Sitting in a bathtub, typing on a laptop, at Thalia, East Tasmania, December 2013
I am here now — composing this article while sitting in a bathtub with the best view in the world.

The problem with starting a story with Now is that there is never only Now in life (although Eckhart Tolle would disagree with me), but there is a whole explanation that leads to the Now, and without that, I’ve previously felt that our story — as recorded on this blog — would be incomplete.

So I’ve put off writing for ages because once I got behind, I quickly became overwhelmed by all the photos I needed to process and the words I needed to compose in order to properly record our family in each moment. As such, the stories have become more complicated — almost so complicated that they can’t all be told!

So I’m skipping a whole lot of stories (although I would love to get them online someday — especially all my photos from my trip to beautiful, beautiful Iceland in September) and I’m just launching into the story of Now. And it’s very important NOW to introduce my beautiful friends.

Ben and Ágúst

Ben Mathis, Ágúst Karlsson and Lauren Fisher at Seljalandsfoss, Iceland, in September.
Ben, Ágúst and me at Seljalandsfoss, Iceland, in September.

They’re my special friends who live in Iceland — my “bromance” — and they’re arriving here on Saturday! I’m super-excited to be seeing them again, and the girls are just as thrilled to meet them.

Ben is American-born, and Ágúst is Icelandic. (His name is pronounced “Ow-goost”, not “August”.) I met them online earlier this year and got to visit them in September.

“When you told me Ben was a cook,” Brioni said, “I imagined him in the kitchen, singing a loud song while he flipped pancakes within his fry-pan.”

Ben and Ágúst’s married status has challenged the girls’ previously assumed generalisations. It has led to great discussions on homosexuality and who we know who is gay. I love the way our children are growing up with no prejudices or judgements based on sexuality!

Two kangaroo book-ends with joeys in their pouches, December 2013
Aisha has rearranged the bookends to create this lovely couple. "They're two mummies who love each other," she says.

At home

So we’re in a gorgeous house, — unexpectedly, and that’s a long story — waiting for Ben and Ágúst to arrive, and the girls are loving the domesticity of a larger space all our own. They’re enjoying the novelty of making toast and sitting at a dining table and learning how to stack the dishwasher and make the beds.

The Gifted Gypsy at Thalia Haven, Great Oyster Bay, December 2013
We're in a house for the holidays — perched on the edge of Great Oyster Bay and opposite Freycinet National Park.

The girls are creating beautiful cards with paints left for us by the house’s owner Susan (who also lived in Abidjan — but that’s another story). They spend hours painting each others’ faces — also with a face-paint set given us by Susan.

Aisha and Lana with paintings, December 2013
Aisha and Lana hold up their paintings. I always appreciate receiving pictures of rainbows!

Calista getting her face painted by Brioni, December 2013
Brioni works carefully as she applies paint to Calista's face.

Brioni with fox face-paint, December 2013
Brioni's thrilled with her fox-face — all the clever work of Aisha!

And the girls play — endlessly. Two of the beds are hospital-grade beds with remote-controlled features that raise and lower sections of the beds and even massage the occupant! So it’s been hospital games and movie re-enactments and hide and seek — all within the generous space of our own private hacienda on the bay!

“When you went away, two weeks was too long,” Aisha said, soon after we had moved into the house. “But this time, two weeks will be way too short!”

I’m enjoying this change while it lasts, thinking a lot about the last year and what I hope to experience in 2014. For Sparkling Adventures, I’m intending to move away from recording our days as they happen and instead share the story of Now when the inspiration to write strikes. Like here, in this beautiful place, where I am now!

Thalia Haven, Great Oyster Bay, December 2013
Off-grid, remote, yet still very comfortable, this is our home until the New Year!