Tag Archives: adventure

Attitude Is Everything

Yes, I’m a busy mama bear to three little cubs. But, the truth is I was waiting for a big, bright light to shine my way for my last day of my 30 day writing challenge. And it never happened. I expected there to be glorious fireworks or some epiphany at the end of my 30 day challenge. But it didn’t happen. So, I wrote my Standby post to buy some time and waited. Yes, I got busy visiting my parents this past weekend with my three little peanuts in tow. Yes, I’m on a 15 night stretch with my three little angels. Yes, my 7 year old got braces and an expander put in on Monday.

Sometimes the end isn’t shiny and cute. Sometimes there isn’t a big flashy bang at the end. Sometimes, it’s a soft whisper with low light. And the best part is the attitude you keep.

I’m glad I did a 30 day writing challenge. It was outside my comfort zone but very doable. It made me focus and dip into my creative side which can disappear when I get busy.

Hands down, my favorite part was connecting with all the people that I don’t normally get to connect with. We’re all busy and it’s hard to stay connected but writing everyday gave me that link.

So, thank you for your encouragement, messages, private messages, emails and texts! I loved getting to hear your story so much.

Here’s a few things I did that were inspired by my 30 day blogging challenge:49A4B990-14B0-45F5-B98B-E53688D58197I upgraded my yoga membership to unlimited.

Kai and I learned how to tie a real tie because Kai likes to wear ties to school EVERYDAY.193921E0-A097-4D6C-B1F5-E42340107C87Loving their cousin Arista❤️717A52DE-27BA-42BD-9171-D19AC9BD67E9Getting a view from the top.9E1E7757-1EDF-4764-B72D-249EBCCFB704Easter smiles while Kai smiles with his “flex.”

6A81C834-E404-4216-965E-E0E0E9A5C9A0Reunited with my girl band and loving it!12030BD6-6B70-41F0-A63D-26B0899DB7CCSurrounded by my barnacles. My mom calls them “barnies” or barnicles because my kids love to be ATTACHED TO MY BODY at all times. 😍

During my challenge, I would wonder why I’m doing this challenge at all or on the weekend, don’t I have enough stuff to do?! One or two days off would be so nice. Then I’d write, post it and the weekend would pass and I’d forget all about it.

Like many things in life hindsight feels different than when you’re in it with your sleeves pulled up handling it. 

So, my friends my heart is full and my pocket is full of sunshine. Happy Day 30! Seems like yesterday I came up with this lil idea. 

Here’s to handling life with grace, humor and lots of connection.

**Attitude is Everything

 

 

How I Ended Up On a Reality TV Show

The Big Choice Makes A Comeback In My Life A Decade Later.

So, I’ve always been a truth seeker. Sometimes even too much. I might even call myself an over-sharer. In an effort to connect with other people I tend to dig deep while sharing and talking. Usually, it’s a good experience and an interesting conversation. However, my stint on the reality tv show was not something positive or something I wanted to share with anyone.

Joe MillionaireBrandy Sullivan-Joe Millionair

Posing in front of the castle outside of Paris. It was 2002 and I was 27 years old.

Back story: I was on a furlough from being a flight attendant post 9/11. I was living in LA, teaching spin classes and waiting tables at Big World Restaurant on Main Street in Santa Monica.  I lived in a cute, little bungalow in Santa Monica right by the promenade with girlfriends. Life was oh so simple. One night I waited on the producers of a dating reality tv show. We instantly connected and got along really well. They convinced to come to an interview for an upcoming reality tv show.  At that time, reality tv was The Real World on MTV and the Bachelor had just started to take off. I hadn’t watched the bachelor so had no idea what I was getting into. I also had zero interest in watching other people date on tv. It seemed boring and the little bit I did hear about the girls seemed caddy and pretentious. Two of my least favorite characteristics.

Back to how I got roped into auditioning for a dating reality tv show when I was 27.

The producers asked me 3 basic questions:

1. Do you like to travel? Yeah! I love it! After being a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines for 3 years prior, I was no stranger to the joy of travel.

2. Are you single? Yeah, super single and on a 6 month no date dry spell to be specific.

3. Would you like to go on an all expense paid trip for a month or longer? Twist my arm-yes please!

I immediately pictured myself on a beach in Taihiti working on my even tan and snorkeling everyday. Or maybe sipping americanos in a cute cafe in Europe reading my Eckhart Tolle Book, A New Earth.  My mind was exploding with awesome travel fantasies.

Needless to say, none of them happened. Yes, I stayed for a week in the castle with 12 other actresses. There was a lot of sitting around waiting and more waiting at all hours of the night. Yes, we left our microphones on in the bathroom, while running outside and any other time. Yes, we woke up to large tv cameras in our face. Startling to say the least.

The producers would set us up to not get along everyday. It was being a kids and playing duck, duck goose and the snowball all at the same time. One day they brought in evening gowns all different sizes and styles. Then they let us loose in the room with the dresses to find a dress to wear. You had to choose a dress but there was one of each kind and no repeat sizes. AWKWARD. Yes, this is how it felt the whole time.

What I remember the most from being on that show is feeling trapped in a divey Best Western hotel in Paris. With no access to the outside world and a bodyguard outside the hotel so you couldn’t step outside for 3 weeks. There were 8 of us girls that got the boot after the second cut. After being driven away in the middle of the night and dumped at the ghetto Best Western, we had to go everywhere in a group to make sure no one “talked” about the show. Secrecy is a big clause for reality tv. No workouts, limited fresh air, McDonalds everyday and no contact with friends and family or the news. It gives me goose bumps to even write about it. It was SO UNCOMFORTABLE! I remember running the stairs in the 6 story hotel and doing a ton of push ups and sit ups in my room to stay sane. There were a couple of “handlers,” an onsite psychologist and a bodyguard who made sure we NEVER went outside. The bodyguard was like a rent a cop but bigger and super creepy.

Back Story cont. While waiting on the tv producers, I told them that dating one guy with lots of other girls wasn’t my style. I was more traditional than that, one guy and one girl is more my style. Perfect, they said we need someone traditional. I said I’m from Oregon. Even better, they said! They continued to talk about the travel and how perfect I’d be. At the very least come to the first interview and then see how it goes. I talked myself into the interview because I figured I could decide later if I even made it. Well, the interviews went well over a couple of days. Then we had 3 days to get ready and show up at the airport with our passport. Turns out, there would be 20 girls and one guy in Paris. 15 were aspiring actresses and models, only 5 of us including me were “real people.”

Spoiler Alert: Being on the show was very uncomfortable and so invasive. It wasn’t anything how I pictured and a lot worse. After the month abroad in the Best Western, I returned home and felt really bad. The trip wasn’t anything like the producers that I met explained to me. They had really cool people do the auditions and casting so you think it will be okay. But, the cool, casting people don’t go on the trip, they just rope you into the deal. By the way, the show was supposed to be called “THE BIG CHOICE” not Joe Millionaire.

When I got home I felt shame and so much embarrassment from being on the show. The pilot commercial aired during the superbowl which is where everyone heard the “new name” and the theme of the show. Oh my god, that was not what I signed up for…

The way that reality tv show worked back then was the opposite of reality and a high drama story that the producers created. Turned out that Evan Marriott (the average Joe) was as dumb as nails, with icky long, greasy hair and had a girlfriend waiting for him back in Santa Monica…

Funny how life works. It’s rarely what you expected, sometimes it’s better and often times it’s NOT AT ALL WHAT IT SEEMED.

That my friends is how I ended up on the Joe Millionaire reality tv show. It’s taken fifteen years to talk about it without the shame face. Like Brene Brown says, shame can’t exist with truth, light and vulnerability.

The funny part is most people thought it was really cool and were surprised I didn’t want to talk about it. Back then, I usually said it was really weird and not what I signed for. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes on tv and in life. So f*ck the secrecy, silence and judgement. At least I did it and won’t ever wonder what it would’ve been like. No wondering here. Not at all. Haha!

 

Kai’s 7th Birthday Trip To Honolulu

Holy crap, how did I get a 7 year old?! Our annual birthday trip with just the two of us went off without a hitch.

After Blaize and Pepper were born, I decided that Kai needed some one on one face time with his mama. When he turned 4, we went to LegoLand then Maui for 5 and 6 years old. This last year, we did the Waikiki thing! Experiences over things is the real deal at my house.

I’m a little late as Kai is turning 8 at the end of this month. Posting birthday pics now, better late than never.

IMG_0004IMG_0243IMG_0249IMG_0475IMG_0229IMG_0151IMG_0104IMG_0046Another birthday trip with just mama in the books!

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We slept like rocks every night. 🙂

Surfer Girls In Maui

IMG_9080Longboard surfing with my mom!

It’s amazing how much fun you can have in 24hours when you focus on “the fun.” I think short term travel vs. long term travel are two different animals. I’ve done both and like both. However, as a mom I don’t want to be away from my bebes for too long. So, I squeeze in the fun whenever I can. So much fun to be had on a layover!

