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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...

Our Quiet, Early Morning Cartoon and Cup of Joe

Almost 2 1-2-14-9689

I am one of those moms who plops her baby down in front of the TV. There.  I said it.  I am no Mother of the Year and yes, I let Ramona watch a little T.V. from time to time (time to time being, about 4 out of  7 days a week).  But in my defense, it’s only for 20 minutes or so, until I have ingested enough coffee (and Ramona, enough milk), to kick start my brain.

I have NEVER been a morning person.  And there hasn’t been a single day since Ramona was born almost 2 years ago that I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on another day of motherhood.  Especially in the winter, when Ramona wakes up and it’s still dark out and  freezing cold in our house, and I can barely find the light switches, let alone put together a puzzle with my little nut.  So–T.V. it is.  And I have to say that this morning ritual has become a very sweet time for us.  Ramona, usually wrapped in a fluffy blanket, snuggles in on my lap while I sip my hot coffee and stroke her sparse (yet growing) hair.   We essentially wake up together, watching “The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That”.  After the heat has kicked up and my coffee kicked in, we are ready to move on to more “stimulating activities”.  T.V. paranoia aside, I actually dig this  morning cartoon time with my girl and am so ever grateful for the 20 minutes of hot coffee.

Elaine Thomas Harris - I remember, with such fondness, watching Mr. Rogers with Mark after you 3 “big kids” went to school. Ahhh…sweet snuggle time 🙂

Melody Zobel - Sweet. These days it’s Chris and Joey in the morning. I can’t move….other lovely dvds from early on HBO Baby Dance and Baby Music, The Snowman, Little People, Word World, and Dinosaur Train. Hmmm. These days it’s Phineas and Ferb! Love you Jules. Mel

Lillian Chatham - So sweet! It sounds like you have a good system down 🙂

Lillian M Chatham - You rock!

Pepper Glory

There are no words to express the jubilation that I feel in my heart today.  My dear, dear friend Tracy gave birth to her first daughter at 7:45am.  Tracy and Matt have been waiting and praying for this little bundle for 10 years and she is finally here–in all her glory.  And she is breathtaking.  She is already comfortable and so content–as if she knows that she is supposed to be here–that she knows that there is a calling on her life.  I believe this.

Tracy’s water broke at 5:45 and by the time I got to the hospital to photograph the birth, little Pepper had already arrived.  I missed it, sadly but was ecstatic to meet her and photograph these first few moments of her life.

This post is short and sweet as I truly am speechless today with wonder at the miracle of life, but I just had to post some  images of my sweet little niece.  Meet Pepper Glory.  Welcome to the world, sweet girl.  I can’t wait to spend some precious time with you.

Crystal - These photos seriously made me cry. Tracy what a beautiful baby girl. I’m so happy for you. You were the best older friend to us and I know you will be the best mom. Love you. -Crystal Thomas

From LOHI to Farmland – This “City Girl” has Moved to the Country


I wish somebody had a camera on me–at this moment just after I’ve turned off the stereo to tune into the goats instead, mawwwwing  just 100 yards away on the property east of us.  It’s Monday afternoon and I’ve just cancelled an engagement shoot in Denver due to rain.  I’m celebrating the down time while sitting out on my large deck snuggled up in a quilt and writing these thoughts down–pen to paper.  It just dropped 20 degrees, the wind is blowing my hair across my face and I’m making a mess with my wine.  I’m taking deeper breaths, longer sips and feeling overwhelmingly grateful that I’m right here, right now, in the country.

Yes.  I said country.  This “city girl” has uprooted with her little family to sow some deeper ones out here in Boulder County.  I guess I’m finding my way back to those hippie roots that have been beckoning to me for some time now…  We made this decision while on our way to the Broadmoor Hotel in mid June to celebrate our 9th anniversary. We went for it, getting our place fixed up and rented while becoming renters ourselves and, so luckily, scoring this lovely home in the country on over an acre-with goats and horses as neighbors instead of, well, neighbors. All in under six weeks.

Life in the country is good. Coffee drinks a little hotter out here and I drink it a little slower.  I write outdoors  in my t-shirt and underwear knowing that nobody can see me except for that creepy rooster.  I, a notorious lead-foot, drive the speed limit in my new neighborhood to respect the horse riders and cyclists that I share the roads with and to take in the dynamic landscape.  People out here wave to each other instead of flip each other off and there is a carton of fresh peaches that I just picked up from an outdoor farm stand just a mile from my house.  We attract jaybirds and chickadees instead of pigeons in Ramona’s little bird feeder now. And I’m more worried about coyotes than I was of squirrels.  I could go on and on about all the little things I am loving about this new home, but each treasure deserves it’s own space and story and I refuse to do an abridged version this early into our adventure. I just wanted to plug  in (literally) for a moment to let everybody know that I’m still out here–still working as a full-time photographer and blogging when I can.  I’m just OUT HERE with satellite cable and a 20GB data limit ( another post).  I’m not saying that the country is better than the city or that the city is better than the country.    I’m only 35 and honestly don’t know quite who I am yet and am certainly not willing to put definitive statements on myself.  For surely, I haven’t tasted enough or explored enough of this little world to make those kind of generalizations. And I hope that I never will. For that is half the reason we made this move… to taste and see, to live and explore, and of course, to be a down-home Mama and live vicariously through my  wild toddler as she soaks it all in.  I have tasted.  And I am loving.  Just saying that for now…


