I wouldn’t turn that year into a comfortable one for any amount of money + weekending.

(Shirt, leggings, shoes)

Running the day after a long run is not something I’m used to these days (still recovering from ultra training and the back-to-back long runs… how did I do that?!?).   I was very thankful that Maddie got me out the door for 6.95 miles @ 9:00 to hit 75 miles for the week.

It was straight to a soccer game from there, followed by Chick-fil-A breakfast.  I tried their breakfast burrito, which is my new favorite menu item.

Knox went out with some friends, and Skye went to the movies with her best friend after morning chores.

Brooke wanted to go rock climbing, so we jumped in the car.

Beck enjoyed it and showed off his grip skills.  He wants try to lead climbing next.

We got out for a date!

Brooke wore high heels for the first time.

Angel food cake does not get enough fame.

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You guys.  I don’t know if I have another hard week in me before the taper 🫣—time to get uncomfortable.

On Thursday, I was talking about life stuff with my sister, and she said something I thought a lot about during my long run the next day.  “Growing is painful. If you want to grow, know there will be pain.”

Nobody grows during comfortable times.

I repeatedly reminded myself when my legs felt trashed at the start of our extremely hard workout on Friday that I didn’t want to stay the same; I was there to grow.  My coach wanted us to feel what marathon pace feels like on exhausted legs, not fresh ones.  I reminded myself when it would have been easy to slide back from the group that I wanted to get stronger, mentally and physically.  I don’t want to be the same as I was the day before.  I was thankful for the strange opportunity to run hard around our city early in the morning with snow on the sides of the roads with people I have bonded with over the miles.

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This topic reminded me of a blog post from 2013 when my life was painfully uncomfortable.  I had zero dollars to my name (thank you to my brother for the loan so Brooke and I could survive and to my parent’s basement for us to move into), cried all of the time, and had my eye twitching for 365 days from the stress while dealing with attorneys.  I wouldn’t turn that year into a comfortable 2013 for any amount of money.  I swear that year changed my soul.

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Enjoy the growth that comes this week from trying something new, building strength on your runs, and pushing yourself out of that comfort zone.


What has been the most challenging year for you?

If a dessert doesn’t contain chocolate, do you believe it is still a dessert?  I know some people feel strongly about this topic.

Tell me something good that happened to you over the weekend.

Can you do a handstand?

-Not even close but it’s my new goal for this year.

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Janae I cannot believe it was 2013 when you were going through the hardest time of your life. I remember it all!!!!!!!!!!!! The years just fly by and I have been following you for 11 years. Just unreal.

I am so so so so happy for the life that you and Andrew have built and for the beautiful family yout both have created!


Right?? It feels like a lifetime ago. I can’t thank you enough for being with me over the years! This means a lot, thank you Donna!


2009-2011 were very rough for me…medically speaking, I was in a bad place and trying to find out what was wrong with my body. It took two years and a 3 month stay in the hospital to finally figure out what was wrong- autoimmune issues combined with some heart issues. I had to quit my teaching job, move back in with my mom (at 25-26, this felt like such a failure to me), and I also ended a very unhealthy relationship. Looking back, I would not change it. Those rough years taught me to take care of myself, to fight for myself, and how to be strong when you literally feel like you can’t get out of bed. It’s because of that time that I started to take care of my body by feeding it right, exercising (I started running soon after), and learning to advocate for my self in a lot of ways. I definitely agree- discomfort is the only way that we truly grow! Thank you for sharing this message, Janae! Have a great week and Happy Monday! :)


Oh Emily. Those years sound incredibly difficult. I cannot even imagine. You are so strong and those lessons you learned… so valuable. Thank you for sharing and I look up to you!


Finished The Maid – such a cute book! But also not cute, if that makes sense. My heart broke for Molly so many times. Very glad I read it!


I’m almost done too. I just want to hug Molly. Let’s discuss more when I finish??




My goal for the weekend was to finish Boys in the Boat. The way the book all came together in the end was beautiful.
2013 while beneficial to you also must feel like a lifetime ago. Your family sounds like the best!
Handstand? Absolutely not.
The taper is so close! And Spain is getting closer!


