Hello, It’s Me

Social media has changed so much since I started blogging 7 years ago. In the beginning, I told stories because sometimes parenting feels like operating in a vacuum. We had just moved to New York City and I was desperate for a community, someone and something to connect with. I built a network of mothers and friends both virtually and locally, often connected through the blog that I began operating from a public, free domain. Little accomplishments like taking the subway with two babies by myself for the first time felt like I had peaked Everest; It made me want to pound my chest and holler as loud as I could in celebration. So I wrote about it instead, a little story with even a few photos to accompany with the hope that it would sit like a fossil nested in my corner of the internet, a place that wouldn’t fade over time or turn into a mirage of our past.

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I don’t have many childhood photos and I hold even fewer memories-most of which sit in a rotating wheel of slides, projecting memories into my daily experiences but often feeling like the voyeur rather than the subject. I’ve taken to documenting everything about life with my children so that I won’t forget the tiniest details, the silliest stories, the hard times, the lovely times, the otherwise perfectly forgettable times. The storytelling part of blogging has evolved for me, for lots of people I think. Instagram changed a lot about how I share these little snippets of our life, it perfectly frames a moment and allows a key-hole view into my life, a glimpse that doesn’t require translation or explanation, a perfect way for my kids to look back and allow their own experiences to fill in the blanks.

Jack and Zoe are 9 and 7 now, and there’s very little about their lives that I feel comfortable sharing on social media any more. They’re developing opinions and experiencing things socially that are shaping them into actual people. I’ve taken to opening up with dear friends and family about their individual challenges, as the internet is not the place for me to choose to share those things about them any more. Beau is 4 and heading into Pre-Kindergarten next year, and Evvie is 21 months going on 15. They are constantly keeping our family vessel rocking and sometimes busting cracks in our sturdy wooden frame.

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Three years seems like a long time, but it was September 2013 when our family captured international attention with Beau and Theo’s nap time rituals plastering the timelines of everyone’s Facebook pages and media sources. Our lives changed. The community that congregated around my little city stories online suddenly included more people than I could manage. Only now do I feel like I’ve begun to get to know all of you a little better. For this entire time, I’ve felt guarded and extremely careful about what I share on the internet-watching your baby’s face plastered all over the world is the scariest thing, and needed to figure out the best way of managing something so unpredictable. My audience ballooned and for the first time ever, I worried about what I would share and how I would share it. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Imposter Syndrome had set in and it’s taken until now for me to almost totally shake it.

What was once a completely free online journal-both to operate and to enjoy- became something so much bigger. I have a team that helps me with legal issues, brand partnerships, site designers and developers, and a virtual assistant that I never knew I needed so badly in my life. I found myself with a ton of opportunities and also quite a bit of overhead. It’s pretty easy to write about a service or a product that we use in our lives, and the one part that I was struggling with-what to write about in the first place-was already pre-conceived and planned out during the creative brainstorming I do with the brands.

Aside from personal issues sidelining us consistently over the past 6 months, I have struggled to find clarity about what I want to share, and understanding who I’m speaking to has been a big factor in that. I have found some direction, motivation and inspiration from doing a whole lot of soul searching as it relates to this piece of my life, and I want to channel this into something bigger than just my family. Being good people and doing good things for those who cannot help themselves is paramount on my life priority list, and it should be reflected in this public platform, too.

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I am grateful to you for being here with me, as I work through how I want to show our cards- our personal projector slides-to the world. I promise it’ll be worth it.

Join the Conversation


  • Your post is extremely insightful and obviously touches on things you’ve been grappling with. I can’t imagine the magnitude of things/issues that come with sharing your family via worldwide social media. I can only say thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us!

  • Jessica,
    Your blog, photos and books have been a bright spot in many a stressful day for me. Not being able to have children of my own, I have enjoyed watching your children grow (which is way too fast by the way) and reading how you and Justin deal with your struggles, happiness and your life.

    You are an inspiration and I respect and admire you tremendously. I wish you continued success and joy in whatever you do.

  • Each time I read your words, I feel like I am being invited to hang out with your family and share in your rituals. I look so forward to seeing these cuties in my feed and smiling because your words always make me feel like we have been friends forever. That isn’t easy to do with a blog, and it’s harder when you are essentially sharing yourself.

    I don’t have kids yet but each time I read a silly anecdote, I feel a glimpse into what’s to come- like being told by your cool older sister/friend/aunt “oh just you wait and see!” That’s dear to me even through essentially a stranger.

