Banana Splits for Lunch (and a Giveaway)

I’m a bad mom.

I realized a few weeks ago that my sons had never enjoyed a delicious banana split. I mentioned something about a banana split, and they looked at me like I had horns coming out of my head.

“A what?”

“What do you mean ‘a what?’ A BANANA SPLIT.”

Lots of blinking.

And so I decided to remedy the situation by making them banana splits for lunch. Because summer. Because memories. Because Hershey’s sent me four bottles of syrup to give a whirl.

Hey Let's Eat Banana Splits for Lunch

Because I wanted a banana split for lunch myself. And then I realized, huh, I’ve never made a banana split before. Well I’ll be.

It’s easy.

Peel a banana. Duh.

Cut it in half, and halve those pieces. Place them in a fancy pants bowl.

Hey Let's Eat Banana Splits for Lunch

Hey Let's Eat Banana Splits for Lunch

Add ice cream. We like vanilla. Well, BigBrother probably would have preferred chocolate but this is my banana split dream here, so there you have it. Vanilla ice cream.


Top with Hershey’s Syrup in Milk Chocolate or Special Dark, Caramel, and Strawberry.

Hey Let's Eat Banana Splits for Lunch

Of note that I chose the Hershey’s Special Dark Syrup for my chocolate fix on the banana split. Dark chocolate is my chocolate. Also of note: BigBrother originally didn’t want the Hershey’s Strawberry Syrup. He choked on a strawberry when he was two and remains adamant that he does. not. like. strawberries. Update: He likes the Hershey’s Strawberry Syrup.

Whipped cream to top!

Hey Let's Eat Banana Splits for Lunch

My banana split also featured peanuts on top of the whipped cream, because duh.

And enjoy.

Hey Let's Eat Banana Splits for Lunch

Hey Let's Eat Banana Splits for Lunch

The boys thought this banana split for lunch thing was the best thing that had ever happened in the history of all things, or at the very least, in the history of all lunches. And, really, I can’t argue. We sat at the table, ate our splits, and slurped up the syrupy goodness at the bottom of our fancy pants bowls, happy smiles spread across our messy faces.

I’ll always remember the day I made banana splits for lunch.

Now I want to know what your favorite sundae option is: Do you go banana split or are you just a chocolate lover? Let me know in the comments for your chance to win. The giveaway will include four bottles of Hershey’s Syrup, one of each flavor—Milk Chocolate, Caramel, Strawberry and Special Dark— along with one ice cream scooper, six sundae bowls and 20 party spoons. Comments are open through Friday, August 11, 2014.


*This post is sponsored by Hershey’s. All ideas and images are my own. Be sure to visit for more dessert and syrup inspiration.



Cyber Monday

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: What a Difference Two Years Makes

2012 and 2014

The Columbus Marathon is in 83 days, or in 2 months and 21 days. I have twelve weeks left to train for the Columbus Half Marathon.

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon

We flew all day yesterday, landing in inclement weather. We stopped to eat food, and drove the hour(plus) to our home. I briefly unpacked, only to get to the pink shirt I wanted to wear to run. I put on my new Asics that they sent me to give a whirl. And I was out the door within 20 minutes of walking in the door. I wanted to get that final run of week four done. And I did, albeit rather slowly.

New Asics

I felt proud at the time.

In retrospect, it was a bad choice. My back, due to flying and luggage dragging, and the general constant movement of conferences (like, uhm, dancing until 1 AM), is completely out. I burst into tears this morning trying to get out of bed. I am currently on the recliner with an ice pack, having taken the first Flexeril I’ve taken in over a year. I’m hurting, physically and emotionally. I hate that one bad back flare day can remind me of how bad it really got in 2012.

Let’s take a comparison shot shall we?

2012 and 2014

On the left, you’ll find me in 2012, just days after my back procedure while attending BlogHer ’12. I was mostly pain free, with a few leftover twinges. But I was severely overweight for my slight frame and the fact that I dealt with the feelings of my back injury by eating everything in sight. On the right, you’ll see me just after Voices of the Year this past Friday at BlogHer ’14. I see a slight tummy bloat because I had just downed two glasses of champagne and eaten two plates of food (I can’t eat before I go on stage; it used to drive my dad nuts!). But I see a healthy, happy woman who worked hard to lose 38 pounds. I’ve put five pounds back on since my lowest weight, and that was a personal choice as I didn’t think I looked or felt as healthy as I do in the range where I currently rest.

