Tuesday, April 29

trying something new*

smiling me, canon digital rebel xti (wearing my delish superhero bulls eye pendant)

I started my monthly cycle today and it was the FIRST time ever that I didn't shed a tear as a result. Not a one. Actually, today has been a wonderful day full of other creative yummies birthing in my life and I've actually felt energetic and clear and hopeful.

Perhaps because I truly believe and when I say believe I mean not just saying it but actually feeling it...that it will happen. I will be pregnant. I just giggled to myself as I typed that out. I am not sure if I have actually ever written that here on my blog. EVER.

I. Will. Be. Pregnant.

You know...this is how I have manifested fantastic things in my life. I say them out loud very matter of fact. I FEEL them. I actually get to a place where I just feel and know it will happen. Sometimes it can be even more super cool when someone else is a negative nellie about it and yet I STILL have no doubt it is going to happen. I don't allow them to steal my mojo and stay in that empowered place.

I am not sure if I have yet been able to do this about getting pregnant. But I'm starting today and am going to nurture this space that I am in.

I feel happy and I am also feeling so grateful for those souls in my life that are rejoicing in my happiness rather than wanting me to be back where I was because it feels comfortable to them.

I even had a dear friend offer to be my pregnancy coach (similar to a life coach but with the focus on the emotional and physical process of trying to conceive). Isn't that a great idea? I love that she created this for me. I call her my BPC (beloved pregnancy coach) and she has been uber supportive with all the elements that surface.

I know some people reading this might be gasping a bit. Perhaps thinking..."oh no but what if she doesn't get pregnant...like ever?" And I would totally understand that reaction. Partly because you want to protect my heart from disappointment and perhaps also because it is safer to be more logical about such things. But I am going to try not being logical about this for a while. I am going to try something that has worked for me in so many other areas of my life and play in this positive pool of certainty. Try on my Certainty Shoes and you better believe they are funky and sparkly.

My heart is pounding with a nervous, excited energy and that always happens to me before delicious things come.

So here's to trying new things on this journey of mine!

Sunday, April 27


marmie, canon digital rebel xti

A few years ago I started calling my parents every Sunday. Not sure why on that day, exactly. It just felt right. It has now become a sacred ritual. I wait until my chores are done or there is a nice, quiet break in my day. I snuggle up on the couch and dial their number. My husband is always shocked at how long we can stay on the phone.

What I find funny is that sometimes I'll be talking to my mother (marmie) for almost a few hours and then my father gets on the phone and I end up repeating everything again. A while ago I suggested they both get on the line but that so did not work as they both kept interrupting one another. I heart my adorable parents.

I just got off the phone with my marmie and my heart feels full. I felt like posting this photo of her because it always makes me giggle and smile. I took it last Christmas morning at their place. Her in her cute pink pajamas, sitting on her plaid bum pillow, drinking her morning brew. ; )

Friday, April 25

photographing artists*

andrea scher, canon digital rebel xti

An epiphany I had a few weeks ago that was always in my subconscious but most recently has come to light is that I am absolutely wild about photographing artists.

They just seem to get the way I move, the moments I may need to be quiet and stare for a while. In those quiet moments I find a relaxed intimacy between us. They don't seem afraid of a story I may need to create in order to capture my vision. The trust and openness between our two creative souls is so very powerful and magical.

There are times when I can be very energetic and funny but I find I am most comfortable in my skin when I am observing quietly, where there is space to breathe and communication is more from movement than words. Perhaps this is why being a dancer and a mime always came naturally to me in the past.

Creative souls seem to get this about me. They don't feel intimidated or question the shifts during our session.

The other day, I was talking with a dear friend about what I would like to manifest in my life this year. One of them was photographing more artists...of all types...including musicians. Over the few weeks following that conversation, I heard from some creative beauties that I have admired from afar, inquiring about sessions with me. I now have future sessions with these three amazing creative geniuses. When I heard from them, I felt weepy in a good way. I mean, these are women that I have been a fan of without them knowing. Women I secretly drool over behind the scenes...not only because of their inner and outer beauty, but because of their insanely creative talent that inspires me to no end.

