A perfectly unconventional first meeting

Today my father finally got to meet our sweet 2 month old Rosemary. 🌹 We all missed him SO much.  Because he just beat cancer for the second time he is still immuno-compromised and we are all still taking precautions with COVID seriously. It had been 3 months since I put my arms around my father.  I couldn’t bare to see him and not be able to hug him.  So today I made a plastic barrier with arm holes and Lysoled every square inch of it so we could wrap each other up tight and still stay safe.  We’ve been through a lot in the past few months.  Loosing my grandfather and not being able to mourn together has been hard.  But today was a small step in the healing.  Embracing felt like the sigh of relief and love that we’d both been needing.  It felt safe and comforting and I’ve been longing for that moment.  The power of human touch and contact is medicine for the soul.  Watching him hold Rose for the first time was so special albeit the very weird circumstances.  We were starving for time together face to face and it meant everything to finally be able to be together again.  We love our Pawpaw. ❤️



Sunny Mustard Yellow Dress

Today I wore a sunny mustard yellow dress. I got ready slowly in the morning.  I took time to dry and curl my hair with care while Rosemary napped a few feet from me in her swing near the gauzy white translucent curtains in our bedroom.  I put on the crystal earrings that John bought me last summer in Helen.  I listen to the same three love songs over and over again on repeat still in a romantic and happy daze from the anniversary evening before. It felt refreshing and comforting to find myself in this ritual that has been absent from many of my days in the past few months.  I went through the day feeling poised and utterly feminine and somehow historical.  My buttons clasped and unclasped countless times through the day as I nursed Rose cradled in my arms.  In the evening I rushed around tidying up the simple decorations from last nights anniversary celebration.  As I walked up the stairs to our bedroom carrying the wooden candle holders my grandfather made and the pale pink tapers I felt grounded in that mundane task.  I was barefoot and my mustard dress swung from side to side as I scaled each step.  As the night drew on and a change of attire was fitting I unbuttoned the dress and it fell to the floor with a swoosh as the heavy weight of the fabric dropped.  Today I wore a sunny mustard yellow dress. 

“We’re both lucky”

Last night before falling asleep on the eve of our 10 year anniversary I told John, “I feel so lucky to be married to you.” He gave me a squeeze in our embrace and said, “We are both lucky.”  In these 10 years we have made forgiveness a swift reflex and we give each other the benefit of the doubt.  We believe the best in each other and we don’t keep score.  I believe I could have been molded into a very different woman but John Murphy is my soul’s truest counterpart.  He has taught me tolerance, perspective, and forgiveness.  He has a calming influence on my heart and brings out the very best in me.  If I have a dream he is my biggest champion.  We have built a life I am so very proud of.  We have given life to 4 amazing children that we cherish more than anything.  He feels like the softest most wonderful place to land at the end of every day.  Who knows what the next 10 years will bring but tonight before we fell asleep we spoke of the calm reassurance we have in the foundation of our love and friendship.  John Murphy, thank you for loving me in the most confident, passionate and jocular way that gives me roots and wings. 



Blessing Rose

This past weekend we had the honor of blessing Rosemary in our home. It was so sacred to be able to gather in our very own living room to do that. She was blessed in a handmade dress that was over 100 years old.  It belonged to my great Aunt’s husband’s grandmother! She was calm and happy and beautiful. We had a small gathering of family and the rest joined us on Zoom.  She was blessed to know that she has a mother who loves her more than she will know, a father who will always be there for her, a brother who will protect her, sisters that will care for her, and the love of her Savior to rely on in times of challenges in her life. Many other beautiful things were said and felt.  Happiest blessing day, Rose! 


Rosemary’s Mother

Becoming a mother to our Rosemary has been every bit as tender and magical as our other 3 children.  She came as a great surprise and I’ll never forget telling John we were expecting her in the front music room of our home in the middle of Friday in August.  We were both shocked and he reacted with such collected confidence and calm excitement as he always does, that steadied me.  I cherish this sacred role and divine responsibility to mother our four children. The weight of that responsibility and privilege drives me to my deepest prayers every day.  I’m not perfect, not even close, but I’m perfect for them.  We need each other, I believe our strengths and weaknesses were skillfully matched by my Heavenly Father to teach us what we need to learn.  I love being a mother, I love being THEIR mother. 

