Breakfast/ Dessert/ Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness/ Lunch

He Lives In Me

600 people.

600. That’s how many filled the Sanctuary yesterday to remember my little brother. Can you even begin to believe it? 300 of them were students and the other 300 were just friends, neighbors, acquaintances… was amazing, really. One of John’s best friends had a lei sent over straight from Hawaii yesterday morning and he draped it across the poster of him at the front door….and others had wrist bands made (the lifestrong type but with John’s initials) and car magnets. So many students wearing a yellow ribbon because it was John’s favorite color and the Tampa Prep Chorus sang the opening song….all those boys wearing their dark sunglasses while singing so no one could see their tears. I actually did not cry once at the memorial. Neither did my parents. I sat there with one hand tightly intertwined with my mom and the other with Ryan, who wrote and read the most beautiful poem to John I could ever imagine.

We all agreed that you NEVER wish for a funeral, but it could not have gone better. Everyone came back to our house afterwards and I kept thinking to myself, “John would love this”. He loved when everyone was together…I hope and pray he was watching down at all these people that came from, literally, all over the world just to see him.

I wore exactly what I saw appropriate:


The blue ocean dress with a bright flower in my hair. John’s beloved surfboard is now mine and you better believe I’m going to learn to be the best surfer possible so I can surf the world for him. He wanted to surf Costa so badly and I’m going to do it in his honor (and when we have enough money to actually go!). Ryan is going to teach me and I think it’ll go really nice with the new tattoo I’m getting on my wrist…...a wave with a cross inside for John. I can’t wait to get this tattoo.

I tried to start yesterday morning as normal as one can possibly start the day of their brother’s funeral. I had a light snack and went for a run. One almond butter stuffed date + 1 regular date:



I don’t know how far I expected to run but I could only make it 2 miles before I broke down and just walked. It was like every piece of life had been zapped out of me and my endurance was completely gone. I pray it comes back soon! I just got my first TNT email about our first social and am feeling excited about that and to start training with new friends. John would want that. Anyways, I was beating myself up a little bit about only running 2 miles but then I realized that the walk was what I needed! I walked down near the bay to clear my head and asked for John to show me a sign, any sign. Well, I’m not sure if he did or not but the image of the tattoo that I should get was burned into my head. I couldn’t figure out what would best honor John and during that walk I knew, a wave with a cross to symbolize John now surfing the waves in heaven. He was always searching for “that one perfect wave” and now he finally got it.

I got back and made some oatmeal, of course. This is 1/2 cup oats with 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, berries and raw almond butter


In the midst of getting ready later for the service, I had the best thing ever



One of the moms brought this over and woahhhhhhhhh, was it ever amazing. It was like a quiche but didn’t really seem to have eggs in it. Instead, the inside was creamy with goat cheese that contrasted with the sharp bite of fennel and sweetness of onion. I had a small sliver with blackberries but then went back for another tiny sliver because it was that good:


I was so overwhelmed after the service with all those people at our home (there were hundreds at our house), that I didn’t eat until things had calmed down much later. When I did, I delved into the catered turkey sandwiches along with a scoop of delicious pasta salad and pineapple


I also probably had two glasses of wine and two of these little turtle petit fours. Not sure exactly what it was, but it tasted like a brownie bite with a cheesecake top:


And then I actually started to feel quite nauseous after all this. I managed to keep my composure during the service and reception but when everyone left, I totally had a breakdown. Oh man, did I ever sob. I passed out in the hallway and then sobbed into the dirt next to John’s car and my mom and aunt rushed out to hold me and keep all the ants from eating me. I cried and cried and cried and cried….probably the first good cry I’ve had since it happened. And, guys, I quit my job. I just couldn’t go back there after this. I couldn’t. I have never told any of you this because, obviously, I wanted to keep up my composure on the blog, but I really was miserable at my job. I sobbed myself to sleep countless nights during the past few months just because this job I was doing wasn’t me. The hours were awful, I never got enough sleep, I wasn’t advancing. I’m going to take this time right now to get back to my roots. And my root is that of a writer. Its what I’ve done for years and years and years, what I went to school to do and what I went to culinary school to do. I never wanted to bake bread at a grocery store, I never wanted to own my own bakery. Heck, I never even wanted to work in a restaurant. All I wanted to do since I was a very little girl was write and I’m going to get back to that. I’m probably going to be quite poor for a little while, and maybe I just had my first mid-life crisis, but when all this happened I knew I couldn’t spend ONE MORE DAY being unhappy in life. I’m starting over right now and you better believe I’m never ever waking up at 3 AM ever again.

So, after sobbing my eyes out, someone slipped me an Ambian and I passed out. I’m going to be doing some grief counseling with my family and I think that’s good. I need to know John is okay. This morning I woke up, dirt still rubbed into my palms and feet from last night and eyes red and watery. I fixed a simple breakfast of a toasted Ezekiel with raw almond butter and jam with berries and an orange. Except I didn’t eat the orange…going to save it for later.


I’ve spoken so much about the sorrows but there are SO many joys!!!!! YOU, my friends, are the joys. I couldn’t get through this time without you. Caitlin, Meghann and Courtney were at the service yesterday along with so many of my friends here. Your support will never be forgotten. The best friends I could ever ask for.

I got THIS package in the mail, which also brought a smile to my eyes:

The sweet friends at One Lucky Duck sent me over some samples of their delicious raw goodies to sample and review on the blog. I haven’t tried anything yet but am thinking I’ll break into the macaroons today. Reviews for everything will be up as I taste it! And, look, Sarma herself signed the book!!! I couldn’t help but grin! THANK YOU!


And the dehydrator is still sitting in the back of my car, where I moved it on Friday right before I got the call from the hospital. That seems like an eternity again. If only we could go back a week. When all this settles down, you better believe I’m going to whip up some raw goodies. Why not? I don’t have a job now! I’ve got all the time in the world.

Today the big plan is for us to go pick up baby Mikey:


And that’s it. More of John’s friends are coming over and we are all just going to start picking up the pieces. I’m going to try to work out later since I’ve done nothing but drink wine and eat cookies for the past week. πŸ˜‰

I wish you all a very lovely Wednesday. I’ll be back later today to give you a Mikey update. Life is so precious and so, so short. In the end, all we can do is keep moving forward, taking pieces of the past with us so we never forget.

I’m going to end this post by one of my favorite quotes by Faulkner:

“The past is never dead. Its not even past”

You Might Also Like

  • Moran (The Running Addict)
    April 30, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Bless your soul Jenna! I wish there was ANYTHING I could do or say! Please keep strong and keep sharing; it is so important for me to know you and your family are making it through this horrible time!

  • Emily
    April 30, 2009 at 5:47 am

    It sounds like a beautiful service. I’m so glad so many of John’s friends and your family members came to celebrate his life. It’s so exciting that you are setting out on a new course, too. How many of us force ourselves to do something we hate and need to be reminded to start living…really living…again.

    Prayers and hugs your way…

  • MargaretW
    April 30, 2009 at 5:47 am

    I love your site, Jenna! I am so sorry about your dear brother. I have five brothers and I can’t imagine what I would do if something happened to one of them! I’m praying for you and your family, for the peace and comfort from our Father.

  • Kim
    April 30, 2009 at 5:50 am

    This whole week I kept thinking she needs to quit her job and write. I never felt like you were truly happy there. Once again touched by your words about your brother. I am glad you cried you needed to. sending a big hug from a mom in Connecticut.

  • Greta
    April 30, 2009 at 5:52 am

    Never except the unexceptional. Good for you for following your passions and what truly brings you joy in life. Thinking of you and your family…

  • caitlin
    April 30, 2009 at 5:52 am

    i am glad you quit greenwise if it wasn’t making you happy. as you said yesterday, life is too short! if you ever need any help with writing (peer review or whatnot), let me know and i would be happy to help.

    i think grief counseling is also an excellent idea… you need all the help and support you can get!!


  • KZ
    April 30, 2009 at 5:53 am

    You are so strong. Congratulations on starting a new path in life, pursuing a passion will help with the healing. It doesn’t matter if you’re poor, as long as you are happy. I wish you and your family the best. take care

  • Sarah (now in FL)
    April 30, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Sweetie, I’m so glad you cried. You needed to. You’ve been strong long enough; it’s your time to grieve, seriously. You’re in just as much pain as everyone else and you’ve been strong for them, but you deserve to grieve and cry too. I understand about quitting your job too and I hope that brings you some peace.