I felt like it was such a gift. Like I am being protected and reminded that life, even through the pain, can unfold into other dreams coming true if I stay open, clear and confident about what I love to do. I remember squealing to my husband..."I JUST said a few days ago that this is what I wanted!" (i am sure there was jumping and clapping and more nerding out of some sort).

This all happened when my heart was broken and I felt messy about the possibility of being a mom after the adoption fell through. I somehow still found the power within myself to say..."Wait! I am so many other things than a woman longing to have a child with the love of her life! I am an artist! I have lots to give to this world! Screw self doubt!". Its always when I focus on what I want, rather than what I don't want to happen, the magic trickles in. Its not always easy. Sometimes its fricken hard and nearly impossible to get into that head space of knowing I have the power to create the life I want. It mostly happens when I become really *clear* about what I desire and then when I allow myself to hope and believe and FEEL worthy of these things...it starts happening. Sometimes in small ways...and sometimes in big ways, like with these photo shoots I'm excited about.

I am so grateful I have something else to put my energy into this year while we are back on the crazy wild horse of trying to conceive. I want to manifest more of this in my life.

So, if you're an artist/musician and need photographs taken for your website or album covers or for marketing in any way...and you're not afraid of a grungy arty style and feeling like a rock star...I might be your gal. ; )

Wednesday, April 23

out of the darkness*

lovely Thea, canon digital rebel xti

Some changes are happening in my body that are feeling really good. So good that I want to share it here to perhaps help anyone else that may also have overlooked what I or my doctors did.

During the same week that I received a phone call about a possible match for an adoption, my husband and I happen to have an appointment with a new set of doctors about our fertility journey. We had heard good things about them. It also helped that they were only 15 minutes away as opposed to over an hour like the others were and a balance between both Eastern and Western philosophies in regards to healing.

Since neither philosophy had worked for us fully, we thought a balance would be another thing to try. I was pleasantly surprised and at times moved to tears at how supportive they were. They are a husband and wife team, not too much older than us and TOTALLY on top of their game as far as all the latest regarding fertility. What I loved is that they were very optimistic and never used the term "infertile". I've never felt comfortable with that term. Its so finite and negative and untrue. People can be fertile in many ways that have nothing to do with getting pregnant. Anyways, that is an entirely different post. ; )

The docs were both surprised that there were some very basic blood tests that were never done, especially on me. So, within a few days, we both got full blood work done. When the results were in, I was totally nervous; worried about my hormone levels and my egg quality and so on and so on. I even emailed my doctor beforehand, asking her to be tender and told her this is really hard for me to hear and that I was afraid of allowing this information to take my power away. I'm very fortunate to have her...she totally gets me. When we walked in, she had this HUGE smile on her face and said..."you guys have been misdiagnosed. you are not infertile. i have great news!"

My heart raced and tears were fighting to come through but I took a breath, held my husband's hand and asked her to lay it on me. She said I was alarmingly deficient of Vitamin D, that my progesterone is low after ovulation and that I have hypothyroidism. Three huge things related to screwing up a persons hormones and reproductive happenings. Three things that my other docs never showed a concern for and dismissed, despite my questioning them.

All of the symptoms I've been feeling over the last four years of my life suddenly made sense. I had gained about 20 pounds and stopped exercising the way I used to. Exercise used to be one of my biggest priorities...whether it was jogging or Yoga or Pilate's, I couldn't go two days without it...especially out in nature. For the last few years I would go a whole month without it because my energy level was so very low and my motivation almost void. I stayed in the house far too much. I of course related all of this to depression over our fertility journey and there absolutely was a lot of depression but most of my lethargy was my my poor whacked out thyroid and I never knew.

So, my doc put me on a treatment plan. Lots of supplements, a hormone tincture and natural thyroid medication. Its taken a month or so to get me on the right levels and we're still playing with it to see what is perfect for my body chemistry but the change is unbelievable.