Portland Timbers, I Love You!

So, I had the opportunity to see an away Portland Timbers game on the East Coast.  It was so much fun! And the green people turnout was the the real deal. We were on a layover but other people flew in to see the game. Die. Hard. Fans.IMG_3947.jpgTimber’s soccer goalie. Kiwi accent. That’s all.

Little did I know that the real fun would be on the plane the next day. We were lucky to fly the Portland Timbers soccer team home the day after their game. Wow, was it exciting. There were 30 something in the entourage and they were the last to board. The funniest thing any of them said to me was during boarding. I said Hi, are you a player and he said LOUD AND PROUD, “YES, ARE YOU?” with long, hard eye contact. I giggled uncomfortably and looked away. The rest of the team meandered on the plane and it was hard to tell who the players were and who the “support” people were. They were all decked out in their green Timbers gear but some were physical therapists, massage therapists, camera guy, equipment guy, spokesperson guy, communication guy. So many people involved in this Timbers operation. I had no idea. Right away, I found my people. I found them during boarding. I love real people that like to talk real life!

The support people were so interesting and the stories were non-stop. One guy told me about the head to toe in adidas gear (their sponsor) that the players wear down to their underwear. Wow, really? I didn’t know about adidas underwear?! Then he said, well almost everyone wears the adidas underwear but a few wear calvin klein underwear. Wait, what? Why? He showed me with his hands and drew a bikini line on top of his jeans. Some guys like the high, tight cut of the calvins he said with a straight face. Huh, interesting. Tell me more “interesting things.” Haha!

I asked where he was seated and said I’d be back with more questions after takeoff. He said, great I’d love to tell you everything! We got along just fine. IMG_3950.jpgGroup Selfie in the Airplane Galley

As we wiggled through the air from the East to the West, I got to chat with a few people. Some players and some support people. All of the people were awesome! So, who’s your favorite player? If you have to pick ONLY ONE player, who would it be. A few guys squirmed and bowed out of the conversation. But two main people told me in confidence, separately their favorite player. And the second guy asked me if the first guy picked the same player. No you guys didn’t pick the same favorite player. But I’ll never tell who picked who. He was surprised but dropped it. #truthIMG_3944.jpgFan favorite, Diego Valari. This was our “happy picture.” IMG_3943.jpgThis was our “serious” one. 

As the flight came to a close, so did the stories. But boy was that a fun flight. And there were a lot of hugs on the way out. Yes, I’m a timbers fan and will be going to cheer on the boys this Spring.

I love the Portland Timbers and they are really good people. The ones you want to meet on an airplane. #justsayin

My Favorite Passengers Are Really Cool People

I meet a lot of people at work and in life for that matter. Rarely do I meet people that inspire me with my mouth open. But it’s been happening a lot lately. One of the reasons I love people and love to travel is one of the many reasons I’m a flight attendant when I don’t have my mom hat on.IMG_0742Wearing my favorite apron

My favorite passengers in 2017 happened close together, which is unusual. Both were in first class and one was from Eugene-go figure?

One woman was in her 60’s and had an attitude and energy that’s hard to explain. She was awesome! I wanted to chat with her alnight. She was cool with my airplane jokes and was a school counselor for her JOB. She was looking for a new gig and applied as a flight attendant within the past year. Like many of the people I get to work with I would love to work with her. She was with her husband and he was on the aisle but felt our love connection so kept his pie hole closed. Haha!

Another favorite passenger was a woman who introduced herself to me in main cabin last Spring. I’m hoping that she sees this blogpost and reaches out to me. She found me online years ago when I was pregnant with my momo twins and hospitalized. She followed me on my blog and recognized me on the airplane?! Whaat?! It’s a small world.

She also had twins and experienced a high risk pregnancy (not momo twins but had complications of her own) As I was cruising down the aisle pouring the diet coke, she introduced herself, briefly told me how she knew me and then said she’s taking this solo trip to get her “head straight.” She was on the divorce train and said she admired and felt strength from reading my old blog. The amazing part to me is that she had the balls to say hi and share what she did with me from the WINDOW SEAT! She had a shy demeanor with a quiet voice, she had two strangers sitting next to her and going through a major life transformation. Wow! I love “real” people who are trying their best to make real connections.

She asked if we could get a coffee sometime and I said, sure! I would love to get a coffee with any twin mom, ANYTIME.

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.