on being present and blogging

November 24, 2014 in Blog, Blogging, Goals, Inspiration, Intentional Living, Meh, Rambles by lindsaymwright

It’s currently Sunday night.

I just sat down on the couch.

I’ve got Travis’ cuddly blue robe on and I’m about to head into the kitchen for my nightly bowl of cereal (on a frosted mini-wheats streak right not that I don’t forsee ending anytime soon).  My hands smell of lavender – a reminder of the bath I just gave Porter.  We laughed and laughed as I dribbled water onto his belly and he tried to catch hold of it.  The most rudimentary of science projects – learning that you can’t really “catch” water.

Anyway, I’m sat down to crank out a quick “Weekend Scenes” post.  I’m shocked that there are a total of four pictures that I’ve taken over the weekend.

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I made banana bread.  It was a little dry.

Except deep down, I’m not surprised at all.  Four pictures seems like four too many right now.

I’ve felt this shift in myself for quite sometime now.

This internal struggle that I’ll try to get out of my head and out onto “paper” and even doing that feels like it’s taking too much time away from the things that matter most.

Point blank:  I kinda over blogging.

And taking pictures.

And sharing moments.  My moments.  OUR moments.

This feeling…it’s not something that’s new.  I remember a year into this gig (I’m in my fourth year now) thinking, “Blogging is ….well….selfish.”

Thinking that your life is so important that someone else would think it’s worth reading about is, inherently, selfish.

Taking selfies.  Self centered.

Taking pictures of your food.  A little ridiculous.

Saying, “Hold up!  Let me document this on Instagram,” and then completely missing the moment.  That’s selfish.

Even when you go in with the right motives (which are?!?), most of what goes into writing a post, taking the pictures for a post and then promoting that post is somewhat self serving.  You can KNOW this and still do it…but it won’t fulfill you.  Not nearly as much as actually being IN those moments that you’re scrambling to share.  Sometimes there’ll be this purely magical moment of my children playing together or my husband smiling in this certain way and the blogger-me wants to immediately break that special moment, grab my phone, snap a picture and then post it so everyone else can see how magical it was/is.  Except that doing so takes me and that person OUT of the magic, interrupting something that might never take place again.  And all so I can show other people.

Don’t get me wrong – my motive behind sharing is pure.  I just want for others to see.  Not to think that I’m magical….but that these moments are magical.  That my GOD is wonderful enough to bless me with these moments.  So in that sense, I don’t think the sharing is necessarily wrong or selfish.  In fact, there is bound to be some “sharing of the gospel”-good in social media.  Right?!

But still.

I find myself not blogging as much.  Not posting to Instagram or Facebook as much.  I find myself retreating to my house, this little corner, and not wanting to give any of the pieces away.  Our pieces.  Because doing so DOES take me out of the moment.  It takes me away from being present.

I’m not sure what the end result will be or what will come.  I just wanted to share a snippet of my heart and how I’m feeling these days.  Maybe you can relate.

Relate.

That word.  I love it so. 

And again I’m reminded why I blog.

Full circle.

QUESTION:  How can we still do this (social media, blogging) and also remain PRESENT??

splendid…lindsay

playing legos

October 8, 2014 in Blessings, Blog, Homeschooling, Intentional Living, Kids, Motherhood by lindsaymwright

I’d estimate that Henry spends an hour (or two) playing with Legos each and every day.  The way that I homeschool allows for free play at various times throughout the day (read:  we school for 20, play for 10) and Henry’s preferred “play” is Legos.  I’ve yet to break it to him that he’s actually learning SO much while he plays.

How Legos provide a great school experience:

  • Lego provides tools that develop lateral thinking in a fun environment.
  • Teaches kids to think in three dimensions.
  • Improves literacy as kids work with instructions.
  • Develops problem-solving, organization, and planning by construction.
  • Improves creativity.
  • Enhances communication and critical thinking.
  • Boosts kids motor development.

{source}

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As a mama who wants all of those things for her son, I’m SOLD.  And Henry is SOLD as a builder.  This kid, you guys.  He is amazing when it comes to building with Legos.  Yesterday (like most every day), he invited me into the front room to watch him build.  I usually brush him off because …you know, I’ve got a billion other more important things to do like play around on Instagram or watch New Girl.  But yesterday I chose a different path and plopped my pajama-clad bottom down with my son.