First let me back up and say that during all of this, I struggled to balance both adoption and refocusing on trying to conceive with this new breakthrough. We were willing to do both though and we tried, although I found myself focusing more on adoption and not completely following my treatment plan. At one point, we decided to put off trying to conceive for a year when the adoption started looking like it was truly going to happen. Our doctors were very supportive and excited for us to adopt, so they left us alone until we were ready to fully focus on treatment. Well, the adoption most recently fell through, which was really painful, devastating and heart wrenching. We chose to get away to B.C. to regroup and ask ourselves which path feels right for us right now and do they both feel right or does just one? With much rest and a plethora of heart to hearts, we both realized that we are not ready to give up on trying to conceive and with this new treatment plan, it will take a lot of focus and energy to stay balanced and healthy. Other people might be able to balance both like a piece of cake, but I found it really difficult and confusing. The way I work is that when I feel right about something, I throw myself into it 100%. That is just me. With anything in life, I have never felt there was any wrong or right way to be or feel about a particular journey. We're all so beautifully unique. We learned so much about adoption and we have a deep feeling in our gut that it will indeed be a part of our lives someday but there have been many clear signs that right now is not the time.

So we are back from our trip and yesterday I had an appointment with our doctor to let her know we are in and we are in 100%. She clapped her hands in glee (okay, don't you love her already?). So, she said..."please just give us a year. adoption will always be there for you, i have no doubt about that. i believe you are fertile." I practically gave her a high five but I did say..."Yes! I know...right?!?!?". So, yesterday we increased my thyroid meds a bit because my tests came back that I am still not fully thyroid-licious.

This morning, I woke up feeling like a new person with the energy and zest I always had before all this went down. I was bouncing around the house and singing. No kidding...even before my Yerba Mate morning tea. I moved all of our furniture downstairs to the side to create an exercise space. I put my earphones on and blasted the rockin' playlist you all suggested. This fully happy, energetic, sexy woman manifested her way through me. I was dancing, jumping, laughing, punching, twirling and sweating...and 45 minutes went by without me realizing it. I then went for a mini jog outside for fresh air. I have not jogged in four years.

I was reminded of a day when I first started dating my husband. We went on a hike in Santa Barbara. I was trying to race him down the trail. I remember feeling my muscles tighten and my feet pounded the dirt. My energy was boundless. I could run forever by his side. I remember him saying..."you're so fit, you could be on Survivor." So cute.

I haven't felt that way in four years. Today...I feel closer to that fit girly but more importantly, I have actually felt happy all day and my heart feels full and my head feels more clear. I phoned my husband and he said he could even hear it in my voice. I think he's missed her. So have I. So have my friends and my family. Bless their hearts for loving me just the same through all of this. I am not making myself wrong for anything that has happened. I honor my depression and respect that I didn't push myself too hard through it all.

So, as much as the last two months were painful and really sucked at times, I am grateful for it all in retrospect because blessings always come through when I am open to them, regardless of the crappy crap.

And in all honestly, I realize that this is how I feel today and tomorrow may feel different and I in no way feel like I have it all together. I am learning which things feel good and what I need to create in my life to move from one day to the next into a space that is more healing and healthy.

I am aware that there is always the possibility that this treatment may not help us to get pregnant but what I do know is that it will help us to feel happier and healthier.

I also realize that the journey is the journey and rarely the destination but I am enjoying the feeling of boogie-ing on down the road rather than sitting on my ass as much as I have been. This morning I felt like a warrior princess that could conquer most anything. I am craving more of that feeling....out of the darkness and into a brighter space.

Tuesday, April 22

felt like home*

my new mary jane crocs at a Vancouver park

two sweet old ladies at a pond in Victoria, B.C.

Capilano Lake, Vancouver B.C., canon digital rebel xti

West Vancouver, B.C.

me walking across the very wobbly Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver
(i'm afraid of heights, so this is HUGE for me...being that it was 250 high)

boho boy at Treetop Adventures

It seems we somehow find a way to get to Victoria, B.C. at least once a year if not twice. Stepping foot off of the ferry into the charming little city always feels like home for us. Perhaps because we are surrounded by like-minded people that always treat us with such warmth and openness.

The city is rich with historical buildings, museums, charming Victorian homes, earthy restaurants and funky independent coffee shops. It feels like everything I love about my favorite cities all rolled into one place with the bonus of adorable Canadian accents that I could never tire of.

