Monday, December 31, 2012

Destination: Sydney

(Photo credit: Flickr)

My last blog post for 2012, and I figured this would be good chance to share. I haven't been blogging a lot over the month of December. Sure, I have some legitimate reasons - too much second trimester gagging and fatigue, busy with work, Christmas shopping...

But really, the REAL reason is because we received some news in the first week of December, and the past few weeks have been pretty tied up with me trying to wrap my head around the enormity of it all.

Not many people are aware, but the hubs had applied for and been accepted for a PhD program back at his alma matar, UNSW in Sydney. This was already done two years back, on account of his phenomenal results for his degree program (therefore allowing him to skip the Masters route, and gain a PhD directly). So yeah, it is a piece of good news, but due to the financial reality of actualizing his PHD dream, we (okay or maybe it was just me) tucked this away in a lil corner of our heart, especially with two young kids to bring up. In the middle of this year, the hubs decided to apply for the Endeavour Award, a postgraduate scholarship offered by the Australian Government.

God is a good, good God. Who does above and BEYOND our wildest dreams, and fulfilled the secret desire of the hubs' heart. Did he get the Endeavour Award (which has a few thousand applicants a year)? Not really. Cos he was offered the more prestigious Prime Minister's Australia Asia Endeavour Postgraduate Award (Incoming). Nothing short of a miracle! All glory to Him!

After Chinese New Year, the hubs will be making his way to Sydney, Australia to start on his PhD journey, which will take him a total of 4 years to complete. As for me and the kids, we will follow shortly... Once my little one pops.

So, as a family, we will be relocating for the next 18-24 months, and coming back at the end of 2014, just in time for my boy Jayvon to start his Primary 1 education in 2015, and the hubs will continue his PhD research in Singapore.

An enormous joy and honour, and I am reeling between happiness, expectancy, worry and mini heart palpitations. I love a good holiday, and I’ve always enjoyed my trips to Sydney… but to live there, away from home and church and family and friends? *gulp* 

I am not a very systematic person. My thoughts are often erratic, and in the last month, I have had many jumbled, unrelated questions, thoughts, ponderings about the upcoming shift. I know I look like I have it altogether. Thanks, thanks. But I guess it is because after I have thought that thought or question or after I have pondered about the issue, and if I can't find the answer right away, I have the amazing ability to chuck that thought or question right back at the back of my mind.

How am I going to cope with the hubs being away for almost two months before I am due, with two hyperactive boys? Don’t know.

Will we have enough finances for the Sydney trip? Well, the scholarship will be enough to cover the rental of the apartment in Sydney. Living expenses will have to be settled separately, so we will probably need some part-time or freelance work.

Will I be working in Sydney? With three kids, and a high cost of childcare in Sydney, this doesn’t look like much of a possibility now!

And of course other random thoughts like having to pack the house (groan), what to bring over (double groan), how to prepare the kids for winter season in Australia (heh heh… shopping!), having to buy new laptops for the hubs and I (cos our current ones are work-related, so I am *dreaming* of my MacBook Air!), insurance matters (both locally and over in Sydney), having to now be the cook of the house (triple sigh) and loads others.

The hub's story was also featured in our church newspaper over the Christmas weekend, so if you’d want to read more, you can check out the article here.


Madeline Heng said...

Wow congrats! PhD is my dream too and getting a scholarship is what im praying for. It's so hard to get it, definitely a miracle! Happy for u guys! Gives me a glimmer of hope that maybe my dream can happen too :)

Yvonne said...

It's a dream came true for nic... He did shared with us abt his dream of phD. Congratulation.

God is good, cast all your worries to Him. Enjoy the stay in Sydney. :)we will visit you guys in 2014.

Beanienus said...

Congrats Sandra, I followed and read the article in your FB updates. It is a big decision to make and not an easy one I suppose. I believe that God provides so do continue to give thanks and pray.

Will be looking forward to gorgeous Syd photos from you! Am already jeles thinking about the beach and all those nice space and gardens which your boys can run around in.

Cooking in Syd saves u much money as food is quite expensive there if you eat out with an average lunch costing about $10 - 11. Look out for the daily specials in the supermarket and plan your meals around such. :)

If you are keen on Thai food, Parramatta used to be a pretty good choice. If you plan to homeschool them and need any materials / links, do let me know. ;) Take care and God bless

Adeline Oon said...

Sandra. You've already said God is good so trust that He will provided all that you and family need when you get to Sydney. And... There's always Hillsong church to go to! :p double and, we at SMB will be here for you when you need us so always keep in touch. :) congrats again to your hubs!

~Summer~ said...

I am so excited for you! Sydney sounds like a great place to live in for two years! =) I'm pretty sure you will adapt well and manage to juggle somehow with 3 kids! Hope you will enjoy every bit of your stay there! =)

SengkangBabies said...

hi Sandra, Big decisions and challenges lies ahead. Congrats on your Mr's scholarship.

This will definitely be a major milestone in your family's journey.

Wishing you and family a good 2013 ahead. All the Best.

andy (SengkangBabies)

mummybean said...

Hi Sandra, popped over after seeing your mega unload on the Buy/Sell page. Congrats to your hubby on securing a prestigious scholarship! Am sure God will continue to bless and provide for your family as you embark on this new adventure. Enjoy Sydney! (I love that city!)