Hi Honey, I’m home- Forever

I opened Google this morning and it told me that there are 258 days remaining until the end of the year. Thanks Google, you’ve reminded me that all those things I have promised myself that I would get done in 2018 aren’t moving as fast as I’d like, and it’s woken me up to just how blinking fast this year is going!

So, just over 100 days into 2018 and The Wilson’s are ten months off the end of our visa! Yes ten months!! I know!! I can almost see it sitting on the horizon, sarcastically beckoning me toward it.. Bastard!! It’s insane. Ten months left until we need to vacate the country. Well… we get 12 weeks after that date to officially get out before we become illegal immigrants, but yeah, we’re on a tick, tock, tick, tock,  countdown right now.

I guess like most families who came to Australia on a 457 visa, (before Mr Turnball abolished it.. Thanks Malc!) we kind of assumed four years away from home would be enough, and we’d be ready to go home. Or, if we weren’t ready to go, we would have at least put some plans in place to stay for a while longer…. Um…. *insert tumbleweed! We have no plans as yet; we have no contingency plan if we don’t get extended and I literally have no idea what we will do or where we will go…. (I can hear some of you muttering “this woman is insane”) Truthfully, this really only came up in conversation in the car this morning with just ten months to go.. ‘What the actual @£$%’ I hear you say!

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Bells Beach

I know! It seems a little irresponsible not to plan or prepare everyone for the possible big life change ahead, however I’m still in the ‘live for the moment’ stage, ‘running around in my underwear because I’m so excited to be here’ stage; and I can’t for the life of me snap out of it. I’m telling myself “hey, it may never happen, let’s just go to the beach and not think about it” and “ah well, if it’s gonna happen we may as well make the most of life in Oz and go out for dinner… and NOT talk about it”…   therefore allowing the thought to slip to the back of my mind for a while longer; because if you don’t talk about something it doesn’t happen right?

Potentially however, we have ten months left until we need to go! Ten months until our practically native Australian kids have to move again. *Truth: Every time we stay in a hotel Monty asks “how long are we living in this house Mum?” In ten months time, we may have our passports in hand, and be heading off to pastures new.. or old, back to our friends, my girl gang, who knows?

I just took a sip of water and glanced up at my friends faces smiling down on me from the last postcard they sent from the UK! A sudden gulp! Honestly, just over three years ago, whilst we were hugging, and wailing as they were waving us off on our adventure, I remember distinctly telling everyone (myself included) “it’s not forever, it’s only four years… If that!!”

However now, sitting here, the kids at school, friends round the corner, things planned, work life thriving… it’s hard to imagine leaving Australia. It’s hard to imagine going through all those goodbyes again, only this time with our new found friends.

The uncertainty of living on a visa and not being secure in the knowledge we can stay is a huge thing. Even though I push it to the back of my mind, it’s a big deal for any expat family.

Living life as an expat is such a treat. We get to explore,  see new things, and experience new adventures; but part of me wonders whether the time has come for us to be thinking about a ‘forever home’ for our family. A place that the children can say they’re “from”… A place that we can settle, properly settle in, put pictures up on the walls without worrying about the landlords reaction, plant what we like in the garden, paint the walls whatever colour we like, and design a space for our growing family. Somewhere we can stay and know that we’ll not be moving again. Part of me thinks that maybe the children need to be more settled. Maybe we all need it, but I don’t think any of us really want it!

Having said all that, the thought of having a ‘forever home‘ terrifies me. The thought of buying a house, moving in, and thinking “right that’s it, we’re here!” makes me come over all cold. I hear people saying “oh we’ve just bought our “forever home” and before I congratulate them, all I can think is ‘you poor, poor thing”. Forever stuck in one place seems so final..

Maybe I’m frightened to settle somewhere because it’s not in my nature. Maybe our family is supposed to keep moving. Maybe that’s what’s written in our stars! Maybe I’m scared to make life so static because it means long distance friendships are definitely a forever thing. It means guaranteed travelling to visit loved ones, rather than the comforting possibility of one day relocating to be closer. If we decide on a forever home, it means one way or another, we’re closing one door, and locking it tight and I don’t want to do that! I like the idea of being able to move when we want, go where we want, experience life somewhere else if we want to. I like the romantic idea that ‘one day’ we’ll go ‘home‘, but not just yet!!!

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that for this expat family and all the others out there, who maybe haven’t completely settled on a place to stay put, or signed their life away on a house because it’s in the right catchment for high school, or who don’t seem to have any life plans that include a particular location; we actually do have our forever home. We’re already living in it. Our forever home is right here, right now, and wherever we are together in the future. Our family is our forever home! It doesn’t have to be bricks and mortar, it doesn’t have to be staying in the same place for the rest of our days, we are in our forever home all the time, no matter where on the map that may be this year!! Our forever homes are dotted all over the world, wherever we want them to be, as long as we’re together.

