I did it!
Warning: its still pretty swollen!!!
Can you even believe it?! We were there today for almost four hours….but it was well worth it. The guy who did it has been a tattoo artist for 13 years and really took his time with each of us. He sketched out a couple images for me until the final decision was made. I originally was going to get a wave with a cross under it, but after talking to him I decided upon having the cross actually IN the wave. It hurt like HELL but I do love it! It took about 30 minutes for him to do and the whole time I squeezed my eyes shut and imagined John with his hands on my shoulders. I pray he was there!
My mom got a petal on her finger and I was so proud of her! 🙂
And my dad got exactly what John wanted….a cross with the words “give me strength” above it and John’s initials underneath.
What an odd family bonding event that I NEVER would have foreseen. Just goes to show that if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans…no? I can’t even believe how fast things can change; not even two weeks ago life was so different and my brother was still alive. I keep telling myself everything happens for a reason…..its all we can do sometimes.
Before I left for tattooing, I recreated my favorite salad for lunch that I used to eat all the time in Paris. It is a combo of organic greens, mushrooms, carrots, tomato, an ounce of fresh goat cheese and two paper thin slices of prosciutto drizzled in balsamic vinegar—
With a peanut butter stuffed date on the side!
It wasn’t all raw or even vegetarian, but it was very satisfying and fresh. I love the combo of prosciutto with goat cheese….brings me right back to my tiny Parisian apartment, I swear!
This was my first experience with Peanut Butter and Co’s Mighty Maple pb….yum! I really love maple syrup so I was excited that the maple taste was pretty dominant in this peanut butter. However, the peanut butter did have sort of a “grainy” feel to it that I couldn’t put my finger on. Maybe because, unlike the raw almond butter I usually eat, this has added sugar in it? Regardless, the flavor was still awesome and I loved how creamy it was. More reviews to come as I slowly eat my way through all my new jars! 😉
And since we were at the tattoo place for SO long, I sort of cheated on my raw snack. Well, it was still raw but I was planning on making something much cooler at home (think more holiday chia pudding!) but I got really hungry fast before they tattooed me and knew I should eat something quick.
Enter a raw grawnola bar from One Lucky Duck!
I ate half of this bar because it was huge, but goodness it was delicious!!! It was chewy and filling. I loved the crunch of the raw buckwheat groats and almonds. This fueled me through a two hour trip to IKEA 😉
Look, lingonberry juice (and a wrapped, swollen wrist!)—
IKEA was amazing! I can’t believe I’ve never been before! I found SO many things that I wanted but managed to walk out with only a little something for my furry beast 😉
Isn’t it cute? Its a little cat tent with a furry mat inside. Let’s hope Dexter likes it!
I’m going to take some measurements at the condo and then go back because I found the perfect bookcase, barstools and coffee table…..all were very affordable and very, very cute.
I got home rather late from the tattoo/IKEA experience and I ate exactly what I was craving, even though frozen meals aren’t the healthiest.
I just love this—I CRAVE this pad thai. Its the best outside of a restaurant that I’ve ever had and I always relish every last bite.
After I ate I went to my parent’s house because my brother’s sweet girlfriend was going to stop by to say hi and meet Mikey. I had a tiny glass of red wine and opened up a package that had come for me in the mail!
My friend, Chrissy, sent me a plethora of Trader Joe’s stuff!!!! THANK YOU, CHRISSY!!!!!! I can’t wait to try out all these dried fruits and have a spoonful of TJ’s raw almond butter which I have heard so much about. I had two of the milk chocolate covered bing cherries for dessert—
YUM! This was a bite of heaven. I love care packages! 🙂
Ryan still hasn’t seen the tattoo yet…….it might be an interesting night! I’m off to make some of my new peppermint tea and journal. See you all in the morning!
Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)May 6, 2009 at 7:32 pm
Oh my gosh Jenna, it’s beautiful! I got all mushy inside just looking at it =) John would be so proud!!
I went to the new Ikea today too and we also were there for two hours!!! We got some Lingonberry preserves! It’s a whole other world in there. CRAZY!!! I loved it. I can’t wait to decorate an apartment of my own someday with all their cute stuff!!
