Den Chronicles: The reliable firstborn

Please read and share! This is the last of a series of 3 on birth order. Thanks for your support!

PLEASE NOTE: This site will go inactive in a few weeks, as I move my blog and webpage over to my new location at

I am looking forward to sharing all that is new at that site. Please check in frequently to see the progress. It is, truly, like my life, a work in progress!!! Thanks for your support!!



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Den Chronicles: The mystery middle child

Last week on mamalode I brought you the story of being the baby of the family. This week I talk about the dynamics of the middle child.

Here is an excerpt from my post:

Grace became a bit louder after Cade was born. At first I thought it was so she could be heard over the colic of a newborn baby. Alas, that has not been the case. Her amazing lung capacity, whether her little brother is around or not, continues to amplify to the point that the decibels compare to some of some rock concerts I have attended.

Continue reading HERE.

Update: although I am not posting regularly here, there is a lot of work being done behind the scenes to prepare for my website launch.  Find Your Harmony is looking great, and I am making my way into the music studio today to do some recording for my first CD! Stayed Tuned!!!!  jen

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Den Chronicles: Being a baby!

I don’t mean to do it…..really I don’t! But try as I might, I continue a trait that millions of women around the world have done for years before me and probably will continue to do for years after I am gone: babying my youngest child.

Read the rest of the story on my weekly post at  HERE

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“I am one of your mothers. In your lifetime you will meet many mothers disguised in names and labels of all sorts. They will come to you when you least expect them, and when you need them most. For motherhood is far too difficult to navigate alone, and much too joyful to keep to yourself,” I replied.  


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HOPE: an acronym

I heard last night on the news that in the last 44 days we have only had six days that were “normal” weather temperatures for this time of year. The other 38 days have been below average in temperature, and above average in moisture–primarily SNOW showers.

My son, watching the clouds roll in on top of a mountain on a hike recently

With my desire to grow green thumbs and some plants in the ground, as well as soak up some vitamin D, this has been a bit discouraging. Many of us that live in the west absolutely love winter, but when “spring” comes, we are READY for the warmth of the sunshine.

This year has reminded me to let go a little, for this is a great example of something I cannot control. So, in the process of letting go a little, I am finding that my HOPE has grown….a lot! For it gives me an anchor. After all, summer WILL eventually come. My garden may not grow as long or as productive, but the sun WILL shine.

Here is a little HOPE acronym for any of you who are “over” winter!

H is for Happy. Hoping makes you happy, because you focus on what could manifest!

O is for open. When things are out of our control, it often will open us up. We have to let life unfold in a more natural way, let go of outcome, and seize the moments!

P is for possibility. There is a plethora of possibility when you look at the weather, just like in life. It could rain, sleet, snow, or be sunny in any moment in Montana, and one of our favorite sayings here is: “If you don’t like the weather then wait ten minutes.” Be open to possibility.

E is for embrace. Not just the moment, the weather, but your loved ones. It will keep you warm on those snowy, sleety, silly spring days!

Head over, please, and check out my post about springtime and where I am finding it in my life….the song and video made by a few of my students is a MUST SEE! Check it out here.

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Musings from the Mountain

On Earth Day I took my 3 children and the dog for a hike directly behind my house on the mountain. Out of this post came my story on the gratitude I have for the journey I have been on. Here is an excerpt:

My life happens in the raw dirt, the weeds, the flowers, and the brilliant moment when I make a conscious choice to be grateful for what I have.  Read the rest of this story on my weekly column: Den Chronicles here.
I have always loved to hike. I have fond memories of hiking with my family. There are pictures of me, the youngest of seven children, in the old backpack on my dad’s back. Exploring nature is humbling, and a good lesson. Here are a few thoughts I have about hiking:
1. Nature puts you in your place. When you reach a summit  it is hard to believe that there isn’t a problem you can’t conquer.
2. Climbing mountains is a difficult task. And usually in Montana when you get to a summit you recognize that there are new summits to climb…..just like setting goals in life.
3. You may stumble and fall. You have to pay attention to the here and now at every moment because THAT is what keeps you safe and happy on your journey.
4. You must stop and take rest breaks. If you keep going you may miss some beautiful scenery, or burn out, or not want to finish the hike.
5. Hiking with kids teaches them goal setting, perseverance, and the enjoyment of the journey.
6. You must bring fuel. You need water and snacks to hydrate you and keep your body strong and fed. Life presents the same dilemma. If you are not getting the support (fuel) you need, you will crash and burn.
7. Hiking is enjoyable with other people and is also enjoyable as a solo activity. It is important to enjoy both forms of hiking to feed your soul.
8. It is easiest to stay on the trails, but every so often it is fun, brave, and necessary to create your own path and let others lead in your footsteps.
9. Prepare for all sorts of weather. Life is a thunderstorm, a snowstorm, a ray of sunshine, a burst of wind. Nature doesn’t give you it’s itinerary, no matter what the weatherman is saying.
10. The mountaintop is full of wonder. It is a place that humbles you, makes you realize that life is bigger than one person, that the dance of joy is felt in the interrelationship between all creatures.

Teaching my kids not to fear blazing their own trails!

look will see elk. We scared over 100 head out of the trees!

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Good neighbors are priceless!

Our friendship was created slowly, like a kettle of soup on simmer. She delighted in the sight of toys strewn across the yard and the laughter of my children echoing through the neighborhood, since her three children were grown and gone. He eventually became “Grandpa” and relentlessly pulled ears in a teasing, loving way — much a kid himself. She became “Grandma” to the kids and another “Mom” to me. We celebrated annual events together, like pumpkin carving. Mom and I sat on her back porch late one evening, sipping on a bottle of red wine, trying to solve the problems of all the mothers in the world, while he kept wondering why in the world she hadn’t come to bed yet!


As I continue to work on the new site, which will launch in June, I will bring you a favorite post each week…..let me know what you think.

Today’s post:  On MUSIC

Happy Tuesday, everyone!


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