This morning I just wanted to share some photos of my boy.  After being married for 5+ years, I have shared that our marriage has had its ups and downs, trials, errors, etc... But it has also been filled with alot of love.  The kind of love you must closer into the small things to see through the ordinary.  As Im sure its the same way with many marriages.  When I look at the things he does for me, the ways he stands by my side, the way he learns to grow and open as I do, the way he cares for our animals, the way he takes a stand to take care of things he knows only hurts my heart, the way he wants me to be close to my friends and family, the way he cares for his own family, the way this 33 year old man still needs tender love and care from day to day to feel whole, the way he loves to learn about new things in the world, the way he cares for the less fortunate, the way he allows me to just be me even when he might think Im a bit crazy, the way he encourages me to take care of my well being, and so many other things... reminds me of why I love him.  He has grown so incredibly much since weve been together.  Looking back on the fear he held inside throughout our first two years, and visibly seeing it dissipate has been amazing to watch.  And in turn, watching my own fears lessen and turn into trust as well.  We all come into relationships with our pasts and baggage, and have to learn how to evolve side by side someone foreign, and its not always an easy task.  James and I are polar opposites in our natal birth charts.  And its very apparent in our day to day.  When I can take a step back and really look at how far we have come, and the things we have both learned from each other, I find it remarkable.  It's like taking two ingredients that sound like they would be absolutely horrific tasting in a dish together, and creating a magical meal that you can't even believe both of those ingredients were used.  Yep, kind of like that.  Like apples and bacon... he'd be the bacon ;)  And yeah, we look pretty darn cute together, eh?  I love you James.

p.s.  I love that he is wearing his Skyline Fever shirts in 6 out of 8 of these photos!

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 (beautiful painting by Kathleen Chisholm McInerney)

Yesterday I was reminded of my guardian angels.  It was one of those days that circumstances just happened that re-opened my awareness of the kindness of people and the universe that holds us, and how interconnected we are.  First it started with our dentist appointment.  We had cleanings, and they were going to be with a lady I had never met before.  Living in a small town, you usually see the same person at these kinds of establishments, for you know, your whole life!  So I instantly made a frown and had a baby moment where I said to James... 'but I wan't so and so!) This cancer crab can be a bit dramatic and whiny at times, I admit.  But... I truly believe she was a guardian angel of some sorts. She was so sweet and talked to me for about 15-20 minutes before even beginning to clean my teeth.  I was laying there in the dentist chair with all the stuff around me, and she just went on.  She had asked me a few questions about my life, and somehow we immediately were on the subject of parents and kids... that tends to be a big topic of discussion in my life.  I told her about my parents being gone and expressed my fears of having children b/c of it.  Then she began to say things and talk about life and people and family like each thing was something a mother would of been telling me, with caring, compassion and full acceptance of any choice I make.  She told me that if I did decide to have kids that they would have two of the best guardian angles watching after them throughout their life.  That gave me such a new perspective on it, and touched my heart so deeply.  I walked away from that office feeling very surreal, like she knew something I didn't... but that was okay.  It almost felt like it could of been my mom talking to me through her.  A strange, but comforting feeling.

Then we made our usual errands to town.  We stopped by my friends house to see her sonogram pics of her baby girl!!  I loved listening to her talk about how in love she is with her already, even though she looks like an alien in the photos, ha ha.  She is someone who thought she never wanted kids, ever.  And she is over the moon with excitement.  It's amazing to watch the transition of these things as they happen naturally.  We made a spur of the moment date to go to our favorite yoga class in the hills of Kerrville with our favorite teacher.

We had great deep conversations about life and love the whole way there, like we always do.  This girl and I don't beat around the bush in our relationship.  I love it.  We are like night and day, so different, but connect so well when it comes to the real stuff.  And we don't mind at all telling the other person when they are being, well you know, stupid.  It's a great way to be with a friend.  And something you don't find in alot of relationships, so I'm very thankful for it.  She told me things that gave me such a new perspective that I am so grateful for.  Another guardian angel moment through words.

Then we arrive to the yoga studio, which always instantly melts my muscles and my spirit comes out to play.  His place is magic.  Pure magic.  In every sense of the word.  Maybe one day I'll devote an entire post on describing his place, it is that worth it.  Magic.  When we come in and welcome ourselves with the teacher, we catch up a bit on our days... I briefly told him about my amazing encounter with the dentist, and he lovingly smiled.  He has been my instructor for well over 10 years now, so he knows me well and has seen all of the changes in my life take place.  He was even at James and I's wedding.  So special.  So, after an amazing hour and a half of yoga, we have our relaxation layout.  He comes over to me and places and warm moist clove soaked towlette on my eyes.  (mmmm... i love this)  Then he places a hot stone on my belly, moves it in a circle for a little while, and then places my hand on it, with his hand lovingly on mine.  He whispers to me that he placed a warm stone on my belly, and under the stone its says 'HOPE'.  Then he left me be with the stone on my belly and my hands on it.  It was an intense layout.  It was the most I could do to not burst out in tears, but there were a few streaming down my face.  In a good way.  I have always felt like he is my mentor in a way, and a guardian angel of mine.  And last night it came through loud and clear.  It was so healing, so loving, so thoughtful.  I came away feeling so blessed from all of the people and occurances that touched my life yesterday.  It was a magical day.  One that I'm glad I paid enough attention to to notice the magic it held.  