You are my home

 

Olivia xxx

‘A ship is safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are built for” – Unknown

 

‘Brickman Awesome’ -Everything is Awesome- Literally…

Melbourne Museum is once again hosting the Brickman fully interactive LEGO® exhibition, and this year it’s big!!! Literally huge because it’s home to the tallest LEGO® model in the Southern Hemisphere – a NASA SLS rocket standing at a whopping 7.5m tall and built from more than 450,000 bricks! It has to be seen to be believed! It’s… um…. Awesome..

In our humble opinion, this exhibition, created by Ryan McNaught and his team, couldn’t have been named anything other than ‘Awesome’. Ryan spent some time chatting to the kids at last years show, asking them what ‘awesome’ things they’d like to see made out of LEGO®, and here we are, standing in amongst it! There are so many incredible things to see. Great job kids!

‘Ryan has pushed LEGO® building boundaries by installing an in-built lighting system giving the effect that the rocket is blasting off into space’ – Brickman

Once again, my little people were taken aback when they walked through the doors. Monty dived head first into the trough of LEGO® surrounding the life size Harley Davidson Motorbike and set to creating his own Monty sized motorbike.  He is my mini master builder and the hands on LEGO® is by far his favourite bit of these exhibitions! Poppy gets straight to it, searching for all the mini LEGO® Mr & Mrs Awesome figures. If there’s a chance to win some LEGO® she’s on it, and has so much fun finding the mini figures in all sorts of obscure places!

Brickman Awesome has 38 never-seen-before LEGO® models, totalling more than 1.5 million bricks and clocking up more than 4,500 hours of build-time!

I swear my kids would be perfect for this job! We have about enough LEGO®, and I’m absolutely willing for them to be silently building for the next 4,000 hours. Ryan??

Brickman Awesome not only has a menagerie of ‘Awesome animals’, but it is also showcasing the largest ever LEGO® Caterpillar 797 dump truck, and a full-sized LEGO® Australian saltwater crocodile, weighing over 60kgs and built using more than 40,000 LEGO® bricks! There’s even a life size Toyota Camry with working lights… Unbelievable I know!!

If ever there was a show to inspire creativity in kids, and really push them to go even further than they ever have before, then this is it! Ryan and his team absolutely blew us all away. There is something for everyone. This is not just a room full of LEGO®, it’s a world of fascinating facts about each creature, machine and structure, building tips,  hands on learning, families creating together, and a lesson for our kids that anything is possible. Ryan and his team have gone further than just building a room full of ‘Awesome’, they have built an incredible learning experience for absolutely everyone, young or old..

*This year, I was determined to out build my kids creations.. Sadly, my penguin looked like it had been run over, so again, they won!  Don’t be disheartened when this show puts all the magical things you have ever built for your children to shame.  You’re off the hook now, because nothing you ever build again will live up to this LEGO® magic. Grab a cuppa and put your feet up!

Olivia x


All the details:

Where: Melbourne Museum Click here for more info

When: 21st March – 29th April

Cost:
Afternoon Specials –
$25 Monday-Wednesday 3-4pm only
Adult – $35
Concession –
$30
Junior (4-16) –
$25
Under 4s – FREE
Family (2 x adults and 2 x children) –
$95
Family (1 x adult and 2 x children) –
$65


Reviews

‘I loved it when we got to build stuff’-★★★★★ Monty Wilson, Head of the LEGO® Department, The Wilsons of Oz  

‘The rocket ship with all the lights and sounds was awesome’  -★★★★ ★ Poppy Wilson, Speed LEGO® builder, The Wilsons of Oz

Spectacular, even better than last year… I didn’t think that was possible’. ★★★★★– Mrs Wilson, terrible, terrible LEGO® builder

I want it alllllll’. –Mr Wilson Head of ‘Reliving your childhood’ department’★★★★★


 

Shop

The gang from Bricks To The World (LEGO® online retailer of the year) are there, selling all kinds of LEGO® imaginable.  Just take a deep breath and hand over your credit card, the kids will love you that little bit more than they already do! Hey, LEGO® created a lot of love yesterday. You may have spotted us building our new LEGO® kits on the wall outside the exhibition..

If you can’t face the shop and happen to ‘miss’ it (physically impossible, but I know some of you will try) you can head over to the website and order on there!!

Easter Fun at Boneo Maze – Mornington Peninsula

Easter Weekend is throwing up some serious fun in and around Melbourne. We are so lucky! If you are living in Melbourne or travelling here for the Easter weekend, you’re in for a treat! One of the many wonderful things going on over the weekend is the Autumn Fest at Boneo Maze! (30th March – 1st April 2018)

Autumn Fest is a 3 day event celebrating all the wonderful seasonal changes Autumn brings combined with mindful and sustainable family fun. It’s by far my most favourite time of year! The grounds at Boneo Maze are extra beautiful this time of year! We have visited a few times, you can read about our Father’s day adventure at Boneo here!

