Love, Granite, and Photograhps

I could blog one million times about Love: the endless forms in which it comes, the endless feelings it instills in all of us, the art that is born from it. Lately I've been swearing I will write more about love from the perspective of motherhood, and particularly, single motherhood. I will, you'll see. Soon there will be things to read about it. In the meantime, I have photos for you. I love photographs, the moments they capture, the emotions they recreate. Sometimes a photograph can evoke an emotion that no one in the actual photograph was even feeling.

A couple weeks ago, I went with a few friends out to Bald Rock to take photos. My girlfriend and I hauled out several pounds of clothing for the event, and two of our friends photographed us. We used an iPad as a mirror and set up camp on top of the big granite boulders. We brought a thermos full of chai tea, a little bit of makeup, and plenty of outfit changes. It ended up being invigorating and fun, and we got hundreds of great photos on top of it all. There's something about wrangling a crew of people together for a successful photoshoot that thrills me. It's one of my favorite ways to create art, and it's no easy task. When the elements all align and everyone is finally in that car on the way to the location and all the cameras are functioning and coffee is in hand....It's so satisfying. Inevitably it is also exhausting, but in that really good way.

I've selected quite a few photos to share with you here, but there are so many more I could post. It was hard to narrow it down. I'll probably do a follow up post when I get the photos from the second photographer. These were all taken by our friend Mike Edwards.

If you have never been to Bald Rock and you live in this area, you need to go. It's breathtaking and remarkable. Sunset at Bald Rock is nothing short of a religious experience, and if you decide to stay for it, make sure you bring flashlights as it gets dark fast and you want to be able to find your way back to your car.  

Here's to love, adventures, great views, pretty pictures, and running around barefoot on granite rocks.


Models: Sadie Rose Casey, Monica Prather
Wardrobe and Styling: Sadiedeluxe, BOHO
Photography: Mike Edwards


Adventures in Laser Hair Removal - an introduction

Time for another video blog! I know it's been a while, but I'm getting back on the train and I'm going to get good at this, I know it. I'm at the age now where I'm starting to feel like "whoa technology! where are you going!? wait for meeeee!" and I'm also feeling a little bit like "DON'T FAIL ME NOW, COLLAGEN."

Quite possibly, you know these feelings.

I am still young by many definitions, but as I plunge solidly and definitively into my 30s, a few things are different and some perspectives have changed. First of all, I think I more accurately understand the brevity of life. It used to loom before me like an endless road, and now I feel much differently about it. It's so short. Like I've said before, there's no time to hate ourselves or our bodies and no time to be an asshole about anything, really. Enjoy this shit and do what you love because (and I'm sorry to sound like such a cliché here, but...) time will run out.

That being said, this is a year for me to take risks. What I really mean by this is that it's time for me to do what I don't usually do. This is the quickest route to creativity and also a more certain route to fulfillment. We won't get anywhere sitting around wishing for things, you know?

One small thing I'm starting with is (drumroll....) LASER HAIR REMOVAL! Finally. Finally finally finally. I've been wishing for this for years, as I've been fighting epic battles with unwanted hair ever since puberty hit (and that was a long time ago). While I consider myself a seasoned expert in the culture of hair removal, I've always fantasized about Laser because of the time and money I've spent on hundreds of waxing appointments over the years. So, I'm finally doing it. I'll be going to a local spa in Chico called Urban Med Spa, where I've gotten a few massages (amazing) and where I feel very comfortable with the staff and the space (if you remember, space is very important to me).

I'm going to blog about my experience as time goes on, and I have a feeling it's going to be well worth it. My glorious Romanian genes are wonderful and also have given me relentless hair follicles. What ultimately catalyzed my decision was that I noticed my skin suffering from my waxing appointments (see: don't fail me now, collagen) and it was having a harder time recovering from the brutal shock of the strips being pulled off. Falling in line behind my mother, her mother, and the millions of other women that spend countless hours and dollars trying to "save our skin," I decided it was time to change things.

I'm starting with my bikini line and I'll take it from there. I've been waxing my underarms and bikini line since I was around age 16, so it's been awhile. It's time to change it up.

Here's my first video, and I will post a couple more as the process goes on. Don't worry, I'm not giving you any visuals of the actual treatment, I'm just going to mostly talk about it in great detail so that you can get the inside scoop on the treatment and my process.