When you “play Legos” one person is the builder (Henry) while the other person is the helper (me).  The helper simply picks up the Legos that are needed next and holds them in their hand while the builder goes to work.  In being the helper, I was able to just sit there and watch my son’s brain work.

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I learned a few things.

Henry is patient.  He took his time and didn’t become flustered when the pieces didn’t line up correctly or something fell apart.  Twice I noticed he calmed himself down by taking a big breath and refocusing.

Henry has a great memory.  The set we worked on yesterday was one that he’s done probably 10-15 times.  He didn’t need to look at the instructions (but he did because he wanted to make 100% sure it turned out right – Type A like his mother).

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Henry is really fun to be around.  As he built and as I sat helping, he cracked a couple of jokes that made me genuinely laugh.  The kid is six years old and I enjoy hanging out with him.  I know you’re rolling your eyes and saying pat yourself on the back, you like your son….but have you ever met a six year old boy?!?  They aren’t always the best.  But he IS.014

I also learned that if I don’t take the time to be more of a “YES mom” to my kids I’ll be missing out on some really important stuff.  Overall I’m pretty good at being present these days (that’s taken quite sometime to learn if you’ve been following along for the past few years) but I can always use a reminder.

“Playing Legos” – it’s been added to my task list.

QUESTION:  Ever play with Legos??  What was your game of choice growing up?

splendid…lindsay

an easy reader

September 30, 2014 in Blessings, Blog, Faith, Family, Homeschooling, Intentional Living, Kids, Motherhood by lindsaymwright

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The process of teaching a child to read is …. interesting.  A struggle at times but with THE BEST rewards for both mama and child.  The foundations are laid loooong before the child ever reads his or her first word.  I’m already teaching Porter to read.  That may seem silly but studies show that children who are read to during early infancy have a better aptitude for learning letters, their sounds and then piecing those sounds together to form words.

Last year was our first homeschooling year.  I wanted to prove that I could do this – that I could teach my children.  That’s the sad part – there is a level of success that you need to show.  You must beat the critics.  Any homeschooling mom feels this pressure – any teacher feels this pressure.  So with the help of my MIL, I set out to teach Henry to read.  I gave us until Christmas (because I can’t half-ass anything).  Using Sing, Spell, Read & Write and as many workbooks as I could get my hands on, Henry and I set out on this adventure.  He won.  He learned how to read.  I helped but only in the most minute way.  I realize not all learning experiences have that satisfaction – we certainly had our own moments of frustration and angst.  But we stuck with it.  We read book after book after book.  Then we read some more books.  I got to watch his little brain work, sounding out each letter and then forming those sounds into actual words.  Oh my word.  It was (still is) a beautiful, GRATIFYING thing.

A year later and my son is reading chapter books with ease.  Yesterday I came up with the idea that our afternoon assignment would be to create an easy reader book.  From storyline to spelling to illustration, Henry did it allALL!

I just sat back, mesmerized by the grace that God has poured out on this endeavor.  He’s blessing this decision to teach.  To be home during these precious years.  He’s blessing this time.  All I can do is humble myself and lay down all my notions of perfection and the idea that I must prove myself because that’s so ridiculous.  All I can do is open up my arms and ask for more.  Because I have nothing to give.  Read that again: I have nothing to give.  I need more.  Patience, drive, grace, love, desire. 

More God.  MORE.

And He just keeps pouring….

splendid…lindsay

24 day advocare challenge – the RESULTS

September 26, 2014 in 24 Day Challenge, Advocare, Blog, Body, Goals, Inspiration, Postpartum by lindsaymwright

Welp.

Travis survived our first 24 Day Advocare Challenge!!

And “survived” is a drastic overstatement.  This was BY FAR the easiest and most straightforward challenge that either of us have ever done!  Before I jump right in to our results, I want to remind you of the reasons behind our decision to take on this 24 day journey.

For me:

Wanted to improve my digestion.

Wanted to get out of a sugar/junk food funk.

Wanted to have more energy.

For Travis:

Wanted to detox from coffee (he was drinking 4-5 cups a day!).

Wanted to lose a few pounds.

Wanted to break his nightly-bowl-of-ice-cream habit.