Autumn Fest will be three enticing days jam packed with different attractions, activities, music, light displays, art and food and more. You can check out each days events below, with a fire show, circus performers, Easter Bunny, workshops, wildlife displays and so much more, you absolutely want to get down to the Peninsula for this. The mini golf, mazes and adventure zone will be available everyday for you and the family to enjoy, which is awesome! My kids just love the mini golf!

Each day of the Easter weekend has it’s own theme and attraction, so it will be easy to spend the entire weekend enjoying the fun!!

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Tickets:

If the entire weekend sounds amazing to you, then a 3-day pass might be your best choice! Alternatively you can pick the day you simply can’t miss.

1 Day Pass (Choose any 1 day) Adult $25 Child/senior $20 Family (2A2C) $80 (SAVE $10)

2Day Pass (Choose any 2 days) Adult $35 Child/Senior $30 Family (2A2C) $120 (SAVE $10)

3 Day Pass (Enjoy the entire 3 day festival) Adult $45 Child/Senior $40 Family (2A2C) $160 (SAVE $10).


 

I hope you have an amazing Easter weekend, whatever you decide to do! Let us know how you get on at Boneo Maze if you do decide to visit!!

‘Easter egg hunts; proof that your kids can find things when they really want to!’ -Unknown

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Awesome Easter Adventures – Melbourne

Easter holidays are fast approaching and if you’re anything like me, you are totally unprepared and have already eaten the kids easter eggs. (Shopping trip round two coming up!) I’m here to give you some awesome ideas to make up for the gobbled chocolates, and earn you some serious Mama points! Melbourne has a plethora of awesome activities, as always, this school holidays, and I’m going to be sharing my favourites with you over the next few days! Good luck to all of you!! The school holidays are a struggle, and finding just the right balance of IPads, playdates, and days out is mind boggling. Here’s the first instalment to help ease your pain!!  *love the kids really, just… two whole weeks…..

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LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTRE

 Have you got space mad kids? This school holidays at Legoland Discovery centre, your budding astronauts can embark on a Space Mission! Yup, they can rocket in to outer space, and embark on a galactic adventure.  How awesome does that sound??? I know my two would LOOOOVE this! 

 Upon entry each child will be able to dress the part, with a super cool space mask! They will then head off to take part in a scavenger hunt in MINILAND Melbourne, and help a fellow cadet find the missing pieces to his spaceship!

Your little LEGO© lovers can then build their very own LEGO© spaceship in a creative workshop before defying gravity by learning how to fly on the popular Merlin’s Apprentice ride! The mission will then continue in a place out of this world – the Space Training Centre –  where cosmic travellers will be tested on their knowledge of the solar system’s planets.

Hurrah for awesome school holiday fun, awarding us mums with some SERIOUS brownie points!

What are you waiting for? Accept your space mission here: https://melbourne.legolanddiscoverycentre.com.au

All the info….

Where: LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Chadstone Shopping Centre VIC 3148

When: Thursday 29 March – Tuesday 17 April 2018

Cost: Book online now – $45 per person for the Melbourne Big Ticket. Ticket includes entry to both LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne and Sea Life Melbourne


SEA LIFE MELBOURNE

 Paw Patrol at Sea Life Melbourne

Oh my goodness, not only can the kids see some awesome sealife this holidays, but the PAW Patrol pups are on SEA Patrol at Sea Life Melbourne! Have you got little pups at home who are crazy for Chase and his friends?

 This school holidays, the PAW Patrol SEA Patrol pups are going to be making a splash when they swim into Sea Life Melbourne for an all new adventure in Melbourne.

The interactive experience will take families on a ‘pawsome’ underwater quest throughout the aquarium to help find the missing PAW Patrol pups and save the day. No job is too big, no pup is too small! Yes, it’s going to be great!

As soon as you arrive, the children will receive a PAW Patrol pup pack including wearable puppy ears, a treasure hunt map and a PAW Patrol sticker sheet.

 The race is then on to follow the map (and the paw prints!) to find all of the PAW Patrol SEA Patrol pups who are hiding throughout Sea Life Melbourne. Everyone loves a treasure hunt!!

As honorary members of the rescue squad, children can also pose with the PAW Patrol pups at the photo wall to capture a memento of the school holiday escapade.

 Make sure you’ve signed up to join the PAW Patrol SEA Patrol rescue squad now! For more information or to purchase tickets for Sea Life Melbourne’s new school holiday experience, please visit:https://www.melbourneaquarium.com.au/

All the info

Where: Sea Life Melbourne. Corner of King Street and Flinders Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

When: Friday 30 March –  Monday 30 April 2018

Cost: Book online now – $45 per person for the Melbourne Big Ticket. Ticket includes entry to both Sea Life Melbourne and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne