home

blossoming in our gables*

p2904
p2909
p2634
p2695
p2856
p2388
p2088
p2551
p2612
Taken and processed with Cameramatic app.

The sun is beginning to break through our gray skies. Sometimes even for a whole day and the blossoms crave it wildly. They stretch their pedals wider and faster than I have ever seen. Growing up a California girl (living in both Northern and Southern), the Sun was always out to play but here in the Pacific Northwest, its so precious and flora grows at a speed that is so foreign to me. One day there will be a fully green bush, the next day it will be covered in blossoms. Its awe inspiring to witness.

Flowers are making their way into my home by way of sweet children these days. The neighborhood girls had a flower stand the other day with fresh cut branches and flowers around their home placed in vases to sell on a table in front of their house. It was the sweetest sight and two of them came to my door with a bouquet that Boho Boy had bought for me. Cedar has learned his daddy's romantic ways. Most every time he goes outside to play he runs inside "Mommy, this is for you..." with a handful of cherry blossoms scrunched in his palm or dandelions and sometimes rocks, leaves and rose pedals. When he goes down to our bay, he fills his pockets with shells and sea glass and feathers. We have a woven tray to keep his treasures (photo above) and I've been inspired to create beauty in our home from them.

My boys and I are blossoming in this home and for quite some time I've not allowed myself to believe that these yellow gables and lush land could be ours. My twenties and thirties were full of so much uprooting that I didn't even consciously realize how used to being unattached to people and things I became. I knew I'd be leaving soon or at least I felt so much a gypsy that if leaving wasn't in the plans I knew it would be. I giggle as I write this because it makes me think of the film Chocolat. I resonate with Vianne in many ways. I think this is why online connections felt safer for me. For many reasons but one important one being I could stay connected regardless where I lived. I have lived here in Bellingham for almost two years and I am just now it seems allowing myself to sink in some roots. We just recently made a decision that we would love to purchase this home and because both my husband and I are gypsies, it took us almost losing it to come to that decision. We didn't consciously realize we were not fully rooting until the possibility to root ourselves was swept under are feet.

I was standing out front of our house in the middle of the street last night with some neighbors who are becoming quite close friends of ours. We were out there, huddled close with our children getting soaked by the rain (unexpectedly) and my heart felt so full. I hadn't realized I was keeping my friend at arms length. She lives next door and is a dream and yet I was afraid to get too close. She's been very patient with my heart.

p2700

beautiful charity and us following our children on a forest path up the street

Now that we are staying, I feel all of this release...in so many ways, this openness and yearning to give of myself (and receive) to that which surrounds me, both in and around my home and with those souls that dwell here. None of this even felt conscious until we decided to root ourselves in this home. Its almost as if a veil has lifted.

With our landlord living next door, I haven't felt the freedom to make this land my own and have not done much to it yet. But now that we will purchase this home, we are so inspired with ideas. I haven't gardened much (aside from planting lavender in the ground last year at the blue house). Up until now I have only planted in pots. I have so much to learn! But our dream is to plant a veggie garden, herb garden and arbors with ivy and flowers growing up and around it. I am not one to be attracted to manicured pieces of land. I love the wild and overgrown yet a lot of tender care. Our landlord said for years she has wanted to impart her wisdom onto someone and I told her I am her gal.

If any of you are familiar with this climate and have wisdom to offer about gardening, I am all ears (and heart).

Mmmmm...h(OM)e sweet h(OMe). Is this really happening?

guest post & giveaway*

feathering4

Shortly after I moved to Washington, I hired Stephanie as my holistic health coach and we had an immediate kindred connection. She has been such an amazing support to me in my life over the past few years, that I wanted to spread the love and support her latest yummy adventure and share it with all of you. I'm so excited to take this e-course!

************** Hello Lovelies!

I'm Stephanie, a certified holistic health and lifestyle coach and one half of the team Feathering the Nest, a new e-course I developed with the lovely Leah Kent of Skill It. Leah and I both have backgrounds in the arts as well as plenty of hours logged in the kitchen developing recipes for our clients. We were drawn together by our shared passion for making our homes into nuturing soul spaces. We think the things you choose to surround yourself with have a profound affect on your mind and body. We want your home to not only reflect the beauty inside of you, but nourish and give back to you, in a way that will transform how you move into each day.

feathering1

Feathering the Nest will be an eclectic two week journey through your home, a sensual path to self discovery. We will be creating beautiful things for our homes with our own hands, getting cozy with really fun and intuitive writing exercises and cooking up some delicious recipes. You'll also receive beautiful printables to use over and over as you explore your nesting style. We are going beyond just aesthetics and finding our own unique path by tapping into feng shui, numerology and chakra wisdom. You'll gain entrance into a sacred online space to share your experience, pictures and inspirations with kindred souls.

feathering2

Whether you space is large or small, rented or owned, we think you are going to love learning how to infuse each corner with your essence to create a sanctuary for you and all who inhabit it. To learn even more, visit us over here at the class site!