Have a great night!!!
BreeMay 6, 2009 at 7:34 pm
The tattoo is beautiful. The Trader Joe’s raw almond butter is my favorite. That tent for Dexter is too cute! Have a good night!
NicoleMay 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm
Your tattoo looks great!
LauraMay 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm
That is a beautiful tattoo and i am sure your brother lovessss it! I dont even like tatoos but that one is def in a league of its own. All the TJs goodies look awesome and that almond butter is my absolute favorite im sure u will loveee it as well! Enjoy your night girl!
brookesballbusterMay 6, 2009 at 7:42 pm
I love the tat! It’s beautiful. I especially like how you added the blue shading…I want to offer some friendly advice on Ikea furniture. I have a few furnishings from there and it is indeed a great deal if you need the pieces and don’t have a lot of $$. In my experience, the furniture has not held up very well. My suggestion is to buy one furnishing and see how it works for you before buying lots:)
Mara @ What's For Dinner?May 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm
Jenna, that tattoo is gorgeous!! I have this feeling that it completely embodies your brother and he’d be SO proud! IKEA is one of my favorite places in the world, honestly… and i live DOWN THE STREET from one and I rarely go. I’ll have to go for some lingonberry juice soon!
LauraMay 6, 2009 at 7:45 pm
The tattoo looks awesome!! I love your blog I am going to try to sneak in raw food in to my routine!!
kirstenMay 6, 2009 at 7:45 pm
the tattoo looks beautiful Jenna!
Shannon @ TheDailyBalanceMay 6, 2009 at 7:45 pm
tattoo looks awesome!! so glad you enjoyed IKEA!!!
katie sMay 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm
It looks amazing, Jenna!! I love it!!!! I like the idea of your mother’s too! Where on her finger did she get one??
jennaMay 6, 2009 at 7:52 pm
Thank you! My mom got hers on her ring finger on her right hand because for some reason she always used to rub that finger and think of John. I don’t know why but she stuck to her guns that it MUST be there!
VictoriaMay 6, 2009 at 7:47 pm
Wow. I’m impressed with your IKEA restraint. I always go overboard there! Congrats on the tattoo. Looks great.
Run SarahMay 6, 2009 at 7:49 pm
Your tattoo is breathtaking — wow! I love it and the message behind it.
weight and meditateMay 6, 2009 at 7:53 pm
Wow, that’s so cool – when do we get to see your parent’s tattoos??
AnneMay 6, 2009 at 7:53 pm
Jenna!! I love it!!!! And, I know John loves it too!!! I am so proud of you!!! The tattoo is amazingly beautiful!! OK, now – they are addicting – — if you need me to talk you out of more – – I will!!!! (right!!!)
JulieMay 6, 2009 at 7:53 pm
It came out so pretty Jenna!! I want to see your dads tattoo! Is it huge?
jennaMay 6, 2009 at 7:57 pm
Unfortunately the rents want to keep theirs private from the world wide web (haha) but my dad’s is not huge….its about six inches long I would say and very, very classy. We were all just staring at each other not believing we got tattoos!
Adi (oatonomy.com - repaired!)May 6, 2009 at 7:53 pm
The tattoo looks great – simple, but says so much with so little.
Glad you liked Ikea! I love that place! It’s also a great place to buy house plants, oddly enough.
KierstenMay 6, 2009 at 8:07 pm
Your tattooo is beautiful Jenna! I sympathize with you, I know how much the wrist tattoo hurts (that’s where mine is too). I am sure John loves what you and your parents did.
LaurenMay 6, 2009 at 8:13 pm
Hey Jenna! I have to admit, I am not a tattoo person, but oh my goodness, that tattoo is absolutely beautiful. I am so proud of you, your mom, and your dad! I know that John was watching over you guys with a smile (and maybe a few chuckles). I am glad to hear that you had a great first time IKEA experience. Hope you have a great rest of the night!
