a christmas eve wedding*

Boho Brother got married!!

I have a feeling hearts will be breaking all over blogland. ; ) We've received so many lovely and brave emails over the years from blog readers confessing their crushes on our dear Boho Bro. We fully understood why as his energy can be felt even across the screen. I've been honored to be his sister and witness the unique and beautiful soul he is. He's taken such gentle care of himself out in the woods, communing in nature over the last handful of years and has finally found an earth goddess to join him. To frolic free in Mother Nature, create art with natural elements and be each other's soul medicine. They refer to themselves as the "dragonfly couple" because of their connection to dragonflies. I adore that so.

The ceremony was yesterday, on Christmas Eve in the afternoon up top a waterfall in the woods. Boho Boy was the officiant, which made it so deeply special for each of us. Very intimate, earthy, simple and spiritual. Boho Bro made his bride a nature crown. She tied a feather into his hair. He surprised her with fairy dust to sprinkle around them. They faced North, South, East and West. They drank water from the rushing waterfall behind them in the raven cups we gave them as a gift. They surrounded themselves in clam shells they found around our bay and used them as tea light holders. The shells were sent back to the elements by Boho Bro setting them free to swim down the waterfall when the ceremony was finished. We shared German champagne from their mother and toasted to their father whose own free spirit would have been so proud of this moment. Mmmmm...

But my favorite moment was when he howled at the moon as she wept and giggled into his shoulder. So organic and true.

And it was FREEZING and they were barefoot and I love them for that. ; )

We wanted to share this precious gift with you in the spirit of Christmas. Merry Christmas to all. Warmth, peace and a covering of unconditional love to each of you and your families.

i love him so*

first image: such a HIM face : )

I remember a dear friend once telling me that once Cedar turned 3, that my husband and I would somehow find our way back to one another as a couple apart from being a family. My friend and I were talking about how much we missed our husband's even though they were near us most of the day. We loved one another just as much, if not more but our energy and our reserves were devoted to our child and creating a nourishing lifestyle for him and by the end of the evening, we were happy to just sit near one another in silence and surrender to our exhaustion. I found myself concerned about our connectedness until my friend honored and validated me. I was in awe of her relationship with her husband and it felt reassuring to hear with both of their children, the first three years of their child's life shifted how they connected to one another. Not a lot of people talk about this or perhaps they aren't aware or perhaps they are too tired to be aware. But it felt validating, nonetheless.

My husband and I had many conversations about it. Allowing ourselves to be gentle in the midst of learning to be parents and put less pressure on needing to be crazy romantic lovebirds like we were before Cedar came into our lives. We looked at intimacy with a greater perspective and what intimacy meant to us as a family. Being in constant communication about our relationship hushed the gremlins that told me we had to be like them or them or even them. We just had to be us and us was pretty amazing and lots of fun. It was so good for me in that it broadened my mind about what romance is.

So three years old came around and my expectations of lots of romantic dates and hours of eye gazing and deep conversations came crashing to the ground. Oh those darn expectations! Its a constant lesson for me to let go of them. Even when I think I have none, I discover I do. Three for Cedar was full of so many transitions. It was the transitions that brought to surface many of Cedar's anxieties and sensitivities and our world's had to take pause. Three years old was an intense year for us as a family and just like our fertility journey, it drew my husband and I ever closer as we cocooned and healed. If I could say the most important thing that helped was the many times I came into his office (in our home) and plopped on his leather chair facing his desk and expressed my need to feel connected to him in all of this wildness. He would turn away from his computer and look into my eyes. We would find one another in those moments and whether it was about Cedar and his needs or the color blue, it was enough to just be present and it held us together.

As Cedar approached four, we felt happening what my friend talked about happening at three. As Cedar became more aware of his sensory sensitivities, he started to get into a rhythm of expressing his anxieties and needs rather than us navigating it for him. We found a beautiful and delightful babysitter that just "gets" him and his humor and his need to go into imaginary worlds. She spends time with him a few times a week and sometimes date nights. This allows me a bit of time to be alone in whatever capacity I need and it allows Boho Boy time alone when he finishes work because I am no longer too depleted to let him go. We also began connecting with a dear family a few doors down and each of us started to make dates with them. Me meeting her for coffee or tea or going on a walk and him meeting for guy time to play disc golf. One of their daughters comes over twice a week to play with Cedar and help guide him with how to share ideas and release the need to control everything in order to feel safe. We also have been surrounded by a few other souls that have compassion for Cedar and our journey. And all of these things may sound so simple to most of you...but to me, they are golden. They have breathed life into our hearts this year.

All this to say, through it all, my relationship with my husband is deepening and renewing. In fact the other day he had me belly laughing and he paused and said "its good to hear you laugh with me like that again!". I realized in that moment how seriously I have taken everything around me. I've had no choice.  But the permission to embrace lightness is welcoming. Boho Boy's humor is one of the first things about him that I fell madly in love with. I feel like we are remembering what drew us to each other in the very beginning. Its been so so good. I love him so.


