Victory in the Land of Long White Cloud

by LCCotter on March 6, 2012

Are you wondering about my title? No? Well, you should. New Zealand is “supposedly” referred to as the Land of the long white cloud. Just click the link for the history. I won’t go into detail here, don’t you worry. But what I will go into detail about is my time here. So sit back if you will….

Just to preface, I recently signed up for the GLAM AUTHOR Program. It’s a paid opportunity, but it also allows me to choose what “themes” I want to write about. I jumped at this idea because it allowed me to support the hubs while we were in New Zealand, and trust me, we needed EVERY LITTLE PENNY!

One theme that I found I could relate to was about “small wins,” but in my mind I like to think of them as “small victories.” Here’s the exact wordage.

Theme: We want to know how you reward yourself and maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle in the ‘smallest’ ways. Whether it is a quick 10 minute walk in the morning or eating a piece of fruit for dessert, what are the ‘small wins’ you experience that lead you to a healthy and happy day? Sponsored by Quaker Oatmeal


Now, I know I Quaker Oatmeal is the sponsor of this theme and I totally love that they are! But small wins didn’t come from just healthy food, it came from nourishment. Food is nourishment though, right?


But you know what else provides nourishment?

Self Love.

Does that even make sense?

Let me explain…………..

When I left for New Zealand with the hubs, I up and left my “busyness and hyper-productivity” in the States. That meant a whole new world was waiting for me when I arrived. But what did that look like?

I didn’t know what to expect really. In fact, I didn’t even know if I could handle being just “simple” me.

You see, I had been thriving off of the “always doing something, over-working, busy-body” lifestyle. I hid behind this BUSYNESS so much that I actually had no identity without it.


In New Zealand there was no “schedule” or  “plan.” And to be honest, the first month I felt guilty living at such a slow pace, which also led me to feeling a bit lost and anxious.

Why was this? Wasn’t part of the purpose of this trip to slow down, to rest, and to take care of each other?

Yes. Yes it was. But that also meant I needed to take care of me and reconnect with ME! Be still and ENJOY…… ME!

Sounds a bit selfish but in fact it was/is the most humbling experience I have gone through.

Each day I found Small wins in taking time to “know” me.

I strolled in the park…


I walked to get groceries..

I woke up early just to watch the sunrise….

hills 2

I stopped at every corner just to take pictures….


I cooked..


I baked…


I drank coffee at several cafes…


I read my bible and disconnected from everything, to pray…


I enjoyed a glass of NZ wine….. every night.


Do I sound like Eat Pray Love yet?  haha. Just kidding. I was far from that. New Zealand wasn’t about spending time discovering life.

It was about reuniting with ME!

Yep…. ME! Simple Me.


Stripped of every busy detail and distraction in my life,

I was left with one thing……the real me.

And guess what I found out?

I LIKE the REAL me.


So I guess you could say that the time we spent living in New Zealand has been my me “small win” so far this year. A small victory that played a HUGE part in rebuilding my confidence.

It has been my nourishing bowl of oatmeal in the morning, fueling me for more of life to come.



The benefits of a warm, filling bowl of oatmeal can keep you going all morning long. Energy. Fiber. Heart Health. Quaker Oatmeal.

A super grain breakfast.



Simple yet Sassy LC

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Quaker via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Quaker.


I will be participating in a GLAM twitter chat this Thursday, March 8th at 4pm PST/7pm EST .

We’re continuing the topic of  “Healthy Rewards: What small steps in the morning do you take to keep healthy?” Feel free to join in.  I know there will be prizes randomly drawn for those who participate. Plus GLAM is giving out a GRAND PRIZE to a random participant who participates in the series of  these discussions. Anyone want to win a $1000 Amazon Gift Card? Sweet!!

The Grand prize winner will be chosen at random after the series is completed. For complete rules, click here..

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia @ Pain, Pride, Perseverance March 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

FRIEND. i love love love this post. i felt so at peace just reading it. it sounds like NZ was unbelievably rewarding for you in so many ways…so glad you were able to experience this journey :)


Jess March 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Oh I LOVE this post!! This is such a fitting way to recap for us what exactly New Zealand meant for YOU. Not just for your hubs and your relationship with him and your role as sherpa (hehe), but what this “escape” from crazy/busy meant for you. It showed you just how much you can and should be reconnecting with yourself…and much more often. I am so glad that you love who you are, I happen to love her too ;-) xoxo


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm

man do you knoe how to make me feel all warm and blessed. i honestly think it was your encouragement that helped this self love. so thank u!


Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning March 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm

What a beautiful post- and a great experience that you went through! You’re so lucky that you got this time to reconnect with yourself, grow and become a better, stronger person (and I’m sure you know that)!


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 9:54 pm

yes, i keep thinking about it too. thankful for every bit. now i just need to keep that focus, ya know?


Abby March 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Fabulous summary to your experiences these past couple of months. I would love the opportunity to leave my mandatory responsibility and crap behind for awhile and take time to reconnect with those things that are so important to me, but alas, not quite yet. Maybe some day;)

For now, we can all take a few minutes here and there to remind ourselves that we need to take care of ourselves first and foremost. It’s not selfish, it’s self-care. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 9:58 pm

abby, i’m taking you with me next year. no arguments! you can write another book while you are there, or just do nothing and RELAX. deal?


Angie March 6, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I think I can honestly say I know how ya felt in NZ~ we just moved halfway across the country and I am a bit lost… I am liking it, but like you did, I feel a bit anxious! I was going full speed and now I don’t even have a job yet. Thanks for sharing your experience!


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:00 pm

oh yes. the anxiety will subside and you will enjoy gods direction, can’t wait to hear more about that.


Kris March 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm

yay for being a glam author, I love this program! :D

you are so beautiful, dear friend, and it comes through in your words. words that somehow you always know I need, just right then. XO


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:01 pm

yes! so thankful for this opprtunity. and for your support, always.


Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) March 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm

You know how I feel about all of this already, but I will say it again. I am so happy for me that you took the time to let go and just enjoy you, your husband and your life. I never realized how important things like that really are until Tony and I took our family out of our normal routine. It didn’t really give us what we needed, but it did give us the opportunity to really bond together and realize what we truly needed at the time. Tony and I aren’t really where we want to be in the future, but we are happy with taking things day by day knowing that we have our eye on the prize in the future. Sure, the prize may change, but the goal will be the same…being together, in a simplified, happy home.


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm

i totally thought about u when writing this. how you grew into your own person even more. yes, relate we will!


Heather (Where's the Beach) March 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I think you hit on something pretty significant in that we tend to feel anxious and guilty for living simpler and taking things slower. Why is that? Life shouldn’t be about being busy busy all the time. It’s short and we should enjoy every moment without rushing through.


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm

i really don’t know why we don’t slow down here more either. it is the best thing we can do for ourselves, so true!


Rachelle March 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Freaking love this post and you know what? I really like the REAL Lindsay too. You are simply amazing and such a wonderful example to so many. Always humble, always honest, and always full of great and powerful words. Thank you for being you because I kind of like you! ;)


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:07 pm

well the real me loves the real you. you inspire me to be true to that. now we REALLY need to meet.


Lindsay @ Lindsay's List March 6, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I like, no LOVE, the real you!! SO SO happy we “met”!!


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm

lindsay’s gotta love each other, always and forever friend!


Lisa @ RunWiki March 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I bet you found that the real you is a beautiful light of being. :) welcome home.


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm

yes, and i like light. keep is shining, right?


kalli March 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm

wow this is so awesome! i can relate fully! how wonderful that you got this time to stop and get to know yourself. i hope we can all do this even with the busy ness of real life. i try to! hope you are ahppy being back in austin :)


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:09 pm

me too. and when its forced time away, its even better appreciated. yes? xoxo kalli


katie March 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I am so glad you had “me” time in New Z and you really got to find yourself again! You are so beautiful girl! I am glad you guys are back home and safe too!