 Overall, we just wanted to FEEL better!!  And I can say that without a doubt – WE DO!!  We both accomplished the goals we set for ourselves AND found a few additional perks that we hadn’t expected.

The RESULTS – Aesthetics (The OUTSIDE)

Here are our Before & After shots:

BEFORE

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AFTER

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I lost 4 1/2 pounds and took nearly 2 inches off my waistline!  I can see more muscle definition, especially in my arms and shoulders!

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Travis lost 7 pounds!  We didn’t measure his waist but he clearly lost some inches.  Travis had some body acne that cleared up nicely (we think this has more a lot to do with cutting out dairy for the 24 days.)  The muscle definition in his back looks AMAZING!  #sexybeardedbeastman

The RESULTS – Habits/Health (The INSIDE)

Aesthetics are nice and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about the improvement in our LOOKS, but the way we FEEL now that we’ve completed the 24 days is night and day better.  Like I said before, most of what prompted the desire for change was being STUCK IN A FOOD RUT!  I was making (and eating) a pan of brownies at least once a week.  We would sit down to nightly bowls of ice cream AFTER eating cereal.  It was just not healthy.  I’m all for sweets and comfort foods but when you take it to a place outside “moderation,” it becomes unhealthy.  Having supplements and a PLAN that helped to tame those sugar cravings was exactly what we both needed.

Some changes we’ve experienced on the inside:

Me – Improved digestion (!!!), increased energy levels, decreased sugar cravings, a decrease in mindless snacking, a focus on WHOLE foods instead of processed, packaged snacks.

Travis – Improved digestion, improved skin, an increase in energy, an improvement in athletic performance (Travis was able to complete two Trackstars workouts and a mud run EASILY.  He credits Spark and Catalyst).

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Moving Forward

What’s the plan moving forward?

Like any good human, I had to break the challenge with a cup of coffee!  It was AMAZING and I don’t see myself cutting out that daily cup (and especially now that it’s fall and there are Pumpkin Spice kcups to be had).  I also ate a BIG piece of pumpkin pie dessert bars that I made for a family get-together.  You guys – I was so SICK like 30 minutes after that.  TOO MUCH SUGAR.  For the first time in a very long time, I just don’t have that urge to keep something sweet in the house at all times.  It doesn’t make me feel my best.  I’d rather get the same amount of calories each day by focusing on treats that pack more nutritional punch.  Bananas and almond butter are where it’s at.  I’ll never live a life of restriction again (EVER) but I’m happy to be in a place where food is 80% FUEL and 20% PLEASURE!

Would I do it again?

Absolutely!  You can take the 24 Day Challenge once every 90 days so we’ll revisit it for sure! 

Any tips for others interested in doing the Challenge?

  • Do it with someone! 
  • Start on a Saturday (much easier willpower-wise). 
  • Take the add-on products (such as Catalyst and ThermoPlus).  They’re not very expensive and help with the process.  (If you’re nursing, however, you cannot take ThermoPlus!)
  • Choose a Spark flavor that you love!  For me, that’s Mango Strawberry! 
  • Clear out all the junk in your cupboards before you begin.  It’s only 24 days!  Take away all the temptation!
  • If 24 days seems daunting, try the 10 Day Cleanse pack!  It’s only $31.50 and comes with everything you need to detox your body!  (oh, and get the Peaches & Cream Fiber Drink!)

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If you’re interested in getting started, click here!  Feel free to email me any questions you might have to lindsayslist@gmail.com!

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QUESTION:  What’s your biggest food weakness (sweets, pizza, carbs, etc)??  Have you ever done the Advocare Challenge??

splendid…lindsay

tips for surviving your first mud run

September 22, 2014 in Blog, Goals, Inspiration, Marriage, Races, Review, Saturday Fun by lindsaymwright

Last Saturday, Travis and I ran the Building Bridges Mud Run in Waynesville, North Carolina!  We had a muddy good time!  A FIT DATE, if you will.  Before I get into my tips for surviving your first mud run (this was actually our second), I’ll review a little bit about the actual race in case anyone might want to run it next year (you shouldwith ME!).

Building Bridges Mud Run – My Thoughts

PROS:

Organization

This race was VERY well organized!  All parts, from registration to chip timing to swag bags and the finish-line organization were on point.  Since this was the inaugural year, I was very surprised with how smoothly everything ran (it’s hard planning for 300 people).  There was even a guarded place for personal belongings (which was how I was able to take some of the pictures that I got on my phone!).

