Tag Archives: selfcare

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

IMG_4236Post Red Eye Flight

I rallied to celebrate the luck of the Irish. Sheppards pie-check, guinness-check, my favorite Irish bar-check and a second location to a fancy place in the VIP section with my high tops and white v-neck-OY! check, check. Ended the night with a burger and fries right before bed. It was a good, long day.  IMG_4238Thanks for the cozy hoodie Squires!

Hey Girl

This is the song we sing to each other!

Hey Girl by Lady Gaga. It’s a family favorite. We use pens as microphones and we get into it! We sing it loud and proud. IMG_3969Yes, they like to swing while holding my hand… There’s a timer and then I switch sides to hold hands with Blaize. This.Is.Love

Hey Girl, hey girl if you lose your way, just know that I got you! Blaize, Pepper and I sing this to each other as Kai silently watches with big eyes. Haha

Hey Girl, we can make it easy if we lift each other. We don’t need to give up on one other. Singing with my girls is so awesome!

It’s beautiful and so sweet.

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!

 

 

 

 

Aloha Friday

Seeking more adventures, life balance and lots of laughs next year! Only 16 days left in 2017 and I couldn’t be more excited. 2017 rocked my world in so many ways. I’m ready to say farewell, goodbye and hello to the new year. IMG_4528Doing a 360 degree spin jump this summer

As I reflect on the past year, I shake my head. It’s like the saying goes, 2 steps forward and one step back. Or 2 steps forward and 4 steps back in my world. One big change for me is that I’m focusing on what I want, instead of what I don’t want. I used to reiterate what I don’t want because I thought that list was easier to swallow. When the noise rises, so does my self care. A friend was surprised that I did anything other than yoga. Wait, what, you go to the gym too?! Haha! Yeah, you could say that. Running, spinning and gym time is way easier for me than the yoga. However, the yoga is my best effort toward self love and self care. It’s what I need but not usually what I want. #justsayin

I’m ramping up the self care and gettin’ after the good stuff. Focusing on the fun, the travel and the mom life (the best life) this next trip around the sun.

So, I dragged my tired, puffy self to burncycle this morning. I haven’t been for over 10months and it left a mark. I will be walking funny for days… But, I’m looking for a new outcome 2018 so gotta put my money where my mouth is. There is no butt kicking quite like a cycle class. And, I LOVED it!IMG_2206Here’s to an awesome last couple of weeks of 2017 and a bigger and better 2018!

Let the good times roll, my friends.

Tinder Tales From A Single Mom

dSo….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. 🙂

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:)