Sunday, March 23

tales of the iguana*

me & my new hat, canon digital rebel xti

I finally purchased a cowgirl hat. This will make Mermie very very happy. I like how the little holes reflect on my skin...like faerie dust.

Some of you may have figured out by my previous post that a few of my angel-friends gathered together unbeknownst to us and surprised us with a romantic getaway at the Emerald Iguana Inn, tucked into this sweet little town.

We had an unexpected fall through with a birth mom that each of us know was all meant to be but still very painful and this was my friends beautiful way of wrapping there arms around us and gifting us with healing.

Our time in Ojai was absolutely divine. I cannot express in words how grateful we both feel. Every night, as we shut off the light in our room to close our eyes, Boho Boy would say..."thank you friends" out loud. I felt they were all there with us...snuggled up in the clawfoot tub that rested beside our bed, clapping and giggling and waving their hands in a happy dance.

I must say it was the clawfoot tub in the room that was the rockstar of the whole trip. We took baths twice a day. The tub was outside of the bathroom and sat underneath a window overlooking the back porch a few feet away from our king size bed. Very private, very functional, totally cool. We now would like to put a tub in our bedroom when we build a house someday. It just feels so vintage and unique.

Down the street from our hotel was a place called Rainbow Bridge, which was the cutest health food store and restaurant. We ate there for most of our meals because the food was just so wholesome and delicious and the menu changed three times a day. It totally catered to our high maintenance gluten free, dairy free, yeast free diets! We were actually considered normal there, where as anywhere else the waiters say "HUH?...umm you basically can't eat anything on the menu, dudes". All the locals dine there, so it was an awesome experience to meet and observe all the granola crunchy peeps in town, which we discovered Ojai is brimming over with boho hippies of all colors and flavors.

Ojai has a small downtown of just a few blocks, all Spanish style decor and architecture...very old world feel. Beyond the downtown are stretches of land with various farms and ranches. Beautiful landscapes, parks, hiking trails. The neighborhoods near town are so quaint and full of character. Some really gorgeous Victorian style homes and mini Spanish villas.

Our favorite moment was discovering an outside bookstore on the corner of a street. The building had bookshelves built into the outside wall that you could see from the street full of old books and when they close up shop for the night, there is a slot in the front door to put money in if you want one of those books on the outside. When you walked inside, there were no walls or ceilings, just partitions and rain covers over each book shelf. There was a bookstore kitty cat called Sheba that gracefully showed everyone around and would let you pet her if you were nice. Most of the books were used. Every corner had a funky old couch or vintage chair. This alone made us want to move there.

We found our favorite bar at a restaurant called Azu where we sat and had passion fruit Mojitos and chatted up the young cutie bartender. It is here that we discovered Portuguese Lemon, Chicken & Mint soup that we tried to recreate last night at home (Schmoopy...you would so dig this recipe). The bartender explained to us what it was like living there. That it was so small that everyone knew every body's business and yet it has a magical, spiritual feel very similar to Sedona, Arizona. I found this to be so true. The nice thing is that Santa Barbara is only 32 miles away for the locals to escape into a totally different type of paradise.

Ojai is East and away from the ocean but it sits below all these mountain ranges. It is covered in gorgeous flowers and blooming trees. Our hotel was a little oasis tucked in the back behind all the neighborhoods. Huge trees circled it and hid it from passers by. It was a series of big and small cottages that resembled hobbit homes. In the middle of all these cottages was a pool and spa with wooden chairs and beds with comfy cushions. We sat here many times reading under an umbrella.

We had a massage once a day for two days in a row. We didn't realize they hooked us up with the best MT in town. She was this tall, gorgeous soft spoken blond. She had an aura around her that permeated our room. She worked on each of us in our room for one hour. When I was with her, I felt completely healed. I found myself tearing up both times. She never asked why. She just did some healing energy work on me after the massage. When it was our last day with her, we ended up sitting and talking with her on our huge bed. She told us about her and her husband being caretakers at this huge ranch down the road and how he does healing work too. He also is a guide for Safari's in Africa. We all hit it off so well that she gave me her card and told me to keep in touch please. I would love to photograph her someday.

