A new set of tiny paws.

Four weeks ago, we added another tiny-pawed member to the family. Her name is Millie, and she’s Igloo’s new best friend…and our littlest golden love.

Living the busy lives we do, my Mr. and I thought it would be nice to have a friend for Igloo. Someone he could love just as much as we love him, and a furry companion between the early morning cuddles, and afternoon walks.

We searched for a long time for little Millie, requesting to be added to a very long waiting list with a breeder about an hour’s drive away from us. She hadn’t filled us with much confidence at the time stating that there were a lot of people wanting golden’s from her, and we would be added to the very bottom of the list. Nevertheless, she promised to notify us of the next litter and let us know they were planning this for November 2017.

November had come and gone, and we hadn’t heard anything. Then December, and soon after January had passed too. We started to lose hope a little, not able to find any other golden retriever puppies close-by, nor with breeding dogs as dark golden to match Igloo’s infamous coat-colour.

That was until one rainy afternoon sitting at my Mr.’s parent’s house. I had been curled up on one end of the living room couch, waiting for my Mr. and his Mum to come home after being out to pick up some furniture. As I scrolled through Instagram, my phone vibrated and a small drop-down notification boasted an email from an unfamiliar address.

Clicking on the email, I opened the message and read the first line, “We have just returned from the vet after Spice having a caesarean where she delivered 3 boys and 3 girls…“. I sat bolt upright to read the rest of the email realising this was it! This was the email we had been waiting for! Puppies!

I hesitated for a moment to ponder whether I should ring my Mr. and ask him whether we should send through a deposit, but then laughed to myself for thinking he would ever say no to that request, and sent through the money and an email without permission.

I couldn’t focus my attention on anything else while I repeatedly refreshed my Inbox, waiting for confirmation of a puppy. It was the longest 15 minutes of my life, before finally an email came through to congratulate me on the newest baby girl to join my world. I was ecstatic.

When I heard my Mr. driving back up the drive-way, I couldn’t help but run out to meet him halfway. With a stupid grin on my face, I put my hands up in the air and shouted, “We’re having a baby!”

It took him a couple of moments to realise I didn’t mean the human kind, and the fearful look on his face melted into a knowing smile. He was just as excited as me as I filled him in on the details.

On the 6th of April, we brought our newest family member home to the little white house. Igloo fell in love instantaneously, just as we had. She had melted our hearts, and it was one of my most favourite afternoons to date, spent sitting out in the backyard with my little family now of four.

Millie and Igloo are mostly inseparable, except for when Millie squeezes through the pool gate fence to adventure down the side of the house and Igloo proves too big now to fit. She has developed a deep fascination with the velcro strap of the BBQ cover, and also seems to be a huge fan of eating concrete pieces. Millie is definitely going to be the boss when she’s older that for sure, but for now she settles for being Igloo’s shadow, copying everything he does.

She’s bold and an explorer at heart, nothing seems to scare her. And unlike Igloo, she sure knows how to bark. After having gotten used to Igloo and his quiet nature, it’s definitely a whole new world to have Millie join the ranks. We’re a louder bunch now, consisting of a small bark and a whole lot of “No Millie!”. In fact, the “No Millie!” might just be our new most used phrase in general.

But I’ve come to realise that Millie was always going to look additionally naughty in comparison to Igloo, and for now that’s okay. She’ll learn, and one day she’ll be just as well-behaved as Igloo. She’s only 11 weeks old and has already mastered ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’, ‘Lie Down’ and ‘Come’. We’ve almost got the hang of ‘Shake’, but we’re in no rush.

It’s been a handful, but I wouldn’t have wished for it to be any other way. The early morning wake-up notifications in the form of a hungry whine, have just meant for more time to spend snuggling with my golden babies (after their breakfast banana’s that is!).

I love watching them grow together, and I can’t imagine my life without them. I look forward to coming home each day to see them, and the slobbery licks to the face that come as part of the packaged deal. They are my home.

Welcome to the family, Millie. I love you from your wet nose, to your tiny paws.

If you wanted the picture evidence, you can follow their golden-tailed adventures at @iglooandmilliethegoldens. I promise it will be your daily dose of happiness! All you need in life is love, and a golden (or two!).

d x

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2018: The little things.

Welcome to 2018. A fresh new 365 days to live boldly bolstered by the memories, triumphs and downfalls of those before it. I for one, feel like this new year caught seamlessly onto the last thread of 2017 and continued to weave it’s story. 2017 was a really good year for the most part, and I didn’t quite feel the need to “leave it behind” or run from it. I was ready to just simply keep on living, no matter its numerical standpoint in a calendrical world.

For the first time since K.B passed away, we celebrated new years. Not how we used to when she was here. There weren’t any midnight dashes down to the ocean to watch the fireworks from the shoreline, or planking competitions. We didn’t have a group of strangers turn up to the apartment to party with us, or spend the next day drowning in exhaustion and hot potato gems. No, it wasn’t like it used to be – though those new years will always be the most cherished.

