2018..

Hey hey friends! Did you think I forgot about you all?! I feel like it has been forever since we’ve talked, and I feel like every time I write one of these I say that. Lol my b. I said I wanted to try to write more, but here’s the thing, life was SO busy this summer and these last couple of months  have been nothing short of exciting let me tell you! But don’t worry I am about to catch you up on all the fun things that have happened since I the last time I wrote.. So here goes nothing!

 

Other than writing a letter to my sister after her graduation I haven’t been on here since April, omg, that was almost 7 months ago, yiiiiiikes!

 

I tried thinking about how I want the timeline to go for this story, but per the usual I am a scattered brain more than half of the time so it is a little bit of everywhere, lol bare with me. And this may be a tad on the long side, but I hope you still take the time to read it.

 

At the end of April, as planned I moved to Indiana again, while living there I was working for Peter and Melanie Wrenn like I did the last year, they were so flexible with my traveling schedule, it was much appreciated. My summer was nothing but busy let me tell you. I typically raced at Hoosier during the week and made a trip to Scioto (ohio) on the weekends. Then if I wasn’t doing that trip I would race at Hoosier. My summer started off a little rough with the horses, lol. We had claimed one at Scioto one night and I brought him back to Indy with me, it was like ohhhhh I don’t know 2 in the morning and I couldn’t get this horse off of the trailer. I tried and tried and tried and he ended up smashing me up against the hay manger in the trailer. Luckily all he did was bruise my back, and Dani (the girl I work with) answered her phone and came to the rescue to help me get him off of the trailer.

 

Throughout the summer, I did quite a bit of traveling to the Grand Circuit events with Post Time with Mike and Mike. The Camluck Classic kicked off our live remote season at Western Fair Raceway in London Ontario. Which most of you know in the winter typically is like my second home, because that is where my dad and I raced our horses. As always they put on a great show. And while I was home for that, that was the weekend Jenna graduated high school. Which brought back sooooo many memories, because a lot of the people I graduated with all had siblings in that same grade, so it was kind of like a reunion for us all. (3 years since I graduated from the same school).

 

Mooovvvinggg on… North America Cup night at Mohawk. Now I have been to Mohawk plenty of times, but this was my first time ever attending this event. Now mind you I have attended quite a few Grand Circuit events, the larger ones including the Hambletonian and The Little Brown Jug which both have amazing crowds and fan atmosphere. But the North America Cup was different, every part of this place was packed of people including the fence that butted up to the paddock where the fans could see the horse entering and exiting the paddock, it was just awesome to see the little kids and even adults so amused as the horses entered the track.

 

An event I also helped cover was the Tetrick vs. Tetrick PRO-AM event. Where the drivers that participated in this event were on teams- New Vocations vs. Harness Horse Youth Foundation. It was a great day for both sides. Myself on behalf of Post Time with Mike and Mike presented a check to New Vocations, for the money that we had collected from from our live remotes, up until that point. And while we are on the subject of New Vocations, every month I team up with them and we feature a horse. I talk with past connections and look up the stats on the horse and publish an article to the USTA as a ‘horse highlight’ and let me tell you, I love writing them every month. I know it isn’t much, but I love being to do a little bit to give back and help promote!!

 

I was able to come home to see friends and family the weekend of Jenna’s open house, which was so nice. Everyone’s lives get so busy sometimes we don’t have time to seee everyone we would like to. Jennas graduation party gave us the opportunity to see some friends and family that we don’t get to see very often. It was an emotional day to say the least, on top of celebrating Jenna’s next step in life. Our dog passed away. She was a part of our family for 16 years, it was a very tough loss for our family. There will never be another dog like her, she was so good to our family, we miss her very much…. I did tell you a blog post or two ago that I would only get a tattoo if it had a meaning, I ended up getting a tattoo with her name, the date she passed, and a half of heart that was she is always with me.

 

The next event  I attended this summer was very bittersweet. And if you follow me on any sort of social media I was blowing that ishhh up, lol. The Farewell Jackson Event was UNBELIEVABLE. I had assumed there would be a decent crowd, but over 6,000 people showed up to this event and it was just crazy. There was 8 non betting races and the roar from the crowd every time the horses went by was simply amazing. So many smiles yet so many tears as Michigan said goodbye to another race track. My dad drive there a lot while I was growing up, and to see him not only drive there one last time, but to get one last win there was so emotional. Smiling and crying all at once when he entered the winners circle with a HUGE smile on his face made my heart so happy. It was such an incredible day and I was so happy to not only be a part of it as a horseman but as well as a broadcaster, Mike Carter and Kait Wiggins came out to cover the love the horsemen had for Jackson Harness Raceway. Horsemen were able to come on the show and tell their favorite memories from the days at Jackson.

