The Making of a Family: A Retrospective

Photos are posted in the order they were taken, starting 4 summers ago on the first night I met Suuzi (who was visiting Spencer here in Nevada City from her home in Canada at the time, about 2 years before they were married)...

He was born the morning of the 7th. He is beautiful and sweet, and Suuzi and Spencer are amazing. Spencer's dad Allen and Suuzi's mom Maureen are over the moon.

Suuzi and I plan to write up and share her birth story a some point in the future. It was long and challenging and didn't turn out as they had expected, but they are stoked on the outcome and grateful for the experience that made them a family. As you can tell, I adore these folks. I am continually awed with the creativity, equanimity, kindness, and grace with which they live their lives. And I am thrilled that they have made another person out of themselves.

(I will post more photos and the as-yet-undecided name and all that when the time comes...)

Welcome to the world, little one ❤

Earth Mama Suuzi

Now that we're 92% settled in our new home with Adam, I'm ready to start working on the many blog post ideas that have been swirling around in my mind. From herbal adventures to visits from vintage blogging friends to the amazing collaborative (--->) photo shoots I've been doing lately to creating said home & garden, there's a lot to share. First and foremost though, I want to share some pictures of our beloved Suuzi here in her final couple weeks of pregnancy. She is due on June 25th and is ripe and juicy with that beautiful Mama glow.

After a handful of scheduling snafus and communications mix-ups we finally executed a long-planned photo shoot of her around her farm a few evenings ago. The images came out so beautifully that I'm inclined to believe that the earlier mishaps were some sort of divine intervention. Here she is wearing a gorgeously embroidered rainbow vintage dress from yours truly that is just perfect for pregnancy.

Suuzi embodies the spirit of the Bountiful Earth Mama more than any pregnant woman I have ever seen. It's an honor to watch her blossom into motherhood.

This gorgeous dress she scored at the newly opened NEVA CO. Artisan Boutique in downtown Nevada City. My vintage pieces will soon be featured there, and are already hanging on the racks at the also newly opened Kitkitdizzi! Downtown NC is getting a fresh infusion of new shops and cafes lately, and it's exciting and inspiring to see. New energy, growth, and life are everywhere these days.

Crimson & clover.

From planting the seed to assessing the growth, Spencer has been working like a, well, soon-to-be-father and preparing a whole new home on the farm for his budding family.

And now onto the baby shower, which happened the day before the photo shoot:

Suuzi's mother-in-law hosted in her beautiful backyard garden oasis. The ladies were all aglow with the warmth of the summer afternoon and the joy of each other's company.

Two other pregnant beauties were in attendance as well. Samantha, in the middle there, will be having her fourth baby in August, and Christy is due with her second in late October. I love all of these woman and was thrilled to be able to gather them all up for this photo!

Here's Amanda (in the cutest outfit ever) reenacting a hilarious birth scene from the classic natural childbirth video Birth Into Being. Well, the birth itself is awesome, but there are some very funny elements to the whole scene as well. In Russia in the 1980s a 4th time mama is laboring in a glass birthing tub with a sweatband around her head while her kids walk around waving sticks of incense, and she gives birth so easily and seemingly painlessly that you wouldn't know it had happened if you didn't just see through the see-through walls of the tub that a baby just came out of her vagina. Birth Into Being was updated and expanded upon in the early 2000s and is now called Birth As We Know It. You can see the scene I'm talking about (which many of the baby shower guests seemed to be familiar with) on either video. Here is the trailer to Birth As We Know It:

(BTW Nevada County peeps, Elena Tonetti, the film's maker, will be hosting a screening in Grass Valley at Summerthyme's on July 12th.)

The one game we played was a Natural Childbirth Trivia game that Suuzi wrote herself. It's so like her to make sure that not only are we having fun, but we're also learning!

Here a guest looks at the adorable gift basket that Nikiya (unable to attend) sent along with me. Let me state for the record that Grandfather Twilight is one of my all time favorite children's books, and that Barbara Helen Berger is one of my all time favorite children's authors and illustrators. (Thanks to Jen for taking some of these photos!).

I had to snap a quick shot of my gifts. First of all, can you tell I think it's a boy? Secondly, this is the neatest little book with an amazing story behind its inspiration. And thirdly, HOW RAD IS THIS LITTLE PILLOW handmade by my friend Kiya of Kiya's Naturals? Oh and fourthly- total color scheme happening! Oh okay and then fifthly, the pillow says The Winter Aconite Fairy at the bottom, and Suuzi told me about how this herb saved her life many years ago; perhaps she can leave a comment explaining more about how :-)

Next time you see a photo of Suuzi on this blog, that little baby in there will be out here!

Portal Day

Some days, the earth energy begs to be met with mindful attention and intention on the part of its inhabitants.

Some days, the energy of the cosmos aligns as well, and true magic is interwoven into the fabric of everyday reality.

