Flashback Friday: Kiwi Cotter

by LCCotter on November 23, 2012

As I sit here, thinking over this past year, I almost get a little teary eyed. For me, that says something. I may be corny, but shedding tears of emotion? Pah-lease. Haha, actually, I share in tears of joy. And that’s why I am writing this today. For me, to share joy, to look back at life and THANK GOD for all He’s done.

You see, a year a go today we were on a plane to New Zealand. We wanted to escape, we wanted to rest, we wanted to heal, we wanted to simplify, we KNEW it was worth the risk. And oh how it was totally worth it!

We sold a lot of our stuff, put the other half in storage, and just went for it!

hills and james

It was in New Zealand that I realized I had life all backwards. I often thought that I needed to do more, be more, make more, and please more. A constant state of stress and pressure brought upon solely by myself. And the same goes with James. He stressed over trying to provide more, give me more rest (even though I wouldn’t take it), and make me happy. We danced around one big stress ball 24/7 . His  training and my health suffered as well.

But when you move thousands of miles away with nothing else to do but to take care of each other, rest, and just be a wife, you learn that that is more than enough. I struggled for the first half of that move. I struggled with being restless. Not knowing what to do. And then it was if God physically said to me “STOP, take my PATH!”

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Oh yes, I listened this time.

Rest. Love. Listen. Work to live, not live to work. Disconnect to reconnect. Have Faith. Have Hope. RESPECT each OTHER. Laugh. Be kind. Ask for Help. Give a helping hand and a listening ear. Hug. Stop and Smell the Roses. Buy Flowers for yourself. Walk slow and take in the scenery. Read God’s Word. Worry less, thank more!  Dream BIG.

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Those words, those phrases, have been glued to my mind ever since we left New Zealand to come back to the states. I try to remember them daily. The hubs does a pretty good job of reminding me as well. To say that we never get caught up in the busyness and stress of life back in Austin would be a LIE. It’s hard not too. But as soon as I start to feel that way, I look back at this year, I look at how far I (we) have come. I look back at how much we have slowly gained (physically, spiritually, and mentally). I look back and see how our love (and marriage) grew stronger. I look back at it all and smile. A year of true growth and I don’t want to stop! Amen!

A year ago today we left for New Zealand. We were nervous, anxious, happy, excited, tired, and weary. Can you tell from our eyes?

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A year later (picture below), we are so much more restored and THANKFUL for new strength.

us again

I know this was totally off the beaten path today, but it was on my mind and I had to share. I wrote this post for me. And boy did it feel good!

Enjoy the rest of your Holiday weekend! And be sure to checkout the Healthy Bites Facebook Page tomorrow for a Small Business Saturday discount!

Cheers,

The Cotters

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa November 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

It’s crazy how much can change in a year! You both have come so far and you learned so many lessons from living in New Zealand! I’m glad you wrote this post for YOU! Keep sharing that beautiful strength you’ve gained! It’s awesome to see the difference!

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm

thanks Friend. I am always thankful to be able to share to you. Makes me smile!

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Bre November 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

did you write this because you knew this was exactly what I needed to hear today? because it was. I feel like I’m in the same place you guys were a year ago…selling off me stuff, new country, stressed, anxious, worried…and desperate to escape where I am and grow into something new. I will have to remember to take a pic just before I get on the plane to Tucson so I can take another a year later!

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm

yes do it!!! I know, we have been on such a similar journey friend. Thinking of you. <3

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Tina @ Best Body Fitness November 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Beautifully written. And what makes it so beautiful is the TRUTH behind it. The need to simplify. Choose God’s path. And live. Abundantly. Love to you and James today. Thank you for being a dear friend.

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm

No thank you friend! Love your Faith Filled encouragement!

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Abby @ BackAtSquareZero November 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Beautiful post. You are so smart. I am still trying to learn those lessons. Maybe I need to run of to New Zealand because, Wow, it looks amazing.

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm

i think so. New Zealand or bust? jk. Maybe. But really, living in change in so so good!

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More November 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm

So beautiful! It really is crazy how much can happen in a year. :)

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm

and for you! ms certified PT!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm

So beautiful. I’ve been feeling a little bit of that weariness dragging me down lately as well, and I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand… I think it may be time to stop dreaming and start doing? It’s really amazing that such a simple thing can impact a person so profoundly… or maybe it’s something in the water ;)

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm

oh amanda, new zealand is calling you! Go for it, and take me back with you!