anne singleton - I love your little house and your fabulous, simpler life…. I am glad I share it with you in little pieces. 🙂 I do need to correct you though- you certainly DO know you you are, more than anyone I know! Don’t be too far from the city so you can still have margs with me!

Good Old Days

I think I was seriously depressed just 2.5 years ago–or seriously situationally depressed, anyhow.  I remember thinking that I didn’t have any dreams left–that I had lived and played out all of my fantasies and that I had nothing left to look forward to. I kept trying to force the dreams–like I would say to myself that I wanted to be a fashion photographer like Helmut Newton and live in Paris.  I would think  about landscaping my backyard and plan my next social event.  What would I wear?  But the problem with these pseudo dreams is that I never acted on them.  I didn’t have time.  I was too busy shooting 40 weddings a year and drinking myself into a haze every night that I didn’t get to them.  And of course I had to work to support this life that I had bought myself.

Then I found out I was pregnant and everything changed.  I didn’t even think I wanted it, but having a child has flipped “nothing to look forward to” on its  ass.  My future is bright every morning (after 9)  because Ramona is surprising me every single day with something new.  Today it was the word, “lizard” that came out of her mouth perfectly  the very first time she uttered it.  And I can’t explain it, but my dreams are now about making Ramona’s dreams come true.  I want a petting zoo in my backyard (seriously) instead of landscaping.  I want a 2 month trip to France with my family instead of a photography sabbatical. And I want to spend the lazy summer weekends when I’m not working going to parks and visiting Colorado festivals.  Oh, the festivals!  I’ve missed  so many over the the last 10 years shooting weddings every Saturday that it’s almost tragic.  So last weekend we visited the Good Old Days Festival in Lyons.  Jesse grew up in Lyons so it truly was the “good old days” for him.  And for me,  it was a dream.

I couldn’t help but laugh when looking at the images in the middle of this series while I was going through them.  I’m chasing Ramona in almost every one.  Each image is  of her back.  She is up ahead of me and I’m behind, watching her. This is literally how I’ve been spending most of  my days–chasing Ramona around making sure she doesn’t kill herself while  noticing how long and curly her hair is getting. But these images seem almost metaphorical.  Ramona is taking the lead.  And I’m content watching her back while she paves her paths and learns to be true to her authentic self.   I’m happy reveling in her endless curiosity and exuberant vivacity. In a nutshell, my dreams are now hers.  She is my dream.  Or  maybe I’m perfectly satisfied  just being present and don’t need “dreams” as much as I had thought. Either way,  I’m the happiest I’ve ever been–right here, right now–watching this little bean grow.


Maria Healey - Julie, there is such beauty in your honesty! I, too, realize that my dreams have changed and I find more joy in wanting to help create the dreams of my son, rather than insisting on pursuing my own in a more selfish fashion. I had a great time in my 20’s chasing those dreams and I wasn’t sure I’d even want to become a mother, but motherhood has become something I’m so passionate about now and I couldn’t be more thankful my husband and I made that decision to start a family of our own. It’s good to see there are other women out there with the same situation. Thanks for sharing your story!

Grzegorz - “Three things we have left of paradise: the stars, the flowers and the eyes of a child” – Dante Aligheri. I know, that when You look into Ramona’s eyes, You are in Paradise Julie. And You can’t be depressed in Paradise.

Sarah Weinberger - Seriously crying right now! SO beautiful and meaningful! I love this SO much!!

Mom - Julie Darlin’… No one could have told you about all that you are feeling now – as a mama to our beautiful Ramona! I think the love we feel for our babies is the closest we can experience to perfect love. It is un-earned love. It is love that grows because we give so completely of ourselves, expecting nothing back. It is unmanipulative love. I believe heaven will be full of that kind of love. I am so grateful you and Jesse chose to be parents. You are wonderful at the job!! xo

Jodi - I just love these…I want to squish that little face and cover it with kisses. These are some of my favs….so Julie Harris, soooo Ramona!

Christa Chatham - Wow Julie! This is beautiful! I am so happy for you and Jesse!!! I have noticed a very big change in the both of you… I feel your energy is lighter and you seem very happy! Ramona is so precious and growing so fast… I am truly going to miss that little smarty pants… She will surpass most and very quickly! Mua!! Love you and your dear family!!!

Kailee - I love her. And you and Jesse 🙂