ChrissyMay 6, 2009 at 8:14 pm
YAY! I’m so glad everything made it there in one piece! I had horrible visions of exploded almond butter arriving to you in the mail 🙂 The flattened banana is my FAVORITE…I buy those like 10 at a time! Enjoy!! xoxo
MonicaMay 6, 2009 at 8:16 pm
the tattoo is beautiful! Trader Joe’s raw almond butter is delicious, I’m sure you will love it!
Laura (On the Threshold of Greatness)May 6, 2009 at 8:19 pm
The tattoo is beautiful! I think you and your parents going together to do this is an amazing tribute to your brother. I’m glad you listened to your heart and got it where you’ll see it all the time.
I made holiday chia pudding today as my Raw Wednesday snack after seeing you rave about it. 😀 It’s amazing!
courtneyMay 6, 2009 at 8:20 pm
congratulations jenna! i just know john was there with you the whole time, and is so proud of all three of you! your family is amazing, and you all continue to be in my thoughts. your tattoo is beautiful, as is your heart 🙂
Megan (Runner's Kitchen)May 6, 2009 at 8:21 pm
There was a shooting at my alma mater (Wesleyan University) today and a 22-year old student was killed. It made me really angry that a life was taken because of a gun. I hope that you’ll keep your blog readers updated if you decide to take any action on guns. I’m so upset right now and I feel like I should DO something 🙁
p.s. I know that John was with you today when you got your tatoo – it looks great!
sueMay 6, 2009 at 8:21 pm
Thank you for sharing your amazing tattoo dedicated to your brother.
May it always bring you back to your brother,whether for strength in times of sadness or a chuckle at something he would have found funny…may it carry you through safe and beautiful journeys along life little pathways….
GretaMay 6, 2009 at 8:21 pm
Congrats! The tat looks awesome, I bet John is loving it from Heaven 🙂
AmyMay 6, 2009 at 8:22 pm
LOVE the tattoo!
CandiMay 6, 2009 at 8:23 pm
I’ve noticed the same thing about the Mighty Maple…I just figured it was crystallization from the maple syrup. I agree, my natural PB and almond butter don’t have grit and I don’t remember it from my Jif days…
PS, I really like the back of your new ‘do (it’s new, right?) – so cute!
FoodsThatFitMay 6, 2009 at 8:25 pm
Way to go girl!! Wow, the skin on the wrist is SO sensitive, but you are TOUGH!!! I am sure that John was there with you today, and is with you always.
Ikea…I get so overwhelmed in that store. Such fun stuff and I always dream of what my future kitchen will look like when I am there.
JocelynMay 6, 2009 at 8:30 pm
You are so brave for getting that tatt!! amazing!
You are so right..
You never know when God will throw in a curveball/how he will make people come together!
JessieMay 6, 2009 at 8:32 pm
I’ve only commented here once or twice but I wanted to tell you how deeply sorry I am for your loss and how inspired I am by the way you are dealing with it. It is so neat that your family was able to bond over the tattoos and that you share your faith so often on this blog. It’s really more than just a food blog… it’s a lifestyle/motivational blog as well. I’ve come to it more times than one seeking a piece of wisdom, life-applicable scripture, laugh, or tip about how to live the healthiest and happiest life possible. Thanks for sharing everything you do and I pray that you’ll find God’s peace during this trying time.
BethMay 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm
LOVE the tatoo and what a great way to honor your brother. I love the image of him having his hands on your shoulders.
JillMay 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm
I haven’t been able to read your blog in a few weeks and I just caught up. I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. Reading the post about the memorial service brought tears to my eyes. Every day is a gift. I will be thinking about you and your family and I am so glad that you are embracing your true passion in writing. I look forward to reading it for a long time.
CassieMay 6, 2009 at 8:41 pm
Your tattoo looks sooo good! That blue is really pretty Im glad that your parents went through with it and got thiers as well I think it will help you all heal. Seeing you getting yours done makes me want another tattoo!! haha
LTMay 6, 2009 at 8:43 pm
looks awesome, jenna!! the tattoo artist did a great job!
