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Last week at Girls on the Run, we were discussing emotions and went over a list of emotional responses, like joy, contentment, shame, and anger.  Some of the girls didn’t know what the word ‘overwhelmed’ meant so I asked someone to explain. 


One of the fourth graders raised her hand and said, “I know what overwhelmed means because I have three little brothers and they make a lot of noise and mess up the house.  My mom always says, ‘I feel so overwhelmed,’ when they start going crazy.”  She then imitated her mother throwing up her hands, fed up and exhausted, and let out a big sigh. 


I laughed so hard.  I keep thinking about Addison’s definition of being overwhelmed.


One of the traps of blogging is that it’s easy to sugarcoat life and say it’s all okay when it’s not.  I don’t want anyone to ever think that I’m superwoman because I am certainly not.  So… I’m saying it. I’m overwhelmed.  The stress of juggling my work, getting ready for my book release, helping the Husband’s with his business (which is booming!), volunteering, being pregnant, exercising, and… oh yeah… buying a house and moving is getting to me.  At least I’m not dealing with three little brothers! Winking smile


One silly thing that is really getting to me is the state of our house.  You know how there are two types of cleaners – those who like to scrub the floor with a toothbrush and those who like to just keep it tidy?  I’m a tidy girl.  I hate visual clutter.  My house currently looks like this, which is driving me nuts.


I tend to focus on things that don’t really matter when I’m stressed, and I know that freaking out about the state of my house is a metaphor for how I’m feeling in general.  But I just want to TIDY SOMETHING! 


I gave myself a big pep talk in the shower this morning. I’ve found that out loud pep talks are the most effective (I usually do them in the car or shower so other people won’t hear me!).  It was basically along the lines of, “This stress will soon pass.  This stress will result in many good things.  Count your blessings instead of your struggles.”  I did feel a lot better – a lot less overwhelmed – afterwards.  And I’m going to try to get some big projects done in advance today so I don’t have to stress out about them later.  I’m trying to tackle my overwhelmed feeling emotionally and practically!  Let’s see if it works.


Fuel for a busy day.


It’s strange but I’m experiencing more food aversions in the third trimester than I ever did in the first.  The Husband made Indian food last night, and I nearly gagged.  Smoothies are one of the only thing that I actually want.


In the blender:


Almond milk

Protein powder


Frozen raspberries

Sunflower butter


And toast with cottage cheese.


Ready… set… go!  Here’s to hoping I’m just whelmed very soon.  No over or under!



  • Bridget @ Type A-Frame Personality March 28, 2012, 8:33 am

    I just read an article on USATODAY.com about the naked face project! yay! I have been going more naked face lately and I’m really into it. Congrats!

  • Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete March 28, 2012, 8:39 am

    That feeling of wanting to “tidy” something? It’s called nesting. It’s only going to get stronger as your due date approaches! 🙂 Hang in there mama – you’re doing great!

    • Janene March 28, 2012, 8:09 pm

      I HATE HATE HATE, loathe clutter. I CANNOT handle it. When I get stressed, the first thing I do is go running. Then I get ruthless with the clutter – get rid of all the excess stuff that I don’t use, tidy up bedrooms, shelves, you name it.

      If there’s nothing to declutter, I rearrange. My poor husband never knows where anything is, haha!

  • Kelly March 28, 2012, 8:44 am

    I can not fathom everything you and the husband have on the plate. I was stressed when we bought our house and we had 6 weeks to move in, I wasn’t pregnant and wasn’t self employed. I don’t know how you do it but I have been thinking a lot about you lately. Hang in there! This too shall pass. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP March 28, 2012, 9:43 pm

      Thanks Kelly. You are so sweet.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 28, 2012, 8:45 am

    Children have a way of describing things in the cutest way. I totally understand you being overwhelmed–you have a lot going on! Hopefully things calm down a bit in the next few weeks!

  • Lori Lynn March 28, 2012, 8:46 am

    One of my schools has a Girls on The Run program that several of our teachers do. It’s a great program for them!

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 28, 2012, 8:47 am

    “So you can be overwhelmed; and you can be underwhelmed; but can you ever just be…whelmed?” Yes, yes you can. Good luck on your journey to whelmedness (ha!).

