WOW what a week! I had such an amazing birthday, thanks to every one who sent me birthday wishes and an extra special thanks to Aunt Pam and Uncle Karl who went through the trouble to send me a beautiful silicone bundt pan!!! Pinapple upside down cake anyone??
Land of red dust plains and summer rains..
We spent a couple days at the beach house but didn't actually get to do much beaching. The first day the beach was closed due to jellyfish and the second day it was only POURING rain all day! We did get to catch up with Turtle and Ash and little baby Ezra though which was tons of fun. :) Every time we drive out to Sarina I am just blown away by the beauty of Queensland. I feel especially blessed and privledged to have so much beauty from the rolling green hills dotted with squares of sugar cane paddocks and lychee bush fields to the purple mountains lining the horizon there's just so much to take your breath away. And then you stroll down to Sarina Beach where it's deserted (exept for maybe 1 other person about 300 yards away) and there is just ocean as far as you can see...it's quite possibly the most beautiful place I've ever been to and I get to live here. :) Part of me feels sorry for the Australians who never get to be a part of this Australia, where their world is full of sky scraping buildings and you can't move two feet on the beach without toppling over someone it makes me wonder if they'd ever bother to take a trip up here to appreciate their country's natural beauty? Yeah, it's inconvenient out here and you don't have access to every shop and privledge like you do in the capital cities...but I wonder if they could even appreciate a place like this for what it is. I wonder if the people who grew up here can even appreciate this place... That's just something I've been chewing on. :)
Chris booked us into a suite at the Mercure, where we had our wedding night, for my birthday! I had a pampering pedicure that afternoon and was treated to some new makeup before he took me out to a nice dinner at a place called The Church on Palmer. I was really impressed that a place like that exists in Mackay, you can tell they've really made an effort there to turn this old church into a nice restaurant and, while the decor was a little rough around the edges, the food was top notch. The only complaint I have is that my prawns came out with their head and legs still attatched even after I asked if they were peeled specifically because it REALLY FREAKS ME OUT when my food still looks like a bug......and so I subsequently (and embarrassingly) froze up when the waitress told me I'd have to cut their heads off. REALLY?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!????!!!!! These things still had eyeballs. I couldn't look at them and in the end Chris pulled their heads off for me...i don't understand why the chef couldn't have done that before they brought out the food. Next time I know not to ask if the shrimp is peeled but to ask if it is headless and legless. Yeah, I may sound like an idiot but I just can't do heads and legs on my plate. Sorry! Other than the leggy debacle, the meal was amazing. :)
The next day, my American birthday and official date of birth, we spent the day browsing the mall, taking naps, eating food and then went out to Satchmos at the marina for tapas. YUM! Much more my speed than the french food the night before and there were even churros for dessert. woot!
The immigration peeps emailed me and my application is processing! I just need to submit a background check to them since I've spent more than 12 months of the last decade in Australia (cool!) and then my application should be complete...I think. That's all they asked for. They didn't mention for us to schedule an interview or for me to get a health check or anything like that so hopefully we don't get a separate email later on asking for those things. It'd be pretty annoying for them to not just let us know off the cuff... but whatev. I'm just glad everything's under way! It can take up to 6 months for this thing to process which is, pretty much, a beating. But the last one processed in less than 8 weeks with an avg. processing time of 6 months so hopefully it won't be too long.
Okay so if you haven't been updated recently, I've decided against doing a hairdresser apprenticeship. I would LOVE to cut hair, but 3 years of learning is just too big of a commitment to one place before I even find a job cutting hair full time. That said, we aren't sure where we're going to be 5 years from now. It could be in Mackay or Sarina, it could be in Brisbane or Sydney, it could even be back in Fort Worth, we just don't know. So I'm going to play it safe and cover all my bases... what does that mean? Well, in Australia people don't really need university degrees to be successful in life. I've always said that the only jobs worth having out here are the ones in the mines and I've also said that all I really want is a job that will let me work when Chris is working and be home on nights and weekends. Just some normalcy...so I've decided to apply for the administration traineeship again this year. I was short-listed in 2008 which was a big deal but, because of my visa, I had to head back to the USA in the middle of the interview process and had to forfeit my chances. I'm going to go for it again this year! Applications come out in September and you start work in January or February of next year. After only doing a year of training, I could apply as a full time admin. assistant at any one of the mine sites around here and have a chance at making a good 6 times what I would working full time in retail here and I wouldn't have to work weekends or nights AND I'm guranteed 5 weeks paid leave a year when I find full time work as well as sick-leave. I might even get to work at the same mine site as Chris which would be more than cool. :) So that would pretty much set me up for doing admin. work anywhere we might move in Australia. To cover my bases if we move back to the USA, I need a degree. SO I'm planning on getting a bach. degree in communications from Open Universities Australia. Yay!
With me working full time, we could easily have more than $250k saved towards our house in 5 years time. Then we can buy/build a home, have a baby and live happily ever after. WOOT!
I'm sorry this update is so long, I just actually had something to update on for once. ha! If you made it this far, you are a true friend. xoxo