family

happy mama's day*

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Oh how I adore this image of my marmie and me.  My beautiful French Canadian mama.

Today I am going to share one of my most precious memories of her growing up. Every Spring, I would come in from outside with swollen itchy eyes because I was terribly allergic to pollen.  She would lay my head in her lap and put a damp cold cloth on my eyes and then gently rub my cheeks and my forehead to soothe my sinuses.  She would do this whenever I needed and for a very long time until the ache went away.  I loved those moments with her so so much and I think about them often, especially during Spring when I come in from outside with puffy eyes.  Just her and I laying there in quiet and feeling her soft fingers go round in gentle circles, smelling her musty lotion, hearing the rhythm of her breath. Oh how very safe I felt.  Safe and loved.

What is  one of the most precious memories you hold close of your mother?

my sweet & funny boys*

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I simply adore this capture of my sweet boys. It was morning and the sun was coming through the window. Cedar put the song "All Together Now" by the Beatles on the iPad and asked Boho Boy to dance with him. This is a regular occurrence but I rarely get a chance to capture it because I join in.

I love their connection. They share a similar sense of humor and it makes for a house full of a lot of laughter. My husband is that person that uses his wit and humor to ease tense situations and I am beginning to see Cedar doing that as well.

For example:  Its not easy to get Cedar out of the bathtub when he is so into his watery world. Boho Boy finds ways to creatively inspire Cedar's feet to step out of the tub. A few nights ago, Cedar was playing with the cow (below) in the water and named it "Cow-shark". So Carsten gently grabbed it and said "Cow-shark is going to get youuuuu!" and out hopped Cedar out of the tub and they ran around the house; Cow-shark chasing Cedar as a trail of wet drenched our hardwood floor. Whatever it took!  So later that evening, Boho Boy left us for a bit to ran some errands and decided to take a photo of Cow-shark wherever he went. Cedar could barely breathe he was laughing so hard when I showed him daddy's photos via text message.

Introducing, Cow-shark {taken by Boho Boy's phone}...

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how they teach us*

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a walk in my sister's almond orchard

In Blackwater Woods

"Look, the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars

of light, are giving off the rich fragrance of cinnamon and fulfillment,

the long tapers of cattails are bursting and floating away over the blue shoulders

of the ponds, and every pond, no matter what its name is, is

nameless now. Every year everything I have ever learned

in my lifetime leads back to this: the fires and the black river of loss whose other side

is salvation, whose meaning none of us will ever know. To live in this world

you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it

against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.”

~ Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Vol. 1

**************

Words from Mary that have reached deep inside my bones and offered my heart rest this week. This indeed has been a year of burning fires within and rivers of loss, only to find salvation, find my TRUTH on the other side. Its been a year of holding close to my bosom and clinging onto those last strings of hope and then, letting go of that which I love deeply but doesn't serve my heart. And yes every year of my life is filled with this but this past year seemed to be that of deeper layers of burning, raging, surrendering and flowing with it all. Perhaps because it wasn't just about me but also about my son, who I am so deeply connected to and being along side his own journey. It was about the growing pains of my husband and I learning to be his advocate by paying attention to, listening to, protecting and honoring his unique rhythm despite the selflessness this would require, despite the judgment of some that we trusted with our vulnerability.

Its been deeply humbling and empowering to find my own voice, for myself and as a mother. It didn't come simply for a people-pleaser like me. This past year I've had a greater awareness of how deeply I desire to be liked and loved and accepted by all that come into my life and when I am not, it causes self doubt. I've seen clearer how these parts of myself led me to putting others needs and ideas before mine or my family in a damaging and unhealthy way. I'm slowly breaking free from those peacemaker ways. I am still nurturing the pieces left by gently putting myself back together again, with tenderness and a gentle wildness, as I rise and stand firmer and firmer, taller and taller.

In all the books I've read about parenting a child with unique needs, one thing that is consistent is the importance of circling you and your child with those that trust, honor and respect your choices and desire the same for your child that you do. I am so deeply blessed that this journey with Cedar has attracted a gentle circle of supportive souls around us.

I know all parents travel this journey within their own unique stories. Our children inspire us to find our own voices, inspire us to trust our own intuition and to let go of that which doesn't bring peace into our lives. This is how they teach us.

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sunbeams, blossoms and healing

offerings from the sea & new years goodness*

Yesterday my boys and I took the ferry over to Lummi Island. Its such an enchanting and magical place. When we spend time there, we continue to find such beautiful offerings from the sea: stones, shell pieces, sea glass, colorful seaweed and driftwood. I plan to create a couple of art pieces from our finds for our home and also will send pieces to some dear ones in my life. Oh how I enjoy those moments when my boys and I are side by side but in our own little creative zone, listening to the shore coming in and gazing at the mist surrounding. This is one of my most favorite places.

New Years Eve is tomorrow and as it approaches, I find myself moving into this new space, new age of consciousness with a deeper awareness of self, of my family and each of our needs. 2012 for me was a time to cocoon with my family, to let go of so much in my life that didn't feel in alignment with what me or my family needed and to keep it simple by being as present as I could for my boys. This meant being away from the screen as much as possible and close to nature and flesh. It meant remembering how life flowed before social media and finding a rhythm that felt safer and cozier for my heart in regards to how, why, what and with whom I shared my heart. It was my year of quiet, gentle, safe, listening, paying deep attention and inner, inner, inner work.

All of this leads me to my next post to come (in a few days) written by both me and a dear soul in my life. We talk about walking through darkness and what darkness means for each of us. A different perspective on it entirely. Both her and I let go of so much in our life in 2012: ways of feeling, thinking and believing, relationships and social medias, that no longer felt life bringing and with that there is grief and longing and unraveling and renewing and rebirthing. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Until then, I will think of all of you as me and my boys and my dear brother in law and his new wife gather around the bonfire on New Years Eve as the moon and stars shine down on us and we let go, let go, let go and create intentions for 2013.

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.

wintry holiday love*

Just wanted to share some images of the last few weeks. Really sinking into this season. Cocooning within the warmth of our home. I am so dearly in love with our sweet little Christmas tree. Its my favorite of all.

Been preparing our hearts and home for our dear brother (Boho Brother) to come out for two weeks with his love. It will be my first time meeting her in the flesh. Such a special time with them as we get to share Solstice, a full moon, Christmas and New Years together!

Omi left a few days ago and was here for a week. We are so grateful how our family is so sensitive to Cedar's need for less crowded spaces. At my sister's farm during Thanksgiving, we were given a huge beautiful room upstairs to go to when he needed quiet and my mother in law opted to come out earlier in December so that Cedar would have more space throughout holiday visits. I am moved to tears by our family and their support this year.

I would love to hear your plans for Solstice, Christmas and New years.

these days...

There have been some really healing and beautiful shifts happening in my life, in my heart lately. I've noticed my chest expanding wider when I am on my lake walks. I notice I am laughing more heartily. I am kissing my husband deeper. My cheeks ache a bit from smiling longer. I notice I am resisting less and embracing more of what is in front of me. Truly its the little guy in all the photos above that is my teacher.

You know, there have been a lot of projects and retreats and offers coming to me lately that I've had to say no to. Not because I don't feel passionate about them or not feel I have a bit of peace & love to offer but because my purpose right now feels really clear. That purpose is to be fully present for Cedar and learn how it is we can support him, love him, nurture him and help him find his footing.

The move to the yellow house rocked his world. It brought a lot to the surface for him and for us as a family and we had to surrender to so so much. I've had to be very protective of this time and space for us and set boundaries that are not easy for someone like me to set. I'm a LOVER of people and life and I want to let everyone in and embrace the whole of what comes my way but I haven't had the reserves. I've had to be really selective, cautious and careful and that can be so hard. This protectiveness has led me to the folks in my life that truly see me and love me and our family and trust our choices. It has led me to folks that have less expectations of us.

There is a writing project that I feel deeply connected to that I've been asked to participate in. But I haven't had the time or energy because of all that is going on with Cedar and his therapy. I wrote to the woman spearheading the project. A woman who is becoming a dear soul in my life. I apologized to her for dropping the ball on the deadline and explained to her why, even though I knew she was aware. This is what she responded to me...

"There is something really grounded and strong about your words at the moment. I have an image of you as a mountain lion taking care of her cub with a fierce beauty." I read her words while at a coffee shop and I felt myself swallow hard and the tears just flowed. I wrote telling her that when reading those words, I was THAT girl at the coffee shop in tears. Although I didn't really pay attention to what or who was around me in that shop but how GOOD that VISION she offered to me felt. Mmmmm. Mmmm. Good.

Right now in my life, I need to feel safe in my relationships. I need gentleness. I need understanding and forgiveness. I need wide open spaces. I need alone time to rejuvenate. I need to not commit to much else but my family. I need tenderness. I need compassion. I need to allow people and things into my heart that feel what one of my dearest soul sister's calls "LIFE GIVING". And I am grateful, so very grateful that I am being offered so much of what I need by those I love, trust and am drawing near to me and are circling us during this time. I think that just happens when you are really clear about what you need.

Oh geez, here I am again...THAT girl in the coffee shop in tears but I am smiling and the salty tears just drifted into my mouth and onto my tongue and it is the most delicious and healing elixir for me these days.

Here are a few photos of Cedar (below) at his occupational therapy. This was last week when he decided that he did not want to climb up this rope without the support of his furry stuffed companions on his back. And that warmed my heart to the core. That he is learning and cultivating a deep knowing of what he needs to move through this life.

He knew he couldn't do it alone and you know what? Neither can I.

happy halloween/samhain*

{channeling max from where the wild things are}

From our family to yours...let the wild rumpus start! Be safe and free, full of imagination and FUN however you choose to spend this day.

My husband is hoping to offer the neighborhood kids a ride on the back of our tractor trailer tonight if it doesn't rain too hard. Cedar is just healing from a stomach flu, so we are going gently today. I hope to make this pumpkin soup tonight sent to me by my sister and my other sis is in town, which was such a gift while Cedar was not well the last few days. I love my family.

{my dear friend em is teaching a fabulous felting workshop starting this friday, do check it out! she made me a laptop cover a few years ago with a beautiful tree on the front and i always get comments on it. she is amazing and has so much to offer those who want to create yummy things with felt!}

pumpkin therapy*

As I've shared recently I am really feeling and reveling in the changes of seasons and the holidays approaching. This past weekend we took Cedar to a pumpkin patch.  It was his very first time.  You can see the joy in his face!! The gray skies were such a gorgeous contrast to the bright oranges and greens. 

We couldn't wait to carve our pumpkins, which means we'll get to do more as Halloween approaches.  Cedar wanted me to carve him a kind-hearted face on his (first one below) and I decided to trace and carve an owl design onto mine.  Perhaps next time I'll be brave enough to do my own drawing.

I told my husband how healing carving these pumpkins felt. There was something about the rhythm and moving of my hands and the anticipation of sculpting and what may come to be. I found myself in a bit of a trance and I realized how much I need to create. How important it is for my soul. And of course I know this down deep about myself but my consciousness has been elsewhere. I need to work with my hands. It quiets my mind. It hushes the noise.

Something is opening up for me. I am remembering. Remembering what fills me up. Walking every day in the forest. Working with my hands. These discoveries are happening organically and not forced. I knew the quiet would bring me back and open up what it is that feels good to me without all of the distractions I have kept around me for so long.

And our sweet Cedar and all we are learning about his sensory needs. Its like he is a mirror to our own and this awareness has been intense but also so validating. My boys and I are three kindred spirits under one roof. We are deep in the midst of sorting out each of our needs and how we can each feel heard, honored and loved and create peace in a loud-like world.

All this from carving pumpkins. Pumpkin therapy. : )

marinating in autumn*

i adore these to images of cedar.  especially the one wear he is "puppywearing"! {carrier purchased from etsy shop babythebaby}

Life has been full. I am marinating in Autumn. Its so different here than what I've experienced most of my life in California. Especially Southern California. The shift in weather happens sooner than what I know and lasts longer. There is a deep chill in the morning and evenings and a warm mystical wind in the afternoon. The red and orange hues on the leaves turning are brighter than I've ever seen. Our fireplace is beginning to warm our home and our firepit warms our yard under the moon. Mmmm...its my favorite time of year.

This morning while Cedar was still sleeping and my hair was drip drying, I found myself flipping through Martha Stewart magazine and deeply inspired to decorate, cook, bake, jar and sew. And I giggle at myself. I always considered my sisters the crafty ones. I am loving this transformation that is happening within. It feels deeply rooted and calm and cozy and safe and real...and present.

Speaking of sewing...my sister was here for a few weeks and she taught me how to sew. A darling old woman let me bring my sewing machine to her shop so that my sister could teach me in peace. My first project was a huge floor pillow. My sister and I squealed the first few times I stitched the sides. Now I'm telling everyone I know..."I made a pillow!!" I am beyond excited and ready and open to learn. I hope to make wide leg yoga pants for me, my husband and Cedar and then eventually other comfy eco-conscious clothing for me and my loved ones. But one step at a time: pillows, napkins, curtains, etc. : )

Here is my darling Singer Curvy sewing machine. I have to admit, the name Curvy made my heart happy. ; )

I have a feeling Cedar will take up an interest in sewing himself. He seems aware of style on other people and often comments on what he loves. Especially with our neighborhood full of girls. He is surrounded and the only boy around.

When my sis was here, we tie-dyed a few shirts for him. The one I did is shown below. Now I have the tie-dye bug and am dreaming of all sorts of cool muted colors and designs.

My sister and I went shopping for yarn. She's going to make me a star garland to hang on my window that we saw in Mollie Makes Magazine (love this mag) and a crochet triangle shawl/scarf (similar to the one Charlize Theron is wearing in Sweet November...have been wanting this for years).

While shopping for yarn, we picked up a few costume bits for Cedar to play with. I am collecting costumes to pile up in our antique chest that sits in our living room. He's beginning to love wearing them throughout the day. But the wings and hairpiece that he grabbed out of our bag with glee and wore all day long were AWESOME. Especially when he was outside playing with the neighborhood girls. He thought he was the coolest fairy on the block and even through they giggled at him, they embrace his quirky ways. ; )

One of my most favorite memories was our evening canoe ride. First I watched my boys and my sis go out and then they returned to invite me in. We somehow all squeezed in without sinking. ; ) It felt other worldly to be on the glassy water mezmorized by the reflected clouds.

{cedar & auntie dd}

family photo*

{us, polaroid by susannah}

I'm kind of loving (okay, totally loving) this photo of us. It just feels so gooood to have a photo together! Is it typical that photographers rarely have a family photo taken of themselves?

Here we are. Our family. And Cedar love...just looks like he's so part of us. And it brings me goosebumps. You know, many many times since Cedar was born, when people find out he is adopted, we get an emotional response. It could be the person near us on the airplane that talked with us for a few hours and spent time with Cedar or one of his teachers, or someone that spent 30 minutes chatting at a store or a neighbor, etc; there is always an emotional reaction when they learn our story. Gasps, tears and an embrace. And many times people have said "...but he is SO you guys!" Every time I well up with tears and laugh and cry with them because its such a heart-spirit-energy thing that is collectively felt. Its what I felt when I first held him seconds after his birth with my husband and his birth parents circling me. A feeling of home and belonging and I know most people that have adopted know exactly what I am sharing and so do all of those that have birthed their children when they have felt they knew them beforehand. And what I am sharing has nothing to do with whether or not Cedar "looks" like us. Its so much about his heart and how me moves and grooves and interweaves so perfectly into our family.

We've been going through an awakening with Cedar that is intense and sacred and all consuming right now and when I am able to find the words, I will share it here soon. But when I opened up this photo in an email today that my friend Sus sent to me, I felt the tears spill. I see the three of us and I know deeply how we are all three teachers and guides for one another and I feel such an affirmation to trust the process.

Someone wrote to me the other day that our story offered them hope when they felt so desperately that there was no hope left. I am humbled and honored to hear these things and I never take it for granted and I most always am taken aback by the outpouring. I always said if your desire to be a mother or a father is there, it is there for a reason and your child will find you and hear your longing. There is so much purpose to the union of your child. Cedar is one of my life guides and I think one of the things that kept me going during our fertility journey was trusting that my desire was there because there was much to learn from it...during the journey AND the destination.

la-la-love*

{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.

quiet mind.

This morning I am sitting here snuggled up in our big green chair. The blinds on all the windows pulled up, front door to the mud room/dining room open. Cool breeze tickling my cheeks. Flowers in bottles and vases and pictures surround me. Some from our yard. Some from our neighbors. Some from a local flower shop. My mother in law is here visiting and I hear her sipping her black coffee while tickity tacking away on her laptop, catching up on some of her work. She is here to take care of me, to take care of us while I am recouping from surgery (will share about this in next post). Cedar is still sleeping upstairs in his bedroom. He's been sleeping longer these days, growing taller each morning. We got him a new puppet a few days ago and are anticipating opening his door with this monster puppet when he wakes. He'll have a new friend this morning. I don't remember the last time my heart felt this at peace. Not only my heart but my mind...quiet. Quiet mind. I wasn't sure if that was possible for me. Being a bit more unplugged has helped with this but so has less television and more toes in the grass and fingers in the dirt and inviting interesting neighbors over for dinner last minute and sinking into their stories.

And I have some stories to tell you. MMMmmm...yes, I do and I will in the next post but for this morning, I wanted to share with you a few images from tiny corners of my world right now.

Oh, and all but one of my dreads have been combed out. Finally combed the remaining few out last week before surgery. I am savoring one. My tiniest dread underneath. I will carry my favorite bead on it. I just had to keep one. Just one.

I hope you feel the peace I am sending out to each of you. Deep breath...slow and clear and fresh...exhale...and Om.

jammy~jams, belly teas and cuddles*

I am sitting here tucked into the corner of my fabric covered couch with the filtered light from the clouds outside the window warming my cheeks. I know I promised a continuation post from my previous dread-cutting-brushing video but the Universe had other plans. We all caught a few local buggies going around town. First a chest cold and then a stomach flu. As much as there are many reasons it is hard when everyone in the house is sick at the same time, there is also something a bit romantic about it. We're given this permission to stay in our jammy-jams all day and snuggle on the couch for hours at a time and let the chores go just for a few days. We curl up and read or watch films we'd otherwise not make time for. Each of us taking turns at being nurses for one another. Then we are forced at times to be utterly selfless. When all you want to do is lay in bed under the covers, there are others more in need that you must tend to. Its a practice in love, absolute utter love.

With all of this slowing down, I have done almost nothing with my short nubbed out dreadlocks. I have only been able to brush out 10 of them in the front. I am brushing from the front to the back. My head has been achy for about a week with both bugs hitting me hard, so I needed to leave it alone. But most importantly, I really want to be in a space of feeling present and with full intention when I brush them out one by one...because it is all part of the journey for me. A way to savor. That is my word for "slow" these days as I have always known I go about things slowly. And at times in the past, it was made into something wrong about me by myself or others. Now I just embrace that I love to savor what is in front of me.

I will continue with my dread journey in the next post but until then, here are a few images of the last few days that I wanted to share...

Oh how I wish I looked THIS cute after I vomited...

What happens when you mix long hair with a remote controlled flying helicopter...

So, note to self...when playing with helicopter, wear Cedarbun...

And...my phone broke to pieces and I didn't have it for a few weeks but felt so blessed to find out we were able to upgrade to a iPhone 4S! But look at my yummy new bamboo Deer cover from Grove...{sigh}...

{thank you to Sus for guiding me to Grove. she is my go to friend for gorgeous gadgets}

loved good*

{some scenes from my sister's farm at christmas and traveling to and fro}

So much swirling around in my world. All heart stuff. Nothing flashy. Just really simplifying my life and what I am surrounding myself with. I am off to northern california yet again tomorrow for a few days. Our first family therapy session. Hold us in your hearts. I am scared, excited, nervous, oh so many things. This is good, so good...a very long process beginning now. I surrender to it all. Everybody just wants love and to be loved good.

More soon.

happy new near from the bohos*

Boho Boy's brother Jon-Erik has been with us for over a week now. He flew into Northern California to stay with us at my sister's farm and followed us back home. The boys are keeping me very busy! They did a little New Years ditty for y'all at one of our favorite parks (above).

I'll come back soon to share images and stories of Christmas at the Farm.

Blessings to each of you as we journey into a New Year full of possibilities.

xoxo

togetherness*

New windows were installed today. Three upstairs, one downstairs and our home was covered in plastic and we had to stay in a safe room (home built in 1900, precautions in regards to lead paint). So, we added some romance to it and while Boho Boy built databases, Cedar and I painted, snacked and listened to music (not the same trance music as daddy, blaring through his DJ fresh headphones).

We are finally surfacing. My sister was here all last week and the day she arrived, I felt the flu coming on. Oh how I was wishing it away but there it stayed. A gnarly chest flu that is going around town. So within a day of me being full on ill, she caught it and then Boho Boy caught it and so far Cedar only has the sniffles. So all week, we were lounging around on the couch, feeling miserable and trying our best to help one another when we really just wanted to bury ourselves under the covers. Being hit hard with a flu is rough. Being hit hard with a flu and having to take care of others is a lesson in LOVE and patience. We took care of one another. We survived. And we survived well. A little curly headed wood nymph was the light of our days, insightful enough to know we weren't our best and made his best efforts at bringing us joy.