So, I am sharing all this because the entire trip felt magical and purposeful. Like the angels in my life guided us to a spiritual place where healing was at every turn. On the drive there and back (3 hours there, four hours on the way back), we listened to a Wayne Dyer CD about there being a "spiritual solution to every problem". Much of it was about the power of our thoughts on our bodies and in our worlds. This left us opening our minds and hearts in different directions than we have been heading lately.

So, I am back and as much as I am feeling refreshed, healed and showered in magic and love...I spent a lot of yesterday letting my tears flow. I know that often happens when coming down from a bit of a high. I had gone to the grocery store to pick stuff up for our soup and every magazine near the checkout stand had photos of film stars pregnant or holding their newborns; Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, Jessica Alba...the list goes on. I sat in my car and wept. I think it was because I felt like I was in a bubble for three full days away from the pain and reality of the most recent adoption fall through and the confusion of whether to press on or try to conceive for a few months. I would like to learn to bring the wisdom and magic from this trip into my every day, despite the reminders that float around me that I do not yet hold my child and that not adopting this most recent baby feels like such a huge loss to me. I realize this takes time and I am being gentle with myself.

So, I came home from the tabloid ridden grocery store and cried a bit more in Boho Boy's chest. And guess what he did? He actually made me laugh. Really hard. Acting out a few funny scenes. So many of my fears melted away. Where did I find this man? Oh, that's right...in Canada. ; )

I know that Boho Boy couldn't be in this head space to joke about it unless we went on this trip. And I wouldn't be in the head space to laugh about it unless I went on this trip and this is why we are so grateful.

By the way...I happen to be ovulating during our trip. No joke. So, this is my first month ever doing thyroid meds and progesterone, which is what my newest doctor thinks was the problem all along. So who knows...perhaps if conception occurred, we'll be naming our kid after the inn which would mean their name would be Emerald or Iguana. ; )

We are beginning to rediscover the balance, the happy medium of still trying to conceive, as well as letting go and allowing the birth mom that feels just as right and wonderful as the last one, to come into our life. We have many other blessings to focus on in our life and will put our energies there for now.

In the mean time, I have another healing retreat to attend to. On Tuesday morning I fly out to New York to be with Thea for three full yummy days. We are stealing away in a hotel room to let it all out and hold that comfortable space with one another about our fertility journeys and the most recent happenings. How beautiful it is to have people in our lives that fully resonate with every morsel of what you're feeling. I haven't seen her since Winter of 2006. I miss her gorgeous face. I hope to photograph this stunning friend of mine and report back with some scrumptious shots of our time together.

ps. boho boy and i did not do a music video...sorry. we were WAY too busy playing in that cool bath tub!!! ; )


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well congratulations on having such a fine trip! I'm so happy for you both and loved reading about your story! You are a beautiful couple and guess what - Canadians Rule!! I'm glad you found your hunky Canadian man - they are the best kind ;)

March 23, 2008 at 7:21:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

such a gorgeous photo. i'm so glad that you and your husband had a lovely, refreshing time. it sounds beautiful. your friends are wise and generous souls.

March 23, 2008 at 7:24:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sending you so much love and warmth! your trip sounds amazing and healing.


March 23, 2008 at 8:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger AnnaC said...

So glad that you enjoyed your trip!
I grew up in Oxnard, so Ojai was like our back yard and yet a world away.

I used to go there to visit Meditation Mount...if you didn't make it there this time, you should try it sometime. It is another one of those magical places with so much energy.

March 23, 2008 at 9:53:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You write so beautifully, I am envisioning your weekend away in my head, and you paint a glorious picture. You are such a strong woman and I look up to you even though I haven't met you :)

March 23, 2008 at 10:01:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ojai is a magical, spiritual place and I know for a fact that miracles happen there.

March 23, 2008 at 10:46:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Toni M Photography said...


March 24, 2008 at 2:38:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Jennifer said...

An outdoor bookstore. This vision has been in my head for years. I always thought bookstores should be outside. Oh my goodness you made my day simply knowing that one of them exist is the world. Now I am going to have to find out how to visit it.

It seems like you had such an amazing retreat away with your Boho Boy. How simply wonderful. And the magic of that trip is held within you...you were able to find it in your laughter together.

I wish the best for you my dear boho girl. I know this journey is tough for you but my dear it will all come together...I can feel it in my heart for you. Best wishes. and a giant hug!!

