Recent Posts

closeup of braided rag rug made from colorful tshirt strips

Life as a Practice: Pursuing Excellence in Daily Life

In a practice, you progress: you level up. If we treat daily life as a practice, what does it mean to level up? Hint: It involves effort, excellence, and virtue.
close up of an MIT brass rat class ring

Why I Left Full-Time Academia and What I Do Instead

A PhD doesn't mean you're stuck with a traditional academic career. Flexibility, family, freedom: Here's how and why I decided to take a different path.
gold, silver, and bronze medals Jacqueline won at fencing tournaments

Why You Should Pursue Excellence, Not Success

Pursuing excellence will help you succeed—but pursuing success won't make you excellent. Here's why I follow this life philosophy, and why you should want to, too!
jacqueline in fencing gear on strip, lunging at an opponent during a college fencing tournament

It's Just Fencing: On Approaching Life with Playfulness and Sincerity, Not Seriousness

My fencing coach used to tell me to train hard... but in the end, it's just fencing. It's the paradox of play: real and not real, serious and not serious. Here's how to apply that paradox to the rest of life.
Jacqueline, Randy, and kids smiling in front of a Christmas tree

The Best Reason to Have Children

It amazes me that strangers feel comfortable saying to parents 'You sure have your hands full!' 'Why so many kids?' 'Are you expecting another one?' Uh ... it's okay to want and love children!
the cloisters at gloucester cathedral: the intersection of two long stone hallways lined with windows, stained glass, and elaborate archways

Recovering Beauty in Modern Life

Beauty is vital to humans, but there's a breakdown of beauty in present culture—in architecture, art, music, more. Why? How can we recover and cultivate beauty?
modern bridge over a river

Dialogue Takes Two: Why Sharing Ideas Matters

Friends have shut down conversations because they disagreed with me. But dialogue is important—for finding common ground, truth, understanding—and it's only possible if everyone in the conversation is willing to talk.
an animated robot driving in a virtual maze

The Nebulosity of Categories and Where the Usefulness of Personal Labels Ends

My identity is multifaceted. Unlike Randy, whose primary label is 'trad Catholic', I don't hold one aspect of myself up as the core. Why not? Flexibility, and room for dialogue and change.
Randy and Jacqueline sit on a mountain in New Zealand

How We Live Debt-Free in a World of Chronic Debt

Debt is ingrained in the modern economy, but it’s not the best way to manage money or build wealth. We live debt-free, paid cash for a house, and can maintain our freedom on $20k/yr. How? Read on.
the sun rises behind the steeple of a church

Intentionally Building Strong Community Ties

Before moving to Idaho, I'd never been part of a strong community. Now, my friends are people I can truly rely on—which is how it's supposed to be! Why is strong community so rare? And how can you build your own?
Shoreline by Couer d'Alene Lake in North Idaho

Adjusting to Life in North Idaho

How I began switching from being a full-time academic in Boston to some mishmash of stay-at-home-mom, scholar, gardener, and writer. Change is a process; here's part of the story.
Baby Elian stands on Randy's lap and types on his keyboard in front of three monitors

Opting for Flexibility in Work

Self-employment enables me to achieve the work-life balance I want. Here's why I love the flexibility—and how you can get the same flexibility in your own life.
Priests in red and gold celebrate a traditional Latin Mass

Discovering the Traditional Catholic Mass

How I discovered the traditional Latin Mass a few years ago, why that discovery changed everything for me, and what was wrong with the Novus Ordo Masses I'd attended.
Jacqueline and Randy leaning their heads together smiling at the camera

A Blog About Education, Lifestyles, and Community

A brief history of how the Deliberate Owl came to be and why we're writing a blog about us, our lives, and how we're living out our values.

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Did you know a group of owls is called a parliament?

About

We're Jacqueline and Randy, a blogging duo with backgrounds in tech, robots, art, and writing, now raising our family in northern Idaho.

Our goal is to encourage deliberate choices, individual responsibility, and lifelong curiosity by sharing stories about our adventures in living, loving, and learning.

Learn more about us.


Connect:

whoo@deliberateowl.com

Start here

Curious about our life and journey? Here are some good places to start reading:

Jacqueline and Randy leaning their heads together smiling at the camera

A Blog About Education, Lifestyles, and Community

A brief history of how the Deliberate Owl came to be and why we're writing a blog about us, our lives, and how we're living out our values.
Priests in red and gold celebrate a traditional Latin Mass

Discovering the Traditional Catholic Mass

How I discovered the traditional Latin Mass a few years ago, why that discovery changed everything for me, and what was wrong with the Novus Ordo Masses I'd attended.