    • Lyn March 28, 2012, 1:04 pm

      What movie is that from??? haha!

      I feel overwhelmed A LOT. Most of it has to do with job stress. Glad to see I’m not the only one!!

      • Lacy March 28, 2012, 1:09 pm

        10 Things I Hate About You! that’s all i could think of by the end of the post too

    • Amber K March 28, 2012, 1:50 pm

      That is exactly what I was thinking when I read the title! Man I love 10 Things I Hate About You.

      • Jen March 29, 2012, 12:48 am

        I love that movie too!!!

    • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 28, 2012, 9:39 pm

      Haha! This was the first thing that popped into my head when I first saw the title of this post! 😀

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb March 28, 2012, 8:57 am

    hang in there!! i feel you on the tidiness — that would drive me crazy as well. it will all be over soon 🙂

  • Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air March 28, 2012, 8:58 am

    You can do it!! Just keep looking for the positives

  • Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather March 28, 2012, 9:14 am

    I am so the same way about clutter in the house! It’s definitely been tough this 3rd trimester because I want to get so much done, I’m just waaaaayyyy more tired than I had been. I constantly have to remind myself to rellaaaaxxx. Yummy lunch, I’ve been loving cottage cheese and smoothies lately too!

  • Hillary March 28, 2012, 9:16 am

    I like the part of your pep talk that addressed the fact that most of the “stress” in your life is going to result in something good. This is something I have to CONSTANTLY remind myself—most of my stress is “good” stress! Everyone should be so lucky.

  • Carolina John March 28, 2012, 9:18 am

    Pick one room or area to tidy up. Take stuff from the guest bathroom into the new house. I bet just having one “safe area” will really help.

    • CaitlinHTP March 28, 2012, 9:43 pm

      I took this advice and it was sooo helpful.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 28, 2012, 9:18 am

    I know your feeling of wanting to just clean something sometimes! For some strange reason it usually hits me when I’m sitting in my office at work and therefore can’t clean anything at home… very strange! I can identify with that overwhelmed feeling. Sometimes blogging stuff overwhelms me because I have so many ideas and just not as much time as I’d like to put them all into action. I suppose it’s self-imposed though – the world isn’t going to come to an end if I don’t post! Things do sound really busy for you right now, but I’m sure you’ll make it through just fine as ususal. 🙂

  • Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not March 28, 2012, 9:31 am

    I find that making lists in my head (or on paper) with manageable tasks helps me beat the feeling of being overwhelmed by something. I understand your need to be tidy..can’t stand clutter! Most important is to give yourself some empathy – you have a lot on your plate! Take some time to remember that 🙂

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 28, 2012, 9:37 am

    Reminding yourself of everything good that’s happening is a great way to help. Although I completely understand about a messy house making you feel overwhelmed! I always clean my apartment when I start to feel overwhelmed and it really calms me down!

  • Shari March 28, 2012, 9:38 am

    All good things to be overwhelmed with, that’s for sure! Take it one day at a time! 🙂

  • Nicole M. March 28, 2012, 9:43 am

    Well, it’s not hard to miss how busy you keep yourself from reading your blog but my hopes for you are that you get all this big stuff out of the way (which is all really great stuff!) so when the baby comes, you can soak up everything. I know it’s hard to imagine now but soon enough you’ll be taking well deserved naps with a newborn on your chest and luckily for you, it will be in a home you own and with people all around the world reading your books!

    • Nicole M. March 28, 2012, 9:45 am

      P.S. I’m calling GIRL with that smoothie statement. I lived for smoothies when I was pregnant with my little girl! 😉

  • Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride March 28, 2012, 9:47 am

    I am a tidy person too and I always find myself focusing on the little non-controllable things when I’m stressed. I find free writing for a solid 5 minutes really helps. Not making a list, but literally hand writing almost a letter to yourself saying how/what you feel, how you wish you were feeling, etc. I swear by just writing it, it’s a stress release and sometimes I even find hidden outlines of little things I can do to destress right there in my writing!

    You have so so so many wonderful things to look forward to and feel blessed about. Just remember, this too shall pass! 🙂

  • Janet March 28, 2012, 9:54 am

    Well you may not be SuperWoman, but you ARE truly amazing!