So Far

As I'm writing this, we are 13 days into 2015. So far I'm loving it. I spent the first couple days of the new year in Tahoe with my mom. It was cold and beautiful and we drank lots of tea and very boozy egg nog. Once we got home, school and work started almost immediately, and so Asher and I got back in the swing. I packed up the Christmas decorations, vacuumed the house, and wrote out my to-do lists. 

Last week, I published an article on Annapurna Living about my time at boarding school and the way the beauty norms ruled our teenage social systems. The same day, I posted at the Bohemian Collective about making your space look good and FEEL good without spending too much money. 

I took some pictures with a new model. 

I hiked out to Bald Rock with some friends for a photoshoot and a glorious sunset. 

I've been exercising a lot. I've been trying to be a more intelligent Tweeter. No more Etsy listing tweets. I also started using GoodReads on my phone. AMAZING!! Send me your recs, ladies.

I checked out a ton of books from the library; my goal is to revisit several classics in order to....well, I don't know. Revisit them, I guess. Honestly, I'm not that into classics (gasp!). We shall see how this adventure goes. 

My best friend from Portland came to visit for 3 days and we layed in bed, cooked food, played catch with Asher, and went shopping. It was amazing. 

This week is already halfway done, as is this month. Good things are afoot. I am excited for the unfolding of this year, the changes it will bring, and the fire building in my heart. 

How is your year going??


Rumi Zara's Birth

This is a story that I originally read on Facebook, written and posted by my friend Kadhi (who I blogged about a while ago, here) about the birth of her second child, Rumi Zara. I was incredibly moved by her well-written story, and it left me feeling like I wanted to have another baby asap! I asked her if we could post the story on my blog so that I could share it with mothers beyond Facebook, and she's shared it with me to post for all of you. Thank you to Kadhi for sharing these words and photos. 

(December 19, 2014)

In this very hour exactly one year ago Josh and I welcomed Rumi Zara into this world. The birth journey started a couple days earlier (on the anniversary of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi’s day of union with the beloved) with waves of contractions coming and going, gaining a gentle momentum, each wave preparing me for the crest of the next one to come. At exactly 6am on this day I awoke to a familiar sensation and instinctively ran to the bathroom to realize that my water had broken. With a smile, I called the midwife and my two dearests Kristina and Zoe to make their way over to the house. Rumi had begun her final descent.

The early hours passed at the house easily. My son Raphael played with our friends and I would occasionally surface from my bedroom to be with them, contractions and all. I made myself some tasty french toast and then returned to the bedroom to continue laboring as the waves deepened in intensity. With just my partner Josh, our midwife Amrit, and her assistant in the bedroom, I labored silently, passing through some of the most intense portals of my life, traveling deeper and deeper down this initiatory path. I repeated a couple of mantras to myself – to “simply open, simply allow,” and that "the only way out is through.” Those words helped me remained present in every rich moment. Chocolate was also helpful.

Deep in the timeless space of a heavy contraction I envisioned the energy it must have taken the universe to be birthed, and that this birth felt like a microcosm of the original big bang- carrying with it the same magnitude of exquisite profundity. My body shivers now just to relive this memory of grace and power.

Hours passed, more hours passed than we all thought should. We stood at the edge of doubt for a breath and turned our backs on it just as fast. I called to Rumi. I let her know we were ready, that I was tired, and that we wanted to hold her, smell her, love her up so badly. Slow, deliberate movements on the bedroom floor, turning this way and that as she passed through her own portal of intensity. I climbed up on my bed for the final hours as I was taken to the furthest limits of sensation imaginable, and then beyond those to the limits that are simply unimaginable. A woman’s body is an incredible thing. I became The Mother, primal, raw, beautiful and fierce, channeling the original energy of Creation itself.

Rumi was coming, and Josh’s hands reached out to meet her. A brave and trusting Papa, Josh was the first to hold her and place her on my chest. I became gratitude in that moment, breathing it, crying it, singing it, emanating it from the core of my being. Minutes later, her brother Raphael made his way into the room to meet her with curious eyes.  

I have never been more grateful in my life than I am as a mother. I owe this fortune to my children who are so generous with me.

It is such a gift to know Rumi, she is a joy above joy in my life. I feel blessed to be her guardian for this while, to listen to what she has to teach me, to nourish her roots so that in turn her fruit can nourish not only herself but all who meet her. 

Words and images (c) Kadhi Bo