On Birthdays

On May 11, 1946 my momma was born in an old Iowa farmhouse and I swear, the moon must’ve been shining bright and all the flowers must’ve been singing upon her arrival to this lovely planet.

Today, I imagine what it must’ve been like that day, in the country, in a two story house that sat back near some trees, at the end of a long winding lane.

I bet there was such joy when a new baby came. A celebration. Ooooing and ahhhing over tiny fingers and rosy cheeks. Life changes with a baby.

Life also changes without one. My momma wasn’t a baby when she passed, she was 75, but she was still somebody’s baby. Someone’s dream come true, back in 1946.

And, she was ours. Our life and our dream. She was a momma, wife, friend, cousin, niece, sister, aunt, and grandmother. My, oh my, how we miss her.

Birthdays were always a big thing for my momma. When ours rolled around, she decorated, did the cakes, and made our day so special. How amazing, really, those yearly reminders of how the moment we were born was still worth celebrating.

Birthdays meant something to my momma. And, because of her, they mean something to me. I tend to go ‘all out’, too. Streamers and banners, a cake and gifts, and confetti to top it all off.

It’s funny, the shift that takes place after someone passes and their birth-day comes. It’s such a contradiction. Here we are, on this date that used to be so laughter, cake, and gift filled, to another reminder that she’s gone.

Birthdays are different after loss…

Today is the 2nd birthday of hers since she passed. Last year was a tear filled mess. She was about to turn 76, but didn’t make it, so that birthday was sooooooo hard.

If you follow my blog, you may have noticed I haven’t written anything for a long time. I quit writing again. I let a comment get to me- it was one of trying to push me through my journey of momma loss.

It broke me in a way that squished all desire to write. Before it, I had been honest about how momma loss feels.

After it?

I pulled the shades up around my writing and I stopped, again. It wasn’t the first time a comment caused me to throw in the writing towel.

But, you know what?

My momma loved this blog and she especially loved when I started writing again after having a big case of writer’s block. So today, I’m writing for her.

Happy Heavenly Birthday to my momma! ❤️❤️❤️

If there is such a thing as reuniting with family and loved ones on the Heavenly side, I hope they’re having a big ol’ party for her. She would surely love it!

Thanks for reading,


©️ copyright 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ copyright photo taken by me, Jessica Adam

In Search of Dogwoods

Today, kiddo and I had a bowling tournament in the same town where my husband and I have Tuesday bowling league. It’s about an hour drive north of here and it was a beautiful day for a trip.

A lot of the trees are blooming around here right now and the redbuds are really putting on a show. But, we set out in search of dogwoods.

After the tournament was over, we tried the beach area on Clearwater Lake to see if any were blooming there. No luck and, actually, there wasn’t even a beach because the lake is so high.

April 8, 2023 sign at the bowling alley
April 8, 2023 water on the parking lot at the beach
April 8, 2023 water over the road at the beach

From there we went to Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area. I posted about awhile back, about how we never even knew it was there. We started our hike riverside and I was beginning to think we weren’t going to see a dogwood there either.

We got downstream, and right next to where kiddo planted himself by the water, was the lone dogwood of the day.

It was so beautiful!

Those white petals with green accents make me smile! I mean, how amazing is it, that something so tightly tucked away in a bud emerges so perfectly?

my favorite is a dogwood bloom with a blue lit sky
dogwood blooms at Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area
April 8, 2023 dogwood bloom
April 8, 2023 Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area

Before we left, we went up the creek towards a waterfall we saw last time. It was glorious, once again.

April 8, 2023 waterfall near Piedmont Missouri

We didn’t win the bowling tournament, but we both got our averages and above. What a super fun mom and son day!

Thanks for reading!


©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Jessica Adam- all photos, video, and words done by me

100 Things You Love About Somebody

Ten years ago, a friend and I both wanted to write a book. The trouble was, we were both stumped on how to go about doing it.

We decided to do a 30 Book Writing Challenge where we would alternate days , each choosing a topic for one chapter. At the end of 30 days, we’d each have a 30 chapter book.

30 chapters on various subjects in 30 days was challenging because to have a book make sense, it helps if it’s focused on one central theme.

My book was called, “Me and My Kola.” My Kola is my boy.

I geared all of the daily chapter topics to being a mom and things we did that tied into that subject. At the end of each chapter, I added a challenge for readers to do.

For instance, some of those topics included:

  • Butterflies
  • Old Photos
  • Grandmas
  • County Fair
  • My Favorite Book
  • Ice Cream
  • Celebrate
  • Pets
  • Beautiful Things

Writing that many different things in 30 days was fun and exhausting! Ha ha. But, we pushed through it.

My very favorite one is called, “100 Things I Love About My Kid.” Reading it now is quite a treat. Things I’ve forgotten about that we had done are there on the page.

At the end of the 100 things about him, the challenge was to write 100 things about whoever was reading’s child. I told about telling my momma that I wished she’d make one of things she loved about me.

She did.

I was reading over her list this morning, and my oh my, what a gift it is to have now, 10 years later. She passed last March and you know how much mommas are missed when they’re gone.

So, today I thought I’d put the idea out there for you to maybe make a list of things you love about your kids or spouse or parents or friends or siblings or family, just because.

I’ve never done one for my husband, I think I’ll do that. I’ve done them for my mom and my dad. Here’s a link to my dad’s I did in 2019, if you’d like to see it.


I’d love to know if you make a list of things you love about somebody. It doesn’t have to be 100 things, if that seems too hard. Maybe start with 10 or 20, then build from there.

Thank goodness we did that book challenge so long ago. Because of it, I have that wonderful list from my momma. Nothing better than that.

words I wrote in my book about 100 things and my momma

Thanks for being here! Hope you have a lovely day!


©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Jessica Adam

Thank You I Started

Thank you for all your help, ideas, and kindnesses that you shared on my last post about maybe writing a book.

I started. I just wrote 15 chapters.

Last night, the title, chapter list, introduction, and more landed in my heart space. I decided I’m just going to go with it and see where it leads.

Pen to paper, I just wrote for 2 hours straight. Felt good to do that. Old fashioned, I know. It’d probably be smarter to type as I go, but I like the feel of paper and a pen,

Where this will go, I have no idea. But, it’s nice to finally start.

Thank you for the confidence boost. I appreciate you all!


©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Jessica Adam

On Book Writing

Ever since my momma passed, I’ve been contemplating writing a book . I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tossed the idea around and I still can’t quite decide…

I seem to have a “have to know how to do things” kind of mindset. If I don’t know how to do something, I read.

In the first few days following her passing, I started looking for books on momma loss. I read two immediately and I did like them, but they weren’t exactly what I needed. Right then is when I started thinking about writing a book.

Some days, I’m like, “Yes!!! I’m going to do it.”

Other days, not quite so much.

The back and forth of it is:

  • it would be the shortest book e v e r because the only chapter in it would be called “Too Hard”
  • or, it would be really great- the exact thing I needed/need and be absolutely soul lifting, but no one would want to read it because who wants to read about loss

Although, on the other hand, maybe it could help someone, like me, who had their momma/ loved one rug pulled out from under them…

That part always keeps me leaning towards doing it.

These last 375 days, I have learned a bunch about kindness, compassion, crying anywhere, things that help, showing up, lonely days, songs, Tuesdays, gifts to give, gifts received, support systems, and writing, during some messy hard days.

I tried to imagine if I had a friend in momma loss who was talking about writing a book about such things, would I read it?

  1. Well, yes because it’s a friend and it’s good to read friends books.
  2. Would I read it if I still had my momma? I probably wouldn’t have before I lost her. I mean, momma loss was not on my mind.
  3. Would I read it after I lost my momma? Every day of the week.

If you’ve been around here awhile, you may know that I’m a “go with my heart” type of writer. My friend SanDee and I always talk about how my heart is on my sleeve. It got me thinking that this could be one of those times that heartfelt writing could maybe help somebody out.

Heck, maybe I ought to do it. I guess we’ll see.

Thanks for reading.


©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Jessica Adam

Things I’ll Say

  • I’m sorry you’re going through this.
  • Take all the time you need.
  • It’s incredibly difficult.
  • This is the hard stuff.
  • How can I help?
  • I can bring a meal.
  • Do you like cinnamon rolls?
  • What meal do you miss the most?
  • What cookies did they make? I’ll bake some.
  • I’m sorry for your loss.
  • The service was 12 years ago? Here’s some flowers for today.
  • Want to talk about what you miss?
  • Have a seat, I’ll do your chores.
  • I understand.
  • It’s ok to cry wherever you are.
  • Missing them is allowed.
  • Talking about them is, too.
  • Want to go out to lunch?
  • My treat.
  • Take your time, really.
  • Want a listening ear? I’m free all day.
  • Can I pick something up for you?
  • Food? Groceries? The kiddos?
  • How are you doing? (A few days in.)
  • Just checking in, anything you need? (A week or two later.)
  • The world zooms by, but I didn’t forget. (A month into it.)
  • How are things going? (A few more weeks pass.)
  • Are you doing ok? (A month or two later.)
  • Mind if I text you to see how you are?
  • You don’t have to reply ever.
  • Sending hugs.
  • I remember.
  • I miss that, too.
  • I’m sorry it’s your 1st birthday, their first birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s without them.
  • Want to plant some flowers?
  • Let’s take a trip to their favorite place.
  • I found this picture today.
  • It’s the year anniversary, just wanted to call.
  • I think you’re incredibly brave.
  • Bawl your eyes out if you need to.
  • Cry and cry some more.
  • It’s ok, there’s no preparing for this.
  • It went so fast, I don’t understand it either.
  • 50+ years of marriage? You must miss them so much.
  • I know it’s been a year, I got you a card.
  • 16 years ago? It passed in a blink. Please know I’ll never forget.
  • It’s really hard, til it gets a teeny bit easier.
  • Songs can start the tear factory and that’s ok.
  • Here’s a hanky if you need one.
  • I got you a gift.
  • I’m with you.
  • We’ll figure it out.
  • Sure, it’s tough.
  • We believe.
  • You’ll find your way.




These are the things I’ll say.

Thanks for reading. ❤️


©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Jessica Adam

Thankful for These Things

Hi, today I thought I’d share 55 things I’m thankful for:

  1. this day
  2. my dad
  3. that I got to go home for the first anniversary of losing my momma
  4. my kiddo- when I started this blog he was my “Little Bit”, now he’s 6’2”
  5. being with my husband 28 years and counting
  6. you
  7. yes, you read that right, you
  8. being a big sister
  9. spring!!! My gosh, was that the longest February ever or what???
  10. good health
  11. good sleep
  12. two doctors I love!!! (You know who you are, Dr. Sonia and Dr. Poppy)
  13. dairy free food choices
  14. homeopathy
  15. everybody that works at our chiropractor’s office
  16. the ability of the human body to heal itself- long story, but January 11th, I fell and after weekssssssss of healing, I’m almost as good as new
  17. making art and FINALLY getting up enough nerve to do something with it
  18. you, did I say that already?
  19. good friends
  20. showing up
  21. bowling
  22. my kid’s Dungeons and Dragons friends
  23. theater club- my kiddo got the part he wanted in the Wizard of Oz
  24. friends who want to come to his play
  25. the support I’ve gotten since I first spoke of parent loss
  26. sunshine
  27. summer
  28. my booth at the resale shop- such a learning experience!
  29. my kitties- Blackjack, Coco, Squeeler, Ruby, and the incredibly ornery Millie- cute, but trouble, ha ha
  30. abundance
  31. miracles
  32. nature
  33. cameras
  34. teaching- I don’t have a degree, but I love teaching
  35. starting to find my feet after a year in momma loss
  36. that the washer and dryer we got plays songs at the end of cycles- had no idea, no one mentioned it at the store
  37. delete buttons when I mess up words and thoughts
  38. SanDee (surprise!)
  39. feeling seen
  40. feeling heard
  41. your unending support during a pretty freaking sad year for me
  42. pancakes
  43. blogging friends
  44. hiking
  45. where we live- we are near all kinds of natural springs and waterfalls
  46. planning a dance- I’m hosting a costume dance for my kiddo’s friends- a renaissance type event with a potluck for families. I even ordered invitations.
  47. my house- it’s got 3 big porches- great for rainy days
  48. movie room- we have one in our basement
  49. my Toyota Tundra- such a truck girl
  50. my friend Dennis- he passed away in 2014- whenever I had concerns, I’d call him and he’d say “we believe”- and he meant it, which made everything better instantly
  51. this blog- this space has been a saving’s grace as I’ve stumbled my way around momma loss
  52. being met with kindness in loss- thank you for your words of encouragement and understanding month after month after month…
  53. the handholding you’ve given for 371 days- it’s noticed
  54. the support system you provide
  55. the “oh honey, it’s hard, but you can do this” vibe I feel whenever I read your comments…

Why 55?

