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    How I’m Finally Losing Weight Easily After Trying Literally Everything.

    Ahhh, the old weight debacle. Everyone struggles with it. If you don’t, consider yourself lucky. Here is a little bit about my story of weight gain + loss + how I’m trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Maybe you can relate?

    I was always super small + petite growing up. At my high school graduation, I was about 98 pounds soaking wet. I wore a double zero + ate whatever I wanted + rarely worked out.

    When I was in my early twenties, I gained a little weight, but was still in a size 4 + very small.

    Before I had my first daughter, I had started on some medication that caused me to gain a lot of weight. When I went to the doctor for my first checkup when I found out I was pregnant, I remember being shocked at how much I weighed. I had never been that heavy before.

    I gained 30 pounds during my first pregnancy + lost it almost immediately after I had her. But I still wanted to lose a lot more. I was super dedicated + lost about 16 more pounds. But once I would go back to eating whatever I wanted, I would gain it right back.

    I continued the pattern of eating bad + not working out + then I had two more babies. I barely gained any weight with my last two pregnancies because I had started off much heavier to begin with. I lost it all very quickly after the birth, but then my eating habits + lack of exercise didn’t help me keep it off.

    I started off this year super motivated to get healthy + stay active. I joined a gym, was cooking more + thought I was on a good track. Well, then COVID happened + the world shut down (meaning no more gym). I lost all motivation to eat healthy + stay active. I was drinking every night + staying up late + eating take-out pretty much every day. Not a good combination.

    So towards the end of May, I realized it had gotten bad because all of my clothes were super tight. When I weighed myself, I discovered the harsh reality that I had gained 16 pounds. I was already like 20 pounds over what I wanted to be before this, so needless to say, I knew a change had to happen.

    I started eating better, eating smaller portions, trying to cut down on the soda, cutting way back on drinking, + the gym opened back up, so I was able to start going again.

    After doing this for over a month, I was only down about 4 pounds.

    Then in July, I added a dietary supplement called Trim. Its job is to inhibit fat storage + enhance muscle tone. It also has collagen in it which helps your skin, hair, nails, + joints. It tastes like pudding + you only have to take 1 tablespoon a day. I LOVE how super easy it is. No choking down a shake or taking pills.

    But the best part? I lost 4 pounds in 2 days. (+ this is with eating Chick-fil-A both days.)

    After 2 weeks, I had lost 7 pounds. All I was doing differently was eating that 1 tablespoon in the morning. I only went to the gym one time during those 2 weeks. I was practicing Intermittent Fasting + only eating about 1 big meal a day, but that meal was whatever I wanted.

    Needless to say, I’m pretty much hooked on this little miracle pudding that burns my fat off for me! But obviously, my goal is to be more healthy overall; it’s not just about the number on the scale.

    Like I said, I had been doing Intermittent Fasting, but didn’t really have much of a strategy to it. Then someone reached out to me to see if I would be interested in doing the FASTer Way to Fat Loss 6 week program. I had heard of it before + knew it involved Intermittent Fasting, but that’s all I knew.

    It is so much more than just IF! When you enroll, you get instant access to the app that has multiple workout videos available to you each day, plus daily meal plans, recipes, + more. You get added to a private Facebook group where you have coaches in there to support you + others doing the program with you to hold you accountable.

    I am learning about the amount of proteins, carbs, + fats I need each day, which is something I have never really paid any attention to. I am surprised at how much I can eat, even with fasting. I realized I was looking at food as the enemy that made me fat, when actually food is not the enemy if you just make smart choices.

    The workouts have been incredible. You just play the video straight from the app + they tell you exactly what to do. I love that I’m doing them at home with no strangers there watching me! So if I mess up or look stupid, no one can see expect my kids + husband! My 6 year old has been doing the workouts with me + she loves them (even when she’s not exactly doing the correct moves!)! + if you want to go to the gym, there are also gym workouts you can follow!

    It’s taken a lot of effort + different methods to get me on the right track, but I’m slowly getting there. If you’re like me + eating healthy does not come naturally + working out is a chore, I really think you would enjoy the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program. I would also absolutely recommend taking Trim for a completely effortless way to lose weight.

    Another thing that has really helped with my energy levels + given me a healthy snack to have is Verb Energy Bars. I love the Coconut Chai flavor! They have the same amount of caffeine as a shot of espresso + are super yummy! If you want to try 4 of the bars for only 95 cents, click here!

    I will not be able to share how much I’ve lost for a while because the rule with FWTFL is to weigh yourself on day 1 + then not weigh again until the 6 weeks is over. So I am not going to cheat! The goal is to focus on the non-scale wins! I am very anxious though to see how much I will weigh at the end!

    It’s a rough road to struggle with weight. It can be hard to accept the size you are compared to what you used to be. I know it’s hard for me. But no matter what size you are or how much you weigh, I want you to remember that your worth is not defined by a number on a scale. This is something I have to remind myself of frequently.

    I used to think that people would like me or not like me based on what I looked like. Now I know that what’s inside is much more important than what’s on the outside. + if you don’t work on the inside, no work you do to the outside will make you more attractive.

    If you’d like to join me on the FASTer Way to Fat Loss journey, you can join at this link + enter code SUCCESSPARTNER to get $100 off the 6 week program! It is so worth it, especially at this steal of a price!

    If you’d like to try Trim, you can purchase at this link + it will automatically apply a $10 off coupon at the final checkout page!

    Even if you have a different plan or program that you’re doing, I’d still love to support you! So come hit me up on Instagram + let me know what you’re doing + I’ll be sure to cheer you on! Thank you so much for cheering me on! Ya girl can use all the encouragement you can offer!

    Thanks for being my friend!

    xoxo,

    LINDSEY

    *This post contains affiliate links. All opinions expressed are my own.

    Let’s All Love Ourselves: Reflections Over the Past 9 Months + A Big Update

    I want to take a second + reflect back on my blogging journey with you.

    Yes, you.

    Because without you reading this, there would be no blog!

    I started this blog back in October 2019 (9 months ago). My hope was that I could connect with other moms, share some fashion + beauty, maybe a little home decor, get personal with you every now + then, + have some fun.

    I’ll be honest, I had NO idea what it took to be a blogger/influencer that was successful + influential. I had done research, but was massively undereducated on what it actually took.

    I’ve come a long way. That’s not to say that I know everything now. I don’t believe I ever will + I’m okay with that. Learning is part of the process + something I never want to stop doing.

    In the past 9 months, I’ve learned a lot about the blogging world, but I’ve also learned a lot about myself + what I want my mission to be.

    I want to share with you today my mission moving forward + how I hope I can help you on this journey of life we are all on.

    SHIFTING FOCUS

    Recently, my focus has shifted. I went from just wanting to share funny thoughts + some clothes to wanting to be a little deeper. I saw the hunger in women’s hearts for encouragement + uplifting messages.

    This is a tough world we are living in. As if being a woman isn’t hard enough, let’s throw a pandemic on top of it.

    During the past several months of being home (with three kids, a husband, + a dog), I treasured any time I got to myself. It’s been my saving grace. I have loved treating myself to a bubble bath, a face mask, an online shopping spree, or listening to an uplifting podcast.

    I’ve always been a huge fan of self care, but it really hit home for me during the last several months: self care is not just a hobby. It’s not something we do once or month or once a year. Self care is absolutely essential + necessary for our mental health + well being.

    As I’ve talked about before, I have struggled with anxiety + depression for many, many years. One of the best ways I can cope is to take care of myself, physically + emotionally.

    Think about it like this: Let’s say you start dating someone new. You are always giving your attention to other people, places + activities. You never do anything nice for them. You always do what you want + never what they want. Their birthday comes, + you don’t get them a card or a present. You choose other things over them. Do you think they would stay in that relationship with you? HECK TO THE NAH.

    It’s the same thing in our relationship with ourselves. If we give all our time + energy to everyone + everything else, what is left for ourselves? If we don’t show love to our ourselves, we won’t feel loved. If we don’t love ourselves, it will be very hard for us to love anyone else + it will be hard for us to allow others to love us.

    We might have friends, family members, or spouses who do nice things for us sometimes + that’s great. But how are we treating ourselves? Maybe that’s by reading a book in silence. Maybe that’s listening to music that makes us happy. Maybe it’s eating our favorite food. Maybe it’s going to get a facial. Maybe it’s getting our nails or hair done. Maybe it’s watching a motivational video. Maybe it’s spending time with people who make you smile. Maybe it’s taking a walk in a pretty part of town. Maybe it’s working out. Maybe it’s going to the movies. Maybe it’s just sitting in silence + being alone with your thoughts.

    Self care doesn’t always have to be as extravagant as a day at the spa (although, sign me up for that!). It could be something very simple.

    Something that is self care for me, could not be self care for you. Everyone is different. We are all unique + distinct + that’s what makes us beautiful. You might love to go on a bike ride, so that is self care to you, but to me, that sounds like torture!

    You just need to think of things that make you happy + fulfilled + set aside time to do those things. Get a piece of paper + write down as many things as you can think of that make you smile or fill your heart with happiness. This is your list of self care ideas.

    We have to take care of ourselves if we want to take care of anyone or anything else in our lives. It is so important to care for ourselves + show ourselves how much we love the person we are.

    I spent so much of my life hating myself. I spent so much time criticizing myself.

    Why did you do that?

    Why are you so stupid?

    You could never do that.

    You will never be that successful.

    You are ugly + fat.

    You don’t deserve good things.

    No one likes you.

    Guess what? IT’S ALL LIES!

    And the best way you can overcome those hateful thoughts is by taking care of yourself + learning to love yourself. Love every single bit of yourself, including your flaws.

    I am shifting the focus of my blog to be all about empowering women + encouraging them to love themselves fully + know their worth.

    I will still be sharing clothes I love, because shopping is a form of self care.

    I will still be sharing beauty products + routines, because makeup + skincare is a form of self care.

    I will still be sharing my home decor projects, because decorating my home is a form of self care.

    I will still be sharing local restaurants and businesses, because getting out + about is a form of self care.

    Basically, I’m not changing what I’m sharing, but how I’m delivering it to you. My focus + vision are clear to me now.

    You might have noticed this shift a little bit in the last few blog posts or on my social media channels. I just wanted to put all of my thoughts together + share this shift with you all so you stay in the know + have an idea of what to expect moving forward.

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of my blog over the last 9 months.

    Whether you have been following along from day one, or you are just now joining me, you are the reason that I am doing all of this. You are the reason I’m spending every waking minute trying to learn + grow as much as I can. You are the reason for it all.

    If I can inspire or encourage just one of you, it will all be worth it.

    If I have helped you practice self care or encouraged you in some way, big or small, I would love if you would leave me a note in the comments + tell me how. This would mean so much to me!

    Thank you, thank you, for being my friend! Looking forward to everything that is to come!

    xoxo,

    LINDSEY

    PS- I’m doing a fun Self Care Challenge with some of my friends this week where we’re sharing our favorite ways to practice self care! Come check it out on Instagram!

    Mental Health Awareness Month + Maternal Depression Month

    I couldn’t let May come to an end without acknowledging Mental Health Awareness Month + Maternal Depression Month. It has personally affected me + will continue to be a part of me for the rest of my life. So anything I can do to raise awareness + advocate for other patients, I will gladly do.

