sand and souls

I love you Wes.

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To my boy… You chose us. and we were the lucky ones Wes. I never knew you could love an animal so much. You weren’t a dog (you really didn’t think you were..you hated dogs 😂) you were one of us. You were our soul brother. I was and always will be obsessed and madly in love with you. You comforted us when we were sad, you taught us about unconditional love, you forgave us for our imperfections, you spoiled us rotten with affection. You were the light our household and our lives. You greeted us with so much excitement (and usually a little pee) and made us each feel like we were your favorite (except dad was always #1 and you made sure everyone knew it.) I will never stop loving you .. Missing you.. And being grateful for my time with you. I wish we had had more of it… Doesn’t feel like it was time yet at all. I love you Wesley Burke… Best dog in the entire universe.

Until we meet again my sweet dog brother….

Crazy Pet Lady… literally crazy.

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So… my beloved 9 year old dog-brother Wes got diagnosed with a mass tumor in his chest a few weeks ago. After crying for 2 hours straight I decided to look at this as an opportunity to put into practice everything I believe in, rather than fall into a state of hopelessness. So for the last few weeks my family has been doing everything known to alternative man kind to help my baby shrink his tumor so that he can breathe easier again. Abraham meditations, holistic pet homeopaths, chiropractic, an anti-cancer diet, reiki, you name it. My parents even took him to a pet psychic. (Yes. A pet psychic. I know.. we are literally insane.) I was so interested in their experience that I booked an appointment with Candace’s cat, my step-cat, Mushu. I’ll get to that in a second. After several weeks of this new health plan, Wes has gotten SOOOO much better… He is back to walking around the block, chasing the garbage truck from behind his fence, begging for food, growling at other dogs… almost back to his old self 😉 Please send Wes lots of loving energy… I was *obviously* expecting him to live to 100 so I will absolutely not settle for 9. #nope

So, back to pet psychics. I’m not sure how I have never written about my Mushu relationship… it’s been a rollercoaster since she moved in with me 9 months ago. One day we love each other, the next I’m yelling and crying because she is meowing ALL DAMN DAY (seriously, how does one cat have this much to say???), puking on the floor, scratching the couch, running into my bedroom which is strictly off limits (and she knows it!!!)… you name it. Candace says we fight like sisters. It’s kinda funny… kinda stressful. Anyway, we booked the appointment over the phone and it was pretty incredible lol. If you’re like most normal human beings and don’t believe in weird psychic shit like I do… thats okay… because even just *imagining* your pet saying all these things will bring some clarity, some laughs, and some tears ;-). The very first thing animal communicator Cindy Brody (http://cindybrody.com) said was that Mushu is happy that Candace and I are happy, but that she is in a lot of trouble, and thinks we are giving her away. (That morning had been a particularly bad one, and we had been dramatically yelling about giving her away. SO SAD!! SORRY MUSHU!) Several phrases came through from the cat that broke our hearts… “I’ve been a bad cat” “Do you have time for me?” “I’m homesick” etc… Cindy gave us a bunch of insight which overall helped us understand her better, but also some tips and tricks to changing our situation. She is really bored, we need to give her more toys and more little spaces to hide in. She needs a lot more play time and cuddle time with just Candace, and the main issue is that she has a stomach problem, which definitely accounts for her random puking and pooping in the living room, and probably for a lot of her acting out, Cindy said. She had us change her cat food and add a probiotic into her diet, as well as a homeopathic remedy for anxiety.  And I’ve been giving her more love. Maybe a little too much… my new little bff has been ALL over me while I’m trying to get work done. Thanks a lot Cindy   😉 IMG_9256

The things we do for the critters we love… it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. If I didn’t know how much they meant to me… I sure do now.

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Oh, and here is a great healing meditation from Abraham I have been listening to. As well as a financial one because… it popped after the healing one and, why not?!!?

