I’ve actually never let my blog go unattended for so long before, and I’m sorry! I really do miss writing and hearing from readers.

In addition to the couple dozen started-but-never-published posts stored in my drafts folder, here’s what I’ve been up to since my last post, in no particular order.

sept MLIR post collage

Started running every day. If you run at least 1 mile a day for 365 days you get to add your name to this website. (Really, it’s a thing.) It’s on the honor system, but no runner would lie, because you would know you didn’t do it. I’m on day 200-something. Mostly I just run 1 mile, but you have to do it, no matter what. Injured, sore, sick, tired. Some nights it’s 10 p.m. on the treadmill.

Finished my term as a national Go Red for Women spokesperson. From June 2014 to August 2015 my photo, story, and video was all over the place (the national Go Red site, Macy’s site, and blogs and magazines galore), I traveled to LA and New York, attended the Red Dress show at New York Fashion Week (!), wrote for the Huffington Post (!!), was interviewed for several magazines and newspapers, appeared on billboards across the country, appeared in a book about survivorship, walked in a fashion show (!), and shared my story many times as a panelist or keynote speaker. But most importantly, I met and became instant heart sisters with Betty, Veronica (yes, that’s true), Lisa, Amanda, Deb, Miriam, Rhonda, and Julia, who’ve enriched my soul beyond measure.

Ran a 10 mile race, a couple indoor triathlons, marathon relay, and my second outdoor triathlon. A slower race calendar for me, and I’m missing harder training and more races. There’s always next year.

Became very busy at work, took on extra responsibilities, and got promoted.

Cleaned my garage. No really, cleaned. Scrubbed the floor and donated the toddler toys. Put up some shelves and attempted, after 16 years in this house, to get organized.

Marked my fourth heart-iversary and discovered, upon reflection, that though there are a few bad days, the year itself was the best I’d felt in four years. It’s amazing how time and normalcy make you forget.

Joined the board of directors of the American Heart Association-Twin Cities, and I’m excited to take my advocacy and volunteer work to a leadership level. I’m always inspired by those who volunteer to fight heart disease, and my first impressions of the board are no exception.

Made hundreds of dinners, ran countless errands, spent a fun couple weeks at the lake, went to work, baseball games, ski races, hockey games, soccer games, and cross-country meets, supervised bedtime, attended weddings, showers, birthday parties, and funerals, drank a lot of red wine, prayed for friends in crisis, took my grandma to New York, got a teenager started in high school, and day in and day out lived the life I’m so lucky to be living. A happy, healthy, normal life. And though I haven’t written in so many days, there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for it.

So hello again. I’m still here, still me, still living the best life in red I can. Let’s keep in touch.

jen feb 2015


  1. What a sweet, charming and uplifting overview, Jen! I’m especially glad to hear that “time and normalcy” are your friends… Best of luck to you in having an even better year in 2016!

    • Thank you Carolyn! While I occasionally “couch” myself, I was surprised to realize how much less that happened in this fourth year. It is such a blessing, but then I caution myself to remember not to take a good day for granted — which is too easy to do!

  2. Heart disease certainly amplified and magnified life and gratitude for you and, in turn, for those of us who read your blog. You live big and with gusto and I am so delighted for you and your family. I wish you many continued blessings.