I miss my friend

I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened. There’s not a single moment I can point to and say, yeah that’s when we lost ourselves. It was more like a long series of moments. So many missed opportunities to turn toward each other. But the weight of the responsibilities we now hold just kept building. We grew weary of carrying it. At the end of the day we’re tired and worn. We simply have no energy left to give to each other. So we convince ourselves that a good night’s rest is all we need and tomorrow we’ll talk. Tomorrow we’ll hug and kiss and maybe dance in the kitchen while cooking dinner together.

But tomorrow we are just as tired as we were and the dancing doesn’t happen. Something always gets in the way. The tiredness can’t be alleviated with sleep. Days and days of this have taken us to where we are now. Together but alone. Weary and spent.

When I see that picture of us from spring break 2012 in our bathroom I feel sad. Sometimes photos show a happiness that isn’t there. But this photo. This one has true warmth and love emanating from the day it was taken. That love is still with us now, just more of a twinkle than a beam.

I hear our song in the car and my eyes well up a little. It’s the song we used to spin around to on the dance floor after midnight drunk on alcohol but mostly love.

I often wonder if you feel the same when you come home to find me disheveled in the kitchen trying to prepare dinner, pack lunches, answer work texts, and calm a screaming child. Are you disappointed that I’m in pajamas? That I have at least one, but usually more unidentified substances on my clothes? That I smell vaguely of diaper cream and you’re pretty sure I haven’t showered in a couple of days? Do you look at me and miss the freshly showered and perfumed woman who used to have your dinner ready when you came in the door?

Remember that time we drove all the way home from St. Louis? That seemingly never ending car ride? It started out exciting and fun, it was a best friend road trip after all! But somewhere between Oklahoma City and Texas it turned nasty. Hours in the car made us both irritable and we just wanted to skip the rest of the drive and be home already.

That’s kind of what this stage is like. We’re in that ugly, flat, open area of land. But it’s ok because it’s a part of the journey. Our St. Louis drive is a great story now. We lived. We made it home and we celebrated. Time passed and we forgot the details of the trip. We only remember that it was hard but we did it.

And so my love, I say all this to assure you that we’ll survive again. We must learn to appreciate the landscape of where we are now. We aren’t going back to where we’ve been. This road trip of life doesn’t go in reverse. We’re moving forward. And you’ll always be my best friend.


Laugh without fear

Today was a hard day. Actually, I’ve had a string of hard days lately. Days when the sadness takes over. I really don’t like those days.

Occasionally, when I’ve had too many of those days in a row, I lose it. Usually I am alone when this happens. I like to go home, run a nice hot bath, and just let myself cry. Alone.

But I don’t really have a lot time for planned break downs these days. So today some poor, totally unsuspecting, woman had to witness my crazy.

It wasn’t her fault really. She was just delivering news that was caused by the system she works in. But it was the straw that broke the camel’s back as they say. And I started weeping in front of her and everyone else in that office.

I call it volcano crying. It starts with quivering lips. Then your mouth puckers up because you’re trying to hold it in. Your bring your hand up to your mouth like that might help. But eventually the tears build up and you can’t hold them back any longer at which point your face erupts with tears. You’re still trying to push through so you attempt talking but your voice gets really high and your speech is nearly incomprehensible. This is the kind of crying you really only want to do alone. Or at least with a close and trusted loved one.

Not the receptionist at the doctor’s office.

But that’s what happened to me today. I eventually gathered myself and shortly after that humiliating experience I was in the restroom where I came across a small picture frame. I almost didn’t notice it had it not caught my eye at the last second before I was leaving.

It had a single verse which read

In that moment, I was feeling weak, shameful, and completely unsure of the future. Certainly not like the woman this verse describes. But I left the restroom with a peaceful sense of worthiness. I don’t have to believe what my enemy voice says anymore. I get to choose.

I don’t know how I’ve never come across this passage before but it totally struck me. These were the EXACT words I needed to hear. God knows what we need and when we need it. He speaks to us if we know how to listen.

Girly girl

I’ve never really been the “girly” type. I didn’t start wearing makeup until after college, I’m way too tall for heels, dresses make me fidget, and I’ve always had short hair that I don’t curl, braid, or dress in any way.