    • CaitlinHTP March 28, 2012, 9:44 pm

      Thanks Janet 🙂

  • colleen March 28, 2012, 10:11 am

    We all have to remind ourselves we are not superwoman! But why is it that only women (in my opinion) get overwhelmed? What helps me is taking deep breaths and prioritizing the tasks at hand – big and small tasks. Also move all the packed items into one room and close the door. Moving is nuts, especially for pregnant women. We want to nest, but can’t. Close that room off and tidy what you can in 10 minutes and leave the rest alone.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB March 28, 2012, 10:12 am

    I give my self pep talks/hope aloud/pray in the car and shower all the time! Multi-tasking!

  • Abby March 28, 2012, 10:16 am

    I like to say “blessed, not stressed” over and over in my head when I’m feeling incredibly overwhelmed and stressed. It helps me focus on being thankful for having so many opportunities at the same time (which can lead to stress) rather than being frustrated with how much I have to do. Sometimes I think it’s all about how we spin things… I’m not above tricking myself into happy thoughts!

    • CaitlinHTP March 28, 2012, 9:45 pm

      I love blessed, not stressed!

  • Diana March 28, 2012, 10:17 am

    Caitlin- Just remember not all stress has to be bad stress! It sounds like you’re going through so much GREAT stress! A new house, a book AND a baby on the way… sounds like you have so much to look forward to! Don’t sweat the small stuff. =)

  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras March 28, 2012, 10:32 am

    Aw, feel better, Caitlin! You’re absolutely right, it will pass, and you will have so many wonderful new things (published books, new house new baby)!! In the meantime, take care of yourself, and be gentle on yourself when you feel stressed.

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery March 28, 2012, 10:33 am

    Overwhelmed reminds me of that quote from 10 things I hate about you:
    “I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”
    “I think you can in Europe.”

    I’m sorry to hear you are overwhelmed but thanks for sharing it with us. Sometimes it is hard to see really successful bloggers and think that their lives are perfect and that they never have any problems ever (not that I’m wishing you problems of course). You definitely do have a lot on your plate so I’m sending calming vibes your way 🙂

  • Johanna B March 28, 2012, 10:35 am

    Take some slow deep breaths. That’s what I do when I start feeling overwhelmed. It alwasys helps.

  • Marissa C March 28, 2012, 10:42 am

    If you weren’t overwhelmed right now with all you have going on + nesting hormones (and man are they real), I’d be very surprised.

    Thought about taking a week off just to get it all organized? I’d miss your posts, but I’d still come back when your break is over!

  • Catherine March 28, 2012, 10:51 am

    Just to give you a little boost…..your Naked Face Project was on the Houston local news this morning! Very nice segment about the project and showed the website. Afterwards the anchors did a little giggling about hairy armpits. They thought that would be the worst part!

    • CaitlinHTP March 28, 2012, 9:45 pm

      Heheh hairy armpits are giggle worthy 😉

  • Erin March 28, 2012, 10:52 am

    I give myself pep talks all the time!! I use that strategy for everything and I am a firm believer. Keep giving yourself the pep talks and using whatever mantras make you feel most calm about everything and the stress will definitely pass!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 28, 2012, 11:03 am

    Anyone in your position would be overwhelmed..I think you’re doing great!

  • Kelli March 28, 2012, 11:04 am

    It seems like you are being mindful of what all this stress means (good stuff in the long run)! That is great. Sometimes it is easy to get so overwhelmed & stressed that we forget that it is self inflicted, & working towards a great end. I think that is one of the many reasons I enjoy reading your blog every day. You are willing to be open about struggles, but you are also good at seeing the good that will come out of them.
    Just remember that working on the house is exercise, so that is killing two birds with one stone! Keep your chin up in the meantime!

  • Chelsea March 28, 2012, 11:16 am

    I’m going Naked Face today ;D! Just thought I’d let you know. I’m the same way though I HATEE clutter. Like my boy-friends house…don’t even get me started. And he wants me moving in?! Ah I can already imagine myself pulling my hair out.

  • Laura @ She Eats Well March 28, 2012, 11:44 am

    Sometimes it feels good just to let it out and admit you’re overwhelmed. You will make it through, just don’t forget to try to take time for yourself everyday. You deserve and need it!