{jon & angela ~ boho photo engagement session, 2011}

There are a few elements to my photography that I see myself exploring. I have held a vision for quite some time. These elements, these parts of me perhaps yet to fully unfold, a slow slimmer, like most of my dreams. I close my eyes and can feel my fingers interweaving an exploration of love and spirituality and imagery and a journey shared amongst open raw hearts.

I don't know exactly what it is yet but much of this dream was inspired by the engagement session I did for my niece and her fiance last year. I had yet to capture romantic love in an intimate setting with my lens, so I was deeply honored they chose me to humbly sit back and just observe the way their hearts beat together.

In just a few days, these two beautiful people will be married. My boys and I soon fly out to California to be a witness and my heart is full of emotion. Angela (Cedar calls her Auntie La La) is so very dear to me, a kindred spirit and a soul friend. She is the daughter of my sister Darlene, who is ten years older than me, so her children feel like my brother and sister. I remember sitting across from Angela years ago when her heart was broken and this very warm and calm feeling moved through me, a knowing that she would find someone so deeply special. Someone that would see her, truly see her and honor her deeply.

A few years later, Boho Boy and I were the first in the family to meet Jon after they were dating for a while. We were house sitting for a friend in San Francisco and since they lived there, we met them for dinner. I remember opening the door to this strikingly beautiful man but what put me immediately at ease was the kindness in his eyes. He hugged me tight and it felt like home.   I sat back and observed him with her, with my husband and felt such a deep comfort and trust...that he would carry Angela's heart in a way I knew it was meant to be carried. I feel so emotional writing about this.  As my sister Darlene would say...Angela has found her penguin.

I would love if any of you feel inspired to do so, to share in this space a little slice of wisdom for this married couple to be. Or even just a love story of your own with a nugget of sage they can carry with them for their journey ahead.  This space is very near and dear to Angela's heart.  I know she will be here listening and honoring.

7 years*

boho boy & me yesterday in downtown victoria

7 years ago today, I married my Love. The two of us in front of our dearest loved ones, on a cliff by the sea, our hands tied together with a rope in ceremony.

This weekend, we took Cedar to where we honeymooned: Victoria, B.C., Canada. Many times when sitting on the window seat of the hotel where we stayed 7 years ago, we said to Cedar..."this is where you were conceived". That is where Boho Boy would sit and look three stories down to the street, watch the passersby and dream up what kind of life we wanted together, what kind of family we imagined having.  Having Cedar here with us was surreal and full circle.

Happy Anniversary my love, my knight, my best friend.

showing up*

Here are two photos from said date with husband:

{him sober, me not...taken with iPhone4}

Bonus Cedar photo. Today he wanted two ponytails on his head. He got them. ; )

We also found him digging in my make-up bag yesterday and applying blush to his cheeks. And when we go to the toy store, the child size car he wants to sit on is the Barbie jeep. Awesome. ; ) He is madly in love with trains, planes and automobiles and loves to wrestle. I love and celebrate his balance of feminine and masculine energies. There are no boxes we will put him in as far as gender goes!

safely loved*

I don't feel very inspiring when it comes to this particular Valentines Day. I was away from home all week in a hotel with a microwave. So, I didn't bake any Valentine cookies or do any heart crafts like many of my loves did. In fact, this morning while waking up, wiping my eyes and shuffling my feet out to the kitchen, I kissed my Boho Hubby goodbye with a fuzzy dreaded head and we both forgot to wish one another a Happy Valentines Day. Uninspiring indeed.

What I do know is that I love my husband so true and it feels so damn good to feel safely loved by him. We're in a bit of a romantic funk with all that is going on, which both of us have gently talked about. When we discuss this, defenses don't come up because we are aware and admit that both of us equally need to put more intention into romance. I have a girlfriend that has a marriage I deeply admire. She once told me that when her children turned about three years old, she found both her and her husband feeling more sexy and wanton because their children were a bit more independent, so they had more time to focus on their relationship. I don't mean I am comparing myself to other marriages as just like people, all relationships hold their own kind of beauty and romance and life together. But it of course give me comfort to know others ebb and flow just as we do (with children or not).

We know we need to make time for just him and I and we are planning on getting a babysitter to go to a romantic Moroccan restaurant next weekend...sitting on silk pillows and eating with our fingers. YUM.

But for now, during this lovers holiday, just feeling loved for being wholly me is enough. To me, the sweet small things he does for both Cedar and I on a daily basis holds more value than a Valentine's card or a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers. Like last night when I was in the kitchen, wearing sweats and feeling smelly, cutting a pizza slice into tiny pieces for Cedar to eat and he came up behind me and kissed my neck telling me I looked sexy. Then later when he sacrificed watching his beloved hockey game for us to watch a family film together because that is what Cedar wanted.