As a young girl, I was more interested in other things and by the time I realized it was ok to fix myself up a little bit I was too busy to learn how to do it properly. So it’s always been a little bit of an insecure spot. Now that I have a baby, a business, grad school, and 2 side jobs, I just don’t have the time to fiddle with such things.

Which unfortunately translates to my daughter. I like to attempt fixing her hair in pony tails and clips but 1) she hates it and 2) she pulls them out. To me it’s a time waster.

But now her hair is starting to get in her eyes and everyone thinks she’s a boy without her hair fixed.

So today I took Elora to school in an orange halloween onesie and gray sweatpants, and no hair decorations. She looked like a little boy.

When I picked her up from school, she had the most adorable pig tails in her hair! I really did think they were so cute. I complimented the teacher and thanked her for doing it. But when I got in the car I noticed this old familiar feeling…

I felt like a “bad mom” because I sent my child to school with hair in her eyes. Like less of a woman because I can’t figure out how to fix her hair cute and make it stay. And basically a terrible person because I don’t really care if she doesn’t have cute hair.

I spent the  whole 10 minutes home berating myself and feeling embarrassed that someone had to help me with my baby. Luckily, I’ve had enough experience with this to realize when I’m headed down the shame hole. In no way did that sweet teacher intend to demean me by putting Elora’s hair in pig tails…Super cute pig tails.

She did a really nice thing for Elora and me. And I decided to be GRATEFUL for a teacher who loves Elora enough to fix her hair. That was a much better feeling than the self-imposed mom-shame I was headed toward.

Trials of many kinds

This whole entrepreneurship thing is no joke. It is HARD. Like last mile of the marathon when your entire body is screaming no and  you’re mind is rationalizing it’s way out of going one more step HARD.

The other day I was driving in my car crying again, because it’s just all too much and the worry has to go somewhere, and frustration overwhelmed me. In weak moments like these, I’ve been asking God to make this stop. If we could just fast forward to the easy part that would be great, thanks.

Right then a thought came to my mind. Put there by Him no doubt. Just a quiet reminder to me in my moment of anger.

Dry Needling.

It’s a technique Josh uses on me to help with neck and upper shoulder pain. (That I get from all the anxiety by the way, but at least I know I have a problem). I wrote about needling once before.

The thing about dry needling for me is it freakin’ hurts. Every single needle stings and my muscles are so wound up that it’s torturous when the needle gets in there and forces them to relax back down. My instinct is to fight it. I want to tense up and brace for it. Sometimes I literally sweat and get in full on fight or flight mode. Josh doesn’t even realize how close he’s come to getting a good punch in the face. But since I looked like frankenstein with needles sticking out of my neck he got lucky and missed out.

It took a few failed sessions, for me to realize that the fight makes it worse. It doesn’t help my pain, and it doesn’t release any tension. I have to ALLOW the needles to do their JOB. Which is to hurt me. In a brief moment I feel immense pain. But the reward of living every other day with the freedom to turn my head in all directions is worth it.

I’m working on the “pure joy” part but I can at least realize that this pain is temporary. And it is serving a purpose. I’m somewhere after mile 20 wondering why in the world I signed up for this but I’m still going.

Her story

I have not been myself lately. People tell me I’ll go back to normal eventually after my hormones settle down. But I feel like women don’t actually have a “normal”. Our entire lives are a screwed up roller coaster of hormonal ups and downs.

But anyway, I woke up feeling off again. Couldn’t get myself out of bed. Skipped another workout. Moped around the house for an hour before deciding I just needed to get out of there. I grabbed Elora and we went down the street to Starbucks because where else do you hang out at 9am?

One thing I MISS is reading. When Josh and I lived in St. Louis I would walk down to the Starbucks and read for hours. Uninterrupted. Without a child trying to eat the book. And it was glorious.

Elora absolutely hates the car seat so I had her on my lap. I had this picture in my mind that she would sit there and just play with a toy and I could read a book.

Adorable right?

Nope. She was annoying the crap out of me. Ripping my book, covering it with her body, slapping at my face. Suffice it to say, reading just wasn’t happening.

Just as I was about to give up and leave, a sweet lady came over to us. She told me how absolutely precious we were. She asked me for my phone because she wanted to capture the sweet moment for me.

It reminded me of this video that a friend of mine shared on Facebook a few days ago. It’s called “A Normal Day” and totally worth the minute and a half to watch.

