I’m Alive!

by jenna on May 31, 2009

WOW!

Sorry I’ve been so MIA but I have good reason!

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First of all, what was supposed to be a quiet, early night at Virginia’s on King ended up being a little more crazy with cocktails, wine and pizza. My friend Lara met Alissa, Christie and I out and we ended up staying out till 11 then coming home and crashing. Let’s just say it twas a very early wake-up call at 6:00 am this morning! :(

Here are some highlights:

My new obsession: firefly sweet tea vodka. Why have I never heard of this before?! It was love at first sight. I had two Holy City Mint Teas to start off the evening and they were, quite possibly, the best drink I’ve ever had.

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Lara and I reunite!

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After a few drinkies at the wine bar we headed next door for some very authentic Italian style pizza! Lara and I split a Campari pizza, which had goat cheese, buffalo mozzarella, eggplant and capers on it and was divine!

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We each ate three slices…..total and complete Italian yum!

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And of course no Italian meal would be complete without a glass cup of red table wine!

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After we ate we headed to the Mexican place next door so Alissa could get a margarita….she had been wanting one all night! The girls talked me into trying raspberry firefly on the rocks but it was GROSS and I didn’t drink any of it!

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That’s my EEWWWWW face!

No one was that thrilled with their cocktails there so we left and headed BACK to the wine bar where we got sangria!

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Sangria was much better! ;)

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Proud to say there was no “drunk eating” and at 11:00 we all rolled on in. Alissa ended up sleeping over and I woke up at 6 am feeling GREAT! Well not “great” but no headache or anything. I am in desperate need of a major Green Monster though, I’ll tell ya that!

I had planned ahead and bought a honey wheat bagel for the road, which I promptly inhaled at 6:30 smeared with Mighty Maple pb—-

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And I also “drank” an applesauce (by drink I mean I didn’t have a spoon to use!):

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I got these yummy little treats in the mail to sample and I tried the Raspberry Acai today and LOVED it! I love flavored applesauce but its hard to find a good one without added sugar. Definitely look for this at the store—I can’t wait to sample the other flavors!

A couple hours into my drive I started to feel the effects of last night. Sleepy, sleepy, sleepy! I was searching for a Starbucks but couldn’t find and the next best thing was……..McDonalds?!

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I RARELY go to McDonalds, and by rarely I mean never. However, I will admit that their new vanilla cappuccino McCafe was quite……yummy! I just tried not to think about how many grams of sugar and weird artificial things I was pumping into my blood. Yuck.

The drive was pretty much uneventful. I listened to The Reader, which was awesome—I highly recommend it! I definitely want to watch the movie now that I’ve listened to the audiobook. I stopped at Subway for lunch because that’s all there was and I hadn’t packed anything. I had a 6″ veggie & cheese sub on honey wheat with a yogurt!

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Mehhhhh. Not a fan of these yogurts anymore. I guess my taste buds have just changed…..all this tasted like to me was fake sugar. I’m surprised it didn’t give me a migraine actually! You live you learn!

I pulled into Tampa around 1:15 and went straight to the gym to do some cardio. This was definitely more for my mental sanity than anything else.  I needed to relieve some anxiety about my brother’s graduation and hammered out 20 minutes on the elliptical (gag) and 10 minutes walking on a steep, steep incline on the treadmill. Afterwards, I took a long steam and hot shower and felt better.

My brother’s graduation went as well as it could possibly go. Of course it was incredibly sad but I had a mini breakdown in the car today and I think that saved me from losing it during the service. Crying and screaming in your own car by yourself sometimes is just a better option. :) When my brother’s name was called my dad walked up and accepted the diploma and EVERYONE in the auditorium stood up and gave a huge round of applause for my brother. I couldn’t believe that 1,800 people stood up…..it was the most touching thing in my entire life, other than his service. He was just so, so loved.

On the way to the ceremony I started to get pretty hungry from my workout so I dug out this amazing little beauty because Lord knows I need my greens after last night! ;)

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When we got home my mom made yet another amazing dinner! I love, love, LOVE traveling but there’s nothing like a home cooked meal by mama. I’m just lucky my mama is such a healthy chef! On the menu tonight was pan friend mustard chicken topped with homemade caesar coleslaw. Sort of like an upside down chicken caesar salad—-recipe from one of our favorite cookbooks, Cook What You Love.

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No booze for this cool cat tonight—I need to DETOX!

However, whats a great dinner without dessert?! This was my first time trying these chocolate almond bars and they might be my new favorite thing ever.

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It’s 8:00 and I’m finally home. I’m exhausted both mentally and physically but definitely very happy that I went to Charleston! It was exactly the kind of “breather” that I needed and now I’m ready to tackle anything that may come my way, most importantly the Paddle Out Memorial we are holding for my brother this coming up weekend in Vero Beach, FL where we grew up. I think about 30 of his friends are making the 2 1/2 hour drive across the state to paddle out on their surfboards with us and scatter John’s ashes into the ocean, his favorite spot.