Because my folks were married 55 years. Feels like a good number.

As you know, March 2022- March 2023 has been e-m-o-t-i-o-n-a-l to say the least. It reminds me of a weaving, some textured fiber here, some smooth fiber there. Good days here, some sappy messy days there. Best I can tell, it’s still all progress.

As always, thanks for being here. I hope I say that often enough. Your being here truly does mean a lot.

Hope you have a great Saturday. We’re at a bowling tournament in Columbia, Missouri. A shout of good luck going out to my husband and his bestie!


©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Jessica Adam

Photos Do the Talking

Went to my dad’s for the one year mark of my momma’s passing. So happy I was with him, it was a pretty hard day.

I decided to take a break from wordy posts and share some of the photos I took while there. It seems like sometimes, photos can do the best talking, all on their own.

an old pump my momma loved
a birdhouse my momma painted
a birdhouse with a missing back
a peeling pot in the shed
I stepped in a hole by the apple tree, fell on my back, but looked up to see the moon in one part of the sky and this sun in the other
a framed reflection
dad’s tools
peeling paint

Thanks for being here. Hope you have a wonderful day.


©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Jessica Adam- all writing and photographs done by me

Divine Take Two

In 2018 I wrote a post I truly love called Divine. It was about how sometimes we pick up ‘baggage’ through life that may get carried around for years without even realizing it. It’s one of the best pieces I’ve ever written.

In it, I talked about how sometimes stuff begins to accumulate on us / around us that we take on, as our own, even though it was never really ours.

I talked of what an imaginary suitcase at my feet in my 20’s would have held. It was a hodgepodge of negative remarks and things. The kind of stuff that feeds self doubt and low self worth.

Then, I talked about yanking all of those things out- how freeing it felt to let go of all that old junk that had been hanging around for twenty some years.

After dumping things like:

  • not worthy
  • worries
  • not good enough
  • guilt
  • shame
  • no self esteem whatsoever
  • scars, bruises, and sadness

I replaced them with things like:

  • giving
  • loving
  • a good friend
  • works for God
  • big heart
  • worthy
  • sweet, kind, and funny

Yesterday, I wrote two posts and, honestly, I wasn’t sure footed in either one. At some point in the afternoon, I found myself rereading Divine. It was then that I remembered how freeing it is letting go of the old and welcoming the true.

Oh my goodness! That post hit home!

I forgot how easy it is to strap on words we pick up along the way. The Shoulda, Coulda, Wouldas. The ‘hurry ups’ and ‘too slows.’ Words that seem to stick and get piled and become SO integrated that we don’t even know how to start looking for them.


That can equal some heavy loads!

So, this morning, I decided to peek into the imaginary suitcase that was at my feet five years ago.

What would I find, a year into momma loss? Would it be as bad as the one in my twenties?

I mean, come on! Parent loss is h a r d.

Slowly lifting the imaginary lid, I saw a smidgen of self doubt, but not enough to break the scales. Also, there was this overflowing love that felt like a waterfall. Hmm… promising.

I also saw:

  • strength of a thousand trees, though sometimes I forget
  • a checker-inner
  • patches of sorrow and joy
  • more lessons learned
  • still sweet, still funny, still kind
  • still loving, still giving, still a good friend
  • a huge, gigantic, all encompassing heart
  • weathered from parent loss, but not broken
  • worn down from the stages of grief, but still holding steady
  • a caring sister, a great daughter, a passionate mother, a my-heart-is-in-it wife
  • a teacher, a learner, a try to make things better-er
  • peace and love and happiness bulging at the seams
  • sadness and missing and trying to understand loss and what happened and how we got to this point- intertwined with everything while trying to find balance and grace

Pretty good, considering all of the things of the past year.

Sometimes it seems like life is a series of

  1. taking what we’re given
  2. picking out what really resonates for us
  3. growing from there

Such a gift in that.

Here’s a link to Divine. My momma loved that piece, too.


Thanks for being here,


©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Jessica Adam

I Admire You

If you’ve been through hard things,

I admire you.

If part of those things include loss,

I admire you.

If you’ve had moments you can’t quite get words around,

I admire you.

If you’ve stepped up to help a friend during their bumpy days,

I admire you.

If you’ve been through a super sudden loss then spent weeks or months trying to make sense of it,

I admire you.

If you’ve ever stared at approaching holidays in advance, knowing how hard they’d be,

I admire you.

