Breakfast/ Dessert/ Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness/ Lunch

Keep Truckin’

Again, your kind words have touched our hearts today. All throughout the day I would sit and read your comments, emails and messages and it brought solace. I just feel so empty…like I could never laugh or have fun again and I know I’ll never be the same again. I actually did take pictures of my food today felt good to do something “normal” (how normal is taking pictures of your food?!) and I ate more than yesterday.

Breakfast was oatmeal….1/2 cup oats with 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, 1 banana, 1 tbsp flax and raw almond butter


It felt good and strange at the same time to eat oats again. When was the last time I had oats? Yesterday? Last week? Last year? It feels like an eternity.

Lunch was leftovers, obviously. Thank God someone brought over the largest bucket of hummus I’ve ever seen. Seriously, it was an 8 lb bucket. And good salad. With greens, blue cheese, candied walnuts and dried cranberries.

You all are going to get mad, but I ran today. I couldn’t help it. I needed it more than anything. My uncle is a marathon runner and just having him in the house talking to me about my future race and training made me NEED to get out there. I think I’ve rested for 2 1/2 weeks now? Regardless, I just did 20 minutes on the treadmill upstairs and felt no pain in my shins although I don’t think I would have cared if I did. My uncle was like, “you want to run 10 miles tomorrow?” and I’m like “uhhhhhhh I wish!”

After I ran I ate a fruit leather and greeted more of John’s friends, who have been stopping by all day. Such amazing friends. All those boys just wrapped my mom and I in their arms and sobbed with us. They loved John so so so much and we all laughed and cried for hours talking about funny memories and the good times.

Dinner was cold salmon, macaroni and cheese and more salad with hummus. I also had a glass of red wine.


And I’ve had not one, not two but THREE of these cookies today. They are “mini” chocolate chip but, seriously, the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had! I don’t know what made them so good but everyone else said they were the best they have ever tasted too. The whole bag of them is now gone and I’m glad!


I’m with Ryan and Dexter right now. I’m not tired but am going to try to sleep. Tomorrow we have more family coming in town and we are meeting with the church for the memorial service, which will be Wednesday afternoon. John is being cremated and we are scattering his ashes at his favorite surf spot in Vero Beach, FL in about three weeks. Wednesday will just be a celebration of his life with all those close to us.

Thank you all again for your thoughts, prayers and comments. That, and reading John’s facebook wall where all his friends are writing in to him, has kept me going today. My family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts. May God be with you all.

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  • emily
    April 26, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    You are amazing Jenna, my thoughts were with you and your family all day. One of my best friends overdosed a few years ago and his Facebook page is still open – his wall has turned into a wonderful memorial for all of the people he touched. His mother signed up for a Facebook account so she could see what people were writing, if your parents don’t already have an account you might want to help them create one.

  • Kristen
    April 26, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Hang in there, Jenna. I can tell just by reading your blog that you have such a kind, caring, wonderful spirit about you and I know you will make it through this painful time. Remember God is with you always.

  • J
    April 26, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Jenna: I have never commeted before, but I read your blog daily. This tragedy that has unfortunately come to your family has truly saddened me and I feel for you and your family. As someone who has also lost a brother at a young age, I sympathize with you to the true extent of the word. I’m from Tampa and also read about your loss in the papers. I have read each of your posts a few times and cried for you and your family. I don’t “know” you but I have been sad for you and your family all weekend. Stay strong and grieve in whatever way you feel you need to. Also, helpful to you and your parents, you may want to research the stages of grieving. You said you have never lost anyone, and this may help you to understand what and why you are feeling certain feelings at certain times. You are in my thoughts continuously.

  • Kimberly
    April 26, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    So glad you are hanging in there… sounds like you are doing as well as can be expected. I have to admit that this observation: “Thank God someone brought over the largest bucket of hummus I’ve ever seen”, made me chuckle. It’s such a bizarre norm to be surrounded by humongous vats of food during times of crisis.

    And you know what? If running is what you need right now, then get your butt out there and run!! In times like these, self-imposed rules go out the window and everything comes second to your mental and emotional needs. Sending your whole fam my love, sweet girl.

  • martha ann
    April 26, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I have been thinking about you and praying for you throughout the day. You and your family are never far from my mind. “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” (Deut. 33:12)

  • Victoria
    April 26, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I am so heartened to read that you have such wonderful support Jenna. Your family is truly a blessing.

  • erinbeth
    April 26, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    jenna, i’ve never left you a comment before even though i read you religiously. i want to tell you that my heart is breaking for you and your family. what an awful, maddening tragedy for such a beautiful young life. i’m praying for the peace that only our father can bring you, for healing and strength as you endure the next week which may prove to be especially difficult, and for hope that all things WILL work together for good. maybe not now. maybe not for a long time. but through this awful situation GOD will receive glory and your walk will grow. i want to send a song suggestion, too. that’s what i do when tragedy hits me. i run and i sing, and i cry out to GOD, and i come home sweaty but with a renewed soul. Times by 10th Avenue North is a favorite. hugs~e

  • Allie Katie
    April 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    We are all with you, Jenna. You are in my prayers, as is John. Much love to you and your family.

  • kristin
    April 26, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Wow…Jenna! Thanks for sharing all that’s been going on with all of us! I wish there was a way to make it all better. God redeems all things and will redeem this situation as well! In the meantime, keep seeking comfort in Him–“the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…” (2 Cor 1:3-4)

  • Tiffany
    April 26, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    You’re a trooper with a great spirit, and I’m positive John had the same spirit. I’m glad you and your family are able to remain close through all this. I still remember the post you wrote about your brother’s birthday at his favorite mexican (??) restaurant. Don’t forget to go there and celebrate him 🙂

  • Rachel
    April 26, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Jenna, I just read the last few days’ posts and I am so sorry to hear your terrible news. My grandfather died suddenly and accidentally last year, so I understand the shock and disbelief that you must be feeling. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • FoodsThatFit
    April 26, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Jenna girl-

    I am so glad you the support of Ryan, friends, and family at this time. I just have been thinking of you all constantly and am keeping you and your family in my prayers. Hang in there my friend and know that you are loved.


  • h-bomb
    April 26, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I just wanted to say you’re in my thoughts and prayers. I’ve only been reading your blog for a little while but I know you are such a kind and caring person. You’re writing is beautiful and I just wanted to wish you the best. Keep doing what keeps your happy and normal, I’m sure your brother would have wanted that. Keep your chin up.

  • Krista
    April 26, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Stay positive and strong Jenna. You are an inspiration to us all. Eat whenever and whatever you want. Run if that makes you feel better, it is all part of the healing process. At a time like this, it’s the little, simple, routine things in life that provide comfort for us. Hang in there girl, we’re all thinking of you.

  • Renee
    April 26, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Jenna, like so many first time commenters within the past two days, I have been an avid reader and fan of your blog for several months now. I was so sorry to hear of your brother’s passing and pray that you and your family find comfort and closure during this immensely difficult time.

  • Jenn
    April 26, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    I’ve been lurking the last few months, but just wanted to say how sorry I am about your loss. It’s always a tragedy when someone so young and full of promise is lost through such a freak and sudden accident. I hope you, your family and everyone else who loved John (and it sounds like there were many) is able to rejoice in the happiness of his life while also grieving the sadness of his loss. Grief is a powerful and overwhelming feeling and the most important thing is to acknowledge it and take as long as you need to work through it with the support of those around you. Take care. x

  • Jenny
    April 26, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Keep doing whatever you need to do right now Jenna. You have been so incredibly strong, and I pray that God continues to provide your family with support and comfort.

  • *Andrea*
    April 26, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    you are SO STRONG jenna. i admire you so much you have no idea! your faith in god and love for your family is truly inspiring and i have so much faith that you will make positive steps and do what is good for you. xo

  • Nora
    April 26, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    I really appreciate your continuing to write about your day. Keep doing whatever it is that you need to do that gives you strength. I continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.