Today we are excited to announce that we are giving away a chance to win ONE seat in the class to one of you (a $59 value)!

There are three options to enter the GIVE-away:

  • Leave a comment here on Denise's blog, telling us what room needs some loving in your house
  • Tweet about the give-away using hash-tag #featheringthenest and come back here to tell us
  • Post on Facebook about the giveaway and come back here to tell us

You may absolutely do more than one of these options for a second or third chance to win the seat. Winner will be chosen at random the evening of Thursday, March 28th. They will be sent an email with details immediately.

There is more! As a special thank you to each reader of Denise's poetry, we are honored to offer a 15% discount on the class. Please use the code: BOHOGIRL at checkout to receive your discount!!

feathering_portrait

Stephanie Perkinson

Instagram: StephPerkinson Twitter: StephPerkinson Facebook: Wellness by Design – with Stephanie Perkinson

Leah (Cherry) Kent

Twitter: Skillitchef Facebook: Skill It

{The winner is Bea...congrats! You will be contacted shortly}

my sweet & funny boys*

p2052

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}...

Processed with Cameramatic app.
Processed with Cameramatic app.
Processed with Cameramatic app.
Processed with Cameramatic app.

advent bags*

While at my sister's farm last week, my marmie brought me a copy of the latest Better Homes & Garden magazine. She had dog-eared an article about Maria Carr (writer of the blog Dreamy Whites) and her family's french farmhouse in Northern California. She knew I would be attracted to the way Maria expressed herself in her home.

One of the images in the article showed advent bags hung from two birch branches. I was so inspired by the idea! I knew it would suit my home and that our wee gnome would be delighted to climb a ladder and pull out a Wei Chocolate each day until Christmas. ; )

My husband found these birch branches in our back yard. I used two different types of muslin bags that I ordered online, as well as picked up at a craft store. I used dutch butcher twine to tie the branches together and number stamps with brick red ink for the dates.

My marmie also surprised me with a bowl au lait from Maria's shop:

{freshly washed duck and hen eggs from my neighbor}

beautiful Buddhist ceremony*

{Katie & Lisa chanting}

When we were still living in the blue cottage, there was a time in between tenants where this yellow home was empty. The landlord let my sister and I (who was visiting at the time), walk through. I remember us sighing at every turn. It was so adorably charming. But along with the feeling of familiarity for me, there was a heaviness in my bones. I had chills as I walked up the stairs and I couldn't quite place why. My sister felt it too and after we sat in the blue cottage and gushed about our walk through, we both admitted to one another that we felt a spirit in that house. I thought it was just me feeling this.

Almost a year later, during the first week we were in this yellow house, I continued to feel that same spirit or energy. I wasn't afraid of it or threatened in any way. I felt very at peace in this home and like we were supposed to be here. I just felt an uneasy energy. I felt a sadness. A longing. And I felt it most when walking up the stairs where the two bedrooms are (ours and Cedar's). Our cat Elvis began to sit at the top of the stairs and cry in the middle of the night. It was then that I began to really try to connect with what was happening.

I have always been sensitive to energies or spirits and until I accepted this about myself in my later twenties, I became less afraid and more open to what was trying to be communicated to me. I felt like this spirit needed something from us. My husband felt the same energy.

I had heard from a friend (a previous tenant) that two women used to live here in the early 1900's but that is all I knew. So I shared with a neighbor, that has lived in this neighborhood for years, what we were feeling in the house. Our neighbor went onto share that in this home lived a widow and her daughter. The daughter was more a servant to her mother and was sequestered in the home to attend to her mother's needs. Her mother didn't allow her to have relationships or interactions outside of the home. So the daughter grew to be somewhat of a recluse. When her mother passed away from old age, the daughter lived here alone until she died, too...at an old age. My neighbor was able to meet the daughter before she passed away, tried to help take care of her and was told first hand, the story. Hearing this, it all began to make sense to me. This daughter's story of longing to be free and released from this house when she was living and perhaps this is how her spirit or soul lingered.

Almost a few weeks into our move, when we were still slowly moving things from the blue cottage to this house, our dear friends Katie (owner of Lotus Wei) and Lisa (owner of Wei of Chocolate) were visiting both for business and pleasure. While they were here in our home, we caught up, went on a forest walk and then later snuggled up near the fire.

It was on the couch that I shared about the history of the house. Soon after, Katie offered for them to come back the next morning and do a beautiful Buddhist chant and ceremony to help release this spirit where it needs to be. It is an ancient ceremony that they had both learned in India - Lisa, when she lived in the Himalayas for many years, and Katie, who went to India with the purpose of learning this ceremony.

My husband and I both felt so at peace about this. The timing of our dear friends being here and them both feeling a strong desire to offer what they had learned felt truly divine. The process they explained to us felt gentle and loving, connecting and peaceful. Just what we as a family are cultivating in our life and what I imagined the spirit of this woman, needed.

So the following morning, Katie and Lisa arrived. At first Lisa walked around our home collecting flowers from our yard as an offering to the spirit.

I felt really deeply that the ceremony needed to take place in our upstairs bedroom. I had incense burning for them and I gave them some quiet time to set up. They told us that we could be there in the room and hold the space with them or we could not, it was up to how we felt. Of course we shared we wanted to witness and I had a feeling Cedar needed to witness it too. So my boys and I laid on the bed as they began the long beautiful chant.

Immediately, a peace washed over me and both my husband and I closed our eyes. I could feel the vibrations in my chest. Cedar moved around here and there to grab toys and bring them on the bed. In moments he stared in awe and other moments, he rolled his car or helicopter over our bodies to the sounds of Katie and Lisa's vibrations. At times he giggled at the sounds coming from their mouths. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my entire life. I felt such a trust and surrender and a hope for us but even more so for this spirit.

Then there was this moment at the end of the chant where along with a particular quick yelp sound, I saw a white light before my eyes completely vanish and a heaviness from my body lifted. In that moment, I felt an energy leave and the lingering feeling was freedom, happiness, joy, release. When the ceremony was finished, we sat and talked a bit about what we all experienced. Lisa and Katie shared with us how our home is now protected and that good energy will come in and that the home is very happy about Cedar being here. That Cedar's laughter is healing. But truly, I felt this already even before they shared this with me. We all did. There was just a collective knowing. Instantly, the house felt like it took a deep breath and my chills vanished and I felt a deep solace and peace between all of these walls.

The remainder of the day there was a sense of lightness between all of us. They offered to help us finish the remainder of our move into the yellow house and we were so humbled by their gracious hearts. Their presence is so calm and comfy and of some of the purest love I have ever been near. We acknowledged the ease we felt with one another and how the energy exchanged felt so heart lifting. I am in awe of the souls we are beginning to attract into our life. It truly makes such a difference when you are clear about what you need.

And today the home continues to feel this peace. Every time I walk up the stairs I think about the daughter and how her spirit is finally free. I think about how safe and protected I feel and how I knew there was a deeper purpose to us being here besides rooting ourselves and creating a life in nature we so deeply craved.

I think how I could have just let this linger and made it all about what I felt rather than what this spirit needed from us. I think about how I could have allowed fear to overcome me and pray this spirit away with this idea it was threatening to us in some way. These are all very old ways of thinking and feeling for me. But I breathed through it and I listened and I sensed something deeper and when I opened myself up, surrendered to what may be needed from me, Katie and Lisa came into our home and together, we offered our gifts.

Ever since spending time with Katie and Lisa in San Diego before our move, both of their products (Lotus Wei flower essence elixirs, serums and mists and Wei of Chocolate yummies) are a big part of our every day.  In fact, Cedar savors what he calls his "night night chocolate" an hour or so before bedtime.  We have the chocolates in a vintage jar and Cedar delights in dipping his hand in and picking out his favorite.  Throughout the day we drink elixirs and spray the mists that our bodies need.

Here are a few images of when we first moved to Washington.  Katie & Lisa sent our family a care package to help us settle into our new h*OM*e.  Mmmmm.

{last two images taken May, 2011}

more of our h*OM*e.

