How do I go so long without updating this blog?!
I have many many excuses, but they don't cover a period of three months so...oops.
We've been sooo busy, as usual. It does seem like we just have gotten busier and busier since moving here. I suppose with more work and more stuff comes more to do. More to clean. More to keep up with!
We have officially booked our flights home! Plans have changed a bit, since we now have a niece on the way!! I could not be more excited. I can't wait to be an Auntie Julie. My beautiful sister-in-law is due to have her inevitably perfect baby on April 7th. We have booked our flights for March 31st! And we land...March 31st. After a 27.5 hour flight, we land on the same day we left. Trippy! We talk a lot about our time here, and how happy we are that we had this opportunity. We both think that you become more confident, and grow and change as a person, when you move so far away and immerse yourself in a new culture. You are expected to work like one of them, live like one of them, be like one of them. For a while, you might feel like an outsider. Sure, Australian culture is very much like American culture--in that we live in houses, go to jobs in a stable environment, have running water and clean, edible food. But immersing yourself in a different culture changes you, regardless of if the culture is very very different, or similar with small differences. It forces you to grow, and I like that we have been able to do that together.
My last day of work is January 31st. Ben is going to work right up until March 28th. Ben gets up at 5am, leaves the house by 5:40am, and doesn't come home until 6pm--every single day. This is a rough schedule, and it's great that he is getting some experience and good money, but we both agree that we'd never want either of our schedules to be like that permanently. Especially once we have children. Anyway, this gives me about six weeks to sell everything we have (we are only taking back a few suitcases) and clean the apartment that we will have lived in for 2.5 years up to the crazy standards they have here. We'll have to move in with a friend for a couple of days so we can get the final inspection over with.
This might not seem like a lot of pressure, but it is. It's not just about selling a few things. We started from scratch here, and we've managed to accumulate A LOT. We have a car to sell, two beds, a big TV, two couches, the big@$$ wine hutch Ben designed and built, washer, dryer...oh man. The list just keeps on going. We also have to do special forms for our taxes because we are leaving the country before July 1 (the start of Australia's new financial year), as well as close all of our accounts, make sure everything is paid, and file for our superannuation funds. There's a lot to do, and I know I'll be busy in those six weeks. But this takes any pressure off of Ben, since he's putting in 60 hour weeks, and allows us to sell things for what they're worth, instead of having to rush with it all!
We're hoping to take a long weekend in February and fly out to Cairns so we can do the Great Barrier Reef before we leave. We are thinking Ben's birthday weekend--better celebrate his last summer birthday the right way :)
My mom and her friend Betsy are flying out to visit NEXT WEEK! I can't believe I can actually say NEXT WEEK now. I am so so excited for my mom to see what my life is like here, and to see a new place and meet new people from the other side of the world! Living here has been such a big chunk of my life (by the time we get home, Ben and I will have been together longer in Australia than in the US!) and it's so important to me that she gets to see a little of my experience here. I am so excited for her to pet her first kangaroo, eat emu (and kangaroo, but not on the same day that she pets one, that's just morbid), and touch both the Indian AND Southern Ocean. I can't wait for mom and Betsy to taste amazing Ferguson Valley, Geographe Region, and Margaret River wines, and soak in the sun from the beautiful beaches here!! Could not be more excited!
If anyone still reads this blog, I hope things are well in your world, and maybe I will see you in 4.5 months? :)
We were Marilyn Monroe and JFK Zombies this Halloween: