best decisions by caroline

July 29, 2014 in Best Decisions, Blog, Blogging, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

Another “best decisions” post (for more, just search in the sidebar – there are many!)  One of MY recent best decisions was housing a caramel apple from the Kilwin’s down here in Destin!  Is there anything better?? 

Many thanks to Caroline for filling in for me!  Take it away, friend!

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The Best Decision I Ever Made… was getting my master’s degree in clinical mental health and clinical addictions counseling!  Through my two years in my master’s program, I learned so much great information that, when applied, can lead to a fantastic, healthy life!  I really enjoyed all that I learned in grad school (and my subsequent counseling experience since that time), and I’ve been really thankful for all the changes that resulted in my life because of my decision to go to school. Here are some of the biggest changes in my life that have occurred because of that one decision:

Because I decided to go to grad school, I ended up doing my thesis on wellness (yes- it was more specific than just “wellness”) and behavior change.  In writing those 80ish pages, I realized how much work I had to do on myself.  I made a promise to one of the people on my thesis committee that I would start working out as soon as I graduated; I kept that promise.  It’s all about being proactive in our health, right?

Because I did my thesis on wellness, I realized how much my lack of exercise impacted other areas of my life, so I started to work out more and I started to run! It’s truly hard to imagine my life without exercise, as running half marathons is such a big part of my life. (you can read more about “my journey to running” here).

Because I started running, I started to do pilates, which has become a big staple in my workout schedule. I love the mind-body aspect of it, and it is not only a stretching and strengthening activity, but it’s also great as a stress reliever. Doing pilates also lead to me becoming a pilates and pilates/barre instructor, which I really love ( I also love getting to do barre classes for myself! ) IMG_1968

Going to grad school also taught me all about having healthy boundaries and trying to decrease the use of cognitive distortions (especially great for those dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression!)  Not only have I noticed big changes in my mental health and my worries and thoughts since grad school, but these things also impact the physical health choices that we make as well!

There are obviously far more changes that resulted from grad school as well.  Running led to triathlons and connection to some of my family members in very different ways because of this.  Grad school led me to meet some of my very closest friends, led to a speaking and writing career, and led my to my dream counseling job.  I never thought that one “little” decision like grad school would lead to a snowball of other changes as well.

That’s the thing, though.  So many of our decisions, whether big or little, will lead to a cascade of other things in our life.  As you make your decisions- choose wisely.  Think about how your decisions might fit into your future goals, and if it will take you closer to or farther from health.  And once you’ve made your choice, hang on and enjoy the ride!  It may take you places you could’ve never dreamed of or planned!

Now it’s your turn to share! What’s one of the best decisions that you’ve ever made? What other things did it lead to in your life? DSC_0563_2

 Hey! I’m Caroline, a counselor, half marathoner, and Pilates & Barre Instructor. If you’re interested in running, biking, pilates/barre, traveling, and mental health issues, you can find me at the following places:

Blog: http://www.thelittlethingsblog.com

Twitter: @kalolainastar

Instagram: littlethingscaroline

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/littlethingscar

best decisions (a love story)

June 18, 2014 in Best Decisions, Blog, Blogging, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

Stopping in real quick today with a guest post for you!  (Thanks Wendy!!)  It’s a great love story that I think you’ll want to read!!

Come back tomorrow for a “Body After Baby – Two Month Update” for me and Porter’s Two Month check-in!

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When I thought about the best decision I ever made, it took me about half a moment to decide upon it.  Then I nixed it, thought about other “life changing” decisions, and none of them felt right.  It might be cliché, but it’s true.  The best decision I ever made was marrying my husband 30 days after I met him.

If that sounds crazy, well, at the time it seemed it a bit, to me, too.  Yet, it felt right and I trusted.  I’m so grateful that I had faith during that time, for during those 30 days, I just went with it.  Everything went right during those 30 days, and life truly changed after for the best.  Let’s look back on it, shall we?

The Meeting

Scott and I met at RTC (Reston Town Center) at the fountain.  It was our first “in person” meeting after meeting online.  Incidentally, I knew something good was bound to happen, but I was nervous and thought about ditching the meeting.  There was, however, an empty parking space right in front of the fountain, so I took it as a sign and followed through.

