Virtual Coffee Date

by jenna on January 24, 2013

If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you how I’m dying DYING to chop all my hair off into a short little bob but not letting myself since I’m getting married in a couple months and want to wear my hair in an up do. Such is my plight. Guys, I’ve always wanted long hair on my wedding day but now that we’re a few months out, all I want to do is chop.it.off. I just feel like it’s hanging there like a mop or a lion’s mane. Last week, I sent a rather spastic email to my friend Kate explaining my little issue and she wrote back immediately in all caps, “DO NOT CUT YOUR HAIR”. Step away from the scissors and do not call your hair girl. I would definitely regret cutting it and I’m just to keep on keepin’ on until the end of  May. Maybe just a trim. Or a liiiiiiittle cut.

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that this morning I’m heading to Milwaukee to spend the weekend with my grandparents. Sadly, they are not able to make the wedding in May so I wanted to spend some quality time with them before. My mom is meeting me there! Anyone have good book recommendations? Weekend at the grandparents house = reading about two novels curled up in front of the fire.

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you I’m having a blast wedding planning but I sorta just want to be married already? I know I’ll look back on this sweet period of engagement with a smile and I know that God is preparing my heart more and more every day to be a wife…..but, I’m just ready to walk down the aisle {or grass, in our case} already!

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that one of my biggest inspirations lately have been the women I teach yoga to. I teach power yoga to women who have been domestically abused and man oh man, they are just amazing.  I don’t talk about that here on the blog really because…I don’t know. I guess I don’t want any of you thinking, “oh she’s soooo great! she teaches abused women yoga! how great is that?! I want to be more like her” and put me on a pedestal or anything. Truth is, I’m not that great and I’m definitely not perfect or even attempt to live some perfect cookie cutter life. All I can say is, thank goodness I have a savior. When I first started teaching these women about six months ago, I thought “no way can I do this! no way. It’s too much and I have zero experience. There’s probably someone far better suited for the job than little ol’ me.” Now I think about how silly it was that I initially felt so worried about not having what it takes to teach, when really, I’ve always had everything I ever needed. Sometimes it feels scary when we are called to step up to the plate in a new way and we let fear hold us back. I’ve learned, especially through this, that those fears are just stories we tell ourselves and don’t necessarily represent the truth. And I don’t know…but I just feel like someone out there needs to hear this message this morning that you.are.enough.

If we were having coffee this morning, I was about to tell you how keep Haribo gummies in my glove compartment but that seems a little shallow and lame after my last bold statement. Whew. I think I’ll just go now and pour myself a second cup…

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{ 142 comments… read them below or add one }

Anon January 24, 2013 at 3:46 am

Jenna, “I” needed this message this morning – desperately. I am in tears. I am going through a horrific experience at work due to being (severely) verbally harassed by a man I work with on a daily basis and it’s only escalating. It’s a small office so it’s just the two of us in the building other than the trickle of customers that come in and out and I woke up so down and discouraged. Thank you for this message. I am giving it my all – and I AM enough. Thank you!!! ((((((HUGS)))))) <3

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Melissa January 24, 2013 at 7:16 am

Hi Anon, I don’t know you, but your message is the first one that I saw when scrolling through the comments. I am praying for you and your situation, but I also wanted to let you know that you have to pray and know that the Lord’s hand is all over your situation. Open your Bible and read Psalms 91. Please know that God is protecting you through your ordeal at work all day long. Make Him your shelter and when your boss starts acting like the devil, retreat your into mind (Isaiah 26:3 says the Lord will keep those in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him) and pray. This too shall pass! Hang in there! I have been in terrible job situations before, and I know that they can be horrible while we are in them, but they serve a purpose in the vast picture of our lives that we only understand afterwards. Good luck to you and God bless you!

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Rose-Anne January 24, 2013 at 8:48 am

Dear Anon, your tearful message touched me too. Remember Mother Teresa’s wise words: “Prayer without action is no prayer at all.” I am wishing for you all the strength and courage you need to end this awful situation, whatever it takes. You deserve better.

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Kelly January 24, 2013 at 8:50 am

Anon,

Is there anyone else you can talk to about this abuse? Your boss? This is not acceptable.

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Rachel January 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Do you have a human resources department? This is unacceptable- you should report it to whoever you can and starting now (if you haven’t already) document what he is doing.

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Chris January 24, 2013 at 3:50 am

Hm. I wish you would post more like the yoga stuff. What this blog has been missing for a while is YOU. The real you we used to know before you adapted other people’s recipes.

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Grace January 24, 2013 at 3:53 am

Rude.

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Chris January 24, 2013 at 3:58 am

Not meant to be rude :-)

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Chris January 24, 2013 at 3:57 am

I just think this blog works better and would work better more in the format of your book where you write abou you, your life with recipes thrown in rather than being the dominating factor, because your recipes are great but there are far better blogs out there about baking, and frankly every other food.

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Beth January 24, 2013 at 5:53 am

I love Jenna’s blog just the way it is!!! Keep up the great work Jenna. You are inspirational and I love the recipes.

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Melissa January 24, 2013 at 7:20 am

I agree. I love this blog the way it is, and have been reading it for almost three years now. Its your blog, and you have done great things with it, but the blog is not your whole life, nor does it have to serve as a diary for all of us to read. You make it what you want it to be, and no matter what, that will always be enough.

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Liz January 24, 2013 at 7:36 am

I think Chris’s initial comment came off as rude (especially with the thing about adapting other people’s recipes), but I believe it wasn’t meant that way, and I know what she/he means. I don’t think it is rude at all to give one’s opinion as long as it is done so in a reasonably polite manner. I think the world, and especially the “blogosphere,” and especially this genre of blog has gone too far in the direction of sycophantism. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all,” is something we tell children… it’s not a rule for adults to liv by. It’s not in any blogger’s interest to ONLY ever hear how wonderful they are. It’s not in the interest of anyone anywhere to only hear that! Constructive feedback is useful so one can continue to improve.