Yesterday was a glorious and joyful day for me, celebrated with my nearest and dearests- a new moon letting go ritual at the Yuba River in the morning with Jen, and an afternoon gathering with Adam and a group of friends at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, overlooking all of Nevada City, to view the eclipse. As Adam and I walked up the mountain alone to join our friends, at the peak of the eclipse, we were surrounded by hundreds of little portal openings. I later learned that these are created only at that moment of climax as the leaves on trees create a pinhole projection effect. It was pure magic.

Speaking of aligning cosmic and earthly energies, on our walk back down I spotted lots of St. John's Wort popping up. In about four weeks, at the Summer Solstice, it will all be in bloom. This plant is pure sunshine medicine, and look at how it's just soaking it up! As I said in my post on making lavender oil, I will write all about this potent plant after I harvest some to make oil from it next month.

Speaking of harnessing the energy of portal days to work your own kind of magic, I recently watched and absolutely loved the National Geographic special Stonehenge Decoded (also streaming on Netflix). Seriously, even if you think that learning about Stonehenge is only for pagan hippie freaks, I dare you to watch this without being moved by the knowledge of our ancestors and their relationship with the earth and the cosmos.

I hope your day was blessed and charged and open and ecstatic.

On The Hunt

We had a lovely trip visiting kinfolk last week. I scored some amazing family heirlooms AND a pile of gorgeous vintage dresses. One of them became my new favorite springtime dress and seemed just the thing to debut on Easter at my great aunt and uncle's house on a sprawling ranch just outside of Clovis, CA. I love this Penguin label, I've had their pieces in my shop before. And I love the soft and stretchy fabric and I love the perfect fit and I LOVE the bright & happy color scheme! It perfectly reflects how joyful and hopeful and vital I feel this season ❤

A Vetivery Golden Night on the Town

Two Sundays nights ago I had even-more-fun-than-expected night out on the town. And I was seriously expecting it to be fun.

It all started in Cabin A in Big Sur back in January when Adam and I shared a cabin with Andy Cabic of Vetiver and his awesome girlfriend (a cellist, Etsian, and San Francisco shop owner) Alissa. We talked about the scene in Nevada City, Andy wondered if it was worth trying to play a show here in March as part of their tour, we said UM YES and this is who you call, he called, requested that Adam's band Golden Shoulders share the bill, and it all happened!

I called the photo album I made of this night Friend Heaven at the Haven, because it was UNREAL how many of my friends, from many different areas and times in my life, were there. It felt like my birthday or something. This here's a bunch of local ladies, but they came from all over...

Before the show, having drinks across the street at The National, I was absolutely thrilled to run into not one, but TWO, old Sacramento friends. I worked with these handsome and wonderful gents at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op the year before I had Mycie. And there are hardly any other of my ex-coworkers who I'd rather randomly run into. I mean, I was just beside myself with happiness. That's Nate on the left and Justin (from Santa Cruz) on the right. And they did not come to the show together either and have lived in separate towns for years, so it was a sweet surprise for all of us!

Nate had driven up from Sacramento with one of the first friends I made blogging 3 1/2 years ago- Amber from Painfully Hip. At some point she suggested to her twin sister Eve and her husband Danny that they befriend me on Facebook due to some similar interests, so I had known the two on the right at a distance for a while. And so it was a THIRD fantastic surprise moment that night when they also walked into The Nash and we all instantly recognized one another and got to finally meet in person! And the actual show hadn't even started yet. AND I still haven't revealed the most exciting guests of the evening...

My momma and her husband Dave and my beloved Uncle Charlie! Mom & Dave drove up from Gardnerville, NV and Charlie came from Sacramento. They are all big fans of Adam's music and were very happy to finally have the chance to see him perform. Sadly, this is the only picture I got of my mom, and none of the dudes. But I had such a good time with them. My mom is the coolest; ever since I was a child my friends have always adored her. She's one of the girls, no matter the age distance, and I had a blast having her hang out with my nearest and dearest girlfriends.

Golden Shoulders takes the stage! The teens swoon...

During the break between sets Jen and I (and my mom!) took a whole lotta pictures of a whole lotta silliness...

Brett Shady (performing with Adam) (and btw, since I've posted about him a number of times, YES that's his real name).

And his sweet, sweet lady. Can you even believe how darling Samantha is? This dress? That face? That little baby bump? And you shoulda seen her on the dance floor after the show.

Finally it was time for Vetiver to begin. Samantha, an exhausted Adam, and Ski watched from the sidelines...

While I wormed my way to the front row (I'm pretty good at that).

The Sacramento crew had a pretty sweet moment during the encore, hugging and singing in a big happy group of family and friends.

As a final note to this incredible evening, I would just like to say that this picture represents the best essential oil combo ever- amber & vetiver. I've been wearing it for years, and we certainly joked about it that weekend in Big Sur. I use this amber and this vetiver. People lose their minds. Give it a try ;-)

Oh! And check out these gorgeous songs from our featured bands: