Tag Archives: realtalk

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

 

 

Like The Pilots Say, Standby

Standby for Day 30 of Day 30 of my writing challenge. One of my favorite responses is “standby” via text or face to face. If you know me, then you know where “standby” comes from but other people look confused when I toss the “standby” their way.

Here’s how the standby conversation goes:

On the airplane, the A flight attendant takes care of first class AND feeds the pilots. So, I’ve always loved the initial briefing at the start of any trip. Hi, my name is Dave. Hi Dave, my name is Brandy. Small chit chat ensues similar or exactly like the following; “have we flown together? Maybe? You look really familiar, so do you! Do you live in Portland? No, across the bridge in Vancouver. Cool! Then the pilots head into their office to start their checklist. It never fails, Hey Dave, do you want coffee or something besides water. “STANDBY” is his response. Then I literally standby and wait for the yes or no  response. I don’t know why this was so funny to me when I started flying. It’s so normal to me now but I love to use it outside of the airplane, in the real world. It’s funny using the “STANDBY” as your complete response with people. Give it a try. When someone asks you a question, respond via text with “Standby.” And wait for their response. 😂😎59F4103C-F831-4286-A6C0-584FE35DCA58.jpegSelf Care With A High Noon Hot Tub

People Love Dogs In The Pearl!

I’ve known for awhile that people in the pearl love dogs! It’s a thing. And when you have a dog in the pearl, you’re part of it. But when you have kids you’re on the outside. But when you have kids and a DOG you are golden. It cracks me up the kind of attention people will show when you have a dog in the pearl. Even our grumpy cleaning lady in the building busted into a huge smile today and wanted to chit chat about our dog.F0ECF848-3E0D-4A06-B6F9-5A916B38ABCCShiver licking his chops.7B24EE76-53BF-4BB5-BA8C-2CD865C3F415Shiver’s best friends (Ziggy, Leroy and Shiver) all lined up for a treat at camp Mimi

Yesterday a woman dropped to her knees in the elevator to pet and love on Shiver. All three of my kids were trying to talk to her but she was obsessed with Shiver, our dog. I joked that Shiver was my 4th child so he was in heaven with her loves. While she was petting Shiver, Kai was talking to her about multiplication fractions while Pepper and Blaize simultaneously wanted to know about her glasses-could she see without them? Right before she got out of the elevator she asked if Shiver was an ESP? Uhh, what’s that I asked? She said is Shiver an “emotional support pet?” Haha! I laughed and said “what do you think?!” as the elevator door closed and Pepper yelled “See ya next time!”

Kids are alright in the pearl but dogs are the cream of the crop in this neck of the woods.  Haha!

In A Love Relationship With Yoga

Yes, I’m in a committed, love relationship with yoga and it’s going great. We like to see each other everyday but sometimes we have to miss a few days. It only makes our reunions that much sweeter when we do see each other. If I could I would see hot yoga everyday but I’ll take what I can get. IMG_4150.jpgChilling in Maui post run and yogaIMG_2893_2Teeny, tiny smile post hot yoga class. Happy on the inside but totally wiped out.

I don’t always want to do yoga or feel like I have time to do the yoga. But love doesn’t flourish without  lots of quality time and attention so I make the time.

I’m not flexible at all…And hot yoga feels really awful for part or all of the class every.single.time. Yesterday I ate a cafe yum bowl about 45 minutes before hot yoga and regretted it throughly for the entire class. What you eat, drink, don’t drink can affect your hot yoga class with the intensity of a full body regret.

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!

 

Improvise Is A Staple Attitude At Our House

We celebrate life LOUD and PROUD at our house. The good times roll and roll quickly every.single.day. We have so much fun and get after the good times! No, I’m not supermom-I just like to have fun. And lucky for me I have 3 small kids who LOVE the fun with me. So we get out in the city a lot. We talk a lot, laugh a lot, eat a lot, adventure a lot and improvise a lot.

Yesterday, in the elevator we told one of our best little friends who’s 8 years old about improvising. She was confused because the game plan changed from the park to a hike. I asked Pepper what we do when we don’t get our first choice in life? Pepper said with a straight face and a 5 year old voice (that only a mom and speech therapist can love and understand) “we IMPOOOvise when we don’t get our furst choice. We say, it’s ok because maybeee next time we wheel get our furst choice. And if we don’t, it’s ok we let it go.  We still have fun, she said with a barbie doll smile!”

YES! That’s my girl! That’s my 5 year old miracle baby that I prayed for since I was 12 weeks pregnant.

So, now that I’m a single mom with three little kids in tow I subscribe hard to the “improvise dance.” Sometimes, it happens on a layover at work where I have 8 pairs of underwear for a 2 day trip and NO SOCKS. Oy! Or it happens a lot at the gym when the four of us hustle down the street to LA Fitness. It’s only a few blocks away so we walk. And it’s a chance for me to get my workout and shower in for the day. I pack my shower bag in a frenzy and always forget something. Today, I forgot my shower towel which has happened before. It’s not the first time people, but it’s the first time I’m talking about it. At least I have my razor and shower flip flops I tell myself. I’ve even dried off with paper towels before. #truth

It’s definitely not my choice to dry off with a hand towel at the gym but by golly I’m going to workout and shower any chance I get. Screw the shower towel, the show must go on! I just avoid eye contact hard! Haha!D3C6DC80-7E23-4997-A691-62EEE5BF80F1.pngIt’s so amazing when I hear one of my little peanuts rattle off some good grown up advice about “improvising” in the real world.

It’s a magical mom moment where I breathe in all the goodness that this little person is sharing with the world.