I think in many ways this blog is head and shoulders above what it used to be, and head and shoulders above many similar blogs out there. Jenna IS an inspiration for turning her little blog showing her lunch into something which is truly a brand and very successful. It looks more professional now, the photography is great, Jenna has written a book and continues to be recognized in other ways, by other outlets (like PBS, etc..) Its been interesting to read the blog the last few years and see it evolve, and I can tell Jenna has put a ton of work into it.

That said, my personal opinion is that Jenna would make a wonderful lifestyle blogger! I love her photos, and I love her posts about travel, in particular, but also clothes, wedding planning, etc.. And I really like the virtual coffee dates.

There are some lifestyle bloggers out there now who have gotten very successful, but are seriously just phoning it in now that they’ve built up a readership. Jenna clearly works hard every day despite already having a devoted following and I do wonder if at some point the blog might evolve into something broader? Jenna, you should know that your personality which shines through on the blog is one of your most valuable commodities and there are a lot of readers who enjoy your blog but would love it if you included more of the other things you enjoy. Something to think about! I’m not suggesting it needs to be a diary, or a chronicle of everything you do in your daily life, although posts like that are fun every now and then. You can write about other things you find interesting without it being too personal.

nickee January 24, 2013 at 8:09 am

What Liz said!! :) I do agree – Jenna would be an amazing lifestyle blogger. I do love your recipes too Jenna so this in no way is a negative comment about how the blog currently is :) I just love your non recipe posts just as much (or more) coz they are so fun!

Jen January 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Why is Jenna supposed to live her life according to how you or anyone else likes it?? It’s her business! It’s her blog! Cripes – she changes it up and I only see recipes maybe 3x a week anyhow. Just read what you want. I don’t understand why everybody has always got a say about everyone else’s life. Geez, live your own and move on.

With that said, I’m not sure why Jenna wouldn’t share the yoga stuff….I never put her on a pedestal and if you are perfect then so be it. But thinking and saying others think you are is kind of a turn off.

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Ash January 24, 2013 at 9:31 am

I’ve been missing me some Jenna, too! I keep thinking “She’s really busy but she’ll come back soon…”. Coffee dates really help! Still, I do feel as though the blog has changed a bit and I’m left wanting more of what we used to have! MORE of JENNA!!! We miss you, girl, and your stories and ramblings and the food that pulled it all together! Much love!

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emme January 24, 2013 at 11:05 am

I agree that Jenna would be a really successful lifestyle blogger. I’m much more drawn to these posts (i.e. Virtual Coffee Date) than, say, a ‘recipe’ for a ham & cheese panini.

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Chris January 24, 2013 at 11:14 am

This I all I am saying :-)

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Jen January 24, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Why can’t she just do both?…like she’s doing?…and which she enjoys?…

Ashley January 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

The virtual coffee date posts are my favorite! Because I have no one to go out and drink coffee with! :)

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Jenny January 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm

The fact of the matter is that you don’t pay to read this blog so why are Chris and Liz complaining about what “they” want. It’s Jenna’s blog and she can write whatever she wants! Some people need to get a life!!

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Mom January 24, 2013 at 4:01 am

You.Are.Beautiful.

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Emily January 24, 2013 at 5:47 am

Cutest response ever. I know I don’t personally know Jenna but the blog world has gotten me through a lot and I anxiously await a new post on Eat Live Run EVERY day. I also just happen to be enjoying my cup of coffee as well and I’d tell you that I hope a second book is in the works. Oh and also. DON’T CUT YOUR HAIR.

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Nancy Woodbury in Naples January 24, 2013 at 8:15 am

Love the virtual coffee and agree about your Mom’s reply being sweetest thing ever. Have a wonderful weekend Girls and happy wedding planning!

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Karen Teague January 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Hi Lynn, :). Don’t cut that beautiful hair before your big day, but, if you do you will still make a beautiful bride, I remember when your hair was shorter, looked great then too. Enjoy your visit with your family.

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Jenn January 24, 2013 at 4:08 am

I totally understand what you’re going through with your hair! (Not that I’m ignoring how awesome it is that you teach yoga to those women, because it is awesome.) I didn’t cut my hair for an entire year before I got married and the last 4 months or so it was driving me crazy. I got my hair cut to about chin length the day after we got back from the honeymoon because I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. I even contemplated getting it cut while we were gone, but I didn’t know anything about the stylists they had there so I was too scared. Enjoy your time with your grandparents!

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Madison January 24, 2013 at 4:23 am

Beautiful post, Jenna! I agree with you about the hair thing–I’m keeping mine long too. :) It’s funny how many women have their hair long for their wedding and not 2 weeks after: get it chopped off! haha. The things we do for love, eh? Have a great Thursday!

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 24, 2013 at 4:43 am

I love these coffee date posts. I am the exact same with my hair! I always get these urges to get a bob, but I try to resist it. I got my hair cut short last year because I was going through a Good Wife phase and Diane Lockhart has THE BEST hair. I immediately regretted it, mainly because I started watching New Girl and immediately wanted super long hair. What can I say, I just want some good TV hair! lol

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Krista January 24, 2013 at 4:45 am

These are the post I enjoy the most!! Don’t get me wrong, I read your blog pretty much daily and love it but these post make me feel like I had a morning chat with a friend ; )
Thanks!!

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More January 24, 2013 at 4:45 am

Beautiful post. Enjoy your time with your family this weekend.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 24, 2013 at 4:47 am

I love these virtual coffee dates so much Jenna!! Thank you for sharing about your yoga class. It sounds like such a rewarding experience for you to be able to help the women in the way that you do, and I think that any woman, no matter what their circumstances are, can always do with being told that she is enough.
P.S. Love the comment on the Haribo gummies. Those things are so addictive! They wouldn’t last long in my glove compartment because I have a habit of devouring gummies in the blink of an eye. Actually wait, right now it’s freeeezing outside so they may last a little longer… I’d need to defrost them in my mouth for at least 15 minutes before they become chewable!

