my first love*

my father in this early twenties

I have many beautiful memories with my father. Some of my most favorite with him are out in nature. He loved to go camping and we did this as a family every single summer in the redwoods of Northern California. He would take his three girls out on hikes for hours. We'd collect rocks and sticks to bring back to camp. We'd go creek walking and he'd hold our hands so we wouldn't slip. Sometimes when life feels overwhelming and I need to lay down and take deep breaths and find my calm, I will go to that place with my father. The hikes him and I would take alone where there would be silence because nothing needed to be said. Bringing to the trails the comfort we had with one another. The crunching beneath our feet, the sounds of the creek beside us, the wisp of the trees above, breathing in the smell of redwoods in unison. Quiet glances. Knowing. Protection. I often go back there and I know he does too. I love him to the depths and when I spoke with him this morning and we were hanging up, I could sense and hear the crack in our voices. We just want to be together today. But I am grateful. I am grateful that we hold these memories together. I searched this morning for this photo of him. I had to go out in our garage and forage through our boxes. I cried when I finally found it. There he is. That was him. His thick black curls laying on his forehead. His high shiny cheekbones. His pearly beautiful smile. His gut laughter. His dark skin that smelled of campfire. Such a beautiful man then and now. I love it when people say I look like my father. I always loved it...even though I was a girl. I was proud to carry his features. And I am proud to carry him in my heart. My first love.

What are you favorite memories with your father?

tender father*

tender daddy

Sometimes there are no words to express what I feel for these two. Especially when they're together and I am observing from a distance. I love watching their relationship unfold. Boho Boy is such a tender father. Every time Cedar holds onto his daddy or snuggles into his chest, Boho Boy melts into him with eyes closed and big sighs. My heart flutters each time. I think this photo says so much more than I can put into words.

How did I get so blessed?

{I went on a date with self today to see Eat Pray Love. Javier Bardem reminded me so much of Boho Boy and I love that rather than fantasizing about Javier on the way home, I fantasized about my husband that I get to kiss when I walk in the door. There is just something about big deep eyes, long messy layered hair and scruffy chins that get me good. ; ) }

from Boho Boy in honor of Father's Day.

my boho boys
me & cedar swinging at a park, taken by my wife

Before I met my wife I was a ‘Fixer” You know.. the guy who loved to fix everyone's problems except their own. Was so easy that way. Mr. Helpful… don’t worry about me… I’m fine. After the umpteenth failed relationship, I figured it was time for some soul searching. So I went on a quest of self discovery and improvement.

I went to counseling and had to do the hardest thing I ever did: turn that magnifying glass on myself. It was painful. But the good kind of painful. Those of you that have done “the work”, know what I am talking about.

One day in my best friend's kitchen in Santa Barbara a door opened and out walked my wife. I knew it the second I saw her. A calm soft voice whispered to me, “There she is”, and that’s what I said out loud.

The urges to ‘Fix” and help all came rushing back in our first few conversations. The White Knight on his gallant steed. But she reminded me: “I don’t want you to fix anything... just hear me”… and I was stopped dead in my tracks. I didn’t want the old patterns to ruin this one. I took a deep breath and let go. All I had to do was love her, with no expectations. It’s so much easier that way.

And now I get to do the same for my incredible son.

Happy Fathers Day.

Boho Boy

me & cedar this weekend at a bookstore, taken by my wife

quiet sense of self respect.

"Your Child's Self Esteem" by Dorothy Corkille Briggs

My dear friend Karen handed me this book while I was sitting at her dinner table one evening. I'll never forget that evening. I was trying to hold it together as someone who was just about to become a mother. I was someone who was just about to become a mother to what may have been a preemie. I was someone who was keeping her phone close because that call might come and I'd fly out to Oregon from wherever I was and, with my husband, help our birth mom bring our child into this world. Something we had never done before. Something we weren't trained for.

My mind was buzzing that day when I pulled up to her Zen retreat of a house. She was the most perfect soul to be with. It felt like she had gently enveloped me into her arms just by her reassuring whisper at the table that night. In her presence I just knew everything would be alright. I felt a quiet strength from her that I needed.

In her book {Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path to Motherhood} she talks very honestly about her experience as the new mother of a precious preemie. A book that has guided many mothers from all walks of life and from all experiences through a time where we are all feeling so raw and vulnerable and perhaps misunderstood. I was honored to be sitting at her table that night...eating her healing soup and soaking in every confidence she had in me as a mother to be.

Her and I giggled at the cover of this book (above) that she lent to me. A sweet retro image of a naked baby in the bushes, holding a flower and totally in bliss. This so reached out to the hippie in me. ; )

I just recently started to read it. It has been nestled in my book shelf since. I knew there would be a time when I would need to and I didn't rush. In fact, I stayed away from many books in the beginning so that I could learn how to listen to my own intuition.

Now that Cedar is crawling and exploring and indeed developing his own person, I have felt that need to open up my arms for help. But gentle help and how gentle does this cover feel?

So I opened it up and ohhh...it is wonderful.

There was this one quote I wanted to share with you. Mainly because it applies to anyone, wherever they are in their life and to me, it provided comfort.

"High self esteem is not a noisy conceit. It is a quiet sense of self-respect, a feeling of self-worth. When you have it deep inside, you're glad you're you. Conceit is but whitewash to cover low self-esteem. With high self-esteem you don't waste time and energy impressing others, you already know you have value."

Learning to parent a child is also like therapy for self. I feel like I have always had a quiet sense of self-respect. In an online world where I am encouraged to market myself and talk more about how fabulous business is going, it has felt a bit outside of my comfort zone. I have questioned if I am cut out for this because I have never needed that attention to fill me up. This quote helped remind me that how I am is okay and that perhaps my business will continue to grow because of my heart and who I am rather than me trying to impress the masses. There is a place for me in this online world of business and I will figure it out as I go. I want to learn how to grow my business through my story and not my ego.