    MY BATTLE WITH DEPRESSION, ANXIETY + OCD

    I began to realize that I needed help for my mental health about a year after my best friend passed away. Of course, that event was responsible for my depression to a degree, but it was more than just that. It was very hard for me to take the first step in getting help. I didn’t want to admit to anyone that something was wrong. I thought that people would think I was crazy. I was embarrassed + ashamed. My doctors + therapists tried very hard to explain to me the chemical imbalance in the brain that causes these mental illnesses.

    After a few months of getting help, as a 19 year old who thought she knew everything, I decided I could handle my symptoms on my own + I didn’t need doctors or medication. That was not only not true, but a big mistake.

    Things got much, much worse over the next few years. The things I would work myself up over were insignificant. When anything went wrong, I would have a huge breakdown + wouldn’t be able to get over it for days. I was argumentative + always had to be right. I did anything I could to try + prove that I was right too. If things weren’t going my way, I would have suicidal thoughts. I let really small things irritate me to no end. I cried a lot. A lot. I didn’t think I was worthy of so many things. I started speaking to myself in a hateful way. I would tell myself, “You’re stupid. You’re ugly. No one likes you. You are a failure. You can’t do anything right. Everyone is laughing at you. You’ll never be successful.” I believed these things about myself.

    There was one time I got so upset, that I went home + took all the antidepressants that were left in my bottle, which was luckily only 8. I got sick of course, but I survived. Once I was off my antidepressants completely, there were so many times I thought about crashing my car into a cement wall. There were times I was begging my husband to go get a knife + kill me. I pleaded with him + cried out. + the sad thing is, I really wanted him to in those moments.

    When I got to the point where I literally could not be alone with my thoughts for one second, I knew I had to do something. I couldn’t live like this forever.

    I got in to see a doctor who listened + handed me a tissue when I was sobbing, telling him what I had been dealing with. He said he understood I had been dealing with anxiety + depression + had been treated for it in the past, but had I ever been diagnosed with OCD? I hadn’t, + when he said that, I thought, wow. That makes a ton of sense. Why haven’t I put that together before? I’m not saying I’m one of the people who has to open + close a door exactly 27 times before I enter it. That’s not the only kind of OCD. Some of the obsessions I had been having made sense. I would obsess over bad thoughts + convince myself that something terrible was going to happen + then worry myself to death over it. Of course there are the insignificant things such as having to have the volume at a certain number, not being able to leave the house if I knew that one piece of trash was still on the coffee table, having some routines that I couldn’t just not do. Yeop, it made a lot of sense. This doctor worked with me to find the perfect combination of medication that would help me find some relief finally from depression, anxiety, + OCD.

    With the help of the medication, my doctors, + family + friends’ support, I was able to start to feel better. I was able to let some things go. I was able to take a breath. I was able to relax. I was able to smile. I was finally able to see clearly.

    Once I was pregnant with my first daughter, I weaned off of the medicine because I didn’t know how it would affect my unborn baby. I did ok during pregnancy, but as soon as she was born, it was obvious I needed to go back on medication. It was 5 days after she was born that the depression just hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, I would cry for no reason, I felt hopeless + like I wasn’t doing anything right with my baby. I was so happy + wanted to be happy, but I couldn’t help how my body was reacting. I went to the doctor 6 days postpartum + my doctor was excellent in getting me started on some medication again that helped me get to a better place.

    My next two babies, the depression came even faster after birth. It was the exact same feeling. The only good thing, I guess, is that I knew the symptoms + what to expect.

    Currently, I am still taking antidepressants + I think I will for the rest of my life. I have learned that this is just the same as a physical illness. There is a chemical imbalance in my brain that medicine helps. So I will continue to take it. I will continue to put my health first. I will continue to be aware that every day is a gift. I will continue to remember how far I’ve come. I will continue to be thankful for modern medicine. I will continue to advocate for others with mental illness + bring awareness to hopefully end the stigma.

    MOM GENES FIGHT PPD

    1 in 7 women will suffer from postpartum depression. The hormones + emotions that come with pregnancy + childbirth are crazy. Your whole body is on a rollercoaster for 10+ months. Once the baby comes, all that anyone, including yourself, cares about is taking care of the baby. Moms sometimes get put on the backburner when this is actually the time they need help the most. No mother can care for her baby if she isn’t healthy herself, both physically + mentally. I fully believe that mental illness is completely equal with physical illness. I have lived it myself. Some people don’t understand that. + that’s why we have Mental Health Awareness Month + Maternal Depression Month. We have to bring awareness to the realness of these diseases. We have to advocate for those who have mental illness + those who will.

    Recently, I found out about Mom Genes Fight PPD, which is a study being conducted by UNC looking for a connection to the disease which could lead to a cure. They are in need of 100,000 qualified moms to send in their DNA for their study. I downloaded the app, answered the questions on the survey, + it was determined that I was eligible to participate in the study. So they sent me a test kit for free in the mail. I had to spit into a container + then seal it up in the addressed packaging they sent + mail it back. It was so easy to participate, + I feel good knowing that I had a small part in this research that will hopefully find a cure for future generations.

    If you are a mom in the USA, go to www.momgenesfightppd.org to learn more + download the free app to join the study.⁣ If you know someone who experienced postpartum depression, send them this info so they can take the survey + possibly contribute to the study.

    Small steps like this will help in big ways. If you know of other ways to help with scientific research as it relates to mental illnesses, please let me know.

    IF YOU NEED HELP

    Lastly, if you are someone who is suffering in silence + afraid to talk to someone or seek help, I understand. I have been there. + I will be here for you if you need help. Please never hesitate to reach out to me if you need someone to talk to. I wish I had gotten help much sooner than I did. I wish I hadn’t been afraid of what other people might think. I wish I would’ve talked to people about what I was feeling instead of keeping it to myself. But I will not be silent anymore.