There are a few sweet moments I'll share that my mind keeps trailing back to...

The first morning I woke up before my husband, which is a RARE thing. I took a walk with the morning dew into some neighborhoods I hadn't yet travelled. It was so quiet...everyone sleeping...only the birds and me. I walked through the legislative building from the late 1800's. I thought I was alone and these two old jolly cops came down the stairs to chat with me. They asked me where I was from and loads of questions about California. I felt like I was with two dear Santa Claus men. I thought it so typical that even their police officers are far from intimidating. So kind and warm and welcoming...sending me off with wishes for a splendid vacation.

We found a coffee shop that we practically lived in. By the end of the week, they knew us by name and started whipping up our "usual" (yerba mate lattes with vanilla rice milk). Hanging from their brick walls was local art strung from metal curtain rods throughout the shop. Lots of comfy couches and bohemians sitting in them. We saw a fabulous local band there one night called The Gruff...sitting right up close, loving every harmony and instrument and sweet smile and winks from their eyes.

Midweek we took a ferry over to Vancouver Island. It seems this is the only day I whipped out my camera. Not sure why that is. I think I really just needed to settle in Victoria like it was home and live in the moment and not think much. Next time I'll take more in Victoria. Our trip to Vancouver was eventful to say the least. Boho Boy took me to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I think he tends to forget how very frightened I am of heights (I say this because he took me up in a hot air balloon to propose to me). I braved the wobbly bridge strung 250 feet above Capilano River and tall trees. It was surreal. I panicked a wee bit the first time, clinging to him for dear life as I felt shaky all over. On the way back I did it on my own (see photo above)...still clinging to the rod but smiling this time. The park also had Treetop Adventures, which was tree houses and bridges going from one tall tree to the next to walk on. We also stumbled upon the largest Whole Foods Market I have ever seen. This rocked our worlds. Especially when this jolly dude with a funny knit hat that worked there enthusiastically shared his passion for Spelt bread, guiding us around and encouraging us to squeeze each loaf. Totally our kind of peeps.

Back in Victoria, we found a corner sandwich shop, owned by a sweet German man. His wife and three children worked there as well. They encouraged us to bring our own bread (as i can't have gluten and boho boy can't have yeast...fun pair, eh?). They made us the best sandwiches we've every had and we kept coming back for more. Boho Boy spoke German with the owner and that was it...they were instant pals. We might house swap with their family on future vacations. We fell in love with the them. So open and jolly and passionate (and still very much in love with three teenagers/twenty somethings in the house).

At least once a day we would go down to a pub and drink virgin Ceasars with lots of garnish (pickled green beans and green olives) to watch Hockey. Its so fun to see how passionate Canadians are about their hockey. I got into it a bit too.

We spent one day driving all around Vancouver Island (where Victoria is...I know it can get confusing that there is a city Vancouver and a Vancouver Island and they're separate). We found a delicious park with a pond and two sweet old ladies snuggled up together. I had to take a photo (see above). This park had a four mile path all along the water. I love how Canadians love their community parks.

By the end of our time there, my husband's Canadian accent was back in full swing and even I started pronouncing my t's...among other endearing sounds.

There is more to share but I'll stop for now. We are home feeling more empowered...and healed from a rough few months. I know I haven't shared a lot of details here about what happened. I really respect the privacy of all involved, so my apologies for choosing to be vague. I will share more about what is transpiring in our hearts soon.

For now we are home and I am choosing to focus on the beautiful blessings that are happening in our lives right now. Some yummy stuff.

Sunday, April 20

new superhero pendant and other news*

me & boho boy wearing our uber cool Superhero Pendants, canon digital rebel xti

We are finally home from a beautiful time away. I have some photos and adventures of Vancouver & Victoria to share but need to marinate for a bit (and do loads and loads of laundry). It always takes me some time to transition into the flow of life and work.