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Hard obstacles

If you’re going to sign up for a mud run, you expect two things: MUD and obstacles.  Travis and I were VERY happy with the difficulty of the obstacles.  There was a good variety that challenged us in various ways.  I believe this course had 13 (?) obstacles.  My favorite? The Monkey Bars!  (even though I fell crossing them because they were SO wet…landed with a huge splash in a mud pit!)

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Finish line perks

Not only did the finish line have a fun slip n’ slide to end the course with but we were also blessed with custom soap from the Hazelwood Soap Company, free water, free bananas and complimentary towels.  Perhaps the best part: being sprayed off with the fire truck hose!  My entire bottom half was caked with mud but the fire truck hose helped take almost all of that off (which made driving home much cleaner).

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CONS:

Course Distance

We were told that the course would be 3.5 miles long.  It actually ended up being right around 2.25.  Travis didn’t mind a bit.  While the hills and obstacles made it hard, I did feel a little shorted on the distance.

Course Obstacle Clumping

Nearly all of the obstacles were clumped together in one location.  I’m sure this had something to do with the land owner (they had to create a lot of mud pits on someone’s land) so it wasn’t really a big deal.  The race would have been better had the obstacles been better dispersed throughout the run.

Those were my only two complaints!

Overall, I highly recommend any locals to run this race (the 2015 date has yet to be released).  I know that Travis and I will come back for it! Smile  A big thank you to my mother-in-law for watching the kids while we ran!

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Now for some tips on running your first mud run!  Like I said, this was actually our second mud run.  The first was the 2011 Warrior Dash in Mountain City, GA.  Travis, Katy and I ran that race and had a great time.  A mud run is simply a race (usually 5k, but there are some longer distances) that involves obstacles and a muddy course.  People usually don’t race them for time but rather come for the atmosphere and energy that surrounds the race.  They’re just REALLY fun!  Here are seven tips that you should know before getting muddy!

7 Tips for Surviving Your First Mud Run

1.  Wear TIGHT fitting clothing!

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See those sweatpants.  Don’t wear those.  Worst idea ever.

One of the first “obstacles” was fording a river.  That part was easy.  Getting out of the water and then running with super soggy, non-wicking pants was the tricky part.  It literally felt like I was wearing 20 pound ankle weights (and if calf weights were a thing…those too).  Next time I’ll wear long pants or capris that fit snuggly!  A tight fitting top would probably be best as well – you don’t want it to get snagged on anything.

2.  Wear shoes & clothes that you can throw away.

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If you’re like me, you’ll want to wear items that you can easily TRASH or DONTATE when the race is over!  Sure, you could try to clean everything off and salvage the pieces but I don’t like putting mud into the washing machine.  We went to the thrift store and spent $4 total on our race outfits.  Buy items that you won’t mind getting muddy.  Wear the oldest pair of shoes you have too– many races actually collect the used shoes at the finish line and donate them!

3.  Be prepared to get muddy.

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Seems like a no brainer since you just paid money to play in the mud but you’d be surprised how many people tried taking the “non-dirty” route through some of the obstacles or on the race path.  Travis and I laughed at the start line as people were stopping in front of us to avoid some mud puddles.  Umm….you’re about to spend 30 minutes in the mud but you’re freaking out about your shoes a minute before the gun goes off.  It was funny.  The race will be WAY better if you get as dirty as possible! Trust me!

4.  Bring a full change of clothes + a towel for the ride home!

Even if you choose to keep your muddy race clothes, you’re still going to want a fresh change of clothes for the ride home.  We traveled 45 minutes to the race and I was so thankful for a new outfit (shirt, pants, undies, bra) and a pair of flip flops for the return home.

5.  Don’t wear jewelry.

Travis’ tip.  He wore his wedding band (didn’t want the ladies to get any ideas) and it nearly fell off when it got wet and muddy.  Leave your jewelry/keys/phones at the starting line!

6.  Do it with someone!

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If you can possibly avoid it, don’t race alone!!  The best part of running over tires, jumping over hay bales and crawling through tunnels is doing it WITH someone else!  You laugh, you cry, you get mud in your eyes and then there’s someone there to wipe it out.  Since you’re not concerned with keeping a certain pace or hitting a finish time, you can have fun out there.  Do it with someone else!  <-this is my philosophy on ALL fitness but that’s a different blog post.

7.  Come up with a team name/outfit!

In the same vein, come up with a creative outfit and team name for the race!  Building Bridges actually gave away prizes for the most creative team name and the most creative costumes (we didn’t win – I’m not really sure what our costume theme was.  Maybe ”Sweatpant-astic”?!?  Yeah that works).

Like I said, we went to the thrift store in search of a costume to wear.  It was slim pickins, my friends.  I think if you lived in a larger city it would be much easier to find cohesive pieces for a team costume but all we found were ratty shirts, old pajamas and sweatpants.  We just went with it and took some scissors to everything to “customize.”  Wish I’d had a Bedazzler…..

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Our team name??

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8.  HAVE FUN!

My last and most important tip:  HAVE FUN!!  You paid money to go run in the mud.  Have fun with yourself and your team.  Be silly.  Make up a song or team chant.  Do whatever you wanna do for 3 miles.  I PROMISE – you won’t be the most obnoxious person there.

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QUESTION:  Ever done a MUD RUN???  Any tips to add??

splendid…lindsay

my latest venture: MoveMore Fitness

September 8, 2014 in Blessings, Blog, Bootcamp, Goals, Inspiration, MoveMore Fitness by lindsaymwright

I’m excited (a little too excited) to share what I’ve been working on behind the scenes over here.  May I introduce you to my latest venture:  MoveMore Fitness!

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(Travis did well with the logo, yes?)

MoveMore Fitness, LLC is my new group personal training company here in Franklin, NC!  For about a month now, I’ve taken the steps to create an LLC and get trainer’s insurance (when I trained before I had it through my gym).  Travis created a logo and I started securing clients.  I’m even working on custom-printed tanks right now!  I’m proud to call this business mine!

MoveMore gives me the opportunity to train FROM HOME, which is something I’ve dreamed about doing for quite some time.  If you’ve followed along on Facebook and Instagram, you’ve probably seen pictures of all the basement gym updates that we’ve been doing over the past few weeks.  We cleaned everything out, painted the floors and acquired more and more pieces of equipment (some new, some used).

066001I wanted to create a space where I can host small group training sessions with my children are right beside me (or usually napping upstairs).  It’s the perfect fit for us as a family and it provides a way for me to stay in the fitness field while also wearing all the other hats I wear (there are too many to count).  God just keeps blessing me with PEACE about this decision and while my mind wants to race from point A to point B hyperFAST and overcommit (I kinda wanted to open up a fullblown gym there for a second….), I’m being cautious and careful about creating something that fits both my needs and my clients.  So it’s small right now.  And it might stay that way.  More than anything, I want to follow His will…His plan.  And I see God enveloped in this decision.

Currently, MoveMore Fitness has three focus areas:  small group training, Trackstars and Outdoor Bootcamps.  As far as the small groups go, I’ve got 10 ladies who I train three afternoons a week.  Last week was our first time meeting and I can already tell that I’m going to love this group of girls.  Trackstars is something I’ve been doing for almost three years now on Saturdays and only recently added a few mornings during the week.  The outdoor bootcamps?  Well you already saw the awesome Labor Day Bootcamp that I put on – so much fun for our community – there’s another one coming up on September 27th so mark your calendars!

All three pieces contain one key aspect that has my heart:  FELLOWSHIP!!  COMMUNITY!!  YES!!!

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So what does this mean for the reader in another state?  Not much.  I know for certain that I’ll have tanks and t-shirts to offer for purchase – I’m working on the price point right now!  I’m also open to the idea of online training but won’t take that on for a bit.  I’d like to make sure that I’m not taking on too much at the start.

What does this mean if you’re local?  It means there’s a new way to exercise in our town.  And I don’t mean that in a competitive, snarky way – I think there’s room for everyone!  My goal is to HELP, not compete!  If you’re interested in learning more about prices/times/all that jazz, feel free to email me at lindsayslist at gmail dot com!

**Give us a like on FACEBOOK please!**

QUESTION:  What’s your favorite way to workout?  Alone or with others?

splendid…lindsay