 

in my cloud

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I’m in my cloud

No one can stop me

I’m higher than the tops of the trees

I am higher than the birds and the bees

Totally comfortable

Everything’s beautiful

I’m fine and I don’t worry anymore

This time I’m a lot better than before

Hey, I’m okay

If I stay, way up here

I’m in my cloud

I can feel the sun shine

It’s hotter here and I don’t mind

I got myself and my peace of mind

I’m totally comfortable

Everything’s beautiful

I’m fine and I don’t worry anymore

This time I’m a lot better than before

Hey, I’m okay

If I stay, way up here

All I need is room to breathe

I promise I will come down soon

I promise I will come down soon

I’m in my cloud

No one can stop me

I’m higher than the tops of the trees

I am higher than the birds and the bees

-Meiko

I’m still here 🙂

I have been learning a lot about myself these days. My anxiety has almost vanished. I have been doing things that make my soul happy… reading, listening to podcasts, learning more about nutrition, having more fun with my photography, doing more yoga, and trying to meditate daily. I’m allowing myself a lot more grace in the daily push and pull that I feel between working through old feelings, thoughts and habits while trying to live in the now and allowing myself some room to just be. I’ve realized that nothing changes overnight… the beauty of life is in the growth… in the journey from point A to point Z. This has helped me relax through the harder moments, remembering that I will always come out of them into a better space again, and having learned more I will keep getting stronger over time. I haven’t been writing because frankly it was stressing me out… lol. I needed to live, breathe, relax for a little while… to be alone on my own little cloud… no pressure to do or express or report.

I took this photo of Candace yesterday and while it may be of her, it is actually just as much a self portrait of me. It feeeeeels the way I feel these days… or at least at my best, most allowing vibration 😉

I’ll be back more often soon enough. But for now… back to work. And back to listening to this song… over and over and over 🙂

 

The W word

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As a former mainstream, people pleasing “good girl,” I am finding myself having a really difficult time dealing with other peoples reactions to my being with a woman. Whenever I tell anyone about being married to a woman or introduce Candace as “my Wife” the surprise on peoples faces makes me uneasy… makes me feel judged. Even if they bounce back quickly and even if they are happy for us, that initial awkward reaction makes my stomach drop. I want to proud of who I am. And I AM proud of my relationship, and the amazing human that I am married to. I am. But there clearly must be deep rooted shame that will take time for me to work through, because that little bit of surprise on peoples faces is enough to make me nervous every time I bring up the “W” word… and that is so unfair to everyone involved. I am trying to remember the bigger picture, that I am part of a revolution of sorts. Times are changing and I am at the forefront of it. I am also somewhat of an outlier in the gay community. People are for whatever reason not used to seeing two “girly” women together. Everyone assumes we are best friends, and many people think we are joking when we tell them we are married. So we are confusing people, making people think, and challenging peoples beliefs about what it means to be gay. I know that this is important, I just don’t think I was 100% ready for the challenge. But I will get there… talking to other people about what makes them feel judged or different helps. Everyone has something. The more we are able to connect with other people on what makes us all different, the better off our world will be anyway.

Happening.

Things are happening over here. Good things. A lot of them. So many that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and process it all. Til now… and thats mainly only because Candace just got a salon job 😉

We are still on a high from our wedding and also from our “Honeyvows” (best word i’ve ever made up 😉 in Mexico last month. We had been torn between a wedding with our families and eloping on the beach… so we decided to have both. Our wedding was at the courthouse, and we did our vows during our honeymoon. A way of sort of cementing our marriage, just for us. We were lucky enough to have had my insanely talented friends, Jimi and Natalie with J. Ferrara Photography document this incredibly special moment for us. The vows were perfect… romantic, meaningful and private, and everything we had been dreaming about. The honeymoon itself was ridiculously amazing. We stayed at an all inclusive (Azul Fives) in Maya Riviera, had the best time exploring, relaxing, and gaining ten pounds ;-p (yeah…. having to eat RAW for an entire week afterwards was our punishment for the gluttony!!!)

Since then Candace landed an awesome job at a beautiful salon called MINT which happens to be just a block away from our apartment and we also just got back from a Denver a few days ago. We reconnected with some of the many friends we have been so awful at keeping in touch with this year. We are majorly guilty of that thing that happens sometimes when ya fall in love… you know what I’m talking about… sort of hibernating and falling off the face of the planet. Good news is… we’re definitely back. We missed everyone. Thanks for hanging in there friends.. we love you so much and we were so humbled to have had so many of you come out and celebrate with us. I got to meet a lot of Candace’s family, hug all my old besties and my favorite ex-husband his girlfriend stayed and partied with us til the very end which still makes me tear up when I think about it. I am so so so so lucky to have them as some of my friends… can’t say it enough.