Many of you have been reaching out asking if I could share more images of our home. Here are some of our living room, kitchen and master bedroom. I still need to fill my walls with photos of family and friends, pieces of art and drape fabric from the ceiling of our bedroom with twinkle lights. When my sister was here, we gathered much of what you see from local antique stores and some items we painted and distressed ourselves outside on the grass over a big piece of canvas. It reminded me of when I was single living in Dallas, TX in my mid twenties and she flew out to visit and helped me design the sweetest little apartment that all my neighbors would ask to come into just to breathe deep. Her and I together created the essence of a beach cottage in the middle of a city. This time around it's eclectic and rooted, soulful and rich and playful.

When we are done with Cedar's room, I will be sure to show you. We are going with a vintage airplane, adventure seeker, rustic groove but we are waiting for some bunk bed parts in order to finish it. Oh how I love creating an environment that expresses who we are as a family. More to come.

I am posting a REALLY yummy giveaway in a few days. Be sure to peek in for some clothing love love love.

Edited to add because I am getting emails asking about some items:

  • Metal wall flowers in living room are from Sundance
  • Tapestries on couch are from Indian Bed Spreads
  • Gather sign in kitchen is from Sundance
  • Red postal garder bins on kitchen wall are from Sundance (no longer available)
  • Metal photo wheel and large green apothecary jar are from Save on Crafts
  • Our duvet cover & shams in the master bedroom are from Anthropologie
  • Hanging jar lanterns in bedroom are from Anthropologie (no longer available)
  • Macrome plant hanger in bedroom is from Urban Outfitters
  • Hanging ceramic three tier fruit basket in kitchen window is handmade by Jeanette Zeis on Etsy
  • Painting on blue vintage cabinet is by my friend Em Falconbridge

our life through her eyes*

Our dear Brit Beauty came to our home for some respite in between her book tour. It felt good to offer her a space where she had no expectations or places to be or people to meet. Although this brave introvert loves that part of connecting on her travels and teaching her workshops and at gatherings, she also loves the feeling of lounging in pajamas and home and family...just. like. me.

As she spent a few days witnessing my new life here, it was such a gift to see some of it through her eyes. I felt she captured part of us that not many get to see. Above are all images captured with her iPhone that I wanted to share. My next post will be images of her visit through my eyes.

ps. Cuteness overload for the day: Cedar calls Susannah "P'sanna". Omg.

boho girl of yellow gables*

Those of you that have been coming to this space for years know how much I adore Anne of Green Gables and how those stories are held in my heart. How when I was a teenager, my best friend and I vowed we would marry men like Gilbert Blithe and one of the things I adored about him was how he pronounced "sorry" (soar-ree) in that yummy Canadian way. And here I am, married to a Canadian and seriously, all he needs to do when I am feeling blue is say "sorry" and my heart melts. I even find myself pronouncing it that way having lived with him for so long. ; )

As much as I've known for over a year now, walking by it nearly every day, that this yellow home has gables, it wasn't until I stood back to take this photo that I realized "Oh! I LIVE in a house with gables!!" Then came a big deep sigh from the deepest part of me. That part of me that believes so truly about how dreams can be manifested. Just as I dreamed about marrying a Canadian Gilbert Blithe, I also dreamed about living in a home much like the one in the Anne stories near a close community of folks and a wholesome place to raise a family.

A very thoughtful blog reader sent this link to me about an Anne & Gilbert themed wedding shoot. Aren't these images divine?

My sister Darlene is here for a 10 day visit. I unpacked most every box for her arrival and set up most rooms (most especially the guest room) so that she could feel relaxed and nourished. I have yet to put things up on the wall. I wanted to leave that for her and I to do together. When Cedar is in school, we will be shopping in antique stores to get a few shelves, side tables and dishes. I will share images of my home, as they are nearly finished. For now, I will share with you the guest room. One of the reasons why we chose this home is for the guest room. Its near the bathroom and that is so important to us for our elderly guests, as well as family that have knee or back problems. Each of our previous homes had stairs where they had to climb up and down for the bathroom and it was always so hard to see them struggle. I can finally exhale and know my guests have all the comforts they need.

Guest room:

{These walls are light pink with dark pink trim. We are not allowed to paint until we buy this home in a year. I wasn't sure how to work around pink!}

Where I am sitting on the couch in the living room as I type, this is the view out my front window.