    Most of all, each time you write I see a glimpse of myself and it lets me know that maybe one day (when I get back to my blog) my words will make someone feel those connections.

    Thank you for sharing your kiddos and pup and really just your life with us. I can only imagine it isn’t easy ❤️??????

  • Hi Jessica, I have been reading you for years. Since Zoe was a baby. I have 4 children too, similar aged 10,7,4 and 2. I miss the days way back when when you were just sharing your everyday parenting. I remember when you posted a cleaning for the first person commenting and I was going to go but could not get there and had to give it up. I have enjoyed reading about you and seeing your pictures. In the last few years since the book got press and came out I can’t imagine what it’s been like for your family. I have noticed the stories on your blog aren’t the same as the old days. Although we do not know each other I like that I did read and learn about your family from when you first moved to New York. im glad you’re happy and all healthy in California.

  • ?? We’re here for you! I think we basically love those little snippets and pics and it is totally understandable that less should be shared about your kiddos as they age. You can even work on #theoandgus ;). Whatever you do is fine! We’re just along for the ride.

  • Thanking you for allowing me a peek into your daily life through your blog, thank you for the great product recommendations, my family has enjoyed more than a few and thank you for the daily smiles that your IG photos bring to my day …

  • Thank you for sharing. Can’t begin to fathom what Beau and Theo’s nap time going viral did. I love every picture I see, sponsored or not. Your family radiates joy and brightens my day, thanks!

  • Thank you for sharing. It is always a bit strange on the ‘consumer’ end as well. I follow quite a few blogs and instagram accounts where I am seeing and commenting on daily postings of kids that I see all the time so I know of them but obviously don’t really KNOW them. I am also a mom so I want to be mindful of my comments and how I interact with other people’s kids on social media. I adore seeing photos of your kids, Evvie and Beau have such strong personalities that come through their photos but as a mom I want to ensure there are boundaries and I don’t step over the line in a comment where I would make you feel uncomfortable. Such a strange work to straddle. Seeing their photos for me brings a smile, a moment of joy and a moment of humanity to my day. That is my takeaway and what I receive in my end. Do what is comfortable for you, there is nothing owed to us who are following. We should be enjoying the sharing with zero expectation or need. I imagine it is quite a tight rope to walk on your end. Always error on the side of you and your family!

  • Keep it up Super Mom!!!

  • I started following you through Roo, back when Beau was a babyyyy and before your move. I’ve always appreciated your honesty, and how you let your love for your family and children shine through. I also think you’re a very gifted storyteller, and I love reading your blog. We have four children also, two girls and two boys, and are letting our hearts heal a bit before we add a new ‘fur baby’, as ours passed last summer. It makes me smile to see you document the adventures of your boisterous crew, I def get the ‘fun’ that comes from having a carload of family 🙂 best wishes, look forward to seeing what comes next 🙂

  • You are a beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing in whatever ways you feel good about – if it doesn’t feel right then trust your feelings.

  • I hope you never stop being you. Your family is amazing, and whatever you do in raising them is YOUR choice. I just appreciate the invite to watch!
    Thank you for giving motherhood a realistic voice, and photos we all can relate to & love.
    Maybe a couple more of Gus? 😉
    Seriously – you’re a fantastic mom, wife, woman. Bravo.

  • I love you almost more for the struggles you share, than the victories. But mostly I appreciate that you share anything at all. The pictures of Theo and Beau, and now Theo and Evvie, often transform my day. I wish I could repay you, but I’m hoping my unconditional love and support is felt by you and your precious family.

  • I applaud your insights and clarity regarding your writing and your family! Carry on, Jessica, as you bring joy and even hope to thousands of people by sharing your family story!!

  • It already is worth it… Many thanks xx

  • I have been following Theo and Beau since the beginning and got a couple of the books. I love, love them and Evvie!! I look forward to your picture every single day!! Theo is the most amazing dog ever!!! Thank you and your family for making me smile every day!!