Instead, I think after all these years, we were finally ready to celebrate it a new way. And I think she would be happy to know that in the midst of the fireworks, although we missed her still incredibly, we found a new way to love her and the bright sparks at the same time.

We welcomed 2018 in camping under the stars on the beach, something I know K.B would have approved of immensely. With a light breeze just strong enough to pierce through the summer balminess, we set a box of fireworks alight and watched them disperse in the black night sky above us. The ocean cooed in response, wildly crashing upon the sand and I took it all in.

With perhaps more clarity than I’ve ever had on a new years eve before, I realised I had been chasing this feeling of contentment all year long. My chest felt light and my thoughts were clear as I sat around the campfire listening to the campsites next door count down to last seconds. It was like taking a breath of air for the first time in a long time, and hitting an internal re-fresh. And in that moment that I knew just how much the little things matter.

Christmas last year showed me how to be present in the little things, and new years eve taught me what to do with them.

You see they tell you that it’s the little things that matter. And it’s true. They do.

But I think what matters more, is what you do with them.

Little things can be good, awe-inspiring, the start of the next big thing. But little things can also be sad, inconvenient, and sorrowing. Being present in those moments teaches you understand their significance, but it’s what you then choose to do with them that’s important.

Notice the things that make you happy, chase them and crave to find them in your mundane everyday routine. Remember them and cherish them. Don’t know where to find them? Start with that coffee your Mr. bought you on his way home from work, or the way your golden retriever spends ten minutes rolling around on his back for entertainment in a bliss all of his own. Then notice how a flower grows to face the sunlight, and how the little old man looked at his sweetheart on the park bench next to him. Find the little things that are good and let them guide you. There’s plenty of good left in the world to be found, you just have to let yourself see it.

And as for the little things that trouble you? Well, it’s easy. It always has been. Let them go.

I recently read a letter from a young woman who passed away last week after a long battle with cancer. She was only 25. In amongst the reflection* upon her life and the things she wished for herself and others, she remarked upon the little things.

She said that people spend too much time focusing on the little things that plague their minds with worry or heartache. And that it’s not until you’ve been given finite amount of time to live that you realise that those things aren’t what’s important.

When you’re told that there’s not much time left, you start to wish your biggest issue wasn’t that your body was giving up on you, but that instead it was just terrible traffic on your way to work this morning, or a bad night’s sleep.

Because the bottom line is that it shouldn’t matter if the hairdresser cut your hair too short, or you have cellulite on your arse – these are not the things that should consume you. These are small things. And they are insignificant in the big scheme of things.

She had it completely right. And I can’t help but want to take her last worldly advice and run with it. Because if there’s anything I think I’m starting to understand in this lifetime, it’s that true happiness stems from gratitude. And I think gratitude comes from knowing how to deal with the little things. So that’s where I’m starting.

This year, it’s about the little things. And I truely think this is the biggest lesson you could  ever learn. Learn it with me if you’d like!

Wishing you the best for 2018, always.

d x

[* Holly Butcher’s Reflection: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/dying-womans-inspirational-and-moving-final-letter-goes-viral/news-story/89c6036ccdcde5c0522a23a5c10265eb %5D

The essentials of surviving adulthood.

The thing about being an adult is that you come to love the things you never thought you would. It’s the realisation that you now find a sale on vacuum cleaners at Myers exciting, and that the prospect of a Bunnings trip gets you feeling like it’s going to be a great day.

Whatever happened to my care-free Saturday nights out on the town until 5am? I’ll never quite know. But I will tell you one thing, I’m not entirely missing it (Cue freak out! Who am I even?).

I think that in that moment you are aware that you’ve well and truely crossed the threshold into adulthood is an odd concept to comprehend at first. To then realise you care about the condition of your front lawn as much as your father does, is to realise there really is no going back. You have arrived at your destination. You are an adult now. Congratulations.

And yeah it’s daunting at first – what is a variable rate and why does everyone suddenly need all my money? But after a little while, you start to get the hang of it and life makes more sense now, than it perhaps ever has before. You start to realise the value of money, the things that you own and the people around you. And at the risk of sounding like a true adult – this is maybe one of the greatest lessons you’ll ever learn.

When I think about adulthood, I’ve come to realise that if you let go of the fear that holds you back, being a grown-up isn’t all that bad. If you take the age of being responsible and put it to good use, this chapter of your life may just supersede the greatness of being a carefree teen.

But in order to supersede, there are three essentials in the survival of adulthood. And the sooner you figure them out, the better you will be for it…so, I’ll let you in on the secret now.