Right now everything is so wildly WILD. Overgrown grass and rose bushes and flowers. Its hard to tell the difference between weeds or flowers or berry bushes and we've had to cut pathways to get around. Part of me adores the romance of this so and part of me worries about my son getting snagged by large prickly stems reaching out between paths. Our landlord was an avid gardener when she first moved into this home and I adore her way of thinking. So many arbors with vines and flowers growing up and out and over all things. MMMMmmmm...but it has been quite let go in her older age. This weekend we plan on walking through with her to create a space that is both mildly wild and safe for our son and his friends as they come to play. She wants us to buy this house and has taken such great care of us.

Here are some yummy images of Cedar & Auntie DD over the last few days:

{she brought cedar a box of feathers she found around her farm to start a collection. he was delighted}

{first morning together, cuddled on the couch}

{serenading cedar}

happy birthday boho boy*

{some birthday love & breakfast in bed for him}

My love's first birthday in our new yellow cottage. So much to celebrate. We are finally beginning to settle. Just a few boxes to unpack. My sister is coming on Monday, so her visit motivated me to focus on creating a space that is nourishing for all of us.

I am moved so deeply how this cottage immediately felt like hOMe. Like we have spent years here before. I feel so drawn into these walls, almost as if I can feel its heart beat and my heart expand along with it. I think subconsciously I was never able to fully root myself into our darling blue cottage and now it feels more clear to me why. To all of us.

Stories to share here very soon. One that is one of the most beautiful moments of my life: two friends...Katie & Lisa doing a Buddhist ceremony for our home as me and my two boys cuddled on the bed and witnessed something so surreal and peaceful unfold.

But first...happy birthday to my dream boat.

{my boys eating breakfast and telling stories on one of our first mornings here}

spring*

I have always loved Spring but I don't think I quite ever cherished it as I do now. After months of darker tones and shades of grey and blue surrounding me, any slice of colorful beauty that comes from the earth and the sky up above is like MEDICINE. Truly. And it is now that I am seeing how my body and soul respond to the seasons. Living in California and most recently Southern California for years, I didn't quite feel as connected to the seasons as the changes were few. I didn't notice the massive shift I have noticed since being here. Meaning, the deep need to cocoon in the Winter and now the craving to be out and exploring and moving my body in the Spring. And along side the seasons, my spiritual growth being in alignment with what is happening in and around Mother Earth. With this Spring I feel such a sense of renewal, of being reborn after months of resting and peeling. I am sure all of my life this has transpired, as living beings all follow the rhythm of our environment but this year, I felt so much more conscious of it. Its beautiful to witness this rhythm and to guide Cedar to awareness of it as well.

Mmmmmm...but Spring, oh Spring! I love you so.

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}

wintry magic*

{scarves worn by me, cedar and eugene the snowman were made by my sister Pamela. fingerless gloves from sundance}

I have only been in the snow a handful of times in my life. The first time I touched snow I think I was about 5 years old. We lived in the bay area in California near San Francisco, so it was a very very rare thing to happen in our neighborhood. But it did. Once in the 25 years that I lived there. I think we went up to the snow in Nevada once as a family (we were more about Summer camping in the woods). And with my girlfriends, I went up to Tahoe a few times, trying to learn how to ski and failing miserably. Then once in Tahoe with my boyfriend in my late twenties, to learn how to snowboard. Ouch. But fun. Especially because that day the sun came out and it was surreal to be snowboarding down a hill with the sun shining on my face (when it wasn't planted in the snow). When I lived in Dallas for four years in my twenties, it lightly snowed once and was only on the side of the road in dirty chunks. The last time I saw snow was in Victoria, B.C...when my husband and I went there for Thanksgiving the year before Cedar was born. To soothe our achy hearts. It was an unexpected snow storm and we were held there a few days longer (darn) and many stores closed down because they were not prepared (they had one snow plow in whole city). I sat up on the window seat on the 3rd floor of our hotel watching the snowflakes for hours. It was so meditative for me.  It moves me into a safe cocoon.

All this to say, snow is so very precious to me. And I really know nothing about how to live in it, which my husband finds amusing since he grew up with snowed in winters in Ontario, Canada. Last week, we were so blessed to have a handful of days blanketed in snow. We hear that snowfall that actually stays on the ground in our seaside village is a rare thing, so we marinated in it deep. It was such a dream for me...to see neighbors sledding down our street at night. And us as a family sledding down a hill at the park down the street. Boho Boy teaching us how to make a snowman and then me noticing snowmen on every corner. It was surreal, really...and perfect for what I needed.

