Brandy’s 2 Choices From Sean E Keener

It’s been over 3 years since I was handed the 4 page document, titled Brandy’s 2 choices, with a 24 hour deadline from my husband at the time. I was a full time stay at home mama to three little people (1 year old twins and and a 4yr old). We were a busy family, living life and going on adventures!

I’m still approached regularly from friends and colleagues about my situation as a single mom. “What happened” to your family is the most  common question. Sometimes, it’s at work, sometimes yoga and often in the presence of my three little kids. In an effort to protect my kids from potentally inappropriate conversations, I decided to share “what happened.”

My truest intention of this blog post is to be honest and forthwright and explain how I became a single mom to one year old twins and a four year old almost overnight. Regardless of how it happened, I’m eternally grateful for my three amazing kids and the role that their dad played in creating them.

It was Saturday, December 28th 2013 around 4:30pm. I had returned to work a few weeks prior and was meeting the kid’s dad for a Starbucks coffee date. After grabbing my drink, I sat down at a table and was handed the 4 page document below. With a straight face and zero emotion, the kid’s dad asked if I had any questions. No, no questions was my only response…

Just to clarify, the kids’ dad and I already had an ironclad prenuptial aggreement and were actively in marriage counseling.

I believe the rest of the document speaks for itself.

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Getting Started Is The Hardest Part

I’ve never considered myself an underdog. Ever. Although some may have seen it or thought it, I never did. These days, I consider myself highly outnumbered as a single mama to 3 little humans. I remember waterskiing as a kid and my parents telling me that the newest, nicest ski boat or equipment doesn’t always make the best skier. Growing up, we always had everything we needed and skied our butts off early into Springtime and deep into Fall. Not to mention our annual January 1st polar bear waterski event in Oregon every year. Burr. Yes, my parents still chase the fun and adventures like crazy!  If anything it made me stronger. Sometimes stronger than I feel like being. Just sayin. #truth
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1997, lake days were the best!
On those days where I’m yearning to thrive  and I’m not in the mood, I get going. Because half the battle is getting to the gym. Or getting to the yoga class or starting that run. As I recommit to being the best version I can for myself, my kids, my family, my friends and my community, I focus on the going. Push that start button…
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Pepper, Blaize and me cruising the waterfront this summer
I definitely have my days where it feels like I’m a salmon swimming upstream with Black Bears everywhere. Crap! This mom life stuff is a lot of work. Yep, it definitely is. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. Sometimes, it doesn’t look pretty with red lipstick. Often, it looks like mom is wearing her jammie’s all day.  That’s what Blaize and Pepper said to me this morning on the walk to school. “Mom, why are you still wearing your jammie’s?!” Haha! Well, school mornings come hard and fast for your mom. Awake by 6:40am, 7:30am bus pickup with an 8am speech therapy lesson in tow. I don’t always have time to get dressed. But, I always have time to give you princess braids. #momlife
Setting aside the jokes, I’m lucky to grow up with solid parents who taught us even stronger values. Learning at a young age that it’s not for free and the show must go on-one of my mom’s favorite of many quotes! And how right she was. After a good chat with my mom friend in my half jammie outfit this morning, I focused on the “get going” part.” And here I am at the gym, sweating (thriving) like a dog and living the dream.
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Yep. That’s my parents, always chasing the fun! Mimi and Grandpa Mike wheelbarrow racing with Pepper and Blaize. 🙂
May you remember the “get going” part my friends even when you’re busy and it’s hard to get out of those jammie’s.

Thrive, It’s My New Normal

Talking to one of my besties on the phone this morning about life and she said to me at the end of the call “you’ll be fine.” She’s very empathetic, very pregnant and never dismissive of my feelings. Rarely do I hear those three words from her. But, I heard them today and I’m running with it. I will be fine. I know this. But I want to be fine and much more than that. I want to thrive physically, mentally and with my three little ducks in tow.IMG_7935.JPGMy mini me’s and me striking a pose.

I’ve always wanted more than fine or average. I’ve always sucked the passion out of everything I was interested in. Whether it was spinning. I love spin classes!-I’ll teach them for 17 years. DONE. Whether it was running. I love running and will run 6 marathons including Boston. DONE. Buy a house before I turn 30 regardless if I have a partner. DONE. Have kids and breastfeed those little monsters until they want to quit. DONE. DONE and DONE. Now, as my three little munchkins are 4, 4 and 7 years old, I’m seeking the next level as a mom and a person. I want to thrive. And I want to thrive with my kids in our family and our life.

First, I’m seeking more balance. More self care. More individual and ground quality time with my kids. I’m seeking more fulfilling workouts instead of just putting in the daily 45 minutes. Now, I want some quality and I started a new fitness routine that focuses on “strength and length.” Cardio is still what I crave but like I teach my kids moderation is key.IMG_8488.jpgChilling at pdx playdate in the pearl while my kids get their romp on. 

