EPISODE 139: [BONUS EPISODE] Let’s Catch Up! Answering All Your Burning Questions!



You asked, I answered! In today’s BONUS episode, I answered all your burning questions. From living in Charleston to whether or not I hit all my 2023 goals, we dig into it all!

Want to be able to ask me questions next time? Be sure to follow me on Instagram, @livingnsunshine, so that you can pop them into my DM’s the next time I do a Q&A episode.



Loving the show?! Then leave it a review! 

Every time you leave a written review or rating on Apple Podcasts, it helps the show GROW and reach more women just like you. To leave a review, head to our show page on Apple Podcasts, scroll down to ‘Ratings & Reviews’ then click ‘See All’, then click ‘Write a Review’! When you do this, you are not only supporting the show’s growth, but you’re also sending me a virtual high five, which I love to get! 











Hey bestie and welcome to the living in sunshine podcast. I’m your host, Maddie fry. And around here we are all about encouraging, inspiring, and giving you the tough love that you need to hear to get out there and live as your best self. Each and every Wednesday, you can expect to learn tangible tips to help you find your bigger purpose. be given simple action steps that you can take in order to make progress toward your biggest dreams. And hear how you can purposely pursue joy on the daily. So sit down, grab your favorite drink. And let’s have a girl chat. This is the living in sunshine podcast. Good morning. Good morning, my dudes. And welcome back to the living in sunshine podcast. I am super excited that you are tuning in today because this is a really long month, January has five Wednesdays which I did not realize when I initially recorded the podcast, and a friend of mine pointed out that there are five Wednesdays which means I would need five podcast episodes for the month, which I thought it would be really really fun to do a new year q&a with Maddie, I have not done an open q&a in probably a year probably over a year. I used to do these more consistently. And then I started to do guest podcasts and interviews and just sort of changing up how the podcast runs. And so I thought it would be a really fun episode to just do an open q&a. I asked you guys over on Instagram, which if you’re not already following me over on Instagram, go do that right now. Open up your Instagram app search my handle, which is at living the letter N sunshine. And if you follow that way, the next time I do a q&a, you can ask me questions. So you guys asked some really great questions for this podcast episode. And I collected them all I wrote them all down, and we’re going to just dive right into it today. This episode is gonna be really open and really raw, you guys ask some really personal questions, which I’m really excited to answer. And if there’s anything that you resonate with, or you want to chat more about, feel free to send me a message over on Instagram. And let’s chat about it. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and dive in to our bonus episode for the month of January and answer all of your burning questions. Okay, so because you guys know that I have kind of a grab bag life. These questions are kind of all over the place that I can see that some of you are asking these questions because you have listened to previous podcast episodes, you follow me on Instagram, and you are just a genuine sunshine sister, which is amazing. So we kind of have a grab bag of questions for today. And I’m just gonna go top to bottom there is no order in which these questions are being answered, other than the way that I wrote them down on my phone. So the first question that we are going to answer is, what is one thing you did in 2023? that you’re really proud of? And I think if I’m answering this question, honestly, one of the biggest things that I am really proud of that I did in 2023 was start therapy again, therapy and I have a very loved troubled past rocky past. Um, I was for context, the reason why starting therapy was such a big deal for me in 2023. Again, and if you have been in this living in sunshine circle community for a while now, you know that I briefly went to therapy in 2022, I was on anti anxiety medication for about six months I actually weaned off of those I am no longer taking them. I’m a huge proponent of them, though. So if you have questions, or you’re concerned about starting medications, for your mental health, feel free to reach out I love chatting with you guys about that, and giving you my recommendations for therapy and medication, not as a doctor not as like legitimate medical advice, but in terms of like someone who’s done that before, and has a platform that she loves. So anyway, I started therapy again in 2023. Because I just knew that there were things that I wanted to get better at. And I feel as if this time I went into it ready to actually heal. And upon reflection, I feel like my time in therapy and taking medication in 2022 was more so of a band aid. And by that I mean I wasn’t mentally truly ready to heal from the trauma that I grew up in and grew up through and dealt with as a young kid. But 2023 I really came into this year telling myself like I’m ready to heal. Not only am I ready to heal, I’m ready to flourish and get better and