Monthly Archives: February 2013

Building Community One Latte At A Time

The drive thru...

The drive thru…

Nestled snugly at the bottom corner of Bay Park, just off Morena, in the little Bay Ho shopping complex, is a business percolating connections.  Waiting in line for my morning coffee at Coffee Quick, a small drive-thru coffee hut, I began to notice something.  Svetla, owner and operator of Coffee Quick, seemingly always happy and ready to have a conversation, had something more than just a business brewing.  Curiosity welled up inside of me, wondering if this little hut was more than just a coffee shop.  What’s the story behind it?  So I decided to find out and extended an invitation to Svetla, to share her story.  As usual, when an invitation is extended, the storytelling unfolds along with the beauty of human connection. Continue reading

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All Together Now

Though Kirk and I both do a lot of work (and share friendships) with amazing people who have labels of disability, we don’t often write a lot specifically about that in this blog. We are both using our posts to explore wider aspects of community and connection and this focus has not yet emerged here…

This week I read a post which I want to share with you all. Our friend Tim Vogt wrote a wonderful piece in his own blog about John O’ Brien and Connie Lyle O’Brien’s Five Valued Experiences. I use the Five Valued Experiences in my work a lot, and increasingly notice how the aspirations I have for my own life fit into these dimensions. I think the examples Tim gives really brings some of these ideas to life, and his post is relevant to us all. It is relevant for us to think about the Five Valued Experiences in terms of our own lives. I also believe that everyone if in our communities takes a shared responsibility for welcoming people who may be at risk of segregation, we would all have richer, more diverse, more wonderful lives!

I hope you enjoy reading and watching…

http://cincibility.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/the-five-valued-experiences/

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Eliot Dawn arrives with a lesson…

Mama belly...

Mama belly…

We write in this blog about community existing everywhere.  At home, at work, in temporary locations, etc.  Our daughter arrived early, Saturday February 2nd (yes Groundhog Day got a whole lot more meaningful), at 8:48am.  She arrived at home, a decision Jody and I made about 4 weeks prior to her arrival.  A decision based on strong beliefs and values behind the way we view child birth…what unfolded was a lesson not expected.

I know...this picture was in Linda's post...but it is beautiful :)

I know…this picture was in Linda’s post…but it is beautiful 🙂

Noticeably in active labor around 2am, Eliot’s journey began.  We called our midwives, Jamin and LaShel, to inform them Eliot was on her way.  Jamin and LaShel are the owners of San Diego Midwife, a midwifery practice comprised of just the two of them.

Jamin and Eliot...

Jamin and Eliot…

LaShel weighs Eliot...

LaShel weighs Eliot…

They believe in partnering with people, in strong relationship, to help achieve the birth parents desire.  This isn’t a soap-box rant on home birth, rather, I feel compelled to share my gratitude to them, for their willingness to take us on at 35 weeks of pregnancy, and to do so with love and respect.

Eliot Dawn minutes after her birth...

Eliot Dawn minutes after her birth…

Throughout the wee hours of the morning, the gifts of doing everything at home steadily emerged.  Grandma Cass picked up our dog at 2:30am before traveling back at 5am to be here and tend to Rhiannon and Kade when they woke up.  Grandma Lorrie and Papa John, called at 6am to alert them to Eliot’s impending arrival, so they could make the 2 hour journey.  Copious amounts of friends and family, kept abreast along the way via text messaging.  Eliot’s community thoughtfully rallying in different capacities, gathering momentum, power and love all the while.

Jody and Eliot...

Jody and Eliot…

Jody, focussed and calm, realized her vision of having a natural birth, at home, with people who valued her beliefs and honored her wishes.  At 8:48am, Eliot found herself on the chest of the woman who carried her for 39 weeks.  The moment beautiful.  Love permeated the room and house.

The girls...

The girls…

Eliot, after a few moments of natural cries, gently rested with her mother.  Peaceful and alert, Eliot bonded with mom, myself and being at home, I brought Rhiannon and Kade in right away to meet their baby sister.  It made sense.  It felt right.  It felt as it should.

Family all around...

Family all around…

Papa John and Eliot...

Papa John and Eliot…

Eliot Dawn entered this world with an intentional community surrounding her.  Not born in an institution, poked and prodded by professionals, rather, with the support of whole-person-based midwives and perhaps more importantly, with the people who will comprise her circle of support beyond the days of her birth.

Uncle Jeff, Cousin Jake and Eliot...

Uncle Jeff, Cousin Jake and Eliot…

Family, friends and neighbors all able to see her on the day she was born, in her own home, in the community she will grow up in.

Best friends...

Best friends…

Community exists everywhere, and for us, Eliot’s birth was a lesson in just that.  When we are mindful of being connected with those around us, in every moment, we realize our humanity.  Thanks to everyone for the love and support on that day, in days past and days to come.  I am grateful for this latest lesson. Bravo Eliot Dawn…bravo!

Eliot Dawn

Eliot Dawn

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Where The Heart Is

Home. Over the years this word has come to mean more and more to me. From a happy and constant childhood home, through transient student/traveller years, to setting up a life and a home with my partner; the importance of this concept has shifted for me. As Alan and I plan hopefully for a home birth for our baby, as we prepare the baby’s room, the significance of Home increases day by day.

This post is in honour of my dear friend and blog partner, Kirk, and his incredible wife, Jody.

Jody harnesses her power and beaut...

Jody harnessing her power and beauty…

Yesterday Jody birthed their beautiful baby daughter Eliot at home. Kirk shared a picture of Jody in labour in their bedroom, looking strong, powerful, and in her own domain. I am so inspired by Jody and so heartened that their wish for a home birth came true.

Dining table

My domain

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