As I enter the weekend, I’m focusing on thriving. If you’ve been thinking about switching it up for one reason or another, I hope you’ll join me. Let’s do something different this season and see how far we can go. Aloha Friday my friends:)

 

 

 

Glamour Mom

Back in the day, before I had kids I thought being a mom would be a little different than what it is. Such is life! Little did I know that being a mom meant slinging laundry and dishes like a professional athlete. Having more than one kid, let alone 3 close in age is like being a referee. Trying to make a “fair call” all day long. Not to mention the questions, messes and arguments about who gets to hold my hand or who gets the first back rub at night. Fairness is a huge topic with my 3 little people.

So when does the glamour mom come into effect? It’s usually when they’re at school and it’s more like a “glamour moment.” For me, it’s getting to take an uninterrupted shower or go grocery shopping alone-it’s the new definition of “glamour” for me.

Kai wanted a mama snuggle and this kid is getting big. He’s only 7 but can already pick me up! He got the giggles and the rest is history. This is a good example of my glamour #momlife. It isn’t always pretty but it’s always fun and surrounded with so much love! All the energy, questions and kid snuggles, make my heart purr. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. IMG_4707Giggles for days!IMG_5069Who wouldn’t want to layout on the pavement with a hot, sweaty 40 pound child laying on top of you?IMG_1257Hotel pool party, yes please!

Hot Yoga For Moms is Always a Good Idea

So, I’m still not flexible. Never have been. But that’s not what yoga is. It has nothing to do with flexibility and everything to do with “real life.” Before I had kids, I loved taking first dates to a hot yoga class or my spin class. My reason was that I spend most of my days and time in workout gear so that’s the “real me.” The showered, makeup, cute shoes version of me is like a limited edition. Funny how things change. I still do my hot yoga and spin classes but don’t usually take dates there. I’m hustling to the gym with my three little people in tow. I’m a single mom of three little kids and have very little time to frolic around with someone else’s schedule. I don’t do hot yoga because I want to or feel like it. I NEVER FEEL LIKE DOING HOT YOGA. I do hot yoga because it makes me a better mom and  person. Hot yoga is like church to me. It makes me a better woman, person, sister, daughter, neighbor, friend and flight attendant. Plus it makes my body purr. Here are a couple of my favorite yoga teachers.IMG_7881Striking a pose with the amazing Roger Yoga Teacher. IMG_7873My girl Isabel killing it with her Genuine “Pony” songs and HUMBLE. Yep, One of the many reasons I love her. 

If you’ve been “thinking” about trying yoga (hot or not) DO IT! Do it for yourself and your family. Everyone benefits when mom gets her hot yoga in!

It Takes A Village

I remember hearing the saying “It takes a village” growing up but had no idea. No idea what it meant or how true it was. I feel like the bigger your tribe the more you need your village. I’m really lucky because I have a big, little tribe and an awesome village. I can honestly appreciate the familial concept of Big Love, and Sister Wives now that I have three, little humans. I loved the shows because the concept seemed so bizarre to me but somehow it seemed to work and very well?! The idea of all that maternal help and support right next door sounds AMAZING now. Sure a new bed, and new wife every night is still very creepy to me. I have no idea how Kody really sleeps with 4 wives and has all those kids. So many kids…

I could never do the sister wives thing but think the daily, maternal support (right next door) sounds awesome. Haha! For now, I’ll keep on keepin’ on with my happy, little tribe and awesome village. IMG_6704The village makes dinner out so much fun!IMG_3989The village makes pool days awesome!IMG_2982My little tribe biking in all their glory

Respect The Hustle

Sure, not everyone is a mom but most people hustle. So, why not talk about it, laugh about it and share it? I’ve always been a passionate person with a lot of hustle. Whether it was teaching spin classes, running marathons or traveling. Hustling and squeezing it all in has always been my game. Little did I know, that there ain’t nothing like the “mom hustle.” Growing up my mom made it look so easy and pretty! Haha! Still not sure how she did all the wonderful things she did while wearing full makeup no less. But she did and did it well-fancy dinners and all. Well, I’ve got my own little hustle game that includes the usual housework, laundry and everyday adventures. Fancy dinners, not so much. Outdoor and daily adventures, yes please!IMG_0770Love and SOOO much of it. Pepper is grabbing my face for her favorite “true love” kiss.IMG_5418Me, snuggling all 3 littles almost 4 years ago. This would be my inside “mom hustle.”IMG_7847Me, tossing the mom hustle at Back to School night. IMG_6937Just a little family grocery shopping in the pearl. There’s nothing like grocery shopping with 3 little kids in tow. Haha!