Until then, I wanted to share with each of you this new delicious Superhero Pendant designed by my dear yummy friend Andrea Scher. Both Boho Boy and I love it and can't help but feel empowered and superhero-ish when wearing it. I think it looks sexy on both guys and gals and just happens to go with everything in my wardrobe. Gotta love that. I think I can speak for so many in that it feels good to wear a piece of the magic that Andrea spreads throughout our world.

Another bit of juicy juice for you:: Two of my friends, Mati Rose & Kelly Rae are hosting a workshop in Italy this October. Can you imagine spreading your wings creatively with two lovely, talented beauties in Italy?!? Hello goosebumps all over. So, if you're in need of a vacation plus arty inspiration, I would definitely check out the details.

I'll be back soon once it hits me that I'm not on vacation anymore. ; )

Thursday, April 10

we're off...

packing, canon digital rebel xti

We're off to British Columbia for a full week.
To heal.
dance in the rain.
shut out the noise.
regain clarity.
move forward...not back.

We have some good stuff happenin' that we will come back to but for now...we're escaping to a place that brings us joy and comfort so we can fully embrace what is to come.

It's been a painful week. I'm so grateful for my family and my tribe and my husband...who makes me laugh even when we're both sad.

He's a rock star.

So, I'm packing and singing and ready to move on, man.

Totally looking forward to the gluten free pizza being delivered to our hotel room.
Why haven't we thought of that?!?

I'm choosing to surround myself with happy things.
That just happens to be Canadians.
They always make it right. ; )

Tuesday, April 8

my big sis*

darlene & me, taken by boho boy

I remember a time when I was 16 years old and my heart was truly broken for the first time in my life. I curled up on my sisters bed and asked her if I had made the right decision. She held me close while I cried in her bosom...all boogery and wet tears drenching her shirt. I remember her wisdom spilling gently but firmly...a wisdom that always flowed so naturally from her heart. She was 26 at the time but such an old soul. I remember how very safe I felt being completely messy that night...something I didn't show everyone in my life as I was always the happy girl wanting to make everyone around me happy. I remember her saying that if I was consumed with confusion about a decision than more than likely it wasn't the right one but if I feel an inner relief, a breath that filled me up and set my heart free, then it was indeed the right decision, even if I still felt pain. She shared a lot more wisdom that night that I have carried with me tucked in my back pocket.

This was twenty years ago. Since then we've had many sister spillings and have helped one another through many journeys but for some reason, this particular one always stuck out in my mind.

I thought of her when I felt myself melting down today. I remembered that piece of wisdom about confusion versus peace when making a decision. I craved more of that older sister wisdom that came spilling when curled up on her bed. Today I let down those guards I can sometimes put up as the little sister trying to prove herself, not needing anyone or anything. I needed her today and I allowed myself to.

Boho Boy and I made a decision today that broke our hearts into a thousand pieces in regards to an adoption. So much of it was completely out of our hands but it didn't hurt any less and felt so very messy. I picked up the phone and as soon as I heard her voice, I let it all out. Funny how with just a crack of my voice, she knew it was me. I don't remember the last time I released this much pain through words, tears, moaning and spilling. What amazes me is the complete safety and trust I felt from her on the other end of the line as she sat in silence, listening. I could feel her feeling me. I heard her crying with me but at the same time, I felt her stand tall and swoop me up and feel protective and yet still acknowledge that I am a grown woman now and her equal. I don't know how she managed to be so absolutely perfect for me in the hours spent on the phone but she was and I feel stronger having spent the day wrapped up in her arms.

After I showed the most raw parts of myself...again with boogery and wet tears, she went onto tell me all the reasons she is "so fricken proud of me". Thats like the best medicine when you feel so completely depleted and vulnerable. I typically shy away from such things but I put aside the humble pie and let her tell me.

So tonight I am heading to sleep with such a swelling of admiration and gratefulness for my sister Darlene and how she somehow just knows how to love me at the times when I need it most.

I'm so very blessed to have two beautiful, passionate, delicious older sisters. I will never take this for granted.

Monday, April 7

beautiful things*

flowers & thea diptych, canon digital rebel xti

I know I've been a bit quiet about the details of what is going on in our life with adoption and/or trying to conceive right now. There are reasons for my silence. Whether it is out of respect for privacy of those involved or that we are in a space of limbo, uncertain of how this will truly all unfold over the next few months. I promise to spill when appropriate and when I can gather my experience into words that will nurture hearts...mine and yours, rather than add confusion.

