Tag Archives: portland

I Love Boats

IMG_2787Steering the catamaran in Honolulu

Yep, I love boats. That’s all.

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

Identical Twins Are So Special

Being a mom to Blaize and Pepper (identical twins) is so special AND keeps me on my toes every. single. day.

When you are 25 or 45 years old and tell me, ohhhh I always wanted twinssss. I don’t know what to say to you and ususally say nothing. I would like to send you to this blog post so you can get a taste of the real situation with identical twins.

No, they are very different in personality.

Yes, they are extremely competitive with one another.

No, they STILL don’t like to share me or my attention with each other.

Yes, I can tell them apart every time. From their normal voices to their whiney voices.

No, I didn’t know raising identical twins and a 7 year old would be so awesome! 🙂

Yes, I wanted to be a mom my whole life with 4 kids in tow.  But I always thought one baby at a time would be how it would happen.

No, I’m not supermom. I’m just a mom who loves my three little people as much as you love your singleton.

Yes, my momo pregnancy rocked me with weekly Dr. appts to listen for heartbeats starting at 12 weeks pregnant. Complete with an emergency trip to San Francisco for fetal heart surgery and a long ass, scary hospital stay followed by 32 days in the Nicu.

No, I don’t have stretch marks even though I gained 52 pounds.

Yes, I’m lucky. 🙂

No, I didn’t like tandem breastfeeding and neither did they.

Yes, breastfeeding 3 and 4 pound premature twins with nipple shields at the hospital in the Nicu is the opposite of fun.

No, I didn’t sleep long enough to enter REM-too busy pumping 12 times a day for way too long.

Yes, I was “sleep deprived

No, I didn’t want to give them formula.

Yes, I gave them breastmilk AND formula.

No, I didn’t like giving formula but was breastfeeding around the clock because tandem breastfeeding wasn’t cool for any of us.

Yes, my sweetest girlfriend snapped me out of the “exclusively breastfeeding obsession” (that many women sign up for) by saying “Bran, you’re not getting a medal for exclusively breastfeeding twins.” Let. it. go. I supplemented with formula proudly after that talk with her in her L.A. closet. Haha!

Yes, I would do it again in a second. Yes, having all three of my kids are the best thing I’ve ever done. Yes my mandatory c-sections weren’t that bad after all, even though I wanted a natural birth with no drugs. C-sections are pretty okay of you ask me. Shrug. Giggle IMG_9574Do you see the ear grab?! There was an eye gouge photo after this one. Sharing mom is soooo hard. Especially for identical twins. #justsayin

 

Small Talk Is Not My Favorite Talk

I can’t remember if I used to be good at small talk. These days, I’d rather be in uncomfortable silence than be forced to engage in small talk. Maybe, it’s the single mom thing where I have very little time to waste and zero time for bs. Maybe it’s a life thing but small talk is one of my least favorite things to do. Let’s talk about real sh*t. And if not, let’s just stand next to each other and smile…IMG_3852Real talk doesn’t have to negative and I prefer that it isn’t. There are so many juicy, positive and funny things to talk about.

Recently, after yoga I was chatting with the instructor about class. Which quickly turned into a conversation about self acceptance and self love. Which quickly turned into her sharing her recent trip to a nude beach and baring her chest. She told me how freeing it was and how good the water felt without her top on. Wow, good for you, that’s awesome! I loved you before this conversation, now I really love you. 🙂

But it get’s better… A young girl we both know came walking by and joined in on our “real talk.” She took it to the next level with all sorts of real topics and quickly. She introduced the idea that the size of his nose is likely to match the size of his…

Yep, that’s what she said. She claimed that it’s almost always true for her. I laughed and thought about it. Hmmm, maybe there is similarity?!

She also suggested that single guys carry a business card stating his “stats.’ I laughed and agreed that knowing what you’re getting into before you spend months dating would be nice. And it only seems fair. One of my favorite funny lines is, l”et’s just see what we’re working with, shall we?” I’ve actually talked about a little button that guys could wear on their tshirt or lapel that stated the info. The buttons would read SMALL, MEDIUM and LARGE. A  facebook friend recently mentioned this would be tricky because guys would be “rating” themselves. Exactly was my response to his concerned comment. That’s why there would only be three basic categories. And anyone in their right mind would understand the three categories and their “self proclaimed range.”