It has also been a busy winter for me work wise… my busiest winter yet!! I am really looking forward to blogging more about my work, and I have some personal photo shoots coming up in the next few months too that I will be really excited to share. I am anticipating feeling a little lonely, but also motivated now that I will have a lot of time to myself with Candace working outside the home. We have literally spent every day together for the last 7 months… we are feeling pretty proud of ourselves that we haven’t gotten sick of each other… hehe. It’s been a whirlwind couple of months, now its time to enjoy a little married life. Until the next trip anyway :-p

Oh yeah.. and the Broncos won the Super Bowl.

Boom.

*I have so so so many images to sift through and share here, and I will SOON. I promise!*

Love.

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I had a really special newborn shoot today, and having just returned from my honeymoon, I was touched by the conversation I had at the end with my client. I really connected with her about love, life and change. She told me I need to watch Sleepless in Seattle…  that I would really love the scene where Meg Ryan is staring up at the Empire State Building, lost in a pivotal moment where she has just made a decision that has changed her entire life.  Sounds like a moment many of us can relate to… you feel so incredibly raw that part of you wants to throw up and run away, but the other part of you has never felt so alive. I had a few of those this year 😉 Those moments are what life is all about. It is so important to let ourselves evolve when it is time, even if it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.

My client had this poem beautifully framed on her wall which immediately jumped out at me. I mentioned to her that I had taken some shots of it and she told me it was the vows they used at their wedding. She had been looking for a poem to have their officiant read, and her mom came across an old book of poems from her childhood. As she went through it, this poem was the only one she had starred, and it was exactly what she was looking for. “Crazy how well the childhood me really knew the adult me!” She said. Talk about manifesting… Now here she is married to the love of her life with 2 perfect little humans to share their joy with. I wanted to share the poem because it perfectly resonates with how I’m feeling after a beautiful week in Mexico with Candace, where we read our own vows on the beach to each other… Just the two of us.  Pictures of our honeymoon to come… but for now, some images I took today with this incredibly beautiful family whose love I feel blessed to have been able to capture.

“Love” by Roy Croft

I love you

Not only for what you are,

But for what I am

when I am with you

I love you

Not only for what

You have made of yourself,

But for what you are

Making of me

I love you

For the part of me

that you bring out

I love you

For putting your hand

Into my heaped-up heart

And passing over

All the foolish, weak things

That you can’t help

Dimly seeing there,

And for drawing out

Into the light

All the beautiful belongings

That no one else had looked

quite far enough to find

I love you

Because you are helping me to make

Out of the timber of my life

Not a tavern

But a temple

Out of the works

Of my everyday

Not a reproach

But a song

I love you

Because you have done

More than any creed

Could have done

To make me good

And more than any fate

Could have done

To make me happy

You have done it

Without a touch

Without a word

Without a sign

You have done it

By being yourself

Perhaps that is what

love means,

After all.

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So happy I could die.

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So happy I could die. Dramatic I know. I also keep saying phrases like “My heart is LITERALLY going to explode!!!!!” or “I’m so excited I feel like I could throw a hot ball of fire across the WORLD!!!!” as Candace just shakes her head and laughs at me. But how else can I possible describe this feeling!!!???  Of knowing I get to spend the rest of my life with my soulmate… my dream come true. A dream I never knew existed, that I never have to wake up from.  I am grateful because I know this love isn’t ordinary. That not many people find this type of soulmate. One week ago, on 12-11 I married my soulmate. I can not wait to spend the rest of my life making her happy, waking up next to her sweet face, laughing with her all day. Every day with her is an adventure… paradise… a fairytale.

Our wedding was magical.  It was a simple Courthouse wedding with just our families, and on a Friday in December, we were certainly not expecting such a beautiful day in the mid 60s… It felt like summer! We arrived at the courthouse at 1:11 in the afternoon (for those of you that have been following along, you know how important this number is to us, and how often it shows up in our lives!!) The ceremony was short and sweet and emotional. We laughed, we cried, and Candace accidentally hit the Officiant in the face as we excitedly walked out. LOL.

