Choose Your Own Adventure

When I was a sophomore in high school, I chose to do a report on the plight of the dolphins who were (are) getting caught and dying in fishermen’s nets. It led me down a rabbit trail of books, studies and information on animal welfare. I sat in that library surrounded by dog-eared books and the card-catalog scent that hung in the room like old drapes and cried my heart out. From that day until I became pregnant with Jack I chose not to eat meat. It was a challenging process initially because it was the 90’s and we were still waiting for the Whole Foods Generation–health food wasn’t trendy yet and it felt like I was one of the few who had made such a life choice. Still, I ordered tomatoes and lettuce on bread at Jack in the Box and played guitar on the beach in my hippie clothes with my hippie friends. Everything I did, I did differently than everyone else because at a certain point I realized I wasn’t going to fit in, so I might as well do me.

It was easy making such drastic decisions for myself because the implications only affected me, though I felt like my righteousness was making a statement loud enough to make a difference.  I am raising two sons and two daughters now; I am one half of my marriage and one sixth of our family unit. We are raising thoughtful, critical thinkers who are learning to make the right decisions for themselves. Part of my job as a mother and a human being is to be receptive to alternative ideas, to be willing to open my mind and heart to new things.


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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I write, who I’m writing for and how I’ll bind these stories together in a slightly tattered, perfectly worn and spit-shined package for my dear ones. These days and hours that make up our immediate and eventually the months and years are like one long road trip. We tuck all of these little hearts within the vehicle that is our own lives, hit the gas and just go.


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These moments, to me, need to be documented for my own future reminiscing and for my children, who will hopefully read fondly when they’re able and interested. I’m grateful for the outlet that writing and photography provide for me, and  for the thoughtful audience that provides a greater conversation than I ever expected.

We are all at the helm of our ships, I just happen to process the journey better aloud and with a written treasure map.


Join the Conversation


  • Momma,

    You are courageous. Your willingness to share with a community that you don’t know all that well is wonderful. I am less courageous and am far more selfish because I keep my thoughts and fears inside.

    I have to commend you because there have been times that you have written about vaccines or milk (yes the milk one surprised me when people seemed to be upset about drinking milk) and were open and honest only to have strangers verbally go after you. Your honesty is an asset and I always look forward to the things you have to share.

    Please keep sharing because you do add value to all our lives.


    • Thank you so much for saying that! I was sort of referring to the milk situation when going into this post, and didn’t want to bring it up (obvious reasons). I was very surprised by the reactions too, but it made me think about our choices, which is kind of what I was talking about in this post. I’m grateful for polite, parenting conversation 🙂

  • “We tuck all of these little hearts within the vehicle that is our own lives, hit the gas and just go.” What a lovely metaphor for the road that your family is on… what a sweet journaling…

  • I love how you are so thoughtful in the way you lead your life and guide the lives of your children. That your goal is raising, “thoughtful, critical thinkers who are learning to make the right decisions for themselves” is just huge. You’re a brave, courageous, and very lovely young mom and I applaud you for your own thinking process and your awareness of its consequence on others. Bravo!

  • Jessica!
    I absolutely loved your comment about “not fitting in so I might as well do me.” After a long 6 years of financial strife that was wrought with determination, tears and a whole lot of reflection, I’m saying good-bye to the house I was struggling to save and saying hello to the freedom of just being me 🙂 On April 1 my house hits the market and within the next year, I’m going to pursue my dream of living in a big city near oceans and mountains. Yeah…I’d say doing “me” is going to work out just fine. Exhilaration beyond comprehension 🙂 Kudos to you for being an excellent example for your beautiful babies!

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