grow. And that wasn’t easy because when I was younger, I experienced a very traumatic violent event. Not me directly but indirectly through my home life and family. And I was actually required to go to therapy my mom Amy and my siblings go to therapy. As a concerned parent, that’s what anyone would do. But it was very, very traumatic for me personally, because I wasn’t in a space I was, I think I was in like, third or fourth grade when this happened, maybe second grade. And I wasn’t mentally, emotionally ready to process what had happened. And yet, I was forced to go and sit in his therapists office and, and have this strange woman stare at me for 45 minutes or an hour while I just sit there sat there, and sobbed. And it was really very troubling as a kid. And so starting therapy, again, caused a lot of anxiety. That is a big reason why I do therapy online. And I don’t go to a therapist office, because before I even started therapy I considered doing in person. And literally, I think I’ve told this story before, literally just Googling therapists office Charleston, because that’s where I live in Charleston, South Carolina. And looking at the images of the buildings where the offices like of the surface are immediately triggered an anxiety attack, I was like, I cannot do this, I need to be in a place where I feel safe, I feel comfortable. My dogs are with me, my husband’s in the same space. Obviously, he doesn’t sit in on my therapy sessions with me, but like he’s in the house. And I’m just really proud that I did that, because it was something that made me really, really, really anxious. Initially, I would say that I had a weekly meeting with Mary Mary, who’s my therapist. Now I can very comfortably say like, I have therapy on Tuesday, I can’t do this, I will be busy to do the data. And it’s been really, really healing. And I’m excited to continue going to therapy going into the new year into 2024. So that is probably one of I mean, there’s a lot but that’s that’s probably one of the bigger ones that I’m really proud of that I did in 2023. Okay, the next question that I got is one that I just in full transparency. I’m recording this episode before Christmas. So by the time this episode comes out, this may or may not have changed, I’m not super sure. But the question is, how are your dogs? How are the doggies. So if you know me, you know that I am a die hard to my core in my bone marrow, a dog mom, I have five dogs who I love and adore and would literally lay down in front of a moving truck to rescue Speaker 1 7:16 will spend and have spent my life savings trying to take care of them. And the end of 2023 was a rough go for our dogs. We are in a season my husband and I are in a season where all of our dogs are senior dogs. And we have kind of joked about this for the last couple of years that we know that there will come a point where all of our dogs start to really show their age. And the end of 2023 Was that season was that time. So again, at the point of this recording, which is December 17. Our golden retriever has recently been diagnosed with lymphoma. lymphoma and Golden Retrievers is very, very common. We have caught it very, very early. But we are currently working on a treatment plan for him. And at the same time, my dog Henry, who is 13 or 14 years old, he’s old, is having some breathing issues, we are thinking that it’s some sort of, you know, heart condition. But it’s one of those things that we aren’t really sure what the prognosis is going to be, we aren’t super sure how long we have left with them. And we are just really hoping that we can make whatever time we have left with both of them comfortable, and safe and happy and as healthy as we can help them be keeping in mind that we have other dogs and other animals who also need our time and resources and attention. So yeah, as of right now, our dogs are good. Everyone’s still here, which is really, I shouldn’t laugh is something I’m very grateful for. But I have a feeling that in 2020 for the size of our pack, which is what I call all of our animals, I say that this is our pack, the size of our pack is going to lessen. And if that is not true, if I am just being a negative Nancy, and we get a whole nother year with our entire pack, I will be very, very thankful and grateful and happy for that. But in you know the current season, I’m currently mentally bracing my heart to have a smaller pack by the end of 2024. And that’s just the nature of life. I’m someone who’s always had dogs, I’ve I’ve had a lot of dogs, I’ve lost a lot of dogs. It’s never easy. But we have had such a long story with all of our dogs thus far. And that’s been really special. And it’s always special to be able to take a dog and have a dog for its entire life. And that’s really where we’re at for the majority of our dog. So right now, dogs are great. We are figuring out how to make everyone happy, healthy and as comfortable as they can be. But also just mentally and emotionally bracing for a potentially smaller pack by the end of the year. Have you ever felt like the people In your life, just don’t understand the dream that you have on your heart, or even the desire that you have to be more joyful or intentional or even just plain happy, like life is good enough. Why do you need more? Right? Well, my friend if this is