11 Years.

last photo ever taken. 1/20/2003

Picture Taken 1/20/2003

“I thought of you today, but that’s nothing new. I thought about you yesterday and days before that too.
I think of you in silence, I often speak your name. All I have are memories and your picture in a frame. Your memory is a keepsake of which I’ll never part. God has you in his arms, I have you in my heart.”

Today, we celebrate my sister’s life. She was taken from us 11 years ago and although I will never forget and I still remember it like it was yesterday, I have to reflect on these last 11 years with a smile on my face. I think about all that my family has overcome since we lost Sami and how much stronger of a family we are because of it. God is a mysterious man and I’ll never understand why he took such a beautiful being from us so soon, but I have to believe it was because he needed her to serve a bigger purpose. I am confident that I am where I am today because I’ve have Sami on my shoulder and in my heart. She has shaped me into the woman I am today and I am so thankful for that. My mom and I have grown so close and I know that is because of Sami. My mom has overcome more than any one person should deal with in a lifetime and is she is stronger than ever because she has Sami with her every day. I am grateful for the time I got with her. I never knew a 12 year old little girl could teach me so much about life and love. I celebrate her life today because that’s what she would have wanted. She is smiling down from Heaven today and I am smiling back at her.

I think about you daily. I often daydream what life would like if you were still here. I pretend that we would be roommates and best friends and still sharing and fighting over clothes. I look at my best friend and her relationship with her sister and think that would be us. I just want you to know how much I love you. I am so lucky to have you as my angel. There are times I get so angry and just want to hear your voice once more, but then the sun shines down on me and I know that you are here. Don’t worry Sami, I am taking care of the family, just as you would have. You’ve made me a better person, better friend and better daughter. You are the best little sister I’ve ever known. Thank you for continuing to be here for me. We will celebrate you today. Love you forever little sister! – Love, Jess

Forever in our hearts and forever in our thoughts.
Sami Rose Scannell 7.14.90-1.27.2003


New York.. Ready or Not, Here I come..


It’s been an extremely emotional day trying to decide whether to run in the NYC marathon or defer to next year. After A LOT of tears, I realized how heart broken I would be if I didn’t go. I read a lot of negative comments about the fact that the marathon is still happening and I had to agree with a lot of them which is what made the decision so hard, but ultimately I decided to go. If the mayor isn’t going to cancel it then I want to be there with the other runners supporting the city in the best way we can.

Training for this marathon has been no easy feat. Many of you that have either know me or have been following my journey know that it’s taken a lot of hard work and dedication to get where I am today. Over the last year I have put my body through hell, dealt with some nasty injuries, have over $1000 in medical bills and changed my diet twice all leading up to this sunday. I know when I cross that finish line, it will have all been worth it. I’ve learned so much about myself through this journey, I have become a better person, figured out who I am and what makes me happy and most importantly learned how happy I am to be a healthy person with such a strong passion for fitness.

As I’m torn and feel guilty for going to NYC and participating in this marathon during these hard times, I hope NYRR does find a way to make this marathon not a hassel on the city and uses the funds raised to support the victims of hurricane Sandy. I know this marathon is bad timing, but I’m ready for my hard work to pay off and to visit a city i’ve never been to and always dreamed about.

Thank you to all my friends, family and fellow bloggers who have followed my journey thus far, I’m excited it’s finally come down to the final days and I couldn’t have done it without your support.

Happy Birthday Little Sister…












My little sister would have been 22 years old today and I know she would have just been the most beautiful and smart young woman. I lost my little sister when she was 12 years old and every year on her birthday it’s very bitter sweet. We miss her like crazy and it’s hard having another year go by where we don’t get to see her grow, but my family has grown so close through this and I truly believe I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Sami. Every year we get together and do something to celebrate and remember her. This year we decided to BBQ at my mom’s house and just hang out as a family. I’m not sure what was different this year, but for the first time in the 10 years we all felt really good. Today we remembered all the good and we were happy to be together as a family. I can’t even begin to explain how nice it was for my parents to show me how proud they are of me. I know that my life wouldn’t be the way it is today if it wasn’t for Sami and its what keeps me positive and happy every day. I have a guardian angel looking down on me every day and is shaping me into the woman I am today and I’m so grateful for that.

