Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.

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Making Music with Baby

Music helps transitions go easier. My son’s eyes brighten, he zeros in, and calms down when we turn on music for him! When I brought out his Baby Einstein Discover and Play Piano last week, he reached for it and then played with it for over twenty minutes. He picked it up, would roll onto it, and it would play music…the buttons are easily pushed, so while he was figuring it out, he was alreay making it play. When he pushed the keys for the first time and made music on his own, it made my heart so glad! I play the piano and am excited to teach him to play, if he desires. I was fixing dinner in the kitchen while he figured it out–he would lose his grasp on it, roll on it, then hang on to it again, and it played music the whole time–single notes or snatches of classical songs.

Here are some recommendations for some musical baby toys that aren’t annoying:

The first one is the Baby Einstein Discover and Play Piano. A six-month old, like my son, can easly push the buttons, and it plays little snatches of songs, it meows, and it says the names of the instruments and numbers in English, Spanish, and French. My Mom bought it for my son, and he loves it!

Another great toy that I let my son hold while changing his diaper or on long car rides when he is getting fussy:
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy

Stephen’s cousin gave us this handy musical toy, and sometimes when Joel is cranky while on the changing table or screaming on a long car ride, this toy, that plays four different classical tunes and lights up to the rythum of the music, is a life-saver.

I sing with my baby–as we do exercises, to calm him down…whenever I feel like it. If you don’t feel like singing, here’s some calming music that has helped my baby sleep:

Enjoy making music with your baby!


~Mary Hope

P.S. If you are going to a baby shower soon or just want some music for your baby: Here’s a link so that you can get both of these plus a bendy ball (that I haven’t tried yet, but it looks like my son would love it!) check out this combo deal:
Baby Einstein Discover and Play Piano with Take Along Tunes & Bendy Ball


Copyright 2018

P. P. S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as  Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income (at no extra cost to you!), for which I am thankful. So….

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card/notecard/art shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope



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You Are Wanted — Song Review


You can hear the confidence in her voice when someone sings what she believes about herself, and in a song I heard recently, the singer does just that. “Wanted” by Dara Maclean reminds you of the truth: You are wanted. Even if you don’t have a Valentine to take you out for Valentine’s Day, or if you feel like people just put up you, there IS someone who wants you.

In this song, Dara sings the words with such confidence and authority that it helps you believe the truth: You are wanted! The music throbs along with her strong, vigorous vocals, and it sticks in your head. It’s a fine song to blast in your car and dance to.

Let the truth soak into you:


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The Power of a Pause…

photo 2

A pause can be many lengths:
seconds within a conversation,
minutes between text messages,
hours between emails,
days between phone calls,
weeks between visits…
years between seasons of friendship…

Pauses come in announcements, “And the winner is…” and when you’re not sure what to say. You take time to think and touch base with what you are feeling.

The pause from taking a breath adds oxygen to your blood, but in my mind, it also adds light and air to the relationship…taking a day between talking causes you to appreciate the person even more when you hear from him again…

In the past I’ve had the tendency to panic if I don’t hear from someone for a while(especially in the beginning of a romantic relationship when you’re still in that relational limbo, unsure stage). This “light and air” concept has really been helping me. Let the relationship breath…let there be a pause…take time to hear your heart…you can try to control this relationship, but it won’t work, so relax and pause…

Purposeful pauses add power to whatever you are saying. It helps people think about what you just said before you move on to your next thought.

Not cluttering up the words and saying the simple truth in a clear way.

It shows you have self-control and don’t just let words fly.

Pauses show you care about what you are saying and are putting thought into your words.

Think about music: Pauses add to the beauty and variety of the music. A pause before a crescendo builds anticipation and the adds to the surprise of when the powerful music returns.

Take the time to pause, feel what you are truly feeling, and process the life you are in right now. You’ll be glad you paused …
because you might be surprised by what you hear…

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Music and Snow: Images from this Holiday Season


This holiday season there’s been more Christmas music and snow than usual in my life, and it’s been so wonderful!

The music started back at the start of November when the music teacher, Mr. B, at my school started teaching my students how to play “Away in a Manger” on these bells. The bells were like someone chopped up a xylophone into individual notes, and so each student had one note.

Watching Mr. B teach the students their parts was entertaining, and I got a part too: I accompanied them on the piano.

One of my favorite parts of those weeks of practice was when Mr. B taught the students how to act after they had finished playing their piece three times. They were to raise their arms up in a gentle arch and then end with their hands (and instruments) at their sides. Then Mr. B told them to bow if they were a guy or curtsy if they were a girl. While Mr. B was dealing with another student, a couple other students came up with the idea that they could “Bertsy”–a combination of bow and curtsy! They cracked me up about their bertsying. 🙂

When we had our Family Christmas Worship service where they played their piece, we practiced it several times out on the platform, and thought we were ready. That night the kids came all dressed up in dresses and cool suits or sweaters. When it was our time, I rushed us up there a little too soon (but they got the music stands up there anyway). We played the first verse perfectly!

Then it was time for the second verse… the students had learned their note according to  their word in the first verse, so this messed up a few students (I even forget a couple notes), but we all kept going! The third verse was better; it was so beautiful to create music with my students.


The music created by the other students in our school was so alive–the kids had practiced so much that they could relax and have fun! We had little drummer boys with their drums, we had wise men rapping about finding Jesus in the manger…the theme was Joy to the City, and there was indeed, joy in the city that night.

On Christmas Day, as I sat around with my parents and their friends, I looked out the window and saw the snowy fields. It was dusk, and winter dusks are amazing because of the deep blue the shadows make on the snow.

Snow brings peace and reassurance to the Christmas season. Snow makes Christmas feel old-fashioned and traditional. The cold, the white outlining everything, the crunch…it makes me feel like Christmas and that all is well.


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The First Concert of the Soil and the Sun’s West Coast Tour

Pink lights flooded the stage and contrasted against the black clothes much of the band wore. Alex, sporting a black, wide-brimmed hat, lead the band, William scuttled back and forth with his bass to the base line he was playing, the driving drums and soaring strings. The concert sported five new songs along with the old favorites “One Woman” and the one with the wonderful line: “Sown in weakness, raised in power.”

Seeing the transition from a small, two man band, to a seven person band is so intriguing. The Soil and the Sun’s music is coming into its own: more confident, joyful, and powerful. It’s the best band in the Experiential Spiritual Folk-Rock//New Mexican Space Music genre out there.

Check them out:

Soil and the Sun 11.8.13