you, I have something special just for you. The Sunshine squad community is your go to place for that validation that you’re searching for, to know that you aren’t crazy for wanting more and that you aren’t alone in that desire either. This online community has grown to be filled with amazing joy seekers purpose pursuers, happy hustlers, and dream chasers just like you. In the sunshine squad community, you get continued guidance from me that you need to make your dreams a reality, a community of women who get it, and the steps that you need to make your life something that you’re totally obsessed with. If you are ready to say yes to those things, you need to jump into the sunshine squad ASAP. And you can do so right now via the link in the show notes. If you do have questions on what the sunshine squad community is, or if it’s right for you, feel free to send me a DM over on Instagram. I would love to chat with you more about it over there. And my friend, I can’t wait to see you inside of the sunshine squad. Okay, the next question is a relationship question which I love. I love when people ask me about my marriage and my relationship and the cute blonde boy because I’m obsessed with him. And the question is, what is something that you and Lucas Do to Stay close? And for context, in case this is your first episode, or you don’t know the backstory of my husband and I, I have been married to my husband for four years now four and a half years now. And I had been with him since we were 17. So if you do the math, we have been together for 11 years. And we have done a whole lot of life and growing and changing and, and struggling and flourishing together. And it’s been really amazing to have a partner through all of those transitions and seasons and changes in growth. But it’s also one of those things that we do get asked quite frequently when you know people meet us and they you know, find out how long we’ve been together, like what do you do to keep your marriage strong. And again, in full transparency, if you’ve listened to any of the episodes at the end of last year, I have been very opened by the fact that 2023 was hands down the hardest year in our marriage. There was never any discussion of any of us going anywhere or changing the status of our relationship. But it was hard. And there were lots of hard conversations that needed to be had. And that we’re had. And we are really focusing on strengthening our relationship as we head into 2024. And I just want to normalize that there are better and worse seasons in any part of life. And that includes your relationship, right? If you are also someone who’s been in your marriage or partnership or whatever, relationship for a long time now know that not everyone’s relationship is 100% beautiful, wonderful glitter and unicorn poop all the time, like me included, mine included, it’s been a really, really hard year. But one thing that we do to stay close is we have little traditions that happen throughout the week, that really had become rituals for us. That helped us to stay close. One of them being takeout Tuesday. It used to be takeout Thursday, but then we moved to Charleston, and we changed it to Tuesday, where every single Tuesday, my husband and I ordered takeout. And that might sound really small and it might not sound that impactful. But it is that weekly ritual where we, you know, sit down and we decide on food together, we make that a joint decision. And then we sit down and we usually watch a show together on the couch before he plays video games before I go and do you know I read or whatever. And that helps us to stay really close. Another kind of weekly ritual that we have is called wife night, and that is on Thursday. So if you don’t know my husband is a die hard gamer. If you have a gaming husband, boyfriend, partner, spouse, whatever. You know what I mean? When I say that every single night, he plays video games and there’s nothing wrong with that. Like this is not me complaining about it. But there are some nights where I’m like I want to spend time with you. I don’t want you to go play games with your friends. I want you to pay attention to me. And so we have designated Thursdays as wife night and his friends and his little friend group that he has have done same thing and we spend Thursday night together. We usually cook dinner together. Or I sit in the kitchen with him while he cooks because I hate cooking. I mean I almost always try to chop my finger off while I cook. Speaker 1 14:53 And we just spend time together and it’s that quality focus time where we put our phones away. We Like I said, We cook together, we might watch TV together. And we just make it about one another that really does help to kind of have that scheduled us time to keep us really close. The other thing that I will say is that Lucas, and I have never been afraid to have hard conversations ever, ever since, like the beginning of our relationship when we were really, really young. And you would think that like two teenagers, you know, dating would struggle with that, we’ve always been very open, we’ve always been very honest with one another, whether it’s something we want to hear or not. And that helps a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, we talked about this all the time about how, you know, other