We sat in the cold, talked a bit, and then moved inside to Ice Berry.  On the walk to Ice Berry, I noticed his walk was off and he said, “it’s from muscle atrophy.”  My heart sank, but I slowed my pace to match his.  We talked and talked.  He ordered coffee.  I ordered nothing.  Everyone at Ice Berry knew him.  It was comforting.

The Back Story

Scott was riding his bicycle on 29 April 2010 when a woman made a left turn and hit him.  It was a catastrophic event for everyone.  The woman had no intent to hit him, the intersection was a nightmare with sunlight and trees, and Scott was going about 40 mph (per the police report).  Shit happens.  It did that day.

Before the accident, Scott was a sub-3 marathoner, a sub-5 70.3-er, and about a sub-18 5k-er.  He was working in the financial services world and going through a divorce.  That all changed that day.

My life on 29 April 2010 was a bit more calm.  I was a middle school Spanish teacher almost married to my job.  I loved the structure, but hated it, too.  I was a teacher through and through, so leaving the job at school was tough.

My life was missing what I sought most:  my best friend and the father of the children I knew in my heart.  I was yearning for that perfect partner and to start a family.  I wanted more in life than rubrics and conjugations.  I knew I needed to tell stories, but I felt attached to the stability of a public school teaching position.

To 30 Days

In those 30 days Scott and I solidified our love and respect for each other.  It was warm, it was familiar, and it was built on trust and faith.  We married on a pier at Leesylvania State Park at sunset. The winds were fierce and it foreshadowed a move we’d make two years later.

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Life Beyond 30 Days

Life changed when I met Scott.  I welcomed a step-son. We moved eight months later to Utah.  We lived there for five months before we were blessed with the birth of our daughter, Susanna Hope.

Just after her eight month birthday we moved again, to Enumclaw, Washington at the base of Mt Rainier before moving finally to the coast of Washington where we’ve been since September 2013.

Scott and I both work as writers and are stay-at-home parents now.  It’s crazy, but we do it.  We love it. We have a gorgeous piece of land about half a mile from the Pacific Ocean.  Susanna adores it!  The girl has always been an outdoors girl, as is evidenced by our running on the BoSho (Bonneville Shoreline Trail) the day before we went to the hospital for her birth.

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There are moments when I sit back and go, “Wow! Thank you!”  The moments of, “what the *&^% are we doing?” have lessened.  We know what we are doing and we believe.  Just as we did when we met and married in 30 days.

Some things are just right.

Some things just need to be accepted.

Some things change life forever for the better.

(A few Scott accident side notes.  His injuries were extensive, but he’s defined by more than a TBI, paralysis, crushed ribs, broken legs, punctured lungs, a coma, etc.  All of which have mostly healed, though the TBI remains an ever prominent reality along with a lingering affect from many others.  The driver of the car is an amazing woman.  She’s one of our dearest friends.  We e-mail at least once a week, and she’s a true light in our lives.  She had no desire for that moment to happen, none.  It just did. It changed Scott’s life for the better, but P refuses to accept any good responsibility from it.)

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Wendy is a Spanish and Special Education teacher turned writer.  She lives on the Washington coast with her writer husband, toddler daughter, and baby-on-the-way.

write a guest post for me!

March 26, 2014 in Best Decisions, Blog, Blogging, Friends, Pregnancy by lindsaymwright

Happy Wednesday!!!

Today, I’m asking for guest posts!

This is kinda like the Lindsay-way of freezing meals before the birth.  Except you’ll be doing all the cooking.  (you don’t want me in there – it’s scary.)

Three themes to pick from (or heck, just come up with your own!):

Option 1:

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Tell us about the BEST decision(s) you ever made!  How did it change you??

Here’s one I wrote a while back.

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Option 2:

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Tell us what you like to do when you’re bored.  Here’s mine.

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Option 3:

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Make up a workout that we can all do during naptime (3oish minutes)!

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Just email me at lindsayslist at gmail dot com and tell me what you’d like to write!  I’ll accept posts through next weekend and will take around 10 posts total.

