Hello! Welcome. Grab some coffee. Tea? Wine? Kombucha? Whatever happens to be your drink of choice.

I am beyond excited to kick off a new year and this new site.

Live. Snap. Write.

What is that exactly?

It’s a peek into our worlds. I hope it will inspire you to plug in to whatever excites you.

I’m particularly interested in things that move you.

Maggie and I met in 2013. I was blogging about marriage and the rearing of two little people and all the other 500,000 topics that popped into my head at any given moment. Truth be told, I was in the middle of a sort of identity crisis. I was mostly a stay-home parent, and frankly, I couldn’t have been more ill-fitted for the job if I tried. I was taking a few freelance projects, ghost-blogging mostly, being that I’m anxiety-ridden when it comes to my writing. I’d just as soon flash the Publix cashier than share my inner thoughts with people I actually know . . . like in person. Hello, I’m Jenni, allow me to vomit up my soul.

Writing has been a constant in my life. The constant. It’s sustained me on days when nothing else has.

Maggie is a photographer and writer, and she’s nothing short of amazing. She and I bonded over a love of R.E.M. and a healthy dose of commiseration. We’re both strong-willed, sensitive artists striving to live hard and real.

Curiosity drives us, as well as a desire to live authentically and creatively.

My teens and twenties were a whirlwind of action. I didn’t sit still much and did whatever I could to experience the world.


I was in motion. Going going going.

When my oldest son was born in 2007, I was blasted with a shot of reality.

I was responsible for a human.

I spent the first year or so freaking out, for lack of a more eloquent way to put it. I know plenty of women who have a baby and carry on just as they did before.

That was not me.

My cherub was the sort of child who needed peace, but with me for a mother, that was hard to come by. I thrived on novelty and stimulation. The mere word ‘routine’ emitted a hive-like response. I actually said to our pediatrician once, “You mean, babies need structure? There is nothing I loathe more than structure. I never do the same thing two days in a row.”

I had a lot to learn. I needed to grow in a way that felt quite foreign.

And I did. I nested. Actually, I barely left the house for fear that it might set off our little prince. I listened to audiobooks, taught myself to cook and did what I could to foster happiness in my home — while staving off boredom for myself.

Then I had another baby, and while it was lovely in a multitude of ways, being a mother often felt like I was inhabiting a strange, unfamiliar universe.

My kids are now first and second-graders, and it recently hit me — I miss the person I was prior to having children. Don’t get me wrong. Parenting is the most rewarding experience ever, and I recognize now how necessary it was for me. I knew I would love my children, but I never realized how many skills I would be forced to acquire as a result of becoming a parent — it’s kind of jarring now that I think about it.

When Maggie and I started tossing around ideas for this site, it forced me to genuinely examine my space in the world at this moment. And it hit me — I miss the movement and spontaneity of life before kids. I’m ready to travel again and explore, both on my own and with my children. That is a huge part of who I am that’s kind of been lost in a haze of meal-prep, sleep schedules, and figuring out how to guide and nurture my little tribe.

At the same time, I have learned to appreciate the beauty in the ordinary since becoming a parent — a necessary skill that has grounded me  and made me better and more grateful.

Live. Snap. Write. is a place to share things that move us — experiences, places, various art forms, both extraordinary and the seemingly unremarkable.

My experiences inform my writing. All that motion of my youth shaped me. I am who I am today because I lived. I experienced different places and people and cultures. I tried different jobs. Some I liked, others . . . not so much, but regardless, I learned valuable lessons from each of them.

I spent so much of my early life feeling like a failure because sitting in a desk trying to absorb lectures and lessons from an overhead didn’t work for me. I realize now that that’s okay. I had to go out into the world before I could actually process information.

I’m looking forward to exploring again.

I’m also fascinated by others’ artistic processes and seeing the world through others’ eyes. Photography continues to inspire and baffle me. Maggie makes magic with her camera, and I’m excited to partner with her. Most of the photography on the site will be hers. Well, the beautiful photography will be hers. The photographs I take will likely be snapshots — usually from my phone. I typically take pictures of things that strike me in the moment as a method of bookmarking my experiences. They’ll be little pieces of my world, but please don’t expect superb quality.

Words, thoughts, and ideas excite me.

Building community excites me.

Creating and connecting moves me.

I’m looking forward to sharing my world with you, and I hope you’ll do the same.

Welcome to Live. Snap. Write.

Thank you for joining us.


words: Jenni Dowling

feature image: Maggie Carlise


20 Comments Add yours

  1. Carlene Hill Byron says:

    Haven’t done mothering, but I understand that there’s a lot of experience from a kid’s eye worldview. And it’s all hands-on! Best to a fellow kinesthetic learner!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jen D says:

      Yes! I’m continually surprised at how much I enjoy the unique perspective through my kids’ eyes. And you are so right — my two are definitely kinesthetic learners. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember when my first was born. I was very young (like not twenty yet), and the mentors in my life emphasized how important “routine” was for a small child. I remember the sound of that word being like death to me. I cringed at the very notion of it. Uggh! Routine! How was he supposed to learn and grow if we had to do the same thing all the time?! I must have compromised somewhere along the way, because the kid turned out alright after all…actually, I think he’s pretty fabulous 🙂

    Smashing intro! I look forward to reading more.


    1. Jenni D says:

      YES!! The idea of routine DID feel like a kind of death to me, too, and certainly cringe-worthy.

      Thank you for the kind words and for reading. I can’t wait to check out more of your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bikurgurl says:

    I love your narrative! Thank you for following and looking forward to reading more from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jenni D says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words! I look forward to reading more from you as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. bameng52606 says:

    I really enjoyed your introduction post. Looking forward to reading more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jenni D says:

      Glad you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for stopping by!


  5. anaatcalin says:

    Dear Jenni, I’m so glad we connected here on WordPress. Since you’re my number 100 follower (for real, this message is manually written 🙂 ) I’d like to offer you a prize. How about a mini-profile (personality) (half a page with bullet points)? For that I’d need your date and place of birth. If you’re private about this information, just tell me the motto you live by and I’ll get back at you with some of your core personality traits.
    Love the blog! Read the greetings, and to be honest, I hope I’ll be able to be more flexible again soon – my son is one year young yet, imagine that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jenni D says:

      Hi Ana, thanks for the lovely comment. How about I email you my info? I’ll check your page for an email address.

      Congratulations on surviving a year of parenthood. It IS hard to be flexible with a one-year-old, but I found ages 1-3 lots of fun, so you have a lot to look forward to. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. anaatcalin says:

        Oh, Jenni only now I received this comment. For some reason it appeared late. I’ll send you your mini-profile at the beginning of next week. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Jenni D says:

      I didn’t see an email for you. Mine is

      DOB — 6.23.75
      POB — Columbus, GA — USA

      Liked by 1 person

      1. anaatcalin says:

        Oh, wonderful. I’ll be sending you the mini-profile by the beginning of next week. Have a great day, dear Jenni 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Jenni D says:

      A perfect beverage, in my opinion!


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