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I’ve had a delightful birthday. Delightful, peaceful, easy and full of love. I feel in me a growing contentment and an understanding that life is continually showering me with blessings. Sometimes the blessings feel painful in the moment, but I sense that the breeze of time will carry away the sand until I can see the treasure.

My 23rd birthday was one of layered goodness. Each peeled back, without expectation, until my insides were dancing.

On Friday at lunch, me and some of the delightful people I work with decided to celebrate Leonie’s~Birthday~Eve. We walked in the spring sunshine to eat delicious Indian food. I drank wine that tasted of frangipanis, and we laughed loudly. The ever spectacular Ben dropped by to hand me my birthday winnings: a Barbie birthday card and matching badge. I think it was a vague attempt to beat the birthday card I gave him last time of a sparkling unicorn.

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Ben hands Leonie her impressive Barbie award

I then decided in my infinite 23 year wisdom that one simply MUST ride the carousel after eating Indian food. Some of my dear friends enthusiastically joined me. Others had to be manhandled aboard. Within minutes, we were all giggling. Up, down, up, down.

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Aaron, Lile and Andrea aboard the Carousel Love

Others took it a little more EXTREME.

Exhibit 1: Nick.

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I think he gets excited by the prospect of poles

Impressive ride of the day goes to Andrea.

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After dismounting our trusty steeds, we proceeded to catwalk it back to work. Why walk, when you can CATWALK?

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It’s hard to be this hot: Aaron, Nick, Lile, Andrea, Erin

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Work it: Aaron, Nick, Birfday Girl, Andrea

It was indeedy the most delicious of Birthday Eves, and a wonderful way to farewell 22…

I awoke the next morning, to Charlie peering into my birthing day face.
I turned to Chris and proudly announced:
Aren’t you happy I did?

I think it’s important to step into birthing*days gracefully.

Later that afternoon, we had a picnic at Tidbinbilla National Park. It was picturesque and beautiful…. Tidbinbilla holds a special place in my heart – it is the place that I feel like “home.” Chris and I often bushwalk there ~ it is teeming with wildlife. Lush alpine country at the base of the mountains ~ it doesn’t get more perfect than that.

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We were joined by some gorgeous friends ~ Debra, Juliana, Andrea, Julia, Paris and the Paris family: Veronica (goddess), Balthazar (4) and Alexander (2).

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We ate delicious food, laughed heartily, and made friends with some emus that decided to hang out with us all afternoon.

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I like to call this shot “Inga and the Emu”
It’s my classic Swedish tourist expression that I use in wildlife shots.
{Even funnier is that this shot looks totally photoshopped}

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Deb makes friends with Alexander {Paris in background}

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I am the mighty Balthazar! Modelling GOD!

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Juliana: “I feel like I’m in my element. All four of them.”

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Veronica’s shirt says
“I make milk!
What’s your super power?”
Alexander’s super power is bass jumping off chairs.

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My name is Alexander and I am super CUTE

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The Paris Tree!

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The gorgeouses: Andrea and Julia. Can you tell they are sisters?

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Paris and Alexander. Sometimes walking gets tough.

We then got treated to a gymnastics show…

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Which got a little more complicated when Alexander decided to step in…

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After delish food, we hiked up a small hill to a gorgeous outcrop of rocks looking out to the mountains.
We scattered like lizards: climbing up to the highest points or lying on the rocks, drinking in the sun. At one point, I looked down and there were bodies strewn everywhere on the rocks. Obviously, my tribe are rock people.

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Andrea, Julia and Juliana. Soaking it up.

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embracing 23. embracing the view.

It was the perfect way to end our picnic 🙂
Afterwards, Chris and I took Andrea and Julia to meet my dear friend, HANGING ROCK. The rock is where I had my inner marriage ceremony, and it is the place I go time and time again for peace in my heart.

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We leave this beautiful place late in the afternoon. I feel deeply joyous and moved by the radiant and miraculous people I have in my life. I speak to my mother-in-law on the phone, and she tells me I will be spending the rest of the night on the phone. I laugh, and tell her that I wasn’t expecting to.

When she hung up… my phone began ringing. At times I was speaking on one phone when the other would begin ringing for me, and I would speak into two at once. I went to bed at midnight, with a hoarse voice and a singing heart. My mum called and told me about the day I was born. I spoke to dear friends I hadn’t heard from in years. Friends who knew me when I was 16 and still love me. School friends scattered across the globe.
LOVE TO YOU ~ Matt, Sonia, Zetty, Mooky, Martin and Shan

I went to sleep on my first night as a 23 year old,
with a knowing that love is never broken,
and the image of vases overflowing with flowers of friendships.

I feel more authentic on my celebrations of life than ever before.

I feel like I’m starting to know who I am,
where I’m at,
and how I’m loved.

There is so much in this beautiful world for me to discover,
and I am on the path to find it.

“Thiiiiiiiiings can only get BETTTERRRRR
~ D:Ream