Thanks for cooking! Winking smile

splendid…lindsay

best decisions…meet lee!

May 16, 2013 in Best Decisions, Blog, Blogging, Friends, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

I’m on a boat PLANE headed out to Utah!!  I might be a little sparse over the next few days with Blend, but I promise to overload my Instagram and Facebook feed with pictures, so make sure you follow on both of those outlets if you can!  Did I tell you guys that TRAVIS is coming with me?!?!  I’m stupid excited about getting to travel with a companion, even if he does fall asleep within 5 minutes of sitting in the plane seat (and stays that way the remainder of the flight!?!?  I can’t sleep on planes.)  Anyway, today we travel, so I thought I’d introduce you to my friend Lee and her best decisions!  Take it away, friend!

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Hello Lindsay’s List readers.  My name is Lee and I blog over at In My Tummy. I’m excited to do this guest post for Lindsay on the five best decisions I’ve ever made.  Let me tell you, giving my blog that dumb name was not one of them.

1. Moving to Atlanta. I’m from the Washington, DC area. I went to college in Vermont and after I graduated, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself, so I moved back. Though I lived in an apartment with a friend and had a job (actually two; I had a full-time job and I waited tables), I just wasn’t happy so I saved up some money and took a leap of faith. A couple of my friends lived in Atlanta and just sort of decided that I was going to join them down in the ATL. It’s been ten years now and I’ve made my life here and I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I didn’t.

2. That leads to me to point number two and I can’t believe I’m going to admit this because I usually don’t. Trying out internet dating. Right before I met Jason, my husband of almost three years, I had been sort of hanging out with this guy who was a real jerk to me. To sort of get over him, I decided to create an online profile and ended up meeting Jason and the rest is history. I know that it’s common to meet people online nowadays (I mean, hello blogger friends) but I still sometimes wish that when people ask us how we met, I could say something like “in college” or “through friends.” Oh well. I just admitted it to you guys and called it one of my best decisions.

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(I promise, we don’t normally wear matching jackets.)

3. Getting a dog. After Jason and I had been together for about a year, we got Murphy from a golden retriever rescue. (Though when we got him, his name was Ricardo. He told us that he felt more like a Murphy though.) He is the cutest golden retriever you’ll ever meet even if he’s a little camera shy. I cannot imagine life without my best buddy.

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(Hello crows feet. Maybe getting some eye cream should be one of my next best decisions.)

4. Running. I was not athletic in the slightest when I was growing up. When I was really young, like elementary school aged, I did soccer and gymnastics, but from about age 10 to age 18, I did nothing athletic whatsoever. For a few years after that, I ran off and on, but I really didn’t get into it until my mid-20s when I randomly decided that my first race was going to be a half-marathon. Now, I’ve run ten of them and various races of other distances. While I’m not a particularly fast runner in any sense of the word, running has given me a sense of self confidence that I never had. It showed me that if you put your mind to something, you can do it, even if you aren’t really naturally inclined.

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This picture cracks me up. So dorky!

5. Starting a blog. Cheesy answer, but it’s true. I have always been one of those people who kept journal after journal. I probably have them going back to when I was about 14 years old, maybe younger (and they are painful to read)! I kind of view my blog as an online journal. I get to talk about myself (which I like to do!) and meet new friends at the same time. I mean, it’s a total win-win and it’s become one of my favorite hobbies. See, new friends. I bet you recognize some of them.

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There you go, my five best decisions!

QUESTION:  Share one of your best decisions!  Or give me tips on how to sleep on a plane (i just get so gosh darn excited – i must have a window seat!)

splendid…lindsay

best decisions series….meet scott

April 26, 2013 in Best Decisions, Blog, Blogging by lindsaymwright

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Well I’m off to Park City!!  Excited to have this chill weekend with some of my very best blends!  I’ll be back late Sunday night, but until then, I want to introduce you to Scott (a boy blogger – gasp!).  Not only is he a boy blogger, but he’s been my friend ever since high school.  (Correct me if I’m wrong, Scott, but didn’t you win Most Talented??)  EXTREMELY innovative/talented and incredibly funny, I know you’ll enjoy reading about some of his best decisions! 

