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

that which should be unitasked

July 21, 2014 in Blog, Blogging, Goals, Inspiration, Intentional Living by lindsaymwright

It’s Monday.  And I’m happy!

I know.  I know.  I know.

We’re all supposed to be pissing and moaning about this worst day of the week but I just cannot help but smile real big.

Because the beach.

We leave THIS Friday.  As in this week.  As in I need to start packing.  As in can we please just skip over these next few days and get this lady a margarita ASAP.  Except I can’t drink (nursing).  And if I can remember back far enough, past the six years of pregnancies and nursing, I believe I’m more of an Amoretto Sour girl.

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[From our last trip three years ago.]

I mentioned last week that I’d be taking our beach vacation as a time to UNPLUG.  All next week, I plan to do a DIGITAL DETOX – no blogging, no instagram, no FB, no Pinterest (although I can’t remember the last thing I pinned.  Just looked.  It was these Apple Pie Bars.  Yum.  I should really make those.  But probably won’t.).  I DO have to check in a few times for a Verizon campaign I’m obligated to (which ironically is about living a #connectedlife), but aside from that, I’ll be unplugged.

This will be hard for me.

And I really dislike saying that about myself.

I just read a great article that Lindsay shared with me (I love her).  The article was about how we as Christians are allowing our phones to distract us (and this applies to non-Christians as well obviously).  I loved the entire message, but one quote in particular stood out:

“We are multitasking that which should be unitasked.”

Hold the phone.  (no.  actually throw the phone away because it’s distracting you.)

I don’t think I can add more to this perfectly descriptive sentence.

But I’ll try.

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Multitasking that which should be unitasked.  Like most people, women in particular, I must multitask.  It’s inevitable.  It’s how I get the dishes done and the schooling done and the baby nursed, all these things at the very same time…while my washing machine cleans our clothes.  I fear that if I didn’t multitask, we would live in a disheveled house with empty bellies.  I think it’s ok to do these chores simultaneously.

The key to the sentence is here –> “that which should be…” 

  • Sitting Henry on my lap and listening to him read.
  • Looking Travis in the eye every night during our #15minutesforyou.
  • Playing calico critters with Clara.  Getting down on the floor, into HER world.
  • Reading my Bible. Talking, listening to God.

Things which should be unitasked.  With all my focus.  Without a phone in my hand.  Without a blanket response because I’m really browsing Facebook and didn’t hear a word you just said.  To my credit, I’m getting better and better at this.  But I still sometimes catch myself …. because I live in this flesh body with worldly distractions.

I remember a time not so long ago when I didn’t have a smart phone.  Before blogging.  Before sharing every second of my life online.  And nothing was missing.  I was perfectly content with a life disconnected.

Flash forward to now and I’m rarely found without my phone in my hand.  I take it everywhere – it’s my phone, my camera, my connection to others.  I feel a little lost without it.  The part I struggle with is finding that perfect balance between living life IN THE NOW and living life DIGITALLY.  Because I do enjoy sharing bits and pieces of our life on Instagram.  I DO enjoy taking the pictures and updating Facebook with Clara’s latest quotes.  I enjoy it.  It’s not a stress in my life.  In some ways, I’d even say that it enriches my life.  Can social media do that?!?  I think yes in a way.  In fact, I believe that’s the point behind it.

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I loved this moment and wanted to capture it.  So I did.  But is that “living in the present?”

It would be ignorant for me to attack my cell phone or my computer for they are not the problem.  The problem is my heart and my focus.  To live a life completely “off the grid” just wouldn’t work for me personally.  But to live a life of intentionally investing in relationships and people, both offline and on, that’s where I wanna be.  Sometimes that requires a phone and sometimes it (purposely) doesn’t.

I’d love to encourage YOU to take a digital detox with me.  Even if it’s for a day.  You might be surprised by how often you’re reaching for your phone or computer without knowing.  I’m hoping to come back from this vacation with a refreshing.  Will you join me?

QUESTION:  Are you addicted to your phone?  To your computer or blog??  How can we live more “in the now”?

splendid…lindsay

flashback friday: the season of no

July 11, 2014 in Blessings, Blog, Blogging, Faith, Family, Goals, Rambles by lindsaymwright

It’s been a year since I quit my job to pursue my family.  It’s been a year since I took a full month away from the blog.  It’s been a year since I took the words and made them into action.

The year of many changes.

There are no words (actually there are more words than I have time to write)…but rather a sense of fulfillment.  The calm of knowing that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.  And though each day brings it’s own headaches, I can’t imagine going back to that place of RACING through each day.

Here’s the post that announced my last break.  I’m planning to take another in August – not a full month, but maybe a couple of weeks.  Blogging isn’t as stressful these days.  Because life overall isn’t as stressful.

Maybe YOU need a season of NO.

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First, thank you for the AMAZING comments in regards to this post. If you haven’t read it, go back and do so – today’s post will make much more sense.

As my title alluded to, I am entering in to a season of NO*. Let me tell you – this has been a YEAR in the making. A year for the stress of all the activities and duties that I’ve taken on to come crashing down around me (multiple times). I’m finally to the point where I need to step away from a few things. I need a season of no.

I need to take ACTION against what I struggle with.

Because busyness does NOT equate to productivity.

Because God is literally MAKING me lie down in green pastures.

Because my family and I deserve more.

What does that mean? What does that look like?

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In this season, I’m saying NO! to….

  • Working at the gym for the month of July (training and subbing). <-this led to me stepping away completely
  • Blogging for the month of July (writing and, sadly, reading).
  • Theater shows for the Fall.
  • Anything else that takes me away from my first two callings – wife and mother.

I think everything on that list is pretty self-explanatory, but for today, I’ll address the blogging aspect as it kinda-sorta impacts my readers.

I need a break from the blog.

When I started this blog nearly two years ago, my life looked very different. I had the convenience of TWO NAPPING CHILDREN who gave me two full hours of alone time a day (I miss those days!). I wasn’t doing shows. I had just started teaching at the gym and had no clients. Basically, I had more time. And my focus was more home-centered.

Flash-forward to now. Henry no longer naps. Clara’s naps are shorter and some days she doesn’t sleep at all. I’m at the gym for at least two hours a day, training clients – usually three. I’m at the theater two hours at night. I have no time to sit down and write. And honestly, when I get time to myself, I don’t WANT to sit down and write. I want to read a book or my Bible or work on a house project.

Blogging (the act of writing) is something I LOVE! But everything that comes with it (reading other blogs, social media, self-promotion) …..I just don’t love that aspect anymore. Some days it feels like my phone is super-glued to my right hand. It’s simply not fair for the people around me to be “absent” while I’m “present” online.

For the month of July, I suppose I could blog sporadically or line up guest posts, but I don’t even want to give myself that option. If I did, I would just devote thoughts to blogging and right now, I simply do not want to think about it.

This isn’t goodbye necessarily (notice the month of July thing above), but I suppose it could be the start of goodbye. Who knows??

I’m taking a month to find out.

Catch you on the flip side**!

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QUESTION: What do you need to say NO to in your life right now??

splendid…lindsay