  • Run Sarah
    April 26, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    You are continually in my prayers — your faith in God will keep you strong, and He will guide you through this difficult time.

  • Meghan
    April 26, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Oh Jenna, I know from personal experience that there are absolutely no words that you can say to exactly describe the way you feel right now and there are no words that anyone else can say to make you or your family feel any better. This is an incredibly difficult and even confusing time. You and your family are so strong. Things won’t ever be the same, but they will get much better. Living your life in honor and memory of John is the best gift to yourself, your loved ones and John that you can give. You’re already amazing and strong in a time such as this, but also remember to take time for yourself. Running might be what you need right now, and that’s a-okay. Hang in there!

  • Brynn
    April 26, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    You and your family will be in my thoughts this week. I’m sending my love and support your way.

  • Abbey
    April 26, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    God Jenna, there is really something extremely unique and strong within you. Most of us only wish to have HALF the courage and grace you have showed when thrown into such a horrible, horrible situation.

    Honestly, you should know how amazing you are.

    I can’t imagine what you’re going through and I’ve been praying for you and your family. You’ve got a lot of people on here supporting you and don’t ever forget that. Your brother seemed like the type of person who really lived life, and it was very inspiring to read about him. I feel honored that you’d share a little piece of his life with me, and I’m sure other readers feel the same way.

    Stay strong honey, we’re all here for you and praying for you.

    <333 Abbey

  • Bec
    April 26, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    All weekend I’ve been thinking of you and your family, I am very glad that you have such great people in your life to help you in this difficult time.

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy)
    April 26, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    I bet that run felt fantastic! I’m not mad at you for that at all 😉
    I am always happy to see irresistible treats disappear from my house too. I can pretend they never existed!
    Thinking of and praying for you!

  • Moran (The Running Addict)
    April 26, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Bless you, Jenna, for being strong! I KNOW God is with you and your family and will help you in this horrible time!
    I am so glad you were able to run, too. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Anne P
    April 26, 2009 at 10:55 pm


    I just wanted to share this passage with you that was read at my grandfather’s memorial in August. It is beautiful. It brought me some solace; I hope it might do the same for you and your family.

    Death Is Nothing At All

    Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way that you always used. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it.

    Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.

    All is well.

    — Henry Scott Holland

  • Alisa - One Frugal Foodie
    April 26, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    The comment about “how normal is it to take pictures of your food?” made me smile. I think in the food blogger world it is scarily normal.

    Thanks for sharing in your writing. It sounds like you have an incredible support system.

  • Laurel
    April 26, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Jenna, I’m am so sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in my prayers. God be with all of you in this time of grieving. He will grant you strength and healing.

  • Samantha
    April 26, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    You’re a beautiful woman inside and out Ms. Jenna…an inspiration to many! We prayed for you and your family at Bible Study today.

    PS, that cookie looks amazing! 😉

  • Kailey (SnackFace)
    April 26, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Jenna, you are absolutely amazing. Thank you for writing and thank you for posting. It seems odd to even try to comment on the food aspect, but I was totally with you about how normal is it really to take pics of food. It does seem odd when put like that, but it FEELS odd not taking pics. I’d be sitting nearby the 8lb vat of hummus, for sure.

    Also, I say run if it’s what your mind, body and soul is needing! I wouldn’t yell at you at all for that.

    Anyway, I hope you find some rest tonight. I’m thinking about you and praying for you and your family.

  • Nicole
    April 26, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    I have commented all of one time in the past, though I read your blog daily. I always come to your blog because you come across as an amazing and kind human being, I can only imagine your brother was the same. This is a terrible tragedy, and my heart aches that you or anyone must go through it. My thoughts are with you and your family, you seem to be an amazingly strong woman, who will of course make it through this.

  • Elizabeth
    April 26, 2009 at 11:29 pm


    I read your blog nearly everyday but have only commented a couple of times. Know that I am praying for you and your family during this tough time. Trust and take comfort in that your brother is now walking streets of gold with our Lord and Savior by his side. Trust in the Lord that he will, with time, bring you peace and laughter again.

  • Jen
    April 26, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    I’m so floored by your strength, Jenna. I smiled when I read that you and your family are scattering John’s ashes at his favorite surf spot.

    Be sure to take care of yourself, okay? And trust that you and your family are in my thoughts.

  • amanda
    April 26, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Still in everyones prayers! and its ok that you ran =)

  • Stef
    April 26, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    I’m glad you ran and took pictures of your food today, you probably desperately NEEDED some normalcy and routine to get you through the day. 8 lb bucket of hummus doesn’t hurt either! I’m keeping all of you in my prayers, and I hope that your parents are holding up ok, it must be so awful to lose a child but thank God they have you.

  • Alison
    April 26, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    I too, am amazed by how strong and wonderful you are – even what has to be the absolute worst of times.

    I have thought about you and your family so much over the past few days – and it just made me think – your brother, who was obviously such a wonderful person as well, has touched more lives than either of you will ever know. I feel as though I have had a big reality check into how fragile life can be, and have been treating each day and each person a little kinder because of it. John will live on not only through you and your family, but also through all the readers like myself, who will forever remember you and your brother.

    Please take care of yourself, and do whatever makes you smile in these next few days. We are all thinking of and praying for you.

  • Lyn
    April 27, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Hugs, Jenna, I am so sorry. I am glad you have his friends to comfort you.

  • Manda
    April 27, 2009 at 12:15 am

    WOW, just WOW… You amaze me everytime you post. I am so glad that you feel comfortable enough to write about recent events. Also, I definitely felt your pain today. When others suffer, I can’t help but make myself feel (even if only a fraction) what I perceive to be their feelings. My brother is very similar to yours, and I have been imagining what it would be like without him. Probably not the best thing to say at the moment, but my main goal is to tell you how much your writing has meant. Keep truckin’ Miss Jenna, you are awfully inspiring!

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous
    April 27, 2009 at 12:17 am

    I am glad that you are finding comfort in our messages Jenna… we are all continuously thinking of you! This cannot be an easy time. I am glad you got out for a run.. sometimes we need that to help us let out negative energy. Hang in there. xo

  • Michelle Hisae
    April 27, 2009 at 12:21 am

    I’m glad you’re doing a bit better. One step at a time, babe. You seem to have so much support around you. Embrace that.

  • Brooke M
    April 27, 2009 at 12:34 am

    I wish I had started a blog earlier (I’m thinking of starting one soon) so I could have started commenting before this tragedy occurred. But I wanted to say again how much I enjoy reading your entries and taking inspiration from you and your healthy lifestyle. You and your family and your brother’s story have been in my thoughts all day as I kept thinking how quickly things happen that stops us in our tracks. As I said in a comment earlier, my mom’s boyfriend of 5 years passed away last weekend and death and heaven have been on my mind all week. It was so scary seeing my mom so weak but its incredible how strong she is right now. It is great to hear your positivity and how you are surrounded by your loved ones. I will keep praying for you and your family to heal. (I go to an all-girls Catholic high school and will give you special intentions tomorrow 🙂 )

  • Amy
    April 27, 2009 at 12:55 am

    I am commenting for the first time because I have to tell you how incredibly sorry I am for what you and your family are going through. It is an unthinkable tragedy and although time will help to dull the pain, it will never go away. I have been reading your blog for over a year and have always been impressed with your strength and positive attitude. Your motivation, passion, and the overall way you approach life is an inspiration to us all.
    My fiancee lost his parents in a house fire a year ago and it was the hardest thing I have ever been through. I wish I could say something to help, but I know that the pain is unbearable. It sounds like you have an amazing family and support system and my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Kate
    April 27, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Jenna, I have been thinking and praying for your family over the past few days. I remembered this poem that I had heard once called God’s Lent Child, and thought I would share it with you. It’s a little long but fitting I feel. You’re an inspiration Jenna, to me in every which way, and I hope you know in your heart that things will get better, and that time is a healer but your brother will never be forgotten.

