Today marks exactly one month since my 31st birthday. I waited this long to share with you because my birthday was a bit overwhelming this year, in all the best ways, and I needed time to process all that it was.
Andrew and I spent almost the entire month of October in California. I was headed that way for a wedding on October 18th so we figured we would make a trip out of it, visit some family, and go exploring. We spent the first week in Northern California with friends and family where we photographed my little brother’s high school senior portraits, helped Andrew’s aunt and brother with their booths at the Celtic Music Festival in Grass Valley, and spent some quality time with my youngest brother away from all things video game related (much to his dismay).
We then made our way down to Santa Cruz for a couple days to visit friends in the area. I left Andrew in Santa Cruz to work while I made the 6 hour drive down to Los Angeles on my birthday, a beautiful Friday with hardly any traffic to be seen. I ended up at my dear friend Sarah’s home situated neatly in Laurel Canyon, a beautiful glass house filled to bursting with roses and welcoming faces.
I was invited to Sarah’s home for an event called Exploding Roses, a celebration of women which culminated in a wedding, each of us marrying ourselves. For the next 3 days I met more than 50 beautiful, strong women from around the world. Together we dug deep into what makes us each unique, we sat in meditation, feasted on beautiful dishes catered by Erewhon every day, danced like no one was watching, walked like everyone was watching, explored old wounds in order to heal them, laughed, cried, screamed, and finally ran deep into the waves at Will Rogers beach at sunset on a Sunday.
We made promises to ourselves that weekend. We grew exponentially. We became more of who we are.
It was the perfect birthday.
After an intense kundalini yoga class and some sweet goodbyes on Monday morning I made may way to another friend’s home in Echo Park. We hadn’t seen each other since our college days and it was wonderful to see her again after so many years. Together we worked from the comfort of her couch, went on walks to indulge in pastries and coffee, played with her two adorable animal companions, and ended our time together on a high note with an adventurous weekend away in Joshua Tree.
After photographing a beautiful little elopement ceremony in Hollywood, I drove myself back up to Santa Cruze for a couple more days of ocean and sunshine before Andrew and I made our way to Northern California to say goodbye to our families. After a month on the road Andrew and I came home to two very happy kitties, our beautiful apartment, and crisp autumn weather. It’s good to be home, even after such an amazing adventure.
A Dose of Honesty: In case you think it was all sunshine and roses, I caught a terrible cold right after my birthday weekend and was miserably sick in the photo above. Also, my friend and I got stuck in the desert when we went to Joshua Tree. Literally stuck in the sand in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. I used my badass lady muscles to help push us out of the sand and we made it back to her place around 1am that night. Then I forgot my favorite hat in the trunk of her car and have no idea if I’ll ever see it again. So true, while my life is pretty damn awesome it isn’t all as perfect as it sounds. 😉
Photo by my favorite adventure companion, Basak Erol.