Oh, and another HUGE thing that happened yesterday!!!  I have been trying to get a dot come for roots and feathers for a long time now, about 2 years, and it finally fell in place.  I could not get anything going through the web provider, so I figured out how to contact the owner myself.  She ended up being so sweet and gave it to me!!!  And not only that, I found out she is a reiki teacher, plant spirit worker and animal caregiver.  Her lines of work reminded me so much of my dear friend who I worked for as an herbal assistant, that I instantly felt a connection and an honor for it to be placed down to me from such a loving light.  Wow.  Yesterday was a magical day, can I say that again????

Then one more thing, last night I dreamt about my Paap, whom I haven't dreamt about in years....  Reminding me I had another guardian angel up there.  I really am blessed.

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A few weeks ago I had a reader ask me how James and I worked out having difference religious views within our marriage.  So I thought I would share a bit on it.  This is not going to be a post about a religious debate or anything like that, so please don't criticize us in the comments.  (I hate that I even have to write that, but people love to give their offensive opinions when it comes to things like this). This is a more personal post, on a subject few like to talk about.  But the way the question was brought to me, I thought it might help others out there who are in a relationship where you don't agree on this subject, b/c they say that this is one subject you MUST agree on before getting married or having kids...
 (this pic above was from the other night when we went to see The Atartis play)

James is a christian, but he believes its something that is very personal, and holds it close in his heart.  He doesn't believe you have to attend church to feel the presence of God.  He has a very simple, personal and long lasting relationship with his faith, and its a beautiful thing.  For me, I have tried several times in my life to feel a connection with this way of believing, and have always walked away feeling unsettled, and not peaceful in my own heart.  But have always known there is a higher spirit among us, and a deeper connection within my own soul to be found.  And the way I hear this and feel this is through nature.  I don't have a label to put on what I believe, and that is okay with me.  I don't have a need to feel like I belong to any certain group or way of thinking.  My journey with the spirit world is something that will continue to grow, expand, evolve in cycles for the rest of my life.  I try to keep my heart open for a deeper understanding each day.  

For James and I, we both believe that this is a personal choice, and will still feel this way when we have children.  We don't feel the need to push our own personal beliefs on each other, or on anyone else.  He has never told me that I needed to become a christian, and I have never told him anything likewise.  We just have a level of respect for each other, and choose not to allow religion or spirituality to become a war within our walls, which is sadly what so many people have let happen in this world.  

For our wedding, we wrote our own vows, with a little help from our officiant, who was a family friend.  We gave him a list of all of the important things we wanted stated in our ceremony, and he did the rest.  It was so beautifully written, I thought I would share it here.  It also encompasses our ideas of love and acceptance of each other through our personal changes.  We have had many hard times and struggles within our marriage, so being able to come back to these words every now and then is a wonderful reminder.

I have been asked if I have written our story anywhere, and I have here on the blog a few years back!  It was a four part post, you can see it here.  1 // 2 // 3 // 4.  There are even pics from our wedding there.

(there pics are all from our first year together... yep, I had blonde hair!)

our ceremony and vows... we got married at my parents house, after many laboring hours of creating a beautiful sacred garden area just for it...

"Today you stand in this oasis of beauty alive with the spirit of nature, and are surrounded by the presence of your dearest friends and family who are here to witness and participate in your marriage, as well as by the thoughts of those who cannot be here and would have greatly loved to share this experience with you.  You have chosen this place to be married at because you both have a deep connection with family and nature.  You both, as well as many others, have worked very hard since the engagement to make this spot a sacred place for your wedding.  Now forever, you will be able to feel the amount of love that was put here for you, and in return you have given Linda & Tim a beautiful addition to there home for years to come.

You have chosen to have this ceremony as a way to publicly declare and enact your union with each other.  You have expressed the wish to acknowledge, articulate, and share what you are experiencing together with everyone here, as they are all people with whom you also share love.  This is a time when you can create a magical and unforgettable celebration of your love, and re-affirm your purpose and intent to yourselves and each other as you bring forth the images and promises that will guide you in your commitment.

