Monday, August 5, 2013

A Marathon

My friend Jenny Reeder is doing a marathon. In the hospital. While fighting cancer. For the second time. Tethered to her running buddy "Turbo", she is logging her miles the length of one sterilized corridor at a time. I am not a runner, an athlete or even an exerciser really, but I am inspired by Jenny's determination to walk away from cancer. During her hospital stay I am committing to go on Jenny's Journey by also walking the distance of a marathon, in her honor. My prayers and positive energy for her recovery will be as steady as my pace. Join us!
~Jed N. P.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Jenny: A Relapse

I am so very sad to write that our dear friend Jenny was told yesterday that her cancer has relapsed.  Chemo is starting immediately and expected bone marrow transplant will be coming. Please send her your faith and prayers. 

In honor of my sweet friend, I pulled out my Flat Jenny and we went on a run this morning.  My heart was so heavy as I ran, thinking of this amazing, sweet, gentle woman who does so much good and endures so well.  I hope and pray that this time around the cancer will finally be defeated for good.  Yet I know that all is in God's hands.  He knows best, He sees the complete eternal picture, and He loves Jenny more than any of us can possibly comprehend.

Jenny, in 6 weeks I will run a marathon.  26.2 miles.  I began the training to prove something to myself, to remind myself of who I am and what I am capable of, to refocus myself on the phrase "in the strength of the Lord I can do all things."  However, I am going to finish the training for YOU; I will run for YOU!  The miles I run between now and then may not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but I want you to know that with every step, every hill to climb, every strained breath, every sore muscle, every desire to quit, and every pounding beat of my heart I will think of you, pray for you, and ask for strength to be given you.  You beat this once, my friend; God willing, you will beat it again!  I love you, dear one! 

"Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe." -Jeffrey R. Holland

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Jenny and I went to Hiroshima last month!
It took about an hour and a half from Tokyo to Hiroshima by airplane. 

We made a visit to the famous Itsukushima Shrine.

This beautiful shrine complex is listed as a World Heritage Site. 
The first shrine was founded in 593! Long history. The present shrine dates from the mid-16th Century.

The gate, or torii, looked beautiful. At high tide, the torii looks like it is floating in the sea. 

We did not forget to enjoy the local cuisine, Hiroshima-stye okonomiyak, Japanese pancake!

We flew back to Tokyo via ANA's latest Boeing 787! 
No shades on the window. Instead, there's a button to adjust the amount of outside light streaming into the cabin. It was a high-tech airplane!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Japanese New Year

I am sorry for my belated happy new year...
I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Jenny and I spent the new year's day in a Japanese way. We went to the shrine for a Hatsumode.

Jenny was surprised to see a long line to make wishes for the new year.
We also prayed that 2012 would be a great year for us and for our family and friends.
We saw a cute girl in a kimono:)
I am going to Hiroshima this Wednesday so I will send some photos from there too!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas from Tokyo!

Merry Christmas from Tokyo! Flat Jenny and I went to Shiguya/Omotesando area, one of the busiest districts in Tokyo to do some holiday shopping.

We took a quick look at Yayoi Kusama's exhibition at Omotesando too.
After doing some shopping, we had a casual sushi lunch at kaiten zushi restaurant.

Flat Jenny said she enjoyed having sushi in Christmas:)

p.s. New year's holiday is a huge holiday in Japan so please look forward to receiving more photos in early January!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Flat Jenny said she wanted to see some of the busy districts in Tokyo so we took a walk around the Roppongi area. She was welcomed by a gigantic spider at Roppongi Hills. This spider symbolizes the role of Roppongi Hills as a place where people gather from across the globe to weave new webs of information and interaction!

We went to an art museum called 21_21 Design Sight. The building was designed by a well-known Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Very unique and modern!

We went inside and enjoyed the Irving Penn and Issey Miyake exhibition.
The photos were inspiring. By the way, Steve Jobs' black turtlenecks were designed by Issey Miyake.

After our inspiring day in Roppongi, we went out to have a yakitori dinner. She enjoyed the Oyakodo, chicken and egg bowl, too with some cold sake!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

I had a meeting near the Tokyo Imperial Palace so Flat Jenny and I decided to take a walk around the Palace. Flat Jenny was surprised to find out that there are so many subway lines in Tokyo! We took the green one, the Chiyoda Line and got off at Nijubashimae Station.