My little girl just loves me and she loves being near me. That won’t always be the case. Ever since I watched that video I have been trying to think of my days through Elora’s eyes. What would her story to Josh be at the end of the day? I don’t want her to see me as a tired, worn down, irritable momma. There will be plenty of time for reading later on in life. And when that time comes, I’ll probably be doing it to distract myself from the fact that my children don’t need me anymore.

Easy like Sunday

I firmly believe happy is a choice. It doesn’t just happen. But I do pay attention to things that make me feel happy because I think it helps me find my sweet spot. That place where being happy doesn’t feel like such a struggle.

One of my classic sweet spots is the Sunday of a three day weekend. When you know you have Monday off so you don’t have to do all the things you usually do on a Sunday night. You get to play a little bit longer than usual and sleep in the next day. It feels glorious.

I was one of those people who contributed to the debasement of Mondays by dreading them every week.

But something really wonderful happened to me. A few weekends ago, Josh and I were going to bed on a Sunday evening. I laid down and realized that I had a really good feeling. An easy going contentment. I was looking forward to the next day. I had several things to do but I wasn’t dreading it like I used to. I was ready for the day to come.

It was such a reinforcing moment. When Josh and I gave up the security of my 8-5 job it was a huge leap of faith. But we have been gifted in so many ways since then. I know now that we chose the right path. Now every Sunday is like the Sunday of 3 day weekend for me. I look forward to my work. I don’t dread Monday anymore. I look forward to the possibilities that a new week brings.


But seriously…why is Josh always right?

Josh is such a great coach. He is so encouraging and involved. He knows when to push and when to just let you work it out. He is what I call a noticer so he remembers things about people. He remembers what your previous weights and times were. He remembers things that are going on in your life. People really respond to him and love him as a coach.

Except me. It’s different when that coach is your husband. Or maybe it’s different because I’m a perfectionist and don’t want Josh telling me what and how to do.

I actually wrote about this way  back in 2013, when Josh started teaching me CrossFit. I titled it Suffer Now because I needed to just get over myself and let him be the expert. Still working on this one ya’ll…

I’ve been in denial for years. I mean…years. I have always just tried to outwork my diet with exercise. I have a few go to treats…

But now that little bit has come along, I’ve found making time for exercise challenging. Sometimes just moving her back and forth between all the play mats and exersaucers is my workout.

And Josh has been telling me for years to get my diet stuff under control. He’s been telling me I would feel so much better if I could stop eating breads, sugars, and excessive dairy. But what does he know? I LOVE those things. I NEED those things.

So back in November Josh told me that he wanted to do a paleo challenge at the gym. I was like

But then he said he wanted to do strict…which means no dairy…and I was like

So it took him 3 months to convince me to do this. The fact that I felt like crap every single day helped. I would rather feel the discomfort of avoiding certain food groups than the discomfort of bloating, headaches, low energy, and constant sinus infections.

So I did it. 30 days of strict paleo. I’m down 10 pounds and I lost nearly 9 inches in my torso and legs.

But I gained so much more. I have energy for the first time since before I was pregnant. My mood is better. I have a happier outlook. I just FEEL BETTER. I never felt good after having 2 margaritas at dinner. I mean, they tasted good but I always had to suffer with the after effects. It’s just not worth it.

So even though this is the last day of the challenge, I am going to maintain a mostly paleo diet. And I’m going to start listening to Josh more because dang it, he’s usually right.

Ctrl Alt Delete

Turns out I’m not perfect. Despite all my efforts, I still stumble and sometimes I even fall. Here is actual footage of me trying to figure out this whole working from home with a baby thing…

I’ve always been really great at time management. Back when my life had neat little categories, I worked 8 hours a day and in between those hours, I could do whatever I wanted. Owning a business is not like that at all. Add a newborn in there and yikes! It’s consuming. Every day is different which I love, but also I hate it. So while I’ve been trying to juggle everything, I pretty much dropped the ball labeled “Take Care of Lindsay”. The other day I had coffee for breakfast and lunch. Alone time and exercise are nearly nonexistent. Ya’ll, I own a gym and I’m lucky to get one workout a week. (Not counting all my nightly trips back and forth between our bedroom and Elora’s.)

