raised more than $3,000 for Happily Furever After Rescue.
As his reputation soared on social media, Van Gogh also found his forever home with shelter volunteer Jessica Starowitz. He now spends his days painting and lounging on the couch. You can follow his exploits on Instagram under the handle @officialvgdog.
My Green Card Was Denied: What Now?
Why are green card applications denied? One of the main reasons applications aren’t accepted is that applicants don’t meet the eligibility requirements. According to the USCIS, immigrants must meet the following standards.
Completing and submitting the proper forms, collecting all the necessary documents, and ensuring everything is in place on your green card application is time-consuming and challenging. So, receiving a letter informing you that your application was denied can be a frustrating experience. But not all hope is lost! When U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denies a green card application, they will outline why you were declined and allow you to resubmit your information. Here’s what you need to know.
unanswered, providing false information, or failing to pay the required application fee, your application will be denied. What should your next steps be? The first thing you should do after receiving your denial notice is to read it and understand why your application was denied. Once you know that, you can take a few different avenues. You can appeal the motion and have the Administrative Appeals Office look over your case, file a motion to have your green card application reopened or reconsidered, or refile. No matter your strategy, you have 30 days after receiving your denial letter to appeal, refile, or reopen your application. Whether applying for a green card or appealing, reopening, or refiling, it’s best to work with an immigration attorney to ensure you take the proper steps. Please contact your friends at Medlin Law Firm to assist you during this time. We can help take some of the stress off your shoulders during the application process.
You have relatives who are U.S. citizens or who have green cards.
A U.S. employer sponsors you.
You experience certain conditions such as asylum or refugee status, abuse, crime, or trafficking.
However, other factors could affect your application. For example, if your employer doesn’t have a working relationship with you, that can skew your application. Likewise, you may have a sponsor who can petition for you. But if they fail to file a petition on your behalf, your green card application could be denied.
Additionally, if you make any mistakes on your application, such as leaving questions
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IS IT TIME FOR A DIGITAL DETOX? 4 WAYS TO LIMIT YOUR SCREEN TIME While technological advancements have made different parts of our lives easier, we’ve come to depend on them. Because of this, it’s good to take a break from our devices from time to time and decompress. In honor of National Unplug Day on March 3, here are four ways you can disconnect from your phones and other devices. Turn on ‘do not disturb’ or silence notifications. Our phones are constantly dinging, buzzing, and vibrating with nonstop notifications from our emails, texts, calls, and social media accounts. Sometimes, simply feeling the vibration or hearing the ping tempts us to check our phones. To reduce the constant distraction, update your notification settings on your device and receive only specific alerts. Or you can silence your phone altogether. Create a ‘no-screen’ rule. Some people scroll on their phones during dinner, watching a movie or TV show, or engaging with others. To help avoid
this temptation, implement a no-screen rule in which all phones are put away during certain times of the day or specific activities. It will allow you and your family to be more present with one another and practice mindfulness. You may even have more meaningful conversations or enjoy extra quality time with one another! Track your usage. Smartphones have trackers that notify you about your screen-time patterns and how long you are on your phone each day or every week. Some apps have built-in usage trackers you can use to see how often you scroll or check an app. Tracking your screen time is a great way to identify patterns and create goals to help you spend less time on your phone.
Schedule digital detoxes. The best way to limit screen time and disconnect is to schedule digital detoxes. Some suggest detoxing one week out of every month, but this can be difficult if you’re starting out. Instead, start small by detoxing one day out of each week and gradually increase your detox periods. It will be challenging to change your phone habits at first. But with patience, trial and error, and establishing healthy habits, you will begin to notice the fantastic benefits going tech-free offers.
Irish Pancakes Start your March mornings off with a seasonal flair by making these traditional Irish pancakes! Thick yet crispy, these pancakes are a sweet way to fuel your day.
• 2 cups all-purpose flour • 1/2 tsp baking soda • 1/2 tsp kosher salt • 1 tbsp white sugar • 1 large egg, beaten • 1 cup buttermilk • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1. In a bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Set aside. 2. In a skillet, brown 1 tbsp of butter. 3. In a separate bowl, mix the beaten egg, buttermilk, and browned butter. 4. In a constant stream, add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients while stirring. Do not overbeat! 5. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 tbsp of butter, stir until the skillet is coated, and then add a few large dollops of batter (about 3 inches wide) to the pan. Do not overcrowd. 6. Cook 4–5 minutes a side, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with butter, jam, and syrup.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
1. My Wife Is Wonder Woman
2. Meet Van Gogh, the Painting Dog
Why Was My Green Card Application Denied?
3. Is It Time for a Digital Detox?
4. Soak Up Some Vitamin D
HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN D Soak Up the Sunshine Vitamin
It reduces the risks of depression. Studies have shown that those who are deficient in vitamin D become more prone to mood disorders and depression. To ensure that you support your mental health, step outside and get some happy, feel-good rays! It’s possibly linked to weight loss. While it’s not fully proven that vitamin D helps with weight loss, many studies have found links between vitamin D supplements and shedding a few pounds. In one study, one group of people taking vitamin D and calcium supplements lost more weight than another group taking placebos. It prevents and helps multiple sclerosis. Not only is vitamin D proven to lower a person’s chances of getting this horrible disease, but for those who already have it, it can also reduce symptoms or slow down the disease’s progression. This spring, be sure to get outdoors and soak up some vitamin D; however, don’t forget to protect your skin, too! To avoid overexposure, only about 10–15 minutes a day of unprotected sun is recommended.
With spring on the horizon, we all will be able to get outdoors a little more and soak up some sun — and extra vitamin D! Bring on the picnics, pool days, hiking, sports activities, and leisurely walks through the park!
Let’s take a look at the many benefits this vitamin
provides for our bodies.
It boosts your immune system. Vitamin D helps your body fight off sickness. In fact, it’s been proven that deficiencies in vitamin D are connected to an increased possibility of developing infections and autoimmune diseases such as the flu, heart disease, and diabetes. It counters osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, a loss in bone mass, is common as we get older. However, vitamin D is one of the key players in helping to slow down bone loss and prevent or treat osteoporosis so we can maintain a healthy skeletal system.
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