Tokyo Imperial Palace is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. We could also see the tip of the Tokyo Tower (see photo, a needle is like growing out from Flat Jenny's head) from the Palace!

We took a picture in front of the Nijubashi Bridge and the Sakurada-mon Gate. Nijubashi is only opened on special occasions so it was closed when we saw it. Sakurada-mon Gate was completed in 1620.

Flat Jenny seemed a bit tired but she said she enjoyed seeing some historical places in Tokyo! We took the subway on our way back too. We had a fun day!
More info on:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tasty Food in Tokyo, Japan

Flat Jenny and I had a cold udon and some vegetable tempura for lunch on her first day here in Tokyo. The weather is nice today, somewhere around 60F, so we decided to have a cold udon rather than a hot one.I am glad she is enjoying Japanese food. She said she is looking forward to trying out more!

I think I can take her to visit tourist places on Friday or over the weekend so hopefully I will send some pics over the weekend or early next week.

Warm regards,

Additional information about Udon and Tempura can be found HERE and HERE.

Flat Jenny Goes International!

Hi Jenny,

I came across to your blog and was very touched and impressed with what you were doing. I hope all is well with you :) If you would be interested, I would like to volunteer and take flat Jenny travel Tokyo etc. and email those photos to you.

As to business, I have a small travel business for stuffed animals, a bit similar to your concept. I am planning to invite some stuffed animals from abroad(especially kids who are hospitalized or physically challenged) as one of my volunteer Christmas project:)

Warm regards,
Sonoe Azuma

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

1st Place!

Along with about 50 others, Flat Jenny competed in the Jordan Willows 2nd Ward's first annual 5K.  It was a HOT day for a race, but Flat Jenny can do hard things, so she was undaunted!  This is the only picture of the day because she was just too busy running her heart out to make time for additional photo-ops.
Flat Jenny ran hard and her spirits were good.  She chatted with other runners along on the way and enjoyed the scenery of the Jordan River Trail.  She gave encouragement to those who were struggling and many people were interested to learn Flat Jenny's story too.  In many ways, Flat Jenny was the "talk of the town" that day!  That's just the way she is---she turns heads everywhere because she's just so amazing!

Because of the extreme heat, there came a time in the race that a lot of the less experienced runners were tired and starting to walk.  But, that's just not how Flat Jenny rolls.  She doesn't quit.  She doesn't give in to weakness or discouragement.  She is what Meggen likes to call a "Faithful Plodder"---meaning she may not be super fast or flashy, but she IS steady and determined!  She just keeps putting one foot in front of the other, always moving forward.

So, what did all that steadiness and determination get Flat Jenny, you may ask?  Well, out of all the female competitors, it earned her first place (well, tied for 1st, actually)!  (And, it earned Meggen a new personal record for her best time ever in a 5K!)  Not too shabby, Flat Jenny, not too shabby!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Near Heart-Stopping Adventure!

Flat Jenny took a bit of a hiatus so that Meggen could go on a backpacking trip and to girl's camp.  But, she is back at running again and gearing up for her next big half marathon in August!

Flat Jenny had a near heart-stopping experience the other morning while running.  She, Meggen, and Mack went out for a very early morning run---early enough that it was not yet light.  In addition to the dark, there was a considerable amount of fog in the low lying areas along the Jordan River.  At times, Flat Jenny and friends could only see a few feet ahead as they ran.  Although they were on a familiar and well-loved trail, everything looked so foreign and shifty in the foggy dimness.  Consequently, they were all feeling a little jumpy and on edge.  But, Mack was there for protection, right?  Right.

After about 2 miles the trail made a considerable bend.  On one side was the Jordan River and on the other pastures.  As Flat Jenny, Meggen, and Mack made the bend in the trail . . . looming out of the dark and the fog in front of them was a huge, creepy, skeletal face!  It was terrifying!  Meggen jumped, screamed, and ran her heart out to get away.  Mack and Flat Jenny did not object one whit to the swift flight!  None of them had any idea what they had just encountered and were not about to take the time to find out!

After Meggen had put considerable distance between the skeletal face and the runners, she slowed enough to let her pounding heart return to normal and her spinning thoughts enough time to truly consider the question, "What WAS that thing?"  After some significant pondering, Meggen realized that the face had belonged to a horse!  But what kind of horse?  A ghost horse?  That is certainly what it looked like!

