HOWDY Y'all!!! We are back with another feature this Friday! Today we have my sweetest and dearest friend, Jess Norman! This woman is an inspiration to me and has the BEST podcasts to listen to! Also, you should definitely follow her on TikTok.
Jess is from Central, Louisiana. A little spot on the edge of Baton Rouge. Her big family means everything to her and her siblings are her superpower after all these years. Jess and Jay have a blended family. "It turns out that our kids are the exact same age so we ended up with two new sets of step twins if you’ll believe that! We have five total ages 16/16, 13/13, and the baby is 10!"
Let's get more into Jess's life and what it's like to have a blended family. "It is an opportunity for growth and change that challenges me every single day of my life. Each month builds on our bond with each other and our knowing what makes each member of our family thrive. For some reason I never was that person that was going to pick up the phone and speak negatively about Jay’s ex or mine. My mind immediately built a connection between my doing it and having it done about me, so I took my side out of the ring."
Along with being a bad ass mom to these children and not to mention a smokin' wife. This woman has a couple of podcasts! Let's have Jess tell you more about each one. "For, Moving On Podcast, Jay and I came up for air after the first year of marriage I wanted to do something that would help whether it was to write a blog, pour into my Instagram, or do a YouTube channel. We wanted to be there for others the way we needed when we were walking through our rainy season. We had a broader knowledge of what would help. As far as the Huddle Cole podcast, I could talk about those women all damn day. We found ourselves in relationship, the five of us. We were speaking every day and it was a group thread that didn’t fade it’s lasted for nearly 4 years now. We knew we needed to take it to the next level, and the podcast was formed. I thought it would take a lot of persuasion to get all of the girls on board but they had each bought a mic off of Amazon within the hour. They are my greatest support and blessing besides Jay and my children."
In Jess and Jay's podcast they mention, "Drop the Rope." I had never heard this expression until I met Jess for the very first time. I invited Jess and her daughter Lily way down here to South Texas for a photo shoot. In one of our conversations about family and husbands she mention "Drop the Rope". Told us all the meaning behind it and boy did it really sit with me. Let's have Jess tell yall the meaning behind “Drop the Rope". If you’ll pay attention you’ll see how quickly tugawar’s can ensue in EACH of your relationships. We’ve seen incredible things happen when one person maturely drops their end leaving nothing for the other person to pull on. Anger and tension seemingly dissipate in an instant, and actual relationship can then occur. Drop the rope is synonymous with the principals “do you want to be right or do you want to be happy”, and “there is freedom in surrender”. Dropping the rope is a practice, one that has taken us years to form a habit."
I love how much you share about your family and faith. Tell us more about that. "From a really young age I was in love with Jesus. He’s been the one true constant in my life. The one that has never let me down or left my side. God has proven over and over again in my life to be true, good, and faithful. I don’t believe the way a lot of other people believe, my mind has always been able to separate cringey Christianity from my powerful, powerful God. I love the people that I get to connect with. I don’t do small talk, in an hour circles we’re all diving in pretty deep pretty quickly with each other. I love hearing someone’s heart, and doing anything I can to add back into it. I believe this connection is how God designed us to be. I do want to add that the podcast helps Jay and I the most out of anyone, it is the strongest form of marriage counseling we could possibly find!"
Jay is a farmer so we know when that time comes he is always out working. What is it like having a husband who farms? "My husband is the only individual I’ve ever known to bound out of bed each and every single morning that I’ve known him. I have never met someone so passionate about what they do for a living. He is constantly challenging himself and striving to tackle something new and better, and that is extremely attractive to me. He works his absolute ass off so that we could have a very charmed life. And there are seven of us, so even a trip to McDonald’s is $75! He make sure that we can have that McDonald’s and so much more."
What are some things you and Jay like to do for fun? "We like to travel. We say that we’re catching up on 20 years of not being together. In the beginning when the kids would go to their other home we would get really sad and homesick for them, so we started leaving when they did. We love to visit the Texas coast and the Texas hill country. South padre island and Wimberley specifically. We really enjoy exercising together, boxing and lifting weights, binging a Netflix series that we’ve seen a few times already, and listening to live country music." Now what are some fun things you like to do with the whole family? "All of our children play basketball so we have a regulation half quart at our home and we play a good bit. Will put a speaker out there and blast some music and have a few hours together just shooting and playing pick -up ball. Our children are ages 10 to 16, the five of them, and are still in a very crazy season. They are chaotic and hilarious, and they make Jay and I laughed nonstop. Lately we’ve been frequenting the local arcade together."
What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten? "Maybe shark? I really don’t do strange food, I don’t have a stomach for it, but I was raised on Cajun food so I bet you all would think some of it is a little strange." Do you have a favorite adult beverage or favorite food recipe you like? would you mind sharing it with us? "My favorite adult beverage is Pinot Grigio BABE, It’s a wine spritzer that comes in a tall can, and it’s absolutely lovely. My favorite food is Brussel sprouts in the air fryer, burnt and tossed with garlic and balsamic vinegar. Yumm."
Jess leaves us with this advice. "I think I would just pass along what I’m learning right now, which is that our feelings and strong emotions can be dangerously distracting and misleading. My best friend from high school taught me to recite, I am the sky and my feelings are the clouds. It is helped me so much to realize that the way I feel in this moment is not the way I’m going to feel this evening, tomorrow, or next week. Something that fleeting cannot be trusted with our lives. Also before I go, I know it’s been a really tough time to be on the planet. These past few years have really rocked us to our core, shifted us off center. If you don’t have a relationship with the Lord, and are sick of doing all of this absolutely alone, the most gigantic amount of love I could pass to you would be in telling you how life-saving and life-changing a relationship with him can be. He sits right by the the lonely as love and comfort feel the space. I love y’all. Thank you for reading about my life, it’s really cool of ya!"
If you want to follow Jess her Instagram handle is @jess_rush_norman
You can follow her on TikTok @jessrushnorman
Podcast with Jay Instagram @moving_on_podcast
Podcast with the gals Instagram @the_huddle_co