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    Mama Loves Moonshine is an honest, heartfelt, photo-centric blog devoted to all things motherhood, pregnancy & maternity, babies, toddlers, children, parenting and more... all accompanied by lots of photos. Julie is a new mother who has fallen in love with being a mom and already feels like it's going by so fast. Julie is married to Jesse, mother to Ramona Moon (aka Moonshine) and lives on an acre and a half in horse country between Boulder and Lyons, Colorado.

    Loving the journey (most of the time),

    Julie (Mama Moonshine)

    Read more about Mama Loves Moonshine...

Friday’s feature–A great bath product for Colorado babies

Everything I’ve learned thus far has been from other mamas.  And my go to mama has been my friend and client, Meagan Londy.  When I was in my first trimester, I was photographing her sweet baby Vivienne and asking tons of questions, “How am I going to do all of this?  Am I cut out to be a mom? What if my baby isn’t as good as Vivienne? How will I juggle work?”  Meagan was so honest with me about her  own ambivalence about being a mama during her pregnancy and how her heart changed once Vivi arrived.  When Ramona was born, she cheered me on and lended me her breast pump during my breast feeding saga (you can read more about that here).  She has been a wealth of knowledge for me, from swimming schools to the very product I’m reviewing today–a bath oil for Colorado babies.

Bath time is an integral part of our nighttime routine.  Ramona loves the bath and it soothes her before sleep. Unfortunately, living in a desert environment, Ramona  has dried up like a little lizard and I didn’t want to bathe her anymore because of her sensitive skin.  So when I went to Meagan’s house to photography Vivienne’s 1st birthday photos, I asked what she used, as Vivienne had the same problem with bath time and dry skin.  Alpha Keri Bath and shower oil is the answer.  So, because Meagan can do no wrong, I bought the oil and started using it in Ramona’s bath last week.  It’s actually quite amazing. Incredibly moisturizing, it even works with eczema!   It has a nice light fresh fragrance and is the most beautiful  azure blue.  I ordered mine on  I’m a bath product snob, and I’ll keep buying this–it may save bath time and allow us to go back to a bath every night… Thanks again, Meagan!

My First Father’s Day as a Father


(photo by my lovely wife, of course)

I wrote this on Father’s Day and though I’m a little late, I thought I’d share it today.

For the first time, I celebrate Father’s Day as an actual father. Our little girl was born almost 5 months ago. She has ushered in not only a new era but also a new existence. Julie and I have been married for 8 years and together for 12. We’ve done all sorts of awesome things together over the years: travel, rock concerts, dinners out 5 nights a week, late night partying and loud band practices in the basement twice a week. We’ve lived life as well as anyone and have truly enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. In all honesty, I have very few regrets and thoroughly enjoyed our DINK days (double income, no kids). That being said, I am truly falling in love with my new life as a father and family man. And I’m more than happy to admit it.

Being the father of a five-month year old baby has, of course, its challenges and unique brand of pain and hardship. For one, babies are not rational. They willfully act against their own self-interest without any thought of the lunacy (and irony) of it. Many a time, Ramona has been beyond exhausted… utterly sleepy and in desperate need of a nap. And those are the exact times that it’s hardest to get her down. My little rascal will use every last ounce of energy to ward off sleep (hers and mine). I’ve held her and comforted her for hours trying to coax her to sleep while silently praying that my wife gets home from her photo shoot so I can hand the babe off to her and go make a stiff drink.

And so rattled have I been from my little girl’s bloodcurdling crying in moments like those that I’ve been known to be a little intimidated of the next time daddy has Ramona all to his lonesome. “What time will you be back, hon?” I ask my wife. “By 8 or 8:30,” she responds. “That’s more than 2 and half hours,” I say after looking at my phone. “What if she won’t go to sleep? What if she cries the whole time?” I ask with concern. “You’re a big boy, Jes,” she responds. “Handle it.”

In addition to the sometimes otherworldly, level 12 crying fits that I endure, I’ve learned that Ramona is indifferent to my back problems. She keeps getting chubbier and chubbier without any regard to the impact those extra pounds are having on my back. (I will say, however, that my baby is the most exquisitely cute and adorable little chubble bubble that ever did grace God’s green earth, so there’s that). But her rapid growth and glorious girth can be limiting in how long I can hold her or in what position due to my already pain prone lower back. And she doesn’t seem to notice, much less care as she continues to greedily gulp down her milk with abandon.

In spite of these challenges (and yes, I know, many more to come), I love having this amazing little beauty in our lives. The good is so many millions of times better than the bad. In fact, I don’t know what we’d be doing right now without her. It feels as though she was always supposed to be here. And now she is. She’s a great gift and blessing to us both. And trust me, we were both very reticent and skeptical about having children. We just weren’t sure that we were up for the responsibility and utter selflessness that rearing children properly entails. And yes, I’m still green… I’ve only been a father for less than 6 months so I can’t speak to what it’s like to be a father over the long term; no doubt it has its ups and downs. But I will say that my life is better now. Enhanced; amplified; greatly expanded. If only because there is a remarkable, pure and innocent little person in our lives and consciousness now whose presence is a blessing in and respite from this sometimes tough and painful world. Ramona, unbeknownst to herself, is this lovely little person who I get to parent and love and do my best to educate and prepare for a life that, let’s be honest, can kick your ass.

So here’s to all of us fathers out there, the ones who care enough to wonder if we’re doing it right. May we deliver our children into adulthood in better shape and in a healthier place than we arrived ourselves. And may we learn quickly, on the job, in the midst of the madness, to do the right things more than the wrong things. And may we enjoy the journey that it is and most certainly will be.

Thankful and happy,

Jesse (Papa Moon)

winnie - That was the most honest and heartwarming father message I have heard … ever. Good luck

April Ingram - What an honest post! Though I am not a father, I have watched my sweet husband transition into a fantastic father over the past 8 1/2 years and I think i can safely will just keep getting better! Though…the kids will never take into consideration how their weight and insistence on being toted negatively impacts their daddy’s back & hip pain, whether that are 6 months or 6 years old 😉 Good luck, I hope you have a fantastic chiropractor!

Elaine - I have LOVED watching you fall in love with your daughter! You’re doing a wonderful job! And I love to see her look into your eyes — heart melting!

Heather - Aww Jess…well written and truthful. You guys are so blessed and not being able to be there in person to meet little R we sure love to read and catch up on the latest here. Love to you all!

Emilie D - I cried while reading this! What a great post 🙂 Can’t wait to have my hubby read it as I’m sure he’s curious about what it’s going to be like to be a father in 7 short weeks.

Our First Day at the Pool


My memories of summer as a child are always at the pool.  My mom took us there  at least five days a week.  To this day, I still can’t go through the sunscreen aisle at Target without sniffing a bottle of baby coppertone. It brings me back to the sounds of kids splashing in the water, a picnic under a shaded tree with cold peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and bing cherries.  I would climb out of the pool at adult swim and lay directly on the concrete to get warm, then sit anxiously at the side  until they blew the whistle, “OPEN SWIM”, and I’d plunge back in.  My white hair was green with chlorine, but I didn’t care.  I was a fish.   Sometimes, my mom would take us home for a nap, and then we’d go right back to the pool where my Dad would meet us at the grill for dinner, or we’d stop across the street at Roman village Pizza to pick up dinner.  My job was to carry the pizza carefully on my lap in the car.  It was so hot on my legs, but it was my big girl job and I took it with pride.    Then there was treat day—once a week we were allowed to hit the snack bar for a treat.  I almost always got the licorice rope–it seemed to be the biggest treat that would last the longest.  My sister always got a coke.  It was the day we looked forward to all week, as sugar wasn’t allowed the rest of the week.  Ahhhh….so many wonderful memories!   Summers days as a child were so simple and perfect.

 Last Friday  we finally took Ramona to the pool and she LOVED it!  Of course, we probably loved it more–seeing her in her little baby Gap swim suit and cap, and watching her splash in the pool like a duck– It was just as I had remembered.  Sounds of laughter all around and of course the smell of baby coppertone sunscreen.  My friend Tracy even packed a lunch in the cooler like the old days ,with sandwiches and iced cold diet coke.  Monie  had her first peach, which will now be a daily thing– Wow! She devoured it.  My life on Friday was a dream as I was back to work on Saturday, but we plan to do this every week and I am enrolling Ramona and swim lessons later this month…  Stay tuned for that…


Mandy - Oh my gosh, her cuteness kills me. She looks like a fab synchronized swimming beauty in her swimsuit and cap…love it!

April Ingram - How precious! My only “pool memories” from childhood were in our backyard in one of those hard plastic pools that would get slimy and murky after 2 days and my mom would send me and my brother out with a bottle of bleach and a mop and make us clean it, lol. I do love that my kids have plenty of relatives and friends who have pools that we are welcome to use anytime and our tiny town has a great park with a spring AND a creek to play in. So water is definitely part of our weekly routine in the summer 🙂 Ramona looks SO precious in her little suit and cap! So glad she enjoyed her first dip in the pool!

Jan Gonzales - Beyond cute!!! Thanks for sharing … enjoyed the blog.

Johanne - Those are such beautiful photos and precious memories Julie! I love both of your blogs and I think you are the most amazing writer & photographer ever.

Emilie - She is just adorable!!

Jess Hunt - I love that having kids allows us (forces us?) to do all of the things that didn’t sound nearly as fun before. Going to a pool (and having to get in a bathing suit!) on a hot day used to sound like torture, now it’s all I want to do because it’s so much fun to see Harper in the water. So I put on my mom-suit with pride and for a while l feel like a kid again, too….

Jen - Are you kidding me? Can a baby girl possibly be more precious?? Love, love, love these photos!! Do they make that suit in my size?

hillary - I can’t handle the orange hat!!!! I must have one for my babies!!! Precious.