March 24, 2008 at 11:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Shel said...

my sister's best friend lives out on a huge ranch in ojai. hoping to get out to visit in the near future. now i want to go even more.

as for the name? you should totally go with ojai. i think it could work for a boy or a girl. ;)

March 24, 2008 at 2:38:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohhh... Tell me you took lots of photo's!? I would LOVE for you to share some!

That sounds so... well, as you said, "magical!"

March 24, 2008 at 3:37:00 PM PDT  
Blogger all over the map said...

What a wonderful experience. Funny, I was trying on cowgirlie hats a couple of weekends ago. I've been wanting one, and well you may have just convinced me. (I too like the wee sparkles on your face)
Everything you described made me want to be there. The yummy, wholesome, delicious food, the warm, friendly people, the experience, the quiet time with your boy, the feel, the book shop, the town. Oh. Pure bliss. I'm so glad it was a healing trip. I love that bb said thank you each night out loud.
I can imagine how it felt a bit overwhleming to come back to the rush of daily life, even if you yourself aren't rushing, it's all around you. It's great that you could laugh amidst your tears.
Emerald has a nice ring to it. ;)

March 24, 2008 at 5:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

That photo with the sprinkles of fairy light on your scrumtious cheeks just freakin rocks!

The retreat sounds beyond magical.

I love you two and everything cool, gentle, spiritual and giggly about you.

I am so looking forward to holding you in my arms darling.

I have missed your face and laugh like crazy.


March 25, 2008 at 4:41:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Kirsten Michelle said...

i was going to say it sounds like your angels found you and your boy the most perfect spot...but of course they did, that's what angels do best ;-)
enjoy your girly time away with thea.

March 25, 2008 at 11:38:00 AM PDT  
Blogger pERiWinKle said...

Hi Sweet Bohogirl,

Thinking of you back home...

feeling all the feelings...

embracing them with you...

i know how hard it can be...

be gentle with your soul...

One of these days we are going to dance the dance of life with you!

Love you. Big hug xx

March 25, 2008 at 12:24:00 PM PDT  
Blogger jon-erik said...

Ha Ha..Emerald Iguana Kroon...I can see it now....
Great cow girl hat you look yummy...the light that falls on your face looks like freckles...I am proud of you both and miss you both.....hey denise maybe all your blogger friends should each send ya a picture in our fav. hats...and a small paragraph as to why its our fav. hat..... ya know all hats have stories to tell.

March 25, 2008 at 2:05:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Darlene said...

you look like a little girl in that hat :)

miss you sis
miss you a ton


March 25, 2008 at 3:25:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lisa said...

ahhhhh....this is the way life is meant to be lived!

March 25, 2008 at 8:59:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wondered if you have seen this link on the BBC. May be of interest.


March 26, 2008 at 8:14:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Swirly said...

That picture of you is FOXY!!!

March 26, 2008 at 3:21:00 PM PDT  
Blogger jen said...

I love this photo of you, and thank you for your blog in all its wisdom.

I was wondering what type of lens you used for this portrait, and if/how you altered it after taking it. I just received a canon rebel xti, and none of my photos ever look even close to this! Any help would be much appreciated!

March 27, 2008 at 9:47:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love looking at your blog. You have great photographs. I'm 12 and I have a business making hand-made jewelry. I just started a site on ETSY and a blog about my work. I like checking your blog out. I think that if I didn't have a business making jewelry, I would be totally into photography. It seems really interesting to me. Cambria

March 27, 2008 at 8:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger jenica said...

what pretty light on your face!

wouldn't that just be delish if you do conceive from this trip?!? it would be like your bestie's all rallied together and gave you a baby!

happy thea time!

March 28, 2008 at 5:51:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giant HUGS to you on this journey.

March 29, 2008 at 1:06:00 PM PDT  
Blogger dean said...

I lived in Ojai for one year, and it is truly a place of renewal. My favourite thing to do was go hiking with the dogs in the low, burn hills, with avocado and orange groves meeting the path.

Even the town's laundromat was interesting; the caretaker was an old Mexican man named Nacho, who would smile with you through loads and folding.

I'm so glad that you had this weekend -- and that you have the people around you who are able to help open the doors to peace and laughter.

March 29, 2008 at 4:42:00 PM PDT  

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