relationships after a certain period of time, you know, the couple grows apart, or they get a divorce, or they break up or whatever. And we’re like, why is that not happening to us. And we really, truly root the reason for that in the fact that we talk and we try not to let things simmer, and we try to have adult conversations, that’s what we call them, where we, you know, pull up a chair, and we sit down and we have the conversation that needs to be had. Because if you hang on to things that are bothering you, or you know, make you feel resentful, or are upsetting to you, your relationship is going to start to see that wear and tear, and your partner is going to start to feel that. And so that is probably after the you know, many rituals that we have throughout the week. The other big thing that we do to stay close is we just don’t bullshit like we just tell the other how the other person is feeling in a kind in, you know, caring way, we’re not like ripping into each other. But we have those honest conversations, and we’re not afraid to have them. And even if we are afraid to have them or we feel uncomfortable having them we we have them in ways that work for us. And that always really, really helps. Okay, the next question for our little q&a episode that you guys asked is how is living in Charleston going, girl, let me tell you living in Charleston has been amazing. I like I said, at this point, we would have been living in the city for over a year, we would have been in our house for a year. And we really, really enjoy it. And I kind of have to say I enjoy it probably a little bit more than Lucas does. But I love living here we before living in Charleston, I lived in El Paso, Texas. And before that, we lived in central New Jersey. And I just feel I’m very much the kind of person who feels very energetically connected to her environment. And by that I mean, the environment that I in is very either productive or destructive, to how I feel, and my emotions and how productive I am and how I kind of operate throughout my throughout, you know, my day to day life. And living in Charleston feels so aligned to me. More often than not, we are like driving across the bridge, or a bridge because you can’t get anywhere in Charleston without crossing a bridge. And I just think like, I can’t believe I live here. Like I literally cannot believe that this is where I call home. We love our house. We love our neighbors, we love our neighborhood. We love the weather here. I am not complaining that it is like 55 and raining in December versus like being a blizzard, which it would be in Ohio or New Jersey, which we’ve lived in the past. And I just really love it, I have made some really fantastic friends here. I have put myself out there in terms of, you know, going to different events and meeting up with different people. And it’s been really, really great. I love this city. There’s never any shortage of things to do. And I just feel so energetically connected and aligned to this space. And I’m really grateful that we took the leap a year ago to move here, moving and relocating again for the third time in five years was not easy. selling our house and getting our house and El Paso ready to sell wasn’t simple. But I’m really happy that we did all of that work. And I’m really grateful that we did because now we live in a space that feels good to both of us. It is you know, super dog friendly. We can go to the beach on the weekends when it’s warm enough to do so. And we’re close to family and I should say we’re close to my family. But we are also closer to Luke’s family in Ohio. We’re a drive away instead of a plane ride away, which is way more convenient. So how was living in Charleston going? It’s going frickin amazing and I am never leaving. And I just I love it so much. So if you ever come to visit Charleston, feel free to hit me up. Let’s grab a coffee. There’s like 59 bajillion amazing cute coffee shops here. And I’d love to show you around. So let me know if you ever come to the city. I’d love to hang out to show you all my favorite places and have you fall in love with this amazing city just like I have. Okay, the second to last question that I was asked is Did you hit all of your goals in 2023? The answer is no. I did not. And that’s okay. 2023 was definitely a year of pivoting and trying things is out and putting things down and picking them back up. And there are certain goals in 2023 that I smashed, and I knocked it out of the park. And I am intentionally celebrating those things this year. And reflecting on those things as we head into 2024. But there are also things that happened in 2023 are goals that I set for 2023. That just did not happen. And that’s okay. Not every single goal is meant to be achieved in the space and timeline and chronological order that we put them in. Sometimes our goals take less time to achieve, sometimes they take more, Sometimes life happens. And we have to set a goal down for a little bit and say, I’m gonna come back to you later, I’m just gonna set you down right here, I see you, I really want you but just not yet, like life is happening, I need to come back to this. And that happened to a few goals in 2023 some goals that I set for 2023. And to me, that’s okay, I think it’s actually probably a little bit healthy for