Last fall when I was on maternity leave, I felt free. I got to be with Elora every day and spend time with Josh up at the gym in the afternoons. Even though I was still working the business, it felt like a vacation. It was a really great season of my life.

Now that I’m actually marking the “self-employed” box, it’s different. My expectations suddenly changed. I think I allowed myself to feel guilty that Josh was gone working all day. So I put all this pressure on myself to perform. I started basing my self-worth off of the number of tasks I completed in a day. (Which is unpredictable when you have a baby in your home office.) If I didn’t accomplish all the things, I felt like I was “less than”. But even if I did all the tasks, I didn’t feel great because I would just invent more things to do. Before Elora was born, I did so much work learning to be grateful, focus on the present, and breathe out anxiety. I was feeling the best I’ve ever felt. But during the last couple of months I accidentally forgot to do that and let myself fall into the rabbit hole of self doubt and worry.

It’s been bad. A lot of freak outs, crying, and heavy breathing. So since wine isn’t a great long term coping skill…

I decided I should really do something about how I’ve been feeling. First things first…

I’m terrible at this! I allowed guilt and pride to consume me. But that obviously wasn’t serving me very well. So I’ve started letting people help me with Elora. HUGE difference! Second, I’ve been working through my negative thought patterns. THANK GOODNESS for my friend and business coach who reminds me how to be a better me. In our conversation this week, she helped me realize that I am in overwhelm. I need to press Control, Alt, Delete and see how many processes I’m running in the background. (TOO MANY!) They all basically boil down to guilt, anxiety, and fear. =Waste of time! I need to go through and End Task on all those unnecessary processes.

One day, I’ll be sitting in an auditorium watching Elora graduate from high school. She’ll be radiant with all the possibilities her life holds. I’ll be so happy for her. But I’ll also be sad because it will mean that she won’t need me as much anymore. On that day, I can guarantee I won’t be thinking “gosh, I’m so glad I kept the house clean and filed all that paperwork back when Elora was a baby”. I won’t remember anything about the annoying day to day tasks of running a business and home. But I will definitely remember these moments.

Holding my sweet, precious angel and letting her snuggle me. Listening to her little breaths and soft sighs as she falls asleep. Inhaling the captivating scent that is unique to my little girl.

LOVE. That is all there is. It is the only process I need running. Everything else follows.




The testing of your faith

When Josh and I were newlyweds we didn’t have a whole lot of money. I mean, we had a home and plenty of food (as you can tell from pictures). But we sacrified quite a bit too. We shared a car and lived in a tiny duplex in a shady neighborhood. We didn’t run the heat our first winter together because it was too expensive so we just wore sweats and jackets and bundled up under a blanket on the couch in the evenings.


We didn’t have cable television or internet for several months because we couldn’t afford it. I had to keep track of everything I put in our grocery basket and add it all up at the end to make sure we had enough money for it, otherwise, I’d have to put some things back. Our parents helped us a lot. We argued so much that first year struggling to figure out how to live together and share everything.


It was a very frustrating time and one of the hardest years of our marriage. I was very depressed and hopeless. It wasn’t that I questioned my decision to marry Josh, I knew that was good. It was just so hard and we were so young. We didn’t have enough life experience to realize that it was just a season. A passing time.

I often look back at that period and thank God for where we are now. I never imagined we’d be so blessed. And now we are living through another tough season. A newborn and a new business is a lot of stress on a marriage.

Josh and I spent 14 years with just the two of us. And while work got in the way sometimes, we always found time to spend together. After the first few years of figuring out how to live together, we hardly fought at all. We were comfortable with each other and our life. Things ran smoothly.

Now, every extra cent, minute, and thought goes to running our gym. It seems we bicker every other day about some thing or another related to the business. We both feel tired all the time and a constant pressure to make this work. We’ve taken a huge risk and it is absolutely terrifying. It’s so easy to look at other business owners and be jealous or expect the same outcome. We live in a world of highlight reels without ever seeing the behind the scenes.


My favorite time with Elora is first thing in the morning. She is so happy to be awake and she smiles a huge smile when I come into her room. I love playing with her and making her laugh while I get her dressed for the day. She gives me pure JOY!


But sometimes I simultaneously  feel immense doubt. What if this gym totally fails and we lose everything? What if a decision we make causes her to have no home? What if she grows up and resents us forever for ruining her life? (you all know I can be dramatic) But still, it is enough to paralyze me with fear.

