Tag Archives: momlife

Tinder Tales From A Single Mom

So….Where do I start? Whenever I read a magazine I start from the back. That must say something about me kind of like astrology. The people that read magazines from the back? Anyway, I first learned about Tinder from my sister at Edgefield. It was the summer of 2014 and I was seeing one of my girl crushes-Sarah McLachlan (thanks mom!). We were sitting outside on a beautiful summer night and my sister started “swiping” on her tinder I was horrified and interested at the same time. Haha! Most everyone has seen it by now but a big red NOPE pops across the page if you swipe left on someone’s picture. They don’t know you “noped” them though. If you swipe right, then a green LIKE pops up across the page. If that person you liked already liked you, then it’s a match! And you can text away via the tinder app. It’s long and arduous at best. At worst it’s crickets while you both wait for the other person to text first. If you like that person and it’s not immediately a match either they haven’t seen you yet or they didn’t like you. You just don’t’ know and really don’t care. The choices are overwhelming. Seems like everyone is on there. But not gunna lie, there’s SO MUCH WEIRD on there! I used to compare online dating to shopping at Ross. You have to go through so much sh*t to find one decent top. And usually I walk out of there exhausted and empty handed. IMG_3499This is how it feels for a girl when you start online dating. So MANY choices coming at you hard!  (just trying not to lose my hat) Haha! Most of the choices aren’t great but you take a second look and do the “weeelllllll, maybe?!” #truth

The best part about tinder for me is that no one can message you unless you both like each other! Back in the day when I did match. com and ok cupid, I would get inundated with messages from people that didn’t fit my criteria at all. I would get long, personal emails from people living in Florida. Long, life stories if you will and I’d get sucked into their random story before I noticed that they lived in Florida or worse they were still married. Wait, what?! Sometimes, I think boobs are the only prerequisite for a lot of guys. Sad, but true. Sure, the attention might feel flattering for a hot minute and then it gets creepy and overwhelming very fast. So, that’s why I prefer “the tinder” as I like to call it.

The second best thing about tinder for me is that you don’t have to be out at the bars to meet other single people. Or at least sort of single people. There are so many “open relationships” these days in Portland. It almost seems like tattoo sleeves, cool and really common. I’m old school and think that one guy and one girl is plenty for me. Of course, I would love to meet someone at yoga or Trader Joes but I’m not holding my breath.

So, like the rest of the single people I suck it up, swallow my pride and make my tinder profile. At least I use my “real name.” #justsayin

The last thing I like about tinder is that its not a huge time suck. You can look a little or a lot and feel like you’re “dating” or at least putting yourself out there.

Sooooo. Back to the tinder tales. My first tinder date a couple years ago was a high school chemistry teacher. We had a lot of mutual friends on facebook so it seemed pretty safe. It’s always tough to be the first one and especially after a divorce. I know that I run from anyone newly divorced as I don’t want to be their “first date.”

We saw each other probably 8 times over 2 months.  We always met up at restaurants so don’t think I ever rode in his car? Looking back, I definitely kept him at arm’s length. Again, being the first one sucks. Haha! He was pretty uptight now that I think back about him. He was in his 40’s, never married and no kids. One time I wanted to sit outside at a restaurant and it was nice but the patio chairs were wet. I offered for him to sit on my jacket and he accepted it. Haha! Oh dear! I made a quick joke about being a mom and can deal with a wet seat. Not sure why those uptight ones like me but they usually do. And I’m NOT talking about the kids’ dad-no one is talking about him just to be clear.

When I first met the chemistry teacher, he met his last girlfriend on tinder and she was from Medford.  Long distance was the demise of their relationship-she had kids so wasn’t moving and he loved his job in Portland. One Sunday afternoon, I was out for a trail run. He had told me that he was going on a hike with his friend “John.” Anyway, the last time I saw him he was on that hike with his friend “John” but “John” had boobs and “Medford hair.” His eyes were as big as saucers as I ran by him and his Medford girlfriend holding hands. I’m not sure who was more surprised me or him?