    Also, it is important to note that almost 50% of people suffer from mental illness + many of them might seem perfectly happy on the outside, but suffering tremendously on the inside. Check in on your friends. Look for signs of depression. Don’t think you’re being a bother by asking a friend how they’re doing. Just do it. It could make a world of a difference.

    I have found some great resources for anyone who is searching for answers or assistance + don’t know where to start. Please check them out below:

    Mental Health America

    American Psychiatric Association

    National Institutes of Mental Health

    mentalhealth.org

    nami.org

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

    If you have other great resources for anyone struggling with mental illness, please leave them below in the comments. Together, we can end the stigma + raise awareness.

    xoxo,

    LINDSEY

    12 Years Since I Lost My Best Friend

    It was a Monday morning. I was so tired because I had been up late Saturday night and up early Sunday morning. I had overslept and got up sleepily to get ready for school. I was 18 years old and only had a few months left of high school. I went to the bathroom and while brushing my teeth, I heard my dad pacing back and forth in his room. He was on the phone and frantically getting ready. My mom had already left for work. My brother who is two years younger than me was still asleep in his room. Normally my dad would have already left or would be getting ready to leave, and he was never running late, so I was confused why he seemed like he was in such a hurry. I heard him say, “Yeah. He was hit by a car. Yeah. Okay.” This really got my attention.

    I walked out of the bathroom and saw my dad sitting on the edge of the bed putting his shoes on. I rubbed my eyes and yawned and said, “Did you just say someone got hit by a car?” He just kept looking down at his shoes and sighed heavily, shaking his head. I didn’t understand why he wasn’t answering me. He stood up hesitantly and hugged me tight. I was confused and started saying, “What? What’s wrong?” He rubbed my back and kept hugging me. He finally said quietly, “Andrew was hit by a car.” I said, “Andrew who?” because I didn’t want to think it was the Andrew I thought it was. He said, “Andrew Thrailkill.” I thought about this for a minute and said, “Okay, but he’s alright, right?” He squeezed me harder, and sighed. He finally said, “No, honey. He’s not. He’s dead.” I started screaming “NO!” over and over again and pushing my dad off of me. He just kept pulling me closer and saying he was sorry over and over again.

    I felt like I was in a terrible, terrible dream. The worst nightmare I could ever imagine. Just the morning before I had been with Andrew. We were sitting next to each other at church. I got sad thinking about him leaving to go into the Army. I told him I didn’t want him to go, and he told me he wanted me to come to his boot camp graduation. He said I was one of the only ones who he wanted there. I was one of the only ones he cared about. We hugged and he kissed me on the head like he had done so many times before. That moment will forever be cemented into my brain as one of the most important memories of my life.

    Luckily, that weekend, we had both gone to Anderson University. He went to see his sister and her boyfriend, and I went to see my friend who went there. So we spent most of Saturday together and then went to church together Sunday morning. When his parents came to get him Sunday afternoon, I was goofing off with his dad in the driver’s seat, and Andrew went to the other side of the truck to get in the back seat. I never gave him a formal hug goodbye. I had no idea this would be the last time I would see him alive.

    Hanging out with Andrew the day before he died

    Andrew and I were such special friends. I’ve never had a friendship like that and don’t know if I ever will again. We legitimately told each other absolutely everything. We were never scared to say anything to each other. We were completely honest with each other. We could talk about really insignificant things and really important, personal things and everything in between. We had so much fun together, no matter where we were or what was going on. He always found a way to make things interesting. He was the kind of guy who came with me to our friend’s performance of The Nutcracker and to my grandparents’ house to get my grandma to help him sew something for his girlfriend. He let my little cousin play with his hair. He wore girl’s jeans to be funny. He tipped over the kayak to throw me in the pond in my clothes in November. He would bring me food and presents when I had surgery. He would stand on his tip toes in pictures to try and not look so short. Every time you touched his arm, he would flex. He always had sweaty hands, but he would still touch everyone. He loved to give massages. He always hugged everyone when he saw them. He was so kind and could literally make anyone feel like they were his best friend. He never met a stranger. He loved to sing and play guitar. He was a genius at the rubik’s cube. He loved to play pranks on his friends. He would do almost anything for a laugh. No one could be mad at him for long. His smile was too contagious.

    The moment I found out he was gone forever was the worst moment of my life. The days following were a haze. I think the only time I wasn’t crying was when I was asleep. There is nothing that can prepare you for that unexpected pain. I felt so hopeless. Everywhere I turned, everywhere I looked, every song I heard, it all reminded me of him. I didn’t understand how I could keep living without him. I felt like a piece of me died with him.

    After my dad told me what happened, my mom came home, and we all went over to Andrew’s house where his mom, dad, and sister were. I laid in his bed with his sister and showed her pictures that I had taken of him that weekend. We laid there and cried in total and complete disbelief. It was so hard for me to look his parents in the eye. I couldn’t handle seeing them in so much pain.

    I was in denial for the first few days. At the visitation and funeral, there was an open casket. I got to lay eyes on him again. It was surreal. Some people don’t like seeing the lifeless bodies of people they love. I had to see him. It was the only way I could know for sure that it was real. Yes, it was hard to see him like that. But I still don’t know if I’d believe it to this day if I hadn’t seen him lying there. I leaned down and kissed him on the head, just like he had done to me so many times.

    My dad spoke at the funeral. So did Andrew’s sister and dad. I don’t know how they did it. I could hardly breath. I had to walk in to the funeral along with other good friends of his. We walked down the aisle and to the front where we had reserved seats. While we were waiting in the lobby, a video of him playing guitar and singing was shown in the sanctuary. When I heard his voice, I felt like all the air had been sucked out of me. It was like seeing a ghost. I felt like I was walking on air walking down the aisle. I felt everyone staring at us feeling sorry for us. I didn’t want people’s pity. I wanted my best friend back.

