finally able to hang the hammock we've had all these years

I'm moving so much slower these days, folks. Not in a lethargic way. But in a peaceful way. After so many years of yearning, stretching, reaching, going, wanting, I am finally being still. My mind feels quieter, simpler. My heart feels less complicated. I didn't think this was possible and I am not questioning it too much. But everything feels more fluid and our rhythm feels soft and lazy and in the moment. At first it felt foreign to me, like I was missing something and I ached, perhaps even grieved the noise that used to be inside of me but I think I was detoxing and now I am feeling more cleansed and open and able to hear the bird songs and gaze into a neighbors eyes longer and be perfectly fine observing Cedar in his world without needing to upload the photo immediately to the internet. Just simpler. Pausing. Listening. Stillness.

I told a friend this week that I think this is meditation for me. I thought I would come here and just devour the wisdom the Pacific Northwest had to offer but I notice rather than harvest it all, I am sitting with it, being IN it...and letting it speak to me slowly. One voice at a time. One plant at a time. One flower at a time.

cedar gathering our flowers in a mason jar

I went on a walk today with a few neighbor ladies. Twice my age. Sage's, they are. One of them took me through her enchanting over grown garden. She showed me how to dig a plant and re-plant it. She showed me which flowers of hers I could take to my yard. A young man came out from behind her house and she introduced me. Told me she just met him today at a pizza place and he was new in town and needed some work. He had kind big blue eyes and unruly blond hair. He reminded me of Cedar and how he may be when older. I invited him over to our place to show him what is growing around us and how I plan to plant tons and tons of lavender. I feel connected to lavender. I want it everywhere. He had just spent some time with a lavender farmer at the market. It was serendipity.

lavender we just planted on the side of the house

He sat with us and shared his vision of sustainable communal living while sitting on our front lawn in lotus position. My husband was laying in the hammock nearby, listening. Cedar was rolling a ball over to him while he talked. He offered to help us with our gardening. And I just found my heart full. My phone wasn't near. My laptop tucked away upstairs. For a second, I felt what it was to be living a life how it would be without technology and I wanted more of it. What would that be like? To just be so fully available to what is in front of you? I think I have felt so distracted for so long and now there is so much clearing. I am pondering it all.

My sister is coming tomorrow for a week. I am hoping being here is as healing this time as it was last time for her.

Sending each of you stillness. Om. One love.

wild and free*

I have some pretty yummy stuff to document about my trip to British Columbia, Canada but not the time to do it yet. I want to put it somewhere, so I can look back and cherish, read it to Cedar and savor the memory of his first time in his father's country. Just to offer a slice, some of the stories have to do with my head being pooped on, me losing my phone downtown to be found again and a dreadlocked beauty who reads my blog bravely approaching me that I cannot stop thinking about.  She was magic.

This was a full week. A dear friend was in town and we soaked her in as much as possible. She is a dream. Also a bit of an emotional week for me having to do with one of my sisters. Some stuff I don't feel comfortable sharing in public but wanted to say something, so that those of you that come to this space with your big hearts and intuition will already know to lift it up in prayer and meditation and send healing thoughts to her and the rest of my family.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this shot of Cedar I took the day before yesterday. It was in the morning, still in his jammies, with his new boots on and excited to see how they felt running down our street. Been trying to find little toddler Uggs at the consignment shops here but they must go fast, so we couldn't wait and he loves these and that is awesome because he usually only likes to wear shoes with animals on them! This image of Cedar is so totally him with his wild joy and free spirit.

I am writing this on my steps with my Nia pants on and a tank and some brand new walking/running shoes. I don't remember the last time I stepped out in work out shoes. All of my walks out in nature have been lazed and lovely and slow and mindful. I embraced that slowness my body, soul and mind needed. But I feel ready. Ready to get my body moving, to let my blood flow and work through stuff stirring around in my soul. So today it begins. As I move my bod, time alone, music in my ears, I will think of this image of Cedar and draw from his wild and free ways.