What I can share is that I am pleasantly surprised that through all the shifts, I am feeling a special kind of centered I have never felt before. I know this comes from the endless support I receive from family, my tribe, my sensitive and strong husband, God and the Universe blessing me with abundance and an adoption consultant that cares for us deeply.

This special kind of centeredness also comes from what this whole entire journey over the last three and a half years has taught me...and that is how to listen to my inner voice. I've learned to create boundaries where needed and to pull back and breathe when it all feels like too much. I've learned how to let others take care of me while at the same time not giving over my power. I've learned how to guard myself when I'm feeling too open or empathetic. I am continually learning that creating an alternate plan helps me to not feel completely wobbly if the current plan unfolds into a different direction.

These are just bits of what I've learned, really...and it is still a bit messy and lending itself to more wisdom to be gained but I am okay and I'm feeling at peace that we are in a good place with good people surrounding us.

I know this all sounds so cryptic and someday soon I'll be able to pull all the pieces together and tell my complete story.

For now, some other amazing things are transpiring in my life that are helping me to stand tall during my days. My photography business is blossoming in a direction I feel pretty blissed out over. I am connecting with people I have admired from afar and collaborating on a few things that have me feeling giddy like a girl being handed a huge lollipop with swirls of all colors (this use to excite me when i was little at least). I am learning how to express all these natural parts of me in my photographs; femininity, softness, dream-like ethereal romance, inner beauty and strength. This is where I am comfortable and this is where so many true parts of me unfold and feel free during my creative process.

So along side the pain of this journey has come so much beauty and I never look back and regret or feel sorry for myself. On the contrary, I am full of gratefulness and as I sit here and write this, I feel a swelling in my heart with the faith that beautiful things are coming. Beautiful things...

Friday, April 4

a kind light*

windmill, canon digital rebel xti

"Your soul has been through a great storm,
but all is not lost,
a kind light is coming soon,
to bring you hope & life.

You can rest now and wait...".

~ Jen Lemen

This quote was sent to me as a gift by a dear friend on a day when my heart was breaking. It now sits on my desk for me to see each and every day.

As the week ends and weekend begins, I would love the chance to help sooth a broken heart out there, just as mine was soothed by these gentle, reassuring words.

There is something so absolutely freeing about the permission to rest.

Wednesday, April 2

girl crush*

thea coughlin, canon digital rebel xti

She inspires me to read poems, sitting on a soft blanket under a tree, with white daisies and ribbons in my hair, eating a grape in tiny bites, while dipping my toes in rose scented water.

She has that crush effect.

"when two violins are placed in a room

if a chord on one violin is struck the other violin will sound the note

if this is your definition of hope...this is for you
the ones who know how powerful we are
who know we can sound the music in the people around us
simply by playing our own strings
for the ones who sing life into broken wings
open their chests and offer their breath
as wind on a still day"

~andrea gibson

Tuesday, April 1

eco-chic solutions*

my vintage bottles, canon digital rebel xti

There was an article in last months Body + Soul magazine about the many ways we can create eco-chic solutions with recycled goods around our home. One in particular that I was attracted to was placing all of your old bottles, mason jars and sauce jars onto a vintage tray and putting leaves and fallen flowers you find around your home or neighborhood inside of them. I have a plethora of vintage bottles around my home that we started collecting for our wedding decor. I also clean out new food jars and save them for storage. I had them underneath my window or scattered here and there but I forgot how beautiful they look snuggled up together like this.

There were other cool green ideas; Melting the dregs of burned-out candles to make new ones in old flower pots, making napkins out of old business shirts, blankets out of old scarves that you no longer wear all sewn together side by side, making a trivet to sit hot pots on out of tons of wine corks held together with a hose clamp, tying a bunch of eucalyptus on your shower rod to help clear the sinuses.

I'm all about living green but I'm also about keeping it chic.

I'd love to hear some of your own eco-chic solutions for the body and home.