Hi, I'm Jessica Morales! I began blogging when I was a 22-year-old fresh-from-college girl with an entry-level job and a serious boyfriend. Then, I got married to said boyfriend. A year later, we began the process of adopting our first child. Then, we adopted a baby. Then, we had a biological baby. Now I’m a WAHM (work at home mom) with two toddlers, a husband, and a lot to say and little time to write.
HERE ARE 10 QUICK FACTS ABOUT ME:
If someone asks me sweet or salty, my answer is yes.
I’m married to Jason and we have two kids, Brighten and Grady.
I was born and raised in Destin, FL. I have a semi-unhealthy amount of hometown pride, but I’ve now lived in Birmingham, AL for over a decade.
I drink a minimum of two cups of coffee per day. I used to not care about quality, but now I’m starting to notice a difference.
I’m the oldest of three girls. My sisters, Carlee and Julia, are my best friends and two of the most amazing people in the whole wide world.
I own a marketing consulting company called The Storie Co. It is named after my daughter, Brighten Storie, as well as my love for storytelling. I began my career in advertising, moved into nonprofit marketing, fundraising, and development, and then launched my business in June 2017.
Speaking of storytelling, I launched a podcast called Stories from South Place in March 2020. I don’t mean to brag on myself, but I’m really proud of it. It’s been my most favorite and satisfying hobby.
Jason and I adopted Brighten from Houston, TX on the day she was born. We also spent 6 years in two international adoption processes from Ethiopia and Haiti.
I can’t leave a door cracked open. It has to be open or shut or I won’t be able to focus on anything. I've also found this to be an extremely accurate metaphor for how I live my life.
My son’s name is Grady Shores (middle name is from the fact that Jason and I are both from Florida beach towns — Destin and Daytona Beach). We really struggled to come up with a first name we both liked and we almost named him Drake. I’d like to say we just liked the name Drake, but we were for sure naming him after the rapper because the song God’s Plan was really popular and everywhere when I was pregnant. It’s a catchy song, I can’t help it.
WHY DO I WRITE? I’ll be honest, some times these days it’s so much easier to not write. But writing has always been the easiest and best way for me to process the world around me. From journaling to blogging to just writing down random memories or observations in my phone, I have a deep rooted love for words and how they allow us to connect with one another. I love a perfectly constructed sentence that wreaks of emotion and imagery. I also love simple, to the point paragraphs that give us clarity and understanding. I have a degree in journalism, so writing in all forms has really been part of my life pretty much forever.
Almost 10 years ago after a long phone conversation where I divulged many opinions and thoughts, a friend suggested to me that I should start a blog. At the time, that was a big thing that seemed like everyone was doing, and I was hesitant. I didn’t think I had lived enough life to be able to speak into the world in a way that mattered or that people would care to read about. But I wasn’t working in a very creative job at the time, and I figured it couldn’t hurt to continue honing my craft (writing/designing) while I paid my dues and worked toward a more creative career opportunity. So I began my first blog. It was titled, Ramble.
I kind of face palm even thinking about it. It was on blogspot and I really just wrote a bunch of random rambles, ha! But a few years (and a few name changes) later, Jason and I began the adoption process and I needed and outlet to process all of my many, many thoughts and emotions.
HOW ADOPTING SHAPED MY WRITING & ME The story of how God has built our family has lots of twists, turns, and lessons along the way. I wrote out a whole long thing here going through way too many details, but then deleted it all (you’re welcome)! The beauty of being a writer and having a blog that extends back almost a decade is that I’ve already written this story, several times over probably.
So if you’re interested, here are a few links to our adoption story:
After we began the adoption process in 2013, I also struggled with infertility for 2.5 years, had a surprise biological baby boy, and somehow ended up here with two of the most amazing kids I could have never envisioned having. I learned to take hits, lament, pivot, and continue forging ahead. I learned to be sensitive to the Lord when He was changing the course I’d charted for myself and my family. I learned to lean in to the community of friends and family who were cheering us on, supporting us, offering shoulders to cry on, and celebrating with us. I can honestly say that if you would have asked me, even 5 years ago, I would’ve had a fairly clear idea of how my family would look like in 2020. But, I would have been totally wrong. I’m so thankful that God knows what is best for us and His ways are way better than our own. As much as I have grieved our adoption processes that may never be fulfilled, I am so incredibly grateful for my two children and couldn’t imagine a world in which I’m not their mom.
THANK YOU, NEW AND OLD FRIENDS! So, as I say hello and introduce myself, I also want to say thank you! Over the years I’ve felt so encouraged by people commenting on things I write, both online and in person. I’ve felt seen, heard, and known, and I hope that I’ve been able to encourage others along the way as well. All of that being said, pop on over to my Instagram (@hellojessicamorales) and say hi sometime! I’d love to “meet” you!