Jennifer Hogan: The Journey of Motherhood

Jennifer Hogan: The Journey of Motherhood
As some of you may know, I recently embarked on a three-month trip around America with my family. I have taken this trip as an opportunity to get to know some of you and unite with families who, like myself, feel passionate about protecting the innocence of childhood both through the clothes children wear and the values we uphold as parents. 
Ladies enjoying the Pepa London open event.Pepa, Jenifer and guests smiling for the camera at the Pepa London open event.A guest holding her baby and Pepa London samples at the Pepa London open event.
As part of this adventure, I was thrilled to  meet with a long-standing customer turned lifelong friend, Jennifer Hogan. Our paths first crossed when I stumbled upon Jennifer's Instagram profile, @my.beautiful.ds.journey, back in 2020 as I eagerly anticipated the arrival of my son, Matthew. Jennifer's account captivated me instantly, offering solace and reassurance through her heartfelt journey as a Down syndrome mother. Through her lens, I glimpsed the profound love and boundless joy that infuses families blessed with children with Down syndrome. Jennifer's unwavering dedication to celebrating the unique beauty and affection of children with Down syndrome is truly inspiring. Her advocacy shines as a beacon of hope and positivity, guiding families on similar journeys with grace and compassion.
Pepa holding her son, Matthew, and Jenifer holding her son, Hudson, standing outside on the waterfront in front of an American flag.Matthew and Hudson sitting next to each other outside on a green lawn.Pepa sitting outside on a low wall with Hudson in her lap and Matthew leaning beside her.
A few weeks ago we journeyed to Jacksonville, where I had the privilege of meeting Jennifer and her son, Hudson, in person. Despite having never met in person, the connection we forged on Instagram proved genuine and heartfelt. Our meeting took place at the Timuquana Country Club, a breathtaking private golf and country club nestled in the heart of Jacksonville, Florida.
An illustration of the Timuquana golf course, grandly displayed on a wall in a dark wooden frame.An exterior shot of the Timuquana country club with a bespoke vintage clock on a pole.Large carved wooden plaque for the Timuquana club's ladies' golf championship.
Excited to reconnect and spread the word about Pepa London, Jennifer and I co-hosted a delightful tea party for her close friends, complete with tea, cake, and an exclusive preview of the new spring/summer collection. While the guests savoured the treats and admired the latest designs, Hudson and Matthew embarked on their own adventure-filled day amidst the picturesque grounds of the country club. From games of tag to lively rounds of hide and seek and Matthew teaching Hudson to do a roly-poly down a hill,  the sweet bond between Hudson and Matthew served as a poignant reminder of the universal beauty and love that transcends differences, an important lesson for us all to remember. 
Matthew and Hudson sitting side by side at a piano.Matthew and Hudson sitting side by side at a piano.
In a world increasingly dominated by digital interactions, the unexpected authenticity and love that can be found on platforms like Instagram offers a sense of comfort and connection. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to share in Jennifer's journey, finding solace and inspiration in the transformative power of love and community.


What resonates with you about Pepa’s style of clothing?

Pepa’s style is uniquely timeless and understated. It brings me back to a time when people took care in the way they dressed their children. 

How has raising a child with DS changed your view of what you thought motherhood would be like – what pleasant surprises has it given you?

Raising a son with Down syndrome has changed my perspective on nearly everything. I’ve learned to cherish every moment and not rush any of it. Hudson has shown me how to slow down and delight in the little things that I once took for granted. His timeline to meet milestones is not delayed, it’s just different. That took me some time to understand, but now I appreciate this difference and enjoy the extra time we get in between stages. 

Your journey is so inspiring; what one piece of advice do you wish you had been given that you would relay to mothers starting out on their own DS journey?

I wish I had known how much I would love this life with him. I thought I would find it difficult and that his diagnosis would somehow hold me back from living a full life.

Boy, was I wrong about that! Hudson has propelled me forward in ways I could have never imagined. He has enhanced my life and the lives of my husband and daughters. If you asked any of us, what’s the best thing that has happened to you, we’d all say Hudson. He really is the best thing to ever happen to us. We feel tremendously blessed to call him ours. 

Hudson is a complete superstar, what does he love doing, tell us more about his personality!

Hudson is so full of life and energy. He is the most authentic and real person I’ve ever known. He is unapologetically Hudson. I just love that about him! 

Hudson loves cars and books and the beach. He loves to travel, and snuggle, eat pasta, and run around outside spraying his sisters with the hose. He gives the very best hugs, has the most infectious laugh I’ve ever heard, and that literally takes my breath away sometimes. 

We see you’re a very close family and you all come together with Hudson, how has he changed you all as family – what has he taught you?

With three teenage daughters all going in different directions, it can be hard to get us all together. But they all come around for Hudson. His sisters love spending time with him, and Hudson is happiest when they are all home. He brings out the inner child in each of us and makes us all laugh and smile every day. He is the center of our world. There isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for him. 

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