Saturday, January 10, 2015

mtn mama: Portraits (2/52)

Eliza May!  You are eating all sorts of things from blueberries to bananas to avocados to... pizza and cottage cheese!  You REALLY love blueberries.  Your favorite person is Josey and I hope you always look to her the way you do now.  Lots of funny energy and love between you two.  You are starting to sound more and more like big sis as you explore your sounds.  We just unloaded a box of her old clothes and you look so cute and cuddly in all of them.  I am so thankful to experience this sweet baby stage twice. 

Josey James!  You are really into "King Lion" this week, as you discovered a sheet music book of mine and I played you "The Circle of Life".  We went to Abi's house and watched it together and that was a very big deal for you.  You are so imaginative, all day long coming up with different scenarios and adventures.  Things that scare you (tractors, storms, sharks), are favorite discussion topics, too.  You are so sweet and nurturing but so intense and funny too.  People tell me often. You tire me out!  But just today, I found myself thinking, "I'm so glad she's our first child.  She's going to lead the rest of the family to be adventurous, fun, and loving."  It's true, big girl!

Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Soon after we rung in the New Year, the power went out here.  It was scary to Josey, because we were getting ready for bed and her lamp kept blinking on and off until it turned dark!

After getting the girls down, James and I lit the one candle in the house and played music on our bed, I sat with my backpacker guitar in hand for the first time in awhile.  It felt good to improvise and move around the fretboard and we just play and just hear the sounds.  Beautiful, mysterious... romantic!  It was kindof sad that it took the power going out for us to do that together- but I hope to make more time for that kind of free music-making with him in the New Year.

As we finally tucked into the covers that night, I couldn't sleep, the house was getting cold.  We prepared to let the girls sleep in our bed for the night the next time they woke up.  Eventually, Jose cried and I went in to calm her down.  "I was a little bit scared because there was a storm (watched one on a cartoon earlier) and my light was flashing.  I'm cold!"  Though Eliza was sleeping soundly, I brought J in our bed and enjoyed a few hours of her cuddling up to me.  The heat came on somewhere in those wee hours, and there was so much squiriming around, so I had to bring our tall girl back to her bed.

Sometimes, I wish we could have the big family bed, but it never really worked for us.  The first several months of both girls' lives, they slept wiht me, but both reached a point when they needed their own sleep space.  Eliza's recent weaning has been emotional for me- I think I was more sensitive to our connectedness through the pregnancy and 'fourth trimester'.  The New Year has been one of no more nursing for us, but there are such tender moments with her anyway, that I know it's what's right for us, and we went as long as we should've.  I don't want to allow myself to feel mommy guilt because everyone has a different scenario that is the best for them whether it be childbirth or nursing or daycare.

I've started playing music with a friend, and we are actually preparing a set together!  This is a big step for me, having taken a bit of an unplanned break from gigging since the birth of Josey & Eliza.  At the Christmas Lunch for the Music School I'm teaching at in Whitefish, the other teachers asked me if I was playing out.  I hadn't thought much about it, but their question made me realize I really wanted to!

One of the songs we're playing is "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," and that's a theme I'm also returning to in my life.  The song is a tough one to sing after losing my Grandma, but that's what makes these songs so powerful.

A theme for my 2015- the Circle.  How can I bring more of our life full-circle?  I want more time in my life, more energy, more connection.  With people I love, with new & old students, friends & family.

I've been feeling a little off, overall, energy-wise.  Being a mama of two is exhausting, and I'm searching for more energy as I try to take on some new teaching and projects.  Yoga classes are helping, Eliza's sleeping isn't.  We got the book the Sleepeasy Solution, which comes highly recommended and is known as the "least cry" solution.  Still, there is a fair amount of crying involved and it makes it hard to sleep.

I've been using a couple essential oils for awhile now (Lemon, Lavendar, Tee Tree, Rosemary), and have been wanting to expand our collection because I know there are so many benefits to incorporating different oils into your daily routines and, as I've shared about here, I struggle with balance.  Young Living Essential Oils have so many blends that are helpful for ailments all over the board, from arthritis to hormones to sleep.  My aunt just bought a kit and gave me several testimonials that have worked for my cousins over the phone.

While Essential Oils have blown up in social media this year, I've been interested in them, and loved to play apothecary from early on in my life, imagining making "perfume" in our backyard as a tot. I'm drawn to the Essential Oils and using them several ways- incorporating that sense of smell in our life a bit more, as well as using the oils topically (skin is our bodies' biggest organ!), and in our water.  Josey is always telling me different things she smells and scent has always been a memory-enhancer for me!

Whether or not buying into an Essential Oils package is the key to feeling more complete, it's a discussion we are having as improving finances is a big focus for JamilyFamily in 2015.

Feeling more complete can also come from more nights sitting close in pine-scented candlelight.  Sundays on the ski hill.  An evening family romp at the park.  Realizing that life is short and filling up on gratitude all day long.  Finding peace by promoting positivity, refusing to focus on the negative.  Recognizing emotions, memories, and dreams moving through them all.  Living this life in earnest love.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Mtn Mama: Portraits (1/52)

Happy New Year!  
// A portrait once a week in 2015 //
Of our girls, for our girls

Josephine James, 2 and a half.  You could've played in this snowpile all day.  You love to pretend to cook and play with your babies & guys- making them feel better if they bump their heads or get tired.  Singing and dancing are your favorite and you love to pretend to play violin.  Emotion is the root of everything you do!  Sweet sweet girl. 

Elizabeth May, 8 months.  Sleeping is becoming fewer & further between with all the sissy-watching you do.  When you're awake, you sound like Donald Duck, and you're holding on to everything, proud little squaker!  Crawling is no problem for you, and you are also a fan of sidelaying (and leg lifts), flexible baby!  You're both my little cuddly loves, and I love you so!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

the Holiday Spirit....

This time of year, my text messages start to look a little like greeting cards.

Much of the Holiday Spirit I have has always gone toward making things festive in my classroom while practicing Christmas music from Halloween on.  This year is different (I'm at home most of the time) and I have been thinking more about decorating, even though we won't be here for Christmas. James started it off with some twinkies and I started opening one of our boxes, and I figure we won't be done decorating until we leave for Helena for Christmas.

photo via

We are in a tiny apartment and have a new crawling baby, so getting a full-sized tree was out of the question.  I'm thinking of channeling more of the above feel?  Find little tree for a bucket (we have a bunch leftover from our wedding)?  I'll join the masses and give a tree update everyone on instagram if we pull it off!

Also, we have a TON of grapefruit right now (which is so delicious and makes me feel very healthy in the morning), and I want to sacrifice a few to channel this:

Anthropologie-inspired via U lala
Josey has been watching Happy Holidays from Elmo's world- she got a bunch of Sesame Street DVDs from Nicole & Matt on our West Coast Trip.  I love how she exclaims, "it's Christmas!" everytime she sees decorations.  Reliving the Holidays though the eyes of a child is so awesome, I love that we can do this every year with them.  

What are you doing to get in the Christmas spirit this year?  While I'm starting to feel that itch, to Wear my favorite Christmas sweater & belt "All I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS.  is _ _ Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! (Oo e ooo ba-bay)" at least once to my is a little playlist for you.  Enjoy!

PS: I got the BEST diy gift from a BFF.  I couldn't help but open it right away because her gifts are always wonderful, and I really want to share it here, because it's such a great idea, but I'm afraid I would spoil the surprise if all my girlies haven't gotten them yet...


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