 

Hot Lips Pizza Is Our Favorite

Dying to share my Christmas Tree story and give credit to the 5 grown men who grunted it out with me. But, life happened today-hard and fast. Kinda like a Monday and always  with my 3 little ducks in tow. Christmas tree story soon. I suppose it isn’t that unusual because I’ve been hustling a real Christmas tree by myself for as long as I can remember.

The difference is that when the kids were little, I could strap them into the carseats and onto me with the ergo. This year, they were running around like wild animals at my annual holiday work party. Still can’t believe how good our tree worked out with a few extra helpers. It’s an 8 foot tree that “we” strapped to the top of my tiny car during a huge rain storm.IMG_0722_2.jpgJulian sporting Kai’s blue gloves and Kai loving his new white gloves.

After 10 days and nights in a row with my little people, we’re still gettin the fun daily! We hit the streets for a romp in the park and to hear the singing tree in Jameson Square again. So awesome! Then we were craving hot lips pizza and Kai had some gloves he wanted to give the pizza guy. His name is Julian and he’s a super cool guy and listened to Kai’s stories with great enthusiasm. They traded stories (mostly Kai talked and Julian listened) and gloves. Kai gave him a pair of his coveted blue gloves while Julian slipped Kai a pair of Hot Lips white gloves. I love this town so much!

IMG_0717Julian, do you want to be my Man-Nanny? Haha!IMG_0733.jpgGood times. Classic Starbucks bathroom poop party. 

Of course, it would be weird for my little ducks to make the 10 minute walk home without an urgent poop alert. They love to poop in public. Pepper claimed she had to poop so bad about 2 minutes after leaving hot lips pizza where there are lots of bathrooms. Oh well, we shamelssly charged into Starbucks, asked for the bathroom code and handled it. At least we didn’t have the double stroller in there. All that space for Kai to sit on the bathroom floor and enjoy his new gloves. 🙂

 

Santa Flys In On An Airplane

Yep. Santa flys in on an airplane complete with Mrs. Claus and a scad of elves in tow. This is my favorite part about our holiday kids party. Yes, there are bouncy houses, kids games, with arts and crafts. This year there were even hot cocoa stations with the usual cotton candy station but nothing is as cool as Santa cruisin’ in on that airplane if you ask me. IMG_0425Santa coming to high five the kids before he mounts his throne for photosIMG_0423.jpgMy little ducks watching Santa arrive! IMG_0372.jpgPepper gettin’ it on the bouncy houses! IMG_0428Kai fished like crazy this year!IMG_0449.jpgChristmas 2017. Kai is always so BUSY during pictures. Haha

I never even hesitate to sit on Santa’s lap with my kids. I don’t know why but I realized not many other parents pop onto Santa’s lap with their kids?! Sure, I heard Santa laugh and grunt a little when all of us snuggled him for the picture. All I could think of was how hot he must be. With the beard, the suit, the boots and the hat UNDERNEATH all those people for hours. Haha! Poor Santa!

Stop by tomorrow for the story behind our Christmas tree. It took 5 grown men to help us but we did it! We have a real Christmas tree in our apartment and I’m so happy.

What does your husband do?

I get this question daily. On the airplane, at the grocery store and at the gym. Anytime, I meet someone new, they assume I’m married. I don’t wear a wedding ring because I’m not married. I don’t talk about a husband because I don’t have one, nor do I want one. Just sayin… #realtalk I don’t even talk about the kids’ dad because I don’t.IMG_0255Loving my “Sister Husband”

People assume I’m married after they hear about the gangle of kids I have. Maybe the assumption will dissipate as they get older? Maybe it’s the thought of 5 year old identical twin girls and a 7 year old little boy clawing for my attention at home that gets people? I guess people associate kids with marriage. I know I used to. Not anymore. Not.at.all.IMG_9641My Mom Hustle in full swing on the airplane

Oh, you have 2 little kids and you’re a double dad couple where one of you works in another city/state half the month. COOL! Oh, you have 1 little baby and twins on the way and your parents sold their house and are moving to Portland to care full time for your unborn twins. VERY COOL! Oh, you have 4 dogs and treat them better than most parents treat their kids. AWESOME! Then the people that “don’t” work in aviation wonder how I can be a flight attendant with kids?! How can I not?! I have a job that I love. I work with the best people around. I go to new places all of the time. I have great benefits. I get to take a daily shower and spend more than 5 minutes putting my makeup on. I get a lot of perspective when I go to work that I can’t get if I stay at home 24/7. And a couple of times a month I stay in a fancy hotel all by myself. #momgoals

Yes, my three little ducks will always be my priority! Yes, I will always consider myself a mom first! And yes, I will continue to put my oxygen mask on first so I can keep my three little peanuts healthy and happy.