Being "snowed in" is a bit how I feel right now. Even though the snow has melted. I am pulling in deep and feeling the permission to do so without guilt. There are a lot of emotions I am sitting with, a lot of transition and transformation going on inside of me. I haven't been able to put it into words but I feel the words coming. Just being in it is what I have allowed to happen. Not really naming it but just letting whatever it is move through me. There has been a lot of change for me in the past few years and with it, I have changed and I am now beginning to find my footing so that I can walk forward into my Heart Quest. I have more to share on this. And perhaps even a video of some good stuff that is coming in my life.

The sun just came out through the window, brushing the side of my cheek. The sun. Another rare thing in these parts during this time of year. I better step outside, breathe deep and drink up its medicine.

me...baking?

I never thought I would enjoy baking. Being born with Celiac, gluten free baked goods as a child were not ready available to me and if they were, they tasted like sawdust. So, I grew to not have cravings for things like cakes and cookies, muffins and pies. I didn't have a deep desire to bake...ever...until now. Now that my son is old enough to stand on a stool and help me stir the batter and to squat with him in front of the oven with the light on to watch them expand and then to see his pride when he takes his first bite, into the muffin he helped make. Well, it adds a whole new life to the world of baking for me. Now that we are all fortunate that grocery/health food stores carry gluten free goodies, it makes it a bit easier for newbies like me who want to put on the apron and play. The muffins above are made from Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix. I added half a banana (mushed) and thinly diced zucchini and carrot to the muffin recipe. It is moist and divine and a great way to nourish my boy with veggies snuck in. I replace sugar with local honey and it doesn't need much. YUM.

Living here, I feel inspired again in so many ways. I feel connected to nature in a way that I haven't felt in so long. I am deeply grateful when I wake up in the morning that we are able to offer Cedar a whole new world. As he discovers, we rediscover.

how we spent the 4th*

snuggled with my niece angela and her fiance jon in the morning before they headed back home to san francisco. what a magical and emotional engagement photo session with them. i am still coasting on the sweetness and so grateful i was a wee part in their new journey. in this photo, cedar was doing what he does with his charming, quirky ways. ; )

after they left, cedar and i went down to the bay near our home and watched birds walking on the mossy mud that blankets the bay when the tide is really low.

my boys and i decided to spent a few hours in fairhaven at a bookstore, eating ice cream cones and then hanging out behind the bookstore with a few of cedar's new trains.

here he is chilling out on the brick floor resting in between choo choo train fun.

here are my boys walking down to the water to light a few fireworks. i haven't done this since i was young. it will be cedar's first time seeing it this close.  yes, that is a sasquatch (yeti) on carsten's hemp hoodie.  both of my boys are obsessed with sasquatch.  cedar now has a sasquatch call that he does when we are in the forest.  awesome. ; )

cedar gasped and talked about the stars shooting in the sky all night long.

mmmmmagic.

life in the pacific northwest*

[gallery] i can't believe how full my days are here. with a backyard (haven't had one in 10 years) and the forest and ocean, trails and creeks surrounding us, most of the hours of our days are spent outside. we come in for potty, snack, meals and sleeping. and because it stays light so late here, we are all going to bed VERY late and waking up VERY late. there was a time when we had a schedule and it worked for us but right now, we are just going with the flow. sort of like when you're on vacation and all of the schedules and must-do's aren't gripping you. you feel free and you just move with what feels right. i wonder if it will stay like this for a long time, this feeling. or i wonder if we will somehow fall into a rhythm with our days. for now, i am not questioning. i am just soaking all of this up like a thirsty sponge.

do these images whisper what it is i am feeling?

{yummy clothing giveaway coming soon}

the language of my heart*

I think I've been quiet here because I've been in a space of observing and listening. I suppose I feel a bit awed. Okay, a lot awed by our surroundings. Including what goes on inside of my home and the intimacy I am feeling with my boys. Right now Cedar is sleeping on our couch near me in a ball of sunlight shining through our window. I can see the shadows of dragonfly lights that we have hung on our windows on his face. Cedar has never slept anywhere but his bed or our bed. There is a peace dwelling here that we have not felt in so long.

