Jen Franklin Kearns

Jen Franklin Kearns grew up in Central Ohio and is pleased to raise her family here as well. She and her husband Mark reside in Delaware and are parents to Alex, Addie, and Andrew. Their home is completed by their loyal beagle, Maisey. Jen is a social media analyst for a local family foundation, and she is also a passionate advocate for inclusion and disability rights. Jen’s oldest son, Alex, has Down syndrome and Jen works tirelessly to ensure that Alex has access to inclusive opportunities in their community. Jen and Mark are raising their children to know that that inclusion matters for all. When Jen isn’t advocating, writing, or shuttling her kids back and forth to sports practices or club meetings, she enjoys perusing social media, reading, and drinking large amounts of coffee.

Stumbling Back to Normal

Before March 2020, my household normal was full of bustling commotion. There weren’t many days on the big whiteboard calendar in the kitchen that were empty. Each afternoon and evening (and mornings on the weekends)...

Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic

What A Year As we welcomed March back, it was difficult not to remember the anniversary of the pandemic. We have experienced many challenging hardships in the past year, and most of it I think...

My Wish for World Down Syndrome Day 2021

Every year on March 21st, we recognize World Down Syndrome Day. The date is significant, as the 3/21 represents the three copies of the 21st chromosome that each person with Down syndrome has.  We celebrate...
end of virtual learning

A Mother’s Reflection on the Return of In-Person Schooling

On March 12, 2020, my kids left their school buildings thinking they would return to in person schooling after a three day weekend. Little did we know, that would be the last time they exited...
Christmas desserts

Revamping Holiday Traditions with Hudsonville Ice Cream

This year has certainly brought about its fair share of uncertainty. As the holidays approach, my family is beginning to embark on our typical traditions, only this year, those traditions feel like they need...
puppy pandemic

The Joys of a Pandemic Puppy

Like many families this year, we found our world quickly changed in mid-March. We went from having at least one activity each evening (and sometimes one activity per kid!) to nothing on our calendar,...

Teachers, We Are So Thankful for You

Each year in November, it seems to be a common practice to share why we’re thankful or perhaps start a gratitude practice. Even with this year’s unpredictable chaos, I still find myself remembering why...
missing out on the "lasts" of school

Processing the Loss of My Youngest’s Elementary School “Lasts”

Like many other households, ours came to a screeching stop about six weeks ago when we received “stay at home” orders from our governor. Our jam-packed calendar went from at least one commitment per...
World Down Syndrome Day

Celebrating 3/21: World Down Syndrome Day

For my family, 3/21 is considered a holiday. We celebrate it with as much recognition as other more mainstream holidays that fall on the calendar throughout the year. Why 3/21? It’s World Down Syndrome...
Valentine's day with Tweens

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with the Not-So-Little Loves of Your Life

It seems that before we’re even finished decking the halls in December, the frilly, sparkly Valentine’s Day decorations, cards, and gifts begin popping up. It’s a challenge to meander through stores in January without...