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Heather January 24, 2013 at 4:50 am

You won’t regret growing your hair out for the updo, it will make it seem that much fuller! Chopping it off feels oh so satisfying, I promise: http://barefootcrafts.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new/

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Lydia January 24, 2013 at 5:06 am

Good Morning Jenna!

I totally needed to hear what you said about letting fear hold us back from stepping up to new challenges. Especially thinking that there are other people out there who can surely do the job better than me. Your post was such a great reminder that when the Lord has called us to something, that we have great power through Him and need to approach it fearlessly (as best as possible!)

Thank you for the encouragement! You rock!

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Lisa January 24, 2013 at 5:06 am

Oh the opportunity to teach yoga to women that will really benefit from it more than anyone is so special. And I’m sure it’s probably just as beneficial for you!

I love the idea of a virtual coffee date. If we were having coffee I’d say I can’t stop thinking about my nephew due to arrive ANY.DAY. :)

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Mary Loyal January 24, 2013 at 5:11 am

Don’t chop your hair! I did it RIGHT after we got engaged because I was feeling the same way- and stuck in that gross in- between length stage. My hair dresser warned me not too, and I spent our nine month engagement trying to get it to grow grow grow so I could do an updo!

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njmom January 24, 2013 at 5:17 am

Do not cut your hair. I understand, my son was Bar Mitzvah in Dec 2012. I let grow long for pictures. I am glad I did. Now I am back to above shoulder. My sister said I looked like I had a horses mane.

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Susan January 24, 2013 at 5:17 am

I’m readin “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn…can’t put it down!

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Kathryn January 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Sharp Objects was very good also. Diane Chamberlain has not disappointed me yet. Happy reading:)

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Lisa January 24, 2013 at 5:26 am

If we were having coffee this morning I would tell you that I think its so awesome that your teaching yoga to these women! I would also tell you that for some reason I am exhausted this morning and this decaf coffee I have to drink while your drinking dark, robust coffee is killing me! LOL Love these dates :)

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Erin January 24, 2013 at 5:30 am

I just got asked to teach teen moms about empowerment and parenting and FOR REAL was like “How am I going to do this?” There is a reason you are placed in certain role in life, and what is meant to fall in your lap does. Stepping up to the plate is scary at times, so thank you for the extra motivation, and the coffee:-)

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Stacey January 24, 2013 at 5:40 am

Jenna, you have got to read ‘The History of Love’. I’m only about 1/2 way through and it’s such a beautifully written book! The characters are so heart-warming and you’ll just fall in love with them. Check it out!

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Jess. January 24, 2013 at 5:42 am

Love this post <3 & all your "virtual coffee date" posts. It is incredible what you are doing with & for thise woman. I believe all people are capable of doing great things in the course of their normal lives & stories like this only further encourage & inspire that belief. Thank you for being part of all the good in the world :)

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Jess. January 24, 2013 at 9:10 am

*those women

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Pam January 24, 2013 at 5:45 am

I just finished reading, ” One Thousand Gifts” and “Seven”. Both are excellent! I just purchased ” Hole in our Gospel” and “I’ll Carry You”. Hope this helps.
I love yoga, teaching and gummies so I think you are enough!
Enjoy your grandparents. I would love to have coffee with mine but they are with The Savior having a party! Someday I will join them!

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Stacey January 24, 2013 at 5:50 am

P.S. The book is by Nicole Krauss…
And I know how you feel about ‘just wanting to be married already’. My fiance and I have been engaged a year, and will be engaged for a year and a half when we finally say ‘I do’. The wedding planning is OK, but we were really taken aback by how many people around us focused on the MATERIAL aspects of the wedding (whether or not there is this or that at the reception, etc…) Though it is a big day for you and your husband, and you want to have a beautiful wedding, it’s what comes AFTER the wedding that matters the most.
I think it’s so great that you’re focusing on God, and letting Him guide you to be the kind of wife that He wants you to be. I know it can be stressful, but I’ve found comfort in knowing that when wordly things start stressing me out, I just focus on God and He always reminds me of what the “big day” is really about.
Good luck in your wedding planning, May will be here before you know it :)

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Dana January 24, 2013 at 5:56 am

I would LOVE to have a coffetalk with you :-) Safe travels, !

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Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite January 24, 2013 at 6:10 am

I love these posts so much! I understand how you feel about just wanting to be married already. I felt that way the entire 1.5 year engagement we had- but it will be here sooner than you know it! (I also didn’t like when people told me that, because it still didn’t change the fact that it wasn’t *here* yet!) I think you should be really proud that you are helping empower women through your power yoga classes. It’s incredibly inspiring to 1) teach power yoga but 2) teaching to change women’s lives. I don’t consider talking about it bragging but more spreading the message across that we can all positively impact other’s lives-even in the form of yoga classes.

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Brooke@BittersweetBrooke January 24, 2013 at 6:15 am

I love your coffee mornings! I think it’s so great that you aren’t getting so caught up in the wedding planning and that you’re seeing the bigger picture of being married.

Also, I really loved how you said you felt you weren’t qualified to teach yoga to abused women. I recently started a job in which I am surrounded by homeless men and at first I felt the same way but I’ve learned they are just people, I am just a person and that makes all the difference.

And a short but wonderful read is- The school of Essential Ingredients. It’s light and about the power of food and friendship in the most unlikely places.

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Jill January 24, 2013 at 6:15 am

Just read Heft and The Light Between Oceans-both were really good :)

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Brittany January 24, 2013 at 6:21 am

Hi! I’m a long time reader but a first time “commenter”. But your request for suggestions in Milwaukee brought me to it. You *need* to try out Maxie’s Southern Comfort restaurant while in town. My hubs and I ate there TWICE during a long weekend in December and it was excellent. http://maxies.com/milwaukee/index.html

Hope you can make it by there (go early, its usually packed). Enjoy!

