Kids - Lindsay's List

why stretch marks aren’t as bad as you think

February 3, 2014 in Baby, Blessings, Blog, Body, Inspiration, Kids, Pregnancy by lindsaymwright

As a little girl (with no brothers), I saw my mama’s bare belly plenty of times.  But never for very long….because of the stretch marks.  Those pearly-white lines etching patterns into her body.  Like rivers on a road map.  Like a tattoo that she never really signed up for.

I’d ask about them (because I didn’t have any yet – surely I needed those to be a beautiful woman like she was (is).  She also had a big, puffy C-section scar – twice cut open.  I needed one of those too…) and she’d laugh them off and say something along the lines of,

You were worth it.”

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I never understood what that meant until now, in my third trimester, with my third baby.

Those lines.

They weren’t something ugly, like my mama thought but would never say out loud.  No.  They were a bartering tool.

My mama, like all mamas, traded her body for my life.

What a precious, flawless thought.

And that’s exactly what this journey of pregnancy is.  A handing over.  An act of trust.  Submission to whatever may come.  Stretch marks, c-section scars, the swollen ankles, nausea, the acne.  All of it – simply part of the deal.  Some women go through the journey unmarked, while others take on a heaping bag of stuff.  And the truth is, nobody goes into pregnancy and SIGNS UP for this stuff.  I won’t pretend that I, like many other women, haven’t sought out ways around the stretch marks and cellulite.

But….

When we devote time (too much time) worrying about how we’ll look after that baby comes or whether we’ll be marked up, we miss out on the beauty of submission and what the end result provides us withNew life!  A small chance to play a bigger role in something beautiful.

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I would challenge us all, myself included, to look at our bodies with a little more grace, pregnant or not.  And THIS is why I won’t be sharing any anti-stretch mark tips with you.  Because in doing so, I would in a small way be contributing to the idea that our bodies, squiggly lines and all, are things that need to be changed.

And they aren’t.

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splendid…lindsay

intentional living – our decision to homeschool

January 8, 2014 in Blessings, Blog, Blogging, Faith, Family, Homeschooling, Inspiration, Intentional Living, Kids by lindsaymwright

Disclaimer: Intentional Living is not meant to judge, persuade, condemn or change. It is merely a sharing of ideas, thoughts and decisions.

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Oh, homeschooling.  Where to begin?

I prayed long and hard about how I would present this decision because like so many other parenting issues, the choice to homeschool (or not) is so very touchy.  When we tell others that we’ve chosen Option A, it comes across as a bashing of Option B.  People become defensive.  The word “judgment” is thrown around.  It’s amazing how quickly someone can become offended when another hasn’t chosen an identical path.

To be quite honest, our decision to homeschool really has nothing to do with you (unless you are my child reading this post, in which case, you are very smart to be reading so early and must have a rockstar teacher).  It’s simply an educated choice that our family has made with regard to how we spend our day.  I’m sharing it on the blog because I feel as though many young families are seeking alternatives to traditional schooling.  Homeschooling is certainly an alternative option.

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First, a bit of history:

I was raised in public school.  My parents both worked and my sister and I went to school during the day.  I excelled at school, even receiving college credits for a couple of AP classes I took.  I had some stellar teachers and some not-so-bright ones.  I LOVED playing school sports and competing against other schools.  I had many friends, some of which I still keep in contact with to this day.  Public school served me well!

Travis was raised in a homeschooling family.  His father worked and his mother stayed home and schooled the children (at the time, there were nine!).  He excelled at school, even receiving college credits during his high school years at the local community college.  Travis played soccer competitively up until he attended college.  He received a scholarship to UNC (where we met!)!  He’s a bit of a genius but still has the ability to interact beautifully in any social setting.  Homeschool served him well!

As you can see, the paths were different but the results similar.

Stick to the positives!

The negatives about public school really didn’t play into my decision to homeschool.  (read that again – it is KEY!  Because golly jeepers, I can’t think of a worse way to present this discussion – or any discussion for that matter, than by focusing on negatives!)

Rather, our decision was based on all the POSITIVES we saw associated with homeschooling.

  • I get to stay home with my children.
  • I get to teach them!  I get to experience their firsts!
  • I get to learn about the way they learn.  Are they more auditory??  More visual??
  • I get to choose the curriculum.
  • I can talk about God freely and without restriction.  I can make “Bible Study” an actual class!!
  • And my kids?….they get to spend the day with their mama.  They have a say in what we’ll learn about this week or next (I prescribe the fundamentals and they choose everything else based on what they want to learn about.  It’s HONEYBEES this week btw.).  They have flexibility written into their day.  AND they could (but we rarely do) spend the entire day with bedhead and pajama bottoms. Smile

All great things!