 

The next event I attended was The Meadowlands Pace. Super fun experience, because this time when I went out East I road tripped with Mike Carter out there. We attended Breakfast with the babies Saturday morning, grabbed a quick lunch with the crew. Then I went to my hotel. And omg funny story. Well it’s funny to me anyway. So I check into my room, and I am like so tired, ready for a nap, because I raced all week and made a trip to Scioto, plus drove out to NJ. And if you know me I never pack light ESPECIALLY when I know I will be in a car, because then i know I have plenty of room to bring whatever I want LOL. So I get the keys to my room, and take my 5 bags over the elevator and I press the floor 9 button, nothing. The door closes, but I am not going anywhere, or moving, like nothing is happening so I click it like 3 or 4 more time and STILL NOTHING. Like I kid you not I was in the elevator for like 5 minutes, wondering what I had to do to get to my room. SOOO finally a couple comes into the elevator, and they pull their key out, show it to a camera and then press the floor number.. And they asked which floor I was on and I continued to tell them floor 9 and showed the key to the camera like I actually knew what I was doing. But boy did I feel stupid, and when I got out of the elevator I couldn’t stop laughing. Meadowlands Pace night was extremely fun, and we had a great broadcast. The next day I went to Chester, PA where Harrahs Philadelphia (the race track) is. Got a great tour of the place, got to see some people I haven’t seen in awhile, it was a great day as well! We weren’t able to stay long before we had to hit the road back home!

 

Had a few weeks off from the broadcasting, but I was plenty busy racing all over Ohio and at Hoosier. The next event I attended was the Hambo! This time I flew out to NJ, and let me tell you I have some bad luck when it comes to flying. I left Indy, and had a layover on Detroit but my flight was canceled due to weather. Luckily there was an early flight the next morning to Jersey and I was able to get a seat on the plane. I got to Jersey early that morning. That night I attended the Casino Night Dinner at the Meadowlands with the crew, had some good food, bet a few races and just really enjoyed the night. Saturday morning came, and it was raining all morning. It finally stopped and then sun came out  for a wonderful Hambo day! The filly ATLANTA- was dominate in the final beating the boys and it was such a great day! That night I went into the city (NYC) with the Harmons, and we rode on one of those buses that take you through the city and give you the history, it was super fun!

 

The following weekend was the Dan Patch at Hoosier Park, and this show was different from the rest of them. It was my first ever show co-hosting. I will admit it now that it is over, but I was a little nervous going into the night because you literally talk about the races for 3 hours straight, and I am usually use to just doing the interviews. I knew I was prepared but I was still a tad nervous. Once the show got going it was easy sailing from there. Honestly really think that that show made me want to continue to do broadcasting. I had a lot of doubts over the summer with everything happening in life. But I pushed them off to the side because I was so busy with working and that just took over my mind so I didn’t have to think about it. But after that show, I felt… life again? Maybe that isn’t the right saying, But I felt so.. Happy and confident about it everything, I got so many calls and messages that night, it was truly appreciated.

 

The next event I attended was not with Post Time with Mike and Mike, I had my first on camera event at Scioto Downs for Super Night. The weather conditions were horrible, but it was still a lot of fun, great racing and a super awesome experience with great people!

 

Jug weeeeeek was next! And who doesn’t love jug week?! I was able to balance my whole week between paddocking, broadcasting/media, and just plain having a good time! I raced Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and I have never paddocked or raced a horse during Jug week, so there is a first for everything. Lol. Wednesday I did some media as well, I took photos and was in charge of the social media for Post Time with Mike and Mike. Wednesday night I attended the Pre-jug party for New Vocations and helped with the event before attending the horsemens party, which again was fun as always. Thursday was a busy day! Jug day! SO so so much fun! Between the races, and taking photos, I also joined Dave Brower on the Jug broadcast for a little bit! I ended up staying that night and leaving early early Friday morning to get back to work. After work and a much needed nap. It was time for the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, where we broadcasted live on scene and I was in-charge of all the interviewing, which I love doing, I find it so much fun to go out and talk to all of the connections of our amazing athletes.