  • Jessica, so much of social media projects the “perfect” lives of others- the moments where everyone is dressed to the 9s, or the house is clean, or life is stress-free. Social media sometimes loses the organic “realness” of life. Sometimes viewing the “perfect lives” of others makes us question ourselves- what am I doing wrong? Why don’t I have it all together? Your blog & social media has always offered that organic view into the real life of managing a marriage, children, pets and a household. You show the in’s and out’s of your life, struggles and happiness, even when it’s messy. I stumbled upon your blog before my first child turned one, after relocating to a new state where I knew no one, so my husband could attend a doctorate program. I instantly felt connected to your posts and life, and felt that finally someone was managing just as much, plus more, and wasn’t showcasing just the perfect moments. I applaud you for being honest and open about the things you struggle with, along with all the beautiful family moments. Thank you for being real, and sharing it with us. You are an inspiration.

  • Thank you for sharing! I love reading your blog! . I grew up with 3 older brothers and have 2 kids of my own so seeing your pictures and stories reminds me so much of my childhood and the life I want to give my kids. Life with kids is not easy sometimes but totally worth it. Just keep doing what your doing and all will be fine! We are here for you!

  • Hi Jessica,

    First time poster, but did PM you once on FB asking where you shop for your kiddos’ clothes! ;). I just wanted to say thank you for being you and letting us glimpse into your family life and your journey through motherhood. Like you, I’ve got four little ones (and another on the way… Shhhh!) ranging in age from 9 and under and to say my hubby and I worry about our kids privacy and safety when it comes to every day life and when posting on social media is sometimes an understatement. I cannot imagine the feelings you must have at times at sharing your lives daily when I have mixed feelings about sharing about my 9 year old. But it is evident your blog and posts bring people joy especially during times in this world where everything is often times painted as awful, scary and hostile. Your authenticity and love for your family is palpable, and as followers we never take that for granted. We appreciate you, again for just being you! I would totally understand if one day you up and did away with your blog, and carried on with life. I don’t know your specific circumstances but your family’s livelihood and hapiness is paramount and we all get that. Anyway, I just felt compelled to tell you that you do have an audience of folks who not only think your posts are uplifting, heart-warming and funny/cute, but we truly read into the substance at what you’re saying. Thanks for reading and I truly wish your family the best now and always!
    Julie C

  • You are so brave, honest, and have really paved the way to a scary but an amazingly honest platform we call the World Wide Web. Keep doing you. I am an internal optimist and believe the good in all. I love your pictures and posts. From one mom (and step mom) to another – cheers. ?

  • Thank you for sharing your beautiful family. I began following on Instagram a couple of years ago because your daily posts brought me such joy! I don’t have children, but I am a dog mom, so the Theo posts are always my favorite. Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into your lives, and for sharing whatever feels right for you as a family.

  • Simply put – I started following because I love dogs and people who love dogs. Then I started seeing how cool your whole family is and now you’re my friend in my head. Keep doing what makes sense for you. I’m grateful for the many smiles your willingness to share has brought to me.

  • I’ve never posted a comment bc I feel like I would have to say something on every post. I enjoy your Instagram page and wish you and your lovely family the very best. Thank you for sharing and thank you for showing protection of your family. Social media makes it seem like people may feel entitled to see other people’s lives bc it’s so easy to find and ‘follow’. Best of luck to you all!!!

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for your candor on this topic. I always enjoy reading your blog and am so grateful that you put enough trust in your readers to share this with us. Looking ahead, I’ve often wondered about how to balance blogging when children come on the scene. It’s encouraging to know this is something you wrestle with too.

  • Thank you for sharing your family and your life with us. You have a beautiful family and a beautiful soul. Your blog posts and Instagram posts are bright spots during dark days. You are an inspiration to all. Xoxo

  • Lovely. Simply lovely. Behind you one 110%!!

  • How beautiful and thoughtful! You have a gorgeous family, and your heart shines through each post. Thank you for sharing!

  • You should check out http://www.stellashare.com. It’s the perfect way to continue share pictures with your close friends and family. I think it would be the perfect fit for this next chapter in your life!

  • I love your pictures and stories but as a mother I understand you wanting to keep things private. Your pictures of Beau and Theo would just melt my heart and make me long for the days that my sons were babies and toddlers. I now look forward to someday being a grandmother as my sons are all grown. You ponder this and make the decision that is right for you. Your instinct will guide you.

  • My own “babies” are 28 and 31 years old. I so love your photos and stories, especially those with Theo. Truly, I appreciate that you share your world with us. I hope that you know how much you have touched so many lives. Thank you.