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Some days are easy.  Some are hard. 

Some days I question myself and my parenting.

Sometimes I want to run away and escape. 

Some days I wonder what it would be like to send them off and go to work.  

Some months it would be nice to have that extra income.

Sometimes I wonder if they’ll succeed later on.  Be “social awkward?”  Smart enough? 

But then I straighten up, stop questioning myself, and find comfort in the fact that most mamas feel this way about their kids, homeschoolers or not.  We all just want the BEST.  What does that look like exactly?  The definition varies from family to family.

As for the Wright family, we’re aiming to raise loving, ambitious, independent children who run after God and HIS plans…His heart.  We’re taking it one day at a time.  We’re covering this decision in prayer.  We’re being intentional about it.  And that’s the best we can do.

splendid…lindsay

**If there is interest, I’d love to write more about the day-to-day logistics, curriculum, our co-op, etc.  Please let me know if these topics interest you!!**

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More “Intentional Living” posts

An Introduction

Faith Based Living

on teaching the JOY of giving

January 3, 2014 in Blog, Christmas, Family, Kids by lindsaymwright

One of the things that Travis and I want to teach our children is how to GIVE with a merry heart.  If we’re not on top of it, the sentiment at Christmas time can quickly turn into, “What am I getting??” and while we want our kids to have fun celebrating Jesus’ birthday by receiving presents, we want the emphasis to be on how enjoyable it can be to GIVE a present as well.  I know that I personally receive a huge blessing when I’m able to give – it turns the focus off of us while at the same time making us reflect inward at our desires to bring joy to others.  We derive the same feeling when we give of our time, our tithes, our abilities – to bless and BE blessed!

Bottom line – giving is super fun!

 

As you’ll see below, we gave the kids $10 a piece and divided up in search of the perfect gift for the other sibling.  It was easy for them to get caught up in toys that they personally would enjoy but I think we did a good job of diverting the attention back to the other sibling.  I suppose we’ll have to up the giving limit next year as Baby Porter will need a gift but this will be a new Christmas tradition for sure!  I know I got a kick out of the entire process!

QUESTION:  Do you enjoy giving just as much as receiving??  What’s the best gift that you ever GAVE someone??  <-I give Travis the pleasure of being married to me on a daily basis.  Phenomenal gift. Winking smile

splendid…lindsay

2013: the year of perseverance

January 1, 2014 in Blog, Faith, Family, Goals, Inspiration, Kids, Love by lindsaymwright

I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’m welcoming 2014 with WIDE open arms!

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I’m not one to write things or people off but the last year proved to be one of the most trying for me.  Or rather, I think I had a hard time with The Waiting.

->  Waiting to move into our house.  (which I’ve YET to give you guys a tour of!)

->  Waiting to see if my job would get any better.  And realizing that I had to go in an entirely different direction.

-> Waiting to heal, mentally and physically, from two miscarriages.

->  Waiting to get pregnant again.

->  Waiting for sponsors to come forward for Blend 2014.

->  And now….waiting for God to heal me completely of this pregnancy nausea.

The thing about The Waiting….it’s when we GROW THE MOST as people.

When we become stronger.  When our patience is truly tested (and not in a, “Wait to open your Christmas present”-sort of way, but in a, “God isn’t speaking clearly for what seems like months and you want Him to NOW!”-sort of way.).  The Waiting brings our demons to the surface and then it’s OUR choice as to what we do with them.

Read the rest of this entry →

christmas 2013 (photo dump) – part I

December 27, 2013 in Blog, Christmas, Family, Kids by lindsaymwright

This Christmas (like most every other Christmas) ROCKED!!  I think that Henry is at just the perfect age for giving and receiving presents – the boy has done nothing but scream with joy for the past few days (he even thought the wrapping paper on some of the presents warranted a, “Isn’t this just THE coolest!!?!”-type of response.  That kid.  Love.).  Clara had fun too…just in a, “I’m focusing on this present right now and you’d better not interrupt me and then roll my eyes,”-sort of way.

We’re still in recovery mode over here and I’m assuming that many of you are too – so a big ol’ photodump seems appropriate (reading is just so hard).  There were simply too many great shots to cram into one post so I’m dividing them up into two – Christmas Eve* today and Christmas Day for tomorrow’s post.

I hope you enjoy a little glimpse into our life!  Happy Weekend!