    D and I are around all weekend. Please, please let us know if we can help or just be with you in any way. Love, Sarah

  • Amy
    April 30, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Dearest Jenna–
    I’ve never commented before, but as I watched this horrific tragedy unfold (I was actually with Julz when we first read about it), I have been thinking of your precious soul each day. I pray for you and your family and for John. You have the most glowing heart of any person, truly. You are stronger than most. I love you!

    I think it was so wise of you to quit your job–it made you unhappy, which is no way to live. I am proud of you for doing this, it takes a lot.

    Love, Amy

  • Angela
    April 30, 2009 at 5:55 am

    You are so strong and I am so glad you quit your job and are doing what you love most. Heck, clearly you are a great writing since I’m always stuck to my computer waiting for your next latest blog! I have every faith in you that you will do great with whatever you choose and your will, along with John watching over you will bring you so far.

    P.S.- those macaroons are delicious and I went to One Lucky Duck and you HAVE to visit one day! It is good for the soul πŸ™‚

    Hope you get some more rest and a little bit of sun <3

  • Michelle
    April 30, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Jenna you are SUCH a strong woman. I’m glad you decided to do what was right for you in leaving your job. Do what your passionate about, I’m sure the last week has re-taught you that, I know it has me. I’m glad the service went as well as it could have, and it’s OKAY to break down. It’s important to have those breakdowns and to admit we’re NOT okay all the time. I”m glad you have some amazing friends and family to help you through.

    God bless,

  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    April 30, 2009 at 6:02 am

    Oh Jenna, the service was beautiful. Those kids there. Wow. John was so loved. The church was filled with his joy and love and I’m so proud of you for staying so strong. And I know it hurts but I’m so glad you were able to sob and grieve after everything. It is so important for you to do that. Don’t be afraid of the tears. It’s ok. I’m always always here for you.

    AND I’m SO PROUD OF YOU for quitting at Greenwise. =) Is it ok to say that? You are going to be so happy! This is such a turning point for you, as you will grow and share your love of writing with the world, all with the love of John’s memory. You are going to do wonderful things my friend, and I can’t wait to watch this journey unfold.

    All my love.

  • kim
    April 30, 2009 at 6:04 am

    i’m glad you’ve decided to choose your passion. You’re a great writer (and blogger). Don’t let your talent go into waste. πŸ™‚

    Love your dress. You’re like a mermaid. A beautiful one.

  • Michelle
    April 30, 2009 at 6:07 am

    It sounds like your brother was very much loved. And good for you for quitting your job…do what makes you happy πŸ™‚

  • Heather
    April 30, 2009 at 6:08 am

    You are such an angel. Always looking on the bright side that God bestows on us, even in the toughest of times. YOU are an inspiration. I will be first in line to read your book, Jenna!

  • Shelby
    April 30, 2009 at 6:09 am

    I’m so very proud of you for going through all of this. Celebrating John’s life, getting in a good cry (it’s always important to just let it all out), and quitting your job. You have always been able to listen to your heart and what you truely want and I’m so very happy that you quit something you didn’t feel comfortable doing. I wish there was someway I could just make this all better but like the song says “It will all get better in time”.

  • Meghann
    April 30, 2009 at 6:12 am

    Aww… Jenna… we should have stayed. We should have stayed in Tampa with you and let you cry in our arms. The service was really beautiful and John was truly love by one and all, he led such a full and happy life. I ceommend you for being so strong and quitting your job. You’re right, life is too short and precious to do something we are so unhappy with. Just be Jenna. Surf the ocean, see the world, come to Orlando and go to Disney with us! Like Caitlin and I told you and Ryan last night, we are here for you and can be over there in a moment’s notice or can give you a place to crash if you want to get away. We can run 5ks together, go to the beach and just lay around being lazy. Seriously, just a phone call away!! Lots of love in my heart to you and your family!

  • Tanya
    April 30, 2009 at 6:14 am

    I wanted to add to all the well wishes for you and our family. And say congratulations for taking a step towards doing what you want to do. I’ve done the same thing recently – given up a job that I didn’t like – and with the support of family and friends everything did turn out okay – and you have MAJOR support!

  • Amelia
    April 30, 2009 at 6:15 am

    The celebration of your brother’s life sounds so beautiful. I’m sure he feels so honored to know how many lives he touched and what an impact he will have on the future.
    Congratulations on starting your new path. Although it may feel like a mid-life crisis, I think sometimes terrible times in life can be the greatest motivators to set you on your way to your true calling.
    You have demonstrated so much strength in such a difficult time. Take care.

  • hk
    April 30, 2009 at 6:15 am

    dearest jenna-,
    you can do this! i admire your ability to truly find what it is that you love to do- for you! No regrets, just keep on soul searching. I am in awe of your strength, love, and honesty. Keep on truckin’, we’re here for you with open hearts- lots and lots of love!!


  • stacey
    April 30, 2009 at 6:15 am

    Yesterday sounds like it was a beautiful celebration of John’s life. I am happy to hear that you and your family will be going to grief counseling. And, congrats on quitting your job! You should do what makes you happy!

  • Tracy
    April 30, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Hang in there girl. Good for you for following your heart and quitting your job – life’s too short. My thoughts are still with you.

  • Hangry Pants
    April 30, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Jenna, I commend you and your family for going to grief counseling! So many just ignore the pain. Also, I think it’s wonderful that you quit your job. You are right that life is way to short to be miserable. You will find your path. Love you!


  • Danielle
    April 30, 2009 at 6:20 am

    What a beautiful celebration of your brother’s life.
    I love the idea of the tattoo and I really believe that was your brother who gave you the idea.
    Good luck Jenna with whatever you decide to do from here on out. I think it was very brave of you to quit your job and get back to what you love doing, best of luck!

  • Quinn
    April 30, 2009 at 6:21 am


    I had been waiting to write you on this, but after reading your post yesterday I knew it was time. You have been so incredibly brave and composed – I truly did not know how you were doing it! When you had to walk by the bay yesterday and when you collapsed your body and soul were calling for help. It is so amazing – your strength for your family and for John. When my father was in an accident a year and a half ago I was very similar to you – there for the family – go, go, go – and someone at the hospital told me to take a breath from the oxugen mask first. When a plane crashes and the oxygen masks come down, they tell the mothers to take a breath first before giving any to their children. While it is not instinctual it is so important – because without taking care of yourself first you cannot be any good to anyone. You’ve been great so far, but don’t lose sight of that. Take your breath first!

    And in keeping with that, kudos to you for quitting the job and focusing on what it is that will fulfill your heart and soul most. It all happens for a reason, and you will find what is right for you!

    Just know that the blogger community supports you 100 percent and sends you big virtual hugs!

  • kirsten
    April 30, 2009 at 6:22 am

    wow 600 people! your brother was so loved. I can’t wait to see your tattoo, it sounds like it’s exactly what John would have wanted.
    Also that is great that you quit your job, everything will work out with it. You are a fantastic writer and I know you will have a lot of success in that.

  • Ann
    April 30, 2009 at 6:31 am

    Jenna, Your posts from the last several days have left me in tears. I can’t imagine the incredible pain and loss you are feeling right now. At the same time, you are a remarkably strong woman, beautiful, smart and talented. I have confidence that you will be successful in your new venture as a writer, you already have an audience of thousands of faithful readers. It sounds like you have an amazing support system, and I hope it will help you find peace eventually. Take care

  • Marilyn
    April 30, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Jenna — I’m so sorry for all your pain. I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, and I have to admit that there were times that I wanted to know more about Jenna and less about the food! I’m so glad you decided to quit your job and explore what makes you happy in life. It sounds like you have a wonderful family to support you. I wish you the very best — I know this year will be so difficult. You’re not alone, though.

  • Katrina (gluten free gidget)
    April 30, 2009 at 6:33 am

    600 people, that is amazing. And, congratulations on quitting your job in order to pursue your dream. It is so easy to get stuck in a “comfortable rut”. Many people settle for any job as long as they have money coming it. John would be so proud of you for being brave enough to go after your dreams. Love and prayers as you embark on this new journey in your life….