When my parents were here a month ago, they caught food poisoning. Both of these visits were lessons for me in surrendering expectations to entertain and really being mindful about "togetherness" and the importance of quality over quantity.

Nearing the end of the week, a new local friend of ours made us soup and dropped it off on our doorstep. A selfless offering of love and healing. We were so grateful and humbled...

ps. various homemade soups and oil of oregano pills... pure magic for our healing.

their visit*

Its almost as if having my parents here to visit created a completeness about our move. I know it has been as hard for them as it was for me to share with them our days and have them be unable to picture it all in their mind. Where the kitchen was in relation to the bathroom. How big our living room really was. How all of our "things" looked and felt within these walls. Now they know. The shapes, the smells, the teeny bathroom and the musty laundry room where we have to keep the lid to the washing machine up or it will begin to get moldy.

When they pulled up in my dad's big white truck, Cedar and I were standing out on the front lawn, waving them down the street towards our little blue house. I promise you, in that very moment a very warm, moist wind began to blow down the street and didn't go away until they left. The entire time they were here, it was the most windy we had ever seen it. But it wasn't a chilly wind. It was warm and almost tropical. It felt heavy with magic and it made the trees dance until they released what needed to be gone.

It was so comforting to have them near and to share our life with them and to receive their blessing and understanding about where we have chosen to be right now. It was sweet seeing them get to know Boho Boy in a way they haven't yet had a chance to, since he works from home and was with us most always. And it warmed my mama heart to witness them bonding with Cedar. He loved calling out "Grandpa!", "Grandmarmie!" because those words are easy for him to say, so he wanted to say them all the time. Vu Vu was hard for him so within minutes of pulling up to our house, my dad told me he wanted Cedar to call him Grandpa. Once I saw the glee on Cedar's face when he was able to say "Grandpa", we knew it was the right choice.

My parents fell sick the second day they were here. We think it might have been food related. They both ate fish from downtown when no one else did. It could have been the water they were not used to drinking but whatever it was, it laid them up on our couch most the of the remainder of their stay. Each of us were sad about this at times but we always came to the understanding that truly, they are here to be with us and there are plenty of opportunities to tour them around during their future visits. It was nice to have a home for them to relax in and to stay in our jammies and to just be together. It was definitely another lesson, a message of how important it is to not have expectations...especially when going on vacations. A lesson in letting it flow, being in the moment and being aware of what means the most to you and for me, snuggling together on the couch at night means so much more to me than showing off our new city.

Cedar is almost 3 years old now. A few more months away. I am really seeing him come into himself and he is in a fierce space of finding his voice. He is coming to an awareness that so much of him is separate than us...meaning his wants, desires and needs. He is loving the idea of "No" right now. Which I find so inspiring to tell you the truth because for years I was a YES person and the last few years have been about me grooving with the idea that it is okay and crucial to say no to some things in order to align myself with my truth. So on one hand it can be so annoying that Cedar is resisting our ideas or needs for him but on the other hand, I am admiring him for being so in touch with his own needs. I am also noticing he is an empath, much like me. He absorbs the emotions, feelings and energies in a room and has a strong reaction to it. All this to say, he was in a sensitive place while my parents were here. I could tell he knew they were not feeling well. He was really acting out a lot and it was a huge lesson for me to not feel shame or sorrow about it around my parents. We all have this deep need for our children to be truly SEEN for who they are...especially around family and when they get explosive with their emotions, all these fears come up about being judged.

I kept finding myself trying to explain to my parents that he wasn't being himself and of course they were loving and patient about it with me, reassuring me they were just happy to be with him regardless the space he was in. After they left I did a lot of self reflection about it because the times I was rambling off to my parents about how he is not usually like this, I felt an ick inside that I even went there. Cedar is Cedar...even when he is in a chaotic space and even if it is not an everyday occurrence, it is still him and I never want Cedar to attach any shame to his emotions because he hears his mother apologizing for him. Oh this goes so much deeper and I am too exhausted tonight to get into it but I will explore it more in this space.

I know that them just being here, witnessing our rhythm was needed and it was a foundation for their relationship with Cedar and even if he was more grumpy than peaceful...it is real and raw and OUR LIFE. I know that is all they could ask to be a part of and I love them for that.

I also wanted to share that I just hired a Holistic Health Coach! I feel so blessed that Stephanie came into my life. It all begins in October and I will be exploring and documenting this new journey here on my blog.

Here are a few more images from their visit: