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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...

Rachel’s beautiful letter to her tiny Ruby

Two things mama should do before their babies turn 1

1.)Write a letter

2.)Take breastfeeding pics

…Rachel did both.


Your smile stops strangers in their tracks. Your laugh is an infectious little squeal. It seems like moments ago your Daddy said, “It’s a girl!!!” and I held you for the very first time. How has a full year gone by since those precious first moments? You amaze me every day. I love seeing the world through your bright eyes. Ruby Love, you are a living, breathing, smiling, laughing, squealing example of how quickly years pass by. 

You gave Daddy and I quite a scare while you were still in my belly. The midwives were concerned you weren’t growing enough. They put me on bed rest and monitored your growth and movement twice a week. Daddy assured me you were just a small baby, and boy was he right! You are a teeny tiny peanut, 5lbs 9oz at birth and just 16lbs 10oz at 1 year. What you lack in size, you more than make up for with your huge personality. You are such a ham. You seek out eye contact of anyone and everyone, just so you can give them your little two tooth grin. 
You love music, which is no surprise. You recently started bobbing your head, and I swear you can keep a beat. Daddy loves to play you guitar, and you love to bang on the strings. You recently started pointing at everything, and are so eager to explore the world around you. You could play peek-a-boo for hours, and crack up laughing every time I come out of hiding. You love your dogs, and I know they love you too. You love wagon rides, and your nightly baths. Napping has never been your thing, but you sleep through the night without a peep. I actually miss our late night nursing sessions, when the world outside was silent and you’d fall asleep in my arms. 

Sweet girl, I never imagined a love so deep and pure. It is such a joy to watch you learn and grow. Your little life has enriched mine more than I thought possible. Ruby Love, you are my world, and for that I am ever grateful. Mama loves you so much! Happy 1st Birthday baby girl! 

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.