  • Melissa
    April 30, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Wow Jenna, what a beautiful service and how amazing, all that love and support. Quitting your job now sounds like the right decision — you’re right, life’s too short to be miserable or unhappy in the slightest. You’re a gifted writer — you can do anything you want!!

  • Susan
    April 30, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Jenna, my condolences to you and your loved one. My 20 year old daughter recently suffered the break-up of a relationship. She was distraught and nothing anyone could say could make her feel better. As a mom, I knew I had to step back and let her heal. Yesterday, her facebook status read, …”three words sum up what I have learned in life so far – it goes on….” And knowing you are in for good days and horrible days, I wish you STRENGTH as you and your family can come to peace with this horrible tragedy. God bless, Jenna xo

  • Meg C.
    April 30, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Good for you, Jenna! Going after what you really want in life is so brave and inspiring. Your brother would be proud.

  • Sarah M
    April 30, 2009 at 6:34 am


    You should be so proud of the way you have handled yourself through this ordeal. I am sure John is proud of you, and it probably comforts him to know how strong you are. That being said, breaking down is expected and you should allow yourself to do that. I just can’t even imagine how you must be feeling.

    You are a beautiful writer. A lot of the best writing is produced during times of crisis, and then in joy. Get yourself an agent and a publisher or whatever you need. You can show them that you already have a huge following. Your blog friends will be sure to do everything we can to make sure your books are bestsellers. πŸ™‚

    Take Care of yourself.


  • erin
    April 30, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Wow, Jenna, -this- is the most honest and bravest post you’ve done yet. I’m so, so glad that you finally realised that your blog is a space to be open and honest — not that you weren’t before, but please know that no one will judge you if you’re ever having a bad day.

    I hope you find what you’re looking for in the post-bakery world. I’m also a writer-in-the-making, so I know how you feel… that extraordinary pull towards greatness that lies dormant in the belly of the writer is a powerful thing. I wish you all the best, Jenna.

  • Katherine
    April 30, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Good for you for quitting your job! I am 24 and since college I have found it so hard to find what I want to do… but I keep following my instinct, keep looking for what is right for me. Sometimes that makes it hard, sometimes I feel “behind” others because I haven’t had the same, consistent job since school, but I also feel so much more content with myself. I have no regrets- left a job I was miserable at in December- crying every night like you- and I couldnt be prouder that I walked away. Like you said, its not always easy, but so good to be true to yourself!

    I am so glad you are able to take this horrible tragedy and use it as an inspiration to change your life and LIVE every day. Sending my best, most positive energies your way. You will get through this…

  • Susan
    April 30, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Life is definitely too short to be working a job you don’t like. I’m a strong believer in that if you do what you are passionate about, success will follow.

  • Coco Knudson
    April 30, 2009 at 6:46 am

    I applaud you for your strength in finding what makes you happy. It’s tough and scary, but I think that you are handling everything beautifully. Your inspiration for me to make sure everyday is filled with love, happiness, and making the point the live life the way that bests makes those feelings possible. Thanks Jenna, and I think I’m gonna go buy some Ezekial English Muffins today haha. They always look so good on your blog and I’ve never tried them!

  • Rachel
    April 30, 2009 at 6:58 am

    It sounds like you really needed that cry. I know it always helps me just get it out.
    I’m really glad you quit your job if it was making you unhappy. You deserve the best and if that’s not what you wanted, then why do it. Even though I don’t know you or your family, this experience changed me in a way. I have told people how I feel and worked on ways to make myself happier. He has changed so many people in so many ways even without knowing him.
    Good luck with the surfing!! I know you’ll be great at it!

  • Jori
    April 30, 2009 at 7:00 am

    I was sent over by adventures in newlywed and man do I wish it was for a different reason. I went back and read some of your posts and was starting to see some things that reminded me of home (tampa bay). I wish we could have “met” under different circumstances. There have been so many families of young people locally stricken by grief. It just doesn’t seem fair. I will pray for you and your family to find peace in your own right. I personally know to many families who have had to deal with the sudden/accidental loss of a young person. It just doesn’t seem fair. I will continue to check back and follow you on your journey of writting!

  • Nicole
    April 30, 2009 at 7:00 am

    It’s inspiring that you are following your heart and realize that your job was simply not right for you. You are a truly strong and inspiring woman, an inspiration to all of us!

  • Paige
    April 30, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Jenna–I am really thinking about you and your family right now. You are such a strong person. I have been reading your blog for the past 6 months or so, and you have always provided your readers with honest, positive views on life. Even through hard times, you shine through with grace and a beautiful spirit. Congratulations on quitting a job that was not making you happy. You deserve all of the happiness in the world, and I am glad that you are following your dreams and your heart.

  • brandi
    April 30, 2009 at 7:03 am

    It sounds like an awesome service – and you’re right, no one wishes for a funeral, but it’s nice to be at ones where you can feel the person there and know that it’s what they would have wanted.

    Good for you for letting go of this job if it isn’t what makes you happy! Life is too short to be miserable.

  • Steph
    April 30, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Congradulations on taking that step in life to do something to make you happy!!! Life is too short not to be happy. Embrace life πŸ™‚

  • K
    April 30, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Jenna, I’m sure you know this but it’s worth repeating, John may be gone but he will never be far! You are such a strong woman it is so inspiring. I commend you for quitting your job and doing what will make YOU happy! Wishing you all the best.

  • Fitzalan
    April 30, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Like every other day this week, your strength, courage, awareness and insight has brought me to tears.

    Quitting your job was the best decision you could make. Take that time and spend it with the family and recover and rebuild yourself. Waking up at 3AM for a job you hate would only make the wounds more raw and more painful.

    Much love.

    Happiness Awaits

  • Leila
    April 30, 2009 at 7:20 am

    Jenna, it sounds like an amazing celebration of John’s life and you look beautiful in the dress, I’m sure John loved it! Although it’s never fun to ‘break down’, you did when your body and soul needed it and I’m so glad that your aunt and mom were there to hold you. Congratulations in quitting your job. Though a weird thing to say, I’m definitely a firm believer in doing what makes you happy both personally and professionally. It’s best that you found out it wasn’t the right thing for you sooner than later. Can’t wait to see more pictures of Mikey when he gets to his new home.

  • Runjen
    April 30, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Bless you. I am sure that breakdown was exactly what you needed. I am so proud of you and impressed by you that you are following your heart and going for what makes you happy. You are right, life is too short to do something you don’t love.

  • Amanda
    April 30, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Jenna, It really sounds like yesterday was a beautiful tribute to your brother’s life! From your dress to the lei to the 600+ people, I know that John was looking down and smiling. God bless you for staying strong for so long, but grieving is only natural and it’s important for you to really feel those emotions!

    I have no idea how you hung in there with your job for so long – if you didn’t love it, 3am must have been absolutely brutal. This is truly the best opportunity to re-assess what you love to do and DO IT!

    Be true to yourself!!

  • jessnyc
    April 30, 2009 at 7:26 am

    jenna, i think it is really brave of you to realize your job wasn’t making you happy and to do something about it! it is truly an inspiration, and you are so right…we have to do what makes us happy, life is too short. you are a beautiful writer and can’t wait to see what you do in the future.

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner?
    April 30, 2009 at 7:26 am

    You deserve to be happy… and if your job wasn’t making you happy, then you did the right thing! Hugs!

  • weight and meditate
    April 30, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I’m so proud of you for quitting your job! You never let on that you hated it and I’m sorry you endured it for as long as you did, but you learned a valuable lesson through this terrible tragedy and I know you’ll be happier now! Good for you.

  • Maggie
    April 30, 2009 at 7:34 am


    I haven’t commented in the past few days because I couldn’t find the right words to say, but I have been reading and had tears in my eyes in literally every post you wrote since Saturday morning. It is obvious that your brother was loved by many.

    I also think that it is very brave of you to quit your job. I really admire this bravery. You are a greater writer and I am positive that you are going to get far.