I’m off to unpack and regroup. A HUGE congratulations to the Tampa Prep Class of 2009!! I teared up watching my brother’s classmates and friends as they walked across the stage today to get their diplomas. I’ve watched so many of these kids mature into young adults over the past few years and I’m so proud to know each and every one of them. I pretty much consider John’s best friends to be my brothers now and I love them all so much.

Also, another HUGE congrats to Miss Meghann for rocking her first marathon!!!!!!!!

G’nite!


Click here to read all about my Green Monster smoothies on Creative Loafing! :)

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Still Life in South America May 31, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Wow Jenna, you have been BU-SY! Your comment about “no drunk eating” made me laugh.

I’m happy you made it back to Tampa safe and sound and were able to attend the graduation ceremony. Hope you have a great week.

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Julie May 31, 2009 at 6:26 pm

That must have been quite a sight to see when 1,800 people rose to honor your brother. It looked like you had a fun weekend, just what you needed!

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Abby May 31, 2009 at 6:30 pm

There is “good” busy and “bad” busy and it sounds like that weekend was exactly what you needed and deserved. It wasn’t a distraction, but rather a great way to start healing. I’m jealous of the fun (and once again, your mom’s cooking).
It’s so important to take care of you while you’re taking care of everyone and everything else and even though things won’t ever be the same, that doesn’t mean great things can’t still happen.
Like those coconut almond bars…yummy!

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Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) May 31, 2009 at 6:42 pm

You look so cute in all your pictures!!! I’m so glad you went and got a little weekend away. Gotta love drinks with friends =)

I got goosebumps reading about John’s graduation. How special that everyone stood up and applauded. He deserves every bit of that honor! Don’t be scared to let it all out, J! Even if you aren’t in the comforts of your car. Tears are ok!

Glad you are home, safe and sound with a happy belly full of mama’s home cookin’! Gotta love it.

Night girl!

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Recipes for Creativity May 31, 2009 at 6:56 pm

I was thinking of you today, hoping things were going okay at the graduation :)

I’m so glad you had a fun weekend away and hopefully you feel refreshed and ready to do whatever comes next…

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The Novice Berker May 31, 2009 at 7:04 pm

The graduation ceremony sounds like it was sooo touching. And your girls night out looked like a great time; you deserved the fun, for sure, Jenna!

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Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats May 31, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Glad to hear you had such a great time on your trip with the girls! Your brother’s graduation sonds so sweet and touching – what an amazing young man he must have been!

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Heather May 31, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Sounds like a fun night with the girls! You definitely deserved a that night out!

Aww, that is so touching about your brother’s ceremony. What a great way to honor him. I’m positive that he was loved by his classmates and was watching that ceremony with every one of you. :)

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bibixs May 31, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Hi Jenna!! That was definetely a cool trip!! that pizza looks delicious! i just had dinner but now am hungry again buuu!
The ceremony sounds so touching and intense. Hope you have a great sunday, xox!

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Caitlin May 31, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Firefly is sooo good! When I was in Charleston last weekend we made “John Daly”‘s – firefly and lemonade – and drank them on the beach. (Like an “Arnold Palmer”, only with alcohol! Ha.) Try it. So good.

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Melissa @ For the Love of Health May 31, 2009 at 7:34 pm

That’s so great you had a wonderful time with your girls! Love those nights! And no late night eating after drinking? Awesome! THey should give out medals for that! haha

That’s so awing with so many people stand up to honor someone. It must have felt amazing. :-) People are kind.

Have a great evening!

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Starr May 31, 2009 at 7:35 pm

How funny, I watched “The Reader” this weekend. Amazingly Beautifully done movie…lots of sex and a heart retching story.
I commented on your blog a week or so ago… did you get it, I had tons of questions…

Starr from Cali

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jenna May 31, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Starr,

Honestly, the best way to get in touch with me if you have a ton of specific questions is through email because some comments get lost. I try to answer each one but I always seem to miss a few. Drop me a line at Jenna@eatliverun.com !

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Gina May 31, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Bruegger’s Bagels!?!?! Oh wow, flashback from my childhood. We used to have a Bruegger’s bagels and my favorite sandwich was the Herby Turkey: Sesame bagel with turkey breast, sundried tomato paste, veggie cream cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, DELICIOUS.