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splendid…lindsay

**This sampling only represents HALF of our Christmas Eve, as we also spend a great majority of the night with my side of the family.  Travis just forgot to bring the camera (sorry mom).

when the cat’s away

December 20, 2013 in Blog, Family, Kids by travisvwright

Travis here.  Mom was sick on Monday so the kids and I set up some toys out on the side porch (as far from Mom as we could take our cacophonous exploits) to keep us entertained.  2 out of 2 children agree it was the best day ever.

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my holiday eating plan

November 28, 2013 in Blog, Diet, ED, Family, Food, Goals, Inspiration, Kids by lindsaymwright

I posted this journal entry LAST Thanksgiving.  The message remains relevant, except I’ve taken it one step further this year as my children are even more interested in the actions/mindset of Travis and I as parents.  I’m constantly thinking, “How will MY behavior effect my children and their own body image?”  I may never know the answer, but I want to do everything I can to set an example of BALANCE.

Anyway, I KNOW that someone out there needs to hear the message, so enjoy! 

And Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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“Fill up your plate with half vegetables, a quarter lean protein and a quarter of the good stuff.”

“Make sure you snack on healthy foods during the day so you don’t overeat during the main event.”

“Stand more than an arm’s length away from munchies, like a bowl of nuts or chips, while you chat so you’re not tempted to raise your hand to your mouth every few seconds.”

“Wear the tightest clothes you have. You’ll notice you’re overeating and be able to stop yourself.”

“Burn off all the calories you’ll eat during dinner by exercising like crazy early in the week/day.”

“Know your calories!!! Choose pumpkin pie over pecan. Even better, skip dessert altogether. Dressing is THE DEVIL! Mashed potatoes- a demonic indulgence. Choose low glycemic foods over high glycemic foods.”

“Choose a BLUE-colored plate or better yet, bring your own blue plate to dinner. The plate that helps you to eat the least amount is one that is blue, that color has the least appealing blend with food.”

“Bring your own healthy salad so that you’ll have something to eat. These people don’t understand you and this healthy living path you’ve chosen.”

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You’ve heard these before. I know you have because they’re everywhere we look – magazines, Dr. Oz, Oprah, even healthy living blogs. Tips on staying healthy during holiday meals.

We thrive off these “RULES”. We NEED them or we’ll go rampant like rabid raccoons all over that Thanksgiving/Christmas meal, standing over the table, elbows akimbo, scarfing down carbs and spoonfuls of gravy. In fact, who needs a spoon!?!? We raccoons will just drink it straight from the gravy boat.

Oh the sheer horror of losing control!! It’s more than most can bear! And that’s why we form PLANS. A strategy to reign us in. Because heaven forbid we actually indulge once and then carry on with our healthy living journey.

To hell with that.

I’ve lived 30 years with a plan and honestly, I’m so tired. Maybe it’s just that I now have my APPETITE back, but it seems illogical to me to set special rules for eating. I’m hungry. And the food at holiday meals is some of the best of the year. Why wouldn’t you want to partake in it?!?

Because most of us don’t trust ourselves.  Or our bodies.

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From 1998-2004 or so, I would “fake eat” at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’d follow all of those rules I listed above and make up some of my own. Pushing food around on my plate to make it seem like I ate. Spitting food out into napkins, hoping no one would notice. And if I’m being perfectly honest, a couple of those dark years, I’m sure I went upstairs and purged that meal. The meal my mama worked so hard to cook.

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Dude. What the heck!

It’s unacceptable behavior. And it directly opposes the very sentiment behind Thanksgiving. We’re supposed to be THANKFUL for this food that we’ve been blessed with. Thankful for the hands that prepared the meal. Thankful that we can break bread together.

When food rules and game plans are introduced, a little bit of that thankfulness is pushed to the back and a feeling of control and what I would describe as obsession takes first place.

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My Holiday Eating Strategy:

I don’t have one.

Well I guess I kinda do. I’m going to fill up my plate with a little bit of every thing that looks good to me. I’m going to eat my food and talk to my family and enjoy this time that I’m blessed with. And if I want seconds, I’ll go back for them. Not partaking in my sissy’s homemade pumpkin pie would be a tragedy. After the meal is over, I’ll continue on with my healthy life.

No starvation. No binge eating. Just normal eating of some pretty amazing food.

Yep. I like this plan. It’s one I want my children to mimic in the future.

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Will you join me??