{your stories in my previous post have moved me deep. and the times i came here to write a post, i chose to just read your words. i've needed to hear so much of this wisdom and insight and just raw spilling. i think so many of us have. thank utterly humbled and grateful for your bravery}

something you learned about yourself*

I tried to post today about our trip to Victoria during Cedar's afternoon nap.  I have some awesome stories and images to share about our time there.  I was all comfy and set up with my veggie frittata (see photo above) and our local plant book and even Cedar's favorite lion near to cuddle me.  But I ended up catching up on email.  I am so behind.  Crazily behind.  My loved ones are the most patient souls on this earth when it comes to me not responding on email or being able to pick up the phone.

Anyways, all this to say that I still wanted to show up but rather than write a post today, I would like to hear from you.  Because the folks that come over to this space are just so awe inspiring and I always learn from your insights and sharings and so do those that read the comments.

So tell me, if inspired to share, what is something you learned about yourself this month?  A message or a moment that helped shift things to a more peaceful space within yourself?  Cedar just woke up, so I must run upstairs and snuggle him good but I will be commenting as well soon.

{for the roasted veggie frittata recipe linked in my post, i replaced cheese with Daiya vegan cheddar cheese and rice milk in place of the light cream and i also added a layer of cooked wild rice at the bottom for texture! it is sooo good. i made it twice and both my boys LOVE it.  see image here.}

7 years*

boho boy & me yesterday in downtown victoria

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

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

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

giveaway winners*

cedar & me gazing out the bedroom window upstairs, taken by boho boy

The winner of the Bodhichitta Botanicals massage oil medley is: Dreamer Becky!

The winner of the Texture mini skirt is: Annaelyse!

Congrats lovelies! Send me an email {denise(at)} and I will be sure to get you in contact with Anna of Bodhichitta & Teresa of Texture!

My boys and I are off to British Columbia for the weekend. A bit of a spontaneous trip! It will be Cedar's very first ferry boat ride and he will not stop talking about seeing seaplanes! Is it sad that what I am looking forward to the most is a scoop of Tiger Tail ice cream?!? I am my father's daughter. We both love black licorice.

Blessings to you all this weekend.


Bodhichitta Botanicals ~ GIVEaway*

Right before our move to Washington, I received a very warm and kind message from one of the owners, Anna of Bodhichitta Botanicals.  She knew from reading my blog that I was under both physical and emotional stress and she wanted to gift me some healing goodness for the move.  I was so touched by the impeccable timing of her email.   Shortly thereafter, I received a package of her line of Peaceful Journey lotion, shower gel, bubble bath, massage oil and body balm.  She had kindly sent it to my sister's house since I was stopping there on the way to Washington.  Just the name of it alone "Peaceful Journey" was healing enough but oh my goodness, when I opened up the package and smelled the deliciousness, I was hooked.  The packaging is gorgeous and earthy and the quality of the products are simply awesome.  I have not stopped using it since.  Here is a bit about the magic they offer:

Bodhichitta Botanicals is a line of wild-crafted, energizing skin care products that bring healing and restoration to the mind, body, spirit alliance, so that the whole of you can move through life with a natural strength and grace.

Through the power of flowers and herbs, environmental attributes and active minerals, Bodhichitta Botanicals lift your emotions, heighten your energies and reveal your true self—the fabulous wonderful you that sometimes gets lost in life’s shuffle.

They would like to give away to one of my readers a "massage oil medley" from each of their collections - Nurture The Goddess, Peaceful Journey, Wild & Free and Sacred Temple (see photo above).

If you would like to enter the GIVEaway, please leave a comment (one per person, please) and the winner will be chosen at random towards the end of the week.  Comments will be closed Thursday at midnight.  The winner of this giveaway and the Texture giveaway from last week will be announced this weekend!

i heart botanical paint*

Last night while we were preparing for Cedar's nightly rhythm, I said to him..."when you wake up in the morning, there will be a surprise!" His face lit up with a smile wider than usual " a soupwize??" he asked. Of course he was suddenly inspired to walk up the stairs and into the bed. As I held him until he fell asleep, he kept saying "soupwize" and then sighing.  Once he fell asleep and I went back downstairs, I said to Boho Boy,  "if he remembers when he wakes up, then he is far too smarty for a 2 year old!" Guess what happened. As soon as he opened his eyes this morning, he looked at me and whispered "goo-mownin! soupwize, mama??".