    That night I went to dinner with my girlfriends and laughed for the first time in days. We all just sat there laughing so hard it hurt. We needed that. But once I got home, he was still gone. And he wasn’t coming back. I didn’t know how to go on.

    Once the funeral was over, everyone just seemed to go on with their lives. It was over. But it would never be over for me.

    I would have days where everything was good. And then I would be sitting in a restaurant and look over at a booth that we once sat at, and I would just lose it.

    I tried to use the tragedy to better myself, to learn from, to be kinder to others, to not take people for granted, but eventually all the sadness closed in around me and suffocated me. I didn’t handle it well. When the first anniversary of his death came, I was a wreck. It was about this time that I started going to counseling. I really can’t say that it turned everything around for me all at once. It took years, multiple doctors, multiple medications, falling on my knees and talking to Jesus before I could say that I was in a good place.

    I still don’t understand it, and some days I still question why God had to do this. Why he had to take away the best friend I’ve ever had. But I’ve accepted that God does know better than us, and some answers we just won’t get here on earth. The hardest thing for me now is wondering what he would be doing in his life now and wishing he could meet my kids and his sisters’ kids. It’s hard going on without him, but I know he’s looking down and smiling at me and blowing me a kiss. As a mother, I have to keep going for my kids. I can’t wait until they’re old enough for me to tell them all about their Uncle Andrew and how cool he was.

    It’s so hard to believe that today marks 12 years since he’s been gone.

    Andrew and I were about 11 years old in this picture. People frequently thought we were brother and sister.

    One of the things I have found that has been good from all this, is that I have been able to be there for others who have lost really close friends. It helps when you can relate to someone who has gone through what you have gone through. So if you are a person who is dealing with the death of a close friend, I encourage you to reach out to someone who has been in your shoes. It doesn’t have to be me, but just someone who you can talk to who understands. It makes a world of a difference. If you do want to talk to me, I would be happy to talk with you. Leave a comment below, DM me on Instagram, email me, whatever you want to do. I’m here.

    How special is it that I took this picture of him on the day before he died?

    RIP James Andrew Thrailkill III

    September 11, 1989 - February 24, 2008

    Always in my heart. I miss you, brother.

    *If you knew Andrew, please leave your favorite thing about him in the comments so I can have something to smile about today 🙂

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    30 Things About Me on My 30th Birthday

    Well the day is finally here. I am officially 30 years old. I have been dreading this day for like 9 years.

    But as I’ve been preparing for this the past few weeks, I have come to the conclusion that I am going to embrace it.

    I’m going to change my mindset. Instead of thinking about losing another year, I’m going to think of it as gaining another year. Another year that I am not promised.

    So I will be thankful for every day, every year, every birthday. Because I am so blessed. I really have more than I need.

    So for fun, I decided to share 30 random things about me today! Enjoy!

    #1- When I was 20 years old, I always said I would not have kids until I was 30. I also said I would only have 1. Now I’m 30 + have 3.

    #2- I have lived in 3 states + 9 cities.

    #3- I did a ton of different activities growing up: dance, t-ball, basketball, piano, art lessons, cheerleading. My favorites were probably art + cheerleading.

    2005

    #4- I have 2 tattoos. One on my foot that says “Only the good die young” + my best friend’s initials who died when we were 18. I have angel wings on my wrists. I got “beautiful life” added under them because people thought they were Harley Davidson wings + I couldn’t let that assumption happen.

    Andrew + I the day before he was killed

    #5- My best friend was a boy named Andrew. I met him in 3rd grade at church. We were “boyfriend + girlfriend” for a while. But we ultimately decided to just be friends in 6th grade. + what friends we were for so many years. But unfortunately not as many years as I would’ve liked. When we were 18, he was hit by a car + died immediately of blunt force trauma. I’ve never experienced such sudden + deep pain as I did during this time. + I hope I never have to experience it again.

    #6- I hate starting something + not finishing it all in 1 go. I can’t walk away from something. So many times I have ended up staying awake wayyyy past midnight because I’m working on a project + I can’t stop until it’s done.

    #7- I have only been out of the country twice: Bahamas + Mexico. I would love to travel to Canada, UK, Italy, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Greece + oh, so many more!! Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, but it is sooo expensive 🙁 Fun fact: both the times I have been out of the country have been with Brad. One was our honeymoon, but the other was our graduation cruise after high school. We were just friends then and not together until 7 years later.

    2008 in the Bahamas
    2016 in Mexico

    #8- I broke my left elbow when I was in the first grade falling off the monkey bars. I broke my left wrist in the fifth grade falling off of a scooter. I sprained ligaments in my right elbow falling out of a stunt during cheer practice when I was 15.

    #9- I have always been one of those girls who got along best with the boys, even though I’m a very girly girl.

    #10- My favorite foods are french fries, spaghetti, any kind of pasta, chicken tenders or nuggets, macaroni + cheese, any kind of potato, steak, anything chocolate, cheesecake + ice cream. Obviously you can see why I am not a size double zero anymore.

    11- I have always loved taking pictures. Some people find it annoying, but I love having the memories to be able to look back on.

    12- I was terrified when I found out I was having a boy, but he is the absolute sweetest + I wouldn’t trade him for the world. But I absolutely love my girls as well.

    #13- I went to school for business for 1 year, then went 1 semester for nursing, then went to cosmetology school. A few years later I went back to school to be a high school math teacher. I ended up changing to elementary school education. I taught 5th grade for 1 year after I graduated + haven’t been back to the classroom. I’ve never been more miserable in my life than I was as a teacher. I would rather work at Applebee’s than in a classroom. It was an absolutely terrible experience for me.

