What Giving Means to Us

Tis’ the season of laughter and love, family and friends, and happiness and giving. It’s the time of the year when family gets together to celebrate the holidays with gratitude. My family and I, Jessica, have always celebrated Christmas and every year it continues to be my favorite holiday because of the happiness it brings to people. When I was younger, I never fully understood or appreciated the acts of kindness and the amount of giving I receive, not only during this time of the year, but every day that goes by. I am blessed with an amazing, supportive family who never cease to make sacrifices to bring happiness into my life. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how fortunate I am and I cannot express my gratitude enough. I truly am grateful for the life I live and all that I have. I wish to give back to my family as each year goes by, and every day I try to make small gestures to give to the people around me, hoping to make their day a little brighter.

Making people happy is the greatest gift I believe anyone could give. Passing strangers and giving them a smile, holding the door open for the person behind you, donating to a good cause or something you support, etc.. All of these things, even if you only help one person, or show someone a sign of happiness, will have an everlasting effect. In our lives from day to day, we become consumed by the business and stress that seem to loom over us everywhere. We forget to stop and lend a helping hand, or even to wave to the car letting you cross the road to say “thank you”. This year has come and gone, some might say it hasn’t been the greatest year, but it’s not too late to spread happiness and love by taking opportunities whenever you can to give someone, anyone, gratitude and hope.

My biggest wish this Christmas is for you all to spread love by giving to others something as little as a smile when you walk by them, or as much as donating your time, energy, or the spare change in your pocket to help someone less fortunate. You might realize just how good it feels to make people happy. 🙂  I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Happy New Year!


Happy Holidays,

Jess and Josh

How Donations Help Us

Hi everyone, this is Josh and I’m writing this blog on behalf of both Jessica and myself.  Although it may seem odd to compose a blog only a few weeks after our last blog, and with nothing happening in between, I have felt compelled to write this because of the effects that others’ actions have had on me.

I just wanted everyone to know just how much donations help us.  This is my first semester going completely full time in school.  As I work through the business core classes, all of the new information gets harder to digest and more important to learn.  Thanks to a couple of scholarships, I was able to afford full time schooling, as opposed to the half-time I have been pulling for the last few years.  This week of school has been especially difficult for me because I have had four times the normal course load, along with two finals (that consisted of two presentations and two papers, one of which was 27 pages long).  I often hear about skaters who decide that they will start school full-time and I see how they have trouble maintaining success in skating.  That is not me though, and I will not let that be me.

Skating is, and always will be, my utmost important focus.  However, I also take pride in my high GPA and make every attempt to ace my classes.  Still, leaving for Beijing (in twenty minutes actually, I’m writing this in the DFW airport) for Cup of China and being prepared is the most important thing for me.  Normally, my problem in this situation would be, how do I juggle my full-time job along with my full-time skating and my full-time school.  Something’s gotta give right?  Luckily for us, something could give.

Jessica and I have made concentrated efforts (albeit, in small bouts) to raise funds for our skating.  To this point, it has been very helpful in covering the ongoing costs of lessons, ice time, costumes, and travel.  Interestingly enough, I never saw the way it would affect me this week.  If I were to work my normal hours at work, put in my time on and off the ice, and do four times the normal course load with the additional finals, I don’t think I would get more than 2 hours of sleep a night; I already average as little as five hours and 40 minutes some weeks (thanks to my handy Fitbit sleep tracker, I know this) just due to my hectic schedule.  So, faced with the choice of giving something up for the week, I remained loyal to my motivations of submitting schoolwork I could be proud of and training effectively for Cup of China by taking several shifts off of work this week.

In the past, this sort of move would be unthinkable for me; after all, if I’m going to go out of town for a week and a half, I’m going to need extra money to take care of that.  But, for the first time in my life I am not scraping by.  I have, in the past, gone to a competition and run out of money while I was there.  I’m the guy who brings sandwich bags to the breakfast area at the hotel so that I can put bread in there for later (I’ll also take the jam and peanut butter packets, makes for a free lunch).  This feeling of not being controlled by my work, feeling that I can dedicate myself to my skating completely in every fashion is new to me.  What makes it so great is that it is all possible thanks to the donations people have been so kind to give to us.  Jessica and I are incredibly grateful for the charity and caring attitudes that others have shown us.  Not everyone donates to our Gofundme account; in fact, the majority of our donations have come from other places, like the account we have set up through the New England Amateur Skating Foundation.  Even when people donate to the memorial fund, we eventually become a beneficiary of that.  Thank you so much for everything you do, and the next time you have even five dollars sitting around, I implore you to please check out our Gofundme at www.gofundme.com/joshica.


Thank you so much for reading!

–  Joshica 🙂

Our First Blog!

Hi, and welcome to our blog!  We hope to keep a blog at least once a month; some will be written by Josh, others by Jessica… This one is written by both!   🙂

We are in our second season together and are looking to gain steam to improve both our abilities and our standings nationally and internationally.  This year we started off our international journey in Italy at Lombardia Trophy in Bergamo (just outside of Milan).  The competition didn’t go exactly how we wanted to, but that’s ok; mistakes are bound to happen and we still felt like we learned a lot from that event that we can use going forwards.  Despite our performances, it was really cool to see the beautiful country of Italy and have all the amazing gelato, pizza, and pasta.

Jessica had surgery on her right foot in the offseason to repair two torn ligaments, an injury on her landing foot that had been bothering her for years and had worsened last season.  We spent many months slowly rehabbing the injury and taking the process even slower than instructed.  Our goals are long term; we weren’t concerned with being 100% for summer competitions.  However, once training resumed in full, it was clear that the injury was still lingering.  Initial MRI reports showed that the injury was still there, but after two more MRI’s we found a different diagnosis.  We decided to wait until after our trip to Italy to do anything about it.  A little over two weeks ago Jessica underwent a minor procedure that will hopefully solve the problem once and for all.  Luckily for us, she will be back on the ice next week and possibly full strength a week after that!

It’s a good thing that Jessica’s recovery will be fast; shortly after the procedure we were notified of an invitation to Cup of China!  This will be our second Grand Prix event, after attending Skate America last year in Milwaukee.  Neither of us have been to China before and Jessica has never been to Asia at all!  Needless to say, this trip to Beijing is unbelievably exciting for us.

It’s amazing to get to go to China for competition, home of one of our favorite teams of all time, Shen and Zhao.  China has really shown a great depth in pairs skating in the last couple decades and we are honored to be able to compete against their best teams.  We keep realistic expectations for events like these and feel like we’ve accomplished something just to be selected to such a prestigious event.  Nonetheless, we have set performance related goals and hope to put out our best possible programs there, both technically and presentation-wise.  We look forward to this trip and hope to update you all throughout the future.


Thanks for reading!