let's be friends

let’s be friends: Jen

The winner of the reader recipe poll is blueberry baked oatmeal.  Recipe and review Friday morning!

Meet Jen!


I’m a High School ESL teacher in Des Plaines IL.  I’ve been teaching for 11 years now. I grew up in IL and went to UofI in Champaign/Urbana. I was down there for 7 years because I earned my Masters too. While in college, I started playing ice hockey and I LOVED it. That’s one of the reasons I staying at UofI for so long. After college, I wanted to move somewhere that had a lot of ice hockey for women so I decided to move to MN. I moved up there without a job but I found one after a few months. I taught ESL up there for 5 years. I LOVE LOVE LOVE MN and I enjoyed playing hockey and meeting Minnesotans. It’s a beautiful place to live!  However, I started to get a little homesick. My brother is married and still lives in IL. He has 4 kids. My parents still live in IL too.  I felt like I was missing out since I lived so far away. So I moved back to IL.

When I moved back, I found a job and a place to live and I kept playing hockey. In IL, women’s hockey is a little disappointing. I had trouble finding a team I liked and the ice times are brutal. It became too difficult to continue playing. Plus, I found a new love – Stair racing!  I became a competitive Stair Racer and did all the races here in IL plus one in Miami. It is a weird sport but I was pretty good so I kept racing. Then, I was convinced to start doing triathlons. After my first one, I was totally HOOKED. I got really really into triathlons and it lead me to meet my husband.

I was training so much, I injured my shoulder so I went to a chiropractor to get fixed up. After he healed me, I threatened to reinjure myself so I could keep seeing him. He got the point. He released me as his patient – It’s illegal to date your patients – and we started dating. Two years later, we had bought a house and gotten married.

That same year, I completed the Madison Ironman. About a year into our relationship, I decided to do an Ironman as a sort of “Grand Finale”.  We knew we wanted to have kids so I wanted to get the IM out of the way so I could get pregnant. So… that’s where I am now.  Teaching and working on starting a family!

UPDATE (since Jen sent in her bio): I’m pregnant!  We’re in the 11th week and the baby is due in the middle of November.  So far, all tests and doctor appointments have gone smoothly. I’m feeling pretty good and continuing to exercise moderately. No ice-cream and pickle cravings but I could probably eat pizza every day for the next 7 months – with a side of cake. 🙂

Leave a comment for Jen saying hi and CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

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4 thoughts on “let’s be friends: Jen

  1. Aww, I didn’t know Jen was doing this. Dammit Jen, start a blog already! You are too fun and need to share your personality online!!! 🙂

    And congrats!!!

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