Are you going to see the movie now?? I am so happy you loved it. Let’s learn to do handstands this year… please! I can’t believe it! Five more runs until I taper:). Have the best day, Molly!


2008 and 2023 were hard years (last year was also one of the most beautiful, for sure!!!). and both led me to better versions of myself :)

i will take dessert in any form. chocolate is not necessary in my book !

something good: i took a night all to myself! I saw the comedian fortune feimster (do you remember her from ‘the mindy project?’ you should see her stuff on youtube, v funny) and my husband got me a hotel room so i slept by myself and sooooo well! heavenly!!!

used to be able to do handstand but need a refresher course, ha! have a great start to your week, janae!


Better versions. I love that so much. Sending you so many hugs and I hope that 2024 is kinder to you but it really is amazing how we can look back on those years and see how beautiful they were now. GOOD for you and I absolutely remember her. I am so happy about your weekend and so happy you love the gnocchi, I want more right now. Have a beautiful day, Courtney!


ps, i made the crockpot chicken gnocchi soup that you recommended from “pinch of yum.” loved it! thanks for the rec


I’m so happy you got out on a date night–Tom and I did, too, for Tex Mex on Friday night. We may not get them as frequently now as we used to, since home ownership has changed a lot of how we budget and allocate our money, but I will say that the time feels more intentional. And that matters more!

Growth years are hard and uncomfortable. And sometimes painful. It’s hard to be confronted with something entirely new to you OR with something that challenges every formula for success (or survival) you have had to rely on in the past. It doesn’t matter if it’s life stuff, or running, or even the things you learn in school. Back in my college professor days (smile), I remember telling my students all the time that I would understand if they were frustrated by my assignments, my feedback, and my grading–I’m challenging them to think, to make connections, to approach their work, and to produce work that is overwhelmingly different from anything they had ever been asked to do before. And I wasn’t going to let them fall back on–or rely on–everything that had made them successful before. And I remember so many times looking them dead in the eyes and letting them know that I understand how incredibly difficult that is.

But change and growth–the things that challenge what we know and expect–are so critically important.

Looks like your weekend was SO much fun. That angel food cake looks divine. I remember my grandmother got it all the time from the store when I was really little and staying with her and my grandfather in the summers, and she wanted a “lighter” dessert. And yes–dessert DOES NOT NEED TO HAVE CHOCOLATE! Pecan pie can be decadent. Key lime pie can be decadent. Strawberry cheesecake is totally drool-worthy. Peanut butter cookies and vanilla ice cream are the best! :) There are so MANY examples of amazing desserts that do not have one smidge of chocolate in them!!!

(and deep down I want all of them. ALL of them!!!! YUM)


Tex Mex is the best! So happy you guys got out for a great night together. I love what you told your students. You offered them so much room to grow into the people they wanted to be. I love that. I hope to do the same for my kids! I love your passion about the dessert question. It is so true! We allow all desserts:). Happy Monday, Stephanie! I appreciate your friendship!


Oh my goodness…. Brooke is basically a teenager now! So grown up in the high heels.
I was doing an outdoor run with the Peloton app, Kristin Ferguson, and she had such a a great quote for tough times…. “You’re growing through what you’re going through”. I just love that!!! I say that to myself often now.
Dessert is (obviously) better when it’s chocolate, but it isn’t required. I love lemon desserts, pumpkin, berry desserts….
One more hard week before the taper! You got this!
Have a good Monday Janae


I just couldn’t believe she was walking around in real high heels and not her disney princess ones from when she was 3;). Okay, that quote gave me chills. Thank you. I hope you do to and hopefully some good dessert too!


I’m in a challenging period right now. It’s post-holiday and middle of Midwest winter (cold & gray!). I’ve been back to work for 3 months after my 2nd baby. I found this time period hard with my 1st baby too. Around this time the newness for the return to work has worn off and the work pressures to perform well and like the standard person (not one who is nursing or pumping every few hours) are felt. Plus it doesn’t help, I’m envying a mom friend who is taking three vacations (!) this winter to warm places while I’m taking 0. However, with all this being said I have a LOT to be thankful. Love your blog…keep up the great work!