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Michelle @ Eat Move Balance November 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

You may have written the post for you, but it was interesting for me to read. Thanks for sharing! There’s always something we can learn from sitting back and listening to other’s experiences.

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm

oh michelle, i am so glad! I am thinking of you and how you are now going for your dream/passion as a health coach. Love it! Reflect and grow! <3

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Allie November 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm

You guys have totally grown in the past year! It’s amazing what God can do with us when we are willing <3

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm

amen to that! God is good!

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Heather (Where's the Beach) November 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm

It’s so hard to believe you guys left a year ago! I really love the new, refreshed you after New Zealand.

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm

i know, it flew by! so glad I was able to stay in touch with my blends. <3

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jobo November 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I love this post so much because it really shows how far you’ve come, both of you, over the last year, in really putting simplicity to the test and trusting faith to get you through and leaning back on those NZ moments that were so life-altering, in a way, to ground you, and reset you, when need be. You are my inspiration to continue to simplify! As I sit here on the couch, during a purposely unplanned post-thanksgiving weekend, in entirety (!), I am happy, and feeling at peace. Simple. Not planned into a corner! XO!

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm

oh that’s how i feel about YOU! look where you are today versus a year ago. So amazing friend! Hugs!

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean November 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

so happy for you guys! you look great!

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Thanks linz, means a lot! <3

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Lou November 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Awesome post, my love, awesome post. It’s important to write for YOU sometimes, huh? It’s my favourite form of therapy :)

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

every time i think of NZ i think of you. Such a rock for us! We love you LOU and your support. Please come visit. Although we are trying to get back there in 2013!!

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Lou November 23, 2012 at 10:19 pm

You let me know the minute you book tickets, and I shall jump the ditch so we can HANG :) You guys are awesome xx

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Christy November 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm

you guys are so cute!! I needed to read this post today. It helps to stop and slow down sometimes. I hardly ever slow down and I’m always focusing on the next, but it’s good to just be in the moment!

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LCCotter November 23, 2012 at 9:35 pm

it’s so good to be in the moment. Especially this time of year. Do it friend, slow and savor! <3

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Erica November 23, 2012 at 10:31 pm

SO fabulous that you two were able to make this trip and learn theses lessons. I think we also need to step back and realize the importance of the passing moments.

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LCCotter November 24, 2012 at 8:46 am

yes, so true. It helps us appreciate where we are now, ya know?

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Katie November 24, 2012 at 1:08 am

You are absolutely glowing in the current picture! Not that you weren’t beautiful before, but you’ve…you glow.

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LCCotter November 24, 2012 at 8:47 am

thanks friend! A good 20lbs of glow, aka nourishment! phew!

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Jess November 24, 2012 at 5:51 am

Love it! And how awesome and beautiful is New Zealand!! I hope you did lots of fun hiking during your rest. :)

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LCCotter November 24, 2012 at 8:47 am

oh we did. And traveling all over to visit family. So fun!

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Felicia November 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

i absolutely love this. and new zealand is my favorite place on earth

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LCCotter November 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

it’s pretty magical. Pure beauty too!

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Siobhan McCarthy.ca November 24, 2012 at 8:54 am

New Zeland looks so beautiful! I’m glad you are happy and your pictures show it! Happy Thanksgiving friend!

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LCCotter November 25, 2012 at 9:55 am

happy thanksgiving to you friend! even though yours was last month. hehe

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Caitlin November 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

This is such a beautiful post, girl! I love reading about how much you two have grown as individuals and a couple in the past year. I cannot believe your bravery and how you just WENT for it and went to New Zealand. So admirable! And the lessons you learned on your journey clearly have stuck with you and you are still benefiting from them each day. I hope your Thanksgiving in Austin was wonderful!

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LCCotter November 25, 2012 at 9:57 am

Oh thank you Caitlin. I cannot thank you enough for always being there, with encouragement and support! Please know I am always here for YOU!

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The Delicate Place (@misathemeb) November 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

new zild FTW! i always get super relective during this time of year and cut myself much more slack because i recognize with every passing year how precious this life really is! i am so happy to hear that you are restored :)

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LCCotter November 25, 2012 at 9:58 am

gosh, yes! you nailed that spot on friend. I knew you could relate!

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Jess November 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Oh friend, this makes me so happy to read. The year since that fateful day when you two left for your NZ adventure to today? HUGE change, needed change, beautiful change, and so, so so inspiring. I look to you for that ‘slow down’ vibe that I often need over here, you always have the right words or examples that remind me what life is truly about, that perspective has been so awesome and so needed and I LOVE you all the more for it. I am so happy that the Cotter family is in such a good place today, love it. love it. love it.

