violin and guitar*

Just wanted to share with you a sweet moment with Cedar and his play tools. This is actually a daily passion of his. Turning whatever he is playing with into an instrument when the inspiration nudges. One of my favorite things is walking into the room when he doesn't know I am there and he is closing his eyes, strumming an air guitar really slowly and swaying his head. Totally in his own little zone. He reminds me to pause and go to what feels nourishing when I need to.


cedar groovin'

I know I have been so quiet here this past week. I have a juicy story to share and will do so very very soon. My energies have been focused on our wee boy who has been teething his two year molars, pushing through...all at once. The constant drool is causing a lot of congestion and the nights have been long, needing to hold him up on my chest so he can breathe comfortably. He wakes up happy but mama wakes up weary, so I have been trying to rest during his naps.

Until my next post, I wanted to ask you for some music suggestions. I will be going on a road trip in late April with some lovelies and am going to make a few road trip CD's. Do you have a favorite road trip song(s)?

{Boho Boy and I adore this photo I took of Cedar a few days ago. We love his rhythm and groove}

Keri Jioras ~ GIVEaway

keri jioras
photo of keri by marybeth bonfiglio

I was introduced to Keri's music by my friend Marybeth (who will soon be my real life neighbor in June 2011).  Marybeth has often shared with me that Keri's voice is hypnotizing and here on her blog, she goes deeper into Keri as a friend, an artist and an inspiring soul.

Finally, I received a CD in the mail by Keri and I have not stopped listening since.  Her voice has been carrying me through my days.  So soulful and it makes me ache for the day I can sit with her on a couch and hear about the journey that led her to such soul drenched lyrics.

You can listen to a few of her songs from her debut album White Swan on her Myspace  or on CD Baby and iTunes.

We are giving away a CD here on my blog.  Just leave a comment on this post(one per person, please) and in a few days, a winner will be chosen over at  I will announce the winner at the bottom of this post.  You'll just need to send me an email with your mailing address.

Her music will shift your heart in beautiful ways.

Singer Songwriter Keri Jioras’ voice is full bodied, infused with organic soul
melts, ethereal soundscapes and down home realness.  She shares with us bittersweet narratives on how we have all loved or have been loved.
White Swan is a breakthrough soundscape of Acoustic soul and Americana. Uniquely she pulls inspiration from a tapestry of  blues, future folk and alt-country. Her humble passion and earthy vibrations make it hard to take your eyes and ears off her. 
She has just finished recording at Bellcreek Studios working with producer Michael Iris on her first full length album.  
For reviews, interviews, and bookings please contact:
Keri Jioras Music Bellingham, WA


WINNER:  #77 Gemma who wrote:  "Oh how I need some soulful new music! My path is passing through some dry places right now and I don't know where it's leading. Thanks for the tip."

dear gemma, please email me at denise(at)bohophoto(dot)com and send me your mailing address for Keri to send off your yummy CD...congrats.  such healing timing for you. 

urban faerie*

amy seeley
amy seeley, canon 50d

I remember receiving this song from my friend Amy in its raw version via email. We exchanged our thoughts about it. My heart felt hers deeply. It was something different. Something brave. It inspired stepping out and trusting her own voice, not just her unique singing voice but the one deep within.

"I am prone to dream in colors like the shades of the Catalinas...".

I listen to it now in its finished version and I feel goosebumps and teary.  I have seen friends with a blank canvas begin to paint their first stroke and build and layer and writing a song is much the same.  To see and feel it from the beginning, it creates a connection to that piece.  I feel so connected to her song Catalinas.

Her music draws me into layers of myself that store so much emotion:  wounds, joys, holding on, letting go, grief, celebration, realization, awareness, secrets, openness, longing, peace. I like sitting with the feelings she evokes.  She's like this urban faerie releasing magic through her words, her soul and her voice sounds so other worldly.

If you'd like to hear her new song Catalinas, you can download it for free here.

this this moment...

this morning.
sitting at our table this morning, canon 50d ~ august break #10

...I am savoring oatmeal with bits of dried apricot.
Thinking about what to feed my boys tonight with something yummy from this book/website.

What are you doing and where are you writing from?


On another note, wanted to share a few fun videos from last night:...

Cedar's reaction to hearing Opera for the first time (he had been doing this for awhile but i caught the tail end of it):

Cedar getting lost in the jive (for some reason the sound shuts off at the end but you can still feel the music, if you know what i mean):

first music & dance class!

love this place.
hillside artisans

My friend Stacy was in town with her family and spent the day at Sea World. It was there where she found what she called a REALLY hot mama resembling Cameron Diaz. This hot mama told Stacy about a yummy boutique called Hillside Artisans where you can find delish shoes, toys and books. So she sent me a text about it and the next day I dragged my boys over to this place...just for fun.  ; )

SO adorable.

Upon entering, we hear a woman singing in an adjoining room and she motioned over to us "So glad you're joining us, come in! Its free!" It was a music and dance class. There was only one other mother with her three year old daughter. We couldn't refuse.

Cedar was a bit shy when he first sat down with daddy. The teacher's voice was quite loud and she was singing right to him and his body language was that of pulling back. But then he warmed up within a few minutes and oh my, was he in his element!!

The next hour was one of the funnest we've had with him ever. As I've written here many times, he is just so connected to music and instruments and his whole body gets into the groove of it (especially with folk, bluegrass and oldies). So to see his face light up and then break into dance was AWESOME. The teacher wasn't expecting that at all.  It warmed my heart for her to recognize his soul.  He was really free with it all. He kept handing all of us his intruments and ribbons, wanting us to join. My mama heart melted all over and I got teary quite a bit. Boho Boy just beamed and got into drumming.

Cedar and I are solo, so so much of our days and this is why I try to go to Java Mama or the park as much as possible. So many have suggested I find a play group of some sort and I've looked at many options online. I haven't felt a pull towards any one group and as usual, trusted my gut with Cedar so much that I knew something would come along that felt right for us.

I love how beautifully this came into our day. That is how so many things in my life have worked. Just sort of putting that wish out to the Universe and serendipity surprises me with something so suited for my soul. I felt that this was so suited for Cedar's soul and felt grateful that being patient and trusting this process blessed him in this way.

The teacher has more classes at her own studio around the corner. So we are investing in a 6 week music/dance class for him, where a lot more kids will be there. I think this is a beautiful way to introduce him to socializing with others, in a place where he thrives and feels safe to be himself.

I wanted to share images I captured of the hour...

Walking to the boutique:
walking together.

He's feeling a little freaked out and uncertain:

"Head and shoulders, knees and toes!" He knows this song, so he is feeling some familiarity:

He gets out of daddy's lap and decides he wants to pretend he is painting on the wall:

Okay, warming up to the idea:

Playing with shakers. He kept handing them to everyone.

Introduction to ribbon dancing! He was listening intently:

Wanting to share his ribbons:

This is when he let loose. Twirling, waving..woohoooo!!

Class done. He let out an "OMG, THAT ROCKED" yelp:

Walking back to our car. Resting on daddy.
resting on daddy.

Driving home. Leading to the best. nap. ever.
me & cedar

Then end of a day I will always cherish. The day when I felt a world open up for my son.

walkin' & groovin'.

While I am marinating in the crazy beautiful emotions of last week in Bellingham and processing how to express it to all of you, wanted to share a moment of our day today.

He just started feeling music with his body and he shows a bit of it here, although sometimes he REALLY grooves with every inch of his bod. He's also walking more fluidly, which I could watch all. day. long.

If you pay attention to the lyrics from Raffi in the beginning of this video (second verse of song), it looks like Cedar's doing interpretive dance. ; )

Music by Raffi and Elizabeth Mitchell.

{His darling pants are from Thailand. Got them here in dark brown and burnt orange. They are SO comfy and loose and groovy.}

our wee rockstar.


needs some tuning... ; )




When Cedar was a few months old a dear friend of mine wrote to tell me that her mother had a vision of him older. Her mother tends to have these psychic moments and my friend told me that sometimes its eerie how right on she has been. So, of course...I listened and got all giddy with butterflies that Cedar had been in one of them! She said that she saw Cedar on stage, the lead in a band, with a guitar. She said that he was a well known rock star...but was very humble. My friend and I giggled and had fun with this and now we joke about it every once in a while. The part that really meant a lot to me was that he was humble. This is a trait that I am so, so attracted to when it comes to extremely gifted people.

Anyways, what has been interesting to see is how music has been such a huge part of Cedar's everyday. I've mentioned this quite a bit here on this blog. How he would only fall asleep to the oldies (swing type music) when he was an infant and that he needs soft piano/harp/flute type instruments playing all day long and how he has really good rhythm (perhaps from watching Boho Boy drum on everything). Most recently he discovered where daddy's guitar was and now that he is crawling, he'd waddle his way over and pull it down and start strumming the strings and pounding on them making pretty music (well, pretty to our ears, perhaps no one elses).

So, we decided to get him a wee one just right for his cherub fingers (ukulele). Now, it must be near him at all times and if it isn't, he'll find it and pull it close.

This morning, he serenaded me as soon as he woke up...(last photo above). So, I have no idea if that vision my friend's mother had will come to fruition but I do know that he will always be our little rockstar.

kind of cheesy...and kind of sweet.

I've done some pretty cheesy things on my blog in years past and today I am doing something perhaps the cheesiest. But you is who I am and with this cheesiness comes bravery and stepping outside of my comfort zone and healing past wounds and not really putting energy into whether I look cool or not.

In fact, this brings me back to a post I wrote, I am guessing about three or so years ago, when I shared that I was dancing in my loft to a Rosie Thomas song and I felt empowered and free and beautiful in my skin. It had been months since I felt that way having been poked and prodded for fertility stuff and feeling disconnected from my feminine body. So, in order to show a visual of what I experienced, I took a series of photos of me dancing and put them together and posted it. As cheesy as it may have seemed to others, it was a turning point for me and not only was it that but it introduced me to one of my dearest friends for life in England. It was this post that inspired her to contact me and since, her and I have been close friends, each on our own little journeys reconnecting ourselves with our feminine spirits post grief.

Some of you that have been reading for a while know that when I was young and singing with a few friends (trying to sing in harmony), I was told by one of them I was tone deaf. I loved singing. Singing brought me so much joy. I never put too much thought into how good I was and I never entertained illusions of being a rock star but those four teeny tiny words "you are tone deaf" altered the way I'd feel about my voice for years and into the present. I still pursued music in school. I was in choir in high school. I led worship in church a few times. I sang at my high school graduation and bacheloriate. In college I was in a touring singing group for a semester. But even though music was a big part of my life, it always came with so many fears, anxieties and insecurities. I didn't want to leave it fully but it was oh so hard to be in it as I was dealing with the voice of that one girl..."you are tone deaf" every time I opened my mouth to sing a tune.

To this day, I have a very hard time singing around people (unless I am on stage...which is odd). My husband has only recently fully heard my voice because I sing to Cedar but I notice when he walks into the room when I am singing, my throat does that infamous close- up deal as a result of the still small meanie voice in my head..."don't are tone deaf."

Yesterday I received such a warm warm email from a blog reader. She referred to my current head space as a "season of blueness" and that really rang true in my heart. Perhaps because she attached a bit of romance to my blues, which I dig...because I am such a silly romantic.

I am in a season of blueness and so much of it has to do with how I am feeling physically. I am being gentle and patient with the process as my Naturopath and I take care of my body and learn what the roots are. There are a few other elements adding to my blueness, some layers that I am looking at and I may explore more here on my blog.

Recognizing my blueness has also made me aware of what truly does bring me joy in my life. It is those things I want to draw into my world so that I can be a more present wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. One of my joys is singing.

Yesterday, I did some dancing, today I did some singing. I wanted to record document the movement in moods for me. I didn't know how else to do it but to record one of the favorite parts of my house...our windows lined with old vintage bottles we inherited from Boho Boy's late father.

What I find interesting is that towards the middle to end of the video, my legs start bouncing more and I begin to giggle and relax...even when I pause and totally forget the lyrics or how to sing them. I notice I am gentle with myself and that still small meanie voice in my head. In fact, I think I tossed that meanie voice out the window and embraced my cheesy self and way of singing.

So dear lovely blog world, I am sharing this moment with you. A brave, silly and meaningful moment. I don't care if I sound dreadful in parts and okay in other parts and I don't at all care that I sound far from perfect. What I care about is that I am caring less and living more and tapping into what brings me joy in my life.

The whole video is kind of cheesy...but also kind of sweet, I think. ; )

{lyrics "i don't know" by lisa hannigan}

the yummy apron i am wearing was custom designed for me by the rockin' talented liz.

jonatha brooke1
my beautiful friend jonatha, canon 50d

Today I was moving around slower than usual, feeling a bit in a funk, restless with what to do next, comfortable to just sit on the couch and stare at a wall. But I can't do that sitting and staring anymore. I now have a sweet gnome boy looking up at me with bright eyes and a slight smile, encouraging me to get into something that will make him laugh or perhaps even just make his grin a bit wider.

So, I swooped him up and brought him up to the loft. I sat him down near me and put on some music. Music that provokes movement of any kind. I needed to move my body. So I did and he not only smiled wider but he giggled and clapped his hands clumsily and so I did it again and faster and with more drama to make him laugh harder. I started to feel a wee better. A bit of an energy surge encouraging me to take him out and run some errands that earlier I so wanted to put off.

Yes, being with him and that desire to show him how to live more juicy helps me to feel more alive within myself. Him and I have a partnership where the giving goes both ways.

{speaking of delicious music, have you heard jonatha's voice lately? pure magic.}