  • Lindsay March 28, 2012, 12:22 pm

    Hi Catilin! I am a GOTR coach in St. Louis and I wanted to tell you that our “being emotionally healthy” lesson always strikes a chord with me. Just as we tell and teach our girls, there are a range of emotions we are allowed to experience, and they aren’t good or bad, they just “are”. I think it’s important to know that everyone has an ebb and flow and that being overwhelmed is helpful because it is a signal you have acknowledged the level of stress/chaos you are experiencing! Also, it’s a good gut check to b-r-e-a-t-h-e. : )

    • CaitlinHTP March 28, 2012, 9:45 pm

      Thank you for coaching GOTR!!!

  • Laura is Undeterrable March 28, 2012, 12:41 pm

    One of the hardest parts I’ve found about blogging is finding that balance of my life is great vs. my life is hard. Quite frankly, I don’t want to read about how perfect someone’s life is. If I don’t see a hint of actual humanness, I’m probably not going to read. But, I don’t want to read about all suckage all the time – I have the news for that. Even when someone shows a failed recipe attempt or whatever I feel like I can relate.

    An interesting thing happened the other day. I’m facebook friends with a girl from college. She’s super nice – almost too nice. Everything is sunshine and rainbows and every.single.statement from her is about how perfect everything is. Then the other day she posted a status update that said roughly “I don’t like to post negative things on facebook, but I’m really sick and I hate it.” Seriously, I liked her all over again. It was a reminder that she is human, just like me.

    It’s ok to be overwhelmed 🙂 It will pass, I promise.

    • CaitlinHTP March 28, 2012, 9:46 pm

      I like it when people don’t constantly shit rainbows 🙂

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed March 28, 2012, 12:43 pm

    Don’t worry, soon you’ll have TONS of tidying to do in your new house 😀

  • Susanna March 28, 2012, 1:05 pm

    I can relate to that feeling of being overwhelmed and lacking inner peace due to the visual clutter. When my ex-husband and I bought our first house, I wanted everything to look nice and tidy and done quick. We bought a fixer-upper from the 1950s and we were doing all the work ourselves…so my wishes did not come true! Buying a house, especially if it is an older home, and fixing it up yourself will develop your patience. There is always something that has to be done! I know that I have to remodel a bathroom and a kitchen in the next two years…Originally I was going to do it this summer, but with the wedding in September I was beyond overwhelmed! So, this summer we will just work on a re-pipe and installing a tankless water heater…baby steps!

  • Natasha March 28, 2012, 1:20 pm

    With all that’s on your plate, anyone would be overwhelmed! Things will settle down soon! I was wondering what brand of cottage cheese you use? I’m in Canada and can’t find GF cottage cheese!

    • CaitlinHTP March 28, 2012, 9:46 pm

      This was Trader Joe’s brand – I will need to check for gluten! I didn’t even think to look.

  • Amber K March 28, 2012, 1:51 pm

    I love the idea of a loud pep talk. You have a LOT going on, and a loud pep talk is exactly what I would need if I had to do that much. You are strong and you can handle it. One day at a time. 🙂

  • Cindy Robinson March 28, 2012, 2:11 pm

    I’m so glad you share being overwhelmed. I can see how easy it would be to sugar coat everything. I too get overwhelmed, a little too easily sometimes. I love to talk out loud to myself and to God. Just keepin’ it real, and being honest with Him. Thanks for sharing. I’m so happy for you guys that you’ve found a home!

  • Mildly Entertained March 28, 2012, 2:15 pm

    I actually don’t understand why bloggers try to sugarcoat things (not that I think you do). I actually think that’s WHY a lot of bloggers get so many snarky comments and “haters” lately. Because people don’t like how “perfect” their lives seem to be and how happy they are. Call it jealously or just being annoyed, but generally that’s the case.

    I think the thing is that people don’t realize that a blog is just a glimpse really into someone’s life and world. What you write isn’t necessarily what you feel all the time – because that could end up depressing the writer depending on how they’re feeling! 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP March 28, 2012, 9:47 pm

      I think its because we know people don’t want to hear constant bitching 🙂 Haha. I try to keep it to a minimum on the blog and in real life!

