because my husband keeps (jokingly) asking me if i’m blogging about him

Hubby, you are the kindest person I’ve ever met.

I like how tall you are. It makes me feel small and safe.

I like your big smile and your full lips.

I like the way you laugh when something is really, really funny. It is infectious.

I like the way you always tell me to “come look!” at something cute the cats are doing, even if we’ve both seen them do it a hundred times.

I like how you would literally give the shoes off your feet to someone who needed them.

I like how silly we are together. I like singing (usually made-up) songs with you at the top of our lungs.

I like how hard you work and how crazy smart you are.

I like you.

I love you.

As I always tell you, you’re my favorite person.


Blog friends, I’m taking this fine man (pictured here on our honeymoon in Costa Rica) with me to North Carolina for a long weekend to visit his family for Mother’s Day starting tomorrow. I won’t have access to a computer, so see you early next week.

TTFN — ta ta for now! ūüėČ


when i say i believe in unconditional love

My spiritual path is based on unconditional love and acceptance for myself and others. This path is just that — a path, not a destination I’ve reached, when it comes to myself or others, although I’m working on it — and I’ve realized lately that when I say I believe in unconditional love I should apply it to myself, hubby, and our journey of conception.

I’ve been hard on myself lately. I can be a perfectionist to a fault, and when it comes to baby making my mind had it made up that perfection means conceiving during the first cycle of trying. Well, the first real cycle of trying has officially come and gone, my friends. Today, on day 29, I’ve started my period.

A very wise man I know and respect once told me (and other students of his) that “unconditional love and acceptance pulls the loose ends of discord back into harmony by relaxing our self-centeredness.” I love the image this gives me of almost palpably relaxing my self centeredness, easing it out of myself — as if self centeredness were a tightly wound ball of yarn I hold tightly against my belly — a ball of yarn that winds up and holds tightly onto feelings of discontent, anger, frustration, guilt, sadness, and judgment. When I unconditionally love and accept others and myself, I feel my hand around the ball begin to loosen, and I let it drop ever so softly to the floor. I begin to walk, and the ball trails behind me, the end of the thread still in my hand, but the ball becoming smaller and smaller, looser and looser, with each step.

The bad feelings begin to go away. Because I love myself and you despite anything that may happen in a given day and regardless of outcome, I release my feelings of anger, judgment, and guilt. I accept my body and my husband’s body’s path to conception, no matter the length or route it chooses, and thus I feel the anxiety lessen. My feelings of condemnation and hurt are replaced by contentment, peace, and joy.

I say:

“Body, I love you. Husband, I love you. Future baby, I love you, no matter if you grow in my womb one day or join our family through another means. I unconditionally love and accept myself, you, and the path we take to find you.”

And the ball continues to unravel as I




toward love that knows no condition.

half a year of wedded bliss

Tomorrow hubby and I will have been married for 6 lovely months. To celebrate, tonight we are making:

  1. Flank steak using this marinade recipe I found on (my go-to recipe site of choice)
  2. Artichokes using this recipe I read on one of my favorite blogs, Wit & Whistle (fear of artichokes be damned!)
  3. Mashed potatoes…no recipe for this one. We’ll just throw stuff together; a lick of a spoon should tell us if we need more of an ingredient.

I just realized I haven’t gotten anything for dessert. Any ideas?¬†

And don’t say baby making. Tee hee.

as promised, sex as art

House of the Epigrams, Reign of Nero

House of the Epigrams, Reign of Nero

Sex as art is something I read about in Mark Olsen and Samuel Avital’s The Conception Mandala, which has definitely been my favorite read during our conception journey thus far. I talked about it a couple weeks ago in relation to our decision to pursue a conscious conception and write a statement of intent and invitation to our unformed child.

The authors of this book devote a whole chapter to sex as art. While they do admit that “clearly, there is no scientific proof to verify or deny this concept,” they say:

This highly charged vibrational event [sex] could be metaphorically described in sound: It is the haunting cry of the Hebrew shofar, the joyful ring of a church bell, the pulsing ring of the Tibetan singing bowl; it is the great song of creation resonating and calling forth. Perhaps sex is indeed a kind of signal, an electromagnetic event, similar to the release of sound waves, that creates a vibrational ripple on the subatomic level and contacts another vibrational field — one destined to become a human being, a being that was inexorably attracted by the vibrational tone, so to speak, of the call.

I don’t know if I buy it, but without evidence I’m not the type that could ever really buy anything completely. I am, however, intrigued by the romantic, almost haunting idea. The authors propose this means of pursuing sex (seeking conception, although I’m sure this could really apply to sex in general) as art:

  1. Step 1: Prepare the External: Honor your individual needs and those of your partner. Begin by participating in a ritual cleansing of the bedchamber. Try new linens, the removal of clutter, and docoration. Next, create a mood with candles, incense, whatever you like. We’ve used two candles (our miracle candles we lit when reading our invitation.)
  2. Step 2: Prepare the Internal: Consider the internal mood and focus on a relaxed sense of communion and fun. This was a key concept for me in helping to keep this from becoming something akin to a chore or homework. While this is mainly a reminder to me to watch my internal state, this step also suggests a ritual bath, massage, dancing, or meditating together. Create your own personal rhythm and melody.
  3. Step 3: Inner Alignment and Lovemaking: The authors suggest several methods for this, and I’d recommend reading their book for detailed information if you are interested. Most of their suggestions involve being completely attuned to each other, your intent, and your love. Some involve different visualizations of light and use of breath.