Clocks and Calendars

Motherhood has made me two great enemies: clocks and calendars.  The cliche is true, “The days are long but the years are short.” Time is a stealthy thief and it marches on impassively and indifferent.  The other day I looked at Avett, I mean REALLY looked at him, and his legs were suddenly longer and his face was noticeably older in a way that gave me a glimpse of him 10 years into the future.  Rosemary is now 5 weeks old and is starting to loose the slow sloth-like cadence of her newborn movements.  Evie can read words like “nuisance” and long chapter books in bed every night.  Today as I was stroking Clara’s hair to put her to sleep for her nap I felt the shape of her strong bones at my fingertips.  They were larger and so unfamiliar compared to the baby I nursed and nestled only a year or so ago.  These days won’t last forever and the weight of that taps on my mother heart.  I don’t know how I can be so aware and unaware at the same time that the canvas of each of my children is changing right before my eyes in both slow motion and time-lapse.  I want to hold on so tight to so many moments but I can’t.  So I’ll capture them when I can, tuck them away, and then open myself to the novel beauty of what comes next.  I love them as they are, I’ve loved them through so much before, and I’ll love them into what ever they will be.  Evaleigh, Avett, Clara, and Rosemary: I’m so grateful to be your mother, I love you. 


A banner for my girl

Yesterday I finally checked something off of my list I’d been wanting to do for so long: I made Clara Jane a banner for her room! Of course I made her a mini when she was born but it has been lost for over a year now and I’m pretty sad about it.  But with some company coming into town this weekend I had just the right motivation to complete her room.  

I found this beautiful colorful duvet cover yesterday and the flowers and colors were calling my name.  I love her room because when I walk in there I can’t help but to feel happy.  I truly believe that is how the spaces in our homes should make us feel.  I want to be surrounded by beautiful things that bring me and my family joy.  I think it’s a noble desire to make your home a beautiful and inviting place and starting with colors and patterns and unique furniture and items you love is so fun.

It’s been so fulfilling to decorate our new home and to breath life into this place!

Room Details:

crib sheets @landofnod
headboard @finalcutgeorgia but originated from Urban Outfitters
pillow shams @anthropologie 
curtains @pillowfortbytarget 
swaddle blanket @clementinekids 
stuffed animal @blablakidsshop 
bead spread @target
crystal dresser knobs @hobbylobby
BANNER @tunesandspoons


dream big


At the beginning of this year I had a real heart to heart meeting with myself about my business. (Becuase that’s what you do when you are a small business owner!)

  I got out my one of my husbands old mole skin notebooks from college and ripped out the first three pages about accounting.  Then I wrote all about Tunes & Spoons and where I wanted to see it go.  I wrote about products I wanted to create, revenue I wanted to see, processes I wanted to refine, financial goals in 1, 5, and 10 years, and my dream businesses I wanted to collaborate with.

I had no idea that when writing all of this down some of it would come true mere months later.

I’ll never forget a year ago when Clara was just a few months old and I called my mom crying that this business was getting to be too much.  I didn’t really want to give it all up but I also wasn’t sure if I could handle it all.  She said to me words that had a weight to them even then, 

“Rachel, why would you give it all up now? I have a feeling that you are getting ready to glean from this everything you’ve poured into it.  Tunes & Spoons is not yet what it will be.”

Right then even though I was overwhelmed and didn’t know how I’d make it happen I knew she was right.

Soon after I hired my first seamstress and the load was more bearable.  And since then I’ve hired 6 more and I can’t express how grateful I am that anyone would be willing to spend time contributing to my dream.  I love this business I’ve created and I know it still has new heights to reach.

I’m really excited for the next few weeks.  I’ll be able to share my exciting news with the world and I’m just sitting over here hoping and literally PRAYING that it all goes well.  Can’t wait to share!

Here is a sneak peek of the photo shoot we did a week and a half ago! 📸 I loved our amazing photographer Sabrena Deal. 


Sunday at home

I love Sundays with my precious family.  This morning when we all got up we had breakfast together downstairs. Watermelon, cereal for John, and yogurt parfaits for the rest of us.  Clara has been sick the past few days and her sweet cheeks are chapped and rosy from us wiping her little nose every 5 minutes.  Church was great.  We had a beautiful service on personal revelation and conversing with God and listening after we pray. I needed to hear that message today.  ❤️ When we got home we all shared what we learned in our classes at church. The afternoon consisted of naps (for the parents) mine was riddled with questions from the children and a baby climbing all over me but I got a few good 6 minutes stretches here and there. The sleeping was to the tune if Mandolin Orange and Brandi Carlisle.  Clara was so cute all afternoon.  The noises she makes now with her incoherent babble are heartbreakingly adorable.  The kind where John and I just look at each other and smile without saying a word but we know we are both dying inside with her cuteness.  Those are the kind of looks that are some of my favorite moments in our marriage.  Tonight we did Come Follow Me with the kids followed by a family wrestling match (in which John roughed us all up,yes there were tears) and then we initiated the kids into the Oooga Booga club, Evie had been asking to do it now for many days.  We went around and did family goals like we do every Sunday.  I told everyone that the next two weeks I really need a lot of extra support for all of the work I have going on and everyone agreed to pitch in and help out more.  I love these people.  I can feel our hearts knitting closer together with special simple days like today. ❤️


wedding date night

Tonight John and I got to go out on a date to a wedding! I’ve felt pretty busy lately and I considered staying home to be with the kids but I think I needed to be with John and take a breather.  I needed to shower and get out of my leggings and t-shirts with a MESSY bun.  I’ve been so submerged in a heavy work load lately (so excited about what this is!) and I’ve been hard pressed to take breaks.  I’m up most nights until 12 or 1 working on this project and we’ve ised babysitters a lot more this week, and my amazing mother has stepped in to help too.  I’ve felt really proud of what I’m doing lately and I’m really excited to shout it from the rooftops once everything is in place.