I wasn't sure what he was going to think about it. I had a feeling he was imagining and dreamed all night about some cool car or train but what I handed him was a gift that Boho Boy's dear friend and previous assitant (when he was a Librarian) gifted to Cedar right before we moved. It was a wooden birdhouse...waiting to be painted and hung on one of our trees. We are blessed with a plethora of beautiful birds that visit our neighborhood. We wake up to melodies every morning and we were told that the man living in this home previous to us had many bird houses throughout the trees. I wasn't sure Cedar would be into it, although I know he loves to paint on his easel. When I handed it to him and told him that his surprise was that we get to go outside and paint this birdhouse, he was totally delighted and my heart melted.

So, I brought his table and chairs outside in the late morning, under a tree and we took out our Glob natural paints for the first time. These paints are pigments made from fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices. They smell delicious and the colors are gorgeous. I think the bottles are so pretty I want to use them to decorate!

This morning, painting with him under the tree, listening to acoustic music and the birds singing and saying hello to our neighbors passing by...was one of the most favorite mornings of my life. We just sat there quietly painting together. Comfortably in silence. I enjoy his company so, so much.

{cedar's fisherman pants were made especially for him by my friend em...who added a darling patch with trees! i have a feeling cedar will always have some sort of tree theme in his life}

feeling butterflies and flustered*

{ at woods coffee a few weeks ago }

The Summer months are Boho Boy's nuttiest with his business as it all ties around education and school begins late August. All of his databases need to be running smoothly and ready for the school rush. This means long long hours into the night sometimes. It also means not a lot of relief for me, so we agreed that we should hire a babysitter for one or two nights a week so I can breathe. I needed this time to work on my niece's engagement session but now that those images are processed, I am sitting here catching up on hundreds of emails that I have been unable to nurture.

This particular babysitter night, Boho Boy is sitting near me at the coffee shop. Usually he stays at home to work but he needed a haircut, so down the street he went to an Aveda salon and an hour later, in he walks looking like a totally different dude. I adored his long hair. So, I didn't expect to feel butterflies. But there he was. Reminding me of the guy I met in 2002.


{i've been told this should be their album cover}


{taken a few minutes ago at the coffee shop}

There was something else entirely that I was going to write about. But I feel a bit flustered. So I think I will just keep this post about his new do.

It reminds me of when we were first together, walking down the streets of downtown Santa Barbara and people kept staring at him, like he was a movie star. I think they thought he was Robert Downey Jr...but taller, so they were confused. On our first date, we were sitting outside of a restaurant on a bench that was up against the restaurant window. Behind us was this couple sitting at their table near the window. I looked back and noticed quite a few times that they were staring and when I told Boho Boy this, he started acting like a monkey, picking things out of my hair and eating them. This is the type of stuff he does. He loves to get a reaction out of people. Needless to say, on our first date, as I laughed so hard I was crying, I already began falling.

I see so much humor in Cedar too. He constantly makes himself laugh and tries to make others laugh. It brings him joy. So, I am living with two funny dudes.

And no...I am not cutting Cedar's hair.

on manifesting and introvert~ness*

me wearing goddess tee by the lovely and intoxicating terri fischer and bliss pants by intertwine designs

About 6 years ago, Boho Boy and I were one of our many vacations on Vancouver Island, in Victoria, BC. We were driving around some beautiful ocean side neighborhoods, excitedly dreaming, wishing, hoping that this could be possible for us one day. We were newly married and had a lot to figure out when it came to how we would get there but in that moment, all we wanted to do was dream. There was this house near the water, tucked away in trees. A tiny silver boat was tied to their own private dock at the side/back. We imagined they would take quick trips to downtown Victoria for the farmers market or what have you. As we drove even slower pass the house, we noticed there was a woman and a young girl crouched down by a bush near the front fence. The woman had a bowl tucked into her arm and one by one, her and the young girl were plucking blackberries and dropping them into the bowl.  Boho Boy and I looked at one another with big sighs. "I want that someday when we have a family" we both said in our own words. Often, when that dream felt so far off, we would talk about that moment and the possibility of that dream for us to keep us going.  Eventually, well, the last few years before moving here to be exact, we stopped talking about it because in all honesty, it ached too much.