  • faith March 28, 2012, 2:17 pm

    Girl, you may not be Superwoman but you sure as hell are a super-woman. You have a LOT on your plate and you seem to be handling it with as much grace as possible. I hope you pass through this challenging time as quick as possible!

  • Carin March 28, 2012, 4:53 pm

    Thanks, Caitlin, for reminding us that life distilled into a few photos, upbeat commentary and some wise words (you are so wise!) is NOT the full picture: in my opinion,a blog should inspire and entertain others, rather than offer a “sugercoated” representation of a perfect existence. I really like seeing ‘behind the scenes’ and knowing that beyond healthy food choices, activity and great photos, there’s sometimes a messy house too!

    You are fantastic. You entertain through your wit and humour, you inspire through your messages, balance and lifestyle choices and you are honest, open and authentic. Like you, I sometimes live life at 100 miles an hour and although it’s exhilarating to juggle and cope, occasionally it tips into overwhelmedness and meltdownicity. Don’t worry. Breathe, sit down, feel the kicks in your belly and smile 🙂

  • Shannon March 28, 2012, 5:31 pm

    I definitely stress myself out about things that don’t matter too. Life can be so overwhelming, definitely when you are going through big changes. My last overwhelming feelings were when I was corresponding with my new boss after getting a promotion about my work schedule. Getting a promotion is such a great thing, but the anxiety of transition and everything not being perfect can certainly be a lot to take on. I just always remind myself that everything will settle into a new-normal soon enough.

  • Finding a skinnier me March 28, 2012, 6:28 pm

    I am the same way when overwhelmed, I want my enviroment less chaotic, I think I believe that it will somehow calm me down and sometimes it does. Counting your blessings is hard when you have too much going on, but congrats on the new house either way!!!!

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) March 28, 2012, 6:46 pm

    You said “I tend to focus on things that don’t really matter when I’m stressed.” This is so my personality. When I am stressed for some reason I will think of ALL I could possibly “need” to get done and add that to my to do list… which of course just perpetuates the cycle and increases my stress level.

  • Jen March 29, 2012, 12:57 am

    Awww…wishing you whelmed-ness (?). 🙂

    I cannot even begin to imagine doing all that you are at once (even your “normal” life overwhelms me), but with your positive attitude, I know that you will be just fine!

  • Veronica March 29, 2012, 9:14 am

    As a military wife who has moved 8 times, there is a secret to surviving the “in limbo” clutter — make a space. Wherever you feel the MOST need to have a tidy space, do that first.

    For me, it’s always the kitchen. I can handle a house in boxes and in disarray, as long as my kitchen is in order. Being able to make a cup of coffee, prep lunch, and find a pot to pee (er…COOK in) is what gets me through that awful limbo stage. Cooking is important to me, and having to prepare food in the midst of clutter drives me batty. But maybe thats just me. 🙂

    Having moved while pregnant, I understand how crazy it is making you. Our nesting instincts are severely infringed upon during a move! We want to make a clean, tidy space for our baby! All animals do it to some degree.

    So do that. Whether it’s a bedroom, or the living room, or even just a bathroom, clear out the space YOU need the most. That way, when the rest of the house starts getting on your nerves, you can go into that one organized space for 5 or 10 minutes and breathe, before you go back into the chaos!

    You ARE doin’ it! Just keep doin’ it!

    • CaitlinHTP March 29, 2012, 11:10 am

      Thank you 🙂

  • Dominique March 29, 2012, 9:27 pm

    I can’t stand clutter; It actually keeps me up at night. Right now Sean is deep into two research essays (and nearly done his second year, thank goodness) and all I see are books EVERYWHERE! It pretty much drives me insane, especially with a little less than 700sqft. for the two of us, but I try not to get in his way. Eventually it’ll drive me a little too crazy (usually on the weekends) and I end up stacking all his books together or putting them on the desk so at least it isn’t in my way, or something I have to look at every second of the day.

    You do seem to have a LOT on your plate right now but luckily, most of it will reap you all kinds of rewards–especially your first baby!

  • Joy March 30, 2012, 8:35 am

    Aww Caitlin
    I didn’t even have the other pressures and when we bought our house – the boxes oh my goodness the boxes! I was so overwhelmed 1 night when Jim brought more home I just cried

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