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Laura @ Backstage Balance January 24, 2013 at 7:04 am

Agreed! I live in Milwaukee and Maxie’s is incredible. And they have many Bourbon cocktails that may pique your interest, Miss Jenna :) if you don’t make it there for dinner, check out Blue’s Egg – a brunch spot that’s operated by the same restaurant group.

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Megan January 24, 2013 at 6:24 am

Make sure you bundle up in Milwaukee – I live there and it has been freezing recently!

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Rose-Anne January 24, 2013 at 6:25 am

Lovely post, Jenna. Sometimes I think fear is just False Evidence Appearing Real (that’s what Gabrielle Bernstein calls it…or F*** Everything and Run!). :-)

PS I may have to return to bookmark this page for all the reading suggestions in the comments!

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Chrissy January 24, 2013 at 6:25 am

I was at the hair dressers last night and desparately wanted to say ‘CUT IT OFF”! I am with you – getting married in August so I need the length!

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Katina January 24, 2013 at 6:26 am

Awesome stuff! That is something I have been learning over and over lately. You don’t have to be qualified for God to use you, you just need to be willing! and you are :) That is awesome! He loves you so much and is using you in so many people’s lives through this blog. I am really excited to see what he is doing in and through your life. Blessings.

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Bonnie January 24, 2013 at 6:27 am

I think it is so great that you are teaching yoga to women who have been abused. My agency has done a lot of research on the benefits of yoga for people who have experienced significant trauma (soldiers, mostly, but now it is extending to teenagers who experienced early neglect and trauma. The mind-body connection has proven to be very helpful, especially in helping people become more comfortable in their own skin (and able to trust their bodies more).

Have fun with your engagement – you are right that the time goes by very quickly, and you will look back on this time fondly.

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JenW January 24, 2013 at 6:28 am

Hi!
First, as a recently married lady who shares an office with three other women who got married this year (something’s in the water), we all had the “I want to chop it” feeling. We resisted and ended up LOVING our up do’s. You can do it! May isn’t far away! Enjoy every engaged day :)
Second, I completely agree with Brittany about going to Maxie’s for dinner while in my hometown of Milwaukee. It’s delicious, the staff is friendly, and the owner will likely visit your table to say hi. I’d also recommend La Merenda if you like small plates. http://lamerenda125.com/
Third, our church’s book club is going to be reading “Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West” by Dorothy Wickenden soon, so you might want to try that.
Have a beautiful day!

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Mina January 24, 2013 at 6:28 am

I just finished reading The Tragedy paper and loved it. Now I’m reading Thirteen reasons Why and can’t put it down. I guess I’m on YA kick but I love when teenagers narrate a story. The author of The Tragedy Paper said Thirteen reasons was one her favorites so that’s why picked it up.

Mina

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joelle (on a pink typewriter) January 24, 2013 at 6:41 am

I always especially love these coffee date posts. And particularly today, thank you for saying what is hard to often say aloud.

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marnie January 24, 2013 at 6:45 am

Another Milwaukee resident weighing in:

yes, it’s super cold 4 degrees at the moment, with a high in the teens for the day. Other food options: Transfer for pizza, Odd Duck in Bay View, and I second La Merenda in a big way. Also, Le Reve (french bistro and pastries), Rocket Baby Bakery, or Sobelman’s for burger/bar experience, Il Mito in Wauwatosa, too. Glorioso’s Italian grocery is worth a visit, as is the Spice House or any of the Penzey’s shops …

Have fun in our little town and with your grandparents.

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Laura @ Backstage Balance January 24, 2013 at 7:07 am

And ALTERRA Coffee!!
Great suggestions :)

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Maddy January 24, 2013 at 6:45 am

A few months ago I randomly picked up The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley – amazing! It has a good mystery mixed with a lot of back and forth between eras which we all know you enjoy. I am getting married in June and desperately want bangs before then. The length isn’t bothering me but the need for a change IS! Enjoy my hometown this weekend :) It is COLD!

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rachel January 24, 2013 at 6:46 am

i cut my hair 2 weeks before my wedding

best decision ever – it was who i was! i had short hair for years – my husband met me with short hair. long hair wasn’t me – it was this “idea” of what i though brides were supposed to look like. and the fact that my husband loves my short hair, it just felt right.

but i get it – updos are beautiful. i got married on the beach in a white sundress and sunglasses. short hair worked for that occasion.

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Malkire January 24, 2013 at 6:54 am

I love these posts of yours. They are honest and raw and truly sweet. I have taken these as inspiration to set up “virtual coffee dates” with friends who live across the country via Skype. They have been a fantastic way to stay in touch. Thank you.

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Dana January 24, 2013 at 6:57 am

I love these ‘virtual coffee date’ posts! Definitely keep your hair long–I say this to you as an always-wears-mine-short gal.

It’s also great to read tid bits about your upcoming wedding and how you’re feeling about it. I’m not engaged or married, but I can very much appreciate your honesty and can’t-this-big-moment-be-here-already confession.

It’s beautiful to hear about your yoga class. I definitely don’t read it as you feared, but more as a–hey, we can all use what we have to make a difference–reminder. That, we all need.

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Caroline L. January 24, 2013 at 6:59 am

I always love reading these! Am so excited about your wedding – I’m sure that it will be beautiful and incredible (and the food… wowza.)! I’m always so inspired by those who have overcome major obstacles… they have so much strength and willpower!

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Rebecca January 24, 2013 at 6:59 am

As a marriage and family therapist, I will tell you that pre marital counseling is so important. Good for you for doing it and taking your marriage seriously. Many people spend more time on the wedding than the marriage…. unfortunately, those are the couples that I see many times,
As a Christian therapist ( and pertaining to your teaching yoga to abused women) I will tell you something someone told me a while ago……

God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called :)
You are Awesome!

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JennieM January 24, 2013 at 1:55 pm

“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called ”

LOVE THIS!!!

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Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) January 24, 2013 at 7:14 am

I’m totally feeling you on the hair thing! I’ve got to go until July, but I couldn’t handle it, I’m going to take off 2 inches in February and hope it grows back enough.

I’d also like to just be married! I’m kind of sick of the planning a wedding stage.

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Lindsey January 24, 2013 at 7:14 am

Jenna-
I love your platform – I love what you do with what you’ve been gifted! I love that you’re honest and REAL and I love that you cling to your Savior with unabashed truth and conviction. And I LOVE that you’re marrying an Aggie. I’m coming out to SF in a few weeks for training – do you have any recommendations, I’ll be staying near Union Square? I told Curtis Rogers that he has to hang out with me – I also told him to recruit you and Adam if you’re available! Creepy? I hope not!

Also, you should definitely read “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson. It’s witty and charming and a good comfort read!

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sara January 24, 2013 at 7:15 am

your best post ever ;)

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Sienna January 24, 2013 at 7:23 am

Have fun in Milwaukee! I think you should add How to Eat a Cupcake to your to-read list. I’m almost done and have loved it! It definitely reminds me of some of the books you have reviewed on here. It’s the story of two friends who have drifted apart but decide on a whim to open a cupcakery together. Of course there is lots they learn through the process about themselves and those close to them!

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Colleen January 24, 2013 at 7:29 am

I went through that hair thing this month. I called and couldn’t get my stylist immediately, so I just took the first person who could work with me! Mistake! I told her “2 inches” and she cut one inch off, and then I told her it wasn’t short enough, so she took another off. So I got “two haircuts” very slowly, and she massacred my bangs. You don’t want that!

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SJ January 24, 2013 at 7:31 am

I agree that you should grow out your hair for your wedding if you want an updo. I have really thick hair and my updo was gorgeous because I grew my hair out while still getting trims to keep the shape nice. And I think 3 weeks after I got married, I cut off 4 inches and that was an amazing feeling too.

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Elizabeth January 24, 2013 at 7:50 am

Sorry if you’ve already read this, but I just finished The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty and really enjoyed it!

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Sarah @ Yogi in Action January 24, 2013 at 7:54 am

I love your virtual coffee dates. Thanks for sharing what’s happening in your life.

I love hearing about how being a yoga teacher is going! I’m going to do my training in July, and sometimes it makes me very nervous when I imagine teaching a room full of people. I also like that you’re teaching women who have been through hardships- so much of yoga is just a trendy workout, but the practice (for me at least) is so much more than that.

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Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles January 24, 2013 at 7:56 am

Can’t wait to hear what books you end up reading on your trip. I am fresh out of ideas and need some recommendations myself.

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Jamie January 24, 2013 at 7:57 am

I am getting married at the end of June and I could not be more ready to simply be a wife and be MARRIED already. I know I need the time for our relationship to mature and for us to grow together even more. They sweet engagement honeymoon stage is over and we have entered the waiting game. 4 months and 29 days.

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Shannon January 24, 2013 at 7:57 am

I love the virtual coffee dates! And, I needed to hear that today too :)
Thanks for being you!

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Jaime January 24, 2013 at 7:57 am

This was a lovely coffee date. As The Pioneer Woman would say, I’m glad we had this talk. After seeing some of the comments, I scrolled right on passed because here’s what I feel: you are amazing just for being you. I know, profound, right? It’s something I’ve been working on in my own life within my own framework and it’s great to read your blog and see you. Just you. I’m gong to go drink my chai and still be glad we had this talk.

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jan January 24, 2013 at 8:01 am

Cutting your hair might be a mistake if you’ve always dreamed of a wedding-day up-do, but it’s YOUR hair after all so you decide! :) I’m sure you’ll look stunning on your wedding day either way.

As for the gummies–great idea!

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April January 24, 2013 at 8:05 am

I remember my husband telling me to never cut my hair…:)

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Stacia January 24, 2013 at 8:08 am

Molokai. It is about the Hawaiian island that was used as a lepor colony. It is fiction but uses real history. Great read!

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Leslie @ And Her Little Dog Too January 24, 2013 at 8:15 am

Love your virtual coffee date posts!
I hated my long hair pre-wedding but it’s necessary to keep it long for the up-do! A little trim will be good if you do it soon & it will make you feel better!

I need one too!

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Casey January 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

Jenna, don’t cut your hair! I was about to chop mine when I read on Naptime Diaries that Jessi sleeps on her hair wet, then gets up and curls it. I do the same now, I just tease the top before curling, and I like it better than ever and I am SO glad I didn’t cut it! Sometimes a new way to style it is all it takes for you to like it again. :)

Love the coffee dates. :)

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Christina January 24, 2013 at 8:18 am

Just got married three months ago, and I TOTALLY understand the hair-cutting thing/and the wanting to just be married feeling. Both are natural, I’d say.
Lots of women I’ve known who marry, then chop it all off. I thought I’d do that, but turns out four inches isn’t noticeable on me. Ha.
Keep it long – you don’t have too much longer.

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Linda January 24, 2013 at 8:19 am

Oh what a great post! Thank you for your honesty. I have been a Park Ranger for 13 years and am leaving it all behind to teach kids yoga full time. I am terrified and honestly don’t know how I’m going to support myself in this new path. But I know with ALL of my heart that this is what I am meant to do. I have been full of self doubt since I launched a kids yoga program in my town almost three months ago. But when I’m teaching those little ones my heart is full and I know I am where I’m supposed to be. And yes I am enough. I can do this. This is my path and what I am meant to do. Thanks for the reminder.

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Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run January 24, 2013 at 8:23 am

I think your virtual coffee dates posts are some of my favorite :)

& don’t cut your hair! ;)

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deva at deva by definition January 24, 2013 at 8:25 am

So, we have the same wedding date, and my hair is the longest it has been in years. If I didn’t want an updo, I’d bob it. I miss my short hair SO much! I’m always wearing it up now, too.

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Addy @ Six-Kick Switch January 24, 2013 at 8:31 am

Hang on to your hair, Jenna! You’re almost there! And then you can get a super-cute bob :) Also, for book recommendations, check out my blog — I just wrote about The Arms Maker of Berlin, a historical mystery, that I just recently wrapped up!