    God’s Lent Child.

    “I’ll lend you for a little while
    A child of mine” God said –
    For you to love the while he lives
    and mourn for when he’s dead.
    It may be six or seven years
    or forty two or three
    but will you, till I call him back,
    take care of him for me?

    He’ll bring his charms to gladden you
    and, should his stay be brief,
    you’ll have his nicest memories
    as solace for his grief.
    I cannot promise he will stay,
    since all from earth return
    but, there are lessons taught below,
    I want this child to learn.

    I’ve looked the whole world over,
    in my search for teachers true,
    and from the things that crowd life’s lane
    I have chosen you.
    Now will you give him all your love,
    nor think the labour vain,
    nor hate me when I come to take
    this lent child back again?

    I fancied that I heard them say,
    “Dear Lord Thy Will Be Done”
    for all the joys thy child will bring
    the risk of grief will run.
    We’ll shelter him with tenderness,
    we’ll love him while we may,
    and for the happiness we’ve known
    forever grateful stay.
    But, should thy Angels call for him
    much sooner than we planned,
    we’ll brave the grief that comes
    and try to understand.

  • ash
    April 27, 2009 at 3:17 am

    Jenna, you are such a strong person, you are amazing

    god bless

  • Kim
    April 27, 2009 at 3:22 am

    You are so amazing. You are haning in there. doing everything right.

  • Hannah
    April 27, 2009 at 3:27 am

    I’m adding my thoughts and condolences for you and your family to this pool of love and support. I have only recently begun reading your blog, and have been reading from the beginning, treating it as an inspiring life story, so have never commented before. I am in Australia -please know that there are thoughts of support being sent your way from all over the world. Stay strong.

  • tami
    April 27, 2009 at 4:30 am

    we held his hand for awhile, his heart forever
    that is written my brother’s stone
    take care jenna

  • Angela
    April 27, 2009 at 4:51 am

    That is the perfect idea for his ashes– he would love it.
    I’m glad you are eating a bit, try to get some rest. Stay strong, and never forget that John will always be in our hearts and he will be watching over you and your family.

  • MizFit
    April 27, 2009 at 4:54 am

    Praying for you Jenna.
    I can not imagine there is a thing I can do but do not hesitate to ask if there is.


  • haya
    April 27, 2009 at 5:03 am

    it’s good to try and maintain some semblance of “normal” in the middle of something rips your life up from the roots and spins it around a bunch. it’s the only way you won’t lose your mind.
    hang in there and remember to take good care of yourself (or even to let others do this for you).

  • megan
    April 27, 2009 at 5:06 am

    Thinking of you all.
    Keep busy and focused on your brother’s memorial and friends.
    In the weeks ahead spending time with John’s friends may be a thing that will make you feel closer to him and bring some comfort hearing their stories about him.Your stories will bring comfort to them that is for sure.
    I am wishing you even more courage and strength for the days and weeks and year ahead after the service.It gets a bit toughter then.Yes you are brave and strong,but embrace the vulnerable and weaker times as well,as they are all part of human grief process.Don’t feel you have to be strong all the time-we all can see how incredibly brave and strong you ARE.You are truly a kind and loving sister.

  • katie s
    April 27, 2009 at 5:10 am

    Jenna, I am in awe of how gracefully you are handling this. It has to be one of the worst things that will happen to you in your life and I don’t think I would be able to handle it half as well as you. I’m so glad you’re so blessed with such a fantastic community and family. We are all here for you and will keep you in our thoughts. Stay strong.

  • Glidingcalm
    April 27, 2009 at 5:20 am

    We love you.

  • Cathy
    April 27, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Reading this post reminds me of the morning of my brother’s funeral. I went for a run and a co-worker saw me. I was afraid that she would think I was a terrible person. When I saw her a couple days later I almost was trying to avoid her out of embarrassment. She assured me that I was not disrespectful, but incredibly healthy to continue to try to take care of myself.
    She really admired me and I have never forgotten that.
    We all feel as if we know you just by reading your blog as you share so much of your life. We share your pain and pray for you!

  • Julia
    April 27, 2009 at 5:30 am

    You have definitely Kept Truckin’. You and your family are in my thoughts constantly. I think you are doing an amazing job handling this, and I’m proud of you for using running to cope, because this is a time when you need those things that make you feel human and remind you of who you are. Don’t forget to lean on those you love.

  • daria
    April 27, 2009 at 5:48 am

    please hang in there darling
    i have been a reader for about a year if not more and when i heard about your loss i felt shatered becasause i feel like i know you
    my prayers are for you and your whole family
    it is very mysterious of why terrible things happend to wonderful people
    i wish we had the answer
    i am sending you all my love and support

  • Erin
    April 27, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Jenna, I am glad to see you can find some normalcy in all this. Don’t feel bad about doing whatever you need to do to get through it. I don’t know exactly what you’re going through, but I know it is a difficult time in so many ways. Everything seems weird and doing normal things is difficult. I know you will get through this though, you are so strong!

  • sandy
    April 27, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Deepest sympathy to every soul that John touched in some way in his young life.I do believe he will watch over you Jenna and be a loving influence in your life forever. May you feel the warmth of his presence at sunrise and sunset.

  • Brittney
    April 27, 2009 at 6:04 am

    I don’t think anyone can get too mad at you running. Considering the circumstances, I bet it felt good. It’s amazing that even though I don’t know you and have rarely commented, I found myself thinking about how you were doing a few times over the weekend. Just know that you have lots of people in the blogging world thinking and praying for you. I know you said in an entry yesterday that you were sorry for being so depressing or something along those lines and, honestly, that’s something you shouldn’t even worry about. I’m sure everyone who reads this blog understands and are more than willing to listen (or I guess read?) to you vent.

  • Christine
    April 27, 2009 at 6:15 am


    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year, and I just want to say I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family. I will be praying for you.

  • Katrina (gluten free gidget)
    April 27, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Thank you for sharing yourself so openly with us. You are such a strong, Godly woman. I will coninue to pray for you and your family, especially on Wednesday.
    I know what you mean about needing to run. I’m not even a runner, but when the heart is hurting it is such a release. Do what you need to do. God is holding you closer than ever.

  • Elizabeth
    April 27, 2009 at 6:26 am

    What good kids. John’s school sounds like good people run it too.
    I still can’t believe this happened to your family and I wish that it hadn’t, but I am so happy at all the love your community is pouring out.

  • Amanda E.
    April 27, 2009 at 6:29 am

    I’ve been thinking of you and your family since Saturday morning. I keep you in my heart and head all day long. You are, as always, and with everything you do, an inspiration.

  • Shelly
    April 27, 2009 at 6:33 am

    I read your blog on a daily basis. I’m not much of a commenter – more of a lurker. My apologies for that – I should comment more often.
    I was so suprised to read your posts this morning. I am so sorry to hear of your brother’s accident. I wish I could personally be there to offer my sympathy because you seem like such a wonderful person and I would love to wrap my arms around you and tell you that the pain will ease with time.
    My thoughts a prayers are with you and your family.

  • Yasmin
    April 27, 2009 at 6:37 am

    I am glad to hear that you are surrounded by family and friends during this time. Keep your spirit alive!

  • runjen
    April 27, 2009 at 6:40 am

    You are such an amazing woman, Jenna. It’s amazing how your strength and grace just comes through so clearly in your writing. You have been in my thoughts more than you know over the past couple of days. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. And I say running is the best therapy there is so do it up girl!

  • Melissa
    April 27, 2009 at 6:44 am

    My heart goes out to your and your family during this time. I just can’t imagine how devestated you all must be feeling. I will be praying for you and that you will have peace through the coming days.

  • Alyssa
    April 27, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Jenna, do whatever you need to do! It’s great to se how much John was loved. I feel some of your pain, I found out last night that my dog is dying and probably won’t have more than a few weeks, if that. We’re all here for you!!!

  • Gloria
    April 27, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am so amazed by your strength and it’s wonderful to hear that you are doing well. Running was a great choice – you need to do what is going to make you happy and I think 2 and a half weeks is enough time to heal. Once again, I know I’m a new reader and have only commented a few times but still you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Sarah M
    April 27, 2009 at 6:53 am


    If you feel like running, you should definitely run. And if you feel the need to eat all 8lbs of that hummas, then that is ok too. Cookies for breakfast are fine as well in times like these! In all seriousness, if little things like this will make you feel the tiniest bit of comfort, then take advantage of that.

    You are a very strong person. Your brother was so lucky to have had you as a sister. Lean on Ryan or friends & family if and when you need to. And know that all your blog friends are praying for you.


  • meg
    April 27, 2009 at 6:54 am

    Continued hugs, thoughts, and prayers for you and your family. I think it is a good and healthy thing that you ran, so don’t feel bad about it. The scattering of your brother’s ashes at his favorite place is beautiful and I am sure exactly what he would have wanted.

  • Kara
    April 27, 2009 at 6:54 am

    I am so glad that you are getting the support from John’s friends and your family. I have been thinking about you all weekend and will continue thinking about you. xo

  • mi
    April 27, 2009 at 6:57 am

    jenna, i really would like you to know that even though we have never interacted (apart from those couple of emails concerning donation for your race) you and your family have not left my thoughts ever since i read of your terrible loss. i have honestly been thinking of you every hour.
    i tried to do the best i could to celebrate John’s life – i typed in “brother” in your search box, and read every single post in which you mentioned him (and there were lots!). i have pretty much read everything you’ve written in this blog, and this allowed me to reread those times of when you were excited to take cinnamon rolls/muffins/other sweet baked goods home to him because he loved them so much, and about when he was going to wash/wax your car for your birthday, and how he declared your homemade vegetarian pizza “the best pizza ever” even while probably not knowing what the word “vegetarian” means, and the time he ran you a lovely bubble bath after your first day at a new job….. i am so happy that you shared all these wonderful times with him with us.
    you are such an incredibly strong & inspirational woman, i don’t doubt that John had the same strength of character and spirit (he looks so much like you in those photos too!).
    much love.

  • Anais
    April 27, 2009 at 7:00 am

    I can completely understand why you felt the need to run, and at this point it seems like the positive of it outweighed the negative, so don’t feel too bad about it! You will get through this! *hug*

  • weight and meditate
    April 27, 2009 at 7:00 am

    It’s so good to keep hearing from you, Jenna, please know we’re all continuing to think of you and your family.

  • Shelly
    April 27, 2009 at 7:05 am

    I am SO sorry for your loss. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  • lauren
    April 27, 2009 at 7:12 am

    jenna, my heart really goes out to you and your family. your all in my prayers. Im glad your surrounded by family and close friends, support is probably good right now. dont feel bad about running at all, its something you wanted to do and with everything, thats more than ok .
    were all thinking of you here, take care *hugs*

  • Rosebud
    April 27, 2009 at 7:13 am

    You need to run. You need to be around family, and you need time to yourself. You need to do things that are normal. It helps. I went through a loss myself about a year ago, and let me tell that you are handling it in a much healthier way than I did.

  • Susie
    April 27, 2009 at 7:15 am

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you.

  • K
    April 27, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Jenna, your strength through this period is admirable! You are an amazing girl and don’t deserve to have to go through this whatsoever. I’ve been keeping you and your family in my thoughts ever since I heard. I can’t even imagine how you must be feeling right now. Of course we won’t be mad at you for running – it is a good release! My deepest sympathies are with you.

  • Joy
    April 27, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Jenna, you’re awesome and so is your family, you WILL laugh and have fun again, it just takes time as cliche as that is. As someone who has lost 2 of the closest people in my life, don’t beat yourself up over wanting to cry and scream and just be “blah” for awhile, it’s necessary and natural. I am so glad you have so many people there just being with you, as you know we all wish we could comfort you more as well, and remember God is always there, too. all the love in the world <3

  • jessnyc
    April 27, 2009 at 7:23 am

    i don’t think anyone will be mad you ran! it’s so important to be taking care of yourself, running, eating cookies, being with family. anything you need to do. there is so much love here for you. i’m glad during this time your blog/blog friends may be of some comfort. 🙂

  • brandi
    April 27, 2009 at 7:26 am

    good family and friends really do make such a different when dealing with a loss like this. I hope that everything goes well this week, and taking John back to the beach sounds like a great way to say “see you later” to him – not goodbye, but “until then”.

    I know this is totally random and you may not want to read anything for a while, but I would really recommend The Shack, if you haven’t read it yet.

  • Fancy
    April 27, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Hi Jenna,
    I am so glad to see that you are doing some small things that feel “normal” to you…it really does help through the process. Take care, I said a prayer for you and your family last night 🙂

  • Sara
    April 27, 2009 at 7:32 am


    I know you’re not supposed to be doing it, but if running is what will help you right now, run. You’ll know when you should stop. Just take care of yourself.


  • Megs
    April 27, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Jenna, it’s just so important to focus on what you want right now, and no one in the wonderfully supportive community of food blogging would ever judge you for doing anything.
    I lost my 45 year old mom last year, and for weeks, our family just mourned together. We cried, screamed, prayed, talked, and just hurt the whole time. One morning about four weeks later I woke up and just couldn’t cry any more. I wanted to go out and see my friends, and work on myself, and you will get there. Take all the time you need, and remember what you’re feeling is natural and inevitable, and that you’ll always have the support of us.

  • Denise
    April 27, 2009 at 7:43 am

    I read your blog daily and I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you’re still writing and hope that’s helping you through this tough time. I hope you’re staying strong. Try to take care of yourself.

  • Melissa (Nibbles and Wiggles)
    April 27, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Oh you go and run your little heart out if that’s what you need. You can always rest later – do what you need to do that is good for your soul!

  • Rachel A
    April 27, 2009 at 7:47 am

    My mom passed away two months ago. I can’t imagine the shock and pain of losing someone so suddenly, like you did. I can relate to the horrible pain; it stinks to lose someone you love. You will make it through this, and it will get better. God will hold your hands and help you over the rough patches; he’ll give you strength you didn’t know you could have.
    I wish I could give you a hug! You’re in my prayers. Thank you for blogging at this tough time.

  • Jennifer
    April 27, 2009 at 7:48 am

    One year ago, a dear friend of mine lost her twenty-year-old brother to a car accident. I have seen up-close the tremendous pain and grief losing a sibling brings, and my heart goes out to you. This will be such a painful time for you, but know deep down that eventually you will heal to the point where you are able to talk about (and with!) your brother without feeling the tragic, searing grief all over again. But take your time, do exactly what you feel like you need to help you. We’re all here to support you!

  • Melomeals: Vegan For $3.33 a Day
    April 27, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Hang in there…. I’m glad your family is being comforted by his friends and he was so loved.

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner?
    April 27, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Sometimes, just doing what is normal can help find some semblance of peace in a time such as this… Just know I’m thinking of you!

  • Alex
    April 27, 2009 at 8:02 am

    You have a great amount of strenght to handle this and again I am sorry for your loss. Also you have great family and friends who loved your brother very much and cared for your family.

  • kim
    April 27, 2009 at 8:08 am

    i think it’s good to bring back some ‘normalcy’ right now. Running is good for you. Kind of like Forrest Gump – gives you a brief escape and lets you clear out your mind while bringing in some fresh energy (oxygen) into your body. So when you need some fresh air and just need a break, moderate exercise or yoga definitely can help you. You’re a strange woman with a great circle of friends and family. Don’t hestiate to rely on the people who love you. It’s ok to be human. 🙂

  • Tamara
    April 27, 2009 at 8:11 am

    You are so brave to get on here and share your feelings with us, Jenna. I’m so happy that you are feeling a little bit back to normal today. We’re here for you every day. Love ya!

  • Stephanie
    April 27, 2009 at 8:23 am

    You are such a brave person. I didn’t think we’d have any Jenna posts for a long time, but here you are, and as usual you bring something good to my day. Thank you for sharing this terrible experience with your readers and reminding us how precious life is. I’ll continue to pray for you each day, as I have since I first read the news. I’m proud that we were all able to bring you a small measure of comfort in the past days. When you need a boost, just put out the call. You are loved. Stephanie

  • Fitzalan
    April 27, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Just like everyone else, I wish I had words that comforted. I am so sorry for your loss.

    When my dad died, someone told me these words and they helped more than anything else…

    “You will never miss him any less than you do right now, but eventually it won’t hurt as bad.”

    You and your entire family is in my prayers.

    Happiness Awaits

  • Sandy
    April 27, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Jenna~Prayers continue..Glad you got a run in,I know that helped.Obviously John was loved so much~so glad his friend’s are coming by, and embracing all of you..You are an amazing woman!! I’m glad you have so many around you..
    Take one day at a time Jenna..someday’s it will be minute to minute..Life is so hard to understand sometimes, and it is so unfair..but I do believe John is watching all of you from above..

    This song was played at my Nephew’s funeral in January..the word’s mean a lot…it’s Josh Groban..To where you are..

    Take care Jenna..

  • Stephanie
    April 27, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Jenna – I had the pleasure of meeting you while you were in Chicago for the Quaker Convention and I just wanted to express my condolences to you and your family! You’re an amazing person and have touched more lives than you realize. I thought about you all weekend long and I sure hope you have some comfort in knowing that so many people are rooting for you and your family at this tough time. God bless you!

  • Kristin
    April 27, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Oh, Jenna. Even though I’ve never met you, my heart and prayers go out to you. It’s not going to be easy living without your brother. My mom lost her sister suddenly 14 years ago and I know she misses her every single day. But I think by doing things that John would have loved, doing things in his honor, his spirit does live on.
    Know that you have an entire online community praying for you. (I wasn’t surprised to see comments nearing the thousand mark.) God bless you and your family.

  • Colleen
    April 27, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Dear sweet Jenna, you run if you need to! I have been praying for you all weekend and you have no idea how thankful I am for your strength and grace. It’s clearly evident that you’re a child of God and I hope you find comfort in Him. I know your heart is heavy right now, but please know how much we love and care for you!

  • Allison K.
    April 27, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Words cannot express how truly sorry I am for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time. God Bless you.

  • Holly
    April 27, 2009 at 8:34 am

    God bless you and your family. With each passing day, I hope your heart becomes lighter as you celebrate John’s wonderful life. Take care of yourself; our prayers are with you~

  • Mariposa
    April 27, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I am so sorry for your loss Jenna- i have no idea really what to say besides i will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers from now on. god bless jenna..

  • Amanda
    April 27, 2009 at 8:40 am


    I think it is extremely commendable that you did your best to return to normalcy in eating and got a run in during a completely not normal time. I am sure that the run did much more good for your sanity than bad for your shins.

    One of my best friends died a few days after our high school graduation in a car crash (this was about 5 years ago), and he was one of the most loved, fun-loving people I ever knew. All I know is that God works in mysterious ways, so just hang on strong to your faith. Without ever meeting you, I feel connected to you because I have been reading daily for a long time. Please know that there are tons of us out here praying for you!

  • KatieF
    April 27, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Your post title made me think of this quote:
    “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” – Dean Karnazes
    You are so strong. Just keep moving forward in any way you can.
    You’re still in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Carrie H
    April 27, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Oh, Jenna, I am heartbroken for you and your family this morning. I just read about your brother John and am crying, though of course I never knew him. I will be praying for you in the hours, days, weeks, months to come.
    I know the Lord will be watching over you and your family. You all are absolutely beautiful inside and out. I am sending you as much love as I possibly can in my thoughts, prayers and heart.

  • chandra h
    April 27, 2009 at 8:50 am

    I’m continuing to hold you, your brother, and your family close to my heart and in my prayers. God bless, god bless, god bless.

  • Angie All The Way
    April 27, 2009 at 8:51 am

    This is only my second time commenting (yesterday was my first) and I look forward to reading your blog every day. I know that I don’t “know” you but hearing of this tragedy that has affected you and your family has truly made me sad as if it were a person I actually knew. You and your family are in my thoughts often. You are a wonderful person and no doubt an wonderful sister.
    Running and blogging are a healthy way for you to get through this difficult time. Your shins will rest another day 😉

    Angie All The Way

  • Still Life in South America
    April 27, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Dear Jenna,

    I’m glad to hear that you are running and eating and doing normal, everyday things in the face of this pain. I think the most dangerous thing you can do is shut it all out and draw into yourself.

    John sounds like a beautiful young man. Thinking of you and sending positive energy your way.

    A @ Still Life

  • RL
    April 27, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Jenna, I’ve been reading your blog for a year now, but have never commented before. Reading your post this morning touched my heart. Your ability to open yourself up to all of your readers is truly amazing. When my father passed away one of the best pieces of advice I got was this; “it’s ok to hurt, to cry, even to be angry, but most of all it’s ok to need someone.” Please know that you are not alone in this tough time. As you can see from the overwhelming outpouring of love and support from your readers, everyone of us is here for you if and when you need us. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  • Amy
    April 27, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Jenna – I rarely comment but I have read your blog every day for a while now. I am SO sorry abour your brother! I didn’t read over the weekend and just read this morning what happened. I was crying at my desk in my office. I’m just so sorry and hurt for you! You are an amazing writer and person! This is such an awful thing to have happened! You are so loved by all your readers. I feel like I know you from your reading yor blog (even though I don’t). I’m just so sorry and my heart goes out to you and your family. HUGS!!

  • Natalie
    April 27, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Lots of prayers and love to your family.

  • Nicole
    April 27, 2009 at 9:06 am

    I am glad to see that you are able to eat! And yes taking pictures of your food is normal…. at least I think so even though my boyfriend doesn’t.

  • Jordan
    April 27, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Hi Jenna,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Run, walk, swim, cry…whatever you need to do to feel better. You’ll be in my prayers.


  • Lauren
    April 27, 2009 at 9:15 am

    You are so amazing, Jenna. I honor you for your strength through this difficult time and commend you for trying your hardest to return to normalcy during this difficult time. It’s the little steps that count. I am so glad to hear that you have found comfort in all of the messages that are being left for you and your family. Although I never knew John, it is evident that he was such an incredible, loveable individual. It is also evident what are great sister you were to him. My greatest sympathy to you and your family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Beadie
    April 27, 2009 at 9:17 am


    You remain in my heart today and I feel honored that you are so open and sharing with us. Writing is so healing and I am glad to be able to read your beautiful words. I could never be mad at you for running. You have to do what you need to do in order to move through this process of healing. Runners run, writers write. Keep doing the things that help you heal and find comfort in knowing that I will keep reading no matter what. Your beautiful spirit is shining brightly and I know that your brother is looking down on you with pride.

    Much Love to you and yours.

  • Heather
    April 27, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Jenna, this is the first time I’ve checked your blog since Friday (long time reader) and it absolutely broke my heart to read about what happened to your brother. May the Lord comfort you and all those whose lives were touched by John. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Much love, God Bless, John 14:1-4.

  • Kiersten
    April 27, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I am glad you found some comfort in everyone’s comments on your blog. We are all still praying for you Jenna! Remember, your brother will always love you and still be with you.

  • Brit
    April 27, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Your family & friends are in my thoughts & prayers.

  • Melia
    April 27, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Jenna- I am so sorry to hear about all that you are going through. As the others have said.. you are amazing. I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you and your family.

  • Jess
    April 27, 2009 at 9:31 am

    I think it’s wonderful that you ran today. You should do whatever helps you cope.

  • Diana (Soap & Chocolate)
    April 27, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I am stopping by your page for the first time today because I read so many good things about your blog – I am only sorry that you have experienced such a loss, because I can tell immediately that you have incredible strength and your writing even throughout these past few days is really admirable, in my opinion. The blog world is ESPECIALLY great at times like these – you have the support of people you’ve never even met because you have touched so many through your writing. Obviously, you’re in our thoughts.

  • elise
    April 27, 2009 at 9:40 am

    you are so amazing, i cant imagine what youre going through. i think you are such a strong person to continue each day with your life as hard as it is – i think your brother would be so proud of you for that.

  • Angie
    April 27, 2009 at 9:42 am

    I am brand new to the food blogging world, so I’m just learning everyone’s names and blogs. I am so touched by your brother’s story and I want you to know that I am praying for you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Meryl
    April 27, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I am also a long time reader and had not been able to check your blog since friday. My heart is absolutely breaking for you and your family.

    You have inspired me over the last year not only to live a healthier life, but to build a stronger faith with Christ. Now more than ever, I see your faith shining through.

    The Bible says that God measures the universe in the span of his fingertips.. and it also says that he has your name written on his hand. I am praying that our mighty, yet tenderly intimate, Father comforts and holds you during this time 🙁

    Please let me know if there is anything at all I can do!

  • Jen
    April 27, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Jenna – I’m another lurker who just wanted to tell you I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my 18 yo brother a little over a year ago and it just breaks my heart that you’re going through this now. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • The Healthy Apple
    April 27, 2009 at 10:02 am


    Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. You truly are in my prayers and I am here for you if you need anything at all. My deepest apologies for your loss and I know you will be strong through this rough time. I am thinking of you always and you are in my heart. You are an amazing woman and I know you will be strong…
    All the Best,
    The Healthy Apple

  • Mindy in CO
    April 27, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Jenna, my heart goes out to you and your family. I regularly check your blog and found myself in tears reading this morning. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you a big hug. god bless

  • angelcubbie
    April 27, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Jenna, I just wanted to say god bless you and your family, I’ll pray for you and your family.

  • Rebekah
    April 27, 2009 at 10:07 am

    You and your family continue to be in everyone’s thoughts and prayers Jenna. You are truly so strong, may you find comfort in God and knowing that your brother is in heaven.

  • Mandee
    April 27, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Another lurker here, Jenna. I was offline all weekend and was shocked to log in and see the horrible news about your brother this morning. I immediately remembered your stories of cooking all those chocolate chip cookies with him.

    I lost my boyfriend 14 years ago in a tragic car accident, and I always hate to see anyone else having to embark on the journey of grief. Just take it one moment at a time and don’t worry that you are losing your mind–we all do some seemingly crazy things to get through it. Your heart will never be whole again, but the load will get lighter–I promise. Sending lots of love and prayers your way.

  • JavaChick
    April 27, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Jenna, I am so sorry to hear of your family’s loss. Such a tragedy! Please pass my condolences on to the rest of your family as well.

  • Johanna B
    April 27, 2009 at 10:13 am

    At the age of 15 I lost a sister, a brother, and a father. God brought me through that time and healed the hurt. He will do that for you and your family too. It will take time. Let yourself grieve and hang on to all those things you do to feel better (running, yoga, healthy foods, Bible study, etc). You are in my prayers.

  • Rachel
    April 27, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I agree with all the others who are telling you to do what you have to do to cope. We all deal with stress and grieve in different ways, and so long as you’re not hurting yourself, who cares what anyone else thinks? You know better than anyone else what you need. And thank you for letting us in the blogosphere support you in this awful time; it’s the least we can do after taking so much pleasure in your writing.

  • Danielle
    April 27, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Jenna, I don’t think you realize how much “knowing” you has touched my life. You were the first blog I followed, and you’ve really been there for me ever since, reaching out when I needed someone and encouraging me. You are a truly amazing person and I am so deeply saddened by your loss. You deserve to be happy and healthy surrounded by your loved ones that are equally as such. Unfortunately bad things still happen to good people and although we don’t understand it, although it’s hard to accept, I think that God has a reason for these unexpected struggles. Whatever you need to do, whatever you need to say or not say, just go ahead and take care of yourself. The healing process is a long and difficult but you, my dear friend, are a strong woman, with faith and courage and I know you’ll be able to get through this. Just as your brother wants you to. My love and prayers are still being sent to you and your family.

  • Laura
    April 27, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I was out of town this weekend and just caught up on your blog. I am so sorry for your loss and know that words won’t comfort you right now but you are in my thoughts!

  • Ariel
    April 27, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Again, I’m SO sorry 🙁

  • Jackie
    April 27, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I just wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I’ll be thinking of you all. What great memories you have to share…your brother seemed like such a special person and touched so many people!

  • Rachel
    April 27, 2009 at 10:55 am


    You are so incredibly strong and I am just in awe of how you are dealing with this. I have lost too many people in my life and it’s just a numbing feeling. The feeling of emptiness will never completely go away but you have to live off the memories. That’s the only thing that has helped me through the struggle of losing someone. Thank God for your great family, Ryan and your faith in God because you will push forward with them beside you. You feel like a friend to me since I have been reading so long and I just hate to hear that you are going through this. My prayers are with you and your family always.

  • AshinMT
    April 27, 2009 at 11:22 am

    I am a long time reader and not so often commenter. I am so very sorry for your loss, and am praying for you and your family. I hope that you can help one another through this tragedy and know that you are in our thoughts. God bless.

  • kathleen
    April 27, 2009 at 11:30 am

    jenna- i am sending your family all my love and thoughts. your strength and honesty are amazing.

  • Nicole
    April 27, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Jenna, I am so sorry for your loss. I just read the post before this one and your loving words about your brother really touched me. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.


  • Janie
    April 27, 2009 at 11:43 am


    I just read all your posts for the last few days and I have been crying at my desk. I cannot believe this has happened. You are such a wonderful person, and as many people have said before your positive energy shines through in your blog every day. Your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Much love,


  • Kelly
    April 27, 2009 at 11:52 am

    This is devestating to hear, but I am glad you had the courage to share the story. I cannot imagine what you are going through but know that you are so lucky to have so many people around you who care. The display from your brother’s school was just touching. I can tell how important family is to you from your blog and cannot imagine how rough this must be. Hang in there and do what you need to do to grieve and remember your brother’s life.

  • Betherann
    April 27, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Hi, Jenna. I just read about the tragedy in your family, and you have my deepest sympathies. I’ve been praying for you, your family, and your brother. Also, I’m not mad about the running — in fact, I completely understand. Sometimes you just need to pound out some frusrations/sadness/yucky feelings, and running is a great way to do just that. I’m glad your shins didn’t bug you after, though! Hang in there, hon. You’re in good hands — God’s!

  • Ally
    April 27, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Jenna, I don’t know what to say. I’ve been following your blog for about a year now and I think you are such an amazing, kind-hearted person. It literally pains me that something like this happened to you. My heart goes out to you and your whole family…I am so stunned and sorry. I was away over the weekend and just read this at my lunchbreak at work and literally had to excuse myself I was crying so much. I know its strange, but you are so open and share so much with us – I check your blog a couple times a day so I kind of feel like I know you, so your loss is a loss to all of us in a way. If that makes any sense.
    Again, I am so sorry. I think writing can be very therapeutic so it’s good to see you are up blogging. I wish you guys all the best. I lost a very good friend in an accident, suddenly like this and it was very hard so I can’t even imagine what you are going through right now. Try and remember that while it is always painful it will slowly get better and you will start to be able to remember more and more of the good times. Please take care of yourself.

  • Shelby
    April 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I love that you are celebrating his life! I think you are doing a great job keeping his spirit alive.
    I’ll be thinking of you Jenna!

  • Laura Brandon
    April 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Stay strong, Jenna, you and your family are in so many people’s thoughts and prayers. Keep remembering John and smiling for him. And remember that there are people out here in tears for you who have never even met you or your brother. We are all here for you. God bless.

  • Anne Caroline Drake
    April 27, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Wiggs alerted me to your heartbreaking loss. It takes my breath away. Your brother John sounds like such a cool and amazing guy. God must have needed an angel to take someone like him.

    Please know your friends out here in the blog world have you and your family in their hearts. I hope you will find a way to keep John’s spirit with you always.
    Sending hugs,
    Anne Caroline

  • Katrina
    April 27, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    SO sorry to hear about your brother! Many thoughts and prayers to you, especially as I think about having lost two sisters, one with a self inflicted gun shot to the head. (bi-polar!)
    Sounds like you have the right faith and knowledge to get through this. It is hard and you WILL never forget, but time does take some of the pain away, my sisters have been gone 9 and 7 years now. Stay close to all though around you who love you. Again, so sorry.

  • Tara
    April 27, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I am also one of the lurkers on your blog. I stumbled upon it a few months ago and read daily but have never commented.
    My heart goes out to you and your family. I have thought of you continuously over the last few days and even though I don’t know you, I am shocked that this has happened to your family (if that makes any sense!). I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Take care of yourself and keep your chin up 🙂

  • Beth
    April 27, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I don’t know you… but feel like I do.
    I am one of your many, many daily readers and while I don’t often comment… I look forward to your posts everyday. It’s apparent what a wonderful, caring person you are.
    I am so deeply sorry you are going through this pain.
    I know from experiencing an unexpected family death a few years ago, how completely numb and shocked you can feel.
    It’s strange to watch the world continue to turn after something so awful happens. I do believe your faith will keep you strong and bring you solace.
    Again, I’m so so sorry. Take care of yourself as best you can, your brother would be proud of you.
    I am praying for you and your family. Peace & Love.

  • Hope
    April 27, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Jenna ~ I just wanted to say again, that you and your family are at the forefront of my mind right now. I am sending you comforting, loving energy and envisioning you all in the palm of God’s hand.

  • Sanja
    April 27, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    You have been in my thought ever since I read your post Saturday. I am so sorry for you. Take care!

  • a reader
    April 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    My heart breaks for you and your family. I’m so very, very sorry. You are in my thoughts and prayers. You are an amazing, strong woman.

  • Sarah
    April 27, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Hey Jenna, I know you are getting tons of comments, but I just wanted to add that I too am praying for you and your family through what must be the most difficult time in your lives. You are such an amazing person that inspires so many of us on here and you know that if you need anything, we are all here for you! Much love and God bless.

  • Katie
    April 27, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I’m so glad that you have the peace of knowing your brother is safe with our Heavenly Father. It doesn’t take the hurt away but knowing that he isn’t in your past but instead is in your future, provides hope and comfort during this difficult time.

    When you are feeling up to it, GriefShare is a wonderful ministry. We do groups at my church and my hubby and I have shared GriefShare materiarls with many of our friends and family that have lost loved ones.

    Much love,

  • Melissa @ For the Love of Health
    April 27, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I am glad you are feeling better! 🙂

    Lovely food pics.

  • Emily
    April 27, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I am daily reader of your blogs, but I guess you probably wouldn’t know that because I never have commented before. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. When I read your blog and saw the initial post, I was in shock. Your family is constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I recently lost my dad so I can kind of relate. I know it seems that you will never be the same again, that part of you has died too, but I can assure you that while your life may never be quite the same, it is one of the many things that you will grow from. I really don’t know what to say but I am soooo sorry and if you ever need anything or have any questions (I know I did) about the grieving process please feel free to e-mail me.

  • Marietta
    April 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    You are in my thoughts and in my prayers. With loving intention to you and your family.

  • Woman&Warrior
    April 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Oh, Jenna, I’m so so sorry to read about your unexpected loss. I just read back to your posts a few days ago, like I usually do on Mondays, and was shocked and I feel terribly sad that such a lovely gal like you, and your family are enduring this tragedy. Its unthinkable that this would have happened. Its hard to believe it could have happened.

    I’m praying for you and your family–that you will find peace, you will find comfort. Take care and be gentle with yourself. If you need some time to yourself, take it. We are all hear for you.


  • Anne
    April 27, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I’m a longtime reader who has only commented once. I feel compelled to write to you – you and your family have been in my thoughts for the last few days. I wish you comfort and peace at this time.

  • laci
    April 27, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Gald you’re ok hun, running is good for the soul, great your legs didn’t hurt! 🙂

  • Emily
    April 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Lots of love and prayers from Chicago.

  • Tracy
    April 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Jenna, I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve been thinking about you since I saw your news – I commented that day as well, but can’t stop thinking about you and your family. I called my brother right away to tell him I love him. You are truly an inspiration. God bless…

  • Tracy
    April 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    And, sometimes running and pounding it out on the pavement is exactly the therapy you need.

  • erin
    April 27, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    jenna. each time i visit your blog these past few days i can’t help but choke up and rehash the exact pain i felt 6 months ago.

    honestly, right now, you feel as if you are in a dream, a bubble almost as if you will wake up soon and John will be there. all of the people coming in and out of your house bringing loads of food seems surreal. i know it did for me.
    yet here i sit, 6 months and a week after my 20 year old brother passed and i still cannot fathom the fact he’s gone.
    i hope, wish and pray each day that he were here with me..
    he never got to hear that i’m going to the college he wanted me to go to..
    he won’t be here for my marriage or my children but then again i have to pull out my faith and think, yes.. he WILL be there. maybe not physically but i KNOW he is watching over me.. just as John is watching over you.

    it was an accident, accident’s happen, why God let this one happen, no one knows. my family was walking in the door from church when we found out about my brother Tim. Accidents happen to good people.

    only know that me and the blogging community is always here for you. it’s going to be a rough journey believe me.. i’m not nearly that far along though to give you some inspirational advice yet! but i’m here for you although i am a perfect stranger, i’m one that feels your pain and truly truly DEEPLY am sorry for your loss.


    please stay strong jenna


  • Kristi @ Sweet Cheeks
    April 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Jenna, keep strong girl…God has a plan and you just have to trust in Him. It will all be all right. I know it hurts right now though, so we are all here for you.
    Lots of love,

  • alex
    April 27, 2009 at 3:31 pm


    You and your family are an inspiration to all of us. You are in our thoughts and our prayers.

  • Chloe
    April 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    My heart aches for you and your family. I could not imagine going through such a horrible event, and am amazed by your strength and faith during this time. Thank you for keeping all of us updated, as I’m sure you can tell we are all thinking and praying for you and wish nothing but the best. I hope that in the coming weeks you can find support and love in your family and friends, and will continue to remember your brother as the wonderful person he was.
    I don’t know what else to say, except that I am truly deeply sorry for your loss.
    With love,

  • Shannon @ TheDailyBalance
    April 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Still sending thoughts and prayers… God bless 😉

  • Renee
    April 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm


    I read your blog almost every day and although I have only commented a few times, you constantly inspire me. I donated to your Team in Training and got your dessert cookbook which was so full of love and I could tell what a dedicated person you are and how much enjoy sharing the things that you love. I am so sorry that you lost someone you love. You are an awe-inspiring person and I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  • lindsay
    April 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Jenna you are amazing. Your grace and strength in a time of crisis and pain is absolutely incredible. Keep on goin’ girl.