    #14- Strangers love talking to me. They love telling me their life stories. I don’t ask for this, but somehow it always ends up happening to me.

    #15- I used to watch Law + Order SVU literally every second of every day.

    #16- If Chelsea was a boy, her name was going to be Carter Andrew. If Cooper was a girl, his name was going to be Charlotte Katherine. If Camille was a boy, her name was going to be Cameron Bradley. (I really like names that start with C)

    #17- I have been in 3 car accidents where the car was totaled. I was driving in 1 of them.

    #18- I had ingrown toenails on both my big toes + had to have surgery on them both to correct it. It was extremely painful.

    #19- When I was in the second grade, I decided randomly that I wanted to be a tomboy. I cut my hair short, wore a backwards hat all the time, never wanted to wear dresses or anything girly. The cherry on top was that my left ear was infected so I couldn’t wear that earring, but I still wore my right one, so I legit looked like a boy. I luckily grew out of this quickly.

    #20- I’m OCD + very particular about certain things. Like clothes should be hung short sleeve shirts together, long sleeve shirts together, tank tops together, pants together, dresses together, etc. + then within each category I organize them from left to right, the left side being the most dressy + progressively get less dressy. I can’t stand it when I have more than like 5 unread emails. I don’t get it when people don’t have their apps in an order that has meaning behind it. Everything should have a place. + if you don’t put it back in that place when you’re done with it, what is wrong with you?

    #21- Fall is my favorite season. I love the leaves, the crisp air, college football, boots, pumpkins, leggings + oversized shirts.

    #22- I had melanoma skin cancer when I was 17 years old. You can read more about it in this blog post.

    #23- I’m super hot natured + sweat a lot. I hate being hot. I would rather it be cold any day.

    #24- I got married when I was 20 years old + we had Chelsea when we were 24. Sadly, we were divorced at 25. At 26, I married my current husband. At 27, we had Cooper + at 29, we had Camille.

    #25- I love the beach, but would honestly rather spend the most time at the pool, because sand.

    Here is me at the beach circa 1997. I probably have a pound of sand in my bathing suit.

    #26- I had my nose pierced twice, but it’s closed up now. I had 4 other piercings in my ears that are closed up now. I also have had my hair colored every color in the book.

    2009
    2011

    #27- I’m an enneagram 3, which means I love to work + be recognized for my work. I like to be seen as successful. I care about what other people think of me, even if I try + act like I don’t. I try hard to impress people + I like attention (even though I pretend I don’t). I’m competitive, hard-working, energetic, ambitious, enthusiastic, motivated + a people pleaser. Learning about the enneagram + all the types has been very eye opening for me to discover the core fears + desires of myself + those I love.

    #28- It’s reallyyyyy hard for me to spend more than $30-$40 on a piece of clothing. I like the more expensive things, but it’s very hard for me to justify spending that much on one thing.

    #29- I always wanted to live in Charleston or Atlanta. These are my favorite nearby cities. I’m smack dab in the middle of them. The cost of living is soooo much higher than where I live though + I’m pretty sure my husband is never moving again.

    #30- I love Apple products + will never own anything besides an iPhone or MacBook. I got my first MacBook in 2008 + my first iPhone in 2012. I will NEVER go back.

    So there’s a bunch of random info you probably never wanted to know. Hope you enjoyed!

    Tell me something random about you in the comments. + let’s be friends! Sign up for my email list below!

    xoxo,

    Lindsey

    2019 – My Year in Review

    My favorite and most inspirational blogger is Helene Sula of heleneinbetween.com. She was 100% the reason I decided to start this blog + helped me in countless ways in setting up my site, my writing, my social media, you name it. Her website has tons of informative information on all things blogging + how to make money doing it. But she’s also just a really cool human who enjoys traveling all over the world (like literally went to over 100 cities all over the world last year) + helping other people. So because she has been so successful with her blog, she has decided to help others who want to make a business out of blogging. + I am forever grateful that she helped me!

    ANYWAY, I say all this to say, she has an AWESOME tradition of posting a year in review blog post at the start of every new year. + not only does she share hers, but encourages other bloggers to link their post on hers! It encourages community + togetherness in the blogging world. Really cool, huh? So I am writing my year in review post inspired by the queen herself, Helene Sula. Seriously, if you don’t follow her stuff, you should. + you can check out her year in review post here.

    2019 was an amazing year. We gained another member of our family. My sweet baby girl was born in July, and she has brought so much joy to our family. This year we had so many changes and challenges, and through it all, some amazing things have happened. Here is my year in review:

    The first thing to happen in 2019 was my best friend becoming a mommy! She welcomed her over 8 lb son into the world right at the start of the new year! It is amazing to watch your friends become parents. A few months later, she would have to undergo major surgery due to an abscess that formed from her c-section scar. She had to go home with a wound vac + was stuck at home for weeks recovering. Luckily, she recovered beautifully + is doing great now! It is so scary to see your friends go through something like this though.

    I celebrated my last birthday in my 20’s.

    I won an award for Corporate Office Person of the Year at my job. I was so humbled and honored to receive this award.

    We found out that we were having another girl! Chelsea was ecstatic!

    Cooper started making this face often + developed his love for books.

    I made it to the halfway mark in my pregnancy with Camille.

    It became official that Brad was getting a new job + we would be moving! We put our house on the market.

    The kids went to see the Easter Bunny.

    My sweet niece, Callie Grace, was dedicated.

    We had a birthday party at the park to celebrate my girl turning 5. For some reason, it was 40 degrees in April + we all almost got frostbite.

    Chelsea’s birthday was the day after Easter so it was an Easter-Birthday celebration all weekend long!

