Tag Archives: selfcare

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. 🙂

 

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.

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:)

 

 

 

Feast or Famine is How I get My Yoga

Yoga is what I need, not usually what I want. Don’t get me wrong, I love the yoga buzz and the after glow that follows every yoga class. Sometimes, I don’t feel like going to yoga but I know that I need it. I’ve been a cardio queen for as long as I can remember. Jazzercise, tap dance and step aerobics is how I grew up. That early dance momentum turned into running, spinning and eventually yoga love as an adult. I still love my cardio but have completely shifted my workouts lately. These days, I’m focusing on strength and length. As the noise increases so does my self care. IMG_7883.jpgStriking a pose with the amazing Roger before his yoga class.

Feast or Famine is how my yoga used to play out. I used to squeeze in my yoga after a run or spin class. It was always the underdog and only “after” my workout. Yoga would go in bits and spurts, and was always the first to go when I fell short on time. Yoga was sometimes once a week or once a month for me. Not anymore…Feasting on yoga this Fall and it feels so good!