This is my kinda talk. The real stuff. The funny stuff. And the stuff that could eventually “make or break” a relationship. #justasyin

 

 

It’s Official, I Love To Eat

This is so true. Always has been. Except, I prefer having someone cook for me. Maybe, it’s cooking for one that makes me want to eat out or maybe it’s being a mom? Dunno? Either way, I’ve never enjoyed someone cooking for me more than I do right now. I mean, if we’re talking about the crazy hot matrix, then someone who can cook would raise their number by at least 1.5 points in my book. Just sayin.

IMG_0676_2Soaking up Portland sunshine with my girls. On our way to PIZZA. 

 

If you haven’t seen the crazy, hot matrix-you must watch it! I love it! If you laugh and love it, then we can be friends. If it makes you angry or defensive then I don’t want to know you.

Maybe, I appreciate food more than ever because I am constantly in the kitchen at home “feeding, cleaning up and then feeding again.” Taking care of my little people is a full time job that I love but boy it’s a lot of “wet hands” in the kitchen.

I started getting lean cuisines because sometimes a hot meal with zero clean up is really nice. Actually, it’s frickin awesome! And it’s even cooler on the airplane. When I pack my lean cuisines and cook them in the galley it’s pretty rad. It smells so good. And it’s all about perspective. My spaghetti lean cuisine was the envy of all the flight attendants and a couple of first class passengers. Something vulnerable and real about being hungry on an airplane. Basically, you have nothing to eat, there’s nothing to buy AND we’re 38,000 feet in the sky.

Maybe I’ll bring back my love for oranges on an airplane. Before I had kids, I used to eat an orange on the airplane and loved it. Then I had kids and was busy pumping breastmilk for years on the plane.

Well my airplane pumping days are long gone (thank God!) so bring out the oranges!

Why I’m A Single Mom With Three Little Kids

The below document is the reason I’m divorced with three little kids in tow. It was given to me by my husband at the time 4 years ago. I was breastfeeding 1 year old twin girls while carrying a 3 year old little boy around. I took the document very seriously and honored the 24 hour deadline that he gave me as I chose choice number 2.

The question I ask is why the 3rd choice wasn’t listed? The 3rd choice is my current  reality called heavy litigation for 4 years. ..With a document this detailed and thorough, one would think that all “3 choices” would have been listed. 

Yes, we all have our health which is always a blessing. However, 4 years of litigation is the opposite of healthy living if you ask me.

Court hearings, motions and judgements are public record but my only response is no comment. Without sharing any details, for privacy reasons I ask for your prayers for a speedy and amicable resolution.

*I have permission from the author and thank you notes for sharing Brandy’s Choice on my blog and the internet*

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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.

30 Day Challenge, Come With Me!

So, I love a good challenge especially with self improvement stuff. Recently, I’ve been encouraging a mom friend to workout. She had all the good excuses of WHY she couldn’t workout. I listened for awhile and tossed ideas toward her for months. Finally, I said-TODAY do it today! 15minutes on your bike at home is it. Commit to a 30 day challenge where you try to workout for 15min for 30 days in a row. And if you miss a day or two, doesn’t matter. Just do it. She did it and sent me a text picture of her workout stats. She continues to send me a text picture of her workout weeks into it. Haha! IMG_9643Mom selfie

I thought about doing a yoga or gym challenge but that would be sandbagging myself. it has to be something a little scary but something interesting and doable to hold my attention. I thought about matching bra and panties for 30days. Now that would a stretch and BORING. If I match once a week I feel like I’m crushing it. #justsayin

My intention is to share, give you a giggle and maybe inspire you to challenge yourself.  Then it came to me during yoga (as many ideas do) that I would do a 30 day challenge of writing. That sounds awesome. Challenging and a little scary-my kinda goal!

Also, the last time I did this 30 day writing challenge was over 5 years ago. I was pregnant with my high risk twin babies and hospitalized. Crap, that was a tough time.

Today, my focus is different but it’s always a good idea to shake things up as the seasons change if you ask me.

I hope you come with me on my 30 day challenge and hope it will inspire something new and invigorating for you.