JenniferMay 6, 2009 at 8:47 pm
Your breakfast looked yummy! Today, I had my first raw green smoothie with almond “mylk”, banana, apple, ice cubes, and yes… a handful of baby spinach. I didn’t really taste the spinach and it held me until lunchtime. It was really hard to not drink my daily English Breakfast tea though… but I got over it after 20 minutes. Can’t wait for next Wednesday’s raw adventure!
pollyMay 6, 2009 at 8:55 pm
I love love love that tattoo… the cross of Jesus inside that wave for John. He is with us always, even when life makes absolutely no sense. Love you, my sweet friend. I had to call Dan out to the computer to look at your arm!!!!! 🙂
KatieMay 6, 2009 at 9:05 pm
I love it! Can we see a picture of your mom’s? I almost got a finger tattoo once…
Sarah (lovINmytummy)May 6, 2009 at 9:08 pm
Sweet tat! I think the design you picked is great and from what it sounds like, your brother would love it!
AshleyMay 6, 2009 at 9:08 pm
I love the tattoo, especially since it has so much meaning for you. Sounds like you had quite a day! You salad looks so yummy
I love the kitty tent from Ikea! We bought a tent for our cats once, but both cats were too large (polite way of saying fat) to fit into it 🙂 Like another poster said, be careful with the quality from Ikea. It’s great stuff and looks awesome, but sometimes doesn’t last as long as you would hope due to its durability (or lack thereof)
Allie KatieMay 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm
Your tattoo is beautiful, Jenna! I hope the swelling goes down soon (I didn’t notice it at all, but I hope the pain of the tat goes away). Beautiful!
Laura BrandonMay 6, 2009 at 9:26 pm
Oh my goodness it’s HUGE!!! I love it! And I love this: “if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans…” So true! There was something else I was going to say but I forgot. Oh well. Oh, I remember, I was just going to say dang you get a lot of packages! You always get to try something new, how fun!
AmandamooMay 6, 2009 at 9:27 pm
It’s so beautiful and your family is so brave.
AngieMay 6, 2009 at 9:39 pm
Love the tattoo!! What an awesome tribute to your brother.
Still Life in South AmericaMay 6, 2009 at 9:39 pm
That’s a beautiful tattoo design, Jenna. I especially love the sea foam blue of the waves. You’re a brave gal!
Sounds like a very enjoyable and productive day. I’m always too overwhelmed by choices in Ikea and can’t decide on anything. 🙂
JenMay 6, 2009 at 9:41 pm
The tattoo looks badass; John would have thought it was so hilarious that your family was getting tatted up together!! And that’s the first frozen/convenience pad thai meal I’ve seen that actually looks like it’s supposed to. I’m most definitely going to keep on the lookout for that brand!
SamanthaMay 6, 2009 at 9:52 pm
Love the tat, its beautiful. Anything with waves is awesome! Glad ya’ll did that for John and yourselves!
I’m LOVING the chia pudding, its my new every day breakfast!
Also loving sprouting my quinoa. I made a yummy salad with some today and am eating it as I type. Your blog has really helped me to see that although I used to eat moderately, its wasn’t necessarily HEALTHY!
AngelinaMay 6, 2009 at 9:56 pm
Your tattoo came out great, love the color!
Kailey (SnackFace)May 6, 2009 at 10:06 pm
Jenna, oh my goodness! The tattoo is beautiful! I’m positive John is loving them, too!
Isn’t IKEA just a dream? I adore it and it’s so easy to get lost in their IKEA world!
Mighty Maple’s grainy texture threw me off at first too, but then I found myself loving that about it, no matter whether it came from sugar yumyums 🙂
Hope the swelling goes down and you have a lovely night!
LeahMay 6, 2009 at 10:16 pm
girl that is so beautiful! I would like to get something inspirational on my wrist as well to catch a glimpse of when I run.
Also, could you explain a raw diet a bit more? What are some examples of tasty foods on the diet? And isn’t it a risk for some sort of nutritional deficiencies? Take care.