Families and situations can sound so different on the outside but are quite similar on the inside if you ask me.

I’ve learned that it can look VERY different but we all want the same thing. To be happy, healthy, feel connection and love with our little pod of people.

Here’s to enjoying your own glorious tribe!

 

Working Out is Hard For Everyone

Working out is hard! Oh so hard.
Don’t feel like working out? Me either.
Too tired to workout today? me too.
Have a sick kid at home and can’t manage to get it together for a home workout? Me too.
Too busy to workout? Me too.
Don’t feel like walking in the cold, wet rain with your 3 little kids in tow to the gym. Me either.IMG_3403Pepper in her tangled dress getting her exercise

But…I do it anyway. I play the same game as everyone else and toss the idea of “not” working out for the above reasons and so many other good, legitimate reasons. But I squeeze that workout or yoga in anyway.IMG_3230Blaize in her cowboy boots gettin’ it on the EFX

People say I’m lucky because I like to workout. Wait, what?! Lucky, I wouldn’t say that. I workout because I like the afterglow. I like my experiences, my thoughts, my attitude, my patience, my food choices and my sleep after I workout. It’s a decision to be healthy and fit and it is rarely convenient or even sounds like fun to me. #realtalk

I will even take it a step further and say it may be harder for me (this is where I piss people off) Not because I’m a single mom and have my 3 small little people most of the time. It’s harder for me because my results aren’t visible and are hard to track. When you’re trying to lose 10, 20 or 50 pounds that’s easy to see results. And as long as you’re consistent with exercise and food, those pounds usually come off fairly quickly to celebrate regularly.

First time in probably 7 years, where I’m not trying to lose the “baby weight.” And, I’m not trying to squeeze into a ridiculously tight and uncomfortable New Year’s Eve dress. Hoping I’m in my swimsuit and local flip flops somewhere on new year’s eve. My fitness goals are different today than what they’ve been in the past…These days, I’m focusing on the “Triple S’s” which are part of my new normal.

My triple S’s are: STAMINA, STRENGTH AND STRETCH. I can kinda measure it with weights and flexibility but forget the scale. As the scale stays the same my clothes get baggier and baggier. Took me awhile to tap back on the cardio queen stuff that I innately love.

I want my 3 little people to grow up thinking water is the preferred drink and outdoor activities and exercise is part of the daily schedule. Blaize stated that we’re getting exercise while we lugged 8 grocery bags from the car, to the elevator and down the hall to our house today. Yep, we sure are!

So when you think, I don’t have time, energy or whatever other good reason you can think of, think of me… Think of me, hustling my 3 little people out the door with their water bottles, snacks and sassy attitudes to walk to the gym. Sure, it’s only a few blocks away (thank God!) But someone always cries when they don’t get to hold my hand for the walk. Real crying with real tears people… One day, I’m sure I’ll look back fondly on the intense love my littles have for me. Taking turns holding mama’s hand is so hard!

My point is, that when I’m on the airplane in my tight, little costume dress it may not “look” like I struggle to workout or make the time to go to the gym but I promise I do. I’m just like you-trying to get out the door to get my workout in is half the battle. Often my body drags my mind to the gym. So strange but very true. Muscle memory is real. Perseverance, and commitment to myself and kids to be a healthy mom wins every.single.time.IMG_9080Maui Surf Session with my hot mama!

This is 42 my friends and it’s different than I planned but it kinda looks okay. It’s not perfect and it’s not for free 😂but nothing worthwhile ever is.

Friends, stay healthy and active even when you don’t want to. 🙂

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.