Just a few days ago while on a walk I realized something. We live in a home in the Pacific Northwest, tucked away in the trees, a block away from a bay where we canoe and kayak... and every morning, we take Cedar to the side of the house to pick raspberries for breakfast. "Honey!" I said..."It really happened for us. We are living that dream." Of course there were a few jokes tossed around because Boho Boy cannot whisper a word without humor interlaced.  Like its raspberries instead of blackberries and Washington instead of British Columbia...but it is so close, non?  It gives us chills.  The power of speaking our dreams out loud.  The power of manifesting.  The power of vision boards.  The power of prayer.  The power of meditation.  All of it.  Just gives me chills.  And I am living proof that the dream may not turn out exactly how we envisioned (I am not talking raspberries here, but adoption rather than conception) but if we stay close to our desires.  If we whisper them or shout them or write them down or release them...if we BELIEVE them...we find ourselves one day looking around and realizing we are in it.

About a month ago, I found myself needing to pull back from the Internet a bit more.  I had shared on my blog and with my loved ones before moving here that I wanted to be on the Internet less so that I could be more present to what surrounded me and our new home.  For the first few weeks that was simple to do.  We were settling in and exploring new territory, meeting our neighbors, etc.  But I found myself opening up my laptop again to reach out and connect.  The last 10 years of my life was full of beautiful relationships and events and projects and documented journeys online and it was an integral part of my growth and journey.   The more I connected online while here, the more I noticed I wasn't feeling open to connect with my  neighbors or meet up with a dear friend.  I also am aware that Cedar seeing me on my laptop these days causes him stress (little smarty), which causes me stress and then we both get grumpy.  When online, I was connected to this extraordinary, earthy, deep and richly layered group of women and because they are all SO rad, it was so hard for me to not want to swim in their unique and powerful energies all day long.  But my intuition was telling me to pull in and go outside and meditate and pray and rediscover what my energy is.  I am attracted to and attract such powerful soulful women in my life and it can be so easy to be inspired and influence by their gifts.  This is my most favorite thing about the Internet.  How it connects us to like-minded spirits.  But I am in this space where I am needing to reconnect with my voice, my heart, my core values, my spirituality...because I am feeling less grounded and more swept up.  I am also in a space of knowing that I need to relearn how to connect with others in the flesh.  I had grown so comfortable with email and phone and random visits here and there but when my neighbor the other day came over to say hello, I found myself totally awkward with being caught off guard.  With email, we can sit down when the house is quiet or we are taking breaks.  Same with phone calls.  But what about when life is messy or loud or busy or I am tired or not showered with a greasy head of dreads and my friend pops over?  I don't want to hide or shy away from those real life moments.  I desire to feel at ease with the day to day in-person relationships that most people have but I haven't had for years.

Me quieting the Internet noise has opened up a lot of clarity for me about how I am in this world and I have a lot to learn but one thing that has really shifted all of this for me is coming to the realization that I am an Introvert.  When I decided to pull back from the Internet (which meant deactivating my FB account, barely on email and blogging a bit less), I reached out to a few friends to let them know where I would be.  One of them is my dear sister-friend Susannah.  She is in the throws of the finishing touches of her book (editing phase...yay!!), so of course, I also wanted to check in with her about that journey before I drifted off into fae-land.  She passionately shared with me that she most recently had a realization and took the Myers Briggs test online to confirm that she was indeed an Introvert (she shares about being an Introvert in this video blog).  This awareness helped her realize so much about herself in a positive, affirming light.  She shared it with me because she said she thought of me and wondered if I may be an Introvert as well.  She sent me this article: 10 Myths about Introverts and for the past 3 weeks, I have been marinating in the idea that so much of how I groove in this world makes more sense as an Introvert.  I noticed this article is making its way around the Internet and I find it so fitting that many of us bloggers are part of this community of Introverts (type in the words introvert and blog into google and you'll find a ton!).  I am soaking in and loving that what I sense from others is an empowering vibe surrounding this whole idea.