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Anais May 31, 2009 at 7:36 pm

I teared up reading about your brother’s graduation, so I can’t even believe to imagine what it was like for you…I’m sure he was watching from above :)

Also, your driving eats looked a lot like mine ;) Although I wasn’t impressed with the McCafe…I had a latte and it was pretty bleh! When my boyfriend and I spotted a Starbucks drive-through we looked at each other and you could tell from our looks that we were going to take that exit and get our Starbucks :P

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Shannon (The Daily Balance) May 31, 2009 at 7:40 pm

glad to have you back!
Looks like you had a great trip and I’m glad to hear the ceremony went well, I’m sure he was smiling down on all of you ;)

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Cassie May 31, 2009 at 8:02 pm

that sweet tea vodka is so yummy! i’m glad someone else loved it as much as i did! i’m glad you were able to make it home for the graduation ceremony, and the paddle out memorial sounds incredible! your family is surrounded by such incredible friends and such deep love, i know john is making sure of it :)

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Tiffanie Hage May 31, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Wow..I wish I had YOUR mom growing up! Her food looks delish!! And speaking of delish…that pizza?! Oh my word. I’m starving right now! I did Bikram Yoga tonight and after pouring out the last remaining drops of any water I had in my body thru gallons of sweat, the only thing I wanted was a green monster smoothie for dinner. Now…I’m hungry. Not a good idea to come to your blog!!! :)

You’re such a doll too!

Please let me know if you are ever in Orlando!!!!

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katieP May 31, 2009 at 8:06 pm

finally got my own blog! yay!!!
check it out
katieseats.blogspot.com

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spicygranola May 31, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Looks like you had a fun night out! I’m glad you got some r and r before attending your brother’s grad ceremony. It must have been so intense seeing all those people stand up just for him (and your family). It was moving just reading about it. you are so strong!

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Kailey (SnackFace) May 31, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I’m so glad you went out and had a blast with your girls! It’s so fun to let totally loose sometimes, and you more than deserved it!

The grad ceremony sounds unbelievably touching. Your brother was incredible, which is proven by the outpour of undying love for him!

Have a great night, Jenna!

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Becky@I Heart Running & Food May 31, 2009 at 8:33 pm

It looks like you had an awesome time with your friends! That must have been an honor to see everyone stand for your brother. Stay strong! Have a great night :)

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Sarah (LovIN My Tummy) May 31, 2009 at 8:42 pm

What a fun time with the gals! We all need those sometimes.

I got the chills reading about your brother’s graduation. I’m so glad your family got to be a part of the ceremony.

Hope your week starts out fab!

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Help Meghan Run May 31, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Glad your family was able to attend the graduation and have it be a meaningful experience. :) Enjoy being home!

HelpMeghanRun.com

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Wendy W May 31, 2009 at 10:58 pm

“The Reader” is a wonderful movie…once you get past the several rather embarassing nude scenes. Stick with it, it’s worth it!

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Caitlin May 31, 2009 at 11:48 pm

As someone who worked at McDonalds when the McCafe’s came out I almost told you exactly what you drank, but don’t want to ruin it for you :p

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KatieF June 1, 2009 at 6:13 am

You look SO happy in that first picture. It is nice to see you with a genuine smile on your face again. Glad your mini-vacation was so restorative for you!

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Heather June 1, 2009 at 6:42 am

Jenna!
You are such a beauty inside and out. You just glow from every possible angle! I’m so happy you had a great vacation in Charleston…and that you’re letting yourself feel out your grief in the EXACT way that God wants us to. What do I mean by that? You’re not trying to control it. Just letting it go is key. I’m learning from you and I’m so greatful!
Love,
Heather

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brandi June 1, 2009 at 6:48 am

I’m so glad you had a good weekend! Looks like a great time with the girls, which everyone needs :) And the graduation ceremony sounds amazing – that is awesome that you and your family were able to be there.

Where is that blue tank from? It’s so cute!

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Holly June 1, 2009 at 7:30 am

That chicken dish looks delish! Glad you had so much fun in Charleston – have a lovely day!

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greenbean June 1, 2009 at 7:36 am

So so glad you had a great weekend and that the graduation ceremony was just another tribute to how awesome your brother was. I’ll be thinking of you this coming week and the paddle out ceremony. It sounds absolutely beautiful.

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Marlow June 1, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I absolutely LOVE firefly!! Half firefly, half lemonade…DIVINE!!

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Laura June 2, 2009 at 4:01 am

I am so happy that you had a great time! You really deserved a vacation.
On another note, I finally tried the Green Monster! It was delicious – whipped it up in my Magic bullet – it was great.

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Lauren June 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm

I LOVE FIREFLY! It is the best stuff ever. I like 3 parts firefly to 1 part water over lots of ice, with a bunch of lemons squeezed in it. Super low cal and delicious drink.

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Nathan October 7, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Enjoyed the pics – I haven’t lived in America since 1999 – checking out your blog was like a quick trip back to the states.

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Clare July 26, 2011 at 10:39 am

Ooh I love Vero Beach! I’ve never lived there but we visit a lot and it is so charming!

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