Although the mystery had tentatively been solved, Flat Jenny and friends were not eager to encounter the ghost horse again in the dark and the fog, so they took a longer, less adventurous, less scenic route home---thus avoiding any additional supernatural visitations.  ;o)

Several days after the terrifying ghost horse encounter, Flat Jenny convinced Meggen to take the route again (this time in daylight!) to see if they could come to a more definitive conclusion as to what they had stumbled upon in the dark and the fog.  And, here is what they found . . . .
Yes, it WAS a horse!  No, it was NOT a ghost!  But, was it's face indeed very creepy and skeletal looking???  DEFINITELY!!!  (If you put yourself in Flat Jenny and Meggen's place . . . darkness, fog, feeling a little on edge . . . and then you see THAT FACE come out of the gloom toward you---what would YOU have done?!  What would YOU have thought?!)

Mystery solved.  But, I don't think Flat Jenny or Meggen will ever be able to see that horse again and feel truly at ease.  The memory of their dark, foggy, spooky encounter is fresh enough to keep them at a healthy distance from any and all horses that look the least bit ghostly.

On a brighter note, Flat Jenny did enjoy the beautiful blue wild flowers blooming just outside the ghost horse's fence.  These were definitely NOT noticed or appreciated the first time around (in the fog) but helped cheer Flat Jenny considerably at her next visit.  After all, even a ghost horse can't be all that bad if he lets flowers like these grow nearby!  ;o)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Utah Valley Half Marathon

FLAT JENNY DID IT!!! She finished the Utah Valley Half Marathon and it was AWESOME!!! It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL and PERFECT day for a race! Standing at the starting line was a time of excitement and anticipation. Flat Jenny knew she was ready and that she was going to come out flying!
The run down Provo Canyon was spectacular and every step of the way Flat Jenny felt happy, strong, and confident! She started with a comfortable pace and stayed steady all the way.

There were so many people cheering and supporting all the racers. Flat Jenny was so grateful for the love and support she felt from people. Even complete strangers cheered her on and lifted her spirits. It made Meggen and Flat Jenny think about something Sister Ardeth G. Kapp, former YW General President said, "The heavenly grandstands are cheering!" For, not only could Meggen and Flat Jenny hear and feel the cheers and love of the crowd along the race course, but they could also feel and hear (with their spiritual senses) the cheers and love of so many angelic, heavenly supporters in heavenly grandstands! It was incredible!

There were some funny sights along the way that made Flat Jenny chuckle. George Clooney stopped by the aid station at mile 10 to give Flat Jenny a high 5 and wish her well. Although it meant adding a little time to her race, she was not shy about asking for a photograph! ;o) Now Flat Jenny is famous!
Flat Jenny crossed the finish line after having run at an easy 2 hours 11 minute pace! She felt strong and happy the entire way and knew that she had accomplished something great! She made lots of friends along the way and felt grateful for all the love and support she has felt over the last 4 months of training.
Flat Jenny is proud to show off her finisher's medal! What a great day!!! More races lie ahead, but for now she is happy to bask in the glow of a job well done!

This race was easy compared to what our real friend Jenny is going through. But, Jenny, if there is anything Flat Jenny and I have learned through this it is that when it seems you can't go one more step, somewhere deep inside you will find that you can. For, you are not left to do it on your own. Just as Meggen carried Flat Jenny every step of the way on this journey, so Someone WILL carry and IS carrying YOU every step of the way.

And Jenny, like your alter-ego Flat Jenny, YOU are a FINISHER and a FIGHTER! Don't give up, friend! You are not alone!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Opposition Will NOT Conquer Flat Jenny!

This morning Flat Jenny, Meggen, and Mack went out for a run on the Jordan River Trail. They were planning on going 5 miles and had the course all mapped out in their minds before they began. However, less than 1/4 of a mile into the run they discovered that the tunnel under Lehi Main Street had flooded making it completely impassable! The water was at least 10 feet deep! Of course, they could have gone for a swim, but none of them were feeling that adventurous today.

So, they turned around and decided to go North instead. After 2 miles, they discovered a chain link fence and this sign covering the path . . .

It seems that fate was against them today, trying to break their will and their determination. However, as is the case with Flat Jenny, she knew they could make the best of the situation, be successful, and find enjoyment---come what may. She suggested they just make a loop instead of a straight out run. They could still get their miles in and could salvage the day. So, that's exactly what they did!