The basis for this commitment that you have made and are continuing is not only love, but friendship, freedom, open-hearted communion and expression, the shared heart, and compatible values and lifestyle.  In your union you can continue to be playful as companions and friends as you expand your knowledge of the meaning of relationship.  Your marriage can enable and support spiritual growth and discovery for both of you, and expand your capacity for love, intimacy, and joy.

You gave me a beautiful and inspiring list of the intentions you would like to fulfill in your marriage.  Recall these words and take them in as affirmations for the future:  to unfold the adventure of marriage, to love compassionately, to encourage each others dreams and live them, to celebrate our differences and cherish our similarities, to respect, honor and appreciate each other, to listen, respond, and understand, to be honest and equal, to have forgiveness and lovingkindness, to watch out for each other, to remind each other to 'slow down', to comfort each other, to learn and grow together through the hard times, and to enjoy the beauty and the wonders of the world together.

Take a moment to think about some of the personal details you have put into your wedding.  From choosing your closest friends to stand beside you, to the little trinkets you carry with your flowers that belonged to your grandmother and great-grandmother.  From your gorgeous handmade cake Shelley made for you, to the one of a kind dress that her mother made, and over 100 hand stitched cloth napkins from your Nanna.  You have had your hands on each design every step of the way, and have made all of the things that are usually just 'stuff' become personal and about family.  You will have many treasures to keep and pass on for years to come.  Let this be a foreshadowing of your relationship.  Allow yourselves to always pay this close of attention to detail when it comes to taking care of each other.  And let this also remind you of the importance of family and friends.

In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare.  Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced.  You have made a list of ten things things that you love about each other.  Lets take the time to read these to each other before you state your vows."

(this i will keep private)

ours stated vows to each other:
"James, do you now choose Laura to be your life companion, to share your life openly with her, to speak truthfully and lovingly to her, to accept her full as she is and delight in who she is becoming, to respect her uniqueness, encourage her fulfillment, and compassionately support her through all the changes of your years together?"  (and vice versa)

(anyone who made it this far, thank you!)

I find it fitting that this post ended up being this week, b/c our 5 year anniversary is next saturday, on the autumn equinox.  We intentionally chose to be married on the equinox in honor of the change into our favorite season, and a new beginning.  We don't have any big plans this year since we are trying to save for a car, so it will be a low key one.  Maybe well just stay home and make a baby! 



The other day I received a love package from a sweet soul sister.  It was one of those unexpected packages that nearly brings you to tears, it was filled with so much love.  My heart was swollen thinking of the connection that I have with this dear friend, and missing her so much.  The pretties she sent were way to beautiful to not share.  They are all trinkets she found along her journey from Oregon, New Mexico, Scotland and the ocean. 

The beautiful vintage necklace below she found in Astoria Oregon.  I think its one of the most amazing vintage necklaces Ive ever laid eyes on, the way it opens up.  She put in pics of me and James and our sun signs.  So thoughtful and special.

This book below blew my mind with its beauty.  Written in 1971 in San Francisco, and beautiful illustrated with line drawings for each herb.  It has very interesting descriptions of the herbs histories, and what they were used for throughout the ages.  She got it for me after reading that I was going to be taking an apothecary class this next year.  It could not be more perfect, or feel more like home to me.  This is a book I will treasure for a lifetime, and pass down to my children.  Here is a peek at some of the loveliness inside...

One other thing she included in the package was one of her favorite poems she had written out.  The title of the poem 'river' is a special bond between us, from Joni Mitchell.  This poem is by Carol Ann Duffy, and its beautiful.  I hung it on my special wall that is next to my computer, where I can see it often.  Right under my mama.

by Carol Ann Duffy

Down by the river, under the trees, love waits for me
to walk from the journeying years of my time and arrive.
I part the leaves and they toss me a blessing of rain.

The river stirs and turns, consoling and fondling itself
with watery hands, its clear limbs parting and closing.
Grey as a secret, the heron bows its head on the bank.

I drop my past on the grass and open my arms, which ache
as though they held up this heavy sky, or had pressed
against the window glass all night as my eyes sieved the stars;

open my mouth, wordless at last, meeting love at last, dry
from travelling so long, shy of a prayer.  You step from the shade, 
and I feel love come to my arms and cover my mouth, feel

my soul swoop and ease itself into my skin, like a bird
threading a river.  Then I can look full in the face, see
who you are I have come this far to find, the love of my life.

I am following along Marissa's Grateful Project, and even though I have not been consistent with it, I would say this is a big one for me.  Im so grateful to have a handful of friends in my life that I have such a deep soulful connection with.  Although we dont see each other very often, the love is always there, and I am so grateful for it. 

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