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There were so many people that made our day special. Having the support of our families was the most important. It has been a crazy year… and having them stand by us meant everything. Our parents and Candace’s Aunt were TOO generous to us all weekend, treating us to dinners, documenting everything through photographs, showering us with presents, etc. My best friend Erica and her fiancé Joe also came all the way from Baltimore to celebrate with us after our family dinner. Huge, HUGE thank you to my good friend and insanely talented friend Marie Carmel for photographing our day for us… I can’t be more thankful for the images she captured of our love, for each other and for our families. We are bursting with happiness and it shows in each and every image she captured!

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After the ceremony we had a champagne toast at the apartment and opened cards and presents from our families. My parents had my Aunt Kristen create a beautifl art piece for us with a poem my dad wrote about our love story… so special ❤

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We then headed to dinner at Oovina in Hells Kitchen and they really went above and beyond to make it feel like a real wedding reception. The staff was friendly, accommodating and welcoming. They projected a slideshow of our images on the wall, let us pick our own music, gave us the most delicious dinner and wine pairing and were quite generous with the wine portions 😉

 

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They also let us bring in our own cake. And OMG, that cake. The one we are still eating a week later. (Well, actually Candace cut us off last night… so the rest of it is now packed away in the freezer, and will not be seen again until December of 2016. Unless we come home on a night after too much wine and don’t have any snacks in the house… hehe.) Our friend Rita makes them for a hobby and wouldn’t even let us pay her for it. But I am convinced she needs to open her own shop because she is so damn talented. All I did was show her a picture of our restaurant and told her she could make whatever she wanted, and it was beyond what I would have ever expected.

After dinner we went to Howl at the Moon. Yes, there is a Howl at the Moon in NYC, it just opened, and its AMAZING. The dueling pianos were so much fun, they gave us a ton of free drinks, and  called us up on stage and properly embarrassed the shit out of us ;-p. It was so much fun  that we are going back for New Years Eve with Erica and Joe!!!

It was a perfect day. An epic week, really. We spent the rest of the week eating, drinking, and touring the city. We took our parents to a burlesque show that our amazingly talented friend Sophia Urista is the host of. She treated us like gold, gave us the best table, free champagne, and some extra attention LOL.

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And I’m sure you’re all just dying to know why we chose this date 😉 You know how obsessed I’ve become with numbers, so 12-11 obviously has a big story behind it. It started out as just a conveniently placed “11” date, that fell on a Friday one month before our magical number 111, the day we met and the number that follows us everywhere. Our original plan was to elope on 1-11. But as it came closer we really wanted our families to be a part of our day. So we decided to make it a 2 part wedding, the courthouse for the family, and an intimate vow reading on the beach just for us (and a photographer, duh.) After deciding on 12-11, my family mentioned that Saturday the 12th might be easier for everyones schedules. I was kind of bummed about losing my “11” date until I realized the spiritual significance of the number 1212. (I know. Im crazy. It gets worse) 1212 is sort of the sister number to 1111, an represents partnership. So after getting all excited about 1212, we find out that the courts aren’t open on the weekends, what a rollercoaster 😉 Now heres the TRULY crazy part. A few weeks before our wedding we went to get our marriage license. We had no clue what time it was, we just showed up, got it, and left. As we are leaving we look down at our receipt and the time (to the SECOND) reads 12:12:12. You can.not.make.this.stuff.up.

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So after getting this little nod from the heavens I felt better about our 12-11 date HA. I ended up reading all this crazy astrology stuff about how 12-11 is some sort of super spiritual 1111 portal because of the way the numbers line up. It also happens to be 11 months from the day Candace and I met, AND it happens to be my grandmas first birthday on the other side. She passed away earlier this year, and she never got to meet Candace. My parents went to a psychic reading a few weeks ago and my Grandma came through immediately and told my parents that she was happy for me, that she would be there, and then she described our cake LOL. I thought she was way off base until we cut into it. She went into detail about “red or pinks sprinkles.” Well, our cake was red velvet. So after cutting a few pieces, there were red flecks everywhere. 🙂

I am still on a high… I am so in love and I am so truly happy. This week was wonderful and I am so excited for what we have in store for us. Just a few weeks til our beach vows and after that a LIFETIME of adventure with my love.