My day started off with a 10 mile run and my dad decided to map out the best route around west seattle and alki that included hills and stairs. He road along side me on his harley and was at every turn so I would know where to go and provided me with water whenever I needed it. It makes a world of difference to know there is someone there supporting you at every mile when your distance running. I never once wanted to give up this morning and I ended up finishing with my best time yet. He mapped the route perfectly to end the 10 miles at this little restaurant called Meander’s. It’s a little hole-in-the-wall diner with the best breakfast, they strive on having fresh and local ingredients and might be one of the best known secrets on the west side. My dad and I shared a scramble with spinach, mushrooms, onions and goat cheese with a side of fruit and WHOLE wheat bread served with the best jam I’ve ever had. If I wasn’t so tired from my run I would have taken a picture. After breakfast we went to the street fair and picked up some fresh king salmon for the bbq at my mom’s.
















The BBQ was perfect. Salmon was so delicious! I think I’ve finally mastered cooking Salmon on the grill. We had the salmon with a broccoli salad and homemade lemon meringue pie! Ummm.. Cheat Day?! Ran 10 miles and deserve it?! Yes!! Finding the balance right?! As a traditional we also picked up my sisters favorite ice cream cake from baskin robins (mint choc chip ice cream/vanilla cake), been doing it for some long it would feel weird not too so had to have a small piece of that too.

After dinner I road with my dad out to black diamond where we have a peach tree for my sister and planted new flowers. It’s a tradition for my dad and I was happy to join him this year.

Ended the night with a movie with my mom. Such a great day and relaxing evening. I’m so exhausted now I know I can not wait for sleep. Tomorrow I’m planning on hiking with my best friend, but with how sore my legs are now we will have to see how they are holding up in the morning.

Happy Birthday Samantha Rose Scannell
…may you forever be my guardian angel until we meet again….
July 14, 1990 – January 27th, 2003

Friday the 13th

It’s Friday! For those who are superstitious it’s also the 13th of July! I’ve never been superstitious, but this day has always stuck out to me. Maybe it’s because of the movies, I’m not sure. I found some fun facts when I was searching the web earlier. This year we’ve had three Friday the 13th’s, this won’t happen again until 2040! I will be 52 then, wow that’s crazy to think about. That’s my mom’s age.. I hope I’m a really good mom to a 24 year old then lol 🙂

The past two weeks have felt really off for me. I’m feel like I keep cheating my diet and that I’m not sticking to my exercise plan. I’m struggling with finding the balance in life. My marathon training is going really good, but I feel like I’ve been slacking on my workouts besides running and I’ll eat really good all day and then go and have a waffle (only once) for dinner! It’s a constant struggle between the good and bad I’ve noticed. I think I’ve talked about this before, but for me I really need to have a routine and stick to it and then everything seems to work out, its when I get off the routine that I struggle.

Today, I started the day with a juice and 24oz of water with lemon.

For lunch I had a spinach salad with beets, carrots, peas, mushrooms, avocado, celery, sunflower seeds and a little balsamic vinegar. I also had a little steamed cabbage and broccoli. I drank another 24oz bottle of water before lunch. Drinking water before each meal is very important, I challenge those who dont to give it a try. Our pastry chef is on a vegan diet so she brought up chocolate vegan(GF) cupcakes for us to try, I know they aren’t any healthier than regular cupcakes, but they sure are delicious and I feel like I’m not cheating my gluten free diet at all when I eat them, so I had 2. 🙂

It’s harder to eat healthy after work, especially with how hot it’s been. The last thing I want to do is cook in my hot kitchen so I usually want to eat out. Monday it was sushi, Tuesday it was tofu & veggies from the teriyaki place down the street from my house, Wednesday was a waffle with peanut butter and syrup at my buddies house (he made fried chicken and waffles for dinner, hard to pass up, did good not eating the chicken though), thursday was a bbq veggie burger with coleslaw and baked beans! and tonight I’m craving veggies fajitas from my favorite mexican place. I’m going to try and resist and cook up my own veggies, we’ll see how I do!

Hope everyone enjoys there friday! its laundry for me tonight, 10 mile run in the morning followed by a bbq with my family and a friends bday tomorrow night. sunday i’m hiking with my best friend. can’t wait to share my weekend and hopefully lots of pictures of the hike on monday!

Happy Birthday Mom











I know everyone says they have the best mom, but I really do have the best mom. She is always here for me, such a great listener and gives the best advice. She has raised me to be who I am today and I’m so thankful for her. Things haven’t always been easier for us, but we always stick together and stay strong together and can tackle all the hard days that come. I feel closer to my mom now than ever before and look forward to our relationship continuing to grow. She really is my best friend and I’m so blessed. Happy Birthday Mom!!