Thanks, Scott, for subbing for me!

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Best decisions I’ve ever made.

The BEST decisions… not just the good ones, like passing on seafood salad at the flea market.

Here we go.

1. BEST DECISION! I married the most wonderful, beautiful, adorable, lovable, intelligent and hilarious person in the world. There is no question that this is the best decision I’ve ever made.

“But what if…?” you ask.

“What if you never met this spectacular person? What if through an odd and unexpected chain of events involving stolen library cards, a Hulk Hogan look-a-like, mild food poisoning and not one but TWO hobos named Cornbread…you missed your chance to ever meet your loving wife?”

Well, I can only imagine that instead of this…

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My life would look something like this…

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2. Getting in Shape!

The decision to lose weight and get healthy is not only relevant to this blog but really is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In early 2008, I stepped on the scale and saw the number 215. I was so shocked that I let go of all the helium balloons I was holding… that’s when sh!t got real. Two hundred and forty three pounds, I weighed. Which wasn’t all that bad for someone 6’ 3” but since I’m 5’ 7,” I decided something had to change.

So, I did what I was supposed to do. I ate healthy food, I exercised every day and there was so much water going in and out of me, it barely had time to get warm. After a year or so I had lost 60lbs and swore I’d never go back.

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3. Learning to Play the Guitar!

Am I the inexplicable love child of Eric Clapton and Chet Atkins? Hardly.

I’m not incredibly skilled or knowledgeable and never had any lessons but I sure do enjoy it. I would encourage anyone to learn how to play at least one instrument because it is one of the most fulfilling skills you can learn. I engage in a myriad of creative hobbies like drawing, painting, woodworking, sculpting, and modern dance (the last one is a lie) and while I may be better at some of those things than I am at playing and singing, they’re not as fun. I actually made the guitar in the video out of a tree I cut down in my front yard, which is cool, but playing it is still the fun part.

5. Skipping Number 4!

I think it was a great decision to skip number four because I’m a guest here and it was mostly just questionable language and obscure references to breakfast cereal commercials from the 80’s.

6. Being Myself!

What a novel idea. It’s sounds so simple and yet so many people seem to struggle with it. To save time for the rest of this post, let’s call these folks Waddles. As in “Waddle people think?” and “Waddle people say?”

Now, the problem with Waddles is that they have a tendency to put what strangers might think about them ahead of what they actually want when making decisions. I strive to avoid Waddling whenever possible.

Beyond your standard Waddles you’ll find the Extreme Waddles. These are individuals who go to incredible lengths to appear as if they couldn’t care less what people think about them… because they actually care so much that they’d rather pretend to be someone they’re not than be seen as who they are.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I don’t care or don’t think about what other folks might think about me. You can’t just ignore it. Well you can, just don’t be surprised when the job you’re hoping for goes to a person who didn’t wear paisley overalls and a captain’s hat to the interview.

I’m Me… and that’s cool because nobody else is Me. Only Me. You ain’t Me. You can’t be. Because I’m Me. See?

Now you’re thinking “Wait a minute… I am too Me!”

Nope, you’re You. You can walk around all day long calling yourself “Me,” my friend, but everybody else knows the truth. Don’t think so? Just wait until the next time a stranger needs to get your attention. I’ll bet they won’t yell “Hey ME! Yeah, Me in the blue shirt, come here for a second.”

Everybody’s Me and everybody’s You. That’s why We are Us. Dig it?

Okay, the whole Me/You thing just then was really stupid, I know, but it was really fun to write and I like fun… so there. I know a lot of folks will read that and think I’m weird and I’m fine with that. Think what you want, that’s my point.

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7. Starting My Blog!

I know it’s supposed to be “5 Decisions” but I’m done after this one, I swear. As I mentioned earlier, I have a lot of creative hobbies and as you may have figured out, I’m a bit of a right-brained person. So, needless to say I’m not a big fan of boring day jobs. I thrive on creativity. I love humor and I love creating things and ideas. For these reasons, I created kindofsketchy.com which I’m hoping will someday earn its place as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (and get me out of my boring day job). It is my venue to share what I do and what I like because I’m going to do all this stuff anyway so why not share it? Maybe someone other than me will enjoy this stuff too, who knows? I’m really just getting it started so there is so much to be done and so much to add. It is my hope that I can use my blog to not only entertain and interest people but to create interest in my artwork and other creative skills. I believe that someday I will be making a living doing the things I love to do and I will then be able to say without a doubt that kindofsketchy.com was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Lastly, I want to thank Lindsay for allowing me this opportunity and of course all of you LL readers who actually stuck around and read all of my rambling. And like I said, I’m new to this blogging thing, so any advice and tips are most welcomed and appreciated!

If you would like to see a lot more of my artwork, you can visit my facebook art page. You can also follow me on Twitter @kindofsketch and of course, check out kindofsketchy.com if you get a chance… maybe something on there will make you laugh.

Thanks again!

Scott Clark

best decisions series – meet maureen

April 2, 2013 in Best Decisions, Blog, Blogging, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

Welp.  I’ve got another sick child on my hands – Miss Clara this time.  This stomach virus reminds me of ….well, I can’t think of anything as bad as this thing is.  Brooke Hogan, Vanilla Sky, even Crystal Pepsi…they all pale in comparison to the foulness that is this toddler stomach virus. 

We’re hanging low over here, but I didn’t want you guys to suffer.  So I thought it would be a great day for another installment of the “Best Decisions” Series.  Today, meet Maureen!  An inspirational, 120-pounds-lighter actress who I love!  Check her out!

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The 5 Best Decisions I Ever Made:

1. Committing myself to a happy & healthy life.

I spent the majority of my life not just overweight, but obese. By the time I was 16 years old, I weighed 246 lbs (and I’m only 5’2). My junior year of college, however, due to a variety of factors, something clicked within me. I started eating right and exercising, losing 120 lbs. Unfortunately, I went through a period where I was too obsessed with exercising and calorie counting and I gained some of that weight back during a period of binge eating and depression. I’ve committed to a healthy, happy life, free from my disorder and I’m finding my way back there now. I’m finally on my way to discovering a healthy balance between food, fitness and fun, and I couldn’t be happier.

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2. Getting involved in Theater.

Theater has been an integral part of my life since I was little. Ever since I did my first play at 10 years old, I’ve been hooked. The thrill and adrenaline I get performing in front of a crowd. The passion and joy I get from theater is like no other high in the world and I can’t imagine my life without it. It has given me so much self-confidence, so many wonderful friends and innumerable treasured memories.

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3. Studying Abroad.

During my sophomore year of college, I made a rash decision to study aboard, and honestly it was one of the best things I ever did. I learned how to be independent and how to travel and fend for myself. I made lifelong friends that I never would have met otherwise. I connected with family I hadn’t seen in years. I was lucky enough to travel across Europe, being a young, carefree teenager, and I will always be grateful for that. I left a part of my heart in Ireland, and you can bet I’ll be back one day to get it back (or leave more of it there!) J

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4. Making my college choice by following my heart.

I faced a lot of pressure my senior year of high school to attend a college that was “worthy” of me according to my high school teachers and counselors. However, I chose to attend a smaller, lesser known college that gave me a full academic scholarship and placed me in an honors program that would allow me to make meaningful connections with wonderful professors and friends who remain an integral part of my life until this day. I was blessed enough to be chosen as the commencement speaker for my graduation and it was the perfect end to a perfect college experience.

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5. Appreciating how important family and our culture is.

My family has always been incredibly close and we act as each other’s support system. Our Irish heritage is very important to us and we use it as a means through which to stay connected and tied to each other’s life. My family is like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” Irish Edition, and I wouldn’t have it any other way J

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Thanks for listening to my ramblings!  If you’re interested in reading more, please check out my blog<-thanks so much, Maureen!!

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Don’t forget to head over to the Blend site and enter our FITMIXER giveaway!!  Remember – we’re giving away something EVERY SINGLE WEEK leading up to Blend!  Oh, and we still have tickets available!

splendid…lindsay