For so long I have attributed so much of my need to be alone in order to rejuvenate or my overwhelm in groups or crowds (online or in person) or my sensitivity to noise or my way of being quiet unless I had something meaningful to say and so so much more (read article linked above) to me being an Empath.  And I know much of that gift of empathy ties into my story but I also am relieved to know there are more layers to it.  I am relieved to know that I am okay and  it is not about being overly shy or insecure or  a recluse or anti-social.  That my need to pull in is about self care, self-love, self preservation and nurturing, so that I can be more centered (and more present for those that are close in my life).

I know this post has been a bit all over the place.  I suppose I had a lot to share...but I also know I will be exploring this quite a bit more in this space, the more I swim around in these waters of awareness.  Sus suggested I get this book.  Perhaps some of you, after reading this, are no longer feeling alone now too.

auntie dd came to fae-land*

I know my family would prefer that I live within walking distance or a short drive away in Northern California and so many times, perhaps on a daily basis, I ache to have them near to witness our life unfold and me witness theirs. This is why I have a private family blog where I post many (I mean many) photos every single day for them to see. I carry my iPhone with me everywhere I go and bless Cedar for fully grasping the why of that now. Sometimes he'll even pose for me, knowing that it is for our family.

I have been so grateful of how supportive they have been of this move. They knew how rough it was for us living in that condo loft 3 stories high away from nature and surrounded by concrete once we had Cedar. They were worried about our illness and constant lung infections and by the time we left, all they wanted for us was relief. None of them had been to Bellingham, so of course there was concern but they had learned to accept and honor and sometimes even celebrate my gypsy ways. ; )

A few weeks into us living here, I heard a shift in all of their voices. A shift from worry to excitement. I heard things like "you live in paradise" or "fae land" or "its so enchanting". Each of them anxious to visit, knowing not only will they see us but they will feel like they are on vacation. Now they get it. They get why we fell deeply in love with this place. They get how this town just wraps around us so warmly and perfectly like a glove. How the energy here, the people and their chill, earthy, conscious ways are so kindred and like minded to us. It feels so good to have their support and it feels even better to finally provide them with a space to stay and relax (our other space was too tiny for more than one person to stay over).

It was so dreamy to have my niece Angela and her fiance here almost a month ago (I cannot wait to share photos from their engagement session soon...if they will let me! Please??). She was the first of my side of the family to stay in our home and my heart melted when she reported back to the family how happy we were and how in love with this town she was. A few weeks later, her dear oldest sister Darlene aka "Auntie DD" came to play.

Cedar and Auntie DD share such a unique connection. I swear they are on the same brainwavelength (is that a word? If not, I like it anyways). Darlene has always been able to enter into a child's way of thinking and explore their world in such a magical way. It is so absolutely fun to watch and of course Cedar is deeply enchanted by and attached to her. Every time she is with him and then leaves, we notice he does what we call "Auntie DD-isms"...a new language or a new way of play or a new world they created together that sticks with him and becomes part of his quirkiness. So, I just think they are both quirky souls. ; )

I am so grateful for this relationship between them. He needs it and deserves it and is so nourished by it.

When my older sisters were having babies and raising them, I was in my pre to late teenage years (they had their babes when they were 19 or 20 years old). I lived an hour from them and needless to say, was a bit consumed and wrapped up in my own busy High School/College/Gypsy world. I was the young aunt that I think was seen more as a sister to my nieces and nephews. I know I wasn't around as much as my sisters may have needed and of course until I was a mother, I didn't quite get how they may have needed me. I know for the most part, they knew my heart and understood the place I was in my life. And my nieces and nephews always felt my love.  I cherished and adored being the aunt they would tell their secrets to (and share clothes with!). But now that I am a mother in my late 30's and not around family, I appreciate so so much everything each of them does to stay connected to Cedar. I will never take this for granted and I know Cedar will not either.