Perhaps next year we will be about pink and red this or that. But this year, its about getting through the day and holding one another close when Cedar has finally fallen asleep for the night, and feeling safely loved in one another's arms.

staying connected*

walk at balboa park
my boys, august break #30

Boho Boy walking.
Boho Baby skipping.

Last night after tucking Cedar into bed, we cuddled on the couch to finish this film.  Boho Boy's forearm has been in some pain from being a computer nerd-genius, so I grabbed some lavender oil and massaged it. I realized that it has been a long time since I have nurtured him in this way.  Our energies are so poured into our growing-by-the-second toddler, that at the end of the day, we can barely keep our eyes open.  It felt so good to be present with one another last night.  While rubbing the knots out of his arm, so many thoughts ran through my head:  I need to kiss him more, hug him more, stroke his hair, listen more intently...the way I did before Cedar came into our lives.  Between us, it has always been the small sentiments that brought us closer and deeper together.  Every single one of my friends that have young children are on this same journey of balancing energy towards your child, as well as your relationship.  I am so grateful Boho Boy and I are constantly communicating and reassuring, so that it doesn't escalate to those dark and scary waters of losing one another.  I am grateful that we are both patient with this process and don't have a lot of expectations right now.  Funny how something as simple as an arm massage will bring all of this to surface.  We have a romantic date planned soon.  A gift from my parents for our anniversary.  I am dreaming of finger foods, sangria, cushy couches and funky music.

Would love to hear how you stayed connected to your partner during the early days of parenting...

my Mr. Kroon*

us on the beach
us on the beach, canon 50d ~ august break #14

Six years ago today, I married you on a cliff, with crashing waves below (and two nuns in their habits that decided to stop, sit and watch amongst our family, friends and passers by).

I remember waking up that morning snuggled up to one of my girlfriends in the loft and my other friend running up to us from the master bedroom downstairs and all of us giggling and them asking if I was nervous. I remember not feeling an ounce of nervousness and I thought that spoke volumes. I was just so certain and all I felt was ready.

You had gotten up really early and went swimming in the ocean with your brother. Then you spent the majority of the morning helping to decorate our wedding site. You knew it was important to me that it was just as we had envisioned. A garden faerie wedding. I heard from everyone that you worked so, so hard and kept everyone laughing. I asked you if you had wished you got a massage or did more swimming or kayaking or playing with your friends.  You told me you didn't want to be anywhere else.  How many men would do this on their wedding day?

One of the most special moments to me was when after a long, gorgeous, dreamy wedding day, we were in our honeymoon suite by the sea and there I was laying with my white lingerie on the bed and you stood in front of me with your khaki linen pants and your white linen shirt unbuttoned and your eyes filled with tears, telling me I was so beautiful. Tears fell from my eyes because I knew you were not just speaking of my outward beauty. I pulled you down and we held one another and cried a bit and I felt my heart take flight. I didn't know what I did to have a man like you in my life. A man that can be a bit private with his emotions to others, yet from day one, freely allowed me to explore so deep into the layers of who you are.

Today, six years later, we are constantly exploring. Just last night we made sure to talk through some emotional terrain in a way that opened up doors to one another rather than close them. These times create even more space for you and our love in my heart. Spaces I didn't know were there but must have always been reserved just for you.

Happy Anniversary.

I love you, my Mr. Kroon.

i. love. him. so.

i. love. him. so.
boho boy at the park

The other day I was writing a friend about my husband. I shared how when we first started dating, that my heart was guarded. I had a few romantic relationships in the past that made it difficult for me to trust the words "I Love You", so I was treading lightly. Boho Boy was in a space of complete openness. He had been single much longer than me and with that time had done so much self healing and therapy and was so Zen.

One night he told me... "I love you and want to be with you for the rest of my life but I don't have any expectations for you to feel the same."

That was when I allowed myself to fall.

"Funny how fallin', feels like flyin'..."
~ Jeff Bridges & Colin Farrell ~ Fallin' & Flyin off the Crazy Heart Soundtrack

five years.

my boys.
my boho boys, canon 50d

Five years ago today, Boho Boy and I were woven together for life, standing near crashing waves on a cliff, in front of dear family, friends and passers by that gathered. Even two nuns decided to sit and listen to our vows while our hands were tied together in silk.

Tonight we brought Cedar to the beach not too far from where our ceremony took place. Ahead beyond the waves, we could see the cliff where we stood five years ago. It was lit up in orange and red hues as the sun went down on the water.

Five years ago today, how could we have known the journey we would travel? Five years ago today, how could we know that tonight we would stand side by side, holding one of the most amazing human beings and calling him our son, our family, as we gazed back at where we once stood?

I imagined us waving at our past selves standing on that cliff...reassuring that all will be okay. All will be mended. All will be healed...and dreams will come to fruition grander than we had dreamed up.

It was surreal tonight. And as I watched my boys run and chase the seagulls I took a deep breath and with tears forming, I laughed out loud. A deep, joyfully soaked laugh and as my hands were cupped up to my mouth, I whispered thank you.

Happy of my life.