In those moments I wonder why on earth we chose this path. All the late nights and early mornings. The arguing and constant pressure. It seems there is always a decision to be discussed and finalized. Never enough money in the account. Always a lesson to be learned. Running a business with your spouse is a true test of love and faith.

ALL THAT BEING SAID, THIS IS THE GREATEST ADVENTURE OF OUR LIVES. Just when we start doubting what we’re doing, we get heartfelt comments from our members who tell us what we are doing is good. They appreciate the time we give. They share their stories of success and growth. We see them meet their goals and beam with pride. THEY are the reason we do this.

So I think back to our first years of marriage and how hard they were. How we thought it would never be any different. But things did change. We did survive and became better because of it. So in those moments of doubt, I turn away from the fear that strives to pull me down. Focusing on the negative will only perpetuate negative. So I turn to the positive and focus on the things I’m grateful for, and there are many. This is only a season that we will one day look back on with the understanding that only comes from passing time.



Sorry for being a jerk

Josh will probably agree when me when I say that I can be a butt sometimes. I think I’m pretty good at managing my emotions…most of the time. Now that we’ve been married so long, we rarely get in big fights because we’ve learned how to recognize each other’s triggers.

But lately I’ve been super overwhelmed with everything on my plate. So when Josh came home late from coaching at the gym the other night and said “what can I do?” instead of being sooo grateful for a husband that helps, I snapped at him like a jerk. He walked in and saw me furiously preparing for the next day like a madwoman. I still had so much left to do that evening and it was already past 7 so when he asked me how he could help I just clipped out “LAUNDRY, DINNER, DOGS!”


Because he is such a good man, he did not get mad and yell back. That sweet man hugged me. Oh my…things could have gone so differently. I think life really is a lot like those books we used to read as kids where you could choose your own ending. To spend the evening yelling and arguing about who does more around the house go to page 93. To hug your wife and tell her you are there to help go to page 54.

Thank goodness Josh chose page 54.  He took care of it all, laundry, dinner, and the dogs. And I thanked him for helping me.

But later that night I was still just really irritated. I appreciated that Josh asked me what he could do but I was still angry that he didn’t just KNOW what to do. The dogs have to eat every night. Just feed them. The laundry is in the basket in the middle of the floor. Just put it away. It’s 7:30 and we haven’t eaten. Just fix something.

Which then got me wondering why I feel the need to thank him every time he does that stuff anyway. It’s just another thing on my never ending to-do list. Thank husband for helping around the house or he might not do it anymore.

But it’s his house too. Elora is his daughter too. It’s not all my responsibility. I don’t say thanks for brushing your teeth today, babe! He does it because it’s what you do. Just like the laundry.

All of this was going through my head when I sat down to nurse Elora before bed. I pulled out my phone and the first thing I see in my facebook newsfeed is this blog a friend shared called something like “why you should stop being an asshole wife”.


Noted. I was totally being an asshole wife.

I cannot find that article anywhere now. I would love to share it because it was such a good read but I guess it was meant for just me, I don’t know. Our purpose on this planet is to love each other. And a really good way for me to do that is to tell Josh thank you when he does stuff regardless of what it is or how he did it.

So today is Josh’s 30th birthday. We’ve spent nearly half our lives together. When I’m not being an asshole wife, I am in complete awe of the man he has become. While I was searching the internet for that article, I came across a lot of weird things…I don’t recommend typing “asshole wife” into your browser…


But most of the results were articles and forums about asshole husbands. I am so grateful that I am not searching the internet for advice on what to do about my jerk husband because I don’t have one. I do spend it trying to figure out how to get poop stains out of onesies, signs your baby is teething, and how to quit your Starbucks addiction, though.

Josh is up at 4:45 every morning to provide for us. He works hard all day to build the life we’ve imagined for ourselves. And when he finally gets home 14 hours later he still finds the energy to cook dinner and do the laundry. I have absolutely nothing to be upset about.

So, I’m sorry again, Josh, for being an asshole wife. But thank you for loving me anyway. Thank you for working hard, thank you for cooking, and thank you for killing all the bugs around our house. But most of all, thank you for being born so that we can share this life together.


“The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It’s a choice you make — not just on your wedding day, but over and over again — and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.”-Barbara De Angelis