TT & MM: A Realistic Perspective on Long Distance Romance [Part 1]

Whenever I say my Merchant Marine is en route home after 3 weeks away a gushing individual typically clasps their hands together and without fail responds with, “OMG, you must be so excited!”

Before I break this down, let me be quite clear: I am always very excited. 

I, however, live in a world where distance with my loved one is my reality and the pattern of hellos and goodbyes are as common as snow days in New England. 

Every three weeks — well, 22 days going out and 19 days coming home, but who’s counting? — my MM and I go through the logistics of airport pickups and drop offs. Will he Uber to Logan? Does it work with my schedule to pick him up? Is the Commuter Rail a more efficient option? 

And while I’m afraid to burst the Nora Ephron-themed bubble, there is no magical embrace upon airport pickup. You know the one where I meet MM at the terminal gate and he sweeps me off my feet? I’ve made a sign saying, “Welcome Home” and a stranger is there to take the perfect instagram picture. 

Nada. It’s more like him dropping a pin on his location at Terminal C ‘Passenger Pick-Up’ and me trying to avoid eye contact with airport cops as I disobey the ‘no idling’ rule. MM jumps into my car and between a fast embrace and me trying to plug my address into Waze, the whole interaction is a blur.  

So yes, I am excited to see him and I am sad to say goodbye. But, you can imagine while all of this orchestration streams through my brain, it takes up the space where my emotions could be spilling over. Similar to how Netflix auto-plays the next episode after 5 seconds of post-show credits; my mind barely gets a moment to process my MM leaving until, well, he’s gone.  

You may be wondering, “Three weeks away? I wish my significant other would ship out for that long.” Funny you should say that, I get that quote … a lot. And while I muster up a little chuckle when it’s said to me, the reality is you don’t wish that. And if you did, well, maybe you should be reconsidering your relationship. 

I know I may seem harsh, but hear me out. 

This distance stuff is tricky. Aside from the stressful pick-ups and emotional drop offs, comes the scheduling. Get out your planner, this one’s complicated. 

The MM and I are invited to three weddings this year and due to the way his schedule pans out, he isn’t able to attend any of them. At first I was really upset. I cried, stomped my feet and said it wasn’t fair. 

Yes, I acted like a toddler. 

But, honestly, because it’s not. Of course I want him there beside me; meeting distant friends from college, tearing it up on the dance floor, or simply having someone to talk to about the evening on our way home. But after some serious renegotiating with my thought process, I decided I had no other choice but to change my mindset. He’d be home for my birthday and long weekends, as well as most of my spring break. 

Long distance romance truth: You must reformat what you believe is “fair” and how you considered situations going. 

Being in a relationship that heavily relies on friendships and family isn’t something that I anticipated. However, now that I am in it, I honestly couldn’t imagine life any other way … [Part 2 coming soon]

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Protein Bars

So about last night … I made a thing. Well, a couple of things.

Chocolatey-chewy-cherry-protein-packed … things.

And did I mention they’re gluten-free, dairy-free and low in sugar? Oh ya, that too 🙂

I’ve been trying to go more gluten-free these days due to some GI issues. Over the weekend, while up in Maine, my mom picked me up a copy of Gluten-Free & More. Chock-full of recipe, Q+A’s and recipe substitutions, I found myself nose deep in the g-free pages.

I stumbled upon this recipe and with what I had in my pantry, decided to tweak it slightly. These are a no-brainer, no-bake, easy-peasy bar option that trumps anything processed you’ll find in the supermarket.

Chocolate Cherry Protein Bars | Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free

recipe modified from Gluten Free & More


  • 1 C gluten-free rice cereal
  • 1/2 gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 packet of chocolate protein powder (1.2-1.6 ou) — I used GF/dairy-free
  • 1/4 C mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 C dried cherries
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C smooth peanut butter (reduced sodium or unsalted, preferred)
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1/4 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk


  1. Line an 8×8 in pan with foil and spray or rub with coconut oil to prevent bars from sticking.
  2. In a large bowl mix the first 6 ingredients.
  3. In a small bowl mix the PB and honey and microwave for 20 seconds. Stir in vanilla extract and milk.
  4. Pour warm PB mixture over dry ingredients and stir until incorporated.
  5. Press dough into pan and refrigerate at least 30 min before cutting.
  6. ENJOY!



A New Sphere

I almost feel like I should re-introduce myself, it’s been so long. I mean, the last time I even edited this draft was last May … so here we go.

Hi, I’m Caroline … I’m no longer a ’20-something’ living in Boston. More like a [gulp] 30-something … 

I’m the strength coach and fitness director for an all-girls school in Massachusetts. I’ve been in this [new-ish] job now since August 2016 and absolutely love it. I feel like it’s all of my passions mashed together.

Sometimes my old life — which consisted of running around the city teaching at multiple gyms and studios, training several different clients and grocery shopping at 2 p.m. — feels like an eternity ago. Now, I am lucky if I can find a parking spot at Trader Joe’s on a Sunday. It’s safe to say I’ve had to evolve to a new schedule.

Sure I expected to hit up Target with the masses on a weekend day, but what I couldn’t have predicted was the challenge I feel to stay a part of the Boston fitness community.

While I do still teach fitness classes — both at the school and Btone Fitness — I’m not ‘in’ it as much as I used to be. This transition has been one of the more challenging for me. Am I still relevant? Have I lost everything I worked so hard to achieve? Am I still making an impact within the community?

I’d like to believe that the mark I am leaving now is one for a different generation. Teaching young girls that’s it’s okay to lift weights, be strong and take up space on the fitness floor.

I guess you could say my fitness sphere has changed.

I now have to be much more proactive about being involved; trying out new studios, taking others classes and attending events. So, I made a pact with myself to go ‘out of my comfort zone’ once per week. Traditionally, that’s partaking in a meet-up after I get out of work … mmmm, did I mention that is at 7 p.m.?

Thankfully, last week I was invited to a wellness dinner hosted by Gianne Doherty — founder of Organic Bath Co. and extraordinaire behind the W.E.L.L. Summit — at Athleta Newbury Street. Being surrounded by inspiring individuals whose views on health and wellness were similar to mine was motivating. I knew I needed to get back into blogging. Pronto.

So yes, you guessed it … as part of my ‘pact’ I am attending the W.E.L.L. Summit in Boston this month (April 21st to be exact). Of course I am excited about the speakers, my guuuurrrl Sara DiVello‘s yoga class and [duhhh] Sweetgreen for lunch. BUT, what I think I am the most excited about is that feeling of being reignited. That feeling of a flame being lit underneath you, leaving you so incredibly motivated you’ve got ants in your pants.

And while I’m in this new sphere, I can tell that feeling is slowly creeping back into my life. Thankfully. I’ve missed this blog and have hated the writer’s block I’ve been dealing with.

So who wants to join me? Whether you’re in the same boat as me, need some motivation to get healthy, are interested in overall wellness or maybe want to get back into this community (hi, me too) … then I guess I’ll be seeing you at the WS 🙂

PS: I’m doing a giveaway on my Instagram now … [cough, cough] a FREE ticket!