QUESTION: I know I missed some of those “food rules.” What are some of the other ones? What’s your favorite dish at Thanksgiving dinner?

splendid…lindsay

playing dress up with reebok

November 27, 2013 in Blog, Fitfluential, Kids, Review, Sillyness by lindsaymwright

One of the (many) perks of having this blog is that I get to review products for free (and usually get PAID to do so)!!  I’m always thrilled for the opportunity to try new stuff out and I hope I present it in a way that is natural and not too “sales lady.”  I’ve had a great many products sent to me that don’t get on the blog, either because they turned out to be a fail or they included an ingredient that I couldn’t endorse.  When I started blogging 2 1/2 years ago, I NEVER thought that I’d be getting these opportunities (which come only because of my pageviews and online reach – so YOU!..thank YOU!)….and I especially didn’t think that my children would benefit much, if at all, from Lindsay’s List.

Welp.  Color me wrong.

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Thanks to Reebok, Clara has some (adorable!!) new shoes to show off… so, naturally, she HAD to do a little fashion show.   Just for you guys!  (but mostly for herself, as she LOVES playing dress up.  And looking in the mirror.  And calling herself “boot-i-ful”.  Which she totally is.)

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Reebok’s VentureFlex is just for toddlers – girls and boys sizes 2-10.  With an incredible flexible outsole and a wide toe box (us Wrights need this!), the VentureFlex is a great option for any active toddler (so every single toddler. ever.).  You can find these shoes at Finishline locations across the country, as well as online.

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**I received this product, as well as my own pair of Nano 3.0’s for free through a partnership with Fitfluential and Reebok.  All opinions are my own.**

QUESTION:  Have you tried Reebok shoes before?  What’d you think?  <-I personally have two pairs of Nanos – one pair I bought myself – and love them for lifting and Crossfit-style workouts!

splendid…lindsay

on teaching responsibility

November 8, 2013 in Blog, Blogging, Family, Giveaways, Kids, Review by lindsaymwright

We (try to) run a pretty tight ship over here at the Wright house.

Let me tell you – parenting can be a truly tricky thing.  One minute you’re completely enamored (and distracted) by these little people who are just SO DARN CUTE – you just want to give them everything.  And then at other times, you’re wondering how in the world did they get to be so old and so bossy and SO loud in public.  A good mix of love, responsibility, GRACE, discipline, and affection go into making good kids truly GREAT ones.

And I think Henry and Clara are pretty great.

Travis and I try to teach responsibility the HANDS ON way, through involvement in daily tasks and chores.  If they need something, anything, we’ll teach them how to do it for themselves (example: Henry can now buckle himself in and out of the car and we’re currently working on teaching him to bathe himself.) If it’s a task that takes time out of my day and could teach my kids better habits and self-improvement, I’m going to take the time to make sure they A) know how to do it and B) know how to do it properly so that I’m not constantly coming behind them and “fixing” it. <-this is a huge no-no for a child’s self-esteem. Go here to find out my philosophy about that.

Some of our current age-appropriate chores include:  making beds, sorting laundry, cleaning up and organizing toys, brushing teeth, putting away dishes (the ones that are down on their level and NO SHARP KNIVES) and dusting (again, things on their level).

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When ChoreMonster contacted us about trying out their web and mobile apps, I knew it was a natural fit.  Through ChoreMonster, kids can earn points by completing chores that they can turn in for real life rewards like ice cream, an hour of Xbox or even a canoe trip.

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The app is geared toward ages 4-12 so Henry and Clara are a little on the young side BUT in having used it for the past few months, I’ve noticed one thing: they LOVE technology (specifically, they love my iPhone (I’ve downloaded about 15 different apps for them – some educational, some fun games).  They also LOVE being rewarded for completing chores.  With ChoreMonster, I assign points to specific tasks (example: making your bed equals 5 points) and then I assign a reward for completed points (example: earn 50 points and you get to pick out a toy at the store).  Henry and Clara are LOVING this (we hadn’t really implemented a reward system before trying out the app and even still, I have them do some things that are NOT rewarded because we still want to teach them selflessness and teamwork).

The company also has a companion app called ChorePicker, that helps parents identify chores for kids (based on age), and shows the kids how to complete the chores.  We use this companion app to keep things interesting for Clara since her chores are more limited (cleaning up toys, brushing teeth, etc).  After exploring ChoreMonster for a couple of months, we’re using it on a daily basis and love the outcome that it’s produced in our kids!  If you’re interested in exploring this app for your own family, ChoreMonster is giving away FREE 1 Month Subscriptions to all Lindsay’s List readers!  Go here to get started!

QUESTION:  If you’re a mama, how do you teach your children responsibility??  What types of apps do you have on your phone (I love sharing these good ones like ChoreMonster.  Some of our other favorites include: DoodleBuddy, Endless ABC, Escape Challenge and 123 Tracing)?

splendid…lindsay

** I received this opportunity through Canopi to partner with ChoreMonster and review their product for compensation.  All opinions expressed are my own!