2012 me never would have woken up at 5:30 to go to the hotel gym with her favorite people.



And so sitting in the recliner this morning, looking at these two versions of myself, I can feel the panic welling up within my soul. Left Jenna was not only overweight, but she hated herself. She hated the pain and the way it affected her mental health. She hated looking in the mirror and getting dressed and leaving the house. At all. Right Jenna is mostly happy, still with the mental health issues she’ll always have, but in a general state of okay. She works hard at being healthy, both movement wise, with portion control. and regarding mental health. She loves spending time outside the house, whether running or with friends. Right Jenna is the Jenna I am meant to be.

A foggy morning run, earlier in the week

I have faith that the pain will dissipate and I can begin week 5 training for the Columbus Half Marathon someday this week. I may only end up with a three run week, but I’m going to have to be okay with that. I worked hard during week 4 despite traveling cross country and working my butt off at the conference. I am proud that 2014 Jenna knows that taking care of myself physically is very important, even while traveling.

What a difference two years makes.

Let’s look at runs for the week.

Monday, run 13: 3.09 miles, 32:00, 10:22/pace
Tuesday, run 14: 4 miles, 38:30, 9:37/pace
Wednesday: Rest day, cross-country flight day
Thursday, run 15: 3 miles, 30.09, 10:03/pace (DREADMILL)
Friday: Rest day, 6,832 steps at conference
Saturday: Rest day, 10,570 steps at conference including dancing until 1 AM
Sunday, run 16: 6.13 miles, 1:04:51, 10:35/pace

Again, I shouldn’t have run Sunday night. I wanted to get it done, so that this week wasn’t already behind schedule. I also wanted to prove to myself how different I am now, how dedicated I am, how much I have changed in those two years. Apparently I also wanted to prove how stupid I am and that sometimes, being human, I forget to listen to my body. It happens. I’ve spent the majority of today in bed, or reclined in the car, with an ice pack, with a heating pad, with a Salon Pas patch, with Flexeril, with water, with sleep. I’m hoping this is just a short-lived spasm like happned last training season.

Today is obviously a rest day, though I predict some sitting in my parents’ hot tub and maybe some laps in the pool to get my back to release. Week five of training brings only a one mile increase in my total distance, and not on my long run either. I’ll be running, 3, 4, 4, 6 (instead of 3, 4, 3, 6). As long as I can get my back to calm down and let go of my spinal cord, I should be okay. If all else fails, I may walk some of those runs just to keep moving. If I learned anything from my previous back injury, which lasted for a full two years, sitting still and feeling sorry for myself only makes it worse. The weight I gained while injured only made it that much harder to get better.

Here’s hoping week 5 will be okay.

A Brief(ish) Word on my Voices of the Year Reading

You Are Enough

Standing on stage, reading those words, is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done.

My Voices of the Year Piece


I mean, I acknowledge it’s a well-written piece, one I am immensely proud of having written, having pressed published, having shared, having submitted for VOTY, having won.


Sending the girl with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and bouts of depression up on stage to talk about suicide seems like a recipe for disaster. Because I would rather talk about anything that suicide. I would rather talk about menstrual cycles and puberty with boys and Calculus and the weird orange mold spores that grew on our back deck than stand in front of a group of my peers and colleagues and talk about the things I struggle with mental health wise. To talk about the times I’ve felt worthless and hopeless. To talk about the times I wanted to die.

On Stage


But there’s a reason it wasn’t my happy posts that were picked. Not a piece about mothering the heck out of my beloved boys. Not a piece about the grief and loss that come with being a birth mother involved in an open adoption. Not a piece about writing or running or marriage or love or anything in between.

It was this piece.

Because it needs to be read. Out loud. We need to talk about the bridge that is any bridge, the space that is any space, those feelings that we’re told to keep quiet, keep silent, keep hidden. When I arrived at the Grand Ballroom, nearly in tears and having been sick with nerves for an hour and a half prior, Elisa Camahort Page took me aside and told me that my piece, well-written, had been picked because just as people needed to read it, people needed to hear it. Out loud. And then I tried not to cry some more.

And so it is my honor to have stood before you and shared those words with you tonight. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your tweets, your photos, your Facebook statuses. Thank you for coming up to me and saying, “Well done.” But mostly, thank you for sharing your stories. We are not alone in this. We are never alone in this.

With My Piece

It is also my duty to tell you that if you are struggling with suicidal feelings, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone. And, like we’ve seen plastered on our mirrors here this week: YOU ARE ENOUGH.

You Are Enough