 

I didn’t have much time to rest because that Sunday I was off to Lexington Kentucky for two weeks to race some horses. Now at first I really didn’t want to go, I wanted to stay back. But I ended up having a really great time! Between racing our horses down there, watching the Grand Circuit racing, and going out with friends and just having a good time! It had been awhile since I had that much fun. And it was just a good time!

 

All the fun in Lexington eventually came to an end and it was time to go back to Indy- but this time it was only for 4 days. I packed up my things in the barn and at the apartment because I was getting ready to move home. But first, I took a road trip with my momma and Brianna to New York City where I attended the Yonkers International Trot, and wow! What a great day, the hospitality was amazing, the races were amazing, and the Trot was so exciting. I was able to co-host with Mike Bozich this time and I just had a blast! I really enjoy co-hosting with these guys- mainly because I just really talking about horses… LOL

 

After the Yonkers Trot I took a couple of days to move all my stuff home, had a relaxing couple of weeks off, volunteering at the elementary school. Then it was time to cover the Breeders Crown.. And that was bittersweet nonetheless. It was my my last show with Post Time with Mike and Mike as a full time employee- the week prior to the Breeders Crown I accepted a job at the Meadowlands… and I LOVE MY JOB! I do paddock interviews with the horsemen, help run social media, promotion and contest host, along with coming up with ideas for horsemen /fan interaction. The people I work with are awesome! I just really couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity. I will still do some work with Post Time with Mike and Mike during the off time time at the Meadowlands and still keep in touch with them all of the time. I do owe them a huge thank you though, because they were the first two to believe in me and really get me going and I am so grateful for that.

 

So after starting the job at the Meadowlands until now, I have kept myself pretty busy. I am in Jersey on the weekends and this week I started school back again. So I have a pretty busy schedule to say the least. Was able to be home with my whole family for the holidays which was nice. For new years eve I went over The Meadows to visit friends along with watching the GOAT Foiled Again make his last start ever before his retirement. That was super fun! I also attended the drivers challenge at Miami Valley in Ohio, what a great event put on by them for the fans. I was lucky to be able to cover it for the MidWest Harness Report and it was a lot of fun!

 

I really couldn’t be more thankful with where I am at in life right now while working towards all the things I want. I won’t lie there are some days where I sit there and think… I haven’t graduated college yet, I am nowhere near “stable” in life. I see all the time on social media people my age graduating college, getting married, having kids, and I am over here like- uh what do I want for dinner? But I have come to realize this.. Life is not a competition, you are living life for you, and accepting all things that come with it, the good and the bad. Everyone has a different timeline in life.. and that doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong, as long as you’re happy and living life the way you want to- you are doing everything right. Don’t compare yourself to others, I read something the other day… “comparison is the thief of joy” and that is so true. Because we are all here to do something different with our lives.. No two people are the exact same. Okay..enough about that, the point was, as long as you’re happy with life, you’re doing just fine.

 

So with 2018 I really wanted to focus on myself, my physical and mental health. And that’s exactly what I did- November was the first time in over a year I when I went to the doctors, I weighed in healthy and my doctor wasn’t worried about me. And it felt good.

 

A year ago today if you would have asked me what I would be doing today, I wouldn’t even have answered you. I would have been at a loss for words saying that I didn’t care, didn’t want to know, and leave me alone. Jump ahead to today, and I learned that I can’t sweat the small stuff, I don’t have control over every little thing in life and that’s okay. It isn’t selfish to take care of yourself, and work on yourself and put yourself first. Laziness gets you nowhere in life. If you want it, you work your butt off for it. How much you put into something shows in the result. No half ass, take all task seriously. Introduce yourself to someone new, step outside of your comfort zone. Positivity is key, having a good attitude only helps you. Hard work does pay off, people do pay attention. Be you. Do you. For you. Happiness is choice. – I will never understand why people walk around miserable all of the time.- Smiling is always better than not.

 

I really learned how to grow as a person over this past year. I learned that some people aren’t who they really say they are. And some people are really good at putting on a show for others. But that’s okay. Don’t worry about them- focus on you and you’ll be just fine.

 

Okay.. I think that is enough blabbering for now. This turned out way longer than expected, but I guess that’s what I get for not writing regularly LOL.. I am a little behind BUT hopefully shortly I can finally finishes my 2019 goals- and I will be able to share them with you!

 

But for now, I hope you all had a great holiday season, a happy new year! And that you are out there enjoying life to the fullest!

 

Thank you for reading my post! Until next time friends, keep smiling!

 

God Bless!

 

Love always,

 

jesssss