It was wonderful to see Darlene thriving after breathing in the fresh ocean air of Bellingham. Her strength was endless. She has had Lupus for over 20 years and we never know how traveling will be on her bones. Well, I am sooo happy to say that what surrounds our home is medicine to her bones! One of my most favorite memories is when she went on a walk alone with a basket and returned with a bouquet of wild flowers she had picked in our neighborhood to adorn our house with. Another one is our date together. We went out to dinner ALONE and had a pretty pink drink and talked for hours about psychic gifts, God, Jesus and witches. You know...she just gets me. She allows so much room for how my heart beats and how my mind thinks. She gently respects and honors our differences and that is all anyone needs to feel safe in a relationship, right?  Our ten year difference in age has shifted from her mothering me to her honoring me as a mother (she said this is the most independent she has ever seen me) and being my sister and close friend.  And I love when her nose gets pink when she's had a drink.  ; )

A few more photos from our time together...

Texture GIVEaway*

Teresa (owner of Texture Clothing) and I are so excited to offer this giveaway! The Texture Mini Comfort Skirt has been a staple in my wardrobe. It is a yummy layering piece. I wear it alone or with leggings ,over pants and a fun one, is wearing it on top of a Comfy Skirt (see this in the photo below...with my friend Marybeth also wearing a Texture Mini Skirt!).

Teresa is offering to my readers one Texture Mini Comfort Skirt!  All you need to do is leave a comment (one comment per person, please).  The winner will be chosen at random.  It will be such an awesome piece of Summer clothing and then when the weather gets a bit colder, it can be used to add a splash of color to your warmer pieces.

Teresa is also graciously offering a discount this month to my readers (offer expires August 19th).  The discount is 20% off of your purchase.  When ordering, you must enter the code BOHO.  I don't go a day without wearing something from Texture.  Her pieces are so so comfy and stretchy and they flatter my curves.  The colors are divine and earthy and everything is made in an eco-conscious way. LOVE.

This giveaway begins now and comments will be shut off by 10pm on Wednesday, July 20th.

Thank you, Teresa...for your big, beautiful giving heart!

marybeth & me in our texture mini skirts!

self soothing chant*

As long as we can remember, Cedar has closed his eyes when wanting to savor something, whether it be food or a song he is singing or music/instruments he is listening to or when he is swinging in a swing.  Moments that move him.

This was our first canoe ride outside of the bay that is down the street from our home.  This time we had to drive to our destination and pull the canoe down to a dock.  The cliffs towered above him, the islands surrounded us. He was a bit afraid and unsure as the waters had more movement than the calm waters near our home.  This is how he chose to calm himself.  The organic lollipop he found in my purse helped too.  It totally worked as a pretty microphone. ; )

I love the way he self soothes.  It reaches into a place inside of him that is so ancient and deep.  Then he opens his eyes and its back into the present world of childlike play..."Airplane!".  ; )

orange & blue*

In my Color Theory class in design school, I learned that orange and blue are opposites on the color wheel, which makes all tones and hues of these colors complementary to one another. I promise I wasn't planning this when we decided to get Cedar an ice cream cone. But I am really happy about the colors and cuteness here!

Another thing I learned (WE learned) is to not give Cedar orange sherbert from an ice cream parlor for a very very long time. He went WILD with a sugar rush (we don't typically give him sugar, just honey). I think he went to bed at midnight this night. It was both hilarious and every morsel of his body needed to be moving for hours. I know if he could have done them, he would have done a million back flips. I will just stick to giving him my homemade orange dreamsicles with Dynamo juice (from Trader Joes) and vanilla rice milk thankyouverymuch.  My sweet wild child.