 

Hot Yoga Is Too Hot For Me

Lately, I’ve been hitting the hot yoga a lot and it’s been good to me. People love to tell me that hot yoga is “too hot for them.” I listen empathetically and nod to all their really good excuses why they don’t do hot yoga or any physical activity for that matter. And why they don’t look like they did 20 years ago…

Dudes, I get you! I really do. Hot yoga is TOO HOT for me-Yo! And I don’t have the time or energy to do hot yoga on most days. Nor do I “want to.” But, my mind drags my body or my body drags my mind and after it’s over it’s glorious. 

I know that if I don’t kick my ass (in a workout) life will do it. And when life does it, it sucks. It’s not cute. But, if I get after it and get my yoga/workout in first, it’s easier to manage the life bullsh*t that inevitably comes and goes. IMG_3631Final Resting Pose where I soak up all the goodies from class.

The next time someone in life or on the airplane rattles off all the great reasons why they can’t get in shape or go to yoga-I will listen empathetically. Then I will say, hot yoga is TOO HOT for me as well! But I do it anyway. Because I know it’s good for me. It makes my mind focus and come to the present moment (like any high intensity workout) which is part of the life secret. Focusing and being in the present moment. Not the future, not the past. It’s easy to say and write about especially when life is spinning. So, like a good student I will hit a hot yoga class today. Not because I like stretching in extreme heat or sweating profusely where my fingers prune up. And not because I like the smell that happens when a bunch of people are pushed to their physical limits in a closed, hot room. It’s because I want that happy song and clear mind that happens after every hot yoga class.IMG_3590Enjoying my post hot yoga sparkle

Get your hot yoga on and tell me about how frickin hot it was…And you did it anyway 🙂

 

 

 

 

Parenting Class for Communication

Recently, I took a parenting class in the evening in an effort to improve communication skills within our complicated family. It was strongly suggested and I’m glad I took it. It was tough to enroll because it was only offered  in the evening, deep in NE Portland and only on my parenting night. But, I did it! I hired a sitter and schlep my 3 little kids to her house in jammies at 5pm before I drove the 45 min in heavy traffic. There were about 15 people in my class and we were from all walks of life. Some were remarried and brought their new partner to the class. Most of us were single and trying to navigate a complicated family life. All of us were involved with high conflict divorce with shared little kids. It was strangely comforting to hear personal experiences that mirrored my situation. It didn’t explain or justify behavior but did feel good to know I’m not alone.IMG_7185This picture says it all-LOVE! (Even Kai smiled) haha! Summer 2017 at Jameson Square Park

These 3 cuties are why I continue to do my best and make the most of every situation.

Back to the class-it took no less than 25 email exchanges to get enrolled in the class. I’ll spare the details. But it was a feat just to register for the class for all sorts of reasons.

Beyond Conflict Parenting Class was upstairs in an old Portland house in a small room with uncomfortable church folding chairs. The instructor isn’t married and doesn’t have children. She’s been teaching this class for maybe 20 years? I can’t remember the actual number but long enough to see a lot of different situations and people.

Funny thing is that I always felt better leaving that class than I did when I arrived. That is a good sign. I was surprised to feel this way because my expectations were low. Kinda like online dating. You do it, you put your best effort out there but you’re okay if nothing pans out. Yes, it spoke to the general public and wasn’t specific in handling high conflict divorce. However, the messages were good reminders to “do the right thing” no matter what. Some parents shared horror stories (not me of course for privacy reasons) and Judith never deviated from advising the “higher road” no matter what! I mean the stories were so bad that I can’t even repeat them here. But, Judith reiterated again and again focus on the kids and respond by respecting the kids.

And, the best thing I learned in this class is that I’m only 1 parent. In essence, I’m potentially 50% of the solution and 50% of the problem. For example, if I do my very best and communicate clearly with kindness, it can only be 50% effective for communication.  Depending on how the other parent chooses to respond is out of my hands.  Wow, this was eye opening for me. I already know this as I love self help books and seminars but it’s a different beast when someone f*cks with your little kids. Anyway, simple advice to stay the course but a good reminder for me. Healthy, positive co-parenting takes 2 willing people. It is what it is.

Facts I learned from this class is that less than 10% of families get divorced through family court. That means most families 90% or more are able to mediate and/or reach an agreement outside the courtroom. Hey, even Brad and Jolina chose to settle out of court. There were lots of books and handouts shared to help navigate this tricky family situation.

And the most important take away from Judith Sweeney’s class is-When in doubt, focus on the kids! When uncertain on how to handle an unusual situation, focus on the kids!