Candace, I am so in love with you. Fireball throwing, heart exploding, so happy I could die kinda love. THANK YOU for coming in to my life, knocking me off my feet, trusting in what we have, and choosing me. I’ve loved you for 1000 years, I’ll love you for 1000 more ;-).

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Magic.

Magic…
I wanted to believe but never felt
Til our eyes locked
My heart stopped
Body hot
Something…
Something we couldn’t define.
Hit us.
Washed over us.
Without our permission
Scared us.
Changed us.
Magic…
Between us
Ignited by our souls.
I saw mine through your eyes.
We felt the buzz…
We wanted more…
Thirsty for eachother.
The waves pulled us in
Our souls danced
Under the moon
And we walked away
Forever changed
Hand in hand
Hearts connected
Believers in Magic

Getting in the spirit!!

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Eeeeeek!!! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our home, and even Mushu is seems excited 😉  We have (for whatever crazy reason) been talking about this exact moment for months and months… putting up a Christmas tree in our little corner window area which we call “The Nook.” The Nook is usually our cozy dinner spot.. a tray on the floor surrounded by an unnecessary amount of throw pillows underneath a vacation style mosquito net. Now its home to our very first Christmas tree, and the first Christmas tree I’ve ever had in NYC!! Getting the tree was, shall I say, a much more interesting experience that I had envisioned. And more expensive. 140 dollars for a tree… say what? The very nice Christmas Tree salesman politely chuckled when we asked if the tree would fit into a cab, and gave us a small tutorial of the different options we had for carrying the tree 19 blocks back to our apartment. So we accepted the challenge, took about 10 breaks, two selfies, and had a few less arguments than we did on our kayaking adventure which I felt was pretty impressive 😉 I’m still not sure how everyone else gets their tree home, as we were quite the spectacle… everyone was looking at us and either laughing or offering positive words of encouragement. Obviously, our favorite was from a friendly waitress who called out  “Yeah, we don’t need no men!” Yeah girl. Yeah.

So with the tree up, we are now officially in the holiday spirit!!!  Bring on Harry Connick Jr and Michael Buble all day every day. And eggnog lattes. And Elf… and Home Alone… and A Christmas Story! And SNOW!!!! I’m even excited for snow this year. I’m so excited I may even drag Candace to the insanity that is the Rockafeller Christmas Tree Lighting. Even though I  have sworn I would never put myself through that kind of claustrophobic torture, it may just have to happen this year 🙂

Check our our adorable tree and decorations… EEK! You know you love our creepy owl that was ALMOST our tree topper. My favorite are the little snow bunnies that look like us 😉

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thankful

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Pendulums, auras, astrology readings, and Abraham… thats what my Thanksgiving consisted of 😉 Oh, and an absolutely delicious dinner with my family and my love… our first holiday together. I have so much to be thankful for this year.

I also learned something this holiday (go figure ;-)… Sometimes the people you have the most in common with have been in your life all along, and you just have to dig a little deeper, ask a few more questions, show a little more interest to get to know them on a deeper level. Or maybe I’m just realizing that as I grow, and evolve into the person I’ve always wanted to become I am finding the common ground with the people that have always been in my circle. The universe doesn’t put people into our circle arbitrarily. They say that everyone in our life is a soulmate of some sort, here to teach us something on our journey.

Candace and I went on a long walk the day before thanksgiving, through my hometown and up to the old rail road track that overlooks our beautiful little village. On our way home, we found a stick on the ground shaped like a drumstick. We both made a wish and it broke evenly, right down the middle, neither of us getting the bigger piece. Candace said “Well. THATS never happened to me before!” We decided this was the perfect prelude to our first thanksgiving together. We are both equally lucky to have found each other… equally thankful for the last year, for our friends and family who have been so loving and supportive of us, and we are equally looking forward to many more holidays together with each other and with the beautiful people we are so blessed to have in our lives.

Much love and Happy Thanksgiving everyone ❤

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