I heart complementary colors together.  Something to think about when you're designing your home.


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.


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.

welcoming in july*

The rain is now a mist. The sun stretching its rays above us. Flowers we never knew we had are beginning to bloom around our home. I've paddled a Canoe. Cedar has fished with his daddy. Marybeth (seen with basket above) nourishes us with strawberries at the park. We painted a picnic table for our back yard a gorgeous turquoise while Cedar was napping. We also drank root beer floats that day. My neighbor lets me come over and pick flowers to put in my mason jars. She has an enchanting garden. A witch once lived in her house. I think it was cast with a garden spell. I found a gorgeous antique cabinet for my tinctures and nature medicine. We sleep in and stay up late. My niece is coming tomorrow with her fiance. I am taking engagement photos of them. I plan on doing one downtown with a vintage bike and ice cream cones. My new favorite flavor of ice cream is licorice and orange. Cedar is awesome at balancing himself on big logs laying on the ground. He also stands on boulders and pretends its a stage. I am trying to hoola hoop but cannot keep it on my waist. I am being patient. I am rarely on the computer. My life has completely shifted. I am craving quiet and peace and solitude in nature. I am feeling God. I want to sit with the Dalai Lama. I wish I could walk with Buddha. I am having conversations with Jesus. I am resting on Mother Earth. I am crying with Father Sky. I am bleeding with Sister Moon. I am listening to and honoring my needs. I am navigating my way through parenting while trying to stay aware of my projections and Cedar's heart and needs. I am in awe of how funny both of my boys are. I am just


nature's medicine*

I have stinging nettles in my back yard (and some in my front...oh and on the side!).

They grow here without me needing to plant them. They are REALLY good for you.  Nature's medicine!  They also hurt like mad if you touch them a certain way.  One day when we first moved here, my boys and I were on a hike and we went off the beaten path and I fell into a patch.  I was shocked at the instant, harsh burning on my legs and arms...then the deep itch that felt it couldn't be itched.  Then the many swollen bumps. Then the achy numbness for a few days.  I will admit, right when it happened, I cried like a baby.  I am totally okay admitting that.  ; ) Because of  my physical reaction, I stayed away from my nettles for a few weeks...even though I was hearing of friends making soups and teas and intentionally touching them to feel the sting, to build an immunity, to listen to the pain and connect to it...or to help soothe their arthritis.  I felt stubborn for a bit.  I was actually a bit angry with this plant.   It hurt me!  Although when I would walk outside, I felt a pull to them.  I would stare at them for a long while...and watch them sway in the wind.  I felt like my fear of them was teaching me something.  That there are always messages in the pain.  Messages we need to hear in order to grow.  The pain does not come from the root.  Am I rooted?

I decided to get up close.  I studied them.  I felt less afraid.  I knew they were fierce plants and in their fierceness, offered medicine that we needed.  I went back to the house and grabbed my basket.  And my gloves.  I can still receive their medicine, with a bit of a boundary to protect myself.  I still felt the sting but ever so lightly and just enough to connect to that pain.  To feel alive.  To help remind me that so much wisdom comes from pain.  I talked with them when picking each one.  I thanked them for what they had to offer.  I got a sense that they softened towards me.  That they felt understood.  In those moments, I truly felt the heartbeat of life from the earth.  Those moments of clarity and connection that come to us when we are quiet in nature, away from the noise.  I want more of those.

I dried some leaves for tea.  I used the raw ones for a soup.  The soup tasted like pureed artichoke dipped in butter with a dash of salt.  Yummmm.   I used this recipe but I substituted blended soft tofu in place of heavy cream and nonfat greek yogurt in place of sour cream.  I also included crushed garlic along with the onions when sauteing in the beginning.

I am so grateful that being here, surrounded by so much lushness, has me connecting deeper to what nature offers us beyond just solace.  I am so inspired by Susun Weed these days...among a few others in my life, that take care of themselves and those they love with what  comes from the earth:  Nature's medicine cabinet of  healing and love.  Its in my back yard!   Mmmmm.