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LCCotter November 25, 2012 at 9:58 am

you know you helped US with this journey. Really couldn’t have done it without your ongoing support!

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Stacie @ Snaps and Bits November 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Sounds like an awesome restful year!

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LCCotter November 25, 2012 at 9:59 am

yes, let’s do it again! hehe

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She Rocks Fitness November 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm

So beautiful and so happy for you and the hubs! My two favorites from the post: buying yourself flowers. I absolutely love doing this. It’s an instant smile and present to yourself. And two: Dream Big! Always! xoxo

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LCCotter November 25, 2012 at 10:00 am

i thought of you when i typed that! I know you do that same. Flower power! hehe

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purelymichelle November 24, 2012 at 8:18 pm

loved this post! a great reminder that life is not about the big things, or even the little things. It is about the moments. The small ones, big ones, good and bad ones. Life is full of all types of emotions, and sometimes getting away from it is the best thing we can do for our self.

xoxo
HUGS

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LCCotter November 25, 2012 at 9:59 am

so true. When we get away, we can see more clearly sometimes. Hugs!

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Melissa @ Treats With a Twist November 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm

It’s so nice to just sit back and reflect on how much life can change in a year. Steve and I were talking about this just last weekend. This time last year, we were stressed and worried 99% of the time, living surrounded by family and friends but not truly appreciating that, working stressful jobs…a whole year later it’s just the two of us in a new city, new jobs, and even more love and commitment to each other (we didn’t think that was even possible).
Love hearing your stories. I feel so connected to you and your journey.

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LCCotter November 25, 2012 at 9:59 am

oh i love hearing that friend! Let’s continue on that journey!

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Beka @ rebeccaroams November 24, 2012 at 11:48 pm

1. You two are the cutest ever.
2. All those pictures make me so nostalgic of my trips to New Zealand as well. Even then, I was young and already knew these things. I cried when we had to return to the US – I hated the rat race, the materialism, all the craziness that goes on in living a “so-called fulfilled” life here. I was so happy to take the step back and just enjoy life, nature, and exploring – bare bones. To be strong in faith takes courage – and you two had the courage to take that leap. Successfully. Kudos! :)

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LCCotter November 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

ahh i did too! I love our home here but i long for NZ simplicity. Let’s go!

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Cait the Arty Runnerchick November 25, 2012 at 12:29 am

oh my goodness wat a HUGE milestone and how different life is just a year later! i’m so happy that both of u have found ur way to happiness and ironically i’ve heard so many others voice the same in that if u move to a spot or focus ALL of ur attention just on a sport, or single focus, not only can ur happiness suffer but watever u are trying to accomplish will to. there’s a lot to be said to balance! :)

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Cait the Arty Runnerchick November 25, 2012 at 12:30 am

EEK!!! okay, i’m going to have to be the dork who replies an editing error that i caught right as i pushed send…to accomplish will *too. and it’s heinous because mixing up the to/two/too thing is one of the things that BUGS me to no end when people do it…lol.

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LCCotter November 25, 2012 at 9:52 am

hehe, i am the same way! Love your comment. Single focus really does balance us! Amen!

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Allison @ Life's a Bowl November 25, 2012 at 10:56 am

I am in LOVE with this “Rest. Love. Listen. Work to live, not live to work. Disconnect to reconnect. Have Faith. Have Hope. RESPECT each OTHER. Laugh. Be kind. Ask for Help. Give a helping hand and a listening ear. Hug. Stop and Smell the Roses. Buy Flowers for yourself. Walk slow and take in the scenery. Read God’s Word. Worry less, thank more! Dream BIG.”… Planning to print it out and put it on our fridge- great daily reminder! XO

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Katie November 25, 2012 at 11:59 am

Its crazy how you can really see the difference in your eyes and faces in the last two pics!

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kalli November 25, 2012 at 4:33 pm

what a wonderful learning, growing year this has been for you guys. and we are so fortunate to learn from your growth as well Lindsay. those 2 pics speak volumes-wow! such serene faces on the second pic. i LOVE IT!

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LCCotter November 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm

that means so much friend. thank YOU!

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Brittany @ Delights and Delectables November 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I love this! I love how much wisdom that you have and how you have allowed God to work through and in you. You are a blessing friend!

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LCCotter November 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm

no friend, you are a blessing. Prayers are amazing! i feel them!

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