Yesterday we took a trail that is a few streets down in our neighborhood. It led us to an old farm that sits up on a tall hill overlooking the bay and an island and the mountains. We laid out a blanket. We ate. We did more breathing and listening than talking. Our bodies were close. We held one another. Boho Boy's hand reached for mine if Cedar was between us. I write this with a tear in my eye. So much healing. We've had a rough few years. I can feel it slowly melting, walls peeling and a soft underbelly feeling less afraid to exist without so much protectiveness.

The home we are in is so special. The old man that lived here before us left a legacy it seems. Our neighbors talk of him fondly and it warms my heart that they are embracing us in this home. It seems they were waiting for people to live within these walls that captured the spirit of the man who once lived here. One of our favorite neighbors, a new friend of mine, has won my heart. She is moving soon and told me she now feels safe leaving this sweet village knowing that our family will continue to live and breathe the magic of this neighborhood. For nine years I lived in a place where I felt a bit misunderstood and here, within a few short days, I am wrapped up by souls that I feel speak the language of my heart.

{when finishing this post, i thought i would take a photo of cedar sleeping...}

gem of a place*

[gallery] {click on images to see larger}

Boho Boy and I have looked at one another many times throughout the last few days and said "we live here!". Last night we were all snuggled up on the couch, Cedar in the middle and we gave one another a knowing look, leaned over his head and kissed. One of the many neighbors that have stopped by to get to know the new folk in their precious community said something that has sunk deep into my bones. She was laying under our apple tree (which we didn't know was an apple tree until she told us) and pointed to me and Boho Boy and said "you two are going to fall in love all over again here." I had only known her for a few minutes. Yet, with her hearing just a bit of our story, she saw us deep and knew how much we needed this. She was right. I feel like that is exactly what is happening to us. Falling in love all over again. Not only with one another. But with grass and rain and sun and rock and creek and flora...and being with people in the flesh. I don't know even how to put it into words. And I am a writer of sorts. But my heart hasn't stopped swelling and my fingers haven't stopped pinching myself to see if this is all real. I haven't been outside this much in I don't know how long. Cedar has never been so blissed out and worn out in a good way. We live in such a gem of a place and community. That is what all the neighbors tell us. "You'll never want to leave this street and if you do, you'll come back...like all of us."

Today Cedar and I planned to just walk a block down the road to get some fresh air. We ran into my neighbor and new friend Annie (the one who told us about our apple tree...and cherrie and pear trees) and her two Great Dane's. She asked if she could take us on a stroll around the neighborhood. Up until today, we had only walked down the road to the water and the train track. We've been so busy unpacking that we were waiting until we felt more settled to venture out the other direction. But when she asked us, I thought to myself...why not? I can leave the mess at home and start living more in the present like everyone else does around here. They move more slower and mindful and its beginning to feel really nice. I love that I befriended the neighbor that seems to know the most about he history of this community. She was like a walking encyclopedia about the homes and who lives in them now and who lived in them a hundred years ago. Along the way we ran into a little boy that people have been telling us about. I've heard that him and Cedar are kindreds. Two quirky souls that are bound to connect. Well, it happened naturally, of course and oh how I saw so much of Cedar in him...but 5 years in the future. This sweet boy showed us a weed that you can peel and eat and it was sweet as nectar.

I giggled to myself.  I feel like I am walking through the pages of a few of my favorite stories...Secret Life of Bees or Stand by Me.  I can't believe this is my new life. I can't believe all of this has happened in just a few days.  I can't remember the last time I cried tears of joy rather than sadness.

h*OM*e

the moment we drove into bellingham

I am overwhelmed with emotion. I think I need a few more days to marinate in what surrounds me. To let it sink in...fully permeate my being that I am home. That THIS is our home. My friend Jessamyn and Leigh wrote to me spelling it out hOMe or h*OM*e...with emphasis on the Om and that is exactly what it feels like. They know my heart.

Boho Boy had been here for about three days already while I stayed with my precious family. He would call us about 10 times a day to share sweet little details about the old home we're renting (built in the early 1900's) and the yard surrounding it. He would send us videos and text photos and stories about our eccentric, hippy, arty neighbors that came out to greet him, play him a tune with their guitar on their porch and spill the scoop about the community that our home rests in.

It was wonderful to hear all these details but at the same time it was a big practice for me in letting go of control. I am a Virgo and I do love to nest. It was a good exercise for me to be present with what was in front of me at the farm with my older sister or at the bottom of the Sierra Foothills with my parents. I was so worn from the move and Cedar was in serious need of something that felt familiar and homey. It would have been too much on his sensitive heart if we went from empty home to another empty home full of boxes. It was all perfect and that is what I reveled in. Being with family gave me the strength I needed to step forward as a girl in motion.

This past Saturday was when Cedar and I flew to Seattle.  The long line at the airport in Northern California was unexpected, so him and I were running to our flight, hand in hand.  Once we finally landed and were walking towards baggage claim, Cedar spotted his daddy 30 feet away.  He yelled "daddy!" and dropped his froggie backpack and ran to him with his stuffed animal in hand.  Boho Boy scooped him up and all of this brought him and I to tears.  It was one of those moments we will forever cherish.  Soon after we discovered the bag with all of my clothes somehow didn't make my flight.  I think because I already felt completely ungrounded, the thought that the bag I was living out of was missing, brought on a meltdown.  Not at all what I expected to feel when arriving on this day.  We sorted out the bag situation and it ended up getting on the next flight and would be shipped to us in a few days.  Then as we got on the freeway to head towards Bellingham, we were giddy and chatting away and 1.5 hours into our conversation we discovered we were going South instead of North!  It was then that I realized there must have been a reason why all of this was happening.  We now had a long drive of 3 more hours going back the way we came from with an extremely exhausted wee traveler in the car seat.  It was a message for us to slow down, to let go, to reconnect before we walk into our new space...because the whole thing with the bag brought me into  space of not being able to connect.  It was all perfect, really.  It gave us a chance to stop for food.  To find a gorgeous park on the way for Cedar to run and explore.  To get some delicious coffee and to pull into our town holding hands,  connected to one another and feeling in love.  Those three hours ended up being just what we needed.

Boho Boy had suggested the other day on the phone that he drop me off and take Cedar to the Toy Garden in Fairhaven.  He wanted me to connect with the home alone, without distraction, like he was able to days prior.  I didn't even know this was what I may have needed until he mentioned it.  Since he had been there already for three days and with all the stories he was telling me, there was a sense of almost feeling like this was more his home than mine.  It was so tender hearted for him to think about this.

When he pulled up to our little nook of a street by a bay, my heart swelled.  It was quainter, quieter and more of a community than I imagined.  Every home was precious and then he slowly drove passed ours and I said..."Oh, what a cute house...wait...ummm...is this ours?" All I knew were photos and videos and now that we were right there in the flesh, it all just seemed more charming.  My heart was racing and as I waved goodbye when they drove off and turned towards the home, I felt such a sense of peace.  A peace I haven't felt in so long.  The noise, the chatter, the anxiety, the everything hushed and it was just me and my footsteps and my breath and my pulse and my heartbeat on those wooden floors.  When I opened the door, it smelled of an antique shop.  Mmmm...old homes.  I walked slowly from room to room, up and down the stairs and finally outside and when I walked through the enchanting yard to the end of a large Cedar tree, it was then that I wept.  All I felt was gratefulness.  I continued to shake my head.  It was so much of all that I wanted for my family.  It felt unreal and real all at once.

more soon.

h*OM*e.

{dear sponsors...you get a free month since i have been unexpectedly absent due to lack of internet connection}

trust*

me and cedar at the airport

Boho Boy sent us this photo from the road of the moving truck and our car attached.  Everything we own right there. He has a bunch of tunes he made for the road, as well as stories from NPR keeping him company. Its difficult to be apart during this time but I know he needs this solitude as he makes his way into our new life as an independent business owner. He will no doubt  sing out loud with dreams of kayaking on the bay near our new home, working in his workshop with wood and nurturing new inspiring relationships. He's so ready and my heart is full for this shift in his life. But we miss him so right now.

Cedar handled the last few days as well as he could with a mostly empty house and big pieces of furniture and boxes being moved out of our home one by one. I was wondering when he would express his emotions in a big way over it all and that happened a few minutes before leaving for the airport. He woke from his nap, came out to the living room, saw that it was completely empty and plopped his whole body on the ground, laid down and cried "mama, no mama, no mama!" So, I held him close and that was the moment I chose to breathe and gently look around to honor all that has transpired in this home.

And now we venture forward, never again stepping foot into those four walls and instead walking into a home we have only seen through photos. It feels like a brave leap wrapped up in TRUST. Mmmmmm.  Medicine for our souls.