CarolineMay 6, 2009 at 10:33 pm
What a fun family bonding event–I am sure it will be a memory than none of you will forget.
ashMay 6, 2009 at 10:39 pm
wow Jenna your tat looks awesome
Moran (The Running Addict)May 6, 2009 at 10:55 pm
Jenna I am so happy you finally got the tattoo! Bless you and your family! I am sure John is smiling where he is now.
RachelMay 6, 2009 at 11:19 pm
Beautiful, Jenna. Can we see your parents’ tattoos sometime?
MandaMay 6, 2009 at 11:46 pm
I am still stunned that you guys actually did it!! Talk about gutsy 😉 That is so awesome. I’m sure someone is smiling wide right now. Any chance your parent’s tattoos will pose for pics?????
ps–I kind of want to get a tattoo now because of you all… We shall see what happens. If I ever do, I can’t help but want to get something that reminds me of you and your family. I will certainly send a pic if that ever happens.
Read ya tomorrow!
MandaMay 6, 2009 at 11:48 pm
One more thing— that tattoo will be great for your future races… Hopefully, it will spark some end-race fire or should I say waves?!
Leah @ Simply FabulousMay 6, 2009 at 11:51 pm
I love it! It looks wonderful! What a great experience this was for your family.
StefMay 6, 2009 at 11:53 pm
I got a little bit teary seeing/hearing about your tattoo! It looks amazing, and I believe John was with you today! Hope you had a nice visit with his gf, and I’m glad you ate a yummy dinner tonight!
ChrisMay 7, 2009 at 12:11 am
The new ink looks beautiful, Jenna! What a wonderful tribute to your brother – and talk about clean lines and clear colors! Your artist definitely knew what he was doing and I’m glad you got such a good result. =)
JessicaMay 7, 2009 at 12:16 am
That tattoo is so beautiful, so awesome Jenna….your brother would love it!
And please try the TJ’s temptation trail mix asap, it’s one of my favorites! Especially when sprinkled on top of some steamin’ hot oats!
LaceyMay 7, 2009 at 1:30 am
Your tattoo looks awesome! Are you going to post pics of your parents tattoos too??
jennaMay 7, 2009 at 5:42 am
Lacey and Rachel,
No I’m not. They prefer to keep theirs private.
green inkMay 7, 2009 at 3:32 am
Great tattoo – what an experience this must have been for you and your family. I’m sure John was there, enjoying it with you!!
IKEA rocks, I agree. Hope you got all the stuff you needed!
caitlinMay 7, 2009 at 4:55 am
beautiful tat, jenna! i love it and i know john would’ve liked it too.
ShelbyMay 7, 2009 at 5:01 am
The tattoo is just stunning Jenna. The perfect tribute to your brother =)
EmilyMay 7, 2009 at 6:06 am
I’m laughing at that picture of the Ikea parking lot you posted–I can’t believe how “empty” it looks, and there are actually open parking spaces! When IKEA opened a store here in Utah, people actually camped outside the store for DAYS! On opening day, people parked in fields like two miles away and they had to have traffic control cops everywhere. It was a hot mess–funny to watch on the local news, though 🙂 Glad you enjoyed your shopping adventure. Looks like you had a great day!
ErinMay 7, 2009 at 6:20 am
Your tattoo looks great! And ikea is amazing, I could spend hours in there!
HeatherMay 7, 2009 at 6:50 am
Kudos to you and your family! It is definitely an experience you will never forget and it’s wonderful that you all got to share it together. Let me just say that little house for Mikey from IKEA is so freakin’ ADORABLE! My heart melted when I saw it. And totally agree with you on the fantastic frozen pad thai. It may have a bit of a sodium overload but we must treat ourselves! You have taught me that, and I thank you for it! [: God bless you!
AlliJagMay 7, 2009 at 7:14 am
LOVE the tattoo Jenna! I’m sure John is so proud of the three of you!
LaurenMay 7, 2009 at 7:17 am
The tribute tattoo came out great, Jenna! What a nice way to bond with your family in memory of John.
Hangry PantsMay 7, 2009 at 7:34 am
The tatoo experience was such a great way to remember your brother. I definitely bet he was smiling!
RoseMay 7, 2009 at 8:35 am
I think the tattoo is a lovely tribute. It certainly brought back some memories of when I got my tattoo.
