My name is Jessie. I am a mom, aspiring writer, and prodigal yogi. After a decade in Philadelphia, I recently moved to the South Shore of Massachusetts. But I am a Jersey Girl at heart.
These are my two daughters, Emma and Phoebe. Being a mother is simultaneously thrilling and terrifying. Everyday without fail, two thoughts cross my mind: “Oh my God, thank you” and “Oh my God, help me.”
But before them, there was just me and this guy:
This is my husband Phil. When I first met him at a Villanova Alumni event in Stone Harbor, I was drawn to him like a kid to a clown making balloon animals. There was a certain kind of magic about him -a Pied Piper type quality – and after about five Heinekens I finally mustered up the courage to
stalk approach him. We talked all night, and I gave him my number on the back of crumpled up shopping list that consisted of “goat cheese, Sweet & Low, tampons.”
We’ve been married 9 years and together for 12. If Oprah were to ever ask me “what I know for sure,” I would say: “Marriage is a lot of f*%#ing work.” I do believe that marriage is an opportunity to finally grow up and become the best version of yourself. Unfortunately, that means facing the worst parts of yourself. Like the part of yourself that throws a cordless phone at the dining room wall that you later have to spackle and re-paint. Because it’s your house and you are supposed to be in charge of this whole operation.
“No cigarettes, no bologna,” is a quote from my sassy South Philly born mother-in-law that I feel captures that special kind of crazy that only your spouse can trigger. Early in their marriage, my in-laws pulled up to a neighborhood bodega in Philly, and my father-in-law ran in for bologna and cigarettes. In silent protest to his wife’s smoking habit, he returned with just the bologna. As they drove away, my mother-in-law tossed the bologna out the window, declaring: “No cigarettes, no bologna!”
For me, that just sums up the unique challenge that is marriage. Because only your husband could make you do that, and only your husband would still say “so what do you want to do for dinner?” five minutes after you hurled lunch meat out of a moving vehicle.
My world as a stay at home centers around my kids, and I am sure they will be regular subjects of the posts on this blog. But I wanted to focus on marriage because I believe that kids are only as happy as their parents. And eventually, when our sweet daughters leave the nest, gainfully employed and able to afford their own apartment and therapist, it will be just us again. And I want that to be a “Did you book the tickets to Jamaica?” kind of moment rather than a “Have you always made that noise while eating eggs?” kind of moment.
I hope some of the struggles and triumphs shared here resonate with you, and I look forward to hearing some of yours!
You absolutely rock. Hilarious, moving, and a great writer to boot. Well done!
I too often cite the “No cigarettes, no bologna” stance in my marriage ; )
OMG – I already love this blog and so excited you are launching your own. You are one of my favorite writers around, girl! I will be reading religiously. This “about page” is a thing of beauty.
She’s baaaaack!!!! I’m thrilled! Looking forward to lots of laughs!
Jessie! Super excited to see your new blog and I have to point out – YOU ARE A WRITER. Love, love, love your story telling, can’t wait to see more. Just the title of your site sends me into stitches. xoxo
Just found your blog today via Facebook from one of my LaSalle sorority sisters as a result of Jen Stagnaro’s terrible passing. Thanks for giving me a laugh when all I feel like doing is crying my eyes out! Hugging my family a little tighter today and love your story telling! Wishing you much success in your blog and may life provide you equal parts cigarettes and bologna? 🙂
Hi Jessie – It’s Trish’s friend Liz in Blue Bell PA. You have just made me laugh and cry (and back again) within five minutes. Merry Christmas to you and Phil and hold on to every moment!
my brother sent us the link to the scitiate love poem…thank-you for reminding us what a special place we grew up in, and to bring that fresh spirit to any place or situation we find ourselves living in…we take so much for granted…happy valentine’s day to your family too!
Thank you Karen! And I love the idea of “bringing that fresh spirit.” Well said! Thanks for reading and commenting;)
I’m calling your bluff. I don’t think you with 0% body fathave ever eaten a philly pretzel. I can’t believe you would ever dream of calling yourself fat or saying you need to diet in front of your children. I would love to have your body!!! I also can’t believe you refer to your ears as “dumbo ears” knowing very well your beautiful daughter has the same ears. What message are you trying to send? It “No cigarettes No Bologna” about YOU or about marriage?
I’m very sorry for the comment I left. I was out of line. I find your writing witty and wonderful. You’re beautiful and a very talented writer. Please forgive me.
Please don’t refer to your child’s ears as “Dumbo ears”. She, too, is beautiful. She is also going to be getting to an age with body image issues and the last thing she needs is to hate her ears.
No worries;) Thank you for the apology – it really just made my day, honestly. And you are right about making any comments about our kids’ appearances, regardless of the context. Even when we think we are joking around, we never know what they are really thinking or taking to heart. I actually do work very hard at NOT making any comments about my girls’ appearances, especially their bodies, as I suffered from an eating disorder almost 10 years ago that required hospitalization. But, no one is perfect, and things like “Dumbo ears” slip out, so I appreciate the reminder. We are all in this together and hopefully share the goal of raising healthy, happy kids! And for the record, I had a Philly soft pretzel yesterday with my girls;)
Just came across your blog this morning and read ‘why I need my Mom’ . I have recently come back to my home, after spending 2 weeks caring form my mother, aged 82 years..and we are both missing each other. We ‘always’ need our mother…however she may be…a mother’s heart is loving and forgiving.
On another note – I too am a novice blogger. My head is brimming with ideas and creativity. My travel writing is nowhere perfect. But it fills my empty days, at times. Do visit my blog http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com.
I’ve been loving your blog since February when the Scituate letter was sent to me. I wish our paths had crossed before you headed down south. I find your writing very inspirational and look forward to more! Your blog was my favorite part of Thursday! ~a fellow Jersey girl turned scitui-ite
This is priceless!!!! And I want that to be a “Did you book the tickets to Jamaica?” kind of moment rather than a “Have you always made that noise while eating eggs?” kind of moment. Nice to read your stuff Jess. Just had lunch with Phil yesterday
this is priceless: And I want that to be a “Did you book the tickets to Jamaica?” kind of moment rather than a “Have you always made that noise while eating eggs?” kind of moment.
just had lunch with Phil yesterday
I LOVE your blog! Every week, I visit to read your latest post and am always able to relate a piece to my own happiness, struggles, relationships, wtf life moments, etc. THANK YOU! 🙂
Priceless. As a stress management consultant, I have learned that laugh therapy is one of the best ways to control stress. Thank you for my daily dose of medicine. Merry Christmas!
Loved your Love is Blind post!