Author Archives: Jess

Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter,

We sent you off to your first day of preschool today and watched your pony tail swing. I reminisced when you were growing in my belly and I was scared to death. I thought about that first time I walked into a store while still pregnant to buy you clothes and walked right back out because there was too much to choose from. I wasn’t sure if you were a girl or boy at the time but something inside of me just knew.

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My Life With You

I was standing behind the teller station at the bank in a denim quarter length skirt, a blue button up shirt with a vest over top. My hair was down past my butt and newly permed. I had just gotten a new pair of fashion eyeglass frames – that I was rocking.

He walked in, his aunt walked across the foyer to hug him and send him over to the desk to open a new account. My friend Traci leaned in, that’s Josh – “isn’t he hot, his mom babysits my daughter” I was blushing because Traci was way more blunt than I was at the time. He was “hot” to my 18-year-old self, but way out of my comfort zone. He had on jeans with an excessive amount of holes in them with long johns underneath. A long sleeve long john shirt with his sleeves pulled up a quarter length just enough to show his biomechanical tattoo arm sleeve and a black hat that looked somewhat like a conductors cap.  Nevertheless he was cute, but even the thought of a boy with tattoos would make my religious family crumble to the floor. At least I thought.

Some time had passed and I really didn’t think much about “the out of my league guy” who strolled through the bank that day. His aunt (who I worked with) would tell me he asked about me a few times. A few weeks later I answered the door to a dozen pink roses being delivered. I figured they were for one of my step-sisters because they surely weren’t for me.

The card read, “To: Jess – Hi – From: Josh “From the Bank”

I looked at my step-dad and said “who the heck is Josh from the bank” and so began our love story…

I told my mom about this mysterious guy. I didn’t really know him except what my friends had told me. That he had an arm sleeve of tattoos which kind of turned me off. My mom said “now Jessi it’s not always about what’s on the outside, you might be the one who leads him to Christ.”

I was off and running after that.

Man, I fell head over heels for him, our first date he had me laughing so hard while he told the story of when he had a kidney stone and they gave him medicine to ease his pain. He said “I felt like Popeye eating spinach.” I had tears running down my face as I ate my baked ziti, the same baked ziti that he looked over at me and said “you got a little something hanging from your chin.” Traci & Travis made some jokes to help ease my embarrassment about the long stringy cheese dangling around but he just laughed. I was almost 19 when we officially started dating, little did I know this was going to be my future husband.

We dated for three years. In that first year he had an excessively demanding job. He would work 12-16 hour days, while driving back home two or three hours. He would come home shower, shave, eat and sleep. I would keep him company and then he’d be off again. He also had a child that was conceived before we met that was a surprise. He took me to lunch at Bob Evans to break the news that this child may be his and he was going to start the paternity process. I was stunned as I sat over my mashed potatoes while a tear ran down my face. “Please eat your food he said. If this isn’t the life you want with me I understand. I won’t be mad at you if you want this to end.” It was a few months later that the stress of all the countless hours of working, trying to keep our relationship alive, being a new dad, and his father passing away resulted in him falling asleep at the wheel and driving his truck off a thirty foot cliff. He was life flighted when I received that call from an unknown number while I was heading to the state track meet. “Babe, I am in Cleveland. I was lifeflighted but I’m ok. Can you come get me?” I yelled at him for lying to me until I realized he was serious and started pacing around the room and crying.

I obviously cried a lot that first year.

We dated for three years, those years were rougher then we like to admit and really don’t look back on much anymore. That part of our life seems like a distant memory, I stepped in to a life that was more than I bargained for and he married someone with polar opposite beliefs then he had. Our upbringings were a lot different: we know all that now. What we didn’t know is we were ying and yang and when merged together with stubbornness to the side we meshed seamlessly.

August 7th we will be married 8 years. We have three gorgeous children and as for the little one who had me shedding tears in my mashed potatoes years ago, he is the first half that made us whole. We have found Christ and created a home that is ours. I’m on the front porch of our home, sitting in the chair that Josh built me for our 6th wedding anniversary. Drinking my coffee, watching the breeze blow through the flowers that he works so hard to keep beautiful. He found a job that gives him more time home with us and I drive school bus, which allows our family more time together. Through the last ten years I have had the privilege of not only watching him grow in to a father but also in to a husband.

After a decade of life together I just wanted to write this article to say we made it love.

Happy Anniversary.

💜 Jess

Stark County Sheriff’s Office SRO Receives Master Level Accreditation

(Canton, OH) – The Stark County Sheriff’s Office announces a local School Resource Officer has received a Master Level Accreditation from the Ohio School Resource Officers Association (OSROA).

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Can You Grow Here

A friend of mine left me with this after we had our monthly phone call. She said, “but can you grow, if you decide this is the route you take, can you continue to grow?”  She is smart, profound when she doesn’t realize it, and she helps me clean my house while we talk.

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A Mother’s Letter to Her Son

He said “I don’t want that sauce on my noodles, I just want salt and pepper and butter.” I encourage him to try the sauce first and if he didn’t like it then he could have just butter noodles. Inside my heart was smiling because I used to do the exact same thing when I was his age. I also used to chuck hot dogs out the sliding glass door in to the yard when I didn’t want to eat them but that’s a story for another day.

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Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger

I’m passionate about motherhood. I am so thankful for the small group of authentic friends I have formulated over the years because being a parent is hard. I feel like that is something society can agree on as a whole. In this day in age where the stereotypical mom, dad, sister, brother is being challenged it makes it even harder.

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The Tale of Four Keurigs

We all have our routines.

The things we do that keeps us going in the mornings. You don’t realize it until that routine becomes somewhat unavailable…

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Children of Divorce & Step-Parenting: A Statistical Letter to Blended Families

The late Judith S. Wallerstein changed the way we perceived how divorce affected children when she began a study in 1971 of 131 children from 60 divorced families and followed those children for the next 25 years.

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29 Things I’ve Learned At Age 29 

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Jackson Lockdown Lifted, Students Released

Jackson Local School students have been released to their families after a district-wide lockdown today.

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