As I sit down to write this, only 79 days remain until Elliot and I abscond for almost a year. Up until now the impending trip has been a source of nothing but excitement, indulging the compulsive planner in me and hopping up the adventurer in me. But today the sadness kicked in. It's all the happiness that did it.
Sunday afternoon was far too beautiful not to be out and about, and what better place to spend it than at Elsternwick Park. Spending all day with dogs at work is great, but it's got nothing on seeing them in their element, all joyful bounds and awkward somersaults. I'll miss Elsternwick Park. (There were at least 50 dogs in the park, and I managed to miss them all in this photo.)
When we got home we settled in on our long comfy couch with our colourful collection of carefully curated op shop cushions to watch Parks and Rec (the second time through, obviously). We snuggled in with the amazing merino blanket given to us as a wedding present, beneath the vibrant wildflower field painted by a local artist, across from a selection of framed photos from our first holiday together, in the light of my favourite candles, and listened to records through our '70s speakers and amp. I'll miss our home.
Meanwhile our little duffer son was curled up on the far end of the couch, jaw slack after a long session of what we call his 'sucky time' – taking the blanket in his mouth, padding his paws up and down like a maniac, narrowing his eyes and zoning out from the world and everyone in it. We all need a way to escape! Noticing me taking a photo, he yawned big, reached his paw out to touch my face, and gazed into my eyes like I was the most important person in the world. I'll miss our Salty boy.
The next morning at work was hard, and not just because we finished out Sunday night with a bottle of wine. But even as we tackled problem after problem, it just seemed to inspire us all to find ways to lift each other up. Coffee, hugs, distractions, words of encouragement, and genuine smiles breaking through the grimaces. There really is so much love between us all. I'll miss my Bayside family.
As for my actual family, the one that showers me with fruit and vegetables, takes on the clothing I can't get the stains out of, listens to my woes, reminds me of my good qualities when I forget, and is just generally there for me at all times... well, I'll miss them most of all.
Today's recipe is a nice easy burger mix, requiring zero fresh vegies and zero chopping. The sweetness of the tinned beetroot combines nicely with the tangy saltiness of the feta while the lentils provide the protein to make sure it keeps you full. If you don't have all the ingredients on hand, just combine the burger with the onions, kewpie and sriracha and you'll still come out the other side satisfied.
I like to cook the two patties Elliot and I are about to eat alongside the onion then cook the rest of them in that same pan after we've eaten, ready to stick in the fridge for the following day's lunch. If you end up with a pattie or two more than you need, stick them in the freezer ready for the next barbecue you're invited to.