In some ways my life has always been a little unconventional.

-My dad is eccentric and opinionated. That alone made for a less conventional childhood. (He was also a really, really good dad. Many of my best childhood memories are of him.)

-My parents and I lived in a tiny mountain cabin with no heat when I was an infant.

-Growing up, I spent every summer I can remember road-tripping the lower 48 with my parents and siblings- first in a VW bus with no A/C then a mini-van and eventually a conversion van.

-My mom is 1 of 8 and my dad 1 of 6.

-Which made me 1 of 30+ cousins.

-I had lived in 6 houses by the time I was 6.

-We were excommunicated from a cult when I was 8.

-My mom began homeschooling us back when we only knew of 1 other family who homeschooled.

-Because of that I was able to graduate high school when I was 16.

-I lived as an exchange student in Germany for 5 months when I was 14.

-My family lived in a rustic cabin in the woods the year I returned to the States.

-I stopped wearing makeup for about 2 years after graduating high school in protest of a culture that told me I needed it.

-I never did do the dating thing.

-My husband is the only boy I’ve ever kissed.

-We were best friends, just friends, for 3 years before we decided to get married.

-We were 19 and 20 on our wedding day.

-The ceremony was on a bluff inΒ Jamestown with 25 guests, a handmade wedding dress, and a small budget, most of which we covered ourselves.

-We bought a condo together when we were 18 and 19. It became our home the week after our wedding.

-I experienced 4 miscarriages in the first 4 years of our marriage and went on to have 4 healthy babies after that.

-Today I homeschool those 4 healthy babes.

-I walked 300 miles through each of my last 2 pregnancies.

-I labored for 54 hours with my oldest, for 3 hours with my second born and gave birth to my youngest at home.

-I’ve spent 2 10 day stints in a NICU with my newborns. Twice I’ve lived through moments when I did not know if my baby would survive.

-I ran a full marathon in 2010, about 1 year after declaring I would never be crazy enough to do that.

-My husband became self-employed the year he turned 26.

-We downsized 4 years after that, moved ourselves and our 3 kids in with my parents for 4 months then found a foreclosure to move into that cost a 3rd of what we paid for Garrett.

-I hiked 32 miles for my 32nd birthday last year. 14 hours in the woods with some of my favorite people. Best birthday to date.

-My parents named me Echo. Vechauntise. For Pete’s sake.

Somewhere along the way I learned that unconventional is not inherently bad.

Now I know it is not inherently good either.

But it does make for some good stories.

As well as leaving you feeling like you don’t really belong anywhere. A feeling I have felt most of my life…

Maybe the next part of the story was inevitable. Maybe I was destined for weirdness.

With a name like Echo Vechauntise, how could I not be?




2 thoughts on “Unconventional

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