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Kelly January 24, 2013 at 8:32 am

TOTTTALLLYYYY feel you on the hair thing! I always said I wanted long hair for my wedding (which is in 107 days! 2 weeks before yours, I think). And now ALL I can think about is chopping all my hair off. My poor fiance. I feel like if I chop it all off right after the wedding it will be a little bait-and-switchy? No?

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Elisabeth January 24, 2013 at 8:36 am

I love these virtual coffee date posts! I definitely needed to hear the part about fear holding you back. I’ve been kind of stuck in life for the past couple of years (I think due to fear of the unknown & whether I can really ‘do it’) – I am working to do something about that this year and need reminders all the time ;)

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Emily January 24, 2013 at 8:37 am

I am so glad to read how you are excited to be married and be a wife. So many people just focus on the wedding day and trying to make it “perfect” that they don’t think about making their marriage “perfect”. Not that any marriage is! But I think you know what I’m saying :) I married my high school sweetheart 10 years ago this summer (*swoon*, I know), and not a day goes by I wouldn’t do it all over again. Congratulations and best of luck to you!

P.S. Stay strong on the hair thing!

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sara January 24, 2013 at 8:51 am

Loved this post! :) very inspiring and down to earth as I enjoyed my coffee with you. Its chilly up here in Milwaukee, bring a parka!

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Caroline H January 24, 2013 at 9:07 am

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. AMAZING. For real, I don’t even know where to begin: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/561909.The_Hiding_Place

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Ashley January 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I just had to scroll down and find this comment because I want to THANK YOU for suggesting this book! I was looking for a new one to read and was scrolling through the comments looking to see if anyone recommended anything when i saw your comment. I bought the book immediately and just finished it. Wow. That’s all I have to say. What an amazing book. I cant believe i’ve never read it before! It is a life changing book. So thank you!!

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Caylie January 24, 2013 at 9:17 am

I love my hair long, but always get annoyed with it when it ends up stringy when I don’t have time to do anything to it. Then I chop it and love it for a month, then want it to grow back. I’m in that middle phase now.. Ugh!
I did chop it two days after my wedding. I just couldn’t deal with it. I mean, what else would you do on your honeymoon but go get your hair cut?! Haha!

And I know everyone is saying it’s cold here in Wisconsin, and it is… but at least you missed the sub-zero temps! I would call this weekend a heatwave, compared to what it was the last few days!!
Enjoy your visit!

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Sonia the Mexigarian January 24, 2013 at 9:22 am

I was engaged for 2 years. LOL. Longest engagement in my group of friends and family. Cset le vie.

I would loooooooove to hear more about your yoga experiences. I have fallen in love this studio near work and it’s been getting me through some recent tough times. Mentally and spiritually. I love the instructors and they do make a difference. So YOU make a difference in all the lives you touch teaching yoga and posting here on your blog. Positivity, strength, faith. Love.

Keep it up, Jenna.

P.S. I know you will, but cherish every moment you have with your grandparents while you’re out there. <3

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Samantha January 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

Check out the Perks to Being a Wallflower! That is, if you haven’t already.

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a farmer in the dell January 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

Have a great time visiting with your grandparents Jenna. I miss mine every day.

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Torrie @ a place to share... January 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

i did need to read that this morning. thank you.

i’ve tried several of your recipes in only a matter of a couple of weeks since having discovered your site. thank you for continuing to share, and empower us in the kitchen the way in which you are empowering those beautiful women on the mat.

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Averie @ Averie Cooks January 24, 2013 at 10:06 am

Wow so many comments already this morning!

Don’t cut your hair :) Keep up the amazing yoga/teaching work! And stay warm in Milwaukee and have a great time with your family.

I was engaged for all of about 2 days. We were on a plane to Vegas for a biz trip for my husband’s and we said, well should we just get married there? So we did. I wore a hot pink dress. And this was 12 years ago. I would have been awful at planning/waiting for a wedding! You’re doing a great job!

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Ally January 24, 2013 at 10:30 am

Language of Flowers is a great read!

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Ali O January 24, 2013 at 10:48 am

Re: cutting your hair. I agree, don’t chop it off. However, speaking from the experience of growing my hair out before my own wedding in fall 2011….there is something to be said about getting a trim!! Just going in, having your stylist trim things up, give your style new shape…it makes all the difference in the world!! I didn’t really understand this until I chopped all my hair off post-wedding into a short chin-length bob and have since started growing it out. This is the first time I’ve had regular trims during the growing out process, it’s made growing my hair out a breeze!! No awkward in-between stage, etc.

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Maryz January 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

I love virtual coffee date days! Have a fabulous time with your grandparents!

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Molly January 24, 2013 at 11:10 am

Your feeling was right…I needed to hear this message as I just got an opportunity to lead a women’s Bible study at our church. So thank you for this reminder that I’ve got everything I need to step up to this role!!

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polly January 24, 2013 at 11:25 am

hi sweet pea. This is big sis. :)

I loved this post and i also read the comments! I too like teh virtual coffee dates teh best because i love YOU. always have! I also love your recipes. and your style, and your huge sweet amazing heart. Your momma is right. you. are. beautiful. Listen to momma!!! ;)

as far as the blog goes, sweetie it is YOUR blog. I don’t even know what a lifestyle blogger is? but i do know you have a very God given joy about you that is infectious. I also know that to share too much of you is so so hard, because then you don’t know when to stop or where to draw the lines. I happen to think you do a beautiful job here and i know you put SO much work into it! I say there is a season for everything and as you grow, we change and so does our outlets. Someday i would love to read about you and Adam having a baby and how being a new momma is, but that might be the perfect season for you to not blog at all, who knows? As long as you and Adam have Jesus in the middle and keep hold of each other, it really doesn’t matter, huh?

I love how life isn’t complicated as we make it sometimes. and i totally relate to you wanting just BE married already!!! (i felt the same way) Marriage is a JOY and you and Adam have such a life of new things and sweet moments and tender times and even hard spots to go through together. I say keep that sweet heart that started this blog and if your life takes you to a season of a new way to share your heart, awesome! Either way, i know there is not WAY God won’t be using that spirit he put so boldly in you. Those girls in your yoga class are blessed.

as am i to be your friend (sis!) :)

love you and enjoy this sweet day. For each one is a gift!

How is Proverbs going? I am a little sporadic with my reading but wow there are some juicy nuggets.

oh and the hair? I let mine grow til the big day, had it all crazy curled and huge (I got married in 1994, remember?) and then CHOPPED it off shortly after the honey moon. Best decision ever. Dan loves short hair and it just felt so good! you do what you like, cause short or long hair does not a beautiful bride make. YOU are the beautiful bride already!! :)

and have fun with Grandma and Grandpa. Hug them tight.
XOXO

and hi to your momma!!!!!!!! <3

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joelle (on a pink typewriter) January 24, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I hate to butt in here, but this is the sweetest comment – Polly sounds like a wise woman!

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Christa January 28, 2013 at 8:17 pm

That is what I did too as my husband likes short hair. Probably 3 months later? I only had shoulder length hair and had a French twist updo and it was great! I like your blog and the book ideas. I know our husbands are in a minority as most guys like long hair but mine thought it looked unkempt and like a horse tail;)

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erin @WELLinLA January 24, 2013 at 11:41 am

Every time I read a post like this it pushes me a little closer to opening up with more “real” stories and insights on my blog. This is beautiful. And books… I’m going back to the classics, reading Capote lately. After years (a decade!) of reading mostly health/wellness/nutrition/food books it’s nice to take a mental break and immerse myself in fiction.

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Rosie January 24, 2013 at 11:49 am

I agree completely with Molly. I totally needed to hear this today. Thanks so much.

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Allison January 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

What a neat blog you have! :)

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lissa January 24, 2013 at 11:58 am

I agree with Stacey about reading _The History of Love_. And though I was certified to teach yoga nearly 3 years ago, I am only now starting to teach after having a baby six months ago and quitting my full-time career to be a mom. I can’t wait to get into teaching and I know *exactly* how you feel. Do you know the new site yogaglo.com? All the most amazing teachers and you can stream their classes. I do a class, then I replay it and take notes for my classes. It’s so awesome!!! Love your blog!

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Leah January 24, 2013 at 11:59 am

I love virtual coffee (tea for me)! Let us know if you need any Milwaukee suggestions!

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Sophie January 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Hi Jenna, I read your blog every day and love hearing about your life as well as trying your recipes. During wedding planning I found the blog apracticalwedding.com and I’ve continued to read it two years past our wedding! It’s a great resource for sane wedding planning and intentional marriage planning. just thought I’d pass it on!

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Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough January 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Love this post. All of it. Love the power yoga, love the gummy bears, love that you’re so excited to be married. If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you how much I appreciate your realness and honesty in these posts. I just love it. You’re great. :)

Also, DON’T CUT YOUR HAIR.

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Frances January 24, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Great post! I don’t know Jenna, three days before my wedding I cut my all-one-length- to-the-middle-of-my-back to a pixie cut. Yup, think Audrey Hepburn. Never looked back. BTW, hubby loves it!

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Amber January 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm

If you haven’t read “The LIght Between Oceans” yet – do it – I loved it.

And DON’T cut your hair. You are wanting a change – that is to be married now – don’t take it out on your hair :o)

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April January 24, 2013 at 2:01 pm

agree! the change you want is to be married. I was the exact same way. It will be here before you know it. p.s. I love your blog; your recipes, your travels, your clothing, your funny “my jeans shrank in the wash” posts….keep it coming, all of it!

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Cheryl January 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm

“you don’t look like anyone I know” by Heather Sellers was my favorite read of 2012. It’s an incredible true story – wonderfully written. Kind of reminds me of the Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
Another ALL time favorite of mine is “same kind of different as me”. Another true story that will touch your heart and inspire! Author is Ron Hall.
By the way, YOUR blog is my favorite of the many that I follow.

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Katie January 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I have to say, I love your blog AND your recipes – even the simple ones like the paninis because sometimes they are flavor combinations that I haven’t considered or tried before (maybe I am the only one on the planet) so I appreciate those recipes too. I think your food is delicious and my husband agrees. When we were living in Egypt last year I made your Cajun Chicken Pasta all the time and it reminded us of home (he’s from Louisiana and brought Tony Chachere’s to Egypt with us, which I know, is a little scary). But one day we were having a hard time adjusting and it just happened to be the day you posted that and voila! we could get all of the ingredients! And then life wasn’t so bad.

Anyway, long way to say, thank you for your blog and ALL of your topics because they make me think/teach me new things and I appreciate that.

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michelle January 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Welcome to Milwaukee! It’s freezing here :)

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Mish @ MishMarieG January 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I think that is the beauty in which God works in our lives. We don’t think that we can..and then we do. We’re meant to be.right.where.we.are. There’s a reason and a purpose. “I know that I’m doing. I have it all planned out–plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29-11 It’s one of my favourites. Sometimes we don’t even know, for in your case you’d be teaching yoga to abuse survivors, but that’s where you’re supposed to be. In all that you don’t think that you are in that role, you are. You have survived a lot, you’ve gone through stacks of change and have taken risks (remember when you moved cross-country?…I do!) And what you share is your faith, your commitment to his plan and trust. Regardless of being able or not to connect with someone, having shared that faith in your faith is powerful. It binds, changes, and connects people. Oftentimes it’s that over-arching knowledge that a foundation in faith can actually help…it what begins to set people free from all walks of life.

Thank you for writing this. I know that I’m capable, but oftentimes I down-play my own capabilities due to fear of perfection or letting someone down. I’m headed into a new branch of nursing, that’s quite specialised, and I’m terrified. I need not be :)

“The heart hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they are, not as they pretend.” Jeremiah 17:9-10

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Emily January 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I happened to read the comments today and was kind of surprised because I do agree with some of the others who have commented, but I wanted to make sure you heard it in the right way. I do really love the “Virtual Coffee Date” posts and agree that they are my favorite from you, much more than the recipes. I don’t mean this in a negative way at all, just that if you were to lean more in what I guess others are calling the ‘lifestyle blogger’ direction, I think it would work out really well. Thanks for blogging!