  1. Make Goals
    As an adult, you’ll need to make goals. Realistic and timely goals. Find a direction for your life and set about fulfilling its purpose. It’s not always easy to find your path, but start with the small things – like purchasing a drill, and then let it snowball into building a house. If you just start, one by one, you find yourself crossing things off the list and creating this life you imagined when you were younger but never thought you would ever bring to fruition. It changes your independence, and before you know it, the training wheels are off. You’re doing it. You’re pedalling through life on your own, and theres no fear.
  2.  Travel Far
    As an adult you’ll add an extensive amount of destinations to your travel list. But take the time and make it one of your goals to see all the places you’re dreaming of at some point. There’s nothing quite like experiencing how different somebody else lives. You’ll learn to breathe a different air and realise the world is so much bigger than you, and the tiny corner of the earth you’ve been living in. It changes how you think, how you view your own life. It’s like putting on a new pair of glasses and seeing things in a whole new way. It makes you grateful, it makes you knowledgable.
  3. Love Always
    Let yourself fall in love, more deeply than you ever have before. Find out what it means to give everything with no expectation of return. You’ll realise the importance of having people in your life that are only going to enrich it. You’ll learn that some people, no matter how hard you hoped against it, will let you down –  and that there is beauty in rising from the hurt. You’ll then truely know the value of the ones that have never left your side, even through the darkest of moments. It changes the way you treat others, it makes you strong and it will define you in a way nothing else ever will.

Being an adult is the point at which you start to build the foundations for your future and if your clever, you’ll learn to love every downfall, every learning curve, and every triumph along the way because it counts for everything. You’ll learn to embrace your flaws and focus on your strengths, using them to make adulthood your own awe-inspiring story.

Be brave and learn to laugh, see it for the adventure that it is. Newly acquired adulthood is mostly about figuring a way through the most unfamiliar situations, like rookie-plumbing a drainage system down the side of the house, and being ecstatically proud when you achieve what you set out to (and theres no leak in sight!).

Welcome to adulthood, now you have the essentials – supersede.

d x

kids-in-shoes

 

 

 

 

 

The support act. 

Sometimes I wonder what it is that places a heart and mind on two very separate pages of the same story. 

How is it possible to love something we shouldn’t or what tears us in two? Why can’t a heart change feelings as quickly as the mind can make the decision that we need too?

And what, just what, is it about humans that makes us believe that we never deserved better than that.

I have watched a close friend of mine lose the very things that made her, her… All because the word goodbye was something her heart couldn’t pronounce when her mind had tried it’s hardest to sound it out. 

Over the last three years, I have watched her effervescent personality fade into a shadow of self-doubt and insecurities all because she chose to love someone who will never love her as he should. And it makes me as angry as it does sad to know she’s limited her heart to a future with a hurt that could have so easily been avoided. 

I have been the shoulder to cry on, and I have provided the ‘happy gerbras’ and Krispy Kremes. And now I don’t know what more to do because I want to save her and I can’t. 

This is her battle. The task of pronouncing goodbye isn’t something I can teach her. She will have to learn that one on her own. 

Accepting this has been hard for me. I’m the sort of person who wishes it were completely possible to wipe him from her memory altogether so I could see a genuine happiness return to her world. I want her to enjoy life again, not to see life as a chore or simply her ‘lot in life’. 

Unfortunately though, it’s not up to me. In fact, I could keep doing my best to make it better until my dying breath – but it wouldn’t fix her. Because the fixing can only be done by her. 

This is something that I’ve come to really learn this year. People can only fix themselves if they want to, and there is no more you can do than be the soft landing that catches them on their darkest days. 

I guess I’ve realised that while this boy is the source of many of her problems, he’s also the source of her intermittent happiness. She has fallen so deeply in love with him that she has chosen to love his flaws no matter how cruelly they scar her. 

And while it is easy for me to sit here and form the opinion that she would be better off without him, it is far harder to be in her shoes. To dismantle the life that she has built around him over the last three years would be perhaps a seemingly impossible task. And I’ve only begun to try to see it from her point of view. 

She once told me that she would ‘be no happier without him’ than she is now. It was a statement that broke my heart as I watched her shuffle her feet, bluntly accepting a future where happiness may never truely become the steer. 

I have thrown myself both sides of the invisible friendship line, having offered advice in both support of the relationship, and in protest. 

I have spoken many times with her about deserving far more than he can give, and played devils advocate on many occasions in the hope she would question what her future looks like. 

And in situations like these, I’m really not sure what a good friend should do anymore. 

I guess she will figure it out. And I have already made the decision that I will be there for her in all capacity, be it with or without him. 

While it may frustrate me to see her hurt, I think it would be far worse for me to turn my back just because I don’t think he deserves the love she gives. 

There will be plenty more tears, and plenty more sugar-coated-cream-filled donuts. But this year I have made the promise to not give up on her. Because I think that’s what being a good friend means. 

It isn’t always easy, but I don’t think it was ever meant to be. And if each day I can help her find a little more of what makes her shine brighter again, then it will have been always worth it. 

d x