Friend. I am sending you so much love. I wish I could come over and help right now. Thank you for trusting us with what you are going through. I hope you get some sunshine soon… that effects us so much let alone all of the hormone shifts and major life changes you are going through. Sending you love.


Janae! That picture of Brooke in heels! She is such a beautiful girl. That’s what came from your horrible 2013, you’ve shown her how to live through the hard and come out smiling.

1994 goes down as my hardest year. It started with a bang (literally) – the Northridge earthquake rocked us in January. We lost my brother in June and my mom’s cancer came back that fall. I can’t look back at that year without hurting.

Angel food cake was my dad’s favorite! He never really liked chocolate, unlike the rest of our family. Chocolate is my preference, but sometimes I just need something a little more tangy.

We got rain on Saturday, so Les didn’t got for a bike ride – we stayed home and had a big brunch!

I can’t do a handstand. The last time I tried to show my niece a cartwheel, I pulled a hamstring!


Oh Kathy, you are going to make me cry. She really has turned into the most amazing little human. 1994. I cannot even imagine. You went through so much and you are so strong. Hahaha I am worried I would do the same with a cartwheel… I won’t even try. Hope you have a beautiful day and your Saturday lunch sounds perfect.


2013 was also a very hard year for me. Dealt with some life altering medial stuff and I’m just now coming to a place of peace with it all. Also a blog reader from back then and was really happy for you the first time you posted about Andrew. If anyone deserved a second chance at love and family you sure did.

I for sure can’t do a handstand lol.


Jacinta. I am so sorry about the health things you have been going through over the last 11 years. I’m so happy you are feeling at piece now but please know, I’m always here for you. We can always email. Thinking about you, you are incredible.


When you wrote that “when it isn’t convenient” post, I bookmarked it and have sent it to multiple friends since (even though you wrote it so long ago). It was a gamechanger and I think of it often when I’m struggling to be there for others when I need people to be there for me. Your blog helps people!


NO WAY! Oh thank you, Liz. Well, you just got me out of my slump I’ve felt lately with blogging. This means a lot to me. Hope you have a beautiful day!


I’ve had a few challenging years. One was our first year of marriage when we were in school full time and working 4 jobs between us. It was a crazy ride, but it made me appreciate our regular hours so much more!

Watching football over the weekend with friends was awesome :)

I can stand on my hands for like 2 seconds if that counts.


This was such an interesting post to consider… as I feel like I am facing a dark and humbling time in my life. I feel like it is both healthy and realistic to understand that while I don’t like my current circumstances, I can’t change the past I can only embrace the present and take action to create the future. That future may look different depending on the outcome of surgery and my ability to heal. I am struggling to find new ways to cope that don’t include logging miles, fresh air and solitude, I should be investing in learning more about who I am becoming instead of morning what used to work to ease anxiety that is currently not an option. Reading this has made me consider that I have the potential for growth and should be focusing on what actions I can take now to shape the future I desire.
While I am uncertain now, I hope I can look back at this time with a level of acceptance and find gratitude in positive gains.


I have gone back and read that blog post you speak of when I needed to hear its message.
I have shared it with a few people who needed the message as well.
xoxo for being light in the darkness even when you were at your darkest.


Oh I love this! Do you listen to Huberman’s podcast? He did one recently with David Goggins about how important it is to get uncomfortable and that it literally grows a part of your brain (the midcingulate cortex 🤪). And that can lead to longer life expectancy and overall happiness. Yes please! They called it “embracing the suck”🤣 so embrace the suck during your last week of high mileage before the marathon taper! You’ve got this 💪


oh this post. its so strong… and your words that said the year changed your soul. its upto the individuals how you deal with life and how you turn into it. you did such a wonderful job in turning your life like this, wish you loads of love and stregth.


Love you. And Sissy is a wise woman. You have grown to become one of the most amazing people I know. Keep going and growing! Hugs and kisses from WA!

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