Glam, I have been wondering about going through them instead of foodbuzz, feedback would be great! They have contacted me a couple months ago, xoxo <3


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm

yes, i needed to see the real me. i know you can relate.

and i am enjoying the glam author program. never done foodbuzz though. i think you’d be a perfect fit for glam. they’d be lucky to have be a writer, seriously!!


Laura @ LauraLivesLife March 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I love this – and your small wins added up to a BIG win. I still haven’t learned how to be comfortable without constant busyness – and it’s something that causes me a ton of guilt (when I’m simply not motivated to do anything but feel like I should). I need to learn how to take life slowly without shutting down completely!


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm

guilt was something i struggled with laura. but i am so glad i let it go. you can do it!!! i know you can. try and it will be worth every effort


Lindsay @ Fuel My Family March 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Sounds amazing and so real! I think we could all use a time like this in our lives. I’m sure your life is changed in ways you don’t even know yet from your time in NZ!


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm

yes, it did change! and i hope it continues. no, i KNOW it will!!


Lindsay March 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm

What a lovely post. We always need to take time and find out who we really are!


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm

amen to that linz! are u doing that these days? catch me up.


Lou March 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm

You sound better than Eat, Love, Pray! I think your time in NZ was just what YOU needed… time out for ourselves is something we don’t prioritise highly enough, yet it is SO crucial to health. Stress will kill ya before anything else, no?

I really need to get some of that time… argh so hard with a little one, and no family around to babysit… I do get 6 hours off on Saturday though (doing a short course at the University, hurrah for brain function not associated with nursery rhymes!)

I just saw Quaker Oats in the supermarket the other day… must be an influx of new US products… as they had Almond Breeze too (I got some!) So are these Quaker Oats highly magical and worth a try or what?


LCCotter March 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm

almond breeze!! yahoo! and lou, i miss you already. wish i could come give some time to be lou. come to austin, i’ll pour the wine. xoxo


Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries March 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm

i love this! i’m so glad you were able to reconnect with yourself. that is SO important, especially in today’s american society where everything seems to be constantly be “go go go”. this is something i’m constantly working on, thanks to my “type a” and busy body personality. ;)


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 3:39 am

excatly! now if only we could change our society. Or at least our part of it, yes?! Sloooowwwwwwer.


natalie March 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm

LOVING. THIS. POST. Girl I know you needed this, and I’m glad it turned out just the way you had hoped. I remember before you guys started your adventure, that you were anxious and hesitant. To hear that it went so well fills me with such joy – you are not one to oversee God’s grace, and I’m so happy that you two had this time together. (hugs)


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 3:39 am

oh god’s grace, it is so beautiful. Right on there Natalie. hugs!


Heather @ Better With Veggies March 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Love this post!! I know that I feel wierd and unproductive when I even have a lazy night (like tonight), I don’t know what to do with myself and often feel a little guilty. I think we all need a good reminder to slow down and appreciate the little things. I could you were able to reconnect with your hubby, experience new places and new things, and learn to slow down over the past few months – that’s an amazing thing that I hope you can carry with you in your new adventures back home!


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 3:40 am

you, mrs ULTRA MARATHONER, should never feel that way. I am telling you that now. xoxo


Alexandra March 7, 2012 at 1:20 am

Best post ever! Seriously, I loved every word of it! “And guess what I found out? I LIKE the REAL me.” <– pure awesomeness. It sounds like overall your trip was an incredible growing experience. Hopefully you can continue to love and cherish the real you back here in the Big T! :D


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 3:37 am

oh gosh, you are too kind alex. thank you for such kindness. I am praying that this continues. It’s all in Gods hands!


Tara March 7, 2012 at 1:27 am

Aw this is such an awesome post! Sometimes I think a change of scenery can really open our eyes to some things we don’t see in our normal environment. Even short trips have made me realize some really big things! I’m glad you’re feeling reunited with you :)


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 3:36 am

yes, i agree. those trips are so crucial for our minds, ya know? How are you doing with the injury? SLow and steady progess, yes?


Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb March 7, 2012 at 1:29 am

Love, love, love. So happy for you and this experience. I can totally identify with the busyness. Although I thrive on staying busy, lately I can’t keep my head straight. Maybe I need to go to NZ…


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 3:43 am

yes, NZ is callng your name. It has busyness if you want. But i think you’ like the slow pace and the beautitful scenery! <3


jobo March 7, 2012 at 1:43 am

Oh wow, Lindsay, I LOVE this post. I love how much this trip was for YOU and you didn’t even know it, did you? You needed this almost as much as James did, and I love that you learned so much and it was humbling yet so focused on YOU, which you needed, and you have grown and realized so much about yourself. So happy for you, the feeling must be quite incredible!


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 3:36 am

we both did! for ourselves and our marriage. Now that we are back, it is a challenge to keep that pace but i know WE CAN!!! Thanks for the amazing support through it all!!!


Pure2raw twins March 7, 2012 at 2:47 am

we are with you in thinking of them as small victories! love this post! love your outlook on life and who you the true you is! you are so beautiful and inspiring for us all to slow down more and appreciate life and the little small wins that we experience each day :)


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 3:35 am

yes, and it totally works, ya know? Ohh I can’t wait to catch up with my twins! I’ve missed you.


Miz March 7, 2012 at 10:52 am

I can not wait for a long slow coffee with the real you.


Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean March 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

you’re beautiful! LOVED this!


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm

<3 you.


Michelle {lively kitchen} March 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I like you too!

Cheers for slowing down and letting yourself have complete thoughts. I need to do that!


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 7:14 pm

i think it should be mandatory for all moms!


Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense March 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I always love reading your posts… so inspirational, so true!!
I love the movement towards simplicity and that is my goal!


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 7:14 pm

i think it is a goal we all strive for but never find until taken out of our busyness, ya know? so hard!


Bonnie March 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm

What a beautiful post, Lindsay…so neat to hear about how you changed, how you reconnected, how you rested and simply were stripped of distractions like you said. I love that. Thanks for sharing your journey with us and reminding us of truth! God bless as you guys settle back into life in TX. :D


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm

and i couldn’t have realized this withou the constant encouragement from friends like you!


Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner March 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Cheers to the REAL YOU!!! I love this post… not only were you there to support your hubs but take good care of yourself and find the real you again aswell. I’m so happy for you!


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm

yes, now i think i need to go back. haha. Gosh, finding a constant balance here already is HARD!


Tessa @ Amazing Asset March 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Gosh I am in love with this post… I mean the message could not be more perfect and one I really must continue to work on internalizing!


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

yes, never stop working on it because it is worth it, right!? well said Tessa!


Kris | March 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Love this post girl!! I want to know more about this Glam Media thing…can you email me?

I love that you set the time aside to connect with yourself, your reading and your praying…you are so inspiring to so many of us!! I would be there sipping coffee and wine with you my friend…my 2 fav things :)



LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 7:18 pm

emailing now! How’s Ryan by the way?


Kristin @ STUFT Mama March 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Okay I’m not going to hideit, I’m a little choked up with this post. So glad you got the opportunity to relax and just be YOU. I’m jealous and envious. My busyness does not stop. I know I have the power to work with it an make some adjustments, but I really need to prioritize. Fun that you got to join the Glam network! :) Hugs to you- my daily source of inspiration.


LCCotter March 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I was completely anxious and full of guilt first. But you know what, God does not want our lives to be wasted like that. I had to surrender that feeling to Him. You know what I mean? DO IT!! xoxo


Missy March 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm

and now we know the true “blessing in disguise”….huh? you with me?

that little delay? just more time to learn such a beautiful lesson.
He rocks.


Missy March 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm

oh and I am bonkers about that nuttzo you posted earlier (later? sorry Cotter Marathon happening over here) I’m literally forcing myself to refrain from ordering online right.this.minute before i look to see if i can get it locally….

ah…blog reading has bought so many beautiful things into my pantry and fridge (nutritional yeast say wha???). this may be the next.


LCCotter March 13, 2012 at 1:53 am

i love missy catch up time. I missed you. and i am going to reply here for all your comments. Swimming… YAHOO!! way to go. Stronger!! And God, ya he continues to humble me. Like really man. And nuttzo, i have some. send me your mailing address.


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