Tonight with John was simple. But he is my best friend and simple with him is exceptional anyway. I love that he makes me laugh and that after almost 9 years of marriage I’m still on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what he will say to make me laugh.  We watched the most beautiful sunset on our drive home. 


Valentines love notes

 It sure has been a while since I’ve written in this blog.  I miss writing and want to make an attempt to catch up on a few things in our lives! 

We are all just trying to love each other through our imperfections. The kids are both in school and Clara and I hang out together all day until they get home. A few weeks ago I went to Targetand got some treats for the kids and came home and wrote them love letters so they would have something bright and lovely to come home to.  I love making them feel loved.




You have changed so much so fast this year.  I feel like with each passing week something in you matures just a little bit more.  I think you have found a new independence since Evie has gone to school.  I am so proud of how you can find one small thing and it can occupy you for hours!  When ever we go to Momomee's house you fill up cups with water and carry them to a bucket back and forth until you've filled the entire thing.  Some afternoons I'll send you and your sister outside to play so I can I finish the dishes or what ever house chore may be ailing me.  You find your spot right in the sand box and you talk to your self and play until you either have to pee or I call you back inside for a bath.  

You still love me so much.  I've grown accustomed to your clockwork smooches and hugs and snuggles.  You need them as much as I need them now.  Thank you for loving me like you do despite my flaws and shortcomings, I want to be more like you.   

i love who you are and who you are becoming


I love who you are and who you are becoming.  You are everything I ever hoped having a daughter would be like.  You love to exclaim, "I wouldn't ever choose any mommy but you.  You are the best!"  Well I certainly feel the same way about you.  Gosh, you are growing.  Kindergarten this year, really?  I'll miss the heck out of you but oh how you are ready.  Here are a few things about you lately.

Smiling in Daddy's lap at a bonfire at momomee's.  I swear those flames got to be 40 feet high!  Biggest bonfire we've had out there ever!

You appreciate the value of family just like I do.  You love to ask questions about our family ties and who is related to who and how.  I've always done that too.  It is so important to cherish your heritage and from whom you've come.  Thank you for loving Nanny the way you do.  We are so SO lucky to still have her and I am grateful you will have memories of her.  I remember my great-grand mothers and visiting them, it is what binds generations together.  Weeping willow tree in the front yard, Grandmother Curles old weathered skin and the way her eyes reminded me of Papa, and the secret garden across the street from Grandmother Shepphard's.  Grandmother Mallonee's high rise apartment in Asheville.  Always make an effort to see your family.  Always.

You were so good at General Conference this past weekend.  You took it in and were attentive and echoed words and phrases you knew.  

I hope you never stop wanting to get dirty.  Explore, roll in the mud, pick up little critters, be curious about the bird noises you hear, and walk barefoot, make believe.  Those sorts of things were the foundation of my childhood.  It makes me feel so proud to see you do the same.

Oh boy.  This was me asking you about Will.  A boy from school you've come home talking about for months now. The range of your emotions go from joy to embarrassment. But I think its getting serious. He held your hand during quiet time at school today.  Oh my goodness I couldn't figure out how to process my thoughts and emotions as you told me that. I asked you, "Did you think 'what is happening?' or 'huh that's nice.'"  You said, "Huh, that's nice."

A few other things you said to me about him today, "Guess what? Our birds played together.  Mine and Will's.  His bird's nest was like a hot tub because they were all laying down."

"Will got a hair cut today."

"He has brown hair, blue eyes, is taller than me, and was wearing a brown shirt today."

"Guess what? Will knows everything.  Dinosaurs were in the 90's and 80's.  That was a long time ago when dinosaurs were here."

"Will said I could come over to his house."

Ok, I'm going to go put some books on your head now so you stop growing up!  But actually, I love seeing every single stage you go through and THANK YOU for talking to me about it all...please never stop.

Speaking of talking to me, you came home from school Tuesday so chatty and you and I sat on the swing at momomee's house for 10 minutes while I just let you tell me every detail about school.  I couldn't get enough.  It was like I was parched and I just soaked in every word you had to offer.  I love you so much.

Last night while I was doing bedtime solo I asked you to read a book while I put Avett to bed.  I came in and you were reading Madeline, a favorite since Lindsey gave it to you for your 1st birthday.  You started looking for your Madeline doll Grandmaw gave to you for Christmas and then you "read" the whole book from memory and each time Madeline was on the page you had her point to her self.

You are lovely to watch, to take in, to study and cherish.  I'm so glad I am your mom.  Our life is so so good.

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