GenaMay 7, 2009 at 8:43 am
FitzalanMay 7, 2009 at 8:59 am
People that say getting a tatoo doesn’t hurt are downright crazy. They kill!!
When my dad was really sick and at the end of his life with cancer, he started smoking pot. It was the only thing that took away the pain and made life at least “bearable”. Okay, my parents were VERY VERY VERY against pot smoking. And then one afternoon I walk out to see my father and my older brother smoking together….a situation I NEVER in my entire life would have expected to happen.
It really is crazy the situations God throws us in and the things that transpire to help us through them. It really makes me feel like we don’t have all that much control and we are going along with His plan. Makes you laugh to see how all these things play out and interlace.
I love how that frozen dinner actually came out looking exactly like the picture on the box. That so rarely happens!
Kristilyn (The Food Journey)May 7, 2009 at 9:13 am
I love your tattoo! They do take forever to get done, but the pain is worth it. I love the idea your mom had … something subtle.
That pad thai looks amazing! I don’t invest in frozen dinners too much … sometimes I make something I know will make a lot of portions, put some in the fridge for leftovers and some in the freezer for “emergency dinners.”
I do agree with you on the Peanut Butter & Co. The peanut butter tastes good, but I find that it works better when spread on something warm, like toast or an english muffin, rather than had cold. My husband thinks I have an addiction to nut butters … if that wasn’t the case, I’d pick up the PB&C DARK chocolate one today!
AnaisMay 7, 2009 at 9:20 am
I love your tattoo, it’s really beautiful!! ALso…I was in shock: you had never been to IKEA? I’m sure now you’ll be addicted lol 🙂 I love going there!!!
RUnToFinishMay 7, 2009 at 9:44 am
serriously I still think that’s like the greatest family thing, I love that you did it… and oh boy I still don’t know if i could take the pain
BrynnMay 7, 2009 at 9:49 am
I’m eating that almond butter right now. It’s the best! That trail mix is so good, I don’t buy it because I can’t control myself.
Annie D.May 7, 2009 at 9:54 am
YUM!! I do all of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s! They have some GREAT almond butter!
ps… isn’t IKEA great?!
Michelle HisaeMay 7, 2009 at 10:49 am
You are so brave! And what a fun day to follow. Furniture shopping is so FUN!
ErinMay 7, 2009 at 12:33 pm
You are a brave chica for getting it on that spot & I love it. I think your family is uber cool for getting tattoos together. What a touching way to keep John with y’all.
Ikea rocks, glad you had fun.
Lindsay @ FoodrunMay 7, 2009 at 1:57 pm
What a beautiful way to remember your brother.
I just tried the Dark Chocolate Dreams after seeing your picture and I agree – kind of grainy, but DELICIOUS. I tried on on a date today and loved it.
Jenn (eating bender)May 7, 2009 at 7:06 pm
Beautiful tattoo, Jenna!! I love the tribute your family made to John. It’s wonderful.
Thank you for your sweet sweet comment on my blog. You are too kind! I hope you have a lovely weekend!
bobbiMay 8, 2009 at 3:13 pm
love the tattoo!!! I so want one, but I am a whimp when it comes to pain! LOL
Andrea of Care to EatMay 8, 2009 at 6:22 pm
Your tattoo is gorgeous and a beautiful tribute to your brother. I’m glad you and your parents could share the experience together!
SpeakoutMay 11, 2009 at 6:39 pm
Just wanted to let you know I had the Tandoor Chef Pad Thai tonight for dinner and it way really great! If I have it again, though I’ll make it in the oven rather than the microwave as the tofu, while still good, tasted a little like a sponge. 🙂
I want you to know I find your blog so motivating to me. I’m 45 and have over 100 pounds to lose. I’m so sorry to hear about your brother’s passing. I started reading your blog last week and stayed up till 2:00am one night reading back until I found out how he died. You are an excellent writer, and found it quite a captivating read. Hang in there, you are doing very well considering what a tough thing you are experiencing. Thanks for helping me on my journey.