He’ll cringe at this public PDA, but I’ve always taken great pride in my ability to express myself using words, and I feel so lucky to have a platform in which to share my thoughts in this way, so I’m going to do exactly that in honour of my beautiful man’s birthday today. Aidan, my partner, my love.

I’ve been spending a lot of time over recent weeks just “sitting with my stuff”. I have built a ritual into my day that involves meditation and journaling, and recently I have added reading poetry into the mix. It may sound “woo-woo” but I can feel things starting to shift, and space being created to really reflect on, and find clarity around the things that are important in my life. I find myself appreciating and being so much more grateful for things I hadn’t been in the past.

Beau Taplin, the author of “Bloom” wrote the following:

“Often, when we have a crush, when we lust for a person, we see only a small percentage of who they really are. The rest we make up for ourselves. Rather than listen, or learn, we smother them in who we imagine them to be, what we desire for ourselves, we create little fantasies of people and let them grow in our hearts. And this is where the relationship fails. In time, the fiction we scribble onto a person falls away, the lies we tell ourselves unravel and soon the person standing in front of you is almost unrecognisable, you are now complete strangers in your own love. And what a terrible shame it is. My advice: pay attention to the small details of people, you will learn that the universe is far more spectacular an author than we could ever hope to be.” 
― Beau Taplin

I know I’m not the only one who resonates with this quote! I have always been the kind of person who truly believed that if your relationship was “good” and if you were in “real” love, that meant you didn’t fight. Because if you had fights and if you spent time mad at each other, and if you were ever left disappointed or dissatisfied in your relationship then clearly it was a bad relationship and clearly it wasn’t “real” love. In the past, the honeymoon period of the relationship would end and that’s when I would call time on it.

What I have learned with this beautiful man of mine, is that REAL love and GOOD relationships are HAAAAARD to maintain, but holy shit are they worth it when you do the work. And yes it takes work, a lot of it. It’s takes a lot of choosing, continually, to stay in. It’s a rollercoaster. Especially when you have the added dynamics of kids, stepkids and co-parents. It takes a lot of compromise. It’s uncomfortable - you have to face up to the things you really don’t want to. You have to realise that they aren’t perfect, but neither are you. It can be maddening. It can be chaotic. It can make each of you mad as hell questioning EVERYTHING. But IT IS ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL.

I will so gladly spend the rest of my life on this wild ride with this man. Underneath it all, he may not have been exactly what I wanted when I imagined my dream man, but he is exactly what I needed, and that is the most wonderful realization of them all.

It’s choosing to see and love each other for what we are, not the fictional characters we want each other to be. It is knowing that we are two different people, with two different sets of needs, two different stories, and finding a middle ground. That’s love.

I choose him every day. That is real love, to me. Good days and bad days. It is choosing to grow together.

In celebration of this gorgeous man turning 36 today, I’m FINALLY sharing some photos from our adventure to the Pacific Northwest in February this year. This area of the USA has been on my bucket list for a long time, and it didn’t disappoint. These photographs are from our day at La Push Beach, WA, our day in the Hoh Rainforest, WA which was blanketed in snow (a rare event, we were told) and Ruby Beach, WA. Each of these places was virtually empty of people when we visited, so it was an incredible treat for us.

Happy Birthday, Aidan, my love! You are so fiercely loved. You are the best Dad, partner and friend. Life with you is so good.