Here is one of Flat Jenny's favorite places on the trail---the top of a hill that feels like you are on top of the world! She loves the great views of the mountains and valley all around.
Flat Jenny also really enjoyed seeing how full the Jordan River is right now. With all the rain and heavy snow we've had in UT this year, this river might cause some flooding really soon! (In addition to the tunnel under Main Street, that is.)
Flat Jenny noticed there were some cute calves next to the trail that were about the same size as Mack. She told Mack he should stop and look at them for a few minutes. Maybe they could become friends?!
Mack and Flat Jenny were very happy when they returned to the car. They'd had a great run despite the obstacles. Running makes for happy days! ;o) Keep up the great work, Flat Jenny. There are only 10 days until the Utah Valley Half Marathon!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Walk on the Ocean City, MD Boardwalk

This past week Flat Jenny journeyed to Ocean City, MD for a quick trip. She had a great time getting away from everything. Ocean City wasn't too busy, and the weather was sunny and beautiful. Flat Jenny took a walk up and down 14 blocks of the Boardwalk. Flat Jenny noticed that lots of stores were preparing their business for the upcoming season. She saw lots of families and couples walking along the Boardwalk as well. In one fun observation, she saw two seagulls hovering over the Boardwalk reject an upside down vanilla cookie - they looked at it, smelled it and flew away! Flat Jenny also visited a small museum and splashed in the ocean!

Here are some of the moments captured via pictures:

Before going on the walk, Flat Jenny took her picture with "Captain Hook" at a local restaurant. As an aside, while snapping this picture, there were several what appeared to be "ROMEO'S" (Retired Old Men Eating Out) at a booth adjacent to the Captain Hook statue. One of the men told Nita while pointing to his friend, "if you want a real pirate, he's one". Nita looked at the man's friend and the man said "Arghh!", and then both men smiled and laughed. Silly men!

Captain Hook:

Flat Jenny walked 14 blocks down the boardwalk and enjoyed the sights and sounds. She decided to visit the Ocean City Lifesaving Museum, a small museum at the south end of the boardwalk. This museum is dedicated to honoring those who have saved lives of people lost out at sea and displays various beach memorabilia as well.

Here is a picture of Flat Jenny with this rescue device, a buoy that would save stranded sailors. The person being resucued would sit in it and be pulled to safety. Apparently it was an extremely grueling rescue process for both the rescuer and rescuee! (sorry for the blurry picture cue to camera challenges)

Flat Jenny couldn't resist taking this picture with "Laughing Sal" a tall lady who was part of circus type show entertainment decades ago! She was known for her entertaining laugh though some thought it annoying!

(check this link to see what you think about her laugh! This is one of her laughing sisters from a museum in San Francisco!)

Flat Jenny had fun in one of the rooms with a variety of old fashioned bathing suits. She took several picture in that room!

Flat Jenny with this man's 1930 wool bathing suit. It belonged to a man named William A. Gibbs who lived in Ocean City, MD. His wife Virginia B. Gibbs donated it!

Flat Jenny also liked this cheerful flower bathing suit. It was from 1942- Captain Thomas Bowden sent it to his wife, Vashti, from Hawaii, where he was stationed during WW2. Flat Jenny thought that was sweet and romantic!

Finally Flat Jenny checked out the Mermaid Room, yep, she discovered a small room filled with Mermaid decorations! As Jenny is a quilter, she loved this atttractive Mermaid quilt. Here is part of the quilt:

Flat Jenny decided to jump on the quilt!

Enough of museums! It was such a beautiful day and Flat Jenny was ready to go outside. Outside a Ripley's Believe It or Not, Flat Jenny noticed a huge tire! Flat Jenny wasn't sure what type of vehicle would have such a gigantic tire.

Here is a far away shot of Flat Jenny climbing the tire:
and here is a close up shot:

Flat Jenny wanted to end the walk by jumping in the ocean! She thought it would be fun to splash in the ocean and go wave hopping! Enjoy!

Flat Jenny loved the refreshing ocean waves!

Looks like Flat Jenny will need a new outfit as the marker on this one is now smeared!

Flat Jenny wanted to sit in the sand for a moment, hope you like the sea shell she found!
Flat Jenny decided to take a final jump in the ocean to rinse off the sand!

The vastness of the ocean and the grains of sand made Flat Jenny think of and remember how much Heavenly Father loves Jenny! His love is so great for Jenny and everyone!

Goodbye ocean til next time! Fun Times!