  • I appreciate your honesty and opening not only your life, but your families life to all of your followers. I was introduced to Momma’s Gone City when I saw Theo and Beau explode on Instagram. Being a dog lover and fur parent and having just gotten married at the age of 38, I am desperately wanting to start a family. Because my husband works an unconventional schedule, it is taking longer than we would have hoped, but are hopeful we will have children one day. In the meantime, I am the proudest aunt to my sweet nephews and niece and really never imagined loving anyone so unconditionally. I can only imagine how much more paramount it will be when I have babies of my own. I thank you for sharing and opening up to us all.

  • Love this. I don’t ever comment on posts but such a great post (and apologies if this gets long). I have followed you since I was pregnant and now have a 13-month old. To me your story is that there is a “light at the end of the tunnel.” I know that things must be difficult behind the scenes but you really show a lot of beauty and happiness and help me to realize that I can do this whole mom thing 🙂 I see a lot of negativity about your sponsored posts – but I understand that this is also a job to you. I think your sponsored posts are so personal that I get almost get caught off guard when I am reading and see you mention a company (which is why I think people get turned off by them) but I am so happy that you are getting business and providing for your family! I saw a post at a time when I was breastfeeding my son (I ended up exclusively pumping) and saw in your kitchen the Medela flanges and I thought to myself, if she can do it with 4 kids, I can do it too (and made it a year with an extra four months of freezer milk 🙂 )! I just want to say thank you for sharing your beautiful family and life and allowing me to share this with you.

  • I Love to follow your life. I live in Sweden and have two girls, 12 and 8.

  • Thank you for being that daily moment in which I can always count on for a heart warming smile!

  • Love your work Jessica and I completely understand your “growing pains” . Keeping it all in perspective and balancing your personal and professional life is a challenge.
    Looking forward to seeing what comes next for you! xo

  • I just want to say THANK YOU for sharing. There have been so many times when I thought I was having a bad day and scrolling through Instagram and seeing Theo’s infinite love for your children, Beau’s crazy costumes, Zoe’s independence, Jack’s shy smile and Evvie throwing spoons on the ground (died!)… that is when I realize things aren’t so bad.

    I hope others respect you and your children so that you can continue to feel comfortable sharing your happy, adorable family.

  • Congratulations! In my very humble opinion you have done a great job on all fronts.

    Showing the world how a rescue dog can transform a happy life to a happier life is just one of your great accomplishments. And I love that you are only sharing the kids happier moments. It might be a rosy picture but they don’t need any other side of their lives examined. And I say super kudos to you that you can make this sharing of joy profitable for your family. Raising four kids is expensive so advertise to your hearts desire as longs as you truly believe in the products.

    Your posts brighten each of my days….so thank you!
    Cathy Stemmler

  • What a vulnerable place to be. You are smart for taking the time to figure this all out. I’ve often wondered how you handled and managed all the attention. My husband would KILL me (not really) if I displayed our family’s life so publicly. But you’ve always managed to do it with dignity and grace (and amazing pictures) and I look forward to seeing your IG posts every day. I applaud you! God bless you and your family and your next projects!

  • It just simply makes me happy. A guaranteed smile. That pretty much says it all.

  • Your Instagram is beautiful. Even though we don’t have kids, we are huge dog people. The posts speak to us too ?

  • I don’t think I can add anything that the others haven’t shared in the other comments. I truly enjoy the glimpses into your life and the photos always make me smile. thank you for sharing your family.

  • Jessica,
    Your photographs and stories about your beautiful family have carried me through very sad times – grieving the loss of my mother and watching it crush my daughter. I am touched by your authentic voice, your kindness and your humility. Reading your blog posts is a pleasure that I look forward to. I appreciate you. Thank you.

  • Your family is beautiful, and watching your kids grow is too. There is so much negativity in the world… Anything positive and beautiful should be celebrated and enjoyed. Celebrate every second – it goes by so fast (as a mother of 2 beautiful girls, I can relate) 🙂

  • Dear Jessica,

    It was in 2014 when I read an article about Theo and Beau in a German women’s magazine while exercising on the cross-trainer in my local gym. I was fascinated by the heartwarming pictures and decided to look up the mentioned Instagram account right after getting grap of my smartphone after the exercise.

    Since that day, I have opened Instagram every night right before going to sleep just to see another tremendous photo. It is a ritual that gives me comfort and makes me smile.

    Thank you for sharing your pictures and your life with us!

    All the best for you and your beautiful family.

    Love from Germany,

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