  • Terry
    April 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm


    I lost my best friend/sister just 5 short weeks ago. Although it was not a tragic accident (cancer), I can say that I do understand your pain and trauma right now. To have someone we love suddenly taken away is a wrenching and mind numbing pain. I have struggled to get through these past weeks with some kind of balance concerning food/exercise without losing sight of what is truly important. One thing I do know is that you have to follow your gut. If you need to run ~ run, if you need those cookies ~ have a few. Some people just won’t get it, some people have insinuated that I should just forget all about my healthy lifestyle commitments, but I know how proud my sister was of the huge changes I have made in my life. She wouldn’t have wanted me to throw it all away in a fit of dispair ~ so I struggle daily to know what it right FOR ME. Please know that I will hold all of your family in my prayers daily. Many Blessings.

  • Priscilla
    April 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Throughout the weekend I found my thoughts drifting to you. I ran on Saturday and just wanted to let you that I looked to the sky, said a little prayer and ran a little harder for you and your family. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts and feelings with us.

  • bibixs
    April 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    You’re amazing Jenna, keep strong hun. I never know what to say in this ocassion, even on the internet, i know i dont really know you or your family but i wish i could comfort you somehow 🙁

  • Amandaaa.
    April 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I would feel the exact same way you are. Empty.
    I won’t sugarcoat it. Because I’d feel like I wouldn’t
    be able to laugh or smile again. Like that would just be…
    wrong? I don’t know. However, keeping faith and believing
    that your brother is out of pain and keeping an eye on you-
    and that he would WANT you to smile and laugh has to be
    the one thing that keeps you going. Not giving up. That there
    is life after such terrible, horrible, no good very bad situations.

    But take your time to gain yourself back. Don’t rush it.

    In my prayers!


  • faith
    April 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    You and your family have constantly been on my heat ms jenna. im glad you are taking care of yourself and you have so much support around you. *hugs*

  • Lauren
    April 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Jenna, no one is mad at you for running…we all want you do to what feels best for YOU at this time. You and your family are in my thoughts are prayers xo

  • Tammy
    April 27, 2009 at 5:36 pm


    I am so sorry for your loss. God will provide you the courage you need to face the difficult day. I love your blog and that you are such a wonderful person. You and your family are in my prayers.

  • Rachel
    April 27, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    My favorite Dickinson poem about life, death, and faith. Riddling through it always brings me some measure of comfort. Hope it does the same for you.

    This World is not Conclusion.
    A Species stands beyond —
    Invisible, as Music —
    But positive, as Sound —
    It beckons, and it baffles —
    Philosophy — don’t know —
    And through a Riddle, at the last —
    Sagacity, must go —
    To guess it, puzzles scholars —
    To gain it, Men have borne
    Contempt of Generations
    And Crucifixion, shown —
    Faith slips — and laughs, and rallies —
    Blushes, if any see —
    Plucks at a twig of Evidence —
    And asks a Vane, the way —
    Much Gesture, from the Pulpit —
    Strong Hallelujahs roll —
    Narcotics cannot still the Tooth
    That nibbles at the soul —

  • Marilyn
    April 27, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Oh, Jenna… I am so, so sorry. I don’t know what else to say. I will be praying for you and your family. No one is mad at you for running – just do whatever you need to do to get through this. You WILL get through this. Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Rachel
    April 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    You’ve been in my thoughts today, Jenna. Hang in there.

  • Jessica
    April 27, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    You are such an inspiration for being so strong. I know there are no words that anyone could say that could make it better, but please know that you and your family are in our prayers, minds, and hearts.


  • girlatastartup
    April 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    You’re strong, sista! I’ll keep praying for you and your family. Keep the faith, as its obvious from your blog, how strong your faith actually is.

  • kristin
    April 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Jenna – I just said a prayer and will continue to include you and your family in my prayers. Like so many others, I rarely post, but I read your blog daily. Your positive views on life are even more of an inspiration than your wonderful food.

    I aspire to live my life as you project your life on this blog – just as I’m sure many, many people aspire to live their lives as John lived his. Reading your blog always lifts me up a bit – and the least I can do in return is lift you and your family up in prayer. I wish you strength and peace…

  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)
    April 27, 2009 at 7:01 pm


    I’m glad to hear you are taking care of yourself. Embrace the love and support of those around you, and remember that we are all here for you as well.


  • Karen Teague
    April 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Jenna & Family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I have no words, except to say how sorry I am for your wonderful family to have to endure this horrible tragedy. I worked with your Mom at Ballard Designs and would always share stories about our kids, you could always tell that John enjoyed life and had a heart of gold. It was great that you were able to come home and spend these past few months since school, I loved your articles about the chocolate chip cookies that John had to make for his school project.
    Tell your Mom and Dad that they and your family are in my prayers and I will see them on Wed.
    Karen Teague

  • Becca
    April 27, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I have been a reader for the last 8 months and am a huge fan although have never posted a comment. I just read your most recent posts and burst out in tears. I have a 19 year old brother too who is a fun loving, adventurous guy just like your brother who I could not imagine losing. I also lost a young cousin this past summer, and I know you are a religous, but sometimes life is just not far. At my cousins funeral the priest made amazing point; Although he may have passed away, he will never become past tense; he will always be present in your family, in your life and as your brother. My thoughts are with you and your family

  • maggie
    April 27, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Jenna—isn’t strange, incomprehensible, and terrifying how these things happen? i have been reading your blog almost daily and i regret not checking in sooner or i would have commented. why should something so cruel happen to you?? the only ‘answer’ i can give is that there isn’t one. you are too good, and i’m positive that your brother must have been equally good and kind—all his love was deserved.
    i cannot explain the way my heart dropped when i read what happened. i, who have never met you, feel such pain that it’s impossible for me to comprehend what you and your family are going through—and for this, all my love, strength, and prayers go out to you and yours. i will continue to read your blog, and hopefully watch your loving, happy self return. i know that you can do this, your strength and prayers will help you through it.
    all my love,
    maggie (san francisco, ca)

  • Jessica
    April 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Jenna, you are such a strong person. Your attitude with everything you’ve had to face these past few days is very inspiring. I’ve kept you and your family in my thoughts all weekend. Your brother seemed like a truly amazing person and his memory will live on with each of you.

  • Christian
    April 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    oh, jenna.
    my heart is absolutely breaking for you right now. I havent been able to stop thinking about and praying for you since I first heard of the accident this morning.

    though we have never met, I am praying for you as if I’ve known you my whole life. Everytime I think about the strength you and your family is showing, it brings tears to my eyes.

    I know that there is a celebration in heaven because John is finally home. When my brother was killed 8 months ago, the healing began to come when I realized that I really was going to see him again one day… and the same is true for you and your brother. With Christ we know that you aren’t saying goodbye to John, just see you soon. My brother was also 19 and loved to surf… I bet you they are great friends by now 🙂

    please let me know if there is anything at all I can do. You are in my prayers

  • Dinah Soar
    April 28, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Jenna..I’m sorry for your loss..this is a tragedy..every time I read about your brother I shed a tear or two for you and your family and for the whole world in general. We all lose when a precious soul dies.

    Guns in and of themselves are not bad. But people don’t know how to use them properly.

    They can be used for good or evil.

    Ignorance of how powerful and dangerous they can be can lead to the loss of innocent life.

    Our society needs to be educated in the use of guns. Banning them won’t save lives. We must maintain our right to bear arms. But we must know how to properly use those arms.

    I hope you’ll make it your mission to educate young people on gun safety, the proper use of guns, and to fear and respect them.

  • Ashley
    April 28, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I can’t believe was a senseless loss of life has occured. It is a sad thing that has occured. I, personally, think its ridiculous that there is a right to bear arms in America. If it saves more lives to ban them than not, they should be banned.

    Look after yourself Jenna. Cookies help!

  • Jenna
    August 17, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Jenna I have been reading your blog for about a month now and I didn’t know you lost your brother this past April. I am so sorry for the loss and I am praying for you and your family. Vero Beach is a beautiful and amazing place where I vacation and everytime I go there I will be thinking of you, your brother, and your family!
    You are in my prayers girl, keep up the good work you are doing now 🙂
    <3 Jenna