  • Jordan
    April 30, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Hi Jenna, I think quitting your job is best if its not what was making you truly happy! Everything will work out. If you ever want to come visit that restaurant in NYC you have a place to stay with me and a fellow foodie to taste test with! πŸ™‚

  • Lisa
    April 30, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Jenna your post made me cry so much. I can feel your emotions and words so much. I admire you so much for being so strong. And good for you for following your dreams and making yourself happy. You are so strong and courageous. You’re definitely so inspirational, I look up to you, even though I’ve never met you in person! Keep following your dreams, jenna. You write wonderfully on your blog and I would love to read your other works.

  • Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
    April 30, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Oh Jenna, what a beautiful post. Good for you for not spending one more day being miserable at your job – you’re right – life is just too short to be so un-happy. Can’t wait to hear about Mikey – what a gift for you and your family to have him.

  • Stephanie
    April 30, 2009 at 7:46 am

    I’m so glad you quit the job. Those hours are really disruptive to normal sleep, health and life! Now you’re free to find something that is good for your soul and leads you to your dreams. Thank you for sharing so much about John’s death and your family’s experience. You’ve brought some gratitude into many people’s lives this last week. Jenna, I’ll be reading and praying for you every day. You are loved. Stephanie

  • Yelli
    April 30, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Jenna, girl, you are amazing….I have been blown away by your strength, your positivity in spite of tragedy, and your wisdom in the last week.
    You looked beautiful in your blue dress and I know that John was looking down on you and your family and thought you were beautiful too!
    Hang in there…you are doing all the right things to heal. Many prayers headed your way.

  • katie s
    April 30, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Your post has once again opened my eyes, and brought me to tears, Jenna! You are incredible and thank you so much for sharing.

  • Sarah
    April 30, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Jenna, I feel silly telling you that your blog made me cry because of what you are going through but this story is just so awesome in only a way that God could make it. I’m sorry you lost your brother but I am so proud of you for making the decision not to be miserable and to follow your dreams. That’s something I am not doing myself and it really resonated with me. I went to school to be a writer too and along the way I found food and fitness which is how I ended up food blogging. You have made me realize more than ever that life is short and I have to do what makes me happy. So I’m going to try! I’m praying for you and your family and I want to thank you for sharing your experience with us. You are amazing!

  • Beadie
    April 30, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Beautifully written post, Jenna. Your brother is glowing with pride for you.

    Good for you for not spending another moment being miserable at your job. You are a beautiful writer and will be very successful, I have no doubt.

  • mel
    April 30, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Jenna, you are truely so beautiful on the inside and out. I also don’t have a job right now and its been a difficult adjustment bc I feel like I’m a slacker and I’m broke…but I have realized I needed to take some time for myself and relax. You will love your time off after you adjust! Life is too short my friend! I’m getting married this summer and I have put most of my time into that and rebuilding my relationships with my family and girlfriends that I neglected while in law school. I’m so glad you have your family and Ryan for support and I think counseling is a wonderful idea! everyone needs it sometimes! stay strong sweet girl- you are an amazing sister and John is so happy and free now.

  • Shawna (Getting Fit and Happy)
    April 30, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Wonderful post, Jenna! John will be guiding and guarding you through the next adventures you choose to follow. (((hugs)))

  • bee
    April 30, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Love this:

    “I’m starting over right now and you better believe I’m never ever waking up at 3 AM ever again.”

    Keep going, Jenna. Remember Hebrews 10:39: “But we are not those who SHRINK back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”

  • Melissa G.
    April 30, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Jenna this post touched me so much. You are so strong and you need to do what’s right for you. I love your blog and reading about your life. You have realized something precious at a very young age- that life is too short to be miserable. I would have been miserable with your hours at your job also! Good for you for realizing it now and doing something about it. You will get through this and be so much stronger from it. I know it doesn’t seem like it now but everything happens for a reason. You are going to save someone else from accidentally getting shot, or you will be able to have sympathy for another family that this happened to, or something. I just know it. Keep being Jenna and be true to yourself and your feelings.

  • jen
    April 30, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Thank you Jenna for sharing your life’s journeys with us.What a true testament to your brother’s life and views that you are going to take time to be true to yourself and true to your feelings.You have inspired me to take a look and see if I am really following my heart in life and appreciating the gift of life we all have.
    I am much more interested in the truthness of life as you are writing it now than food or superficial things.
    You have shared your raw emotions and touched our souls.
    It is a very good idea to go to grief counselling,even though you may not feel as if it is “working” when you go.I felt this way when I lost my close friend but still went,and years later I appreciate that I did seek counselling,even if it just allowed me to share my grief with someone who wasn’t also feeling the same grief and feelings of guilt ,anger, regret and pure heartbreaking sorrow that accompany death of a loved one taken too soon.
    Thank you for being trusting enough to share the moving details of your day of tribute to your brother.
    I don’t mean this in a negative way,but your grief will still be buried deep within you and take months to delicately unfurl and deal with.There will be more tears and much more laughter and incredibly happy memories of him.
    No matter what you read from all of us,we don’t know how your heart and soul truly feels or how deep your grief is.We would never presume to know,but I hope our support and discussion of our own personal experiences with grief somehow bolster your spirit through the tough times.
    You have captured our hearts Jenna with your beautiful ,inspiring words about your brother,your innate goodness and the hopeful feeling you have brought to us even in your darkest hour.
    Thinking of you .

  • Melissa (Nibbles and Wiggles)
    April 30, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Wow – I don’t think I even know 600 people.

    I don’t think you should ever have to put up a front for the blog readers out there. Our struggles make us human. Good for you for not being willing to spend your days doing something you hate. You are a great writer – perhaps a food critic?

  • Bec
    April 30, 2009 at 8:05 am

    I’m so glad the service went well and there were so many people who cared about your brother their to celebrate his life. Also congrats on making a positive life change, you need to be happy with what you do for sure πŸ™‚

  • Kelly
    April 30, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Jenna, Leaving greenwise sounds like it was the best decision for you….now is the time for us all to not take one moment for granted…why do something that makes you miserable? I would rather be poor and happy.

  • Sara
    April 30, 2009 at 8:07 am


    You are amazing. Good for you for going after what you really want! Sometimes the most horrible tragedies open our eyes to what is really important in our lives. And you’re right, going to a job at 3 a.m. when you’re miserable just because you graduated culinary school is not important. Being happy is. And you’ll get there and everywhere you want to be one day, I’m sure of that!

    Still thinking of you and your entire family (John included),

  • Brianne
    April 30, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Beautiful Jenna, you should NEVER get up at 3 am again- especially if your not doing it for something you love! You are so strong, so special! Just think of how many people your family has touched through this blog. If I can recommend one thing- I know you love to read and I really recommend Karen Kingsbury’s books. She is a christian writer and I LOVE the Baxter Series. The first book is Redemption and I think perhaps the books would help you through this time, if only a little bit. Praying you and your family!

  • Sandy
    April 30, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Jenna~It sound’s like the Service was beautiful!! I believe John was there with all of you..and you honored him well..
    I’m so happy you decided to quit your job,I could tell you were tired all the time with the hour’s..I know they will miss you, but it’s for the best!!..
    You’re a truly beautiful girl Jenna, inside and out..Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us!!
    Prayers for all of you..

  • Shelly
    April 30, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Again I just want to say I am so sorry for your loss. I think going to a grief counselor will be really helpful for you. And it sounds like you are already taking good steps towards healing- walking and writing about what you are feeling. I really admire the fact that you are taking care of yourself by eating enough. I tend to stop eating when I’m grieving and it just weakens me and makes it take longer for me to heal. So I am so happy to see that you are keeping yourself strong!
    Good luck with finding a new job that you love! Quitting your job is incredibly brave, but its good to know that you are taking proactive steps to becoming happier.
    I will be keeping you in my prayers.


  • Toronto Jenn
    April 30, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Sounds like it was a fantastic service, and such a great way to honour your wonderful brother. It’s good you were able to let yourself go after the funeral, it’s so important to let your emotions out. I struggled with that after my grandma died last year. I’m not an outwardly emotional person and found it hard to just let myself grieve.

    Also, don’t be surprised if the full force of your feelings hits now, now that all the planning and organizing for the service is done. I found the funeral gave us a focus as we laughed about good memories and cried about our loss, but once the funeral was done, we were still left with a loss and nothing to focus on and aim for.

    Finally, congrats on quitting your job! I have marvelled at the early hours you get up over the last few months and think it’s amazing you stuck it as long as you have. But you’re right, if bread is not your passion, then life’s too short to be getting up at 3am. I’m sure they’ll miss your vegan baking though. πŸ™‚

  • Deirdre
    April 30, 2009 at 8:21 am

    The service sounds like it was a wonderful celebration of your brother’s life. I was so happy to hear that you quit your job. You seem like such an optimistic person and I liked how you were positive for the blog, but whenever you would talk about your job I was always thinking how hard all of that must have been for you. You are a great writer and anyone who can write through a tragedy like this deserves to be a writer for a living. You possess such grace as a person and I wish you the best in your future career.

  • Fancy
    April 30, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Jenna, you are amazing and I think you are so strong to quit your job if you weren’t happy there. I know your brother is looking down on you and is so proud of your decision to do what is best for you. I can’t wait to see more pics of Mikey, he is adorable πŸ™‚

  • Kath
    April 30, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Sounds like a beautiful service and perfect for what John would have wanted. Love your idea for the tatoo. And so glad you’re searching for a career doing something you love. Hugs from the Carolinas J!

  • green ink
    April 30, 2009 at 8:30 am

    I’m sure John is very proud of you Jenna. Life is so precious, and you cannot afford to spend any of it unhappy and unfulfilled. I hope that you will get to do what you really want to do – you certainly deserve it.

    The memorial sounded like it was everything you were hoping for. I am in awe of your courage and strength. Take care of yourself – big hugs from London x

  • Lauren
    April 30, 2009 at 8:31 am

    “The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

    Life is a journey and sometimes the path changes beneath us without warning. I’ve always believed that the true test of our character is how we react when the path changes (as the quote suggests). If you follow your passion you will succeed, no matter what path you choose! Much love to you and your family.

  • Becca A
    April 30, 2009 at 8:32 am

    You are doing such beautiful things to honor your brother’s memory. He is no doubt smiling down on you.

  • Kelly T
    April 30, 2009 at 8:35 am

    wise decision Jenna, do what makes you happy. life is way too short to ever feel miserable. keep on being you and good things will come your way. i’m sure of it.

  • Meghan
    April 30, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Jenna, You are definitely an inspiration. Life you life to the fullest and always pursue your happiness. Being happy in life is one of the greatest feelings in the world. I know you are going through terrible heartache right now but continue to take care of yourself! Use that great support system you have. Take care…


  • Michelle @ Find Your Balance
    April 30, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I just found your blog and am so touched. What a tragedy. I love your dress and how you are handling this blow with grace and strength. My thoughts are with you and your brother and I’ve passed along your story to some of my friends who think guns are cool.

  • megan
    April 30, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Jenna, this post brought tears to my eyes. The tattoo you are going to get in honor of John sounds beautiful and quite perfect. I am so sorry to hear that you were miserable at your job, but I am so happy to hear you are quitting. It is what is best for YOU! I can imagine that waking up at 3 was ROUGH and not fun…at all. You did a good job at hiding your hardship with it though πŸ™‚ I think you are a beautiful writer and you need to go after your dream. Life is SO short…we need to celebrate every day that God blesses us with. And, you may not have a lot of money financially for a little while…but God will provide. Just wait πŸ™‚ I hope you have a beautiful Thursday, Jenna!

  • Jennifer
    April 30, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Jenna, I am SO SO SO proud of you. Life is not worth being miserable and I commend you on quitting your job and following your heart! You are so talented and I know you will exceed in anything you do!
    Hugs from NC!

  • Maddy
    April 30, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Jenna, I can’t put into words how sorry I am for your loss. All day yesterday I was thinking about you right across the bay, going through this nightmare. You are incredibly strong though and I’m so glad you have taken a step back to see what you really want to be doing for work. Its so true that we need to make sure everything we do is something we absolutely love. You are an inspiration girl, keep your head up =)

  • Jenn
    April 30, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Hi Jenna, I’ve read your blog off and on for awhile now. First I wanted to let you know that you are amazing and very inspiring. And second my thoughts and pray go out to you and your family. Im not sure if you listen to Tenth Avenue North or not but you should out their song called Hold My Heart. It is a beautiful song and I think you would enjoy it too. God Bless!

  • polly
    April 30, 2009 at 8:59 am

    you ARE a writer!! I am so happy for you and this decision and what a wonderful post. I wish I could have been there yesterday giving you a massive hug. Hope you got my voicemail. Been praying, sweetie.

    LOVE that tattoo already. It’s perfect. XOXO

  • Brittney
    April 30, 2009 at 8:59 am

    That’s amazing that there were that many people at the service. I’m sure there would have been many more there to support you had everyone who reads this blog would have been able to attend. I think it’s wonderful that you quit your job if it wasn’t making you happy. I hope you’re able to find something that makes you truly happy. I also think it’s wonderful that you and your family plan on attending grief counseling and I hope it’s something that helps you get through this terrible time.

  • skinnyrunner
    April 30, 2009 at 9:01 am

    My heart breaks for you and your family.
    God is going to do something amazing in the midst of this tragedy. Praying for you…

  • Kimberly
    April 30, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Oh, Jenna, you are going to make such an AMAZING writer! I can even see you going back to France for a while to seek inspiration =) Following your heart and quitting your job was the best thing you could have done — once you realize what you truly want, there is NO reason to put it off. I, like many other people, changed careers a few years after college, and am much, MUCH happier now. Cheers to you, lovely girl.

  • Stephanie
    April 30, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Jenna, you are definately a writer – you’ve brought tears to my eyes like reading words never have. Your an amazing person and you deserve nothing but happiness! Don’t worry about quiting the job, you gave it a shoot and realized it wasn’t for you. Some people live their whole life without admitting they need a change – look how brave you are to speak up! Keep that head up, and cry whenever you feel the need to.
    Cheering in your corner,

  • Brit
    April 30, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I think you’re an amazing young lady. Engraving a tattoo with wave on your wrist in memory of your brother… it’s a wonderful idea! Your brother would love it! About your job…. it’s very important to follow your heart – and be happy! If you need anything, we, blog readers, are here for you! Your family and friends are in my thoughts & prayers.

  • Elizabeth
    April 30, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Oh Jenna, I am so so encouraged by your strength. You’re an amazing person. And ya know what? It’s perfectly ok to quit your job at a time like this. I’m still praying for peace and comfort for you and your family. God is holding you in his hand and will make sure you come out of this.

  • Christine
    April 30, 2009 at 9:13 am

    John is definitely smiling proud at you down from heaven, especially about quitting your job. You are a beautiful soul and he would want you to have a job that makes you tremendously happy. Follow your dreams!! You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers every day.

  • Lindsey
    April 30, 2009 at 9:13 am

    600 people! That is amazing Jenna! If 600 people came to the funeral, you bet he’s touched probably twice that. I think that is amazing. What a great life to celebrate!

    I am glad you had your good cry though–sometimes we need to really break down in order to get all the emotions out. I think your tattoo is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to see it when you get it.

    Also, I think you did a great thing quitting your job. Life’s too short to be unhappy at work. I think you are heading in just the right direction.

    As always, I’ll be praying for you and your family.

  • Leah
    April 30, 2009 at 9:13 am

    everything happens for a reason girl. good for you for starting a clean plate. cute kitty. god bless <3

  • Christy
    April 30, 2009 at 9:14 am

    I love your spirit. Even in this time when you are the one that needs to be consoled and encouraged I come to your blog and find myself being inspired. You are one amazing woman. I wish you the best of luck in finding the career path that makes you happy and find the best venue for your writing talent. I love your blog and admire what an amazing person you are.

  • Kristy
    April 30, 2009 at 9:15 am

    It sounds like the service for your brother was so beautiful! Kudos on quitting your job. It takes a lot of guts to admit you aren’t happy and walk away. Many people never get to that point. I think you have a well of strength in you that you are just finding. I wish you all the best in your new ventures. I could totally see you writing a cookbook, since you seem to love reading them so much! And now you have fun toys to experiment with for new recipes πŸ™‚

  • Anony
    April 30, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Hi Jenna. I don’t want to be the “realist” or “debbie downer” in this group of posts… I admire your strength and think you are coping in such an amazing way. I feel for you. You are truly an amazing person. I just want to advise that counseling is probably the best thing right now. I know this blog serves as your outlet but you seem to be going through many stages of grief and rapid decision-making about your own life (not that I disagree about your job- if you hated it, then you hated it). I think it is great that you want to do all these things, but please take it slow. Talk to a professional who can best help you and your family. I am speaking from experience here, and would have appreciated this advice when I was trying to go through it.

    God Bless you and John in heaven.

  • kathleen
    April 30, 2009 at 9:18 am

    jenna- it is clear that you are a very talented writer. i think your “mid-life crisis” job switch is an amazing idea for your soul. writing enriches, cleanses, and comforts. you are in my thoughts.

  • Danielle
    April 30, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Jenna, it sounds strange to say, but you are lucky. You are lucky to have been blessed with an angel for a brother, you are lucky to have a new found purpose and direction in life, you are lucky to be surrounded by such amazing friends and family, you are lucky to have such a strong faith, you are lucky to have such a talent that honors and values all of these facets of your life. Feel what you need to feel, act how you need to act, write what you need to write and know that John will be with you along the way.

    “Psalm 139: 9-10
    If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

  • Lauren
    April 30, 2009 at 9:21 am

    You have once again left all of us with an extremely impacting post. You are such an amazingly strong woman, who clearly has an outstanding way with words. It sounds like the celebration of John’s life couldn’t have been more perfect, and I know he is looking down on you with a smile. I am so proud of you for quitting your job. No one deserves to be unhappy in life, especially you, and I honor you for making that decision. We are all here to support you one hundred percent. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  • shanon
    April 30, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Jenna, I think it’s great that you have learned a valuable lesson through such a tragedy. That lesson is to be happy every day and your taking those steps by quitting your job. It sounds like your brother lived by that same llife rule which is what made him such an incredilble human being. Your family is in my families prayers. God’s love –

  • meagan
    April 30, 2009 at 9:42 am

    this post really resonated with me–especially about you quitting your job to pursue being a writer. that takes real courage. i hope you always remember the freedom you felt from this decision and may it keep you moving on. God bless. πŸ™‚

  • Kristilyn (The Food Journey)
    April 30, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Jenna, the service sounded lovely. It’s amazing how many souls John touched in his lifetime! I love your tattoo idea and that you’re going to learn to surf – you live your life! It’s just too short to not live and enjoy every minute.

    Congrats on quitting the job. I worked in a bakery before, though I didn’t have to be there at 3 am to bake bread, and the hours WERE awful and I hated every second of it (It’s also where I gained a painful amount of weight). You have to do what you love and it sounds like you will do that.

    You have a good head on your shoulders and I hope, actually I KNOW, you will get through this.

    All the best,


  • Christie
    April 30, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I always wondered how happy you were at Greenwise… I am with you on life being too short to do something that makes you unhappy. You have been so strong and I am glad that you will have some counseling and some time to grieve. God Bless you and your family, Jenna.

  • Bridget
    April 30, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Very happy to hear that you could honor and pay tribute to your wonderful brother in such a meaningful way. He was so loved, and that means the world on this day.

    Keep up the positive thinking! You’ll get stronger and stronger each and every day.

  • lauren
    April 30, 2009 at 9:54 am

    jenna, you are SO amazingly strong! im glad so many people came to the funeral to show respects to your brother. he sounded like the most wonderful brother and im truely glad you could all say goodbye surrouned by all of his friends and your family. He was loved by everyone by the sound of it and im sure he has truely changed many lives. Im thinking of you and your family at this time and wishing you all the best. and about the job, i think its beautiful that your going to follow your dream. its what your brother would have wanted im sure. For you to be happy.
    take care hun, *hugs*

  • Kristin
    April 30, 2009 at 9:54 am

    I am so glad the memorial service went well, 600 people is incredible. I’m sure John was an amazing person, and my heart still goes out to you and your family. I’m sure you are making the right decision with your job, because you need to do what YOU love, and only that will make you happy. You are an amazing writer, and I wish you luck with all of your endeavors, and hope you continue to write on here about them, because I go on my computer every single day to read your amazing posts. You are truly an inspiring woman. God bless!

  • Meredith (Pursuing Balance)
    April 30, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Jenna, don’t feel bad about quitting your job! I completely understand. I used to have to get up at 4 to work at 4:45 and it just zaps the life out of you. It makes you feel like you’re missing out on life when you’re on such a different schedule (going to sleep super early when your friends are going out and having fun, starting your day in the middle of the night, being exhausted all afternoon). You gave it a shot and you did your best, and we are all proud of you!
    And as for the ambien, I am going to give you a tip (I found this out the hard way): Go to bed right after you take this pill! Do not take it and then decide to stay up and watch a movie! That’s what I did and I ended up hallucinating and completely freaked out my college friends by sitting in a corner and giggling to myself for the entire movie and telling everyone that they were bald! Lesson learned!

  • laura
    April 30, 2009 at 10:00 am

    i can only say to you: GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Keva
    April 30, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Jenna, I wish there was more I could say, but the words aren’t there. I just wanted to let you know I’ve read your words this morning and my heart aches for you and your family. I know your brother is shining on you today, and I hope that in time the pain will ease. May God bless you and hold you close, and in His way show you that your brother is at peace and waiting to welcome you someday. Hold little Mikey close. Take care.

  • Alisa - One Frugal Foodie
    April 30, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Sounds like the memorial was truly an honor. So wonderful for you to honor your brother in so many great ways!

  • ratzx31
    April 30, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Am glad for you that you made the decision to write, to do something, to be happy for yourself! take care and allow yourself time to heal… you’ll be in my prayers…

  • Christine
    April 30, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I will never forget your brother. I am still praying for you and your family.

  • Melinda
    April 30, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Awwww Jenna, I so feel for you and your family. Your brother would be so proud of you taking in the kitten that he wanted to have a home, making the commitment to go an surf costa rica for your brother πŸ™‚ he’ll be surfing with you I am sure.

    You are right life is too damn short to be unhappy in the job that you are doing. Write like the wind my friend and may alll your hearts desires come true.

  • Denise
    April 30, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I’m glad yesterday was a beautiful service. I support your decision quitting your job. No need to waste one more day being unhappy. Life is too short. Get out there and do what you’ve always dreamt of doing. Try to get some rest.

  • Brooke
    April 30, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Good for you for taking a step to make your life a better one. It is too short to be wasted. You are completely right. You and John have taught me so much in the past few days. I never knew him, but I think he will be helping me to do more of the things I love and less of the things that bring me pain.
    You are so strong!

  • Sammie
    April 30, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Sounds like a wonderful service to honor a great young man. I think it is great that you got out of a job that just wasn’t doing it for you. You really are a great writer and if that is what makes you tic then you will be much happier. I love your tattoo idea – it will look beautiful.
    Sending you and your family lots of hugs all the way from MA.

  • Heather
    April 30, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Jenna, I’m glad everything went well at the service. You are so right about everything. Good for you for doing what is right for you. You should not be going through life doing something you don’t enjoy, and that is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately too. You are a great writer πŸ™‚ Take care of yourself. You look beautiful by the way.

  • Brittany
    April 30, 2009 at 10:40 am

    It’s so great to hear that 600 people came to celebrate John’s life and show support to you and your family! Stay strong!!

    I am also so glad that you decided to do what is best for you with your working situation. No amount of of $ is worth a job that makes you miserable. I can’t wait to see what you will be doing with all your free time/ where your career will take you next. Good luck!

  • Mindy
    April 30, 2009 at 10:41 am

    First of all, I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog too. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that before. I actually found this blog through another food/exercise blog, and loved yours so much I stopped following the other one. Your positivity in every blog post is uplifting and so inspirational to many of us blog readers out there. I had no idea you were so miserable at your job.. but who wouldn’t be miserable waking up at 3am everyday?! I also wanted to share with you that I signed up for my first 5K run..! Ever since you signed up for your first 5K, I’ve wanted to try one but I’ve been too scared. Time to man up! πŸ˜‰ I love the tattoo idea you came up with.. it seems so fitting, and the wrist is the perfect place (i have one tattoo on each wrist as a matter of fact). And lastly, I’m happy for you that you had a good cleansing cry.. cry when you feel the urge and don’t fight it.

  • greenbean
    April 30, 2009 at 10:51 am

    you are grabbing life in ways that i wish i was brave enough to do. i love it! thanks for living it out, Jenna!

  • Mindy in CO
    April 30, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Jenna, you are such an inspiration. Your passion for life is blossoming… even when thrown such a curve ball as the last couple days have been. I think your brother smiling from above. He will always be with you, a guardian angel watching over his big sister. Sending your prayers, with love. Big hug.

  • amanda
    April 30, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Its awesome you quit! Dont stay with something you hate! I always had a feeling u didnt like it anyways, i mean getting up at 3 am is INSANE. I am glad u want to be a writer, you are obviously good at it, your posts are always interesting and informative and easy to read which is a must! I wish you all the best! =)

  • Kailey (SnackFace)
    April 30, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Sweet Jenna,
    I’m not sure where to start. You are so incredibly courageous and beautiful for coping with this the best you can. Your letting go and sobbing was the ultimate release your soul needed.

    I think it’s so great you’ve quit a job that truly wasn’t making you happy. I was never sure whether you really loved that job, but I thought you were amazing for getting up at 3 a.m. every day to bake delicious bread. I am 100% behind your choice to be what you’re meant to be–a writer.

    The tattoo will be perfect! I’m so glad you’ve found the perfect thing to get. I’m also glad you’ve been surrounded by your amazing family and friends. Jenna,you’re in my thoughts constantly, and I’m still praying for you. I send my love.

  • Julia
    April 30, 2009 at 11:12 am

    You are such a strong and courageous woman! It sounds like the service for John was beautiful. I’m glad you just let yourself cry, sometimes we all need that! Congratulations on your job epiphany! You’re in my thoughts and prayers!

  • Allison K.
    April 30, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Jenna, of all your posts in the past couple of days this one moved me the most. I’ve never lost a sibling, but am no stranger to tragic death. My cousin died in a skiing accident 4 years ago and her death really rocked my world. So much of what you’ve said about your brother reminds me of my cousin, loving life, and loving people. I know that no one wishes for a death to change their lives, but I am glad that you are going back to what makes you happy, and that this event has helped you to focus on what will make your life the most fulfilled. I can’t wait to see your tattoo for your brother. I have one for my cousin..and it’s might be my favorite of all of mine, for it’s meaning.
    God Bless you and your family Jenna.

  • runeatrepeat
    April 30, 2009 at 11:19 am

    I am so sorry that I can’t do anything to make you feel better. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    Good for you for quitting your job and doing what is best for you. I know it wasn’t easy. I call it a quarter-life crisis and I had one too recently. Hang in there.

  • Megan C.
    April 30, 2009 at 11:20 am

    My roommate and I have been reading your blog for many months now and love the food, the running… you just seem so real and kind. You are an amazing woman, I’m so sorry for your loss. I love the dress alive with the colors of the ocean – and I’m so glad you quit your job! Even from LA, you have people in your corner rooting for you. Take care and cry as much as you need!

  • Cindy
    April 30, 2009 at 11:23 am

    My heart goes out to you and your family. There really aren’t words to give someone who goes through something like this. But I hope you all are coping as best you can and celebrating what life your brother did have. You all are in my prayers.

  • Gabriela
    April 30, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Like many others I have been following this whole ordeal. I envy your strength and ability to deal with this like you have been dealing.
    This post was so honest, and sincere. And that is what makes a good writer.
    Even though we have never met or talked, I feel like I know you just from following your blog. I cried many times just reading your posts and imagining what you must be going through.
    You can do it! You can go through this. You are incredibly strong, and seem to be SUCH a good person. I can tell you have a good heart and a good head on your shoulders.
    Good luck, and like many others I’m thinking of you and your family.

  • SmA033
    April 30, 2009 at 11:49 am

    oh jenna…i don’t comment on blogs often. in fact, one of the first times i did was on the post when you first told us your brother passed. But, after reading today, i felt like i had to say something. your last few posts have moved me to the center of my core. i cannot even BEGIN to imagine what you & your family must be going thru…my thoughts were exactly as you said it: “can we not rewind to a week ago??” but things like this just show us how little we are in control of our lives. Everything is in God’s hands & He KNOWS what you’re going thru & what you’re going to go thru. A friend once said a very simple line to me: “God is always there. He KNOWS, even if you don’t” it helps to think that this is God’s will, no matter how unfair it might be. i applaud you for your efforts to DO something as a result of this tragedy. And i DEFINITELY applaud you for quitting your job & going back to what you love. Even in the blogs, one could tell you were miserable at that job. You should definitely take this tragic accident as a sign that life is too short to be lived miserably. Know that my thoughts & prayers are with you.

  • Rebeca
    April 30, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Jenna, I think we all wish we could take your pain away… but I know God will help heal your heart… I’m glad you let out some of your emotions…

    I never knew John but the young man you describe was wonderful. The joy he brought to people will not be forgotten!

    Take care,

  • Meredith
    April 30, 2009 at 11:59 am

    wow, 600 people. what a beautiful, fitting tribute to your brother.

    and congrats to you, for making the decision to quit your job and pursue something you truly love! so many people are paralyzed by fear to do what they WANT to do rather than what is easy or what they think they SHOULD do.

    “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. ” -Goethe

  • Stef
    April 30, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I’m so glad the service was beautiful and exactly how John would have wanted it, I KNOW he was looking down and smiling at all of you! I’m also so happy that you slowed down and walked! It sounds like that was just what you needed, and it allowed for the tattoo idea to slip into your mind! I believe in signs, and I think that was a loud and clear one! I’m sorry you had to go through the emotional drop after everyone had left, but I think it was so necessary for you to have a good cry! You must have needed that catharsis! Grief counseling with your family is a great idea, I hope you find it helpful. CONGRATS on quitting your job! If you weren’t happy there (actually you sounded MORE than unhappy, flat out miserable!) then it absolutely was not the place for you! Life is short, as you obviously are far too aware of, and you deserve to love where you work and not have it bring you down! You’re a great writer, and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

  • Amy
    April 30, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Jenna, It sounds like the service was beautiful. I think the tattoo sounds wonderful. I’m so proud of you for following your heart and looking out for your happiness. You’re so true that life is too short to be unhappy.

  • Lauressa
    April 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm


    I have never posted before- but I read your blog everyday and have been praying for you since I read about your brothers passing. You are a strong girl, I can really see how God has been your strength! It will seem like some days you can’t go on – but you hold on to that strength and know that someday you will see your brother and your Saviour. I lost my dad a few months ago to cancer- we had a short 3 months to prepare for him being gone- I can’t imagine the shock of what you went through with just in a second your brother was gone. I wish I could go tell my dad to go find your brother in Heaven and give him a big hug:) who knows maybe they are friends:) What a lovely family and all the close friends you have to help you go on. I love your blog- take care my friend! You looked lovely in your bright dress:)

  • katecooks
    April 30, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    your tattoo, outfit, food, ceremony…all sound incredibly perfect and beautiful. quitting your job will be a wonderful start of new and wonderful things to come, especially now when you should be surrounded by good things, not something that makes you stressed and unhappy. and just think, you had us all fooled with your positive attitude…you are just such a supremely happy, joyous person, and deserve that from everything you undertake as well.

  • Linda
    April 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Good for you for listening to your inner voice and what you truly want to do! That’s not always the easiest thing and I applaud you for it, life is way too short. The ceremony looks like it was just amazing and beautiful. Your brother truly does sound like he was an angel on this Earth. A co-worker of mine lost her 17 year old son to a head on collision a year and a half ago. It was heart wrenching and his memorial service was overflowing with soooo many people who wanted to pay their respects to his life. Sounds very much like your brother. I don’t understand why these lives are taken so young especially when they are doing such good here on Earth. Maybe the impact of their passing is to be a catalyst for our lives, like you quitting your job and finding your passion. Or as I wrote on here before: to remember that life is too short for holding grudges, holding onto anger, not saying I love You to someone, not finding your dream job etc. . . Once again I am in awe of your honesty with us, trust me when I say this has impacted me and my life. I don’t even know you or your family and this has left a lasting impression on me because of your words! Thank you Jenna from my heart.

  • Joy
    April 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Jenna! I honestly got a huge smile on my face when you said you quit your job. I never got the vibe you were fully enjoying it and i always thought of how tired you must be and how it sucks you have to go to bed early on a sunday night πŸ™ I have a strong feeling this was definitely a good decision for you, this horrible experience was an eye opener of how you shouldn’t spend your time doing something you hate. So I say congratulations!

    I’m so glad the service went as well as possible and so many people came to show their love. Of course John was there, he had front row seats to see how much he’s loved and missed. You looked beautiful and Mikey is so adorable!!! Hang in there girl, love you <3

  • Kodi
    April 30, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Jenna, Prayers and Hugs coming your way. You inspire us all and you are a wonderful gift to your friends and family. You are rich in so many ways- no need for a job you don’t love! I think the tattoo sounds awesome! Lots of Love, Kodi

  • Anne P
    April 30, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Keep your head up, Jenna. We are here for you, and so proud of you doing what’s right for you to make yourself happy. That must have been such a hard day… but it sounds like it was everything he would have wanted it to be and more. Obviously many, many people were touched by him and I know he’s up there watching with a smile. Hopefully there are sick waves in heaven πŸ™‚

  • SawSaw
    April 30, 2009 at 2:23 pm


    I’m so happy that you are going to fufill your dream to be a writer, even it is hard at first.. I know your brother would be so proud of your decision, I know he is smiling down at you and I know he is lifting you up.


  • Jen
    April 30, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Your tattoo sounds perfect, Jenna. John will never ever leave your side. I wish with all my heart that I could give you every ounce of strength in me, anything to make you stronger during this time.

    I think it’s a brave, scary thing to pursue what you truly love. But life is worth so little if you don’t try brave, scary things. We only have this one life, and it can be taken from us so quickly. So I wholly support your decision to quit Greenwise. Pursue your happiness, Jenna. It’s the only thing that matters in the end.

    Thinking of you and your family with nothing but hope and love and prayers.

  • Heather
    April 30, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    The service sounded wonderful. It’s great to hear that you had so many wonderful people there for you at this horrible time. Glad to hear you quit your job, especially if it wasn’t making you happy. I wish I had the same courage/strength.

  • Marisa
    April 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Jenna – you are such a beautiful writer, this post moved me to tears. Follow your heart. You and your family continue to be in my prayers.

  • Lauren
    April 30, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I have just recently found your blog and been following along. First I want to say I am sincerely sorry for your loss and cannot imagine losing my younger brother. May God bless you and your family.
    It looks like you are recieving very much encouragement.

    The ONE LUCKY DUCK food looks amazing..can’t wait to hear about it.

    Lots of Love and blessings…

  • Erin
    April 30, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Oh Jenna, my heart goes out to you reading this post. I just know your brother is in a better place, that is wonderful so many turned out for the service and I am glad you had the strength to leave your old job. It will take time but everything will be ok.

  • Anna
    April 30, 2009 at 4:00 pm


    I do not know you, but I am a dedicated reader of your blog and you inspire me everyday to live healthy and be a good person. I was devastated to read about your brother, but I must say, you have been so strong through this. I know you are getting your strength from John and he would be proud to see how you’ve been handling it.

    All of your posts have been beautiful and I admire you and your family for starting a fund in John’s memory. When I get paid next, I plan on making a donation.

    Also, I have been and will continue to pray for your family during this difficult time.

    Enjoy your new found time (I can’t wait to read about all of the things you will do with it!) and live your life for you (and John!) Take care. πŸ™‚

  • Jen
    April 30, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Sounds like an amazing day – I know John was smiling down on all of you from heaven. I’m so glad you finally had a good cry…it’s just so cathartic and cleansing. I remember when my FIL passed last year, my husband was being so strong, but then finally let go one night in bed and just sobbed and sobbed. I’d been wondering when it would happen and he said he felt so much better afterwards – you can only try to be strong and hold it in for so long.
    I wanted to share a poem with you that was read at my mother’s funeral 20+ years ago (I was 9 at the time). It’s always brought me comfort…hope it does for you too πŸ™‚
    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am in a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the softly falling snow.
    I am the gentle showers of rain,
    I am the fields of ripening grain.
    I am in the morning hush,
    I am in the graceful rush
    Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
    I am the starshine of the night.
    I am in the flowers that bloom,
    I am in a quiet room.
    I am in the birds that sing,
    I am in each lovely thing.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there. I do not die.

  • Michelle
    April 30, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Good for you for following your heart to do what you love. You are so right that life is too short to waste it doing something that makes you unhappy. It’s something I need to remind myself often because change can be scary (like leaving a job). It takes a lot of strength and courage to go after your dreams, and I know you will succeed!


  • Jenna
    April 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Youre so beautiful Jenna! Youre a very strong person and I admire you so much for taking the step to quit Greenwise to have a better life! Youre such an inspiration.

  • Hallie
    April 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    What a beautiful post. I totally know what you mean about being a writer and wanting to write, because that’s what I feel too. I started my blog because I needed to write something that was all for me (I write for my job but it’s not the same).

    I’m thinking about you, honey, as I know so many other bloggers and blog readers are. I don’t really pray (at this point in my life, anyway)…so you’re in my thoughts.

  • Amanda E.
    April 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I think it’s so great that you are doing exactly what you want to do. You are an inspiration to all your readers. I would have never known that you hated that job! You are such a positive person and you seem to make the best of every situation you are in. I’m so glad that you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn anymore. Thinking of you and sending you lots of good vibes.

  • Oh She Glows
    April 30, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Coming from someone who recently left a secure job too and made a huge career change…you will never ever regret following your heart. Sometimes it takes something tragic in our lives to help us see that our happiness is worth fighting for. John would be so proud of you Jenna.

  • meg
    April 30, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    HUGS to you!

  • Michelle
    April 30, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Jenna, you are such an amazing, strong, beautiful woman and an inspiration for all of us. I am so glad to hear you are taking the steps to make sure you are truly happy in your life, because as you know better than I do I’m sure, life is just too short to be unhappy. And you are such a talented writer! I’m still praying for your family and I hope that with time and all the wonderful things you’ve written about you are able to find some peace and closure.

  • Mary
    April 30, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    A million congratulations on your choice to leave a job you were not happy with and for knowing you deserve happiness!!

  • Amber
    April 30, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    this has all been so honest and I am praying for you and your family. but think you quitting your job and doing what you want really stood out for me. I am praying for you and your family because I cannot imagine how terrible this all has been but I am glad you have found some things that you have seen the light in, as in your job, we love you jenna and wish you the best, always

  • Ann
    May 1, 2009 at 9:41 am

    I’m just completely speechless. I’m sending you the BIGGEST e-hug ever to help you through this time! I’ve been thinking of you every day, and every time I read your posts I’m still amazed at how incredible you’ve been this week. You will excel at anything you choose to do because you have the will and determination. Take care.

  • Shelby
    May 1, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Hi Jenna,
    I wanted to thank you for your honesty. I know that being that forthcoming and vulnerable is scary to just send out into the world, but I so appreciate your willingness to share your journey with us on your blog. I admire your courage. The journey is messy; you’re doing it right.
    Take Care–Shelby from KS

  • Jesse
    May 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Jenna, you are so strong and inspiring. The death of your brother is tragic, and how you have used it as a means to change up your life is really inspirational. It reminds me of the following: β€œFor if a grain of wheat falls it brings forth much fruit; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (John 4:24).” To quit your job is a huge step, but you are right-life is too precious to waste more than a say doing something you love! I am glad you shared that with us, because I needed to hear that message myself! I hope the grief counsling is helpful to you and your family-grief is a process, afterall, and take your time with it! Prayers and healing energy for you and your family πŸ™‚

  • Eat, Live, Run » Blog Archive » Christmas Eve 2009
    December 24, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    […] I quit my job to focus on writing […]

  • A.C
    March 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

    I read your post whilst at starbucks this morning and broke down in tears at the table. I have read your blog for a while, you write and cook so beautifuly and have such a sunny manner that I’m sure brightens the lives of everyone you know. Please know that even miles away from you here in London there are people thinking of you, praying for you and hoping that your sunny brightness never fades