If you’ve ever survived a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day without one,

I admire you.

If you’ve been on the receiving end of “I’m sorry for your loss,”

I admire you.

If you’ve shown up for a friend in loss,

I admire you.

If you took them a plant, a wind chime, a meal, or sent a card,

I admire you.

If you’ve asked someone what happened, then stood there listening while words and tears trickled out,

I admire you.

If you’ve ever driven 5 minutes or 5 hours on some random Tuesday to show your support to someone,

I admire you.

If you understand the intensity of loss but have never even talked about it,

I admire you.

If you’ve talked to your kiddos about how much someone loved them,

I admire you.

If you read something that tells you to forget the past but you say, ‘no way!’

I admire you.

If you’re reading this and it makes absolutely zero sense,

I admire you.

If you’re reading this and your cheeks are wet with tears,

I admire you.

If you can relate to this post in any way, shape or form,

I admire you.

If loss to you means a breakup, a friendship is ending, or that someone gained their heavenly wings,

I admire you.

Loss can mean different things to many. Wherever you are in yours,

I admire you.



©️ 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ 2023 Jessica Adam

I Quit Writing

I quit writing. Sometimes it’s just easier to



I knew March would be tricky, hard, and emotional, so I haven’t written anything, scheduled anything new, or added any new stressors.

I knew March would make things even more real. It would state the obvious. It would trample on hearts already worn down by twelve months of missing.

Two days ago marked the one year date that I last spoke to my momma. Her few words before I left the hospital that night.

Tomorrow marks the one year date that things were on the upswing. A plan for healing was being put in place. Hope returned to the table. We were more optimistic.

That very same day, when tiny glimpses of sunshine and rainbows and ‘we’re figuring this out’ strolled back in, there was a setback… a setback that flipped worlds inside out and upside down and not just mine.

I quit writing. After being SO OPEN about what momma loss is like, I clammed up. I lost my sense of direction with words and where to go with them.

Transparency, while standing hip deep in parent loss, got me some unwanted remarks and advice I didn’t ask for.

It shut me down, I quit writing.

I’m making art today, listening to music, and with wet cheeks, I’m missing my momma. This weekend marks the one year date we lost her. I shake my head wondering how three hundred and sixty five days went by already. Time in parent loss is a mysterious thing.

Suddenly I had a little tweak of interest in writing again. Like, right now. So, I’m going with it. If you’ve been down this parent loss road, you may understand all this. If you haven’t, I’ll pray for you when you do. There are no words to wrap around an entire year of missing someone.

I quit writing,

until I started writing again.



Beauty Now Noticed

It’s funny how sometimes there’s a place that’s incredibly amazing within a few miles, but we don’t even know it’s there.

Every Tuesday since September, we’ve traveled 50 miles to bowl at a town north of us. I thought that in the past 5 months, we’d seen everything there is to see around that town.

Within 10 miles, there is an area called Clearwater Lake and we’ve ventured there many times. It’s very beautiful. One Saturday we went north about 20 miles and stumbled upon a campground, marina, and beach. So pretty there.

This time though, we took our feet to a hiking trail within 5 miles of the bowling alley. I’d heard about it, but we’d never been there.

My goodness. All I can say is nature’s grace was right around the corner! I was missing out and didn’t even know it. It’s called Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area and it’s part of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Whoa. Simply put, it’s stunning. Huge rock walls, waterfalls, granite, clear water, stone steps, a path along the creek. Breathtaking beauty.

It’s like a combo pack of places we’ve been. It’s a touch of Colorado, a smidgen of Klepzig Mill 60 miles west of here, it sort of reminds me of Castor River Shut Ins northeast of us, and it’s even a bit like Johnson Shut Ins by Elephant Rocks State Park. Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area feels sort of familiar, but it’s totally new.

Spring is starting to show her lovely face, bringing longer days and sweet wild flowers. We will definitely be returning there to see nature’s spring show.

Thanks for reading. Hope you find some ‘under your nose but you don’t even know it’ nature treasure, too. Beauty unnoticed becomes beauty now noticed. Love that.


©️ 2023 Unmeasured Journeys- stone steps at Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area
©️ 2023 Unmeasured Journeys- creek at Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area
©️ 2023 Unmeasured Journeys- rock wall at Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area
©️ 2023 Unmeasured Journeys- looking up creek, Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area
Lon Sanders Canyon sign at the start of the trail