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Sharona January 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Love these posts! And I definitely needed to hear that fear shouldn’t stop me from achieving my goals — thank you!!

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Julie @ Table for Two January 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I’m going through the SAME EXACT situation as you right now. I regularly have a bob and I have been growing my hair out since October. It’s SOOO long right now and I still have 3 months til the wedding. i went to get it trimmed last night and i so badly wanted to tell my hair stylist to just chop it all. gah!

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Vanessa January 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I love this post! On my wedding day (8.5 years ago), there was monsoon type rain, my mom accidentally burned my wedding dress while ironing, and my tiara broke. I did not even care because I was so happy to be getting married : ) Weddings are wonderful and exciting, but the best part comes after “the Big day”.
Best wishes to you and your husband to be.

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Vanessa January 24, 2013 at 6:22 pm

I should clarify that the burn wasn’t that big – if it was I probably would have been a teeny bit more upset, ha ha.

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Morgan January 24, 2013 at 6:57 pm

I love your virtual coffee date posts. They make my day. As well as the favorites post. And that carrot cake? Gonna be in my belly soon.

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Asrune January 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm

You can alwasy color it! Same change, less regret :)

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Emily Laliberte January 25, 2013 at 5:26 am

Awesome Virtual Coffee Date…I was sitting here all moody and maudlin and your post picked me up! I have also failed at New Years Resolution #345 Do yoga on a regular basis…INSPIRED!!

I know I’m a little late in the game as this was a Big summer read, but I had it on hold at the library and just got GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn…I finished it in one sitting, whilst ignoring my kids, hubby, housework etc…riveting! I heard her other books are great too!

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Lisa January 25, 2013 at 6:55 am

I love these peeks into your life! Amazing what you are doing for the women. I work with these type of women for my job and I’m going to see if our local shelter has such a program. I enjoy all your recipe posts as well.

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Katharine January 25, 2013 at 7:41 am

Thank you for sharing this! It is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. After leaving a job I had for six years to pursue other opportunities, I’m finding that I have a lot of self doubt. Doubt that I made the wrong decision, doubt that I’ll find the right next step for me, doubt that I will be able to DO anything other than the job I left. And while a part of me knows all of that to be untrue, the fear and insecurity can be crippling. So thank you for reminding me that I am ENOUGH, just as I am. Thank you.

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Jasmine January 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

The word “spastic” is very offensive… at least in the UK it is.

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Kristina January 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I think that word is viewed very differently in the US vs. the UK.
Here’s my understanding – ‘spastic’ in the medical sense refers to a specific type of muscle behavior, which is seen in a number of muscle conditions including cerebral palsy and spastic colon. In the UK, ‘spaz’ became a derogatory way to describe someone with cerebral palsy whereas in the US this didn’t happen. In the US, “spaz” or “spastic” is pretty inoffensive and is used to describe someone who is really hyperactive or kind of all over the place. Most people here have no idea that there is a connotation with cerebral palsy, or that ‘spastic’ is viewed as derogatory in other countries.

Sorry for the super long comment! Just wanted to explain the controversy, and why someone here in the US might use that word and be completely unaware of the connotations.

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Kaelee January 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Hi Jenna! In one of your posts recently, you mentioned a yoga book you were reading. What was the name of it? Thanks!!

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jenna January 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

Hmm…I had to read the Bhagavad Gita for my teacher training. Maybe that was it?

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Kaelee January 26, 2013 at 11:09 am

That might have been it. Thanks!

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Erin January 27, 2013 at 7:03 am

I love the part about yoga! What a wonderful gift to be able to have in giving that peace to women! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend here in Milwaukee and staying warm :)
xoxo
Erin

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Hannah January 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Jenna, thanks for your little enlightenment in your post. Hearing about yoga made me smile. God has a purpose for us all. We are His hands and feet. :)

I def want to chop my hair off at times, but I know I’ll get sick of short hair too fast. Plus, I’m not the best at styling it. Sigh. Plus plus, I’ll prob need it to be long when I’m in my sister’s wedding in a few months, ha. Mine will happen….when it happens.

Have a good week, all!
p.s. Arg. Why did I start reading the comments…some are discouraging, not encouraging. :)

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Megan January 29, 2013 at 7:56 am

I have enjoyed your recipes over the years I have been reading your blog, so thank you for sharing them with your readers. This particular post has been on my mind for the last couple of days. As someone who has been in an abusive relationship, it upsets me to read that you have categorized the women you teach as those “who have been domestically abused.” I know I do not want to be labeled as that, because labels do not define who I am just like the women you teach. From my studies in yoga when I step on my mat I am one with my mind, body, and spirit…no labels. Isn’t that part of the yoga philosophy? It’s not my intention to be rude, but to offer a suggestion to think about the other person and their background first before writing and keep that within the beauty that is yoga.

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Heather January 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I think Jenna should blog about whatever she wants. As bloggers, it can be difficult to put ourselves out there. Often people think our lives are “perfect” because they see all the good moments that we blog about. A new engagement, an awesome vacation trip, a tasty recipe. Most bloggers don’t blog about all the things in their life that we all experience everyday — you broke your favorite bowl, you woke up with your neck hurting, you lost your keys, you burnt dinner, you sliced into your finger and needed stitches, the list goes on and on.

Jenna should write what she wants to write. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

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Lori Gant February 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Jenna –
Awhile ago you posted a Virtual Coffee blog about your trip to visit Morgan. You included a picture that shows the updo that Morgan was practicing for your wedding. I think you should make a 8×10 print of that picture and plaster it to your refrigerator or mirror. Gorgeous! Who wouldn’t want that hair for their wedding day!?

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