us to not always achieve every single goal on our list because it reminds us that we’re human, right? It reminds us that life happens, seasons change, focuses falter or pivot or whatever. And that’s okay, like, we don’t have to hit every single one of our goals every single year, in order for it to be a really good year, like 2023 had its ups and its downs, on a scale of one to five, I’d give it like a solid four. And that’s okay, like it is okay, that that is how my year went, I am not upset about it. I am not beating myself up for not hitting all of my goals. And some of the goals that I set for myself in 2023 that I didn’t hit, I am setting them for 2024. I’m saying to myself, I got a little bit closer to this goal in 2023 2024, I’m going to try to actually get to this goal and make it happen. And really focus on that goal all year long. And I want you to do the same thing. Take time, if you haven’t yet already, to reflect on your 2023 goals and ask yourself, What can I bring into 2024 to give myself more time, because I just need a little bit more time. I need a couple more months, I need another year, I needed another six months, whatever it might be, I’m going to take this goal for 2023, push it into 2024 and really get after it. And I think that that’s an okay thing to do. I think that’s a really healthy thing to do. So if you’re someone who also did not hit your goals over in 2023, just know that that’s okay. Because you are a goddamn human doing human things. And it’s okay to not be at 100% perfection and completion all the time. Because that’s not possible and it’s not sustainable. And I just hope that you know that that’s okay, if you didn’t make all of your 2023 goals happen, because Me neither. And for our final question of our cute little q&a that we are doing, I have loved answering these questions you guys I hope you have loved getting the answers is what is one thing and 2024 You’re going to try. So this one, there’s a few things that I want to try. But one thing that I want to make sure that I don’t just try but I actually do like I don’t want to try to try to do it I like actually want to do it is travel internationally to Europe for the first time. I have a friend currently studying abroad in Spain. And she’s been begging me to come over and hang out with her for a week. And I just need to buy the ticket and just go while she is still there. So someone definitely checking on me like mid March to ask me if I’m making it to Spain. Because that is something that I really want to do. I have been to Africa, I have been to Latin America. But I’ve never been to Europe, which is funny to me, Europe has never really been a place that I have felt like the pole to go. I always try to like go to like those other spaces in the world where I feel like people don’t normally go, Lucas and I were supposed to go to Asia for our honeymoon and then COVID happens like that was not happening. Um, so yeah, that is one thing that I want to try in 2024 is travel more, but more specifically traveled internationally to Europe for the first time to spend a week or so with a friend and have her show me her stomping grounds as they are and as they have been for the last couple of months. So I’m really excited. I just need to book my flights and you need to get on my calendar. And I’ll let you know how it goes when I go. Speaker 1 24:21 And that is everything that I have for you, my friends, all of your questions asked all of your burning questions answered. And I am really thankful that you guys took some time to ask these questions. I hope you got the answers that you were looking for or curious and getting. If you loved today’s episode, be sure to take a screenshot and share it to your Instagram stories and tag me I always love hearing and seeing what you guys resonated with or connected to or whatever over on Instagram and when you share the podcast, it helps more people find the show, which is always very appreciated by me. If you haven’t already left the show or review, go ahead and do so right now. Wherever you’re listening, whether that be Apple podcasts or Spotify. Every new review is like a like or comment or share on Instagram, it really does help the show grow and reach more people. And if you love today’s show or you loved any episode from January, be sure to share it with a friend or your mom or your sister or your husband, whoever and let them know that they should listen to the show more often. I’m really excited for all of our shows and episodes coming in at 2024 I can’t wait to bring guests and new ideas and topics and, and all those amazing things to the living in sunshine podcast and I hope you are excited as well. Until next week, my friend I am sending you all the sunshine, good vibes. And I hope you make it a great day girlfriend. Thank you so much for listening to today’s new episode. If you loved it, please send it to a friend share it on Instagram and tag me so I can see and consider leaving the show a rating or a review. Ratings and reviews are kind of like sharing or liking a post on Instagram and they really help the show grow and reach new women just like you. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss a new episode. And until next week, I am sending you all the sunshine, good vibes and I hope you make it a great day.