I found this chapter of the book to be particularly interesting in that it reminded me that what we are doing is an art and that while we don’t have to be serious or staid about it, we can view it that way. In that way I think it’s helped make the journey so far even more magical. No matter how you pursue conception or your intimate time with your partner, I think it’s most important to have fun, love, and respect each other.

what is shamanism?

It’s not devil worship and it’s not evil, although being raised in a largely Judeo-Christian family I have struggled with accepting my clear interest in allowing shamanism to be my path of spirituality. This year I feel myself finally shrugging off my embarrassment of the topic as my acceptance and understanding that it isn’t something sinful blossoms.¬†And really, I don’t believe in sin anyway.

When hubby and I were married in October of last year, we were married by three shamans who serve as our spiritual mentors. I was terrified many of our guests would have the same preconceptions about shamanism that I have struggled against (read: not a Christ-centered religion, or a religion at all for that matter.) You may be wondering too what this spirituality I am into is all about. Well here’s what it’s about for me.

Shamanism is not a religion but rather a way of being that can be practiced by people from all walks of life and from all backgrounds and religions. In the group I participate in, there are Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and agnostics…I’m sure that list could go on, but those are just the religious backgrounds I know of personally. Shamanism is not a New Age practice, either, although Barnes & Noble puts books on the topic (rather incorrectly) in that section.

In the Native American and Israeli tribes, among others, the shaman was the medicine man (or woman; in fact, check out this article on the discovery of the oldest shaman grave, a 12,000-year-old one found in Israel) and psychologist of the tribe. There would often also be a religious leader of the tribe. From my understanding, these individuals were not the same and their roles were unique.

To me, shamanism is about going within and healing yourself so you can in turn help heal others and the world. It’s about your connection to God, Great Spirit, the Universe, whatever you want to call it. The basic tenent at the core of the practice is unconditional love and acceptance for yourself and all others around you. There’s a lot more to it all, but I hope this basic insight can give you an understanding of my path to spirituality and what it is and is decidedly not.

My spirituality (along with hubby’s) is an important part of our lives and journey of conception, so I want you to understand where we’re coming from. Our love is centered around personal growth and helping others, and that feels really healthy to both¬†of us.¬†One day soon, I hope we’ll have a spiritually-aware family of three.

things to celebrate with

After finally getting my period yesterday after a seemingly endless 41 days after going off birth control, I’m feeling optimistic and ready to start the baby making in a week or two!

Here are some things I’m celebrating with:


  1. My newfound love, Prosecco. Hey, I might as well enjoy it while I can, right? I had a glass yesterday when hubby and I went out here for pizza, and I’m sitting at my laptop right now with a glass from a bottle we picked up at Publix…okay, I want to say we picked it up today, but it was really after dinner last night.
  2. This amazingly beautiful and whimsical nursery mobile. I have had my eye on this puppy from seller PinkPerch on Etsy (one of my favorite websites) for quite a while now, and I have a feeling one day it’s going to be a focal point in our future baby’s nursery. Just pulling it up online makes my heart dance a little jig.
  3. This awesome birdseed baby duck¬†set.¬†I am waiting on these to arrive in the mail sometime during the next week or so after buying them on Etsy from seller 2birdsinlove. Along with cute, personalized tags and tucked nicely into a tiny bags, they will serve as the favors for one of my best friend’s baby shower I am helping to host in a couple weeks. We’ve known each other since we were 12 and she’s about to have her first child, a little boy.
  4. Ahhh, yoga. Lately hubby and I have starting dipping our toes into the water of yoga. We’ve been trying a couple DVDs, and this week we will celebrate life by going to our first ashram in Atlanta…or okay, well…first ashram ever.
  5. Putting our condo up for sale. Last night, giddy and bouncing up and down around our little twelfth floor two bedroom (about getting my period, of course), I happily joined hubby in cleaning out our catch-all room of a second bedroom so we can begin showing our house for sale; last week I made a flyer for our unit. We’d really like to be living in a single family, preferably with four but definitely with three bedrooms, before having a baby. Hubby wants a music room for his guitar playing and I want a library/craft room/writing room.
  6. Roasted brussels sprouts. We celebrated with those tonight…tossing them, some cauliflower, and some sliced roasted red pepper sausage in olive oil, black pepper, and sea salt. It took about thirty minutes (stirring several times) at 400 degrees and was delicious, especially with a bit of hot sauce dashed on top. We’ve roasted brussels sprouts for a while, but one of my favorite reads, Wit & Whistle, recently reminded me to put it back in the (now celebratory) rotation.

I’m happy this week! What things, activities, or food do you revel in when you feel like celebrating?

at the heart of it all

At the heart of it all, there’s my developing spiritual practice, which is rooted in the practices of Native American shamanism and I am growing more and more able to talk about every day.

At the heart of it all, there is the sweat lodge where my husband and I made the tearful decision to have a baby.

At the heart of it all, there is my writing, about which I am the most passionate and yet most undisciplined. I have wanted to be many things in life (doctor, teacher, surgeon, marine biologist, nurse) but there are two things I have always wanted to be: a mother and a writer.

At the heart of it all, there are our two cats, the children who will have always come first. Meet Chloe and Spencer.

At the heart of it all, there are the four elements — earth, air, fire, and water. This is¬†a picture of my bouquet from our wedding in October. In the bouquet, each of those elements are represented symbolically.

At the heart of it all, there is our love.