    One happy 5 year old!!

    See that huge bandage on her hand? Cooper slammed her finger in a pot accidentally + it got infected. It was the biggest ordeal that led to going to the doctor + them telling us she might have to see a surgeon. Luckily with oral + topical antibiotics, saline rinses, lots of wraps + epsom salt baths, it started healing + surgery was not necessary. Her fingernail came completely off + has just recently grown back. This was not a fun time. Pictured is a girl who got to go to Target + pick out a new toy to bribe her into not complaining about the finger so much.

    Another one of my best friends had her baby boy! I have been friends with her since we were this little–actually before because our moms are best friends and were pregnant at the same time. It was so special to see her become a mommy!

    Celebrated Mother’s Day with the sweetest two and one in my belly.

    Celebrated my mom on Mother’s Day!

    My girl had her third dance recital! This time she had two numbers, and she rocked them both!

    We started going to Easley to explore our new town that we would soon move to. Little did we know we would become regulars at this place.

    I had just a little over a month until I would meet my sweet baby. We only had a few weeks left in our house until we moved. My last day at work was approaching soon.

    Chelsea graduated preschool and was headed for Kindergarten. I couldn’t be prouder of her.

    Last few days in our house.

    Celebrated my dad on Father’s Day! He’s really cool.

    Moving day! These two little homeless children were entertaining themselves.

    It was official! We closed on our old house and the new house in the same day in addition to moving everything out of the old house and into the new house. (Click here to see a bunch of pictures of the new house.)

    I worked frantically to get everything in order before baby joined us. These two got settled in.

    My blood pressure had started to rise early on, so they were keeping a close eye on me. I got to see my baby girl on ultrasound + I cried when I saw this little face because it looks so much like her big brother.

    The kids made themselves at home and were loving the new house.

    My sweet friends came to see the new house + celebrate baby girl.

    New neighborhood came with a perk–a pool.

    I got the house ready for baby to make her appearance. It was decided that I would be induced at 37 weeks since my blood pressure had continued to be an issue.

    My sweet Camille was born on July 11th weighing 6 pounds 13 ounces, my smallest baby. She didn’t make a sound when she was born. She just looked all around, eyes wide open, + didn’t even cry when they gave her a shot. She was so little + so sweet. (Click here to read my suggestions for what you should pack in your hospital bag.)

    Big brother + big sister were in love. My heart was full.

    We got to come home as a family of five, but it would be short lived…

    My cousin took these sweet newborn photos for us.

    After taking our newborn pictures, we took Camille to the doctor + they weren’t happy with her bilirubin levels. So she was set up to receive light treatment at home. But I had been not feeling right all day + my blood pressure had been high. When I made a call to my OB, they told me to go to the hospital to be evaluated. I ended up being admitted for postpartum preeclampsia. Luckily my sweet girl got to come with us to the hospital, light and all. I was given a magnesium treatment to try + lower my blood pressure. After almost 24 hours in the hospital, I was discharged + we got to come home again (but not for good).

    That weekend we celebrated my sweet Mammy turning 80. I thought we were on the other side of all the health issues. I was wrong.

    That weekend I started having pains + bad bleeding. So the next week I called my OB again + they scheduled me to come in for an ultrasound. After the ultrasound, the tech said, “Well, you know your body. Something’s wrong.” I said, “What is it?” She said, “I can’t say, the doctor will have to tell you, but it’s ok, they can fix it.” I then had to wait about an hour and a half to see the doctor. I was going crazy. Turns out, I had a blood clot in my uterus + would need to have surgery that day to remove it. Back we went to the hospital. I got home after midnight that night, but thankfully this would be the end of my saga.

    So then we did a thing. A stupid thing, some might say. We took three kids (one who was not even 3 weeks old) + went on vacation. It was a last minute, spur of the moment trip because I just had to get away for a bit. It was wonderful. (Click here to read about a 3 day itinerary for a trip to Charleston.)

    Cooper learned how to climb + jump out of his crib, so we were forced to change his crib to a toddler bed. He was thrilled, obviously.

    This little girl turned one whole month.

    All too quickly, my husband had to start regular football practices + then had to start teaching too. He was gone 7am-8pm Monday-Wednesday. Thursdays + Fridays when he had games, he wouldn’t be home until 11 or 12, sometimes later. Saturdays were his only day off + Sunday he had to go to school for coach’s meetings. So on days like this when I got all three of them dressed, I was really proud of myself. Camille was having to wear a hat all the time because she wasn’t gaining weight + the doctor suggested that she might be burning calories by being cold. So we were instructed to have her wear a hat at all times to keep her warm. (Click here to read my confessions of a mom of three.)

    Chelsea officially started Kindergarten!

    I got to spend some quality time with these two while big sissy went to school. Camille finally made it over 7 pounds + didn’t have to wear a hat all the time!

    This little boy started preschool three days a week. He wasn’t a fan at first, but by the second day, he had warmed up + now he absolutely loves it.

    Camille turned two months. I started working from home for an online business consultant. (Click here to read ways you can earn money + still stay home with your kids.)

    Chelsea started her fourth year of dance at a new dance studio.

    Camille got to go to school with big brother! At almost 3 months, she started going three days a week to the same school as Cooper. She absolutely loved it from the beginning. She has had no problem + everyone there loves her.

    This little boy turned TWO somehow (+ it was 90+ degrees in October. Yeah, remember how it was 40 degrees at my daughter’s birthday in April?).

    My niece turned ONE + she’s just the cutest, sweetest little thing.

    Another month down…

    I went on tv to support a friend + her local business opening.

    I had the cutest pineapple, Spiderman + Jojo Siwa on Halloween!

    I launched my blog!!! I spent basically one entire weekend creating my website from scratch + planning + writing + obsessing over every little detail. (Click here to read my first post about why I started the blog.)

    Did a photoshoot with the wonderful Hannah Kerr to get some professional shots for my site.

    She finally started to chunk up a little bit + I can’t handle it.

    I discovered that Cooper despises taking pictures almost as much as he despises going to bed. I had to do ninja things to be able to get this picture.

    We celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary at the place where we had our first date.

    We learned a hack to get Cooper to take pictures: Brad stands behind me + lifts his shirt up to show his belly. Genius.

    These two were in a Thanksgiving parade at their school. Neither had any idea what was going on.

    Friendsgiving celebration with these sweet girls is always one of my favorite traditions. (missing one)

    Thanksgiving was extra sweet this year.

    Baby’s first Christmas is always a special time.

    I’m in literal shock that she’s this big.

    We had the best Christmas. Love these kids with all my heart. (Click here to see what some of my kids’ favorite gifts were.)

    Ringing in the new year with these babes. Saying goodbye to 2019 + welcoming 2020 with open arms.

    Last picture of 2019. (Click here to read about my word of the year + goals for 2020.)

    Here’s to 2020, friends! Leave a comment with your favorite memory of 2019! Mine of course was my sweet baby girl being born!

    Let’s be friends. Life is so much better when we do it with others! Sign up for my email list below! (No spam!)

    xoxo,

    Lindsey

    My Word of the Year + Goals for 2020

    a new decade has come + gone – goodbye 2019 – hello 2020

    a whole year has come and gone. tomorrow will be the beginning of a new month, a new year, + a new decade.

    i have been seeing everyone’s posts about their new year’s resolutions + things they want to stop or start in 2020. anyone else out there feel like thinking of new year’s resolutions feels a lot like just shaming yourself on everything you’re doing wrong?

    i have fallen down this rabbit hole of “you need to work out more + eat better + clean more + be a better mom + write more + not sleep in so much + not look like a bum 75% of the time”. don’t get me wrong, i’m all about bettering yourself + setting goals, but not at the expense of your mental health. because that list of things i need to do also sounds like this: “you are fat + eat like crap + your house is an embarrassment + you’re a bad mom + you suck at blogging + you sleep all the time, yet you’re always tired + you look terrible 75% of the time”.

    these thoughts are self sabotaging. i’ve been in + out of a funk the past few days because of this. i have goals for 2020, + i definitely want to see them through, but i also don’t want to be so hard on myself. like, i raised three children, including a newborn, pretty much all by myself this fall. (my husband is a high school teacher + football coach so he was NEVER home from august-november.) my house is 80-90% picked up all the time. there are days i don’t put on makeup or nice clothes, but there are also a lot of days when i dress up + do my hair + makeup when i have nowhere to be. yes, i don’t write as much as i should, but i also have another job plus 3 kids to raise. writing can wait. my babies are growing up in front of my eyes. the working out + eating better topic is the worst. i am not a great eater. i don’t love + crave healthy things. in fact, i crave the exact opposite: carbs + sweets. i actually do enjoy working out (depending on what it is), but my excuse is always, “i don’t have enough time.” my younger two are in mother’s morning out for only 12 hours a week. those 12 hours i need to spend to do my work from home job, plus my design company, plus my blog. i also use that time to run any errands i need to run or make any appointments. i know that i need to workout more than i’ve been doing. + i’m just going to have to suck it up + do it. MAKE the time. because i’m a firm believer that you make time for the things you want to make time for. no one is EVER too busy to do the things they truly WANT to do.

    so i try to cut myself some slack + not go into the new year in a complete funk feeling crappy about myself + the life i have. i am trying to be optimistic + realistic with myself.

    i’ve been thinking for a while now about what my “word” of 2020 is going to be. i see people doing this every year, but i’ve never done it. + this year i want to do one that aligns with my goals.

    so my word of the year for 2020 is FREE:

    FREE from criticizing myself.

    FREE from fear.

    FREE from worrying.

    FREE from financial strain.

    FREE from this extra weight.

    here are my goals for 2020:

    • i’m going to try my best to eat better + cook more healthy meals at home.
    • i’m going to join the gym by my kids’ daycare + go workout at least 2 times a week after i drop them off.
    • i’m going to compliment myself every time i find i’m criticizing myself.
    • i’m going to work work work on my blog + my brand. take chances. go for the collaboration or partnership that i feel is “too big” for little ole me. i’m going to continue to connect, ask for help, + learn as much as i can.
    • i’m not going to worry about things i cannot control. i’m going to take control of everything i can take control of.
    • i’m going to spend more deliberate time engaging with my kids. “the days are long, but the years are short.”
    • i’m going to work hard at real relationships, not just those online friendships, but actually seeing people in person. there’s nothing like actually being there with someone face to face.
    • i’m going to work hard at making money + saving money.
    • i’m going to go on vacations with my family this year.
    • i’m going to try + not wallow in the fact that i’m turning 30 very, very soon (less than a month). this might be the hardest one of all.

    these might seem pretty obvious + redundant like the goals that pretty much everyone has every year, but they truly do mean a lot to me, + i have put a lot of time + reflection into these. by the end of 2020, i hope i can see that i’ve spent a ton of quality time with my kids + my family, i’ve not criticized myself so much, i’ve gotten in better shape + overall am in better health, i’ve made a lot more money + saved a lot more money, i’m embracing my 30s + killin’ it at being a 30 year old mom of three!

    i hope this year doesn’t fly by, but man i can’t wait to see what all i accomplish this year!

    do you have a word of the year for 2020?

    what are your goals for yourself or your business in 2020?

    leave a comment below or email me or find me on insta! i’d love to chat + be friends! life is so much better when we do it with others. join my email list below!

    xoxo,

    lindsey